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TV Series Review

Most children, at some point, look at their parents and think they're evil incarnate. Eat my broccoli? What ogre would insist on that? Can't go to the party? Mussolini was never so dictatorial. It goes with the territory.

But in Adora's case, she may have a point.

Adora was adopted at a young age by Hordack—a tyrant by trade—and his floating, glaring, witchy cohort, Shadow Weaver. Their kingdom is a charming landscape of industrial pipes and gray-green enclosures and … well, that's about it, actually. If Hordack gets his way, the entire planet of Etheria will look like a complicated sewage system. And he and Shadow Weaver have trained Adora to love the place.

But ever since Adora wandered into the Whispering Woods, picked up a magic sword and became She-Ra, she's come to see Hordack and Shadow Weaver in a different light.

Adora's now a rebel leader fighting against her duplicitous mum and dad, trying to free Etheria from her estranged pops. But she's not alone. Yes, that's right, as the name suggests, she's leading a whole princess legion. Just like Disneyland, practically every girl you meet in Etheria is a princess.

How did Etheria spawn so many rebellious princesses? To understand, you must peer back to the most ancient of days: the 1980s, to be precise.

The Power Is … Hers!

Back then, She-Ra wasn't a wet-behind-the-ears teen, but the curvy full-grown twin sister of the mighty He-Man—both of whom were birthed not by equally hyphenated parents (Mom-Ra? Pop-Him?), but by the Mattel toy company. They were heavily-muscled action figures who fought Skeletor and his former master, Hordack in an expensive, plastic war. The 1980s cartoons that followed were, essentially, half-hour advertisements for the franchise's toys.

But beloved advertisements they apparently were—at least with kids with shortish attention spans—and She-Ra's spinoff proved to be particularly resonant, lasting a whole two seasons before it was axed. During its original run, the show trotted out its own glittery horde of princesses with easily representable characteristics and powers. After all, they were all destined to become action figures themselves, and the toy shelves of the 1980s were no place for subtlety.

If the 1980s was a decade of cynical commercial merchandise bombardment, our current age is one where every half-remembered bit of intellectual property is subject to a reboot— perhaps several of them in the time it takes you to read this review.

And no television outlet loves nostalgic reboots more than Netflix.

Some Issues in Etheria

The new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a bazillion light years away from the original in terms of aesthetic quality—light years in the right direction, that is. The writing is sharp and clever, the humor disarmingly self-aware. (When Adora wants to know why the princess rebellion thinks Hordack and his army are evil, her new friend Bow says, "For one thing, your army is called the 'Evil Horde!'")

The animation is better, too, and the outfits less suggestive. The original She-Ra was a busty heroine with a strapless, cleavage-revealing top and a short-short skirt. The new She-Ra is more modestly dressed, even sporting a pair of skorts. (Still lots of animated leg on display, of course, but we'll take modesty where we can.) And certainly, the whole exercise—a multiculturally sensitive one where girls and women of all shapes and sizes rule the Etherial roost—practically squeals girl power. And that's not bad.

"One of the things I've tried really hard to do with the show is set up a world where gender is just almost not really an issue," show creator Noelle Stevenson told io9. "It's a world where sexism doesn't exist—even in the Horde, which has a lot of gender parity, even though they're villains."

Sexism is certainly rare here, though half of said sexes are almost equally rare. If Etheria's main players were separated by sex and pitted against each other in a tug-o-war, the boys and men would be woefully outnumbered and outgunned.

Also worth noting: Bow, one of Etheria's rare few guys with a speaking role, has two fathers. It seems rare these days for a show, even a kids' show, not to include socially progressive messaging and LBGTQ characters. It's part of the lay of the land, and so it is here, too. (Voltron: Defender of the Universe, another popular Netflix kids' rehash, went there in its most recent season as well.) And that leaves many Christian parents in a difficult spot when considering these shows that otherwise have some positive things going for them.

That said, She-Ra can be violent, too, and mysticism and magic are also integral to the story. All things considered, Adora's pledge to fight for "the honor of Grayskull" may lose sight of some other honorable qualities along the way.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

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Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

April 26, 2019: “The Frozen Forest”
Nov. 13, 2018: "The Sword Part 1"



Readability Age Range



Voices of Aimee Carrero as Princess Adora; AJ Michalka as Catra; Joe Amato as Modulok; Lauren Ash as Scorpia; Krystal Joy Brown as Netossa 1 episode; Antony Del Rio as Kyle; Karen Fukuhara as Glimmer; Morla Gorrondona as Light Hope; Keston John as Hordak; Marcus Scribner as Bow; Reshma Shetty as Queen Angela; Lorraine Toussaint as Shadow Weaver; Adam Ray as Swift Wind; Merit Leighton as Frosta; Vella Lovell as Mermista; Genesis Rodriguez as Perfuma; Christine Woods as Entrapta






Record Label




On Video

Year Published


We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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