An anarchist watches: Steven Universe

If you are looking for a fun wee family friendly TV show to keep you entertained then I wouldn’t look much further than Steven Universe. One blurb I found said:

Steven Universe is a coming-of-age story told from the perspective of Steven, a chubby and happy-go-lucky boy and the youngest member of an intergalactic team of warriors called the Crystal Gems. Together, the Crystal Gems fight and protect the Universe, while Steven strums up a cheesy tune on his ukulele.

Here are three clips that show why I think it is worth a watch, no matter how young you are…



1) Big Issues
On the whole it takes the world as it is and puts forward big concepts in a way anyone can understand. Take this killer critique of work as a good example of what I mean:


2) Collective Living
It addresses ideas of alternate family arrangements in a positive way, with Steven’s mother being dead, his dad living in a van while still caring for Steven as best he can, and our would-be-hero living with three of his mother’s friends/sisters/crystal alien superhero protectors of earth, all of whom are caring for one another in a far more collective fashion than we normally see depicted. That said it’s not always in the most productive ways…


3) Strong Diverse Cast
The characters all come from different backgrounds, with a good mix of race, gender and body-types all presented in a super-positive way. Central to this are three powerful ‘women’ who all hit certain tropes without being cheezy or insulting. It also al Oh, and they get all the best kick-ass fights sequences:


So if this takes your fancy then you can watch it online here.


2 responses to “An anarchist watches: Steven Universe

  1. Great post, but I would like to point out that all the gems are nonbinary.

    • Indeed they are, but I found it interesting how they can been coded into the traditional role of “strange aunts” and “wyrd sisters”. This isn’t just done by viewers, but also the writers and the Gems themselves at times. It also a nice wee change on these points that they are mineral aliens with no gender.

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