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S8E16 - Friendship University - brief picture commentary

== Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==   Or as I like to call it: Fakebook University   Flim Flam brothers - realized that from the flyer, even before seeing the two podiums. Well, who else could it have been anyway?   This was a bit hard to watch because I despise this corruption so much. They take something authentic and then pervert it. And there's no hope for them at friendship school. They like what they're doing too much.
And people are deceived so easily by fancy facades, because there's a core of corruption in them, too, that connects to these things.
Why do the two still not have a widespread reputation though?!   The moment they said accredited, I knew Neighsay was involved.
And Starswirl's appearance at this place was of course announced in the intro.
Neighsay would surely be informed about the scam that went on, but he won't take issue. He has a personal agenda. This might escalate during the next ten episodes or so.   Twi is really bad at rhetorics, as usual. She still DOES have her difficulties with friendship though, so that might be why. She's certainly not a knight in shining armor when it comes to that.
But this was basically following a standard storytelling pattern. They do not have the power to deviate from the script. ... Well, Pinkie maybe, heheh. BTW, buttwings.   Uhm, the guy probably just doesn't know Twilight, or is COMPLETELY DENSE because that's obviously an ALICORN before him!
Couldn't the writers/animators have put at least a little bit of believability into it?
Although this would explain how so many ponies are still falling for Film-Flam scams. They must be horribly backwards there.   Twi violated a most basic rule of poking around: Always have someone stand guard.
Also, by now they should know how to deal with Flim and Flam - document THEIR revelation to her. But again, wait for it. This is standard formula storytelling.
By the way, to make it a bit less formulaic, she could have turned their phoniness against them and point out how THEY are not practicing friendship towards her either. That would have been interesting.   Oh mare, she could just incinerate the photo or something! I mean, they're already playing dirty, after all, and Twi only has some serious alicorn magic at her disposal! This is so cringey.   And here we see a portrayal of special promo deals with cooperative/willing/naive celebrities.
I must say, Flim-Flam episodes provide a valuable awareness-raising service to society. ... Well, if it's not just flying over people's heads like it so often does.   LOL, no, you DON'T have something on her, because she was right! To the contrary, this is even more rep for her and her friendship-powered instinct, so to speak.
I don't know why she still says she's OK if her rep is ruined.   Standing up for what you know is true is not only tricky, but can be so much harder in real-life. ... Especially when you're not fooling yourself with that belief. Speaking truth can be a revolutionary act, and the more you're suffering for it, the more it is usually a signal you're on the right path. I say it's tricky, because you can take the Flim-Flam episode itself as an indication how people can deceive themselves in their belief about what's true, too.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

S8E15 - The Hearth's Warming Club - brief picture commentary

== Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==   I still can't get used to "everycreature" when "everybody" or "anyone" would be fine.   Yeah, that looks ... well, not cool, but amazing. Kinda... heartwarming. Or heartpinking. In any case, sounds like Dashie is thawing a little, hehe. ... Well, or not.   You can all fly! Why not go through the window in pursuit lke the perpetrator?!   BAD example, Dash! The door might have been a decoy. You didn't actually see the cloaked one enter there. This is so forced and a painful reset of Mane 6 evolution, especially after the Chrysalis episode. And even though they later said they had a suspicion, it was still painful to watch and a suspicion - at some undetermined point - isn't enough to be this outright mean.   The Changelings celebration interpretation segment was an amusing relief to the previous mood; a highlight.   This was a real "WAIT, WHAT?!" moment there because she definitely did not say "Seaquestria, but "Sequestria".   Griffins' blue moon festival sounds a lot like I know human Christmas, at least the preparation phase. But as the episode showed, dissonance can occur especially during holidays.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

