Did you ever notice?
I am also fond of the similarly shared color of Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy. I guess you could continue the chain from AJ to Fluttershy to Pinkie Pie. And you could also mention Rarity and Twilight Sparkle. A common theme of having lots in common, heh.
You can shower someone with them and still be giving next to nothing.
It's a cheap currency you can use to avoid having to think about what else you could give that might be more appropriate for what you received.
Remember this the next time you are incredibly appreciative or eternally grateful for something someone did.
Words are cheap. Are you saying it for them or for you?
I hope this is gonna happen in season 5. Surprise lives and cannot be ignored.
Would surely make for an interesting little story - a challenge for the writers.
And as you know... there can never bee too many Pinkie Pies.
Remember Pinkie Pride with the real-world footage thrown in? It immediately changes the character. By creating such a harsh, sudden connection to a different 'realm', the integrity of the intended realm is compromised. This is what's called "breaking immersion".
Said artistic tools CAN be for a specific reason sometimes, when the context fits, but to me it didn't fit in that episode.
It doesn't have to be that extreme though.
One example of it not being a problem is scenes where they use lighting effects or camera zoom and pan techniques - the latter even has been talked about in praise in Youtube videos. (I don't remember the episode with the scene I'm thinking of, but it was done in an elegant, subtle way, and served a specific technical purpose. It was not a style break, but a style enhancement.)
But lately there was another thing that immediately got me 'off-track in my mind', in season 5 episode 3 (Castle Sweet Castle) right after the intro, there was a zoom-in of what very much looked like painted, with tons of details, some kind of heavy blur filter, gradients and stuff. Well, I'll just post it here, then you can see for yourself - in case you haven't seen the episode. (Don't worry, no spoilers here.)
When I saw that, I lost attention for the plot of the episode, had to check again, was wondering why they would decide to suddenly put that attention-catching style break in there, was wondering whether I didn't pay attention and this was supposed to be a painting on a wall somewhere. (thus: immersion break)
Is there discussion about this specific scene somewhere? Or about the topic in general?
I am noticing this more frequently in recent episodes: Vocals are being distributed on the stereo channels depending on where a speaker is in relation to the camera.
This can add acoustic information and some pseudo-realism (if not overdone, which happens when factors like sound reflection on walls are disregarded), but it is a tricky thing to use, because it is very easy to break immersion with it, and this happens especially when a speaker's position changes not by moving, but due to a changing camera position. Because then the watcher becomes aware of a 'camera man' teleporting around in the scene.
I think this is especially noticeable in MLP because lately they're overdoing the stereo separation with lateral voices.
I don't know why people who get paid for this stuff ("professionals") don't notice those subtle but crucial details, but I guess treating this area as an art form might be more than what is the norm in the business.
This isn't a rant. It's just that I keep noticing various things that disturb immersion and would love to contribute my expertise, but unfortunately things aren't that easy.
I recently made a referral code bonus webpage
that gives a good introduction to the game. I played with the idea of entering the whole advertising game since my altruism focus doesn't seem to get me anywhere, but the more I read up on it, the more off-putting it became. So I'm always trying to get a little caress for my soul without playing in the hands of an ugly system, thus doing open, sincere, more personal advertising.
Star Citizen is gonna be an amazing game, unlike anything before, and I am very excited about being a part of the unfolding project. Now is a good time to join, because soon there will be a major update, and more generally early adopters are being rewarded.
Check it out and share it and you'd do me a tremendous heartwarming favor if you used my referral code as mentioned on that sweet little webpage I made. :-)
(Oh and in case it tells you somewhere on signup that you need a quadcore-CPU and don't have one (yet): People have confirmed it can run on dualcores if they're performing well (e.g. somewhat overclocked and/or of newer generation). And it generally only affects the performance I think, not the ability to run it at all.)
The bandwagon is irresistble.
Any mod desginer here who would like to do that? ... The model would make sense as a warhammer as well as a staff.
Although I guess some picture edits would be fun, too. I'm just not in the mood for stuff like that, otherwise I'd make something myself. But maybe this idea inspires you for all kinds of weapon-associated stuff involving that scepter.
