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Found 17 results

  1. Because Season 9 was its last, FIM was likely going to go out and try to deliver the best episodes possible. Out of the gate, Dubuc and Haber co-wrote Sparkle's Seven, one of the best comedic, animated, and written episodes of the series. Taking ideas from the lead voice actors, they blended together a tremendous script that never let up, delivered an excellent allegory of how well-made predictability transcends poorly-made unpredictability, and used that allegory to create an excellent plot twist. If you wanna read my review, it's right here. Unfortunately, no episode review for The Last Crusade, but my love for it from the minute it debuted early never wavered. While Sparkle's Seven doesn't take itself too seriously, this was an emotional roller coaster from the minute Scoot realized her parents were coming home. Mane Allgood and Snap Shutter were, to put it bluntly, very bad parents for not being able to spend time with Scootaloo, and the parents (and episode itself) know it. Therefore, they come up with a solution that allows them to do the job that Equestria depends them upon while simultaneously taking care of Scootaloo. Unfortunately, it completely overlooked the fact that Scootaloo has hundreds of close relations back in Ponyville and all over Equestria. In trying to resolve a dilemma, they made Scootaloo even more upset and put her at greater odds with them. The only way they were going to let her stay is to show them that the CMCs truly changed their lives for the better; with help from Aunt Holiday, Auntie Lofty, and every resident they knew, they successfully convinced Mane Allgood and Snap Shutter that separating the CMCs would only hurt Equestria over the long haul. Letting her stay in Ponyville and promising to spend more time with her when the train let them was the right solution for the story, lessons, and characters. Both TLC and Seven are outstanding and extremely close in quality, but by the skin of its teeth, Last Crusade overthrew it. No other episode came close to toppling it…until The Big Mac Question. Line 'Em Up! I long repeated this, and to write it again, the dialogue since Shadow Play has really improved, the verbal comedy especially. Since Dubuc relinquished her role as co-editor, the comedic dialogue has, sadly, been somewhat of a step down. Thankfully, I'm reminded through BMQ that the same wit never really left, and that when it's on, it's great. Discord, for that matter, was the king of these great lines. Here are just a few: The first line wasn't quite true, but the second completely was, historically speaking. (The line is doubly important for adding context to the episode's central lesson of how keeping things simple are what really makes things special, but I'll get back to that later.) Not a bad callback. Once more, Discord has a point. Every time someone hopes for the better, something goes wrong. But Discord's the Lord of Chaos with a childish, immature streak, too. Since he wasn't alerted of Big Mac's proposal plan, he became giddy and impatient (with a great mariachi reference [taking a page from Star Trek: TNG]). As he read a message on a painted apple, he quickly realized something was awry in his own way. Big Mac's riddles were clumsily written, sometimes confusing, and easily gave away the second location. In trying to come up with the "perfect idea," Big Mac created a major flaw in his plan. However, Discord still isn't completely accustomed to the "friendship" aspect of Equestria, and given his long, immortal, antagonistic history, he maintains a defiant, devious streak. After he uses his magic to lay every single wooden apple around Ponyville without fully looking at the riddles, he soon caved in to Spike's glares and doubt, agreeing to double-check. From the beginning, Discord believed this game was overblown and instead should give it to Sugar Belle instead, only to have it rejected for "not being romantic" and breaking BM's rule of discovery. Afterwards, when he missed his chance to actually get Sugar Belle to see an apple, he went about spreading "the love" in, once more, his own way: giving the wooden apples life and instructing them to their own posts. Unfortunately, like Big Mac, his instructions and direction were also not quite clear, so the apples popped up whenever another pony passed by, leading to delicious, entertaining chaos. Without it, Discord's involvement in the episode would be out of character and as bland as Cart Before the Ponies. Chaos drives Discord, and his ability to create havoc and mayhem makes for a more entertaining conflict and story, especially around Big Mac and Spike. On the other hand, it puts him into fault. Instead of thoroughly double-checking and making sure everything goes right, he cuts corners and tries to be cute and creative (tho I don't mind ), leading him to become responsible for the spider-looking apple monster. Also, I disagree with the criticism of Discord regressing. Sure, he may not have developed like D&D and TBUBD, but he understands how much Sugar Belle means to Big Mac. Despite his severe disagreement with the plan and Spike's commitment to it, he regrets worsening things and helps rectify the errors with everyone else offscreen as BM and Sugar proposed to each other. Furthermore, this episode shows some subtle growth from Break Down: After a lot of complaining over the lovey-dovey stuff and wanting to play O&O instead, he doesn't let his opinions interfere with Big Mac's proposal and tries to simultaneously help her solve the riddles and respect Spike's pleas. The Time Is Right Michael Vogel's among the best writers of the current crop. The Big Mac Question adds to his résumé, and with Hader co-writing, they co-created well-done, well-timed comedy. Discord's spilling of littler, more innocent secrets works as a joke for a big reason. As written already, Discord still hasn't fully accustomed to friendship, notably keeping a secret. FS's fright of clowns, Twilight's sleepwalking, and Octavia's date have a more innocuous, lighthearted zephyr; yes, he's spilling them to Spike and Big Mac, but not maliciously. This joke leads to the punchline right before the intro: shouting excitedly that Big Mac plans to propose to Sugar Belle. Everyone's curious reaction to the echo is really hilarious, and even better as one of them — Shoeshine — hears it and shrugs it off. Even better, they repeated the very same joke while keeping it fresh. It's 100% understandable that Apple Bloom's family will soon expand with Sugar Belle becoming her soon-to-be sister-in-law. Her giddy face sells her excitement well, so when she shouts out loud and everyone's as confused as before, you still laugh. Every single "shocking" misadventure by the CMCs: Scoot heads to the bowling alley and accidentally causes a Lebowski stallion to throw a bowling ball into a lamp, breaking the wooden panels below. When AB heads to the sanctuary, she shocks a monkey into a sleeping canopy of Smoky and family. SB opens a sauna, where a relaxing mare throws a body towel over her head when she finds out her privacy's invaded. Spike has a point. Discord's poor directions made the apples believe that the next pony to come close will receive the poem, and it followed each pony wherever they went. In trying to make Sugar Belle see an apple, he — surprise surprise! — helped unleash a boatload of chaos at the Ponyville market. Relocating them back to Sweet Apple Acres was another unwise decision, as they merged into THIS monstrosity! However, instead of actually going on a rampage to find Sugar Belle, the apple monster with its six, spidery eyes successfully delivered the assigned message in its grossest, yet most sincere, message of marriage right onto Discord. Yes, all the apple spit's gross, but not done with any ill intentions, and Discord didn't do a lot to make the problem better. Secondly, notice how the large apple's voice is very similar to Big Macintosh's? A nice, little way to get Peter New to talk in his Big Mac voice while making it sound as garbled, menacing, and childlike as possible. Whenever Granny Smith spoke, she was "spaced out," giving DHX plenty of leeway to pluck some great Star Trek references. Beyond "where nopony has gone before," she said this: >References Q >Inspiration for Discord …cheeky cheeky! Yet, the timing of the humor alone wasn't just right. As the apples chased Ponyville in Act 1, the animation crew snuck in this tender moment: Ever since FIM started, Lyra and Bon Bon have always been side by side, and the brony fandom established a long-time ship out of it. In Slice of Life, they teased the possibility despite hammering in the "best friends" line with the cheek caressing, couple-like arguing late, and the bedroom eyes. Over the last few seasons, their "friendship" began to really evolve, especially since S8 when DHX knew the finish line. Just a few examples: Grannies Gone Wild: Everywhere they went in Las Pegasus. Break Down: Exchanging Hearts & Hooves Day gifts. Marks for Effort: Bon Bon buying a green cactus, presumably for Lyra. End in Friend: Having lunch together. Dragon Dropped: Sharing a milkshake together, ala Buttercup and Bright Mac. After what happened in DD, you knew that the animators were just going to do something with Lyra and Bon Bon. From Season 5 onward, their evolving relationship was clearly no accident. While the main stories developed in front of us, their arc developed from the background. I guarantee you someone in this fandom will go back, find all the foreshadowing over the seasons, and build their story. Why is their proposal so significant? Representation matters. The TV debut to Auntie Lofty and Aunt Holiday introduced a same-sex couple for the first time in the show's history. While they're secondary characters, their presence in Scootaloo's life mattered, and they helped lead the CMCs' idea for a CMC Appreciation Day. It demonstrates how significant the brony fandom truly was to the growth of this show. In the beginning, everyone was surprised by how good Friendship Is Magic truly was. Although viewership and overall size of bronydom has dropped over the years, it still has its viewers and dedicated bronies. The brony fandom created this popular fanon ship all the way back to season one…and animator Morgan Shandro made it canon. Lofty/Holiday and LyraBon are special in their own rights. The former gave the LGBTQ+ community well-needed representation in a very popular family show and directly impacted the story. The latter came after years and years of development, and the animators decided