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About bigbertha

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  • Birthday 08/03/2002

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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  1. bigbertha

    Scoring Each Season of Friendship is Magic (Season 3)

    I like this season. In a lot of ways, it's the most polished of the first 3 seasons with even better animation and a firm grasp on the characters and their dynamics in episodes like Too Many Pinkie Pies and Wonderbolts Academy. The seasons hits a lot of really high highs. However, the season only being 13 episodes means that any slip up is a big deal and season 3 has too many of those to be the best of the first 3 seasons.
  2. bigbertha

    S03:E13 - Magical Mystery Cure

    This episode feels like two episodes shoved together. There's the story of the cutie mark switching and the story of Twilight becoming a princess. Starting with the cutie mark switching, it's trash. There's no way to defend something so completely nonsensical. First of all, it completely butchers the basic idea of a cutie mark. So apparently cutie marks aren't just something that you like to do and a metaphor for growing up. No, cutie marks are destiny. They completely drive your life and, even if its something you don't like, you have to do it for the rest of your life. It makes it so ponies don't have free will which is uncomfortable to think about. There's a lot of stuff about destiny and I don't think it should be taught that destiny is a real thing. It's not. Second of all, it doesn't make sense how the spell Twilight casts works. The spell is unfinished which makes it confusing how the spell could even be casted. But ignoring that, how does the spell effect everything? Did everyone's lives completely change? How could Applejack even have a boutique if she's so bad at making dresses? What are the rest of the apple family doing while Pinkie is running Sweet Apple Acres into the ground? Why is Rarity controlling the weather when Rainbow's cutie mark is based on speed and going fast? What are the rest of the pegasi doing while Rarity was ruining the weather? What's the point of pegasi when weather can be controlled by unicorns? Does Ponyville really completely rely on Pinkie to be happy in any way? The question on what the point of pegasi is leads into even more questions like why the other races didn't just let the pegasi starve before Hearth's Warming when they didn't need to rely on them to change the weather. And that leads to questions on what the point of earth ponies is when any other race can farm too. I wouldn't be asking these questions if this episode didn't bring them up. Lastly, the pacing is terrible. The conflict begins before the theme song leading to no time for worthwhile exposition or any time to linger on any emotions or moments. Right after the comedic song, the super sad song comes up and it clashes hard. And then Twilight immediately comes up with a solution to the problem that isn't given enough time to have any explanation. And then everything is fixed before I could care. If this story was the only thing in the episode, it would be a 0/10. It's miserable and the worst story of the show. What a mess. The second story is Twilight becoming a princess and while it is rushed, I like this one a lot more. The episode itself doesn't justify Twilight becoming a princess, but Twilight becoming a princess is completely removed from the context of the episode and is more part of the context of the show as a whole. The entire series has been building up to this moment and in that sense I think the change is earned. Celestia's song is the only song in the episode that gives time for the audience to care and it's effective. This part of the episode has much better pacing and it it went unchanged in a better episode, I wouldn't have a problem with it. On its own, I'd give it an 8/10. The destiny question doesn't bother me as much here since it does look like Twilight likes the change and she has been shown being a leader of her own free will before so it seems more based on that than destiny. Overall, It's awful. I know I said I really like the Twilight becoming a princess bit, but I said that when divorced from the context of the episode since the episode itself doesn't justify the change at all. The Crystal Empire had her do something more impressive than what she did in this episode yet this is the episode where she earns her wings. That said, some of the songs are really good and the ending is emotional. If only it was in a better episode. Score: 2/10
  3. bigbertha

    S03:E12 - Games Ponies Play

    It's still a good episode. Story problems are only really bad if the episode doesn't have anything to make up for it and this episode has things to make up for it. As contrived as everything is, I still really like most of the jokes here. The tourist pony has enough of a gimmick to get some good humor out of it and the cringe comedy that comes from it is pretty funny. I also like Dash's little thread about trying her hardest to get The Crystal Empire the games. And Twilight's little thing with controlling her anxiety is nice to see. Score: 7/10
  4. bigbertha

