• Published 25th Dec 2016
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Behind the Laughter: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Smashology



This is the story they never wanted to tell you. This is the story about your favorite characters that has been kept secret. This is the story... behind the laughter.

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Welcome to the Dark Tomorrow (Season 6)

Lawsuits. Redemption. Hormones. Graphics.

Behind the Laughter

Like a bubble, “Friendship is Magic” blows up more and more with its hits. But beware, because the bubble can burst and never inflate again. The first signs showed up in 2016, both a premature launch date and a notice that traveled all around the world.

Recreation

The set for “The Crystalling.” Gleaming Shield and Bolero wait instructions for their roles, when Evening Blaze comes and delivers a notice to them.

What’s going on here?

Ah, your highness. On behalf of the production, I’m here to deliver your baby.

Deliver? But... I’m not even due yet! I still have the bun in my oven.

There was no pregnancy, girl.

That’s crazy! I know me and Bolero had that wonderful evening…

And that thing where we surprised Stardust Nova.

That was just work of the marketing team. They only said you were going to have a baby, they didn’t say that you actually had one. And the legal team helped to speed up the process in time for spring.

But that doesn’t make sense–

Oh! Here she is now!

Nightfall Shine, disguised as another pony, gives the unicorn baby to Evening Blaze and she delivers them to her new ‘parents.’

May I present to you Princess Flurry Heart.

She’s... our daughter?

Yes! Congratulations! Happy parenting!

Evening Blaze leaves the set. Both Bolero and Gleaming Shield stare at Flurry Heart.

Hi there, cutie.

Greetings, father.

Both Bolero and Gleaming Shield gasp in surprise and shock.

I have soiled myself. You will change me at once.

Flurry Heart does an evil laugh.


When you’re born with systemic hypoplasia, you don’t have much choice in career options. Could be worse, I used to do diaper commercials.

After what happened at the end of the previous, we saw ourselves in need of searching somebody who could play as my childhood friend in the show. We did auditions and he was the best of all choices.

The idea of having a baby alicorn, caught the attention of media and fans alike. Some of them have theories about her purpose and which role she could fill.

And I’m sure you did a perfect job, did you?

The truth is... it was very notorious that the team didn’t know what to do with her, since they had limited time to film and she barely appeared during the season. Not even I could escape for said destiny.

Another member who had such a cruel destiny was Ink Blot. After years and years of drug inducing and overprotection of her sisters, she needed to stop.

I didn’t feel the sickness yet, but it’s in the post. That’s for sure. You feel strange around all the effects of your therapy. Too ill to sleep, too tired to stay awake, but the sickness is on its way. Sweat, chills, nausea, pain and craving.

The only day I saw her happy, and I mean actually happy, was during our wedding–

Wait a minute?! You two got married?!

Yes. After witnessing the ones from the majority of her friends, she decided she wanted to share her life with someone else for the remaining time she had.

Why didn’t anybody know about your wedding?

Because we wanted it to be private. After all the scandals surrounding the rest of her friends, do you really thought we would go through the same path?

One certain downside to playing a character like Pinkie Pie, as you can probably guess, is when fans can’t separate you from the character you play. Many fans told me to do something silly just for entertainment. In my wedding, my sisters gave me dignity for once. The only thing missing were my friends. I don’t remember if they were there. You see this place right here? This skull between my ears?

Yes.

That’s a bad neighborhood and I should not be in there alone. I can’t be there by myself... It’s a bad place to be by myself. When I’m in said place, my whole life gets thrown off. For example, I don’t say nice things to myself. It’s almost like there’s another Ink Blot in there that wants to take me down. And I believe that if I don’t get out of myself and mingle with other ponies, be a sister, be a wife, be a friend, be a mother…

Don’t worry, nobody can hear us.

If I’m out of myself I’m great. If I’m inside, I’m a horrible mess. I don’t like my mind right now. I mean, I really try to communicate my struggles to other ponies, even in my public appearances. But it looks like everyone ignores my cries for help. Even the ones I love.

Health issues and lack of self-control were the reasons why Ink Blot wanted to leave. Her sisters, instead of acting against her, support this decision. But she couldn’t.

It was difficult for her to leave the place where she made new friends. She wanted to improve upon herself.

We felt… pity for her. She constantly came to the studio exhausted, unfocused and depressed. It was one of the few occasions where we wanted some member of the staff to leave. No matter how hard we tried, she remained. She didn’t care if almost all of her friends were no longer in the show, it was impossible for her to abandon the rest of us.

