Follow TV Tropes
Steven Universe is somehow praised for being the best modern cartoon out there, yet simultaneously hated with a passion as if it killed their pets. I feel both sides are overblown. Steven Universe is far from bad, but its also far from perfect.
I can overlook some flaws and say that Steven Universe is a good show. Is it the best modern cartoons has to offer? No. Steven Universe has a lot of flaws, and these flaws can be deal breakers to some people. In the end though, I'd say Steven Universe is a good show. If you can overlook the flaws, you may like it. If you can't, then it's not for you.
I've always said that the issue western audiences have with this new shows for what they call "filler" is really to the detriment of the genre. Shows like Steven Universe, Star vs the forces of evil, etc. that started basically as episodic shows that eventually developed a plot and that despite it's focus being more on character than lore, non-plot related episodes are considered bad/filler, etc. despite those being the roots of the show(s).
I also don't agree with the notion that the show is saying anyone is redeemable, but on the contrary that people are not black and white, that they can change their minds and at different levels. In the movie we see White Diamond more as a racist grandmother/mother that's still a product of her time, still accidentally slips an N word or politically incorrect remark, while trying to follow and acomodate their progeny's more progressive vews but still deep down feels is just modern hippy love crap.
In regards to the episodic moments: there are several problems with that line of thinking though:
1. Except you know...not. Shaving the beard is toning the overall feel of the series down. That's not what the episodes do by the very nature of being episodic. Today we learn something new about Rose, tomorrow Steven hangs with the cool kids. The show followed that idea, of course plot heavy episodes will be more popular, but there was already a backbone of how things were layed out.
2. Beach episodes mainly develop Steven and the gems, even if they focus on a secondary character and even when not they still deliver a message/aesop which is the core of the series. Using the Joy Ride episode again, we see that Steven does have PTSD from the plot heavy episodes, Onion Friend showed that Amethyst was affected by the aftermath of the Sardonyx incident; I personally dislike old Lars with a burning passion but it was always clear it was building his character up to something.
3. That sounds more like whinning than anything. Writters make a story, so they should exposition dump because some people are anxious? It's not ideal but the end result is more cohesive than series that do that, aka series there were promised a number of episodes only to have them redused.
As for the rest, think about it. Does Steven Universe really promote the message of everyone is redeemable? If anything, it just promotes that you should try. If we look at the "antagonists", there's Lapis, Peridot, Jasper, Bismuth, Aqua Marine, Yellow, Blue, White and Spinel, more of less in that order. Lapis was a victim from the start, only wanting to go home; Bismuth was even an old friend, but just a well intentioned extremist; as you said, Blue and Yellow were a result of White (with Blue more often than not being downright helpful and "good" to Steven) and of course we know the whole deal with Spinel. That leaves us with Peridot, Jasper, Aqua Marine, Eyeball and White. Peridot was a long and grewling process (months as she said in the movie), White as I said is not really "redemeed" to the annoyance of Steven and Jasper, Eyeball and Aqua Marine were actually never changed. If anything, Spinel opens up the idea of resentment in this new age. Other gems besides the diamonds that benefited from the class system (Aqua), that might not adapt to this warless, non-colonionist future (Jasper) or simply doesn't accept Pink's replacement (Eyeball).
White was actually not even an original or hard concept. She was a perfectionist narcisist. She viewed herself as perfect and gaslighted any opinion on the basis of she can't be wrong cause she's flawless, to the point that she was a victim of her own delusion. A view based on perfection is easily cracked.
1. Except there is no balance. That was my main issue. Its understandable that Slice of Life needs to be put in between the heavy plot, but this show overdoes it. There are times where the equivalent of an entire Steven Bomb, five episodes, is nothing but Slice of Life, and whether its coming after a hiatus or even just a weekly format, it can get kinda frustrating and lead into Arc Fatigue.
2. Except more often than not, the develop of the main characters is left to the background and is more footnotes than anything. How did \"Kiki\'s Delivery Service\" develop anyone aside from Kiki and Jenny? How did \"Rocknaldo\" help out anyone in the long run. Even with \"Onion Friend\", the Amethyst bit was about a minute long and just stated what was already inferred. Show, Don\'t Tell is a rule afterall, but the episode was more content to focus on Onion.
