In this week’s entertainment news, we learn that CBS has green-lighted the pilot for a new series to be called “Quean.” The network says the show “concerns an edgy and independent millennial hacker girl who teams up with an Oakland police detective to solve crimes.” Hello? Wink, wink. Any chance CBS may be trying to evoke The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
BuzzFocus.com, an entertainment blog, suggests that the resemblance to Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is more than coincidental: “Quean looks to take the first leg of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and will try to take it to the small screen… I can’t wait to see what CBS claims will be the difference. Maybe she’ll have a horse tattoo?”
We did some further checking on the cultural mentality behind this new show, since we have a feeling the independent, feminist essence of Stieg Larsson’s story and the Lisbeth Salander character are going to be ignored here in favor of more prurient interests. Why were we not surprised to discover that “quean” is not a fictional spelling nor contemporary millennial slang? Rather “quean” has a very distinct old-fashioned meaning: “a disreputable woman; specifically: prostitute.” And the example the dictionary comes up with for its use is: “in pirate tales there’s always the raucous tavern and its cadre of buxom queans.” Synonyms include bimbo, chippie, hoochie, hussy, floozy, slut, and tramp.
In Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth (and Blomkvist) resist the efforts by lawyers, guardians, psychiatrists, police, and other representatives of the state to slander Lisbeth Salander by calling her a prostitute. But CBS seems to have no such compunction about their as yet uncast “queanly” character.
Oh, and while CBS is stepping heavily on the toes of Lisbeth Salander fans with this odd new show, it may also be offering offense to a real-life female civic leader. Quean is set in Oakland, California, where the first female mayor in that city’s history is now presiding. The female mayor, a Chinese American, is named Jean Quan.
We’ll reserve judgment on the show until we see it. But as of now, we think it may be time for Mikael Blomkvist to write another exposé for Millennium.