She-Man and Mistresses of the Universe

She-Man and Mistresses of the Universe

There is a great little horror film from a few years ago called The Witch.  It’s about a puritan family in Massachusetts that is torn apart and destroyed by Satanic Witchcraft. The family had become convinced that their Billy-goat, Black Phillip is the devil. At the end of the movie only Thomasin, the thirteen-year-old daughter is left alive after having been forced to kill her mother in self-defense.  In despair, she goes to the barn and urges Black Phillip to speak to her.

Black Phillip: What dost thou want?

Thomasin: What canst thou give?

Black Phillip: Wouldst thou like a taste of butter?  A pretty dress? See the sights of the world?  These things I can offer you.

Thomasin signs his book.* A little butter, a pretty dress and some sight-seeing.  The price of her damnation was that pitifully small.

Kevin Smith used to be admired by the fandom for his audacity as well as his ‘screw you’ attitude.  Clerks was a great little indie comedy. It was the voice of the fandom back when it didn’t have a voice.  Mall Rats was the first mainstream Generation X comedy.  Chasing Amy was honestly a bit of a stumble.  You had plenty of Kevin Smith dialog but the obsession with a lesbian felt self-indulgent because it was.

Smith more than made up for that with Dogma (1999).  It is without question his best film.  It was also his last really good one.  It was the end of his artistic progression.  We would still look forward to a new Kevin Smith for a while after that.  Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back looked like a lot of dumb fun.  His fans were willing to accept it in the form of a victory lap.  The problem was that most of the humor was extremely self-referential. Jay and Silent Bob had gone from low-life pot dealers being played for real in Clerks to fourth-wall-breaking self-parody in the space of seven years. 

Then came his first real disaster, Jersey Girl.  Ben Affleck had been delighted to be working with Smith since Mall Rats.  But he was heavily involved with Jennifer Lopez, and she wanted to make the jump to movie star.  She didn’t get over the bar.  Jersey had Rotten Tomato scores in the low 40s so I’ve certainly seen worse scores but the film made $35 million against a budget of $35 million.  It was Smith’s biggest budget so far and it was his biggest bomb.  

Back to Jay and Silent Bob.  His next film was the very low budget, low risk Clerks II.  It made $25 million against a budget of $5 million.  Smith could call it a win for values of winning.

He was willing to take risks again with Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008).  I think Smith got so excited by the prospect of working with flavor of the month Seth Rogen that he forgot something critically important.  

No one.  

No. One. On. Earth. Wanted to see Seth Rogen having sex. Also, putting the word “Porno” in the title guaranteed that broadcasters wouldn’t let him buy airtime for ads.  Some theaters wouldn’t carry it because of the title. Smith might have recognized the problems except that the only reason Seth Rogen had taken this job was because he wanted to smoke bale upon bale of ganja with his hero Kevin Smith.  Smith had only been an occasional user up to that point but from then on he was the king of Wake and Bake.  Zack and Miri pulled in $36 million against a budget of $45 million.  Not only was it a major bomb but it looked like an amateur night screwup to the rest of Hollywood.  Mostly because it was.

His limits as a director were becoming obvious after ten years.  His cameras were always planted in one spot and they didn’t move from that spot.  Despite the fact that cameras have been able to move around since D.W. Griffith’s day.

Cop Out was his first film with a star who wasn’t Ben Affleck.  Neither Smith nor Bruce Willis cared for the experience.  Neither did audiences; $55 million against $30 million.  So, it almost broke even.

Red State was his next film. I never saw it.  Nobody else did either.  It brought in $2 million against a budget of $4 million.  Tusk continued his losing streak with a take of $1.9 million against a budget of $3 million.

It was about this time that Smith began his new career, sobbing like a bitch on camera to shill for some mediocre property.  He cried for the Force Awakens, he cried for Arrival, he sobbed for Infinity War, he blubbered like an infant for the season finale of the Flash.  The tears continued to flow like rain for both The Mandalorian and WandaVision.  But this appears to have been a waste of good moisture because he didn’t land a job with Disney, instead, he got a gig on Netflix.  Masters of the Universe Revelation.  Please note that you don’t see the name He-Man in the title.

The old Kevin Smith would have admitted upfront that he had never been a big He-Man, he would have said something like, “hell I was 14 when it took off, so I was a little old for it. But I’m Generation-X, I get why we like it.”   Today’s Kevin Smith claims that he loved He-Man and that he rushed home every day to watch it.  He claimed he never missed an episode. 

The problem is that the Internet never forgets even if Smith does and he admitted a while back that he was indeed never into the Castle Greyskull set.  That wouldn’t be so bad but Smith has been making a number of other statements about his new show.  

Clownfish TV broke a story that Smith’s He-Man was Woke. The plot is that He-Man would be sidelined after the first episode and the rest of the series was going to be about Teela.   Smith got on Twitter and threw a tantrum about how they were lying about something they knew nothing about.  But then the first picture was released, and it was instantly obvious that Clownfish TV had been right all along.

In a CG animated still from Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Orko, Andra, Teela, Roboto and Evil-Lyn stand in a line looking off to their left, serious expressions on their faces. Orko floats mid-air, blue arms and ears visible with face shadowed beneath a red hat and purple scarf. Andra, a dark-skinned female, wears a brown and green military style uniform, hair pulled back. Teela, a light-skinned female with short auburn hair, wears a white top with a brown chest plate and harness. Roboto, a gray robot with a red mouth piece, wears a green cloak. Evil-Lyn, a light-skinned female, wears a blue and silver headpiece with a skull in the center and a blue and brown military style uniform, crystal-orb wand in her right hand at her side. A blue sky and icy landscape are visible behind them.

