5 Classic Things a New She-Ra Show Should Keep- and 5 New Things We’d Like to See

When Netflix and Dream Works announced in December that it was rebooting She-Ra  in 2018, my heart did a little flutter.  I was a true child of the 80’s, and He-man and She-Ra were my idols.  When my own children have sick days, we will occasionally binge watch the shows, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how well they have held up over the decades.  So when it is boasted that “fans are in store for an epic and timely tale that celebrates female friendship and empowerment, lead by a warrior princess tailor made for today,” it is truly exciting.  Eisner Award winning Showrunner Noelle Stevenson is a welcome and exciting choice to helm the show, and fans are full of hope (and admittedly, high expectations.)

Here are 5 Classic Things we would love to see the show hang on to and 5 New Things we excitedly await:

Classic (What makes She-Ra Great)-

  1. She-Ra’s one-liners. Let us face it, a witty heroine is successful one (ie Buffy).  The original She-Ra continually dropped her sarcastic, witty lines as she announced her arrival to stop her dumbfounded foes.  It shows us that a) heroines are always the smartest and b) they never take themselves too seriously…two very positive outlooks for a new generation of heroines.
  2. She-Ra’s Voice. Melendy Britt has become a cultural icon for her commanding portrayal of She-Ra and her alter-ego, Princess Aurora.  Her voice boasted a strength but could also reveal a vulnerability that was real to us.  Let us hope the revival can cast a voice actress that can bring these same qualities to our heroine.
  3. Life Lessons.  Week after week, She-Ra encouraged young girls how to speak up for themselves, treat others with respect, be responsible for their own behaviors, and much more.  This goes without saying, but the life lessons we learned as girls had a life long impact.  These days, there are more ways to occupy young people with screens than one can count, so making that screen time count, is worth more than ever.
  4. The Stories.  As a young girl, I was enthralled with the fantasy, magic, good versus evil, and the complex perils our heroes often found themselves in.  Re-watching the episodes as an adult, I was surprised at how strong the stories held up.  I’m still enthralled.  Any revival can’t hope to hold our attention without strong attention to story.
  5. The Music.  The main riff may have played tirelessly throughout each episode, but it was so good and uplifting that we never really minded.  Any new theme needs to inspire us to be our best selves in just a few bars.  The theme needs to measure up to what came before.

New (What we are excited to see)-

  1. She-Ra vs Adora (Identity). She-Ra’s ordinary alter-ego, Princess Adora, was as morally strong as She-Ra was physically strong.  And while the show would occasionally address the duality that one woman with two identities had to cope with, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask for this to be addressed more thoroughly, particularly in an age when we see young people cope with online personas versus real life.
  2. Supporting Cast. She-Ra’s supporting cast of Swiftwind, Bo, Kowl, etc were worthy additions to her story, but their characterization often came up flat.  We’re only as strong as the people with whom we surround ourselves, and we’ve seen many modern Super hero shows thrive best if they have a strong, multi-dimensional supporting cast.
  3. Voice Cast.  While the talent of the voice cast She-Ra isn’t in question, Filmation’s notoriously small budget led to a small cast bringing the whole word to life.  The cast even included executive producer Lou Scheimer voicing many characters himself.  A more diverse sounding cast would be a welcome change.
  4. Stand Alone. She-Ra was a spinoff, and thus her origin story began as an extended episode of He-Man.  Once Adora became She-Ra, she knew her origins, right from that first story arc.  Seeing She-Ra stand alone as her own show, her own entity with her own story, will be different, but could provide a powerful launch.  Perhaps her origins are a mystery, even to her?  The possibilities are endless and exciting.
  5. Diversity.   She-Ra was always an advocate for all people, but the show didn’t really show many different types of people. While the show did address an oppressed people struggling under the rule of the Horde, most of the other races portrayed were bad guy monsters and the heroes were all white.  The premise itself has so many opportunities to address how our young people approach diversity that it would be a waste not to take advantage of it!

