In real life, Edgar Allan Poe was an opium-smoking drunk who married his 13-year-old cousin and died at the age of 40 after getting paid only $9 for “The Raven,” the poem that brought him literary acclaim. On ABC’s forthcoming “Poe,” the writer will be re-imagined as a steampunk detective who solves mysteries in 1840s Boston, and he’ll be played by the blandly handsome Christopher Egan, notable for having blue eyes and great hair in productions like “Kings” and Letters to Juliet.
I enjoy that Hollywood is carefully dismantling American history. It’s like Hollywood executives have two bowls: one filled with historical figures, and the second filled with a standard entertainment hook. “Okay, Edgar Allan Poe and… crime scene investigation! Abraham Lincoln and… vampire hunter! John Quincy Adams and… zombies! Harriet Tubman and… Nazis!” Actually, wait. That Tubman-Nazi thing has legs. Tubman could be recruited by well-meaning time-travelers who want to save Anne Frank. This could totally work. The only question is if Halle Berry is sexy enough to play Harriet Tubman.