But what do you mean by “the last book in the series”? The last of the first three? The second three? Or the third three?
Anyway, back on TV, I’ve just watched 52 episodes of Steven Universe, a show I had been resolutely ignoring for years. I mean, I assumed it was twee nonsense, of the sort beloved by Pushing Daises fans and their ilk (I mean, I didn’t hate that show but…).
And it borders on that. It’s a very variable show, in a lot of ways. It’s like a show that exists on a continuum between The Simpsons and Neon Genesis Evangelion, just sort of sliding around in the middle between those two (with an infinite amount of '80s/'90s computer game references). Like the first ten episodes or so it’s just pretty funny, witty, clever, with only a few vague hints that there’s some kind of serious backstory and potentially very melodramatic stuff going on.
And it’s interesting as it goes on, that some stuff not actually revealed for dozens of episodes was hinted at, often quite clearly, early on. But there’s other stuff too where it seems more like they’re just re-writing their own history to make it work better.
Sometimes it really misses the mark, too, albeit not very often. “Shirt Club” - episode 47 I believe - would be a good example of missing the mark and sort of undermining it’s own premise. Earlier episodes often have an engagingly messed-up message, and often finish on a ridiculous note (I remember Steven triumphantly shouting “I always get what I want!” at the end of one episode for example). Whereas “Shirt Club” is just cheesy, predictable, obvious and not really terribly different from an actual '80s Saturday morning cartoon. The only major deviation is Steven as a clock-tower sniper (with a t-shirt gun) and they ending felt super-fake.
And there are a fair number of other episodes, maybe 1/4-1/3rd of the total, where it’s just kind of “meh, I guess”.
But when it’s on, which is most of the time, it’s on. Either it’s actually funny/witty, or it’s moving, or maybe even both, or maybe it has some kind of cool/clever backstory stuff. Episode 52 boded well (after a largely mawkish episode 51), but unfortunately that’s all Netflix UK has for me, despite there being like 50+ more episodes out there (I believe), and no-one else in the UK seems to have them, except actual CN, which you need cable/Sky to get, and which fucking get this in 2018 - has censored some of the fucking episodes (Cartoon Network UK), so I’m sure a shit not paying for that.
And knowing Netflix UK that’s probably all we’ll ever get. Oh well, it was fun whilst it lasted.