S8E14 - A Matter of Principals - brief picture commentary

== Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==   I find it puzzling how Twilight is confident Starlight will do just fine as headmare, but does she just expect her to find a bunch of replacement teachers in a jiffy??   This is likely further teasing of their similarity. Nice one, Discord.   This brief scene "BE MY FRIEND!!!" reminded me so much of Fluttershy in Best Night Ever that I'm wondering whether it was an intentional reference.   Did you notice? When the school fades from nighttime to daytime here, the crest above the courtyard entrance vanishes! (It is there in other daytime shots though, so the animators messed up in the one shot where it really mattered because of the direct comparison. - And this is not when the Mane 6 left, but much later.) During the daytime shot there was also Discord's weird floatey animal thingie on the upper right, but I edited it out.   She only banished his body - in a way that looked quite devastating - and now his ghost is here? But a ghost is not a spirit or energy body or such. A ghost implies a dead being! Did she temporarily kill Discord?!

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

S8E13 Mean 6 - picture commentary

== Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) ==  == Spoiler Prevention Spacer (patent pending) == a.k.a. Discord Reloaded                        

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

S8E12 Marks for Effort - picture commentary

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Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E24 Uncommon Bond - brief commentary

There are some thematic similarities to the episode Forever Filly, but more basically this was a total unicorn episode. Maud was the only non-unicorn, but she fit in just fine because of the theme. The issue I see portrayed here that the episode sadly didn't even quite touch on due to it being like a unicorn mind bubble is that friendship based on common interests alone, not on interest in each other, is a relatively weak friendship. It's a wholly different level to base it on deeper bonds than just shared interests. New discoveries and all matters of the mind might delight the heart, but when they are gone, so is the delight. And usually just being together a lot in childhood creates a strong bond by itself, but here we saw an example where that, too, was just based on shared interests. (I have a deliberately puzzling saying to sum this up: "True friendship is nothing personal.")
Thus, Starlight was closed to just sharing joy with her friend, to generate/practice friendship instead of just expecting to reap the fruits. Her openness is very conditional; her friendship is not practiced in appreciation of itself. Once again I am reminded how Fluttershy should be the actual princess of friendship. She is very heart-focused, and that's where the source of potentially infinite strength lies. In fact, because of how she helped Discord, she should be the Princess Of Mighty Friendship (POMF). And since Pinkie Pie's element is laughter, she should be the Princess of Neighs (PoNeigh). But I digress. This episode could maybe also be considered somewhat autism-themed, since these things seem typical troubles that autistic people face in their life. This would at least explain why the resolution was very modest and still based on the characters' traits that caused the trouble in the first place. A doing-what-works kind of approach that also preserves their character archetypes. When Starlight commented on how the warehouse looked smaller on the outside, that was an amusing self-joke. Who didn't think exactly that? "Where the hay is that huge warehouse in Ponyville? Never seen it before." Judging by the bed scene, Sunburst seems to have gotten too used to wearing his robe. Or maybe the reason he is wearing it all the time is because he's got some kind of insecurity. Starlight seems to know, since she's not inquiring about it. This is the same kind of oddity as with Fluttershy in an early episode. It's generally a bit of a downer to me if the writers ignore the characters' pony nature and just make them act like pony-shaped humans. I found the brief Maud comedy dialogue very witty. Selfless humor, all in the perception, not in the performer. But then she kinda blew it and revealed she's just got a Cmdr. Data approach to it. From the show audience perspective it still worked though. She was funny when she claimed she wasn't and then wasn't funny when she claimed she was.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E23 Secrets and Pies - prief pommentary

I like to say there's no such thing as a bad Fluttershy episode, but I have to and gladly will expand that to Pinkie episodes. Not much more to say here. I just enjoyed it way too much to do an analysis. And I love the idea of half-birthdays. Such a pinkie thing. Pinkie.Scriptum.: When it comes to hugs, she knows what she's doing. If the hug is too tight, you are too tight. Oh and did anyone else see this for a brief moment?... ( I've drawn this myself. https://dowlphin.deviantart.com/art/Antlerjack-710062236 ) I definitely had to raise awareness of severe pie deficiency a moment later...  