*Bonus. Even at a young age, I was always fascinated by how our heroine navigated Bo’s infatuation with She-Ra and Adora’s infatuation with Sea Hawk.  The show did not go very far to address either, and most likely that is completely appropriate because of the age of its intended audience.  But if the new She-Ra can incorporate more of this bizarre love triange, I would be ever so excited to see more.

Let us know if you are excited about a new She-Ra show, and what you would like to see! (Fan expectations are real in the age of the internet).she-ra2-615x346Adora3.png


Why Wynonna Earp is the Female Superhero We Need

2017 is an exciting year for FanGirls (of which, yes, I am most certainly one).  It has seen the release of a kick-ass Wonder Woman film (after years in developmental limbo).  We just had the announcement that the next incarnation of Doctor Who will be a woman. And several current science fiction tv programs boast strong female leads (Killjoys, Dark Matter, Orphan Black- to name a few).  Pushing the boundaries of groundbreaking to ground-demolishing is Wynonna Earp.  Wynonna doesn’t have superpowers other than a magic gun that only she can wield, which she uses to send demons back to hell.  But Wynonna Earp is a superhero in the most literal sense of the word.  She is super, and she is most certainly a modern day hero.

Wynonna Earp is a flawed woman.  She is a socially uncouth and she uses alcohol and sex to cope with her problems.  But she is unapologetic about her flaws.  She doesn’t try to hide them or make excuses for them or justify them.  She takes on this “What you see is what you get” air that has women worldwide feeling inspired.

Baring witness to the phenomenon that is Wonder Woman was a treat, seeing a female superhero grace the silver screen and inspire women young and old to be strong and brave.  But Wonder Woman herself seemed little more than a symbol.  While she represented powerful women and was one herself, other than her naivete about the nature of mankind, she didn’t have any flaws.    This sort of fearless, idealistic hero, while inspiring in the big picture, does less to reach us mortal women that have social dysfunction and struggle with emotional strife.

Wynonna Earp, on the other hand, takes on that emotional strife with a lack of grace that is awe-inspiring.  Most of us can relate to Wynonna because we have all been there.  We have been challenged, and we have handled things in ways we aren’t proud of and nevertheless come out on the other side.  Wynonna is a reminder to us that perfection doesn’t make us great.  What makes us great is staying true to ourselves and our families (and in typical Wynonna Earp fashion, we do not define family with blood but connection).  Wyonna reminds us that it is ok that we are flawed.  It’s how we handle it that matters.

(Spoilers Ahead)

Season 2 of Wynonna Earp is a little past its halfway point in airing.  Fans were recently treated to a surprise when they discovered, along with Wynonna herself, that she was pregnant.  Showrunner Emily Andras opted to write actress Melanie Scrofano’s real-life pregnancy into the show.  Women are now being introduced to a superhero the likes of which have yet to grace the screen: a pregnant superhero.  And we see Wynonna go through all of the fears and changes that impending motherhood can bring all while slinging her fancy gun and kicking the butts of that which goes bump in the night.  Wynonna Earp is challenging us to see pregnancy as a superpower, not a disability.  She may be dealing with yogurt cravings and cankles, but she isn’t backing down.

Wyonna Earp is the female superhero of our age, not just because she kicks ass but because she does it all while being imperfectly human.  She is what we all could be.  We don’t necessarily overcome our dysfunctions but rather, we push on despite them.  We accept who we are, where we are.  We cry when things aren’t fair, and then we move on.  This is what Wynonna Earp teaches us and why she is not just a superhero but our superhero.



My Daughter is Braver Than I Am

For me, today was the day mothers know to be a bit….emotional.  My first born baby started Kindergarten.  This is the day when you realize that all the work you’ve done throughout the last five years comes to fruition.  Your work isn’t done by a long shot, but the roots have taken hold, and how you have to let your little tree grow.

My daughter has been excited about going to Kindergarten for quite a while.  She didn’t really understand what it meant to go to Kindergarten, just that it was an important thing she’d do as a big kid, and she’d get to ride a yellow school bus to get there.  The day I took her to the “Kindergarten Round Up” last May so she could see a classroom and I could collect some of the mounds of information the parents of a gradeschooler must possess, she excitedly exhaled a “YEEESSSS!!!  I’ve been waiting for this!”  She was excited, and I was excited for her.

