1. Member Since 16th Feb, 2012
  2. offline for 20h, 20m

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

More Blog Posts655

  • 1w, 3d
    Season Seven Episode Reviews: All Bottled Up

    7 comments · 202 views
  • 3w, 3d
    I updated today

    April Fools!

    ...I'm sorry. I'll show myself out.

    (But in all seriousness, I haven't written much the last couple weeks due to a cold cascading into laryngitis, a broken rib, and a lot of other crap. But I'm still slowly, slowly, slowly pushing ahead. Thanks for being patient, and remember, trust nothing on the Internet today. Except for the last two sentences. And this one. And this one. I think I'll stop.)

    1 comments · 55 views
  • 5w, 2d
    Wallowing in Self-Pity and Random Ramblings

    Lot of dust on this blog thingy. Might as well blow some of it off. Please read the stuff below.

    So...yeah. I'm not going to lie. I've been...failing as a writer. Pretty spectacularly, even. I went into this project two years ago planning to write every day, and now I've spent weeks unable to type a single letter. It's not because of work or anything. The fact that my health is so shit right now that merely moving has nearly caused me to drop dead twice in the last week isn't the problem, either. I suppose the long and short of it is...I kinda fell out of touch with MLP for a while.

    Life happens, other entertainment happens, and for a while, the pastel ponies were kind of on the sidelines. It's not that I dislike the show - even though the last season was a bit rough in places, I still overall enjoy FiM and I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and movie. Rather, other things came along for a while that pulled me away from writing a retread story like Little Sunny. I'm still working on the next chapter, but it's getting harder to care when I feel like I'm stomping over the same ground I and other, better writers have covered. Originality has never been my strong suit.

    That being said, I'm still working on the next chapter.

    As for me, I've been trying to get better. At the very least, I'm properly medicated and the voices have largely stopped. So that's something.

    Sorry for wasting your time. I'll be back with hopefully something new, whether it be the chapter or the crossover fic I have brewing in my head. (The new avatar's a clue...at least until I change it again, thus rendering this sentence meaningless.)

    Also, Dragonball Super sucks.

    14 comments · 147 views
  • 11w, 1d
    And the Super Bowl went exactly as expected

    Not that I care about football, but whatever.

    In any case, I'm not pulling ten hour shifts anymore, so it's time to get my muse back together. I shall return with many words guaranteed to spread excitement and mirth for all.

    1 comments · 135 views
  • 15w, 1d
    It's raining outside...

    4 comments · 171 views
  • 16w, 2d
    2016 is finally dead

    I say we kick it a few times, just to be sure. Feel free to spit on it, too. And string it up in the town square so everyone can get a good hit on it.

    And here's looking to next year...which is promising to be even worse. And I still can't get off my lazy butt to update my stuff.

    See y'all at the unemployment line soon.

    5 comments · 112 views
  • 17w, 3d
    Merry Christmas

    No big pictures or anything. Don't have an update ready. Just wanted to wish y'all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or what-have-you.

    Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful time this holiday season. Here's hoping next year is better than this god-forsaken one has been.

    Now to go get some more eggnog. We only get it once a year, and I'm going to get every drop I can.

    3 comments · 90 views
  • 19w, 1d
    Why I've been quiet

    5 comments · 256 views
  • 23w, 1d
    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 · 122 views
  • 23w, 6d
    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 · 513 views
  • 26w, 1d
    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 · 182 views
  • 27w, 2d
    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.

    17 comments · 516 views
  • 29w, 3d
    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 · 363 views
  • 30w, 21h
    I'm sorry I posted that

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

    Again, sorry.

    9 comments · 411 views
  • 30w, 3d
    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 · 461 views
  • 30w, 4d
    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 · 160 views
  • 31w, 3d
    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 · 283 views
  • 31w, 5d
    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 · 268 views
  • 35w, 3d
    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 · 136 views
  • 36w, 3d
    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.

    14 comments · 437 views
Apr
15th
2017

And once again, the emergence of Spring has awakened the hibernating miniature equines. Having slumbered through the cold Winter months, they emerge from their burrows hungry for cupcakes and tea. And what better way to start their active season than with a two-part adventure, full of fantastic dangers and audacious whimsy?

...Wait, this isn't a two-part episode? It's actually two standalone episodes?

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't understand the world anymore. Let's just look at “Celestial Advice” and get on with it.


TECHNICAL SPECS:

Season: 7

Episode: 1

Written By: Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco

First Aired: April 15, 2017


REVIEW:

This episode in a nutshell: Discord is an asshole. Not just a garden-variety asshole, but an all-encompassing void of asshole behavior that decimates entire galaxies.