that this was the right time to make it official. BTW, how apropos for Lyra to propose by dropping on one knee like a human? Drawing to a Close A giant reason why Shadow Play's one of the greatest episodes of FIM is how it blended so many arcs into one. Changes of editors + writers = changes of direction. The team turnover means new people post and publish episodes that match their own vision of FIM, so you have a wide array of stories that sometimes go nowhere. This two-parter blended so many arcs (the Pony of Shadows, Star Swirl's lack of understanding friendship, the Pillars, Starlight's redemption) so seamlessly that it looks like the creators intentionally left them vague so that they can be completed at the right time. It's one of the most impressive feats this show has ever done. Big Mac Question blends so many arcs in a smaller scale and closes them. Back in The Cutie Map, Spike explains his preference to be with Big Mac as the reason for skipping the Mane Six's first friendship quest. More than a season later, Nick Confalone expanded this little gag into its own story by including Discord in the Guys' Night Out duo. Two seasons later, they all acted like they knew each other since Spike hatched. BMQ added another chapter into this arc with one central goal. Once Hard to Say Anything concluded, Sugar Belle and Big Mac became an item. Over this and the next few seasons, the writers and animators sprinkled in romance between 'em, solidifying their unity. This episode called back to how they became an item in the first place: Big Mac renovating her shelf to add more space for her desserts, and Scoot recognized the blueprint for it inside SAA. Also, great call by Vogel and Haber to have Sugar Belle plan to propose to him, too. Usually, the male proposes to her, and Big Mac planned to pop the question at some point today. However, Plot 1B had Sugar Belle plan her own with Mrs. Cake's and the CMCs's help, showing that Sugar Belle had some ideas and offer of her own to prove her own commitment as his wife. Speaking of the CMCs… As the episode lampshaded, they earned a reputation of concocting schemes, either with success or failure, since they first met. After multiple tries, they finally got Big Mac to become an item with Sugar. Here, they felt guilty for accidentally contributing to the confusion that almost caused them to break up. (In Break Down, the delivery ponies mistook Sugar Belle for Sweetie Belle after smudging the address, leading them to believe she had a secret admirer.) For the first time all series, they're aware of the consequences. By working with Sugar and helping her to find Big Mac, they feel like they can make up for at least some of it. Yet, as what the episode showed, even their good intentions sometimes don't go according to plan. All series long, Spike's romanticism has had an impact on everyone and himself. In Break Down, he hinted his romantic "expertise" by reciting a poem of his unrequited crush on Rarity, only to be hilariously interrupted when Discord ignored him. XD Here, he brags to an offscreen character how he's so romantic and tries to help Mrs. Cake deliver all the proposal messages to the desserts…only to have his idea burn to a crisp. Lyra's and Bon Bon's series-long, evolving relationship, as explained before. Plus, notice how Bon Bon popped the question just after Lyra? Their dual proposal and rings subtly foreshadow Sugar's and BM's later on. Sugar Belle was one of the four ponies the Mane Six met when they first arrived in Our Town, and led them into an underground rebellion so they can regain their magical talent and break free from Starlight's tyranny. At season's end, she forgave her, and later helped invite Starlight to return to the village for the festival. After To Where, DHX slowly incorporated her into the secondary cast. The time she became super-heartbroken over losing her boyfriend and then became super-happy when they reunited was the moment I permanently bought into their romance. When Big Mac talked about how he loves her snorty chuckle, you can tell they really love each other. When they were going to marry was only a matter of time. Aside from being part of the timeline of Dungeons & Discord, Hard to Say Anything, and The Break Up Break Down, it is the perfect sequel to the franchise's greatest episode — The Perfect Pear — and references it in so many ways. Decades ago, Buttercup suspected that Mrs. Cake — Chiffon Swirl back in the day — enjoyed baking, so she gave her ingredients and challenged her to be creative. Her instincts were proven right, as she got her cutie mark and became lifelong, close friends with BC, which continues long after her passing. Here, she's essential to the story by agreeing to take part in Sugar Belle's 21-dessert surprise proposal. When the Pears were about to relocate to Vanhoover, their parents married in secret at the rock that borders the Pear and Apple orchards. (Notice how Bright and BC planted seeds in their opposing orchards, which directly contributed to the growth of the intertwining apple-and-pear tree around the rock in which they declared their love for each other. During their walk together, they find themselves at that tree, and as they talked, the sun sets perfectly within the iconic heart, spiritually indicating their support for Sugar Belle and their romance. Knowing who his father was like means a lot to Big Macintosh. Here, he envisioned proposing to Sugar Belle at a similar desk like the one he built for her a few seasons ago, calling back to Bright Mac's own declaration of love to Buttercup at the rock, only to teasingly falter. Through this episode and his heart-to-heart chat with his girlfriend, we see he knows more about him now and how much his understanding of his parents matters so much. Now that he's older and wiser, he wants to respect their legacy. Sugar Belle’s poignant wisdom and subsequent glow also suggest agreement by them with her, too. The first time Mayor Mare officiated a wedding, she worked with Bright Mac to rush one in before they relocated far away. That wedding was set up quickly and in secret from the feuding families with no certainty if they were going to be together. Bright Mac wasn't lucky just to get her to witness their surprise, but also complete the vows before the Pears moved. This doesn’t happen here. The wedding at the now-grown tree was well-planned and included the wanted decorations, guests, streamers, and so forth. From the start, Sugar and BM know they want to spend the rest of their lives together, a massive contrast from the pressure Pear Butter and Bright Macintosh felt then. One of the two twists within the episode: everyone explaining to Applejack, the unknown narrator. (The other being the wedding, which I'll get to later.) She was the one who agreed to go on that expedition to find out about why the Pears and Apples feuded for so long, which introduced their parents’ pasts to them, brought them closer to them, and helped them forgive Grand Pear. Her tears show how touched she was of not only the story they told her, but her brother's marriage. Speaking of… Grand Pear only had a couple of cameos here, but his biggest one was his appearance at his grandson’s wedding. The last time one took place there, he abandoned his own daughter and never saw her alive again. Several decades later, he returned to Ponyville. Their forgiveness and witnessing of the beautiful intertwined tree together began the long-awaited healing process. This time, he (and Granny) returns to the very same site, stands beside the other Apples and Burnt Oak, and gives Big Mac his unconditional blessings, closing another gap that caused a massive, increasingly bitter divide between himself and his mother-in-law. How poetic is this sequel to have another marriage take place at their tree. Two seasons ago, the Apple kin rediscovered their parents’ legacy, how they introduced each other, and fell in love thru very bitter times. Come to the end of the episode, and that long-standing bitterness that divided the Pear and Apple families for so long is healed. Well, BMQ breaks a second, not-so-talked-about barrier: Sugar Belle’s the first non-Earth Pony to be part of the Apple family. (Also, recall AJ scolding Twilight for using magic unsolicitedly on her farm in S1? Intentional or otherwise, this episode implicates that the Apples welcome unicorn magic full-time on the property now.) A Lesson in Execution BMQ's primary lesson — "When you tend to make things complicated and make mistakes, the simplest things are the most desired and cherished" — is magnificent, but the way it's taught brings that home. Before he takes out his ring, Big Mac wants to show Sugar Belle his commitment to being her husband matters by helping her find him. How? By using those painted apples with attached clues, she travels from one location to the next before meeting him at the hilltop near Sweet Apple Acres. Unfortunately, his plan never properly flourished. Not only did she miss the first apple, but he had to go back to his barn to pick up the screwdriver he left behind. When he realizes she wasn't coming, he walks to Sugar Cube Corner to find her. Discord tries to help Sugar Belle find the first apple, but she misses it twice, resulting in his poor strategy of having the apples follow whoever sees them first. When he cleaned it all up, Sugar Belle still never saw it! Deciding to cut to the chase, he brought her to that same hilltop, only to realize he left. He blindfolded her and then brought her back to SCC. He may believe in romance now, but doesn't quite understand it still. Instead of helping each other out, Spike and Mrs. Cake were so sworn to their own party's secrets that they created an imaginary buffer that prevented helping each other out. When Spike tried to help Mrs. Cake, he found out that Mrs. Cake messed up her desserts and later accidentally burned every one of Sugar Belle's messages. Spike isn't always the politest dragon, and BMQ's no exception. In order to make Sugar's search for BM as perfect as possible, he got a little too worried over the arrangement, placement, and visibility of each apple, glared hard at Discord for not checking carefully, and refused to ease the game's difficulty. Why did he blow his magical fire on the remaining notes? Because he believed they would be able to get into the desserts quickly and easily, only to screw up badly. However, he didn't accept all of the blame, bluntly criticizing Mrs. Cake's terrible desserts. Mrs. Cake accepted a very difficult challenge of baking twenty-one desserts. Immediately, things went terribly wrong. During