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  1. Note: Although the U.S. won't air it till June 3, Canada's Treehouse TV will air this Sunday morning. Be prepared for spoilers! Title: Honest Apple Air Date (Canada/Treehouse TV): May 14, 2017 Air Date (U.S./Discovery Family): June 3, 2017 Writer: Kevin Lappin Summary: "When Rarity asks Applejack to be a judge in a fashion show, Applejack learns that an opinion, however honest, can still be hurtful." 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: coming soon.
  2. I only watched this episode after Canada released it, and I haven't budged. This episode is an effin' mess. The characterization is really poor, starting with Rarity: Rarity is a strong and intelligent businesswoman. Remember, she runs and owns three fashion boutiques: Canterlot, Manehattan, and Ponyville. An in-character Rarity would not only understand what she's doing, but also preplan everything before setting it forward. So, why would Rarity plan the fashion show before all three judges signed on to this contest? This type of act comes across as someone who doesn't know what she'd doing? Speaking of not know what she's doing, it's still contrived to choose Applejack out of thin air. She claims it's because she understands practicality/functionality better than the others. But Applejack doesn't have any fashion sense; her only vision of fashion is if it's good enough to wear. Kinda ironic considering Faust's original pony design of her had her wear plenty of clothes. (Speaking of which, Apple Bloom's tied-down hat is so stupid. Given her history of watching Applejack buck those apples, she oughta know that it wouldn't work. Wait, if that didn't happen, the plot would probably fall apart, and DHX would have to come up with a cleverer way to approach it.) On top of that, she didn't give AJ any chance to study practicality or warn her to study the clothing's quality. She agreed to take part, and the contest begins the next day. This lack of advanced planning and studying makes Rarity look really incompetent. As if she has no idea what she's doing. That's not her. Also, it makes no sense for Rarity to understand how crucial functionality works. (She wouldn't be okay with the disco ball dress; the costume looks really uncomfortable to wear and walk in.) Yes, fashion is treated more as an ancillary possession rather than a mandate, but functionality. Episodes like Suited for Success, ACW, Suite & Elite, Boutique, and Rarity Investigates! show how much she gets it. For her to not comprehend it degrades her character. Two of the three fashion designers sound like complete caricatures. Inky Rose was fine. Starstreak is over the top with his obsession with futuristic trends. But Lily Lace… *plugs my ears* Stereotypes are a complete bane in this show; Lily Lace is the valley girl stereotype. Her literally obnoxious drawl and voice don't work as a joke, because her valley girl accent IS the joke. You need some context behind it. If not, your joke is shallow and, thus, becomes cringeworthy. Her voice is faker than Shadow the Hedgehog. Even though Coco Pommel wasn't seen in the episode, she, too, is out of character. That disco ball costume makes no sense in any way, including practicality/functionality. Rarity put her in charge of the Manehattan boutique because of her strong creativity and fashion sense. The disco ball doesn't feel like work she'd do with a straight muzzle. Applejack…what the hell happened to her?! Despite Rarity not providing much sense with Applejack being a judge, one thing she understands about her friend is how she can be honest while simultaneously caring about other pony's work and feelings. Her initial comment sharply criticizing Coco Pommel's disco ball dress makes sense, because it's absolutely absurd. Afterwards, her characterization goes completely down the toilet. She bashed Inky Rose's dress for being too black, because it's completely depressing. If she criticized her choice of color because the pony within it would get really sweaty, then it'd make sense. Then he bashes Inky Rose's dress because she intentionally put holes in her fabric as she's making them. Lots of clothing intentionally has holes. Her manufacturer wouldn't be able to make her favorite cowcolt hat without one. Then she bashed Lily Lace's original draft of her dress because it could get dirty. As for her worst moment, where she destroys Lace's feather stitching on her hat, let me initial comments describe it: WHAT THE FUCK?!!!!!! Lily worked OVERNIGHT to stylize that damn hat from a bland, white piece of fabric to an interesting, complex piece of design. And in a few seconds, all that hard work gone! That's not being Honestyjack anymore. That's being an asshole! Applejack may not have the best manners or most polite language, but why the hell would she want to DESTROY someone's hard work?! I don't care what reason she has. This isn't Applejack. It's a complete bastardization of her! Excuse me while I go get Advil… On second thought, give me some fried Applejack to go on a bagel. An in-character and likeable Applejack would understand how important their hard work is and respond accordingly. She understands tact. She's NOT abusive! Her decision to destroy Lily's hat and be proud of it is by far her worst moment of the entire series. And on top of that, she stereotypes the art of fashion as pointless and useless. HELLOOOOOO!!! Applejack understands how important fashion is to Rarity, Coco, and many others. Even though she can't critically study fashion and color theory to save her life, she knows others can and listens to them. If she truly respected Rarity (on top of that damn hat), she'd give fashion a long, critical introspective why it's so important to Rarity, Coco, and many others. Look at episodes prior, and look at how much the Mane Eight (then Mane Six) grew. Both AJ and