All the trailers and info thus far for She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power have told us little about the story and even less about its status as an adaptation. Well, that’s finally changed. Dreamworks has unleashed the new Season One trailer for the re-imagined series. And if you know how I feel about re-imaginings you can already guess where this commentary is going.
I have nothing against a new take, but as I was saying in last night’s commentary there is a difference between being a good show and a good adaptation. And a bad adaptation is harder to replace if the show is good enough to attract a strong enough new audience who had no connection to the original for whatever reason. If the thing is so far removed from the source material that it should have been its own thing instead of riding the coattails of its namesake, you just lost a potential group of fans you pandering to in the first place. But is this show on the list of not-stalgia productions?
I will say that the outfit she’s wearing in the thumbnail makes her look more female than her regular outfit, the one based on the classic look. But I was defending that based on my belief that she was an early teen even as She-Ra. Apparently she is supposed to be an adult, like the 2000s version of Adam/He-Man and yeah, I’m a little more bothered by it now. And don’t tell me she can’t look feminine. Adora looks like a girl and she’s not an adult in that form. The woman I think is supposed to be Queen Angela looks like a woman. Whomever the woman in green is supposed to be looks like a woman who can kick butt. Even frickin’ Shadow Weaver looks more feminine than She-Ra and that feels wrong. I will admit the transformation looks a little better but I’ve seen complaints about the art style and while I will defend Filmation, that was a product of the time and frankly DreamWorks should be doing better because they have.
If anything I’m more disappointed in Glimmer. She looks less like her counterpart than She-Ra does. Glimmer was very feminine but could still give the Horde as good as they gave. She was also a budding sorceress, but this one looks more like a warrior. I’m betting her character arc involves trusting and accepting Adora, the former Force Captain of her enemy, because of what She-Ra brings to fighting the Horde. Speaking of which, the Horde logo is really weak sauce compared to the original. Oh and…
WHY DOES ADORA TELL EVERYONE SHE’S SHE-RA!!!!!!!!!!
Superheroes maintain secret identities for a reason. As one commentor on YouTube pointed out:
So, in revealing She Ra is Adora in front of everybody, she basically broke the biggest rule of superhero identity and pretty much told the world “I am at my weakest when I am not transformed and anyone who is friends with me or close to me is a big target” and worse, “My eventual reunion with my brother Adam also will give you a clue as to who the real identity of the male version of me He Man really is.” I mean, fair enough, but why have an alter ego if you just gonna let people know you have one?
Of course we’re just assuming that there will be a reunion or that the show will acknowledge the heroes of Eternia. It could be a licensing issue like the Masters Of The Universe comic strips or it could just be a case of trying to separate the show from it’s spinoff because of girl power or whatever. That does make me wonder why Grayskull factors in but I’m not sure why they even bothered with the alter ego in the first place if she’s not keeping a secret identity. I’m all in favor of the hero having friends aware of her secret identity but not the entire cast! And for that matter, where are the three who knew her secret in the show? I see no sign of Madame Razz and Broom, Kowl, or Light Hope. (Assuming Light Hope isn’t replacing the Sorceress when she finds the sword.) And yet Imp is right there on Hordak’s shoulder.
What I do know is that according to the trailer Catra may well know She-Ra is really Adora. So now we have this relationship altered as well, as I feared. Instead of Catra looking to best her rival turned enemy it’s the tale of two friends now on opposite sides of the war. Storywise that could be interesting. As I mentioned the new logo for the Horde doesn’t hold the menace of the evil bat symbol. Bow might make a good update of the character but he was always the token man in the toyline anyway, the way Teela was the token woman until the shows fleshed out both characters. I haven’t really seen his archery skills in action. We do see the Sword Of Protection (if it’s still called that) does the shield transformation, but how many of She-Ra’s other powers are intact? Does she even have superhuman strength anymore?
But is there anything good about the show? Well, as a show yes. Shading and She-Ra’s first costume aside the character models look good. Lady in green is my favorite character already after one line. I do like some of the ideas. The problem is that it fails as an adaptation and as we discussed yesterday and in this article’s intro that’s a big deal. You used a nostalgic name to make a not-stalgic show. Had they dropped the She-Ra thing, took their current ideas, renamed the character, called the show Princesses Of Valor or something then you’ve not only have new viewers who only heard of She-Ra watching internet review shows made by my generation but maybe even the old She-Ra fans looking to see what this “spiritual successor” would look like. So you lose that part of the fanbase, use a name that means nothing to current kids, and create a show that is nothing like the old show anyway. So what was the point? Even from a marketing perspective I don’t get it. You have a fairly decent show here. Was tying it to an old show the only way you could push it? Even Voltron: Legendary Defender matches the classic show better than Princesses Of Valor here matches She-Ra.
So is it a good show? Potentially. Is it a good adaptation? No it is not. There is a difference and Princesses Of Power is no Princess Of Power. Just ask the original. (Clicking “See More” will bring up the full post right here on the page. No need to leave.)
That’s the voice of the original Adora/She-Ra, Filmation mainstay and longtime voice actress Melendy Britt, talking about the marketing used for this new show and how any criticism is seen as anti-girl because we can’t see new She-Ra’s cleavage or some crap and not fans who want to see a new version of the old show rather than a namesake re-imagining. I don’t have a problem with a less revealing outfit. I have a problem with the entertainment industry of today using names from yesteryear, slapping them onto something mostly unrelated, and hoping the marketing sells itself on false nostalgia (which is what not-stalgia is). I have a problem with what could be a really good show not interesting me because it’s another re-imagining, meaning that anything that actually is closer to the original will not be made. I have a problem with my childhood seen as marketing fodder by people who have no interest in these older shows yet more than willing to use the name in the hopes of nabbing the nostalgic who haven’t been through this ringer time and time again only to be disappointed. And here we go again.
I might have watched Princesses Of Valor. I’m not sure I want to watch Princesses Of Power. Maybe I’ll just stick to the actual Princess Of Power and wonder what an actual reboot would be like.
No, that’s not the Princess Of Power I had in mind either. But that one we’ll see again.