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Found 565 results

  1. Marshmallow

    Rate song, then post another!

    Ok, so this is really simple. Basically, someone posts a song. Then the next person gives it a score out of 10, briefly explains why, then posts another song for the next person to rate and so on. Example: User 1: Friday by Rebecca Black User 2: 10/10 Best song evaaar her voice is da bestest evaaaar!!!!lol Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley User 3: 5/10 meh, not my kind of music. But I do like his hair. A lot. Winter Wrap-up - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic You get the idea. The rules are that you MUST listen to to the whole song, or at least the first 5-6 minutes if it's longer than that. Whether you like the song or not! It can be anything as long as it's labeled music. Pony music, your favorite song, the song that you and your friend composed last night, a song from your favorite opera, a song you hate, ANYTHING GOES! Also, try to include a Youtube link to the song (or any other kind of link really, as long as we can listen to the song) to make it easier for others to listen to it. Also, try to stay classy and respectful. Not everypony has the same music tastes! ^^ Ok, so I guess I should start. Octopus - Syd Barrett http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL36NuJJLIQ&feature=fvst
  2. Preliminary Topic Before I begin my review, I must bring up an essential topic. If you already know why Celestia is a problematic character and what those problems are, then there is no need to read this section. Feel free to skip down to the review at any time. Season 8 Episode 7 “Horse Play” Review by EpicEnergy To begin with, I have much to say about the characters, starting with Celestia. There are three things about her that I want to address. Firstly, the writers fixed the area where Celestia’s ability to raise the sun was diminished due to the Hearth’s Warming story that said unicorns could “bring forth day and night”. Now we understand that bringing forth day and night was not as simplistic as the Hearth’s Warming story depicted it to be, because it required multiple unicorns and Starswirl himself to raise the sun, which permanently depletes the other unicorns of their magic in the process. The strength required to raise the sun is now evident, and it makes Celestia more important and unique. I must commend the writers for providing this significant and needed fix. Secondly, this episode reveals and expounds on more of Celestia’s characteristics, making her even more enjoyable and relatable. Thirdly, this episode creates a negative characteristic in Celestia. Throughout this episode, Celestia interprets things too literally. It starts to get very annoying, but at least Celestia makes up for it in the end. Proceeding, I now will address Twilight’s behavior. Twilight acts out-of-character and bluntly lies to Celestia throughout the episode, which is illogical because she should have listened to Applejack in the first place and she should have known that telling the truth to Celestia would be morally correct and not contradictory to everything Twilight learned. Twilight’s actions are unreasonable, so I must deduct a few points off the episode rating. Lastly, I will briefly refer to the Method Mares. Their involvement in this episode provides even more theatre-related content, adding to this episode’s theatrical theme. The last subject I want to refer to is the moral. It is very basic, and completely unnecessary. It’s also a repeated moral, we obviously heard it before in previous episodes. The focus of the episode was on Celestia and not the moral; consequently, the moral didn’t receive the same treatment, and it is not satisfactory. Everyone already knows not to lie and to tell the truth. Episode Rating: 5/10 In conclusion, this episode focused on making Celestia a better character, and it succeeded despite not fixing every single one of her problems. However, the episode also made Twilight be unreasonable and gave us a basic moral that was already given in previous episodes. I would say that this episode had a balance of positive and negative features, giving it a “mediocre” rating. Rating Scale:
  3. Season 8 Episodes 1 and 2 "School Daze" Review by EpicEnergy Season 8 Episode 1 “School Daze Part 1” Review Episode 1 Opening: Normally, I don’t have an episode’s opening as an individual category in my reviews, but this is an exception because this opening is the first scene we see of season 8, containing much information right off the start. Since this is the first episode of season 8, this episode indeed has a connection with the previous MLP Movie, but not with season 7. First and foremost, I don’t expect S8 ep1 to take place right after the events in the MLP Movie, which is the Storm King’s defeat and the celebration of a certain festival afterwards, since the occurrences taking place in season 8 indicate at least a few weeks have passed since the events in the MLP Movie. Anyways, we are reminded of the incidents that took place during the MLP Movie and the new areas explored. The recollection in this episode of the MLP Movie incidents serves as a crucial component in establishing a firm foundation for future season 8 episodes because it reminds us that the MLP Movie and what happened in it is canonical; moreover, since most of the places there that were visited will be revisited in season 8, knowing about where they are located, who lives there, and what happened there is highly important. Additionally, the dialogue each character gives in this opening of episode 1 is very informative of what happened after the MLP Movie ended, such as where Tempest Shadow went. Very well handled, writers, I couldn’t ask for a better reminder and account of the MLP Movie, what a way to start an episode with. Moving onward. A good portion of season 8 is about the School of Friendship which reaches out to all creatures. Another portion is about adventuring to those places beyond Equestria on friendship quests. Both mainly originate from Twilight’s decision to start a school. It is this decision that lays the path for many Season 8 episodes, and this decision originates from the MLP Movie itself. This opening tells us about the lake from where a good amount of season 8 flows from. We know why there is a school, why Twilight founded the school, why creatures who are not Equestrians attend this school, why we see more of other lands outside of Equestria, and how these lands were found in the first place. The only issue I have with the opening is the fact that the map expanded without explanation. This map remains a contrived and arbitrary plot-device, which is a large problem to have in a narrative, and having it expand for no given or indicated reason makes this even worse. Consequently, I must subtract a few points for this poorly designed and improperly used plot-device that will most certainly affect future episodes until fixed or removed. Characters: The leaders of the nations outside of Equestria all have excellent personalities and play a great role in this episode, so thankfully there is nothing to criticize here. The mane six are also used and depicted fantastically, the only problem is Twilight Sparkle in a particular scene. The mane six approach Twilight to tell her that going by the book simply isn’t working. It is here that Twilight acts severely out of character, which is somewhat irritating because Twilight has set the book as the ultimate authority instead of her own as the Princess of Friendship. I must take off some points from the rating for this incident being illogical, as Twilight completely ignores all her friends and ignores the disastrous effects of following the book that are clearly evident throughout the school. New characters: The EEA scene is where we see the main antagonist of episodes one and two, Chancellor Neighsay. Neighsay has a somewhat arrogant and very serious personality which seems to be present in the entire EEA organization. This arrogant personality is what fits with his speciesism, which means that he thinks that ponies are higher and more important than any other creature/species. Next characters. In this episode, we are introduced to the student six. Their personalities are quite likeable. The student six are comparable to the mane six, but not to the point where they have completely identical characteristics, personality, and/or appearance. They are well-balanced characters. Plot: Overall, the plot is great in this episode; however, there have a few problems in some scenes. The first scene I shall address is when Twilight and Celestia in Celestia’s school talk about how to run a school. This where Celestia reveals that she and no one else has no authority over the EEA in academia despite her standing as a princess or any other standing whatsoever, like a princess of friendship. I suppose the EEA is some sort of independent organization that somehow manages to be the ultimate authority when it comes to academia, but this area remains unclear. The writers could have made it clearer as to why and how such an organization rose to power. Such a restriction has not been seen in Equestria up until now either, as far as I remember that is, though I won’t take off any points since this doesn’t appear to be much of an issue anyways. I must move on. Next, we see the School of Friendship itself for the first time. I don’t like that it is just there. The writers could at least have somepony say when it was built instead of just having Twilight announce ‘I’ll make a school’ then proceed to have it partially accredited, and instantly afterwards we see a fully operational school building. Hence, I must deduct a few points from the overall rating of this episode. Now I will critique the “friends and family day” scene. It’s good the writers gave us that reason for every leader to be there, because this makes the next scene seem hardly contrived and arbitrary at all. I’m referring to the scene where every single leader hears Neighsay make racial comments. During the chaos beforehand, I noticed Gallus just dropped Sandbar for no apparent reason which knocked over the leaders like bowling balls. Sorry to be so critical of what is meant to be a humorous moment, but Gallus just dropping Sandbar for no reason makes no sense, and Gallus wasn’t even upset or showed any sign of doing that purposely, yet he threw Sandbar very tremendously anyways. Also, Derpy causing both Smolder and Silverstream to crash out of the sky into the food/desert stand even though Derpy didn’t appear to touch them at all makes no sense either. What’s more is that Ocellus destroyed a good and sturdy tower as a large, flying insect, which also makes no sense how she managed to do that. Therefore, I must take off some points. Now for the final scene. Neighsay shuts the school down at the very end of this episode, and then the “to be continued” image pops up, which leaves us with suspense. Nicely done on this scene. Moral: There is no evident moral in this episode yet, because it is only part 1 of 2. Episode Rating: 8.5/10 Season 8 Episode 2 “School Daze Part 2” Review Characters: The characters are well-treated in this episode, so there is no problem here. We also see more characteristics and personalities of the new characters. Plot: The general plot of this episode is well designed as usual, but there are some aspects of it that fail to be genuine. To begin with, the opening of this episode, the usual part 2 MLP opening, consists of a summary of the previous events that took place during part 1. I appreciate this, because sometimes people can’t watch both episodes back to back on certain occasions, and this opening type assists by helping us to recall those events. Next scene, we have Twilight, who has entered a temporary yet severe state of depression. She acts severely out of character here and even entirely ignores her friends, but the real question I’m asking is whether this is reasonable. My interpretation, based on the previous occurrences in part 1, is that going into this depressive mood is in fact reasonable and not illogical since Twilight just had her dreams crushed and her friendships with other nations seemingly ruined, and that Twi tends to overreact; thus, no points will be deducted. The next scene I want to address is the potential world war scene. As a large part of the plot that exists to stir up suspense in the viewers to this episode, this subplot has a few issues that I must mention. The major problem is that all five nations instantly threaten each other that will result in a world war if not dealt with, and that every nation’s reason to start such a disastrous incident is that the leaders simply don’t know where each one’s student went. I find this highly unreasonable, since war, which should be used as a last resort, is used as the very first resort; moreover, we don’t even have any reason why the six students are highly important to the leaders to begin with, except for Sandbar (being a pony) and Silverstream (being the Queen’s niece). For these two reasons, I must deduct some points from the episode rating. Oh, by the way, what also makes no sense is that only the mane six go searching for the students while no one else does anything despite the threat of a world war. Moving onward to the next scene I will address, Silverstream says that she has never seen stairs before, and that this is her first time seeing them. As funny as it is, this is inconsistent because Silverstream was at a school with plenty of stairs to be seen. A simplistic, minor error on the writers’ part, but I still must count off a few points. Next scene. We are now introduced to a strange, new critter species. I would call them the correct name, but since I don’t know how to spell it correctly, I will refer to them as the colorful porcupines (I know, very creative). These creatures are obviously used for plot-convenience, because they suddenly appear right on time to threaten the student six so that the mane six can rescue them, and these critters disappear right after that. Since this plot-convenience is at least slightly subtle, and an attempt was made to make it completely subtle, I will deduct a very small amount of points. The remainder of the episode is great, and I have nothing to criticize in it, so I shall end this section and proceed to the moral. Moral: One may argue that there is no moral in “School Daze”, since it is a two-part episode, and most of those episode categories focus more on the story aspect rather than the moral aspect. I would disagree with that. The major moral is that all creatures are equal. This is symbolic of the modern-day issue of racism. Neighsay enforces the morally wrong idea that ponies are superior than any other race. Twilight demotes this by promoting the morally right idea that all creatures should be treated equally, and that friendship should be available to everyone. It isn’t pleasant when writers force modern-day issues into movies because we have seen enough of it in real-life and because the writers usually force it in there and ruin the narrative, but this modern-day issue is symbolized, and it don’t feel forced at all. This symbol fits perfectly into the theme and context, and it teaches us a very valuable lesson. Episode Rating: 9/10 Additional Areas (if applicable) I’ll be speaking of both episodes 1 and 2 as one episode in this category. Humor: The humor is excellent and solid! I am glad the episodes aren’t overflowing with it, nor are they kept at a too serious level either. It’s the perfect balance for this episode, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. Aesthetics: It’s pleasing to see that MLP S8 keeps the traditional 2D animations despite the movie’s animations. G4 is better off continuing what they started than switching over to 3D animations suddenly, though it wouldn’t bother me if G5 had them. Overall Episode Rating (parts 1 and 2): 8.5/10 Conclusion: There are minor problems in both episodes. The map is of course introduced once more, which a very contrived and arbitrary plot-device; however, it doesn't really play a part in "School Daze" so it hardly affects the rating. There is a plot-convenience in part 1 at the end where the students suddenly become extremely clumsy to further the plot, but the context makes this problem rather miniature and insignificant so this also hardly affects the rating. The second part has an illogical subplot, which is the only major problem out of both parts. Aside from those minor problems, the amount of good content in "School Daze" outnumbers the amount of bad content by far. Therefore, this entire episode is rated 8.5/10, unless you round it off to the nearest whole number which would give it a 9/10, Rating Scale: 0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure 1 = an extremely horrible disaster 2 = very dreadful 3 = terrible 4 = bad 5 = mediocre 6 = good 7 = great 8 = very fantastic 9 = extremely amazing 10 = an absolute perfection
  4. Season 8 Episode 3 “The Maud Couple” Review by EpicEnergy Characters: Let me initiate this review by starting with the primary new character in this episode – Mudbriar. His personality is mainly technicality; as a matter of fact, he is only technical and hardly nothing else. This becomes very annoying over time, since he is always acting and speaking with technicality. Consequently, I must subtract a good portion of points from the episode rating for this. Next, I shall briefly talk about Pinkie. She acts somewhat out of character, overexaggerating too often, which doesn’t provide a natural feel to this episode. Therefore, I shall remove a very small amount of points for this. Continuing, I shall discuss Starlight. She appears to replace the rest of the mane six in this episode by counseling Pinkie and attempting to resolve Pinkie’s friendship problem with Mudbriar. I disagree that she replaces the mane six in this area; rather, I would say that her involvement in this episode has no problems. The only pony who would be qualified to take Starlight’s position would be Twilight, but she is not friends with Maud, so Starlight is the best candidate for this type of situation. Lastly, I want to address Maud’s personality. Maud can now demonstrate with ease her emotions through her tone of voice and facial expressions while still maintaining her normal personality. This is contrary to Mudbriar, as his technicality prevents his emotions from appearing to be genuine. Overall, I must deduct some points from the episode rating because of Mudbriar’s technicality and Pinkie’s highly overexaggerated personality. Plot: The general plot is superb, and well executed. Surprisingly, I found absolutely no contrived and arbitrary plot-devices or plot-conveniences in this episode. As a result, I must commend the writers for creating this genuine plot in this episode. Scenes: In this section I will review specific scenes. I may also skip one or more scenes. Firstly, there is the opening, with Maud performing her “stand-up comedy” that I was really looking forward to after she announced it in the season 7 episode “Rock Solid Friendship”. That isn’t the only amazing aspect of this opening, because the developers also added the “Hayburger” restaurant building into this scene, which was first introduced in the season 4 episode “Twilight Time” (there are a few differences, but it is the same building). Now this is where the new MLP opening song is first revealed. It really needed alteration, since the school and numerous new characters were added, so this change is appreciated since it included the new features of season 8 while still maintaining a few of the old opening features and general flow. The entire opening sequence of this episode is well done. Now I will proceed far into the latter half of the episode toward the scene where we have Starlight and Maud flying kites. Starlight’s kite flying hobby is fantastic and serves to add to her being a great character, so its return makes this episode even more enjoyable. Also, before I proceed to the next subject, one should note that Starlight has kites hanging from the ceiling in her room during this episode. Next, I will discuss the Pie rock farm scene. The writers include Pinkie’s other sisters, Marble and Limestone Pie. It’s very nice to have them back into the picture after a very long time since their last appearance on the show. They are well written, so nice job on this part. They also played a significant role by enlightening Pinkie on what is known as the moral of this episode. That is basically all the scenes I wanted to review, since the remainder has nothing notable that I need to focus on that I haven’t already addressed in this review. Moral: This episode’s moral is well informative and illustrated though the given metaphor. It is amazing how looks can be so deceptive, that’s why I always loved the geode metaphor, a long time before this episode even aired. I own a miniature geode that is within my bedroom up to this day to remind me of how one should not look on the outward appearance and judge someone by that method; rather one should look at the inward gems of another human, the positive side that has so much potential. That is a very considerable lesson to learn, and an even harder one to apply with humans being so judgmental of others. Episode Rating: 7/10 Conclusion: This episode is highly enjoyable in all aspects except the characters. With Pinkie's overexaggerated personality and Mudbriar's technicality, it came become annoying, leaving this episode with a "great" rating. Rating Scale: 0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure 1 = an extremely horrible disaster 2 = very dreadful 3 = terrible 4 = bad 5 = mediocre 6 = good 7 = great 8 = very fantastic 9 = extremely amazing 10 = an absolute perfection
