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Sarah Michelle Gellar Is Hopeful

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Spanky

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from giz

In Kevin Smith’s Netflix sequel to the classic Masters of the Universe cartoon, the warrior/Prince Adam’s best friend Teela plays just as important a role as He-Man himself. It’s a change to be sure, and change is something some 40-year-old nerds traditionally don’t handle well when it comes to the classic franchises of their youth. But Sarah Michelle Gellar, the voice of Teela and beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer icon, feels optimistic about those fans’ reactions to Revelation.

“Maybe I have too much hope for humanity, but I don’t think [a negative fan reaction] is going to happen,” says Gellar. “I think that when you love a world, you want to see that world continue and you want to see more of that world. And I think [fans] have to have the faith that this show is brought to you by people that love the story, loved the characters, and loved that world.”

Although by all indication in its trailers, Revelation is honoring its source material to a truly remarkable degree, it’s still impressive that Gellar has hope that there won’t be some classic He-Man fans who will scream vitriol at the top of their virtual lungs about any deviation from their beloved ‘80s franchise, especially when it comes to adding diversity. We’ve seen it with Star Wars, Star Trek, and the 2016 Ghostbusters especially.

Updating Masters of the Universe seems like a tailor-made opportunity for some older nerds to lose their minds, but it’s worth noting that director Smith—who well knows how crappy these sorts of “fans” can be—is also optimistic about how Revelation will be received. As he recently told io9: “The idea was, especially if you grew up watching the original [cartoon], we wanted the experience for the viewer to be like your toys are exactly where you left them. [But] you’re now old enough and they’re old enough to tell a story with stakes.”

Still, by honoring the original, Smith admitted Revelation is itself a kids’ cartoon. But according to Gellar, that makes the show an opportunity to bring a new audience into the franchise while still appeasing the show’s original fans. “[Revelation] is going to open it up to a world of people that don’t know the [original] cartoon,” she says. “I know, for example, my kids watched it last night and my kids didn’t know He-Man, which is so funny to me, because growing up you knew about He-Man whether you watched it or not. But this is a whole new generation of kids that will be excited to learn [about] and be a part of this world.”

Whether Masters of the Universe: Revelation can walk that very fine line remains to be seen, but Gellar’s optimism is reason enough to be somewhat optimistic ourselves. We’ll find out when the series debuts on Netflix on July 23.
 

DeadlyDuo

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it’s still impressive that Gellar has hope that there won’t be some classic He-Man fans who will scream vitriol at the top of their virtual lungs about any deviation from their beloved ‘80s franchise, especially when it comes to adding diversity. We’ve seen it with Star Wars, Star Trek, and the 2016 Ghostbusters especially.

There we go, that favourite word "diversity". SMG actually has faith in He-Man fans and hopes they'll enjoy the new show for what it is; the writer of the article, on the other hand, gives away their opinion of old school He-Man fans with the above quote. Just because 2016 Ghostbusters was "female-led" doesn't make it a good movie, and just because people didn't generally like the "female-led" movie that had nothing to do with being "female-led" because it paled in comparison to the original Ghostbusters and was seen as just a soulless cash grab, doesn't make those fans of the original Ghostbusters movies "misogynistic". Also Star Wars has been shooting itself in the foot with its treatment of beloved characters and poor story. Add in the Mandolorian drama and their is tons of reasons why Star Wars gets so much criticism from actual fans. Also if the Star Trek they're referring to is the recent tv series Star Trek: Discovery then you get the same sort of thing where just sticking a woman front and centre doesn't makes a show or movie actually good but then gets used to blame the audience (particularly male audiences) for not liking it.

Go woke, go broke. The article writer's disdain for He-man fans who care more about a good story rather than just ticking "diversity" boxes is evident in the above quote.
 
T
thrasherpix
Yep, lots of other remakes failed without making it "woke." It's just a generic (mostly computer generated?) story with a paint job, or maybe just churning out the same story rather than expanding it.
B
Btvs fan
The Mandalorians problems are more that its basically just a glorified video game side quest but i do agree with you

burrunjor

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Oh god yet another self loathing sci fi fan ( I'm talking about the writer of the article not having a go at anyone here.)

People didn't like Ghostbusters 2016. GET OVER IT! How long are these race baiting, gender baiting, divisive opportunists going to whinge on about people supposedly not liking a film because it had three strong wahman. FFS this idiot is writing an article about Sarah Michelle Gellar of all people, a woman who starred in one of the biggest success stories in the history of the genre, which not only had a female lead, but also two lesbian characters and he's honestly saying that people didn't like that turd of a film was because it had women leads? Talk about making excuses. It's absolutely pathetic.

