More Blog Posts646

  • 3w, 5d
    Newest chapter of Little Sunny is finally out

    In other words:


    Here's hoping my computer isn't stolen when I'm on vacation next week. That way, I can get the next chapter to y'all as quickly as possible.

    2 comments · 89 views
  • 4w, 4d
    Tonight has proven something

    There is nothing worth living for.

    Sorry if I never update again, but what's the point. Everything you hope and dream for will be taken away anyway.

    32 comments · 449 views
  • 6w, 6d
    The Nasty Tricks Life Pulls

    Your Plan: Finish the review of the season finale, keep working on the new chapter, do some chores, sneak in some Civilization VI.

    Life's Plan: Grow a boil on you, leave you in absolute agony for 90% of the day, then finally give you relief only when blood and puss is oozing out of you.

    The Verdict: Life sucks, but it also wins every time.

    7 comments · 115 views
  • 8w, 1h
    Thoughts on Season Six

    So you may have noticed that there haven't been any new episode reviews the last couple of weeks. Mostly this has been because I'm lazy. But on a less self-aggrandizing note, the UK has leaked the rest of the season already, so I figured it's about time to discuss this one in full. Plus, in light of Big Jim's outburst about "making shows for little girls," I figured it was time to address some things about this season.

    Note that I will try to keep spoilers for the finale to a limit, but I am nursing a volcano of rage for the last three minutes of that one, so I may have to let a bit of it out. Just a heads up.


    I'm going to cut to the chase: Season Six is the worst season since Season Three. It's not awful or anything, and there are still plenty of enjoyable episodes, but there's a sense of tiredness in the show by now. After six seasons (an eternity by kids' show standards), that's just unavoidable.

    The season promised great doom with Flurry Heart, yet another Alicorn Princess created solely to sell toys. However, she was barely in the season - understandable, seeing as she's a baby and living far from the Mane 6. Instead, one of the season's biggest disappointments has become Starlight Glimmer. It honestly feels like DHX has no idea what to actually do with her or where to put her on the character importance scale. Is she a recurring redeemed villain, like Discord? Is she a supporting character like Spike and the CMC? Is the supposed to be part of the expanded Mane 7? No one knows because the season did so little with her.

    Yes, Starlight's redemption was forced. I would have been happier if she had remained a fairly normal unicorn rather than being pumped up to godlike levels so she can rival Twilight's power. But now that she's a part of the show, they actually needed to do something interesting with her. The closest they got was her friendship with Trixie, but even that was bungled initially with an episode with faaar darker implications than the crew probably realized. And while it's nice to have an excuse for more Trixie, making Starlight rely on her as a crutch does little to actually make her likable.

    The Starlight issue, however, belies another problem with this season. Pretty much the entire writing staff from the last five years has departed for other pastures, leaving us with a crop of new writers. None of these are particularly bad, but quite a few seemed to come from backgrounds far removed from MLP, and it plainly showed in how...standard many of the episodes were. They felt like someone's first attempts at working with these characters. "Applejack's Day Off" is a particularly bad offender, as it meanders around the same point of  wasting time doing ineffective things for two-thirds of the episode while also making Applejack into an idiot so the plot can work. It's like the first draft of an episode somehow made it air.

    However, this is a temporary issue. If the writers stick around, they can get a better understanding of the show and craft stronger episodes. Merriweather Williams had a bomb as her first episode, and she still managed to improve by the time her tenure on the show had come to an end. That being said, there's a good chance the writers won't stick around, and we'll have an entirely new crop coming in for next season. That doesn't even go into the potential resource competition with the movie.

    All of this goes back to the fan reaction to the season, and Big Jim's comments. Fact is, Big Jim has been on Twitter for a long time, and if you ever wanted to develop a hatred for your fanbase, there is no better place to go than Twitter. 4Chan might be full of lunatics, Tumblr might be overly sensitive, and Reddit cannot be described with words, but the short character limit makes any comment on Twitter less nuanced and more forceful and direct. Throw in some legitimate assholes who do nothing but complain about the show's death if so much as a pixel is out of place, and you have to have a thick skin to get through it all. Jim...well, he probably had a thick skin, but it's been rubbed raw over the years of bullshit, so it's understandable when he finally exploded.

    The claim that FiM is a "girl's show" has been met with the response that it's a show for all audiences. Some take it a step further and claim this philosophy is why the season was so poor in their eyes - something that carries the very unfortunate implication that girl shows are an automatically inferior type of entertainment. In reality, however, FiM really is aimed at little girls. The toys are marketed at little girls. The main lines of clothing, backpacks, and accessories are aimed at little girls. When the movie is released, the main audience will be little girls. The show is for them above all else. But people who aren't little girls still watch and enjoy the show because it is a good show. Good shows can escape their primary demographic and be embraced by anyone. Anyone remember the apparent reason Cartoon Network cancelled Young Justice? Because it was a show aimed at little boys, but the larger part of its audience was female. Same idea. Boys and girls often like the same things, even if they aren't explicitly gender-neutral.

    So no, FiM being a "girl's show" is not an excuse for anything - it is just a fact of life for the show. Lauren Faust took what could have been a glorified toy commercial and laid the groundwork for a strong series, one that could be enjoyable to everyone while still being aimed at its intended audience.

    As for Season Six, there are still things it did well. Like I said, many of the episodes were at least enjoyable - very few fell into the "terribad" range. The animation and voice work is as great as ever, and can still help lift up a weak script. Rainbow Dash finally became a Wonderbolt, Spike got a good episode that helped clear up the "all dragons are dicks" garbage from "Dragon Quest," the CMC found a new role after earning their marks last season, and Twilight continued to be an adorable bookhorse. They even found a way to bring Trixie back as a non-villain, and considering how she was far-and-away the best thing about the finale, that was a good decision. I'm not ready to give up on the show, either - Season Seven still has plenty of potential.

    But this season, in the end, was rather mediocre. Very few of its episodes stood out from the pack, and while it had some potentially cool ideas, the follow-through was rather lackluster. Here's hoping next season turns out better.

    And now, I must eat my weight in chocolate pudding.

    16 comments · 373 views
  • 10w, 10h
    Season Six Episode Review: PPOV (Pony Point of View)

    Another week, another episode. Our ponies discover disagreement as they bicker and rationalize away any self-blame over who ruined their vacation. It's time for “PPOV.”


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Whatever.


    REVIEW:

    So, there's this movie called Rashomon, directed by this one guy called Akira Kurosawa. In it, the events of a murder are recounted by multiple participants (including a witness, the killer, the victim's wife, and the victim's spirit) at a trial, with each person's description being ultimately self-serving and contradictory to the others. Much like many of Kurosawa's other works, the film was influential enough to basically take ownership of the plot device – which has existed since humanity invented lying – and inspire numerous other movies, series, and other forms of media to incorporate the same idea of contrasting viewpoints muddling the truth.

    “PPOV” is basically the Rashomon-style story done to MLP. Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Rarity had a disastrous sea voyage, and each blames somepony else for everything going wrong. Their stories paint themselves as being the height of perfection, striving to give their friends a trip that's, as the episode repeats ad nauseam, “out of their element.” (Of course, said plans are in the element for the ponies planning them, and they basically spend all their lives with each other anyway, so I don't see how putting that on a boat will be more effective.)

    Something I thought was interesting was the disparity between how each of the three stacks the story. Rarity obviously presents  herself as the model of decorum and refinement, speaks about how she only brought the barest of essentials (which is likely a lie – this is the same pony that brought an entire wagon's load of supplies just to go camping, remember), and made exquisite food for everyone. In her version, Pinkie is mostly herself (albeit at the worst time), while Applejack went insane and thought she was an actual pirate, throwing the snacks overboard for not being piratey enough before driving the ship into the Storm of the Century and nearly killing them all. Pinkie's story is in much of the same vein, only it's Rarity who ruins everything by being a snob, bringing lots of unnecessary luggage, throwing out her perfectly good snacks she brought (and denying Applejack a sandwich because they literally just went out of style) and dooming the vessel because of her disdain for commoners.

