Them's Seeing Ponies

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  1. Japanese Kit Kats are a fascinating treasure trove of idiosyncrasy for me (and clearly for others as well, judging by your review here). Thanks for posting your thoughts here - reviews of this weird breed of candy bar are always entertaining reads. On a related note, I concur about the flavor of the Shinshu apple - the initial taste was decent before spiraling into a more sickly, artificial sensation - in a way, it reminded me of that cheap apple-scented hairspray you occasionally find backstage in local theaters or in cosmetics stores. The green tea (traditional) I recall being relatively decent, but the stronger green tea flavor was pretty overbearing (think swallowing a powerfully bitter bundle of herbs) and the pure matcha bar was more than a little reminiscent of grass (despite allegedly being accurate to its basis). Of the flavors that I personally tasted, the Japanese orange (this consisting of genuinely orange-coloured chocolate, a pleasant surprise following the drabness of its Western equivalent) was probably the best, with a well-balanced citrus twang and a suitably complementary white chocolate base (the wasabi flavor, whilst luridly green and conceptually weird, was also surprisingly palatable), whilst the worst was either the apple or the Azuki red bean cookie flavor (bitter, smoky bean essence and mass-produced white chocolate mostly don't mix - this was no exception).
  2. While not perfect, "DC Superhero Boys" was definitely a step in the right direction for DCSHG.

  3. I'm enjoying the DC Superhero Girls reboot, but it does have a lot of issues that keep me from loving it. 

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Them's Seeing Ponies

      Them's Seeing Ponies

      I agree with you on the portrayal of men in the show. I admire much of Faust's work for its ability to successfully synthesize seemingly tired animation tropes into a sharper and more satisfying package, but her depictions of male characters tend to lean into obvious feminism-mongering on a recurring basis (despite the presence of exceptions). It's generally less conspicuous within the confines of FiM, where male characters were initially relatively sparse and/or non-prominent (a vision I assume Hasbro was content to encourage during her tenure), with the obvious exception of Snips and Snails (in one of S1's worst outings), but the general structure and focus of the DC universe (which, by nature of containing a number of extremely iconic and prominent male characters, is far more gender-balanced) forced her to confront arguably her greatest weakness, and the above issue is basically the end result. 

    3. TheAnimationFanatic

      TheAnimationFanatic

      Keep in mind, I'm someone who generally agrees with her views, but I think it would strengthen the show's message to have both sexes working together on equal footing.

    4. TheAnimationFanatic

      TheAnimationFanatic

      I think the show needs to have at least one male hero who's competent and capable and supportive of the girls.

  4. I kind of find your assertion that FiM is confused to be somewhat condescending. 

  5. Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strokes Back: Mewtwo enters an intense local swimming competition. A Herd Day's Night: Four mop-topped Liverpudlian cows struggle to form an identity amidst a soulless herd of bovines in rural early-'60s England. To Fill a Mockingbird: Atticus Finch buys a mockingbird-shaped stationary holder. Schindler's Lost: Oskar Schindler accidentally becomes lost in his factory complex. The Sampsons Movie: The mundane life of a man named Sampson for 90 minutes until, in a shocking twist, he discovers his lost identical twin (also coincidentally named Sampson) at the end of the film. The Greatest Chowman: A hopeful entrepreneur ascends to millionaire status after accidentally founding the most successful dog food corporation in history. The Borax: A rural community use branded laundry detergent to rid the local environment of pollution. Forrest Gulp: A dimwitted Alabaman man opts to become overweight as a means of avoiding army conscription.
  6. Cone with the Wind: An epic 3-hour saga depicting the journey of a traffic cone after being picked up by a hurricane. Curs: A collection of unpleasant and curmudgeonly people vent their frustrations in life in a 155-minute runtime. The List of the Mohicans: A scrolling list of every Mohican that has ever existed for 2 hours. The Molar Express: In this... festive motion-capture classic, a group of children are abducted by the Tooth Fairy, who is inexplicably also a qualified rail conductor. Funding Nemo: A broke, downbeat clownfish appeals to his father to lend him money to pay off a recent anemone mortgage, but is kidnapped before his efforts prove successful. Who Flamed Roger Rabbit?: Wacky toon actor Roger Rabbit discovers the wonders of 4chan.
  7. It's a genuinely good show thus far, largely due to that weirdly enjoyable Faustian charm (which somehow feels surprisingly greater than the sum of its parts - this also applies to FiM in its formative (and best) years) which I suspect derives from the fun, energetic tone and unorthodox juxtaposition of lighthearted comedy (although it must be said that some of the satirization of teen behavior feels kind of cheap, particularly in the opening episodes) and a non-standard approach to character introspection, almost exuding the air of a spiritual successor to the original PPG (and not the current flavorless slop on CN) resultantly (particularly as the show also bends the inherently flat appearance of its artstyle and Flash assets to create a unique and advantageous look, which echoes the original PPG's use of its TV budget to evoke a contour-based UPA aesthetic). That being said, the similarities to FiM can become a little more than obvious at times and the gags are (generally) weaker than early FiM's offerings (Adventures in Bunnysitting exhibits both issues by essentially playing out as the same episode as Swarm of the Century with far fewer of Larson's trademark sly meta jokes and references), but it definitely has potential, which should be expected given that Faust's potential greater creative freedom indicates an eventual glimpse into the type of show FiM could have evolved into under her continued leadership, which should be... interesting, to say the least (particularly in light of how creatively confused the current incarnation of the show seems).
  8. I know I can always count on you to be predictably contrarian with the show post-season 2. ;)

