One Hour Impressions: Masters of The Universe Revelations
No, you haven’t been transported through the computer back to the eighties (which is quite hard considering there are hardly any computers widely available at that time) the He-Man series is back in the spotlight with this new Kevin Smith developed remake.
For you guys that weren’t born when the original show was around (like me) and don’t know what the original is all about, the original He-Man Masters of The Universe followed Prince Adam of Eternia as the champion He-Man protecting Castle Grayskull as he battles the evil forces of Snake Mountain, mainly the evil Skeletor and his lackeys Beast Man and Evil-Lyn.
Yes, all the good stuff from that ancient Hanna Barbera hit show returns. We’ve got Prince Adam the titular He-Man, Skeletor, Battle Cat, and the many more classic Mattel figures… I mean characters. This show based on a popular toy line is definitely pushing characters first not toys, how dare I think otherwise.
With the new show rolling onto Netflix here in Australia in 2021, I’ve checked out the first two episodes of the first season and it wouldn’t be One Hour Impressions if I didn’t give you my impressions on these two episodes.
Season 1 Episode 1: “The Power of Grayskull”
This premiere episode starts out and immediately you’re hit with nostalgia and love for the original series. The opening narration and backstory exposition accompanied with the artwork stills gave me big toy commercial vibes. It also showed the clear love and admiration the showrunners have for the original series.
This love shines through bright throughout the episode, mainly with the animation and voice casting. The animation in this episode is crisp, clean, and just straight-up fucking awesome. Well, the 2D cartoon animation looks good, the CGI animation slapped about on random parts of the show is really garish and just doesn’t look right.
The voice cast is spot on to the original with pretty much all of the new voice actors – especially Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lena Headey, and Kevin Conroy in their respective roles of Teela, Evil-Lyn, and Mer-Man. Watching this side by side with the original show, it’s pretty much like having the same cast in both shows. The only big difference I noticed was Skeletor but that’s replacing the original voice actor with Luke Skywalker himself so I’ll let it slide this time...
The plot itself for this first episode is pretty close to those from the original series. Skeletor’s back at it again with another scheme to conquer Castle Grayskull and take over the power for himself, defeating his arch-rival He-Man in the process.
Except, that’s not 100% true. It turns out all along the iconic image of Castle Grayskull we’ve all been accustomed to was actually an illusion this entire time covering Castle Eternia. Yes, the naming division of Eternia really stretched their creative muscles on that one. It’s a nice twist that could have been a lot more effective if the show didn’t brush past it to keep the plot trucking along.
However, I think the big twist of the episode that sets up the rest of the series is done really well. That is of course *spoilers* Skeletor and He-Man’s death during the final battle at Castle Eternia. It’s handled well and almost made me cry seeing a champion from my childhood pass away in front of my eyes.
This first episode was overall really well done and got me excited for the second episode.
Season 1 Episode 2: “The Poisoned Chalice”
This excitement and goodwill from the first episode sapped away from me pretty quickly as we’re suddenly pushed forward in time and left with only Teela to carry us through the story and adjust to a world without He-Man and Skeletor. The world of Eternia is less magical and full of wonder and pursuing down a more technological avenue.
This nature/magic versus technology debate isn’t anything new to shows and really, this episode appears to be just drudging up the same type of commentary on this debate without saying anything new or breaking any new ground on the issue.
This sort of by the numbers approach seems to worm its way into the characters as well. From Teela’s new partner to the sorceress to Evil-Lyn seemed a lot more boring and generic. Even Teela herself and her new outlook following He-Man’s death didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I found it a very childish and simplistic outlook on the reason why Adam kept his identity secret from her.
I didn’t enjoy following Teela throughout this second episode. Her attitude and actions really rubbed me the wrong way and I didn’t really end up caring about her or any of the new characters introduced in this episode, to be honest with you.
Overall, I decided to watch this show based on my love for the original eighties television show that I spent so many hours of my young childhood religiously watching. The first episode took me right back to that time and got me excited to see what they did with the rest of the series. The second episode took those hopes and just crushed them by focusing on a character that I always saw as more of a supporting character than the main one.
I’m probably not going to continue watching this series but I do hope it finds its own fanbase that will enjoy it for what it is.
Have you watched He-Man Masters of the Universe Revelations? What did you think of it? Let me know down below.
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