    And Applejack? She blames both Pinkie and Rarity. Her version is basically caricatures out of a really bad fanfic. Rarity says “darling” every other word and swipes their map to use as a tablecloth, while Pinkie is random for the sake of randomness. She did plan to hunt down some treasure, apparently, but she certainly wasn't the crazy psycho pirate Rarity cast her as. Why, she was nothing but polite to the ponies that hissed and cursed her for accidentally knocking the cucumber sandwiches into the water! And she never lies, remember!

    So which of the stories was true? We never really find out. Some of the mystery is solved (the cucumber sandwiches caused the disaster, the ponies got back to shore because they barely even left the dock before sinking), but we never know who actually sent the sandwiches into the water, or who was responsible for steering the ship when they hit the tidal wave, or what other events transpired on the boat. And that's perfectly fine. Something that's often forgotten when doing a Rashomon-style story is that the film doesn't come out and say, “This is how it really happened.” We get a story at the end that sounds like it should be the way things really went, but it completely contradicts the other stories, is still exposed as being at least partially a lie by another character, and is just as self-serving and full of holes as everyone else's version. We don't need to know everything that happened when it's the effect these events have had that is truly important.

    There was quite a few laughs this episode, mostly stemming from the way each of the ponies twists and exaggerates their friends' mannerisms. Applejack!Pinkie being dumb as a brick and Pinkie!Rarity being a snob that would give Blueblood pause were my favorites. I also loved Spike's growing frustration with finding out just how they got back (and the reveal of just how epically they failed this voyage was perfect), and Pinkie writing her note on Gummy's belly is wonderfully her. Twilight is also given a chance to shine, piecing everything together herself through logic and rational thought rather than just zapping up some spell or whatever to solve everything.

    If there is one huge thing I would like to criticize, though, it's the bunyip. It's an actual creature of folklore and all that, but it just feels a bit...lame, with just the smallest hint of being a copout. Plus, it's an incredibly huge creature to be hanging out so close to the docks that the capsized three were able to just stand in the shallows afterwards, assuming it didn't just fling them back fifty miles or something. The moral is also a bit on the lazy side, which seems to be an increasingly common thing these days. Blunt lessons were a lot easier to work with when they were being framed in the form of letters and journal entries than just being something somepony says to somepony else.


    CONCLUSION:

    Overall, the episode was decently enjoyable. It was a fun little blast that I wouldn't mind watching again. But that's only my point of view, after all...


    Next time, Applejack tells the story all about how her life got flip-turned upside-down...

    2 comments · 293 views
  • 10w, 5d
    I'm sorry I posted that

    I promise, I won't let it happen again.

    Again, sorry.

    9 comments · 349 views
  • 11w, 11h
    Season Six Episode Review: Every Little Thing She Does

    Hello, and welcome to another Starlight episode. Not much to say about this one. The former villain does evil things, everypony suffers, and she is instantly forgiven. Pretty much every post-redemption FiM episode ever. So if you'll excuse me, I'll be dealing with this giant magic energy ball that just appeared in front of-

    *FLASH*

    Ah, yes, this glorious episode! Let us look at “Every Little Thing She Does” and bask in the eternal glory that is Starlight Glimmer!


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Who cares? It's a Starlight Glimmer episode! That's all that's important!


    REVIEW:

    We open with a showcase of Starlight Glimmer's superiority to that pathetic excuse of a princess, Twilight Sparkle. She can teleport across the world, create impenetrable magic shields, and speed herself up so much that she can be in two places at once. Can Twilight do that? Perhaps, but she's so weak-minded and uncreative that she can't fathom using her magic in such a way. Her inability to think outside the box is why Celestia was able to convince her “Friendship” is something that requires a monarch.

    Alas, she is desperate to prove her worth to Equestria's glorious overlord, so she forces Starlight to abandon her important work researching new spells to make Equestria more efficient and wonderful to instead waste time with her friends. Perhaps they could go to another isolated village and ruin their leader's life. Starlight, of course, wants nothing to do with it, but she needs to keep up appearances or she will end up out on the street, away from the resources necessary to help Equestria. Of course, things don't work out initially, so she decides to improve the Mane 6 with magic. More particularly, mind control.

    Of course, things don't work out again, but that's new magic for you. Not even the exceptionally-skilled and brilliant Starlight Glimmer can expect to get everything right the first try. The five ponies are compelled to follow Starlight's instructions, but because stripping them of that pesky free will also made them mindlessly obedient, they follow the letter of Starlight's orders over the intent. Not that there is much of a difference when it comes to these fools. Why, I have it on good authority that they once ruined Rainbow Dash's life because they didn't like her bragging and abandoned Twilight Sparkle because she was accusing ponies of being evil without actual proof besides her possessive lunatic ramblings! Such awful ponies...

    Because the orders were taken literally, the castle is set on fire, and subsequently flooded to put the flames out. Now, it was Twilight's friends that started the fire and caused irreparable water damage that will completely tank the castle's resale value, but who gets blamed? STARLIGHT! She was trying to make Equestria better, which is more than I can say for you, Princess Twilight! Perhaps you can jump through the mirror and cry into your boyfriend's chest some more. Yes, we know about you and Mister Beastiality. Shame on both of you!

    Starlight, alas, must now pretend to make amends, lest she be cast out. She makes the excuse that she was afraid to try and fail new things, which is why she couldn't make friends. Excusing the fact that this lesson was also tacked onto a previous episode, Starlight doesn't NEED to make new friends. She has Sunburst, after all! And she had PLENTY of friends in her old village, at least until Twilight Sparkle showed up. So anyway, the apology works, Starlight is forgiven, she learns about friendship, and everypony chillaxes with the coolest pony around.


    CONCLUSION:

    Starlight Glimmer should be Equestria's true fourth princess, not that twerp Twilight Sparkle! She is powerful, knowledgeable, and doesn't drive her friends' friends to attempted suicide! She is...

    Hey, what's this other big magic ball doing...

    *FLASH*

    Ugh...my head feels like it's going to explode. Wh-Where was I? Oh, right....this episode was blah. Some good humor, but Starlight really crossed the line with the whole brainwashing thing. It's cool that everyone was at least initially angry, but they forgave her way too quickly for that slip-up. Also not liking how ridiculously overpowered she is compared to everypony else, especially Twilight.

    .

    I-I think I need to lie down for a minute. Anyway...blah episode, do better next time.


    Don't cry for me, I'm already dead.

    15 comments · 398 views
  • 11w, 2d
    Today was Sunset Shimmer Day

    Probably should have had something planned or ready. Chapter's still not done because I'm horrible, new fics aren't done because I'm horrible, old fics aren't done because I'm you-get-the-idea...

    Um...

    Sunset Shimmer is...cool, I guess? No, everyone already knows that.

    Uh...

    ...

    Okay, I got nothing. Hope everyone enjoyed the flurry of Sunset Shimmer material. Here's hoping she one day hops over to the show for a quick cameo. And right after that, a Celestia episode. Too bad the Earth will explode two months before either of those events occur.

    1 comments · 104 views
  • 12w, 11h
    Season Six Episode Review: Viva Las Pegasus

    Well, that was a nice vacation from reviewing. But the coconut drinks and sandy beaches must end sometime, so it's back to the weekly grind. And just in time for a new map episode, to boot.

    This is “Viva Las Pegasus.”


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Season: 6

    Episode: 20

    Written By: Kevin Burke and Chris Wyatt

    First Aired: September 17, 2016


    REVIEW:

    Once again, the ponies have been summoned by the Magic Friendship Map of Magical Friendship Magic to go solve some vaguely-designed problem. And this time, the odd couple is Applejack and Fluttershy – a pony whose work ethic borders on suicidal, and a pony who thinks large crowds are a barbarian horde. And they're being shipped off to Las Pegasus, Equestria's resort playground. The map is a cruel and merciless god, indeed.

