Fun fact for you this fine Thursday: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 2 came out on April 26th, just last week. Which was Lesbian Visibility Day.
I’m just saying, there is no way that was a coincidence.
ANYWAY, read on for my spoiler-free review of what’s arguably my current favorite cartoon!
I’m going to get my single complaint about S2 out of the way right now: it was only 7 episodes, rather than 13.
That’s it. That is the only thing about this season that I didn’t like, because the rest of it was a joy in every way. For starters, we shifted away from the princess of the week model that dominated S1, diving a little deeper instead into a somewhat slower, but more thoughtful storyline. We see all of the princesses working together because of this change, too; even standoffish Frosta has started to lend a hand (as you can see in the picture above, with everyone cheering; too bad they can’t stay that happy all the time…), and the team also learns more about the fate of Entrapta, prompting some emotional decisions on the part of the princesses.
And because I can’t get over this part, I’m going to veer totally off track and shout to the rooftops: IT GETS QUEERER!
You heard me. After defeating the enemy last season with the power of love and friendship manifested in the form of a RAINBOW, it still gets queerer! Two men are shown in a loving, longterm relationship in the final episode of the season (which is possibly my favorite for its silliness, its character moments, and that FREAKING CLIFFHANGER WHY DID NETFLIX ONLY ALLOW SEVEN EPISODES THIS SEASON AAAAHHH), Scorpia is ABSOLUTELY into Catra and gets to take some baby steps forward with their relationship (also, shoutout to Scorpia for actually attempting emotional communication omg), Adora and Catra continue to have that super obvious friends to enemies to lovers tension that’s complicated so delightfully by their desires for justice and power/agency respectively, and there was an episode with messages about fear of rejection and unconditional familial acceptance that made my heart want to explode with all kinds of queer emotion transposed into a metaphor that makes more sense when the world it’s in is so completely accepting of queerness, so completely outside of a cisheteronormative patriarchal structure.
If every single season gets queerer and queerer, I’m going to be a very happy camper indeed. I still wish we already had some main characters (basically anyone at the forefront of the Rebellion) who were explicitly queer instead of very very queer in the subtext that’s a hair shy of explicitly queer, but the way this is set up, I get the feeling it’s coming. As I said before, this is a show spearheaded by Noelle Stevenson, famous for Nimona and Lumberjanes, and also for being super cute with her girlfriend, Molly Knox Ostertag, on Twitter. The show is in queer hands, and I’m so glad.
Moving along some more, one of the other things this season did really well was set up callbacks to the first season that promise trouble in seasons ahead! We get more information on things that have troubled us before, see a greater unfolding of villain motivations that add depth to their previous actions, and there are also a few little gags that are fun to see again. Also, there’s Sea Hawk (who we all knew was coming back; he’s too much of a personality to keep away)! All of these things give an awesome sense of connection behind the scenes, the idea that the showrunners know something we don’t (which is true, obviously), and the feeling that we’re going to be losing our minds when it all comes to light. I so badly want the payoff to be absolutely explosive, because it seems like this deliberate set-up is thought out well in advance.
All in all, though short, this season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power was wonderfully done, and has so much promise for the future seasons. I had an absolute blast watching it, and can’t wait for more. I need to know more about Mara, the previous She-Ra. I’ve got to see Swift Wind and Adora sharpen their somewhat goofy partnership. I kind of hope there’s a flashback where we get to see Bow and Glimmer as little kids because THAT WOULD BE SO CUTE. I need to know more about Hordak’s past, and some of the locations mentioned but not explored this season. Basically, I need to know everything that the show has set up so far. It has my undivided attention, all of my curiosity without a speck of boredom or skepticism.
I feel like She-Ra is what cartoons should be: fun, diverse, clever, and hopeful. It’s a powerhouse of positivity, and this season did not disappoint at all (except that it wasn’t long enough)!
So, have you already watched S2? Or are you a She-Ra newbie, looking to give it a go? Or maybe you just haven’t had a chance to get caught up. Regardless, you can watch She-Ra and the Princesses of Power on Netflix, and when you’ve done that, you can yell about it and take joy in it with me! Right here! ❤️