Just this past Friday, Masters of the Universe dropped on Netflix, and needless to say it caused quite the shitstorm on the Internet. While critics were praising this show to high heaven, to the point where it has a 97% score, the fans had a very different opinion: It currently sits at a 32% score as of typing. How could it be that these two scores can be so opposite of each other? It’s simple: this is a repeat of the Last Jedi situation that happened 3 to 4 years ago, where critics would shill for a movie that the general audience hates. And as people who have kept up to date with the situation can tell you, the summaries shared in reviews very much contradict Kevin Smith’s claims that He Man will not be sidelined in the show. IGN has even gone on record to say that “Prince Adam and He-Man (voiced by Supergirl’s Chris Wood) are important, but they really serve as backdrop”, as not even one episode into the series, Adam is killed off trying to protect the others from Skeletor.
“In a manner similar to how Max acts as a lesser lead to Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, Revelation draws upon the might and majesty of He-Man to facilitate others’ arcs,” writes reviewer Matt Fowler. “Basically, this is Teela’s show,” — a show detail that has been repeated throughout the entire internet.
IGN was not the only one to roast the show. The most damning criticism of how the show treats He-Man came from Grace Randolph from Beyond the Trailer. She observed, “He-Man was the boys show, She-Ra was the girls show[, s]o why does this new Masters of the Universe, based on the boys show – so the majority of the fans coming in, the original fandom, is going to be boys who are now men – why doesn’t it have a single lead male character or even a strong supporting character?”
Randolph would later add, “I don’t believe anyone would have a problem with upping the women’s roles … but it’s the unfortunate combination of upping the women’s roles and pretty much taking away the men’s roles. Why would you do that? It’s not necessary. It just creates drama that the show doesn’t need.”
Another problem that many viewers have had with the new show is Teela, who usurps her brother as the main character of this show. She is pretty much the worst part of the five-parter. Right after she finds out that her brother was He-Man, she complains that Adam kept her in the dark about who he really was, showing how much of a rude and obnoxious ingrate she is. Not to mention this little gem of a conversation that Teela and Adam have in episode 5:
Teela: He-Man didn’t hurt me, Adam. You did. And I couldn’t even scream at you for it, because you were gone.
Adam: I died!
Teela: Yeah, and the rest of us had to live with it.
This conversation in a nutshell sums up everything wrong with Teela’s character in a nutshell. Here she comes off an entitled brat because she fails to understand that she was not supposed to know that He-Man, not to mention that she blames him for something he had virtually no control over. Meanwhile, all the likable characters that were fan favorites kept dying, like Orko, which begs the question, is the showrunner trying to get the fans to hate the show?
But perhaps the biggest middle finger to the fans was that not only was He-Man pushed to the sidelines in his own show, but he is killed off, twice, in fact! In fact, He-Adam is pretty much treated as a joke throughout the 5-parter, as this series seems to focus squarely on the ladies. Because hey, strong independent woman power, am I right?
Ever since the series has been released, it has been bombarded with negative reviews, with reviews actually defending the series being few and far between. However one rant in particular summed up the consensus of hate against the series: “In the age of reboots I’ve watched plenty that failed to understand the source material, others that were there in spirit but failed to tell a good or entertaining story, and others that were just plain awful. Masters of the Universe: Revelation is by far the worst of them. It fails in every way, a lazy insult to fans of the franchise. I know “bait and switch” is an oft overused phrase when it comes to the casual critiquing of media, but seriously, if there was ever a reboot deserving that criticism it is this show. A real shame. If I could rate this zero stars I would.” What’s worse is that Smith has recently taken to attacking the fans who had issues with the shows, telling them to “grow the f*** up”. In a recent live stream that he had over the weekend, he basically did damage control over all the criticism he received. He also shut down the chat replay, a clear indication that he knew that he was going to get backlash, which only makes him more guilty in the eyes of the public.
I don’t know whether this review will convince you to stay away from the series, but I will say this, however: I don’t expect to be seeing the show on Netflix anytime soon. I would rather watch She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, because at least the male characters there are not as emasculated, not to mention that the audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is much higher for that series. Needless to say, Kevin Smith, you do not have the power of Grayskull, and you owe every one of your fans an apology for how you’ve lied to them, especially Clownfish TV.
Baculi, Spencer. Masters of the Universe: Revelation Media Reviews Confirm Series Sidelines He-Man, Grace Randolph Asserts Series Has No Strong Male Leads Or Support Characters – Bounding Into Comics. Published 22 July 2021. Accessed 25 July 2021.
Lund, Anthony. Kevin Smith Faces Fans’ Wrath as Masters of the Universe: Revelation Audience Score Bombs (movieweb.com) Published 23 July 2021. Accessed 26 July, 2021.