    The center of this week's episode is Gladmane, a pony with the hairstyle and vague voice mannerisms of Elvis Presley. He presents himself as a loving fellow who wants to be everyone's friend, especially if they spend money at his resort. He's even willing to hire Flim and Flam, the notorious tricksters who, having squandered the one thing they had that actually worked, have been reduced to selling tickets for Cirque du Soleil and magic shows. And they are competing against each other...and hate each other. In fact, pretty much every pair, from the circus performer and their director to the Siegfried and Roy stand-ins, hate their partner with a passion. Of course, this all turns out to be Gladmane's actual goal: if everyone is busy distrusting and hating each other, but loving him, they will continue to work for him and draw in the crowds – and with them, the money.

    Sounds like a certain other Vegas-affiliated fellow...

    Las Pegasus itself is supposed to be modeled on Las Vegas, but any actual gambling is strangely absent. I can figure that Hasbro would be squeamish about showing Applejack blowing the family savings on a game of Craps, but they did show Pinkie and dogs playing poker before, so perhaps the reference was just too on-the-nose this week. Instead, the resort is played more like a Circus Circus kind of thing, with an emphasis on arcades and stage shows. However, I forgive this because the episode confirms that skeeball exists in Equestria. And skeeball is awesome, so that's perfectly fine.

    Applejack is obviously rather hostile towards the idea of helping Flim and Flam. After nearly losing the farm to them and then getting suckered into being their snake oil salespony, it's understandable that she views them as being worse than Tirek. Fluttershy obviously gravitates towards helping them, but it seems like it's mostly because they're the most obvious problem. Indeed, Applejack's refusal is what allows her to uncover the other issues Gladmane was covering up, which in turn gives Fluttershy the idea to use the two against him. The episode does a good job working the two off each other and the situation, and highlights their individual strengths as it pertains to the con at the end. Flim and Flam are also given a chance to shine, but unlike so many of the other villain reappearances, it's made very clear at the end that they have not changed their ways.

    The rest of the background cast is likewise enjoyable. They are all fairly standard Vegas stand-ins, but they work to help carry the story along and have their own enjoyable little quirks and quibbles. They aren't given a lot of focus, but they are still fun to watch.

    The scheme they use to take down Gladmane is rather basic, but it works. Fluttershy as Impossibly Rich is amusing, and the way the plan turns out to be a plan-within-a-plan was at least better than Gladmane failing to notice an obvious microphone in front of him. Indeed, if he had fallen for something that obvious, it would have cast doubt on how he could have kept his initial charade going as long as he did. I also loved how his statue got torn down Saddam-style at the end.

    About the only issue I had was with Applejack saying that she never lied. She has, in fact, lied to others, whether directly or with half-truths. Heck, her Key Episode back in Season Four was all about Applejack lying, and one of the future episodes is about her lies apparently killing her parents. (Or not, because they would never do that, but this fandom just wants to see some dead parents, damn it.)

    CONCLUSION:

    I really, really liked this episode. The characters are great, the setting is fun, and the story is simple but charming. It's not a heavy or majorly important episode, but it's definitely one of the best map ones across these last two seasons, and is one of the few episodes so far this season I can see myself watching multiple times. Definitely recommended.


    Next time, Starlight returns. Didn't even know you were gone.

    6 comments · 237 views
  • 12w, 2d
    Remember how I was supposed to be getting back into writing?

    Apparently that was short lived.

    Anyway, still working on the next chapter. Here's a snippet:

    The first thing Sunset did upon stepping outside was take a deep breath. The clean morning air, still cold and heavy with dew, had an absolutely intoxicating effect upon her little lungs. The last lingering traces of post-waking depression melted away as her muscles relaxed. As much as she might have fought against the shopping excursion the previous day, the new blouse Rarity had picked out made her feel renewed against the dull breeze. She might have continued to stand still and enjoy that moment had a purple paw not prodded her leg, snapping her back to reality. “A-hem!”

    Sunset's eyes turned down towards Spike. The puppy's collar was now connected to a leash, which was in turn wrapped around Sunset's right hand. The puppy eyed the girl with no small amount of impatience. “Oh...right, sorry,” she said, her words sprinkled with a bit of nervous giggling. She tightened her grip around the leash and took a few steps forward. Sensing that the ritual had begun, Spike darted ahead of the girl. In an instant, Sunset felt the leash suddenly go tight in her hands, and Spike let out a small yelp as his forward mobility suddenly ceased, leaving him standing frustrated on the front lawn.

    Everything was sufficiently prepared. “Alright, little pup!” she said, her voice dripping with near-Pinkie levels of enthusiasm. “Where are we going?”

    Spike turned his head to the left, then the right, and back to the left. “I'm thinking...that way,” he said, pointing a paw towards the distant, leftward horizon.

    Sunset looked down the street. There was nothing particularly special about it, seeing as it was just another row of little houses and yards. “Any...particular reason?”

    “Nah, but Twilight and I usually just go about anywhere. And today, that way looks fine.”

    “I...guess that reason's as good as any.” Sunset shrugged and smiled at the eager puppy. “Let's go!”

    Spike barked out an agreement and began scampering down the sidewalk. Sunset tightened her grip on the leash and followed along, humming one of the Rainbooms tunes under her breath as she did so.

    Sorry.

    6 comments · 213 views
  • 16w, 11h
    Taking a few weeks off reviewing

    Sorry, but I won't be posting reviews the next couple of weeks. I'm going to try and focus on getting the next chapter out.

    Yes, focusing purely on the next chapter.

    Nothing to do with World of WarCraft.

    Yep, back to recycling the same premise I've worn into the ground while making all you Trixie fans hate me. (And you will after the next chapter.)

    And now if you'll excuse me, I must continue leveling alts - I MEAN WRITE. WRITING. WRITING CHAPTER.

    6 comments · 102 views
  • 17w, 11h
    Season Six Episode Review: 28 Pranks Later

    ...Testing, testing...

    I don't know if anyone out there will ever see this. I don't know if there's anyone still out there, period. They came without warning, destroying everything in their wake to sate their hunger. I barely managed to fight them off and barricade myself in this utility shed. They know I'm in here, and it's only a matter of time before they try to break in.

    In the meantime, I've still got some rounds left for my shotgun, and enough food to last a few days. After that...

    On the plus side, I was able to locate evidence of who was responsible for this outbreak. It was cleverly hidden in an episode of a child's cartoon. I've rigged up the generator to power the television, and with luck, we will soon know the monster that did this and bring her to justice. I might as well review the episode, as well. Nothing better to do, and it gets my mind off the rotting zombie pony corpses.

    This is “28 Pranks Later.”


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Season: 6

    Episode: 15

    Written By: Meghan McCarthy (story), F.M. De Marco (writing)

    First Aired: August 13, 2016


    REVIEW:

    I might as well reveal it: the culprit was Rainbow Dash. I always knew she would be the one to bring about the end of the world, assuming Pinkie didn't blow it up with a party bomb or Rarity remembered the fashion of the 1980s and committed global genocide as penance. It's actually been a pretty good while since we really saw “Master Prankster” Dash, and her early reign of terror has a distinct Season One feel to it. (Including a variation on one of the pranks from “Griffon the Brush-Off.” Celestia's extra hour in the scroll pit was money well spent.) That being said, the initial conflict (Rainbow pulling a rather mean-spirited prank on Fluttershy) can feel out-of-character...except that Dash is still a jerk this many seasons later.

    But wait, wasn't she unwilling to prank Fluttershy back in the aforementioned griffon episode? Yes...but only after Pinkie Pie told her it was going too far. Before that, she was more than willing to terrify her yellow Pegasus fillyhood friend...who, let's be honest, wasn't her friend at all until retcons set in. In any case, Dash's jerkass nature is exaggerated this episode, but in a way, so is Fluttershy's timidness (which she has been shown as mostly over in episodes previous) and Pinkie Pie's exuberance for Dash's pranking spree.

    I'm still willing to forgive the episode, though, because the pranks were little bits of genius. The sewing machine cake, Rainbow somehow getting Applejack's bed in the pig pen, the chalkboard gag – all of them are actually funny, even if the message is clear that the other ponies aren't laughing. The brick sandwich is crossing the line, though.

