• Member Since 16th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Jun 7th, 2018

InsertAuthorHere


Give me an eternity, I'll give you an update!

More Blog Posts689

  • 43 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Molt Down

    This week is a Spike episode? What a re-”molt”-ing development this is!

    Let's look at “Molt Down,” the episode that will surely be perfectly normal and have no long-lasting repercussions on a character's appearance.

    Read More

    2 comments · 580 views
  • 44 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Break Up Break Down

    I dread going into this week's episode. For today, we discuss matters of the heart. Romance, love, heartbreak, and all that rot. Which means we run right into the most loathsome of all fandom constructs, the kind of thing that destroys friendships and leaves the most brilliant of minds curled up helplessly in a corner, foaming from the mouth:

    SHIPPING.

    Read More

    6 comments · 361 views
  • 45 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Non-Compete Clause

    We've had a string of good episodes the last few weeks. Whether it be shapeshifting seaponies, an actual Celestia episode, or discovering Starlight's dark phase, we've had lots of fun and plenty of laughs.

    Today's episode is about Applejack and Rainbow Dash competing.

    The good times are over.

    Read More

    7 comments · 410 views
  • 46 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: The Parent Map

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone who cares about that! What better way to spend the day than watching a cartoon about horses dealing with their mommy/daddy issues? Well, tough, because that's what we're doing. This is “The Parent Map.”

    Read More

    4 comments · 301 views
  • 47 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Horse Play

    So hey, it's a new episode. Surely nothing to be excited about. Just another standard episode of a cartoon pony show.

    Only it's a CELESTIA EPISODE!

    Prepare for extra spicy biased scoring as we look at Best Princess' newest episode, “Horse Play!”

    Read More

    5 comments · 355 views
Dec
24th
2014

Comic Review: Issue #25/26 · 12:42pm Dec 24th, 2014

Giddyup, partners! It's time to look at a Wild West adventure staring our favorite pony gals! Can they stop a band of desperadoes from taking over...

I can't do this. These issues piss me off too much. Let's just air the grievances and be done with it.


Our story begins with the Mane 6 arriving into the town of Canter Creek, where Applejack's Great-Granduncle Chili Pepper has a farm. Unfortunately, the town is under siege by a band of cattle rustlers (literal cows that ride on goats), and they have their eyes on the farm. Why? Well, it was supposed to be because there was treasure on it, but like Chili Pepper himself, that plot point apparently disappeared; now they're doing it just because they're jerks. Can our heroes save the day?

Let's get what little good there is out of the way. Both issues have some good gags and funny moments. Pinkie Pie nearly bursting into flames from eating a ghost pepper (and then asking for more), Rarity hitting on the sherriff, and Twilight using the power of bureaucracy to screw with the baddies all got a laugh out of me. There's also a nice framework here for a story, one that frankly deserves to be better told. Art's not bad, either.

Now for what really pisses me off, and it's the thing I complained about last month: Twilight Sparkle won't do anything. Sure, she'll participate in the zany schemes, but when asked to just zap the villains that are assaulting her citizens and causing wanton destruction, she does nothing. Why? Because the cattle rustlers are her citizens, too, and she can't use her magic to hurt her own subjects. This is stupid on many, many levels; so many, in fact, that I cannot fathom how anyone thought it was a good excuse.

Even worse than that, though, is the ultimate payoff. While the Mane 6 are busy relocating the cattle rustlers off the ranch property in order to show that they aren't living on it anymore (which makes no sense in any legal capacity), she has Princess Celestia declare the ranch a historical site, meaning that it belongs to the community as a whole and not the desperadoes. The gang's leader responds by destroying the barn (which he burned down only an issue prior), and since that's a historical site, he and his gang can now be rounded up using Twilight's magic.

