\tHello, it's me again, WRITER ANONYMOUS. Yes, I'm going to be talking about Little Graduation and the Lars/Sadie ship sink again. Don't worry, this time I'm much calmer but still no less outraged. I'd like to apologize, however, for being so cross. I know it wasn't entirely Sugar's fault for what happened. So, let's just say, for all intents and purposes that 'the show' represents Rebecca Sugar, the network, or the writing staff. Who, exactly, is responsible for the episode? I don't care. But 'show' will now be representing all. This time, I'll try to be more organized than I was before and keep my emotions in check. I'll do my best to stick with the facts and keep opinions (including mine) as mere suggestions. I'd like to restate that I have absolutely nothing against the LGBT community or any race, minority, etc. at all. And, like I said before, giving a creative "special permission" to violate a story just because it's LGBT or race, etc., related would be even MORE bigoted. Bad writing is bad writing. I mean, are you saying that either I approve of everything the show does or I'm branded bigoted by default regardless of my counter-argument? \t I'm really not trying to bum any of you out, I'm just telling you the truth whether it's what you want to hear or not. American culture as we know it is on the decline, those in authority aren't doing anything about it (because they're being paid to look the other way)and so many of you seem to be in a state of denial about it. Hate me if you want but I'm still going to be honest. I'm not going to lie just so you can feel better. Besides, we Aspies make terrible liars.If you ask any of the critics to Little Graduation, they'll tell you the exact same thing;It lacks narrative/emotional satisfaction.As well as;This is not Reality, this is fiction!Yes, we understand that people change overtime when we're not around. Yes, we understand that two people sometimes grow apart. And yes, we understand that it's none of our business because they have private lives to live...IN. REAL. LIFE! You might also be wondering why? Aren't they just experimenting? Aren't there plenty of good stories/cartoons being made in the Twenty-first Century? Well... The Road so Far...\tI think the first clear sign that things were taking a turn for the worst, and I'm sure those of you growing up at the time would agree, was Mega Babies. Disgust is an emotion that tells you to avoid something, not go towards it! When you smell something that is 'rancid and not-okay' disgust is there to tell you to stay away from it. This is exactly why, before we knew what microbes are, we were told to stay away from the 'bad air' that came in the form of rotting corpses and smelly sewage systems. If it was just a few of these, it would be no big deal, but... Powerpuff Girls 2016; little girls tweaking and hints of pedophilia...NO WAY! Fairly Oddparents /Bunsen is a Beast ..."Critique rhymes with weak," my ass, Butch Hartman! Allen Gregory Breadwinners Big Mouth Brickleberry Mr. Pickles Highschool, USA Problem Solverz Flea-bag Monkeyface Teen Titans Go! Planet Sheen The Cramp Twins Ren and Stimpy's Adult Party Cartoon Fanboy and Chum-Chum Kid Danger the Animated Series Sanjay and Craig....what else do I have to say!? Go to The Mysterious Mr. Enter; worst cartoons of the 90s/2000's and 2010s for more.You think I should just let it go? All I...no, scratch that. All ANY of us have been doing for the past sixteen years now is letting it go. Isn't it about time we put the proverbial foot down and say 'there are lines you just don't cross'? Have any of you any integrity left to defy this mediocre, sub-par 'entertainment'? Where's the justice?\tWe define justice as being fair. If the show is being unfair in any way, injustice arises. The result, however unintended, was that the show did not play fair with audiences. If you do this in your story, the best you can hope for is that audiences will simply turn off the T.V. feeling unfulfilled. The worst? They leave your story feeling betrayed.\tOne of the most important aspects of character development in any story is found within a character’s relationships. It is in his/her interactions with other characters that his/her self is revealed to the audience (and sometimes to him/herself as well). But relationships, as much if not more so than any other aspect of character development, must be created organically. This means not just realistic pacing (no everlasting love at first sight please), but also an appropriate use of foreshadowing. The best relationships are those with history and weight, those the audience can follow along with, and to some degree, anticipate. Give viewers the wrong desires, ask them to support one romantic interest, only to throw it over in favor of another—and they will NOT emotionally engage with the new relationship, even if it is otherwise the right choice within the story. We don't want you creatives to defy expectations, we want you to set them. \tThe point is, throughout the whole series, except for the occasional flirting and blushing, Lars and Sadie have never shown a mutual attraction to anyone else besides each other. That's the consistency. What happened in Little Graduation is inconsistent. Whether it was intentional or not, that's part of the series 'internal logic', you can't just pull a 180 and bring in a new love interest out of nowhere, no matter how much time passes. You need to introduce 'them' much earlier. The only thing anyone gets otherwise is that the show screwed us over and messed with our hearts. The dynamic between writer and audience; We, the audience, give you our time and emotional investment