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E22 Once Upon a Zeppelin - brief commentary

Not much to say for me on details here. Slight connections to Fame and Misfortune. When Twilight made a deal with Iron Will, the problem and likely chain of events was obvious. They need to take the helm and do what Iron Will had in mind, but their way, through sincerity. A bit of a soft mutiny, maybe. Twilight could still improve her leadership skills there. Maybe get some assertiveness lessons from Fluttershy? (Oh well, as I said, it was predictable that things would turn out that way in the end anyway. Just make sure you apply this awareness to your life, too.) I just found it very unlikely how Twilight could miss the Northern Stars, considering she was looking in their direction, with only the ship's cabin blocking the view. Lesson: Don't make deals with crooks, but set them straight, set proper standards. That contract wasn't even legit, considering nopony but Twilight's parents signed it. But apart from that, while law is a worthwhile concept, there are higher virtues that trump it. The Dao De Jing puts kindness over justice. The former is more powerful than the latter, i.e. it does not practice justice, yet somehow takes care of its concerns, too. It is a really good book that I would suggest Twilight to read, so here's the segment from it that I am referring to, from a modern-language version (http://www.beatrice.com/TAO-pamphlet.pdf): 38.
People with integrity
don't even think about it.
That's how you can tell
they have integrity.
Other people talk about
how much integrity they have,
when they really don't have much.
If any. Truly powerful people
don't do anything,
but they get the job done.
Other people are always busy
doing something,
but nothing ever gets done. When kind people act,
they do so without thinking about it.
When the just act,
they're always sure
they're doing the right thing.
But when the righteous act,
and nobody reacts,
they try to force everyone
to do things their way. If you're not in touch with Tao,
at least you can still have integrity.
If you don't have integrity,
there's always kindness.
If you don't have kindness,
there's always justice.
If you don't have justice,
all you have left is righteousness.  

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E21 Marks and Recreation - brief commentary

Right at the beginning when I saw Kettle Corn, I was like: Woah! Bagua calligraphy! ^^
The haiku thing then made it pretty clear that hers is an Asian arts theme. In case you didn't know, circle painting is a very profound practice about reading and getting to know yourself and your interaction with the world and ensuing inner state. I also want to point out that writing a haiku is about more than the 5-7-5 format. Good haikus contain a bit of a turn of expected events or such, surprising the reader in an enlightening-entertaining way. - An example of mine: On the mountain's peak
Eagles circling beneath me
Sky reaches so deep The episode touches many angles all worth pondering. Rumble was a bit of a wakeup call for the CMC's 'just doing their thing' and becoming a bit inflexible in their mind that way. Him being driven by own issues and rallying others to seek external affirmation and avoidance is of course another common theme, but in that he also had a teacher role. The CMC were right though that cutie marks have a mind on their own (I would say they're a symptom of the inherent Equestrian magic of the land) and one can always trust them to be a wise guide. We probably don't have to mention that it was kinda obvious what Rumble's issue was early-on. But as I said, in a way only half of his issue was in lack of understanding (of his older brother) on his part. The other half was in the CMC's lack of realizing what was going on. This episode's lesson is close to me because I have experienced something like this myself. I once participated in something meant to heal and guide, but the organizers were so used to just doing their thing again and again that they got stuck in a rut and had become a bit inflexible in their mind, going in opposition to what the healing and guidance is supposed to be all about. But that served an important purpose, a little crisis that needed to be experienced by all involved. And that's also the spirit of MLP episodes. Conflict arises as a means to shed light on things that need to be resolved.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E20 A Health of Information - brief commentary

