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August 24, 2015

We enjoy in eminence
Posted by Avram Grumer at 10:48 PM * 173 comments

Steven Universe

It’s been a while since I’ve fallen for a TV show this hard. Steven Universe, now in its second season on the Cartoon Network, is wonderful. What’s it about? Steven, a tubby kid with a pink gemstone where his belly-button should be, lives in a weird alien temple with three alien women, the Crystal Gems. They teleport around the globe, fighting monsters. Simple premise, right? What’s so great about it?

While it’s ostensibly a kid’s cartoon, the characters are mostly adults, and they have complicated grown-up histories and motivations, all presented so that kids can understand, but with their complexities visible to the adult viewer. Though there are other kids for Steven to interact with; his probably-going-to-be-a-girlfriend-eventually, Connie, is thoroughly realized, an awesome and totally believable little nerd-girl.

The back-story is rich and subtle— so subtle that I didn’t realize until I browsed some fan pages that the show’s setting is actually an alternate history. The writing is sophisticated— one recent episode had a fake-out plot spur leading to a reveal that (I noticed with a second viewing) had been foreshadowed at several points. A lot of the episodes are like that, with elements that reveal depths of characterization on second viewing, or minor details in the background that hint at things as yet unrevealed.

And the artwork! Clean, distinctive character designs, lush background colors. I almost got distracted from the action in a recent episode just looking at the trees in the background. The characters often visit exotic-looking abandoned alien facilities (temples, combat arenas, laboratories, etc) and the art crew does a great job with the designs. It’s worth scouring the backgrounds for implicit worldbuilding!

The music is really great. One of the main characters is voiced by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Estelle, and the characters often burst into song. Here’s an example, an extended version of the show’s theme song, shown at San Diego ComicCon this year. (Update: Here’s the full version; it has a little extra conversation at the beginning.)

The show presents us with characters from a variety of races, ethnicities, and body-types. Even the alien characters who make up the main cast don’t all look like white people. A number of the characters (including Steven himself) are broader-then-average, and it’s never presented as a problem, or as something to mock. If anything, largeness is associated with both power and beauty. (Though there are also skinny characters, and they, likewise, are treated with respect.)

The Gems are (so far) all female. (Exactly what that means for a species that probably doesn’t reproduce sexually, we don’t yet know.) Not only that, but the show explores gender roles in a serious and intentional way, while still keeping things comprehensible for kids. There’s even a multi-episode story arc revolving around sexual consent (handled at metaphoric arm’s length).

I’ve had this sitting on my hard drive for over a month, waiting for me to figure out how to get more quotes from Paradise Lost into it (“Celestial rosy red, Love’s proper hue”; “And these the gems of Heaven”; “And in the lowest deep a lower deep”), but eventually I gave up and went with this.

Comments on We enjoy in eminence:
#1 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2015, 11:01 PM:

Steven Universe is the best, and I will (courteously) fight anyone who says otherwise. —If you think you are someone likely to be undone by the most crystalline realization of Shōjo Kakumei Utena as scored by Stephen Sondheim, you will find it herein.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2015, 11:27 PM:

Where was it established that Beach City is in the state of Delmarva? I know the state next door is Keystone, so I figured Beach City was the state of Garden . . .

Stuff I love:

Sometime some very adult stuff will be going on. Kids may miss it, and Steven certainly does. "Whoosh."

There was a bit of this in the recent "Onion Friend," in which Vidalia (a Beach City resident) and Amethyst talk over old times and troubles. (I suspect those two have a history.) It seems to be pretty intense, but Steven is more troubled by his pal Onion's oddities.

It was more pronounced in the episode about Gregg's storage unit. Gregg and Amethyst have a history too. "Eh, I've seen his junk," she says. WHOOSH! Later they have an intense moment; Steven isn't upset about that, but over the TV in the room that he's not supposed to be watching.

* * *
I'm about halfway through a rewatch. Some episodes are a lot deeper the second time around, or in retrospect. "Mirror Gem," which introduces Peridot, is more ominous.

* * *
The design team's Tumblr, which shows the splendid character and background design:

#3 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2015, 11:32 PM:

We are almost caught up. Merav had sussed out the reveal detail before that episode: mostly (i.e. she had commented on the tip-off).

We've been talking about how detailed all those aspects are: I think it really benefits from both the short length of single episodes, and being watched with other people.

Definitely putting it in the Hugo consideration queue.

#4 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2015, 11:35 PM:

I've watched all the episodes I can on Hulu, and desperately want more. (And not just because it is, alas, impossible to avoid spoilers online.) I'm actually not a huge fan of the art style--it's quite good at doing what it means to do, but it's not much to my taste--but the characters grabbed me and I love the obvious care the team has put into foreshadowing, consequence, and quiet background complexity, whether you catch it or not on first (or third) viewing.

#5 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2015, 11:40 PM:

Stefan Jones @2, I sat there with my jaw open after the line about Greg’s junk, unable to believe what I’d just heard.

So far I think my favorite episode is “Sworn to the Sword,” with “We Need to Talk” a close second.

#6 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 12:09 AM:

I have some thoughts about Steven's father's tan.

#7 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 12:19 AM:

Are we ready for obscure (and not-so-obscure) fan theories?

My Greg’s tan theory: It’s not a normal tan. He was permanently marked by a flash of magical light when Steven was born.

My Onion & Yellowtail theory: Yellowtail (Onion’s dad) is an alien. Possibly a species that’s rival to the Gems.

My Kindergarten theory: That’s not just imperialism/colonization. It’s how Gems reproduce.

#8 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 12:55 AM:

#2: Whoops, Lapis, not Peridot.

I just watched Ocean Gem. Very intense.

Trivia: MAY-or DEW-ey is voiced by Joel Hodgson.

#9 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 01:04 AM:

I didn't think my thesis about Greg's tan was unique.

Re gem reproduction... if that's just how Gems reproduce, the war was a lot more important (and different) that it seems at present.

#10 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 01:39 AM:

Why is this happening as I'm about to leave for a trip? Augh!

My Kindergarten theory is that it may be how gems reproduce... but that it may have been experimental. Like, reproduction used to happen some other way or some other place, then that place/means became unavailable so they've been trying things.

Alternate/additional theory: gems used to reproduce much more slowly, at a replacement rate commensurate with a long-lived race. Then something happened that made them have to repopulate, fast.

#11 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 02:16 AM:

Stefan @2, the Steven Universe wiki has an entry on Delmarva.

#12 ::: marithlizard ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 04:46 AM:

*blink* I guess now I know what we'll be watching in these parts as soon as we finish Korra S3.

Kip @1: We've never met and yet you seem to have a copy of Descriptive Phrases to Use to Guarantee Marith's Complete and Instant Attention. Please never use it for evil.

#13 ::: Alice Bentley ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 10:57 AM:

Hurray! People I can talk to about Steven Universe! (I have yet to persuade my housemates or spouse to sit down and watch.)
Hulu has Episodes 1 through 35, but not the pilot or anything past 35.
Cartoon Network says I can watch the others if I have a cable or TV subscription, but I don't. So I've been catching everything else through YouTube.

#14 ::: nonasuch ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 11:57 AM:

yesssss I am so glad to see more SU fans here!

In addition to all the listed reasons for enjoying this show, I have a personal one: Because I grew up in the same area as Rebecca Sugar, the showrunner, and we're about the same age, I am 99% sure that Beach City is meant to be Ocean City, MD, as it was when I went there as a kid. I rarely get to enjoy media set in alt-history versions of my own childhood, so that's nice.

#15 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 12:45 PM:

I am realizing I'm going to have to acclimatize myself to the art.

I find something about it (one part of it is their weird saturation choices -- I keep feeling like I ought to adjust my glasses because it's all so DIM because all the colors are about the same on that axis) extremely offputting to repulsive.

This is an idiosyncratic thing about me personally, not a comment about its general quality, which I agree is likely high.

(other datapoints: I also can't stand Dave McKean's art, meaning there are realms of Gaiman fandom that are barred to me, and Transmetropolitan's art puts me so off I can't even squint it and read just the text boxes, I have to close the book entirely and walk away)

Another recent show with some of the same awesomenesses as Stephen Universe that most fen of my acquaintance have never heard of is Gravity Falls, which is doing some greatly SFnal things and aiming them at kids.

#16 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 12:51 PM:

nonasuch @14, according to the Steven Universe wiki, the name Beach City is in fact riffing off of from Ocean City, Maryland. The city itself also takes inspiration from Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Dewey Beach, all in Delaware.

#17 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 01:10 PM:

This sounds great, and "alt-history versions of my own childhood" might even convince my Delaware-born wife to watch it with me (I watch little TV, and she watches even less, so that's a rare find.)

#18 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 02:48 PM:

The art-style of SU is odd, not 100% to my tastes, but not off-putting.

I have trouble nailing it down its inspirations.

70s mod children's books illustrations?

The palette a watercolor artist sitting on the beach of a sleepy resort might work with?

#19 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 02:58 PM:

So, I really don't watch television, but I find myself intrigued enough to want to check this out. This is a clueless question: where do I go to start from the beginning?


#20 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 03:00 PM:

It's on Hulu if you have a paid subscription (I only have free Hulu).

#21 ::: Alice Bentley ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 03:10 PM:

Naomi @ #19, Elliott @ #20, I've been using YouTube as my main source, using the query box to find matches for each episode, then guessing which of the ones listed will be the best quality.
The character designs change quite a bit between the pilot (Episode 0) and the main run, but the writing has been the main draw for me for all of it.

#22 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 04:10 PM:

Wikipedia has an episode guide:

The first dozen or so episodes you can watch in any order. After that, they start to have "reveals" that you'll want to catch in order.

#23 ::: nonasuch ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 04:53 PM:

Stefan, to me the art style reads as the halfway point between a magical girl anime and Adventure Time, which... basically describes most aspects of the show, actually.

#24 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 09:12 PM:

#23: I've been watching both shows -- the last episodes of the AT season and a full rewatch of SU -- to unwind, as the last shows of the evening.

Finn the Human and Steven . . . lots of contrasts.

Finn can be a real insensitive a-hole, and revels in living a Lost Boy lifestyle of murder-hobo derring do, but has his heroic aspects and seems capable of learning.

Steven is such a loveable little dork. So damn intent on getting and keeping friends and gaining the respect of the Gems. Rebecca Sugar based him on her little brother. You know he'll be a mensch when he grows up.

#25 ::: Holly Hunt ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2015, 09:53 PM:

Steven Universe is such an amazing show, and for that reason, I am more than willing to pay for it on Amazon for next day (though, half the time, next-week, since CN packages two episodes together) access. It's even good enough that my show-watching buddy also purchased it (when usually one of us will buy a show and then we watch together). The one thing I find super annoying is that sometimes Cartoon Network will package episodes out of order (annoyed enough that I asked Amazon why they did that and they pointed at CN as the culprit), seemingly due to release times. I just wish they'd give us one episode at a time and charge us accordingly.

If you love fan art, Tumblr absolutely explodes whenever something new comes out. It's also a great place to read other fan theories and so forth. You can search for the #su and "#steven universe" tags.

#26 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 08:41 AM:

We get ours through the iTunes store on the Apple TV box, so.

Marith, @12: I solemnly swear henceforth to take great care with its employment. (—I should note that the "Sondheim" portion of my earlier comment refers to a specific song, in a specific episode. The Utena portion is rather more evenly distributed.)

—The art: beyond the light, and the color, and the wildly lumpy expressiveness of the characters, and it may just be me, but I keep seeing touches and dashes of Matt Howarth in the backgrounds, especially where gem-tech is concerned. —There is a mad jam-band of influences cranking along in the art, and their ability to pull it all together into a coherent, soaring thing is definitely one of the pleasures of the show.