  5. Season 8 Episode 4 “Fake It Till’ You Make It” Review by EpicEnergy Characters: This episode centers around Fluttershy, so I will focus solely on this character for this reason and that there are no new characters introduced. Fluttershy acts far out of character in this episode, so the question that should be asked should be based around whether this is inconsistent and whether it makes sense or not. I would argue that it is very inconsistent and makes no sense. It will be evident why I say this in the “scenes” section. Plot: Fluttershy maintains the Manehattan boutique for Rarity and decides to act as the Saddle Row pony’s stereotypical personality to be effective. At first this works. As time progresses though, Fluttershy becomes a more and more unpleasant Saddle Row pony who eventually takes this acting to an extreme that is displeasing even for a Saddle Row pony, which renders her acting ineffective. Now for a short review on this plot. I must complement the writers because they have carefully designed the incidents so that nothing appears to be solely a plot-convenience or an arbitrary plot-device. I must also add that this main plot is laid out nicely, from beginning to end. Scenes: I will review a few individual scenes in this section. The opening scene is great, because it occurs in Fluttershy’s animal sanctuary which is nice to have its appearance once again after its initial development in season 7. This opening also serves to further the plot, providing an explanation of the events that will ensue later in the episode. The next scene I will review occurs a while after this which has something that is plainly absurd. It’s when one of the customers tastes the lukewarm tea and instantly spits it out, and Fluttershy proceeds to lecture the raccoons very harshly afterwards. I’ll refer to this incident from now on as the “lukewarm-tea encounter”. It is at this point, I argue, where Fluttershy losses her character and unnecessarily acts excessively unpleasant. It also at this point that Fluttershy does the completely illogical, which should not have occurred. She does not apologize to the critters, and proceeds to make offensive remarks to the customers while elevating the boutique dresses to a god-like level that no one could buy because they are not worthy. There is a presented reason why Flutters does this, which is also illogical, but I’ll get to that afterwards. For now, I must address another scene before I get to the last part. In this scene, Fluttershy ignores her friends, despite them attempting to help, and kicks them out of Rarity’s shop! I know Fluttershy was acting, but acting does not mean one loses all sense of reason and not know when to stop and take things seriously! The final scene I will review is when Fluttershy admits she became too distracted with her acting, but it fails to suffice as a plausible explanation for her behavior, seeming to be more of an excuse than anything. She says, “I’m sorry, you know I was only pretending right?”. This is a terrible explanation because getting too distracted by acting and pretending to be an overexaggerated and illogical stereotypical Saddle Row pony does not justify being a detrimental employee and horrible friend. In other words, pretending to be someone offensive doesn’t justify being offensive, since harm is inflicted either way if the offended doesn’t know you’re pretending, which is exactly what happened. Also, everyone just forgives Fluttershy after her illogical explanation anyways without even speaking of how wrong her actions were. It’s implying that Fluttershy shouldn’t be held accountable for her actions at all because she was too focused on pretending to be someone she was not!!! I’ll have to subtract many points from the episode rating for this erroneous explanation, response, and implication. Moral: I will now focus on the main moral. In case no one knows what that moral is, it simply is that one has inner strength and need not change himself/herself in order to show it. This moral is highly fantastic, because it is very true and very helpful. Additional Areas (if applicable): Inconsistency with the Season 1 episode “Suited for Success”: In “Suited for Success”, Fluttershy is said, by her friends, to have a freaky knowledge of sowing, which helped her create Rarity’s dress exactly as intended. This knowledge is clearly obvious when Fluttershy gives her real opinion on the dress Rarity made for her a few moments back in this season 1 episode. The inconsistency is that Fluttershy is depicted as having hardly any knowledge of fashion in season 8 episode 4, which even Fluttershy herself admits. Episode Rating: 3/10 Conclusion: Everything about Fluttershy makes sense up to the “lukewarm-tea encounter”, and then everything goes downhill from there. The main moral is exceedingly great, as well as the general plot, but Fluttershy’s behavior is illogical along with a terrible explanation for it. In addition to those problems, this episode also contradicts the season 1 episode resulting in an irritating inconsistency. To conclude, I must give this episode a negative rating. As brutal as a 3/10 may appear, if you line it up with my rating scale you will find it is not nearly as brutal as it could be. Rating Scale: 0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure 1 = an extremely horrible disaster 2 = very dreadful 3 = terrible 4 = bad 5 = mediocre 6 = good 7 = great 8 = very fantastic 9 = extremely amazing 10 = an absolute perfection
  6. Season 8 Episode 5 "Grannies Gone Wild" Review by EpicEnergy This episode is impressive. The worldbuilding in it is very appreciative, as Las Pegasus is the setting of this episode, this time without having any antagonist. As if the worldbuilding wasn’t enough, the numerous side characters (old and new) are given satisfying spotlight time that allows them to develop. This also opens the door for plenty of fan-fics and so much potential for the show. I’d also like to add that Jackpot and Trixie appear to be alike, which generates the theory that Jackpot is Trixie’s dad. I would love to see that area explored in later episodes. Proceeding, Rainbow Dash is the only character who presents a complication in this episode, because she acts out-of-character. Acting out-of-character is sometimes inconsistent and illogical, like in the previous episode of season 8 (“Fake It Till’ You Make It”). I would argue that in this episode it is not inconsistent or illogical because Rainbow Dash’s behavior is understandable as she is forced to obey Applejack’s list or face the consequences. That doesn’t make it any less bothersome though. Moving onward, the moral is remarkable. It has been constantly stressed throughout the episode, not in a forceful manner, and is very relatable for many of us. The moral is that old people aren’t as boring and stupid as they are normally said to be. This moral reminds us to respect our elders and not assume unnecessary things about them simply because of their age. Before I close, I wanted to mention that throughout this episode Rainbow Dash uses her wings as hands. As minor as this may sound, it is very creative, and I find it rather neat to have in the show. Episode Rating: 9/10 Overall, this episode is one of my most enjoyed episodes in season 8, except for Rainbow Dash following AJ’s list, which is very understandable in the given context but still can be somewhat irritating in a few scenes. Rating Scale:
  7. Season 8 Episode 6 “Surf and/or Turf” Review by EpicEnergy This episode was amazing, but it did contain a few problems. First and foremost, I must address one of the largest problems in season 8 – the Cutie Map. I briefly mentioned it in my episode 1 review, that it will affect future episodes, and that is exactly what is occurring here in episode 6. I’ll briefly explain the situation – The Cutie Map is already a contrived and arbitrary plot-device, because it suddenly appeared with Twilight’s Castle at the end of season 4 and was largely used after that to mysteriously tell the mane six where friendship problems are and where travel to solve them without any explanation at all. It’s being used to further the plot of many episodes before and many to come yet continues to be arbitrary; thus, it remains to be problematic until an explanation is provided. This arbitrary plot-device mysteriously calls the CMCs in this episode and tells them exactly where to go and gives us no explanation as to why it called the CMCs and how it knew where a friendship problem was. Consequently, this incident affects this episode’s rating. Next topic. The characters and worldbuilding are overwhelmingly superb! There are numerous new characters all over the place. The episode’s story takes place at the majestic Mount Aris, which was first introduced in the MLP Movie. This kingdom is magnificent and has a culture of its own, with new buildings, events, creatures, hobbies, wildlife, and more! The most important aspect is that this kingdom has two separate places to live in: the land (with Harmonizing Heights) and the sea (aka., Seaquestria). I am genuinely astonished at both the characters and the worldbuilding in this episode! Proceeding to the next subject. The moral of this episode has a normal meaning and an allegorical meaning. The normal meaning is that one doesn’t necessarily have to choose between two things, and that your family will accept you for who you are even if you don’t choose. The allegorical meaning focuses on a specific topic, which is the modern-day issue of divorce. After a divorce occurs, the child can sometimes feel like he has no choice but to choose between one parent or the other. The episode is saying that the child doesn’t have to choose, and that he could switch between parents as much as he likes. This is very good advice, but one must take into consideration that it is only applicable to certain contexts. Minor Inconsistencies with other episodes: Before I proceed to the episode rating, I must address a few inconsistencies this episode has with previous episodes. Firstly, in the MLP Movie Twilight is looked down upon by the seaponies/hippogriffs after she intently steals their pearl, yet she walks around Mount Aris without anyone bringing it up whatsoever. How is she suddenly forgiven by the Queen Novo and the hippogriffs for this? I find this to be an irritating inconsistency. Another inconsistency is evident far back, when Twilight says she can’t go to Griffinstone because the map didn’t call her (in the S5 episode “The Lost Treasure of Griffinstone”); however, she easily goes to Mount Aris despite not being called by the map. Why couldn’t she go to Griffinstone for the sake of research, yet she could easily go to Mount Aris for this reason? Like I said, another inconsistency. Episode Rating: 8/10 To conclude, this episode has positive features and negative features, with the positive outweighing the negative by a good amount. It succeeds by far in the worldbuilding, characters, and moral aspects. On the contrary, it had a severely contrived and arbitrary plot-device that is only made worse through this episode. This episode also has a few minor inconsistencies with previous episodes. Rating Scale:
  8. Sisterhooves Social - 95 The Best Night Ever - 92 The Perfect Pear - 92 Amending Fences - 91 Crusaders of the Lost Mark - 90 Party of One - 90 The Cutie Map - 89 Rarity Takes Manehattan - 89 A Rockhoof and a Hard Place - 88 Sweet and Elite - 88 Sounds of Silence - 87 Twilight Time - 87 Where the Apple Lies - 87 The Cutie Re-Mark - 86 Sleepless in Ponyville - 86 Lesson Zero - 86 Winter Wrap Up - 86 Friendship University - 86 Road to Friendship - 86 The Mane Attraction - 85 Green Isn't Your Color - 85 The Cutie Mark Chronicles - 85 Flutter Brutter - 85 Dragonshy - 85 Suited for Success - 84 Trade Ya! - 84 Marks and Recreation - 84 The Break Up Break Down - 84 Pinkie Pride - 84 Rock Solid Friendship - 84 The Hearth's Warming Club - 83 Horse Play - 83 Scare Master - 83 Grannies Gone Wild - 83 What Lies Beneath - 82 Once Upon a Zeppelin - 82 Secret of My Excess - 82 The Washouts - 82 Top Bolt - 82 Maud Pie - 82 Shadow Play - 82 The Return of Harmony - 81 The Ticket Master - 81 Putting Your Hoof Down - 81 Forever Filly - 80 Hearth's Warming Eve - 80 Surf and/or Turf - 79 P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View) - 79 Call of the Cutie - 78 Stranger than Fan Fiction - 78 Discordant Harmony - 77 On Your Marks - 77 Simple Ways - 77 Applebuck Season - 77 Hurricane Fluttershy - 76 A Dog and Pony Show - 76 Fall Weather Friends - 75 Hearthbreakers - 75 Castle Mane-ia - 74 Look Before You Sleep - 74 Brotherhooves Social - 74 Dragon Quest - 74 Dungeons & Discords - 73 Twilight's Kingdom - 73 Sonic Rainboom - 73 The Gift of the Maud Pie - 73 A Health of Information - 72 Friendship is Magic - 71 Uncommon Bond - 71 The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone - 71 A Friend in Deed - 70 Appleoosa's Most Wanted - 70 Wonderbolts Academy - 70 Buckball Season - 70 The Parent Map - 70 Equestria Games - 70 Marks for Effort - 70 The End in Friend - 69 The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows - 69 Swarm of the Century - 69 Inspiration Manifestation - 69 Applejack's "Day" Off - 69 Molt Down - 69 Apple Family Reunion - 68 Griffon the Brush Off - 68 Over a Barrel - 68 To Change a Changeling - 68 Rarity Investigates! - 67 Parental Glideance - 66 Hearts and Hooves Day - 66 Castle Sweet Castle - 65 Rainbow Falls - 65 Father Knows Beast - 65 The Last Roundup - 64 Family Appreciation Day - 64 A Royal Problem - 63 It Isn't the Mane Thing About You - 63 Luna Eclipsed - 62 Flight to the Finish - 62 A Hearth's Warming Eve - 61 Somepony to Watch Over Me - 61 Filli Vanilli - 61 School Daze - 60 Campfire Tales - 60 A Flurry of Emotions - 60 The Fault in Our Cutie Marks - 60 Fluttershy Leans In - 60 The Saddle Row Review - 60 Made in Manehattan - 60 Canterlot Boutique - 60 Pinkie Apple Pie - 60 Bats! - 60 The Hoofields and the McColts - 60 Magical Mystery Cure - 59 All Bottled Up - 59 For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils - 59 Stare Master - 59 Make New Friends but Keep Discord - 59 Princess Spike - 59 No Second Prances - 58 A Bird in the Hoof - 58 The Maud Couple - 58 Bloom & Gloom - 57 Feeling Pinkie Keen - 57 Triple Threat - 57 Celestial Advice - 56 Viva Las Pegasus - 56 Hard to Say Anything - 56 Princess Twilight Sparkle - 56 The Crystalling - 55 Leap of Faith - 55 Not Asking for Trouble - 55 Spice Up Your Life - 54 A Canterlot Wedding - 53 28 Pranks Later - 52 Read It and Weep - 52 Games Ponies Play - 51 A Matter of Principals - 51 Bridle Gossip - 51 Yakity-Sax - 51 Keep Calm and Flutter On - 50 Fake It 'Til You Make It - 50 The Cart Before the Ponies - 50 Honest Apple - 50 MMMystery on the Friendship Express - 50 Secrets and Pies - 49 Ponyville Confidential - 49 The Times They Are a Changeling - 49 May the Best Pet Win! - 48 The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 - 47 Daring Done? - 47 It's About Time - 46 The Mean 6 - 46 The Cutie Pox - 45 Newbie Dash - 45 Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? - 45 Every Little Thing She Does - 44 Just for Sidekicks - 44 Party Pooped - 43 Gauntlet of Fire - 42 Owl's Well That Ends Well - 40 The Show Stoppers - 40 Magic Duel - 40 Too Many Pinkie Pies - 39 Non-Compete Clause - 39 Daring Don't - 38 Boast Busters - 37 The Crystal Empire - 37 Tanks for the Memories - 36 To Where and Back Again - 36 Three's a Crowd - 35 The Mysterious Mare Do Well - 35 Power Ponies - 35 One Bad Apple - 32 Baby Cakes - 30 Testing Testing 1,2,3 - 29 It Ain't Easy Being Breezies - 28 Spike at Your Service - 26 Fame and Misfortune - 23 Slice of Life - 18 What About Discord? - 16
  9. RATING SCALE: 91-100: Masterpiece 81-90: Absolutely amazing 71-80: Great 61-70: Good 51-60: Flawed, but still has merits 41-50: Bad far outweighs the good 31-40: Bad 21-30: Horrible 11-20: Vile trash 1-10: Kill it with fire Season 1: Friendship Is Magic: 71 The Ticket Master: 81 Applebuck Season: 77 Griffon the Brush Off: 68 Boast Busters: 37 Dragonshy: 85 Look Before You Sleep: 74 Bridle Gossip: 51 Swarm of the Century: 69 Winter Wrap Up: 86 Call of the Cutie: 78 Fall Weather Friends: 75 Suited for Success: 84 Feeling Pinkie Keen: 57 Sonic Rainboom: 73 Stare Master: 59 The Show Stoppers: 40 A Dog and Pony Show: 76 Green Isn’t Your Color: 85 Over a Barrel: 68 A Bird in the Hoof: 58 The Cutie Mark Chronicles: 85 Owl’s Well that Ends Well: 40 Party of One: 90 The Best Night Ever: 92 Season 2: The Return of Harmony: 81 Lesson Zero: 86 Luna Eclipsed: 62 Sisterhooves Social: 95 (favourite episode) The Cutie Pox: 45 May the Best Pet Win!: 48 The Mysterious Mare Do Well: 35 Sweet and Elite: 88 Secret of My Excess: 82 Hearth’s Warming Eve: 80 Family Appreciation Day: 64 Baby Cakes: 30 The Last Roundup: 64 The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000: 47 Read It and Weep: 52 Hearts and Hooves Day: 66 A Friend in Deed: 70 Putting Your Hoof Down: 81 It’s About Time: 46 Dragon Quest: 74 Hurricane Fluttershy: 76 Ponyville Confidential: 49 MMMystery on the Friendship Express: 50 A Canterlot Wedding: 53 Season 3: The Crystal Empire: 37 Too Many Pinkie Pies: 39 One Bad Apple: 32 Magic Duel: 40 Sleepless in Ponyville: 86 Wonderbolts Academy: 70 Apple Family Reunion: 68 Spike at Your Service: 26 Keep Calm and Flutter On: 50 Just for Sidekicks: 44 Games Ponies Play: 51 Magical Mystery Cure: 59 Season 4: Princess Twilight Sparkle: 56 Castle Mane-ia: 74 Daring Don’t: 38 Flight to the Finish: 62 Power Ponies: 35 Bats!: 60 Rarity Takes Manehattan: 89 Pinkie Apple Pie: 60 Rainbow Falls: 65 Three’s a Crowd: 35 Pinkie Pride: 84 Simple Ways: 77 Filli Vanilli: 61 Twilight Time: 87 It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies: 28 Somepony to Watch Over Me: 61 Maud Pie: 82 For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: 59 Leap of Faith: 55 Testing Testing 1, 2, 3: 29 Trade Ya!: 84 Inspiration Manifestation: 69 Equestria Games: 70 Twilight’s Kingdom: 73 Season 5: The Cutie Map: 89 Castle Sweet Castle: 65 Bloom & Gloom: 57 Tanks for the Memories: 36 Appleoosa’s Most Wanted: 70 Make Friends but Keep Discord: 59 The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone: 71 Slice of Life: 18 Princess Spike: 59 Party Pooped: 43 Amending Fences: 91 Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?: 45 Canterlot Boutique: 60 Rarity Investigates!: 67 Made in Manehattan: 60 Brotherhooves Social: 74 Crusaders of the Lost Mark: 90 The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows: 69 Hearthbreakers: 75 Scare Master: 83 What About Discord: 16 The Hoofields and the McColts: 60 The Mane Attraction: 85 The Cutie Re-Mark: 86 Season 6: The Crystalling: 55 The Gift of the Maud Pie: 73 On Your Marks: 77 Gauntlet of Fire: 42 No Second Prances: 58 Newbie Dash: 45 A Hearth’s Warming Eve: 61 The Saddle Row Review: 60 Applejack’s "Day" Off: 69 Flutter Brutter: 85 Spice Up Your Life: 54 Stranger than Fan Fiction: 78 The Cart Before the Ponies: 50 28 Pranks Later: 52 The Times They Are A Changeling: 49 Dungeons & Discords: 73 Buckball Season: 70 The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: 60 Viva Las Pegasus: 56 Every Little Thing She Does: 44 P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View): 79 Where the Apple Lies: 87 Top Bolt: 82 To Where and Back Again: 36 Season 7 Celestial Advice: 56 All Bottled Up: 59 A Flurry of Emotions: 60 Rock Solid Friendship: 84 Fluttershy Leans In: 60 Forever Filly: 80 Parental Glideance: 66 Hard to Say Anything: 56 Honest Apple: 50 A Royal Problem: 63 Not Asking for Trouble: 55 Discordant Harmony: 77 The Perfect Pear: 92 Fame and Misfortune: 23 Triple Threat: 57 Campfire Tales: 60 To Change a Changeling: 68 Daring Done?: 47 It Isn’t the Mane Thing About You: 63 A Health of Information: 72 Marks and Recreation: 84 Once Upon a Zeppelin: 82 Secrets and Pies: 49 Uncommon Bond: 71 Shadow Play: 82 Season 8 School Daze: 60 The Maud Couple: 58 Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 50 Grannies Gone Wild: 83 Surf and/or Turf: 79 Horse Play: 83 The Parent Map: 70 Non-Compete Clause: 39 The Break Up Break Down: 84 Molt Down: 68 Marks for Effort: 70 The Mean 6: 46 A Matter of Principals: 51 The Hearth’s Warming Club: 83 Friendship University: 86 The End in Friend: 69 Yakity-Sax: 51 On the Road to Friendship: 85 The Washouts: 82 A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: 88 What Lies Beneath: 82 Sounds of Silence: 87 Father Knows Beast: 65 School Raze: ? My Little Pony: The Movie: 67
  10. Dark Qiviut