As the pool days of summer were all starting to blur together and the first day of school was looming, I was becoming more anxious.  There are a lot of things I want to keep track of, what the PTA is doing, where I need to be, where my child needs to be, what school supplies I need to purchase, etc.  But I was also anxious because my Kindergarten experience, while mostly positive, was colored by a deep anxiety I felt at being away from my mom.   I was always filled with worry that I had forgotten something important or missed a key instruction that I desperately needed.  I took grade school quite seriously, and still, as an adult, have nightmares about forgetting things in school.  Being inside a grade school again for my daughter started churning those old memories and anxieties.  And then I looked at her, my beautiful daughter, and I saw none of those worries mirrored back at me. Instead I saw excitement at meeting new friends and learning new things.  I was in awe.

I mentioned to a friend of mine what I was feeling, and she asked me if I had expressed to my daughter how impressed I was with her bravery.  I realized I had not, and I decided to have a talk with her.  It turned out to be the best conversation we’ve had thus far in her little life.  I sat her down and told her how proud I was of her that she was so brave and excited about school.

“Well,” she said.  “You know, I am a little nervous.”

“Are you nervous about taking the bus to school or about doing schoolwork?” I asked.

“I’m nervous about schoolwork,” she replied.

“It’s ok to be nervous about that, but you know, Daddy and I will help you with your schoolwork, so it will be ok.”

“Was schoolwork hard for you when you were a kid, Momma?”

I had a momentary panic.  I didn’t want to diminish her feelings, but the truth was, it wasn’t.  I didn’t struggle with academics until my brain smacked into the wall that is Calculus my senior year of high school.

“Well,” I said slowly.  “No, I guess I didn’t.  Schoolwork wasn’t hard for me, but you know what was harder for me?  Talking to other kids and making new friends.  I was always really nervous about that.”

I smiled inwardly at my recovery…an honest answer that didn’t put her down.

“If you had different parents,” she said after a moment’s thought, “and we were kids together, I would help you make friends.”

I smiled.  A big smile.  “Well, you know, there will be other kids in your class that feel nervous about talking to the other kids.  Maybe you can help them make friends.”

“I will,” she said triumphantly.  “I know how to make friends.  You just go up and say, ‘Hi, my name is ______ _______.  What’s your name?  Want to be my friend?”

I hugged her.  It was a proud moment for me.  She is braver than I am.


Today, more than a week after that conversation, we stood at the bus stop ready for her to board.  She had been so excited during breakfast, while I did her hair, when I took her picture with the “1st day of Kindergarten” sign so I could post it on Facebook.  I was fussing with her backpack when she suddenly looked up at me with big eyes, and said, “Momma, I’m scared.”  Her lip bottom lip pouted out and tiny tears squeezed from her eyes.  I bent down to hold her. “I want to stay with you,” she whimpered.  My heart hurt a little.  I want you to stay with me too, I thought.  Forever.

“It’s ok to be scared,” I eventually said.  “Everyone is scared their first day.  But you know how you also feel excited?  Try to focus on that feeling.”

She nodded, and her tears dried up.  Her eyes were still wide, and I knew she was still anxious.  A 2nd grade neighbor arrived, and she offered to sit on the bus with my daughter and make sure she found her teacher when they arrived at school.  My daughter stood a little straighter, holding hands with this girl as they stood in line to board the bus.  And then, despite her wide eyes, my little love climbed up onto that bus, sat where the bus driver instructed, and waved goodbye to me.  Off she went, to her first day of school.  I climbed off that bus, and I burst into tears.

Most moms will know what I felt in that moment, that mixture of pride and sadness.  My husband was there with me, and he, holding our three year old, walked me back down the street to our house.  The friendly 2nd grader’s mom put a hand on my shoulder.  She knew what my husband and I knew, that today, we hit a milestone.  For my daughter, it was a big, exciting, kind of scary adventure.  But for us, it was the end of an era.  The baby era, bringing her home from the hospital, long nights, bottles, baby food, rolling over, crawling, diapers, oh so many diapers, walking, running, sippy cups, coloring, playing, a big girl bed, potty training, preschool, letters, numbers, martial arts classes, soccer, singing, swimming.  It was a slow transition from baby to kid, but this day, today, marked the point of no return.  She would never be baby again.

