Daily Illuminator

April 11, 2020: Binge Idea: Steven Universe

In March, one of the most innovative cartoons of this century finished its six-season run. On its surface, Steven Universe is a story about a boy trying to balance two influences: his daily life with his human father and friends, and a developing purpose he inherited from his mother, one of the mysterious Crystal Gems who act to protect the world. Creator Rebecca Sugar also worked on Adventure Time and, much like that show, the early episodes have a lightness and charm that eases you into a far deeper and more meaningful story that unfolds over several seasons. Sugar also composed much of the music for the series, and the soundtrack is one of the things that the "Gem Family" loves most about the show.

Steven Universe is a fun, beautifully written program with many important things to say about inclusion, diversity, compassion, and taking care of the people you love, definitely including yourself. I came very late to the program and I'm glad I got to watch it in binges rather than all at once. I highly recommend it.

(Oh, make sure to AVOID SPOILERS. There were some plot twists I found out about ahead of time through incautious Googling and I regret it now. Go in cold, watch it clean, and I hope you'll be as moved by the end as I was.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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