But imagine how hiariously grotesque it would be to bash a dragon head in with that silly smily face. ... Or to roast some bandits with unicorn power. (Rainbow beam spell maybe.)
Also blogged here: http://dowlphin.blogspot.de/2015/09/spoilers-mind-illness-not-kept-in-check.html
In the past I had my anger and frustration in the MLP fandom with people posting spoilers and just not caring whether others might not want that, despite it being common knowledge that spoilers are unpopular. I can understand when the sickos in TV programming feel the need to post episode previews right after an episode - it's tradition because they're afraid people might not watch it otherwise if they don't get a teaser. But from fans of MLP I would have expected better. And this can't just be explained away with autism. I know that that manifest as an inability to put oneself in someone else's shoes, but that alone can't be it. It's good old non-caring about others; low social intelligence. One of the many aspects in which the MLP fandom is just like any other fandom or society in general.
A person who doesn't appreciate being surprised by a new episode, who doesn't enjoy the mystery and wait, but has so little discipline that impatience and own wants determine their decisions, has a mind imbalance. A mind that wants to control and accumulate. A tendency that also seeks to subdue the show to their will instead of respectfully bowing to its greatness and making an effort to live up to it. This issue is not limited to the MLP fandom, but manifests in many areas of society; it's a general problem.
So I had taken my personal consequences from experiences in this area, distancing myself from people and platforms where that common decency wasn't obeyed. Battle-hardened so to speak. But guess what: It's not enough.
Apparently there was a panel at a convention where they catered to that issue and published a preview. I'm quite sure they unmistakably did label it as containing spoilers (because the makers of the show are relatively mature people), but that measure ends at the fans. So what is now reality is that a song from 8 episodes from now (currently the show has summer halftime), melody and lyrics, is being covered by fans. It will likely spread. And you cannot expect spoiler warnings. Because apparently a panel being labeled "spoilers" is not enough of a hint. I do blame the panelists, too, though, because they had to know what would happen.
I remember when I was at a panel where M.A. Larson showed some writing process documents that were not for free publication, only for the panel. Filming and photos forbidden, and that clearly stated. They still had staff closely watching and enforcing that rule. Insulting demonstration of a lack of trust? Nope, smartest decision ever. Because without watchers you'd have to expect there to be jerks calling themselves bronies who would disrespect M.A. Larson himself and try to capture the document anyway. Because, you know, he's just some dude and MLP is just a damn TV show. Heard stuff like this from 'fans'.
They should have run the same rule for the panel where the song was played.
Furthermore, I was at a panel where an interview was to be done and they said no questions about the coming season would be answered in order to avoid spoilers for those who don't want that. There was moaning all throughout the audience! Many people there only cared about their own wants and didn't care about whether that would spoil things for 'their fellow bronies'.
I absolutely worship the show, but the fandom keeps disappointing me. And there's no indication for a change, because there aren't really agreed-on standards for the fandom and not enough people with the courage and/or energy to set them.
This comes shortly after an animator spoke about another aspect of the same problem complex in the fandom, about denial, and as expected people demonstrating that denial in the comment section.
And thus I am still on a quest for a healthy environment, because the sickness around me keeps making ME sick, too. Same result, but two totally opposite causes.
OK, I'll probably not find the motivation to write a full report about my experience at BUCK Con, so I'll just write smaller pieces whenever I feel like it.
While I was sitting in the Auditorium, noticing how the items that were put up for auction were very rare and thus very desirable, generating a lot of charity money, I suddenly realized:
That charity auction is an example of how Rarity inspires generosity!
Wanted to say this. To maybe make you pause and meditate.
It's based on my own experiences.
There is a staunch brony hater who calls me his friend and says he respects me.
He never hurt me. ... Maybe because I don't expect much from him.
But is it wrong to expect at least a minimum amount of decency from a fan of a show like MLP that conveys certain values and is so full of inspiring beauty?
There are self-proclaimed bronies who I, without trying to exaggerate, can only describe as vile scum, fervently perverting everything the show stands for. Sometimes their amount of denial and lack of self-awareness is borderline comical.