As for Star Wars, yeah it's definitely the fans who called the sequel trilogy crap who are scared of strong women. That's why they got a genuinely strong, badass woman like Gina Carano fired and blacklisted her so she'll never work again because she voiced an opinion they don't like?

Also someone tell this moron that its 2021. Someone who is 40 was born in 1981. Does he really think that people in the 80s won't have been exposed to female led or diverse forms of entertainment? Like Alien? Xena, Buffy, Charmed, all of these Chinese films like The Bride With White Hair etc.

I have 0 interest in He-Man but I was going to check this out because it had Buffy and Mark Hamill, (the best Joker of them all) but the way they are hyping this shit up makes me want to turn away.

Also what's wrong with saying the sidekick shouldn't be as strong as the hero? That's the same for female led shows. I wouldn't want Joxer to be as powerful as Xena. It's a basic rule of writing, then again chancers who want to jump on a bandwagon and political fanatics who see everything through a "THAT'S RACIST" lens don't care about good writing do they?
 
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Hunga Munga

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I heard Man-at-Arms has become Person-at-Limbs in this politically correct travesty ? :p (little Sunday morning He Man joke ;) )

Not a huge fan of this article . He Man was a good toy with a bad cartoon ...and that's what folk remember fondly from the 80s version , the toys . I was a bit old to get into He Man but the excruciating moral tales tacked onto the end of the cartoons still make me wince a lifetime later. The show did live on in syndication , fair play , and it's strongly rated , but it's no animation great in my opinion .

It's also been rebooted twice (at least) and the 2002 version is genuinely rather good (for a toy based cartoon :D ) . It's already had gender switching spin offs with She Ra , including the cutesy recent Netflix reboot . There's very little left to offend diehard Greyskulls .
 

Mr Trick

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There we go, that favourite word "diversity". SMG actually has faith in He-Man fans and hopes they'll enjoy the new show for what it is; the writer of the article, on the other hand, gives away their opinion of old school He-Man fans with the above quote. Just because 2016 Ghostbusters was "female-led" doesn't make it a good movie, and just because people didn't generally like the "female-led" movie that had nothing to do with being "female-led" because it paled in comparison to the original Ghostbusters and was seen as just a soulless cash grab, doesn't make those fans of the original Ghostbusters movies "misogynistic". Also Star Wars has been shooting itself in the foot with its treatment of beloved characters and poor story. Add in the Mandolorian drama and their is tons of reasons why Star Wars gets so much criticism from actual fans. Also if the Star Trek they're referring to is the recent tv series Star Trek: Discovery then you get the same sort of thing where just sticking a woman front and centre doesn't makes a show or movie actually good but then gets used to blame the audience (particularly male audiences) for not liking it.

Go woke, go broke. The article writer's disdain for He-man fans who care more about a good story rather than just ticking "diversity" boxes is evident in the above quote.

But the Star Trek complaint is just weird anyway. Star Trek ever since its debut in the 60s has been known for diversity. Its all about visiting and exploring new cultures. That's one of the big draws about Sci-Fi as genre. The point is people should judge as a story, but if they make it about gender or race their not doing that. Also its just the way it should be. There should be more diversity in these projects. Its called moving with the times. I don't like ticking boxes anymore than anyone else, but if it leads to progress its worth it.

And that slogan is so dumb. First of all its been proven that the colour of your skin doesn't stop you from taping into a audience (and if it does its clearly because of racism). Second like making money is more important than living in a fair and diverse sociality. Lame brains.
 

Spanky

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synopsis from theverge

Because it’s a direct sequel, Revelation wastes no time in setting things up. Immediately Skeletor is in the midst of a plan to destroy Castle Grayskull in order to reveal its true power so that he can harness it for himself. Unfortunately, his attack has the potential side effect of not only destroying the planet of Eternia, but also all of existence. The ensuing battle between the two iconic leads largely removes them from the story, and shifts the focus to other characters.

It’s a dramatic shift, and from there Revelation resembles something of a post-apocalyptic fantasy wasteland. The story fast-forwards a few years when Teela (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a former royal guard, is now a scavenger, making a living by scrounging for old bits of tech and items imbued with magic. There’s a strange cult that worships technology, and, without Skeletor to lead them, Eternia’s many villains have scattered. Eventually, Teela learns that the planet is slowly dying as its magic leaks away, so she reluctantly sets about setting things right. It’s one of those epic quests that involves traveling to both heaven and hell, and pulling together a group of misfits to help you do it.

