Are y’all ready for me to have a whole bunch of feelings about Steven Universe? Because that is what’s happening right now.
Steven Universe is a CartoonNetwork show from Maryland native Rebecca Sugar. The show started back in 2013, has over 150 episodes, and just ended. It’s been a long, strong ride, with so many dang feelings along the way. If you haven’t watched it yet, we need to change that.
I didn’t start watching Steven Universe until 2014, when I started watching them on iTunes (episodes are also Amazon and Hulu). Since I don’t have cable, so this was the best option for me; I could binge watch them, they were in one place, and it was all around easier for me. Plus, now that it’s over, you can binge the whole dang series.
Steven Universe is an excitable young dude who lives in Beach City with his dad and the Crystal Gems (more on them soon). Beach City is based off of Dewey Beach, a chill vacation spot in Delaware.
My dude Steven isn’t like other kids because he has a rock (specifically a gem) for a belly-button. Each of the Crystal Gems has a gem somewhere on them; they are the gems and their body is a projection (but a solid one). He lives with Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Garnet is stoic, Amethyst is wild (and the youngest after Steven), and Pearl is obsessive. They have different gems in different places, and different weapons that go along with them.
I know we’re front loading here, let’s get to the fun stuff.
The first episode, Gem Glow, really shows how wildly manic the show can be. Steven is trying to figure out what his power is, and thinks it’s linked to his favorite ice cream treat, Cookie Cat! He buys a ton of them (they’re being discontinued), so when the need arises, he has plenty to eat to activate his gem. Shockingly enough, he finds out that it isn’t that simple. Soon after, the Crystal Gems explain that he will have to figure out his gem on his own.
From there, the show grows with Steven. He goes through things like trouble with puberty and growth, mom-related stuff, and learning about his past. Its an incredible mix of heartfelt, emotional episodes, and wacky ones, which I think is what makes it so addicting. It’s got everything I need: amazing characters with fleshed out stories, and hella diversity.
While the overarching theme of the show is Steven’s self discovery, it is also about war. The Crystal Gems are from Homeworld, a planet that’s super far from Earth, ruled by the Diamonds. Without getting too spoiler-y, the Crystal Gems were a part of a rebellion against the Diamonds. They’ve found a new home on Earth. The Diamonds aren’t happy with the Gems, so when they find out that they still exist, it causes some problems. My absolute favorite character, Jasper, is a Diamond-loyal Homeworld Gem. She is a part of the team that finds Steven and the Crystal Gems. Her episodes are always my favorites; I love a headstrong, angry lady.
So there are rock ladies from space and a weird little boy with a quartz bellybutton. Do you need more info?
Probably, because that’s a weird statement. This show is amazing because of it’s length (160 episodes, a movie, and a 20-episode epilogue series), it’s growth, and it’s diversity. As a crew of Fangirls here, I know that doesn’t seem daunting to you. So don’t forget to add the books (Guide to the Crystal Gems, Keep Beach City Weird, The Answer, The Tale of Steven), comics (start here), and game to your to-enjoy list. The books and comics offer neat peeks into aspects of their lives. Maybe it isn’t for everyone, but there are recipes in the comics! I love me some nerdy food (I made Together Breakfast & Bagel Dogs inspired by the show). They were tasty snacks, and a fun way to incorporate Steven Universe into your kitchen!
As we’re currently in quarantine, now is a great time to check out some new content. Steven Universe is perfect for that because it will have you on an emotional roller coaster with a genuinely fulfilling ending. I cried throughout the series, especially Future, the epilogue series.
Are you ready for wholesome, powerfully diverse, all ages content? Sit your butt down to watch some Steven Universe. I do suggest bringing a hankie and snacks, because it’s long and emotional. If you have watched Steven Universe, let me know who your favorite character is; mine is Jasper (big tough cheeto puff for life)!
Looking for other ways to spend your time at home? Check out what we’re streaming for plenty of options!