#27 ::: Laurence Brothers ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 09:20 AM:

Yeah, I started watching because some of my VP friends said I should. I almost gave up on the first couple of episodes, because while delightfully silly the show didn't seem to have much behind it.

But then I watched a few more. Wow, this is really by far the best western animated show in many years. Who knows, maybe it's the best ever. And it appeals to so many different people, too. Progressive without being preachy, smart, funny, enormously charming and affecting too.

#28 ::: Laurence Brothers ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 09:47 AM:

Re art influences, I see many, from Looney Tunes to Groening and Kricfalusi down to more recent cartoon network shows. And of course anime influence too. But SU also has its own distinctive quality; it's not just a mash-up of other people's styles.

I should say though that while I like SU's art quite a bit, especially the palettes and the expressiveness of the animation, I think there's room for improvement in the character and scene design. The visuals are not the primary draw for me.

#29 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 02:01 PM:

We started watching because friends made everyone watch a couple of episodes at a 4th of July Party.

#30 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 03:13 PM:

I have now watched the first ten eps with my daughter, and I'm hooked, though I still find the art ranges between "meh" and "skin-crawlingly repulsive" to me.

The part I don't like seems to descent, in my mind, from the Ren'N'Stimpy influence on Spongebob; Spongebob-esque tropes are now near-universal in current shows (Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, this one), and I almost can't look at any of them.

The deformity, the intermittently bulging eyes that make me think they're about to explode goo down the character's faces, the fact that nearly every single character (except Connie and Garnet, and to a degree, Pearl) is drawn to look -- to me -- monstrous? I find it really offputting. Everybody looks as if they're about to vomit or hock a loogie or collapse in on themselves like a deflating parade balloon.

So I 'watch' it while folding laundry or doing something else that my eyes are pointed at, mostly listening to the show and occasionally looking up to get reference for what's going on.

The writing is good enough to make me want to soldier through in this way, if that recommendation helps sway anyone. :->

#31 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 05:14 PM:

I have so much to say about Steven Universe that I almost don't know what to say. How about just how amazingly Pearl is characterized and handled? There's so much emotional depth to Pearl and so much emotional work goes into her character arc that I just goggle at how it's being handled half the time.

I don't want to spoil anything, but the arc covered in the most recent "bomb" (for marketing/scheduling reasons, CN has periodically striped the show for a full week, showing a new ep every night for five days rather than every week -- this is usually bracketed by a short hiatus, and (so far) they tend to be "big" episodes: Stevenbomb 1 included The Return/Jailbreak) is a five-episode story about consent, forgiveness, and healthy emotional processing and healing.

It's also got an astonishingly diverse (sad that this is astonishing) vocal cast, full of incredibly talented women (the men are incredibly talented too, but outnumbered). Most episodes pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test (and many fail the Reverse Bechdel-Wallace Test). And it's got Connie (it's been pointed out to me that if Connie were the viewpoint character, the show would almost be a by-the-numbers genderswapped Magical Girlfriend show -- only the first few episodes thereof, but standard so far), who's so One of Us it hurts.

My wife likes to describe it as one of the most adult shows on TV, and she's absolutely right.
(Also we are the "friends" in #29 above. Weird to be reffed on ML)

#32 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 06:09 PM:

Oh. Pearl. I was so worried she might . . . do something rash.

Well, I suppose she did, but not as rash as I feared.

#33 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 06:49 PM:

I'm still only early in, but I'm very impressed with how they do Pearl -- because she's clearly The Mom (as well as The Organized One and The One Who Worries), most kid shows would make her a sort of killjoy and occasional antagonist.

And she's totally not.

In the ep with the jerfgyvat (rot13), for example, she goes quite quickly from OH MY GOSH QUIT DOING THE THING!!! to "I am playing along because it is awesome to play along and be fun when things are not actually in danger right now."

(I think I'm kind of a Pearl)

#34 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 07:13 PM:

Hah-hah, so much cool stuff coming up for you who are just starting watching SU!

* * *

There's one character who doesn't quite measure up to the others:

Crevqbg, gur uvtu-grpu ubzrjbeyq trz, vf va fbzr jnlf nqbenoyr; n fbeg bs jbexnubyvp grpuabpeng-areq.

Ohg V'z trggvat gverq bs ure "Ojnu-un-unu, sbvyrq lbh ntnva!" rfpncrf ivn gubfr fvyyl cebcryybe-svatref.

#35 ::: nonasuch ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 07:47 PM:

@31 God, yes, Connie is the greatest. I already adored her, but "Oh, Steven. I know you love schmaltz" sealed the deal.

#36 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 08:02 PM:

We just watched Ep 2.

My daughter, walking up the stairs to a bath, just said, "Papa? What if Steven Universe was a girl? ... What if EVERYONE in Steven Universe was a girl?!? That would be MUCH more PRETTIER."

Yessss, my child, fanon head-recastings begin YOUNG in this family!

#37 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 08:04 PM:

@Stefan 34

I think there's a strong implication that SO IS SHE.

#38 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 08:35 PM:

Ep 12. Dangit.

#39 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2015, 10:23 PM:

Elliot: there is an episode which is self-declared, "out of canon": it was an April 1 ep. That was my first exposure to Uncle Grandpa.

Do not want.

You may wish to skip that one; it has no bearing on any of the ongoing storylines.

#40 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 01:15 AM:

Terry @ 39: Yes, it says explicitly and verbatim, "Don't worry, this isn't canon."

On the other hand, he does grnpu Fgrira gb fhzzba uvf fuvryq ba qrznaq. Naq vg'f tbg fbzr pynffvp Ybbarl Gharf gevohgr zbzragf. Can't argue with taste, but I support watching it.

#41 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 01:32 AM:

Just watched "House Guest." Noticed that even Gregg's feet are sunburned; there's a sandal pattern burned in there.
* * *
Here is the Steven Universe pilot, strangely cropped. Slightly different art-style; more anime-like and with richer colors.

The clip Avram links to with the extended theme song is, I'm guessing, a sort of origin story, since it seems to show Steven moving into the house. Avram suggested it might be a DVD extra.

#42 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 07:50 AM:

Stefan: Yep. and the sunburn pattern is not the same as the clothes he now wears. Jr qb trg gb frr uvz va aba-fhaohearq fgngr va fbzr rcvfbqrf nobhg gur cnfg.

#43 ::: Dan Audy ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 02:21 PM:

Watched the first 5 episodes with my son (8 years old) last night since I've been trying to find something for us to watch together for a while but nothing has really stuck. He really enjoyed the style of humour ("it's so random") and thought the characters were pretty awesome. The 10 minute episodes were just about perfect bite-sized bits for him which we could mix between other activities without having to devout a big chunk of time or deal with the wiggles that sitting for an extended period results in. I thought it was ok, though I recognize that the good stuff that you guys are talking about mostly takes time to build the complexity so I wasn't expecting to see it yet. The art style doesn't do much for me but isn't a turnoff either (except for how they do lips - do not like). I really like Amethyst and Steven and was meh on Pearl and Garnet's personality (though I like Garnet's stylization the most visually). So far my perception is that it is a fairly well done kids cartoon that I wouldn't have bothered following if it weren't for the praise of people whose opinions I respect and the fact that it is a nice thing to be able to share with my son who was talking about it still this morning.

I was wondering however - the series starts out in media res right? The first episode has them all living together and fighting the crystal centipedes and the cookie cat stuff without any of the 'how the heroes met' stuff I'm used to with shows - it made sense after I thought about it since most viewers wouldn't be starting from episode 1 so just treating it like every other episode would make sense but I just wanted to check that we hadn't missed anything.

#44 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 03:30 PM:

Dan Audy @43
Yes, it starts in media res. The extended opening (which is spoilery up through early season 2 -- the opening it uses started being used after Reformed, and the (otherwise unplayed) earlier verses spoil the big character reveals of the last quarter of Season 1)) actually covers some of that backstory, beginning with a younger Steven and the building of the house at the temple.

In another sense, though, it's not in media res. The show starts with what's arguably the start of Steven's story: him starting to go on missions, develop his abilities, and address his heritage. The start of his journey is also the end of stasis for the other Gems, particularly in that they start to address interpersonal and mission issues that they've just been, well, ignoring for all of Steven's life.

#45 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 04:27 PM:

@Dan: Stick with it.

A lot of the early episodes are "Steven tries to be an appreciated member of the team," which is fine.

Then things get dangerous and complicated and often wonderfully nutty.

#46 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 05:01 PM:

Dan: Nope, that's how it starts. We didn't quite realise that either, but we were being given a couple of episodes as a "you need to see this", so that on was followed with the 1st Connie Episode, and we got caught up on our own.

By the time I wondered about the intro to the first story (i.e. "when are we going to get that episode" it didn't seem out of time anymore.

#47 ::: Stephanie ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2015, 11:19 PM:

First time ML poster, intermittent lurker. Hihi.

I love this show, love it so hard. Had this been on television when I was a kid, well I think it would have made a huge difference.

All the things listed above, the art, the music, the diversity, the intelligence, all of these are terrific. But when I love most is the subtext that's built into every single episode. I'm not just talking Easter Eggs like seeing an old school video game console or a Sailor Moon poster in the background, but objects or character behavior that are easy to just appreciate on the surface but take on deeper meaning as you learn more about the show, sometimes many episodes down the line.

I don't want to spoil, so I'll be vague in this example. There is a scene early on when Steven manages to accomplish something that the Gems didn't think was possible. All three Gems are shocked, but Amethyst leans over to Pearl and says, "Pearl, look at Garnet." The normally stoic and taciturn Garnet is delighted, but we as viewers don't understand the depth of her reaction until much later. And that's just one moment. Every episode hints to a vast backstory and deep and complex character relationships and motivations.

This is the first time I've seen subtext deployed this often in a kids show and this well to boot (kids show or otherwise). This is a show I can crawl inside of and just think about for a very long time. It's a treasure.

New episodes drop in September!

(I have a theory on fusion, but, again, loathe to outright spoil anyone who hasn't seen the full run of show!)

#48 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 01:21 AM:

Stephanie notes:

"Had this been on television when I was a kid, well I think it would have made a huge difference."

Kids' TV is so much better than when I was an actual kid.

Or, I should say, the best kids' TV is so much better. There's still great morasses of crap. But the good stuff is really smart, and the creators really seem to care about their creations.

I'm pretty sure I know which episode that Stephanie is describing, and What It Was That Steven Did, and even though that in itself was a WHOA! moment, it really takes on more depth when you rewatch it after some later-on extraordinary stuff.

#49 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 01:56 AM:

I feel like I should give props to another show that is doing an interesting long-form development of a character.

Adventure Time has, as a comic-foil villain, the Ice King. A magically potent but socially inept dork with a bad habit of kidnapping princesses.

Only . . . we slowly learn he's a victim himself, of evil magic. His magic crown has robbed him of his lucidity and memories of his past life. There are a few not-funny-at-all episodes exploring his decline.

It makes me wonder if Pendleton Ward has lost someone important to addiction, or mental illness.

#50 ::: Dan Audy ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 12:54 PM:


Rot13 is always a great way to share spoilery thoughts and ideas in a thread so that those who have seen it and want to know your idea can opt-in to viewing it and all the rest of us know is that there is cool stuff waiting for us when we catch up.

#51 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 01:13 PM:

I'm surprised nobody's talked about the Freudian map of the 3 female gems: Pearl as superego, Garnet as ego, Amethyst as id. In a sense, we can look on them as the Jungian Anima divided into 3 parts, which Steven has to learn to deal with. I'm only about 18 eps in, but this mapping keeps screaming at me.

