You know, I’m getting really bad at getting these reviews written and uploaded. I guess because my on-and-off job just so happened to resume being on the moment MLP season 5 started up, and at a time when I didn’t have a succession of videos ready for the Grin Brothers channel. Heck, I’ve still yet to get around to replying to the comments on my blog posts so far. I best get around to that soon.
I do question why I’m still writing a recent events sort of section, originally made to be able to inform people of when I’ll be resuming fanfiction work, when I know it still won’t be for quite some time. I don’t have the money to buy another laptop so I can write whilst my videos are uploading, and given that my laptop is working okay now, albeit shaky, there isn’t much reason to get a new one aside from being able to write fanfiction. Overall I hope to be able to return to writing fanfiction at some point, I do miss it, and yet I can’t seem to find the right time for it. I started up an SSB fanfic that I should place as the higher priority, but loathing the latest SSB game kind of makes it hard to write chapters for a fanfic concerning the character reveals of that game. When it comes to ponies, I really need to rethink how I was going about The Shy Knight and the Rainbow Princess, a story I’m sure I started up too soon simply because I was late in getting it released. A terrible error on my part, and it in turn seemed to attract little attention. I do plan a break from the Grin Brothers around July, and I would like to get at least an MLP one-shot written for this year, so maybe then.
As for actual recent events rather than the hopes for the future… well I’m an uncle now. That’s neat, and my nephew is adorable. My nephew shall also be getting a pony, something I have assured through purchasing my brother a PS4. PS4 Purchasing Rights entitle me to be allowed to purchase one pony for my nephew. Any ideas as to what pony I should buy?
Other Episode Reviews of Appleloosa’s Most Wanted
Oddly enough, no one seemed to comment on my review of the first episode of season 5 that truly excited me. Funny that. In any case, feel free to check out my previous review of Appleloosa’s Most Wanted, as well as the usual people I link you to:
Episode Review of Make New Friends But Keep Discord
Discord becoming a ‘good guy’ was always going to be a controversial matter. There were those who were okay with it and those who weren’t. I was one of those who was not okay with it, feeling that Keep Calm and Flutter On handled the transition poorly and that would cause problems for the overall series. Twilight’s Kingdom however, made me reconsider my negative perception of Discord being friends with Fluttershy (and by extension on the side of the Mane 6), and although my worries for the overall world building and future threats remained, I feel the transition of Discord was properly done. With Make New Friends But Keep Discord we now see the follow up from when Discord truly joined the side of friendship.
The episode starts with Discord and Fluttershy having their regular Tuesday Tea, when Fluttershy brings up the Grand Galloping Gala. Discord is excited, expecting Fluttershy to ask him to go to the Grand Galloping Gala with her, but it turns out she has already asked her friend, Tree Hugger, to go to the gala with her instead. Discord gets upset about this, though Fluttershy remains oblivious as to why. Discord eventually receives an invitation to the Gala himself, and in an attempt to get in the way of Fluttershy and Tree Hugger, invites a being known as Smooze as his +1.
If this episode were in a race, then praise to its acceleration as it would have taken an early lead, being enjoyable from the very moment it begins. References are a plenty in this episode as within the opening scene we see Discord and Fluttershy having tea, something that was mentioned as a regular occurrence in Twilight’s Kingdom. When Tree Hugger is brought up, it turns out that Fluttershy met her through her trip to see the Breezies, which Fluttershy went on during the Discord starring episode; Three's a Crowd. Through this episode we also get the return of Maud; overall the episode delivers a nice amount of references to past events.
As mentioned on, the humour early on is done pretty well, and it’s fun to see Discord going about to each of the Mane 6, subtly trying to see if he can get himself invited to the Gala. His interactions with Pinkie Pie naturally deliver laughs, including a Metal Gear Solid reference. Of particular enjoyment, both in humour sense and a world building sense, was seeing Discord’s home. Seemingly in an alternative dimension, it was amusing having Discord complain as he washed clean dishes which in turn came out dirty. If fact, if there is a highlight to this episode, I’d say it would be Discord interacting with the mail pony who had gotten lost in Discord’s dimension.
My other key positive moment is one that’s best left towards the end, so I shall now move onto the negatives. You know that race/car analogy I made earlier, how if this episode were in a race it would take an early lead? Well unfortunately its engine blew up a third of the way, and it went the rest of the race in last place. There were signs of engine problems early on, like how the mane 6 were excited for the grand galloping gala given their experiences with it the last time they went, but I didn’t expect things to go downhill quite so badly.
The moment Make Friends But Keep Discord gets to the gala, my enjoyment for the episode pretty much disintegrated. I’m not sure I can even pin down all the reasons why I disliked it; some of it comes down to simply not enjoying it rather than an outright dislike. I didn’t really find any of the jokes from this moment on funny; in fact, I found most of the scenes to be painfully awkward in a Simple Ways kind of way. I think perhaps at best there was one or two giggles, but nothing spectacular.
Something else I found odd was how Twilight was presented in this episode. Not only did her interactions with Discord lacked any development from Twilight’s Kingdom, but she seemed to have forgotten the events of Best Night Ever entirely, completely unaware of Celestia’s opinion of the usual gala events.
One of the things I found most grating about this episode though was Tree Hugger. I really disliked Tree Hugger. On the one hand, I found her to be a rather bland and predictable character; she’s effectively a hippie stereotype and nothing more. On the other hand, there is the presentation of this episode which makes me dislike her. Now undoubtedly, Discord is in the wrong during this episode, but given that he’s already well established, and given that we know he is new and inexperienced when it comes to friendship, I honestly felt the episode ended up making me more sympathetic towards Discord. Discord seems to be wading through this episode, miserable and frustrated without anyone noticing, which while admittedly it could have all been solved if he openly aired his frustration early on, is just something I’m able to empathise with. Meanwhile you have Tree Hugger, a newly introduced character whose rather bland whose ultimately unbothered by anything Discord says or does, saves the day when no one else could, and kind of makes Discord look like a fool in the process.
Finally, for my last negative, we have the Smooze. You know how when Tirek was introduced, he came across as a well updated version of his original self. Well even with my limited knowledge of G1, the Smooze in this episode is merely the Smooze in name alone… and I guess in the fact that it’s an ooze. It’s a rather disappointing thing frankly. Furthermore, the fact that Discord has Smooze as an acquaintance does conflict with the whole ‘Fluttershy is Discord’s first friend’. I guess you could say that given how things are presented, Discord doesn’t consider Smooze a friend, but still, the Smooze seemed willing and wanting to tag along with Discord.
My complaint and Smooze is a rather minor one but I ended my last negative on the Smooze though for a reason. The inclusion of Smooze ends up presenting one positive, and that is the inclusion and presentation of the second moral. Throughout the episode, Discord treats the Smooze rather terribly, and yet at the end of the episode, Discord realises he was caught up in his own feelings and apologises to Smooze. The way this secondary moral was presented, through the events of this episode, allowed it to shine more in my opinion than the main moral itself. So the episode ultimately wasn’t all bad, but I will certainly say that I did not enjoy it myself. It has decent things at the start, but even when thinking back on what I found funny, I actually have a hard time remembering specifically just what it was I enjoyed. Ultimately, I came out disliking this episode, but remembering the one or two good moments that I did enjoy makes me question as to whether I should rank it as a Poor or Average episode. Ultimately, I've decided to be a little lenient and rank Make New Friends But Keep Discord an Average episode, but only just, as I give it a 3/10.