Dan Vs. might be another show on The Hub, but when you think "brony", an image of Dan would be among the last things popping into your head, no?
I know, I should expect these things. But it's still saddening.
Feel free to comment. For more extensive discussion, you can also talk here: http://mlpforums.com/topic/101832-some-brony-haters-are-more-decent-people-than-some-bronies
When Twilight Sparkle was made to experience her worst fear by Sombra's Door, Spike came quickly and interrupted its captivating influence. But I think without Spike, Twilight would have made it on her own, too. Spike broke the spell while she was still fully in the grasp of her fears.
The opportunity lies in allowing this to continue on its own. What would have happened is this: Exactly because it is her worst fear, it would have a devastating effect. A prolonged experience would be unbearable for her, thus creating the necessity to find her source of inner strength, to empower and call upon the little bright light of positivity buried under those fears, and because Twilight is also very smart, she would eventually figure out that this cannot be 'right'. She would stop believing that any experience she might have could be that horrible and desperate, and that refusal of belief in her fears, combined with the gained skill in tapping into her positive spirit regardless of the circumstances, would allow her to overcome them.
I know this because I have experienced a process like that with ayahuasca. That's how emotional healing works ... the hard way ... when less severe means aren't available or sufficient.
So this is actually the weakness in Sombra's Door: Less severe fears are way more tricky. People can learn to live with them, to incorporate them into their life, they don't catch attention, thus they can remain undetected. But fully experiencing one's worst fears isn't sustainable and thus carries in itself the seed of its demise. We are unwilling and unable to live with them, and when fighting this battle inside of the mind, at the end the only casualty can be the fear that struck root there. Ironically, Sombra's Door magic is too powerful to be able to prevail.
What is this ace
filled with so many wonders?
Casting his spell
That you are now under
Squirrels in the tease
and the cute little punnies
Birds flipping free
and Dowlphin pees honey
Oooh, I'm a magical ace
and I owe it all to Pinkie Pie's ways
If I knew that sound had so much up its sleeve
I'd have composed sooner, and never grieve
Yes, I move everyooooone!
What a nice celebratory mood the season is starting with, meeting old friend from the movie, connecting with the events of it, and generally welcoming so many characters to the show. Made me feel a bit like when watching Magical Mystery Cure.
But of course, as always, challenges arise...
Lovely how they're gathering from all corners after our little ponies spread the message far and wide through action...
One of those memorable moments, haha.
This outcome, this approach to things, is like another reminder that Twilight still isn't really the princess of friendship ... in my book, hah. (To me that should be Fluttershy. ... No coincidence that she has the biggest heart.)...
She's not missing either, of course...
The episode ends with me increasingly wondering. Certainly Equestria, too, is facing a constant challenge. Funnily... to preserve and cultivate a certain way of life.
Episode 2 features the visual embodiment of grief that, disturbingly, is as funny as it is sad.
(BTW Rarity really is pale in comparison. Don't believe me? Then you should verify it. Behold a pale horse every once in a while! It won't kill you.)
The hardships of having empathy...
EVERYPONY GETS A PARTY CANNON!!! ...
Pinkie Pie once again celebrating and joining in the small absurdities of life...
This kind of telegraphed itself at amplitude 11...
Here wondering whether the timing of imagery and easily misheard lyrics was intentional...
I don't think that's how it was intended, but it would be really funny...
Closing with obligatory group photo ...
This is gonna be GREAT! (Duh! )
P.S.: OMG, Silverstream is amazing!
FOREWORD: It was hard for me to get into the mood at first when right at the beginning of ep25 I was reminded of an incident a while ago where someone on the forums was inconsiderately posting spoilers about it where it didn't belong (Apparently some Hasbro spoilers I had missed because I only watch the show!) and had his behavior 100% protected and guarded by forum administration. By far not the first time I got loads of horseapples from that direction (and other areas of the fandom), that's why I stay away from there now and only write in the blog part. It got too infuriating again lately to observe the fertile ground for growing problems. ... The insanity of the world, you know.
... Now to some talking pastel ponies in magic land.