There's a very Freudian analysis that would be easy, and a good Jungian one. (Freud wasn't only about sex, even though many Freudians are.) It would be interesting to look at this through the lens of Wilhelm Reich, as well.

#52 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 02:45 PM:

Tom Whitmore @51, having seen more eps than you, I might be tempted to swap Pearl’s and Garnet’s roles— Pearl seems more concerned with day-to-day necessity, while Garnet seems more spiritual and has a stronger sense of conscience.

And it’s complicated by the fact that all three are full characters, with complexities.

#53 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 04:06 PM:

They are indeed fairly complex -- but then, those aspects are very complex in most people (Eric Berne's split of Parent/Adult/Child is a rework of Freud, for example: Berne was very much a Freudian, though not a Freudian absolutist).

#54 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 04:35 PM:

Yeah, “parent” is an interesting word here. Pearl seems like more of a parent to Steven, while Garnet is more of a parent to Pearl (in ways that become more apparent in later episodes), and they both have that relationship with Amethyst.

#55 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2015, 08:21 PM:

And Greg also has parent functions: sometimes to other Gems than Steven.

#56 ::: Stephanie ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2015, 03:12 PM:

Dan @50: Naq guvf vf n grfg bs gur rzretrapl ebg13 flfgrz. Guvf vf bayl n grfg!

I found a Rot13 site where I can copy/paste material, but I'm wondering if there is something built in to ML that I'm missing? When I clicked on the blue link in your post, Dan, it took me to a Woe! Search page not found.

Stefan @48: Yes, that episode exactly. The show benefits from an attentive first viewing, and rewards a close rewatch.

And awesome. Did I mention awesome?

#57 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2015, 03:21 PM:

Stephanie @56: I use when I must. I prefer to use built-in rot13 capabilities; there are browser plugins for Chrome and others such that I can highlight text and right-click and then tell it to rot13 it for me and poof! magic.

#58 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2015, 03:26 PM:

for ROT-13 (and lots of other text games) I use the Firefox plugin LeetKey. Once installed it creates a right-click context menu.

#59 ::: Dan Audy ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2015, 05:29 PM:

Yeah, that link didn't work so well - not sure why it turned into an internal url instead of the external one I thought I'd entered. Copy-pasting from or a plugin (my prefered method) both work great.

#60 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2015, 05:46 PM:

Dan Audy (59): It looks like you forgot the http:// part. If you leave that off, browsers interpret it as a relative link to somewhere on the site you're on (in this case,

#61 ::: Dan Audy ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2015, 11:55 PM:

@Mary Aileen

AH! Thanks, I feel much better knowing how I was stupid than wondering about the whole myriad number of ways that could have I screwed up.

#62 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2015, 07:03 PM:

This finally got me to seek this out after seeing it a bunch on Tumblr. The super deformed style reminds me a lot of Shin-Chan, and I associate that aggressive ugliness with a sort of... disdain for the characters and audience alike. So far this seems the total opposite, but it took me about 7 episodes to calibrate my expectations. (Just finished 12 and will be humming Giant Woman for a while.)

Since folks are saying that things get more complex after this, I was wondering if anyone can speak to younger kid appropriateness. The almost-kindergartener saw part of an ep over my shoulder and instantly layered it into his play. I'd be happy to show him anything I've seen so far, I just want to check to see if the emotional intensity ramps up in a way that's more appropriate for bigger kids. (Korra got too scary for him, but most of ATLA was fine.)

#63 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2015, 07:24 PM:

It does get pretty emotionally intense, but I don’t have a clear grasp on what’s age-appropriate for near-kindergarteners. One concern I’d have is that the word “kindergarten” gets used for a specific negative thing towards the end of the first season, which could lead to a kid who hasn’t yet been to real kindergarten getting nervous about going there.

#64 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2015, 07:45 PM:

I suspect the emotional intensity that appears would be more puzzling than upsetting to a youngster.

Some of the matters that later episodes touch on are pretty deep, but kids won't pick up on them. (V'z guvaxvat nobhg Tnearg'f erihyfvba bire sbeprq shfvba ol sentzragf, naq bar punenpgre gevpxvat nabgure vagb guvaxvat shfvba jnf arprffnel, naq gur pbafrdhrag natre naq snyybhg.)

Many episodes are just about Steven, and many youngsters will deeply identify with his desire for respect and to be a part of the team.

#65 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2015, 10:58 PM:

TChem @62: My 6yo is missing most of what I find most disturbing and dense -- she's seeing the surface storylines and some things she knows are meant to be scary because the music gets foreboding, but can't explain to me afterwards what was scary about it besides "There was a monster".

Most of what I'm getting out of it is existential or informed by deep life experience (parent sads, or knowing what's going on between the Big Donut girl and Lars to a degree that Steven misses). She doesn't see any of that, and mostly doesn't remember the dialogue bits that are involved in what I think are the most emotional parts.

That said, the Monsters Attack mission episodes are too intense for before bedtime. Because monsters.

#66 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2015, 09:23 AM:

Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll hold off unless I've prescreened for now, especially if kindergarten is a scary word! (We're having enough problems on that front.)

Elliott: That was pretty much the thing I was thinking of. Like, he thinks My Neighbor Totoro is a completely happy movie when there are scenes that put me through the wringer because I know what's being implied. He got really scared during the "Steven starts aging rapidly" episode but the monsters so far have been fun and exciting.

Poor Sadie! She can do better than Lars.

#67 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2015, 01:25 AM:

I just rewatched the very-early episode "Laser Light Cannon."

Another one that seemed trivial the first time around, but it sets up many things, including the tense episode set in Gregg's storage unit.

I'm mildly curious about the spin-off comic book:

Anyone familiar with it?

#68 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2015, 10:42 AM:

Stefan @67. It's OK. Much like the AT comics the early issues are standalone fluff that more or less approximate the feel of the show. Also much like the AT comics got Marceline & The Scream Queens, we're getting Too Cool for School , which will be a) one story and b) canonical (for the moment at least).

#69 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 12:29 PM:

I've been staying out of the thread because I'm not *quite* caught up to what's available yet, but--John got me hooked on this show and he's created a monster. If he was willing, we'd shotgun all of it over Labor Day weekend.

As things stand, we just finished "Winter Forecast."

I may have done some undignified jumping up and down and squeeing after gur erirny va "Wnvyoernx." I may have burbled things like "Oh my Gods it totally makes sense, it was there all along, did you suspect? I should have suspected! I mean, fur'f unq guerr rlrf naq gjb trzf nyy nybat--how did I not suspect? That's AWESOME!"

John pinpointed something that makes it fabulous for me: Each episode is so short, only 10 minutes or so, that there's no time for bad sitcom bullshit, sustained pseudo-conflict of nobody talking to each other for no good reason, "it's not what it looks like" situations (e.g. the climax of "Open Book")--Who's got time for that? Not the Crystal Gems!

Pearl is John's favorite. Garnet is mine. And we both identify with Connie so hard.

I woke up from a dream the other morning in which I was surprised to find that there was a faction of SU fandom who absolutely did not want to see a particular two characters (made up by my dream--not waking canon characters at all) fuse. And I have the theme song stuck in my head all the time now.

All for now. Looking forward to un-ROT13ing everything once I get to the end of whatever iTunes has available.

#70 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 03:20 PM:

About the reveal in "Wnvyoernx" (no spoilers for anything after that episode will appear anywhere in the rot13 for this post.)

Gur oyhr trz ba gur grzcyr qbbe jnf zl pyhr gung fbzrguvat jnf hc, gubhtu V qvqa'g svther bhg JUNG jnf hc orsber gur erirny. V gubhtug vg zvtug orybat gb Yncvf jura fur jnf vagebqhprq, ohg jura vg ghearq bhg fur jnfa'g pybfr jvgu Ebfr be gur bgure trzf V xarj vg jnfa'g ure. Vs V unqa'g whfg orra fgenvtug znengubaavat, naq unq qbar n erjngpu gb fbyir gur oyhr trz zlfgrel orsber V fnj Wnvyoernx, V zvtug unir svtherq vg bhg.

A decent number of the background "hmm. that's gotta be important" things I've noticed have been followed up on in a satisfactory manner. After being a huge fan of Lost, I've been hesitant to trust a background mystery show again, but I trust Steven Universe. I don't need everything to be wrapped up neatly, but they've done enough to convince me there really is a plan in place.

Some of the background stuff may well just be worldbuilding that will not be elaborated upon further, but it's so cohesive... and once you notice something and start looking for it, you'll notice other references that build on your initial theories.

When someone advised me to look closely at the backgrounds in Frevbhf Fgrira, vg yrnq zr gb n yvar bs fcrphyngvba gung pbagvahrf gb cnl bss.

I was going to elaborate more on that, but I figured I'd just link to the article I eventually found last spring when I was caught up and started looking around. Note: while there are no spoilers in either of these articles for content past Wnvyoernx (as I believe these articles were written when that was the last available episode), it contains heavy speculation that I think is pretty solid, and may end up being predictive.

Background detective: Gur Qvnzbaq Nhgubevgl

An even more elaborate, detailed, and highly speculative take on the same background stuff, with citations from foreground conversations.

#71 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 04:38 PM:

(no spoilers for anything after that episode will appear anywhere in the rot13 for this post.)

Oh, thank you - that was a very kind thing to specify. It has been hard trying to figure out which ROT13 is safe to shift in the conversation. Since this week's binges, I've reasoned that most of them are safe now, but I still do it a few words at a time (which I squint at between y fingers) until I'm sure it's something I'm spoiler-proof for. Your specifics were very reassuring.

(It's tricky, though, when the very name of the episode is a spoiler. At least, it would be for me. Being told "There's a BIG REVEAL in EPISODE [NAME]" primes me with expectation I would otherwise be innocent of. So I don't want to spoil that for anyone--but it does make it hard to signal "This is a spoiler for Episode [NAME] so don't shift the ROT13 if you haven't seen it yet!" if you can't say what Episode [NAME] is...)

Re: your ROT13 - I now NEED to rewatch that episode, to see if I can spot the clue you mentioned.

#72 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 04:55 PM:

"I trust Steven Universe."

The show's creators care about it, and respect the audience.

#73 ::: Alice Bentley ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 06:30 PM:

I've found that showing the first several episodes of the show have been an unsuccessful way to get new folks interested. So now I'm trying to choose the best episode to lure in someone reluctant.

I'm leaning toward Bubble Buddies (Episode 7, and the introduction of Connie) as that sweet spot between great character development and enough background material to not be lost.

Any other recommendations?

#74 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 06:42 PM:

@Alice: Funny, I've been trying to think of which episode(s) to show visiting family. "Bubble Buddies" was the one that first came to mind.

"Frybo," maybe?

#75 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 11:08 PM:

@ Alice #73

I just got done with a partial rewatch, and I have some thoughts on early episodes, and a possible abridged watch order, depending on how long you have.

Note: Below I'm going to use plain text titles for the first 24 episodes, as well as minor "spoilers" like "this character appears in both these episodes" or "rewatchers would do well to pay attention to this ambiguously-described scene." It'd be silly to rot13, and I assume most people reading the comments have seen most of those, but I figured a warning was in order.

* * * * *

While a straight run of the early episodes may not work, if the person hasn't seen Any SU, I'd consider starting out with either episode 1 (Gem Glow) or episode 3 (Cheeseburger Backpack), which establish Steven and the Gem's personalities. I prefer episode 1 for REASONS, but either will work.

Next hit Bubble Buddies, then either Steven's Lion and/or Giant Woman.

Those episodes open up the plotthreads for Steven the Swordfighter and Lion 2: The Movie.