Let’s see; hideous defeminizing haircut, check.  Beewb hiding armor, check.  Diverse woman of color who is standing too close to Teela to be a casual friend, double-check.  It’s Woke.

The trailer was released this week and at first He-Man fans were super excited.

A few skeptics pointed out that the Teela in the early release photo doesn’t look anything like the one in the trailer. Then they read the synopsis which clearly stated that this was going to be Teela’s story. 

Kevin Smith is trying to do a bait and switch.  I predict with perfect confidence that the views on this series will crash and burn the moment it becomes obvious that He-Man has very little to do with this show.

I also predict that Smith will cry when this happens.

So tell me Kevin, were you even offered a taste of butter, pretty clothes, and the sights of the world? The Prince of This World does keep his bargains, but you have to keep up your end of it eventually.

Okay, I’m done here.

*The Devil’s Book was an interesting invention of the Puritans.  Nobody else ever came up with that one.  They were so obsessed with publishing and ledgers that it was unthinkable for them to have the devil be without a signed ledger.  

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Comments (10)

  • EXALT Reply

    How desperate is Kevin Smith? He directed multiple episodes of CW’s The Flash – that desperate.
    Anyway, one thing has to be said: the trailer doesn’t contain any fake-nerd humour for Millenials – no scenes of characters mocking the premise or some essential element of the franchise, no character overexplaining things because that’s-what-nerds-do, no modern lingo; this doesn’t mean that stuff won’t be in the show, but it does make the trailer better than average.

    June 15, 2021 at 10:27 pm
  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    Diverse woman of color who is standing too close to Teela to be a casual friend
    .
    more telling is that Teela’s body orientation is in opposition to, not just the direction she’s looking, but the direction that everyone else in the group is facing / body oriented.
    .
    that’s a clear choice of both the artist and editorial.

    June 15, 2021 at 11:42 pm
  • jb Reply

    This is one glaring problem with Netflix. A show doesn’t have to earn its own income but shares the subscription price, so anyone with a subscription is subsidizing all the trash. Netflix can never be forced to learn this stuff doesn’t sell, like broadcast TV would when ratings tank and they can’t sell ads on that show.

    June 16, 2021 at 12:31 am
  • David Reply

    That He-Man trailer looks absolutely fantastic. I guess I can re-watch it sometime instead of the show.

    June 16, 2021 at 6:31 pm
  • Moonglum Reply

    Kevin Smith sold his soul for worldly fame and fortune a quarter-century ago. His career as a film maker was facilitated by Harvey Weinstein who purchased Dogma off Miramax with his own money and sent it to Lionsgate for distribution when Disney executives got cold feet at the prospect of releasing such a religiously controversial film (and they were right to be concerned about its reception since the Catholic League picketed the picture. Notoriously, Smith joined a local picket of Catholics protesting against his own film and was interviewed unwittingly by the local TV news).

    If Smith was willing to mess with the doctrine of the Church to which he claimed allegiance I don’t think he’ll feel beholden to He-Man fandom. He had Alanis Morissette cast as God.

    June 16, 2021 at 6:40 pm
  • bvdemier Reply

    I’m still willing to give it a bit of slack. The series is made by Powerhouse Animation Studios, the same guys who made Blood of Zeus and Castlevania. Being based in Texas gives you some protection from woke.
    They do have some woke influence, (seeing how Wallachia goes from full white in season 1 Castlevania to being completely mixed race in season 4 was hilarious), but I think there are some people in that studio who seem to understand basic story-telling and how to avoid making your female caracters hidiously non-gender like in that first picture.

    June 16, 2021 at 6:55 pm
  • Chief_Tuscaloosa Reply

    I am loving the Woke stuff getting revealed before the normies watch so much as episode 1 of the various bait-and-switch productions. The frog is noticing that the temperature in the hot tub seems to going up at an ever-increasing rate. Excellent.

    Imagine if someone could have leaked the bit with Luke sucking alien tit BEFORE the fans dropped their money to go see The Last Jedi. COME SEE YOUR CHILDHOOD HERO CUP THE BALLS! MIDNIGHT PREMIERE CUMMING SOON!

    June 16, 2021 at 9:52 pm
  • OG Reply

    Great Article and hilarious! I concur that Dogma was Smith’s best work. Hadn’t heard anything in ages – guess I missed the crying. And yes, The Witch was a good film – surprisingly good, and scary! I don’t say that about many movies these days. Highly recommended.

    June 17, 2021 at 4:58 am
  • Grames Barnaby Reply

    Can we be honest, not only has Clerks not aged well, but that it was really more like an unfunny tv pilot just with more swearing and in black and white. It was an exploitation picture in it’s heyday and not really that impressive of an indie film in terms of craft or skill.

    As for the New Man show? Why does it matter when your kids can watch the old 80’s show for honest thrills, and the Mike Young 2000’s era one (which I’ve known some Gen X parents have passed down to their kids) as the one with more of the harder barbarian sword swinging action. But really you’re better off just buying your kids the Motu Origins actions figures and letting them make their stories, than letting them see a old has been Hollyweirdo try to trick them and you into seeing a ticket taking production.

    June 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm
  • Monday morning Schifrin shuffle - Didactic Mind Reply

    […] Dark Herald is NOT looking forward to Netherflix’s “reimagined” version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which will almost certainly without a doubt be woke, therefore […]

    June 21, 2021 at 11:01 am

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