I will write this commentary roughly along the timeline and in the format of the thoughts that came up while watching.
So the mane 6 and Spike, all of them, go into an intense book-hitting,... but they didn't recruit Starlight Glimmer?!
The paradise of Equestria, where chewing on pencils is (for anatomical reasons) totally fine:
No heartcrossing or toflyhoping this time...
Who needs to decypher old ponish to figure out it's the Temple of Ponehenge if you got a picture of the location?
Sooo... I can't stop hearing "Pwnhenge".
Once again AJ is skittling. (Tasting the rainbow.) She did that strikingly often during the beginning of the show. This is almost like a little nostalgia reference:
When Starswirl said they didn't come to defeat the Pony of Shadows (who for brevity and hilarity I will just call "PoS" from now on ) but to contain him, I thought: Well, imprisoning him in a realm where no time passes kinda is defeating. Just as you can explode twice, you can defeat someone twice.
So that other dimension to banish the PoS to is called "Limbo". The show keeps picking up mythical concepts of past times, heh. My little Popeny
When the mane 6 started collecting artifacts we learned that AJ suddenly has powers beyond what we would have imagined. That rock she kicked away was disturbingly big. ... Must have been pumice. I wish Maud had been there to comment. Was certainly very conveniently timed, but we can attribute that to the time constraints of the show finale.
In the same style we also learn that Rarity is a super-gardener who can, like if at all we would only have imagined Twilight Sparkle, magically transform an overgrown mess into a royal palace garden with lots of healthy plants that all somehow seemed to merely have been covered by ugly half-dead vegetation. And in the process she can get all kinds of stuff in her hair despite merely pointing her horn all around.
It is so easy to make Pinkie Pie happy.
When Twilight had finally made a mess, I thought she should have listened to Starlight and have a plan B ready. Dunno why I assumed the plan was specifically designed to only bring back the wardens. - Oh well, opportunity for finally resolving the issue. Not unlike the Nightmare Moon thing.
Why, oh, why was Twilight so hasty with saving them when they were all trapped in a timeless state? OK, we later learn why, but it was already apparent here that she did it out of fan-admiration reasons, because obviously Equestria didn't really need the aid of Starswirl.
Personal note: Fans can indeed be quite selfish.
Starswirl then reveals that he's not the scholar we assumed when he said the words "for a millennia", when it is "for a millennium". OK, maybe the long banishment caused him to confuse singular and plural. Maybe the portal was a plurality and should have been a singularity! Another theory would be that this was related to another thing I noticed in that scene: Why is nopony there speaking old ponish? Did they slip in a translation spell in there without saying? Starswirl and his gang shouldn't be able to communicate with the ponies of the present.
At the castle was one of my favorite scenes because it listed the elemental association - I'm into that meaningful symbolic stuff:
hope -> Pinkie Pie (laughter) ... more like hop strength -> Applejack (honesty)
beauty -> Rarity (generosity)
bravery -> Rainbow Dash (loyalty)
healing -> Fluttershy (kindness)
sorcery -> Twilight Sparkle (magic)
You might know about the AJ+RD elemental confusion thesis, and here I would say if you swapped the two again, you could see how being honest requires one to be brave and how it takes inner strength to remain loyal. But apparently the associations from the old crew were not to match to the new elements so much as to the traits of the ponies. Fluttershy has a big heart, and that is THE source of healing. But laughter can also be healing, and hope can come from the heart, so there's another ambiguity there. One could really dive deep into philosophy here. The unicorns, Rarity and Twilight, had the most straightforward and fitting associations.
Alright, moving on.
Seems like an obvious nod to the MLP movie. (Which I haven't watched yet, but it is neigh-impossible to escape this iconic aspect of it.)
Then Starlight tried to console Twilight by saying "You didn't know it would happen." and my playful mind added "And I wish I had warned you. ... Oh wait."
Then Twilight goes and in still not having learned her lesson, tries to fix the problem by applying the same mindset yet again.