the rush, she had absolutely no idea what ingredients she was using and whether she used them at all. Poignantly observed by Scootaloo: Fortunately, no pony tasted them. Sugar Belle orchestrated her entire twenty-one-dessert proposal with Mrs. Cake and added another one with its own message to call Big Mac down to the shop. The purpose of having just one word in each dessert was to help Big Mac solve the proposal puzzle after he eats each once, but to bake that many meant Mrs. Cake's margin for error significantly decreased and must work harder than usual to finish on time. On her end, discovering Discord and Spike at the doorstep meant overlooking the apple on the step and running off as quick as they can to find Big Mac. The Cutie Mark Crusaders tried to find Big Mac to give him the dessert as promised. But when they couldn't find him at the barn, Apple Bloom called back Granny's advice and took it a little too literally, causing trouble of their own and annoying her friends in the process. The fact that everyone's plans were too complicated is kind of the point. Every single pony's so focused in trying to create the perfect proposal, they overlook serious flaws. What everyone had to figure out was that by messing things up, they discovered the true worth of commitment and dedication. They never had to go over the top in order to fix it, either. Pairing it down the essentials was all they needed, something Discord comprehended well beforehand. Sugar Belle was the first outside of Discord to truly figure it out after Big Mac felt upset for screwing up his own proposal and feeling that he let the legacy of his parents down. Because he doesn't talk much, his words matter a lot, so when he expresses his sadness, you really feel it. However, despite problems of her own, she understood that this was nothing compared to what they (and when she was controlled by Starlight) endured. To her, this was merely a blip. Mistakes happen; they can use 'em to grow closer and really show their love for each other. I read a few comments on Derpibooru calling their dual proposal cute, and it really is. <3 Their solid chemistry sells the warmheartedness! But I won't end my review until I call out two other things in this episode: All episode long, Spike wore nothing. For all we know, the fourth wall or a character we had no idea existed until then interviewed all of them. What slowly began to change, though, was when he wore a suit and tie for the first time. As a result, the wedding surprise was kept under wraps from the audience; showing him wearing his suit and putting on his bow tie really makes their marriage all the more impactful. Had we knew they were eloping at episode's end, this whole journey would've felt completely pointless. After a lot of great humor, chaos, and a little bit of drama, Discord alerting the apples to drop and sing "happy marriage, happy apples!" was perfect, heartwarming cuteness on top of already perfect cuteness! He might've added to the problems, but he respects their wedding ceremony and uses a subtle, Discord-y twist to show it. Consider this his own, special way to appreciate his friendship with everyone, their marriage, and their future lives. Conclusion What else can I say about this one? The Big Mac Question is really funny, really cute, and really heartwarming. Vogel and Haber tackled all of the emotions at exactly the right time and provided a magnificent cap to several arcs, some of which date back to the first season. This is the new-best Season 9 episode and one of the ten best of the series.
  2. Note: Although the U.S. won't air it till May 27, Canada's Treehouse TV will air it tomorrow morning. Be prepared for spoilers! Title: Hard to Say Anything Air Date (Canada/Treehouse TV): May 13, 2017 Air Date (U.S./Discovery Family): May 27, 2017 Writer: Becky Wangberg Summary: "When the Cutie Mark Crusaders discover that Big Mac has his first crush, they vow to help him win Sugar Belle’s heart before Feather Bangs does it first." This episode will continue the trend from Treehouse TV starting last Sunday with Fluttershy Leans In: Two episodes will air per week, one on Saturday, one on Sunday (and could air the finale early in the summer), while Discovery Family will air one per week. More than likely due to the Movie coming out in October. Each episode airs sometime between 11 and 11:30am EST, but its timing isn't completely consistent. When someone uploads the episodes on YT and DailyMotion, I'll link them to you here. A poll will be published after it airs. Poll's up! Canadian Airing Streams (links courtesy of EQD): Otaku Brawler (the one I watched Leans In) Brony Network Lemonwalnut DailyMotion: YT:
  3. In other words, could certain questions finally get answed , and certain theroies be put to rest. Well, with any kind of closuer on a franchise, the finale always seems to (at most times) open the doors to allow the writers to get a lot of stuff out of their system for themselves and for at most, the fans. But will the final season of MLP : FIM do that as well? Here I talk about what could be finally addressed, if that is the case. Now one of the first things that they (the writers) could finally address, is the whole Spike x Rarity situation. What I mean is, that if the writers choose to do so (IMO I believe they will), this will finally be addressed, and the outcome will be one that is a positive one, and yet be one that not a lot of the brony/pegasister community will agree on. And what the outcome will be, Spike and Rarity together. You may ask "How?" Well, it's quite simple, if you look at the fact, that they've been teasing this since Eps. 1, and throughout the show's run, they've had several episodes centered around Spike, that have also involved Rarity in some major/minor capacity, and with it being the final season of the show, like I mentioned at the beginning at the start, it opens the door for this to take place. And the reason being is, unless the series finale somehow ties into G5 and G5 becomes a soft Retcon/Reboot of FIM, then (IMO) this Spike x Rarity Deal will finally become a reality. 2. A Sugar Belle and Big Mac wedding will most likely happen. The reason being is the fact that this could be looked at as a 3 chapter deal, with the first happening in S7 , and So it only makes sense to tie this trifecta up with a 3rd and final chapter happening in the final season, which would culminate with a wedding between Sugar and BIg. Heck, for emotional sake, have the spirts of AJ, AppleBloom and Big Mac's parents appear to show their love and support, and thus have the kids and Sugar Belle seem as well. 3. Finally Addressing Celestria and Luna's orgins. Yes, before the show comes to a close, this has to be addressed, especially after giving them some moments to shine, first in the Premiere of S6 and most recently, not once but twice in S7, and This is something that finally needs to be addressed and I believe (IMO) that the writing staff of FIM will finally do so in the final season. Espiecally with the fact, that if you go back to the S6 Premiere, they both said, "That the birth of an Alicorn, is something Equestria has never seen", and that it was "Even beyond their understanding." Yeah, when they both said those things, that was enough of red flag, and more of a legit reasoning to wanna know about their orgins. 4. Starlight Glimmer becoming an Alicorn? Yes, indeed, this is most likely the direction they are heading, and if S9 is it for the show, definitely expect the writing staff to go this route. And, why?, you may ask. Because it seems that's what they building towards with her. (at least in my IMO), and would make sense that they writing staff make this a reality. 5. Sunset Shimmer Returns! , and the recent "Mirror Magic" EQG special, she has never returned to Equestria on the "Friendship is Magic" side of things. So with the final season, I truly believe and hope, (like many do) that this will be the season that it finally happens. And all honesty, I feel the writing staff knows that as well and will make it happen. 6. I believe that a G1 character has to be brought in, with a G4/FIM update, and that character should Majesty. And if you want a reason why, well if you watch MLP-Silver Quill's and ILOVEKPALOT's Video they did on Villains in MLP, than you pretty much get your answer there, as to why she should be brought in. Basically make her a character, that believes she's doing the right thing, but in fact is not. Or as Silver Quill put it, make her a rogue element that believes that all villainy, even those that have been redeemed, should be disposed of. Than the writers can build towards something between her and Twilight, and at same time, they could acknowledge a history between Celestria, Luna and Majesty as well, and that could really build the tension between her and Twilight. But that's what I (IMO) feel the writers will/would do in the final season, should it be more freelanced. What are your thoughts? God Bless!
  4. Note #1: This is one of the episodes leaked a few months ago. If you watched the episode already, keep all discussion under the spoiler tag until after it finishes officially airing. (Hit the eye icon to trigger it and type within it.) DO NOT LINK OR POST THE LEAKED MATERIAL! Note #2: Over the last few months, some content originally leaked (e.g., the Student Six's names, episode titles, some summaries) have been officially revealed, and chances are more will, too. But as always, please keep all leaked content not officially revealed yet — and/or if you're unsure if you're revealing too much — under the "spoiler" tag. Note #3: This episode was released early in Finland. Unlike the leaks back in December, this release is official. If you watched it, feel free to post here. Title: The Break Up Break Down Air Date (U.S./Disc. Family): May 19 at 11:30am Writer: Nick Confalone Summary: "It's Hearts and Hooves Day and Big Mac has romantic plans for Sugar Belle, but the day takes a turn when he overhears his special pony tell Mrs. Cakeshe's planning on breaking up with him!" Episode will be linked after it airs. Remember to join us at the CMC Clubhouse on Equestria.tv! SendVid: https://sendvid.com/iwnu1leo
  5. I was thinking of this. Interesting how they all seem to have the same last name (At least I think Rarity's last name would be Belle.) plus they're all unicorns. But I can also see why they wouldn't be, as Sugar Belle is a baker and not into dress making or fashion(As far as we know.) plus, unlike Sweetie and Rarity, Sugar doesn't have a white coat to her. What do you all think? Do ya think it's a possibility at all?
