Sunday, March 25, 2007

By the Power of Greyskull!

Date: March 24, 2007

Place: Wilson

Time: 8ish

Reason: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Season One, Disc One.

What can we mere mortals say about He-Man? Here’s one thing. Between the out-of-this-world intro, in which Prince Adam’s primal call “I Have the Power!” reverberates through your TV’s outdated speakers, and the pure 80s moral told by a different character each time, they could fill it with 20 minutes of stock footage of someone banging the gavel at the NYSE and I’d still watch it.

No joke, after a few episodes last night (we watched six), Matt wanted to fast forward though the intro. Why? “You’ll get to see the exact same thing later.” It’s true – every time Prince Adam summons the power of Greyskull and morphs into He-Man, they show the exact same footage – he’s in front of the castle in a lighting storm, and then he turns to his right to zap his pet jaguar and turn him into Battlecat.

So as usual, Matt was technically correct but totally missed the point. Those 15 seconds of animation are like the Stairway solo – I don’t care if you hear it a hundred times, it’s still spellbinding.

And it glosses over all the show’s other faults, such as

A) Having only one villain, even one as sinister as Skeletor, makes the writing tough. So most episodes follow this pattern:

1: Strange things begin to happen around the kingdom
2: Our heroes realize this magic could have only been done certain mystical object rumored to be.
3: Someone says, “I thought that was only a legend!”
4: Skeletor and henchmen use mystical object to attach Eternia.
5: Adam becomes He-Man and whoops some ass.
6: Everyone laughs at Orko in the main chamber.
7: Cheesy 80’s moral

B) Nobody can figure out that Adam is He-Man, although they look exactly the same, just with different shirts. I mean, it’s like if I saw you tomorrow wearing a new shirt and you didn’t recognize me. It’s possible, and perhaps even like, that everyone around is so mesmerized by He-Man’s God-like physique that they can’t think straight. But while this never bothered me as a child, now I’m concerned that neither the King of Eternia nor anyone is his court can put this puzzle together.

C) The characters, like early Nintendo heroes, can only seem to move around in strict cardinal directions.

Nevertheless, it’s a reminder that good is good, bad is bad and the 80s were amazing, all wrapped up in one super-homoerotic television show.

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