    S03:E11 - Just for Sidekicks

    I really like this episode. Sure, there are some flaws to point out. Like it's unbelievable that Spike would even be allowed to take care of the pets when he's pretty obvious about only wanting the jewels. And when Spike and the pets are right under the mane six and they can't hear him talking. And the fact that jewels are apparently currency when that makesno sense. But, these flaws get overshadowed by how enjoyable the episode is. All of the torment Spike goes through is funny because it's a mess that he gets himself into. Karma trips are always fun when done well and this episode is no exception. It's great that the episode doesn't dwell on Spike being depressed about having to go through so much misery because sadness makes him sympathetic. It's much better to have him get angry and continue to ignore the problem. It keeps him from being so sympathetic that the misery isn't funny and it keeps him in the wrong. Also this episode has interaction between Spike and the CMC, which something I really wish the show went back to. At least this episode has it and it's fun. The CMC have proven to be really charming and fun to watch for almost all of their episodes, so having them here is nice and the pairing of Spike and the CMC helps to make the episode stand out. Score: 9/10
  5. bigbertha

    S03:E10 - Keep Calm and Flutter On

    I enjoy the idea of this episode. It could've been a nice message about how not everyone can be changed. And most of the episode seems like it's supporting that. Discord is playing Fluttershy for a fool for a vast majority of the episode. Even after his epiphany at the dinner party, his actions at the dam make it very obvious that even that was fake. It would've been great if Fluttershy learned that Discord couldn't be reformed. Or alternatively the episode could've had Discord progressively warm up to Fluttershy. There could've been a scene where he tries to convince himself that he doesn't like Fluttershy but ends up admitting that he's starting to like her. And then the climax of the episode would make sense. But the episode tries to meld the two approaches which doesn't work since they don't work together. Most of the episode is about how Discord is taking advantage of Fluttershy, but it tries to have this moment with Discord at the dinner party warming up to Fluttershy, but it comes off as disingenuous when everything beforehand was Discord taking advantage of Fluttershy. Instead of focussing on one approach and executing it well, it blends the two together leading to neither of them working. It's a shame since a lot of the episode is entertaining. Discord brings a lot of fun to the episode and the jokes in general are pretty funny. Score: 4/10
  6. bigbertha

    S03:E09 - Spike at your Service

    Everything about this episode is stupid, but that's what makes it so good. Spike's incompetence is pushed to the extreme until he suddenly sees through the fake timberwolf just because that's what the story needs. The mane six actually think the fake timberwolf is a good idea and Twilight isn't even hidden. She's just hanging out in a clearly visible tree. Twilight somehow knows what Spike's Dragon Code is and takes it seriously. Rainbow Dash and Rarity envy Applejack because she has a slave and proceed to gush about how great it would be if they had slaves. I have no idea how nobody in production saw the issue with this. All of these aspects are so stupid that it makes this episode one of the funniest of the season. From the actually good jokes to the unintentionally funny moments, every scene has something funny. It's an amazing guilty pleasure. Score: -9/10
  7. bigbertha

    S03:E08 - Apple Family Reunion

    There's not much to say here but that's not a bad thing. This episode is just a day in the life and it's a charming one. Score: 7/10
  8. bigbertha

    S03:E07 - Wonderbolts Academy

    I don't have a problem with Pinkie anymore. She's not at her best, but she's good for a couple laughs which is all you can ask for with something only there for comic relief. Her scenes do a fine job at breaking up the drama in the main story and giving a reason for the rest of the main six to appear in the climax. The main story is as good as it's ever been. I was constantly engaged from beginning to end, which doesn't happen too often. The episodes feels a lot like Hurricane Fluttershy because it takes a very common story and executes it in such a perfect way that it feels new again. Lightning Dust is a great foil for Rainbow Dash and I don't see an issue with the ending. Lightning Dust does something very reckless and she gets punished. She doesn't even have remorse after Rainbow confronts her. I'd say she gets off easy. She could've been arrested for reckless endangerment. Score: 10/10
  9. bigbertha