Then in a later scene her friends defend her against Starswirl's skepticism by saying she doesn't do anything half-way. Oh really? Didn't the whole crisis stem from Twilight doing a risky maneuver of pulling beings out of a prison dimension without planning for fixing it if it turns out to be a bad idea? I would call that literally half-way.
Twilight getting words of approval from Starswirl: The face of fangasmic life fulfillment.
When Starlight finally suggested talking to the PoS, I was like: Yeah, that was like my very first though. The PoS seemed quite open and talkative after the summoning.
This is maybe part of the progress the realm has made over the idea of glorious fighting against evil. It represents a summary of past successes in Equestria, showing how the old ways are for the past and the new ways are more powerful, have more heart. (This is a lesson our world is struggling with heavily.)
Starswirl is basically too much of an old grump, inflexible as people can get with age, carrying a grudge against Stygian.
Starlight, you've been through this in the past: When someone keeps making mistakes and you see what's happening, see the folly unfold, you gotta be assertive!
Then we have a flackback scene where - as another franchise nod - we see sirens troubling the lands. And when they showed banishing them in another Limbo portal, I thought: Hmm, maybe he accidentally chose the wrong dimension? I could imagine where they ended up.
Land of the pink moon! Sold!
And a nice fadeover with pink again:
The theme around the resolution of this little story is again a bit relatable to me, since I do a lot of sociological observation, and as quite often, I see a bit of sad irony or hidden lesson here.
The 'heroes' habitually take the credit for their deeds, but forget to credit those who made valuable contribution behind the scenes, if you will. (I am reminded a bit of the latest Daring Do episode - different point but related issue.)
And here comes the kicker: It is happening again. At the very moment they resolve the issue with Stygian, what do we see? Twilight Sparkle again being lauded as the Princes of Friendship, how she always manages to bring friendship into the world, as if SHE wasn't the clumsy student who needs her friend's help time and again, and here I was amazed at how well Starlight took it, considering she was the actual hero of the story. At that point I totally expected Twilight to mention how it was Starlight who practiced the magic of friendship there. Instead she had to bring it up by herself and got a brief seemingly humbled remark from Starswirl that contained the word "I" but not "you". I found that really vexing especially in the context of what had just happened. And as if that wasn't enough, at Canterlot Castle Starswirl again showered Twilight with praise about the magic of friendship. I mean, OK, I get it that Twilight reformed Starlight, but that, too, was something she only managed thanks to the support of her friends.
Only in the very last seconds, in a kind of "in private" moment, Twilight made a gesture of giving credit. As if her reputation or anything forbade her from giving credit publicly.
Starswirl said: "In turning away from others, you hurt yourself as well." And I feel compelled to connect that to my real life experience, because things are easily said as if they were universal rules. Sometimes turning away is the healthier option, or the only one. Some challenges are far too great. Although that is where concentrated virtue like with the mane 6 can pull it off. Stygian might not have seen a chance back then, being one pony against the group. We don't know the kind of energy that has accumulated among them. If a whole group turns away from one person, if they all share the same issue, there are some nasty energies going around.
This is why what is very powerful is to accept things the way they are in order to change them. They couldn't have defeated the PoS with condemnation, without accepting that he existed because of what came before.
You cannot change the past, only learn from it.
A few thoughts that I had while watching the awesome finale:
1) Tabitha St. Germain does a pretty good job giving Rarity and Luna different voices, but during the singing part, I realized that maybe they should have looked for a different singing VA for Luna (= not Kazumi Evans), because I think no one did not notice how Luna's singing sounded identical to Rarity's singing.
Hell, if nothing else worked, maybe they could just have done some careful pitch-lowering in post-processing. It just felt way too weird to hear Rarity sing from Luna's mouth.
2) Did you notice that Luna was uncredited for a long time? I'm not sure right now, but the first time her VA appeared in the credits in connection to Luna might have been in the beginning of season 3.
3) It took Twilight a while to think about Discord's bookmarks (it was obvious to me right away), and it makes sense considering she didn't really accept him as a friend, and then she said that she hates to admit that Discord might have been trying to be a good friend after all. ... What the hay? Now how is that meant?! Why do you hate being wrong about your belief that Discord hasn't changed? Shouldn't you be happy that you might have been wrong, hm?
