Steven Universe: Winter Forecast
February 19, 2015 4:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 42 - Subscribe

Steven has to get Connie back home when a snowstorm hits Beach City.
posted by Small Dollar (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
“Steven Universe’s New Episode Proves It’s the Best Show You Don’t Watch,” Eric Thurm, Wired, 19 February 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 10:19 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Our Steven is really growing up. Look at him, using FutureVision™ responsibly.

One thing that Thurm misses about Steven and Connie is that, having shared a body and mind, they have a much more intimate relationship than I think any of the adults realize. The human ones anyway. I'm glad Steven and Connie got what they wanted and watched the snow together for a little while. I hope they figure out how to take what remains of becoming an adult slowly.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:38 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, I thought of one more thing. I presume Maheswaran is a South-Asian name, but I could have sworn Connie said, "Itadakimasu!" before eating her waffle. Is that just a little joke for the fans, or is it established that Connie is studying Japanese, or am I missing something else?
posted by ob1quixote at 10:52 PM on February 19, 2015

She did say that, a bunch of people on the subreddit have been squeeing about it. I think it's just meant to show she's an anime or manga fan.

It was cool to see the Shooting Star again, although it does indicate that Steven's corner of the world is ludicrously dangerous. I assume the Star had been bubbled up until now.

Here are some notes:
- I can't help but think, in this weather, that Steven's room, built as it is using a cliff face for a wall, has got to cost a ton of money to heat.
- Steven's got a new sweater, with his trademark stars in a row.
- Steven: "What is it about marshmallows that make them so... good?" Connie: "It's probably the animal by-products." Connie is rapidly developing into the brains of the duo. It's nice to see that the formation of Stevonnie didn't damage their relationship, I could see being so weirdly close to someone for a while making things uncomfortable.
- It's the first time we've seen a fire in the fireplace, and the first instance of seriously cold weather in Beach City. (Steven has been about in a jacket before, although some of that time was missions in cold environments.)
- "Steven's still grounded from watching TV." I hope the Gems weren't serious about the thousand years thing, there's a wide array of pop culture TV parodies for Steven Universe to depict!
- Connie is still sticking with the eyeglasses deception. Connie's mother being a doctor, one can imagine her freaking out about her daughter's eyes being healed through some means unknown to her. I can't help but suspect this will become part of a later episode.
- Nice development of the adult Maheswarans, they were starting to seem fairly draconian after the events of Fusion Cuisine. They still seem fairly overprotective, but then, so are lots of parents.
- Garnet: "Hello, you two!" That's more personable than Garnet tends to be. Maybe she's developing a bit as a character?
- Steven: "Wait, you can't go yet. I have to show you this TubeTube video really quick!" I guess "TubeTube" (I may have that name wrong) is the Steven Universe version of YouTube?
- Steven has the star eyes and says "wow" to something off-screen right after the scene change to the car wash. You don't see what he was "wow"ing about, but I assume it's Greg's sweater. Personal: I don't get the reference behind "I'm a cherry man!"
- We get a glimpse into the extent of Greg's wardrobe. Of particular interest: a too-small tux, a wrestler's outfit, a larger version of Steven's shirt (but still too small), what may be a floral print, and a spacy outfit with elevator shoes that Steven calls the best outfit I have ever seen. It's easy to miss, but while he's looking for something to wear the kids are building a snowman, which they eventually put the Steven shirt on. Oh, and the dressing montage reminds us of his tan pattern.
- It appears that the Maheswarans live in a different town from Beach City, making their place the second human location seen away from there. We've seen glimpses of Maheswaran H.Q., a thin three-story home with garage, before, at least twice, when Connie talks to Steven on the phone.
- Mr. M: "Why are the children blue??" But they don't look to be...?
- When Steven's first vision concludes, it's triggered from seeing a pattern on the back of Greg's suit, beneath his hair (which he's wringing out). In one previous scene is the back of the suit visible, when the three are walking up to the Maheswaran house, but the pattern isn't there when his hair flies up in the wind. On that pattern, since the vision comes from sharing Garnet's future vision power and Steven looks a bit tranced-out from seeing it, could that possibly indicate why Garnet was hypnotized by the game in Arcade Mania.
- We get a glimpse into Greg's living habits, using a waffle iron to cook waffles and eggs. Pretty resourceful! I wonder if he prepares other kinds of food that way? Anyway, this is the first time we've gotten a good look at the back of the van, other than in Ocean Gem (which didn't linger long on those shots).
- As ob1quixote noted, Connie shouts Itadakimasu before eating the waffle-and-egg sandwich.
- When Steven and Connie are running back to the beach house, they pass the Big Donut. I need to chart out a street plan for Beach City some time, I get the sense that the production staff have it mapped.
- When Greg looks at Steven with the star eyes (he also did it in Watermelon Stevens), it seems oddly significant, like no a throwaway detail. Did Greg somehow know what Steven went through? Very mysterious of the old man. Very myst--
- "A couch? Oh la la, chateau Maheswaran!" Oh, never mind.
- And, finally, a quiet moment with Connie and Steven, at the end. Smash to black.