  6. This is just a hunch, but considering the two have a bit of history with each other, will we see any further interactions between Starlight Glimmer and Sugar Belle? I ask this because Sugar Belle and Starlight were once well acquainted with one another considering that Sugar Belle lived in Starlight's old village back when Starlight ruled over it with an iron hoof. And considering that things have been patched up between Starlight and her former fellow village ponies. Not to mention Sugar Belle is now living in Ponyville and thanks to her relationship with Big Mac, she's gotten the most focus of any of the other ponies in Starlight's former village, there is a chance that Starlight and Sugar Belle might bump into each other and start interacting with one another again. Do you think we might see some interaction between Starlight and Sugar Belle in the series?
  7. Regardless of whether you ship Fluttermac, Cheerimac, Sugar Mac, or even Marble Mac. One thing I seem to notice is that Big Macintosh seems to have a thing for mares who are usually known for their kindness. After all, Fluttershy is the Element of Kindness, and she's often paired with Big Mac by fans. Cheerilee is a teacher who works with fillies and colts, thus kindness certainly applies to her. Sugar Belle is pretty quiet and soft spoken and has been known to be kind as well. Marble Pie is a little confusing. She's quiet and soft spoken, but I'm not too sure if kindness is a part of her. But nevertheless. The common ground of each of these mares is that they're known for their kindness towards other ponies. So I don't think that we should accuse the big red stallion of having bad taste in what he likes in a mare, no matter which of these 4 ponies you ship him with. Don't you agree?
  8. Well fear not Sugar Belle fans, here you are. Our sweets making mare has her own fan club! I personally feel like we'll be seeing more of her rather then not just in the first two episodes. Rules: No spamming. No hating on other clubs or on this one, we're here to love Sugar. Don't claim to be the biggest fan of her Don't post pictures that don't relate to Sugar Belle General rules of course still apply
  9. Well according to me, Big Macintosh is one big susceptible lover. He is interested in more than one mares. I mean, Cheerilee (although they had love potion, they still blush to each other when they come across), Marble Pie and now Sugar Belle? What is going on? XD. Can someone officially tell me what is going on? I mean they explained Cheerilee but what about Marble Pie? They were not even looking at each other friendly. How fast Big Mac forgot Marble Pie to have a crush on Sugar Belle?
  10. Hey kids, it's your friendly, neighborhood Batbrony! Gee whiz, another Saturday, another new episode of MLP, boy oh boy I sure am excited! Well, let's embark on what shall surely be an enlightening and fulfilling experience for all of us and watch another new episode of our favorite show, MLP!!! *one episode of I don't know what the buck I just watched later* ... No really, what in the hell did I just watch? Because it sure as hay wasn't MLP! Uh-uh, I refuse to call that MLP, not in a thousand years would I call that MLP! What was that piece of ass strutting around pretending to be MLP?!?! Guys... I have to tell you. I never thought this day would come, and I really hoped it wouldn't, but, it is official... after five years of "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express" being my worst episode of MLP ever, I... I now have a new worst. It is this. Fillies and gentlecolts, "Hard to Say Anything" is... it is only TECHNICALLY the worst MLP episode I've ever seen, because I still refuse to consider this abomination to be an actual episode of MLP. It. Is. That. Bad. There is no truly easy way to sum up everything that hurts about this episode, so I'm just going to have to go through the whole episode from beginning to end, sharing exactly what I'm thinking as I first watched this... thing. Well... here goes nothing. This is *throws up in his mouth a little* "Hard to Say Anything." Alright, so things start off with the CMC getting some old costumes! Well, nothing wrong with that really, seems a bit odd that they'd be excited about that at this age, but OK, I'll bite. Well then it turns out that the "costumes" are a clown wig, a pirate hat, and mustache-gag-glasses. Uhhhhhhhhhhh, guys, you do realize that even five-year-olds know those aren't costumes, right??? Well as long as it's just some throwaway gag I guess it's no big- wait, what's that? These stupid not-costumes are a crucial plot-device that keep getting brought up throughout the episode? Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... why? I mean, really, why? The CMC (as demonstrated multiple times, including the past two episodes) are at a point in their lives where they're mentally and emotionally mature enough to solve problems with their intellect and by reasoning things through. The last time they needed costumes for anything was when they tried to get their cutie marks in a talent show, and (1) those were actual costumes that they made, (2) they were younger, and (3) it was just a bucking talent show and one of dozens if not hundreds of things they tried to do to get their cutie marks, not a potentially life changing situation like in today's episode! OK, so... not exactly off to a great start now, are we? Well, what comes next? Wowwwwwwww, that... yeah, that looks pretty bad guys. Frankly, your apple disguise in this episode was a better disguise than these... ...and that should tell you everything you need to know about how these work as disguises OK, Big Mac's here, and we learn he's taking some apples off to Starlight's old village for the fifth time in a single week. First of all, that doesn't seem possible for a number of reasons. First, the Mane 6 had to take a bucking train to originally get there when they first found the village. Because, ya know, it's in a pretty remote part of Equestria, and all. Big Mac, as far as we can tell, is just dragging his bucking apple cart all the way there. Second, Sweetie Belle distinctly mentions later in the episode that it was a long ride, so once again, I find it difficult to believe that even Big Mac could get to a location that is most likely hundreds of miles away five times in a single week just by dragging his heavy apple cart around. He may be strong but even he can appreciate and take advantage of the convenience of a train when the situation warrants it! But anyways, it clearly doesn't seem like that's why he's going, something which the girls quickly notice. Do they notice because they reason amongst themselves that it's downright odd that Big Mac would be making so many trips? Well, kind of, but not really. Really the big factor that leads any of them to conclude that Mac is up to something is Scootaloo saying she noticed him blushing, which just seems... dumber. I mean, who really ever notices anyone blushing unless they're right in their face? It's not like the blush alone was the only give away that something weird was going on, the CMC could've easily concluded that just by reasoning alone, but no, instead they figured it out because of something really stupid and cliche like noticing Big Mac blushing from a distance. Then they make some really stupid bucking guesses about why he's making so many trips and decide to tag along to spy on him. Not only is this decision made in a span of 10 seconds, but the CMC also decide that the best way to go about this is to lug along their "costumes" as "disguises" so that they'll "for realsies be spies guys, like, totally, they're totes legit now!" So now they're not pretending to be spies, they actually think they are being spies by dressing up in a clown wig, a pirate hat, and mustache gag-glasses... I would say this feels like something that S1/S2 CMC would do, but that feels like it would be insulting to S1/S2 CMC. In fact, I'm sure it would be insulting to them. Alright, so they get to Starlight's old village and what do they find? Well, it appears that Big Mac has a crush on Sugar Belle, that cute unicorn from the S5 premiere who used to bake nothing but muffins during Starlight's old reign but is now the resident baker and is having the time of her life baking all kinds of yummy treats, many of which "conveniently" require apples to bake, and since they don't exactly have many apple trees in the area, she has to evidently order quite a few from the Apples (though admittedly it even appears that she has more than she needs, BUT she keeps ordering them on a regular basis and, during this segment, is clearly giving Big Mac some verbal and physical cues, and more than a few suggestive looks). I'll be honest, this introduction to these two works for me. Sugar Belle is as adorable as ever, the two seem to be going through the flirty, bubbly, butterflies-in-your stomach phase of a relationship RIGHT when it's on the edge of blossoming into a full blown one, and their chemistry is pretty infectious in this initial scene. This beg's the question however, WHAT'S THE BUCKING PROBLEM!!! No, really, what is the problem? Even the CMC notice that Sugar Belle is as into Big Mac as he is into her, and really their initial encouragement that he just go and talk to her wasn't bad advice. Heck, they even point out that he didn't have a real first crush with Cheerilee considering it was a love potion, which, if you think about it, is kind of the pony-equivalent of a magical roofie. That's more than a little uncomfortable to think about and probably a big reason the writers decided to never go forward with making CheeriMac into a canon pairing; there would always have been questions, very uncomfortable ones, about whether or not their initial relationship was set off by first getting together when they were magically roofied, and frankly those are questions that shouldn't be asked in this show. So why I always did think that CheeriMac was a cute ship and am sad myself to see it die officially, I can understand why they would kill it and don't mind that, of all the ponies to pair him with, they chose Sugar Belle. That's actually a creative choice, really! She's not a local in Big Mac's hometown, and she's not a member of the Mane 6 or even a major character; she's just a random supporting character in a town very far away from Ponyville, which adds an interesting, long-distance relationship dynamic to her and Big Mac's pairing. Really, when we look at this episode from the outside, this is not just a good set-up, but an incredibly promising set-up for a really, really cool status-quo changer in this show that could have been so, so good. So what went wrong? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I'll tell ya what went wrong. We've had shades of what's going to be so, so wrong up to this point, from some of the poor logic exercised by the CMC (namely those bucking stupid "costumes" they keep insisting are disguises, I swear I cringe every time Scootaloo puts that giant clown wig on and insists she's being a spy) but the moment Big Mac tries to express his feelings for Sugar Belle for the first time, this is where the s*** really hits the fan for the first time. You see, when Big Mac tries to do something that should have just been a routine stage in starting a relationship which, by all accounts, was on the brink of starting anyway... this guy shows up... Stop flipping your hair you obnoxious son of a turd's excrement This... is Feather Bangs, or as I like to call him, "Piece of Lazy S*** Excuse for Giving This Plot a Contrived as Buck Conflict." Just... just look at him. Breathe it in, folks, breathe the stench of fail that is this character in. Where do I even start? How about his introduction, or rather lack of one! Yeah, this guy has no build up whatsoever! We aren't told who he is, what he does, why the buck he has a crush on Sugar Belle (seriously, not once, he just seems to want to get with someone for the sake of getting with someone), or where the buck he even came from! I ended this episode still not knowing whether or not he always lived in Starlight's old village, moved there only recently, or if he even lives there at all! So yeah, HE HAS NO INTRODUCTION!!! He just shows up and starts flirting shamelessly with Sugar Belle. And you want to know what the really bucked up thing is? SHE SEEMS INTO IT!! WHY??? Two seconds ago she was eyeing Big Mac up and down and "accidentally" bumping her snout into his! NOW she's into this tool??? Why is this so? Why, why, why, why, why???????? I'll tell you why! LAZINESS!!! GRADE A LAZINESS!!!! Let's take a look at the "special" writer of this episode, shall we? The writer of this episode is a first time MLP-writer by the name of Becky Wangberg. Ya wanna know what else she's worked on? The Fairly OddParents and a bunch of other no-name shows, most of which seem to be on Nickelodeon. Now let me say this; Fairly OddParents at one point was a good show, much like SpongeBob Squarepants was. But also just like SpongeBob, Fairly OddParents lasted too long and got driven into the ground by Nickelodeon's insistence that they keep churning it out, and eventually became a shallow excuse of a kids show. More importantly for the purposes of our beloved MLP, I would never want ANY writer for Fairly OddParents touching MLP with a 10-foot pole because the shows are completely different from each other! Fairly OddParents was almost always a comedy-show first and foremost, actual lessons were largely an afterthought. And when it was good at that, it was just fine! When it was bad at it, it was badddddddd. But MLP has never, ever, EVER been a comedy-show alone; it has had episodes that place more emphasis on the comedy than anything else, but for the most part it usually tries to teach kids and adults alike smart but also accessible lessons. They may sometimes be simple, but the execution is usually so good that one can't help but appreciate the efforts that went into teaching these lessons, and many times the lessons are very complex. This episode was not just an opportunity to teach a good lesson about starting a romantic relationship, but was also a status quo changer for a major supporting character on the show. So who do they give it to? A veteran MLP writer? OF COURSE NOT, THEY GAVE IT TO A FIRST TIME SHOW WRITER WHO HAS NOTHING ON HER RESUME THAT WOULD SUGGEST IN THE SLIGHTEST THAT SHE WAS QUALIFIED TO HANDLE THIS EPISODE!!! If there is one thing that defines this episode more than anything else, it is how much the laziness put into the writing defines it. It is a laziness we are unaccustomed to seeing in this show, and it is quite remarkable how much said laziness, something you might more typically see in a show like Fairly OddParents today, brings down a treasure of a show like MLP so, so much. I will discuss this laziness later, but suffice to say that it is present, it is at the core of what's wrong with this episode, and it brings it down so, so, SO low! Alright, so... picking up where I left off, Justin Bieber as a pony shows up (man, I really wish I never had to say that), acts like a dumbass, and for some reason Sugar Belle now likes this. So Big Mac panics, because... Feather Bangs can juggle??? Anyways, he panics and the CMC decide to help. Heck, they even make a point of assuring him that they are MUCH more mature than they were the last time they tried to help him with his love life and would NEVER think of magically roofieing him or Sugar Belle! Well that's good, so do they suggest he do anything competent? HA HA HA, you poor bastards give this episode too much credit if you think they do! No, the characters who are probably late tweens or early teenagers by now (seriously, two weeks ago we had Sweetie Belle telling us she was into experimental theater right now, make up your mind show!) suggest that he do things as one would... in a fairy tale. This is dumb. OK. It's dumb. I don't want anyone telling me that the characters who tried to figure out if a griffon could somehow have a cutie mark, have time and time again tackled their own insecurities and feelings of failure and inadequacy, and are now helping other ponies do the same on a regular basis, would suggest that someone should try to get into a relationship by doing things as a Prince Charming would in a fairy tale in SEASON 7 OF THIS SHOW!!! Heck, I don't think they would in Season 1 or Season 2 either, but Season 7??? REALLY??? Guys, if you wanted to do the "Character A needs help expressing his feelings to and starting a relationship with Character B with the help of Character C" trope, why did you pick the CMC in the first place? The only circumstance in which they should have been the ones helping Big Mac out with his love life is if he and Cheerilee were for real getting together; that would have been an interesting opportunity for the CMC to make up for their past mistake when they tried to force them together. But why are they here??? They don't know this town, they don't know Sugar Belle, and none of them have ever been in any relationship, SO WHY ARE THEY THE ONES HELPING HIM??? A friend and I agreed after this episode that it would have made far more sense if either (1) Starlight Glimmer, or (2) Applejack were helping Big Mac in this situation than the CMC. First, they're both older so presumably at least know a little more about relationships by virtue of age alone. Second, they both know the town and Sugar Belle, as well as Big Mac; Starlight Glimmer is at least sort of friends with him, and Applejack is his middle sister who can easily take charge of a situation at a moment's notice. Either of these two would have easily been able to contribute more here than the CMC could, especially the CMC as they're being written HERE! OK, so first up, they try to concoct a false peril for Sugar Belle by having Scootaloo feign stealing her saddlebag. Can I just say I've never liked this trope? Anyone willing to create a false, EMERGENCY situation to attract a girl's attention, well... that comes off as douchey... at best. At worst, it comes off as a little creepy even. Maybe even cowardly. Point is, how much do you really care about someone if your icebreaker is MANIPULATING them?! Anyways, it doesn't work, because once again Feather Bangs pops out of nowhere and intercepts (literally) Big Mac's save. How he does this, I don't know. Once again, there is no explanation for his seemingly just knowing when Big Mac is about to try to make a move, or why he gives a buck! He's just there, and the thing that makes Sugar Belle falling for this even dumber is that she could see plain as day that Big Mac was about to catch her saddlebag before he even did! SHE KNOWS HE INTERCEPTED BIG MAC'S SAVE AND STILL SEEMS INTO IT!!! WHY?!?!?!?! His douche baggery was just on full display for all to see!!! Oh wait, I know, sing it with me kids, LAZY WRITING!!! So next, the CMC, HOLY CRAP---- D'awwwwwwwwwwwwwww, you're so cute!!! Who's a cute sweepy pony, WHO'S A CUTE SWEEPY PONY? YOU ARE! YES, YOU ARE!!! Ahem, anyways, the CMC decide that the best thing for Big Mac to do is... kiss Sugar Belle awake because that's what fairy tale princes do??? ... ... ... Uh oh... So like a smart person, Big Mac says that that's creepy and nowhere near reflecting where they're at in their relationship- oh no, he goes along with it. Wait, what? Uh, Big Mac... Dude, seriously, stop! Well, what did ya think was gonna happen you creepy dumbass!!! OK, people, in a different show the sequence of screen shots I just showed you could EASILY be the start of a VERY different sequence of events in, say, a show like Law and Order: SVU! Let's put this in perspective. Kissing someone awake is... not exactly something that many people except for the closest of couples do, like, couples living together, and even then it's not something they do on a regular basis. But are Big Mac and Sugar Belle a couple at this point? NOPE!! They are (although having flirted quite heavily already) technically just business acquaintances and nothing more at this point in the show. So what he just tried to do? Yeah, I'm calling it, that's attempted sexual assault in a public space and this episode is too stupid to even realize it! I don't care that it doesn't work, the show does not understand HOW bad what he just tried to do is. Throughout the episode they keep mentioning that the love potion was a REALLY bad thing, but this? This is played for laughs, and frankly, this is a million times worse than the love potion was even if one considers it a magical roofie. The love potion was a bad idea from kids who don't understand what makes for a healthy relationship, but this is a grown ass adult who has actual romantic intentions for a pony who, at this point, does not return said intentions. He is attempting to kiss her without her prior knowledge in a public space without her consent. THAT. IS. ASSAULT!!! YOU DUMBASS WRITER!!!!! So obviously Sugar Belle freaks out (because what the buck else would you do if a dude you kinda like but aren't in a relationship with was leering over you as you slept in a public space and about to kiss you without your knowing, I mean, REALLY GUYS!!), but then, who should show up but Douchey McDouchemane, I mean, Feather Bangs (gosh I hate that name... also his name doesn't really make much sense since he's not even a pegasus, what the buck). He offers her a random carriage ride, and she seems to happily accept; buck me, at this point she's giving him the same kind of eyes she was giving Big Mac earlier in the episode, so she seems to be pretty into him. I would be madder about her going along with his schtick, but frankly, he was the far less creepy one in this scene, and that's pretty badddddddddddddd. So finally, the CMC decide that Big Mac should try to win her over with a love song. Granted, it's cliche but frankly it's a breath of fresh air (at least in theory) after the night terror we were just presented with in Mac's last disastrous attempt. And honestly the song isn't that bad at first. It's nothing special, but it's pretty sweet (aside from the whole sneaking into her store thing and closing the door while turning the lights off), and Sugar Belle seems to appreciate it too. But then Feather Bangs comes back and we get easily the worst scene in the whole episode (and possibly the worst songs we've ever heard in the entire show), because HE brought his own song as well and... well, it's a Bieber song. I don't know what else to tell you. It's the MLP version of a Bieber song, and not a good one, with PLENTY of suggestive lyrics and visuals (I don't care if they were played for laughs, it made me more than a bit uncomfortable at points). Even worse, the whole sequence turns into a pairing of dueling numbers, so basically we keep jumping back and forth from a clumsy, increasingly bad country song