Having recently wrapped up it’s 1st Season showcasing 50+ 11 minute-long episodes, Steven Universe is a show you might want to take interest in. But before I tell you why, let’s get some of the nitty-gritty out of the way first though; yes, it’s on Cartoon Network – but it’s the sort of show that is currently driving the network in a better direction as it’s much more adult and not an acid trip like Adventure Time.
There were times when Adventure Time had it’s moment, in particular key episodes such as It Came From The Nightosphere and I Remember You; two episodes written by Rebecca Sugar. What was remarkable about such episodes were how they chose to expand the depth of the show, which excited fans that it had adult driven feelings and emotions that an older audience could better relate to. Forbes Magazine took notice of her talent and noted that she was responsible for “many of the best episodes” of Adventure Time.
In 2013 Rebecca Sugar introduced a pilot for her own show; Steven Universe. The show was to be drastically different from Adventure Time, which features a cast of standard characters in a fantastic world; approaching strange and radical adventures day by day. Standing a juxtaposed is Steven Universe, which features a cast of fantastic characters in the normal world; approaching a slice-of-life sort of setting which attempts to tackle deeper and more complex emotional facets of family.
At first glance, Steven Universe looks like your average show; and for the first several episodes it embraces this notion by living up to ones expectation of that. Yet, as the show progresses further and further it begins to deconstruct itself and dive deeper and deeper inside of the characters instead of distracting the audience with silly and/or pointless adventures.Often times the only thing silly about the show is titular character, Steven Universe; who is just a child and it’s often that child-like view which creates some of the best humor.
Otherwise the Crystal Gems, whom we later come to realize have nothing to do with actual crystals and it’s more a faction of an alien race called Gems, are very serious and take upon the role of mothering Steven despite not knowing truly how to. So the series ends up being a growing relationship between Steven and the Gems as they come to discover more about one another through their words and their actions.
Steven himself undergoes several changes as the show progresses as he starts to come of age and realize he should leave behind child-like things. In many ways he is destined to be the leader of the Crystal Gems. He has no choice but to face and overcome the challenge that the rest of the Gem species desires his destruction. Something the Crystal Gems did not wish him to be privy of; as he is indeed only just a child.
In my opinion Steven Universe is a very good show. It’s not the best show ever as it were, but it’s certainly a show that deserves attention for it’s progressive themes and content. This sort of show will only surprise you as each episode brings new and unexpected turns and twists to the story and plot. I for one strongly recommend tuning in, but it’s best to start from the beginning no matter how lack-luster that beginning truly is.