Steven Universe Review: “The New Lars” (Season 3, Episode 10)

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Even Onion know that your mileage will vary on this episode… oh, god, Onion’s gone meta.

“This isn’t the Lars we know. Maybe, Lars is actually… a good guy who likes making people feel good.” – Buck Dewey. Oh, jeez…

Airdate: July 21st, 2016

Written By: Raven Molisee and Paul Villeco

Plot: Lars is acting like his typical ornery self at work, brushing off Sadie’s attempt to get him to watch some horror movies with her. Steven happens to be at the Big Donut and tries to get Lars to admit that he loves her. When that fails, he is so unnerved when trying to get to sleep… that he hijacks his body, and lives his life for a few hours. Cringe ensues.


Hey, remember one of the most iconic lines of Steven Universe‘s first season? “If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn’t have hot dogs!” Just a good reminder. It reminds us that we as humans are multifaceted and that not all aspects of us can be representatives of idealistic behavior, and that we aren’t all uniform figures. Further, it highlights that the experiences we face can’t all be good, that we can easily compare them, and that when they are bad, we can at least take stock of the good things in life.

The quote can naturally be applied to television episodes. I can not think of any show of substantial length – more than two seasons, I’d figure – that has had every episode go down with universal acclaim. Breaking Bad is almost universally cited as one of the best shows of all time, yet poll fans of the show and they are quite conflicted on “two-hander” episode “Fly”. Red Dwarf has a fanbase a mile wide, yet everything after Series V is contested – even I have little love for Series VII and VIII, although age has mellowed out my temperament towards the former and, to a lesser extent, the latter somewhat.

And guess what? Steven Universe, the queen regent of reminding us that pobody’s nerfect, is not immune to this. Hence, “The New Lars”, one of the most controversial episodes of the entire series. There is a substantial section of fans that despised this episode when it first debut or when they first saw it, ranking it near the very bottom. Time has improved it somewhat as the character development caused people to look at this episode for some attempt at foresight.

But, now that we’re almost three years out, how does this episode rank? Is it an underrated episode buried by initial hatred? Is it deserving of having it’s master copy traded to somebody that might have the remaining missing Doctor Who episodes? Or is it just forgettable, flushed into the ether?

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Steven Universe Review: “Sadie’s Song” (Season 2, Episode 16)

Sadie dunks her head in a water pitcher.
Me too, Sadie. Me too.

“Ever since my act two years ago, there’s been a rule that you gotta wear clothes.” – Steven. The good news is that that is a very good rule in most situations. The bad news is that the episode only once eclipses the brilliance of that line.

Airdate: September 17th, 2015

Written By: Raven Molisee and Paul Villeco

Plot: While trying to promote the annual Beachapalooza, Steven overhears Sadie belt out one of the highest charting pop songs on the radio, “Haven’t You Noticed I’m A Star”. Impressed with her ability to sing, Steven encourages her to sing for the event. Unfortunately, her overenthusiastic mother, Barbara (Kate Flannery) gets wind that her daughter is going to sing pop records. It all goes downhill from there, leading Sadie ona  path to a breakdown before her pop career even starts.


Well, all good things must come to an end, and so must Season 2’s run of “very good-to-exemplary” episodes stretching back to “Keeping It Together”. And it ends in the most unusual way – a sequel to the previous episode, written by the same damn people as the previous episode, dealing with many of the same themes as the previous episode.

Yet, while “Nightmare Hospital” could’ve challenged for one of the best episodes of the entire season, “Sadie’s Song”… doesn’t.

Jay from Steven Universally absolutely tore this episode to shreds, even going so far as to call it his second least favorite episode of the entire series (dispatched only by the questionable ethics of “Island Adventure”). And honestly, the more I think about it, the more I have to say… he’s not too far off base. Thinking about this episode enough makes me wonder what the hell happened in the writer’s room. The fact of the matter is, this does not feel like a Steven Universe episode in the slightest. Continue reading

Steven Universe Review: “Horror Club” (Season 1B, Episode 15)


Catch, catch the horror taxi.
I fell in love with a video nasty!
Catch, catch the horror train.
The freeze frame gonna drive you insane!
– “Nasty”, The Damned. (From The Young Ones episode “Nasty”)

Airdate: February 12th, 2015

Written By: Raven Molisee and Paul Villeco

Plot: Steven and Sadie let Lars tag along to Ronaldo’s Horror Club – much to the host’s displeasure. While watching Evil Bear II, the lighthouse starts acting up – much like a thriller. Investigations lead to Sadie getting taken hostage by the lighthouse. With Lars and Ronaldo having a rather frosty relationship, the conspiracy nut contemplates giving said lighthouse a snack to satisfy it – Lars, to be exact.


