To be totally honest, I’m not normally a TV person. If I want something fictional that requires a bit less effort to consume than a book, I’ll usually listen to an audio drama, and if I just want to watch something, I’ll watch YouTube.
So I’m pretty picky about these things. But despite that, these shows have made their way into my heart, and I love them all so much.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Okay, so no one is surprised that this is the first item on this list. However, let me explain why I love this show so much anyway, because I love it so much.
To be totally honest with you, that’s how I feel about most cartoons. In my original draft, this whole list was literally just cartoons, but I decided to cut most of them out. If you spend any significant amount of time on the internet, you’ve probably heard about this show; especially since season five I feel like it’s become much more well-known.
But in case you haven’t heard of it, here’s a basic summary: it’s set on the magical planet of Etheria, torn up due to a war between the Horde, and the Rebellion (all the kingdoms the Horde is attacking who are not so into being conquered and destroyed; it’s kind of a dumb name if you think about it too much). Adora has spent her whole life being trained to rise through the ranks of the Horde, and become a force captain–perhaps even more–by her mother-ish figure, Shadow Weaver, who is very abusive and creepy, and manages to traumatize pretty much everyone she spends time around. She spends her days training beside her childhood best friend, Catra. Until the two sneak into the Whispering Woods, and stumble across the Sword of Protection. Long story short, Adora gets captured by the Rebellion, discovers her connection with the Sword, escapes her cult, and defects to the Rebellion, and also she’s an eight foot tall lady with really nice hair and a sword now.
I’ve probably rewatched this show at least ten times, and I have no regrets. There is… literally nothing I can think of that would improve it, at least off the top of my head, and it’s gotten me through some really tough times, so it’s just close to my heart for that alone. Literally, like, two of the characters are straight–maybe–and it’s just generally a really casually diverse show. (The characters all have different body types, skin colours, etc.) It doesn’t copy verbatim off of the 80s show–which, according my friend who watched it as a kid, is definitely a good thing–but it doesn’t discard it either. Ultimately, it’s its own show, and I love that. The characters are three-dimensional, and they all feel like real people to me.
Anyhow, it’s probably one of my current favourite shows of all time, so go check it out if you want to.
Never Have I Ever
This was a quarantine show for me, since it came out, I believe, around April? I remember, I was tired, and so, in my allknowing quarantine wisdom, I decided to binge the entire season in one night. (I finished at, like, 2am.)
A little while ago, my friend and I sat down and binged the whole thing from start to finish together, with our brains a little more intact than they were when this show came out. And, uh, yep, can confirm, it’s still good, and, although obviously not completely realistic to what being a teenager is actually like (because being a teenager is boring, and basically just involves crying a lot, having a perpetual existential crisis, and juggling 17 different responsibilities at once), the themes it explores really ring true to me, and if anything the way it’s dramatized makes it feel much more relatable.
It follows Devi Vishwakumar, an Indian-American teen girl, dealing with the death of her father, and trying to fit in with her peers. But it’s never overdone, or cheesy, and in a lot of ways pokes fun at typical tropes. She masks her feelings by trying to be someone she isn’t–going to parties, trying to find a boyfriend, and accidentally destroying any meaningful human connection she has in her life–you know, normal teenager things. It’s funny, and heartbreaking, and I love this show so much.
The Dragon Prince
And, to wrap things up, one of my other favourite animated shows! When I was a kid, I read an obscene amount of middle grade fantasy novels. As I got older, obviously I started looking for books that felt a bit older as well, but I’ve never really gotten into YA fantasy in the same way that I used to love books like Percy Jackson.
This show sort of reminds me of those books I used to escape to so often; if their essence had sort of been translated into TV show form.
It’s set in a continent divided between the magical lands of Xadia, and the human kingdoms; which are much more typically medieval. The show starts with the threat of assassin hanging over King Harrow of Katolis. His sons re told to flee, but are reluctant to do so with the knowledge their only remaining parent might die without them. Rayla, a Moonshadow elf assassin, on her first mission attempts to capture and kill Prince Ezran, the heir to the throne–and the three discover a well-kept secret, that could change the world as they know it.
This show has such beautiful art, and the character designs are absolutely immaculate. I guess it’s just one of those shows that makes you feel safe, and at home, and I love it so much.
Anyhow, I think that’s about all I have to say! I hope you enjoyed reading me ramble for ten minutes or whatever, and tune in next week for my favourite something-or-other-I-haven’t-picked-the-topic-yet.
Lots of love,