    "Road to Friendship" Quickieview

    NOTE: Copied and pasted my review from here and contains some extra edits. Trixie and Starlight's chant and dance were total cringe. Looking for me to dish another negative? You ain't gonna find it here. (On the) Road to Friendship's story's incredibly simple, its focus driven 100% by Starlight, Trixie, and their incredible chemistry. Just like Spike, Big Mac, and Discord from Break Down, they only became friends two seasons ago, yet thanks to Haber's clever writing, you'd think their friendship goes back to childhood. Until Season 6, Trixie only stood center stage for Boast Busters, Magic Duel, and Rainbow Rocks as a tertiary character. But Haber brought her into becoming a reoccurring character and has become a vehicle for storytelling around Starlight. Their magnificent chemistry is thanks to Haber's incredibly tight dialogue, a continuous improvement of the show started by Shadow Play. With everything they say to and about each other, you buy into it, whether it's their praise, banter, jokes, passive-aggressive insults, and full-blown arguing. Their exchanges were snappy and completely believable; each moment and line flowed so well, even when the vocabulary repeats, with no hitch at all. Thanks to their chemistry, Haber takes advantage of as many comedic opportunities as possible. Virtually all of them land. Some of my favorites include: Starlight teleporting back to the school in a hurry, only to briefly return to say goodbye in between. Starlight throwing a little meta joke about how Twilight and friends would sing a song to commemorate their voyage, only for them both to start a song themselves. Blowing open the inflatable raft causes Starlight to get pinned to the window. During their descent into fighting, Starlight and Trixie share passive-aggressive barbs at each other during the Somnambula magic show. While sleeping in the caravan in Somnambula, Trixie talks and rehearses in her sleep, while Starlight snores noisily, each a callback to previous episodes. Kudos to Haber for using a combined pun of the village's name. The elder pony peaks out of the chest, sees nothing happening, and returns to sleep. Cue credits. But the best comedy comes during We're Friendship-Bound. Aside from being the season's best song up to this point, it's incredibly upbeat with catchy lyrics and just-as-catchy jazzy beat. Like Apples to the Core four seasons ago, its jovial tone reverberates through each scene, which ranged in activity, danger, and atmosphere. I don't recall the last time Pinkie broke the fourth wall, but Trixie and Starlight shattered it everywhere, especially this line(!): But like the rest of the season, Haber progressively tests their friendship. While Starlight's preoccupied at the school, Hoo'Far asks if he can trade his bigger caravan for hers. She says no, because it's her home. Her smaller, cramped wagon comes into play twice, including as they relaxed the first time. Trixie closes the door, causing SG to accidentally drop a smoke bomb. Starlight wasting bits on street food over essentials. Trixie waiting a long time in line for a particular street vendor over shopping at another empty vendor that orders the same thing. After all the hotels are booked, they get really testy with each other. Despite apologizing with each other… …they get really cramped inside her wagon. Starlight can't move, so she moves the smoke bombs, squashing Trixie. They couldn't sleep in the same room! Trixie wrapped a bandana around her muzzle to stop her snoring. Next morning, thy passive-aggressively take the last of each others' food, the haycake by SG, the juice by Trixie. This passive aggression continued into the failed magic show, one of Road to Friendship's funniest scenes. The water boils that night when they traded sleep- and meal-related insults and accusations, culminating with Starlight ejecting Trixie's supplies and: But the boiling foamed the next morning when Starlight traded away her wagon for his behind her back. You think that her impulsiveness would let her think twice about trading it away. Despite her decent alibi of traveling with a roomier wagon, Starlight has two major problems here: Her timing. Neither of them got along and fought the night before. Those feelings pass over here. Starlight traded it while Trixie slept. It doesn't matter if your intentions are good. This is her property, and she decides what to do with it, not SG. It ain't no surprise why Trixie's so upset; her anger's completely justified. Starlight comes off as a major plothole here, why she's primarily written to be in the wrong in Act 3, and becomes the episode's primary apologizer. This is a reversal of No Second Prances, but done way better. In the former, Trixie used Starlight, and she had to make it up to her. Here, Starlight screwed up badly and has to make it up. Some are a little disappointed we see nothing of Saddle Arabia beyond just Hoo'Far (who, BTW, had really excellent and witty dialect), but like Chrysalis in The Man Six, those who do miss the point. This episode's about experiencing the ups and downs of friendship, having their friendship tested, overcoming it, and becoming closer. In the grand scope, Saddle Arabia isn't necessary, and the story in between more than makes up for it. All in all, it's an excellent episode — one of the best of not just the season, but the show, too.
  11. Hello everyone! If you do not know, I review MLP episodes as part of the show 'Pones N Stuff' on my YouTube Channel, 'The CC Network'. After a long time thinking whether I COULD showcase them here, I've decided to post them to a topic, to see what you guys think of them and putting your own opinions towards the episodes I've reviewed thus far. Sadly, due to only starting the show for Season 7, those are the only episodes that I have thus far. While some may be missing, they will be addressed at a later date. Here's a playlist with all the episodes thus far: I've also started Equestria Girls Month for the entirety of this month, where I'm reviewing the feature films. Only one has been put up thus far, more will follow in the weeks to come: I also do countdowns as well, unrelated to Pones N Stuff, which will be uploaded when they come as well, unless there is a demand to see those as well. All in all, I hope you enjoy the result of my critical and creative labours.
  12. So, after a long time of nothing for me, i decided to give a little retrospective to two Games i played trough, the first 2 Dc Comics based Playstation 1 Games, which are both based on Batman. I will give my personal Opinion on them and give one hint for each game, to make the game easier. Batman Forever - The Arcade Game This game is based on the Movie Batman Forever, not only would it be better to watch the Movie first, it is required that you watch the Movie first, because this is one of those Games that explain nothing. There are no real cutscenes, there is no real Dialog except for some Audio Clips from the Movie, which are like 4-5 Catch Lines and thats it. The Levels seem unrelated to each other and if you dont know the Plot of the Movie, you will probably dont understand anything that goes on in this Game. Apart from the lack of Story telling ( except for the Manual maybe ), the game also lacks a save feature. Yeah sure, you can save, but only your Highscores. In the Game itself you cant save anything and you have to play trough the entire game at once, without passwords, without stops and no way to recover continues. And the Highscores are so easy to beat in contrast to the actual game, that you dont even have to play the entire game to already break every record. So whats the point in even trying? You get nothing if you beat the game, except for some Credits. Apart from these negative things, the game is kinda fun. Its just that the difficulty is so high, even on the easy setting, that i wasnt even able to beat this game. So the game was fun for like 2 Days until i realized that i wasnt getting anywhere and i looked on the Internet for help. I am no gaming god and those beat em up games, specially arcade ones, are just to difficult for me. So all in all, the game was just okay. It was meh. Mediocre. Was fun for a few Days then it turned into frustration. HINT: Get a second Controller, once you run out of Continues for the first Player and are on your last life, press start on the second Controller and you get the same amount of Continues again, that you had with the first player and then you just continue the game as the second Player. If you choose 7 Continues on the Menu Screen, you get 14 Continues in total with this play method. Batman & Robin Oh, Batman and Robin...made by the same People that made the other Batman Game. Based again on a Movie of the same name, this game shares some similarities. With that i mean, that even if this Game now has Cutscenes, it still explains barely anything and some cutscenes dont even make sense because they didnt even happened in the Movie that way. EXAMPLE ( SPOILER ALERT ) : The very last cutscene, Mr Freeze is defeated and on the ground and Batman just trows some Jewelry from his sick wife on the Ground. Um...in the Movie he explained that they cured his wife from a disease, in this game this scene could also simply mean, that his wife his dead and Batman just trows her Jewelry on the Ground to really break Mr. Freezes spirit or something. Also it explains freaking nothing, if you havent watched the Movie. Apart from the lack of Story telling again, this game is also lacking in telling you what the heck you are supposed to be doing. Instead of giving you Missions, this game is basically telling you, that you have to find that out by yourself. By collecting Clues...which most of the time tell you nothing about the place you should be going. I started this Game so many times over again, because i got stuck with the hints and had no idea where i was supposed to be going...i dont get it. Some People defend this Game by saying : "Just get the clues, dummy !" I DID! I FREAKING DID AND THEY TOLD ME ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Most of this Clues arent even Mission related and just tell you Story stuff, that might have been better explained with some cutscenes. So, let me get this right...in order to even be able to play the damn game, you have to collect every single Clue in the game, because of so many unhelpful ones, while at the same getting shoot down by constant spawning enemys and dying constantly. Okay...maybe this would have been fine, if this Game wouldnt also have a TIME LIMIT! How the heck are you supposed to do all of this? During a time limit? Every single time, before every Mission? This game is so unnecessary complicated, difficult and outright frustrating that i really wonder how anyone would have fun while playing this. Sure, the Graphics look nice, the Cutscenes look alright, the Music is great and the Grand Theft Auto Style of Gameplay is impressive for Ps 1 Standards! I love it ! But everything else pulls this game way down. All in all this game gets the same rating as the other one, its okay and i really want to say that its kinda good, because of the good graphics, the interesting gameplay, but its confusing and frustrating game mechanics make this game almost unplayable without a guide. Its really a shame, i really would like to say that the game is good, but without a guide...its horror. HINT: Apart from the obvious Hint, to just use a Guide or Walktrough for help, there is another thing. I only tried this on the third day in the game, but it should also work on the other days, i hope. To get Full Life and every single Life Ball for recovery, just go into the Museum at any point ( after you have beaten the first Mission in there of course, otherwise you fail the mission if you just go in and out of the museum while there is a robbery XD ). Go straight forward to the closed main Door, go to the right side and press the Button on the wall. A platform on the left side will go down, quickly run to the left side, glide down to a small room before the platform goes up again and once your down there, get the red item. It will give you 2 Life Balls or Life Pallets or whatever they are called. Go out of the Museum and go back in again, the Red Item will appear every single time. With this Method you can get your full life back before every single Mission, which makes this game so much easier.
  13. Dark Qiviut

