Steven Universe, don't tumblr my rocks!


#510

Yeah, that’s been a pretty common theory even before the character was introduced. People noticed that Yellow and Blue Pearls had gem placements that matched their diamonds, then speculated –

Blah blah

Man. So. The Rose is Pink theory is super old, and was once really popular. At a certain point, partially through the show’s misdirection and partially through exhaustion, it grew discredited and turned into sort of a joke. But while it was going on, there was this notion that, well, if Rose was Pink, what if CG Pearl was Pink’s Pearl? But then, her gem didn’t match up. So maybe she was originally White’s Pearl, somehow, and they traded Pearls for some reason?

So that idea was out there, and had become kind of subconscious by the time of Single Pale Rose. When that hit, the Pearl thing exploded back into prominence. Surely our Pearl can’t be Pink’s original Pearl, right? Not just the gem placement; all of these other passing comments suggested she hadn’t been with Pink for too long before things got weird.

Then we saw White Pearl, and she was strange as hell, and wasn’t voiced by Deedee Magno Hall, and her gem placement matched Rose/Pink, and she was dressed kind of like Pink, and… yeah.

Then the show was off the air for, like, six months, for no particular reason, given that the episodes were all ready to air in late 2017 (seriously, look at the timestamp), letting people go nuts with that information. Which shouldn’t have gotten as nuts as it did, because only two episodes later they showed a flashback dream where Steven, as Pink, was caught dallying with a pink version of that same Pearl, only to start coughing up The Hair of Rebellion and see Pink Pearl swept away into darkness.

So. Yeah. The notion of White Pearl being Pink’s original Pearl has been out there for a super long time, so seeing it here comes off more like confirmation than a revelation. But what’s new about this whole scenario is how the show seems to be using it as a metaphor for conversion therapy.

Anyway, uh.

Man, that episode.

In the past I’ve been kind of ambivalent toward Big Plot Event episodes, as they have tended to come off like checklists of things that need to happen or would be neat. And given the show’s short run-time, that approach leaves no room for the things that make the show worthwhile, which is to say the character and thematic work. The best part in all of “Reunited” to my mind was Connie being a dork about Steven’s weird psychic ghost situation. “Ah, of course!” It was a character being allowed to be weird and themself for just a moment, rather than churning through obligatory functions.

“Change Your Mind” is, like, the plottiest big-plot explosion the show has ever done, and is full of more fanservice than entire past seasons. But, most of that is in aid of some pretty fucking important thematic and character work. And to that end, I find it so satisfying. “SHE’S GONE!” may in itself be my favorite moment of the entire show. I seriously have watched that over and over. It’s turned into a meme sensation over the last couple of days. And I can’t help tearing up every single time.

Five seasons of repressed anxiety and doubt and anger, all in two words.

And, you know. Personal stuff. The way this show handles its stuff, it’s… uh, helpful.

That final song is also so amazing, as short and unrefined as it is.


#511

Yeah, they recorded season six two years ago, so that’s been on the shelf for an age. (It takes about nine months to finish an episode, concept to final edit; recording the actors is sort of the midway stage; at any point they’re juggling enough episodes that they finish about one a week. So season 6 must be totally wrapped for about a year now.)

The movie has been this ongoing thing for years, apparently, that even now they’re still fiddling with on some level.

image

And now they’re in the studio recording again, on an ongoing basis. Which can’t be for either of the above, so that suggests a seventh (at least) season.


#512

It’s such a narrow line to walk. You’d expect some kind of scream from Steven at that moment, but that would have just made it too horrible to air, probably. So instead we get Connie filling that space, which works just about as well (and is better in some ways). Also, not having a gaping hole where the gem was. That’s… I mean, it’s easy to see why they didn’t. Because man, there’s grisly and there’s grisly. The fact it’s so obvious that they had to make that creative decision and avoided it so completely almost forces you to imagine if they hadn’t.

EDIT: At risk of flooding the thread, the Crewniverse AMA from Monday has lots of stuff in it.


#513

finally got caught up and wow,
this show finds new and better ways to make me cry a little

it’s wild to me that there’s gonna be at least an entire other season and movie (and i guess maybe another season?) after this


#514

This is apparently the end of the show as we know it and the beginning of a totally new story arc. So like, this was the Frieza Saga and next is the Cell Saga…


#515

Yeah, they’ve basically wrapped the original pitch and concept of the show.

