The Reverse Gatekeeping of The She-Ra Reboot

Russell Michaels

Russell is inside his own mind, a comfortable yet silly place. He is also on Twitter.

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18 Responses

  1. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    There is nothing wrong with saying “we don’t want to market to our old fanbase, we want to market to a new fanbase!”

    You just had better do a very, very good job appealing to the target audience you’d prefer. Preferably get more new fans than you lose, but just staying even should be okay if your new target audience is composed of better evangelists than your old fanbase.

    If you’re trading your old fanbase for approval from people who like the idea of what you’re doing (but don’t buy the product), you might have a moral victory but, when it comes to the bottom line, it presents identically to “we used to have some people like our stuff enough to buy it, but now we don’t have anybody who likes our product enough to buy it”.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    She-Ra on Netflix had 50 some odd episodes. If you can’t find your footing across 5 seasons and 50 episodes, you aren’t going to.Report

  3. LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    From what I remember, the complaint against the new She-Ra was that they basically de-babed her. Theo original and new She-Ra was always meant for girls but the older one from when I was kid drew all the women in a much more fan service for men friendly fashion because anime and women had less influence on US animation. The new She-Ra was drawn in a non-fan service manner and the predictable people complained bitterly.Report

  4. Alan Scott
    Ignored
    says:

    This is a baffling take.

    The Netflix She Ra show ran 52 episodes, over five seasons, in what was clearly a planned arc that ended in a series finale. Netflix doesn’t release it’s viewer numbers, but there’s no reason to think it was anything less than a success with audiences–it was certainly well received by critics.

    Oscar, above, says that if a show can’t find your footing after 50 episodes, it’s not going to. The truth is, if a show can’t find its footing, it doesn’t make it to fifty episodes.

    The new Masters of the Universe show, of which we’ve only seen one (appropriately epic) trailer, is being produced specifically for adult audiences, as a direct sequel to the 80s version. Another He man series, one with child audiences in mind, is also in production.

    I hope both are successful. The adult series looks like it’s going to do a great job of bringing 21st century production values to a classic property with lots of nostalgia value. We haven’t seen any details on the kid-focused series, but I hope it brings the same sharp design and solid characterization that the SheRa reboot did.Report

    • Pat in reply to Alan Scott
      Ignored
      says:

      This.

      Also if you talk to teenage kids (I have two), the idea that She-Ra isn’t well received doesn’t seem to match their respective social media universes. Not that those are necessarily representative, but I think She-Ra did fine.

      There is merch in all of the stores the kids buy stuff at nowadays.Report

  5. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Maybe adults should not care so much about cartoons and read or watch something more challenging instead. There is something deeply off about a society where grown-ass men in middle age spend countless hours complaining about a cartoon reboot.

    Also as Alan Scott points out, the show apparently ran 52 episodes. There is a lot of assuming facts not in evidence here.Report

  6. veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    I loved the She Ra reboot and have watched it through multiple times. Likewise, it’s quite popular in my extended social circle. As far as the “existing fans” — well the stereotype was of adult men who want anime tiddies, so whatever. Plenty of media targets them. It was nice to find media that targets me.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s why I don’t get complaints that it was cancelled too early and what not. I thought they had told the story they wanted to tell, and that was it.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        What’s annoying is the “go woke, go broke” crowd will probably believe this uncritically, as it matches their preconceptions. Anyway, I have no idea what happened at Netflix, nor what the creators planned. I do know the show had a solid five seasons. It was well paced. The story reached a narratively satisfying conclusion (like I was laughing and crying in equal measure). There were no major arcs left unfinished. In other words, it didn’t feel like a cancelled show.

        I’ve seen shows with a rushed final season. I’ve also seen arcs cut short. This didn’t feel like that.

        That said, I suspect the creators probably hoped the show would take off more. After all, why wouldn’t they? I don’t think it ever reached Stephen Universe level of popularity, which targeted a similar demographic. But that’s fine. A modest success is still a success, and comparison is the theif of joy.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          I thought they did it well enough (the woke part). It was there, but not totally in your face, and they were working on telling a story, not a sermon.

          I haven’t finished watching it, but I think Bug watched it all and enjoyed it. He’s more the target demographic than me, so there’s that…

          And I don’t think anything is going to topple Steven.Report

        • Jesse in reply to veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah, this wasnt’ “go woke, go broke,” this was “go woke, get the 5 season run you probably planned on when pitching the show because cartoons that aren’t The Simpsons or Family Guy don’t run forever.”Report

          • veronica d in reply to Jesse
            Ignored
            says:

            Which raises the question: why does this post even exist? Why did the OP try to convince us it was a failure? Was this based on anything factual?Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
              Ignored
              says:

              Agree, something that gets 50+ episodes is not a failure, and being able to wrap up plot and story lines does not suggest cancellation. It came to an end.

              Would the producers and fans have preferred it kept going? Probably. But, Netflix has shown that it really does not like letting shows go on until they jump the shark, or otherwise go stale. If a show gets 2 or 3 seasons on Netflix, that’s awesome! She-Ra got 5, clearly they were doing something right.

              Contrast that with Jupiter’s Legacy, which got 1 season, and ended on a cliffhanger because it got cancelled.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Would the producers and fans have preferred it kept going? Probably.

                I can only speak for myself, but I’m glad it ended. It went out on a high note, and its latter seasons were strong.

                Would I like to see more with the same characters? Hmmm, maybe, but only if the creators really felt as if they have a new story to tell. Perhaps they do, but while some narrative forms are kind of built to keep going — think detective fiction, for example — this story isn’t like that.Report

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