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Them's Seeing Ponies

      Them's Seeing Ponies

      On a critical level, none of them are great, but I wouldn't exactly call any of them genuinely bad. They're mostly middling in that they feature no egregious flaws (at least in the case of 19) but they seem kind of thin to me in that they appear mostly content with depicting a basic plot with a few jokes and mildly creative turns throw in as opposed to pushing the envelope or mining more unique material out of their narratives.

    3. Them's Seeing Ponies

      Them's Seeing Ponies

      Your definitions of 'purist' and 'elitist' are also inaccurate; I have no specific stigma in finding many of the more recent episodes middling, it's simply based on personal opinion. I don't mind light sarcasm about my tastes, but I conversely do  take issue with suggestions that my opinions relate to a title often used across the web as a kind of slander or insult. 

    4. TheAnimationFanatic

      TheAnimationFanatic

      I was making those comments in jest and I apologize for the offense. I've no issues with you having an opinion different from mine. If you like something, then who cares if someone else doesn't (and vice versa)? 

  9. Whilst I consider seasons 6-9 weaker than 4-5, I've often felt that the seasons in the latter category display a number of severely problematic aspects which may have sank the show regardless of Meghan's continued presence, most notably the near-consistently haphazardous nature of Pinkie's characterization (S4 was arguably the genesis of Pinkie's degradation from a quirky and enigmatically self-aware (and hilarious) optimist into a more bombastic, inconsiderately loud, ADD-addled and religiously wacky cartoon gag machine - this is particularly pronounced during S4 as the other M6 (even Twilight to an extent) were depicted as largely in-character within most of Pinkie's most egregiously flanderized appearances to the effect of drawing further attention to her flawed depictions in these cases) outside of a handful of focus episodes and the increasing reliance on the simplistic aim of creating an impact over focusing on more delicate storytelling or well-balanced characterization (which the preceding seasons prioritized and, in turn, were rewarded with global popularity for, which I suspect may explain the divisive nature of seasons 3-5 to the brony fandom at the time). Just look at Princess Twilight Sparkle or Magical Mystery Cure - both are arguably entertaining in a broad, popcorn-flick manner, yet fall apart upon closer examination to reveal surprisingly insubstantial stories which utilize a series of similar ploys - fanservice, atmospheric direction, major status quo shifts, large-scale yet straightforward plots (as opposed to the more intricate plotting of Return of Harmony or the unorthodox structure of The Best Night Ever) with high stakes or increasingly menacing villains and (including, although not confined to, the latter case) grandiose, elaborate musical numbers bluntly celebrating the power of friendship in an increasingly vague way (while Twilight's Kingdom essentially employs this formula in its most effective form, the ending number is the stereotypical example of this). While deviations from this formula clearly exist (The Cutie Map being the most notable), the success of episodes of Princess Twilight Sparkle's basic mold gradually escalated until, by season 5, numerous plot-relevant episodes follow a similar basic formula where an air of grandiosity and reams of fanservice and other aforementioned elements are pasted atop relatively thin plots to disguise their structural weaknesses (the show's increasingly nebulous interpretation of friendship and the overly easy way in which goals or resolutions are achieved, both of which seemingly undercut the most unique themes of the earliest seasons, which conversely portrayed friendship in a more specific and realistic manner adverse to the false and overly bowdlerized depictions of the subject in other girls' TV shows of its era), which, at times, veered dangerously close to becoming the type of show the FiM of old would parody. Thusly, by the time of The Cutie Re-Mark and, eventually, the movie, the actual story and substance within the formula had worn thin to the point where even their virtues as frivolous entertainment had become limited, and I feel that type of direction is most likely the way the show would have orientated itself going forward had McCarthy remained directly involved for S6 and onwards. As it stands, the McCarthy seasons do contain notable examples of these elements working well (Twilight's Kingdom) , numerous episodes lack such issues altogether and the spirit of S4-5 remains closer to the Faust seasons than the more didactic feel of the latter four seasons, but I maintain the show would reach approximately a similar level of quality by now under McCarthy to its current state.
