Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

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Denyer
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Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

Post by Denyer »

Starting with the negative... it really suffers from the Netflix approach of releasing a few episodes, a long wait and releasing more. The first five gets it to the point of starting act 2 and a fight back by the good guys, with a little bit of a cliff hanger that'll probably be of the old Who variety and undone immediately.

It suffers more from a rushed first episode where good guy characters are stupid/infighting as a plot convenience, which is never good. It could have done with being an hour or an hour and a half rather than twenty five minutes.

Digressing slightly, the original MOTU storyline suffers from things that Transformers sort of avoided due to the 1986 movie. And people at the time didn't exactly like the way that TF:TM killed off most of the cast, so Revelation in 2021 killing off lead characters isn't likely to go down much better. You can get away with more with robots that can always be repaired -- there's magic in MOTU which can serve much the same plot function, but you can't stab Stinkor or Whiplash through their hearts and due to parent groups and TV censors at the time the power sword exists more or less just for Adam to summon He-Man. So it's the same sort of scenario with MOTU offing characters who've only been back for a few minutes as it would be if the DuckTales reboot had Glomgold gunning down Scrooge's household.

The immediate jump to dark and gritty consequences does play like fanfic because of that, which is unfortunate. A fair percentage of the fandom didn't like deaths in the Classics bios either. Getting rid of Castle Grayskull? Well, that bit does revert within the first block of episodes, but on top of everything else it's another rushed OTT bit.

After that first episode moving pieces into place it did pick up a lot. Cringer's writing/acting was a particular highlight. The interplay between old adversaries like Orko and Lyn, and the use of previous ciphers like Mer-Man, Beast Man and Tri-Klops, is very fun. Nods to characters like Blast Attak and using Scare Glow were welcome.

The Eternian heaven/hell thing is interesting if badly defined... how do these magical realms exist when magic is fading? Why is a character warned they can't return if they leave? But the bionic dinosaurs / sabretooth chase with the camaraderie between previous power sword holders was great.

No complaints about Teela or Evil Lyn being different to vintage material. More concerned about Randor being written as an idiot and characters written as being so upset about the He-Man/Adam secret being kept from them (but did like Marlena immediately putting together the pieces or already knowing, that ties in with the old stories).

There seem to be a fair few racist idiots upset that King Grayskull has darker skin, which has no bearing on anything, and suggesting that the Treat Everyone Kindly And Don't Put Mustard On The Cat style PSA homilies the show is so well-known for were completely lost on them like people wilfully miss the point that Star Trek and X-Men were about social change or that Captain America encouraged people to fight Nazis rather than vote for them -- i.e. their supposed childhood heroes would have remonstrated with or knocked them into next week, rather than agree with them.

There's a chat with Kevin Smith just gone up which is quite a good watch;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oBvJsudkZs

(Sounds like Orko will be back shortly, episodes 6 and 7 are heavy on He-Man etc).

Can't say I'm struck by the tie-in Masterverse toys, apart from maybe picking up a Cringer / Battle Cat... but I've got one from the Origins line, and an original, and a 200x one that sizes with a Classics display without being too large. This one's massive and fairly pricey. I think I'm going to stick with Origins for as long as that line continues.
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Re: Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

Post by Clay »

I don't know much about it, but I watched the first episode to see what the complaining was about, and it was, I think the term for it is, a nothingburger.

Seemed pretty obvious that they booted He-Man and Skeletor into a dimensional pocket so that they could spend the first arc or season of the show developing the supporting cast before retrieving the title character. The tweet I saw that made me check it out was comparing it to a hypothetical adaptation of the Spiderman origin story that focuses on Aunt May, which kind of proves the point that's the opposite of the one they were trying to make. Because that sounds novel and interesting as opposed to a pointless retread.

I can't say that the show gripped me with a desire to watch more, but the people vocally complaining about the story direction really need to be ignored. Apparently Kevin Smith is already doing damage control, which makes me sad. I'd prefer a more austere approach to PR with whiny manchildren, but oh well.
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Re: Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

Post by Tantrum »

I watched the first 5 eps. 1 through 4 didn't do much for me, but ep 5 was pretty good. The plot picked up a bit, and it looked great. I especially liked the shadow effects when they were in the forest, and how the forge sparks in one scene dissolved into the fireflies in the next.

My nostalgia for the series is limited. I know I owned a bunch of the original toys as a kid, which means I watched the original show, but don't remember anything about it. I did buy a Tri-klops figure maybe 10 years ago because I thought he looked cool. He came with one of those little spherical robots on a clear stand to look like it's flying. I didn't know what it was at the time, so it's lost in a drawer somewhere. Now that I've seen them in the new show, I'm wondering where I put it. So, the new show is a successful commercial for a toy I already own.
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Re: Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

Post by Denyer »

The 200x line had some nice sculpts, just a shame Mattel went for statue poses and minimal articulation kids couldn't really play with. The good guys are satisfying to mix into the background of Classics displays, cheap loose and fairly easy to get still -- it's just that most of them suffered from minimal characterisation in the vintage series or duller action features than the bad guys, so I passed when Classics was a thing.

Not keen on the toys' aesthetic with this series. Don't think I'll see them in hand, and Origins has more fun factor. Might get a Teela to put with NA He-Man as the look kind of fits. Maybe one or two Evil Warriors based on specific designs such as Spikor or if they did a Clawful, but they're just not very exciting based on what we've seen so far.
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Re: Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

Post by Denyer »

Good panel from Power-Con, the voice actors ended up moderating as Dan lost his voice;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slGDt536VOs
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Re: Anyone watch Masters of the Universe Revelation? [spoilers]

Post by Denyer »

Second half was okay. Spectacle, fan references and little of substance.

I can imagine the script for this being posted in alt.toys.motu or whatever in the 90s when the original fanbase would've been full of half-realised ideas to move their stories onto more adult topics but hadn't really matured. Because that's what it was like for Transformers.

Pros
- A redemption arc for Randor. Although he's still kind of a dick with the inappropriate dad joke after Andra says something heartfelt. There's been a meanness to the character that felt like a bad misreading of his original exasperation with Adam.
- Sidelining story points from the first half such as Motherboard that really needed their own series time and couldn't be developed in the few episodes that had been approved for production.
- The Zoar cosmology with the snake and bird of prey is actually quite interesting. Those motifs crop up all the way through MOTU and was the closest the series came to expanding the mythos rather than recycling.
- Did enjoy things like Goat-Man and Pig-boy even if done in a self-aware way that lampshaded the irrelevance.

Cons

- Tone whiplash. Casual deaths of characters, sexual overtones and domestic violence. Edginess for the sake of it and closing off future stories.
- Casual destruction of the Preternia afterlife, which like Subternia was an unfinished concept in the first half but did bring lots of interesting character possibilities. Still, with the script doing whatever it felt like at any given moment, bringing it back would be equally simple.
- Skeletor being immediately trusted. And re-powered, which was a point it particularly felt like a kid had been given the crayons and was writing on rule of cool.

Presumably next it's Revelation: New Adventures of He-Man (or at least a "time has passed" approach) with space/tech Skeletor and Hordak. I'll watch it, but the series doesn't have an emotional connection because, well, a few hours of spectacle and fan references don't make for it.
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