Steven Universe is back for another new episode. Following on the heels of “The Answer,” in which Garnet (Estelle) tells Steven (Zach Callison) her origin story as a birthday present, “Steven’s Birthday” sees the cast of characters celebrating the titular event with a party. Does it improve upon the previous episode? More importantly, how much of my personal rubric does it satisfy?
You hear people say “we’re in the Golden Age of television” all the time these days. Some have taken to calling our current climate “peak TV.” And while that descriptor certainly adheres to the recent influx in serialized dramas all over premium and basic cable, many argue you could apply the term to animation as well. I don’t buy in on many cartoons – even the ones geared towards adults can be hit-or-miss, especially when their entire shtick is the juxtaposition of a simple animated style with dirty jokes. But so many people – people I know personally, even – sing the praises of shows like Adventure Time or My Little Pony, so there must be some merit to these programs. Last year I took a chance on one such show – Steven Universe – mostly because the main character and I share a first name (and he spells it the correct way). I was skeptical at first, but irrepressible charm and catchy music eventually yielded love; and with a batch of new episodes premiering this week, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to write about a series that I have come to enjoy immensely.