One of the many brilliant things about She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is how it handles the friendships between all the characters. The emotions that these friendships bring to the forefront are treated with absolute sincerity and given a lot of weight. In one episode Glimmer fears she’s drifting apart from her best friend Bow and it rocks her to the core. She’s desperate to do anything to keep her friendship intact, which leads to a string of events that are so entertaining to watch because they feel real.
In other series these kinds of deep emotions are usually reserved for characters with some kind of romantic attachment. Here all different kinds of relationships and the emotions that come with them are treated equally. For executive producer Noelle Stevenson, the core of the show is all kinds of relationships.
“They’re all treated (with) equal importance because I think that they are,” Stevenson says. “You can have incredibly powerful friendships, incredibly powerful family relationships, incredibly powerful romantic relationships, and all of those things are very powerful and very worth exploring.”
The friendship Bow and Glimmer show towards Adora, originally a child soldier with the evil Horde, helps break down her walls and introduce her to what’s really happening in the world. Friendship saves Adora from a horrible life she didn’t even know she was living.
“(Bow) immediately sees in Adora someone who is longing for something more and he thinks he can appeal to that,” explains Stevenson. “Glimmer is harder to win over to Adora’s side, she’s a little threatened by her. Eventually that turns into a really powerful friendship in its own right because these two people like and respect each other so much and support each other.”
The importance She-Ra is giving to all different kinds of relationships, friendships or romantic, helps set the show apart. While it also tackles relationships (especially queer ones) very well, the way it puts such emphasis on friendship is refreshing. In a world where it seems only romantic relationships are treated with any degree of seriousness, it’s nice to see friendship can mean so much as well.