Steven Universe: Sadie's Song
September 17, 2015 2:58 PM - Season 2, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Steven encourages Sadie to perform at Beachapalooza, but her mother proves overenthusiastic.
posted by Small Dollar (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This shot made me really uneasy. Sadie looks so small and sad against Steven and her mom :(

Lars hopefully eyeing Jenny (or trying to figure out if the Cool Kids thought the joke was funny).
posted by glass origami robot at 5:12 PM on September 17, 2015

Steven's borderline destructive enthusiasm has been explored before, lots of episodes can be boiled down to "Dealing with the consequences of Steven's actions." Steven seems to have learned something in this episode, but he tends to err on the side of optimism most days. As for Sadie, I guess the surest sign I'm not really a millennial is that my solution for her is to move out of her mom's basement if she's sick of her mom ruining everything.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:31 PM on September 17, 2015

We now have two episodes in a row about mothers who don't really know their children, an overprotective mom in Connie's case and an overenthusiastic one in Sadie's case. I'm wondering if we are getting more episodes in this theme.
posted by cuscutis at 7:36 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also: not only no gems this time, but not even any monsters or other gem-related stuff! No magic, no homeworld, no warp pads, no swords. Which I like, we haven't gotten a good Beach City episode in a while.
posted by JHarris at 7:57 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Has there ever been a completely magic-free episode before?
posted by baf at 8:09 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

In Joking Victim, the only magic (besides Amethyst's mere presence) was the fire salt. It escalated the stakes of the episode but wasn't important to the story.

Garnet's Universe was only a story imagined by Steven, but it had magic stuff in it.

Shirt Club had gems in it slightly, but no other magic. Until now, it was the episode with the least magic.

Historical Friction's only magic was staged fakery, although the fact that Pearl had first-hand knowledge of the events depicted could be considered magical in spirit.
posted by JHarris at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm also left wondering what Barb knows about Greg? I wouldn't be surprised if the deepest of the show's mysteries, in the end, doesn't concern Homeworld gems and their plans for the Earth, but Beach City citizens and their relationship with the Crystal Gems and Greg, which seems to be complicated. Mr. Fryman is resigned, Kofi was outright pissed until Beach Party (and even then I doubt he's come around 100%), Barbera Miller (Sadie's last name: confirmed) doesn't seem to know anything about Gems but seems to know and like Greg, and Vidalia is great friends with Amethyst and generally seems to know of the others.

Also up in the air is human relationships with the supernatural in general. The subreddit was full of memes about Connie's mom not being a very good doctor considering her reactions to the gem mutants, which I think were overblown. Doctors have a duty to treat patients in a professional manner regardless of circumstances, and upon being confronted with an unconscious patient who's a mass of arms, her first reaction was, and should have been, to calmly sit down and gain information, by checking vitals. Her previous patient was more obviously humanoid at least, even if covered with what appeared to be growths.

But more interesting at the end is Priyanka's reaction to "gem mutants," which was surprisingly accepting. She didn't say "Wait, what are gems?" Which leads me to believe that gems may actually be known of by humans generally. Remember Ronaldo's becoming crestfallen when he found out all the crazy stuff is "just" from gems? That, and things like a gem being on US currency in the show's world indicates that the Crystal Gems, while they keep to themselves, aren't unknown generally. I wonder if the US government will ever come to see the Gems at some point in the show...?

(Priyanka was revealed by Ian Jones-Quartey to be Dr. Maheswaran's first name.)
posted by JHarris at 8:05 AM on September 18, 2015

Why wouldn't people at least vaguely know about gems? There was a giant war 5000 years ago where, as Greg mentioned, people were killed too. The gems presence left quite a footprint on humans and human society. Gems clearly had impact even after the war if you consider events like the rescue of William Dewey.

The majority of gems may have been gone for a long time but people are aware of their existence even if it doesn't really impact their day to day life anymore. It's probably like being aware of ancient Egyptians while living in Egypt or being aware of ancient Rome while living in Rome. Except, instead of pyramids and aqueducts, it's floating sky arenas, and rotting gem tech and weapons.

