I can’t believe I made it! After more than two and a half years, I have finished what I set out to do, and I crossed the finish line relatively unscathed and with a sufficient (arguably) amount of sanity intact. It wasn’t always easy, and many times even touched on fun. I have to admit, sometimes this was more of a chore than a joy, or felt like a second job that I’ve never made a penny from doing, but that wasn’t the point.
The point was that I used to write a lot, but then I joined the corporate workforce and my creative inspirations slowly drained away and I stopped writing. One day a few years ago, my wife turned me on to a blog called Full House Reviewed. The author, then going by the name Billy Superstar (he revealed himself when the project was over – I’m not going to do that), had been writing for a couple years already. He then got bumped on The Huffington Post and his blog took off. That’s when I discovered it.
He was over four years in when he finished his project, which I can’t even fucking fathom. He never posted late and he never missed a week, except occasionally by design in between seasons, and he would always announce those intentions ahead of time. Anyway, he said that the reason he started writing his blog was as a writing exercise, a creative outlet to regularly practice with. I liked that idea, and I had, what should be very obvious to you by now (unless you are joining us for the first time), a similar love/hate relationship with He-Man. With Mr. Superstar’s blessings I committed to this project, starting with the 10 or so hours I spent photoshopping the banner.
So, while I can’t claim quite the accolades that Billy Superstar can having done this for four years, I can give myself a pat on the back, because I did what I set out to do. I never missed a week and never posted late. There have been many obstacles to that over the years, too. Some were the good kind, like vacations. Some were annoying like technical difficulties requiring clever workarounds, and some were very bad and serious. Since I’m not pulling back the curtain on my persona, I’ll just leave it at that, but I mean it when I say serious. After all that, here I am on the other side of it, and I think I can say that writing He-Man Reviewed made my life better. Between the discipline, the resurgence of creativity I’ve been experiencing, the nostalgia of a fondly remembered childhood, all of it has been character building.
As much as I ragged on this show, there’s a bit of an irony that’s not lost on me here. He-Man, along with your typical assortment of Marvel and DC heroes, had so much to do with shaping my personality, such that my actions are still largely guided by the influence of these heroes. My wife nicknamed me “The Good Samaritan” – which she thankfully never actually called me – when we first started dating. The irony is that, even with the intention of coming at this show with a sardonic, gutter-minded adult lens, this show, once again, did something positive for me, did something moving for me; made me a better person.
I have a daughter that recently turned four. I’ve done my parental duty to get her hooked on hero culture. She, by demand, has watched all of the animated Justice League a few times over, has seen many of the modern hero movies, excepting the more dark/violent ones, and by extension of me writing this show, He-Man. Her favorite is the 70s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show. With the help of some of my best childhood “friends”, these heroes and I are raising another good person in the world. It just sucks that it seems for every one good person there’s a dozen total pieces of shit, just looking for a chance to get stuck in your shoe tread.
Well, now that I’ve waxed nostalgic a bit, for those that have been reading along faithfully, I’ve occasionally commented that I may or may not do once this thing was all over. Do I keep writing? If so, what? Another show review? Which one? She-Ra would be a logical extension. Also, just as I was inspired from Full House Reviewed (as far as I know, I am the first “spin-off” of FHR), several others have picked up a classic TV show to review from each of their alternative perspectives, so some of the other “choice” shows have been taken already. Some of these other off-shoot, review style sites are just getting started, or early in their path, others have covered a good distance already, and some have even fallen. Many of them are linked in my blog roll.
Some of the complaining I did about watching and writing about this show was true frustration, some of it was persona, but make no mistake, it was a commitment, especially the writing deadline. I’ve you’ve been inspired to write by reading this, whatever the form, I wish you luck and can just say, stick with it. Find a way, no matter what. I’m so grateful to everyone that visits and reads my rantings, especially those that are regular readers. Full House Reviewed had a really unique thing where the comments to the posts were very, very active. You guys have always been pretty quiet, but I know you’re there, I can see it in the numbers. I can honestly say, I don’t know if I would have made it all the way if it wasn’t for you guys reading it.
