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Found 6 results

  1. A lot of ponies have pointed out that season 7 episode 14 was a brief showing of what the brony fandom is like, where we have many adult males critically analyzing the show and criticizing it. I wanted your thoughts in the polls.
  2. Well then... that was... odd. Certainly not bad, and I don't even find myself disagreeing with the lesson of this episode, but it was quite odd to watch to say the least. I honestly don't think we've ever had an episode as blatantly meta as "Fame and Misfortune," and it leaves me in a strange place when it comes to reviewing it. But I'm gonna try my best, since it's still an episode of MLP, and like I said, not a bad one, even if I don't know completely how I feel about it. Without further ado, let's begin, this is Batbrony Reviews "Fame and Misfortune." I won't lie, that is undeniably one of the most adorable faces Twilight's made in some time So let's not beat around the bush and get straight to the point: this episode is a biting critique of both the worst behavior displayed by nerdy fandoms in general, and specifically the brony fandom in particular. What happens? Twilight Sparkle rediscovers her old friendship journal she and her friends put together, and decides to distribute it all across Equestria in the hopes that ponies will take the lessons to heart. This plan seemingly backfires, however, when suddenly the Mane 6 are being treated like celebrities, and as a result being hounded and harangued in the absolutely worst ways that celebrities are. Worst of all, none of the ponies harassing them seem to have taken any of the lessons to heart and are more interested in far more trivial, superficial matters. The friends are almost overwhelmed by all of this insanity, but take comfort in each other at the end, as well as the fact that some ponies (namely G4 Toola Roola and her friend Coconut Cream) show them that they have taken their lessons to heart and haven't missed the point of the journal, even if many others have. That's as simple a summary as I can give, and it's really not that complex of an episode overall. It's still an odd one, and I certainly have my criticisms despite appreciating the lesson. Let's start with my criticisms before we touch on the positives, just to get them out of the way. For starters, this episode has a single-sided depiction of celebrity-hood, and a negative one at that. I don't think the bad things they show happening to the Mane 6 as celebrities are necessarily inaccurate, not at all, being a celebrity is an exhausting, 24/7 endeavor I am sure and fans can be super weird, if not downright uncomfortable at times. But they don't show the fact that being a celebrity comes with its own set of perks as well, and not just superficial ones; while MLP creators and artists may, in the grand Hollywood hierarchy, only be minor celebrities for the most part, they still have access to a lot of opportunities that their fans do not for the most part. Plus, come on, they get to make an awesome show about magical ponies; hard work as that may be, I'd still say it's pretty awesome. Point being that being a celebrity of any level isn't JUST the nightmare that the show depicted here, there's more to it than that. I will admit, though, that I appreciate that they took our longstanding critique that the Mane 6 were never treated like celebrities by the rest of Equestria despite saving it so many times; after this episode, I'm perfectly OK if they aren't ever again seeing as ponies treated them so bizarrely. I far prefer getting to see them lead their lives as normally as possible when they can. My second critique is that I wasn't particularly fond of seeing mainstay background ponies treating the Mane 6 like assholes. The new characters I didn't care about, and while I understand that they couldn't just make new character models and were most likely just recycling characters for convenience's sake, it was still not particularly pleasant seeing background characters we've come to love act OOC and like total jerks. Granted, like much in this episode, it will probably be forgotten entirely going forward, so I'm pretty forgiving of it overall with that in mind, but still, I wasn't all that fond of it at times (except of course when Pinkie had that hilarious line, "YOU'VE KNOWN ME FOR YEARS!!!!!!" That was golden and I cannot hate that line at all). I will admit, though, that I did enjoy seeing them criticize the "Best Pony" fad, or at least how some people treat it; it's alright if you have a favorite character for your own personal reasons (I should know considering Derpy is mine), BUT having a favorite character doesn't mean that they are superior to the others for EVERYBODY just by virtue of being your favorite, or that you need to prove their "superiority." Just be content with why you like them more than the others, while also accepting that the Mane 6 simply wouldn't be as special as they are if even one of their members weren't a part of their group. The episode definitely did a good job at hammering that point home towards the end, and I applaud them for addressing that particular niche in the