A Gritty Little Women Reboot Set in Philadelphia Could Be A TV Show

Do you like Louisa May Alcott late 1860s novel? Would you like it even more if the main characters were from Philly? You're in luck!

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It’s been a longstanding literary truth that Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy would be much more interesting characters if they were eating cheesesteaks in a gritty, dystopian future.

The longstanding wish may soon become a reality.

Deadline reported yesterday writer Alexis Jolly and NCIS star Michael Weatherly are developing a reboot of Little Women set on “the dystopic streets of Philadelphia” for The CW.

The original 1860s Louisa May Alcott novel (adapting old works is desirable, because you don’t have to pay the author or her descendants royalties) is essentially a bildungsroman about four women growing up during the Civil War and its aftermath. The show is reportedly very early in development, so I have some suggestions as to how the story should be updated:

  • Instead of dying from scarlet fever, Beth is nursed back to health thanks to the good work of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Jo, a writer for the Daily News, is suspended for her wildly offensive blog posts. She eventually quits when she meets Fritz, a professor at Haverford.
  • Meg takes a lot of selfies and posts them to Facebook. She goes on a lot of Tinder dates and eventually meets John Brooke.
  • Amy is even more unlikeable because of her stupid Twitter account full of minion memes.

Of course, this may not work. Network television has already attempted to remake an 1880s classic set in modern-day Philadelphia.

Do No Harm may have had great shots of Philly, but it was ridiculous. (One character was named Cole Cole, I think?) It lasted just two weeks in the regular lineup; the remaining episodes were eventually burned off over the summer.

But that was a show on NBC’s Thursday TV lineup. This will likely be a show for teenagers (it is on the CW) and it sounds like a winner, per Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva:

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.

Uhh, okay, maybe it sounds just as stupid as Do No Harm.

But maybe they’ll just name it Little Women (instead of something weird like Do No Harm) and people will watch, anyway. Maybe the women will run into the It’s Always Sunny gang for the greatest crossover ever! The possibilities are endless.