and you, the writer, give us a well formed plot and compelling characters. That's how Willful Suspension of Disbelief works. You (the Steven Universe crew) broke your part of the contract. You think you haven't? Tell it to the judges... all three-hundred thousand of them. And why was it broken? Well...Because "realism?" If fiction has the same "realism" as reality, why would we ever 'tune in' in the first place? We know that once we turn off the T.V. or put down the book, etc., we have to go back to reality, but if you put "reality" in the story, where's the escape? We need this escape from time to time because even though we know it doesn't always work that way, we still got to try, because the significance of the relationship gives us a reason to try. The ideal might be impossible to reach but that doesn't mean you should stop trying. And without stories like that to inspire us, there's no hope! You think happily-ever-after is boring and predictable? Well, that's only because the ones who wrote it had to put in so much effort to make it believable. Would it be all right if we could take a break, every once in a while, from reality and believe the unbelievable? How about we just leave realism in reality and leave a good story in fiction? \tTo me, it never mattered how flawed the relationship was. As long as Love was involved, it could always improve. And, by the end of the main series, it looked like it was going to. Love prevails. Love finds a way. Do you know why shippers still ship Doug and Pattie form Nickelodeon's Doug? Significance. Significance, I believe, is the key word here in discussing a relationship. In fact, our love of the story is what gives the relationship significance. There's absolutely no reason why we can't have a complex and compelling story and still respect the significance of the character's relationships to one another. It doesn't have to be Happily Ever After, but you just got to leave us feeling that, no matter what happens, the couple can face it together. I get with the whole slow aging that Lars couldn't be with Sadie...but to just sweep away all they've been through like it was nothing but a silly high school crush...that is absurd. It's like saying Steven has no powers. I refuse to believe all that struggling and development amounted to that. Never let facts get in the way of a good story. Only after watching that episode do I finally appreciate what that means. And, speaking of realism...Separation\tAs a child of divorce, I happen to know that separation is a very sensitive subject to handle on a T.V. show. That's why I accuse the 'show' of being insensitive to the subject of separation and using the Steven only P.O.V./racial and non-binary representation to justify it. I believe this poor handling may cause emotional damage to any child watching. I'm an adult and even I find this gut-wrenching. If you're going to lead us on, for five seasons, that two people have a mutual attraction to each other only to find in the epilogue that they're not going to be together, at least handle it calmly and gently. But , no, you were like "Oh, hey, look at the new character. 'They're' black and non-binary. They're wearing their hat backwards and rocking a tank top. Sooo cool! Clearly that's not a sign they're distracting you from the real conflict like all replacement scrappies do. And they're playing a lovely song about moving on. Don't pay any attention to the fact that the relationship that you've been shipping for the past five seasons, and was rocky but eventually got better, is sunk. No, just notice the happy, fun new character that is CLEARLY not a shallow, empty, soulless, materialistic move." I already understood that this is how things work in real life and I was perfectly willing to accept that. But then this episode aired. I'm not stupid, I know real life doesn't work out the way it does in cartoons or fiction in general. We all know that, even little kids. Do you think kids don't know that members of their family change each time they visit for the holidays? Never, and I mean NEVER, insult the audiences' intelligence. Especially not the kids. We don't need you to remind us how tough life can be...we're in it! But cartoons can give us just a little bit respite form that. Show us that, with determination, you can earn a happy ending regardless of life's "surprises." That is what we need. And that also ties in with...The Steven only P.O.V.\t"Steven's point-of-view" is something we all go through everyday. When I step away form my associates and family, I know that once I'm out of earshot, I have no means of knowing what's happening and I know it's none of my business. I know this and accept this. We all do. But, in a work of fiction it's totally different. That's why the fans have been urging the crew to get out of the Steven only P.O.V. Story wise, It doesn't matter if the show is only from Steven's perspective, if an important plot development like this happens we need to know about it. Even first-person authors know there's only so much of the plot that can be left out before the audience has had enough.Or, how about...Change Change for change's sake is not progress (it's actually harmful); "All progress is change, but not all change is progress.” – John Robert Wooden. Case in point; the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. It was good for us humans but not for the dinosaurs. Not to mention, more recently, global warming. Change, in the purest sense, is marked by an ultimate indifference to everyone's personal aspirations! So yeah, I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry for change if I were you. Or, more