• Member Since 8th Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

Alaborn


Somewhere in the USA. Probably older than you. And something about MLP:FIM makes me want to write stories. Unfortunately, being gainfully employed cuts into my writing time.

More Blog Posts144

  • 21 weeks
    Retrospective Review: Strong Seconds

    Not an episode review this time.

    PresentPerfect writes about the "Applejack Problem", that a character with everything figured out becomes too boring. Her cutie mark is literally deciding she wants to stay home.

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    1 comments · 99 views
  • 22 weeks
    Retrospective Review: Putting Your Hoof Down and It's About Time

    S2E19 Putting Your Hoof Down

    Watching this episode as part of the whole series is jarring. You have episode after episode of ponies being kind and friendly, then a whole bunch of rude ponies all at once.

    I hate Angel Bunny in this episode. I want to turn him into hasenpfeffer.

    I'd like to know why there just happens to be a hedge maze somewhere near Ponyville.

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    3 comments · 57 views
  • 26 weeks
    Retrospective Review: Hearts and Hooves Day and A Friend in Deed

    S2E17 Hearts and Hooves Day

    The writers have chosen, once again, to feature a holiday or celebration in this episode. Arguably, this is the seventh time (Summer Sun Celebration, Winter Wrap Up, Running of the Leaves, Grand Galloping Gala, Nightmare Night, Hearth's Warming, Hearts and Hooves Day), and the third time directly referencing a major American holiday.

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    3 comments · 73 views
  • 27 weeks
    Retrospective Review: The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 and Read It and Weep

    S2E15 The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000

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    6 comments · 67 views
  • 27 weeks
    Retrospective Review: Baby Cakes and The Last Roundup

    S2E13 Baby Cakes

    So this was an episode that came completely out of the blue. There was no indication of Cup Cake being pregnant, let alone with twins. I'm assuming there was a toy involved.

    "That makes sense, right?" Sure, but if you're a pegasus stallion with a beige coat or a unicorn stallion with a yellow coat, I wouldn't recommend dining at Sugarcube Corner.

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    6 comments · 75 views
Jul
4th
2021

Retrospective Review: Putting Your Hoof Down and It's About Time · 1:13am July 4th

S2E19 Putting Your Hoof Down

Watching this episode as part of the whole series is jarring. You have episode after episode of ponies being kind and friendly, then a whole bunch of rude ponies all at once.

I hate Angel Bunny in this episode. I want to turn him into hasenpfeffer.

I'd like to know why there just happens to be a hedge maze somewhere near Ponyville.

In this episode, we have another example of intelligent hoofed mammals, but for some reasons these goats don't talk. And I don't think we see them again, even when Iron Will returns later.

Iron Will's presentation is another one of those more modern-day elements that sticks out against the general mid-19th to mid-20th century aesthetic of the show's setting.

Fluttershy? You have wings. You can fly over Cherry Berry and Bon Bon.

We have another classic Looney Tunes reference with the interaction between Pinkie Pie and Iron Will.

This is another episode which involves only part of the cast. Fluttershy is the focus, and Rarity and Pinkie Pie get the supporting roles. Why those two? I might have preferred seeing Rainbow Dash here.

The episode has a normal moral for children's programming, but ultimately, this episode is non-essential, as I don't see it contributing to the growth of Fluttershy's character.

S2E20 It's About Time

I'll start by saying I love time travel stories, but I prefer them as a comedic element than as a serious plot element. (I believe in Niven's Law: "If the universe of discourse permits the possibility of time travel and of changing the past, then no time machine will be invented in that universe.") So I prefer something like Back to the Future or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure to Star Trek (although Star Trek IV was a good movie). This episode falls into the more light-hearted use of time travel, so I enjoyed it.

I once played a D&D tournament adventure which started with the players receiving a message via a spell with a limited number of words. But if the players start talking while the DM is delivering the message, the DM interrupts the message with an interjection of "Do not interrupt me!", which causes the message to be short four words, and a warning about a trap isn't delivered. I was reminded of that when Present Twilight spent all of her time foolishly interrupting Future Twilight.

But honestly, Future Twilight should have remembered one week ago, and put the full details of the week in a letter for Present Twilight. Even Bill and Ted could have figured that out.

What happens in this episode really doesn't make sense. There's a vague warning, and suddenly everyone agrees to fix everything. There's literally no way to plan for every possible bad thing that could happen. Fixing bridges and returning Cerberus to guarding the gates of Tartarus are completely different things with completely different consequences.

