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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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    Boston, MA
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    Parties, Batman, Buddhism, movies, writing (especially screenplays/stage plays, etc, but I have worked on a novel before too), people, Pokemon, food/cooking, ice cream, dancing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, Konoiche (which is a TV series/novel that I made up/am working on), MLP: FiM!

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  1. This would be fascinating! She could be somewhat of a magical equivalent to this weird fanatical happiness cult. For those who don't know, this type of "Buddhism" preaches tolerance and compassion for all people, but believes the only way to find "true happiness" is through joining them (where, by the way, they treat their members with very little respect). Actually, TBH, the whole "Friendship School" kind of reminds me of this anyway, what with the belief Twilight seems to have that she needs to "teach" other societies about friendship in order for them to be happy - and more importantly, that they themselves are not able to learn it without her coming in to save them. Not really purposefully evil in either case, but definitely ignoring someone else's truth for the sake of a cause.
  2. As a teacher myself, my biggest problem with the School of Friendship is that none of the Mane 6 are really qualified to be teachers. I'm not saying they don't know their elements well, but rather, knowing something well and knowing actual pedagogical techniques are two entirely different things! For example, I took two years of classes to learn about lesson planning, grading, differentiation, classroom management, etc. Secondly, IRL teaching is a full time job! Not only do you spend 8 hours a day at school, but countless others planning your lessons. There is a saying about first year teachers, especially, having no life outside of teaching, because they are in the process of building the curriculum they will use every year in the future. But each of the Mane 6 has at least one other major obligation. Are we really to believe that Rarity can run three boutiques AND be a full-time Professor of Generosity AND an Element of Harmony, who can be called away to solve a Friendship Problem at a moment's notice AND still have time for her friends? Because we hardly ever see her (or the other Mane 6) in the classroom unless the story calls for it. Also, as some of you mentioned above, some of the Mane 6's personalities don't seem cut out for teaching. Yeah, AJ and RD from "Non-Compete Clause" are the main offenders, but what about Pinkie Pie? Was she just skipping work the entire time she was Pinkamena in "Yakity-Sax?" Or did she just go to work and sit there like she was catatonic? And then she just up and moves away without telling any of her friends? We know she didn't tell the Head Mare about her leave of absence, because the Head Mare is Twilight! How did that work out for her students? Then, when the others go to get Pinkie Pie from Yakyakistan, what happens to their classes? It really feels like the series doesn't want to fully commit to this premise and that the writers just forget about the school unless it is convenient.
  3. This was a really weird episode. I was definitely entertained, but more in a watching-a-train-wreck kind of way. At some points, Fluttershy straight up seemed to have Multiple Personalities and no control over what the three separate characters said or did. On the other hand, I will say that all three characters were pretty fun, especially the hipster one, but I don't know why the writers had her be so mean to the customers. Did she want Rarity to lose her business? I did think Fluttershy was forgiven very quickly all-things-considered, but that's often how it goes with this show and its morals, so eh. Also, for some reason, the focus of the episode really made me seriously consider how weird the idea of ponies wearing clothes is (and, by that same token, the idea of how they walk around naked if clothes exist). For some reason, it just seemed way more jarring than usual to see Rarity, fashionista extraordinaire, walk around in the nude while Fluttershy is wearing not only shirts and dresses (which we have seen before) but also pants (which as far as I remember has never been the case). Why do ponies need pants? And why do some wear them and some don't? That makes it look like you can either be half-naked or completely naked all the time. Just struck me as really odd.
  4. This part actually made me really uncomfortable as well. It kind of reminds of the Buddhist organization I am part of, where some members really stress teaching everyone they come in contact with about the practice, allegedly so that everyone can be happy (as the focus is on happiness, rather than on friendship), without considering the possibility that every person's definition of "happiness" is unique to them and sometimes without really getting to know the person's circumstances. Oddly, the core values of this Buddhism and the core values of Twilight's school are pretty similar: be accepting, treat others with respect, look for the good in everyone, etc..., but with both, there seems to be somewhat of an uncomfortable gap in preaching and practicing what you preach. You cannot be accepting and respectful to someone with the belief that your way will unequivocally make them a better person and that they need your help. I think we saw in "Treasure of Griffonstone" and in "The Gauntlet of Fire" that dragons and griffons, at least, are much more independent/less social creatures and that their cultures thrive on competition, so who even knows if this way of life would work for those two cultures? Is it wrong of me to kind of want this attitude to bite Twilight in the butt at some point?