Two episodes with Zecora in a row. Nice. Maybe the writers, as I, thought that she hadn't been around for such a long time that she deserves the extra screen time.
And a whole episode full of Fluttershy. Sweeeeeeet! OK, some throughs while watching: - How can Zecora possibly not know about those flowers? She seems to know those flash bees, she's pretty much a herbal witch at home in the place, she knows about poison joke, but not about what those blue flowers can do that are floating around, falling from trees? - Fluttershy being out of breath from running to the castle... Why didn't she just fly? Is she really faster on hoof than flying? - When she presented the situation to Twilight, it was probably just to not waste episode time and because miscommunication wasn't a tool of the plot, but to me as a communication buff it is always a joy to witness right-to-the-point talk like that, haha. She might have picked that up from Pinkie Pie. - They were so worried about Zecora coughing bubbiles, but I don't find that so bad. Ask Pinkie Pie what she thinks about this. - I kinda expected that Zecora would eventually lose her ability to rhyme, heh. Those weird blue flower diseases like to shake things up massively. - The two 'Fluttershy door puzzles' in a row were kinda hilarious. All those technical points aside, the message of this episode was very dear to me. ( And it was a Fluttershy episode! Always a huge plus!  )
She cares so much for others that she can through cases like this enter an extreme imbalance that helps no one. After all, maybe the information about the mask WAS there in the book all along, as visualized, but she was too tired to make the connection. Then again...
What was a bit of the usual odd writing though was that in three days our smart pony Twilight couldn't figure out a solution. (But these maneuvers are kinda common in writing, actually.) Another closely related lesson of the episode is that when you obsess too much over something, your mind blocks itself from utilizing things like intuition and calm observation. Sometimes you just gotta sleep over it to see more clearly.  

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E18 Daring Done - brief commentary

This episode starts with Pinkie pronking (you guys!). My favorite part of the episode. I found the not well thought-out adventure chees a bit too much at times...
Walking straight across a straight bridge blindfolded shouldn't be that hard for a pony, and you can also sense the edge with your hooves if necessary, not to mention its movements giving away your center of gravity. The leap of faith thing was an obvious Indiana Jones reference; no surprise in this episode, hah. But them not seeing the steam vents until they jumped was odd, not to mention them being oddly powerful, giving that scene a very strong arcade jump&run game flavor, and the fact that flying was disabled in the interior space of the pyramid didn't help, ha-ha. Immediately made me think of World of Warcraft. That scene and the whole episode made me think of a "jump&pronk" game starring Pinkie Pie. (That would actually have been a good episode title, haha.) When Rainbow Dash was captured by the villain, I thought: Why didn't she just fly off? But then when she was tied up she wasn't gagged and thus could scream for help. All seems like they tried to fit so much into the episode that they cut corners to a degree beyond the normal. And then finally the villain publicly reveals his plan, but then is surprised by the backlash. This is a lot cheesier than what it is based on, touching on self-parody territory. Oh and then the fact that Daring Do seems to care so much about the villager that she rescues them from danger, but doesn't bother talking to them. Reads newspaper articles about the mess she actually left and cannot figure out by herself that maybe she could help them clean up and/or explain why it happened. Dr. Caballero wasn't really the problem here, he simply exploited a void of communication. Even for a kids' show the writing quality was a bit borderline. I can only assume that maybe they wanted to cram too much into one episode and the playtime limit necessitated such crude simplifications. In closing, and in the spirit of this episode featuring Pinkie (Actually, I don't need that excuse, haha), two conclusion I took from the episode: 1) Idol worship is idle worship. 2) Daring Do turned more into Caring Do.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E16 To Change a Changeling - brief commentary

Interesting. First Thorax episode two eps ago and this one has a similar approach: Mess things up and that fixes the problem. Actually not that rare, actually, if you think about it. Starlight and Trixie themselves weren't the friendship problem this time as severely as Spike. But it was close. But more or less many episodes follow this pattern. When does the first attempt at solving the problem ever succeed? Exceptions from that are a delight to me. Magical Mystery Cure comes to mind. I am so glad they didn't have more time to drag that out. Pretty early it was obvious to me the way to help Pharynx was to give him purpose again. There's a reason he was the only one preserving the old way. A pendulum that swung to the other side needed to come to the middle. No one left behind, so to speak. Beautiful role reversal writing: Thorax used to be in a very similar situation as Pharynx was now. Also, in how in the end Pharynx transformed, this episode expressed a very profound spiritual lesson: From acceptance comes change. P.S.: I'll never get used to ponies walking on three legs while talking with their hoof. The animators should really focus on making them more expressive in other ways if they feel it necessary. It's mindbuck to me every time. Something I'd expect to see in a YTP video and laugh. P.P.S.: Maulwurf - German word for mole. Nice easy pun for a mauling menace.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E15 Triple Threat - commentary