This premise lets the show mostly get away from the Saturday morning cartoon vibe of the original, while still keeping the same characters and world. Eternia remains an interesting mix of sci-fi, swords, and sorcery, as if Frank Frazetta and Ralph McQuarrie had a jam session. Killer robots fight alongside beast men, and sword-wielding warriors ride mechanical horses and armored cats into battle. Things have a bit more of a Mad Max vibe this time around, with villages fighting over the last drops of magic while the techno-cult terrorizes them. In addition, Teela has a new job as a mercenary, Man-at-Arms (Liam Cunningham) has become an Obi-Wan-style hermit, and Evil-Lyn (Lena Headey) is left confused without a dictator to support. They all end up joining forces in the quest.

It can feel like a reboot, but the show does retain some of the inherent silliness of its predecessor. Revelation’s writers never met a terrible pun they didn’t like, and characters like the dopey villain Mer-Man and the perpetually terrified Cringer feel out of place in this grittier world. The acting is also uneven. There are some good individual performances — Cunningham adds a welcome gravitas, Headey channels her inner Cersei, and Hamill hams it up as always — but it often sounds like a video game where everyone recorded their lines separately. (There are also a few bizarre jokes, like a “no glove, no love” quip that doesn’t seem appropriate in a PG cartoon.)

Because of all of these elements, the show doesn’t feel quite as refreshing or daring as She-Ra. But for a direct sequel to the original cartoon made to sell toys, its surprisingly modern; the dramatic opening paves the way for a new path even if Revelation never fully breaks away from its source. What’s available now on Netflix is also only a beginning: the first part of Revelation is five episodes long, and the final episode suggests there might be even bigger changes in the future.


sounds like SMG's Teela plays a big role, for Teela fans (if there are any beside the head mistress) that's probably good news.
 

DeadlyDuo

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And that slogan is so dumb. First of all its been proven that the colour of your skin doesn't stop you from taping into a audience (and if it does its clearly because of racism).

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air had an all black cast and is a beloved show. It wasn't woke. Just because you have an actor/actress that ticks the race/gender/sexuality box doesn't make a show woke. What does make a show woke is when too much focus is put on the boxes. eg "Look at how we have this BLACK character. Do you see how BLACK she is? Oh did we mention that this BLACK character is FEMALE? Aren't we great at having this BLACK FEMALE character who is romantically interested in other WOMEN. Do you like how we have include a BLACK FEMALE LESBIAN in our show and how we make a point of having every character point out how this character is a BLACK FEMALE LESBIAN etc?

"Go woke, go broke" means that people will be turned off by virtue signalling wokeism and take their viewership elsewhere. No viewers means that a show will get cancelled because of low ratings because it's not worth ploughing money into.

Second like making money is more important than living in a fair and diverse sociality. Lame brains.

How will a business pay its staff and provide them a livelihood if it makes no money? The entertainment industry is still a business.

Also you seem to associate being "woke" with being accepting of other people who tick race/gender/sexuality boxes etc. That's not being woke, that's just called being a decent human being.

"Woke" is a different thing entirely. Being woke is about someone feeling the need to virtue signal about how accepting they are of others (even though they hate anyone who disagrees with them).

SMG's new show might not be the remotest bit woke whilst still having a strong female lead. It's very likely that it's the article writer's wokeness that is causing a misimpression of SMG's new show. Again, there's a difference between "Look at this great character who just so happens to be female" and "Look at this woman character! Aren't we great for having this woman character in a lead role!"
 
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thrasherpix

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Genuine "wokeness" (that is the positive values associated with it, rather than those trying to cynically exploit such values for self-serving ends, including hate) has been present for decades now, but people act like it's new (this acting like its new aggravates me the most).

Ironically, some is less woke (again, referencing the genuine values rather than those who pervert them in the name of wokeness) than when it's trying to be now. And few had any problems with the earlier incarnations because they focused on story and character more than exploiting some trend.

While I got exposed to a lot more as a kid due to my focus on scifi/fantasy growing up (which was still considered geeky for the most part back then, a few notable exceptions aside, and that includes examples of people in color and women being protagonists which amazes me how fast it's forgotten, and a lot more have a diverse cast as well with such characters having episodes devoted to them), there was still quite a bit outside my genre, such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air (which addressed racism in at least a few eps), to Murder She Wrote, Cagney & Lacy, Family Matters, Moesha, and others. And that's not counting movies (from comedy to action, including Independence Day which didn't mind black and Jewish heroes representing American spirit, which is why I'm including it though it falls under scifi) and comics (just checked, Black Panther came out in 1969, and apparently lasted long enough to become a movie this decade).

