She-Ra: Your Next Pure Hearted Escape

To quote Raymond Holt, Captain of the 99th Precinct (a la Brooklyn 99), “Everything is garbage.” I don’t think I really need to explain this further and any argument could be quashed by simply turning on any national news or opening any college assignment notebook. That being said, maybe not everything is trash. There are some great escapism tools.

Personally, one of my favorite tools for coping is watching super pure TV shows. And I watch them a lot, like too fast for these shows to keep up with, so I’m always on the hunt for my next dosage of Maybe the World Isn’t Terrible After All. Recently, Netflix delivered with its new animated series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

Okay, power (get it?) past the title. It’s super great. It’s a reboot of an old 80’s spin-off of He-Man, but I don’t care about that. Here’s what you need to know:  

While their worldbuilding definitely could use some work, the  story takes place in a land called Etheria, which is rife with a war between the princesses and the Horde. What’s interesting is that, even though the Horde is very obviously the bad guy (I mean they call their home the ‘Fright Zone’), that’s where our story starts.

Enter Adora, the Horde’s rising star, on her way to becoming a force captain for their army, ready to answer the call to fight the villainous, super-powered princesses (never have you heard the term said so aggressively and unironically). This, of course, isn’t true, as Adora learns when she accidentally stumbles upon Princess Glimmer, who has the ability to teleport, and her friend Bow, an archer.

Again, stay with me through the kinda dumb names.

Adora, as a Horde soldier, is taken as their prisoner, but when Adora discovers a sword that transforms her into an eight foot tall magic princess named She-Ra who is destined to bring balance back to Etheria...well, she realizes pretty quick that there’s a reason the princesses call her old pals the “Evil Horde.” Adora changes sides and fights for the princess rebellion all while adapting to a very foreign way of life.

That’s the basic gist, but what makes this show sing are the relationships. Glimmer is a stubborn princess ready to fight, determined to prove her worth to her mother, the Queen, who favors defense over offense. Adora is torn between what she knows is right, and her best friend/adopted sister from the Horde who is now tasked to hunt her down. And Bow...well, Bow is just there to have fun, make friends and maybe save Etheria.

But the villains, guys. The Horde. I’ve never been so conflicted because the villains are just so lovable, so relatable, so genuine. The deep emotional conflict between Adora and her old best friend, Catra, is palpable, and Catra’s new partner Scorpia? I would die for her. I would die for everyone in this show, princesses and Horde alike. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is a mood, whether it’s “Smile gleefully as you kick butt with magic flowers” or “Groan as you’re required to do the bare minimal” or “Can we stop at this snack bar before we burn this building down?”

Not to mention, this show was written by an ALL-FEMALE WRITING TEAM which is epic and needs to be supported, which isn’t hard to do because this show is great.

The drama and emotions go from 0 to 100 in the ninth episode and the finale (episode thirteen) will leave you...well, first of all, very, very stressed, but also with plenty of questions and a strong desire for more. While they’ve yet to renew the show, following the pattern of Netflix’s similar shows, it’s likely this won’t be the last we’ve seen of She-Ra. At least, I certainly hope not.