|STEVEN UNIVERSE FUTURESTEVEN UNIVERSETHIS WEEK|
The four-part finale of Steven Universe Future descends into despair before it regains its light. As the old saying goes, “Things will get worse before they become better.” As Steven Universe Zach Callison faces his downward spiral, he desires to solve matters on his own, spurning his loved ones’ attempt to reach out. The Gem he shattered during his rage, Jasper Kimberly Brooks, inadvertently inspires him to seek out his titan-Diamond relatives in Homeworld for answers to control his Diamond powers.
The first episode “Homeworld Bound” also gives us a tour of Era 3 in Homeworld and how Steven’s far-reaching inspiration dissembled oppression. The hot-headed former conqueror Yellow Diamond Patti LuPone is repairing Gems from her horrific forced-fusion experiments, Blue Diamond Lisa Hannigan, who sings a disconcerting sweet tune is spreading auras of joy in response to the times she forced Gems to cry her own tears, and White Diamond Christine Ebersole is allowing smaller Gems to inhabit her body.
None of their methods work for Steven. “Homeworld Bound” might feel reminiscent of sampling different modes of healing that worked for others, yet not one of them improving your issues. And White Diamond’s method results in a disturbing yet relatable high-octane nightmare scene. For anyone who has endured trauma, observing Steven envisioning himself as a vengeful giant staring down his former abuser, hits hard.
“Homeworld Bound” reminds us of the darker familial dynamics that exacerbate Steven’s problems. As PTSD-flashback reminds Steven, they, particularly White Diamond, were the ones who seeded in the worst of his trauma. For all the Diamonds’ quirky charms, just because the Diamonds channeled their remorse into reconstruction doesn’t necessarily make them too helpful for one of their former victims, no matter how much he’s on better terms with them.
Flummoxed by the lack of any real answers to restrain his Diamond powers, Steven returns to Beach City and attempts to retreat to the status quo in “Everything’s Fine.” The Crystal Gems Estelle, Deedee Magno Hall, Michaela Dietz try a non-confrontational approach to give him some breathing space. Steven returns to his Little Homeworld academy despite the clear glowing Gem-illness that messes up the simplest of tasks, leaving a trail of awkward interactions and destruction. All these humiliations and the loss of control accrue into the final tragedy in “I Am My Monster” as Steven morphs into a Corrupted-Gem, a kaiju beast, and loses all will over his body.
For people who have gone through tragedies or trauma, Steven Universe illustrates best through its abstracted visuals that the loss of control can be the most engulfing terror, one that can drive a well-intended person to suck others into their vortex and fear...
EXCLUSIVE: Grace and Frankie may have suspended production on its seventh and final season because of the coronavirus crisis, but the Emmy nominated Netflix comedy is back this week with a special live treat for fans and a spotlight on seniors in need during these troubled times.
The Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin-led series will be having an online table read this Thursday to help Meals On Wheels COVID-19 relief program, I've learned – though you can make donations right now via the link here.
While other shows have taken a similar digital approach in recent weeks, the long running Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris showrun series is adding some originality. The April 9 presentation will feature an episode from the yet unaired seventh season, as well as a live Q&A afterwards moderated by Kauffman.
Along with Oscar winner Fonda and Oscar nominee Tomlin, fellow G&F cast members Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Baron Vaughn and Ethan Embry will be participating in the reading of the Kauffman and Morris-penned “The Fallout” episode on Thursday.
Starting at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET, the whole shindig can be seen live and direct on the Netflix is a Joke YouTube page LINK HERE on April 9.
“While we’re sitting here afraid, unsure and isolated, we wanted to come together and do some good,” Kauffman told me of the decision to take the show online in a new form and with a peek into the future.”
“All we’ve got is time on our hands and technology at our fingertips,” the Friends co-creator added as production on Season 7 was temporarily suspended late on March 12 as restrictions on large gatherings tighten in the City of Angels. “So we decided to use both of those assets to raise money for Meals on Wheels, which brings food to food-insecure and isolated seniors. They are among our most vulnerable right now and need our help.”
“Our cast is all in and super excited,” Okay Goodnight founder Kauffman also says of her superstar packed team. “And Netflix and Skydance have been particularly supportive. As far as giving the fans a peek into Season 7, we figured more people would tune in to new content and it would, hopefully, be a draw for fans of Grace and Frankie. The hope is: more eyes, more money raised for Meals on Wheels.”
Produced by Skydance Television, which launched in 2013, Grace And Frankie was one of the first original series for Netflix. Though in a pause period right now, like everyone else in Tinseltown the seventh and final season is still set to premiere next year, which will make the series the longest running comedy in the streamer's history.
As of last night, there are 6360 confirmed case of the coronavirus in L.A. County and 147 deaths....