Coming soon to the CW: Battle Royale

I haven’t really been a fan of American remakes of Asian films — the less said about The Departed, the better — but this might represent a new low. The CW, home to The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, may turn the subversive Japanese cult classic into a television show.

This is bad on so many levels, not the least being that, much like an American remake of Akira, remaking Battle Royale robs it of the impact imparted to it by its Japanese-ness. Without that cultural context, the show will just be a bunch of really attractive twentysomething actors pretending to be teenagers who mope around, get dramatic, and occasionally kill each other in ways that are completely OK to show on primetime American television. You know, quality programming.