Young Steven’s life is a bit complicated. His dad lives and works in a car wash, his mom passed away from birth complications, and he is being raised by his aunts, Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst… who happen to be warriors from another planet.
That is the overall plot of Rebecca Sugar’s hit show Steven Universe. Steven’s mom was the great freedom fighter Rose Quartz, who sought to free her fellow Gems from the tyranny of the oligarchical Diamonds, who create living gemstones from various worlds, leaving them and taking the gems when the planet’s resources are all used up. To save the Earth and her beloved friends, all outcasts from the homeworld, Rose created the Crystal Gem resistance. Sometime in the distant past, the Diamonds wiped out the resistance with a plague, leaving only Rose, Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst alive and safe. Fast forward several hundred years, and we find Steven, the son of Rose Quartz and Greg Universe who’s a typical 12 year old boy… except for the fact that he’s part alien space rock, can heal with his spit and form a shield. His “aunts” teach him how to harness his gem powers for the good of Earth, because they know the Diamonds don’t give up so easily…
Steven is a great little guy. Every mom’s dream for her own son and for any boys her daughter meets, enthusiastic, kind, caring, happy to help, and willing to learn. One part Peter Pan, one part Jack Frost, and two parts All American Boy, our young hero is a great role model for his real life peers. Greg is a huge part of his son’s life, and while he is and was kind of a flake, he honestly wants to do what’s best for his son. He deeply loved Rose Quartz, and still mourns for her to this day, knowing no one could ever replace his “magic lady” The Gems are all great characters (with the possible exception of Amethyst), who love Steven and the Earth, fighting for freedom and equality.
All this is well and good, and if the show were just this, I would be saying go watch it, but it’s not. You see, Rebecca Sugar is bisexual, and weaves some of the LGBT agenda into the show. Garnet for instance is a “fusion” of two gems, tomboyish Ruby and delicate Sapphire. So yeah… a lesbian relationship. This is seen as OK and acceptable by Rose and company, but not on homeworld, where Ruby is threatened with death for fusing with a different kind of gem. On Homeworld, Fusion is usually only acceptable between gems of the same kind, and to fuse with a gem different from yourself is seen as perverted.
Fusion is seen as the highest form of affection among the gems, and the highest form of trust. When Fusion is misused it causes psychological harm to both parties. So yes, it’s used as a metaphor for relationships, but not just sexual ones. Fusions between friends are common, such as with Steven and his friend Connie (I suppose that could be seen as sexual, but, they’re 13!), Rose and Pearl, and Steven and Amethyst. Rose Quartz herself, however has only been seen to be romantically involved with males.
Besides this, there is some superhero type violence in the show, generally however, the Gem’s holographic bodies are “poofed”, so the Gem can regenerate. An enemy gem named Jasper uses a tuning fork like weapon on Garnet causing her to graphically split apart. But this is the only major instance of graphic violence. Jasper also bullies and intimidates a weaker gem called Lapis Lazuli into fusion. It’s actually a great explanation of what emotional and mental abuse looks like. It is revealed that when the Diamonds attacked Earth, they spread a plague called the Corruption that stole away the Gem’s sentience. They also forced fragments of Gems to fuse into grotesque monsters.
In all, though well animated, voice acted, and choreographed, I must say that Steven Universe is a show that should be skipped. If there is something I can’t take it’s pushing a socio-political- sexual agenda on children. There are shows I watched and enjoyed as a child that had agendas, sure, but they were never nearly so controversial as the one that Steven Universe espouses. It could have been great. It could have been fun. It could have advocated for standing up against tyranny. But because of the LGBT agenda, it’s not. I’m sorry Steven, I have to say no.
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