Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Steven Universe departs, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire arrives, and we all drown in our own tears

Illustration for article titled Steven Universe departs, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire arrives, and we all drown in our own tears
Image: Cartoon Network, Photo: Lilies Films

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Steven Universe Future (Cartoon Network, Friday, four-episode block begins at 7 p.m., series finale): Steven Universe,” wrote Eric Thurm in our list of the 100 best shows of the 2010s,was many things at once”:

...a coming-of-age story for its titular protagonist, a science-fiction epic about a race of would-be conquering alien Gems, an allegory about gender identity, and a successful TV musical. The series broke ground for the representation of queerness on children’s TV, and tackled issues ranging from non-nuclear families to abusive relationships. Amidst the conversation about the capital-M Meaning of Steven Universe, however, it’s important to remember that more than anything, the show was warm, lovely, and fun. Steven Universe rarely, if ever, sacrificed its sense of humor, or its compelling action sequences, or its grasp on its characters, in the service of making a point. And really, that’s all we could have asked for from this wonderful kids’ show.

To say there’s nothing more to say about Steven Universe beyond that would be wildly inaccurate; if there is any justice in this world, people will be discovering, analyzing, and rhapsodizing about its incredible empathy, intelligence, and creativity for many years to come. (And that includes tonight, as Jourdain Searles will be recapping the four-part finale for us.) There’s nothing more we can ask of it, beyond a wonderful ending, and we’re pretty sure that’s what we’ll get from creator Rebecca Sugar and her incredible team of writers, artists, actors, and others tonight. Farewell, sweet Steven Universe; you’re why the people of this world believe in Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl (and Steven!)

Can you binge it? Yes, though it’s a little complicated. The first four seasons (which include a lot of episodes, but keep in mind that most are around 11 minutes long) are available on Hulu. The series in full can be streamed through Cartoon Network’s app and website, and it appears the network has unlocked many of them so that there’s no login required. To watch the most recent season, you’ll need to navigate away from SU and into Steven Universe Future, and most of those episodes will require a log-in. Still, if you’ve got Hulu and have never had the pleasure, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (Hulu, streaming premiere): Just as one of the best shows of the last decade comes to an end, one of its best movies—arriving in most cities in the U.S. just last month—makes an early streaming bow on Hulu. Turns out it’s going to be a good weekend for big, cathartic sobs.

Here’s the opening of film editor A.A. Dowd’s excellent review of this remarkable film:

Love at first sight is a fairy-tale fantasy that grows less beautiful the more you think about it. Can you really love someone if you don’t know them? And how can you know them at a single glance? Céline Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, which has to be the most rapturously romantic movie of the year (if not of the last few), is a story of love at umpteenth sight. For two hours, the film’s characters—two women who meet on the edge of society and propriety—never stop studying each other, their eyes sweeping across candlelit rooms and windswept cliffs, the increasing intensity of their gaze and simmer of their passion melting the barriers between them. To fall for someone, the French filmmaker posits, is to really see them. And to see them requires time and attention—a process of discovery that only begins with that first look.

It’ll arrive VOD later, but for now, it’s streaming exclusively on Hulu. Is it TV? No. Is it what’s on tonight for a lot of us here at The A.V. Club? You bet your ass it is.

Big Mouth Live Read (Netflix via YouTube, Friday, 8 p.m., special broadcast): It’s probably not fair to call this the opposite of a bunch of celebrities singing “Imagine” a capella in their mansions in several different keys, but we’re willing to bet that this live-read of Big Mouth—an effort driven by the show’s cast and producers designed to support the hunger-relief organization Feeding America—will be far more entertaining. Participating cast members include Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas, Jenny Slate, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Jessica Chaffin, Jon Daly, Mark Duplass, Richard Kind, Paula Pell, Paul Scheer, Emily Altman, and Brandon Kyle Goodman. Donations are optional, but if you can afford it, you can do so here, and you can watch on the Netflix’s comedy-specific YouTube channel, Netflix Is A Joke.


Can you binge it? Yes, all three seasons to date are available on Netflix. 

Regular coverage

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Disney+, Friday, 3:01 a.m.)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1, Friday, 8 p.m.)


Wild cards

Making The Cut (Amazon Prime, Friday, 3:01 a.m., series premiere, first two episodes): “Heidi tells the contestants every single week that the judges are there to decide which one of them is the ‘designer who can create the next great global brand,’ meaning that their creativity must also be marketable... There’s often a disconnect between these types of high-fashion shows and the audience, because the consumer watching at home can’t visualize how any of these outfits would fit into their own closet. With Making The Cut, not only can they visualize wearing these clothes, but they can actually order them; Amazon reports that ‘limited editions of the winning look from each episode will be available on Amazon in the Making The Cut store for around $100 or less.’ While that places the show in the decidedly capitalist category (it is on Amazon, after all), one of its most intriguing elements is how well the designers’ more accessible outfits will end up selling online. They already have one heck of a marketing campaign.” Read the rest of Gwen Ihnat’s pre-air review.


Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m., premiere): Get a glimpse of the person behind the giant eyelashes with this introspective documentary about the musician and Drag Race: All Stars champ.