I liked the look of the new She-Ra reboot when I first saw it, and I think somewhere at the back of my mind I knew Noelle Richardson was involved with it, and I love her comics work. I think though that there was a degree of irony mixed in with my attitude to why I was watching it. She-Ra, the original, was not aimed at me and He-Man felt like it was, but they were both a little cheesy in their original incarnation. This means I came in with a low bar set.
I should insert here that I love Steven Universe. I LOVE STEVEN UNIVERSE.
So, this replaced Queer Eye for the program that me and my wife watched every night, and gave us a break from various shouty Gordon Ramsay shows. We were looking for something that checked certain boxes. Little did we know how satisfying this show was going to be.
Bow and Glimmer are great. She-Ra and Catra are great. I didn’t remember too much of the original story, so I don’t know how it compares, but there was some really subtle story-telling in this series. The good guys have their complexities and most of the characters have a pretty satisfying arc that doesn’t rely on lots of exposition or flashbacks to unpack them. You get some of this for sure, but it never overwhelms.
Great enemies have depth, and there is a possibility of change contained therein. Hordak is great, as is Shadow Weaver. Horde Prime is one of the scariest cartoon villains ever. You care about the villains and the good guys and the fact that this show never goes for the simple choices means it raises the bar for anything else out there.
It’s a love story. A story about spirit versus technology. It is about family with all the various permutations of that which are possible. It is a great example of how you can write a story that is aimed at all ages, but which doesn’t pander to anyone. Shows like this are a demonstration of the heights that this medium can attain. I am very glad that I watched it and I can’t recommend it more highly.