  5. That's a really good point! I know it's not going to work just like it does in RL, but there sure is a startling difference between the hours of preparation and "teacher school" that my colleagues and I went through before being certified and the Mane Six just suddenly being thrown into the role. They may be the Elements of Harmony, but just because you know a lot about something doesn't mean you automatically know how teach it (not to mention grading, classroom management, differentiation, pedagogical techniques and all other manner of important teaching skills!) For another HP example, think Hagrid teaching Care of Magical Creatures (after not only not receiving any teaching training but also getting expelled from Hogwarts!) Heck, this is even a problem I hear about college professors! They are also very much experts on their topics (usually, anyway, heh), having gotten a PhD or at least a Master's, but some of them cannot find a way to impart that information to save their lives! And yes, I also think, given the time-commitment of being a teacher, most of the Mane Six would struggle with their other responsibilities. Last season, we established that AJ works pretty much full-time at the farm and rarely has time for her friends. Meanwhile, Rarity has three (!) boutiques to run, Rainbow Dash is in the Wonderbolts and Twilight is the Princess of Friendship. Not to mention all of their various side-quests! Also, thought I might add that to be a good teacher, you have to really be passionate about teaching. Rainbow Dash, for one, didn't even WANT to be a teacher/Professor and it kind of sounded like Twilight just assigned them these roles without even asking.
  6. Pretty decent premiere over all. As a teacher (well, sub, but whatever) myself, I quite liked the focus on student-focus learning versus going by the standards (though to be fair, Common Core is pretty open compared to that EEA rulebook) and I like the idea of the Mane Six as teachers (and Starlight as guidance counselor) and think that could be interesting to explore them growing into these roles for the season. Also though Neighsay was an interesting villain and his wardrobe kind of reminded my of Hogwarts (actually, there was a bit of a Snape vibe to him in looks and an Umbridge vibe in personality, now that I think about it!) As for the fantastic racism stuff: definitely timely, though maybe a tad on-the-nose, but I'm intrigued to see what will happen with it. I also quite liked that they referenced the movie, as I was kind of worried the show's staff would just pretend it never happened. Although bummer about Tempest being pretty much written out. I really enjoyed her in the movie, but it sounds like we won't be seeing her any time soon. On the other hand, I wasn't very invested in the new students. Bringing in a whole new group of never-before-seen characters for the second-to-last season of a show seems kind of risky and so far, none of them stand out much on their own. Granted, this can change, but so far, my impressions range from mild-like to "eh." Yona annoyed me the most, as I've never liked the Yaks. I mean, I'm all for including all manner of Equestrian creature, but these guys have always struck me as kind of offensive stereotypes of more "primitive" cultures. Plus compared to the likes of mythological dragons, griffins and hippogriffs, who cares about yaks? They aren't even exciting in the real world, as far as I'm concerned! Not to mention, Yona is just irritating, rude and obnoxious. Meanwhile, Silverstream seemed like pretty much a replica of Skystar (and is her cousin no less!), but without the cuteness Kristen Chenowyth brings to the character. Wouldn't it have been more interesting to bring Skystar in as a student, given her relationship with Pinkie Pie, Twilight and the rest of the Mane Six? I mean, I understand not being able to use the actress, but couldn't they have hired someone else with a similar voice? Wouldn't that have been better than a discount copy? Also, thought it was weird that Silverstream could just switch back and forth from hippogriff to Seapony when the movie established that Queen Novo's magical orb was needed to transform. I know Occelus (spelling?) is popular already, but I found her to just be diet Fluttershy mixed with some diet Thorax. Meanwhile, Smolder and Gallus are kind of interchangeable at the moment, although both seem like they have potential to be pretty likable. As for Sandbar, he seems okay in a cool Dude-Bro kind of way, but I wasn't sure why a guy like him needs to be taught the basics of friendship, as he already seems like a pretty socially adept pony. And that brings me to another point, I guess: is the School of Friendship's purpose creating peace between nations and spreading the magic of friendship, or is it actually about teaching those who have issues making friends the basics? If it is the latter, you would think everyone/every-creature would be kind of embarrassed to attend as it implies they are too socially-inept to figure it out on their own. I also think going from having Starlight as a student to "friendship school" is a pretty big leap that kind of makes the season feel like a different show entirely, but we will see how it goes. All in all, some promising stuff here. Hope we still have most focus on the Mane Six, Spike and Starlight and mostly use the newbies as foils for them.
  7. I said this in the Shadow Play thread, but here are my ideas for episodes featuring the Elements/Pillars: 1) Starswirl and the Royal Sisters reminisce about their past and Twilight gets to learn about their history 2) Rarity accompanies Mist Mane to her homeland and learns more about the Eastern Unicorns 3) Applejack introduces Rockhoof to Apple Bloom, since AB is a fan, as seen in "Campfire Tales" 4) Rainbow Dash, Spike and Flash Magnus travel to the Dragon Lands and Magnus learns more about how Dragon culture works 5) Pinkie Pie and Sonambula have an adventure with Daring Do, either in Sonambula's homeland or elsewhere. 6) Fluttershy and Meadowbrook work to cure a new epidemic.
