Time to press this out from my drafts and tell you what exactly I watch in my spare time (or have been using my eyes for apart from work and gaming)… a short blog post before I conveniently turn older and forget to publish another piece.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
This is one of the most colorful animations that I have seen in a long time. The colors really pop and it is so refreshing to see an animation that not only features young love, but also same-sex relationships. And it does a great job of normalizing that and not “we’ll just drop this in to increase viewership.” It feels sincere. I watched this one right through the end and even though it is not without its flaws, this is quite a digestible watch. It also teaches great lessons about the value of friendship and love.
Happy Pride Month for June and July, by the way, fellow readers!
Okay, time to flip this upside down. Loosely based on the lore of the game with the same name, you know we’re going to slay some monsters and meet some vampires. This series is not like the one I just mentioned. Its style is dark and gritty, interlaced occasionally with some lighthearted moments. And just to be clear, this one is definitely for mature audiences. There’s plenty of scenes with gore and nudity, but then again this isn’t Twilight.
Now, I don’t just like this one because it features the name of one of my friends from high school. I like it because it has the feel of a remastered and remade 80’s of the original movie and it is great. You know that I’m a sucker for nostalgia and I wish that Netflix (or any other production companies) would put their money into rebooting things. I know it’s hard though — it’s one thing to do it but, to do it well is another. The reason I advocate this that these shows have a greater potential of helping past and current generations actually bond together. It’s the combination of great voice acting, puppets and CGI animation (almost like stop motion animation) that really breathes life back into this series. Also Mark Hamill lends his voice to one of the Skeksies and is brilliantly villainous.
From the makers of Avatar (Aang and Korra, not James Cameron blue people), I’m still waiting on this one to be updated. If you liked the original Avatar series, you will probably like this one too since 1/2 of the creators jumped on to make this piece. Again, steeped in the world of fantasy and magic, elves, runes and you guessed it dragons — this should delight even the most imaginative of people.
It features the voice talents of Jack DeSena (who voiced Sokka in the Avatar) and young Canadian actress Sasha Rojen. The animation style is what I personally call “2.5D” (true animators, please don’t hate me, I’m just using my non-animator limited vocab here) with 3D-like movements and textures but 2D hand-drawn features.
You know I couldn’t leave this one of the list! It’s hard to believe that this series was released more than a decade ago in 2005, but it’s one that proves itself to be a classic. I know a lot of people will be pointing to Breaking Bad for being the greatest TV series of all time (not disputing that it is a great series), but for me personally, Avatar was a winner.
Why? For American animation, this did a damn good job of bringing it to the spotlight. They also underestimated their reach for their targeted demographic of 8-12 year olds even though many of the characters were older than that. The story is an easy watch, borrowing elements from the East yet blending well with that of the West. It’s kind of humbling to know that they didn’t realize what a true gem they had back then.
So there are my Top 5! Obviously I watch way more content than this but I thought I should keep my geeky pop culture count limited to one hand. What are your top five shows that you’ve been binging this year? – JP