14th Jul2015

‘Steven Universe 2×14: Cry For Help’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“I’m just so excited to be here. You see, I haven’t exactly been myself lately.” ‘Cry For Help’ is a compact, emotional quarter-hour of television showcasing each of the Gems and how tentative their connections to one another remain even after a season of growth and change. Ameythst is the show’s eternal troublemaker, but in […]

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20th Jun2015

‘Steven Universe 2×13: Chille Tid’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“It’s easy. You just lie down, get nice and comfy, don’t move, and don’t think about anything…” Oops. The last time Steven Universe went this weird it was for the paranoia-driven ‘Rose’s Room,’ an episode built around the impossibility of wish fulfillment. ‘Chille Tid,’ by contrast, is as placeless and strange as its name. The Norwegian phrase “chille […]

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18th Jun2015

‘Steven Universe 2×08: Keeping It Together’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“I wish you hadn’t seen that.” This is a dang kids’ show, y’all. ‘Keeping It Together’ takes a long, unnerving look at something Steven Universe has had on its radar since ‘Frybo,’ season 1′s early gross-out fest: voluntary and involuntary dynamics. The show has bumped up against the idea softly and repeatedly in its portrayals of imperfect people trying […]

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17th Jun2015

‘Steven Universe 2×07: Rising Tides / Crashing Skies’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“I’m so brave to be doing this.” ‘Rising Tides / Crashing Skies’ is that rare character study that offers insight without demanding that the audience render up sympathy. Ronaldo Fryman is a typical teenage boy in that, whether it’s acclaim or love, he believes the world owes him something. The faux-’Loose Change’ format of his delightfully […]

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01st May2015

‘Steven Universe S02E08: Reformed’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“It’s just fun to see yourself as a cartoon character.” Steven Universe has often and with mixed results made hash out of exaggerating the Gems’ defining traits, but in ‘Reformed’ the show digs with honesty and compassion into how Amethyst uses that exaggeration to combat her insecurities.  Things get rolling when Steven’s attempt to get Amethyst to take a clickbait […]

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24th Apr2015

‘Steven Universe S02E07: Love Letters’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

Garnet: “Start with the letter N.” Connie: “Huh, okay.  What next?” Garnet: “The letter O.” Steven Universe giving love at first sight the brushoff feels kind of shaky just a few weeks after the show waxed rhapsodical about it in ‘Story for Steven.’  Granted, Jaime the Mailman cuts an especially dismissable figure with his overblown confessions of […]

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17th Apr2015

‘Steven Universe S02E06: Shirt Club’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Vote For My Dad.” The stakes have never been lower, but Steven Universe thrives on the small stage.  The episode’s plot is simple: Steven and Buck Dewey make T-shirts together, then disagree about what said T-shirts are for.  It’s a light, sit-com-esque premise that leads into an earnest look at what growing up can take from […]

10th Apr2015

‘Steven Universe S02E05: Story for Steven’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“You’re awfully cute, and I really want to play with you…but your life is short, and you have dreams.” Rose Quartz is the structuring absence of Steven Universe.  She’s the ducks flying north from Tony Soprano’s pool, the vacated desk of Laura Palmer, the hole around which the themes and characters of the series revolve and against […]

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