OK, let's see. A secretly-entertaining-two-guests story. Not sure whether we had that before. Watching it didn't leave me with enough energy to investigate.
The problem became visible quite soon, too.
In such episodes that can be difficult to watch because so formulaic, especially for a season 7 ep, the little things provide the contrast. Spike exclaiming: "Fighting! Yes!" was very funny, and also Twilight's extreme portrayal towards Ember, or the reaction to the claim she is so much like Starlight.
I just personally don't enjoy this story archetype easily.
It did advance the character stories though, so that became the main driving purpose. I found it personally disappointing that Ponyville folk is scared of pink fire breath.  I mean, seriously, how much nicer can you make a searing wave of air? Sneezing cotton candy? ... OH HEYYYY! IDEA! What I found really good stuff was how Muffin Murderer  - I mean Ember - had difficulty telling Twilight and Starlight apart. Might seem absurd to us, but it happens in interspecies relations or even interracial. One is being used to facial features and general appearance of one's own kind and less used to distinguishing detail of others. That might have been hinted at here. Ember has a different perception, calibrated to dragons. Although execution in detail would then leave some questions, since Ember remarks how colorful everything is in Ponyville, indicating that she does have good color perception. Hm, maybe she just has trouble distinguishing different hues of purple. Hmmmm, but Twilight has wings and Starlight hasn't. OK, forget all that, I think she just has an attention deficit. The coffee cup scene and possibly others before in the show indicate that the sun is traveling across the sky, really making me wonder why Celestia has to raise it in the morning if it's moving on its own anyway. I think this is just inconsistency and I find it a bit sad when Equestria is assimilated too much to our world's ways instead of celebrating the differences. (Twilight or Pinkie eating flowers seemed a rare case from long time ago underlining their... ponyness? Equinity? ) The charge scene between Ember and Thorax was so ridiculously time-warped that it has to be called a parody, but it didn't quite click with me. Probably reminded me too much of Naruto, LOL. In essence, the topic of this episode was, again, severe neurosis. Don't we love our neurotic Equestrians? (Must be something in the water, considering Ember and Thorax acted refreshingly natural.) But it also showed how focus on positive outcomes can help with that. The whole complex of lessons that emerged is beautiful though because in order to solve the friendship problem, Spike was prompted to change himself. He experienced the cause first-hand, him being the problem. So the message is that we create a better world by bettering ourselves and that being a teacher also means being a student.
And then Ember and Thorax help each other solve their problems, so this episode towards the end severely gained 'meaty bits'. Spike then learned, which should relate him to Discord, that sometimes you can be a more passive influence, less controlling, just a catalyst for bringing about the solution through crisis. Problems are teachers and people can assume that role. That's OK, too. ... As long as you don't make it your purpose in life, right?

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E14 Fame and Misfortune - commentary

