Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Review

The Harry Potter books were one of the first series of novels I ever genuinely loved. I was 8 years old around the time that Prisoner of Azkaban had just been released and my mother, knowing I had a massive obsession with fantasy stories decided to borrow Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone from the public library for me. I was hooked almost instantly, it made sense really; a child sent to boarding school entranced with the idea that their school might secretly be Hogwarts and that all it would take is a letter in the mail to find out that this whole time I’d secretly been a wizard! Sadly, by my eleventh birthday my dreams of attending a school of witchcraft and wizardry were crushed, luckily however by that stage I was amped for the release of the first Harry Potter film alongside Fellowship of The Ring. 
Reminiscing about the Harry Potter books is sort of a weird thing for me; see, I don’t actually like them very much. Weird right? Let me explain; I think that Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban are all remarkable books that serve as excellent reading material, especially for children/teenagers. I think Goblet of Fire is great up until the last few chapters and I think Order of the Phoenix, Half-blood Prince and Deathly Hallows suck more ass than should be humanly possible. Why? Well, the first book features Professor Quirrel/Voldemort’s wraith as the villain, the second book features Voldemort albeit in the guise of his teenage-self Tom Riddle, a magic diary and a giant snake as the villains and the third book has you thinking that Dark Wizard Sirius Black is the villain only to pull a twist and reveal that Ron Weasley’s pet rat has been the villain all along. In book four Voldemort gets resurrected and then from books four through seven Voldemort is the villain the entire time. 

The sad part about it is that each of the final four books actually set up perfect villains that could’ve carried the story on their own; Barty Crouch Jr is a much more interesting villain than Voldemort; he’s a vengeful psychopath/sociopath with an obsession in blood purity and a hatred for his own father. Dolores Umbridge is a much better villain than Voldemort too; an authoritarian dictator that forces her will on people, tortures children and spreads government propaganda. The greatest injustice is Severus Snape who’s twist at the end of Half-blood Prince would’ve set up a brilliant battle in Deathly Hallows between the guy Harry’s always hated, who had creepy sexual desires for Harry’s mother, was routinely embarrassed and bullied by Harry’s father and was constantly overlooked by his boss (Dumbeldore) when it came time for a promotion. Instead Snape gets the old “nah he was just a super-secret good guy” and we get Voldemort. Maybe no one told JK Rowling but the whole “ultimate evil” concept doesn’t work that well, it’s actually not that prominent of a trope in fantasy; Sauron may have been the big bad in Lord of The Rings but he was supported by Saruman Of Many Colours, The Witch-King of Angmar, Denethor the Steward of Gondor, Gollum, Shelob, Boromir and of course if you’ve read The Silmarillion then you’ll know that all evil in Middle-Earth is the result of Morgoth/Melkor. Game of Thrones has no truly defined villain except maybe The Others (Whitewalkers for TV show fans), Star Wars had Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Piett, Jabba The Hutt, Boba Fett and The Emperor. 
My point is that there’s nothing wrong with having a primary villain, but no great series ever treated secondary and tertiary villains as badly as Harry Potter does. So how’s the new book/play work out? Eh, it’s okay. Voldemot isn’t the villain so that’s something worthwhile, in a general sense though it isn’t that great, maybe it works better on stage but as far as play’s go I can’t see this script taking more than two hours to get through and that’s assuming that the intermission is at least thirty minutes long. What I’m getting at is; this would struggle to be longer than an hour and twenty minute film. Length aside there’s a few other issues; Albus Severus Potter isn’t really a character he’s more just the personification of whiny teen angst. Scorpious Malfoy is a male Hermione from the first two books, apparently I’m supposed to care about Rose Granger-Weasley but I can’t tell you what she does in the story aside from being a moody bitch whenever she’s on stage. There’s not much to say about Lily and James Potter, or really any other character. Neville Longbottom is a teacher at Hogwarts now but given that Neville is mentioned by name twice and appears never, you’d be forgiven for thinking he died at the Battle of Hogwarts. As for the adult characters; Hermione is Minister for Magic because of course she is. Harry, as far as I could work out, is doing Arthur Weasley’s job except it’s now a highly prestigious career choice instead of the deadend shitfest it was for poor old Artie. Ginny writes the sports section in the Daily Prophet and Ron Weasley runs Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. That last one in particular is a bit weird; Ron was never funny like his brothers and honestly it’s never touched upon as to why George Weasley who opened the joke shop with his brother Fred (the dead one), gave the shop over to the brother who’s entire character plot was that he was a humourless dildo. Oh, I forgot Draco; he’s the exact same character he was in the books just older. Well done on that character development folks. 
As for the story, without spoiling it (lol, >implying you could spoil a Harry Potter story) Albus Severus Potter is a moody wuss born too late to experience My Chemical Romance and Atreyu so he decides to just bitch out his father all the time. Scorpius Malfoy is a nerd who also hates his father because everyone assumes he’s a shit person mostly because Draco spent a lot of time being a shit person. The two prodigal sons decide to rebel and at the same time Harry Potter has a midlife crisis but instead of doing the normal thing; BANG HERMIONE, he just sort of cries into his pillow (probably while thinking about how he should’ve banged Hermione when he was a teenager instead of his best friend’s sister). It all ties up nicely in a more or less consequence free story that reads like a semi-decent fan fiction continuation of the book series, potentially it works better on stage than as a script book but in general it’s not exactly a must read. Personally; I’d prefer a story about the founding of Hogwarts or Dumbeldore’s rebellious years where he injected unicorn blood and hit up bondage clubs with Grindlewald, I’d even settle for a story detailing how Rubeus Hagrid’s dad, who by all accounts was a borderline midget, managed to impregnate a giant (the image currently in my head involves Peter Dinklage being fired out of a cannon into a vagina the size of a doorway). As it stands, Cursed Child is a tiny bit of fan service to satiate people’s curiosity, it’ll hold you over until later this year when Fantastic Beasts gets launched at Christmas (and gets thoroughly hammered at the box office by Star Wars: Rogue One). 