  10. SP has a valid point up there, but I'll bite anyway: - Season 1 is one of the show's most consistently enjoyable and stylistically effective seasons (moreso than more ubiquitous fandom favorites such as seasons 5 or 7). - Spike at Your Service contains some of S3's most effective comedy (courtesy of the mane six). - A Royal Problem is one of the weakest episodes of season 7. - The Beginning of the End is a weirdly empty premiere which showcases the Lady Writers' typical weaknesses in a more glaring manner than usual. - I admire aspects of the Lady Writers' episodes, but they're far from the show's best writers - I've often believed that their work lacks a specific degree of subtlety (which can lead to a polarizing style which exudes an off-putting cheesiness at worst) and tends to execute promising or creative concepts in a lackluster way (as implied above,The Beginning of the End clearly displayed this exact issue in that it served to showcase a number of creative ideas merely shoehorned into a 44-minute runtime as opposed to being integrated and developed in such a way to create a natural flow and feel satisfying). - Season 5 is an ambitious and conceptually compelling but fundamentally problematic season. - The show's recent style of comedy (under Haber's and Big Jim's leadership) is arguably its most egregiously shortcoming from my perspective in that it repetitiously utilizes over-the-top meme faces and huge emotional takes (which is meant to be funny because... characters behaving generically crazy is gut-busting, I guess?), which resultantly recall a diet rendition of Friends (which was subjectively never a particularly great show to begin with despite the mechanics of its aesthetic, tone and universe gelling more consistently with said blunter style than FiM) as opposed to the greater variety of slier/less simplistic jokes employed by the earlier seasons.
  11. I wouldn't go so far as to dub that aspect of the episode as implying slavery - it's more a revelation of the (incredibly) contrived nature of the episode's main plot and the episode itself is far too fluffy to indicate any significant level of grounding to reality (I get what you're indicating, but the episode never really compares the convoluted mechanics of the Dragon Code to slavery, nor does the world it depicts contain sufficient grounding (this is a universe where a tower of literal boulders is treated as a frustrating inconvenience as opposed to a hazard to life and limb as one would interpret it in the real world) to support this kind of implication subjectively, although it's understandable why some may interpret it as such). It's not a benefit of SaYS in question, but I believe it speaks more to the rancid plotting of the narrative than any deeper or more disturbing accidental implications.
  12. Could you elaborate on how the episode contains them? I'm honestly sorry, but, in conclusion, while I respect your views on this installment and agree to disagree with them, I simply find this episode kind of irritating as opposed to amusing.
  13. In regards to Spike's characterization it is, yet the majority of the mane six (with the exception of Twilight in specific scenes) were actually largely on-point, which creates a weird dichotomy where Spike himself is by far the most egregious aspect of his own focal episode. If one can neglect the major elephant in the room (and, admittedly, this is far from a simple feat), the chemistry between the M6 in the episode is entertaining in a way this episode is subjectively not - I'll take the gags surrounding Dash's fanfiction and the reactions to the rock tower over overly blunt and repetitious scenes of Twilight freaking out any day.
  14. As I initially meant, I typically don't mind 'candy episodes' provided that the aspects they do fall back on are entertaining/enjoyable to me, which this episode essentially flopped at (due to its seeming refusal to employ joke types beyond the generic dry comebacks, zany meme faces and huge emotional takes which Haber seems to favor so heavily) whilst additionally portraying Twilight and Pinkie as over-the-top and overly shallow interpretations of themselves as a result (which, again, I would forgive more if the episode's humor were more effective subjectively - I was drawn to FiM initially due to the charming and sly nature of its comedy compared to its contemporaries, whilst this episode's gags and tone are exaggerated and blunt to the extent of evoking an awkward teen sitcom as opposed to the 'candy episodes' (Party of One , Swarm of the Century, It's About Time, Make New Friends but Keep Discord, Slice of Life, even unintentionally Spike at Your Service) of old, particularly as said episodes also frame their characters with more respect than this outing intended to).
  15. This episode was... not good. I wouldn't declare it genuinely awful, but the plot was relatively lightly played in favor of comedy, which simply didn't work for me (I can only tolerate Twilight loudly freaking out and bucketloads of awkwardly integrated and bluntly played meme faces (which are meant to be hilarious because... they're generically weird, I guess?) for so many minutes before either begins to wear me down), whilst the episode's conflict (when focus actually was exerted onto it) was resultantly trapped within the confines of the episode's exaggeratedly jokey tone to the extent where both Twilight and Pinkie came off as one-note (Twilight was basically reduced to huge emotional takes and Pinkie was largely a goofy sitcom-esque 'annoying/oblivious friend' when she was initially conceived as a kind of subversion to this archetype) in a manner which felt disparaging to their characters as opposed to funny or respectful. I suspect I could forgive this type of episode more if it bore more entertainment value for me (and, to be fair, the episode at least consistently recognizes the goofiness of its own narrative and conflicts, which I can respect and appreciate on some level), but I prefer less sitcom-ish humor than the material on displayed here.