• Member Since 8th Oct, 2016
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Dave Bryant

Ko-fi • I have a vocabulary and I’m not afraid to use it. • World-building is my passion.

More Blog Posts55

  • Saturday
    Kelly the Drawing Unicorn’s rendition of Cookie Pusher

    Late in 2018 Kelly the Drawing Unicorn was working her way through a gigantic commission backlog. As part of it she dashed out a version of Cook.

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    3 comments · 92 views
  • Friday
    Scene: a real-world classroom of aspiring JDs

    Instructor, after shutting off “Forgotten Friendship” as credits start rolling: “Now, class, when Sunset Shimmer touched Wallflower Blush’s arm and reached into Wallflower’s memories, does that constitute assault under the laws of . . .”

    10 comments · 91 views
  • Thursday
    Does anyone else get the feeling . . .

    . . . Starlight Glimmer is five to ten years older than the Mane Six (or Seven)?

    For context: I always have assumed, based on Ms. Faust’s assertions the Mane Six were supposed to be in the age range of twelve to eighteen, they started the series roughly in the middle of that—around fifteen, give or take a year, which would make them roughly high-school age. Imagine that.

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    12 comments · 79 views
  • 1 week
    Idea for new Lectern’s installment

    This may be a silly question, but . . . what would people think of Sci-Twi roping her friends into a one-shot session of Ogres and Oubliettes in the front parlor?

    And if folks do like the notion—which I suspect is a foregone conclusion—I would be very, very interested in suggestions regarding everything about said session. As in, please send suggestions and ideas. :duck:

    13 comments · 73 views

Broken spring · 5:44pm April 24th

Well. “Spring Breakdown” . . . happened.
  I should begin by stating this has nothing to do with Virga per se; I knew that job was dangerous when I took it. This is about the episode in and of itself.
  It was bad, pure and simple—possibly worse than the original featurette: awkward pacing, enormous plot holes, dreadful characterization. This was not at all up to Mr. Confalone’s usual standards.
  Rather than attempt to enumerate all the many and varied problems, I’ll cut right to what I believe is the root cause: they told the wrong story. Based on the transcript, I’d estimate about two-thirds of the episode revolves around the cruise, with the other one-third in Equestria. Had I the job, my inclination would be at least to reverse those proportions, spending only enough time on the yacht to set up the rest of the story. (Yes, fine, keep the obligatory song, though it was pretty forgettable this time around.)
  Meghan McCarthy stated flat-out, before the trailer was shown at San Diego Comic Con, they were very aware how much the fans anticipated a reciprocal journey to Equestria. It seems strange, then, that the final product more or less treats this long-awaited, and really quite momentous, event as a brief series of sight and character gags. Sunset, Sci-Twi, and RD spend time shooting the breeze with Princess Twi and Spike while their friends are dealing with who knows what problems on a ship in trouble? Really? Moreover, hundreds of people are funneled through an interdimensional portal, which even the target audience will recognize immediately is a huge security and political hot potato, yet it’s passed off in a few moments as a rimshot joke. Oh, and while we saw plenty of the hospitality staff, where was the ship’s service crew, and especially her captain, during all this? How about the Coast Guard, whose job it is to deal with ships in distress?
  It’s purely a guess on my part, but I wonder if the original draft was structured much as I suggested, with the bulk of the story revolving around hijinks on the pony side of the portal—but the Powers That Be vetoed it, forcing a hasty and pretty terrible new draft. There is one weirdness I’m not sure I can put down to this, though: the timing.
  “Lesson Zero” and Ms. McCarthy’s explicit, and very firm, statement on DVD commentary that six months elapsed in-world between the first featurette and “Rainbow Rocks” would seem to make it pretty clear each full season of FIM is supposed to be roughly six months in the characters’ lives. The movie is established to take place between seasons seven and eight, four television seasons or about two years after the Fall Formal—give or take; there’s some leeway, of course. If the Fall Formal was in the girls’ junior year, the movie would be after their graduation, putting “Spring Breakdown” in a direct conflict that can’t be passed off, as the throwaway line at the end of “Friendship Games” can be.
  Other possibilities are: the Fall Formal was in their sophomore year (which really raises both questions and eyebrows), institutional knowledge of the timeline has broken down as production staff and contract scriptwriters come and go, or the staff has given up even trying to keep things straight, either for this particular episode or generally.
  The quality of EG has waned from its high point in “Rainbow Rocks” and “Friendship Games”, but still, I had expected better. Let’s hope this was an isolated case.

Report Dave Bryant · 109 views · Story: Virga ·
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Comments ( 8 )

Eternal high school has been a problem plaguing EqG for some time, yes. And executive meddling would explain a lot about the soecial, possibly including Ragamuffin's very existence.

Forgotten Friendship was excellent, but yeah, the specials have been pretty medium at best for the most part.

I suspect that people on staff simply don't care...which is a terrible shame in and of itself.

But yeah, you're right. Spring Breakdown was a disappointment. The one thing I have to bring up countering your objections regards the Coast Guard and why it wasn't called in. Rarity mentioned something about the ship entering international waters, and I'm not sure the Coast Guard can operate in international waters during peacetime. That raises the question of why the Navy wasn't called in, but again, I suspect the writers failed to think things through. Or the storm fried the radio, which is slightly more probable.

My understanding is many nations that have coast guards routinely operate them in international waters as well as within their own waters. I’m pretty sure the US Coast Guard operates well out into the Atlantic and Pacific if not around the world, for drug interdiction if nothing else. However, that certainly doesn’t invalidate your points about navy ships coming to the rescue or the possibility of radio interference or outright malfunction.

EG episodes and shorts have been wildly variable in quality, which in a way is even worse than steady mediocrity—you never know what you’re going to get with each new pig in a poke. Fingers crossed “Spring Breakdown” was an aberration.

Before “Spring Breakdown” they were dancing on the edge of “eternal high school”, because they were cagey enough not to tie an individual episode or short to a specific event on the other side of the portal. This time they did, and in a way that can’t be ignored or explained away.

Ragamuffin definitely was terrible, even with the explanatory gag at the end—though I recall an acquaintance commenting about how every time the voice actor read a line it was with a different accent, which made him wonder what was going on. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was on purpose, as a sort of Easter-egg clue Ragamuffin wasn’t what he was putting on.

Yes, pretty much the entire thing was made up of stock elements, literarily speaking. There was very little originality to be found here, do they expect us to do their jobs for them?

In fairness, every story, good or bad, is made up of stock elements—tropes. It’s how those tropes are used that distinguishes one from the other. That said, I agree they weren’t handled well this time around.

Yeah, the core problem with this movie is that it spends way too much time on Rainbow Dash being annoying, and way too little time with visitors actually going to Equestria.


They weren't handled at all. they were flung across the room in the vague direction of the outline. I've seen/read that exact synopsis more times than I can recall, the only novel things were the portal and the pony elements. Everything else might as well have been a Scooby Doo movie.

I wish it had been a Scooby Doo movie! At least then there would have been an interesting antagonist rather than just a symbol in a thunderstorm.

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