The solution to her problems came in form of a species not very well known in the series, though it was present during the recording of all previous seasons.

It’s not easy representing someone, let alone their work.

So, years after years and writing after writing, and demands of our fans after demands of our fans, we finally had no choice but to write an episode based on ‘dragon culture’. The irony is that... we didn’t know anything about it, so we hired an expert named Amber to helped us out.

I watched their previous attempt to represent our kind and not only it was misleading and boring, it reached unexpected levels of racism. Therefore, as my duty, the sisters and I wrote the closest script we could to a perfect episode.

Your duty? What’s your job?

I work as lawyer and historian. Anyway, while the script was nearly finished, I recall someone walking back and forth unwittingly throughout the entire studio. He was a dragon like me, but younger. When I asked him what was happening to him, he said that he didn’t want to record the episode.

Why would I want to? To be the punching bag again?! Nobody respected me or took me seriously. Not only was my character in the show a joke, but the rest of the staff, the executives AND the fans mocked me. I realized I was going to do the same parody I’ve been doing in the entire lifespan of the show.

What happened?

My mind wasn’t inspired that day. We were kind of going through the motions. So I decided to go around the city and clear my head. I tried to get my mind off how I was feeling, but I just felt stuck. Then, I began to realize that all the ponies in the show, no matter if they were current or gone, main or background, had something I didn’t and I desperately wanted.

And what was that?

Choice. Since I joined the show, I’ve always had to be what the ponies wanted me to be, what the executives wanted me to be, what the fans wanted me to be. But what about what I wanted to be? Then Amber helped me and the idea hit me.

Which idea? It must’ve been a great one to follow it.

I DID have a choice! I could be whatever I wanted to be! No one said being in “My Little Pony” had to be a lifetime gig. But I couldn’t quit either.

He told me that maybe the contract about being with Hasbro and DHX had a loophole or something similar. With that, he could finally get out of the company and have freedom. I supposed he only said that because of the stress of the job... but he was going to pay me anyway, so I did.

What were the results?

Miraculously... there was a loophole. Let me read it for you... ‘Friendship is Magic will be safe and fine as the crew defines what happiness, joy and ease are for every single one of them.’

Once she told me about that loophole, I’d never felt so alive.

It must have been Prism Wing. I never wrote that, surely she had planned this long ago to make me look bad. It’s amazing how everything can backfire just for a foreigner you hired to write only one episode.

“Gauntlet of Fire” received critical acclaim and gave Spyke’s character the respect he deserved, but it was too late. This loophole permitted many of the staff to leave, because they thought both Stardust Nova and the executives were getting out of hands with their demands. A strike occurred for a whole week, causing the team to put a brief hiatus while things were solved.

Many chose me to be the first one to leave after the last day of strike. However, by looking with my partner, I preferred to be the second one and gave my place to a friend more desperate than me.

We left with her and, as much as painful as it was in the inside for us, we knew we did the right thing.

However, we still needed income to sustain ourselves. We didn’t know who was going to be the main supplier and, considering that Ink Blot ended up with diabetes due to the sugar diet of her character, ours plans had to be more precarious.

I left Decibelle and Cashmere to get back to scenarios while I stayed at home with UHF helping Ink Blot. Because it’s hard to be mother of triplets.

Oddly enough, they had a replacement for her instantaneously and she took her role in the show just a couple of days after she left. It was an earth pony named Sunny Flare.

...It’s good to be helping.

Sure it does.

Despite the strikes and personal problems, the stars of the show continued to rise, like a millionaire climbing an underground prison from the bottom.

It was such an honor to be on the Walk of Fame. I mean, we were there with the animation royalty, like Homer J. Simpson and Bruce Wayne.

And just a few stars down from Fred’s Head.

Awards and honors are great, but they don’t pay the pickle man.

We were earning millions, but we were always strapped for cash.

To make things worse, the ratings were going down for the first time in the history of the show. The red alarm was turned on. Concepts and ideas used in previous seasons and sometimes from other shows began to make their presence. Trendy guest stars were shamelessly trot out to grab ratings. Even characters that had appeared in previous years were downgraded and the audience had to watch with their eyes how their favorite characters were destroyed on screen.