    When the episode's synopsis was announced, there was a small uproar that it was going to be “Mysterious Mare-Do-Well” all over again. And in some ways, the episode follows that particularly reviled piece of writing's formula. The crucial difference, though, is that the Mane 6 don't jump from thinking their friend is getting a big ego to some crazy scheme. They try multiple times to talk to her, but Dash is too much of a jerk to really care. The pranks are fun for her, so they must be fun for everypony, right?

    And all of this leads us to Rainbow Dash dooming the world. And she does so in the most horrible way: she ruins the Filly Guide Cookies. And since these are analogous to the Girl Scouts and their delicious, decadent treats, I must oppose this on every level. DO NOT MESS WITH GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!

    Anyway, Rainbow Dash replaces the cookies with prank ones that give ponies rainbow lips. Pinkie tries some when she initially attempted to talk her down...and then tries some more. And then becomes sick, only feeling better when she's eating the cookies. Rainbow Dash, even when given a sign that her prank will backfire, goes ahead with her prank, and everypony in town soon has the infected cookies. By the time night falls, Ponyville has gone completely quiet...because now everypony is infected with what I will call the C-Virus, an infectious disease that destroys brain tissue and reduces its victims to drooling beasts that crave only cookies. There have been attempts to cure it, but the closest was wasted on a hairy blue blob, and even that only reduced his craving for cookies to a “sometimes food.”

    From this point on, the episode goes full-blown zombie apocalypse, albeit with an obvious G-rating. We get all the classic tropes, from friends and loved ones becoming the undead, to the zombies hiding in otherwise abandoned houses, to multiple takes of Dash approaching somepony from behind only for them to turn out to be zombified already. While a fairly standard take on things, it's still quite a bit of fun...at least until you start living it, like I have. And now that they've cornered Rainbow Dash, the dead shall finally know vengeance...

    Wait, this was a prank?

    Yes, the entire “zombie apocalypse” was a massive prank designed to finally, finally break through Dash's thick skull that not everypony likes to be terrified. It's a rather meh lesson, truth be told, but it's about as well-constructed here as it probably could hope to be. At least there are no hard feelings.


    FINAL THOUGHTS:

    This was an enjoyable, if not outstanding, episode. The zombie ponies were funny, Dash's pranks were amusing, and while the lesson was weak and the characters a bit flanderized, nothing really stood out enough to disrupt the episode. Overall, it's probably the best of Season Six's second half so far.


    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm probably wanted for multiple acts of pony murder. I'll be laying low for a while. Hopefully this will all blow over in time for the Changelings to make their return.

    13 comments · 395 views
  • 18w, 10h
    Season Six Episode Review: The Cart Before the Ponies

    It's Cutie Mark Crusader time again. Still freed from their repetitive episode structure, can the little darlings captivate the audience once again as they compete in derby racing?


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Season: 6

    Episode: 14

    Written By: Ed Valentine and Mike Vogel

    First Aired: August 6, 2016


    REVIEW:

    The episode opens with something absolutely stunning: Cheerilee actually doing her job. She opens with a quick introduction to Physics, which obviously flies over the heads of what amounts to an elementary school classroom, before segueing into a discussion of the Applewood Derby. Thus the class gets to participate in a fun activity (to an extent – designing and racing an entire cart in one day would be torture for someone as ineffectual as myself) that helps lay the groundwork for a greater understanding of how the world works. And then Cheerilee gives the actual school lesson anyway, because she's a teacher and therefore must balance her love for her students with her burning desire for revenge.

    Because the Applewood Derby gives prizes for being the fastest, the most traditional, and the most creative, the CMC naturally drift towards their older siblings/sister figures for help. The CMC actually want to go for things outside of their usual skill sets, but the adults want to live vicariously through them and force them to go the stock route, taking over the project entirely and even driving the carts themselves. This destroys the race, prompting the CMC to finally tell them off for being jerks. A lesson is learned, everyone is happy, and the race is re-ran with only the foals.

    It might sound like I'm just narrating the episode to you. That's because I am, and that's because this episode was just dull. Actually, scratch that: the CMC were dull here, while the Mane 6 representatives were just aggravating. About the only one that doesn't get a full rant is Rainbow Dash, because she is at least overwhelmingly egotistical and likely to shut out Scootaloo's complaints in order to relive her youth. (Plus, Scootaloo's design is based on an old meme and therefore sucks like she now does. Sit in the corner of shame, young lady.)

    Rarity at least has a funny setup for her reason: namely, getting a chance to make up for a failure in her past. (And losing a creativity competition to Derpy is certainly a failure.) After that, though, she's just as boring as the rest of the episode. She and Sweetie Belle seem to have the least amount of time arguing over the direction the cart is taking, which seems to defeat the point of the episode a bit. Plus, she also turns out to be obsessed with coming in first place considering her attempts to block off the other carts with her swan wings. So while Rainbow's wheel coming off is what triggers the crash, Rarity blocking the lane contributes greatly to the resulting carnage.

    And then there's Applejack. Oh Sweet Heavenly Celestia, what happened to Applejack? Obviously, the Apples are going to be tied to “tradition;” after all, they perpetuate a racist town ritual, constantly undersell their cider to avoid damaging quality, and just earlier this season Applejack worked herself into exhaustion doing things she no longer needed to do because it's what she had always done. But whereas the other two are dismissive of the CMC's attempts to actually take charge of their own school project, Applejack is outright hostile towards any attempt to jazz up her old buggy. She doesn't even attempt to win the race itself, deliberately making the cart as slow as possible so as to be as old-fashioned as possible. She even implies that if Apple Bloom goes against her wishes, she won't be a “real” member of the family, a possibility that terrified Apple Bloom a season ago. I'm happy we have Applejack doing things besides running around her farm, but can we please stop scooping out her brains every time we need her in a slightly antagonistic role?

    So in the end, the adults ruin it for the children, just like in real life. The lesson is about how it's difficult to speak up to grown-ups, and how it's still necessary when they're behaving like butts. Good lesson, but very iffy execution. There was also a song, but it's very forgettable and is mostly there to try and liven up the actual race.

    Something else that kind of bugs me: the three adult ponies have almost no interaction with each other. It's not until the very end that they seem to acknowledge each others' existence. This feels like a lost story opportunity. Perhaps the three could have gotten into a squabble that helped highlight how immature they were all behaving. Maybe they could have been supporting friends for their non-competing goals, further reinforcing their unwitting undermining of their partners. Or even better, the CMC could have actually split off from their uncaring mentors and jumped into the carts they actually wanted to race.  (Sweetie Belle with Applejack, Scootaloo with Rarity, and Apple Bloom with Rainbow Dash.) I know I should judge an episode by what it is and not what it could have been, but that's what happens when you get such a boring episode. Bad episodes make me upset. Good episodes make me happy. Dull episodes make me wish for something better.

    FINAL THOUGHTS:

    Overall, this was just kind of a mundane, slightly-below average outing for the show. The only part I found especially bad was how Applejack was handled. Some of the jokes were amusing, but overall the episode just felt rather boring.


    Next time, we have zombies. Grab your shotguns, folks. It's time to put some sick horses down...

    12 comments · 363 views
  • 19w, 10h
    Season Six Episode Review: Stranger than Fan Fiction

    The pony drought is finally over. Hasbro and DHX have return with a treasure trove of new episodes, delivered weekly by the cruel overlords of Discovery Family, save for the occasional leak because Netflix is silly. And what is our first fantastic pony adventure?

    Oh, it's a sequel to that episode that made Daring Do real.

    I'll be in the car.


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Season: 6

    Episode: 13

    Written By: Josh Haber and Michael Vogel

    First Aired: July 30, 2016


    REVIEW:

    “Stranger than Fan Fiction,” as mentioned above, is more-or-less a sequel episode to “Daring Don't,” which was in turn a sequel episode to “Read It and Weep,” which was a sequel to “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000” because it was the next episode. Daring-Do has gone from a fiction-within-a-fiction to an actual pony in Equestria, much to the enjoyment of some and distaste of others. And I myself am very much in the latter category. Coupled with Season Six's heavy fanservice, I was dreading this episode.

