A children’s show worth watching: “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”


Courtsey of denofgeek.com

Danielle Dix, News Editor

When I first came across “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” I was skeptical of how good it would actually turn out to be.

As an adult who does enjoy shows aimed at younger people, I thought I would give it a chance since my younger brother insisted it was amazing.  My brother usually has a good eye for TV shows, but I still wanted to form my own opinion.

The show, which came out on November 13, 2018, is a remake of the 1985 classic “She-Ra and the Princess of Power.” The show has quickly become one of my favorites as it amazingly balances a fun and complex hero adventure with discussing serious topics and depicting realistically flawed characters.

The show follows Adora, a young and motivated soldier part of the Horde. The Horde is an evil group led by Hordak that is trying to beat the “princesses” and take over the magical land of Etheria. However, on an impromptu adventure into princess territory with her best friend Catra (a girl designed to look like a cat, very creative name, I know), Adora discovers a sword that can transform her into a powerful being named She-Ra. From there Adora learns she has a destiny to save Etheria.

Once she realizes that the Horde is actually evil, she defects from the Horde and becomes friends with Princess Glimmer and “master archer” Bow, members of the princess alliance fighting against Hordak. In the process, Adora leaves Catra behind, and begins fighting for the princesses in order to save Etheria.

Courtsey of decider.com Original She-Ra (left) and Reboot She-Ra (Right)

I found myself relating to every character in some way or another and it was easy to feel some sort of sympathy for the bad guys even when they were doing bad things. It is refreshing to see realistic characters in a kid’s show because often characters are predictable so that they are understandable to young kids.

Initially, I was worried that this was going to be another black and white, “the good guys are morally sound and never make a mistake and they bad guys are evil just to be evil” kind of story, but as I watched on I realized it was nothing like that.

Every character, even Hordak, has relatable characteristics and understandable motivations. There were moments where I wanted to yell at the heroes of the story because they were being stubborn or making an obvious mistake (I know, easy to say from a third part that knows everything going on).

Courtesy of hypable.com

Adora faces serious problems from outside sources and within herself. She must battle against her insecurity and need to be perfect while dealing with the pain of war. Adora is a beautifully complex and flawed character that shows young girls they don’t need to be perfect to make a difference.

Do not let the upbeat, childlike intro fool you, “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” does not shy away from dealing with tough topics such as abuse and its effects. Adora and Catra grew up with an abusive mother figure that would manipulate them in order to get what she wanted. While Adora breaks away from that abuse and undergoes emotional healing with the help of her new friends, Catra becomes stuck in an abusive loop, making her more resentful day by day.

It is even revealed later that Hordak’s motivations for starting the war on Etheria come from a place of abuse as well. These storylines are done delicately and realistically, showing how abuse emotionally damaged the people that encounter it and how difficult it can be to break out of that pattern.

The relationship between Catra and Adora pulls the heartstrings as it portrays how best friends can become each other’s enemies very quickly. Catra feels abandoned by Adora and channels her anger into beating her in the war. Adora misses Catra and tries to convince her to come to the side of the princesses, but Catra’s pride gets in the way. Overall it shows how pride, anger and past trauma can ruin a loving friendship and makes the viewer want to see them put that all aside and reconcile.

While dealing with serious topics such as the pressures of war on friendships and relationships and the effects of abuse, “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” still maintains its lighthearted and funny nature, which is especially nice for someone that likes to watch something for a good time. The jokes seem to always be perfectly timed and the dynamics between the characters seem to make them even funnier.

Messages like “the power of friendship” and “the power of self-love” are strong throughout the show, another refreshing thing to see in a kid’s show. It shows that maintaining friendships aren’t always easy, friends are bound to butt heads occasionally, but also that working through problems in friendships is rewarding and necessary.

Courtesy of themarysue.com

The show also does an amazing job of displaying characters with different personalities, genders, skin tones and body types. There are multiple gay and lesbian couples throughout the show that are shown being affectionate towards each other. They are not just background characters either, some are very important to the story.

There are also portrayals of a wide range of skin tones. Many of the main characters have darker skin, which helps younger kids of color to feel represented in the media, something that positively affects self-esteem.

After finishing the show, I’m glad that I gave it a chance. It was an experience that I truly adored and is something that I will recommend to others in the future, especially kids. It is a perfect example of how children’s shows don’t need to be simple and predictable to entertain kids and instead can be a fulfilling story for all.