precisely, I'd consider just what kind of change you're looking for. And just because you're accepting change doesn't mean you have to approve of everything that changes. Mega corporations tearing down forests to make way for parking lots is change and very few people would approve of that. These dirty tricks and bad writing of yours...NO! That is NOT acceptable. Accept change but don't be the worlds largest doormat for it. So, don't you dare go throwing the word change around so casually...because it is always a double-sided sword. I hold a quality story sacred and if change involves surrendering something you hold sacred, that's NOT progress. There's no reason why we can't move forward while respecting and remembering the position we're moving from.There are other factors like...Glurge If you have to deliver a message but in a harsh way, it's Glurge. The hallmarks of Glurge are;1) a questionable message 2) conveyed through a manipulative delivery, which is 3) meant to arouse strong emotions in the reader but 4) fails to withstand scrutiny afterwards Now, look at what a blogger on Reddit posted about the new relationship; 1)Pair them with a well liked character.2)Give quick hasty reason why you should auto-like em that ties in with the message.3)Have the completely new character solve almost all the problems in that episode.Sound familiar? To understand more, look up Glurge in T.V. Tropes. Speaking of which... Coconuts More specifically, The Coconut Effect: (Next to Ass Pull, this is THE biggest reason Little Graduation did so bad.) Audiences are used to the more unrealistic version of this thing, so including the real version of it, even if it's just one, is just going to confuse them. Like it or not, you'd be better off not going the "historically accurate" route, and just sticking with what the audience knows. Monty Python and the Holy Grail; "you're using coconuts." (Then what did that knight just ride by on when he killed that history expert? A Lamborghini!) There were no horses and, suddenly, there's one. Just one. Think about it; you've been used to the proxy of the thing (Gems) this whole time and, suddenly, when the real thing shows up, it just doesn't fit. We're experiencing a lack of Willful Suspension of Disbelief due (partially) to the Coconut Effect. As crazy as it sounds, human non-binaries don't belong on Steven Universe. The Show would be better off if it just stuck with what we were used to. And why not? The fact that a sentient being, with no reproductive organs, needs love the same way any organic would, that's saying something. I fail to see how a human non-binary would be an improvement as it's not symbolic at all. Gems are a far more interesting subject anyway. Speaking of silly things, many of you might also be in reminiscing about Say Uncle and how that episode foreshadowed this. That was too confusing to get and Lars' slow aging should have been an integral part of the story rather than an afterthought.Many of you might think I'm being too harsh. Couldn't you settle for a...Compromise?\tIn principle, compromise sounds sensible – the idea that we are open enough to listen to other views, and incorporate them into our thinking in order to arrive at a solution that works for all parties sounds great. But when does it go too far? True compromise involves having the courage to stand up for what you believe in – it’s not about bending over backwards to accommodate everyone else. It takes courage to state your point of view, and then a different sort of courage (vulnerability?) to make concessions so that everyone is happy with the end result. Whether we are talking about our business or personal lives, the problem comes when we don’t stand up for ourselves – when we are too accommodating, or when we are trying to placate the other side, and end up feeling like we have surrendered too much.\tUltimately, I think we all know when we have crossed the line – when the compromise has turned into surrender we end up feeling used and unfairly treated. We know inside that we are not being true to ourselves – we need to listen to those messages, and pay attention to them. And how do many of you, the audience, feel after that episode? When you forsake a well written story for an LGBT, just because it's an LGBT that's not a compromise, nor is it acceptance. That's a surrender. If I were to respect people's privacies in real life, while getting to see character development/relationships in fiction, that would be considered a compromise. RatingsAdmit it, the real reason Together Forever got that slight bump in ratings is because the fans were all relieved that Connie didn't turn out to be a lesbian. And the only reason the final four episodes got that boost is because the fans got their 'worm theory' proven. We both know I'm right about this. Don't bother denying it. So, what are we gonna do? \tThere's a saying; "Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." THIS is 100% within our control! It's called 'turning off the T.V./device.' If it feels unfulfilling in a narrative sense, just TURN IT OFF! When corporations push all the quality out...YOU PUSH BACK! The fans actually haven't gone far enough. Do everything you did before BUT CRANK IT UP TO ELEVEN! MAKE THOSE EXECUTIVES AND BAD WRITERS TURN WHITE. WITH. FEAR!Remember, all we have to do is NOT watch. Even better, you (the corporations)might as well pay us to see this stuff since it offers no more lasting fulfillment than the usual grind of daily work. I'm not kidding. Watching it is now more of a job than a pleasure. PAY UP! As for me, including not watching;I'm just going to ignore the epilogue.