to a terrible pop song, and the two genres clash so badly that they just further amplify how bad it all is. It's like somebody split up a bad bro-country song by completely separating the pop from the country, and it resulted in an equally bad pop song and country song. Sugar Belle's not into any of it, and is most DEFINITELY not into Feather Bangs... wait, what? Yeah, this whole song she clearly seems miffed at Feather Bangs when in the very last scene she was eyeing him up and down like a kid with a brand new lollipop and I don't know what the buck is going on now! Was she ever into him? Based on her earlier reactions, she had to be! Oh wait... oh you sons of bitches... LAZY WRITING STRIKES AGAIN!!! This is possibly the most egregious example of this in the whole episode. The only reason Feather Bangs is supposed to be here is because we're supposed to believe that he is a viable rival lover to Big Mac, vying for Sugar Belle's affection as much as he is, for most of the episode. The only way they're able to make us believe he has any chance as a rival is by showing Sugar Belle digging what he's doing, at least initially. But now that we're supposed to believe that she's really into Big Mac, not Feather Bangs, she is inexplicably showing NONE of the earlier interest she showed for Feather Bangs, even though he's basically doing the same s*** he was doing before, just on a bit of a bigger scale. Holy buck, that is AMAZING in its laziness! I mean, really. I don't even know what to say at this point other than... wow. Just wow. Characters flipping their behavior back and forth on a dime as easily as one would flick a light switch on and off. Buck me, that's lazy. This whole scene was ear-and-eye cancer... like, all of it, I seriously feel less healthy for having watched it So what more is there to say? After the "dueling songs" go disastrously, with Big Mac and Feather Bangs essentially destroying most of Sugar Belle's store, Big Mac and the CMC finally figure out what should have been a far easier lesson to teach, that showing someone you care about them in an especially special way means showing them that you know who they are and what they care about, and that you in turn care about them and what they care about. WHY WAS THIS SO HARD TO TEACH!!! So Big Mac makes her a new shelf, she loves it, they get together after some CMC shenanigans (involving, yet again, those bucking stupid NOT COSTUMES, WHY IS THIS A CRUCIAL PLOT DEVICE, IT'S NOT CLEVER?!?!?!), and they look really sweet and cute together. THE. BUCKING. END. Oh wait, no it's not, because in the last 30 seconds we're supposed to feel sorry for Feather Bangs and hope that the CMC help him figure out how to talk to mares. Uh uh, no way, you bastards don't get to pull that lazy, tired, "ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, he's not a bad guy, he's just misunderstood" trope in only 30 seconds when we have seen nothing redeemable about this twat since he was first introduced (if you want to call it that). I hate that lazy trope, and it's yet another perfect embodiment of the utter laziness that characterizes this whole bucking episode!!! Buck Feather Bangs and buck his lady problems, I hope every mare turns him down harder than a jackhammer chews up a sidewalk! So let me reiterate if it wasn't clear already... People, this was trash. Hot, steaming, burning, wretched smelling trash. This was SO much worse than "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express" in every way possible. "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express" insults my intelligence, and the intelligence of any brony out there, BUT to its defense (and I never thought I'd be saying this) it is well aware that it is nothing but a throwaway episode. Nothing important happens in it, it is just an episode for the sake of having another episode, that's it! THIS was supposed to be a status quo changer, THIS was supposed to be a major development for a major, recurring supporting character! We have barely seen any of the characters in the show get into relationships or the show itself handle the topic of romantic relationships; I hope it largely stays that way, but I also always hoped that the show would address it to a certain extent, because I always thought that this show, as good as it is, would probably be able to handle romantic relationship subjects better than most kids shows can. I still believe that, even after this episode. Sugar Belle and Big Mac are honestly, as I said earlier, a cute couple, and I think they could be a really good couple going forward! Nothing about the pairing itself is what turned me off in this episode, in fact, that's where the tragedy of it lies. This episode, for as bad as it is, feels like half of it IS good MLP. There are signs of the quality from MLP we've come to expect on a regular basis. The few genuinely funny lines in there (like Apple Bloom's "Quick, act like apples" line or Sugar Belle's "That's the whole town! It's just the one street" bit) are typical MLP fare, little details like Sugar Belle's reactions throughout the song numbers as well as the fact that Starlight's house has been replaced by a tree, the largely inoffensive beginning and ending, the three mares who keep fawning over Feather Bangs (the fawning itself is disgusting but they have fantastic character designs and are pretty entertaining to watch), these things work! Sugar Belle herself was honestly perfectly fine aside from when the script forced her to like what Feather Bangs was doing, besides that she was sweet, adorable, and her VA has the cutest voice! But at the end of the day I found myself and a friend agreeing with one another that the end of CheeriMac is the least of this episode's problems, and that should tell you a lot right there. The problem is the good was in a jumbled mess with sooooooooooooooo much bad, there was no clear cut divide between the two and on top of that, this was a lot of bad in an episode that should have been incredibly easy to do right. What we got instead was patronizing to its audience, treating us as though we were too dumb to handle a more complex plot, and even worse it had no right to be patronizing because the episode was so much dumber than it thought it was! If someone just understood who these characters are, how they behave, this premise, even with the CMC involved in it, could have easily turned into a good to great episode! And that's why I keep referring to laziness as being at the core of what makes this episode a disaster, because I don't know how else to explain it. A first time writer for this show bucking up an episode this badly in a critically acclaimed show that is in its seventh season? Laziness, plain and simple. There is more than enough material for this writer to have watched to have gotten more than a clear understanding of who these character's are for the purposes of her own episode, and frankly, I just think she didn't bother to do her homework. The only other alternative is that she's just that bad of a writer, and I really hope that's not the case because if so, I don't know how she's still getting work. But for the time being, I'm chalking it up to unforgivable laziness, and for such a piss poor effort put into what should have been such an important episode, "Hard to Say Anything" gets an F---------------------- from me. It is not even in my book an episode of MLP, because it is unrecognizable as MLP. I would expect this level of quality from other shows that Ms. Wangberg has worked on (on their bad days), but for MLP, this is simply unacceptable. DHX, please, learn from this and don't ever let this person work on this beloved show ever again, much less on episodes that should be so important. In fact, don't ever assign first time show writers such important episodes ever again. Congratulations, "Hard to Say Anything," you are now my least favorite episode of MLP, and I hope it stays that way, because I shudder to think of what an episode would have to do to make me hate it more than I hated this one. Buck me... that's all I got for ya this week everypony. Until next time (in a Celestia-willing better episode than this) this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off... to get a drink... or twenty!!! *cue dramatic exit to the bar* When an episode drives Batbrony to get drunk dressed as Superman, you know it done bucked up
  11. *sigh* Man, oh, man, Hard to Say Anything is unadulterated shit. A failure of epic proportions not seen since PPOV. Where. Do. I. Even. Start? Anyone can write a good episode. Becky Wangberg is so exception. One big problem with bringing in new writers is sometimes they don't get the characters, the worldbuilding, and theme molding. Hamilton knew what he was doing and clearly researched the series. Wangberg didn't do enough, and it showed. You can actually count the number of times the CMCs have been out of character at any point in the series. If you take the comics into account, the Holiday Special is their worst. Is the characterization that bad here? Thankfully, no. But is their worst in the show in a long time? One hundred percent. The CMCs were absolutely clueless in not only what they're doing, but also how they're doing. When they realize Big Mac on a crush on Sugar Belle, they all believed it was literally a good idea to follow the classic fairytale tropes and outcomes. They're fairy tales for a reason, yet they treat the novels like a how-to instruction book. Naïve they can be, but they're not stupid. How they're unable to separate fiction from reality's beyond me. More mind-boggling is how every time they screw up, they perform an even dumber idea, which worsens the matter worse and pisses off Sugar Belle even more. They may always have the best strategies (or the best common sense), but they're all smart and clever in their own way. There's also a great sense of maturity beyond their years. Lost Mark, anypony? Well, this maturity is missing. This isn't the CMCs. This is a generic group of caricatures in disguise. I don't know which performance is worse, this or The Show Stoppers. More about them later. To hear Big Mac actually speak way more beyond the clichéd "Eeyup" and "Nope" is a long-awaited surprise. That doesn't mean he's still in character! Big Mac may be only a stallion of a few words, but he's still very intelligent, caring, and observant with some dignity. Why the hell would he subscribe to the CMCs' stupid plan on copying the fairy tale clichés to woo Sugar Belle over Stereo Pop? My mind boggles that he'd think at any point that it was a good idea to follow that book o' fiction. Hell, at least once, he questioned their ideas, but gave in. You can have a crush and still retain some common sense. The Cutie Mark Crusaders tell Big Mac to go back to her and ask was their best idea prior to the end by a long shot. They still could've done the same after Feather Bangs barged in and suddenly became the episode's antagonist. More on him later. But after all the shenanigans, Apple Bloom finally realized… Why is this such a big problem? This is something that any of them should've figured out a long time ago, especially Big Mac. He's smart enough to know that Sugar Belle might've wanted or needed something that could be beneficial. Rather than immediately going to the storybook, they should ask Big Mac why he had a crush on her and what would be something most beneficial to her (and, by extension, everyone