Among fans of the Masters of the Universe action figures, the He-Man cartoon gets a mixed reception. It’s the best-known interpretation of He-Man and Skeletor in public consciousness, but it is frequently very, very silly. More serious approaches, however, have not been big successes – while the Dolph Lundgren movie and the 2002 animated reboot are both enjoyed by fans, neither was able to carry the brand like the Filmation show. I find it best, as a fan of the property overall, to look at it as the “Adam West” version, though it isn’t as knowingly smart about its camp value.
This may be why, as the proposed serious live-action movie remake keeps changing potential directors–it was going to be Jon Chu, then Jeff Wadlow, then McG–Dreamworks TV, which now holds the rights to the cartoons, is embracing the goofiness with this even more ridiculous recut/redub of some of the originals into a mock reality show. A slightly dumb He-Man, angry Skeletor, redneck Man-at-Arms, screechy Orko and more are forced to live in Castle Grayskull, Big Brother-style, and compete in challenges. It even arguably fills in a gap in canon, as the original series never gave an origin for He-Man and Skeletor’s animosity to one another, while this kind-of does.
“Evil Wizard Moustache Wax” and “Keyboard Battle Cat” are particular highlights, though I expect Dreamworks could have a field day using Orko and various evil henchmen to edit a Jackass spoof together. But as He-Man would always say, “Until next time…”
Is He-Man likely to win every challenge? What reality show would best serve the Masters and their peculiar talents? Let us know in comments below!
image: Dreamworks TV