A little tidbit for people who managed to make it to the end of this comment. Cartoon Network has made an announcement of a crossover episode between Steven Universe and... Uncle Grandpa! Most of the SU subreddit is seriously WTF about that.
posted by JHarris at 2:28 AM on February 20, 2015

Garnet for Best Space Mom 2015! Even though you pretty much knew what had happened after the first flash back in time, it was still wonderful to see Steven navigate through the problem, first with childish desires, then with stubbornness, then with consideration for people who aren't even his friends but whom he respects. A protagonist! Learning! It's crazy I tells ya.

Garnet could have, after Steven's last brush with her powers, retreated and kept things as human-normal as she could, but instead she's figuring out different ways to ease him into things, and give him good learning experiences, with consequences but not something that is likely to kill him. (I'm pretty comfortable assuming that the Crystal Gems could rescue Greg et al in the blizzard, for example, so even though I didn't know if these things really had happened or if they were all visions, I wasn't too worried.)

I was surprised that there was snow, actually. Because of the dusky color palette of the show and the preponderance of sunsets and the beach bum culture hints I figured Beach City was somewhere it never really snowed. But of course, who knows what the weather is like in Steven's universe. I'm okay with this episode existing as a bit of an odd one because of the winter weather; I don't need to place Beach City within corresponding Earth weather patterns. (But it also could be in a vaguely mid Atlantic location. In Virginia, for example, you get craaaazy blizzards in winter but wicked hot summers.) I liked the show's use of the transport pads to take us places with different weather and color palettes. But as the world expands (what's the name of wherever Connie lives, then?) I'm sure Beach City will show more faces, too.

I loved Connie's cozy-looking snow dress with cat heads for pockets! I also really liked the bright tropical print on her family's couches. That family's got style.
posted by Mizu at 3:41 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

The show's hinted that it is in the state of "Delmarva" which is an actual real-life peninsula shared by Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Definitely gets cold enough to sno w there. The relative small, sleepy nature of Beach City also hint it's not a year-round destination. Had they not already specified roughly where beach city was the only lower-latitude place I've seen that would fit would be the North Carolina shield islands.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:58 AM on February 21, 2015

In fact, there have been hints that Delmarva is actually a state in the show's version of our world. Big Donut has a small notice on its window that says it's in the state with the postal abbreviation "DV," and Ronaldo's said things on his blog that support it. He talks about Delmarva often, but never about Delaware, Maryland or Virginia.

The site of the Maheswarans' residence might be Charm City, which has only been mentioned on KBCW as being not a long drive away. It's the site of anime convention DelmarvaCon. (KBCW has mentioned several fictional anime shows to date, and DelmarvaCon twice. I can't help but think the show's going to visit there eventually, and with Connie being a possible anime enthusiast....)