So I suspect the people of Steven's world would not be completely surprised by a certain amount of gem-related weirdness that we would find very strange. It's part of their history and their reality.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 9:20 AM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Because there is a sense we've gotten sometimes that the world hasn't been greatly changed by the knowledge that aliens exist and even walk among humans. I mean, there are things like the United States being different, with states having different names and different currency, and off-screen show staff have remarked that Christmas doesn't exist in this world and the world wars didn't happen. But why haven't humans made a concerted study of gem artifacts? Why are gem sites always in the wilderness?

But for all that, government functions still seem to be about the same. There's still brain-dead popular culture like dumb action movies. Mass transit (trains), automobiles, airplane, all exist. (On airplanes, we might find something about their history of aviation soon in the upcoming episode Back To The Barn.) There's an arcade in Beach City. Smartphones exist and seem remarkably similar to ours to the extent that one imagines Apple exists there. The internet still exists and seems to work like it does for us, and that's a really big one considering how its early history is wrapped up in government and Cold War paranoia.

I think there could be a whole genre of fanfiction devoted to explaining how these real world things came to be in the Steven Universe Universe and if they have some Crystal Gem influence, sort of like the Discworld march of progress series in Ankh-Morpork.
posted by JHarris at 3:37 PM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

As for Sadie, I guess the surest sign I'm not really a millennial is that my solution for her is to move out of her mom's basement if she's sick of her mom ruining everything.

I'm not sure Sadie's old enough to sign a lease. At least based on social circles, she might still be in high school. But it is kind of ambiguous, as I don't think we've seen anyone in school ever.
posted by pwnguin at 12:17 PM on September 20, 2015

The absence of a school in Beach City is one of the show's little mysteries, I think. The comics revealed they used to have a library but something happened to it. Maybe the result of a monster attack? The same story also revealed a book Connie found that had a gem embedded in the cover.

But it is interesting that teen social functions in Beach City are not held in a school gym or anything like that, but in a decrepit warehouse.
posted by JHarris at 4:18 PM on September 20, 2015

Can you have a prom without having a school? We know Connie goes to school, but not in Beach City. Maybe the teens go to another town also.

If Sadie is working at Big Donut, she's not making enough to move out, or maybe she does want to go to college and is saving up.

I would like to point out the nice association behind her love of "Evil Bear 2" and the giant pile of unwanted stuffed animals her mom foists on her. That poster in her room was obviously something she bought herself.

The SU reddit has several people shipping Barb and Greg, but honestly I think he's not into gruff overbearing hearty types; he's too gentle and romantic. Hard to imagine him moving on with any of the women that have popped up so far in Beach City.
posted by emjaybee at 5:44 PM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm always so happy when Sadie comes around, and I'm happy to have another fun song to sing!

Although having read this thread, right now I have the Big Donut song stuck in my head. >_<>
Somehow I feel like Sadie has graduated from high school...maybe Lars, too. I don't know why.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:58 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Steven's performance didn't read as drag to me, exactly. I don't think he was acting out a feminine caricature so much as sincerely enjoying performing as himself but with makeup and glitter. Which is pretty awesome and really unusual.
posted by Kilter at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2015 [6 favorites]

"You called it Nana." "That 'Mystery Guest' bit had Steven written all over it."

But the thing that really struck me was Mr. Smiley, other than the bit back in Joking Victim this is the most characterization we've gotten from him. I guess Sinbad don't come cheap.
posted by JHarris at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2015

"I knew you delivered mail, but I didn't know you delivered Sadie!" really made me laugh.
posted by comealongpole at 1:07 PM on August 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

if I could begin to be
half of what you think of me
I could do about anything
I could even learn to love

This theme is explored in a different way in this episode. Sometimes others expectations are encouraging. Sometimes people need to just butt out.
posted by rebent at 8:02 PM on November 1, 2017

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