    Much like “Daring Don't,” the focus of the episode is split between an actual adventure and meta commentary on fan behavior. “Stranger,” however, focuses much more on the meta side of the equation, and as such comes out the stronger for it. The convention is pretty much any convention, Brony or otherwise, that you have ever been to or seen, complete with cosplayers, overpriced merchandise, fun and activities for fans of all ages, and workers that lament the poor life choices that led to them serving Daring Do-themed beverages to people in cardboard costumes. Heck, they even show body pillows for sale, which are one of the few things I find absolutely too cringe-worthy for my tastes. (But still fine as long as there isn't a hole in it.”

    And that brings us to Quibble Pants, voiced by Patton Oswalt. I'm just going to post this up here to give a clue how wonderfully this works.


    The early synopsis for the episode had Quibble Pants hating Daring Do, which made it weird that he would attend a convention dedicated to her. Turns out he doesn't hate Daring Do...he just hates everything past the “original trilogy,” and is just at the convention to ask A.K. Yearling why she dared to dumb down her books after that point. He pretty much personifies the type of fan that cherry picks what's canon and not, to the point that Rainbow Dash even mentioning the names of the later books causes him pain. Of course, this is opposed to Rainbow Dash, who practically breathes the entire series and enjoys the later books just fine. It also doesn't help that he finds the “bad” books too unrealistic, which pushes Rainbow Dash into almost breaking the masquerade by begging A.K. Yearling to show that she's Daring Do.

    The adventure part of the episode is largely similar to last time. Caballeron (who is amusingly disgusted with his arch-nemesis getting her own convention) is out to recover a treasure from an ancient temple, and needs the key Daring Do has hidden on her person. He kidnaps Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants to serve as hostages, forcing the two to find the temple first. Daring Do saves the day, the three recover the treasure, and all is well. What makes it work is Quibble Pants' cynical breakdown of everything, from claiming Caballeron's accent is obviously fake to pointing out the ridiculousness of the entire scheme, which he compares to the post-original trilogy books he despises. And Rainbow Dash is along for the ride, suffering his endless fan rants while fighting back the urge to snap his neck and dump his body where the scavengers can feast on it.

    About the only annoying thing is that they keep playing up Quibble's smarts. He figures out the lock tying them together in seconds, and is able to solve the final puzzle before Daring Do can. To be fair, they establish that the series appealed to him because of Daring Do's cleverness in the early titles, which was downplayed for the more action-oriented flavor that Rainbow Dash appreciates. The moral even plays on this, with both agreeing to disagree on the series as a whole while still appreciating and understanding why the books speak to them. I just wish Quibble wasn't so insufferable when he was casually solving everything, because the episode is a lot funnier when he's being shown up or confusing the villains with his ramblings.

    Also, the end credits rant? Loved it. Apparently, it was improvised by Oswalt, and pokes fun at the highest hubris of fandom: when the fans claim that they can do it better than the creator. (At least Quibble's problem wasn't because A.K. Yearling contradicted his fanfiction or something stupid like that.)

    Unfortunately, Rainbow Dash is kind of shut out by the special guest star and the antics going around her. For the most part, she's just there to play off of Quibble, and while she does that well, it feels a bit underwhelming. The opening scene with Twilight, however, was a lovely bit of fluff that anyone who's really wanted to go to a con but couldn't could relate to. Plus, more Friendship Summits. How many of those do they need again? And can someone please make sure Twilight gets some sleep this time around? The last time this happened, we got a Spike episode, and we don't want that, now do we?

    By far my favorite thing about the episode, though, is that it laughs at fandom nonsense without coming down as judgmental or shameful. The ponies at the convention are just having a good time celebrating a work they love, and as both Rainbow Dash and Quibble Pants show, the Daring Do books have touched and spoken to them in different ways. About the only bit of shaming that happens is over the bondage-themed pillow, and even that's mostly met with a chuckle and eye roll. Much like the nerd fight from “Daring Don't,” there's a general acknowledgment that this is all kind of silly, but it's all in good fun.


    CONCLUSION:

    This isn't one of my favorite episodes, but it turned out far better than I could have hoped. It hasn't won me over to the idea of Daring Do being real (and given my stubbornness, nothing probably ever will), but it was still a fun little adventure with some mild poking at the goofiness of fandom. And as loathe as I am to say it, I'm not totally against having another Daring Do adventure in the future, if that's how the stars align.


    Next time, another episode.

    7 comments · 408 views
  • 19w, 4d
    I'm not dead

    I'm still working on the update. It's been really, painfully slow, mostly because I've had a shitty month and watching the election has made me yearn for the destruction of our species. Both are which are my fault, so...sorry.

    On the plus side, new episode Saturday. Something to look forward to.

    ...This was completely pointless, wasn't it? I'm sorry.

    9 comments · 120 views
  • 24w, 1d
    I got robbed again

    Now they stole my fucking TV.

    Fuck this, I'm out.

    25 comments · 501 views
  • 25w, 11m
    Chapter's almost done

    Chapter Six is almost done. Wish I could be more joyful, but after someone ran off with my game consoles, I'm not in a cheerful mood.

    Chapter should be up some time tomorrow.

    12 comments · 175 views
  • 26w, 10h
    Season Six Episode Review: Spice Up Your Life

    Well folks, it's time for another hiatus. But before the ponies go lie down for a short while, let's look at the midseason finale. The map is back in “Spice Up Your Life.” Bring plenty of oregano.


    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Season: 6

    Episode: 12

    Written By: Mike Vogel

    First Aired: June 11, 2016


    REVIEW:

    We open with a surprise: Starlight Glimmer showing up in an episode she isn't starring in. Sadly, she has no lines and is mostly there to, once again, reference her horrible life decisions, but I can chalk that up to Spike being a tactless little brat and leave it at that. At least she seems genuinely pissed to have it brought up this time. Still nice to see that she actually exists when the spotlight isn't on her, rather than spontaneously forming into being whenever we need to see Twilight be a terrible teacher.

    Anyway, remember the map episodes last season? Well, the reason we haven't gotten any this season is because of Starlight. When she went rip-roaring through space and time to destroy Equestria because her only foalhood friend got sent to school and was too much of a jerk to just write her a letter every now and then, she ended up breaking the map. So Twilight and Starlight use a combined spell to bring it back...as a staticy, fidgety hologram. (Kind of interested to see how that Twilight/Twilight mission would have gone.) And sure enough, Rarity and Pinkie are teaming up once again.

    The focus this time is a struggling restaurant, one of the most standard of sitcom plot devices. It's an Indian-flavored place sitting in a back alley of Canterlot's food district, Restaurant Row. I admit that I really haven't tried Indian food that much, but I would gladly take whatever they offer over the vile, disgusting garbage everyone else offers, which is all just really tiny portions of basically inedible mush. I know it's a cartoon and I can't taste the food, but I've still been to these places, I know what that food tastes like, and I know it's just slop they massively marked up in order to fool gullible people with too much money into thinking they're eating something “cultured” and “trendy” because it's expensive and presented on a rectangular plate.

    (And for those who like this kind of food, know that I am at least partially joking here. I just hate things that are expensive for the sake of seeming higher-class than they are. But most of all, I hate those rectangular plates restaurants started using. I don't care what business sense they make. When I go to a damn Chilis and shorten my lifespan with Honey-Chipotle Chicken Crispers, I want the little bundles of cholesterol served on a round dish that actually leaves enough room for everything stacked on it!)