I digress. She-Ra is about two thirds as long as the original He-Man series. There are three seasons, the first of which was 65 episodes, then the second and third were 14 each. So the first season is the long haul, then two and three would go quickly. Still, it’s nearly another two years. One of the good obstacles I encountered on this journey, was that I wrote my second screenplay. An idea I’d had banging around in my head clicked into place about three months after I started this project. Then, for three weeks straight, I wrote every night. One night a week on He-Man, the rest on the screen play. I finished the first draft in just three weeks, but it was grueling.
I can’t believe I was able to get those He-Man episodes done in one night. The average episode takes me about 5 hours over two nights to get from start to finish. Sometimes it takes three or four nights and 8 or more hours. Depends on a lot of things. Anyway, so the idea of another two years is daunting. I’ve considered alternate publishing schedules, like every other week, or three weeks on, one off, but all of these things ultimately draw out the number of years I’m committing to this.
Ultimately, I have decided, for the foreseeable future, I am not continuing with another online writing project. Instead, I will take the writing discipline I’ve gained and apply that same aggressive writing pursuit with an equivalent amount of time, and write offline on 100% original projects. I have a few more screenplay outlines floating around in this head that I would love to have the time to develop further. I have an outline for a novel as well, but no time to write it. A family man with a young child and a full time corporate job, and a love of video games, movies, and music, has little time to mete out. I’m so proud of writing He-Man, but now I need that time back to develop some of the original creative ideas I’ve had while writing this blog.
This may not be good-bye forever. For one thing, I never finished “remastering” the first 20 or so episodes that were ported over from my original Blogspot home, so I’ll probably take the time now to go finish that. Maybe I’ll link a page with news, so I can make any announcements, such as if I decide to pick up She-Ra at some point in the future, or post links to other writings or something (right now, there’s really nothing to link to, I’m just spit-balling here). I don’t know. For now, Santanaonfire is signing offline, but is going to keep writing.
I hope you guys enjoyed the ride. Watching this series over again as an adult, there really is a lot going on here in-between-the-lines. I won’t venture to say if Prince Adam really was supposed to be a gay character or not, but there certainly is plenty of evidence on which to make a case. I think that case is pro-gay, which I fully support. If you’ve read through my posts, you know that a lot of the comedy here could be considered homophobic or misogynistic, but it was all hyperbole for the sake of comedy, and to expose the era for what it was – homophobic and misogynistic. Truly, I am pro-gay rights, and a feminist. I took both gay and feminist theory courses in college, and continue to support these causes.
I believe that when it comes to comedy, nothing is off-limits. Dead baby jokes, racist jokes, homophobic jokes, misogynistic jokes, nothing. Laughter is healing and comedy can help us shine a light in the darkest of places and allow us to process some of the most difficult, rigorous, and heartbreaking aspects of the human condition, and by exposing it in that way, we can laugh and begin to heal. Jokes like these help us realize how ridiculous gender and racial/cultural stereotypes can be. So, I hope you laughed while reading, but also that maybe I provoked some deeper thought that helps you examine your mores and come out on the other side with a new outlook, or even reinforced in your beliefs – as long as you thought about it, got the facts, and made an informed decision. Or, maybe, I’m putting way too much importance and weight on a silly little internet blog about shirtless muscle man running around in his furry underpants and boots.
Well, I’m done rambling now, so I’ll leave you with my top 10 favorite moments from the series:
10. When Beast Man got a facial (season 1 episode 3)
9. The drug episode. (season 1 episode 10)
8. When Man-At-Arms got shit faced (season 1 episode 20)
7. When He-Man pulled a medallion from Orko’s Ass. (season 1 episode 22)
6. When Orko is in pain and discomfort. (season 1 episode 30)
5. When He-Man got some. (season 1 episode 31)
4. When He-Man rescues young boys (season 1 episode 12)
3. When Teela laughs (season 1 episode 7, 20, 42)
2. That time He-Man masturbated during the moral of the story. (season 2 episode 58)
1. Teela’s ass. (season 1 episode 39, and many more)