Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

Steven Universe alternate viewing order for newcomers

If you've seen people, including me, enthuse about Steven Universe but the first episode or two didn't grab you, here is an alternative called Flood Order, which I got from Tumblr and am extracting in a spoiler-free version here (not that there are a ton of spoilers at the link). Note that I have not personally tried this, but it seems pretty reasonable.

Start with a mad dash to the halfway point of S1 [*], which is where shit indisputably begins to get real. Because episodes are 11 minutes each, this will take you less than two hours, or in the ballpark of a feature film. The number in parenthesis is the original episode number.

1. Cheeseburger Backpack (3)
2. Laser Light Cannon (2)
3. Bubble Buddies (7)
4. Steven’s Lion (10)
5. Giant Woman (12)
6. Steven the Sword Fighter (16)
7. Lion 2: The Movie (17)
8. An Indirect Kiss (24)
9. Mirror Gem (25) (which is really a two-parter with:)
10. Ocean Gem (26)

[*] S1 is 52 episodes; S2 is 26, and S3 is apparently 25. Because reasons. (S4 starts this Thursday; the series has been renewed through S5.)

Then, either you're hooked or you're not. If not, obviously, stop watching. If you are and you're a completist, you can go back and watch the rest from the start, or you can shuffle some of the deferred episodes into the rest of S1, thusly, and skip the rest:

11. House Guest (27)
12. Rose’s Room (19)
13. Monster Buddies (23)
14. Coach Steven (20)
15. Lars and the Cool Kids (14)
16. Joking Victim (21)
17. Space Race (28)
18. Secret Team (29)
19. Garnet’s Universe (33)
20. Tiger Millionaire (9)
21. Island Adventure (30)
22. Keep Beach City Weird! (31)
23. Fusion Cuisine (32)
24. Watermelon Steven (34)
25. Lion 3: Straight to Video (35)

After "Lion 3," you should just watch the show in order. Note that "Open Book," "Shirt Club," and "Story for Steven" all come after "Rose's Scabbard" and in that order, despite Cartoon Network first airing them during S2. One exception: skip "Say Uncle" (season 2, episode 3), which is a canonically non-canonical crossover with Uncle Grandpa and THE WORST.

(The cut episodes under Floor Order are:

Gem Glow (1)
Together Breakfast (4)
Frybo (5)
Cat Fingers (6)
Serious Steven (8)
Arcade Mania (11)
So Many Birthdays (13)
Onion Trade (15)
Beach Party (18)
Steven and the Stevens (22)

For a getting-caught-up viewing, those seem reasonable cuts to me; next time CN fucks the schedule, you can catch up.)

If you only want to watch a single episode to get a taste, I suggest "Giant Woman," because it introduces a major worldbuilding concept and has a fun song, though Steven is a smidge annoying and there's insufficient Garnet.

I've been idly contemplating attempting to chart out the pace of the series in terms of characters and arcs, and now I want to more than ever, but I don't think my data visualization skills are up to it . . .

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Tags: tv: steven universe

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