3. So its whining to say a show is padding? Just because the writers made the story doesn\'t mean its exempt from criticism. The hiatus\' have been going on since Season 2, meaning the writers should be aware of frequent hiatus\' in the future. In this case, they should try and adjust the pacing to compensate. Maybe instead of five filler episodes and then two plot episodes, why not two to three filler episodes and then one plot episodes. Proper pacing is all that a lot of people ask for.
4. Even if Lapis was a victim, she still attacked the Crystal Gems in her quest to get back home, and nearly drowned Steven and Connie as well as injure Greg. Jasper the narrative went to great pains of humanizing, and the end of \"Change Your Mind\" implies she either is gonna redeem herself, or at least be neutral. Bismuth still tried to murder Steven over the sins of Rose, and that didn\'t fall under the Well-Intentioned Extremist part of her character, and she only relented and began to reform after she learned just why her plan would have failed thanks to the corruption. The only villain out of the list you gave that didn\'t redeem themselves was Aqua Marine, but even then her partner, Topaz, came very close to doing so had it not been a case of Reality Ensues. So the only gems in the show that actually matter and didn\'t get redeemed were Aqua Marine and Eyeball. 2 out of 10. So if only 1/5th of the antagonists aren\'t redeemed, and redemption can happen regardless of their sins, it makes the show come across as saying anyone can be redeemed.
5. Except there in lies the flaw behind White\'s redemption, best demonstrated through the show\'s best redemption: Peridot. Peridot took over half an entire season to redeem herself, and it required she go through a character arc and develop from it. Peridot\'s redemption took time. White however the narrative has considered redeemed. She is no longer the Big Bad, she\'s Steven\'s prejudicial and clingy grandma. Any of the horrors she or any of the Diamond\'s committed, from shattering gems, to counquering worlds, to brainwashing the other diamonds and the C Gs, to nearly killing Steven by ripping out his gem, all of that has been swept under the rug. While Steven is understandably wary of all three diamonds, the narrative treats them as if they\'re redeemed.
White\'s redemption was rushed is what my main issue is. I suggested she not be redeemed to teach the idea that not everyone will be redeemed, an idea they seemed to touch on with the minor Gem Navy, but didn\'t follow up on. Even if White isn\'t an original concept, her turn around is too abrupt. She goes from trying to kill Steven to bring back Pink only to be called a child, throw a small tantrum, and Steven then suddenly redeems her. For someone so ingrained in her beliefs, who has to see herself as perfect, you\'d think she\'d first go through the five stages of Grief rather than immediately accept she\'s flawed, that she\'d lash out and blame Steven for making her seem flawed.
I\'m not here to talk about what the show will do going forward, I\'m here to talk about what the show did. And what it did was rush White\'s redemption. White in my opinion either shouldn\'t have been redeemed similar to Navy, or followed in Peridot\'s footsteps and had her redemption come naturally and with development. You can\'t use the argument the ending was rushed cause if the writers are to be believed, this was their intended ending from the start before they were green lit for a sixth season. If they knew from the start how they wanted to end it, they should have paced out the story better rather than rush it at the ending.
I like Steven Universe, and I like a lot of the characters and developments. But I won\'t ignore when the show has a misstep. And the way they handled White Diamond was a misstep.
1. Ok then, now that is a point. Though it just means is actually just your argument on point 3 again. ps. what 5 episode steven bomb does that? cause I've seem debunked statements like that pop-up like that on youtube.
2. Except more ofen than not See I would disagree with that, of course, not all of them, but the overwhelming majority are about Steven's daily life, learning and developing as a kid, even Ronaldo episodes tend to hint a lot of stuff in his conspiracy theory way before they're revealed properly.
3. It's whinning to want exposition dump because you're impatient. So the writers have to expect hiatuses and change perception but not the audience? it's been months since the last episode when Jasper revealed Pink diamond, they must reveal she was Rose this next bomb. The issue is that is not about proper pacing, is about feeling you're owed a certain amount of plot development because of the time. It's ok to be frustrated about the release schedule, but the series has always had a flow.