  8. I mostly liked the finale, although the constant focus on "look how right Starlight Glimmer is!!!" did get a bit heavy-handed. I wish we had gotten to see more from the Pillars as individuals. I liked Mist Mane and Meadowbrook and Starswirl, despite his negative attitude, was interesting. Flash Magnus, on the other hand, just seemed like a male Rainbow Dash and Rockhoof barely said anything at all. Sonambula's accent annoyed me. Anyway, I'm hoping next season, each of the Pillars gets some focus with his/her respective Mane 6. Maybe Starswirl can tell Twilight about his history with the Royal Sisters, or Pinkie Pie and Sonambula can adventure with Daring Do, or Rarity can travel with Mist Mane to learn more about the Eastern Unicorns, or AJ can introduce Apple Bloom to Rockhoof, or Rainbow, Spike and Flash Magnus could go back to the Dragon Lands, or Fluttershy and Meadowbrook can cure an epidemic together. Lots of good potential ways to flesh out these currently pretty flat characters.
  9. Let's see: 1) Diamond Tiara has done literally nothing since her redemption. Give her an episode (or at least some kind of sufficient role!) in an episode this season! Silver Spoon, also, hasn't really been seen much since "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" two seasons ago! 2) Bring in Princess Skystar and Queen Novo: They are both unique/fun characters and I would love to learn more about the Hippogriff Kingdom! 3) An episode where the CMCs get in a major argument/temporarily break up as friends: Given that they are elementary or middle school-aged kids, I'm surprised this has never happened and how often they seem like a unified front (especially in comparison to the Mane Six, who seem to have way more arguments!) 4) An exploration of Pinkie's relationship with Marble Pie: I mean, they are twins for crying out loud! But Pinkie always refers to Maud as her "best sister friend." I wonder why that is and I think it would be interesting to see more of this dynamic. 5) An episode about Applejack thinking she is boring compared to the rest of the Mane 6 and going out of her way to prove otherwise: I've wanted something like this for awhile, just to address fan criticism. Plus, I would think that in universe AJ's reliable work-ethic and cool-headed demeanor might seem less flashy and exciting than OTT personalities like Pinkie. Plus, there is the fact that she is a typical Earth Pony with no special skills (in contrast to Twilight or RD). 6) Still want to see Shady, the super negative pony from the original G1 MLP. Maybe pair her up with Fluttershy and have a lesson about how you can't change someone's personality? 7) An episode with just Pinkie, Rarity and Rainbow Dash: Don't know why. Just like the dynamic between those three.
  10. Well, I liked it a lot! Wasn't expecting it to be Zootopia or anything, but for what it was, it was awesome! Was a bit disappointed that Fluttershy didn't do more (and Applejack to a lesser extent), but as Pinkie and Rarity are my faves, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they were both used. Loved Princess Skystar, too. She's the kind of cute/quirky friend you would expect to get along with Pinkie Pie. Oh and Maud's cameo: Lol.
  11. Haha "I HATE epic adventures!" Have to agree with Kyoshi that Tempest seems kind of boring from what we've seen - just WAY too serious. Overall, this is a nice trailer, though and I'm still looking forward to the movie.
  12. I mostly thought it was a good episode aside from one glaring issue: The changelings just kind of don't transform anymore. Like, we see Pharynx disguise himself as a rock at one point and into a giant spider twice, but those were literally the only two times. I had to wonder why he didn't turn into that mole/bear thing (forget what it's called) and even thought that was where they were headed when they said that it could only be injured by itself. Hell, what if ALL the changelings turned into mole/bear things and took the threat on? I mean, I get that they are peaceful now, but why would that mean they no longer use their defining power?
  13. I actually really liked the personalities of Bright Mac and Pear Butter. Bright Mac, especially, was shown to be charming and funny. I thought it was a great episode, just as most of S7 has been!
  14. I liked the episode, but it did seem bitter and kind of mean-spirited. Why would ponies stop buying Rarity's products just because they didn't like her in the book? Especially if they'd been her clients for years? What did she even do in the book that made her terrible enough to abandon? And what did any of it have to do with her boutique? And yes, totally agree that the Mane 6 should be celebrities already. :shrug:
  15. I enjoyed this one a lot! One thing I might have changed, however, to make it more applicable to bronies (or the common responses I've seen): what if everyone thought Applejack was boring instead of super popular? I guess this wouldn't bother AJ as much as popularity, but it would still fit better, IMO. Loved the song. It's been awhile since we had a song for all the Mane Six, hasn't it?