fandom. The third critique I have isn't much of a critique, more like just an expression of how I personally feel about the episode. The target of this episode is the fringe elements of the fandom, namely fans who turn their liking of the show into an unhealthy thing for both themselves and others in a variety of ways. The biggest critique I have of how this is shown is that I believe it is especially targeted at the con-going crowd, ya know, bronies who regularly attend pony cons and get the most chances to be around the show's creators. There's nothing wrong with that either, but in my case, it means that the lesson didn't actually resonate with me all that much. Why? Not because it's a bad lesson, but because I'm not a part of that crowd. In my entire life, I've been to a grand total of one convention, last year's BronyCon. It was a great time where I got to meet a bunch of cool bronies and creators, both from the show and in the fandom, and yes, I also got exposed to in those few days some of the more uncomfortable sides of the fandom, i.e., fans who take certain things about the show too seriously, fans who don't have good self-awareness and can make others uncomfortable because of their behavior, fans who feel entitled to certain treatment just by virtue of loving the show, fans who think they prove their "status" in the fandom by owning the most merchandise that they can, etc. These were all there to be sure, and yet, that's the only time I've gotten to see it. Now any fan can certainly be exposed to the ugly side of the fandom online as well, but it's far different in person, when you get to see hundreds if not thousands of bronies gathered together. I myself have only gotten to see that once, and many bronies can't even say that, so really, I think for folks like myself who are not a part of the regular con-going crowd, this episode isn't going to resonate as much with us. That's OK, all episodes have varying levels of effect on people depending on what they can personally take from it; I know that many bronies didn't feel that "The Perfect Pear" resonated with them as much as it did with others, and in many of those cases, they're bronies who've never had a romantic relationship or a really deep one, so it's understandable that they may not get why that episode resonated so strongly with others who have been in love with another. But the reason I do still list it as a critique is because the target audience of this episode is so narrow; con-going bronies either have the good fortune of living very close to where a big con is regularly held, or they have the resources to get to multiple cons each year. Ultimately, that's a small segment of the fandom, even if it is an important segment. An episode like "The Perfect Pear" by contrast could easily resonate with anyone who's ever been in love, or just wants to understand the deeper effects of a pure love in general, meaning it has a far more universal audience, to the point that I believe that even people who don't watch MLP could get a lot out of it. Replace that tree with a body pillow, and you've got an eerily accurate scene one could easily encounter at one of our cons So, even if this episode doesn't resonate with me very strongly, why do I still think it's a good episode? Because it still has a good lesson, even if it's a very meta one that probably won't ever be brought up again. For me, this was 22 minutes of the show's creators venting about the hardest aspects of dealing with this fandom, and I'm OK with that. This is a weird fandom by nature, and in general that's usually alright, but at its worst it means that the show's creators are often confronted by dozens of fans with silly critiques, demanding and entitled behavior, or just take their love of the show to uncomfortable levels. Worst of all, they forget what the point of this show is to begin with, teaching good lessons to others and helping them be better for learning those lessons. Overall, my biggest takeaway from this episode for the fandom is that, if you have the opportunity to express your love for the show in public, especially to its creators, don't do it in a way that isn't good for anyone. Don't harass them, don't act snobbish or entitled around them, don't act as though they are there (at a con or such) for you. Being a fan and getting to share in your love of the show with a creator means doing just that, sharing, showing how much you appreciate the work they've done, and the stories and characters they've created. I'm not saying you can't be critical of the show, I've done just that up above after all. But it's one thing to be critical of certain things in an episode of the show. It's another thing entirely to take certain flaws as a personal affront, or to act like a jackass about certain problems. In the grand scheme of things, a bad episode in this show, even one as horrendous as "Hard to Say Anything," isn't going to be the end of the world; it'll just be a bad episode and, while you can be upset about that, you shouldn't let it affect you or others too much. As the song in this episode goes (which sounded a bit too epic to be warranted for this episode, but I won't complain since it was