\tBe it AU or "skipping over this awkward phase" into a sequel series, I'm going to keep shipping Lars and Sadie. (See below) I'm just going to keep shipping fictional characters like nothing happened. We should all be allowed to ship such characters in fiction while leaving people in real life alone because that is a healthy boundary between reality and fiction. As, literally, THE best part about any series in general is that you get to watch relationships develop over time. I refuse to acknowledge any lesson put forth from that episode as zed "lesson" is too condescending and contradictory. (These two words, I think, sum up Little Graduation perfectly.) Also, there's more "telling" than "showing" in the epilogue. And as for That Character, I'm going to pretend that 'they' never happened. 'They' are a flawless token/ satellite love interest and I'm NOT shipping 'them.' "I refuse to acknowledge the existence of such a character, episode or incident." We can ALL do this. \tI will not accept this, not because it's an LGBT, but because it is bad writing, because it is empty and soulless materialism, and because it ruined our anticipations. I will not accept this because it is unacceptable. Period. My answer to the episode and That Character is, and forever shall remain, NO! Plus, I feel the show is just hiding behind "realism" and a human non-binary to get away with it. And besides, IT'S NEVER ACCEPTANCE IF YOU'RE FORCED INTO IT.We must come to the realization that we have become the victims of corporate and/or deviant aims and must thus rearrange the status to better fulfill the pursuit of our 'souls.' That there must be no doubt in our minds that what we are experiencing is a blatant disregard of one of our inalienable rights. That is the pursuit of happiness. I know it may not seem like much in comparison to Bernie Sanders' stances on global warming and Medicare for All, but a fight for America's 'soul' is just as important as fighting for our rights. So, if you don't do your fair share of bringing down these corrupt corporations (or anyone who sides with the 'material') then those corporations are just going to keep getting away with it. I say all this out of NO malice. This is not holding a grudge, this is standing by your principles. This is a 'battle' of attrition. \tLook, people, we could argue about this forever but the facts about the 'show' remain the same; the epilogue is insensitive to those who've been through divorce/shippers and it's unacceptable narrative wise. For my sake and all our sakes, I'm moving on. However, moving on doesn't mean I have forgotten. I let go of the pain but I stand by the objective fact that the show has done something wrong narrative wise. Feelings like this don't go away, they become part of you over time. I hear about this incident, I'll be reminded of the feelings of betrayal every time. \tI know you creatives out there want your freedom and control, but freedom is never the license for chaos and what good is having that control when you can't control yourselves? You really CANNOT do whatever you want in your own story. That is why other countries are looking at us like a joke; because we can't seem to understand these things or take them to heart. We could all be so much better if we put our hearts into it, if we did Art for the love of Art. You think the days of Picasso, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Tex Avery, Walt Disney, etc,. are over? NO! It's all in your mind. Oh, sure not everyone can be great, but greatness is something that is earned and you can't earn anything when everything is so easy. Yes, I think THE biggest problem of you creatives is thinking this job should be easy. There is no growth in 'easy.' Easy is a distraction. It pulls you away form the things that really matter. Love is not easy. That's what makes it worth it. “Easy things are worthless... It’s the hard things that matter. Those are the things worth leaping for...If we don’t fight other people’s curses, what are we left with? Just a swift fall to the earth, and where’s the meaning in that?” ― Andrea Cremer, Invisibility. Still, there's hope...\tSo, to summarize, something deep and meaningful was cast aside for something superficial and shallow, separation (a touchy subject) was handled very poorly, and it was all just to sneak in an unearned non-binary. If you're not angry about that, you're not alive! For, what is anger but passion denied. Anger, in it's purest form, is will. Like the will to never give up, especially when it comes to standing by your principles. And I, for certain, am not going to give up on Lars and Sadie. Don't throw out your Lars and Sadie fanart just yet. “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”― Thomas Jefferson\tThere is a time to flow and a time to stand firm. THIS IS A TIME TO STAND FIRM. Always remember this;"The price for a good story is to remain firm in your convictions."This is no different than if you were having an actual protest on the streets. Be firm, and you will get results. Besides, this is a non-violent protest. These are OUR stories, OUR business, we have to defend. \tAlso, there are certain inklings to suggest there may be a "revival" later. Until then, please enjoy my synopsis below. \tIf you want to learn more, go to TV Tropes.com. That's actually where I got my "Informed Attribute/Jumping the Shark" info for my previous entry Steven Universe; the Final Nail in the Coffin? Gimmick, Glurge, Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, Informed Attribute, Broken Base, Flawless Token, Consistency, Shocking Swerve, Willful Suspension of Disbelief , Ass Pull , Reality Is Unrealistic, Coconut Effect...it's all there in T.V. Tropes. If you can find something I've missed you're better at this than I am.