She–Ra and the Princesses of Power ran from 2018-2020, in which time it managed to pump out an impressive 5 series. A spin-off of ‘80s television show He–Man, the show follows Adora (Aimee Carrero), otherwise known as magical word-saving She–Ra, and her friends, enemies, and princess pals. Created by DreamWorks and available to stream on Netflix, this show will consume your life until you have binged it all within a week, and are left broken as a result.
The series is set in Etheria, a planet full of magic and princesses – from Princess Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara) who can teleport, to the plant-controlling hippie Perfuma (Genesis Rodriguez). However, as with every great mythical cartoon, there is an enemy they must rebel against to defeat: the Horde. Though Adora begins her journey here with her best friend Catra (AJ Michalka), she soon learns that she is fighting on the side of evil and questions her morals (though I won’t say anymore).
She–Ra is amazing for many reasons, with a beautiful cartoon-meets-anime animation style, a storyline that keeps you guessing, an ability to throw so much into 20 minute episodes, and a clear message of inclusivity and diversity. It is not just within the show that She–Ra is diverse, but in its casting, which heavily comprises of BAME actors/actresses, from Sandra Oh (Castaspella) to Keston John (Hordak). Within the narrative, the writers made sure to promote child-friendly messages of friendship and love, but did so in an extremely LGBT+ way. They feature princess wives Netossa (Krystal Joy Brown) and Spinerella (Noelle Stevenson), Bow’s (Marcus Scribner) dads in love, Double Trouble’s (Jacob Tobia) non-binary gender identity, and so much more. The best part is the lack of jokes where sexuality was the brunt of the joke; everyone was accepted for who they are without question. Double Trouble was not misgendered once, and didn’t even introduce their identity. Rather, they were called they/them from the off, and the queer narratives of even the main characters were never treated as ‘different’.
Being a kids television show, this normalisation of gender and sexual orientation was beautiful to see. Even adult television has not grasped this concept yet, with many shows forcing the LGBT+ characters to live up to stereotypes, and anyone seen as camp or who is putting on clothing of the opposite (birth-assigned) gender being mocked relentlessly – despite the possibility that it is their exploration of gender or sexuality. As a member of the LGBT+ community myself, this show felt safe, and for once meant characters I ‘shipped’ together actually had the possibility of happening. This is one of the main reasons why I wish the show didn’t have to end, because it created such an inclusive and homely atmosphere without feeling the need to capitalise on stereotypes or mockery.
Therefore, although the finale of She–Ra and the Princesses of Power was a satisfying and heart-warming ending to this amazing show (yes, you will cry), I will always want there to be more episodes. Even though certain storylines were concluded, side characters, or even newly-formed relationships, could be explored. I want to return to the world of Etheria once again, to feel at home with these characters I had come to love so dearly (Scorpia and Catradora – this one’s for you). One silver lining of hope is the reboot of He–Man, which has brought about the possibility of a cross-over, even if just for a Christmas episode, as She–Ra’s creators joked.
If you want to fall in love with a beautiful show, filled with multi-dimensional characters (despite being a show supposedly made for children), then She–Ra and the Princesses of Power should definitely be at the top of your shows-to-binge list. As the series only ended this May, there is still hope that either a spin-off series, or even a movie could be produced. Hopefully this show continues in some form, or at least a legacy of the inclusive children’s television that it created.
She-Ra is available on Netflix now. You can watch the trailer below.