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)-
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)-
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).