I remember a cartoon from decades ago that had a diverse cast and even an ep in which it's stated it's wrong to judge people based on their race, gender, nationality rather than their individual actions, and it didn't have campaigns to have it ended or that it was pushing some agenda onto their kids (though probably would've if it included sexual orientation at the time, but then ANY reference, even tangential, to sex would probably have parents up in arms). And it wasn't unusual, I'm starting to remember others like that, and I didn't watch many cartoons back then.

I figure it must be the same in the UK given that my impression of the 1960s Avengers TV show seemed to show a genuinely strong female character, and The Tomorrow People featuring the next step of human evolution (that made it to the US) included a black woman as one of the main characters back in the 70s.
 

The Bronze

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The Fresh Prince of Bel Air had an all black cast and is a beloved show. It wasn't woke.
The Fresh Prince had a heavy focus on race and social issues. Black identity issues and what it meant to be black in various situations was a constant thread running through the show. It was undoubtedly woke.

The issue you appear to have a problem with is poor writing. Totally understandable. However you're more less preempting any new show that deviates from majority white/straight/male etc to be badly written. You've tacked your dislike of low quality onto diversity, which is a shame.
 

Kimmci

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Whether it's woke or not remains to be seen. Smith has turned off a lot of potential fans by his reactions to their concerns. It also doesn't help that this is just the latest in a very long line of reboots that have changed/ruined franchises from childhood. Fans are getting sick of this. Want to tell a story, make your own and stop coopting old franchises ffs.
 

DeadlyDuo

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The Fresh Prince had a heavy focus on race and social issues. Black identity issues and what it meant to be black in various situations was a constant thread running through the show. It was undoubtedly woke.

Disagree about it being woke. Whilst it did focus on race and social issues, it was never "woke" about it. A modern day "woke" show would never have this excellent scene:


because it doesn't fit the narrative. Carlton is basically told he's not "black" enough by another black person (and this is a real issue within certain section of the black community), a modern day woke show wouldn't dare suggest that black on black is a thing. "Wokeness" today is about white saviourhood and virtue signalling, black on black doesn't fit the narrative.

The issue you appear to have a problem with is poor writing. Totally understandable. However you're more less preempting any new show that deviates from majority white/straight/male etc to be badly written. You've tacked your dislike of low quality onto diversity, which is a shame.

I disagree to an extent in that whilst you're right it is poor writing , the quest for box ticking normally leads to bad writing because rather than writing a decent character who just so happens to be black or gay or female etc, the writers make those biological traits the whole point of the character. When the word "diversity" is brought up, it's usually used to highlight that a show deliberately inserted black characters or gay characters or women characters and they want you to acknowledge and praise them for it.
 

thrasherpix

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I just remembered this:


It made me laugh at the time (though I remember how spitting mad some Texans were, not just in that town) and I laughed again as I thought of this again (thanks, thread).

But I'm sharing it more because people forgot the power and voice she had back then, and not as some black stereotype. Plus, she won. In Texas where the beef industry practically owned that town. (Though if it ever comes to light that the judge and jury got a few million dollars each then it would not surprise me, but honestly I think it was the publicity with the industry realizing they were making themselves look worse rather than better going after Oprah.)


She was also in some of the more popular movies back in the 80s, including The Color Purple (and based on the Pulitzer prize winning book by a black woman published a few years earlier). While it's true it came under criticism (including Spielberg making the movie possible, but if it ever came to light he refused to do it for "being a black story so I, as a white guy, shouldn't have it made" then I'm sure he'd be damned by the same people for that as well), it sounds similar for reasons given today. It was still an incredible success, primarily because people (regardless of race or gender) empathized with the characters so strongly.

It's possible to do so, and if white people could enjoy the actors and celebrities and movies then they still can (just as there are plenty of fans of "white movies" by those not white, including of cartoons). It's not revolutionary to be doing this.

Young people today may be forgiven for thinking so, but not the people in Hollywood and such nurturing and exploiting such sentiments to get away with lazy writing (hmm, wonder how the writer's guild has been affecting this directly and indirectly...)

If it's good, not just because it shows how woke they are, typically talking down to the audience and sometimes even making those it supposedly stands for cringe (which reminds me when some in other nations were mystified why North Americans were offended on their behalf when they saw nothing wrong with it, Sarkesian taking down a video game critique for Japanese stereotypes until she learned it was made by a Japanese corporation in Japan, and how popular Speedy Gonzales was in the US and Mexico both, and defended by Mexican Americans when Hollywood tried to trash the racist stereotype without consulting the community they thought they were standing up for first).