So let's get this straight. Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship, will gladly imprison anypony that attacks a landmark...but if you're being beaten to death on the street, she'll just walk on by because she won't harm one of her citizens. If the idea was that the cattle rustlers hadn't technically broken any laws until then (and that feels like what they were going for), last time I checked extortion, assault, and arson were all far more serious crimes than destroying a landmark, and these steers were doing all of that even before this arc began.

And this wouldn't be that bad if the comic didn't call specific attention to this fact. Twilight standing by and watching a town die is a major plot point. If it wasn't brought up, people would have complained, but it would have mostly been fan comments and problems; turning it into the centerpiece of your story arc (one that heavily advertised Applejack, who ends up not having much of a role other than serving as an excuse to get the ponies over there) magnifies the issue so many times over that it brings the whole thing crashing down.

This was a bad arc, plain and simple. It's up there with the Bookworm in terms of how annoying and dumb it is. I'm just glad it's over.


Next time, more fun from the Everfree Forest.

Report InsertAuthorHere · 434 views ·
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 11 )

They just can't seem to get it right when they go out west, can they? :applejackconfused:

2674932
Well, I plan to give it a shot soon, we'll see what happens there.

Otherwise...oh well. Can't all be good; every comic has to have its bad runs.

Ehh, there are some logical flaws, but you can get around them if you are creative. My current theory is that due to a thousand years plus of bureaucracy or possibly just some reactionary laws to the first Nightmare Moon incident, a Princess of Equestria has very specific rules regarding what she can legally do to her citizens and when. Hell, it's even a bit of a story prompt.

Sure, the story would have been better if this particular plot hole had been buttoned up a bit tighter, but it didn't ruin the issue for me.

2675262
:ajbemused:

When you have to jump through logical hoops in order to make the main plot points, the main character behavior, as well as much of the plot itself make sense, and the reasoning isn't due to the magic or technology of the setting but something that would have a very clear and common real world analog, such as laws regarding the use for force by a authority figure to apprehend those that are violating the laws of the land and harming citizens and/or their property of the state, then something is VERY VERY WRONG.

2677593 I look at everything in the official show, movies, comics, and books as story prompts these days. Are you so unimaginative that you can't see the interesting possibilities and hijinks in Twilight having thousands of years of bureaucratic red tape now restricting how and where she as a Princess can use her legal authority? Such as no power to arrest Equestrian citizens for random crimes, but unusually permissive power to declare and protect historic structures?

I'm not saying it wasn't a plot hole, in fact I explicitly said it was and that they needed to cover it better. Hell, even with my ideas above it doesn't explain why Twilight did nothing to summon additional lawkeeping ponies who do have the authority to arrest the bandits. But it didn't ruin the issue for me, and Applejack's disapproving face isn't going to change my mind.

2677765
:twilightoops:

Wow that seemed somewhat... venomous. I must apologize I had no intentions of trying to ruin the issue for you, or insult you. I had simply taken issue with the postulation that the major plot issues in the comic could be solved so easily, though as you made apparent I had also misinterpreted your post so the degree of my initial response was also uncalled for.

As for the accusations laid in your first paragraph, I find that, for me at least, its not so much a matter of being able to use it for story ideas/being unimaginative as it is personal preference and intolerance for the unwarranted disregard for logic and proper storytelling. Major plot holes in the core fundamental areas of stories derived from clear logic errors being ignored is something that really REALLY irks me on a very fundamental level. I don't generally approve of such sloppy storytelling because I can't help but feel that ether the wring is inexcusably poor, or that the writer(s) must think their audience fools that wouldn't be able to recognize such obvious narrative screw up.

This is of course all simply my opinion and preference, no one is obligated to take it to heart, swallow it without question, and/or let it ruin their day, Once more I must apologies for the distress I caused you.

