The Late Show host Stephen Colbert used part of his Thursday monologue to air his suspicions that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is depressing. Colbert's (totally funny) grievances follow the announcement that the first draft of the upcoming Harry Potter stage play would be bound and sold as a book on July 31 — our Mr. Potter's 36th birthday. But why does Colbert think that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is depressing?
Here's the prime quote from the comedian's Thursday night monologue:
The play actually takes place 19 years after the last book, and features a 30-something Harry balancing his job at the Ministry of Magic with being a father. That really sounds depressing. ... Can we all just ... admit that Harry Potter's life peaked when he was 17? Captain of the Quidditch team, big "chosen one" on campus. Now he's just some guy. Who are his enemies even going to be? Phil from accounting? A slowing metabolism? A vague, restless feeling when he looks at travel posters?
Before you fire off an angry letter to Colbert and his CBS overlords, understand that he isn't saying a return to the wizarding world won't be delightful. He knows how anxious everyone and her mother is to get back to Rowling's bewitched version of London. What he's (hilariously) saying is that coming back to a grown-up, post-Voldemort Harry Potter just won't be as snazzy as reading about The Boy Who Lived fighting He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
And he's absolutely right. Harry's adventures aren't going to be as thrilling now that the biggest threat to both magical and non-magical worlds is dead. I imagine the Golden Trio feel pretty bummed out about that, kind of like Bilbo and Frodo did after they returned to their quiet lives in the Shire. But being bored and being boring are two different things altogether.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might make us feel a bit of secondhand sadness for Harry, but haven't Rowling's books always done that? We cried every time he saw the parents he never knew, when he lost every person who knew them and cared for him, and when we saw that he was going to be all right in the end. He spent most of his childhood living in a cupboard under the stairs, for crying out loud. If his life continues to depress us, sobeit.
Read grown-up Harry's probably depressing story when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I & II launches on July 31.
Image: Warner Bros.