Steven Universe – Sadie’s Song Review
Sadie’s Song is a decent episode. In a number of ways it feels like the epitome of a decent episode. It has a story that is basic but enjoyable enough. It contains a number of jokes that land rather well. But, like the pop song at its core, the episode is fun, cute and largely forgettable. Now, saying that it is forgettable might sound a little harsh, but I think this is actually a common problem with the episodes centered around the residents of Beach City. They tend to lack the strong emotional core or visually captivating action of Gem focused episodes, and, as a result, they rarely stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, this one might actually be positioned further back in the crowd than most.
The plot for the episode feels a bit sparse, particularly when compared with the admittedly slightly over packed Nightmare Hospital. The basic outline is that Sadie considers performing as part of Beach-a-palooza, but Steven and her mother get carried away with the preparations, and she is forced to address their behavior. Now, Sadie has had a slightly rocky history as far as her episodes are concerned. This can largely be attributed to the fact that those episodes almost exclusively deal with her relationship with Lars, which is the subject of much contention amongst fans. On her own, Sadie is a pleasant enough character, so it is a little surprising that she went this long without getting an episode of her own. However, while there is certainly nothing wrong with the idea of an episode focusing on Sadie’s relationship with her mother, it suffers in comparison to Nightmare Hospital, which also dealt with issues regarding an overbearing parent, but did so in a far more polished and engaging manner. Now it may appear as if I only have criticisms for this episode, but there are aspects of it that work rather well. The episode ends on a particularly humorous high note, and there are moments between between Sadie and her mother, Barbara the post worker, that strike a bit of an emotional chord. It think my main problem with Sadie’s Song is that, oddly enough, it takes Barbara and Steven’s excessive personalities too far. Watching them eagerly get ready for the performance without any regard for what Sadie wants ends up being a moderately annoying experience and Sadie is so clearly frustrated by this that Steven’s failure to notice actually seems a bit out of character for him.
Ultimately I don’t actually have much to say about Sadie’s Song. I might have called it the weakest episode of the season so far if it wasn’t for Uncle Grandpa, which I didn’t care for but was admittedly the epitome of a “Your Mileage May Vary” episode. That certainly isn’t a good thing, but, given the strength of season 2 so far, I’m not sure I can call it a bad thing either. Let’s just say that it is a little strange to find myself wondering if the addition of Lars would make an episode better.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- For the record, despite my comment towards the end, I don’t actually dislike Lars, but I feel that he has been mishandled quite a bit in the past. He does make a brief appearance here, but he doesn’t even have any lines.
- The makeup that Steven and Barbara put on Sadie looks like what would happen if David Bowie cameoed on Jem and the Holograms. …Now I kinda want to see what Jem and the Spiders from Mars would be like.
- I saw on Wikipedia that Cartoon Network has apparently taken three of the episodes that aired as part of season 2 (Open Book, Shirt Club, and Story for Steven) and reappropriated them as being part of season 1… because it’s Cartoon Network. Of course their going to act incompetent. What are you going to do about it? Watch Nickelodeon?
- Proof that I didn’t have cable growing up: I just had to spell check Nickelodeon.
Sadie’s Song is a peculiar episode, with a rather predictable message and odd characterization for our lead. It’s worth watching at least once, but I’ll probably be skipping this one when rewatching the show in the future.
Sadie's Song was... I forget. It had an amusing cross-dressing gag. That's about all I took away from this one.