3 Years and still going strong · 3:40pm
It sure doesn't feel like it's been 3 years since MLP:FiM first aired. At times it feels longer, and at others I swear I only just got into this series yesterday. What a long, strange trip it's been folks, and it's far from over yet.
Good entertainment has no demographic. It will simply appeal to people on multiple levels regardless of who it might have originally been intended to entertain. For me as a child and later as an adult, however, the MLP franchise represented saccharine-sweet excessive girlishness that kept young girls firmly entrenched in antiquated notions of what was acceptable behavior for a girl and what were the kind of things girls were allowed to like and be good at. It was terrible. It was vile. It absolutely wasn't what I wanted my daughter to grow up watching.
In May of 2011 on a Saturday, I caught my daughter watching some of the latest version of the franchise on TV. Asking my wife about it, she said she saw no harm in letting her watch it. Given that my daughter is a high-functioning autistic child, I wasn't too thrilled about her being influenced by what I figured was another iteration of the same stuff I'd seen lining toy store shelves and plaguing TV for decades. Still, I figured it was too late to do anything about it and so - abiding by my policy of watching what my kids watch - I hung around to watch what was the second half of "A Bird in the Hoof". I ended up going, "Huh. Y'know? For a kids' show that had some pretty smart dialogue." I hung around to watch the next episode that aired right after that, "Cutie Mark Chronicles". I never looked back after that.
MLP:FiM has been different things to different people, but to me it hasn't just been an entertaining show. It's helped my young daughter grow and become a sharper young lady, it's given my even younger son plenty of entertainment and has captured his imagination, it's given my wife a strong shot of nostalgia since she watched and collected the G1 ponies, and as for me? It's renewed my creativity, reminded me of life lessons, strengthened my bonds with my family and friends, and led me to find new friends in places I never would have looked before. And that's just what the show has done for me and my family. Elsewhere it's brought people together, motivated them to create and celebrate the ideas and values the show espouses, and even to extend that sense to the less fortunate out there. Anyone who doubts the impact this show has had needs to go look up just how much charity and volunteer work has happened through the Brony community. Go look at the dollars raised. That's not chump change, people.
Of course we have detractors and people who are never going to get it. But that's okay. They're welcome to their sound and fury. They certainly are welcome to point out the bad and darker parts of our fandom. But none of that counters or negates all the good we've done and that's come from this show. Plus, point me to a fandom that doesn't have bad parts to it. I defy anyone to be able to do so. MLP:FiM is amazing. We are all amazing as well. And as I said before, we are far from done yet.