I would have to say, I took today like I take most big milestones of change in my life… like a giant sack of anxiety and worry.  But my daughter, took it like a champ.  She admitted her fears, but she faced them.  I don’t really know what they did at Kindergarten today, but I know it was “awesome” and her teacher is “super, super nice.”  And I know that my daughter is braver than I am.



The Culture of Entitlement: Remarks on Brock Turner


Until yesterday, I had never heard the name, Brock Turner.  As the mother of two young children, I haven’t much had the necessity to follow the case of a young Stanford swim star on trial for a sexual assault that occurred on a college campus.  But his smiling face came up on my social media feed, and I decided to click on it.  I read the media’s postings, I read the letter Dan Turner, Brock’s father, wrote to the judge begging for leniency, and I read the statement the victim of the assault read aloud at the sentencing, which had also been featured on CNN, read in full by anchor, Ashleigh Banfield, and is now going viral thanks to a re-posting of the letter in full by Buzzfeed.

There are so many conversations being sparked by this case on a national level.  Brock Turner’s 6 month sentence for his three-count felony assault conviction is certainly receiving an outcry and there is much talk of white privilege and the justice system.  This is a conversation that needs to be had.  Judge Aaron Persky is a Stanford alum, and many are asking the question, and rightfully so, would the same sentencing have come across if the defendant were a young man of color or not a star athlete?

There is also talk of rape culture.  Some seem to have the sense that the victim of the assault should roll up and go home, accept that you drank too much and got what you deserved.  In a letter to the judge, Brock Turner’s childhood friend, Leslie Rasmussen, writes that “These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.”  It’s like leaving your car door unlocked means you have literally invited someone to steal from you.  It’s a bad decision, but it isn’t an invitation.  Drinking leads to poor judgement, and often the conclusion of that poor judgement is “I should have another drink.” But being drunk or passed out is not an invitation to being assaulted.  It is poor street smarts, but it still doesn’t make it acceptable.  But it is in rape culture, and we need to know, why is this ok?

These are questions that need to be asked, and eventually, after deep soul searching, our nation will have to answer them.

What disturbed me a lot about this incident was the letter that Brock Turner’s father wrote to the judge, begging him to be lenient in his son’s sentencing.  I’m quite sure it has been agonizing for Brock’s parents to watch the boy they love so dearly lose so much.  They were, I’m sure, desperate not to watch their son suffer.  No one can fault Mr. Turner for writing a letter to try and help his son.  But that letter gives some disturbing insight into what is really wrong with this case.  Mr. Turner describes in the letter his son’s depression over what he has lost, saying, “Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever,” and “he will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile.”  Mr. Turner wants his boy back, the boy with the bright future and happy demeanor.  Who wouldn’t?  What parent would want his child to suffer?   Further, Mr. Turner in a statement of very poorly chosen words laments, “His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.  That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”  Unfortunately for Mr. Turner, and the parents of all people who have committed crimes, often it only takes one moment.  One moment of poor decision leads to a lifetime of consequence and regret.  Brock Turner is fortunate he had twenty minutes to contemplate whether or not he was doing the right thing.  Sadly, he did not use that time wisely.  People are very outraged by Mr. Turner’s letter, but the real outrage isn’t that Mr. Turner trivializes his son’s remorse nor is it that he misrepresents his son’s crime as simple “alcohol and sexual promiscuity.”  The real travesty of this letter is the lack of empathy.  There is no mention of the victim.  There is nothing in Mr. Turner’s letter about what his son has done to another human being.  He makes his son out to be the victim and says nothing of the victim of his son.  This is entitlement culture.

Entitlement culture is rampant in America.  Consequences don’t apply to us nor do they apply to our children.  We are of higher intelligence than the general populace.  The rules don’t apply to us.    We are victims, and we never victimize.  We are entitled.