still a super lovely song all the same), "We're not flawless, we're a work in progress." This doesn't just apply to the characters, it applies to the show itself. The creators are always trying to see how they can improve upon the already great stuff they've made, what new things they could add to make it even more special. When episodes like "The Perfect Pear" happen, we see the greatest fruits of their labors and ambitions, proof that they truly are trying to push the boundaries of what they can accomplish in this show. But that doesn't mean there will never be buck ups or mishandled episodes either, and while we don't have to like those episodes, we shouldn't blow them out of proportion either. Being a good fan means trying to use your love of something to share in celebrating it with its creator, and offering helpful critiques and advice when you can. It doesn't mean inconveniencing creators or even making life harder for them; if that's going on as a result of your behavior, then you're doing something wrong as a fan. Do you have to like this episode? I don't think so, no. I don't think anyone should be personally offended by it, but if it didn't resonate with you very strongly like in my own case, that's alright. And hey, if you loved it and had a blast at its meta nature, that's great, keep on loving it. This episode is already creating very split opinions on it in the fandom, it seems, and I'm neither surprised nor do I think that's a bad thing, necessarily (just don't make the creators lives a living hell for making it, folks, OK?). So what's my advice for all of us to take away from this episode? Simple: love the show, critique it where it's warranted but in a reasonable manner, and show your love to the show's creators in a healthy, positive, uplifting, and grounded manner that leaves both you and them feeling better. Don't be a jackass, don't act like the creators "owe" you anything, and don't forget what this show is all about in the first place. Learning some good lessons about life, taking those lessons to heart, and practicing them in your own lives as best as you can for the good of others and yourself. If we do that, then we're proving that the show creators' efforts have all been worth it. That's all I've got for ya this week, everypony, until next time this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit* Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch "The Perfect Pear" again... DON'T JUDGE ME, YOU KNOW YOU DO IT TOO!!!
  3. Alright, good afternoon everypony, apologies for taking some time to get around to this review. This morning we got what I would call an average episode with an exceptional ending, at least by Season 6 standards. That's not to say I didn't enjoy "The Cart Before the Ponies," but it hit beats that were very predictable in many regards, as we'll see. Without further ado, let's begin, this is "The Cart Before the Ponies." So this episode's biggest problem really comes down to the type of story it's telling. We've seen this story in a million different ways before, the "older sibling/parent helping out the youngster with something, and getting carried away by their own ambitions/nostalgia and in the process forgetting what the activity's really about" storyline. It's not a story thread I'm a particular fan of, for one big reason: it demands that the adult character act more immaturely than the younger character. This isn't to say you can't do that, you certainly can; adults are often stupid or immature in their own ways, far too often. The reason it doesn't work a lot of the time in this particular type of story is because the adults are usually being immature about something very petty, in this case a derby race. This felt very out of character for all three of the Mane 6 here, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Rarity, ESPECIALLY when one considers that this is a Season 6 episode. If this had happened in Season 1 or Season 2, I could've bought it at the very least, but this is Season 6 and all three of them were being ridiculous for the first 2/3 of this episode. They felt like stereotypes of themselves, and not in a good or even humorous way. But like I said, I don't blame this on the episode or the characters so much as just the particular type of story that was being told, and thankfully the episode had enough redeeming points to overcome the bad story-type. I need that hat... I NEED IT First of all, Cheerilee featured prominently for the first time in a while, and I remembered how much I love when that happens, for a couple of reasons. (1) Cheerilee's adorable and I have a soft spot for her since my mom's a teacher, so a good teacher character will always win me over, (2) she's voiced by Nicole Oliver, who doesn't get NEARLY enough screentime in the show between Cheerilee and Princess Celestia these days, simply shameful considering she's a great VA who has so much fun in both roles. Cheerilee was basically what she always is, hilarious and adorable. She has a very deadpan sense of humor where she usually just gets fed up with something stupid going on around her, while somehow remaining chipper all the same, and her cheerleader outfit in the final