We have had precious few comedies of quality made about high school students over the past ten years. Teen comedies used to be a staple of the multiplexes, the places where studios grub money from teens and tweens who have borrowed a twenty-spot from their moms, but they have been all but decimated in recent times by the merciless reign of the generic horror flick. Election came out in 1999, so what good ones did that leave us in the aughts? Only Mean Girls by my estimation. You did like Mean Girls right? Combining a great script from a pre-30 Rock Tina Fey and perhaps the most buxom cast of young actresses ever assembled made it one of my favorite comedies of the decade. One time I watched it with a room full of hung-over college friends mostly in slow motion. It took us about five hours, but it was worth it.
Well, Paramount has decided to rob us of our treasured memories by creating a low budget, direct to basic cable/DVD sequel, and unleashing it upon the unsuspecting masses. Mean Girls 2 debuted Sunday night, January 23rd on ABC Family, and until about 3 PM the next day the term “REGINA GEORGE” was trending on Twitter. Regina George is a character from the first film, played by Rachel McAdams, and one click on the trending topic revealed a steady stream of Twitter users who loved the first film bemoaning a sequel that doesn’t include the character.
I can’t imagine Paramount anticipated such a strong reaction to such a small, unimportant sequel, but fans seem to be resenting the cash grab. Maybe the most important question coming out of this web-event is what will Paramount execs take from this chunk of chatter that they’ve created? That poorly conceived, cheap sequels can tarnish a brand and aren’t worth the straight to DVD sales, or that they got a lot of people to watch ABC Family last night?
Good thing we can all still enjoy the terrible, wonderful trailer.