Follow TV Tropes


Series / Sheena (2000)

Go To

Sheena was a 2000-2002 television series that ran for 2 seasons in Syndication. Created by Steven L. Sears (a producer of Xena: Warrior Princess) and Douglas Schwartz (one of the creator of Baywatch) it revived the concept from the Sheena, Queen of the Jungle comic book and 1984 film. The show stars Gena Lee Nolin as Sheena, with John Allen Nelson as Deuteragonist Matt Cutter, Kevin Quigley as Mendlesson, Cutter's business associate and sidekick and Margo Moorer as Kali, Sheena's mother figure and resident Witch Doctor.

Alone in the jungle at a young age, Sheena was taken in by the Shamaness Kali who raised her in the ancient tribal ways, and taught her the ways to morph into an animal at a moment's glance. Because the tribe and the jungle animals are always at odds with the encroaching civilization, Sheena covers herself in mud and puts on fake claws and a mask to pretend to be the Darak'na- a mythical killer residing in the La Mista jungles and mountains.

Sheena finds a friend in Matt Cutter who provides safari and other business tours in Africa. Due to a troubled past, he is a cynic, but he is also a ladies man, and would do almost anything for a good amount of money.

Includes examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sheena is very skilled in hand-to-hand combat and usually doesn't even need to resort to her Animorphism powers to kick some ass.
  • Adventurer Outfit: Matt Cutter is usually wearing the Safari Outfit, complete with a nice hat.
  • Animorphism: Sheena was taught by Kali how to "reach the animal spirit inside her", which allows her to take the form of animals if she connects with them through their eyes.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sheena and Curtiss first meet like this, with her arriving just as he's about to be shot by some thugs.
  • Bookworm: Sheena loves reading, her cavern being filled with books.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Both Sheena and Matt Cutter have troubled pasts, with him being a rogue Secret Service agent and Sheena losing her parents at a young age, and witnessing the deaths of several of her animal friends.
  • Darkest Africa: Africa seems to exist only as nature paradise filled with natives and dangerous wildlife.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the pilot, while discussing his plane with Sheena while she's washing away the Darak'na mud in a Waterfall Shower, he loses his train of though when he sees her naked without the mud covering her.
  • Distressed Dude: Matt Cutter, though physically fit and able, often gets into situations where he needs help from Sheena.
  • Fanservice: What the show was best known for. The plot usually puts both Sheena and Matt in a lot of situations where they show skin. But this still done in a PG 13 friendly manner, with any nudity from Sheena being covered by a myriad of Censorship Tropes, such as Shoulders-Up Nudity or Scenery Censor. Sheena's Nubile Savage outfit is also overall more modesty than the comic or film versions.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Sheena is friends with all the animals of the jungle, and dedicates herself to protecting them... with the exception of rogue animals, who kill for pleasure.
    Sheena: They're my friends.
    Cutter: Are all the animals your friends?
    Sheena: All except the rogues, they kill for pleasure like the silver-backed gorilla on the other side of the river. Not all gorillas are rogues.
  • Good Feels Good: Kali tells Cutter this is the reason she helps people
    Kali: It made me happy to help. That feeling is not for sale.
  • Green Aesop: The show often has pro-environment messages.
  • He Knows Too Much: One of Cutter's employers tries to kill him when Cutter discovers he's using him to smuggle dynamite into the jungle.
  • Javelin Thrower: Sheena is pretty good at this, managing to down Cutter's plane by throwing a spear at the wing.
  • Mighty Whitey: Sheena is a blonde white girl who was Raised by Natives in Africa and dedicates her life to protecting.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The handsome Matt Cutter, who gets a Shirtless Scene almost Once per Episode.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sheena. Would you expect anything else from a show starring Baywatch alumna in Gena Lee Nolin as a Nubile Savage heroine?
  • Naked First Impression: The first time Cutter talks and sees the real Sheena without her Darak'na disguise, she's naked taking a Waterfall Shower.
  • Nature Hero: Sheena defends the jungle from anyone that threatens or wishes to exploit it.
  • Nature Lover: Sheena, obviously but Cutter also applies. While he usually tries to play he's Only in It for the Money, he still has a soft spot for animals and nature and helps Sheena protecting it.
  • Nubile Savage: Sheena wears the iconic outfit and always looks impeccably groomed.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: While she's still somewhat ignorant about the outside world, Sheena is well-read and not that naive, but she sometimes pretends to be an ignorant jungle girl.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: When he's not Eating the Eye Candy this is Cutter's reaction to Sheena's nudity, usually offering his own clothes for her to cover up.
    Cutter: There are a number of things I can do with a naked woman. Having a conversation is not one of them.
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: "Revenge of the Jirds"- Matt Cutter has a fantasy of him making out with Sheena, only to realize that he is holding onto the jirds.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Cutter falls into a quicksand pit while running away from some thugs. It swallows him up in seconds, but Sheena managed to pull him out.
  • Raised by Natives: Sheena was raised by Kali and her tribe when she was orphaned and lost in the jungle when she was six.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Kali tells Cutter about the history of Sheena
  • Scenery Porn: The show is filled with shots of the African landscape.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
    • The Darak'na was an identity created by Sheena to scare off people who wanted to exploit the jungle. Somewhat subverted in that Sheena does have supernatural powers.
    • The U.F.O. episode turns out to be this.
  • Secret-Keeper: Cutter becomes one for Sheena and her Darak'na scheme.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: When Cutter watches Sheena Skinny Dipping and emerging from the river.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: She's not bothered by being seen naked by Cutter and usually reacts to his Please Put Some Clothes On pleas with vague annoyance. While she also gives some Innocent Fanservice Girl vibes due to being raised in the jungle, she still wears clothes most of the time and is overall aware of the nudity taboo.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: When she tries to turn into a panther, the panther whose form she was taking was dying, leaving her as a feral hybrid, unable to turn back without help.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Normally, her outfit will return when she returns to human form, but it turns out this only applies with 'natural' fibers. Hence, a dress Cutter makes her wear simply falls off of her.
  • Shirtless Scene: Matt Cutter or some other male character either has a shirtless scene to balance out Sheena's physical attractiveness.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: In the pilot when Sheena is taking a Waterfall Shower, the camera only shows her bare back, until she turns to face Matt and the camera noticeable shifts to show her just from the shoulders up.
  • Skinny Dipping: Sheena is found of swimming nude in lakes around Africa and doesn't mind doing it in front of Cutter either.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Sheena is fond of doing this to Cutter both appearing and disappearing suddenly on him. He snarks about putting a bell on her.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Sheena is often shown like this whenever she's bathing or Skinny Dipping, with a few Sideboob shoots as a bonus.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The bad guys usually do this to Sheena, not believing some savage woman could prove them a threat.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Sheena and Cutter, with the viewers constantly at odds whether or not they will fall in love with each other or stay friends. A more one-sided example, as Matt is much more into Sheena than she is on him and her Shameless Fanservice Girl antics seem to leave him in a state of sexual frustration quite often.
  • Voluntary Shape Shifting: Sheena can turn into animals by looking into their eyes.
  • Waterfall Shower: Sheena takes on in the pilot to wash off the mud she uses in her Darak'na form.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Matt Cutter usually is with a shirt either not completely on all the way, a workout shirt, and no shirt at all, as it is often rendered by circumstance.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: While she rescues him from certain death, Sheena is not overly concerned with Cutter's wellbeing and unceremoniously drags his unconscious form by the ankle all the way into Kali's village.