kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Kate ([personal profile] kate_nepveu) wrote2016-11-17 09:28 pm
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Steven Universe S04E08-09, "Gem Harvest"

I misremembered the title of this as "Gem Hunt" and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it referred to. For good reason.

Nb: this has some present-day resonances that may make it less than escapist viewing, though it is certainly not anywhere near as dark as this show can go.

So . . . yeah. That was kind of weirdly lumpy and a lot.

It did not help that I really found Andy's voice grating.

The opening bit about Lapis & Peridot's farming endeavors did not really seem to fit with the rest of it. (And if they don't have Halloween why did Greg show Steven jack o'lanterns?!) And the attempt to do Thanksgiving without being Thanksgiving was distractingly artificial.

There were a lot of good things! That wedding cake, and the gravestone, and Lapis generally continuing to have zero fucks, and Steven's new sweater, and Greg backstory.

But . . . I know it's first a kid's show. And "people might be mean because they're scared of change, but when they realize what they're causing themselves to miss because of that fear, they can decide to change too" is a probably a really good message for kids both to apply to themselves and other people. And it is totally not the show's fault that this episode came out under the circumstances when it did. I just feel kind of too battered for a call for empathy for a conservative who dislikes immigrants and for a suggestion that the motivations of such a person are ultimately not hateful and are easily changed.

Also I have a cold and am exhausted. So, for what it's worth.
hebethen: (Default)

[personal profile] hebethen 2016-11-18 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
No, same. I feel ya.

(In fairness re: jack o' lanterns, I can imagine pumpkin-carving being a thing even in the absence of Halloween, given the existence of butter sculptures, ivory scrimshaw, etc. -- our species enjoys putting pictures on all kinds of really random stuff.)
rushthatspeaks: (Default)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2016-11-18 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, given that jack-o'-lantern carving initially started up with turnips before it moved to pumpkins, I'm going to say there's a pretty strong face-on-fruit human carving impulse. I once tried to carve a jack-o'-lantern turnip to see what it would look like, and I literally ruined a good knife and got nowhere with the turnip. But that ridiculous feat was a real folk tradition, so it seems plausible to me that folks in SU could have evolved the much less ridiculous pumpkin-carving independently. I note also that Steven does not make the traditional gap-toothed Halloween-grin kind of pumpkin; the face he draws looks quite different.
coffeeandink: (Default)

[personal profile] coffeeandink 2016-11-18 11:15 am (UTC)(link)

kiezh: Text: Apparently it was going to be one of those days when people made no sense whatsoever. (mina de malfois says people make no sens)

[personal profile] kiezh 2016-11-18 12:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that episode fell really, really flat for me. Because it took a show that has developed a bunch of diverse, emotionally complex characters, most of them coded as female, and made them all a mostly-undifferentiated* mass of supplicants to a straight white guy bigot whose Issues took over everyone's lives and priorities, and were ALLOWED to do so. Because God knows we don't have enough shows already where the spotlight is on angry, lonely white men who can't quite grok that if they'd stop being assholes they might be less miserable.

I felt like there was a whole different episode being set up with Peridot and Lapis and the pumpkins, with more worldbuilding about Homeworld and gem reproduction, and some exploration of the emotional complexity of being a refugee from your own people, surrounded by an alien culture. (How does Lapis feel about Homeworld now?) I would have been really interested in that episode! The title would have made more sense, too.

Too bad Andy literally dropped in out of nowhere and derailed the whole thing.

*If the writers don't know what to do with all the gems in one place, and fall back on making them a weirdly passive audience for a new character, maybe they should go back to writing scenes of 2-4 people interacting in complicated ways that do justice to every character's separate emotional arc? They were really good at that! Here's hoping for lots of crunchy family dynamics in the Dec 1 episode...