    S03:E06 - Sleepless in Ponyville

    While there are a lot of great things here, there is one big problem that somewhat brings it down. My biggest problem is how unaware Applejack and Rainbow Dash are made to be. Sure, Applejack notices that Scootaloo seems off, but it doesn't go any further than that. It doesn't ruin the episode, but it is frustrating when Scootaloo is obviously sleep deprived, yet neither Applejack nor Rainbow Dash do anything about it. Everything else is really good. I like how Scootaloo is characterized. Her attempts to impress Rainbow Dash are all really charming and her conflict is relatable. Luna getting a supporting role is pretty neat too. The dreams themselves are really atmospheric and interesting to watch with some good tension. The comedy is solid. The episode doesn't focus on jokes, but the episode does a good job of not letting the jokes clash with any more dramatic moments. The dramatic moments work when they need to and the comedic moments work when they need to. Rarity making Sweetie Belle carry all of their stuff can seem a little off, but I think it's justified well enough here and there are moments of Rarity being a good sister to counter it. And the ending is really sweet. Rainbow's obliviousness may be a bit frustrating, but the ending more than makes up for it. Score: 9/10
  10. bigbertha

    S03:E05 - Magic Duel

    This episode is okay. It's much more story driven than many others and while it's not too bad, there are some issues. For one, there's very little tension in the middle of the episode. There's good buildup in the cold open and both of the duels, but the middle parts are split between everyone back at town and Twilight at Zecroa's. These parts aren't bad, but they aren't given enough time to be fleshed out and interesting. In fact, nothing is allowed to be fleshed out. Trixie is fun as the antagonist, but there's nothing beyond her being corrupted by the Alicorn Amulet and apologizing at the end. The conflict feels shallow. But for a shallow conflict, it's still enjoyable. I like that the episode goes for some really high stakes with Twilight being sent out of Ponyville. While Twilight's training with Zecora is mostly made pointless, I do like how Twilight ends up beating Trixie. It makes sense and the final duel is pretty fun. And so's the first duel. And while not a lot is allowed to be fleshed out, the stuff we do get is still fun to watch for what it is. The jokes take a backseat here, but there are some good ones. Many of them feel like repeats from old episodes, but many of them are executed better than in their previous appearances. The jokes can sometimes clash with the more dramatic tone, but it's not too bad. This is a fine episode. It tries to be different, and while it doesn't completely succeed, it's still not too bad. Score: 6/10
  11. bigbertha

    S03:E04 - One Bad Apple

    Yeah, the moral is kinda off, saying that the CMC fighting back is becoming the bully. But I see why they did that in this case because they went to an extreme that wasn't necessary since they should've talked to Applejack in the beginning and everything would've been fine. The issue, of course, is that these kinds of things don't exist in a bubble and real life has many cases where adults don't listen and action must be taken. It's a moral that could easily be corrected by a parent watching with their kid, making it one of the less morally bad episodes, but the parent shouldn't have to correct the moral in the first place. Aside from the moral, I like this episode. The CMC have their charming personalities instead of their annoying ones this time so the CMC are solid protagonists to follow. There are also some solid jokes along the way and a really good song. Score: 6/10
  12. bigbertha

    S03:E03 - Too Many Pinkie Pies

    This is a really funny episode. A lot of the episode is carried by just Pinkie talking to herself. All of those scenes are hilarious. And so are most of the other scenes. This is a really funny episode. And I really like the test for the Pinkies. Sure, Twilight could've just asked a question that only the real Pinkie could answer, but that wouldn't have been entertaining. Having all of the Pinkies watch paint dry does make at least enough sense and it does work in the end, so it's not really an issue. Twilight shooting random Pinkies is something I could see people having an issue with (for good reason), but I found it to be really funny. Something I do have an issue with is the how convenient it is that Spike just so happens to find a secret area in the library that just so happens to have the Legend of the Mirror Pool in it. I know Twilight has probably read every book in the library, but the legend being in a book she hasn't read is much easier to believe than conveniently coming across a secret compartment. And everyone dismissing the one Pinkie acting differently than all of the others is dumb too. But there's really no other way it could've gone without ending the episode right there. I guess the best thing the writers could've done is have the mane six give a better explanation as to why they don't think it's the real Pinkie. Maybe they say that she might be a defective clone and that's why she's acting different. That's not exactly a perfect justification, but it's better than "Pinkie can't stay still", which Twilight says just before giving a test requiring the Pinkies to stay still for a seemingly long time. But those are very minor issues. Most of this episode is top tier Pinkie material. She's more than just stupid and hyperactive, but she's still energetic and fun. And the early season voice helps to keep it from getting annoying. It's very easy on the ears, especially when compared to something like Rock Solid Friendship. Score: 9/10
  13. bigbertha