else in the town). This should've been the case for Apple Bloom, who knows him better than the others. Why didn't this come to her mind in the first place? Because if any of the CMCs didn't go to their stupid scheme, this whole plot would've been resolved by the 11-minute mark, and we'd have to have another one to fill the rest of the time frame. The one line makes all four look even dumber than they were during Act 2. Now, to talk about the elephant in the room: Rather than re-write it, let my initial reaction tell the story: Now to go over the last sentence in full: Big Mac's big kissyface is a pure grossout shot. The audience is supposed to laugh at how big, long, and plump Big Mac's forced kissy face looks. What makes it even more disgusting is the closeup of his lips and how Sugar Belle looked at from the corner of her sleepy eye. Seeing swollen, close-up lips protruding from straight on is disgusting, not funny. Sugar Belle's expression is the cornerstone of why the sexual harassment implications exist. She's completely unaware of not only his advances, but his presence, as well. There's no inclination of her realizing he's there nor wants him there. She just wants some peace and quiet. Compare that shot to this panel from FIM #25 (The Good, Part 1/2): In the old forums, IDW editor Bobby Curnow admitted that T3's supposed to be a Western parody. Rarity's and Twilight's expression don't suggest parody, but assault. Longhorn's terrorism isn't played for laughs at any point. How is the audience supposed to not take it seriously? A possible way to make this a parody is to treat it as one, like Tumbleweed and the crew immediately playing mindgames with Longhorn in a Bugs Bunny-Yosemite Sam kind of way. If Tumblweed's flicked to a poll, he jumps off the poll (with some cartoon physics, like warping the wood like a spring) and kicks his ass. If Sugar Belle showed any awareness of Big Mac's advances and presence, then the parody could work. Something like pretending to sleep, teasing Big Mac with a joke-y line like "Pass me the sunscreen" or "I know you're there, Mack-y" would help shape the parody together better? Why? Because it suggests consensuality among both side, fixing the implications in the process. For those who suggest either the implication doesn't exist exist or it's okay because the humor was at Big Mac's expense: Watch the scene in full. Pay attention to how Big Mac behaves and how Sugar Belle reacts. All of this helps shape up the implications. Big Mac being the butt of the joke doesn't make the implications disappear. To tell me otherwise suggests that I should turn off my brain. Two words: never happening. While Hard sucks, it had a decent start. But when Stereo Pop (screw "Feather Bangs"! The other name applies better) appears, the plot sinks. And Stereo Pop himself is nothing but an episodic accident. As a character, what character? As a personality, he has as much dimension as Flash Sentry: almost none. There's nothing engaging or charismatic about his character. Each line he spews is flat and stilted. Nothing he says represents anything a realistic person would say. Outside from being a contrived antagonist (more on this below), his whole purpose is to be a 100% parody of Bieber…back in his early days as a singer. His haircut, suave behavior, and song all scream early-days Bieber more specifically and stereotypical interpretations of boy bands back in the 1990s and 2000s. And the jokes surrounding him suck. Why? Because this whole thing is surrounded by dated pop culture references. There's no effort being put into this joke, and every skit related to him (from the voice to hair swaying to the autotune in his song) is one-dimensional. Not even his intentionally phallic cutie mark (there's a reason why his tail covers most of it most of the time) is funny. It's just "it's an erect penis mark. Laugh." Jokes don't work that way. Pop culture jokes in themselves are really, really difficult to get right. Why? Because what could be cool and funny today could become tacky tomorrow. There's no one right way to make a good pop culture joke, but the better techniques that I've seen are to make sure the core of the joke isn't the pop culture reference, written with enough effort to make it timeless, or keep it really subtle to the point of the audience not having to get the reference at all to make it work. This joke fails. Clearly he's written to be an antagonist, yet they never properly build him up to be an antagonist. I don't know what went on behind the scenes, but it feels like the writers were reminded that a conflict's needed, and they plug him in very suddenly to fill this in. We never heard of him at any point in the show, and you can educationally guess that he won't appear again. The ending where he admits to be nervous around others…that was the best part of the whole episode. Why? Because it gives him some character. Unfortunately, it's too little, too late. To have this swerve happen in the last thirty seconds is nothing but laziness just to make the audience sympathetic. It's a major insult to the story! As a whole, Stereo Pop contributes nothing but the nosedive of its quality and can be written out entirely. If he wasn't in this episode, this episode would be a thousand times better! On second thought, to compare Stereo Pop to Flash is an insult to Flash. Even though Flash is a stereotype, at least he feels like a genuine character at times! There's nothing genuine about this piece of shit! On top of that, this whole episode directly contradicts the continuity of the show. In Hearts & Hooves Day (which this episode directly references), the CMCs state how it was bad for them to force romance between two ponies. They're doing the very same thing here, only without the love poison and with Big Mac as the vessel. Like RF, they're referencing continuity they shattered. DHX's blatant disregard ruins the moral's weight. Lastly, one important question. How long did Big Mac's have crush on Sugar Belle? When did it begin? The episode hints that it began that week, but you only truly get to see the part where Mac's crush developed. What would help really improve this episode is if we get to see Big Mac's crush develop from beginning to end. Another problem is other than the bedroom eyes in Act 1, Sugar Belle never reciprocates it until the end. When you have the mutual admission happen this quick, the pacing feels rushed, and the weight of the crush falls flat. DHX, you've sucked at writing romance since the very beginning, and you suck here. STOP WRITING ROMANCE! It's very clear that Hard's attempting to parody fairy tale tropes, much of which seen in Disney classics. Note the word "attempted." If you're going to write a good parody, put in the effort to write the jokes correctly and avoid horrendous implications. What movie parodied them well? This whole movie's a fairy tale parody. But it knows what they're doing. Hell, they write the love's first kiss parody correctly! As a whole, the episode is a mess and clearly the first bad episode of the season. This whole episode would've worked much better if it was completely retooled. Here's an idea of mine below: After Applejack can't make her apple delivery due to being under the weather, Big Mac takes over her job by bringing the shipment of apples to Sugar Belle's home, where they meet for the first time. He and Sugar Belle exchange acquaintances and pleasantries, and Big Mac wonders what's going on with him. He wonders what feels funny. Sugar Belle begins to feel the same. Over the rest of the week, as Applejack recovers from her cold, Apple Bloom feels suspicious about Big Mac's continuous adventures to Starlight's old village. They know something's funny with Big Mac and try to figure out what. The other ponies from Our Town notice the same with Sugar Belle, as she's been jotting recipes for killer apple treats, something she hadn't done before. But they both keep it a secret. One day, Starlight decides decides to make a visit to her old village, where she's shocked that apples are stored and organized outside Sugar Belle's home. Suspicious, she knocks on her door, and she answers. Soon, they rib each other. Not long after, she discovers interesting recipe titles, all related to the McIntosh apple that's grown so much in the SAA orchard. Starlight eavesdropping the titles upset Sugar Belle, and she reveals to having a crush on Big Mac. She asks Starlight not to tell anypony about it, which she promises. Back in Ponyville, Apple Bloom prodded Big Mac after noticing a behavior change, and he reveals to her about his crush on Sugar Belle. She promises not to tell anypony, either. Silence for the next couple of days, but Starlight spent a portion of the second day continuing to be re-acquainted with the village and had a little gossip talk with Sugar Belle as they co-planned a recipe. She asked Sugar what she liked about Mac, and she explained about his wonderful personality, including the ability to care and help. When Starlight asked what would mean a lot to him, she isn't sure. Starlight explains a bit of his family, and what they do to transport items. Here, Sugar Belle recalls how some wagons were falling apart and getting beaten up and has an idea of giving him (and the rest of the family) new ones. Fortunately, Starlight knew of a neighborhood carpentry, and they agreed to go there tomorrow. Starlight decided it was time to leave, but Sugar Belle invited her to stay for the night. That evening, Big Mac's hard at work designing a brand-new display shelf and counter for Sugar Belle. The structure would have three tiers to place her baked goods and an icebox underneath to store refrigerated fruits, vegetables, and other perishables. Apple Bloom watches from the doorway. Next day, both of them visit a carpentry near Town Hall, and came up with a brand-new wagon design for Big Mac. The wood was smooth, nailed, and polished. Sugar and Starlight painted his wagon with yellow on the wheels, green on the side, red bed, and orange straps. It was also sturdier, squeak-free, and easier to pull. Just in case, there's an attachment for extra goods. The other orders will be coming the next day. Big Mac and Apple depart SAA for Sugar Belle's house and encounter many troubles, from treacherous roads to collapsed trees to his wagon ready to fall apart on the next stop or bump. Starlight and Sugar Belle arrive at SAA, but AJ reveals he and Apple Bloom weren't home. He and Apple Bloom left. They knew where he was going and followed his tracks. They journeys several miles till they approached near the arid village. CRASH!! About 300 yards away, they see Big Mac and Apple Bloom standing in the middle of the road, their wagon destroyed, and both of them trying to keep everything in the same pile. Sugar Belle helps clean up the mess and puts their supplies on the bed of the new wagon, which she gave to him. It was a gift since he needed it. Big Mac thanked her and revealed that he was headed to her house to help renovate her pie shelves. She hugs him and thanks him with a kiss on the cheek. At the village, all four construct her new shelf and icebox. She really appreciates what he did and thanks him. And with a small nudge from Starlight, she reveals she has a crush on him and asks if they can go on a date. Blushing, he accepts, and they share a nose nuzzle. To conclude, AB and Starlight walk away with them both splitting the lesson.