    episode review "The Mean Six" Review

    Note: Credit to @Jeric, @PathfinderCS, and @Captain Clark and conversations with them on Discord for this review. One of The Return of Harmony's biggest strengths is its clever execution of the Discorded Mane Six. Discord manipulated each and every one of them — sans Fluttershy for humor's sake — into exposing a major internal weakness, such as Applejack fearing no one loves her and running away from the idea and Rainbow Dash fleeing the labyrinth and leaving her friends behind to protect Cloudesdale. Twilight's slow progression of losing her denial that her friends still cared and had some good left in them was a masterpiece of a villain's accomplished deeds breaking down a strong character's confidence so much that she abandoned the Magic of Friendship. Now with Discord a good guy, warping the Mane Eight into Discorded versions of themselves doesn't make sense anymore. But Mike Vogel brings the idea back in clever fashion while still keeping their presence fresh in The Mean 6. Chrysalis crafts a spell to create copies of them. Poorly crafted, apparently. Instead of creating exact mirrored personalities of every Discorded Six, three of Chrysalis's Mean Six are switched up a little in order to be unpredictable and to increase potential for both friction and comedy. Rather than be Rainbow Ditch and wrap up major delusions of Cloudesdale being safe and protected, Mean Dash — who I call "Lazy Dash" — is completely apathetic of everything around her. No matter the interest or urgent, she'd rather fly and sleep. Pinkie Pie in both TRoH and TM6 is a major grump, but Mean Pinkie in TM6 — "Bordie Pie" — finds everything so boring instead of being Chef Hater Pants. TM6's version, Twilight Snarkle, stands out the most for a few reasons, one of which is how much she completely differs from Twilight Quitter in TRoH. She's very snarky with a very keen ability to tap into someone's weak spot to make them pay attention to her. More about her later. Vogel uses Chrysalis's desperation and status to recap past events. Occasionally, Season 8 hides its exposition very organically, The Mean 6 being one of its smartest iterations. Rather than just have Chrysalis spill everything, she explains to still photos of the RM6 of what she used to be, what happened to her now, and what she wants to do next. Each lines oozes with a wide range of personality, from extreme cockiness — i.e., her little prance with matching music — to a lust to conquer Equestria to a deranged thirst for Starlight's pain and destruction. Now that she no longer controls her kingdom and is all alone, she'll do anything to reclaim her credibility as threat to Equestria, and creating half-baked clones of changelings exemplifies her desperation and status. Chrysalis has always been a mixed bag. Very threatening with a slab of ham as her thorax, but often woefully incompetent. Whenever she's ready to conquer Equestria, she overlooks one major flaw in her plan or concentrates more on her own ego over conquering the kingdom. In ACW, she sent Twilight to the same dungeon as the real Cadance and didn't take SA's bond with Cadance so seriously. Rather than capture every single threat to her revenge, she willingly left Starlight behind. So, why is The Mean 6 her best role by far? The episode wisely uses her current status as a solid alibi for why Plan A lacked a major failsafe. When Snarkle criticized her for not attacking the ReMane 7 at the School, she knew right away that trying to destroy them would backfire big time. Defeating Celestia in ACW was by luck, which she and TM6 are aware of. The Elements of Harmony are Equestria's key for maintaining security, but very few are acutely aware of how powerful the Elements are. Until later in this episode, she had no idea the Elements feed the Tree nor of its existence. Among the collection of eccentric villains, she plays the straight woman. Comedy drives the communication between the Mean 6 and Chrysalis; how they respond and react to each other determines the joke's effect. Aside from Snarkle, Chrysalis is the most competent of the Evil Seven, but Chrysalis's quick temper and Snarkle's ability to force QC to depend her really makes her stand out. Without an army anymore, she must not only create something from scratch, but also depend on them. Each clone is headache-inducing and willfully disobedient, but must keep them alive, because they are the possible source to take down the ReMane Seven. Yet, Chryssie knows she can start over and adjust to spell to force the Mean Six to obey her, hence her threat to kill Snarkle just before Act 2 closes. But once she runs out of patience and loses control, she's incredibly threatening. (BTW, kudos to DHX for outlining Chrysalis's shadow as Rarihoard, Boredie Pie, and Liarjack nod nervously. Really emphasizes her intimidation.) The Mean Six, however, share her spotlight and are all great in their own ways. Flutterbitch (or Flutterbrute, for tact's sake) remains just as funny as ever. Nasty, self-serving, sarcastic, and menacing — and a really big bully. Forced a lost bird to walk and climb back to his nest his nest, then told animals living nearby she hopes they freeze to death, and then followed up with classic flower-flattening. She taunted animals and relished it, which Discorded Flutterbitch didn't do (instead smugly cheering Angel on for flattening Twilight). Liarjack would make Discorded!Liarjack feel jealous. Each of her lies are bigger, more outlandish, and meaner. What started out as a small swindle grew grander and grander. Watching AJ try to string together an impromptu lie explaining Flutterbitch, Rarihoard, and Snarkle's whereabouts is just one example of the hilarity, but how our heroes respond to her meanness is where they're strongest. More about that later. Gladly. Despite few lines, she made the most of it. My favorite is this: During RoH, Greedity was a great source of comedy. Rarihoard makes her look sane. Look at her faces! Creepy, ain't they? So why do they work, unlike this, this, this, or THIS? Because of who the source of the joke is. As Rarihoard hogged onto more and more stuff, the more obsessed she became. Her faces accentuated her lust for anything, especially when she caught eye of Applejack's wagon, an immediate trove of treasures. Similar to Return of Harmony, comedy is plentiful in The Mean 6, Rarity's deranged faces a source of it. Grumpie Pie was excellent, and Bordie Pie was just as great. Andrea Libman performed really well emphasizing hooooowwwww boooorrrred she is. But the post-production knows how to counter-balance her boredom with some humor, too: In the beginning of the video linked above, her hair subtly squeaks as she moves her head. But the best one, without question, is Twilight Snarkle. While the ReMean Five are comic antonyms of the ReMean Five, she's the most fleshed out. Extremely calculating, power-hungry, and very snarky, she balances out her villainy through manipulation. Chrysalis cannot defeat Twilight alone; Snarkle understands this through her questions and snarky comebacks. This little bit demonstrates their chemistry masterfully: Fantastic the episode's overall dialogue quality is, their organic exchanges really sell the chemistry. Kathleen Barr — QC's VA — and Tara Strong take advantage of the script to craft excellent tension between each other. Chrysalis rightly couldn't stand Snarkle and the others for being so uncooperative, while Snarkle rightly kept her on a tightrope so she can take out Chrysalis when she least expects it. Very clearly, they can't stand each other. Even when she ain't with Chrysalis, she figures out a way to deliver a shot at her, enforcing her hatred of her and her servants: There are many ways to create a great villain, but the foundation is being a great character; that is highlighted very well through her ability to manipulate a very naïve Pinkie Pie in Act 2. When an evil alicorn evilly rubs her feathers together like hands… …you know ye got her good. >) At the same time, she acts like the straight mare, showing off how dynamic she is. Her sour impatience progressed to anger as Pinkie recaps the events of Twilight's Kingdom creates great friction between them, especially after the fact that Pinkie doesn't know that at all. Oh, yeah, the "bzzt!" sound effect is really funny. XD But the Mean Six aren't alone. The ReMane Seven star here, and they were all done very well, particularly in one aspect: the conflict. From the opening shot, everyone was tense, particularly Twilight. Because "Shutterbug" pushed them ten minutes behind schedule, Twilight slowly lost her cool, and then rolled her eyes when Shutterbug exaggeratedly pleaded for forgiveness. To briefly go on a tangent, Shutterbug/QC's haste to collect their hairs contained several great jokes, like yanking on Dash's tail hair a little too hard, picking out a loose strand from AJ's hat (and not putting it on her head), and this lightning-quick meta reference: But it wasn't just the opener. The beginning of their trek alone is an excellent exercise of foreshadowing. Rainbow Dash questioned Twilight's activities as "fun." Even though all seven agreed to camp, Twilight's plans were kept secret, apparently with little input from anyone. Granted, Twilight designed this camp night to be a surprise, but it made Dash a little uncertain. Adding the nervous rubbing of her hooves helps, too. Pinkie Pie accidentally scared the daylights out of Fluttershy so badly that she hyperventilated, just moments after FS declared her happiness for quiet time with everyone. Unlike Filli Vanilli, this was quick, performed once, and with no ill intentions whatsoever. Not to mention Pinkie warned everypony she was playing beforehand. Starlight sulked the entire time. While her friends were grouped together in front, she lagged behind and grumbled at the swampy weather and bugs. It's her first camping vacation…and showed to hate it without saying it outright. To talk a bit regarding two of the RM7: Pinkie had one of her most likeable roles of the last two seasons, and how she behaves embodies the Element of Laughter. She's so happy to be with everyone and so eager to participate in Twilight's camping retreat. Teaching inside that school meant having few free days to spend quality time with everyone, so she takes the opportunity to take advantage of it. Watching her smell those roses so deeply and then roll around in them like a little baby (and avoiding any thorns ) is unbelievably adorable. Being a massive Starlight brony since she first arrived, it makes no sense avoiding her. In the last few outings, she's been very relatable, and this is no exception. Her immense distaste for camping is really relatable, especially with her reasons why (bugs and humidity ain't no fun), and struggling to keep AJ's gear and cloak on invited nice slapstick. As they trekked deeper into the Everfree Forest, her anxiety, exhaustion, and lack of enjoyment became more and more evident. More about her later. Speaking of anxiety, the whole second scene progressed the tension further while maintaining their close relationships. Rarity and AJ mildly spar over AJ not having anything to keep their manes neat. Even though Pinkie is so cute rolling in the rosebushes, Twilight is less than enthused and got really cross with her for nearly kicking her into the muzzle by accident. But Pinkie's having way too much fun that she doesn't notice and scampers deeper into the forest, building up more tension between them. Fluttershy wanders off into the forest to help a lost bird without telling anyone, leading everyone into splitting up to search for her and Pinkie and further testing Twilight's will. At this juncture, TM6 was really good. When they separated and met another Meanie, it became great. Even though the ReMean Five are sorta cookie cutters, they're dynamic, too, evident by their interactions with the Mane characters and environments. As I wrote previously, Lazy Dash spoke little and wasn't on screen much in the second act, but generated more conflict by ditching FS in the woods and shooing away Twilight while she leaned precariously over the pond. Throughout the episode, nobody suspected something was wrong with their counterpart, except Dash and AJ with "Rarity." Because she grew madder as she possessed AJ's camping gear, they worried for her sanity. As I wrote previously, Rarihoard's deranged expressions are a great source of dark humor, but how Dash and AJ behaved bewilderingly around her adds an extra layer into the jokes. Liarjack's encounter with Starlight and Rarity is the only one to not be comedic, and their first scene marks the episode's initial transition in tone, which will be discussed below. Flutterbitch/Flutterbrute never bumped into or talked into a Mane character, but like Fluttershy, a bird has to return to his nest and got lost. But while Fluttershy helped out their sibling, she got lost and walked around in a proverbial circle, giving the story a grand opportunity to use Flutterbrute to accidentally damage her rep in the forest. Doesn't help when Lazy Dash ditched her (and made FS break the fourth wall in confusion). Yet, because Fluttershy has no idea someone who looks just like her threatened the animals and destroyed the daisy patches, who can blame her for feeling so upset when the animals curse, growl, and yell at her? Ya can't. Snarkle and Bordie talked to one apiece: Pinkie and Twilight, respectively. Bordie, being Equestria's most boring pony, did what she's great at: insulting something exciting as lame and uninteresting. Because Twilight spent a great deal of time and effort preparing the campsite and when to have it, to have her Friendship Retreat blown off like that by someone she's supposedly close with hurts, thus making her actually wonder if it was worth scheduling it after all. Conversely, the tone in the Snarkle-Pinkie tandem was predominantly comedic, using the characters' responses, cartoon logic, and behavior to accentuate it. Originally, Snarkle took delight to Pinkie spilling all the secrets to the Tree of Harmony and the Elements, but the more eccentric she behaved, the angrier she became. Her anger over Pinkie's attitude evolved into callousness for Fluttershy, including telling her to stay on schedule and "get over" her anguish, accelerating the switch of the once comedic tone of the episode into emotional, dramatic, and harsh. When Pinkie accused Twilight of being selfish and ruining everyone's fun, their anger and grief felt really raw. Twilight doesn't cry often, so when she does, long-time viewers will notice. But here, it feels somewhat different. Her hurt didn't just bleed from within, but grief, too. For the first time in years, her friendship with Pinkie was brought into serious question. Regret for not just going out to the retreat, but also possibly formatting the idea of spreading the Magic of Friendship in the first place. Why was Fluttershy's hoarse "CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!" so crushing? Because of their exchange. Cushioned by her minutes-long fright, she noticed her friendship with Pinkie and Twilight slowly starting to crumble…and she couldn't bear it. And whose emotions were also raw? Rarity and especially Starlight. Think about this episode in Starlight's perspective. She never liked camping previously, but accepted their invitation, because she has been not only an invaluable asset to the School, but also a fantastic friend. She wears AJ's classic camping poncho, struggles like hell to keep the camping gear, but stays quiet out of respect. But that evening, "AJ" tells her her story of how great she is as a camper in Equestria, accuses her of being silly with that gear, and then laughed at her because she thought her look stupid. How would you feel if she were you? Something like this, I presume? If your answer's yes, I can't blame you. Someone she apparently trusted mocked her at her lowest moment all day long. Starlight felt USED! And Rarity did the right thing sticking up for her and sternly threatening to "AJ's" face a long talk about her heinous behavior, one of her most powerful moments of the entire series. A role reversal of… …but without the terrible dialogue and broken setup. In fact, their entire argument in the forest — including the crying — felt real. All day long, they anticipated for quiet time with each other in Twilight's Friendship Retreat, but the Mean Six accidentally exacerbated their friendships further to the boiling point. Their anger with each other was grounded, had weight, and — unlike NCC — wasn't petty whatsoever. This is how you have adult teachers in a cartoon argue angrily without sacrificing their dignity. BTW, kinda funny how Chrysalis almost accomplished her plan to destroy Harmony without even trying! How genius is that?! *ahem* Okay, got a little carried away here. Yet, when their friendship was bound to collapse, Twilight mustered what makes their friendships strong: Despite their differences, disagreements, and arguments, deep down, they care for each other and will help them. Vogel did an excellent job taking his time wrapping up all the conflicts each Mane pony had with someone else, airing their grievances, and maturely settling them one by one. Still, FS rightfully worried no one likes her, so how do they resolve that? By everyone running up to her and roll in the dirt with a hearty laugh. It brings great closure and proves she's one of them. Yeah, neither group figuring out they were talking with duplicates feels a little anticlimactic, but it makes sense, and the criticism of it misses the episode's point. If they figured out who their doppelgangers are, then Vogel contradicts the moral he's teaching: the strongest friendships get through difficult times with one another. The RM7's friendship is so strong, because they use their strengths to get through. No matter the obstacle, the Mane Eight understand the heart of their friendships and work together. On the other hand, the Mean Six are collectively selfish. Despite Snarkle's warning them to follow her lead, they only look after themselves, and their lack of cooperation cost them their sapience. How can you also tell how close the RM7 are? The Friendship Retreat is in complete tatters, but all they can do is laugh it off. This small exchange: Their trust in each other's so ingrained, they lightly tease each other hours after they settled their fight. Season 8's first half is the most consistent in quality for the entire series. The Mean Six is just one example why. Its storytelling is outstanding with excellent dialogue, comedy, drama, and heart. A Hearth's Warming Tail is excellent and was Vogel's best episode; TM6 leapt over it. Bravo!
  14. Note: This review has been edited to add more content. Do you remember dreading the thought of a Spike episode? I do. For so long, Spike episode were usually among the worst of the series, much less the season. For the first five seasons, no matter the plot, episodes usually starring him were usually awful; anything better wasn't the norm. But since Princess Spike (his worst outing of the show), everything changed. His episodes became good. DHX wrote him with dignity. Since Newbie Dash, the Spikabuse vanished. Even today, the thought of not bashing a new Spike episode is completely refreshing. Molt Down is the first S8 episode to star Spike, and the show's biggest evolution from the status quo since Newbie Dash. How does it approach it? By describing how a child dragon goes through puberty. Like real life, puberty ain't fun, and several allegories hammer that point home. Itchy, painful stone scales: rashes and pimples. Volume shifts: deepening of the voice. Armpit smell: body odor and hair. Fire burps: dunno. A period, perhaps? Sleep disruptions: teens being more alert late in the day. (Thank @Jeric for that pointer and the accompanying research.) Haber's jokes are equally as funny as sympathizing for Spike. Yet, the jokes themselves have an extra layer of dimension, because they're not all the same type, the characters' reactions vary, and visual cues round the story. Other great jokes include: Zecora stuffing each of her ears with a cottonball after Spike suddenly shouted. The camera's wide shot, Spike's irritated voice, and the squashing/stretching of the pot he's in as he complains create a perfect recipe for a joke. It's wonderfully timed and really hilarious. Smolder smacking Spike a little too hard in the back, accidentally driving him in pain. Pinkie's sudden shouting and liking that foul odor. Her sly faces really sell the characterization, too. Twilight grumbling at the thought of Celestia never creaking out. That said, not all of them. Sometimes they got a little repetitive or cringeworthy, notably Rarity's shouts after a while and the grossout shot of Spike's stone scale. But for the most part, they did their job. That said, let's talk about Spike. Although he grew considerably since hatching from his egg years ago, from how Twilight acted, this is the very first time Spike molted. The stone scale is painful already, but having so many throbbing and itching is completely foreign to him. Puberty is a part of life the majority of us experience, and whatever he has to endure throughout the episode parallels ourselves in some way. The stages of puberty poor Spike suffered through echoes our own. Impressively, despite many chances for Haber to unleash the most cringeworthy puberty-related joke possible, he restrains himself just enough to create them at his expense without crossing the line into Spikabuse. How does he do that? I'm not sure, but many of the guesses include: What Spike had to go through isn't his fault. Every dragon goes through this stage, including Smolder's presumably-older bro. The molt effect that Spike suffered from is no less different than any other dragon when they grow up. When they treat it as normal, we do, too. Spike's friends and Twilight don't ignore him. When they noticed something is wrong with him, they're there to help. They care about Spike and want to work with him so he can get better. Smolder interacts with Spike. Back in S2, Spike grew rapidly due to inherent greed, opening up a big implication into how dragons grew. Is greed the cause? Could Spike control it, which was a main part for two future conflicts? How did other dragons grow when they didn't show signs of greed? Smolder's description of greed-induced growth as not normal for a dragon cleared up so many questions and brought forth more insight on dragon lore and dragon culture in her homeland. Smolder has an attitude, and her description of dragon culture's response to the molt effect increases Spike's anxiety for the unknown, increasing the conflict's stakes. But there's one thing to note, which the episode makes very clear — as scary as her description of dragon life during the molt is, she's not treated as a bad person, and Smolder isn't written to be antagonistic. The molt effect is a part of her life, so what she and others experienced is expected. For the most part, she's prepared for the challenges; theorize that others back home do, too. Spike, on the other hand, isn't. He's lived with Twilight his whole life and knows so little about dragon culture. The molt effect, especially the smell, is putrid, and he fears that Twilight and the others will reject him, forcing him to live on his own. He's not prepared to defend himself from predators that relish for that smell, especially the roc. Because Twilight asked him to retreat to an area that won't fry anyone in the school, Spike assumes even more that the more out of control his molt becomes, the less Twilight will want him around. Can't you blame him for being so scared of growing up and fighting to alter the molt? Of course not! For obvious reasons, Rarity and Twilight are usual partners for Spike in his episodes, but they're all really good here. (Credit goes to @Truffles and his reply for this bit.) What makes them stand out here is their immediate empathy for Spike. In the beginning, when Rarity sees Spike hide something under his eye, she becomes suspicious and worried. She walks around him to sneak a glance at what's under his claws, but never gets frustrated at any point. When he admits to being embarrassed by the stone scale, she assures him not to worry, but treats his embarrassment with the respect its deserves. She's the first to recommend getting some of Zecora's blemish cream, and did so again after Pewee accidentally pinched his scale. Twilight gets worried when Spike sleeps in all morning and also sympathizes with him for getting breakouts, just like her years ago and also recommends heading to Zecora. When he accidentally destroys her lecture, she doesn't criticize him or make him feel worse. Recommends to leave the castle for his own safety and everyone else's. Despite battling a sudden ear infection, Rarity never stops thinking about Spike and asks her for blemish cream to help him with his stone scales. When they bump into each other, she notices his worsening condition and took out the cream (only for the roc to snatch her). Right on cue, Twilight shows up and heads to Zecora's to get the cream. Unlike Cart Before the Jerks and Complete Crap Clause, neither of Spike's closest friends and relatives treat his condition as a lesser deal to themselves or belittle him for it. Both of them treated his condition, embarrassment, and pain as important, never stopped thinking about him, and wanted to help him in any way they can. Zecora's really well written in a nowadays-rare appearance. But rather than be treated as merely a vessel to deliver plot devices, she becomes deeply involved in both the A and B plots: Spike's puberty and Rarity's phoenix-related ear infection. Her interactions with the characters and their problems add depth to her character, occupation, and relationships with others. One big change for this season is the treatment of the Everfree Forest, historically a really dangerous place to roam. What was a common plot device for the Mane Six, Spike, and CMCs to face conflict in S1, its dangers and presence became mostly absent after Princess Twilight Sparkle. But for the third time this season, an Everfree creature threatened creaturekinds' safety. And the chase scene was really tense. Zecora, Spike, and Rarity were in great danger, and the score and sounds throughout hammered in the sudden perils they faced. In the leaked version, the chase's tone was more comedic, courtesy of Twilight's lasers sounding like video game beams. Here, the comedy was more toned down, an excellent change from the leaked product. YO! Do you smell what the roc is cookin'?! Little details refine the episode and shape up the episode's quality. Two really stick out: As the episode progresses, Spike's limbs darken in color, foreshadowing his eventual molt and where it'll start. During the break in the chase, when Spike's old skin starts to encase him, the background music becomes louder and completely stops when he's completely cocooned. For several seconds, we hear nothing except Twilight firing at the roc, increasing the tension and making us wonder what will happen to the poor dragon next. So, what happened after he molted? THANKS, JOSH HABER! After everything he went through in this episode, Spike molting and earning wings is an excellent payoff. I don't know if he grew a little or not, but when you're making a child dragon molt, sticking with the status quo would be a complete slap to the face to Spike and the audience. Something about him had to change. Interestingly, even though his new wings feel earned, Spike and his friends treat his accomplishment as merely a new milestone in his life as he grows into adulthood. Here, MD brings forth a really great moral: For Twilight to deliver this lesson to him shows us how much he means to her, their hug proving their tight bond. DHX, please, more of their family dynamic! If there was one little problem with the chase, it's what Silver Quill pointed out: Twilight's magic felt kinda weak. Yes, you could argue that she scaled it back because Rarity and Zecora were trapped within the roc's talons, but she needed Spike's assistance to rescue them from their fall, when Twilight magically corralled them all during the movie. Conversely, the theme of growing was subtly foreshadowed through Peewee's reintroduction. The now-adult phoenix still interacts with his parents, but a sharp eye will notice he has his own nest now, indicating either a family of his own or the preparation for one. Spike may've released him, but they still know each other very fondly, evident by their embrace. Peewee grew up; Spike will, too. Back in Season 5, I panned Spike being handed the bouquet of dragon sneeze flowers, the lowest moment of the season. Rather than capping off a broken episode with a rather sweet moment, DHX doubled down on his buttmonkey status. After all, isn't FIM supposedly a feminist show? Well, you don't empower women and girls by making your only male lead a punching bag for abusive comic relief. It's hypocritical and massively sexist, one of the biggest stains of the series. But after that, the direction for his character improved. No longer did his personality shift to demand the plot. His role wasn't confined to pure comic relief. His episodes no longer beat him down or abused him just to teach him a contrived lesson. Starting out with secondary roles in Amending Fences and Re-Mark, Season 6 expanded his role, including becoming close friends with Starlight, bonding dragonkind and ponykind by working with and befriending Ember, and sacrificing his celebrityhood to stand up for Thorax. Season 6 was Spike's best season. Albeit a diminished role in S7, he was really good in Triple Threat, Owl's Well done right. Coming into Molt Down, Spike was having a great year. Now he left his biggest mark in the show since Times. His wings demonstrate his evolution in not just his character, but also his role. It's unknown whether his wings will have a big impact on the season, or it's just cosmetic. But what happens in the future will wait. When I watched the leaked version, I liked it, but wasn't totally happy with it. Days before its official airing, however, I was unsure whether I was fair to it or not. Now, when comparing the leaked version with the final product, the leaked Molt's lack of polish and missing score completely affected the episode's overall quality. The final product is excellent, well edited, and really makes the audience feel like Spike earned his pair of wings. Molt Down's one of the best episodes of S8 so far and one of the best Spike episodes altogether. P.S.: And, yes, Molt Down's change of the status quo's superior to MMC's.
  15. Sunrose Petal