scene was TOO CUTE!!! She was also the most mature adult pony here and called RD, AJ, and Rarity out for their BS at the end, which was gratifying to see. WOO, YEAH, TAKE IT OFF- uh, I mean, yeah, go Cheerleader Cheerilee, go Cheerilee, go! "Getting real tired of your BS, Rarity." Secondly the humor was top notch, especially for a slice of life episode that really brought Ponyville to life. We got to see A LOT of side characters and background ponies in prominent roles, and that's always fun and gave it a very early-seasons feel. I was especially pleased by how much of my best pony, Derpy, there was (and her possible brother/nephew/son??? Seriously, who the buck was that colt???), and she got the biggest laugh from me in that flashback scene with Rarity (don't ever underestimate how creative my best pony is, ya'll! ). The whole town came alive here, and that's always one of my favorite things to see in the show. Also, Scootaloo wanted to make a chicken-cart, THAT IS EPIC TROLLING FROM THE WRITERS/ANIMATORS!!! Who are you, mysterious colt?! FLAWLESS VICTORY, EPIC CELEBRATION! Never underestimate a mailmare! Third, we got a killer song at the end despite the fact that it was basically RD, AJ, and Rarity singing about how much they were bucking up. It was fun, the whole town was involved, and it had a killer tune to it. Not much else to say about that other than I liked it. Did they just make a bucking Wacky Races reference? Brohoof if you know what the buck I'm talking about! THIS STORY THREAD IS SO FRUSTRATING, GAHHHH!!!! Ponies: you know they're cute when they look adorable even in this! Finally, the resolution was satisfying despite the fact that I could see the message coming from a mile away. Pretty much everypony in town was ticked off at RD, AJ, and Rarity, and rightfully so because they screwed up the whole derby for everyone. The CMC got to vent their frustrations as much as they should have, the Mane 6 members learned their lesson well, everypony got to have fun in the end and all was made right. Overall, while this episode was utterly predictable and utilized a very tired and not terribly good story thread, it was satisfying enough in its execution to be enjoyable enough. It wasn't great, but it was better than average on the whole, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Should be fun to rewatch, especially for the little things that elevated it. That's all for this week everypony, until next week this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off! *cue dramatic exit*
  4. Alrighty, welcome, welcome, welcome back everypony to another edition of Batbrony Reviews! After a 2 month hiatus Season 5 is back in business! And my, my, is it back in business indeed. It's never a bad thing to start things off with a Rarity episode; I don't believe she's ever had a truly weak episode unlike other main characters like Pinkie Pie or the CMC. Not that most of the characters ever have weak episodes, but Rarity's are especially of a consistent high quality, and in my opinion "Canterlot Boutique" is no exception. Without further ado, let's dive right in and take a look at the 14th episode of Season 5, shall we? New episode, where?! Right this way, darlings! First of all, I don't actually have a lot to say about this episode, but that's not because there wasn't a lot I liked, oh no, there was. It's actually mostly because it was very well-paced to the point that scenes were so fully developed that not a lot ended up happening. It was a very self-contained episode with a grand total of two settings, Ponyville Boutique at the very start of the episode, and for the rest of it Canterlot Boutique. In many ways, it actually felt like a Season 1 episode in that regard, and even has some parallels in its overall feel with Rarity's first episode, "Suited for Success." I get how that might not be for everyone (myself included given that I have complained about "MMMystery on the Friendship Express"'s lack of interesting settings before, but that episode sucks in general and the lack of settings is the least of its problem), but here I thought it really worked given that it was a new setting and not a whole lot was happening. As far as Rarity goes, I really liked her characterization here, mostly because the episode was not entirely clear (at least I didn't think so) for a while as to just what exactly the problem was. We knew that this lifelong dream of Rarity's was not turning out the way she'd hoped it would, but it wasn't exactly clear why. It wasn't that she was getting worked to the bone; sure she got some fatigue, but Rarity's a hard worker and we know that she loves putting in a hard day's work. Eventually it became clear that there was simply no more joy and passion going into her work; her lifelong dream was turning into a chore, not the passion she'd always treated her work as, and that made it simply unbearable! I think even outside of creative communities many, many, many people can relate to this feeling; work simply being a means to a paycheck, not something you actually love and truly care about, and how crushing that feeling can be. What made it worse for Rarity was that she was technically in charge of