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Steven Universe (or; they did WHAT in a kids' show?)

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Feo Takahari, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    I've considered so many possible ways to start this topic. It's my favorite show currently airing, so I don't want to gush too much or overhype it. So I'll just post a single clip:



    That's three major "I can't believe they got away with that" factors right there, and not any of the gross or mean-spirited ones, either. This is a show that can address concepts like survivor's guilt and feelings of worthlessness in terms an eight-year-old can understand, without talking down to them or making things too simplistic. It's a show that can emotionally break its cast on every possible level, then put them back together stronger than before, while showing kids how not to fall prey to the same mistakes. And if nothing else, it's worth a look for managing to pack so many ideas and concepts into eleven-minute episodes!

    Any other fans around? I know Ophiucha watches this, at least.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
    Ophiucha and Black Dragon like this.
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    I'm a fan. I watch it with my daughter, and we both enjoy it.
     
  3. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    I don't watch this, but I think I just might start!
     
  4. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    It's a lovely show. The background art is gorgeous, the animation is smooth and clearly inspired by anime (particularly Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena), the characters are all really charming and well-developed, and the songs are all very nice.

    Plus, it's nice to see a show for kids that does a lot to show off people of diverse backgrounds and body types.
     
  5. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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    I honestly think this is one of the better Western cartoons since Avatar. It has wonderful atmosphere, and once you can get past episode 17, the world-building and character development become AMAZING.
     
  6. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    OH! Yeeeeeesss. I LOVE Steven Universe. Even toyed with the idea of trying a fanfic for it, but haven't gotten anywhere >:T

    Now, I think as writers we should look at Steven Universe as an example of what we can do with our writing, what the audience will accept. The show has achieved great acclaim for the type of subject matters it covers through its plots and its characters, HOWEVER, and I feel this is important, it does not treat such things as shock value or to be purposefully artistic or edgy. It treats it as just a natural part of being human, (or in this case alien rock people.)

    For example, can you think of any stories that feature a gay, male, main character whose sexuality isn't a plot point, but just a fact about them?

    I think on a level this is also a reflection of our times. For those of you familiar with your comic book history, you are aware of the whole 90s anti-hero era? That is perhaps the clearest example of such a media zeitgeist, but I don't think it's the only example. With our increasingly interconnected world seen in the advent of the internet and the rise of social media, or, perhaps it's best to describe it as social media growing up? I wouldn't exactly equate something like Facebook with more modern ones like Tumblr. In any case, this helps connect and give a voice to people who otherwise wouldn't have one. Though, something could be said about the desire of our generation to on some level reject that which we associate with the older generations.

    In any case, looking at the news these last couple of years, it seems clear to me that regardless of your thoughts on politics, people have taken Obama's slogan of "Change!" as their rallying cry. When though, has change been achieved?

    I believe it's when we no longer have to think about it anymore, which brings me back to my earlier point about Steven Universe.

    Sorry, I'm rambling.

    There are other elements I love about the show. The feeling of sweet melancholy, the aesthetics of beautiful ruin surrounding all of the gem structures, even the interesting links between the characters and the history and legends of their respective gems. There is one other thing which I feel is of particular interest to us as creators. Actually, this comes from something mentioned in chat; the psychology between aesthetic and themes.

    I don't think I need to mention to anyone familiar with the show that it deals with some mature and at times dark themes, yet the world is bright and cheerful. I've seen this done before, and its consistently been some of the most memorable media I've ever consumed.

    Why is this?

    I feel that it helps the audience relax. When you watch a horror movie or even an action series I feel that on some level you're on your guard. Is it too real? Do you just come in with certain expectations and so whatever they say just seems like not new information? I don't know, but it seems to me that a light setting helps the audience lower those mental walls and as such allow the message of the media to sink deeper into the audience's minds.

    Now, in prose it's not really easy to get the sort of light, happy setting that you can get in a visual medium such as with Steven Universe, but I think the same sort of relaxation can be achieved through a some what silly premise. I think the Discworld series by the sadly departed Sir Terry Pratchett is an example of this in action. To take the city watch series, it's your standard police stories in a medieval, well, dungeonpunk setting. That's not exactly a premise you can take seriously, but they still manage to address such diverse themes as racism, gender roles, and who you are in the dark.

    We can use this. The main problem is getting people to look past the light setting or the silly premise long enough to be able to see the themes underneath. How do we get through to the people who think that cartoons are just for the kid? Or even those who are on the fence, but their first impression winds up being "meh"?

    I don't really know.

    *ahem* anyways, thanks for reading my ramblings and sorry if this isn't the right place for it.
     
  7. NerdyCavegirl

    NerdyCavegirl Sage

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    One of my absolute favorite shows. Makes me cry sometimes, especially Sworn To The Sword and Friend Ship.
     
  8. UncleanGenes

    UncleanGenes Dreamer

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    I use to love everything about this show but now everything looks wrong. The characters are poorly draw and the same goes with the animation. Only the background art is still the same. I assume they passed the show to the interns. Is anybody else with me on this?
     
  9. vaiyt

    vaiyt Scribe

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    I really like the show. It looks like the kind of thing I'd have a blast working on. The atmosphere and designs feel so fresh and new even though they're just slight twists on things we've seen before.
     
  10. Phantasy

    Phantasy Dreamer

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    I've seen that show, it's really good
     

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