Saturday, December 16, 2017

But I Digress... For the Honor of Grayskull - A New She-Ra Series

By Cat

Logo from this Italian website here.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been quite as vigilant, recently, with paying attention to my entertainment news feeds. For this reason, Selina was able to pretty much knock me out of my chair with some news  fresh off the ‘presses’ – She-Ra: Princess of Power  (1985-1987) is getting a Netflix reboot series in 2018.

Netflix issued the statement on December 12, 2017 regarding a number of new shows they’ll be bringing to the streaming service along with Dreamworks. "From Eisner Award-winning author and executive producer Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes, Nimona) comes a modern take on the ‘80s girl power icon for a new generation of young fans. The trailblazing property originally debuted in 1985 to satisfy overwhelming demand for a female lead fantasy series. With Stevenson's unique voice at the helm, 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. The series will be available to Netflix members worldwide in 2018."

This deal has apparently been in the works for a little bit, all very hush-hush. Stevenson appears to be very excited about the project. With the veil of secrecy still shrouding the project, she still couldn’t help tease us all about what was ‘behind the curtain.’ Once the proverbial cat was out of the bag, however, she was quick to share her enthusiasm with a tweet linking one of the many articles that spread through the net’s geek community like wildfire. While her link leads to Variety; I’ve also seen articles on Nerdist, CBR,, MSN, LA Times, and the list goes on.
I am seriously excited about the prospect of this new series. Further, I can only hope that it performs better than the various attempts over the years to bring He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983–1985) back to the screen. However, rather than finding itself in the hands of a more traditional or cable network, this project will be curated by Netflix. I have yet to see them drop the ball on one of their projects. This gives me a great deal of hope that this will be the She-Ra we need for this generation.

While little is known about cast or plot elements currently, it is my hope that we’ll receive a bit of a trail of breadcrumbs leading to the streaming premiere. The news is so fresh, it’s possible that we’ll get information such as cast announcements sprinkled in the time between now and then. It’s smart to keep us on the edge of our seats a bit. It generates prolonged buzz and anticipation for the series, after all.

It’s really the only thing I’m a little anxious about. The casting choices can make or break the whole thing.Admittedly, the plot is another factor we know very little about as well. It’s not clear if this series will essentially repackage the original story with only a few minor tweaks or if we’re going to get a re-imagining for the more modern generation of viewers.

One thing’s for sure – I hope they keep at least one element of the original show’s formatting. Back in the day, the 1980’s cartoons often ended with a small PSA targeted to their young audiences. G.I. Joe (1983-1986) is one of the most remembered for that – because “knowing is half the battle.”

She-Ra took a different tack on the concept in that the show had a character dedicated to the moral tie-in for the episodes named Loo-Key of the Etherian species of Kon-Seals. He would often be hidden in various episode scenes. At the end of the show, he’d play a bit of a ‘Where’s Waldo’ game asking kids if they spotted him. He then revealed where he was hiding and then shared the moral of the story.

The first episode Loo-Kee appeared in was #6 of the first season. The 5 episodes prior were dedicated to She-Ra’s origin story as told by the theatrical movie that was her debut - He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword (1985). This was a brilliant idea, at the time. It ensured that kids that couldn’t make it to theaters for the film still didn’t miss out on the story (and Mattel didn’t miss out on toy sales opportunities). Though, once the stand-alone original content of the series started; Loo-Kee and the Kon-Seals became a firm fixture.

The first moral message shared with the ending of episode #6 was about bullies and encouraging kids to talk to their parents if it happened. In a world where kids are opting-out of life because of bullying, this is a very relevant message. Kids’ shows today seem to be missing some of the more meaningful elements that we got with the older generations of cartoons. These PSAs were clear, unmistakable, and didn’t rely on anyone to extrapolate the message from the show’s plot alone.

At its very core, She-Ra’s story arc explores family, redemption, fighting for what is right, and friendship. I’ve heard She-Ra compared to Xena: Warrior Princess(1995-2001), as she was certainly a strong female role model in the fantasy genre for the 1980s. We live in a modern age of female empowerment, and this show is an excellent vehicle to strengthen the can-do spirit in girls of all ages.

I will be waiting with bated breath for this new series to premiere, and you can bet you’ll hear from me afterwards to let you know if it lives up to expectations once I’ve binge-watched it all. I can't wait to visit Etheria again!

Since there’s so little known about the details of the new series, I’ve compiled an overview for the original series for you below. If you are unfamiliar with the series, you can always watch Season 1 of the original on Netflix right now. Let us know if you find Loo-Kee!

Series Name/Year: She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985-1987)
Tagline: For the honor of Grayskull, SHE-RA has the power!
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Length: 2 Seasons, 93 Episodes, Run-time average 21 min. per episode
Rating: TV-Y7
Production Companies: Filmation Associates, Mattel
Producer: Lou Scheimer
Directors: Bill Reed, Lou Kachivas, Richard Trueblood, Marsh Lamore, Ernie Schmidt, Ed Friedman, Tom Tataranowicz, Tom Sito, Mark Glamack, Steve Clark, Bill Nunes, Bob Arkwright, Gwen Wetzler
Writers: J. Michael Straczynski, Gene Ayres, Tom Bagen, Carol Baxter, Frank Becker, Joseph Botsford, Harvey Brenner, J. Larry Carroll, Michael Chain, Lawrence G. DiTillio, Kathryn M. Drennan, Steven J. Fisher, Bob Forward, Lee Fraser, Barbara Hambly, Phil Harnage, Don Heckman, Denis Higgins, Coslough Johnson, Philip Kassel, Durnford King, Robert Lamb, Drew Lawrence, Francis Moss, Arthur H. Nadel, Brynne Stephens, Michael Utvich, Brooks Wachtel, Michael Chase Walker, Chris Weber, Robert White, Karen Willson, Leslie Wilson, Linda Yuro
Actors: Melendy Britt, Linda Gary, John Erwin, George DiCenzo, Lou Scheimer, Erika Scheimer, Alan Oppenheimer, Diane Pershing

Netflix Blurb For Classic Series: Disguised as superpowered She-Ra, Princess Adora -- He-Man's twin sister -- fights to save planet Etheria from the clutches of dark sorcerer Hordak.

Languages Currently Available With Classic Series on Netflix:
Speech Available: English, German
Subtitles Available: English [CC], Arabic, German, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese

For a little lagniappe (something extra), have a dash of nostalgic cheer for your holiday season with this cartoon Christmas special


But I Digress... is a weekly column for that can't be pinned down to just one thing. It's our celebration of tangents, random references, and general fan geekdom that both intertwines with, revolves around, and diverges from our movie-review core. In homage to the beloved Brit comedians, we want to bring you something completely different!

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