    General Reviewing

    What do you think is the most popular method, in terms of reviewing the show? Blog Video (Youtube)
  16. I don't know who was nuts enough to think Discord, Spike, and Big Mac would make a great team back in Season 6, but whoever it is, thank you! Big Mac, Spike, and Discord all act like they knew each other for years, even though this trio only formed after Discord officially became a part of the Guys' Night team. They play off one another through their actions, responses, and emotions, creating great chemistry with one another. Speaking of chemistry, Spike and Discord are outstanding in their best outings of the season thus far (and maybe of the show, too, once it's all finished). Discord's cynicism towards H&HD, and love in particular, plays off spectacularly with Spike, who's very optimistic and refreshingly snarky. To think that only a few seasons ago, Discord was one of his enemies, but from the way they talked to each other and knew each other so well, you'd think he was closer to Discord than Twilight. How they interacted with one another was among the multi-dozens highlights here, such as Spike criticizing Discord's pessimism to Spike intentionally teasing Discord for possibly having a crush on Fluttershy to Discord ignoring Spike's sappy romantic poem about Rarity. They know how to get under each other's skin without crossing the line, making their teasing all in good fun rather than mean-spirited. One of the season's biggest improvements — the dialogue — really shines. Every line's so organic, even when it's somewhat expository, gelling together. Every line oozed with personality and passion, whether it's from the O&O squad or the CMCs. Confalone knows how when to have them talk or act and keep them all in character. Even Big Mac isn't confined to that "Eeyup!" gag, varying his emotions or telling Discord to "EeWAIT!" The dialogue allows for not just some amazing comedy, but also some heart. More 'bout the latter later. The comedy here is golden! Every joke landed perfectly, from the dialogue responses to the satirically cheesy love music playing in the background as Big Mac rushes to Sugar Belle to Big Mac's drinking a barrel-load of cider to Sweetie's "Please say no." Spike's deadpan to Discord as an anti-romance cynic is one hell of a comeback, and that jab towards the greeting card industry by Discord is too funny. Oh, yeah… >Lyra and Bob Bon sharing H&HD bond & gifts >best friends Riiiiiiiight. XP The CMCs were also fantastic here. All season so far, they've been at their A-game. The episode recognizes them as kids, but doesn't make them so obnoxious. They were right to wonder where that mysterious pie came from and search high and low to find him. But the and does a nice swerve: They may not have found that actual special somepony for SB, but had a magnificent time together, anyway. Sweetie's small speech at the end had quite a lot of heart in it. Speaking of heart, as hilarious as TBUBD is, Confalone balances it perfectly. Big Mac's sadness was somewhat over the top, but treated with the respect it deserves. His romantic feelings with Sugar Belle feel genuine, and you can tell by how he talked about the small stuff to Skelenor, like how Sugar snorts and wiggles her nose when she giggles (something that @Nyactis Mewcis Catlum pointed out a while ago in a status). Big Mac doesn't talk much, so when he does, you listen. After they cleared up everything, it was all okay again, and they had a great end to Hearts & Hooves Day. Discord's revelation of finally believing in romance works perfectly and marks my moment of the season so far: revealing to damage her wagon wheel. Why? 'Cause he confirms to us he believes in love and figured out how to get them back together while remaining in character. He's still a jerk, and his advice to BM (long with Spike's) really stinks. But at the end, he retains a heart of gold and does the right thing, even when he's spoiled for Ogres & Oubliettes. Somehow, he predicted what Big Mac was going to do next, but given he's the Lord of Chaos, it makes sense. Really shows he cares for him as a friend. Derpy was great in her role as mailmare. As Discord counted the types of tea he loved, Top Draw lowered the audio quality of de Lancie's mic to match the sound one would hear from the old-school TV. Really masterful editing that helps enhance the joke. (The same scene from the leaked version, BTW, has the same audio quality as the rest of the ep.) Oh, and it has two morals, each executed masterfully: "Don't assume. Communicate with your friends, and everything will work itself out." "Don't be afraid to openly admit your feelings. Those who care for you will listen and understand." This one is my favorite of the season so far, because it's so relatable to everyone. When I first watched it in December, I watched a treat. Seeing it completed gives it such a fresh look, and it still holds up excellent. The Break Up Break Down isn't just the best episode of Season 8 so far, but one of the ten best of the show altogether, as well.
  17. Ironic Nickname