They’ve occasionally talked in broad terms about provisional plans in the event they were to reach this first goal and be allowed to keep going. There’s more stuff that’s been germinating for years; it’s just that it’s by necessity been less concrete while they’ve focused on the story at hand.

It sounds to me like the way a writer will keep ideas for future books in mind, while concentrating fully on writing the story in front of them. Which is fair enough. End of volume 1.

Now Rebecca Sugar is ostentatiously refusing to answer questions about whether Steven and Connie will get married in the show on the basis of spoilers, so, uh… sounds like a time skip is a plausible device in and around this point. Especially considering Zach Callison’s weirdness when asked whether he’ll have a chance to use his natural voice in the show.

I also really want to see this:

image

It’s clear she’s thought it through in detail already.


#516

i love that AMA answer because that’s basically


#517

Oh goodness. Sugar’s description of the creative inspiration for White Diamond sure is a thing.


#518

Wow.

I’ve seen this short in passing so many times but never actually clicked play on it.

Some of the people who helped out on that are still working on SU now.


#519

#520

This is so good. It was just on the podcast a short while ago that I heard the White animation in the background was all Baxter, hand-done, rather than CG. “That’s just what he does,” paraphrasing Rebecca Sugar.

Apparently he did the sequence to return a favor from when she did his kid an illustration for a birthday party several years back?


#521


#522

Still haunted by someone pointing out the kindergarten metaphor in “On the Run” where Amethyst is basically a child of rape. Which… is clearly what the show is going for, and I never noticed, and puts this whole other level on her issues with self-image and relationships.

And also underscores how fucked up her treatment from the other CGs is, in all the flashback scenes.


#523


#524

On the latest podcast, Sugar and Quartey go on a bit.

“The fantasy of Steven Universe,” Sugar says, “is that people get to express themselves without being perpetually shut down.”

Quartey gets back to that a little later, saying often when you talk about sci-fi or fantasy, people get these specific ideas in their head, like riding on a dragon or whatever, but “for a lot of people I know, a fantasy could be as simple as, ‘I want somebody to tell me it’s okay that I exist,’ or ‘I want to be loved by somebody, or I want to be in a family, or I just want someone to care about me.’ Like, that can be a fantasy also. And there’s a lot of value in having that be the main story that you tell, and I think for a lot of people, […] they can’t see how that is a fantasy?”

Sugar talks again about how she worked out a lot of her own gender and sexuality issues and personal problems through the show. All of these aspects of herself that she said she’d always been told didn’t matter. Then she picks up a thread from an earlier podcast, saying when she began, she went into it thinking she wanted to do this anti-escapist thing, where in the same way she wanted to deconstruct all these gender tropes and remix them in ways that felt unfamiliar, you’d have this fantasy setting but people were dealing with real, serious issues, because she didn’t see the value in just running away and burying your head. But, in the process of developing the show she realized, “I had never seen a piece of escapist media creating an environment that I wanted to escape to.” Once she realized there was a place she wanted to be, “a dream I got to have,” her contempt for escapism evaporated. Once she had a dream of her own, it was a lot harder to resent other people’s dreams. “But when you don’t get to have one at all…”

IJQ follows up that often when you see fantasy, it’s just this idea of escaping mundane reality into a dream, but in some cases, for some people, “it’s just to have a dream, and get to be proud of that, then maybe it’s okay that media exists that’s just that.”


#525

Unless your expressions suuuuuck, presumably


#526

given the tenor of this show and the kind of fantasies it expresses, yeah, i think that can be presumed


#527

i mean Ronaldo is tolerated


#528

The show is pretty hard on Ronaldo when he deserves it (the episode that’s like… basically about him culturally appropriating the gems being a good example), but the show’s main viewpoint character is consistently nice to him which suggests to me at least some of his self-expression is not seen as sucky by the show’s creators. (i mean, former head writers Ben Levin and Matt Burnett (now of Craig of the Creek, which i still need to watch) have said Ronaldo is based on them as insufferable teens and is meant to be an affectionate portrayal)


#529

The show also isn’t too fond of bigots. Even then it had a “hug a Trump voter” episode, though.