Steven Universe Review: "Secret Team" (Season 1B, Episode 3)

Loudly shouting out “secret team” might do the exact opposite to your team, kid.

“We gotta come up with a name for our secret-keeping team. Something cool, like… a Secret Team.” – Steven, showing this show’s aversion to proper nouns for objects or places.

Airdate: October 16th, 2014

Written By: Hilary Florido and Katie Mitroff

Plot: Steven and Amethyst’s exercise of “diving into puddles of water in the latter’s room” sends them into Pearl’s room. There, a series of bickering between the two gems causes a bubble (formed by Rose) full of broken gem shards to pop, letting loose a lot of limbs. Since the bubbles are stored in Garnet’s room, the Gems fear death at the hands of Square Mom. Thus, the trio form an alliance – a “Secret Team”, if you prefer, in order to get the gem shards back into a bubble.

Review:

Going from epic episodes to silly little quasi-vignettes appears to be par for the course for Steven Universe right now. We’ve had an episode about Steven lamenting the death of his mother followed by a kid who might not even be human trying to kill him over a toy, Connie and Steven taking down a robot followed by a beach party, and Steven’s band trouble followed by a quartet of episodes that showed him learning that there was a lot of drama involving Gem culture. A lot of drama.

Here, after episodes focusing on Steven’s father lamenting his lack of communication and Pearl’s tragic desire to reach a utopia, we get… Steven forming alliances within the Crystal Gems over a popped bubble.

Epic, eh? Continue reading

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Before Anybody Asks….

First off, yes, I am aware that there will be a new Steven Universe episode per weekday for about a month. I will be watching as many of these episodes as possible. No, I will not be reviewing them yet. Besides the overload of episodes, I want to get all of the previously-aired episodes out of the way before I review any new ones.

Second, I am more than aware that Star Trek: Beyond is coming out this Friday. I will be going to a local theater on opening night. I am also doing a bit of a “movie re-watch” this week – watching some of the Star Trek movies in the few days leading up to the premiere of Beyond.

To cut a long story short, I don’t think I’ll be getting my “Secret Team” review out this week. “Make Room for Lisa” is also unlikely to be reviewed. Slightly more likely, yet still questionable, is my review of “The Day The Earth Stood Stupid” on my Futurama blog. I don’t think I’ll be getting my next review (which is probably going to be “Secret Team”) out on this blog until sometime next week.

Just consider this a brief, confirmed break. We all need one once in a while.

“Smoke me a kipper. I’ll be back for breakfast.”

Scullyfied Simpsons: "Marge Simpson in: Screaming Yellow Honkers" (Season 10, Episode 15)

“Anger is what makes America great. But you must find a proper weapon for your rage.” – Sgt. Crewe. Personally, I watch Simpsons episodes produced during the show’s decline and complain about them on a blog.

Airdate: February 21st, 1999

Plot: While trying to flee a variety show, Homer sees the four-wheel strength of the Canyonero. He goes to buy it, only to get the “F-Series” – a version of the car targeting women. His fear of being labeled gay has him toss the keys to Marge (read, has him hotwire her old car). Marge gets behind the Canyonero, and immediately gains some impulse. Unfortunately, this translates into road rage – one that gets her sent to Traffic Court. This proves ineffective, though, and eventually, her license is suspended… just in time for an incident at the zoo that, for some reason, requires her help. (Go on, guess why?)

Review:

As I mentioned in my review of “Coach Steven”, America seems to be the nation that runs on pure, unbridled Id. Power seems to permeate from every single thing we do – the biggest homes, the most powerful cars, the most passionate politics, etc. Granted, this is a broad generalization, but there is truth in the stereotype of the powerful American. Here, this episode takes a look at the SUV – arguably the most powerful type of car in existence – and how even the meekest of us can become power hungry. Unfortunately, it’s in execution where the episode falls apart. Continue reading

Steven Universe Review: "Space Race" (Season 1B, Episode 2)

“I like to dream
Yes, yes, right between my sound machine.
On a cloud of sound, I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near
To the stars away from here…”
– “Magic Carpet Ride”, Steppenwolf.

“The idea is ludicrous. It would never work – although, several humans, a monkey, and a dog did make it into space…” – Pearl, talking about building a spaceship out of spare parts… and also effectively writing every American’s letter to their representative on why we should increase funding to NASA.

Airdate: October 9th, 2014

Written By: Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu

Plot: A trip to a bunch of broken warp pads leaves Pearl nostalgic for the ability for interstellar travel – particularly, the ability to know what is going on back at Homeworld. Steven and Greg are inspired to make their own silly little space shuttle. Pearl sees this, gets involved, and takes it’s construction to the furthest possible limit.

Review (SPOILERS):

 

Three episodes ago, we watched as the world of Steven Quartz Universe went from the tiny sea town of Beach City, Delmarva, all the way into the deepest corners of outer space. So, why don’t we explore these new limitations ASAP?

Yeah, there’s a funny little thing about space travel – it’s rather complex and stuff. Can’t slap it together. I would make a comparison to this episode, but I can’t. Because this episode was put together like a Westminister Abbey model in a bottle – carefully assembled.

“Edward the Confessor himself could not have done better. Now to set the clocks to Greenwich Mean Time…”
(Unfortunately, the clocks never get adjusted properly.)

Continue reading