I do wonder just how much an effect the media has anyway. Just because a lot of money is spent on it doesn't mean it's money well spent. While some things make me think it has a lot of power, other things make it seem impotent despite epic efforts, and if the media is going to be seen as a crucial lever to change society then I'd like to know just how effective (or not) that lever is (though it probably depends on how good the STORY is rather than boxes to be ticked).

But it's moot anyway. Sarah Gellar may have forgotten, but I haven't, that shows can do just fine with minority casts and female protagonists for longer than Buffy has been around despite Gellar's concerns, and if it worked back then it should work today...if it's done right rather than how it's being done all too often these days, which is all too similar (and may overlap) why other reboots (not all) also fail without any such tinkering...because it's no longer relatable or feels like the original story.
 

The Bronze

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The trailer for this popped up on my Netflix. Then it was trending on twitter. Looked like a kids cartoon so no interest in watching, was cool hearing Buffy's voice back on TV though. Quick browse of the comments and I can see why people are pissed off. The creator told everyone it was a He-Man show and then it wasn't. No one likes being mislead by dodgy sales people. Could have just said it was a spin off in the same verse but not centred on him. Quick, easy and everyone knows where they stand.
 

Btvs fan

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The trailer for this popped up on my Netflix. Then it was trending on twitter. Looked like a kids cartoon so no interest in watching, was cool hearing Buffy's voice back on TV though. Quick browse of the comments and I can see why people are pissed off. The creator told everyone it was a He-Man show and then it wasn't. No one likes being mislead by dodgy sales people. Could have just said it was a spin off in the same verse but not centred on him. Quick, easy and everyone knows where they stand.

Yes but if he had done that then no one would've watched it though.
 

The Bronze

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Yes but if he had done that then no one would've watched it though.
Entirely possible. I've honestly got no idea what the potential legacy & new audience numbers would be for something like this. I think you've nailed the reasoning though, a very cynical marketing ploy. Lie to people, criticise the wave of negativity you've created and hope to drum up more numbers from the publicity.
 
T
thrasherpix
Perfectly stated

TriBel

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Sigh. I'm pretty sure some people cried "Emancipate Slaves, Go Broke" or "Give Women Equal Rights, Go Broke"...admittedly not quite as catchy but then they didn't have to worry about memes. In fact, Go Woke, Go Broke makes me laugh. What it means is that the people who complain about "snowflakes", "cancel culture" and "virtue signalling" signal their own righteous anger by cancelling something they don't agree with. 😜 It's social change...they'll get over it. If they don't...tough. I'd rather be awake to social injustice than poke my own eyes out with a stick trying not to see it.

"Woke" is a different thing entirely. Being woke is about someone feeling the need to virtue signal about how accepting they are of others (even though they hate anyone who disagrees with them).

No it isn't. That's how it's been weaponised by the right (perhaps not just the right) in order to position themselves as victims and in SOME cases justify their own racism but often their own lack of knowledge - such as Laurence Fox claiming Mendes' 1917 was ‘forcing diversity’ on viewers through its inclusion of a Sikh soldier when roughly 130,000 Sikh men - 20% of the British Indian Army - took part in the war. If Fox didn't know this fact then he's ignorant. If he can't imagine "British" containing "British Indians" then he's ignorant and guilty of implicit racism. Woke is knowing the phrase "Yellow Peril" is derogatory, causes problems for Eas Asians and not bandying it about in Parliament.

Woke probably comes from the black vernacular of the 1920s (so about the time of the Harlem Renaissance when black culture started to came to the fore. When black people began to openly celebrate their creativity. When black people thought their life might just get better after WW1...*laughs cynically*) - I think it's attributed to Marcus Garvey. According to Merriam-Webster woke means “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)”. That's roughly what it originally meant. Fresh Prince is woke. It doesn't really take on negative connotations until the right launched its "War on Woke" out of fear it was losing control of narratives (about sex, gender, class and race ) it's been perpetuating for years.

And therein lies the problem. The narrative can be contained when it's only about race, when it's only about class, when it's only about gender/sexuality but when groups who share an otherness recognize their commonalty the old guard are shaken to their core.
Why are the "anti-woke" brigade so desperate to defend traditional power structures? Because there's something in it for them or because they're too frightened to confront their own fragile subjectivity? Really, it's like Giles in S7: "I used to be a highly respected watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily. I just wish I could sleep." I understand it but my understanding's accompanied by the smallest violin ever.

the latest in a very long line of reboots that have changed/ruined franchises from childhood.
What's so precious about franchises from your childhood? Genuine question. It's not as though the original will disappear in a puff of smoke.

There's very little left to offend diehard Greyskulls
yeah...you'd think.
 
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