With certain articles like this being flung around every social media site I check and people finding that they still need a reason as to why they should watch a specific show, I have decided to make these 'Why you should watch..." articles to give some insight as to why certain shows have the hype that they have. There are many shows and movies out there that are pushed away from being watched by certain individuals when in reality, these things being pushed away would actually be worth their while.
As you can see, the first article of these kind will be focused on the cartoon show, "Steven Universe," created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network. It centers on a young boy, Steven, living with not one, not two, but three female caretakers, who are beings known as Gems. Those three, Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst, calling themselves 'The Crystal Gems.'
First, let's go over why some people decided to stay away from the show:
· It's a cartoon
· It looks stupid
· The main character sucks
At that, let's get started.
1) It's a cartoon
While this is true, it's been obvious that a lot of cartoon media in general is stepping up it's game. Almost all of them are doing their best to make content for both kids and adults, and when you look at the big picture, it's easy to understand why. On the actual point of view of being a creator, it's just natural to think that a good, thought-out story would have something for all ages because if you didn't, then your creation would just be one dimensional, and not really special in any case. On the marketing side of things, when you have something that can be sold out to more of the public because all ages can watch it, it definitely means more money. With that, it's actually more than fine to watch and actually enjoy cartoons nowadays.
Steven Universe is no exception in this case. This show has so many things that would call out to older audiences, I forget why children is the major demographic. For one, there are a lot of issues that these characters go through that almost everyone can identify with.
Things like Amethyst's self-hate, Pearl's feeling of uselessness, a lot of these characters' sexuality, heck Steven himself has a hard time with him never ever meeting his mother, and the fact that his father is human and so different from his caretakers, that he can't even live with his own son.
A bunch of things happen to these characters while they still have to keep everything together and save the day, and go through the process of Steven growing into his new powers, and learning himself what it is to be a gem.
That itself can easily be paired with a child preparing to just, well, be an adult. As a kid, we're told to go to school, learn the stuff we have to learn, find out who we are, and find out how to contribute the person we are to benefit society, usually through a certain skill or talent we've come to hone. Of course, on the way to finding out who we are and just what we can give to society, we undoubtedly cross into some bumps in the road, things that stump us in our process. Those bumps in the road, of course, lead to many things like low self-esteem, self-hatred, aggression, heartbreak, betrayal, and even depression. Steven's process is no different. It is slightly unique because he also has to go through the whole being half-alien-half-human thing, but even so, he gets stuck on his way to find out what he is and what he can do, and of course that not only affects him, but the people around him as well.
2) It looks stupid
Now this one I can really understand, IF... you aren't any form of artist.
Even if you are an amateur artist in training, like myself, you tend to hear stories of people who had actually gone to animation school, and know more than the average doodler. People as so have stated as to why a lot of the more popular cartoons right now, have simple and clean designs is because it helps quicken the animation. It also gives more lee-way room for things such as the actual characters, the plot, the background, and all the color that goes into everything, which explains why the coloring and backgrounds in "Steven Universe" are so heavily praised.
As for the characters, I am really surprised as to why people don't like the look. It's what people have been asking and fighting gigantic animation studios for since years past. It has diversity, and in all reality, that's one of the most realistic things you can put into a fictional series. There are plenty of POC, body types, facial types, and a good amount of both females and males. It's a perfect blend of equality in the case of character appearance.
Like I said, the backgrounds and the coloring of "Steven Universe" are also to the point to drool over. It seems pretty scary to think about because in the light of things, if it weren't for the changes made in the pilot episode, we would not have as many fantastic things to look at in the show. Not to say that the pilot episode's way of things was ugly, but it was definitely different. The pilot episode had a black lineart to everything, as to separate things from each other so you can tell what is what, whereas the show now, in the terms of background, has no set lineart for the most part to help you distinguish this from that. People would see that as bad because, yeah, people want to know just what they are looking at, but "Steven Universe" did a good job with making sure there was no confusion in that case. Yes there was no set lineart but they made sure that you would be able to tell just from the color, which in spite of things, is more realistic.
The coloring was also very different in the pilot episode, and in this case, I am very glad the people working on the show decided to change it. I personally believe people wouldn't have had as much fun with a show made like the pilot episode, then they do with show with how it is now in the terms of color. The pilot episode's way of things was much duller, and it didn't seem as lively, which is something you wouldn't really want in a show that focuses on the gems in minerals that are usually very vibrant in color. The show definitely did change from that and it was quite the big change. The colors became brighter, more active, more beautiful, just like the gems they were focusing the story on.
3) The main character sucks
This one I, of course, have to disagree on. Sure, Steven is not the best protagonist of all time, but he's definitely far from bad.
For one, the thing that I really liked was, he acts his age. By the looks of things, Steven is not super young, but I highly doubt that he is old enough to even be called a teenager. He's a kid basically and you know what? He acts like it. People say that he is a bit stupid and ignorant, but really, it makes sense as to why he would be that way. Steven grew up in an environment made by his gem caretakers, and they are far from the norm. But since they were practically all that Steven has ever known, he considers them them to be normal. He's never even bothered to question it, and why should he? The gems never gave him a reason to be distrusting, so of course he just went with the flow, which of course would lead to some ignorance in the case of interacting with people considered normal, and of course he also will be seen as kind of weird as well.
Steven is also very aware of the situation he is in. No matter what he does, no matter what mission he goes on, no matter who he's interacting with, whether they be gem or human, he knows what's going on, and he knows that there is definitely consequences when he does something wrong. This is due to the Gems not hiding much and for the most part being very truthful to him, and telling him a lot about his Gem culture.
He's also very sincere, and seeks to make every one he cares for happy. Not because it's the good thing to do, but because he genuinely doesn't like seeing the ones he loves sad. Because of all the gems having to watch over him and keep him safe, when something bad happens, his automatic mindset makes him think it's his fault. If only he were stronger, if only he were smarter, if only he were better, they wouldn't be sad. He genuinely worries, and he genuinely looks for a solution.
More fun facts to help push you toward to show-
- This show has a lot of things relating to same sex relationships, and in fact it's more common in the sow than the straight couples hinted.
- One of the main characters has a Muslim family, a family picture showing the mom wearing a hijab.
- There is a thing called fusion which require cooperation, trust, and teamwork of both people to command one mind and body.
And that is why you should actually give this one a try. It has a slow start at first but it would be worth your while. If you can't get used to shows with a slow start, then yes, this might not be for you. But even so, overall, it is a very good show for all ages, and people should at least give it a try