Just as you should be happy when you were wrong a moment later when you told Pinkie regarding the key and the box "I don't think that's gonna work." and it did work.
Twilight Sparkle didn't believe in Discord's change because she had trouble with changing herself.
But she is/was also delusional, because while sometimes she is open about her resentment for Discord, at one point in the finale she said:
"How can he do this? I thought our friendship meant something to him."
This sounds quite arrogant. She merely tolerated Discord, like an inconvenient necessity to keep in check, and then she says something like that.
All I can say is that I have witnessed this degree of trouble comprehending basics of friendship and sincerity in people, so I'm not saying this is unrealistic. It's just that I'd have expected better from Twilight Sparkle. ... Hm, then again... I sometimes say the same about real life people.
So Twilight said: "I thought he had changed". But her attitude towards him didn't change that much.
Someone once told me something I'd call remarkable spiritual wisdom that's worth exploring:
People change once you change your perception of them.
This ties into the next point...
4) Some people say they expected Discord to be playing Tirek for a fool, but not me. I think he did the betrayal because he didn't experience much friendship from the mane 6 except from Fluttershy, so his old life was still enough of a temptation. He felt like Fluttershy was merely providing him an anchor of friendship in an otherwise unaccepting social environment.
If anyone deserves the title "Princess of Friendship", it should be Fluttershy. I empathize a lot with her regarding this matter, and had I been around in Equestria, I'd be the best of friends with Discord, especially in tandem with Fluttershy. (But maybe this is also because of my Pinkie nature.)
5) Then there was that huge plot issue that was like the absolute low point of the finale writing:
Virtually everypony in Equestria knows about Alicorn Princess Twilight, yet Celestia thinks she can 'hide' the fact that there is a fourth princess and have their magic safely tucked away in Twilight.
The huge blunder with the stained glass window was just the icing on the cake that further underlined how she totally didn't think this through.
6) There was a remarkable scene where Discord was robbed of his magic. He mixed his old ambition with his new virtues and thus put trust in a villain, as Fluttershy would have done.
It is then very nothworthy and surely fully intended by the writers how just like Fluttershy a moment before regarding Discord's betrayal, Discord, once betrayed by Tirek, weepily said the same thing, that he didn't see it coming. Identical dialogue. This underlines how much influence Fluttershy as a true friend had on him, while he was lacking the strength and virtue of the friendship from the other five ponies, thus he probably sought it from Tirek.
7) The end credits state Tabitha St. Germain as the VA for Photo Finish. Where did Photo Finish speak? I didn't notice that.
8) It would have been cool if the alicorn-depowerment left them looking somewhat different, Luna for example in her season 1 look, and Celestia maybe without her mane multicoloring. Also, while it was probably impossible due to lack of the necessary writer foresight, it would have been neat if Luna's flank speckles turned out to be something she got due to her Nightmare Moon phase. (But we already saw a kind of 1000 year flashback where she had them, so this would have been a contradiction.)
Oh well, speckles aren't anything uncommon for horses, so I guess it's fine.
9) And now... I invite you to check out the 12 caption pictures I made to express various other brief thoughts that came up during watching the finale as well as hunting for good frame captures. I didn't link the pictures here directly because the descriptions are part of that style of my commentary.
I watched that episode a second time now and my mind was quite active, so this is roughly what the title says: I'll write down the thoughts I had while watching the episode. Times mentioned are estimates/rounded. Enjoy/discuss!
Ms. Harshwhinnie reprimands Rainbow Dash and asks her to show more professionalism. ... And I thought: Professionalism, hm? Like reprimanding Rainbow Dash and threatening to take away her coach role right in front of the whole school class?
The CMC are trying to think of what's special about Ponyville. Eventually Scootaloo says: "It's a place where different kinds of ponies live together as friends."
Soooo... does that mean that other places like Manehattan or Canterlot are racist and/or practice segregation? Is it a taboo to be friends with a different type of pony elsewhere? :okiedokielokie:
I had to laugh at the fact that their walking is totally not in sync with the rhythm. So apparently this is not reserved for fan-made PMVs. Wouldn't have expected that.
