Do you remember Equestria?
Equestria was a medieval world with magic, populated by sapient ponies. It was a Dungeons and Dragons world divided into a safe realm under magical protection, bordering a forest of ancient, mythical monsters. It had a unique and mostly self-consistent technology based on horsepower and some magic. The few exceptions were introduced by writers that didn't quite get the concept as created by Lauren Faust.
The stories of Season One were each lessons, real lessons, in friendship; as Twilight Sparkle learned, so did we, the audience. The focus was on the characters and their relationships with each other; what adventure there was existed to highlight this focus.
Once or twice, every season, we would have a Big Event, a true adventure, always very heroic fantasy.
But above all, I remember Pinkie Pie, the comic relief that with her wacky antics permitted the rest of the characters to be the opposite of wacky; to be relatively serious, composed of strengths and weaknesses, ultimately complex personalities dealing with each other.
Now, with Episode 8 of Season Two, Equestria, that beautiful vision of Faust's has been destroyed.
Pinkie Pie is seen less because she is no longer needed; in Season Two every character is wacky and kooky and crazy. Gone forever is her 'Giggle At The Ghosties'; now she is terrified of ghosts, fleeing at the mere mention of the word. She is no longer silly-yet-courageous. She is barely there, an echo, a ghost herself.
Suddenly, Equestria has stopped being a self-consistent world, and has instead become a stage upon which any prop - from a hydroelectric dam to make a 'Superman The Movie' Reference, to a street that ends in an insanely dangerous cliff - all can be inserted purely for a cheap gag. I have no doubt we will soon see the characters typing away on the Equestrian internet; we have already seen radiation/biohazard suits in use.
Do you want to know what cartoons have a more solid world than Equestria now? Thundercats did. He Man did. Bloody, dreadful SMURFS have a more self-consistent world, a more rational ontology, than Equestria. It wasn't always so.
Equestria was once a wonderful, astonishing land of medieval ponies with magic.
Now it has become Wacky Land from Tiny Toons Adventures; it has become Family Guy, it has become Freakazoid, filled with parody references to media - to movies and other cartoons, but nothing of its own anymore. I've seen those other shows, I loved My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic because it WASN'T them. It was unique.
There have been a couple of decent episodes in Season Two. Sisterhooves Social was wonderful. Lesson Zero was... alright. Luna Eclipsed had its moments, but, let's face it, that was not the Luna we saw at the end of the pilot for MLP:FIM. Imagine if they had done as well as some of the fanfic writers and fan illustrators in representing a shy, quiet, regretful Luna, being helped with love and understanding to fit in after having been imprisoned for so long. Better, isn't it, just thinking about it?
In the first season, there were moments of quiet, moments of sadness, moments of sincere emotion. Season one was filled with emotional sincerity.
Now, in Season Two, wacky cartoon gags are the focus, and they are non-stop for the most part. MLP:FIM has become a parody of itself; Friendship Is Magic has lost its soul to become another empty collection of cheap jokes.
Do you remember learning about a world where ponies literally made Nature work? Winter Wrap Up? The Running Of The Leaves?
Didn't you want to see how they made Winter and distributed it? Didn't you want to see them make Spring? Would that not have been better than seeing a cheap parody of Batman, Zorro, Superman and Darkwing Duck rolled into a rehash of Season One's "Boast Busters"? Now, instead of Trixie learning not to brag, we have Rainbow Dash learning not to brag.
It was better the first time they did that story, and it was better because it wasn't a cheap parody of movies, but instead it was a genuine story of feelings and characters.
I almost quit writing tonight, because of Episode 8, The Mysterious Mare Do Well.
It wasn't just terrible; it was an abomination that destroyed the very world in which the characters we have come to love exist in. Characters are a product of their environment. If the environment is wacky, so must be the characters, as they relate to it.
Pinkie Pie is irrelevant now because every character is Pinkie Pie. No character is deep, or real, or truly sincere anymore. They cannot be, because the world of Equestria itself has failed them. I guess Discord won; its all chaos now.
Apparently, when Lauren Faust left, she took the magic with her.
The writers that remain only know how to do cartoons as gag shows. All of the Sailor Moon inspired tenderness is absent, dead, destroyed.
And I find that terrible.
To those that read my stories here on FimFiction, I want to make it clear that my Equestria is my best understanding of Lauren Faust's vision. It's filtered and expanded through my brain, of course, but my Equestria does NOT have hydroelectric dams, or automobiles, or steam trains, or electric machines or cheap gags.
My Equestria is a medieval-like magical world of sapient equinoids who have to personally operate Nature. My Equestria is not a place of parody, it is a place where relationships matter, and where reality is self-consistent. This is the Equestria I extoll in my stories, not the version we are seeing in Season Two.
It also bothers me, I must say, how few people out there, on sites like Equestria Daily, in the comments, seem capable of understanding what they have lost. They seem content with a wacky gag cartoon that happens to feature ponies. They seem to delight in formerly sensitive, complex characters suddenly acting like the usual American Style cartoon puppets. They don't see that they have lost an essential, anime-like depth of spirit and tenderness. They don't care, or they don't mind.
I yearn for Faust's original Equestria, I yearn for my vision of a world of real, cooperative, feeling, intelligent equinoids living under different physical laws than our Earth.
Once there was a show about that world; I miss it.