If you started with Episode 1, then Monster Buddies is also an option once you've seen a few other episodes. That episode does some WORK, both character and plot-wise.

I've selected these episodes because they are individually very good, and they also highlight one of SU's greatest strengths: continuity. For example:

Gem Glow > Bubble Buddies > Lion > Lion 2

Demonstrates how SU launches plot threads independently and then ties some of them together as things progress.

That particular sequence is good for highlighting Steven and Connie's arc, but leaves the gems out a bit. That's why I put forward Giant Woman (considered to be one of the funniest and most interesting early S1 episodes), Steven the Swordfighter and even, ultimately, Monster Buddies. Note: if people watching are Utena fans, Swordfighter contains a shot-for-shot homage to some of the fights in that show, and Lion 2 contains another homage: Gifset

Every episode this list also has another bonus: cool foreshadowing stuff that's good for rewatchers. Seriously, take a second look at the inside of the freezer during Ep1. Similarly, during Monster Buddies, keep an eye on what happens after the bubble pops.

* * * * *

Those are my thoughts. The more I worked on this post the more I realized how many things Ep1 has to recommend it over Ep3... plus Ep3's art style is a bit shaky, and goes in directions that are different than the art direction overall tends to go. Still, there are some people who just don't think Ep1 is very good, and I wanted to give a decent alternative. I think it's fine, as long as you jump straight into Bubble Buddies right after.

#76 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2015, 11:30 PM:

Addendum: and after you've watched all (or most) of the eps listed above, if you're still on the abridged track, ep24 weaves even more of the component threads together for an episode that is positively portentous. If you don't have 'em by then, you never will.

#77 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2015, 12:32 AM:

ARGH the aforementioned out-of-orderness.

We have been watching via itunes, and only when we got to "Marble Madness" did we realize that, hmm, shouldn't we have seen this before "Return"/"Jailbreak"? Then I went and compared with Wiki ep guide, and found that it has "shirt club" and "story for steven" well before "Jailbreak," but itunes includes them in the *following* season pass, and they aren't even paired up the same way...? I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE MY BRAIN IS BREAKING SEND HELP.

Can anyone recommend a reliable, in-the-right-order episode guide, one that's also spoiler free? The summaries at the Wiki are really spoilery.

#78 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2015, 12:37 AM:

...nevermind. (Apparently this is a known thing to do with actual air dates. WHY.)

#79 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2015, 08:04 AM:

Nicole @78: I've been using Wikipedia's, whose text is so tiny and badly whitespaced that it's easy to not even look at anything but episode title and number. I don't know if their summaries are spoilery, I haven't even really been seeing them.

#80 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2015, 11:34 PM:

Elliott Mason@79 - I must have my font size zoomed in, because the summaries are pretty legible on that page for me - but I used the Firefox Scrapbook add-on to save a copy for reference, and then I managed to erase all the summaries without letting my eyes focus on them enough to read. Which was maybe a little detail-oriented of me, but whatever, it worked!

We just now watched the two that itunes had skipped during its so-called season 2: "Shirt Club" and "Story for Steven". So now we're back on track. I am in increasing awe of the show's refusal to make *any* detail truly a throw-away detail; everything is fair game for developing character, deepening backstory, and detailing the world. Examples [rot13]: 1. gur fuveg pnaba tha vf onpx sebz rc 1! 2. Crney'f yvar, "V pna fvat gbb!" vf gur svefg (puebabybtvpnyyl fcrnxvat) fvta bs ure wrnybhfl bs Tert'f eryngvbafuvc jvgu Ebfr, gung jr fnj ure fhssrevat sebz va "Ebfr'f Fpnooneq". 3. Nzrgulfg'f gryyvat Tert, "V yvxr lbhe unve"; zrnajuvyr, fur jber uref fubeg ng gur gvzr. Thrff fur yvxr Tert'f fglyr fb zhpu fur pbcvrq vg. (Nyfb, syrfurf bhg ure eryngvbafuvc jvgu Tert whfg gung yvggyr ovg zber. Lnl.)

While not particularly plot revealing, details like that really increase my admiration for the show. It really wastes *nothing.* (See also Leah's remark about the freeze in Ep 1.)

Now I want to rewatch all the 2nd half of Season 1 so as to get the build-up to "Return"/"Jailbreak" in the proper order this time.

#81 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2015, 06:53 PM:

This great fan-edit music video has been circulating tumblr, and I felt the need to share. Warning: spoilers for the not-caught-up.

Shut Up and Dance

#82 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2015, 01:32 AM:

@Leah: Oh, that was splendid!

I don't know if I'd listen to more than ten seconds of that music if I heard it on the radio, but it totally fits the dancing / fusion theme. If the legalities could be worked out that video would make a great DVD extra.

#83 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2015, 04:44 PM:

Episode Order, sourced from the crew:

I much prefer Laser Light Cannon to Gem Glow as a first ep to show people -- there's no dependency between them and LLC shows Steven in a MUCH better light. But my current go-to for showing people why they should watch it is Giant Woman: great song, great character beats, beautiful animation.

#84 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2015, 05:16 PM:

@83 - THANK YOU. Also, intriguing to see where they wanted the non-canonical crossover ep to go.

"Giant Woman" was the first one that made me burst into tears, for so many reasons.

#85 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2015, 08:37 AM:

So I've seen up through Horror Club and the "Dance With Me" video, and I have some thinky speculation about Garnet I'm going to Rot13. If you've seen what I've seen then there are no spoilers (only speculation) in what follows; if you've seen more, feel free to laugh portentously and waggle eyebrows, but please, no specifics in reply unless you mark them. :->

Fb, hz. Tnearg jnf ERNYYL UNCCL gung Fgrira znantrq gb qb shfvba. Naq vg bpphef gb zr gung fur'f (n) ynetre guna gur bgure Trzf jr'ir frra erthyneyl naq (o) unf GUERR RLRF naq (p) unf GJB TRZF, bar va rnpu cnyz ... fb V tbggn jbaqre, vf Tnearg n ybat-grez cnegvny shfvba? Be fbzrguvat?

#86 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2015, 09:01 AM:

Elliot: Thoughts along those lines were had here. V jvyy cbvag bhg gung Ebfr jnf zhpu ynetre guna rvgure Nzrgulfg be Crney.

Sbe gur ybatrfg gvzr V jnfa'g pbzcyrgryl fher Nzrgulfg unq gjb rlrf.

#87 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2015, 09:17 AM:

"The Test" was exactly the thing to make me cry the day before my kid goes to kindergarten.

Elliott: I'm at almost exactly the same spot (though I fell asleep to Horror Club last night so I'll need to rewatch). I've wondered the same thing about all of them at different times. Nabgure cbvag: Tnearg frrzf ol sne gur zbfg onynaprq bs gur guerr, naq jvyyvat shfvbaf (Fgribaavr, Bcny) unir orra n yvggyr zber pragrerq guna gurve cnegf.

#88 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2015, 02:00 PM:

Elliott Mason @85 and TChem @87, have you noticed that Sugilite (from “Coach Steven”) seems less centered than Garnet?

Also, have you been paying close attention to the temple door as various Gems activate it? If you go back to the episode “Together Breakfast” (4th ep of Season 1), you can see Garnet open the door almost two minutes in.

#89 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 10:46 AM:

Totally sweet performance of the updated Steven Universe theme song by show creator Rebecca Sugar:

#90 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 01:49 PM:

For people who are just following the comments: I updated the entry with a YouTube link to the full-length webisode containing the extended theme. It’s a got a little more dialog at the beginning. If your Flash is installed and up to date (I don’t bother with Flash anymore), you can check out the official version on the Cartoon Network website.

#91 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 02:01 PM:

Avram, I'd remembered "some kind of three-fold symmetry thing" and just went back and had my mind blown for me. I hadn't been thinking of that while watching that specific bit (maybe Garnet's door hasn't been shown recently). It took me a few episodes to catch on to just how visually dense it actually is.

#92 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 04:50 PM:

I am now to the episodes that were aired all wonky, and in my quest to attempt to watch Open Book, Shirt Club, and Story for Steven all in the right order I've now seen bits of four other episodes, including one that I THOUGHT was Shirt Club while I was watching it but includes assumption of at least several previous eps in matter-of-fact character knowledge of massive plot things that I was not yet aware of.

I was honestly coming here to be all WAIT GUYZ WHEN DID WE FIND THAT OUT?? when I stopped, thought about it, scrolled back to the beginning and looked at the title card. Nooooooope, not Shirt Club at all.

This section is going to be annoying. Especially since I'm pre-viewing before I run through them with my daughter.

#93 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 06:38 PM:

@92 - Trying to untangle those episodes is why I started using "the great TiVo in the sky" (whose initials start with B and T) in tandem with John's purchasing the season passes on iTunes. It just makes it a lot easier to single out episodes for a particular order when you can queue them up in a playist in VLC, rather than trying to neatly find the mid-point in a file containing two eps.

Spotting all the visual elements I missed the first time around - Garnet's door, as Avram mentions, for instance - is exactly why I want to do a huge, careful rewatch with my finger on the pause button right now or just as soon as I have time.

Also as soon as I get caught up on current episodes.


#94 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 06:58 PM:

Yup, a new episode aired yesterday. They seem to be doing a standard one-new-ep-per-week thing now, as opposed to the “StevenBomb” model where they release a new one every day for a week.

#95 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 07:01 PM:

It very strange (we just watched it) to watch only one episode.

#96 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 08:52 PM:

Aaaaaah the thing that happens in the beginning of Rose's Scabbard aaaaaaah.

(spoilers for Rose's Scabbard, Maximum Capacity, and speculation follow in this rot13)

Fb, yvxr, Crney vf fgvyy ubyqvat n gbepu sbe Ebfr. Yvxr ubyqvat n gbepu UNEQ. Yvxr, gur navzngvba ng nebhaq 2zva vagb Ebfr'f Fpnooneq vf ... gung'f abg whfg zr, vf vg? Gung'f abg FHOgrkg, gung'f grkghny ersrerapr jr'er fhccbfrq gb ernq nf frkhny?

Naq Nzrgulfg qvq n perrcl funcrfuvsg-vagb-Ebfr-sbe-ure-bja-pbzsbeg-naq-Tertt'f guvat nsgre Fgrira jnf obea? Cbbe Nzrgulfg, fgvyy nyy tebjvat hc naq lrg qnex naq jrveq naq pbashfrq naq znxvat qrpvfvbaf onfrq ba rzbgvbany uhegvat.

And yeah, my kid spotted absolutely none of that, well dog-whistled on the denser-for-adults content, showrunners!

#97 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2015, 08:54 PM:

Nicole @93: I really want to screenshot out some particularly pretty or odd or portentious bits too.

Like in The Test, when Pearl is explaining (and showing with her gem hologram) what Steven needs to do, the bit showing the victory condition has really adorable tiny abstracted 'icons' for each Gem (and I thought hers was a golf flag the first two times I saw it, making me wonder why the other two were depicted and not Pearl!).

#98 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2015, 01:17 AM:

We just watched "Say Uncle" and "Love Letters" tonight.

The first: Not as bad as I feared. Very uncomfortable in the first few moments, then I just ran with it. Some of the lines were very smart and surprisingly funny: "Jul pbhyqa'g lbh unir qbar vg ba n arj ynlre?" particularly amused me.

Wbua fcbggrq gur Vasvavgl Qevir ba gur qnfu bs Hapyr Tenaqcn'f ina, naq ubj HT'f yvfg ng gur raq jnf erzvavfprag bs Gur Vasvavgryl Cebybatrq punenpgre ivfvgvat rirelbar va gur havirefr va nycunorgvpny beqre (ohg boivbhfyl sbe n qvssrerag ernfba).