\tYou might also want to try seeing the video Steven Universe is Garbage and Here's Why: if you really, really, really look past all the offensive words for Sugar and the cast, and pay special attention to Scheduling and Pacing/ Poor Management, you'll find that much of what Lilly Orchard said is true (giving hints of character development and expecting us fans to fill in the blanks/ crippling tunnel vision and subverting a trope just for it's own sake.) I mean, really, what was said in that video sounds tame compared to what I said. Fact; subverting expectations does NOT mean it's inherently good.Four months after Future...Lars is with his crew on a planet, feeling depressed. Though he had his crew and travels, there was "just something missing" in his life. (The locals aren't warming up to the Off-Colors due to centuries of oppression and them trying to lecture their beliefs.) Sadie is on Earth, feeling depressed as well. 'Easy' had all but driven her crazy(she broke up with That Character) and attendance plummeted as the audience felt the music was "boring, lacking personality and inspiration." It just wasn't her voice. At the exact same time, Lars and Sadie are thinking about each other and ZZZAP! Sadie is suddenly on the planet with Lars. She has a 'tattoo' on her left arm with a rose on her palm and a thorn vine that wraps around her forearm(and we later find out her metabolism has slowed so she doesn't age, or need to eat often, just like Lars.) She tries to go back home through Lars' head but it doesn't work. They have to go in town (there's a town nearby) for supplies. They discover another humanoid (not a gem) with the same marking on his arm as Sadie. They give chase. Just as he's about to teleport away, Sadie grabs him and gets teleported too. Lars suffers the same effects as Sadie, even though he was fifty feet away, in that instant. They both wind up on another planet of perpetual beach-front property. Here, other lifeforms, of both same sex and otherwise have turned pink and formed what is called a 'soul bond' with their significant other as emphasized by the tattoo on their bodies. They have children who age normally as the "pinkification" isn't passed down genetically. They also have what is akin to a mexican offrenda only the pair at top are still alive, overseeing up to seven or eight generations. (The pair remind all of their descendants about each one that came before.) When the time comes for the pair to die, they lock hands, lie down in the grass and 'disappear' in a blanket of light and rose petals, surrounded by their friends and descendants. The humanoid Lars and Sadie were chasing introduces them to the tribe leader, his partner, who is a male of his species. He reveals this soul bond only happens with sentient beings who have been pinkified and the two subjects "have met certain requirements." This was meant as a way to have the pair act as a conduit for easy transport (for all their awesomeness, spaceships are not an efficient means of getting around the galaxy) of Pink Diamond and her army...and so the "pinkified" wouldn't be lonely. As such, the pair would often rule in her absence. But most of them grew tired of this and moved to the planet they live on now. When Lars and Sadie ask the chief how this could have happened between them, he says "Well, who were you two thinking about when this happened?"...AWKWARD SILENCE. Sadie, the more determined of the two to undo this, asks if there really is a way. In order to undo this, they must discover the source of Gem power, which will take up quite a journey. The off-colors arrive soon after. (Padparadscha blurted out the coordinates as it happened.) Steven, waiting to get a hold of them on the screen (the crew contacted him soon after on a screen very reminiscent of the ones every gem across the galaxy was watching in the Movie ) informs Lars that his tree is missing form the other dimension. Lars informs him about the other pinks and, putting his hand on Sadie's shoulder, wishes (along with Sadie) that he could be there with them...ZZZAP! Steven winds up right behind them, dazed but otherwise happy to see them. Holding the other's hand, (it requires physical contact of both) Lars and Sadie try something else. ZZZAP! Suddenly, Lars' parents and Sadie's mom are on the ship (Lars doesn't need the other dimension now as two souls united are powerful enough.) All three are happy to see their kids, but warn them it was very inappropriate to just teleport someone out of nowhere. (This teleportation only works on people the two of them have a strong bond with.) After explaining everything, Lars and Sadie send everyone back home. Steven realizes that the real reason the two of them hadn't become an item was because Lars didn't age as fast as normal. But, before leaving, wishes to apologize for constantly interfering in their private lives and, from now on, will just "let things happen." With no one left but the two of them and the crew, it turns out the off-colors had always been inspired to play music after watching Sadie.(They had to make a pit-stop on another planet to get instruments.) Now, they'll form a band with her. (The music, the kind with positivity, jump and what you can really "rock out" to, finally opens up the local's hearts.) Old sparks will fly with new music as we go on a journey (just don't call Lars a chauffeur) filled with danger, conflict (Sadie gets to kick butt too) and, of course, romance. See old faces mix with the new in... LARS OF THE STARS FEATURING SADIE MILLER AND THE OFF-COLORS!