Gritty, Dystopian ‘Little Women’ Plotlines

Remember Little Women? Of course you do. It’s the 1860s tale of 4 New England sisters – the bitchy one, the one with a complex gender identity, the social anxiety one, and the other one – learning about life, love, and saving your work in case of manuscript fire.

Except now that the C.W. is getting into it, Little Women is going to be more like this:

Little Women is described as a hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation of the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, in which disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined – all while trying not to kill each other in the process.

Okay, we can work with that. I read Little Women probably a dozen times as a kid, and I lived in the dystopic streets of west Philly. Here are some sample plotlines:

  • When the girls are sorted on … I don’t know, Sorting Day … in the burned-out shell of the Reading Terminal Market, Meg is a Carer, Amy is a Flouncer, Beth is a Die-er, but Jo… Jo is OTHER and must hide out in the garret of Aunt March’s house so The Faction doesn’t enlist her.
  • Aunt March’s house is, like, somewhere in Delco.
  • The girls from the ruling class all collect L.I.M.E.s, or ligament-installed mechanical elements. They’re like weird extra robot arms and legs. Amy, being poor, buys a sawed-off body part from the black market instead … until the schoolmaster throws it in the snow. Gritty.
  • Beth, a meek child, frequently steals away to Laurence II, the mega-computer next door where the brain and memory of Mr. Laurence were uploaded before he was captured by … Them. I guess.
  • “They” have maintained a ruling society that has cut the lower class off from the modern world, but Meg infiltrates at Sally Moffat’s ball on the Main Line.
  • Meanwhile, Jo must hide the burned control panel of the wire tap she wears to the event by standing awkwardly against the side of the room.
  • In a feral state of fear and mania, Beth beheads a hitchhiking robot that she meets on one of her few trips out of the home.
  • Amy has to conceal her radioactive superpowers that she acquires after she falls through a crystallized chemical layer while sludge-skating on the Delaware.
  • She is saved by Jo, who is still furious that Amy smashed the hard drive for her allegorical exposee on Them.
  • Dystopian Jo didn’t save her work in a second location, either.
  • And Dystopian Amy is still a bitch.
  • A group of young rebels, led by Jo and Laurie, meet in a secret cell in Manayunk. It’s up to Operation Pickwick to save the day.
  • Instead of being reasonably good at piano and an accomplished artist, respectively, Beth and Amy are an EDM D.J. and a computer graphic programmer.
  • With the underclasses and recent immigrants cut off from the health care system, Beth takes it upon herself to care for a struggling foreign family in the grips of scarlet fever. After beating the disease, she lives under a cloud of weakness and brittle introversion, until eventually relapsing and dying in her teens. Okay, so you don’t really have to change that one. Like I said, grit. Pure dystopian GRIT.

Okay, so this is not going to be good. And if it airs, I’m watching every week.