When I learned “The Powerpuff Girls” were coming back onto television, my inner child rejoiced — but also hesitated.
I, along with many other millennials, found my first ever fictional female role models in Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup.
As just a kindergartner, where toy advertisements define one’s gender for them, it was so important to see these three girls, just the same age us, kicking major ass.
Without the Powerpuff Girls — and #tbh also Velma from Scooby Doo — I’m not sure if I would be as proudly feminist as I am today.
This is why I felt pangs of excitement, but I also paused when I first heard the folks at Cartoon Network were rebooting “The Powerpuff Girls.” The original episodes were so good, so ahead of their time, but almost too much so. Could a new edition really capture the greatness of the old, or worse, defile it?
After finally being able to sit down and watch the new episodes, my fears were immediately put to rest and my expectations were shattered. I found that girls made from sugar, spice, everything nice and a good heap of Chemical X were back and better than ever.
Each episode begins with a new title sequence that’s brief and to the point: The Powerpuff Girls take names and kick ass. In new, vibrant animation, the girls’ personalities are very much the same — Bubbles is bubbly, Blossom a boss and Buttercup a badass.
The first episode, “Escape From Monster Island,” hits the ground running from where the show left off more than 10 years ago. In this episode, the girls rescue the ever-bumbling mayor from the clutches of terrifying monsters, while they fight over who gets to go with Bubbles to their favorite boy band’s concert.
This duality re-introduces what the show is all about without an actual introduction. The Powerpuff Girls are superheroes, but still kids, just like new viewers are now and old devotees like you and I were in the past. It’s good to see its new producers not only didn’t screw this dynamic up, but embraced it and added others as well.
In the other six episodes that have been aired thus far, the show alternates between the tried and true defeat-the-big-monster arc, and less conventional ones as well. These episodes are also filled to the brim with humor catered towards the nostalgic college student.
In “The Stay-Over,” the girls must fight a new enemy — a (candy) hangover. After a raucous slumber-party, Buttercup and Blossom awake with killer headaches and no knowledge of where Blossom is. The episode itself is a hilarious PG parody of “The Hangover,” and jumps from broken bridges to bullfights to arcades in search of Bubbles.
In other episodes, the girls fight a hallucinogenic panda, help a horse become a unicorn and defeat a new chauvinist villain named “Manboy.” The last of the villains is my new favorite because it casts a blatantly sexist boy as a villain, thus discouraging that behavior.
Overall, this new rendition of a classic animated program is a triumph in my eyes. It recaptures much of what made the last show so important for kids to see while still thoroughly scratching a nostalgia itch for those looking to go back.
It’s good to see the day once again saved by The Powerpuff Girls, as the end of each episode proclaims, along with the help of bright animation, funny punchlines and a heaping dose of ass kicking.