    Original vs Cover

    Remember the old argument that the original is usually better than any covers? Well, let's put it to the test! In this thread, I will be posting the original version of various songs, as well as cover versions, and then you get to vote for the best version, either the original or one (or multiple) of the covers. You may also leave comments on the various songs, if you wish. I will add new songs every now and then, though feel free to vote for and/or comment on previous songs at your leisure. I will attempt to avoid using live versions, and I will only use recorded versions (so no YouTube-only covers or such, and nothing before recording was invented, which rules out quite a bit of really old music, but so be it). I will attempt to cover songs from many different genres of music. I've made a list of a variety of different potential songs to “cover” (pun intended, apologies), yet I'm sure there are plenty of songs that I've overlooked. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send me a private message and I'll consider it. Now, let's kick this off with the first song! What about “Land of Confusion” by the English rock band Genesis, originally released in 1986. Original, by Genesis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZujuYiweht8 AL1CE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGbDjdoWVoI Disturbed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOP6XN45OEk Hidden Citizens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je3w9o7SJZ4 In Flames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaHsPJ9IlP8 Katzenjammer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lKDF5ti3DQ Let the voting (and commenting, and discussion) commence!
  18. Hey, guys. As most of us know, Equestria Girls has come out today and I thought I would like to do a review on it. I must warn you that there are spoilers. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wjVjcYPSrAEyQrowkUF0OJX8TJGuoN8uhhYykyrVP6c/edit?usp=sharing Tell me what you think. ~David
  19. To continue the pattern from S5, this is a review of S7 as a whole, with both tops and bottoms in respective categories. To view the rest: Season 5 Season 6, 1st Half Season 6 Season 7, 1st Half No apologies for C&P'ing content from my First Half overview (with some changes). Episodes Bottom-5: Fame & Misfortune Where do I start? a. The dialogue is atrocious. b. The RM6 published all of their lessons from S4, including the one from Daring Don't, revealing her identity. c. They publish their journal without testing their target audience via study group beforehand. d. Each of the fan representations they meet are quarter-dimensional, stereotypical caricatures. None of the characters who appear act like genuine people. e. The RM6 are abused everywhere they went. Ranged from not taken seriously (Pinkie) to objectified (TS) to trespassed (AJ) to boycotted (Rarity) to stalked/harassed (FS). The background characters are out-of-character assholes. f. Every "fan," including the Canterlot reporter, honestly believed the journal was a work of fiction, turning the background characters into straw men. g. "We're a Work in Progress" is the worst song of the show for manipulating the audience, excusing bad writing and behavior of the characters over the years, and glorifying their flaws (as if changing and evolving is a bad thing in the show and life). h. The background assholes don't learn their lesson, and the main moral disguises what they did as a setback. Even after they stop group-hugging, Rarity, AJ, and FS still have to settle major problems, and the harmful moral excuses the abuse they suffered. There's no care for continuity, characterization, or story whatsoever. It disregards their main demographics (children and guardians) to boost their own ego and attack the critics. No wonder why Larson disassociates from it and hates it himself. For anyone who wonders why I (enjoy) bash(ing) this episode, dogshit on the sidewalk doesn't deserve to be rewarded a participation trophy. Fame & Misfortune's the worst of S7 by far and the worst written episode of the series. If there were any minuscule saving positives, Starlight continued to show growth, and I gained much more appreciation for Stranger Than Fan Fiction and its nuances after watching F&M. Hard to Say Anything Two words: unadulterated shit. After about 7 to 8 minutes of meandering (but nothing genuinely wrong), the minute Feather Bangs Stereo Pop shows up, the episode flushes down the drain. Big Mac and the CMCs have their worst and second-worst characterizations in the show, respectively. Big Mac for following on the CMCs' hairbrained schemes to try to woo Sugar Belle, the CMCs for believing the fairy tales are how-to romance guidebooks. None of the jokes or twists work at any point — Stereo Pop's characterization is a blatantly dated Bieber parody, Stereo Pop's phallic cutie mark resembling an erect penis with testicles (hence why he covers it up in almost every shot), and the shallow song-off between Mac and Stereo Pop. Protip, DHX: Sexual harassment ain't funny, either. Big Mac's crush on Sugar is contrived as hell, too; not only for the blatant ending, but also by the fact that we don't actually see it develop; the entire crush plot is unrequited. You could've written this episode much more differently and make it better. Hell, Starlight would've been a fine secondary character. Instead, it's a generic, clichéd, by-the-numbers plot that DHX couldn't even write well. Hell, continuity stated in the episode (Big Mac warned the CMCs not to use love poison to force the romance through) was ignored to make it work. Honest Apple While the former was marred by a terrible middle and ending, this episode's marred by a terrible beginning and middle all the way to the climax. Rarity acted incompetent and out of character by putting her contest into action despite only two judges signing off on it with no possible backups beforehand in case someone had to cancel. Apple Bloom looked really dumb for not realizing her bow caused major problems (and is a contrived plot point to boot). But what really drags this episode down is a complete lack of understanding of what makes Applejack the Bearer of Honesty. Does she tell the truth? Absolutely. But she tells them while still caring about others' feelings! So, what does she do here? Turn into an egomaniac with no clue how to judge fashion properly and a lust to tear down their work. The worst moment, by far, is shaking the crossed-over-stitched feathers off Lily Lace's hat. An in-character AJ will NEVER pull this stupid stunt! The only way she was able to realize she was verbally abusive was when Strawberry Sunrise (upon introduction from Rarity) delivered her the same abuse in return. We're in season 7; AJ should NOT have to learn about how important tact is when being honest. The new characters in the episode? Unlikeable, stereotypical, generic, or all of the above. Hopefully, none of them return! Secrets & Pies This is a type of episode that would probably fit in S1, like Honest Apple. It makes no sense for Pinkie to behave the way she did towards Dash here. S&P is a stretched-thin ripoff of Party of One with worse characterization. Pinkie's characterization here is the worst of the season for completely falling for Dash's tricks over the years and her psychotic obsession for catching Dash in the act. Dash is out of character for dumping the pie down Tank's feeding tube twice (easily my least favorite scene and one of S7's worst moments). Dash is partially at fault for causing Pinkie's injury at the academy (that's what you get for crying "wolf!" all these years!). Like most episodes over the years, Dash is beat down to be taught a lesson, a cliché so worn thin and should be tossed in the trash. Unlike PoO, every joke is awful, whether it's repeated to the point of annoying (the "look at that" coverups with no proper variation) or disgusting (Dash trying to eat the dumpster pie, close ups of Pinkie's deranged and tired faces). A good moral — "Don't create a snowball of lies just to make a friend happy. It's more worth it telling the truth." — doesn't save this episode. A Royal Problem The saving grace in this episode: Starlight. No, her actions were wrong, but the episode built that up to the point where Starlight's nightmare was so soul-crushing that it could've damaged her psyche. More on that a little below. Celestia was great in Advice, for showing how human she is without devolving her character. Unfortunately, she and Luna are out of character here. Is it fine for them to bicker as sisters? Totally. But their bickering crossed the line into being personal attacks; each of them treated each other's important roles in Equestrian society as not just pointless, but wasteful, too. On top of that, they never understood that THEY were the friendship problem until Starlight told them directly to their faces, and even then, they were still too dumb to get it till later. (Seriously, Snips and Snails are smarter than them here!) So, when did they finally get it? When they witness Starlight's heartbreaking nightmare. Their lack of appreciation for one another makes no sense, since Luna's envy of her sister and lack of appreciation are why she turned into NMM in the first place. You'd think at their age, they'd figure something out. It's among their five worst appearances for each in the show. But the worst moment of the episode comes during the resolution when Celestia tells Starlight that she was right to swap their marks. Firstly, she performed her spell on them against their will. Just because they say it's okay doesn't make it okay. The princesses absolve her of her wrongdoing. That side would've been resolved had she asked first and the princesses not act like idiots. Secondly, when they say she did the right thing, Starlight's emotional pain during her terrible nightmare becomes an afterthought. That her self-infliction plot-wise and emotion-wise was pointless. Despite quality characterization from Starlight, background music, and animation hints, Celestia's and Luna's out of characterization, idiocy, and incompetence ruin the episode. Even though I have it fifth-worst in overall quality, it's currently my second-least-favorite episode of S7 behind Fame (and easily the most disappointing). Dishonorable mentions: Fluttershy Leans In, Daring Done? Top-7: The Perfect Pear Pear Butter and Bright Mac = best FIM couple and best-written parents of the show. Everything about this couple is the complete opposite of the likes of Flash/Twilight and Sugar Belle/Big Mac: The development of the romance is like someone who knows romance wrote these ponies. Their chemistry from foalhood to matrimony's completely organic and makes complete sense to the audience. They show how much they love each other during and after life. Every joke lands. Only the third episode to make me cry and did so on a few occasions. One of them when Big Mac asked Burnt Oak if they can return to hear more stories about their dad. More about that later. It has misplaced criticism about them leaving out how they passed as well as Granny avoiding the tree. This isn't that episode. TPP's about celebrating their lives, cherishing their pasts, and letting go of both lifelong pain and bitterness. Each note is hit as the episode progresses. Secondly, the entire Pear family disowned Buttercup for marrying an Apple, and they died early. The marriage site gives her too much pain to deal with. The ending provides the perfect closure for this episode. "You're in My Head Like a Catchy Song" = best S7 song. It's so simple in its acoustics, but, to echo RainShadow on YT, packs such an amazing emotional punch. One of three times this episode makes me cry, the other one being Grand Pear apologizing to Apple Bloom. Grand Pear = show's most tragic character. The night his daughter married and became an Apple is the last day he saw her alive. Unfortunately, he'll never apologize to her and has to live with an enormous mistake he'll never repair. The moment he broke down as he apologized to Apple Bloom captures the heartbreak he had to hold within for so long. And excellent voice acting by William Shatner (and Felicia Day for Buttercup). In my first half overview, I said this might be the best episode of the show when S7's over. I was wrong. It isn't simply the best episode of the show, but of MLP altogether. Shadow Play FIM's canon and timeline are constructed on the fly and operate season to season. When an episode many seasons later feels like everything beforehand was preplanned, that's a major compliment. Amending Fences handled it beautifully. Shadow Play executes it just as beautifully, but in another way. Previous episodes both during S7 and in the past hung little details about specific characters' pasts, including Star Swirl. Twilight finished his spellbook, because he couldn't figure out how important the magic of friendship truly was in Equestria. The era he predominantly lived in justifies that, and it's connected to his association with the rest of the Pillars, his venom towards Stygian after he stole their magical artifacts, and bitter shots at Twilight after bungling her spell to free them. This two-parter is nearly one hour shorter than the FIM Movie, but each line matters, is naturally spoken, and the cast is excellently balanced. Everyone here in SP matters and is treated with importance. Remove just one of the Pillar Six, Mane Eight, or Sunburst, and the whole story changes. Speaking of characters, Stygian is the best villain in the entire series. Not only is he a really good character. His backstory that resulted in him becoming the Pony of Shadows is fantastic. DHX could've just stuck with the intro animation — a great callback to the opening scene of the pilot — and leave us with the simple backstory. Instead, each scene builds up the PoS's birth and merger with Stygian more and more. His backstory mirrors Starlight's intentionally. Speaking of Starlight, this is her best appearance of the series. For the entire season, DHX took extra care of her appearances and characterization, making sure she's not only written very well, but also make her a part of Ponyville's society. Unlike S6, her appearances are much more frequent and vary in importance, whether she's the episode's central character in Uncommon Bond or near-background like FLI. Shadow Play's a culmination of what she learned since becoming Twilight's pupil to conclude season 5. Everyone's rush to condemn the Pony of Shadows through the Elements of Harmony echoes critiques some of us had for the EoH, which was a band-aid to force evil to assimilate to Equestria's society; Sunset's character reset exemplifies this flaw to a T. Instead, Starlight pursued the cause of the Pillar's division from Stygian to search for a real fix to the conflict. Like most of S7's second half, SP illustrates a conflict that doesn't put one side entirely in the right or wrong and explored this tension masterfully. It's FIM's best two-parter. Parental Glideance "Wow" perfectly describes this treasure. Easily the best episode by a debut (solo) writer in the series. Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles = character-wise, two of the best canonical parents in the show. They play the embarrassing parent trope while still subverting the clichés, making them feel like they love Dash, and acting realistic. They're hyper, but so damn lovable. The jokes land perfectly. *gasp* The Wonderbolts are fucking LIKEABLE! Somepony call the Vatican! We witnessed a miracle! This episode also shows how to have a likeable character do a Putting Your Hoof Down rant correctly. There, Fluttershy calculatingly insulted both Pinkie and Rarity and then had the blame shifted to Iron Will that night. Here, Dash was at her limit's end, lost her cool, and immediately wanted to make things right. The criticism against the moral's execution is a flaw that doesn't even exist. Was Dash right to be upset at her parents? Yes. Some actions (despite having downplayed stakes) were reckless. Does she have the right to yell at them, slap Bow's hoof away, and implicate disownment of them because they embarrass her so much? No, she doesn't. She takes her supportive parents for granted, and Scootaloo would love to experience this feeling just once from her parents. The moral and execution were on the money. Marks & Recreation Is the cutie mark a pony's true life goal? What about their other passions? Will they be affected, too? Cutie marks are a part of Equestrian lore, but open up other questions, such as predestination, a choice of what they want to do for the rest of their life, their names associated with their mark, or living in a box. This underappreciated gem answers a few of these questions, streamlining its lore. a. Kettle Corn receives a cutie mark related to haiku poetry. @Batbrony highlighted VERY clever foreshadowing in his review: the circle she loves painting over and over is a zero in Japanese calligraphy, and a haiku is Japanese poetry. BTW, she was really good and cute in her curious, poetic, childlike ways. Her mark is unrelated to her name, one of the few in that regard. b. The CMCs are excellent in their roles, especially Sweetie Belle during her shouting match against Rumble. c. Rumble's blistering criticism and fears of a cutie mark trapping him in a box are believable. When he got no answer from Apple Bloom in regards to the last time she brewed potions with Zecora, he gained the leverage needed to retain his status as a blank flank. The song he led to rally the other fillies — "Blank Flanks Forever" — is solid and further developed the conflict. Thunderlane, now a Wonderbolt, is fantastic. His reason for sending Rumble to Cutie Mark Day Camp at Camp Friendship (calling back to Mane Attraction) makes sense: he wants Rumble to exit the box he himself created following his promotion to a Wonderbolt. The climax to resolve the conflict is both mature and tasteful. Yes, FIM could've simply made Rumble the complete bad guy and have the narrative shoot him down everywhere. Instead, the story used Thunderlane, he and the CMCs teaming up, and having Rumble witness and eventually decide to join the campers and TL at the campfire shows us that he can conquer his fear of losing his pastimes and hobbies. The moral — no one person is defined by a label — is fantastic. In all, a fascinating episode. Once Upon a Zeppelin Discordant Harmony Discord has his most likeable performance in the series. He was the spirit of chaos, but in many of his post-villain appearances, he was being a jerk for the sake of it. Here, he shows how much he cares for Fluttershy and wants to be seen as a valuable friend to her. Pinkie's advice's solid, but Discord's naivete with friendship made him take her too literally. Because he and 'Shy are close, it makes sense for him to feel really sensitive when ponies question it. Fluttershy continues to show off her growth from past seasons. Unlike Leans In, it does it better. She's not so timid anymore and really shows how much Discord means to her. Not in the way that Keep Calm implicated, but a genuine care for him. Like equals. When Discord became too normal and began to fade away, Fluttershy jumped into action to try to save him. More about her and the moral later. Out of every episode, this is the first to actually treat their friendship like one. Prior, the show tells us they're friends, but they don't behave like friends. Here, their friendship feels incredibly genuine, a long-time coming for this show. As a cherry on top, the moral is spectacular. More on that later in the overview. Uncommon Bond This great episode shows us how much Starlight grew prior to Shadow Play. This is an external conflict for Starlight: trying to catch up with Sunburst and figure out what they have in common so they