Spring Break is just around the corner and that means girls are finally free enough to catch up on some quality TV time. Not sure what to watch? MEDIAGIRLS Editorial Intern Catrina Yang Farrell has got you covered.
As a 21-year-old I LOVED watching all of these shows! It can be hard finding shows for young people that touch on progressive topics such as LGBTQ+ rights, making mistakes, and the loss of friendship and family. But “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” “The Dragon Prince,” and “Kipo and the Age of the Wonder Beasts” all make it a priority to incorporate these difficult topics into their plots.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
This show is for ages 7+.
The series covers the journey of an orphan named Adora, who abandons her former life as a soldier of the “Horde” when she suddenly realizes she has been fighting on the side of evil. She comes to this conclusion when she discovers a magical sword that transforms her into a warrior princess known as She-Ra. As her journey begins she finds herself amongst a group of magical princesses–named the Resistance–who decide to unite to save their world.
This show is not only a spin-off of the 1980’s animated series “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” but a series that redefines gender, sexuality, and female power.
Each character in “She-Ra and the Princess of Power” brings a unique, complex, and quirky personality to the table. In this show, you cannot help but relate to both those who are on the side of the Resistance and the side of the Horde. All the characters are facing an internal battle with self-doubt, acceptance, and love, allowing the show to beautifully capture the complexities of growing up and identifying yourself in a world where not everyone is accepted.
My Review: While working as a teacher assistant during the summer of 2020 with a group of first-graders and third-graders all the students could talk about was this show. With my students we talked about the importance of self-love, friendship, accepting others, and that the lines between good and evil are not always clear. She-Ra openly discusses queer love, romance, and race by having a diverse representation, there is more than one same-sex couple and there is an equal balance of representation across different races and ethnicities. A must watch!
The Dragon Prince
This show is for ages 10+.
The series “The Dragon Prince” is set in a fantasy world known as Xadia where magic derives from six elements: Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Sky, and Ocean. It tells the story of two civilizations competing for ultimate rule. There are the Humans, who have no natural access to magic and have harnessed the dangerous power of Dark Magic. In order to use Dark Magic a sacrifice of a magical creature is required. On the other side, are the magical creatures such as the Elves and Dragons, who have condemned the practice of Dark Magic. Due to the two sides being at odds and at war, Humans fear magical creatures and vice versa. The story begins with a young elf assassin, Rayla, who decides to join forces with two human princes, Callum and Ezran, to restore peace to Xadia.
The characters in the show stand for selflessness, honesty, and integrity but, as anyone is, they are not immune to making mistakes.
My Review: While there is a fair amount of scenes of death or battle, they are not graphic. This show has a lot of great talking points for parents and their kids as there is a strong presence of role models who show strength and courage. The show highlights that it is okay to make mistakes and that sometimes even if you have the right intentions you can make a mistake. Life is full of difficult choices, and the characters display the dilemma openly. Again, a must watch!
Kipo and the Age of Wonder Beasts
This show is for ages 7+.
“Kippo and the Age of Wonder Beasts,” is set in a post-apocalyptic world and tells the story of a teenage girl, Kipo, who is thrown into the world aboveground after living her entire life in a “burrow.” Separated from her “burrow” and her father, Kipo explores her surroundings and tries to find a way back home. On her adventure, she encounters mutant animals, other humans, and makes a few friends along the way. Kipo begins to face a life full of thrilling events, but also full of uncertainty. Her newfound companions, Wolf, a surface dweller, Mandu, a mutant pig, Benson, a surface dweller, and Dace, a bug, join her on her journey back home. Despite the dangers they face which threaten their journey they flourish and develop a beautiful friendship.
My Review: The show has themes such as acceptance, friendship, and moral dilemmas. The line between good and evil is quite subjective and it is very difficult to truly dislike any character. Each character is on their own journey and is facing their own hardships, struggling to survive a cruel world where many believe that kindness and friendship are a weakness. Kipo shows everyone that kindness, acceptance, and friendship should be a priority. It is scary opening yourself up to others and allowing people to help you and the characters in the show all face challenges when it comes to self-love, but as the story evolves you witness beautiful growth. A third must watch!
Catrina Yang Farrell is from Taipei, Taiwan. She is currently pursuing a BA in English Literature with a focus on minority experiences at Simmons University. She hopes to use literature to instigate discussions with others on those oppressed’ history and narratives.