    The good restaurant is operated by Saffron Masala and her father, Coriander Cumin. They are your basic father-daughter restauranteer combo, with Saffron believing in the restaurant despite its abysmal popularity (Rarity and Pinkie may very well have been the only customers they ever had) and Coriander just wanting to give up because there's no way they can succeed with the snooty ponies of Canterlot. And standing in their way is yet another trademark of standard plot design: the evil food critic. Zesty Gourmand is her name, and her ratings will make-or-break a restaurant in Canterlot. Because as we established back in “Sweet and Elite” and “Canterlot Boutique,” the ponies of Canterlot are fashion-conscious sheep that will blindly follow whoever they have arbitrarily granted importance over their lives. Even Rarity was cheering the high-end restaurants on, despite wincing noticeably when she tried to actually eat what they were offering.

    The episode ultimately plays with the standard strengths of our two Mane 6 members, putting them in a position where their assets become liabilities. Rarity is normally one of the most aesthetic members of the Mane 6, so making something that's pleasing to the eye should be easy. But she's also tapped into the same wellspring that made all the places on Restaurant Row look and operate exactly the same, so she decides that the best way to save the restaurant is to make it conform to Zesty's personal tastes. Pinkie, meanwhile, is normally able to charm anypony that isn't a toupee-wearing donkey, but she's completely lost on getting through to a culture that worships ratings over new tastes. The only ponies she can get to go with her are a pair of tourists who find the fancy restaurants bland. (Ponies after my own heart.)

    So in the end, the heroines blow it, although Rarity is sadly the one who screws up the most. Not that it matters, because Zesty is, in fact, a total bitch and doesn't even give the restaurant a try. This, of course, leads to the standard resolution where the father and daughter finally bond over their happy memories of cooking together, and Rarity and Pinkie Pie salvage the situation by switching roles, with Pinkie fixing up the restaurant to look like it did before and Rarity using her Canterlot-style charms to lure in ponies.

    The episode's lesson is a standard “Be Yourself” moral, framed in the device of not letting one person's opinion control you and to try things out for yourself. Zesty, though, is still a total bitch and continues to badmouth the place even AFTER everypony is enjoying the food, despite refusing to touch it. Heck, the map's purpose may have not just been to solve this particular friendship problem (albeit more of a family nature than anything), but to inspire the rest of the Restaurant Row restaurateurs to follow their own cooking passions rather than try to fit the narrow mold Zesty likes. I also like that Zesty refuses to change even after this revelation – it's nice to actually have a villain that stays a villain, even if they're just a food critic.

    So we have our two ponies saving a restaurant and freeing Canterlot from a food critic's reign of terror. What's not to like? Well, there's the song. The second act is dominated by a musical number that's ultimately rather basic and uninspired. It's got a good beat, but the lyrics are wonky and feel a bit too forced in the message. The instrumental reprise near the end was a lot better, in my opinion. The episode's also rather light on laughs; about the only moments I really laughed at were Pinkie apparently absorbing food through her face. (The fact that I do not question this is a testament to Pinkie's randomness.) The characters were in good form, and I liked most of the newcomers, but it does feel like a bit too much of the mid-episode failure was piled onto Rarity's actions, as Pinkie at least had a minimal amount of success at her task.

    Also, apparently elephants exist in the FiM universe. We don't see them, but the restaurant uses them as part of its logo. So, are elephants sapient? Do they have their own society? Or are they just basic elephants, albeit in a universe where woodland critters can take part in book clubs? As long as the comics don't turn them into something like the Eldeer, this is something that will hopefully be one day explored.


    CONCLUSION:

    Much like the map episodes of last season, this was a fairly typical episode. It didn't have any big laughs or surprises – it was just another thirty minutes of ponies. Still, it accomplishes what it set out to do, and I can't complain about that. The weakest point was definitely the song, but it was still a fun, nice little episode. But that's just my opinion. What's yours?


    10 comments · 401 views
  • 27w, 10h
    Season Six Episode Review: Flutter Brutter

    Let's get on with the millennial bashing and look at “Flutter Brutter.” Not “Flutter Butter,” which I imagine is a dairy-based spread so loaded with cholesterol that it is fit only to serve to someone you want to die from a heart attack at the first bite. The box probably also shows Fluttershy making an adorable face, just in case you wanted something visual to help speed the process along.

    (PS: I tried to prune out as much of my baggage as possible when approaching this episode. I included it as an addendum after the Conclusion. Just a warning.)



    TECHNICAL SPECS:

    Season: 6

    Episode: 11

    Written By: Dave Rapp

    First Aired: June 4, 2016


    REVIEW:

    It's time to another Mane 6 family member to drive the fandom crazy and pull a  Death Star drive-by on many a headcanon. And this time, it's Fluttershy, the pony whose familial connections have been a mystery since the series began. Her parents are obviously gentle, smooth-talking, passive ponies, which both explains how Fluttershy turned out like she did and, in an ironic twist, makes her far more outgoing than them after her development sets in. Mr. Shy in particular seems quite fond of his "happy little clouds."

    And then there's Zephyr Star.

    I hate him so much.

    Zephyr is a colossal ass from the minute he appears, and it's obvious from everyone's reactions that this is not a new development. He barges into his parents' home, having given up on his latest dream (in a long line of abandoned dreams, it seems), and treats everyone like they were lowly serfs who should be happy to bask in the glory of their young overlord. And his parents totally allow this because they're too soft-spoken to stand up to him. That's not even getting into his flirting with Rainbow Dash, which she very clearly shows she does not reciprocate, invite, or enjoy – he's just so full of himself that he takes her very obvious “I will electrocute you if you screw this up” as “Take me in your forelegs, stud muffin.” And to top it off, he refuses to put in any effort into anything, preferring instead to leech off his relatives and pin his failings on others.

    In other words, it's every millennial stereotype rolled into one.

    To her credit, Fluttershy does not put up with his manure for a moment. She's far enough past her old timidness that she will not take his lousy excuses about ponies not appreciating his “artistic” manestyling, and is even able to help her parents tell him to move his ass out. And when he barges into her house to pull the same stunt, she immediately lays out legitimately acceptable ground rules: you can stay, but you have to get a job. In previous seasons, this would have taken almost an entire episode, as Fluttershy struggled and fought to spit the needed words out. She even starts lining him up with work immediately, sacrificing her reputation with her friends for him...which he then spits on because he's a lazy ass.

    The problem is that, because Fluttershy's already at the point where any conflict she would have over kicking her useless brother to the curb is gone, we're stuck focusing on Zephyr. So keeping a pony's character development and remembering that past episodes happened actually made an episode worse.

    Zephyr's problem ultimately turns out to be a fear of failure. And to be fair, that's a very legitimate and terrible fear to overcome. Failing sucks, and a lot of people don't know how to cope with that feeling. It really does seem easier to simply not try than it is to try and fail sometimes. The episode doesn't handle the resolution perfectly (the actual failing part isn't addressed), but giving Zephyr a confidence boost and showing that he really can succeed if he follows the steps, works at it, and doesn't give up the moment something gets hard is a big step in the right direction.

    The problem is that Zephyr's actions did not come about from a fear of failing, especially in the middle act. His sweating and obvious terror at having to move out of his parents' house could have served as some foreshadowing, but I never got that vibe from any of his other actions. He just came across as a lazy asshole who couldn't do the simplest job because he didn't want to expend the energy. About the only other real hint I could find was asking Spike for advice on how to best clean the windows, which does fit into someone wanting to know exactly how to do something so they don't make a mistake, but that still leads to him manipulating Spike into doing all the work while he lounges around.

    I did find the episode rather funny, and as much of an asshole as he is, Zephyr is great to laugh at before he finally gets a clue. Rainbow Dash actually following through and zapping him was perfection, and Zephyr still being a conceited ass even after getting better worked.


    CONCLUSION:

    How much you'll like this episode depends a lot on how much you can stand Zephyr. It's yet another episode where the guest star takes over the show, although the Mane 6 do all appear in at least one mandatory scene. If you find his hijinks and punishment amusing, then this is wonderful. If you find him grating, you will not make it through this episode. As for me, I'm kind of leaning towards the “grating” side of the equation. While it has some good moments, and showcases Fluttershy's development since that time she could barely say her name to Twilight, it's not an episode I see myself rejoining anytime soon.