Rarity understand each other and respect each other. AJ, fuck your opinion! Remember what I wrote about Sunrise's argument with AJ? I still stand by that. Applejackass needed to be shown and told directly to her face that she was being abusive, because she was too stupid to figure out the lesson ahead of time. On the other hand, is the way it's handled really necessary, particularly for a show that's supposed to teach valuable lessons (of friendship) to impressionable kids? Absolutely not. When Friendship Is Magic gets really good, it creates a welcoming, uplifting atmosphere. Each of the Mane Eight are welcoming characters who are supposed to be role models to children. Episodes like Lost Mark are really, really amazing, because they shoot up. The audience is treated as intelligent beings. They could've done a "Turnabout Is Fair Play" scenario, but they don't. The Cutie Mark Crusaders care about Diamond Tiara's well being and want to help her. Their actions mark a complete sense of maturity beyond nearly everyone's years. Their ability to be selfless and care about their nemesis, especially when she's at her lowest point, is crucial for this show. The way this scene is completely written shows Rarity at her worst. Rather than show her how her words affected her and tell her through her pain how hurtful AJ's words are, she thought it was a good idea to play "eye for an eye," as if she wanted to get back at her. FIM is well above teaching lessons through pure spite. When they try this shit, the episode's quality hurts. It also really hurts when Strawberry Sunrise is an unlikeable bitch herself. @Ganondox pinpointed the problem — Sunrise accused apple farmers like Applejack of selling apples to either intentionally poison her or rip her off. That's really cruel, and by how coolly Rarity reacts to the argument and Sunrise's vile stereotypes of apples, she knows this. That puts Rarity as part of the problem, even though the episode completely portrays her here (and the rest of the episode) as completely in the right. Rather than playing their best off each other, Rarity and AJ act like they can't stand each other. Their terrible approach to friendship here further accredits Rarity's and AJ's backstabbing each other in PPOV. The only way for this plot to work is by disregarding blatant continuity. This episode as presented only works if you disregard episodes such as Suited for Success, ACW, and their sense of maturity leading up to this point. Season seven is not the time for Applejackass to finally learn a lesson about tact. If she didn't know at the time, then why the hell did she become the Bearer of Honesty in the first place? It wouldn't have chosen her if she wasn't a good pony. There were some good moments here. Rarity randomly jamming to the guitar (and Pinkie's hair straightening in response) is randomness done correctly. Pinkie Pie is completely in character and likeable here. When AJ learns her lesson, she's contrite and works to make things right. Unfortunately, those things can't save Honest Apple from being a terrible episode. Now, is it worse than Hard to Say Anything? Very hard to tell. Originally, I said Honest Apple's worse, but Hard to Say Anything is pure trash all the way to the end. Right now, it's a coin toss.
  3. Ahhhhhhhh, good evening everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! Well, this week's episode review should be shorter and considerably less angry than last week's for a few reasons: (1) this episode was far less infuriating, (2) I'm in a splendid mood after seeing "Wonder Woman" this weekend, and (3) I need to write a shorter episode review in general. So without further ado, let's begin and dive into "Honest Apple." Now, while this episode is far superior to the dreck that we got last week, it was not without its problems. My friend Jeric boiled it down nicely yesterday when he said to me that the main problem is that we had "Season 1 Applejack interacting with Season 7 Rarity," and I have to agree. Applejack was behaving uncharacteristically OOC, and immature even; I'd even say that I'd have a hard time believing Season 1 Applejack would act this way, even with Rarity when they weren't quite as close. It's not simply an issue of not taking her friend or her feelings and concerns into consideration, Applejack just displayed zero tact or discretion whatsoever, and that's just not like her. I could buy Rainbow Dash in earlier seasons behaving like this, but never AJ; her element may be the Element of Honesty, but that doesn't mean she's blunt to the point of not considering the feeling of others. She understands holding one's tongue, in fact, she's always been the small town ideal of just that; if she's uncomfortable with something, she'll usually have a subtle, wry, blunt comment to make about it, or just hold her tongue if the situation calls for it. Whoever wrote this wrote her like a country bumpkin with no appreciation for higher culture (heck, at one point she's flat out insulting the work of Coco Pommel, a genuinely good friend of hers!), and in our current political climate I don't exactly appreciate those stereotypes being displayed when many of those stereotypes are how we got to such a polarized state in our country in the first place, especially when it's a betrayal of who this character is. On top of that, she's uncharacteristically stupid as well; we know that AJ understands the idea of wearing clothes in different contexts and settings, not just for work or practical business (and sometimes fancier dress is required FOR business), because AJ herself has worn such outfits for such special occasions many times, much of it made by Rarity! She may not get the art side of fashion, but she understands its appeal, that it has appeal, and that it's a whole other industry of its very own. She doesn't walk around with this "If I don't get it