You are reading a review of an episode of a television show – a TV show that lures it’s fans in with cute colors, quasi-lesbian aliens, and brilliant songwriting… and attacks them with emotional resonance, psychological terror, and liberal overtones. In one episode, characters mess around at the arcade. In another, characters expose suicidal self-loathing. In another, a kid and his best friend have a very awkward dinner. What type of adventure are we damned to witness for episode 15 of Season 1B? Find out tonight in Night of The Review Nebula 2: Blogspot Takes Up Space on Your Data Plan!

Lars, Ronaldo, Sadie, and Steven are our protagonists of the evening. The first one and the third one are trapped in a rather messed-up relationship, and the second one almost killed the fourth one to fuel his own ego. This can either make for a) juicy drama or b) a trainwreck. Which one is it?

Neither, really – although it is damningly dull.

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Steven Universe Review: "Fusion Cuisine" (Season 1B, Episode 6)


“All comedy is derived from fear.” – Garnet. It’s as close to a description of this episode as I can come up with.

Airdate: November 6th, 2014

Written By: Lamar Abrams and Hellen Jo

Plot: Garnet screws up royally while on the phone with Connie’s mother. Incensed, she requests to see Steven’s mom and dad for dinner. Funny thing, though – Steven’s mom is sorta dead, and all of the Crystal Gems have flaws that could screw up a potential dinner. Steven, however, has a trick up his sleeve – have the trio fuse into Alexandrite. Hilarity ensues… and by hilarity, I mean a dinner that makes the ones attended by Frank Reynolds look professional in comparison.


There’s a thin, fine line between “characters engaging in momentary idiocy” and “characters becoming around as naive as Ralph Wiggum”. Remember back when I reviewed “Keep Beach City Weird”, a few days ago? Well, no need – I just reviewed it a few days ago. One of my chief complaints about that episode was that at least two of the characters were turned quite stupid in order to aid the climax – crossing the line, or at least, toeing it.

Which brings us to “Fusion Cuisine”, the episode on tonight’s menu.

Opinions on this episode range the gamut from “ingenious comic romp” to “waste of 11 minutes, who wrote this crap” (Lamar Abrams and Hellen Jo, for those wondering). A lot of this deals in the more “awkward” comedy found in this episode – a good chunk of it, frankly, based on the characters being dumbasses or otherwise irritating. Continue reading

Steven Universe Review: "Onion Trade" (Season 1A, Episode 15)


“You clearly don’t know who you are shooting GUYS at, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Steven – I am the danger! A guy opens his door and gets Hynes Ketchup flung in his face – you think that of me? No… I am the one who knocks!”


Airdate: March 15th, 2014

Synopsis: Steven loses his Ranger GUY, a part of his Guys Under Your Supervision collection. While his attempts to acquire one via the vending machine fail, he notices that Onion has it. Thing is, Onion, who is a rather… eccentric kid, is not willing to barter for Steven’s low-rung Dave Guys. Amethyst points to a matter replicator to try and multiply the Dave Guys even further. Onion instead takes the replicator. Hilarity ensues.

Review: “Onion Trade” is often cited by fans as among the weakest episodes of Steven Universe, if not the weakest episode of the show. The reasons why vary, from a lack of emotional impact, to a lack of comedy, to the character of Onion himself. Thus, I am faced with the question – is it as bad as everybody else says? Or is it a good episode, unfairly maligned by the SU fandom? Or, does it fall somewhere in the mushy, unremarkable middle – which, given some of the later episodes, will likely fall to the fringe? Continue reading