Masters of the Universe: Revelation

The real revelation here is that this series is a mess


Angela Ter-Martirosyan, Staff Writer

Growing up, I would always stay up late to watch He-Man and She-Ra on Qubo, starstruck by the worlds, heroes, and crazy villains in those chaotic shows. Looking back now, those shows were, admittedly, pretty terrible. It is widely known that they were made mostly to sell toys, and despite being iconic, they had horrible plots and were so corny. They are mostly so beloved now because of nostalgia.  

So naturally, when I found out that Netflix was re-adapting He-Man in their new Masters of the Universe: Revelation show, I was very excited. My high expectations were based on how well they had previously reimagined She-Ra into a great kids show, by adding character depth and a good plot. 

Well, it turns out that I was way too optimistic. 

Before I get into why this show is so disappointing, I will admit that there are aspects of the series that I liked. The animation and character design are really well done, and although the look of the show is more modern, it is nice that they stayed true to the old designs and style, to some extent. 

They also established really good lore about the centers of the show: Castle Grayskull and Eternia, the planet where the show takes place. This was really lacking in the old show, and this change made this newer universe much more interesting. 

Finally, the character of Evil-Lyn is written very well, and she is actually given a personality, instead of simply being one of Skeletor’s minions. Overall, she is the most compelling character in the series, and she actually has growth, development, and depth, and she doesn’t make me want to bang my head on the wall until I forget this disaster of a show. 

Now, onto everything else, which is terrible. 

By the end of the first episode, the show kills off the main character, He-Man, and transforms Teela, the captain of the royal guard and He-Man’s best friend, into the main character of the series. This is all part of an attempt to do some kind of girl-power…something. 

If this had been done well, it could have been interesting. However, the greatest shortcoming of the show is how they take Teela and turn her into one of the single most obnoxious main characters in all of Netflix history. 

For context, He-Man’s secret identity is revealed to everyone at the start of the show, when he makes an epic sacrifice to save the planet. Teela loses her best friend, Prince Adam, but she is also angered by the fact that she did not know he was He-Man. 

When the news is delivered to the king and queen, Teela lashes out against Adam’s mourning mother, who always suspected that her son was He-Man, and she shows contempt for her own father, who knew all along but was sworn to secrecy. 

Seriously? These people just lost their kid and you’re making it about yourself? Who does this lady think she is? The show goes on with Teela always playing the victim and taking out her anger on basically everyone. 

Teela’s selfishness could have been depicted as a character flaw, one that she grows out of over time, but she just becomes more punchable as the series progresses. She is always portrayed as being in the right, no matter what the circumstance may be. Her entitlement is on another level, and the show keeps legitimizing it by making every other character constantly apologize to her.

Oh, and Adam comes back to life somehow and helps Teela. But then he dies again. Or something. I don’t even remember at this point. 

I get what they are trying to do with this show. They reimagined the He-Man franchise as a group of “strong” women who are wronged by the men in their lives. However, it is all so poorly executed that it just feels like the creators are pandering to their female audience instead of honoring them. 

As someone who adored and looked up to Teela growing up, it is painful to see her become some hyper-masculine, entitled brat with no depth. And the decision to sideline the initial main character of the show is a big disappointment, considering the fact that the series is marketed as if it will be all about him. 

This is yet another example of wasted potential. Maybe next time, Netflix.