The victim, in her statement read to Brock Turner at the sentencing, implores him “not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.”  This is the truest lesson this we as a nation can learn from these events.  We need to be responsible for our own conduct and what we do to others.  This is where the conversation needs to start.  Race and privilege, drinking on college campuses, rape culture…these are all important discussions we as a people need to engage in, to improve things that are fundamentally wrong with the way we look at certain circumstances, such as a crime committed by a white star athlete on a college campus while under the influence of alcohol.  But the fundamental conversation we need to start with is our own entitlement.

We all believe our children are the best.  But we all must take responsibility for ourselves not to fall into the entitlement trap, believing that we and ours are entitled to more than you and yours.



Happy F*#%ing Spring Break- We Built a Snowman

Ok, admittedly, that title is rather dramatic. I live in the Midwest. It is not at all uncommon to get a string of wonderfully beautiful spring days followed by a snowstorm in March or even April. But being the mom of two young kids, I am acutely aware of the weather. Is it an inside day/ outside day/ bundle up/ bundle down?  Our whole day generally revolves around the weather and nice weather means we walk to the park and my job as Entertainment Committee is easy that day. As an aside, I do think we parents now put entirely too much pressure on ourselves to entertain our children.  Not sure why the phrase, “Go play” should wrack us with so much guilt. 

Nevertheless, I watched out my window all morning waiting for the snow to stop, but it did not. So once it became apparent that my 2 year old boy was going to sing and pound the walls all afternoon instead of nap, I bundled up both kids and out we went. There were moments of delight like when my 4 year old laughed herself off her feet while chasing me with snowballs. And then I decided we would build a snowman. I became engrossed in the task: rolling large balls of snow, packing it down, shaping, reshaping. It was the ugliest, most pathetic snowman I’d ever seen built of fresh snow. I kind of felt bad about myself as a mother, like I’d deprived my children by making them such a dopey looking snowman for their yard.   But when you’re 2, that doesn’t matter, does it?  My son kept sticking balls of snow to our lumpy little guy and pronouncing, “ta da!!”  I still wasn’t convinced it was a win until he called the snowman Olaf, told him he was cute, and gave him warm hugs until his head popped off. 

Then we rolled up and down the hill behind our patio, and life was good.  All of the anxiety and annoyance I had felt all day watching the snow fall out my window melted away. 

Happy Spring Break. We built a snowman!!!


All You Need Is LOVE

In addition to my Stay-At-Home Mom gig, I work a part time job, evenings and weekends. It’s retail and thus not very glamorous, but I can work when my hubby is home with the kiddos. It works. 

This evening, I called home on my break to check in.  Hubby and kiddos were having dinner with my mom and grandma. My 4 year old daughter hopped on the phone and asked if I was coming home now. 

“No, sweetheart,” I replied. “You’ll be in bed when I get home”. 

“Peeeaaaazzzzzzeeee, Momma, can you come home now?” 

She broke out the manners. She really wanted me home. 

Heart = Break

But that’s life. I went on with my work shift and she went on with her day. But when I came home, I found that after my hubby had put her to bed, she had snuck into our bed to wait for me. There she was, tiny face smooshed against my pillow, sound asleep. 

Hubby carried her to her own bed and I followed behind clutching her stack of stuffed animals (which must accompany her to bed at all times, of course). She briefly became awake and her raspy sleep voice squeaked out, “No, I have to be in Momma’s bed.”  

“Momma’s home,” Hubby told her. 

“Here I am,” I said, surrounding her with all of her stuffed friends. And you know what that little girl did? She sighed out a relieved, “Momma”, and hugged me tighter than anyone has ever hugged me in my life. Then she rolled over and fell back to sleep. 

She just wanted a hug from her mom. And her mom, in return, got to have the euphoric moment of just giving (and receiving love). No other needs needed to be met.  She wasn’t demanding food or drink like I’m a diner waitress. She didn’t need entertainment, clothing, or her butt wiped. She just needed to know I was there….that she was loved. 

And in the end, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it.