However, for every episode done poorly, a good one appeared and, although it followed the same formula with interesting ideas, these were well used. Some invited guest stars achieved popularity among the fanbase and some concepts actually worked, such as the re-use of the Cutie Map and a parody of the show itself, perhaps the most important episode of the season.

You see that pony right there? Well, that pony is actually me. Applying all that hair dye every time is a pain in the ass! Who even came up with a silly hairstyle like that?!

As the ponies’ money dwindled, their expenses soared. From the original group of seven, the cast ballooned to dozens and then hundreds. The sixth season became the one that introduced more characters than any previous season.

I’d never acted before in my life, but, if the music composers could be in the show, why not me?

Because they have been in the show for five years and you got in for a couple of weeks and only for one episode?

Come on man, I even have a catchphrase. Nyah! Whaa! Whaa, whaa, whaa! Now I lost it.

Then, another bombshell. An anonymous tipster alerted the government that Stardust Nova was evading her income taxes.

Recreation

A gray hoof is observed making a call. Cut to an office where a gray gryphon answers the call while she refreshes herself with a fan.

Snark & Bark, where we make you the best by making the rest worse. What can I do for you?

Gibberish is hear on the phone. Gabby listens and then proceeds to call back.

Sorry, I can’t divulge information about a customer’s secret, illegal account.

Gabby hangs up the phone, then realizes her mistake.

Oh crap! I shouldn’t have said she was a customer. Oh shit! I shouldn’t have said it was a secret. Oh fuck! I certainly shouldn’t have said it was illegal.

Gabby sighs and continues to fan herself.

It’s too hot today.


The guards were merciless.

Recreation

Stardust Nova and Flash Sentry are stopped by a group of guards, one of them has a vacuum. The one with the vacuum takes off their elegant clothes, jewelry and other luxurious accessories. Whether is for anger, embarrassment, surprise or pain, Stardust Nova yells. She remains on the floor, while he helps her to stand up. Once all their things have been sucked, a guard makes an indication and a giant helicopter plucks off their mansion from the ground. Stardust Nova watches the action.

Hey! You can’t take our house! My poor piggy banks are in there!

Stardust Nova begins to cry for real and puts herself into a fetal position.

Poor Squealer! Poor Miss Piggy! Noooooooooooooooooo!

Her sobbing became stronger with every breath of air. Flash Sentry doesn’t know how to react.


Inevitably, the real life turmoil took its toll on the TV series.

Recreation

CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!

The team have finally finish the sequence, but Nightfall Shine is not happy about what Stardust Nova has done. Sunburst forgets to turn off the camera.

That rant wasn’t on the original script, Stardust Nova. You can’t change the written words to your convenience.

DON’T INTERRUPT ME! I’M THE STAR!

Plum makes sure the light is okay, then the camera falls.

PLUM, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I WANT YOU OFF THE SET!

Sorry, Stardust Nova.

Doctor Whooves places muffins on a tray while Derpy eats them pleasantly. Futas, Lunare, Nightfall Shine, Evening Blaze, the new Mane 6 and Bellatrix look horrified at Stardust Nova’s rant. Sunburst is recording everyone’s reaction but the rant itself is off-screen.

DON’T BE SORRY! THINK FOR ONE FUCKING SECOND! ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL, OR NOT?! WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?! THAT’S DISTRACTING! WHAT DON’T YOU GET ABOUT THAT?! GIVE ME AN ANSWER!

...I was looking at the light, Stardust Nova.

OH, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD FOR YOU!

Nigthfall Shine, Evening Blaze and the new Mane 6 walk off the set.

YOU’RE AN AMATEUR! MY MIND IS NOT IN THE SCENE, AND YOU’RE DOING THAT! DO YOU WANT ME TO TRASH YOUR LIGHTS?!

Lights are heard being smash.

YOU AND ME PLUM? WE ARE DONE PROFESSIONALLY!

Plum remains speechless. Stardust Nova appears onscreen and is about to leave the studio when Lunare interrupts her.

Look Stardust Nova, we understand that you lost your house and you’re bankrupt, but there’s no need to yell at us. Whether you like it or not, we’re your family–

No! You don’t understand what I am going through! You’re not my family! I don’t want to be part of your ‘family’! I hate all of you! You’re a bunch of losers! A bunch of fucking losers!

Stardust Nova slams the door before leaving the studio. Sunburst turns off the camera. Uncomfortable silence surrounds the studio.

Has anybody seen my glasses?


To make things worse, the video was accidentally uploaded to the Internet.