    ADDENDUM:

    Speaking as someone who failed at his dream and lived with his parents for seven years after finishing college, I am not a fan of the millennial stereotype. I tried not to simply lie down and leech off my parents. I did housework, yardwork, and looked for actual work. I spent four years working at Wal-Mart, and still kept putting out applications in hopes that I would find a better job elsewhere. I spent two years unemployed after I fucked up the Wal-Mart job, with only three temporary jobs within that short period, and I loved every moment I was working. And yes, I spent all that time being asked why I hadn't found a job yet, as if I could magically make one appear in a shit economy and with a degree that was useless for anything outside of teaching. I finally got the job I'm at now, in no small part due to my parents forcing me to apply for something I was not suited for and I knew I was not going to be able to handle. And sure enough, it's still something I'm not suited for and I'm not able to handle. The only reason I haven't quit is because I can't find work anywhere else, and the only reason I haven't come through and killed myself is because I'm a cowardly idiot that's afraid to die and doesn't want to make the people I care about sad either. (My plan to eat myself to death is working perfectly, however.)

    Point is, the millennial stereotype is, like all stereotypes, a kernel of truth stretched out to absolute bullshit. So it was with dread that I went into this episode, which was apparently about a pony that hadn't moved away from his parents being an awful person because of that. Nevermind that there are economic advantages to living at home, the concept of children moving out when they reached adulthood is an extremely recent invention, and many of those that do live with their parents still contribute to running and maintaining the household. Just because I'm a horrible person doesn't mean most everyone else in the same situation is.

    Zephyr, as mentioned above, is every negative stereotype about millennials rolled into one hipster package. And while the episode tries to make his problems out to be a lack of confidence, that's actually just another one of the stereotypes. The episode is correct in that ponies need to not be afraid to fail and live their lives, and I didn't hate the episode itself because it still had lots of amusing moments and good showings from the rest of the cast. But much like the hazing from “Newbie Dash,” I can see how people can be very offended by this guy. As for me...

    Well, I just watched a show yesterday where eating lamb caused a dog's entire digestive system to burst out if its chest and mouth. Just saying that if the same thing happened to Zephyr, I wouldn't mind.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to sit quietly in a corner and cry.

    23 comments · 523 views
  • 27w, 5d
    On the next chapter of Little Sunny

    Yes, it's been a long time. Once again, I've fallen short in keeping a consistent schedule. I used to be so good at this, too...you know, back in 2011/2012. Man, I'm old.

    So yeah, sorry it's taken so long. The chapter has been a bit of an ordeal, plus I haven't exactly been in the best place the last couple months. Work, finances, the usual. I'm also still working on some other stuff, including the last chapter of Eye of the Hurricane and a couple new stories - one with the Pies and another with Applejack and Apple Bloom. I've also, for lack of a better phrase, gotten some grim reminders of potential friendships I've squandered or ruined because of my idiocy over the last couple years. So for everyone still putting up with me, thank you.

    Also, never write a chapter where two characters share the same name. Or worse, where three characters share the same name.

    3 comments · 130 views
Feb
19th
2013

Today the Brony Documentary group released a trailer for the extended interviews bonus, with extra footage of Tara, De Lancie and Faust. Most of it's pretty much your basic stuff, but...watch what Faust says...

In case you're lazy, she says that she had planned out destinies for the different characters, and mentions Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Twilight specifically. The first two are self-explanatory: Rarity gets a dress shop in Canterlot and Rainbow Dash joins the Wonderbolts. Those are pretty blindingly obvious, and have been built up to over the course of the show. But then she gets to Twilight...who was going to be Celestia's successor. Yes, successor. As in, princess. She also tweeted after the hype machine kicked into gear that this wasn't in her plan, so that seems to imply that this would have happened at some point in time, but not in the middle of the series' run.

This actually adds credence to the idea that MMC was going to be the series finale. After all the staff turnover and with DHX picking up so many projects, Hasbro cuts their losses and orders thirteen episodes to fill out the sixty-five needed for syndication. That way, they can just sell the airing rights after the fact and make a fortune. But when the show remained popular (and possibly because shows like Care Bears didn't take off like they had wanted), they decided to renew it for another full season. The only problem is that this meant MMC was already in production, and it would most likely be too late and too expensive to pull the episode and totally redo the ending.

So what does this actually mean? Not much, really, but it does give some more insight into the show's conception. And perhaps it can show that Hasbro isn't wrecking Faust's vision like so many claim they are.

Report InsertAuthorHere · 4,406 views ·
#1 · 198w, 4d ago · · 2 ·

Uhm... okai... not sure what to say...

#2 · 198w, 4d ago · 2 · 15 ·

Twilight replace Celestia.....this just in: Twilight Sparkle new worst pony.

#3 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

:c

#4 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

This new info and the current state of affairs... it could still happen. o_o

#5 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

Now I think about it, it explains the wierd ending off Wonderbolts Academy. If season 3 would be the last season and everypony off the mane 6 would get their dreams, then Wonderbolts Academy could be one off the episodes about Dash getting her dream. At the end Dash would be accepted as Wonderbolt.

This maybe also explains the remors before season 3 about Flutters changing in a dragon and Rarity getting a duet with Octavia. Flutters changing in a dragon would help her overcome her fear of dragons and help her learn to stand for herself. Rarity meeting Octaia would almost certainly happen in Canterlot. It would help Rarity to get a shop opened in Canterlot.

#6 · 198w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

None of this really surprise me.  Twilight taking up a role as Celestia's successor has always to me seemed a very likely destination for her character arc -- either that or becoming the royal arch-mage/vizier, but now that she's an alicorn the former seems to be the only viable path, and it's not a bad path.

Now exactly how well this will play out over the course of next season (and however many more season might potentially come after that), well, only time will tell.

#7 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

So wait, this implies its our fault. We the fans got this so popular that it warranted MORE episodes and seasons! While Faust's original vision for the work was good, it wasn't multiseasonal enough for US.

This is very interesting. You know what? I would love to see her "fanfic" on the endings for our characters the way she had intended.

#8 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

It's been heavily speculated that the reason this season was thirteen episodes, or one half, was so the other half would go to funding Equestria Girls, and that it never had anything to do with the syndication limit at all. Hasbro knows that ponies is pretty much the life blood right now, so they are broadening their horizons and syndicating FIM for the future.

As for the video itself, a bit surprising given Lauren's reaction on Twitter. Sure, she was never expecting Twilight to actually become royalty herself, but replacing the ruler of the entire kingdom is pretty much becoming royalty, anyway.

So yeah, "ruining Faust's vision?" No, not really.

More like broadening it out while keeping both corporate parties (Toy branch vs Show branch) happy.

#9 · 198w, 4d ago · 1 · 1 ·

It means that we really are in a Babylon 5 - style scenario, looking forward to a season of fillers, hastily-conceived plots and episodes from the scrap pile.

FWIW, I'm hoping that Rainbow and Rarity both reject their automatically-assumed 'destinies'.  It would fit well into the message of the show if they decide that their relationships with their friends and their places in the community in Ponyville was more important to them than celebrity, recognition and even wealth.  "I'm happy here, with my friends.  Money and fame couldn't replace that!" would be a nice message with which to round out the show.

#10 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

Yeah, that is interesting.  Perhaps if we had known this two weeks ago, a lot less people would've freaked out..  (By the way, did you know that kludge is a word?  Because autocorrect seems to want to replace every other word I type with that today.)

#11 · 198w, 4d ago · 7 · ·

So everyone saying Lauren Faust didn't want Twilight to be a princess can shut it? (Sorry, I get more than a little tired of people using her to justify their own arguments.) Huzzah!

#12 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

As long as this burns hundreds of fanfics, then I'm okay with it. :twilightsheepish:

#13 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

What I want to know is how they're going to pull themselves out of this hole they accidentally dug. If they did, like you said, intend for the show to end there, but renewed the show for another season due to unexpected popularity, they've got to find some way to keep it going, right? If they're creative, I'm sure they can find a decent way to prevent hitting a dead end.

#14 · 198w, 4d ago · 4 · ·

...

