Watching movies for a post every weekday while I’m stuck in this quarantine endless now (never a tomorrow) does help me keep track of what day it is, but it doesn’t really give me a lot of time to watch anything else. There are a lot of series I’ve fallen behind on while doing all this. So let’s review one of them! I spent 21+ hours watching all of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, so let’s talk about each season this week! I never said I’d only do movie reviews! And even if I did, I lied!
Sooo… The original plan was to binge a season, write a post about it, binge the next, and so on until I’ve done the whole week; each post was going to be written with no knowledge of what happens next. But the rough draft I’m sitting on for season 4 (I have a lovely buffer built up) is currently over 2500 words long, and that’s just… too much. Trust me, I could write an essay on each season, but that’s too unwieldy. So I’m going to condense stuff a bunch and write with the series as a whole in the back of my mind. Will I miss things? Absolutely. Will it be more accessible? Well, I certainly hope so. Anyway, on with the show!
The Netflix original She-Ra reboot series follows Illyana “Magik” Rasputin, Clarice “Blink” Ferguson, and Connor “Green Arrow II” Hawke. Err, I mean, Adora, Glimmer, and Bow. In season 1, Adora is a soldier for the Horde along with her close friend Catra, until Adora realizes that the Horde is evil. You live in the Fright Zone, girl, why is this news to you? Adora finds the Sword of Protection and becomes She-Ra, legendary warrior who hasn’t been seen in a thousand years. Teaming up with Glimmer, Bow, and the Resistance, Adora tries to reconvene the Princess Alliance. Several princesses join, but tragedy strikes as one is presumed dead on a mission. The Horde takes in the abandoned princess and together they “unbalance” Etheria, creating enough chaos that an attack on the Resistance headquarters is doable. Things look grim, but the good guys triumph and Catra slinks back, planning her next move.
We start with a fairly standard introduction–Adora is a magical orphan with a grand destiny–and get more background on She-Ra shortly thereafter. We follow that up with a series of “princess of the week” episodes, and once everyone is together the plot starts rolling to the climactic battle at the end of the season. We get some good characterization of the main trio (even though we know almost nothing about Bow’s background), a vague feel for each of the additional princesses, and a similar vague feel for most of the villains. Catra is in denial about being in lesbians with Adora (there are just some spoilers I can’t avoid being on the internet as much as I am) and has a huge chip on her shoulder that everyone loves Adora more than her. Doesn’t help that the woman who raised them both is an evil sorceress with an endless supply of schemes and that evil leaders rarely think highly of their minions. Outside of the main players, my favorite character of season 1 is Entrapa, the mad scientist princess. She’s goofy and socially awkward, joining the Horde because she believes everyone abandoned her, but really because they have the better tech. There’s also Scorpia, but I’ll talk more about her tomorrow as she’s my favorite of seasons 2 and 3 (I have a favorite for each 13 episode chunk). As for the big bad, Lord Hordak could be replaced with a frowning cardboard cutout and the season would largely be the same.
Season 1 also sets up some of the larger mysteries of the series. The First Ones, the people who created all the super-tech that litters Etheria, are gone and their existence is largely legendary. Mara, the previous She-Ra, went crazy, nearly destroyed the world, and is the reason there are no stars in the sky. That last one’s a very weird and specific thing, right? It’s kind of important later, but for now it’s just there to remind us that there’s something wrong with the greater universe. The mysteries are fun, but not the real reason to come back for the next season. The show is good! It’s fun, funny, and gets pretty touching later on. But that’s a post for another day and for another season…
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