Right from the start, I had a bad feeling about that video. I firmly believe someone uploaded that video on purpose to harm her image.

Wait a minute, how did you weren’t as affected as Stardust Nova by the video? I never heard any rumors or scandals about you in all that time.

I took refuge in my sister’s house at the time and she agreed to help me overcome this scandal and avoid spread rumors. But since Pauly never liked Stardust Nova, she put me one condition: I had to break up with her. And I had no choice back then, just told her we needed some time apart.

Fans reacted to these episodes with yawns. Angry yawns. Desperate to polish her tarnished image, Stardust Nova made one difficult decision.

I agreed to do a live appearance at one of the many Bronycons back then, just to apologize. That got me a lot of booing and insults. I was miserable, in every meaning of the word. And in the studio, things weren’t better. After my rant I just went there because it was my obligation and, since I needed money to recover my house, I couldn’t leave. However, nobody wanted to work with me and because of that I didn’t gain anything. No job, no home, no money, no support, nowhere to go. I was all alone.

You know what? They’re wrong, you’re the victim. I mean, you did nothing to them to ruin your life and take away everything you had.

Please, shut up.

What? I’m just telling what happened.

Don’t fool yourself, everyone watched everything, they know what happened.

Well, yeah but–

Leave me alone.

I know you’re upset and pissed off and I understand if you don’t want to talk about this but, before leaving you alone, could you please tell us what motivated you to change the way you see life?

I was looking for a role in other shows, just to set me apart from here... It was hard for me out there. I studied and trained and auditioned, but nobody wanted me. I only had a choice, the most logical choice of all. Do what most of us do to kill time.

Search for a job and, consequently, choose life like the rest of your partners and many ponies did in the previous years?

No... Watching old TV shows on a computer. I spent most of my time in the studio locked in my dressing room watching them. When those were over, I decided to watch old episodes from the show. And something hit me.

Something?

Suddenly, something strange started to happen to me. Something I thought would happen to me after all the hate, all the wasted time and all the memories... I started to laugh... then to cry and finally to laugh and cry at the same time. I watch all previous seasons, one after another, and when I finished I wasn’t the same.

What are you trying to say?

I didn’t realize I was becoming a different pony. I believed I was possessed by a spirit or something. Then, everything made sense... I became Twilight... I became Twilight.

But you play Twilight.

Not in that way. You see, over the days and weeks, I remembered how happy I was with all of them around me. I realized I missed my companions, which now I have to recognize as friends. Twilight Sparkle was now more than a character, she was my role model and I decided to do the same as her. So I began to be nice to the remaining staff. I prepared myself for multiple eventualities that happened in the studio, such as diapers for one of the coworkers’ babies or coffee for one of the actors. The few money I received from these actions was used for other similar situations inside the studio. Over time, I slowly regained everyone’s trust.

So you had a new perspective and a new purpose.

Yes. I was a new Stardust Nova. And as a new Stardust Nova, I knew the show was not fulfilling me anymore, it wasn’t the same without them. So I made a choice that was hard for me. It was an evening I would not ever forget... It’s good to be helping.

Without Stardust Nova, the show didn’t have a main star anymore. None of the remaining cast was good enough to be with the sisters, which wouldn’t be bad if it wasn’t that the absence of a third caused that many episodes from varying quality were approved. It didn’t matter if those episodes were good or bad, once approved there was no turning page.

So, they approved everything regardless of the quality?

Yes, for good reasons, however. We were under a time limit and most of us didn’t know how to write. This was noticeable during the year and, with less good episodes, finances were going down, not even the finale saved from this effect. Hasbro, DHX, pretty much everyone was in a crisis.

Stardust Nova’s withdrawal and the worst finale in the entire series. Both were consequences of these decisions and the final nail in the coffin. After all the changes occurred in the last year, it was inevitable to question if “My Little Pony” had still something to offer or if it was better to say goodbye for goods and all. The dream was over... or was it?

***

When we come back.

It was amazing that they had a plan for all of us, committed to an ambitious project. However, disagreement and resentment, paranoia and doubt were present in the air.

When Behind the Laughter continues.

Author's Note:

I know many of you expected a big rant for this season, but I preferred to do something different and not that repetitive per se.

Officially, Behind the Laughter is on hiatus and will be continued once both season 7 is over and the movie premieres. All I can guarantee is that the next season will have a more than special cameo from a character who's also a pony but doesn't belong to the series.

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