“Oh, Steven! How do you keep getting in these predicaments?” – Steven himself. You just had to find that Lapis-containing mirror, Pearl. You just had to find it!
Airdate: July 18th, 2016.
Written By: Paul Villeco.
Plot: The prospect of having the first Big Donut donut of the day on his first day back in Beach City excites Steven so much, he flies in the air. Trouble is, he has a hard time falling back down. Y’know, his powers being tied to his emotions and all that.
Steven Universe has become almost legendary for having a rather erratic airing schedule. The show will often disappear from the Cartoon Network roster for weeks – if not months – on end, only to show up with a week straight of new episodes, every night. Occasionally, you get a more traditional airing schedule – an episode or two weekly – for a few weeks before it was yanked off the schedule yet again.
This whole rigamarole began in March of 2015, with the first StevenBomb, and has continued ever since. Some commentators have speculated that this is part of a ratings grab by the network – that Steven Universe episodes can net high ratings for their premiere dates, all while apparently less expensive shows (cough*TeenTitansGo*cough) get rerun slots that can allow for higher profit margins per rerun broadcast.
Alternately, this could be a response to the rise of streaming services that allow for multiple episodes to be viewed in one sitting, serving as an effective competition to traditional TV (with some theorizing that traditional Cable might be closer to the sunset, in favor of IPTV and Netflix/Hulu services). Complementary to this, TV shows have become increasingly serialized. Steven Universe is a rather serialized show, but showing an entire season in one go would be a rating debacle for the network. (They tried it with Summer Camp Island in 2018 – that show has vanished from the schedule since, although it might pop up in 2019.) This could serve as a happy medium – the network could have their cake and eat it too! And since the 6-11 demos were largely out of school and had reduced responsibilities, well, bingo bongo!
Hence, the Summer of Steven – a month straight of new Steven Universe episodes. And what better way to kick it off by returning the show to its roots – literally and figuratively? Continue reading