V gubhtug gur ovg jvgu Ynef naq Fnqvr jnf whfg n Gvgnavp tnt; snaqbz frrzf gb guvax vg'f n ersrerapr gb gur Ynefnqvr fuvc fvaxvat. I'm sure it's both.

As for "Love Letters" I am so, so grateful for its existence. Has any other show given kids this much-needed message so clearly? "Whfg orpnhfr gur thl nfxrq lbh bhg qbrfa'g zrna lbh unir gb fnl lrf! Lbh ner abg na rivy o---u sbe fnlvat ab! Vs lbh fnl ab, ur arrqf gb erfcrpg gung!" I want to hug it so hard.

Nyfb Wbua naq V gbgnyyl ybfg vg jura Pbaavr ortna gnxvat qvpgngvba sbe Tnearg: "Fgneg jvgu gur yrggre A...."

If we can watch two a night, we'll hopefully be caught up by the next new ep! *IF*

#99 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2015, 01:22 AM:

Elliott Mason @96, oh yes! And yes.

Oh, since you’re coming up on the end of the first season, a tip: the last two episodes (“The Return” and “Jail Break”) constitute a two-parter. Budget enough time to watch them one right after the other.

#100 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2015, 04:32 AM:

...of course I meant Vasvavgr Vzcebonovyvgl Qevir, abg Vasvavgl Qevir. (Must be time for another re-read.)

#101 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2015, 09:00 AM:

I'm cursing my DVR for not flagging the new episode(s). They are repeated a week later, after the NEXT new episode. (5:30 - 6:00 pm Thursdays).

#102 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2015, 06:29 AM:

Stefan Jones #101

If you have cable, chances are you can log on to the Cartoon Network website to view full episodes. (Note that it is a weird and fidgety website, which works better in internet explorer than any other browser. Yeah, I know.)

Go to the Cartoon Network website and navigate to their video section. There should be an option to log in, which will prompt you to select your cable provider. Then you're redirected to your cable provider, where you log in using the password for your cable account. After that, you can watch a bunch of the recent episodes on the website.

Note: sometimes I'm completely unable to get the login to work on chrome, and the video is sometimes laggy on firefox. IE works consistently. It can be frustrating, but it's another legal option for watchin.

#103 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2015, 10:34 AM:

Thanks, Leah! I have caught up on episodes of Adventure Time that way, but I like recording SU to have HD versions that I can watch while flopped out on my couch.

I really hate that website: The "schedule" section is so hard to find, and often useless.

#104 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2015, 11:25 AM:

I’m always shocked and disappointed that I can’t just type “When is [show] on?” into Google and get the right answer.

#105 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2015, 09:07 AM:

Halfway through the training montage in Sworn to the Sword (where the costume change happens) and I had to pause to have a nice cry break.


#106 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2015, 10:39 PM:

@105 ::: Elliott Mason

Halfway through the training montage in Sworn to the Sword (where the costume change happens) and I had to pause to have a nice cry break.


I KNOW, RIGHT? We got up through that one last night, and the room got a little dusty or something. [rot13]"Jul jba'g lbh yrg zr qb guvf sbe lbh, Ebfr?" *nyy gur grnef*[/rot13]

Some of the musical numbers in this show are just plain amazing, the way they so often cause a deliberate mismatch between emotive tone and textual content. Like a punch to the gut out of the blue.

#107 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 01:15 AM:

The extended opening theme was mentioned above; it turns out the closing credits themes are actually parts of the same song. Here's what we've got so far.

#108 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 08:42 AM:

Nicole @106: I also love how Sworn to the Sword and Full Disclosure make a thematic pair about cebgrpgvat fbzrbar be orvat gurve shyy cnegare. (only relevant to those two eps; if you've seen them, it's not a spoiler).

Alan Hamilton @107, in re music: Yes, and themes from songs end up recurring later, either in that episode or the series.

Three examples (if you've seen the ep mentioned, it's not a spoiler for you):
↳ In Full Disclosure, gur evatgbar bs uvf cubar raqf hc orvat na vagrteny cneg bs gur neenatrzrag bs gur fbat.
↳ Jailbreak calls back to Giant Woman orpnhfr gur fbat Tnearg fvatf vf pbtangr gb gung rneyvre rnejbez. Ubj qb V xabj? Orpnhfr V unq Tnearg'f fbat fghpx va zl urnq sbe nobhg guerr ubhef naq qvfpbirerq V pbhyq fvat Tvnag Jbzna'f zrybql ntnvafg vg nf n pbhagreghar. V qba'g xabj vs gung'f nppvqragny be abg, ohg vg fgevxrf zr nf uvtuyl yvxryl gb or checbfrshy, tvira guvf fubj.
↳ In Sworn to the Sword, gur znva genvavat zbagntr fbat unf fgebat zrybqvp pnyyonpxf gb gur bcravat perqvgf fbat.

#109 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 02:30 PM:
Jailbreak calls back to Giant Woman orpnhfr gur fbat Tnearg fvatf vf pbtangr gb gung rneyvre rnejbez. Ubj qb V xabj? Orpnhfr V unq Tnearg'f fbat fghpx va zl urnq sbe nobhg guerr ubhef naq qvfpbirerq V pbhyq fvat Tvnag Jbzna'f zrybql ntnvafg vg nf n pbhagreghar. V qba'g xabj vs gung'f nppvqragny be abg, ohg vg fgevxrf zr nf uvtuyl yvxryl gb or checbfrshy, tvira guvf fubj.

And speaking of which, according to the Wiki, jung Fnccuver vf jbeqyrffyl fvatvat va ure cevfba pryy vf gur zrybql bs "Fgebatre Guna Lbh".

I need to rewatch it to hear it for myself, though.


We are going to watch "We Need To Talk" tonight. I am so excited I can't even. I have quite simply lost by ability to even. (I may have been slipped a spoiler about it because I was unwisely browsing the Wiki.

#110 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 02:48 PM:

Nicole @109: Eeee, that's a good one.

Though I really want to eat popcorn and watch you see the pair Cry for Help/Keystone Motel for the first time.

PSA: don't set it up so you have to watch Cry for Help and then can't continue immediately on to the second, the cliffhanger is ... excruciating, if not 'action packed' like between The Return and Jailbreak.

#111 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 02:56 PM:

Re: Hugo Noms
This post may not be useful for anyone not caught up to Nightmare Hospital (which is the most recent I've seen), but I hope it's at least not spoilery.

I've been trying to figure out which individual ep or pair of eps (I bet we could sell the PTB on a two-parter being "one story" if they're tight enough) to nominate for a Hugo and I'm not coming up with much.

Once you're into the 2015 episodes, almost everything that's really really good is also the tip of a multiple-episode spear, without which it looks like of preachy and obvious.

The last really stand-alone one I can think of is Horror Club, which admittedly was Feb 2015 and might work. It's reasonably self-contained and doesn't cause a lot of double-takes (or spoilers) for those watching just it by itself.

Maybe Marble Madness? I'll have to rewatch it with "how would this look to people who've seen none of the show" goggles on.

Possibly Shirt Club, though it has utterly minimal genre elements. Jail Break is hot buttered awesome, but (a) is spoilery and (b) may not stand alone well for people who don't watch the show.

I'm really thinking of Firefly's "Out of Gas" or Doctor Who's "Blink" right here as my personal paragons of "can stand alone as a work of short visual SF utterly deserving of a Hugo".

Maybe it's because 11 minutes is a little short to develop something with that much punch without relying on spear-shafts sunk deep in the show's history?

Joy Ride is a lot of fun but lightweight. Sworn to the Sword is amazeballs but full of spoilers.

Maybe Chille Tid? Its dream structure makes it stand alone better than some, but I don't know if it reads as actually GOOD to anyone who's not deeply enmeshed in the show.

Maybe a two-parter of Cry for Help/Keystone Motel? Legit scifi, for sure. Utterly full of puppy-repelling relationship cooties, but that's so much of the heart of what makes Steven Universe great ...

#112 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 02:56 PM:

Addendum: Alone Together is eligible.

#113 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 02:57 PM:

And so is The Test.

I swear I'm walking away now. :->

#114 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 03:01 PM:

Is "spoilery" a big consideration? I see sequels and final books nominated for Novel, and I would be willing to bet that a TV finale has been nominated at least once.

Also, since the Stevenbombs are specifically crafted to work as mini-arcs, could not an entire Stevenbomb of your choice be nominated as one work?

#115 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 07:37 PM:

Elliott Mason@111, Scrabble@114

You can group as many episodes as you want together as a single work for nomination purposes. This could even be the entire run of the series through December 2015.

#116 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 08:04 PM:

Scrabble @114: I know a lot of Hugo voters don't want to watch something that doesn't stand alone enough, or is too spoilery without watching/reading the rest. Those are lost votes.

I have no idea what eps are part of Stevenbombs, since I don't have cable and am not watching it as Cartoon Network intended.

#118 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 09:32 PM:

Reading the StevenBombs list (which has quite a few spoilers in the lower parts) reminded me about Keeping It Together, which ... *oogy shudders FOREVER*

I think it's going ot be another great example of an ep that's full of existential horror for me but that my kid will see as "kinda scary" but not particularly disturbing, mainly because monsters jump out at people and there's a fight scene.

See also "dogwhistling content at the adults while still entertaining the kids".

#119 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2015, 09:35 PM:

Follow-on speculation, including spoilers for Keeping It Together and Nightmare Hospital:

V ernyyl, ernyyl, ernyyl ubcr gurl'er frggvat hc sbe n cybgyvar jurer gurl svther bhg ubj gb fgneg hatyhvat gur Pyhfgre Trzf naq yrggvat Fgrira hfr uvf urnyvat cbjre gb er-jryq gurz gbtrgure vagb nf pybfr gb gurve bevtvany fgngr nf vf cbffvoyr nalzber. Sbe bar guvat, vafgnag ervasbeprzragf (vs gurl ernyyl ner, nf Tnearg fcrphyngrq, fbyqvref sebz gur Pelfgny Trzf' fvqr bs gur jne jub jrer oebxra naq sbepr-shfrq nf ergevohgvba sbe gurve eroryyvbhf orunivbhe), vs gurl raq hc orvat rira fyvtugyl fgnoyr ...

#120 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2015, 11:28 AM:

Ocean Gem/Mirror Gem is ineligible, sadly.
Stevenbomb One, as aired, is almost perfect (it's actions in response to the message in The Message that leads to the blackout in Political power, but it still interrupts the arc, and Rose's Scabbard, though amazing, doesn't fit in there). Stevenbomb Two is amazing, but isn't a unitary work. Stevenbomb Three is a complete narrative about [spoilers], with even the two episodes that aren't directly about the [spoiler] involving it.

If I get a membership this year, I'm nominating either The Return/Jailbreak, Stevenbomb Three, or On the Run by itself. If I thought it would be productive, I'd nominate the Warp Tour->Jailbreak arc (Warp Tour/Marble Madness/The Message/The Return/Jailbreak) as it's a fairly compete story and about the length of the other likely nominees at 50-55 minutes.

#121 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2015, 02:27 PM:

On the Run is a good option, I hadn't thought of that. Stands alone fairly well, shows how they do the "aimed at kids but much deeper bits accessible to adults" stuff.

#122 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2015, 03:48 PM:

Elliott Mason #119

Spoilery speculation about gem shards and other things.

