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  • 20 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.

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    2 comments · 381 views
  • 21 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.

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  • 22 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.

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    The good times are over.

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  • 23 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.”

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    4 comments · 217 views
  • 24 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.

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    5 comments · 271 views
Apr
7th
2018

Season Eight Episode Reviews: Fake It Til' You Make It · 4:55pm April 7th

We're four episodes into the season now – perfect time for a Fluttershy episode. Unfortunately, last season ruined any and all jokes about her conquering the same phobia over and over again. Why must all the good things go away?

This is “Fake It Til' You Make It.” That's a...doozy of a title.


TECHNICAL SPECS:

Season: 8
Episode: 4
Written By: Josh Hamilton
First Aired: April 7, 2018


SYNOPSIS:

Rarity has to pull all of her assistants from her Manehatten store to assist with a fashion show. In order to avoid closing the store entirely, she entrusts Fluttershy (the last pony on her list) with running the shop. At first, Fluttershy manages to cope with the stress by assuming the personalities of the fashion elite, but then she has the inevitable dive into the deep end. Can her friends stop her?

REVIEW:

The episode opens with Angel being a jerk. Just as a side note, my parents both used to raise rabbits for food growing up, and were both entrusted with killing, skinning, and quartering the little things. And I'm certain they'd be happy to teach me the same skills...

Going into this episode, I was a bit confused as to why Rarity would have Fluttershy, a pony she knows has issues speaking with others, put in a Sales position. Salesmanship is largely a matter of charisma, confidence, and an ability to read and play to an audience, and while Fluttershy's massive fan following shows she has the first aspect down, the other two seem more elusive. The episode tries to justify Rarity's choice by making Fluttershy dead last, much like they did with Pinkie way back in “Baby Cakes,” but it still feels like the episode is forcing this early bit through so it can get to the good stuff.

Something I enjoyed about this episode is how it highlights how, frankly, full of crap fashion is. The store's clientele shout out buzzwords like they actually mean something, and all Fluttershy has to do to cover her mistakes is either switch outfits or give a more intense rebuttal. And yet, everypony in the shop carries a sense of arrogance, as if the worth of a pony could really be told by their suit's thread count. Next thing you know, they'll all head over to the pet store and rip open the aquarium filters to read information that's on the front of the box, and the poor store employee will ask them to stop, and they'll call said employee a fat loser who is automatically inferior to them because being an arrogant asshole pays more.

…Sorry. Some wounds take forever to heal.

Fluttershy's multiple personalities were fun, at least through the first two-thirds. Seeing her effectively BS her way through every conversation is a blast, and the raccoon family is adorable as her backup. Where the episode starts to go a little downhill is when Fluttershy goes full jerk, gets too absorbed into the elitism and snobbery of her roles, and proceeds to shout racial slurs at the poor raccoons. Said critters were also able to get to Ponyville surprisingly fast, although that isn't a new problem with this show. And the ending is another mixed bag. Rarity's startled expression every time one of the Fluttershys shows up after being fired (including the original at long last) is hilarious, but Fluttershy instantly snapping back to reality and realizing her mistake feels very sudden. The episode as a whole has a few pacing issues – nothing serious, but you can definitely hear the gears grind to a halt as the episode leaps onto a new track.


CONCLUSION:

I thought this episode was, for the most part, fun. It was cute and silly where it needed to be, and had a bit of a sarcastic bite that I found refreshing. If it weren't for the somewhat wonky pacing and sudden ending, I would have probably scored this higher. Still, it was a fun little romp for Fluttershy, and will provide us with many more fanfics about her schizophrenia for months to come.


Next time, Granny Smith flashes the camera. Nerds everywhere shudder.

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Comments ( 3 )
BenRG #1 · April 7th · · ·

I agree with your assessment that the moral of this episode is something like: "Feed artsy types enough jargon-laden bullshit and they'll buy crap and thank you for it."

I agree that the pacing and writing were somewhat off. Then again, season 7 had a few oopsies too, but the season overall was strong. Hopefully season 8 can pull up. This episode was fun, but it had issues. 7/10

Well, I promised you some retroactive "ranting", so here it is.

Over all this wasn't all that bad an episode, even if the premise is a little weird. Admittedly as some one who enjoys roleplaying, I could take some degree of personal offense , but for the most part the basic moral of "be yourself" is a good one. That said the moral gets muddles due to the pacing. When Fluttershy first adopts her elitist persona things are going great, it's giving her the confidence to stand up and out bullshit the snobby customers. The hipster and goth personas really aren't that bad either, and ideally switching between the three seemed to be working as a way to appease all the different types of customers.

The problem is that for reasons never elaborated on Fluttershy just seems to randomly lose her own identity somewhere in the shuffle, to the point where she no longer breaking character to wink to her animal friends behind the customers back, and instead starts treating them like trash, then not long after starts treating the customers like trash as well. The logic just doesn't really seem to flow.

Another smaller issue I had with this episode, is that it had already been established since back in S1 one that Fluttershy is supposed to have a "freaky" knowledge of sewing. So while I can still appreciate her lack of confidence going into a salesmare position, her completely cluelessness when it comes to fashion terms seems at least a little inconsistent. Not to mention that even Fluttershy being all doormatty and needing to invent personas in the first place is a bit suspect when we've more recently of late seen her being better and better about standing up for herself. All of this is what got me started on thinking about the poor underutilization of the new cast, because I honestly think there in l could have been the solution to everything that falls short in this episode, or more specifically...

derpicdn.net/img/view/2018/3/26/1691085.jpeg

Seriously the caption says it all, because the moral of this episode seems like it should have been tailor fit for further developing Ocellus as a character. So instead of Fluttershy at the Manehatten shop, make it Ocellus at the Ponyville shop filling as part time after school job. She's already been shown to have similar issues with shyness and even using shape shifting as shield, so the whole personas angle would work all the better. Most of all, however, since Changelings are still an undeveloped and unexplored as a race (all the more so in their new "reformed" incarnation) it could even make sense that a side effect of overusing her shapeshifting powers, as well as maybe even inadvertently "feeding" off all that emotional snobbery from a few overzealous customers, might actually lead to forgetting her own true identity... maybe even some old instincts kicking in and causing her to start devolving back into an old style changing.

Anyway, that's the short of my thoughts on this episode.

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