The Cursed Child: A Review

Deep breath. READ

I considered not writing this.

Actually, after much thought and deliberation, I had initially made a vlog with my thoughts on this play. It would behoove my comfort zone theory to publish that instead, but considering that I had just as soon planned to pretend as though it didn’t exist, it seemed like writing this post would work just as well.

So here it goes.

First and foremost, I would like to say that I didn’t hate this play/book. There were many things in it that I loved, in fact there were a lot of things I loved, the friendship of Scorpius and Albus, and that both of them were misfits within their own family. Frankly everything about Scorpius I felt like I identified with him in many ways. He’s nerdy and sarcastic, and that works so well. I also love the fact that the characters feel like they’re a little more imperfect than I might have expected. The characters always were, but seeing Harry struggle to be a parent and that frustration between him and Albus, was something that I’m not sure anyone maybe expected (especially after, ‘all was well’). If the story had just been the misadventures of Scorpius and Albus as their exasperated parents tried to figure out what to do with them, this probably would have been a great story, but stories need plot, they need more conflict than just pure character development or at least they do if they aren’t literary fiction, and that’s where the Cursed Child runs into its biggest pitfall.

The underlying plot is preposterous. It’s so preposterous that it was actually kind of the plot in the parody play, A Very Potter Musical (the third one– and I won’t spoil the plot any more than that frankly). Then there’s also the ‘twist’ if you can call it that. It’s a plot twist only in the fact that you only vaguely see it coming… the problem is, it still doesn’t make sense, and it flies directly in the face of everything that the world of Harry Potter already established. Too often I found myself unable to suspend my disbelief, and I found myself thinking, what the eff? 

And this, ladies and gentlemen is where it all ends. (For now, frankly J.K. said that of Deathly Hallows too and now here we are). It’s hard to imagine that this was really what she pictured for the end, and frankly there is a part of me that feels perhaps we should have just left well enough alone. The fans clamored for it for years, I myself clamored for it for years. Somehow though, when I pictured life beyond: 19 Years Later, this was less the world I imagined, and more a world that feels somehow both familiar and foreign at the same time.

There’s a nostalgia factor here, and J.K. and company certainly picked the right time to capitalize on it, I suspect half the reason readers even picked up the book was because it had Harry’s name all over it. The characters are familiar, the magic is familiar, all of it feels vaguely like home, but it’s more like the home you return to after someone else has been living in it for a few years and torn down some of the walls. It’s not quite the home you remember, and yet there are memories that come back to you all the same.

In spite of all of this, I can’t help but feel that this might have been better served as a full length novel in which J.K. could theoretically explain just what in the ever loving F**K is going on around here! It doesn’t change how I feel about the series, frankly, this is an unrelated story and not one that has to be delved into any more than I already have.


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