    S03:E01+02 - The Crystal Empire

    There's some issues with continuity here. Celestia says that the Crystal Empire was taken over 1,000 years ago and says even her knowledge of the Empire is limited. This makes no sense because at this point, 1,000 years ago would be during Luna's time on the moon. Celestia was presumably already a princess for a while once Sombra took over and thus should've had to deal with the Empire before he took over. So she should have a good amount of knowledge. And there's the flashback to defeating Sombra that includes Luna when it shouldn't. All of this makes the entire premise of the episode feel like an ass-pull to get some more toys. It makes me care about the Empire less which is pretty bad when all of the tension comes from caring enough about the Empire to fear it being ruled by Sombra again. There are some other issues here too. There are some moments where the dramatic and comedic tones clash, though it's not a huge problem. What is a pretty big problem is that the episode isn't that funny. Pinkie has some good bits and there are a couple other jokes, but there's not that much here. Rarity also feels a little one note. On the positive side, Twilight's story is decent. It's not exactly great (especially coming off of A Canterlot Wedding), but it's serviceable enough. It's a pretty simple arc of learning self sacrifice, but it works. I like that Spike gets a big role at the end. And the climax in general is pretty exciting. Definitely the best part of the episode. Sombra is a fine villain too. He's not interesting or really fun, but he serves his purpose of being a threat. In the end, with most of the tension doing nothing for me, there's not much to this episode. There's a conflict for Twilight, but it's overshadowed by A Canterlot Wedding and the conflict itself isn't that good. Some of the jokes work, but a lot of them fall flat. Everything in the episode falls towards the middle. I can see the effort put into a lot of parts of the episode, but it's not doing much for me. Score: 4/10
  14. bigbertha

    Scoring Each Season of Friendship is Magic (Season 2)

    I like this season. I don't think it's quite as good as I thought it was before, but it still has a great number of good episodes and the entire season is still very charming. That season 1 charm is not dead yet. Sure, there are quite a few episodes that sour the experience (Dragon Quest, A Friend in Deed, Putting Your Hoof Down), but there are even more fantastic episodes to make up for it (Lesson Zero, Hearth's Warming Eve, The Last Roundup, etc.).
  15. bigbertha

    S02:E25+E26 - A Canterlot Wedding

    There are many problems here. Shining Armor comes out of nowhere, Luna disappears during an invasion, and, the biggest problem for me, Chrysalis is incompetent. She apparently did no research on the pony she's impersonating and she reveals herself for no reason. She also sends Twilight and Cadence into a place that they're able to escape from fairly easily. Yeah, she puts her bridesmaids down there, but did she really think that's enough? I'm also not a big fan This Day Aria. It feels like it's trying too hard to be big and epic with fake Cadence's vocals really having to reach for some of the high notes. Despite all of that, the episode is a ton of fun. Twilight's conflict is really engaging and I like that the writers didn't drag out the idea that Twilight may just be overprotective. It doesn't feel like the episode completely changes focus at the end of part 1 since it was revealed that the Cadence was a fake once she put her spell on Shining Armor. The scene with Twilight interrupting the wedding is one of the best scenes of the show up to this point. It takes the stakes of the show up to a point they've never been before before to great effect. The special does a great job at making the sense of scale even bigger than anything before (except for This Day Aria). This is definitely the best two parter so far, even if it is still pretty flawed. Similarly to Return of Harmony, this episode feels like style over substance, but unlike Return of Harmony, this episode does it well and doesn't completely skip out on substance since the core of the episode is Twilight's conflict, which is executed really well. Score: 9/10