Netflix’s original spin-off is one of the best TV shows currently available for all ages, as you’ll see in this She-Ra season 4 Review.
The spin-off of the Masters Of The Universe franchise sees a unique premise with a brand new style of animation, and some of the best writing that I’ve seen. Ever. Animated or otherwise. It’s an incredibly educational, engaging, engrossing and exceptionally well-produced series that transcends being just another ‘kids show’.
The Origins Of She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power
She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power is an original animated series on Netflix that is a spin-off from the original He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe from the 1980’s. She-Ra Season 4 just released on Netflix earlier this month, promising a new direction for the series in the finale.
Image via Netflix
Set in a fictional world, She-Ra was originally introduced as the twin sister of titular protagonist He-Man. Their origin story saw both characters separated by a villain who kidnapped She-Ra and took her to an entirely different world in a different dimension.
Original She-Ra Series And It’s Generic Quality
She-Ra was one of those very few and first animated ‘cartoons’ featuring a female protagonist. The story saw her essentially become a superhero. The adventures featured She-Ra kicking butt and saving the day. Many of the supporting characters were also women.
Image via Mattel
While the stories and themes of that first series were pretty easy to follow, it was still an innovative and rare concept for the time. To have a show completely with female characters and a female hero, inspired generations of fans and storytellers. As the new series can attest to. The Netflix series completely revolutionizes the concept with its exceptional take on the classic She-Ra.
Season 4 of She-Ra Has Been Building From Episode 1
One of the best things about Netflix’s She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power is its ease of storytelling. Creator Noelle Stevenson has incredible patience to tell the story she wants to tell; in the time that it takes.
There are elements in Season 4 of She-Ra that have been set up since Season 1. And unlike other shows where those elements feel ad-hoc, written in later as the show evolved, that’s not the case for She-Ra. These plot points were definitely foreseeable in earlier seasons, but Season 4 of She-Ra truly brings them to their peak.
What Is The Story of She-Ra Season 4?
She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power are all about the war between two sides on a mysterious planet known as Etheria. The story focuses on two young girls, Adora and Catra, best friends. They are part of The Horde, one side of the warring factions. Spoiler, but not really: The Horde are the bad guys. But Adora and Catra, like any other, live with the propaganda that the other side are the bad guys.
The other side is the ‘evil’ and ‘vile’ Princesses, who are actually anything but. When Adora crosses paths with a princess and her friend during a mission, she realizes that everything she learned was a lie. Through the influence and friendship of Glimmer, one of the Princesses of Etheria, and her best friend Bow, they open Adora’s eyes. She sees the Horde for the villains they are and switches sides.
Image via Netflix
Oh and Adora also finds a magical sword that allows her to transform into a legendary superhero known as She-Ra. She-Ra is foretold to bring about peace on Etheria. But first, she has to reunite all the other princesses into a Princess Alliance and fight the evil Horde and their leader Hordak.
Feeling betrayed by Adora, Catra essentially becomes the main villain of the show, going deeper into the dark side, as Adora becomes friends and finds a family among the Princesses.
She-Ra season 4 continues these plots points to their natural conclusion with heartbreaking results.
Why She-Ra Season 4 Works So Brilliantly
Throughout the series, She-ra’s origins play a key role. The Horde adopted and raised Adora, but no one knows where she comes from. Her destiny to become She-Ra also brings up many questions about where she’s from. Season 4 of She-Ra almost answers all those questions.
But more importantly, Season 4 closes a lot of loops in characters that began from Season 1. With the Princess Alliance being a big plot point. The world of Etheria is magical. Its harmony comes from these princesses, and their connection to each of their kingdom’s magical Runestones. However, the Horde captured one Princess’ kingdom and used her Rhinestone to power dark magic.
Image via Netflix
Scorpia is that Princess who is too good to be evil, but also loves (platonically?) Catra and considers her a best friend. Season 4 of She-Ra finally sees Scopria realize Catra’s toxic and abusive treatment of her. And this is one of the best parts about the new She-Ra
She-Ra Tells Stories With Lessons So Relevant To Kids Today
Season 4 of She-Ra has this amazing allegory about abusive relationships through Catra and Scorpia. For the past 3 seasons, Scorpia is always trying to gain Catra’s favor, validation and approval. While Catra demeans and condescends her, and is constantly berating her and her capabilities. Despite this Scorpia continues to defend her, is loyal and keeps considering Catra her friend. It’s been heartbreaking and incredibly sad to watch. But that’s when you realize, it’s meant to be.
This portrayal of an abusive relationship symbolizes and teaches young kids how these sort of relationships exist in real life, and how to navigate them. The peak of this comes in Season 4 of She-Ra as Scorpia finally takes the first steps to realize that she deserves better; from a friend and a colleague. And none of this is in a preachy, after-school-special way at all. It’s woven so organically within the story, that it’s incredible.
Image via Netflix
The Story And Action Of She-Ra Season 4 Are Engaging For All Ages
So much of She-Ra is for children, to expose and normalize concepts in our real world. Same-sex couples, the core tenets of friendship, navigating complex relationships and in Season 4 of She-Ra, even a non-binary character, are but a few of the characterizations and plot points of the story.
But there’s so much more that the show does to subvert tropes. She-Ra has enough broad concept humor, a wonderful action sequence, and a genuinely interesting story, for it to appeal to anyone. Sure, the tone at times is very kiddy, but there are genre-specific aspects that are for all ages.
With the ending of Season 4 of She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power, the story promises to go to an entirely new place in Season 5. And I cannot wait.
Season 4 of She-Ra is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think of the latest season of She-Ra? Let us know in the comments below.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.