  12. I have finished my latest review right now. I think this episode was okay. Enjoy and if you want to, share, subscribe and recommend, because every little viewer counts.
  13. I'd almost forgotten how it feels to hate an episode of My Little Pony this much. How long has it been? Since "What About Discord?" I mean, "Fluttershy Leans In" was awful, but at least it didn't sink to this level of annoyance and odiousness. "Hard to Say Anything" has almost nothing to redeem it. Most of its jokes fall flat, its plot is tired and lazy, the characters are borderline reprehensible, and the moral is pedestrian at best. Every season has its stinkers, but I was really hoping we'd moved past My Little Pony stooping this low, and having this in an already dire season is really starting to test my patience with this show. When the Cutie Mark Crusaders notice Big Mac making a surprising amount of long-distance deliveries to Starlight's old village, they hide in his cart to spy on him. Once there, they discover that he has a crush on Sugar Belle, and immediately work with him to win her affection. In the process, he's interrupted by a smug pretty boy named Feather Bangs, and so he and the CMC decide to compete with Feather Bangs to get Sugar Belle's attention, much to her dismay. Right from the cold open, we're "treated" to the Cutie Mark Crusaders being more obnoxious than they've been since "Twilight Time," chatting happily about invading Big Mac's privacy rather than asking him why he's going all the way to Starlight's village so much because... they think it'll be fun. That's the level of character likability the entire episode operates on, apparently assuming that the CMC pushing Big Mac to harass Sugar Belle in increasingly obnoxious ways is the height of comedy. At one point, he leans in to kiss her while she's sleeping, because the Crusaders are inspired by a Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Sexual harassment? HILARIOUS! I hate this episode. Also, yes, the Crusaders are getting Big Mac to act out grand gestures from fairy tales, because they're idiots, and he's an idiot too. The Crusaders being detestable is one thing, but Big Mac is an adult and should know enough to question them. That he goes along with these twerps' ideas simply because they've riled him up enough speaks to a lack of maturity and self-control. He doesn't question kissing Sugar Belle while she's sleeping? The Crusaders take all the blame at the end, but Big Mac should have known to question some of these genuinely creepy acts. At the end, Sugar Belle tells Mac and Feather Bangs to leave her alone, but the climax has him completely disregard that and sneak into her house to rebuild her counter. This is only sweet in comparison to what he was doing previously, and if Sugar Belle had again kicked him out she'd be entirely in the right. But this is the emotional climax, so of course she immediately thanks him and starts nuzzling him, because that's how you should reward someone who does the exact opposite of what you asked him to do. I hate this episode. At first, Feather Bangs is one of the episode's few successful gags, as his smug, smarmy attitude hits the same sweet spot that Zephyr Breeze did, but there's nothing to him aside from getting in Mac's way and repeating cheezy one-liners. It gets repetitive long before he begins singing lame pastiches of pop songs from over five years ago, and between those songs and his overall appearance, he resembles nothing so much as Justin Bieber circa 2010, a reference made especailly dated due to Bieber looking nothing like that anymore and no longer making music which sounds anything like that. He's still the best character in the thing, but that only speaks to how wretched everyone else is. For all the elaborate exposition in the cold open, Sugar Belle doesn't do much in the episode aside from react to others, and her reactions are either swooning, surprise, or irritation. The episode's few charms come from the first, as early on her and Mac have a little chemistry, but the latter two are the ones which are most sympathetic because they reflected my own feelings of repulsion at Mac's behaviour. The episode makes no effort to develop her, and when she and Mac finally get together, it's hardly satisfying because her turn around to liking him again feels sudden, we don't know enough about her to care, and Mac's affection for her was only just introduced to us. The animators go nuts, because apparently nobody bothers to reign them in anymore, and add pink hearts to Mac's eyes just in case the dialogue, which outright states that Mac has a crush on Sugar Belle, was too subtle. Whole scenes, like one interminable song competition between Mac and Feather Bangs, appear to exist entirely so the animators and composers can mess around, but the songs are far too cheesy, the scene goes on for way too long, and the story is weak enough that the songs are hurt by their context. At its core, this is just another story about some dude consulting people near him to get the girl, and while his creepiness doesn't actually cause the girl to like him (at least at first), that doesn't make it any less tiresome. The only thing embellishing this story is that the original plans don't work, but those plans are so stupid that the story doesn't work as a subversion of traditional romantic comedies, and the scenes where Big Mac acts obnoxious or creepy towards Sugar Belle are still played for laughs as if they're not utterly insufferable. The moral might be the best part of the episode, but it too is pedestrian, and it's hurt by the fact that the Crusaders' schemes are inspired by fairy tales. I suppose that the episode isn't wrong to say that wooing someone should actually involve doing something which would make them happy, but it's worded that you shouldn't "try to impress them," and... wouldn't doing something which matters to them still impress them? What if a grand romantic gesture is exactly what they want? In context, the moral doesn't mean anything beyond "don't be obnoxious," and that's not good enough. I hate this episode. The worst part is that while "Hard to Say Anything" is easily the season's least pleasant episode, it's hardly the only subpar entry this season. In what is rapidly shaping up to be the worst season for the show yet, it's impressive that this episode still stands out as being so vile, and between its obnoxious characters, poorly-delivered moral, generic plot and general lack of humour, this might just be one of the worst episodes of the entire show. At least S4's "Simple Ways" ends on a high note; this ends just as terribly as it began, and I cannot stand it. After this, tomorrow's Rarity and Applejack episode might not seem so bad, and I cannot think of anything more damning. The recurring theme of failing to communicate isn't even present here. For fuck's sake. Score: Entertainment: 1/10 Characters: 3/10 Themes: 4/10 Story: 2/10 Overall: 25/100 If you like seeing me this angry, then some of my season 5 reviews at my offsite blog might be to your taste.
  14. I get the feeling Party Favour, Sugar Belle, Double Diamond and Night Glider were Starlight's friends ever since they were fillies and have followed her belief in equality until they learned she had kept her own cutie mark. Do you think this is true? Please don't post any possible spoilers from the season five finale (particularly from one of G.M. Berrow's upcoming books).
  15. What should the name of the group from the season 5 opener (Sugar Belle, Night Glider, Party Favor, and Double Diamond) be called? I've seen them referred to as the "Equal Four" and the "Friendtastic Four". Which of these names do you like best for their group? Or, do you have any other ideas? If so, please say what it is in a reply.
  16. I can't help but redraw this scene from the season 5 premiere, and it's finally done after one week of hard work. Yay!
  17. Finally i finished her with much work and dedication She is so Cute in episode, i loved her so much, well based in my own style of art, i hope you all like