it must be stupid and irrelevant" attitude that so many people seem to revel in these days. It's a disappointing missed opportunity, because there was a great episode to be had here, it just needed some tweaking is all, especially considering RariJack is my favorite pair of friends in the Mane 6 and can be such a joy to watch when they are done right. So yeah, not happy at all with AJ, and even less so when I consider that it was done in the name of making the lesson the writers had in mind work. Sad AJ is sad, that's what happens when you write her badly, writers! So what is the lesson you might ask? Well, it's basically an indictment of Internet s*** talking. No really, I'm serious, the whole lesson is about watching what you say or how you say something to others, especially when critiquing something they've done or made. You can't just consider your own thoughts or feelings when doing so, you need to take into account how your words are going to affect the person you're talking to as well. Now, normally I'd have no problem with this lesson. I mean, people not knowing how to be civil with each other or even display the most basic decency to each other on the Internet is a big reason people tend to get so heated with each other these days. So on its face, the lesson is a good one. However, here's why it doesn't work in this particular context. The lesson was forced, at the expense of making any sense whatsoever. We already went into how it forced AJ to be incredibly OOC, but it also doesn't make sense in the setting either. The thing about this lesson is that it applies most to Internet communication because it's incredibly easy to dehumanize or become desensitized to the feelings of someone you're talking with online when all you see is a screen in front of you. This episode, however, is all about face-to-face interactions, and the thing about face-to-face interactions is that people, especially genuinely decent people like AJ, tend to be far more sensitive to the feelings of others when talking in person to someone. Only people who genuinely have no lid on what they say, either because they're that insensitive or have some kind of personality disorder, have no filter when talking directly to others. So really, while the lesson was good, it just made no sense that it had to be taught to AJ of all people under these circumstances. This troll, however, was HILARIOUS! So now that the biggest issues are out of the way, what worked in this episode? Well Rarity is the most obvious choice. Her choice of AJ as a judge was creative but also showed her trust of her arguably closest friend (as well as understanding of her strengths), it was incredibly generous of her to organize an event like this to help others break into the fashion industry she loves so much, and her level of maturity displayed the whole episode was great. She reprimanded AJ when she deserved it, but wasn't unduly harsh, plus her way of teaching AJ how she bucked up was hilarious and witty (also, Strawberry Sunrise is a hilarious s*** talker when it comes to apples). Her biggest issue is that this conflict should not have been one sided; the ideal situation would have been both AJ and Rarity made mistakes to a certain extent. AJ should have been uncomfortable with the judging and not sure what to say since she didn't know how to fit in, and Rarity should have not been aware of AJ's concerns for most of the episode. That way they would have had something to teach each other. She wasn't quite Mary Sue levels here, I can buy Rarity being this mature, it's just the conflict felt forced since one character suffered so much in order to make it happen, and it didn't do Rarity any favors either in doing so. But oh well, the episode more than made up for it by giving Rarity the most amazing 10 seconds of the episode! I have no idea where the buck that came from, but I want more of it!!! All I know is that Rarity apparently has FANTASTIC methods of stress relief and venting! SHRED GIRL, SHRED!!! As for the rest of the episode, it was pleasant enough. I enjoyed that it was largely set in Ponyville, specifically the Canterlot Boutique and the Ponyville business district. The return of Photo Finish and Hoity Toity (in speaking roles, no less) was positively delightful, and I very much liked all three of the up and coming fashion designer ponies as well (especially, for some odd reason, the valley girl one; very strange for me since I usually hate that character type in cartoon shows, but here for some reason I thought it was adorable and hilarious. Possibly because the writers seemed aware of the stereotypes of the valley girl trope and seemed to playfully be poking fun at them while still making the character endearing by, you know, actually being good at stuff). 'Lit'rally' intensifies!!! The set up and conclusion for the episode were both lovely, and the fashion show (along with the instrumentals that sounded very reminiscent of the fashion show in Season 1's "Suited for Success") made this episode feel like a spiritual successor to some extent to "Suited for Success" even. But because of the problems that I cited earlier with both AJ and the forced nature of the lesson, what should have been a good to even great episode ended up just OK. That's a damn shame, but it's nowhere near as infuriating as last week's wretchedness. That's all I've got for ya tonight, everypony! Until next week, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit* To end things off, let's just have a bunch of pics from the better moments of the episode... And finally, the 10 seconds we will always remember from this episode Beautiful
