Last year I wrote a bit about some upcoming cartoon reboots, including She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Now She-Ra is in its second season, and I’m happy to report that I’m even more delighted with this series than I hoped! I could go on about all the great aspects of the show, but I’ll be brief(ish) and sum up the top five reasons why you—yes, YOU—should tune in to this rainbow glitter action party.
A word of caution: I don’t intend to go too in-depth on any plot points, but I make no promises that this post will be spoiler-free.
- It’s funny
Like, really funny. I don’t think there was a single episode that didn’t have me laughing out loud. I like that the writers are able to poke a bit of fun at the source material, like how a lot of characters are literal-named. In the original series, there’s a superpower-less character named Netossa whose skill is . . . tossing . . . nets. In the reboot, Netossa can conjure magical nets, which she claims is “in the name”: “Net-tossa! I toss nets!” There’s also an episode where the princesses are trying to come up with a battle plan by basically playing D&D, and Bow’s version is a total spoof on the original She-Ra, outfits and all. I can’t sit here and detail every single joke, but the humor in She-Ra is, at least for me, its strongest suit. From the literal-minded Light Hope to the zany talking alicorn Swift Wind, I promise this show will have you laughing.
- It’s relatable
Maybe we can’t all be princesses who transform into rad buff warriors with magic swords, but some of the problems the characters in She-Ra face are quite topical. We have Adora’s pressure to be the best She-Ra she can be and not repeat the mistakes of the one who came before her; Glimmer’s insecurity and jealousy when her best friend makes other friends; Catra’s abandonment issues and the inferiority that comes with them. Chances are there’s at least one character that’ll make you think, “I feel you, girl.” If you’ve ever drifted from your closest friend, Catra and Adora’s rivalry might speak to you. If you put on a mask for your family so you can be who they want you to be, then Bow’s your man. I also really like Adora’s realization in the very beginning that everything she’s been taught to believe isn’t the truth. As funny as She-Ra is, it’s not afraid to get deep.
- It’s inclusive as heck
Ever hear of a token character? Yeah, none of those in She-Ra. Every character has a different skin tone, body shape, and outlook. The best part of this inclusivity? It’s not afraid to let its queer characters shine. Remember Netossa, our net-tossing princess? She’s dating another princess, which they actually make a point to say in the show. The relationship between Adora and Catra could be argued as having romantic undertones, which I’m positive was intentional on the writers’ part. Season two is especially full of Scorpia overtly pining for Catra. And my favorite part, same-sex parents! On screen! For a whole episode! And neither of them die, and they’re both dorks who tell dad jokes and wear dad sandals and really sweetly adore each other and love their kids! What’s better than this? Just guys bein’ dads.
- The designs are fresh
Probably the biggest talking point about She-Ra before its release was She-Ra’s costume. Some people were unhappy, saying that it didn’t do the original design justice. What they really meant was, she wasn’t sexy enough. Gone was the short, strapless, backless dress and high heels. Enter the sensible, yet still cute, dress with shorts underneath and sensible boots. The other characters got updates, as well. No more skintight, barely-covering-the-butt battle outfits for anyone! Each character has their own unique style that they can easily kick butt in, and makes them recognizable in a lineup. No cookie-cutter character designs here! (My personal favorite style choice is Bow’s love of crop tops, which is also one of my favorite running jokes throughout the series.)
So maybe I’m biased, but I love me a big buff lady. She-Ra delivers with Scorpia, the evil princess with a heart of gold. Even though she’s with the Evil Horde, Scorpia is actually kind of a simple character. We don’t get a ton of insight into her motivations for being with the Horde other than that her family swore loyalty to them however long ago. Aside from her loyalty to the Horde, she’s also a loyal friend. Throughout the series, Catra’s obsessed with getting revenge on Adora and the princesses, which could get annoying to most people, but Scorpia’s always willing to lend a helping claw. It’s kind of a one-sided friendship, but I have major respect for Scorpia. She sees how much Catra’s really hurting, so even if it doesn’t make Catra like her more, Scorpia helps her no matter what. She’s also voiced by the very funny Lauren Ash, from NBC’s Superstore. All the voice actors in She-Ra are great, but Ash’s delivery really stands out to me the most.
If none of the above reasons can convince you how good She-Ra is, then you’re probably a lost cause. Just kidding! Aside from these points, it also has action sequences, a transformation sequence that would make any magical girl fan swoon, and an intriguing plot to boot. The second season ended on such a cliffhanger, so if anything here intrigued you, please watch and help it get renewed!