V qba'g guvax vg'f cbffvoyr gb ertrarengr vaqvivqhny trz funeqf. Sbe bar guvat, lbh pbhyq "pybar" trzf gung jnl ol ertrarengvat gjb bs n trz'f znal funeqf, naq gung unf vzcyvpngvbaf. Ubjrire, vs lbh pbhyq tngure NYY (be zbfg bs) gur funeqf bs n fcrpvsvp trz gbtrgure, gurer'f n cbffvovyvgl gurer. Naq abj gung V guvax nobhg GUNG, lbh whfg whzc-fgnegrq na nqq-ba ovg bs fcrphyngvba sbe zl snibevgr unatvat cybg guernq: Ovfzhgu.

Va Yvba'f Znar, gurer'f n ohooyrq bowrpg gung frrzf gb or ovfzhgu va vgf pelfgnyyvar, fgrc-clenzvq sbez. N ybg bs crbcyr unir jbaqrerq jub gung pbhyq or, naq jul gurl'er ohooyrq naq fghpx va Yvba'f znar.

Ng gur ortvaavat bs Frperg Grnz, Crney jnf purpxvat n Ebfr Dhnegm ohooyr gb frr vs vg unq nal rssrpg ba gur funeqf vafvqr. Jung vs fur jnf qbvat guvf orpnhfr Ebfr gbyq ure fbzrguvat inthr naq pelcgvp nobhg gelvat gb svk be urny funeqf hfvat ure ohooyrf? Naq jung vs gur erfhyg bs bar bs gubfr rkcrevzragf vf gur ohooyrq Ovfzhgu va Yvba'f Znar? Yvxr, jung vs Ebfr sbhaq nyy bs Ovfzhgu'f funeqf, chg gurz va n Ebfr Dhnegm ohooyr, gura uvq gurz va gur znar... naq jung jr frr abj vf gur urnyrq/erivirq sbez?

Gurer'f n ybg bs fcrphyngvba nf gb jul Ebfr jbhyq uvqr n ohooyrq trz njnl va Yvba'f znar. Gurer ner gurbevrf gung vg'f rvgure n pbeehcgrq trz gung hfrq gb or n qrne sevraq, be na nqirefnel gbb qnatrebhf gb or yrsg hathneqrq... ohg vs vg'f qnatrebhf, vg qbrfa'g ernyyl znxr frafr gung fur'q yrnir vg gurer, arkg gb ure fjbeq naq ure zbfg cevmrq cbffrffvbaf. V pbhyq arire pbzr hc jvgu n tbbq ernfba jul fur'q qb vg... hagvy abj. Jung vs vg jnf n funggrerq trz gung jnf fgvyy penpxrq jura fur ynfg purpxrq ba vg, naq unf bayl whfg abj shyyl urnyrq?

#123 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2015, 06:34 PM:

Though I really want to eat popcorn and watch you see the pair Cry for Help/Keystone Motel for the first time.

Well, we just now finally watched "We Need To Talk" and "Chille Tid" (which were AWESOME SAUCE), so I guess that's what's up next. I'll be sure to report back...

Thank you for the PSA! I passed the advice along. We tend to watch one or two at a time depending on the effect the first one has on us; some of them are really heavy. So it's a matter of making emotional space for a two-fer, rather than having to make time.

#124 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2015, 07:05 PM:

There's a Pearl moment at about the 2:28 mark in Sworn to the Sword that REALLY REALLY NEEDS to be screencapped into an animated reaction gif.

#125 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2015, 12:52 AM:

OK, Elliott, I've seen it those two now...

You might not have gotten all that much mileage out of your popcorn. Not a lot of squealing or jaw-dropping today. Mostly John and I were just moved to quietly reach out to each other at emotional moments, whether they were heavy or delightful. Maybe we were just feeling more chill than usual? You would have laughed, though, [rot13]jura jr abgvprq gur fvatyr irpgbe bs Fnccuver'f grnef naq fnvq, zber be yrff va havfba, "Fur'f bayl tbg bar rlr!"[/rot13]

[more rot13]V fb irel zhpu nqber Fnccuver. Fur'f fb qrnqcna. Gung ovg jurer Tert bcraf gur zbgry qbbe naq Fnccuver whfg fnlf "Ur jba'g yvxr gung vg'f fdhner" unq zr ebyyvat. (V qvqa'g ernyvmr shgher ivfvba pnzr sebz ure naq abg sebz gur shfvba vgfrys.)

V nqzvg V grnerq hc n ovg jura Ehol naq Fnccuver znqr hc (naq ortna znxvat bhg) ng gur raq.

V jnf yrff vzcerffrq jvgu Fneqbalk guna V zvtug unir orra--fur'f n yvggyr bire gur gbc, sbe zr--ohg gur cher (vs fubeg-yvirq) wbl va Crney'f snpr whfg orsber gurl shfrq, naq whfg nsgre gurl fcyvg ntnva, zbirq zr qrrcyl. Naq V ybirq gur pnyyonpx gb Tnearg'f njrfbzr yvar va "Pbnpu Fgrira" ("Jr qba'g arrq gb or pnershy. Jr whfg arrq gb or uhtr") jura Tnearg fnvq "Guvf gvzr jr arrq gb or pnershy."[/all the ROT13]

In general, I really admire this show for having the chutzpah to end some of its episodes without full Aesop closure. It's had that strength all through, and it always takes my breath away, at least a little. "Episode's over now. Yep, shit's still effed up. Deal with it." This is a creative team that really trusts themselves, their creation, and their audience, and they don't dumb down *anything*.

Can't wait to watch the rest of Stephenbomb 3.0.

#126 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2015, 09:58 AM:

Nicole @125: In re Keystone Motel, Fnccuver'f bar rlr rkcynvaf jul Tnearg unf guerr. Ohg vg qbrfa'g rkcynva jul fur bayl unf gjb nezf? Znlor orpnhfr gurl qrpvqrq gurl bayl JNAGRQ gjb nezf ... n ybg bs Trz culfvpny sbez frrzf gb or pbafpvbhfyl qrgrezvanoyr.

#127 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2015, 09:18 PM:

This seems to be a more-complete version of the "Extended Opening" video:

There are a few more seconds before the song. Greg and the gems were apparently building the beach house, I guess so Steven would have a more stable home.

I just picked up that Steven is younger here. A bit smaller and chubbier and more vulnerable-looking.

Also, this:

Steven Universe is the most delightful, sex positive show on television

#128 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2015, 11:01 PM:

I've been trying to work out roughly in what year Greg met Rose. From his bodily changes between the meeting-Rose episodes and the (rot13) ovgf jurer ur'f va n ivqrb jvgu n 'certanag-ybbxvat' Ebfr

#129 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2015, 02:26 PM:

Elliott@126, re Guerr rlrf ohg bayl gjb nezf:

Exactly! Which is why I didn't clue in along with the rest of fandom that Tnearg'f guerr rlrf zvtug vaqvpngr gung fur'f n shfvba. (Nyfb, Fgribaavr bayl unf gjb rlrf naq gjb nezf, gbb.)

So even while John was predicting it and unsurprised, I was sort of subconsciously going "Evidence nonconclusive, puny human logic insufficient," and I was TOTALLY surprised.

I suspect Gem arithmetic is more complicated than Earthling arithmatic.

V'ir frra snaf sybngvat gur vqrn gung gur zber fgnoyr naq onynaprq n shfvba vf, gur yrff gur shfrq sbez qviretrf sebz onfvp uhznabvq, ohg V guvax guvf, gbb, snvyf gb gnxr nyy pnfrf vagb nppbhag.

#130 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2015, 10:40 PM:

Nicole @129, re your second rot13 (anyone who read that can read this), Fgrirbaavr bayl unf bar trz, gbb.

Re your third rot13, jryy, gung qbrf nppbhag sbe gur ubeevoyr jrveqarff bs Znynpuvgr'f nangbzl. Fbeg bs. Gubhtu gur gbc bs gur obql-ubeebe shfvba cvyr sbe zr fb sne unf orra [THIS NEXT BIT IS IN KEEPING IT TOGETHER] gur uhzna-pragvcrqr rabezbhf funeq shfvba guvat gung nggnpxrq gurz haqre gur xvaqretnegra. Gur bar gung arneyl cbccrq Tnearg bhg bs ure pbzcbfher.

#131 ::: Scrabble ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2015, 10:47 AM:

@Elliott Mason, re: first rot13: Well, in that equation, she brings a zero to the table, after all!

#132 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (Niki) ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2015, 06:23 PM:


(Now I want to write alternate lyrics to "Bulletproof" but that feels disrespectful somehow.)

ROT13ing neurotically because spoiler tolerance varies. Brief thoughts concerning "Sadie's Song" and "Catch and Release":

Fnqvr'f zbz vf fb irel zhpu zl zbz naq BU LBH YVXR OYHR V JVYY FRAQ LBH GUVATF GUNG NER OYHR! LBH YVXR PNGF? URER NER NYY GUR PNG GUVATF SBE LBHE OVEGUQNL! Naq V nz qvfcebcbegvbangryl vzcerffrq jvgu ure yrsg xarr tnfxrg. Fhpu n cresrpg yvggyr qrgnvy.

Cyhf bar gubhfnaq sbe gbgny Ornpu Pvgl npprcgnapr bs Fgrcura va n qerff naq znxr-hc naq uvtu-urryf. V ybir guvf fubj fb irel zhpu.

Naq Crevqbg vf fb qnza phgr. Naq V fhqqrayl srry sbe ure fb irel zhpu. Vg jnf "Vf gung n jrncba? Vf gung n jrncba? [Qba'g uvg zr!]" gung punatrq ure sebz gbgnyyl naablvat gb gur gbgnyyl urnegoernxvat.

...I notice that this thread has become mostly immobile. Should I stop spewing my random SU thoughts on it, or does it continue to be a good place for random SU thoughts? I have also been enjoying y'all's random SU thoughts.

#133 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2015, 06:44 PM:

Niki @132, in re your first rot13: I think at this point Beach City could see nearly anything, shake their heads slightly, and go, "Oh, that Steven!" with a fond smile.

#134 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2015, 06:18 PM:

I think at this point Beach City could see nearly anything, shake their heads slightly, and go, "Oh, that Steven!" with a fond smile.

True. But I'd also like to think they'd react the same way if it was Mr. Smiley or even Lars, because Beach City's people are kind of awesome that way.

Rebecca Sugar seems to have made a conscious decision to model a world without those bog-standard race/gender/sexuality prejudices, which opens up room for other story conflicts, those to do with Gem worldbuilding or with personal character/relationship development.

#135 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2015, 09:42 PM:

> Beach City's people are kind of awesome that way.

I'm trying to think of a time that anyone in Beach City did something that everyone agreed was embarrassing. They're cool with Reynaldo, Fgrira va qent, so predictable, Nyrknaqevgr jerpxf gur cynpr, oh my, hello, welcome to my home I guess! It's such a low-cringe environment compared to most recent TV fare.

(And please keep talking, I've only just caught up and am now catching up on ROT-13's. I'm trying to put my thoughts together about how delighted I am to have been convinced to watch this, and am mostly just flailing and smiling.)

#136 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2015, 07:51 AM:

TChem @135: *happyflails together!!!*

#137 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2015, 02:03 PM:

*happyflailthreefold!* Would love to hear your thoughts, TChem.

I didn't have anything coherent to say about "When it Rains" that might not have applied to "Catch and Release." Which is a sort of incoherent "Awwww cute! *kermitarmsflail* *melt*" about the first two-thirds of the episode. On the rewatch I *might* manage to get my thoughts in verbal order.

Am waiting impatiently for this week's ep, although not, fortunately, in as much pain as is suffered by the truly cliffhanger-averse. (I guess this is not so much a spoiler as an encore of Elliott's earlier PSA: if you're reading this from the future and catching up, don't make "When It Rains" the last ep you watch for the day.) I did stumble across a YouTube upload of the episode, in which the YouTuber just took a video of their TV playing the episode live on CN, and the mic picked up their voice going "Noooooo!" when the ep ended.