Rating: 5.5/10 

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child:
The Harry Potter books were one of the first series of novels I ever genuinely loved. I was 8 years old around the time that Prisoner of Azkaban had just been released and my mother, knowing I had a massive obsession with fantasy stories decided to borrow Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone from the public library for me. I was hooked almost instantly, it made sense really; a child sent to boarding school entranced with the idea that their school might secretly be Hogwarts and that all it would take is a letter in the mail to find out that this whole time I’d secretly been a wizard! Sadly, by my eleventh birthday my dreams of attending a school of witchcraft and wizardry were crushed, luckily however by that stage I was amped for the release of the first Harry Potter film alongside Fellowship of The Ring. 
Reminiscing about the Harry Potter books is sort of a weird thing for me; see, I don’t actually like them very much. Weird right? Let me explain; I think that Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban are all remarkable books that serve as excellent reading material, especially for children/teenagers. I think Goblet of Fire is great up until the last few chapters and I think Order of the Phoenix, Half-blood Prince and Deathly Hallows suck more ass than should be humanly possible. Why? Well, the first book features Professor Quirrel/Voldemort’s wraith as the villain, the second book features Voldemort albeit in the guise of his teenage-self Tom Riddle, a magic diary and a giant snake as the villains and the third book has you thinking that Dark Wizard Sirius Black is the villain only to pull a twist and reveal that Ron Weasley’s pet rat has been the villain all along. In book four Voldemort gets resurrected and then from books four through seven Voldemort is the villain the entire time. 