4. I don't get it. I argue she's not redemeed and you start with there lies the flaw of her redemption? who are you having a discussion with? the narrative doesn't consider her as such, you're just stating it as fact. Like I said, even Steven doesn't stand her, you gotta remember the movie is not about them. She's in a state where she clearly doesn't believe (and is annoed by) what she's saying and is only doing it to appease Steven. She changed, yes, but like you yourself said, she didn't do a Peridot. The core of the issue is that you're treating her with 2 absolutes: Big Bad or completely redeemed. The crystal gems took Peridot in, tried to get along with her and get her to understand, but still had many major issues with her throughout, it wasn't until after Message Received that she could've been considered redeemed. My point is that that's the state of the diamonds, specially White, are at.
ok, I never said that, so I suggest you figure out who are you discussing with as I'm not a set piece for all your issues with given counter-arguments.
1. I said the equivalent of a Stevenbomb, not a literal Stevenbomb. But if you want examples.
2. Agree to disagree.
3. I never said exposition dump, I said "continue the narrative". Continuing the Narrative doesn't just mean Exposition Dump. There are numerous ways to explore the narrative while spacing out the reveals. There were still three Ruby's out there, why didn't we get an episode about them causing havoc or Steven trying to do for them what he failed with Navy? Why didn't we get a follow up on Lars' adventures against Emerald? Why not a training episode for when the Diamond's inevitably attacked. I only put down what one of the biggest complaints of the series is. And that is the pacing is abysmal. If you went to see a movie, and it ended on a cliffhanger, and you wanted to see more of it explored in the sequel, would you call it whining if you were upset the sequel did nothing but tease the plot and instead focus on random stuff inconsequential down the line?
4. You were using Peridot as an argument against White Diamond having been redeemed. I however was pointing out that the narrative considers her redeemed, and in turn pointed out how rushed White's "redemption" is compared to Peridot's. You think she isn't "redeemed", but the narrative begs to differ. I'm not dealing in two absolutes. The narrative is treating her with two absolutes. Steven is annoyed by her, but the narrative doesn't frame her as someone that needs to be considered an Antagonist anymore. If frames her as just an annoying family member. The narrative is treating her in absolutes. She's either Big Bad or Racist Grandma.
5. You literally put this here:
If anything, Spinel opens up the idea of resentment in this new age. Other gems besides the diamonds that benefited from the class system (Aqua), that might not adapt to this warless, non-colonionist future (Jasper) or simply doesn't accept Pink's replacement (Eyeball).
That's what I meant when referring to the future. You are discussing the future right here. I was saying I didn't want to discuss going forward. Had the show ended here, with Change Your Mind as it was originally believed too, this is what the show would have ended on. So I'm judging what we've been given. Not what we've yet to receive.
I could talk about how obviously The New Lars as I talked about before, develops Lars, Drift develops Stevonney, Steven and Conney's relationship but doesn't that line in itself disproofs your point? using the exception fallacy of my point works if you don't count this or that.
3. Except this isn't a movie, this is a series. The issue here is that a major counterargument used against the pacing is that it flows through the season, that is, that there's less to no complain by late-comers who binge the seasons/series, since almost every episode is actually 15 minutes long and have a nice flow. Look I get it, I was there, Aqua Marine arrives, Steven leaves, Lars dies and all that, then they go months without releasing a new one and then the new episode is about the run for mayor, but when you see the season as a whole, it's the building up to a major event (with people dissapearing), followed by the repercussions of it (issues with Conney and Steven, Lapis leaving, Peridot dealing with it, etc.) over the next episodes.
4. I don't see how this does not prove my point? She's not an antagonist but she's not a good, redeemed person. You are using two absolutes as you're equating no longer being the Big Bad with being completely redeemed. That's why I keep going back to Peridot. Peridot agreed to help the crystal gems and stop the cluster, at that point she was no longer a villain but as we saw, she wasn't redemeed. You literally said and I quote "She's either Big Bad or Racist Grandma" how is "redemeed"? Racism is a big part of her issue and the system she implemented.
5. That line was about the concept of the show having a message of "everyone is redeemable" and that we have both characters that never did and the implication and idea that not everyone is peechy with the current situation, not that it will happen in the future. Part of the main issue that I keep going about is dealing in absolutes. Going back to your example of movies, many movies leave unanswered questions that are not necessarily a Sequel Hook, they're just that, an open idea. A big message of the movie is that happy endings don't exist, things are always changing and you have to keep moving.
Leave a Comment:
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?