And the SU crew have just released another short, "How Are Gems Made?" which you can watch here. Spoiler-safe if you're caught up through "When It Rains".

#138 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2015, 02:42 PM:

Rewatching now to fully enjoy things like the gem's various doors, and I noticed that Steven's voice changed a lot. It's got a kind of Martin Prince thing in the early eps.

It's also interesting that the gem who is the most parental shifts over time. Pearl gets hit really hard by the ways that Steven is and isn't growing up to be like Rose Quartz, and in her grief she's sometimes actively hindering his very good instincts. Meanwhile, Garnet just kind of quietly stays on Team Steven in the moments he needs that and stays out of the way the rest of the time. Too many parenting feels.

#139 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2015, 07:36 PM:

I'm finally caught up on all the episodes! Now I can go back and read rot13 discussion, be spoiled on new episodes in real time with everyone else by commentary on Tumblr, and so forth. It's very exciting.

I find myself longing intensely for DVD box sets. Commentaries and extras would be nice, but what I really want is a nice convenient way to go through, episode by episode, on a proper rewatch, and see all the things I didn't see before. All the visual cues I didn't catch the first time, the casual lines of dialogue that turn out to have been setting up something major later on, that kind of thing.

But right now I'm mostly sitting around thinking about the way the episodes do, and don't, have morals to them. And how often the moral is demonstrated but left unspoken.

"If you hurt someone, they may not forgive you immediately when you apologize. Even if you really are sorry."

"Cutting yourself off from friends to protect them doesn't work, or make either of you happy."

"If you're so protective that your kid is afraid to tell you about risks that are important to them, you can make things even less safe."

"It's okay to have different opinions from your friends on the stories you like."

"Politics are weird."

"When you're encouraging a friend to do something, make sure you're actually doing it for them, and not just pushing what you want."

There's such an amazing core of empathy to these stories. And it's not always the kind of empathy that excuses error, either: we can understand why a person did something wrong, and still feel it was wrong, and be angry at them for doing so. But the understanding still counts for something.

#140 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2015, 04:20 PM:

Do we know when the next new ep might air? I'm thinking not tonight, but as I don't have cable I haven't seen any promos or other possible communications-to-fandom from the showrunners. Mostly I rely on the Wikipedia episode list, which has no estimate at the moment.

#141 ::: MC Alcock ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2015, 04:57 PM:

CN has not announced when new episodes will air again, though I gather they are known for haphazard scheduling. A couple weeks back, show writer Matt Burnett tweeted something to the effect that "Too Far" would be the last new episode aired until next year. He walked that back a bit (see: CN's haphazard scheduling, and a tendency not to keep the creators posted on scheduling changes), but that still leaves us with no new eps for a while--whether that's later in November or not until January remains to be seen.

[Long time lurker, drawn out by a confluence of two of my favorite things: Steven Universe and the minutiae of TV schedules.]

#142 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2015, 05:44 PM:

MONTHS? Aaaaaagh!

#143 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2015, 01:37 AM:

Sad day. So many months. So long a wait.


#144 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2015, 08:32 AM:

Gif Party? Is that not a Fluorospherian thing? :->

I mean, we'd have to click through for each, but that's not necessarily bad.

#145 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2015, 08:33 AM:

Oh, note from an obsessive rewatch, in the early episode with the cat shapechanging stuff, Tert SERNXF BHG jura Nzrgulfg funcrfuvsgf gb zngpu Fgrira naq gura jvttyrf uvcf ng uvz. Fb hz. Lrnu. Sberfunqbjvat gurer. ROT13 CONTAINS SPOILERS UNTIL ONION FRIEND, DO NOT UNROTATE IF THAT BOTHERS YOU.

#146 ::: weatherglass ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2015, 09:54 PM:

Avram, a belated thanks for posting this. I'd been seeing more and more references to the show this summer, and this post was one of the things that tipped me over into trying it. Wow. Just wow. I've watched all the episodes in the last two weeks, and like you, it's been a while since I fell for a show this hard. Now that I'm not in fear of spoilers, I'm going back to read the comments here.

One thing that I've been really impressed by is the pacing. Every time I've start thinking something like "I wish Connie got to do more" or "We could use some more backstory on Greg and Rose", they've obliged me within a couple of episodes.

Favorite episodes so far: "Jailbreak" and "Sworn to the Sword". (I love Connie so much.)

Also, having hit "Sadie's Song" last night, I'm now thoroughly earwormed by the song in it.

#147 ::: Alice Bentley ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2015, 03:58 PM:

I ran across a shortish (7 minute) Youtube article, fairly free of spoilers, that does a better job than I've managed on why Steven Universe is awesome:

Elliot, thank you for reminding me that this thread is here! I'd stopped coming back to check for new comments some time ago.

#148 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2015, 08:21 AM:

I'm amidst a rewatch from the start with my kid (because we're in NOOOOOO I WANT NEW EPISODES withdrawal), and we just got to Serious Steven.

That's some seriously intense storytelling cinematography to just trust that kids are going to get. :->

#149 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2015, 11:12 PM:

New episodes coming in January! There’ll be a “Steven Bomb” (a week with one new ep each day, Mon–Fri) running Jan 4–8 2016. The first one’s gonna reveal some of Garnet’s past.

#150 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2016, 11:46 PM:


#151 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2016, 08:48 AM:

Should we ROT13 the current eps? I have a lot of thoughts in my head about the process of growing up and the healthy and unhealthy ways of living your life for someone else.

#152 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2016, 09:16 AM:

I usually rot13 until at least a month after airing, given how asynchronous everyone's viewing is.

#153 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2016, 01:00 PM:

That makes sense. Spoilers through "Steven's Birthday":

Fb cneg bs Fgrira jnagf gb or byqre, ohg uvf fcvevg (naq gurersber angheny sbez) vf fgvyy gung bs n cer-grra. Ubj znal crbcyr va guvf jbeyq unir obqvrf gung qba'g fhvg gurve fcevgf? Ubj znal crbcyr jbex uneq gb erznxr gurzfryirf gb cyrnfr gurve cnegaref? Nf nyjnlf jvgu FH, n ybg bs urnivre fghss gb purj ba va gur zvqqyr bs n fjrrg yvggyr fgbel.

#154 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2016, 12:02 PM:

From The Answer:

V ybir ubj gurl fgneg fvatvat n pyrne inevngvba ba Tvnag Jbzna naq gura vg gheaf vagb gur zrybql bs Fgebatre Guna Lbh.

Vagrerfgvat pbagenfgvat gur raq bs guvf rcvfbqr gb Tnearg'f jbeqf ba ybir va "Ybir Yrggref," jurer Wnzvr gur Znvyzna nffregf ur jnf vafgnagyl va ybir jvgu ure naq fur fnlf gung ybir ng svefg fvtug qbrfa'g rkvfg. V thrff srryvat zber pbzcyrgr nf n shfvba vfa'g … dhvgr … gur fnzr guvat, ohg vg pregnvayl favssf bs vg n ovg, sbe zr.

From Steven's Birthday:

Fb ur'f sbhegrra! Byqre guna V gubhtug ur jnf. V'q orra gelvat gb jbex bhg gvzryvarf sebz Fbhe Pernz (jr xabj uvf pbaprcgvba jnf qhevat gur riragf va Fgbel sbe Fgrira); V jnf ernqvat uvz nf fbzrjurer orgjrra sbhegrra naq rvtugrra, fb gung'f ubj ybat ntb Tert naq Ebfr Dhnegm zrg. Fbzr gvzr cnffrq orgjrra gura naq Fgrira'f … vafgnagvngvba.

V'q orra ernqvat Fgrira nf pybfre gb gra, ohg url, jungrif. Vf Pbaavr va uvtu fpubby?

Pbaavr qvqa'g xabj ur jnf sbhegrra rvgure! Fur'f 12 3/4!

(nccneragyl guvf vf n yviroybt)

Urr, tvivat Gur Gnyx nobhg Trzf gb Pbaavr. Naq Tert jnf 22 jura ur zrg Ebfr!

Gur ynfg gvzr jr fnj gung pncr naq pebja Fgrira qvq fbzr jrveq ntvat fghss. Naq …. V ybir jung Pbaavr'f chcvyf qvq whfg gurer. Qvq gurl punatr gur npgbe, be vf gur arj npgbe whfg gnyxvat va n ybjre gbar?

Qnapr cneGNL. Jbj, ur unf unq irel srj rknzcyrf bs urnygul nqbyrfprag znyr znfphyvavgl, abj gung V guvax bs vg. :->

Orfg Onol Pnyzvat Gevpx RINE! Tnearg sgj. Naaaaaaq pnefrng. Unir jr frra Nzrgulfg qb na bowrpg orsber? Vg unf rnef, znlor vg grpuavpnyyl vf na navzny … vfu.

From It Could've Been Great:

V ernyyl yvxr Crevqbg zber naq zber. OHG YVBA VF ZL SNIBEVGR. Yvba unf gb or n trz perngher bs fbzr xvaq, evtug?

Jbj. Tenivgl vf qvssrerag sbe Trzf? Pbby.

Crevqbg'f grpu-fdhrr znxrf zr unccl.

Naaaaaq … pyvssunatre?

#155 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2016, 12:51 PM:

Thank you all for doing the rot13 on these! I'm eagerly anticipating watching these episodes, and will as soon as I can figure out how the heck to find them. Then I can come back, translate, and read.

#156 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2016, 03:38 PM:

Fade, they seem to be going up quickly in less scrupulous parts of the internet.

#157 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2016, 09:31 AM:

From Message Received:

Gvgyr naq fgbyra pelfgny sebz onfr whfg znxr zr frevbhfyl areibhf, tvira "Gur Zrffntr".

Jbj. Qvq jr xabj Tnearg pbhyq funcr fuvsg ure unaq yvxr gung? Vg eryngrf gb 'fgergpuvat bhg', cbffvoyl.

Rirelbar'f ernpgvba fubgf gb "pybq" ner nznmronyyf.

Nyfb, V unir n fgebat srryvat jr'er tbvat gb svaq bhg jung gung bgure ebbz va gur Zbbaonfr vf sbe jvguva 3-6 rcvfbqrf, tvira ubj sberfunqbjvat jbexf va guvf fubj ...

#158 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2016, 03:01 PM:

Seriously impressed by the voice talent this show attracts.

#159 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2016, 05:14 PM:

This entire Steven Bomb was great, but it also toyed with my inner conspiracy theorist in a major way.

Authority speculation with spoilers for everything up to the current date below

Gurl FGVYY unira'g fubj hf jung cvax qvnzbaq ybbxf yvxr. Ng guvf cbvag vg'f uneq gb vzntvar vg orvat nalguvat bgure guna fbzr cebgb-sbez bs Ebfr, tvira gung Qvnzbaqf ner gur bayl barf jr'ir frra jvgu Crneyf. Guvf pbhyq nyfb nyy whfg or na rynobengr qvfgenpgvba, ohg V jnf ubcvat gurl'q tvir hf ng yrnfg n tyvzcfr bs gur bgure fvqr bs gur fgehpgher gb cebivqr hf jvgu fbzr sbez bs pyhr.

