Masters of the Universe: Revelation: An Honest Take

So, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION premiered this past Friday to hatred from fans. Why are fans pissed about how the show turned out?

Well, let's start with some praise for the show. I don't think that the show is the trainwreck that many are saying it was. I don't like how the show changed the focus and got rid of the main characters, but I do think that it had to potential to be something very nice. It's not that nice, but there are things that help the show. of course, the animation is top-notch. This is the same animation house that has been doing the Netflix CASTLEVANIA tv show, so you knew the animation was going to be great. They were able to capture the look and feel of the original show while updating things to a more modern look. 

There are some good character scenes too. In the third or fourth episode (they all run together), the people behind the show gave Orco depth and humanity. He talks about how his family was disappointed with the way he turned out as they had very high expectations for him. It's a nice change of pace from most animated shows who give fuck all when it comes to giving characters too much to say. I did not like the outcome of the episode and should have seen it coming from a mile away purely because they gave Orco character depth. 

Bear McCreary's score is phenomenal. Just so much great work here. Check out the score when you get the chance. It is worth picking up.

That's about it when it comes to the complements this show deserves. The rest is not so nice. 

From the moment Netflix hired Kevin Smith to produce and write the new He-Man series I knew that this wasn't going to end well. I don't hate Kevin Smith. I like his films (most of them) and I think that he is a funny person who cares about the people around him. He seems like he could be a very nice person. The reason I didn't want him to head this show is because he isn't a He-Man fan. Smith is too old to have been a fan of He-Man and he has bashed He-Man before on his COMIC BOOK MEN tv show. There is no way that Smith watched more than a few episodes and you can tell from the way this show is, but more on that later. Anyway, not having a fan of your series is not the end of the world, but there has to be a level of respect when it comes to shows that have a huge fan following. Fans of anything will turn on something that doesn't adhere to what has been established. Look at how STAR WARS fans reacted to the prequel trilogy.

So, why go to Smith if he isn't a fan of the series? Netflix wanted that nerd cred and going to a big nerd like Smith seemed like the right thing to do. The problem lies in the fact that Smith is kind of a joke in the nerd community. You see, Smith likes to latch on to things and fans don't like this. He is a He-Man outsider and fans don't want that. Smith will put his name on just about anything if it means a paycheck. He shows up in nerd documentaries all the time. In fact, when I see his name on the list of interviews for any documentary, I roll my eyes. If you go to his IMDb page and click on "Self" in the area for his credits, you will see that he has THREE HUNDRED appearances as himself. He appears in everything. Fans don't want someone who doesn't have any time because they are appearing in everything to run a show with a deep mythology like He-Man. Smith also sells out his projects later on. Look at how he sold MALLRATS down the river when it wasn't received positively. He also abandons projects too. 

Smith comes aboard and takes the show's focus away from He-Man and puts it on to Teela. This wouldn't have been a problem had they built up to it. This show is supposed to be a sequel to the 80's incarnation of He-Man, which means that we haven't seen those characters in almost forty years. So, instead of giving us time to get to know these characters after so much time has passed, Smith killed off the two main characters, He-Man and Skeletor, by the end of the first episode. That's right, he KILLS OFF THE TWO MAIN DRAWS OF THE SERIES IN THE FIRST 27 MINUTES. You know who kills off main characters without caring much about them? People who have no respect for the show they are producing. 

You see, this plot point would have been accepted a lot more if they had done it later in the series. Like I said, we have not seen these characters in almost 40 years, why not give us some time with them before you murder them. These first five episodes feel like the latter half of the first season instead of being the first half like they messed up the order of the shows or something. What they should have done is:

  1. Give us a kick-ass introduction to these characters. We haven't seen them in some time, so it would be fun to see them kicking ass again. 
  2. Give us four episodes with our characters. We want to go on some adventures with these guys. We want to be around them. We want time with them. We want to see He-Man throw someone a far distance. We want to see him and Orco messing with Cringer. We want to see He-Man and Teela playing the "Will they or won't they" game. 
  3. Make the fifth episode the one you decided to start this series with. 
  4. Leave fans on a cliffhanger and make them wonder what is going to happen next.
By placing the murderous event at the beginning like this, you have robbed fans of all the stuff they wanted while confusing others thinking they were going to watch a He-Man show. By placing this event in the middle, fans have gotten what they want and they would be generally concerned about what is going to happen next. Imagine if TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE happened at the beginning of the series. No one would have any idea what is happening and they aren't invested because they have not been given ample time to get to know and care about any of the characters. That film was a bridge and only works as a bridge. For my birthday one year, my wife took me to see TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE in the theater. She sat there wondering what was going on through the entire film while I was quoting lines and cheering. She had no emotional investment and thus, didn't care. 

Do you remember when they took Jason out of the FRIDAY THE 13TH series? They did. For one film, JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY, the filmmakers killed Jason off in the first ten minutes, and then we have a Jason-less Jason film until the final ten minutes when he is reborn, only to die w few minutes after that. Remember how that went over? Remember how everyone thinks that it is one of the best FRIDAY THE 13TH films? No? That's because no one thought that. Everyone hates JASON GOES TO HELL. They consider it the worst film in the series and hate the fact that Jason isn't even in it for more than ten minutes. I know that the fifth film doesn't have Jason in it either, but at least the filmmakers tried to deceive us and make us think that it is was Jason. In fact, if you cut off the last few minutes of that film, you would never know that the killer wasn't Jason. Just think JASON GOES TO HELL whenever you think of this new He-Man-less He-man series.

It is apparent that Smith doesn't care about He-Man and just wanted that sweet Netflix check. If he had cared, he would have given He-Man and Skeletor the respect they deserve. The fact is: he didn't. He doesn't give two shits about He-Man. He isn't a fan. He comes across as the guy who made fun of kids who watched He-Man but now feels bad for doing that, so he takes on the show as a form of apology, but still hates everything the show stands for, so he corrupts it from the inside. "How can we fuck with these nitwit fans?" "How about we take away the star of the show, along with his foe, and replace them with girls?" 

The girl thing isn't something that fans are mad about. I mean, some of them are, but they hate women to begin with. No, it's the lies. Before the show premiered, fans had heard that Teela was actually the star of the show. They asked Smith about this and he flat out denied it. He said that Teela was NOT the focus of the show and that it was still a He-Man show. This turned out to be a big fat lie. Why lie to the people you want to watch the show? What is the endgame here? Did he think that the show was so good that he could tell us any lie he wanted and we would still praise the show? Had Smith been honest with fans, he might have won out. Instead, Smith lies to fans for no other reason than to be hated on later. I can not think of one reason you would lie to fans like this.

I have a theory that Smith accepted the offer from Netflix without having seen many episodes. He claims he had a ritual for watching the show after school in 1981-1982. We all know that the show premiered in 1983 and many will say that he misspoke. I call bullshit on this. Sure, he could have misspoken, but if it was a ritual, that means it was important. if it were that important, you would have remembered the timeframe. I was a huge fan of the tv show GARGOYLES from back in the day. It used to air on Fox Kids every day after school. Now, my friends and I would race home to watch it, but I am not going to tell you that it was 1989 when we all know that the aired in the mid-90s. Add to this the fact that he IS THE FUCKING SHOW RUNNER AND SHOULD KNOW THE BASIC HISTORY OF THE SHOW HE IS RUNNING. 

At the end of the day, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION is a disappointment more than just a bad show. It has so much potential to be great, but it ultimately falls flat. Had Netflix not hired Kevin Smith to be the face of the show and, I don't know, LET HE-MAN AND COMPANY BE THE FACE OF THEIR OWN SHOW, we might have gotten something cool. As it stands, the show is a missed opportunity and a slap in the face of fans all over the globe. Mr. Smith's nerd cred may never recover from this one. 

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