Steven Universe thread because I don't have a Tumblr


#346

Ha, I thought you wanted to poll how gay the audience for Steven Universe is.

I’d heard enough on the fringes to know some of the themes going in, which is part of the reason I gave it another shot!

I find Steven’s relationships with the other gems to be pretty interesting. Pearl is sort of maternal, Garnet is more of a mentor, and Amethyst is like… a fun aunt? I think understanding the intrarelationships there is rather complex.

I think the show does an excellent job portraying kids and how cool they can be. Steven is immature and often makes the wrong decisions, but he can handle more than the gems expect.

I liked in “Tiger Millionaire” you get a look at Steven when he’s in his element and legitimately good at something. The uncertainty and lack of confidence goes away when he’s performing in costume, and you get a glimpse at what a mature Steven might look like. I also really liked the first Connie episode; their interactions are really sweet, and Steven just straight up ignores the shade being thrown at him by the gems/his friends, and it ends with Connie being legitimately impressed by him.

The cat fingers episode was legit body horror and it was terrifying. In general the show is good at building dread. Some of this works, too, because, at least at the beginning, the audience is in the same state as Steven. We don’t know the rules for this universe, so everything is new and a little frightening.


#347

a nice thing you reminded me of that i like to point out about the early episodes is that Steven often gets into danger or causes unnecessary problems for the gems, but whereas in a worse show he’d get bailed out by the grown ups and admonished and Learn A Valuable Lesson, in this very good and cool show he uses his wits and empathy to correct his own mistakes and get himself out of trouble instead


#348

It is super rare for any fiction to get child characters who “read” right. They’re usually either written as an adult’s idea of a child or as an adult who happens to be coded as a child. The specific kind of well-meaning dopiness, imperfect knowledge, and curiosity that make up a kid’s world is so exciting when it’s right. And this show does a pretty remarkable job with that. There’s a logic to a conversation at a picnic, toward the end of season 1a, that’s just so amazing in its deadpan grossness and earnest triviality. And all in aid of some genuinely startling story development. It’s such a bizarre sequence of minor events, but it makes every bit of sense in the world.


#349

Screenshot_2018-08-21-10-35-02-1


#350

Connie is the best. I wish she were in it way more often.

Be sure to check in when you get to “Alone Together.”


#351

ahhhhhhhhhh


#352

I take it that happened?

To my mind (and that of others!), that’s the episode where the show goes from “Yeah, this is pretty good” to “Holy shit.” There are other turning points to come (the show just keeps turning!), but this is pretty huge.

Like, all the stuff that this gets into. The fact that it would go there, in a show like this.

And then, it just keeps going.

Not to get too ahead of things, so no details, but there’s a season 2 episode called “Cry for Help,” and… any kind of commentary on it, you usually can tell the gender of the commentator on whether they understand what it’s about. No matter how goddamned blatant it is.

It was just after that “Steven Bomb” (dump of several episodes at once, after months of silence), and the discussion it sprouted, that I relented and looked into the show.


#353

The episode where Steven pretends he doesn’t know the gem’s test is fake made me cry. I think it reminded me of when my parents got me a toy I thought I was too old for.


#354

Learnin’ those adults have their limits, and sometimes you have to take care of them.

You’re getting in on a realm where the broadcast and continuity order diverge. It’s only really season 1b where this is a thing, and different places list the order differently. Wikipedia has the correct ordering. Stuff like Hulu, I think, goes by broadcast date.


#355

Yeah, here’s the “canonical” episode order for season 1 at least

Recommended since things get real screwy by the end of the season when some episodes leaked early in certain regions.


#356

Cool, I’ll make sure order is correct. Thanks ya’ll!


#357

One of the few things you can say about Cartoon Network’s handling of the show is that after season one they’ve at least aired the episodes in the right order. They might arbitrarily break up the production seasons. They might go for, like, eight months without any then air an entire season in one night with no promotion. They might run interview segments with story-shattering clips from episodes they won’t run for another year. But at least the story makes procedural sense.


#358

The Test is my favorite episode for basically the reasons you describe. Despite how much I love it, though, you still have the most amazing and astonishing things still to come!


#359

To be honest i like the transmission order better, at least for the first Steven Bomb/season finale week. i think it has a better sense of mounting tension than the intended order. The continuity differences are really minor and a matter of personal taste more than anything


#360

There’s a thematic build, though. A couple of relationships. And it’s not like the tension goes away. If anything, the lurking dread adds layers to those episodes and their interactions.

I can do without Say Uncle in there, though.

I mean, they did bump those episodes for a reason, because of the slots they had available. Those are the bumpable ones, if you gotta bump. But, whatever.


#361

Gotta say, also. Hear me out here, but I’m starting to really love Kevin as a character. He’s awful in kind of the way that Marty is awful, but he’s a current and present threat. Threat in that, I mean, yeah, he’s a creeper, but he’s an existential, emotional challenge. Which is the show’s territory.

In this version of the show in my head where Stevonnie is the concentrated nexus of the show’s whole coming-of-age narrative, its queerness, its thing about communication, its concerns with issues like consent and toxicity, Kevin is the Joker to Stevonnie’s Batman. This infuriating source of chaos, who brings out the best in Stevonnie through bringing out their worst. His very essence is a catalyst to the kind of growth that the show is centered on. And he’s just… almost uniquely for this show there’s nothing redeemable about him.

It’s a show all about empathy. And then there’s Kevin.

I kinda hope they leave him as a dirty loose end and don’t go all the way to try to turn him around. The best Kevin should hope to be is pathetic, not sympathetic.


#362

I’m kinda going through some stuff right now, and I’m having trouble concentrating on anything meaningful, so the last few days I’ve been taking solace in that great no-pressure creative zone of fanfic. This is new to me, and it’s a big relief to be able to write things down, think things through without having to worry about making them good, or developing any original ideas. It’s almost like doing game journalism again. And it pays just about as well.

Anyway, I posted this above a couple days ago, but it’s expanded since. Who knows how far this will go, but I’ve a few notions what else it could cover.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13037058/1/Water-Pressure

(Gate88 might stay away; lots of references to later things.)

(It also draws heavily from that comic I keep bringing up.

)


#363

Older thing I ran into again. Quality content.

Posting link does weird stuff.


#364

The cycle continues with chapter one of a follow-up story.

https://archiveofourown.org/works/15840819

Cross-posted to this slightly smuttier alternative to the other site (despite an absence of smut in my own narrative) due to its better organization and layout.


#365

Really super minor thing to consider: anytime after season 1, but most ideally somewhere around (just before, after, proximate to) Sworn to the Sword, there’s the “We are the Crystal Gems” short, which also serves to introduce the new title sequence. There’s a curious amount of cool-little-stuff continuity in there that the show proper doesn’t go into.

Other shorts are just sorta there for yuks or promotion, mostly.

Like, you could almost consider it a replacement for “Say Uncle” if you really wanted.

EDIT: Also, any time after season one there’s this little thing:

Corporation trying to look good, sure. But cynicism aside, the actual content here is rather sweet.

Makes me wonder if Zach Callison is gonna start using his natural voice soon.