Jr xabj gung Juvgr Qvnzbaq naq Oyhr Qvnzbaq unq... onq guvatf unccra gb gurz ba rnegu, ohg Crevqbg qbrfa'g gnyx yvxr Lryybj Qvnzbaq vf gur bayl bar yrsg. Pbhyq vg or gung fur'f xrcg gur sngr bs gur bgure Qvnzbaqf n frperg sebz gur znffrf? Yncvf'f gerngzrag ba ubzrjbeyq jbhyq fhttrfg gb zr gung Oyhr qvqa'g znxr vg ubzr, naq gurer vf n ohapu bs rivqrapr gung fhttrfgf Juvgr qvqa'g rvgure... be gung vs fur qvq, fur'f fgvyy ertrarengvat jvguva ure trz. (Gurer ner gurbevrf gung gur trzf sebz gur Yvtugubhfr naq gur Vairegrq Clenzvq ner Oyhr naq Juvgr Qvnzbaq. V'z abg fher ubj zhpu fgbpx V chg vagb gung, ohg vg vf vagrerfgvat.) Vs gur Qvnzbaqf' trzf ner fgvyy ba rnegu, jung qbrf vg fnl gung Lryybj vf jvyyvat gb ybfr gurz gb gur cynarg'f qrfgehpgvba?

V'z tynq gung Crevqbg jnf fzneg rabhtu abg gb zragvba gur rkvfgrapr bs gur Pelfgny Trzf - juvyr V guvax fbzr sbez bs ercevfny vf varivgnoyr ng guvf cbvag, jubrire trgf frag gb rnegu jba'g or ragveryl pregnva jung gb rkcrpg.

#160 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2016, 07:09 PM:

If Lryybj vf gur fbyr erznvavat Qvnzbaq, that raises the possibility that fur zvtug unir, va fbzr jnl, pbagevohgrq gb gur ryvzvangvba bs gur bguref nf n cbjre cynl bs fbzr fbeg.

#161 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2016, 07:02 PM:

Finally, caught up! Addressing some earlier comments now that I can read them, and then some of my own.

Elliot Mason @154: Regarding The Answer, I feel that there are significant differences between the two situations for Garnet. Specifically: Wnzvr frrf Tnearg jnyx cnfg, naq qbrfa'g vagrenpg jvgu ure ba nal fvtavsvpnag yriry. Ur'f nabgure fcrpvrf, naq unf ab xabjyrqtr bs ure uvfgbel be angher. Naq qrfcvgr Tnearg'f pbzcyrgr ynpx bs vagrerfg va uvz, ur qbrfa'g rira abgvpr gung fur unfa'g cnegvphyneyl erfcbaqrq gb uvz! Ur guvaxf ur'f va ybir, ohg nf fur cbvagf bhg, ur qbrfa'g xabj nalguvat nobhg ure. (Vapyhqvat fbzr guvatf ur zvtug xabj sebz gung svefg zrrgvat vs ur'q cnvq zber nggragvba.)

Pbairefryl, gur frg bs Ehovrf thneqvat Fnccuver ner abg bayl gur fnzr fcrpvrf, ohg gurl xabj dhvgr n ybg nobhg gurve eryngvir fgnaqvat va fbpvrgl: jura (bhe) Ehol ohzcf vagb Fnccuver, Ehol vf pyrneyl ntunfg ng gur oernpu bs rgvdhrggr, naq fhecevfrq ol abg trggvat n unefu erfcbafr. Ehol vf nyernql yrneavat fbzrguvat nobhg Fnccuver nf na vaqvivqhny ng gung cbvag. Gura, jura Ehol qrpvqrf gb syvat urefrys ng Fnccuver gb fnir ure, guvf vf n zbir fb sne bhg bs punenpgre sbe gur Fgnaqneq Ehol Glcr, nf vg jrer, gung Fnccuver'f shgher ivfvba qvqa'g rira frr vg.

Fb V guvax gung gur svefg shfvba vfa'g, va snpg, ybir ng svefg fvtug. Vg'f Ehol orvat bss-zbqry sbe ure glcr, fbzrguvat Fnccuver pna frr va gung zbzrag, whfg nf Fnccuver vf bss-zbqry rabhtu gb unir nyernql fhecevfrq Ehol. Gurl xabj fbzr guvatf nobhg rnpu bgure! Naq gur erny grfg vf jung unccraf nsgrejneq, jura gur ubeevsvrq ernpgvba qbrfa'g qevir gurz onpx gb gurve nffvtarq ebyrf, ohg fraqf gurz njnl, naq gelvat shfvba ntnva. Gur svefg shfvba vf znlor nxva gb "ybir ng svefg fvtug", va n frafr: ol gur gvzr gurl ernpu Ebfr naq Crney, vg'f pyrneyl na vasbezrq xvaq bs ybir.

Leah Miller @159: Regarding diamonds: V guvax gung Crevqbg jbhyq unir ernpgrq qvssreragyl gb Crney vs Crneyf jrer n Qvnzbaq-bayl xvaq bs freinag. Fur frrzf gb rkcrpg gurz nf fbzrguvat gung znal crbcyr (nobir ure fbpvny fgnghf) unir, gb gur cbvag gung (bhe) Crney vf n fcrpvny/phfgbz bar bs fbzr fbeg. Pbairefryl, gur Qvnzbaqf frrz gb or fcbxra nobhg nf vs gurer'f na rkgerzryl yvzvgrq ahzore bs gurz: abg n qvnzbaq, ohg Lryybj Qvnzbaq, jub vf Crevqbg'f ~bja fcrpvny qvnzbaq~. Naq Crevqbg unf nyfb gnyxrq nobhg ubj Nzrgulfg, nf n dhnegm glcr, fubhyq or "va punetr".

Fb juvyr V guvax gur pbybe bireync va Ebfr Dhnegm naq Cvax Qvnzbaq jvyy or fvtavsvpnag va fbzr jnlf, V qba'g guvax vg'f dhvgr nf pybfr nf nyy gung, be ng yrnfg abg arprffnevyl fb. V raq hc pbzcnevat guvf va n jrveq jnl gb Xyvatba phygher (ng yrnfg nf vg nccrnef va fbzr abiryf): dhnegm glcrf ner zvyvgnel, naq guhf uvture fgnghf guna n grpu glcr yvxr Crevqbg, ohg fgvyy dhvgr ahzrebhf. Naq Crney, nf n freinag-glcr, vf bayl frra jvgu uvtu-fgnghf glcrf (yvxr dhnegmrf), juvyr orvat ybjre fgnghf guna grpu-glcrf urefrys.

Avram @160: Crevqbg frrzf yvxr gur glcr gb gel sbe gung xvaq bs cbyvgvpny npgvba, ohg V srry yvxr Crevqbg jbhyqa'g gnyx nobhg Lryybj Qvnzbaq va gung "zvar, jub vf orfg!" jnl vs LQ jrer yvgrenyyl gur bayl qvnzbaq yrsg.

And then my own favorite part of the latest episode:

V nz obgu greevoyl nzhfrq ol Crevqbg univat fgebat fuvccvat bcvavbaf, naq vzcerffrq ol gur punenpgre qrgnvy gung fur qrpvqrf jub gb fuvc onfrq ba jub'f fgebatrfg. Vg'f abg whfg na nzhfvat dhvex gnpxrq ba gb or shaal: bs pbhefr Crevqbg, jub ybbxrq qbjaevtug cnffvbangr jura qrfpevovat jung n cebcre Nzrgulfg fubhyq ybbx yvxr, vf cevzrq gb nccerpvngr gur ovt fgebat culfvpnyyl nqrcg glcr gur zbfg.

#162 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2016, 07:16 PM:

Anyone have any hints for when the next new eps might air?

#163 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2016, 11:38 PM:

Note: plot things in this post is from 9+ months ago, so I'm turning off the ROT13 for just this one.

I thought I had linked to this great speculation post about the Gem Wars back up in #70, but it turns out I linked the same article twice!

As I said, the theorizing in that article is nine months old, I think it comes from some time after the first airing of Jailbreak. Still, there's a lot of info in there that I generally keep in mind when theorizing, even if not everything there fits with what we know now.

#164 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2016, 09:33 AM:

I'm pretty sure nothing you actually typed out in words here is a spoiler anyway, so you're clear either way. :->

#166 ::: Alice Bentley ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2016, 02:34 PM:

Yesterday the new Season started off with a two parter: In Too Deep and Gem Drill. The dream elements of the first lead me to suspiciously dread that this was all going to be some sort of extended dream sequence. But the rest of the internet doesn't seem to think so, so whew.
It looks like we will be getting one new episode a week for at least the next four weeks. I really hope Hulu adds more episodes to their stash soon too.

#167 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2016, 02:39 PM:

Eeeee I thought I had to wait till June eeee!

#168 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2016, 02:42 PM:

Also, Wikipedia is calling Episode 79 "Super Watermelon Island #1".

This link contains future episode titles; do not look if that would bother you.

#169 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 06:17 PM:

Eeeee eeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeee.

I'm not caught up yet.

But as a filker, I have a deep need to cover the song "Isn't it Over" from Mr. Greg (S03E08, or 86 in the overall numbering, if I've done it right).

Even more than Garnet's "Stronger Than You", it stands on its own as a work of music and emotion without needing any in-universe context at all to be understood by an outside listener. There's only a word or two that even signal to a fan who hasn't seen that far that it was unequivocally written for the show instead of just being incredibly resonant found filk.

It's a wonderful song encapsulating a relationship and complicated feelings and seeking closure. (Singer and nature of relationship redacted for strictest spoiler compliance)

It's also a beautiful pastiche of what some people call the American Songbook, the sorts of things torch singers and people playing barside pianos for tips pull out again and again.

However, that is not my idiom. Are any of you versed enough in it to be able to extract some kind of chord structure from listening to it? There's piano accompaniment for most of it, but I'm not paper trained.


★ Isn't It Over, S03E08/Ep 86: YouTube video, Lyrics

❤ Stronger Than You, Ep 52: YouTube video, Lyrics

#170 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2016, 03:36 AM:

Elliot Mason @169: You are giving me ALL THE FEELS just by having posted a post about "Mr. Greg" which I am reading more than a month later. THAT EPISODE. And that song. *shivers*

I wish, I really really wish I were able to learn piano by ear - I mean, easily, rather than by the more painful method of hitting pause on the recording after every other note and then plinking around until I find what I just heard. As it is, I'm not likely to be of much help in that department.

Have been keeping up with the show fairly consistently since, mostly by means of the Big Tivo In The Sky (as I once heard it described). Just sat down to watch the most recent episode, "Zoltron Future Boy". Thought at first that it was meh; on further reflection, I'm appreciating the window on Beach City life it provides, as well as the deepening of our understanding of a much-neglected secondary character.

Been reading Vrai's recaps and the commentary thereon at The Mary Sue. Interesting insights to be had over there.

#171 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2016, 03:55 AM:

Rereading the thread out of pure WANTING MORE STEVEN UNIVERSE NOW and tripping over...

me @69, about a year ago: I woke up from a dream the other morning in which I was surprised to find that there was a faction of SU fandom who absolutely did not want to see a particular two characters (made up by my dream--not waking canon characters at all) fuse.

Well, that was prophetic. Or maybe just predictable.

#172 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2016, 08:43 PM:

Ever since this thread was posted, I'd had this series on my "someday" list. Lately I've been needing something to take my mind off things, and this has been it. I have to say that I'm consistently impressed with just how much story they manage to pack into a bare ten minutes.

#173 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2016, 04:24 PM:

I stayed out of this discussion when it was new because I'd never seen Steven Universe. Couldn't watch it at home, no cable, slow internet connection. So, in the last few days, while visiting relatives over Thanksgiving, one of my nephews showed me the entire run so far. I kind of came in midstory since he was already showing it to one of my sisters, and there was an awful lot to absorb as well as watching the first episodes after the last. When I get home I'll be getting a faster connection, so will be able to rewatch at a more leisurely pace.

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