When the Terrible Two did their psychological warfare, mocking the CMC for not having cutie marks, I looked at theirs and thought: Man! This would be such a great job for reformed Discord! What an awesome episode that would make!
We see/hear, as a first in the show, audible thoughts - from Rainbow Dash. But Ms. Harshwhinnie's urge to be professional is 'still warm'. It's not like people with Alzheimer are watching. I remember wishing for this feature in other situations, in earlier episodes, where it would have made things feel a lot more natural, and then the first time they use it, it's not necessary at all in order for the scene to work properly. -_-
When Rainbow Dash tells Scootaloo that she doesn't have to fly during the flag carrying segment of the Equestria Games if she can't, that this is what makes Ponyville so special, I couldn't help but think: Errrr... like ... special...olympics?
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Who didn't know when reading the title that this would be an AJ-and-Dashie episode?
Fluttershy being Teacher of the Month at a friendship school all the time is well-deserved. I keep emphasizing how her big heart and thus great capacity for loving and compassion makes her predestined for it, as she showed by authentically being a friend to Discord during his troubled phase.
What is worth pointing out and being puzzled about though is that this is the ninth win. That means nine months have passed since the founding of the school. Why would the writers want to do such a large jump? That could become inconvenient in the future. ... Continuity and consistency were never strong points of the writing. (Noticed how during the canoe adventure Silverstream and Ocellus threw away their helmets and their safety vests vanished and when they shapeshifted back they were wearing both? OK, that's a minor, borderline thing, but it's one thing that just came to my attention.)
Fluttershy suggesting AJ and Dashie do the field trip together was so along the lines of her teacher expertise. She observed quietly and then pointed out the obvious solution. It came across as an almost trolling-level idea, but was actually quite like a Salomonic judgment. She's totally pwning her colleagues. Again, deservedly Teacher of the Month. She's got it figured out.
I had some tiny hope though that Twilight Sparkle expected it to go wrong when she sends AJ and Dashie on a non-competitive, teamwork-oriented mission. - Nope. "I can't believe this. You're not teaching teamwork. You're competing with each other." - She thought they were past that? What made her think that? How much time to they actually spend together off-camera? I would assume enough, considering Pinkie even pointed out to everybody that a potted plant would be better at it than those two.
Let me take a jab a Twilight here and exclaim how I can't believe she lied to Celestia in the theater episode. Heh.
Since they got so many different species around now, they're not saying "everypony" anymore, but "everycreature". This seems odd to me, since there are our "everybody" and "everyone". But I could assume this is with the idea that "everycreature" emerged from THEIR world and need to find a new word, and that is also maybe wants to be in-your-face about how they made a move of racial inclusion. I'm just wondering whether that's also the word that everybody used in their world when not referring to ponies. For example, what do yaks say among themselves? Everyyak?
Now, the issue with AJ an Dashie was one of those things I like to briefly bring to philosophical attention, a case of a rigid mind trying to twist even the opposite of something into the same, basically showing the infinite power of self-deception.
That they would eventually teach by bad example was, too, kinda announcing itself as early as reading the episode title, haha. I am just glad Twilight scheduled another test right away instead of giving them the award anyway. And after all, they have a whole month left to work on internalizing the experience and lesson.
I'm just worried that month might pass like nothing. Considering how quickly the previous nine went by, hah.
P.S.: Seeing the friendship school architecture from so many internal angles makes me wish I had been able to learn in such an environment. It is an amazing building. Never underestimate the impact such beautiful art can have on the heart, which lays the groundwork for the teachings.
That's what I imagined Twilight telling her.
The episode had its highlights, but they were quite timid and enjoyed best without pointing them all out.
In the beginning, Celestia thinks theater brings out the best in people. Well, dunno about Equestria, but in our realm there often seems to be lots of jealousy, competitive friction and big egoes involved.
When Pinkie showed she counts the times AJ told her not to do something, I thought, well, that shows she cares, hehe.
When Celestia was whispering her lines, I thought: She really needs Rainbow Dash for voice coaching. (LOUDEEEER!!!!)