First, the theme of the episode seemed excessive in the execution. But it's not exactly rare that the writers do that and go all the way, like here with what amounts to mass insanity, making one wonder why the mane 6's popularity never seemed to have been received like this before the book publishing. Second, the episode obviously conveys the point that if you adress the masses, better not let them know you too well and let you not know them too well. It's not desirable and not good, but sometimes the world can be tough as nails. But these situations are exactly where one has to decide to make an effort, to not just swim with the current, because the water stinks. Identify what is your sphere of responsibility and what is others and then avoid overextending. Going out of your way is commendable, but responses to that should be taken as indicators of whether it is appreciated. Which leads me to the third point: This episode could almost be seen as a critique of the MLP fandom (but also of society and fandoms in general). And it is also how I feel about it sometimes. People have all kinds of reasons for liking the show, but the probably most valuable and most-needed part is often not really taken to heart. Or mind, if you will. Actually making an effort to make the spirit of Equestria come to life not just in easy but especially also in testing times, through honing character, I often felt that missing, including after my observations and experiences at conventions. In spiritual lingo one would say "bliss junkies". The eventual song number took me a minute to thaw to because it was so bluntly thrown against the problem, and I could predict the (non)reaction to it (At one point I cynically thought that after it the rabble would probably ask for free concert tickets.), but it was a really nice, uplifting piece whose lyrics at times also felt to me like adressing the fandom. Felt a bit like a celebratory review to a last season actually, like a looking back at a long journey. Which made it even more touching. They also contained some headscratchers though. Do they really like what's flawed about people or do they have an easy time overlooking it when willingness to work on oneself is there? And Dashie's cocky confidence gives her the courage to fail? I thought she always had that and it was to not-quite cover up her fear of failure. (Little gem from me here: Failure is that which is at war with failure.) Very nice conclusion: Just accept that you cannot adress the masses with high virtue material and expect it to be integrated. Unsurprisingly then it was foals who were still open to it, and those who are are the ones deserving to receive your attention and energy. The episode is also art in that it offers people an empathic experience regarding the type of fans aimed at. Watching that mass insanity is painful, and you might go: "What warranted this suddenly?". That's how it makes the writers feel. When the mane 6 sing their beautifully uplifting song and then right after it - BAM - NOTHING received, that moment really sucked, right? You go: "This is becoming horribly cynical if not even an episode's highlight can solve the problem anymore". That is how it makes the writers feel. Over 20 minutes you are having their experience, so that you hopefully understand them and recognize the value of what's important about the show. And the end was conveying the lesson of how to avoid overextending. Did you notice Applejack was first in mentioning they need to deal with the problem at hand, and Twilight said she should stay in the friendship moment? Applejack sang in the song that she has a tendency of wanting to please everypony. The mane 6 there had to focus on their close friendship to recharge their spiritual batteries for a bit in the face of overwhelming hostility. I myself certainly had and still have to learn in a painful way that it is alright to give up hope on some people or to lose respect. It is a bow of appreciation to the good things in you that said people do not appreciate. They can eventually pick up the bread crumbs if they're lucky. They would just choke on more than that. Going all missionary on them would only feed the insatiable and signal that they have power over you, which is what the whole madness is based on. Sometimes it is wiser to let people stew in their own juice.   P.S.: At this point I thought: Oh yeah, Dashie, REALLY skillful attempt at a disguise, especially for you.   P.P.S. (Pinkie Pie scriptum):

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E12 Discordant Harmony - brief commentary

At first this looked to me like just another "be yourself" episode, but I think it is more interesting to look at how it was the environment that determined whether Discord was present or fading. He tried to adapt and fit into something not him and started fading. Someone else, a friend, Fluttershy, brought the environment back to nourishing him where he couldn't do it by himself anymore.
I.e. sometimes we need others to lovingly do for us what we cannot do ourselves, to add a perception of us that we may have lost, and that might require tangible means, as shown in the episode when Fluttershy's words didn't make a difference. Words are about minds arguing, and in that game, if the problem is in the mind, the problem will always win. As was shown by Discord just countering any of her suggestions with words. Generally, the episode couldn't possibly have been a downer for me because, as I like to say, "There is no such thing as a bad Fluttershy episode."  <3  <3
P.S.: I was a bit disappointed to not see the words "Judgy Clerk Pony" in the credits.   ... Oh well, TO ACTION! ^^  

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S7E10 - A Royal Problem - brief commentary

I thought the black spots weren't part of Luna's cutie mark. Last time, when it was taken away, only the moon vanished. I assumed it's just her natural coat (and that it's naturally symmetrical). Hm, maybe that was just draining the power from the cutie mark. Interesting dreams ponies have. Pinkie surfing on the gummyboard, wearing shades, I like that a lot, heh. And Derpy as queen, on her side another ... background character. ;-) Starlight's dragon toothbrush was funny. Twilight her frequent freakout self, but totally understandable why she couldn't calm herself. Still so much admiration for the regal sisters and projection of crucial importance to Equestria. (She underestimates the importance of everypony else's contribution.) The episode was full with playfulness, action and lovely little details and a new insight into ponies' daily life. I will close with one of my favorite pictures from olden times that immediately came to mind when realizing the theme of this episode. I call it "Maneheart"...  