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HAH! Sorry, that was mean wasnt it to all of the people who say "messing with Lauren's vision" and "Hasbro is teh dvil," and "Princesses are just pwetty and historically dont do anything (princess Grace, Diania, and Catherine just got DISSED! Though I thank them for giving me the chance to research the real princesses in the real world and see what they did for real and their real lives)? So basically, what we have on our hands is another "DBZ, Kim Possible" scenario where something that was only meant for a particular length (Dragonball was only meant to go for the first arc, and KP was meant for only the 65) and then it got so popular that they decided to keep things going. I wonder if that is another reason for the 13, so Megan and the group could set up an arc  and plot things out slowly to get everything set up. Meanwhile Hasbro goes for the spin off that they want.

My question is this then...Die hard fans, where were you when Danny Phantom was canceled? Why was I stuck with only 3 seasons, 53 eps, and two awesome made for tv movies? Why didnt you save this show? Heck, Hey Armold fans...where were you guys when Nick decided to be the biggest A-holes on the planet and left us the world's second biggest cliffhanger (first place belongs to the always awesome and rewatchable...Berserk). Some of these shows need closure

#15 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

she wants the CMC to get their cutie marks, and they didnt, a thing that will happen in season 4? :trixieshiftright::trixieshiftleft::rainbowdetermined2::duck:

#16 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

On the subject of destinies, I've made a blog post of my own.

I notice someone down-thumbed my previous post.  I'd be grateful if whoever that was could tell me (by private message if you prefer) what you didn't like; I'm genuinely interested in your opinion, okay?

#17 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846166

I'd be okay with that, more Scootaloo is never a bad thing :twilightsmile:

#18 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846235

they just annoy me now because we have seen them do their talents in many episodes and sweetie belle straight out says that even if she is a good singer she refuses to think its her special talent and tries to be like her big sister, you wont get the same cutie mark as your sister, the show shows that nopony can have the same talent, and all of the older ponies know their talents as well, but they arent allowed to tell them because they have to find it on their own, but they wont ever find it on their own if they keep listening to scootaloo trying to get a cutie mark like rainbowdash. I like them, and find them funny, but i dont like how they refuse to acknolodge that their special talent is what they refused to do for the talent show.

#19 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

i will still regard this the s3 season finale as the actual finale when this show finally ends. the fact that twilight suddenly gets wings when i skip this episode before s4 we will solve when we get there.

#20 · 198w, 4d ago · · 8 ·

>>845936

Sorry, Luna's already taken that spot.

#21 · 198w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

>>846007

Possibly, or possibly not. The problem with Babylon 5 was that everything was resolved before the sudden renewal, while here, there's still a lot of ground to possibly cover. And in any case, it's kind of hard to have filler when your show is more of less slice of life, the very definition of filler.

Also, the idea you had for Rarity was kind of what happened in "Sweet and Elite." She goes to Canterlot, makes some huge waves thanks to a high-profile pony falling in love with her work, and feels she has to lie about her friends and origin to avoid being cast out. In the end, she learns that you should always be proud of where you're from. If the show had ended, that could have been a decent ending for her.

>>845988

More like broadening it out while keeping both corporate parties (Toy branch vs Show branch) happy.

It also ties into the claim made back in Season 2 that the show's creators had input on the toys. Although given how rushed the finale was, it's also possible that the change was still mandated, but since they still had Lauren's idea lying around, they decided to work that interpretation into the finale as best they could. It's honestly a shame they couldn't devote the entire episode to it, but at least they'll be addressing what happens now in the next opener.

#22 · 198w, 4d ago · 3 · ·

>>845955

> it could still happen.

"Only on the Hub"?

Sorry, I couldn't resist :facehoof:

#23 · 198w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

I never understood the argument that "this isnt what Faust wanted!". Honestly I dont really care what Faust wants since she isnt apart of production anymore and even if she was I would still judge each episode as I do now. Would be like saying Disney didnt follow George Lucas's vision in their new Star Wars movie. Regardless of if its a flop of success, I don't care what Lucas's vision was since he isnt a part of it.

This info does give us some insight into Hasbro's thinking and I guess that does make me a little less angry. Though I am still way more disappointed than angry. I've been back to watch the songs of that episode several times and the greatest crime is wasting such perfect material and plot with such a convoluted episode. I would have rather them shot for an average episode and just it ending up below average than to have all these amazing scenes and touching moments wasted because of time constraints. Now every time I watch Twilights "I've got to find a way", the groups "A true true friends" or "Celestias  ballad", I can't completely enjoy them because all I can think about is what might have been.

#24 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846543

That isn't an exact analogy as Mr Lucas is supposedly going to be a story consultant on Episode VII (hopefully he'll convince J J Abrams not to turn the entire cast into hormonal teens).

Still, I do get your point; Lauren hasn't really be involved with MLP: FiM since the end of Season 2 and has only ever been credited with writing episodes 1x01 and 1x02, the pilot two-parter.  Although it still owes a lot to her vision, it's a lot bigger show now with a lot more different creative visions involved.

#25 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

Hey look a Faust Tweet

#26 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846625 uh the heck is that a comment to?.....

#27 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846663 in reference to it 'Not being so far from Fausts vision'

#28 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846675 no i mean what is faust commenting about? all that link shows is a blank da page with her post on it.....

#29 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846692 ... What could the "Almighty Faust" be talking about when she says that? :facehoof: Especially so soon after we get a 4'th alicorn. Especially knowing she doesn't approve of Cadence being an Alicorn

#30 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

>>846725 but that post was dated a year ago , and i didn't know anything on what faust had to say about cadence.....

#31 · 198w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Personally i never was a fan of "Destiny". but i do believe that people can only go so far with their free will.

Meaning that because ones cutie mark is one thing, why does that mean they are tied to doing it?

It understandable if, per say a pony is a singer, or a baseball player, that they would be best doing what they do best, but what about if it isnt, like why can't ponies have free choice?

The thing im hitting at is mainly the royal guard. Does it mean that all of the royal guards are practically aryans, born and raised to guard the princess like roman storm troopers? or could they be stallions who had tallent, and careers, but they decided to join the military?

I remember one of my favorite stories of all time is a cup of joe by the Descendant, in it, Pony Joe was a soldier in the equestrian aremy and became a royal guard and then dcided to open his doughnut shop with the money he earned.

still though, cutiemarks related to fighting and killing by fanfiction writers are immediately poor characters in my opinnion. THink outside the box, there are ways to rationalize it.

#32 · 198w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>847030 I kind of view destiny in stories a lot like I do love; I don't believe in either of them, but in order for the story to make sense you have to pretend that they exist...well, most of the time, at least :pinkiesick:

#33 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

You continue to post interesting things, I'm glad I follow you.  :twilightsmile:

#34 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

You know I'm still confused at this prospect of hating on princesses and calling them weak, and yet the show has Luna and Celestia around! That makes little sense!

#35 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

Well, I hope they realize how stupid it would be to cancel the show at this point. With the fans it has produced and the money they make off of it, why would they stop it and pray that care bears is going to somehow replace it?

#36 · 198w, 4d ago · · ·

Good to know, thanks!

#37 · 198w, 3d ago · · ·

>>845933

I'm not sure either really, I'm still absorbing this... wow...

#38 · 198w, 3d ago · · ·

>>846007

>>846536

interesting that 2 other people would bring up Babylon 5, but that's exactly what I'm reminded of too.

Babylon 5 was a sci-fi TV series about a space station called Babylon 5.

Near the end of the show, they blew up the space station.

So there was no more Babylon 5, and everybody's plots were pretty much resolved, it was supposed to be the end of the story.

......and then the show was picked up for another season - and it was terrible.

I'm not saying that's where MLP will go, Babylon 5 was a serial TV drama and MLP is a kids show about candy colored ponies.

MLP can be different, this doesn't have to be an "endgame" story for it.

This show isn't even the kind of thing that even has an "ending", it's more like any episodic cartoon show and it just runs until there is no longer any interest in it. Like Family Guy or The Simpsons, they just get into something new next week .

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