2679738 Let me apologize in turn, that was overly harsh. In truth it wasn't just you that caused me distress, but the overall response of the fandom to the issue. It's fine to not like it, but everywhere I look I'm seeing horrible nastiness directed at Katie Cook over it, some specifically sent to her, and I very, very, very much disapprove of the official content creators getting that kind of response. All that is going to do is make them more hesitant in engaging the community, and we all lose out when that happens. Then again, we've probably already crossed that Rubicon as thoroughly as we possibly could given the Ted Anderson hullabaloo.

However, it's not like they're going to be reading this review and comment chain on a fanfiction website, so I was out of place in jumping down your throat.

My reaction to this sort of big plot hole is very different, it would seem. For me it's: that didn't make sense, so what aren't they telling us, and what interesting headcanons can we develop to fill in the holes? I don't think they think we're fools, I think they believe there's some obvious explanation that turned out to be less obvious once the issue was in the wild, so it's up to us to figure it out. This is a fanfic website, after all, in theory we're creative and whatnot.

2679780

I agree that a lot of the nasty responses to the issue are disheartening, but I also can't say that this pair of issues was particularly good, and the main issue is the writing. Even putting aside the Twilight issue, the solicitations and plot setup make this feel like it should be an Applejack-centric pair of issues. It's her family's property that's being fought over, she faced the villains alongside Rarity in one issue, and she seems to spearhead the counterattack in the second issue. But what the comic turns out to be is a zany scheme with the Mane 6 as a whole, with Applejack barely factoring in by the end. Even Chili Pepper, the pony they were supposedly saving the ranch for, never made an appearance in spite of being mentioned multiple times.

The Twilight issue, however, is the biggest flaw in the comic, and the way it was handled was incredibly poor. I hear what you're saying about headcanons filling in holes - it's pretty much a requirement for fanfiction writing - but headcanon should never be used to excuse a plot hole. All stories will have holes in them somewhere; the trick is to either disguise the hole by making the rest of the work endearing and enjoyable. The mistake Cook made was to constantly bring attention back to Twilight refusing to help, and not offering anything other than the standard moral platitude that it's not okay to hurt others as a justification. This was coupled with the very aggressive and ruthless actions of the villains, nearly all of which could have led to ponies being severely injured or killed and involved a number of things that should be crimes in any sort of civilized society. In order for the story to work as intended, we have to believe that Twilight would put the well-being of a historical site over the lives of other ponies and her friends.

I don't know how much of this was the fault of Cook or an editorial mandate of sorts. The initial solicitations stated that the reason the cattle wanted the land was to dig up some treasure that was supposed to be buried on the ranch; this treasure is never mentioned in the final issue, and it's implied the cattle are just doing this because they're jerks. A similar disconnect occurred with the Power Ponies annual; the solicitations originally hinted that someone from outside the comics would step in to teach the heroes about friendship (and indeed, it was supposed to be Spike), but this changed in the final product to be Humdrum.

That being said, while this has not been a great year for the main comic line (I've only really enjoyed a couple of issues), Friends Forever has escaped the hole the first issue dug for it and become something really good, and I'm looking forward to the wrestling issue coming in a couple months. I don't think the comics all suck; if I did, I wouldn't be buying them. This issue, however, is just not good, and while I can enjoy the fun of headcanoning ways to pave over the holes, at the end of the day serious writing mistakes were made and need to be addressed (in a rational way, i.e. not sending Cook threats and obscenity-laden emails) to prevent future stories from having the same problems.

2679809 I guess I just have enough of a different perspective such that I don't think my suggestion for this plot hole is really that much of a stretch. I'm literally a government worker in my day job, and the rules and regulations and red tape that I see from day to day frequently make zero sense from the outside. Since Twilight is a government worker herself, after a fashion, and is in a government that has had a thousand plus years for similar nonsense to build up, it just seems like the obvious answer to me.

2677765

Hell, even with my ideas above it doesn't explain why Twilight did nothing to summon additional lawkeeping ponies who do have the authority to arrest the bandits.

She would have, but she forgot to pack the material components for Summon Additional Lawponies. :trixieshiftright:

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!