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S5E21 brief commentary

Hm, now that was odd. A Halloween episode was perfect timing, but a Christmas episode right before that, that's kinda odd.   What Fluttershy said in the end is roughly how I feel, too. I don't like to play any kind of prank on people that causes bad feelings and discomfort, unless it's to a trivial degree. Just like Fluttershy said: Seeing others in such a state, caused by me, that would make me feel very bad, regardless of prank or not. The feelings are the same. A certain sensitivity combined with empathy prevents enjoyment of that.
Of course they could have told her to just be afraid, to accept the experience; that it's just one night and the whole point, but why should Fluttershy condition herself like that? It would change who she is, and with good, accepting friends, she is in the lovely position of not needing to. She can overcome her fears when it is really required, when it's serious. That's good enough.
They also could have told her that her many worries of being attacked are unfounded and that there's nothing to really be scared of, but that would have defeated the whole purpose of Nightmare Night. ( No, I don't mean candy. )   Speaking of which... Pinkie's candy bag art made me laugh so hard! Like soul images.
The episode generally had a lot of fun little details.
As mentioned in my tweet https://twitter.com/Dowlphin/status/660491881525153796 I must say though, they should really cut back on the ... Wilhelm squeaks ^^, haha. Gets as annoying as the screams can become. Funnily, this was a Halloween episode and as far as I can tell there was actually no Wilhelm SCREAM in it. (Not saying there should have been.)   Apparently they know how to make colored contact lenses in Equestria. Or what other means could Fluttershy have used to change her eye color?   Here are two more spontaneous thoughts I had while watching:   http://dowlphin.tumblr.com/post/132474652747/nightmare-night-dlc   http://dowlphin.tumblr.com/post/132474660237/angel-punny-that-moment-was-so-rich-in-pun-how

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S5E19 - Much-needed inspiration, right there!

I have been writing a lot about the pain of abundant spoilers. :okiedokielokie:   Can you see where this is going?  
No, not gonna say it. You say it!       Let the star of the episode be your hero and do your best to become a hero, too.   Just the usual lesson, actually. But damn, this one is dear to me.       Side note: When you are really making a sincere effort and your intention is pure, but you eventually still falter, life might have your back. The universe appreciates sincerity, action from the heart, and doesn't punish without purpose. Punishment always takes two.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S07E19 It Isn't the Mane Thing About You - brief commentary

While in execution a lot bothered me about this episode, the overall picture is quite fitting to show some differences of Equestria. I found it weird that toupets don't seem to be a thing there. It was a bit funny how they treat a mane like a very special and magical thing, but Pinkie Pie has shown long ago that there's something to it. Rarity just utilizes its magic in a somewhat different way, heh.
The bottle confusion was just one of those lazy things. At first I didn't even realize they had gotten two different liquids, because I assumed they'd at least get a label or such. The way it was set up one would assume Zecora did it intentionally.
And with all the different tries of toupets improvised out of anything but hair that gave a totally different look, it was odd that nopony suggested to her to use what's left of her mane for such. P.S.: Role switch would have resulted in Punkie Pie. I'd have loved that just for the ... pun!

