Revelation review: Shades of Greyskull: NPR


I-Have-The-Power Vacuum pits Teela (Sarah Michelle Gellar) against Evil-Lyn (Lena Headey) at Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation.


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I-Have-The-Power Vacuum pits Teela (Sarah Michelle Gellar) against Evil-Lyn (Lena Headey) at Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation.


Because the world is vast, and the Internet is deep, we can take certain things for granted, among them: There are, in surprising numbers, masters of the universe fundamentalists.

These are the people who love the Filmation animated series He-Man and masters of the universe, which circulated in the ’80s, with a fierce fervor untainted by irony, sarcasm, or flair as you know.

Perhaps they were young enough, when the series aired, to get to know the series for what it was — an extended commercial for Mattel’s ever-growing line of steroid action figures, choke-hazard accessories and extruded plastic play sets — and respond to it on such a simple level.

Perhaps instead they were exhausted teens when it aired, gathering with friends every afternoon after school intending to mock animations that required little effort (characters rotated through a few moves as they walked against scrolling backgrounds that repeat themselves). Every few seconds), her homosexual imagery (He-Man and Skeletor’s personal style confirms that Eternia is home to a thriving leather community), and her crew of characters named (Fisto! Stinkor! Mekaneck! Sssqueeeze!), only to find themselves trapped in this chain’s mythology.

Game collectors, perhaps, surrender themselves ecstatically to a nostalgic siren song as they search online for that ultimate and elusive Scare Glow that will complement their colorful cast of characters all featuring the same hyper-muscular anatomy. (Eternia apparently only has Gold’s Gyms, and no CrossFits.)

Who are they moto Ride or die, they’re out there in droves, and they continue to regard the series as a sacred text – a cosmic, cheesy sci-fi/fantasy text and kiiiiinda best remembered as it was, preserved in space amber.

What are they doing on Netflix Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which not only reboots the ’80s series, but goes further, completely revamping it and—and most controversially—recreating it as well?

I mean: they will i hate it maybe. common sense.

What about the rest of us, though? It’s hard to tell.

change more things…

The new series, developed by nerd-nabob Kevin Smith, is going down the familiar path, when it comes to rebooting a feature like this: Everything you thought you knew was wrong!

It’s a tried-and-true reboot tactic for a reason: it allows modern storytellers to revisit characters they loved as children and sand away from the edges that make them dated, sexist, racist — or just insufficiently complex and appealing — for modern audiences.

(Netflix is ​​splitting this first season of the series in half; the first five episodes were dropped on Friday, July 23; the back five episodes will drop at a later time.)

The pilot, written by Smith, proves a kind of narrative taste. We open a party giving Tila (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar) the nickname Man-at-Arms, while Prince Adam (voiced by Chris Wood) and his pet tiger Cringer (voiced by Stephen Root) and wizard Orko (voiced by Griffin Newman) see . Meanwhile, the treacherous Skeletor (voiced by Mark Hamill) and Evil-Lyn (voiced by Lena Headey) are up to their usual bluff.

From this description, two things should immediately become clear:

1. Nothing much has changed in Eternia since the 1980s series.

2. This sports thing A enormous sound cast.

However, by the end of the first episode, the eternal stalemate that characterized the original series had been shattered, the original cast had dwindled dramatically, and the myths upon which the series was built were overturned (read: Everything you thought you knew was wrong!).

Put it this way: Eternia gets a surprising I-Have-The-Power vacuum cleaner.

The universe gets a new master

The following episodes focus on a character that was an afterthought in the original series. It doesn’t have so much to do with what Smith and his writers did in the show’s legends, which, after all, isn’t as great as it seems at first glance. The show’s status quo soon reveals itself as at best a sort of distinction without meaningful change from what it used to be.

Smith and his book know that no amount of carrier chatter about cosmic balance, loss of magic, and the end of the universe can get us invested in the series without some emotional support. That’s why, cleverly, the drive that changes the direction of the series from episode two onwards is the realization that one character, back in the OG series, has been lied to, endlessly, by that show’s “champions.”

It’s small, yes, but enough to get it in, as the series maintains an endless flow of the usual high-fiction action. (Epic quests! Mystical portals! A sword that must be reshaped! etc!) It’s also enough that the series devote plenty of time to characterization – which, it’s safe to say, was never a defining feature of the original.

And while the animations are a lot more streamlined and lively than those in the ’80s series (low bar, admittedly), given that voice, you’d be forgiven for closing your eyes during, say, Teela/Evil-Lyn scenes, if only you could Photographed by Sarah Michelle Gellar as she trades verbal criticism with Lena Headey in some dark Burbank recording studio.

MotU: Revelationbest player? casting manager

Time and time again, the voice cast has managed to bring more oomph to the actions than any show featuring a character named Stinkor has any right to. Headey adds shades of gray (skull) to the former one-note Evil-Lyn character, Newman shows us the self-doubting and thus noticeably less annoying, and remains Stephen Root, an actor capable of transforming a cowardly talking cat into a rare insightful creature. and sympathy.

The script gives fewer chances for Chris Woods’ He-Man and Mark Hamill’s Skeletor to find similar nuances in their characters – in fact, Hamill looks a lot like him Batman: The Animated Series The Joker here you find yourself thinking that the Clown Prince of Crime has changed his makeup and started his era – but they’re not enough to make a huge difference.

The final moments of the first half of this season suggest that the series may slip back into the familiar old style that it managed to shake off at the end of the pilot episode. That would be unfortunate, because in most of these episodes, Masters of the Universe: Revelation He managed to dig something new out of a toy box that had been sitting in the corner for nearly 40 years.

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