Over the Garden Wall revisited: “Songs of the Dark Lantern”

As all of us in the northern hemisphere know, it’s time once again for another dry and spooky autumn, which of course means more Over the Garden Wall recaps. Writing about such a solemnly autumnal show in any other season or mood never felt right, and on the heels of its recent DVD release, now is the best possible time to dig back into the Unknown. So, then, let’s dig:

“Songs of the Dark Lantern” – Act One Ends with Three Songs and a Dance

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What is Over the Garden Wall? Despite coming out of the gate with a fully-formed aesthetic and writing to fill it out, we really know very little about the Unknown and its denizens by the time “Songs of the Dark Lantern” rolls around. Our characters are effectively amnesiacs, hounded by a mysterious force, driven by hearsay, traveling a land where nothing can be taken at face value.

A lesser show would stoop to exposition dumps to flesh out this swiss-cheese-mythology, but Over the Garden Wall has other plans. “Songs of the Dark Lantern” calls upon the power of one of the simplest, most old fashioned storytelling forms in the modern western canon to convey its tales of beasts and burdens: the musical revue. Continue reading

Steven Universe: Prepare For #Stevenbomb 3.0 with a #Stevenbomb 2.0 Analytical Catch-Up

Steven Universe Steven Connie Pearl Sworn to the Sword 1

Steven Universe has me surrounded! I surrender!

Yes, it’s time for yet another Steven Universe megapost. What can I say? It’s not like I lay awake at night thinking about it! Wait—oh God! I do! With “Steven Bomb 2.0: Stevens of Rage” evaporating into the past and “Steven Bomb 3.0: Universe Never Sleeps” tilting over the horizon, I reckon it’s time to play a little recap for all the fans and fanatics who might have been sleeping on the smaller stuff this past month.

So here’s a little (a lot of) analysis of the prior Bomb to freshen your memories and whet your palettes for the oncoming emotional onslaught that’s bound to hit Beach City tonight. And awaaaaaaaay we go!


 

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On Steven Universe, and How Much I Love Steven Universe

Oh yes I love it, yes I do

Oh yes I love it, yes I do

I apologize for my tardiness. I had a broken computer, and some other stuff. I also apologize, in advance, for my inevitable incoherence. Over my extended hiatus, I watched a lot of Steven Universe, then I watched it again, and now I am going to attempt to write about it. It’s like an itch you try to scratch, but once you get your finger close enough it latches on and gives you a big hug and you forget exactly what you were doing in the first place.

Here’s the skinny on the show before I dive into my stream of adulation. The brainchild of ex-Adventure Time storyboarder, musician, and Forbes-certified Powerful Woman Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe is about the Crystal Gems, female-presenting aliens who protect Earth, warp around on scenic adventures, and generally chill with each other. They are Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven, the titular half-Gem half-Human kiddo whose mother Rose Quartz gave up her physical form to bring him into this world. She got knocked up by Greg, Steven’s van-dwelling father and all-around honeybear. Rose was the de facto leader of the Crystal Gems before her essence became a fixture on Steven’s belly, and if anyone mentions her in an episode, y’alls are due for a trip to the cryerworks factory. With a tangible sense of history and unflagging focus on interpersonal relationships, Steven Universe is the gut-bustingly funniest, eyelid-wringingly saddest show about ass-kicking grrliens to ever air.

And after three attempts to write a re-inaugural post about it, after two full binges and endless breaks between work shifts browsing fan art on Tumblr (MLG-Peridot forever!), I realized it was nigh-impossible to keep an objectivish, critical tone about this goddamn show.

I just need a moment to rave. And there will be free glowsticks.

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