Okay, so huge disclaimer. Or perhaps more like a notice. Yes. I realize fantasy is unrealistic. I also realize that critique the realism of children's television is both pointless and largely misses the idea behind the medium. I got it. It's a show for kids. I am not the target audience.
With that, may I just say that I absolutely love the new She-Ra. It's a fantastic show. The characters are real, and more so, the emotions they experience are real. It's great. But I really shouldn't have started watching it a second time. Now that I know the story, I can turn my attention to other details. And two have really bothered me in ways I know they shouldn't. But I'm a writer. I see inconsistencies in story and lore. I see where a bit of world building can go a long way. And I don't see why something can't be for children and make sense within it's own rules. That said, let me point out two distinct examples of stuff from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power that bothered me on a second viewing.
This isn't about any of the main characters. If you like the Princesses, you're fine. This is about the episode that introduces Entrapta. And trust me, I love me some Entrapta, she is quite possibly best princess. It's her servants.
See, the entire episode revolves around Bow (Beau? Beaux?) coming to terms with being an archer when his friends have magic. It's only lightly touched on, but he's immediately separated from his group when killer robots run amok and he ends up with Entrapta's servants. A chef, a ...um... a soda... pourer(?) and er... a general servant? It's kind of vague. One is a larger woman who bakes tiny cupcakes, one is a dude who handles soda, and the last is a younger woman who... handles dishes? That seems to be her specialty.
Here's where things go weird for me. The idea is they're regular people, not princesses with power, so when the robots attack, they hide. It's Bow who convinces them that their "normal" abilities are useful. Let me stress what these people are capable of. Baking tiny cupcakes, pouring soda, and holding plates. With Bow's encouragement, they becoming freakin' ninjas.
The chef squirts robots with frosting and beats the hell out of them with rolling pins. Soda dude fritzes the robots with soda and occasionally clocks them with the bottles. And dish girl goes Captain America. Not to mention she somehow learns to flip up onto twelve foot platforms while literally dishing out the pain.
Here's the problem. These aren't the skill sets they have. These aren't the intuitive uses for their trade tools. If these people can bash robots, they're not using the skills they cultivated as servants, they're using skills that warriors and soldiers would have. It completely goes against the idea that regular people can make a difference because these people are clearly not "regular people."
If they had found a way that baking, serving food, or otherwise being a servant made a difference, the episode's message would've made sense. Maybe they know the layout better than the robots because they're been serving Entrapta so long. Or they know her habits because they know their mistress so well, and can therefore predict what she might do. Maybe they've dealt with her chaotic failures before and have a backup plan that doesn't involve them doing triple back flips and hurling flatware with assassin level precision.
I am a big one for realism in fantasy. Physics are a big plus for me. Yes, I understand, cartoons in general don't follow physics, especially children's cartoons. Got it. But let's complain about them anyway.
Okay... nerd time. I'm ready for the backlash. The following episode shows off the moons. There's a big plot centering around an eclipse and we can see that the planet, Etheria, has three moons visible. And all three are crescent shaped at the beginning of the episode. (Author's Note: I did some research and apparently the planet has seven or more moons.) Assuming the planet has one sun, all three moons can't be crescent shaped. It's the shadow of Etheria cast upon those moons that makes them crescent shaped. One shadow can't cast on three different moons like that.
Okay... maybe there are three suns casting shadows in three directions. But we see the castle from the outside and the light is all coming from the same direction. And everything else only has one shadow.
Is any of this important? Absolutely not. Does it change how awesome the show is? Absolutely not. What does it mean? It means I shouldn't watch things more than once.
Also Princess Prom is the best episode ever.
Be Excellent To Each Other
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.