Did y’all hear CW is planning a ‘gritty’ version of Little Women? Done by Michael Weatherly from Dark Angel? (Or NCIS depending on your pop culture tastes).
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.
So if they’re making Little Women ‘grittier’, does this mean the characters will be tweaked a bit? How will I know which March sister I am?!!?
In the mid-90s, when I was a minimally-supervised 11-year-old with an age-inappropriate comedy obsession, I was really into standup on Comedy Central. In one special, Margaret Cho described groups of female friends: there is always the smart one, the sweet one, and the whore.
At the time I was too young to know anyone who would self-identify as a “whore,” but I got the concept. Whenever a group of girls formed a close-knit group, they’d try to find their pop culture friendship spirit animal. In 1998, this meant Spice Girls. “We are JUST like them! I’m such a Scary!” Or, Now and Then: “She says that she’s a Teeny, but I’m all seriously? You’re ROBERTA.”
Basically, Cho was right, but she was wrong. Groups of lady-friends do sort themselves into types, but there aren’t always three. Depending on how many friends are in your group, you fall into one of the famous friend-group clusters below. Are you the Jo in your March Sisters? Or the Phoebe in your Friends friends? Read on to find out:
The Cho Grouping: The smart one, the sweet one, and the whore.
Do you have a high powered job, are you career driven, or do you read a lot of books? You’re the smart one. Are you not too bright, but beloved by many and always up for a good time? You’re the sweet one. Are you REALLY always up for a good time? Sorry, lady. You know where I’m going with this.
The Friends Formula: The Monica, The Phoebe, and The Rachel.
The Monica is sensible, perfectionistic, and possibly a little shrill. You may also be a good cook or formerly fat. The Rachel is friendly and fun, and has the best outfits and hair – seriously, Monica, what is with that Dudley Moore haircut? However, she can be a tad self-absorbed. The Phoebe is weird, but don’t worry, she’s also the best one. She’s quirky and kooky, and she gets extra points in basketball because she’s dainty.
The Sisters March: The Meg, The Jo, The Beth, Or The Amy
If you’re a Meg, you’re sensible and don’t like to go against the grain. If you like adventure, have a creative spirit, or are seriously pretty butch, you’re a Jo. Do you like the finer things in life, and sometimes pretend that you’re a little better-off than you are? Amy it is. If you’re a Beth, you’re either really boring, terminally ill, or (spoiler!) already dead. Or, everyone hates you and they made you be Beth. I suggest you break away, run off to the nearest big city, and are all “who’s the Jo now, bitches?”
The Bradshaw Bunch: The Carrie, The Samantha, The Charlotte, and The Miranda
You know this already. A Carrie is sort of like a Jo, in that she’s a writer or observer, but she has a bit of a sweet one aspect. Almost Rachel-y. A Charlotte is Meg-y, but a little less perfect, and sort of screechy, like a Monica. If you are a Miranda, you are serious and analytical, and possibly a little depressing sometimes (seriously, all that takeout?). The Samantha is the whore. I wish I had a more delicate way to put it. Smith, though. You know?
The Now and Then-ers: The Chrissy, The Roberta, The Samantha, and The Teeny
This was a pretty easy group to put yourself into as a kid. If you were tomboyish, you were the Roberta. And – bonus – you got Devon Sawa in the end! If you had family troubles like divorced parents, your friends probably made you be Samantha. If everyone’s family lives were pretty cool, then the person who was into sci-fi or scary stories or who had a little sister was the default Samantha. The girls who were into performing and wanted to be famous actresses were Teenys (that was me). If no one fit into that, then Teeny was whomever was most boy-crazy or who knew how to make fake boobs out of jello (which, if it works, let me know). Chrissy was either the prissy girl, or – hate to say it – whoever was the chubbiest in the group. Rude.
The Girls Girls: Hannah, Shoshanna, Jessa, and Marnie
If you’re Hannah, you are probably a writer, or an otherwise creative person just trying to find your place in the world. [Why is there ALWAYS a writer? If these friendships were demographically accurate, everyone would be friends with at least one HR rep or itinerant temp.] Shoshanas are, at least at first, the naïve optimists who haven’t had much – or any – of a love life to speak of. Marnies are the girls who are pretty normal and generally good friends, but have their shit less together than they would think. First season, I thought I was a Marnie, but then season two happened and I was like “oh… yeah, nevermind.” If you’re worldly, impulsive, and a little bit wild, you’re a Jessa, and you probably have very nice hair and outfits.
The Spices: Scary, Sporty, Posh, Ginger, and Baby
I don’t have to describe these, because the names really do say it all. Except for Ginger. Before the British slang for redheads took over on our side of the Atlantic, nobody really seemed to know what that was supposed to mean. However, I STILL had to be the Ginger because she and I had red hair. Figures. In some circles she was referred to as “Sexy Spice,” but not in my circles, because my circles were in a Catholic elementary school. Although, that didn’t stop me from watching adult standup comedy that throws around the word “whore.”
Of course, there are plenty more lady friendships to choose from. Are you a Kristy or a Claudia? A Blanche or a Sophia? Maybe they’re all just variations on the Cho Grouping after all. If you don’t want to admit that, maybe it’s because you’re the whore.