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S07E07 Parental Gildeance - brief commentary

Remember Dashie's fear of failure and sometimes overbearing self-glorification? I think the real meat of this episode was written between the lines.
I'd say timing is important and that managing to get along better with her parents could only happen right now, in this episode, not sooner.
I think this only makes sense if we assume that indeed Dashie enjoyed her parents' praise, despite the embarassment. That would make her an odd personality though, because I haven't heard something like this happening. Could be almost schizophrenic. Again - Would explain some of the other troubles she had to deal with and her current personality. I would say the overall lesson of the episode was that if your parents are like that... be cool. (Dashie tends to pretend to be cool, but underneath it might look different, which underlines this.)
Remember that this is not primarily a show to teach parents (although it hopefully does teach anybody), but to teach kids, so it doesn't matter whether her parents were a bad example or not. This was about how to deal with it.   As for the details: The door was a hilarious idea. (Subverting viewer's expectations is always fun.) Scootaloo's reaction to Dashie's outburst seemed overly dramatically extreme. The nap joke was the lowest point of the episode; horribly forced.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S05E22 brief commentary

An excellent episode. I like it so much!   Discord being in his own unique way the teacher more than ever, taking care of the last remnants of problematic ideas from the past that unsurprisingly Twilight would cling to the most, since she is very intellect-focused, and the mind is the origin of all suffering.   It also showed how easily one can fall into self-delusion by making up a self-image designed to avoid being honest to oneself. That kind of honesty being the crucial first step in having a positive impact on the world by having a positive impact on yourself. Thus also hinted at how when we THINK we got stuff figured out, safe and secure, that might be the most dangerous time.   And I especially liked the somewhat unspoken message in the lesson:
That true friendship comes from the heart, not the mind.
The mind on its own would attempt to create a fake of the real thing, an imitation. Something you can observe every day; best example corporate marketing, but also in individuals.   I also grinned knowingly at one point and was wondering whether the writers intended the hint at the irony:
When Twilight was at Zecora's place and insisted that there must be some kind of magic involved in her friends' behavior, I thought:
Well, DUH! There's indeed that one special kind of magic that causes people to have a great time together. You claim to be the Princess of Friendship, educated and skilled in various forms of magic. I'm quite sure you've heard of it.   By the way, Zecora's potion bottle was definitely magical, too. I mean, did you see how much liquid came out of the thing?!   You know, with stories like this, I'm not worried that they might run out of ideas and the show takes a nosedive. As long as they keep having fun like this and don't change the formula, it gives me a warm feeling when thinking about the future. With so many things in our world eventually becoming corrupted, there needs to be at least one exemplary defiant champion in our life. As long as the makers of the show heed their own lessons, we're all safe.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

 

S05E16 Made in Manehattan: important thing to point out

I often look at deep themes that connect MLP episodes to my life experience, and I will do that here, too:   THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM   This is one of those episodes that trigger my cynical side due to related experiences. In the end they say they got inspired by the play, but really? Charity Kindheart did a big thing before and people were willing to help there, too, despite it being so big. She left and all spirit vanished.
I.e. people love bullshit. The obvious point is that inspiration is exactly what did not happen. Inspiration doesn't mean to follow a strong leader when prompted to. It means becoming one yourself. Living what you witness. They proved that they weren't inspired through their inaction after Charity left. But of course people are always eager to state their bogus beliefs about themselves. And in the case of the moustached pony it's not even a surprise: He had shown how full of shit he is before when he mentioned how 'busy' he allegedly is, with not a moment to spare, while lazily enjoying the sun on a float. (Hm, where have I heard stuff like that before? ... Oh right! Galacon 2014 charity song collab project, from The Living Tombstone.)   It's only a happy end in the sense that they found a replacement leader figure and gave her an initial boost. Give it a couple more events like that and then imagine what happens if Coco Pommel leaves. She'd better find a successor in time. ... But what's the point of doing all that if it doesn't really inspire people anyway? How should it be uplifting for the ones making the effort?
That gives this episode an unspoken grim afterthought, a sister-message that is overlooked in the limelight of the star.   I would tag-line the episode: "Doing free energy giveaways in vampire town".   All talk, no walk. The usual. It's everywhere. Deviations from it are a rarity.

Dowlphin

Dowlphin

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