Posted in TV Stuff

Not my Fandom, again

The Weekend, the month-end and payday, internet people and am so glad to be out of there for the week.

A couple of things of note is that last weekend, I went swimming. The MightyRosie, SuperSam and I went to a pool. I haven’t been in a pool in over 2 years and it felt damn good to get into one then. Just under a hour of widths, lengths and relaxing and I found myself really smiling, really enjoying. The next day, all three of us went to brunch. It was like it was before lock-down. I wore a mask going in, but was able to use a buffet and it all felt really normal. I loved the weekend because of that. As a result, this week in work has felt harder than it needed to feel. But now we have adapted to the change in staff, things are running a little smoother and I feel better about the future here.

This week did see the launch of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a Netflixed reboot/continuance of the 1980’s cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. When I was a kid, all those years ago, Masters of the Universe was something I loved. It had action, cool designs, great toys and I have a great fondness for it. So I shared this reboot with my son. Because it took us all week to watch all 5 episodes (full-time job for me and sleepovers for him) I have avoided a lot of spoilers, but have seen that there’s been backlash and negative feedback and I expected to not like it.

Spoilers

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But I did like it and so did my son. It had a great voice cast from old school talent like Alan Oppenheimer, famous voices like Lena Headey and Dennis Haysbert and both in the voice of Skeletor, Mark Hamill. It was well written dealing in themes of loss, betrayal and the aftermath of tragedy. The animation is slick and the action sequences are all kinds of fun. Sitting next to me, cheers came more than once. I wondered what the problem was and as always it came down to the usual refrain of “This isn’t my ……” I keep seeing this and I do understand this, but here’s the cool part, that does not matter! So my response to that is….”No, it isn’t. So what?”

Nostalgia is comforting, watching films and TV, listening to music, playing games that came from your childhood/youth is very comforting in an ever-changing and seemingly worsening world. I have been guilty of this and seeing so many reboots, relaunches and reimagining attempts of things I used to watch being made and announced, I often feel that these things aren’t for me. They are not. But that’s okay. I have aged. A Masters of the Universe cartoon, shouldn’t be for me, it should be for my son, or kids younger. The world has seen so many changes in the last 40 years, so making TV for the sensibilities of 40 years ago seems at best problematic at worst, stupid. Now in particular to this show, there is the fact that only half of the season has been shown, just half. There is no reason at all that what you wanted to see is on its way.  But the other half of this is that this isn’t for you, it can include you, but it’s not for you and that again is okay.

I watched and enjoyed the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe show back in the 80s and loved it. But in the cold light of day, it was not a perfect show. It reused animation so many times, the characterisation was at best slight and the moralising got on my nerves at the time. I have watched it again recently and whilst I wanted it to hold up, it didn’t hold up to a re-watch, nor a more modern audience. There’s nothing wrong with the core concept, or most of the characters, so a reboot isn’t a bad idea and this delivered on some of the deficiencies of the older show.  I hated the comic relief character of Orko, Teela was a cardboard cut out character and the villains lacked a hook beyond the tour de force that was Skeletor. Five episodes of this show and Teela was a new and vital character and when they got rid of Orko, I was genuinely upset, as was my son. This was a better show. Does this mean that you should like this better than the old one? Not really, but despite this show being a bit of a nostalgia-fest, it is being used to pull in new viewers. I am not the target audience, or at least not the whole target. Is it more inclusive than the old show? Yes, is that a bad thing? Again your mileage may vary. But again, this isn’t your Masters of the Universe. That is still there, they even did a reboot nearly 20 years ago. If this isn’t for you, that’s okay go and watch the other stuff, but you are not affected and someone else has their He-Man series, which has just happened to focus on Teela and not just He-Man. This show is also not perfect and perhaps in 20 years or so, someone will make a new one and the fans of this will be complaining.

You are right, this is not your He-Man, but this one existing, does not, and let me repeat this part of the show, does not do anything to you. Stuff is remade all of the time and you are just going to have to either accept that or make your own stuff.  I like this show and encourage anyone who wants to, to give it a try. It may not be your He-Man, but it will be someone’s and I am glad that for a week I got to visit Eternia again and this time, bring my son. When part 2 shows up, we will go back and whatever happens, I am glad to be able to do so.

These things do mean something to us. I am not complaining that you care about a 40year-old kids cartoon. But honestly recognise that it doesn’t just belong to you. You do not own it, you own your love of it and that’s good, but you don’t own it. Someone else can change it, someone else can love it and if you don’t like the changes, then go watch something else or watch the original if you can and let whoever likes this like it.

Went on a bit of a rant there, but read a couple of articles and watched a youtube video and it all got a bit too much.

Author:

Liverpool based family man and unrepentant geek, trying to understand what's going on in my own head, which is not always being a good place to be. Remember always, we live in a world of wonders.

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