this venture (and I will say in that regard it's a little surprising that she didn't put her hoof down sooner, after all, Sassy Saddles was her employee), so for it to get out of her control like that must've just hurt her all the more. I'm guessing she went with it for so long because she was convinced that she wanted to do whatever it took to make it Canterlot, even if it meant not doing her work her way, but eventually she realized that not only was that unnecessary, but also simply not worth it even if it had meant closing her business (which thankfully she didn't have to do). Her forgiving Sassy Saddles only made her lesson learned all the better, because after all, her manager never really meant any harm. Aside then from her fantastic characterization, there were other things that were great about Rarity here as well. Her song "Rules of Rarity" was great (as virtually any Rarity solo song is), and pretty much had a constant presence in the episode for the second half of it, to the point that it was very much doing some of the storytelling here similar to how "Art of the Dress" did in "Suited for Success" (which I believe was intentional, and the two songs even sounded similar). It was great seeing both her creative side on display (I always love when the show embraces the fact that Rarity is a fashionista and designer and yet doesn't make her cliche as buck as any other show would) as well as how business savvy she remains, I mean, heck, she now has two branches for her business, that's a permanent change and shows how far her own career has advanced since the show started! Overall, Rarity was super solid here; she kept a cool head for the most part and didn't fall into hysterics, but still learned a valuable lesson rather than knowing it right from the start. Super solid Rarity episode, and I enjoyed her here as I pretty much always do when she's the star of an episode. As for other elements, I really had no major complaints about anything. Her friends were great, Twilight especially being super kind helping Rarity out like she did. Sassy Saddles was a nice new supporting character; I liked that she wasn't just straight up antagonistic, but rather just a pony trying to do the right thing but in the wrong way. It seemed like she'd failed at managing a number of boutiques in the past, probably because she seems to value very much separation of responsibilities between managers and designers. So it's not that she's so much a control freak of everything, but rather a control freak of her own areas of responsibility, and I know that in many different careers there's a lot of people who hate sharing their particular responsibilities with others. It's a very understandable character flaw, and she really was well meaning through and through, but thankfully she learned a valuable lesson as well about working and collaborating on an equal basis with a business partner and aiming for long term success in the fashion business through diversity of stock, not just selling the buck out of one dress, which would only remain in fashion for so long. I loved being back in Canterlot and always love that setting, and the fact that they were consistent in showing mostly unicorns there was a nice little aesthetic touch. That Cosmare writer was HILARIOUS, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but they somehow made a character more over-the-top... than Steven Magnet. I still don't know how, but they did it. This guy... I love this guy! Loved, loved, LOVED this last scene! The one thing that was completely unnecessary was that random as buck obese pony at the end; I know that same pony technically showed up on that picture in that locker earlier in the season in "Tanks for the Memories," but it was just a weak joke in general. It was a fat joke that came at the last second in the episode and was literally the last thing we saw, just kind of fell flat as a regard of that. However, I LOVED the last scene when we got to see Rarity actually working her boutique, something we usually only get to see her do with one customer at a time or a close friend. Here though it was packed with new characters, and once again, I cannot reiterate enough how much I love Canterlot ponies! The variety in personalities was great, the dresses they were picking out were beautiful (I adored her entire princess line up and also loved the fact that it illustrates the princesses' effect and influence on Equestrian popular culture), and the whole scene was just a lovely look into Rarity when she's in her element. Overall, this was a slower episode, once again reminding me very much of a Season 1 episode, but I really, really liked it very much for what it was. Season 5's back, and we got from the looks of things another Rarity episode to look forward to next week, yay! ... ... OK, one more time... I LOVE THIS GUY!!!
  5. So Eqd just posted that Zap2it has set a date for episode 14 of season 5, 12th of September. The article is here: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2015/08/zap2it-listing-season-5-part-2-start.html#more Are any of you skeptical about this? Do you trust Hasbro? But more importantly are you all HYPED? Because I know I am.