The sad part about it is that each of the final four books actually set up perfect villains that could’ve carried the story on their own; Barty Crouch Jr is a much more interesting villain than Voldemort; he’s a vengeful psychopath/sociopath with an obsession in blood purity and a hatred for his own father. Dolores Umbridge is a much better villain than Voldemort too; an authoritarian dictator that forces her will on people, tortures children and spreads government propaganda. The greatest injustice is Severus Snape who’s twist at the end of Half-blood Prince would’ve set up a brilliant battle in Deathly Hallows between the guy Harry’s always hated, who had creepy sexual desires for Harry’s mother, was routinely embarrassed and bullied by Harry’s father and was constantly overlooked by his boss (Dumbeldore) when it came time for a promotion. Instead Snape gets the old “nah he was just a super-secret good guy” and we get Voldemort. Maybe no one told JK Rowling but the whole “ultimate evil” concept doesn’t work that well, it’s actually not that prominent of a trope in fantasy; Sauron may have been the big bad in Lord of The Rings but he was supported by Saruman Of Many Colours, The Witch-King of Angmar, Denethor the Steward of Gondor, Gollum, Shelob, Boromir and of course if you’ve read The Silmarillion then you’ll know that all evil in Middle-Earth is the result of Morgoth/Melkor. Game of Thrones has no truly defined villain except maybe The Others (Whitewalkers for TV show fans), Star Wars had Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Piett, Jabba The Hutt, Boba Fett and The Emperor. 
My point is that there’s nothing wrong with having a primary villain, but no great series ever treated secondary and tertiary villains as badly as Harry Potter does. So how’s the new book/play work out? Eh, it’s okay. Voldemot isn’t the villain so that’s something worthwhile, in a general sense though it isn’t that great, maybe it works better on stage but as far as play’s go I can’t see this script taking more than two hours to get through and that’s assuming that the intermission is at least thirty minutes long. What I’m getting at is; this would struggle to be longer than an hour and twenty minute film. Length aside there’s a few other issues; Albus Severus Potter isn’t really a character he’s more just the personification of whiny teen angst. Scorpious Malfoy is a male Hermione from the first two books, apparently I’m supposed to care about Rose Granger-Weasley but I can’t tell you what she does in the story aside from being a moody bitch whenever she’s on stage. There’s not much to say about Lily and James Potter, or really any other character. Neville Longbottom is a teacher at Hogwarts now but given that Neville is mentioned by name twice and appears never, you’d be forgiven for thinking he died at the Battle of Hogwarts. As for the adult characters; Hermione is Minister for Magic because of course she is. Harry, as far as I could work out, is doing Arthur Weasley’s job except it’s now a highly prestigious career choice instead of the deadend shitfest it was for poor old Artie. Ginny writes the sports section in the Daily Prophet and Ron Weasley runs Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. That last one in particular is a bit weird; Ron was never funny like his brothers and honestly it’s never touched upon as to why George Weasley who opened the joke shop with his brother Fred (the dead one), gave the shop over to the brother who’s entire character plot was that he was a humourless dildo. Oh, I forgot Draco; he’s the exact same character he was in the books just older. Well done on that character development folks. 
As for the story, without spoiling it (lol, >implying you could spoil a Harry Potter story) Albus Severus Potter is a moody wuss born too late to experience My Chemical Romance and Atreyu so he decides to just bitch out his father all the time. Scorpius Malfoy is a nerd who also hates his father because everyone assumes he’s a shit person mostly because Draco spent a lot of time being a shit person. The two prodigal sons decide to rebel and at the same time Harry Potter has a midlife crisis but instead of doing the normal thing; BANG HERMIONE, he just sort of cries into his pillow (probably while thinking about how he should’ve banged Hermione when he was a teenager instead of his best friend’s sister). It all ties up nicely in a more or less consequence free story that reads like a semi-decent fan fiction continuation of the book series, potentially it works better on stage than as a script book but in general it’s not exactly a must read. Personally; I’d prefer a story about the founding of Hogwarts or Dumbeldore’s rebellious years where he injected unicorn blood and hit up bondage clubs with Grindlewald, I’d even settle for a story detailing how Rubeus Hagrid’s dad, who by all accounts was a borderline midget, managed to impregnate a giant (the image currently in my head involves Peter Dinklage being fired out of a cannon into a vagina the size of a doorway). As it stands, Cursed Child is a tiny bit of fan service to satiate people’s curiosity, it’ll hold you over until later this year when Fantastic Beasts gets launched at Christmas (and gets thoroughly hammered at the box office by Star Wars: Rogue One). 

Rating: 5.5/10

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