  4. "Honest Apple" is an Applejack and Rarity episode, and I'm genuinely not sure if I have anything constructive left to say about episodes they share. Of course I didn't like "Honest Apple," because I think that pairing is inherently unentertaining. Of course Applejack's worst traits are exaggerated here, because that's just how episodes starring this duo work. If there's one thing I can uniquely criticize about this episode, it's the moral, which is even more unbalanced than that of "Parental Glideance," and is followed by the episode falling apart at the seams with a formulaic ending and some genuinely obnoxious jokes, more or less destroying all my goodwill towards it. Rarity is hosting a fashion contest, and wants Applejack to participate as a judge in order to get a more function-oriented perspective on the contestants' clothing lines. However, once Applejack finally agrees and gets used to the idea, her criticism becomes increasingly rude to the point where she outright insults fashion in general, causing the contestants and other judges to leave. Applejack's boorishness here is the latest example of the writers apparently not understanding that we like to see these ponies approaching problems with sensitivity. It shouldn't be so hard to give characters faults without having those faults become overbearing, but I guess it's just easier to write stories when a character is obviously and unequivocally in the wrong. It's also apparently easy to write episodes about Applejack and Rarity together, because then you don't actually have to put effort into writing a conflict. They fundamentally don't understand each other, so it's natural that they'd come into conflict. People who like their dynamic apparently enjoy that they bring out the worst in each other, and I've explained over and over again why I dislike episodes pairing the two together, so I'm not going to harp too much on it. The writers simply don't agree that this contrast is a problem, so why bother criticizing it? But Applejack being insensitive isn't fun to me. There are other jokes in the episode, but they range from kinda amusing (Rarity shredding a guitar to relieve stress) to rather lazy (one of the contestants having a valley girl accent), and for the most part the episode coasts on Applejack's attitude. But I don't want to watch a character I like being rude, and even when she's been encouraged to be honest, I don't see why she'd outright insult fashion as a whole. If she and Rarity are friends, why would she think so badly of her friend as to insult her entire line of work? Sorry, I'm harping on the dynamic. I'll stop. It appears that Applejack becomes increasingly rude simply because Rarity doesn't stop her until it's too late. Applejack, being a farmer, has little nice to say about fancy dresses, and when she's encouraged to let out her unfiltered thoughts, of course she'll be rude. It's not fun to watch, because a character who's meant to be obnoxious is, y'know, still obnoxious, but it's also frustrating when Applejack takes the full blame for her rudeness, because Rarity did nothing to stop her. In the ending, Rarity decides to teach her by example, because Applejack realizing her mistake on her own would be too subtle, and never does the episode acknowledge that Rarity should have asked her to tone it down. Furthermore, while Rarity has a reasonable justification for inviting Applejack as a judge, Applejack's practicality only extends to work clothes. Nobody in Rarity's leg of the fashion industry would make clothes for farm workers, so I'm not sure what Rarity was expecting to get out of Applejack. They've been friends for over six seasons now, so if Applejack doesn't know much about chic casual wear, Rarity ought to know that by now. Different designers have different audiences in mind, and some are likely more akin to painters than salesponies. What might have been more entertaining would be if Applejack's criticisms actually did have some use, as at least then the entire episode wouldn't seem like a miscalculation on Rarity's part. But the actual lesson is fine, I guess. Learning to appreciate the work put into things you don't care for is pretty nice, even if it's one of the most simplistic places this episode could have gone. If they wanted to keep this moral, there must have been some way to not have Applejack only serve to act poorly and be taught a lesson. Furthermore, if Applejack really knows Rarity, shouldn't she already know how much work goes into fashion? I always felt that they just don't get along, but do they outright not spend much time with each other? Sorry, harping on the dynamic again. In the climax, the contestants and other judges return to their homes, but once Applejack learns her lesson, she effectively kidnaps them in order to prevent them from leaving, including jokes where the contestants run away from her and are later literally tied up with Applejack's lasso. Because kidnapping is hilarious, apparently. But as odious as that is, the bigger issue is that Applejack rounded them up to make things right, and that's about as predictable an ending as I can imagine for this show. In truth, the whole story here is deeply formulaic, but it's this stale, cookie-cutter ending which really got on my nerves, because it speaks even more to how lazily written this episode is. That Applejack was gonna be irritating comes with the premise, and I knew I wouldn't enjoy the dynamic, but while I've come to terms with that, I can at least criticize the episode for being formulaic, simplistic, and unbalanced. There are some funny jokes, and the moral is okay, but at the end of the day it's a very by-the-books Rarity/Applejack episode, and it comes with all of the things which make these episodes insufferable to me. The first half or so is relatively inoffensive and seems to be going somewhere interesting, but the latter half falls entirely apart and undoes all that good will. So it's another episode with this pairing that I don't enjoy. How surprising. Score: Entertainment: 4/10 Characters: 3/10 Themes: 5/10 Story: 4/10 Overall: 40/100