can share memories and know each other better after being separated for so long. But when Starlight finds out Sunburst has smoother and better chemistry with Twilight, Trixie, and Maud over her, it's easy to see how discouraging and devastating it must be to her. As such, her rash decision to literally remake one of their childhood pastimes (including turning themselves into fillies) is believable, yet rightfully points out her idea as disturbing. At the same time, Sunburst, who was excellent here, isn't written to be a jerk, but instead got carried away and lost sight of his childhood friend. His interactions with her friends really fit into his character and, in some respects, can get really cute, too. Yes, he should've paid attention to Starlight's mood (she ain't very subtle about how she feels), but it was very clear he wasn't doing it to be mean. How they were able to find something in common fits them all. Instead of playing the board game, the life-size game brings a roleplaying element, alongside using each of their strengths to bond each other more. This episode and Starlight's conflict are very relatable to a lot of people, and everyone being in top form helps shape UB into being one of S7's best. Honorable mentions: It Isn't the Mane Thing About You, All Bottled Up. Note: From now on, F-graded episodes are divided into F+, F, and F-. S7 episode ranking: The Perfect Pear: A+ Shadow Play: A+ Parental Glideance: A+ Marks and Recreation: A Once Upon a Zeppelin: A- Discordant Harmony: A- Uncommon Bond: A- It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A- All Bottled Up: A- A Flurry of Emotions: B+ To Change a Changeling: B+ A Health of Information: B Triple Threat: B- Celestial Advice: B- Not Asking for Trouble: B- Forever Filly: C+ Campfire Tales: C+ Rock Solid Friendship: C+ Daring Done?: C+ Fluttershy Leans In: C A Royal Problem: D+ Secrets and Pies: D Honest Apple: F Hard to Say Anything: F Fame and Misfortune: F- --- Top-13 episodes (in order, updated; A+ episodes in italics): The Perfect Pear The Best Night Ever Crusaders of the Lost Mark Amending Fences Shadow Play Sisterhooves Social The Cutie Map Parental Glideance Party of One Testing Testing 1, 2, 3 Pinkie Pride Slice of Life Suited for Success Honorable mentions: Lesson Zero, Sleepless in Ponyville, The Times They Are a Changeling. --- Bottom-13 episodes (in order, updated; F- episodes in italics): One Bad Apple Newbie Dash Fame and Misfortune Bridle Gossip Dragon Quest The Crystal Empire Rainbow Falls 28 Pranks Later Princess Spike Owl’s Well That Ends Well The Mysterious Mare Do Well P.P.O.V. Boast Busters Dishonorable Mentions: Putting Your Hoof Down, The Show Stoppers, Appleoosa’s Most Wanted. Morals: Bottom morals: 1. Fame & Misfortune: Your personality flaws are admirable and make up who you are. Like characters in a TV show, people in real life change, either through progression or regression. Everyone's personalities have a balance of their positives and negatives. Part of learning is figuring out how to improve and become better people. By championing and glorifying personality flaws, this moral's actively claiming that changing and improving to become better people is pointless. Consequently, they're preaching a really dangerous slippery slope. To put this into perspective: There's a gigantic difference between liking someone in spite of your flaws and liking someone because of your flaws. F&M preaches the latter. When connected into the show, it's very hypocritical. Why? Because it goes against one of show's core themes of becoming better. The Mane 8, the CMCs, Discord, and so on all have strengths to build upon and weaknesses to overcome. Character development is crucial to the show. Dash's self-absorbed ego, Fluttershy's phobia and timidity, Twilight losing composure so quickly are all well-known character flaws; even when the episode isn't done well, they work forward to improve. Secondly, what do Discord, Diamond Tiara, Gilda, and Starlight all have in common? They all had personalities and attitudes the show and protagonists didn't tolerate, and they had to improve so others could trust and like them (again). When they didn't, the episode rejected them, like Lightning Dust, Gilda in S1, and Wind Rider. This moral spits on their reformations and redemptions. You can read more about my panning of this moral in my status, some of which I C&P'd from. Fame & Misfortune: You can't change how they feel about you, but you can change how they affect you. In a vacuum, this isn't a bad moral. But given the context of the episode and offensive subtexts when paralleled to fans, the implications make this moral toxic. This moral is in response to how Ponyville and Canterlot directly harassed and bullied the RM6 to the point of altering their lives and devastating Twilight. The RM6 handwave all of it as just an obstacle in their friendship and mask it as criticism, thus telling us to tolerate the abuse. --- Top morals: Discordant Harmony: Your best friend may have nothing in common with you, but you're true friends because you care for each other. This is true for just about anyone. Many of us have at least one person we know who have nothing in common in personality, opinions, qualities, 'tude, and preference. Commonness doesn't determine true friendship, but by how much they love each other. Neither Discord nor Fluttershy share anything in common. Their personalities and tastes vastly differ, but they're still friends and show us that. More importantly, she's the one who took him in and trusted him. By delivering that moral, Fluttershy hones in past continuity and growth while not degrading her character. The Perfect Pear: Don't hold onto past anger and guilt of a mistake you can't fix forever. Celebrate their lives, and pursue new memories with their loved ones. I repeated this point ad nauseum since first watching it last June. People from all walks of life make mistakes they truly regret. While some correct their mistakes, not everyone does. Grand Pear is among the latter for disowning his late daughter on the last day he saw her alive. On the opposite end, Granny Smith grew so bitter of the Pear family for how they treated her that she didn't inform Grand Pear of their deaths until much later in life, adding to the grief and longtime feud and whitewashing Buttercup and Bright Mac's romance to her grandponies. Honorable mention: You have the obligation to your own time, even when you feel you must sacrifice it to make others happy ("Zeppelin"). New characters: Characters that appeared on screen prior to S7 (even when in the background) don't count. Even though Star Swirl and Meadowbrook were referenced in past seasons, they didn't make physical cameos until S7, so they're exempt. Bottom-5: Toola Roola & Coconut Cream: Both fillies are lumped into one as a result of one common role. For the first time all series, FIM used token characters in an episode. Their only purpose from a meta standpoint is to tell young girls, their primary demographic, that they matter…when the entire episode leading up to the ending lumped young girls/kids (as the fillies) with the rest of the abusive ponies (the adults). Token characters talk down to children by only telling them they matter on a surface level only. Stereo Pop. Fucking Stereo Pop! A blatant, dated parody of teenage Bieber and stereotypical boy bands. Without him, Hard would actually be able to go somewhere. And, no, that asspull at the end doesn't make him any better. Strawberry Sunrise: She is a straw mare. Her only purpose is to be an asshole just to make AJ understand how it feels to be in the designers' horseshoes. There's no personality beyond this point, and the episode treats her bullying as a good thing. This Canterlot reporter from F&M. He's there only to drive the vessel that the ponies who abused the RM6 see them as merely fictional beings in an autobiographical journal and attack the critics more. Dishonorable mention: Lily Lace (valley girl stereotype), Dandy Grandeur. --- Top-6: Buttercup & Bright Mac. 'Nuff said. Stygian: The best villain in the series. Basically a ponified Squib, he doesn't have the magical abilities the Pillars or any other unicorn have, compensating it with his intelligence. As Shadow Play builds up his backstory, he as a character enriches. Bow Hothoof & Windy Whistles: Eccentric, loud, yet also very dedicated to raising their daughter the best way possible. They're very endearing, relatable, and hilarious. Star Swirl the Bearded: After years of mystery, he and the other Pillars physically appear before the Mane 8. As a character, he's incredibly balanced. Wise, smart, understands magic like the back of his hoof, but also judgmental, difficult to convince, and bitter. When he gets mad at someone, you'll know it, and his putdowns of Twilight in Shadow Play, Part 2 exemplify that. He's a byproduct of the tumultuous era he lived in over a millennium ago. But when he admits he's wrong, he sets his ego aside. A marvelous character. Honorable mentions: Pharynx, Mistmane, Star Tracker. Mane 8: Bottom: Pinkie Pie. She's really good in some episodes this season, in particular Not Asking for Trouble and Daring Done? Unfortunately, her characterization took a collective turn for the worse. During Rock Solid Friendship, she pestered Maud and Starlight continually, contributing to Maud feeling she doesn't belong in Ponyville. In S&P, she fell for Dash's constant cover up and became obsessed with catching her in the act. Dishonorable mention: Rarity. --- Top: Starlight. Overall, she's the best written and most consistent. After a sloppy redemption arc, DHX takes more care to write her correctly. She's not as nervous and hesitant as before, has a sardonic edge, and isn't boring or unlikeable. She still has a ways to go, but the Starlight here transitions into a more-self-confident pony. Every episode she's in makes her feel like she belongs in both Twilight's circle and Ponyville altogether. Plus, she's given much proper use. Her role in Rock Solid's fantastic, and it's a nice touch how she worked with the RM7 to build Fluttershy's sanctuary. Uncommon Bond brings forth a personal side to Starlight, and she humanizes Shadow Play's conflict as the Devil's Advocate. Honorable mention: Twilight Sparkle. --- Full M8 rank (in order): Starlight Glimmer Twilight Sparkle Fluttershy Spike Rainbow Dash Applejack Rarity Pinkie Pie Moments: Bottom-3: Big Mac forcing an attempted kiss on a sleeping Sugar Belle. Ah, nuthin' like a scene that says, "Hey! As long as it's a comedy, sexually harassing girls is a-okay!" Anyone who thinks this… this… AND THIS… …is okay or funny is lying. Big Mac's trying to force a kiss on Sugar Belle, who had no idea he was there! If SB showed or said anything to suggest that she knew he was there and teased him, then this moment won't look as bad. As is, it has NO business anywhere, especially in an education-centric cartoon like this one! I predicted no other moment will be worse than this one months ago, and it remains such. The Canterlot reporter accuses the RM6 and their journal of being fictional. Rather than rewrite why, I'll C&P why from my review: … … … Where do I even start with this shit? F&M is FIM's third meta episode of the series. Only this time, the characters are portrayed as the showrunners' avatar, and those who are abusing the ReMane Seven represent the fans they're retorting. It's self-referential and doesn't hide it. When we as an audience criticize the Mane Eight, we don't usually do so because we hate the characters or expect the worst. We criticize because we know that this show is very good and has done great, yet can do better. As an audience, we relate to them in some way or another. It can be a mane pony, secondary, or background. Everyone has a preference of who they like and dislike. Nobody looks at a character exactly the same way. Guess what? That's okay. At the end of the day, we still love the characters as a whole and appreciate the show and staff for what they do. This "parody" is completely inaccurate in message, conflict, and theme. This exchange is the worst dialogue in the entire episode and causes the whole conflict to fall apart. They're characters, not real people. They exist only on screen, on paper, or within our own imaginations. It's the creators' job to flesh them out and make that character become high-quality and memorable. Neither the avatars nor antagonists are real. But in the universe, the characters ARE real and conquer major trials. Each time they wrote in the journal, they changed for the better, even after the episode sometimes doesn't work. Fluttershy after Breezies, Dash in Equestria Games following Rainbow Falls, Rarity after Simple Ways, etc. In canon, the characters aren't dictated by a writer's pencil or keyboard, because there, they don't exist. On the other hand, the antagonists see the autobiographical lessons as fiction and those who wrote them as fictional characters. Neither the antagonists nor protagonists are on equal conflict ground. The ponies questioning, bashing, stalking, and abusing the RM6 are treating them not as real people, but as either characters that we as readers want to replicate on paper and recreate or property that we can recycle. How the hell can the reporter — probably the one who released the 1.5/5-star rating, though that's just a guess — honestly believe the RM6 are fictional characters when he's talking to them directly? Once more, why do ponies from within their inner circles suddenly begin to see them as celebrities when they've known them for so long, anyway? This small exchange does nothing except tell the audience that all of these "antagonists" are straw men. Characters written to be proven wrong in order for the main characters to have the upper hand. What makes them so bad is that you're taking what could be valid points and eliminating them so the protagonists have the upper hand in everything they do. You're making what should be a complex conflict completely one-sided, thus telling parents that the episode — and show, if they watch it for the first time — is trying to emotionally manipulate children into viewing the plot through a black-and-white mentality. F&M uses real talking points from within the fandom, checks them off, and morphs them into abusive caricatures of fans rather than taking the good, bad, and recreating them into what fans as a whole truly are — people. In layman's terms, what could be a good lesson is morphed into a bad one. Straw characters helped ruin the Fluttershy Micro, Root of the Problem, Spice Up Your Life, AND here. NEVER use straw men to teach a lesson! The four Ponyville ponies stalk and harass Fluttershy. What makes this so painful to watch is two reasons: Fluttershy's history. She's a sensitive pegasus who not only battles a psychologically crippling phobia, and was also laughed at (Hurricane Fluttershy) and abused (PYHD). The ponies' reasons for harassing her: Why she keeps relearning the same lessons and one stallion whining about why he wasn't inserted into the journal. Are you KIDDING ME?! FUCK those four ponies! Dishonorable mentions: Vet reveals Tank swallowed a whole pie/Dash chucks pie down her chute in a panic. AJ destroys Lily Lace's hat. Pinkie's bkg. friends laugh at everything she says. Celly and Luna absolve Starlight for swapping their marks. Pinkie tells Dash to "eat up" with a deranged face. Celly and Luna fight. --- Top-4: Big Mac asks Burnt Oak if they can return to hear more stories of his dad someday. This tearjerker is full of great detail. Big Mac — a stallion of few words beyond his "eeyup" gag — being the one to ask makes knowing more about his parents feel more important. After he asks, Burnt Oak cries, indicating clearly how much he missed his close friend. Little touches in episodes like this one turns a great episode into an amazing one. Starlight cries after Star Swirl venomously disowns Stygian. Starlight reformed from her villainous days a few seasons ago, thanks to Twilight giving her the opportunity to change and follow a completely new path. While every Mane and Pillar wrote him off, Starlight sees Stygian as someone who should be given another chance, because she relates to him. Star Swirl casting a final judgment on him as someone unworthy to befriend cuts deeply into Starlight. If she was in Stygian's shoes, she'd likely share his fate. Buttercup sings to BM. Their relationship is real, and the emotional (but simple) song makes it more believable. Bow Hothoof admits to installing the music by himself. Firstly, best joke of the season. Secondly, narrows Dash's parents down perfectly. They devote their entire lives to their daughter and cherish her, period. It helped build up the fallout later on. Honorable mentions: Rumble jumps over the line that divides the CMC and blank flank camps. Grand Pear apologizes to Apple Bloom. Cadance offers motherly advice to Twilight following her meltdown. Fluttershy re-creates Discord's house. Granny Smith forgives Grand Pear and welcomes him to the family. What I want for Season 8: Continue the episode quality. Season 7 is the most consistent in its episode quality (with only 5 bad and average episodes each and 15 good ones), and this was with a lineup of mostly writers who didn't write for the show very long or debuted in S7. Nick Confalone, one of the best writers for S6, only wrote one episode in S7. Josh Hamilton wrote the best debut episode in the show, and Triple Play isn't that bad. The Fox Brothers's Discordant Harmony was a major beacon of great quality to help conclude the first half. While Lappin started off poorly with Honest Apple, To Change a Changeling and Uncommon Bond are great and excellent, respectively. Brittany Jo Flores debuted with Zeppelin, and it's a far more nuanced and clever episode than F&M. Haber, who returned in the second half, had the longest tenure. Haber to continue his magic touch. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but after Haber returned to the show, the quality of the episodes spiked collectively. A couple of bumps along the way, but overall, the episodes were at least good. To repeat from earlier, the stretch from Mane Thing to SP was the series' best run since S1-2 (easily its best finish since S1), and who knows whether S8 will continue this trend or not. Once he returned, the direction changed for the better, too. Almost every episode contained dozens of shades of grey. By doing so, the conflict provides an extra side to the story, increasing layers to make the experience more rounded than one-sided conflicts provide. Episodes like Health of Info, M&R, SP, or Zeppelin wouldn't succeed had they not follow this direction. Starlight continue her arc. Her redemption arc isn't done, but she's come so far in the past couple of seasons, S7 being a major step up after DHX follied in S6. Now she's more self-assured and helped save Stygian from returning to limbo. She's heading in the right direction, and I want to see her develop more, maybe interacting more with the others beyond TS and Spike. Once more, watch your unfortunate implications and stereotypes. This got better following F&M, but chances are they may fall in that trap someday. If you have anything you might want to see for S8, let me know in the comments. Verdict: Season 7 was a huge step up for FIM. After S6, I worried whether the show would slow down or not. But not only did S7 squash those fears. FIM has a lot more left in the tank. With so many good and great episodes, and with Nicole Dubuc and Haber together to edit after co-writing Shadow Play so well, it's heading in the right direction. It's my second-favorite and second-best season of the show, and I can't wait what S8 has in store. For those curious about my season order from best to worst: 5 > 7 > 2 > 1 > 4 > 3 > 6.
  20. Captain Clark