Outside of that, the main purpose of the episode is to address the fallout from last season's finale, which I never finished the review for. To sum up, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie, Thorax and Discord saved Equestria from Queen Chrysalis, redeeming the entire Changeling Hive save for the queen in the process. It was a rushed conclusion to what was, up to that point, a solid finale to a so-so season. And now we have the inevitable medal ceremony, coupled with Twilight and Spike pulling the “distract the target while we prepare their surprise present” trick parents and best friends have worked to perfect since the dawn of time.

Twilight's plan is to give Starlight a mirror, spruced up with pictures of her friends, so that she'll get an ego boost every morning. A bit corny, but it sounds a lot cheaper than Celestia's routine of turning every accomplishment into a stained-glass window. Unfortunately for Twilight, Discord still exists, so he proceeds to try to ruin her day by telling Twilight how Starlight is beyond basic friendship lessons now. Turns out the entire agenda for the next several years was those basic friendship lessons, so Twilight goes into her typical panic. And said panic leads to the obvious conclusion: like her mentor and many an eighteen-year-old before her, Starlight must be kicked out of the house.

This sets up the bulk of the episode: Twilight running possible missions by Spike and Princess Celestia. Since this is Twilight we're talking about, she proceeds to push everything to the absolute worst conclusion, and thus every scenario ends with Starlight exiled or dead. It isn't until Celestia steps in and explains that she went through the same feelings with Twilight, and thus kept her in Canterlot far longer than she should have, that Twilight settles for simply letting Starlight graduate. (Although she will presumably have to pay rent and will eventually have to get off her lazy butt and get a job.) And of course, Discord turns out to have been manipulating Twilight the whole time, and has the gall the end the proceedings on a pun so horrible I wish I could go back in time and prevent anyone involved with FiM from ever seeing an episode of Star Trek, thereby sparing us this monster.

...No, I do not like Discord. How did you guess?

The saddest thing is that this is probably the most Celestia episode we'll ever get. While the focus is on Starlight and Twilight, it's the biggest princess who provides the advice crucial to solving the dilemma. After so many episodes of her simply being a victim for the villain of that particular week, it's nice to see her in a more mentor role. It also gives a bit more insight into her character, showing that she was just as worried about Twilight as her student is worried about Starlight. Deep student/teacher relationships don't completely shed that aspect, even as the years pass, so seeing Twilight still turning to the pony she admires the most feels just right.

Where the episode falls flat for me, though, is the big difference in circumstances between the two. Twilight was a filly when she first went under Celestia's wing. The flashback even shows her kindergarten friends in class with her, including Moondancer before Twilight ruined her life. Celestia had years to form a close connection with her, and her fears of what might happen if she was sent into the wilderness fit those of a parent or guardian. Starlight, on the other hand, is a grown adult who had previously brainwashed a village and wrecked the space-time continuum multiple times over. Twilight has known her for two years at most, and she came into her tutelage as an adult. In other words, Twilight could be fretting about a friend going away...but the episode tries to spin it as being on the same level as Celestia's worries, which just doesn't fit.

On the comedy side, there were a few laughs. Luna trying to get the medal onto Thorax was cute, as was pretty much every interaction between Starlight and Trixie. Unfortunately, Discord's humor fell flat because he's an asshole and I hate him. Episode ruined.


CONCLUSION:

My hatred of Discord aside, this was an okay episode. It didn't fully satisfy my itch for Celestia-centric stories, but it did feel like her character was built a bit more by the end, and it's nice to have interactions between her and Twilight that don't end with a near-apocalypse. An okay start to the season, all things considered.


Next time...is right now, because we have another episode to review. See you over there!

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#1 · 1w, 3d ago · · ·

The saddest thing is that this is probably the most Celestia episode we'll ever get.

You're probably right ;_;

#2 · 1w, 3d ago · · ·

Another key difference between Celestia's and Twilight's worries:

Celestia was spot on. With everything.

Manticore? Check. Tartarus? Check. Not getting along with the others? Check, and thank the stars the other five were linked by destiny to become her friends regardless.

#3 · 1w, 2d ago · · ·

Yeup, that just about sums up everything I might have otherwise had to say on the matter.

#4 · 1w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

Granted, I tend to dislike Discord rather less, so his antics did not have the same impact on me. Otherwise, more or less in agreement. Seeing the regular changelings has made me hate the new design ever so slightly less, though the coloration choices are still totally god-awful. I suppose if Thorax HAS to have the antlers though, at least the studio is going to have a few laughs at its expense.

Meanwhile, while watching the episode, I could swear I could hear the Twilestia ship fics being written.

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