The plot was very predictable early-on, and although I foresaw awkwardness, I didn't expect the execution to be THAT bad, and it really didn't have to be. (But sense for the power of subtlety seems to be an art.) In a way, the intriguing point about this episode was that it had a theme of really bad acting while the episode itself has a badly executed script.
The lesson of telling the truth is really getting old, and while I understand the pressures that made Twilight make the mistake yet again, Celestia said at one point: "Didn't Applejack remind you that telling the truth is always better than a well-meant lie?" ... Hmm, didn't we have an episode involving AJ that conveyed something slightly different? About sparing someone's feelings?
And Celestia really has to try hard to be that bad at acting, especially since she just needs to be herself. For her sake, she's a thousand years old. One should pick up a thing or two. During theater lessons she's outright acting like she has a mental handicap. All very forced and exaggerated. That's so not her. Someone who is excited about theater would love to play pretend, and it got even weirder when she suddenly started giving Fluttershy acting tips. How can someone who is so passionate about something be so horrible at it, and how can someone so horrible at it be able to teach it? That seems unnatural and contradictory. Then in the end she must have unlocked an achievement or something, because suddenly she could act. But there wasn't really anything preventing her from utilizing that passion before for the stage play.
Pinkie's unaware-ironic fireworks line then was as clumsy as it gets. Again, really bad acting, hah. It wasn't even delivered in Pinkie's usual way where SHE likes to play the dramas of life.
P.S. (Pinkie scriptum): The balloon WAS the perfect substitute for the sun? Don't tell me Pinkie only has ONE giant yellow balloon in stock! I refuse to believe that! What kind of world is that supposed to be?!
UPDATE: When re-watching parts of the episode, I noticed someone is really not amused by this interruption of the night. "If my coat is getting pale, I'm gonna give YOU a tar coat!" - Damn cheaters, right?
- Very obvious, predictable lesson. (Title basically spoiler.)
- Rainbow Dash.
- Old people.
- Some other main character ah can't remember right now.
- No Fluttershy.
- No Pinkie Pie.
- No Luna.
Couldn't get excited about this one.
Was also a bit too far-fetched how a pegasus like Rainbow Dash could get excited about a rollercoaster. She must be pulling way more g's half the time she's flying around.
Kudos though for successfully putting a crystal meth reference in a kids' show.
As I would say: Another "My Little Phony" episode.
By the way, very funny: Ponies Rarity asked to run her fashion shop before asking Fluttershy, apparently in that order: Rainbow Dash!! Pinkie Pie!! Twilight Sparkle - OK! Applejack - OK! she has experience from an earlier episode, she should have been first choice! Starlight Glimmer - OK! Still better than Twilight. :-P Big Mac!! Cheerilee - OK I guess. Granny Smith - oh dear! DJ Pon3?! CMC!!! Maud ... uh ... no idea, actually. I certainly wouldn't place her last though.
A cynical episode. One of MLP's messages is "be yourself", now it's pretending for wacky people to make money. OK, surely just as another lesson, and a new environment can bring back challenges thought mastered earlier.
(Caption typo. Can't be donkeyed to correct it.)
So judging by Rarity's average clientele, it's a whole lot of playing pretend in the Manehattan fashion scene. Should come as no surprise. It's kind of in its nature where people wrap themselves in ever-fancier garments like the daily bread.
The lesson is if you're assuming characters to please others, the greatest danger is that you might start to like it too much. It can become a convenience, a hiding place. It's all external. Being oneself and empowering THAT can be hard, and Fluttershy is a sensitive pony thrown into an environment where that applies very much. (So you see, roleplaying can have love or fear as driving motivation.)
I could also imagine that subconsciously she ended up spiting the customers with her roleplay because that's how she felt inside and wanted to vent that. She was using the pretentiousness to shun the pretentiousness; becoming a living mockery.
An angle I also consider in all this is that the shop clientele are struggling with the same issue as Fluttershy here. It's game that you either join and coerce others to join, too, or you make an effort to transcend it and heal yourself and others.
Fluttershy needed help there. She was overpowered by the situation.