Back to Delmarva, I want to find out more about the show's alternate history US, which I should mention, might be substantially different from ours. We've never seen an American flag or a depiction of the shape of the US on the show, or mention of other states. I don't like the idea that such differences might be due to Gem interference (because I like that the Crystal Gems are fairly low-key generally, and anyway not everything has to be about your heroes on a show like this, especially in a show where non-powered types are still interesting characters), but on the other hand I like the idea of them being around during historical events like the American Revolution, those seems like they'd be fun stories to watch.
posted by JHarris at 12:39 PM on February 21, 2015

Well we've already seen the Crystal Gems involved in history (or, art history, at the very least) because they substantially messed up Watson and the Shark.

IRL Watson went on to become Mayor of London and commissioned that painting after the fact. The shark attack took place in Havana, Cuba, and I had to write a bazillion papers about it when I was first studying art history and close to the museum where it resides. It's highly fictionalized of course but Watson really did get his foot bit off by a shark in Cuba around 1750. Then he commissioned the painting from Copley when he was an adult. Very drama, so teeth.

In the original painting Watson is all floaty and pretty like classical statuary - Copley was showing off his chops - but in the Gem's picture (is it a photo?!) he's soggy and gasping for air and looks like an actual drowning boy. Copley painted his when he'd gone back to England, and this was smack dab in the middle of the American Revolution, so a lot of his deal was being like "hey guys I am totally valuable don't kill me look how good I can paint for you." So perhaps the Crystal Gems were in North America as notorious figures during the American Revolution, enough that that version of Watson wanted them figured prominently in his life-changing shark attack. Or maybe they were really there, and Garnet straight up punched a shark out of the water, and it was so humbling that Watson wanted himself painted realistically. But why would the Lord Mayor of London want the seemingly-North-American-based Gems so central to a painting about himself, made during the American Revolution?

Whoever drew that one-off joke, I have questions.
posted by Mizu at 2:34 PM on February 21, 2015 [8 favorites]

* I love the music that plays during Garnet's Future Vision Weather Forecast. I'm generally loving the music in this show overall.

* I also loved the sound effects when Greg's time-travel-hypno-cape activated.

* Wow, Garnet's future vision is the best teaching tool ever!

* Aww, they liked his sweatshirt after all.
posted by isthmus at 9:41 PM on February 21, 2015

This gives some background to the setting -- mostly, yes, it's Delmarva, although a fictional one.

I am biased, but Rebecca Sugar and her team know what they're doing. Steven Universe is such a smart, delightful show. I love everything about it so much.
posted by darksong at 8:24 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Most episodes they post a promotional title card sketch. The one for tomorrow's Maximum Capacity seems to take place in the same weird school alternate universe that the promo sketch for The Test did. I've taken to calling it St. Gemstone's School for Mineral Youth.
posted by JHarris at 8:31 PM on February 25, 2015

Y'all know Charm City is a real-world nickname for Baltimore, yeah?
posted by duffell at 10:56 AM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Should I mention that Beach City probably equals Ocean City, MD, and that Charm City is a nickname for Baltimore, and that both of these work out pretty well visually for what we've seen as well (provided the Mahaswerans indeed live in Charm City?)

It adds something to this episode knowing, as a former DMV resident, that they don't get a ton of snow there, but when it comes it's in like one giant dump per year, and nobody can drive in it.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:54 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

It seems like the real-world town that most closely matches Beach City is Rehoboth Beach, the official Beach City map labels the water off the coast as Rehoboth Bay (and look, there's Dewey Beach just to the north). We haven't gotten any more indication of where the Maheswarans' residence is since this episode. I think it can't be really far away though; Connie has stayed by herself in Steven's house while he and the Gems were on a mission in space before, so I presume she could get back home by her own means (maybe taking the bus?) if she had to.
posted by JHarris at 5:14 AM on July 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

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