Apparently, Celestia needs to move more money out of her cake budget to fix Equestria's crumbling infrastructure.

This episode introduces Pinkie Pie's stashes for X-related emergencies, which fans seized upon. It's also nice that the episode addresses Pinkie Sense, saying how it isn't useful for this situation.

I enjoyed seeing the guard finding Twilight Sparkle and just letting her into the restricted section of the library, without batting an eye at her appearance. Apparently, the princess's personal students have a lot of leeway, and the guards are used to them being crazy.

So, while I liked this episode, introducing time travel for one episode is a terrible idea. Because this spell should have been used (by other skilled unicorns, since it can only be used by a pony once) to, say, warn that Princess Cadance has been replaced by the changeling queen and the changelings are going to attack Canterlot. (The same thing is true with using time travel in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.)

Comments ( 3 )

You have episode after episode of ponies being kind and friendly, then a whole bunch of rude ponies all at once.

Yeah, bit of an issue there. Ponyville's attitude as a whole tends to fluctuate with the needs of the episode. (See especially "Pinkie Pride." And the finale.)

I'd like to know why there just happens to be a hedge maze somewhere near Ponyville.

I think the hosting venue has to provide one as part of Iron Will's contract. Cue frantic earth pony landscaping.

In this episode, we have another example of intelligent hoofed mammals, but for some reasons these goats don't talk. And I don't think we see them again, even when Iron Will returns later.

Oh no, the entire crew in "Once Upon an Airship" is made up of those eerily nonverbal goats.

Iron Will's presentation is another one of those more modern-day elements that sticks out against the general mid-19th to mid-20th century aesthetic of the show's setting.

Given how all (two) minotaurs seen on the show are consistently anachronistic—the other one can best be described as a third Flimflam brother mixed with Gordon Gekko and a Captain Planet villain—it's possible that their home nation is several decades more technologically advanced than Equestria. (That Etherium-Horn Sorcerer's looking pretty reasonable, actually...)

The episode has a normal moral for children's programming, but ultimately, this episode is non-essential, as I don't see it contributing to the growth of Fluttershy's character.

I would disagree. This is the overcompensation that helps her find the acceptable level of assertion later in life.

But honestly, Future Twilight should have remembered one week ago, and put the full details of the week in a letter for Present Twilight.

It seems that that spell doesn't allow you to actually change anything. Not unless it's jailbroken by a mad genius and a crystal coffee table.

What happens in this episode really doesn't make sense.

The biggest issue is a straight-up paradox. Twilight learns the location of the time-travel spell from her future self, who only knew it because her future told her, who only knew...
Yeah, classic bootstrap paradox. That information doesn't have any origin outside of the causal loop.

I enjoyed seeing the guard finding Twilight Sparkle and just letting her into the restricted section of the library, without batting an eye at her appearance. Apparently, the princess's personal students have a lot of leeway, and the guards are used to them being crazy.

You'd think they'd have addressed that hole in security after Sunset. Maybe they just learned that there was no getting between a determined nerd and her books.

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But honestly, Future Twilight should have remembered one week ago, and put the full details of the week in a letter for Present Twilight.

It seems that that spell doesn't allow you to actually change anything. Not unless it's jailbroken by a mad genius and a crystal coffee table.

Equestria's version of time travel seems to rely on a similar plot point to Robert L. Forward's Timemaster novel -- a time traveler can only alter the past if they do not already know what the outcome will be. (The "new" Doctor Who series seems to run on this as well, with its insistence on "fixed points in time" which the Doctor cannot alter because he already knows what the outcome was/will be.) In this episode, Past Twilight already knows that Future Twilight failed to warn her of what was going to happen between now and "next Tuesday" because Past Twilight wouldn't let Future Twilight get a word in edgewise, so that event is now a "fixed point" -- and in Forward's novel, the theory is that basically, the very nature of Space-Time itself will not allow a paradox to occur, and any events which are required to prevent a paradox will occur, no matter how improbable, because the very act of attempting to create the paradox alters the probabilities of the events necessary to prevent it from happening. (It's kind of a brain-melting book. :twilightoops: Forward was a theoretical physicist in his "day job", and brought a lot of that into his hard sci-fi novels as a way of exploring some of those esotetically way-out-there concepts.)

So in such a system, if Future Twilight had attempted to put the week's events into a letter and drop it into Past Twilight's hooves to convey her message, something would have inevitably occurred to prevent it from actually being written, delivered, or read, in order to prevent the paradox.

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