  6. Now call me a critic... oh wait I am! But I may have just found a plot hole that at least worries me about today's episode (Season 2, Episode 14) "The Last Round Up." Normally I'd say My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is a well written show, but now I'm worried if it might be declining. Usually episodes go plot hole free, but today's episode had a plot hole glaring right at me in the face, even when I watched it the first time. I see that the fans here REALLY love this episode. I do too! I love the overall story and the characters seem really strong here (well Twilight and Rarity took a back seat this time but it's a change of pace). However, the episode was REALLY REALLY good, one of the best ever... until the end. It wasn't a lackluster ending. It went almost exactly as I predicted, but it's a kid's show so predictable plots and lessons are to be expected. The issue I had with the ending is more in the writing and the logic behind it. Cut to the chase scene where we see 5 of the Mane 6 in one cart chasing Applejack in her carriage. We get some banter, a rather humorous "I'll pay more if..." joke running, Applejack outsmarting the Pinkie Promise/Pinkie Pie Swear (guess Hasbro/Studio B thought Pinkie Promise sounded cuter) which I thought was great (I love a good Loophole!), and then Pinkie being Pinkie and knocking Rarity off the cart! Beautiful scene! Then the train comes along. Applejack's last ditch effort to, "Get the heck outta Dodge!" (I see what you did there!) She decides to beat the train leaving the other ponies behind. It works out. Then something happens that bothers me... ...She stops and jumps out of the carriage... WHY? The point of out running the train was to cut off the other ponies and get a HUGE lead and lose them. So Why stop? Even worse she let's the carriage leave without her (I could see why they wanted to leave, she's certainly trouble). She only runs when she sees that the Ponies jumped the train as she stands PERFECTLY still saying, "Try and catch me now!" Logic? I'm not sure... did she plan on beating them on foot, you know out run Rainbow Dash? (Don't get me started on why Rainbow Dash didn't just fly after her in the first place...) Did she count on the train being infinite? There are a few theories I have. 1.) Lazy/Crunched Writing: Either they really didn't care (which I DON'T think this is the case, but who knows) or they had some sort of deadline to catch. Perhaps they had some kind of scene where Applejack's Carriage breaks down, but the animators didn't have time or something. I suppose that could be forgiven seeing how great the rest of the episode was. 2.) Applejack is Unbelievably Stupid: Now this goes hand in hand with the above Lazy/Forced Writing. There is no reason for her to jump off the carriage. You could argue that she got excited and wanted to gloat... why not do that from the carriage? Why let the carriage leave if you are so desperate to get away from them? Her being stupid would be fine if that was a running character trait which it really isn't. 3.) This is Where Applejack Scares Me: Perhaps her plan was to out run the train and have the other ponies get hit by it... WHAT? Yeah that's really the most intelligent explanation I can come up to fill the plot hole! Think about it in a non-Pony Wild West theme. The Outlaw (Applejack) would try to get rid of his Pursuers (Other Ponies) by ANY means necessary! If that means making the Sheriff and his deputies take a one way ride on the 3:10 to Yuma then I'm sure the Outlaw would do so without second thought! Back to Ponies. Now Applejack loves her friends! She wouldn't want them hurt no matter how desperate she is, but when it comes to logic... this is the best explanation! She panicked! In desperation and panic she tried to violently kill the other ponies by train... NOT a Pony-like explanation by ANY means, but I prefer it over Lazy Writing! 4.) Since Derpy is Now Cannon, Everypony is Now 20% Dumber: Derp... that'll be all! As you can see from above I HATE Loopholes, especially in great things like MLPFiM, but I DON'T give free rides to anything if a plot hole is THIS obvious to me! I certainly hope this is just what happens when too many awesome things are packed tightly into 22 minutes and not a reflection on the show's writing decline! Here's to many more MLPFiM episodes! Hopefully Plot Hole free! [TL;DR] Explain to me why Applejack jumps off the carriage after she out runs the train!