Beyond this, there's something about shedding tears of joy with your children while watching a TV show you've all invested in for years. All parents should have such an opportunity at least once.
Why such joy? The fifth and final season of Netflix's reboot, which premiered in 2018, delivered a much needed emotional boost when it dropped last Friday, during a time of shelter-in-place (and included some compelling narrative parallels
to coronavirus's contagion). Like the original show, the story follows protagonist Adora as she flees the evil Horde, then, with a magical sword that transforms her into the warrior She-Ra, leads a rebellion.
The first iteration of "She-Ra," created by
Larry DiTillio and J. Michael Straczynski, was canceled after two seasons and seemed primarily a vehicle to sell Mattel toys
. Showrunner Noelle Stevenson's take on this cult classic foregrounds storytelling. It rethinks gender, sexuality, and power -- and, building on the groundbreaking work of Steven Universe
, represents queerness as a multifaceted human experience.
As a parent of two young children, I'm dogged with fears -- and hopes -- about what our world is teaching them through the media they consume. Like many parents, I'm particularly invested in programs that showcase gender parity and racial diversity. As a queer parent who seeks out children's programming that features characters, or even families, who look like us, I've been plagued with frustrations and disappointment.
From the debates
over whether "Finding Dory" did or did not feature Disney/Pixar's first queer couple (spoiler alert: even if they did, blink and you'd miss it), to the way the queer community has claimed Elsa as one of its own
, families seeking out content that offers meaningful representation of queer characters often grasp at straws. Just ask Harry Potter fans about their reactions
to Rowling's extratextual claim that Dumbledore is gay, something she never actually demonstrates in any of the many Potter texts.