    There Are No Perks of Being This Wallflower

    This special overall was alright. It had lots of good going for it but a few bad things as well. The biggest bad thing for me was the villain, Wallflower who I think is one of the weakest antagonists the series has ever had. For one thing, considering all the bad things she does throughout the special, I would have expected at least a little more of a reason for her to do these things than just “she is ignored by people”. I mean sure. Her situation sucks but it’s kinda hard to believe that a sane person would try to ruin someone’s life forever just because she is being ignored. Going too far is an excuse that I can buy to only to a certain degree. What Wallflower did here wasn’t just going too far. It was fucking crazy. So because she was ignored, someone needs to have their life ruined forever with everyone hating them? Ya, that’s bullshit. Speaking of her being ignored, that leads me to my next issue. That issue being her strange and very poorly explained hatred for Sunset. The special doesn’t really explain why Sunset is the main target of Wallflower’s anger when she is doing something that literally everyone else has been doing to her. Sunset forgets about her but then again, so does literally everyone else. The special establishes this numerous times. Heck, it’s not even like she is being mean to Wallflower. Sure it’s not good that she keeps forgetting about her but Sunset always seems to feel really bad and embarrassed every time it is brought to her attention. It’s pretty clear that Sunset doesn’t feel good about it at all and wants to change in that regard. So why exactly does Wallflower think Sunset hasn’t changed if she is doing stuff that everyone else does but still feels bad about it? Wallflower is justifiably upset but targeting Sunset is just confusing. Her motivation here just doesn’t make sense and it kinda feels like she hates Sunset for no reason or just picked someone to focus her anger on out of a hat. Also, sorry to say this. But if literally everyone is forgetting about you and you’re not really making much of an effort to standout, it’s also your fault too. As I said above, it’s definitely not good that they are all forgetting about her but if everybody finds you forgettable then maybe you need to make more of an effort to stand out and make friends. Some of that is on you. But the special doesn’t really bring this up at all. We are just kinda expected to feel bad for her and act like her crippling shyness isn’t an issue when it definitely is and is something that Wallflower needs to work on. You can’t just expect to sit around, be rude to pretty much everyone around you (which Wallflower was) and expect friends to come to you. That’s not how it works. The last thing that kinda ticked me off about this special was how much the special sided with Wallflower. She did apologize and stuff but honestly it really did feel like most of the blame was put on Sunset when realistically next to no blame should actually be on Sunset. Especially since as I pointed out above, Sunset actually kinda does show some kindness to Wallflower by trying her best to not upset her and clearly feels bad about forgetting her. If anything, it’s almost like Wallflower is pushing Sunset away more. She is always giving her glares and is just generally not talking to her very politely at all. It’s kinda hard to want to reach out to someone if they come across as a bit of an asshole. It’s also hard to blame people for not wanting to be nice to people like that. And not to mention how Wallflower reacts to this. I have said this a few times already but I cannot stress this enough. What Wallflower did in this special was absolutely ridiculous and crazy. She decided to ruin someone’s life for such a small reason and for some reason we are supposed to forgive her and feel for her. Sorry but that just ain’t happening. What makes Wallflower honestly even more of a shameful character is that the special she is in is otherwise pretty damn good. It has a couple other issues but none that would have held it back all that much. But unfortunately Wallflower is too important to this special for me to call her a small issue. She is the main villain and therefore the conflict. If the main conflict feels weak due to a bad character, the grade of the media will suffer.
  21. You know, these don't take that long to make. So I'm just being lazy that they are taking so long to make.
  22. First episode... because its one hour long pilot.
  23. Key Sharkz

    MLP's Failed Character Attempts

    When making a show that is intended to advertise toylines, it's not uncommon for new characters, species or entire groups to be introduced in the hopes of being able to push new products or expand story lines. However sometimes these additions for one reason or another fall flat on their face and accomplish nothing more than a spectacular failure. Sometimes these failures are remedied, but many times they are brushed under the rug and the studio hopes everyone forgets they ever happened. These are some of those spectacular failures and some of the possible reasons why they happened. 1. Breezies The breezies were clearly an attempt at nostalgia for older fans of the franchise. Hasbro clearly hoped to cash in and make these little guys cute, adorable and hopefully fly off of the shelves. However, that didn't exactly end up happening. They flew off the shelves about as much as the actual breezies in the episode could fly themselves. Most of their designs were boring, childish and sometimes just plain stupid. Couple that with annoying high pitched voices and a really odd Scandinavian accent for their leader Seabreeze and you're left with a new species that was insanely short lived. They only appeared in a single episode and were mentioned once after that before Hasbro blew a gust of wind to blow these guys out of existence. The species itself was portrayed as unbelievably incompetent, requiring more or less all of nature to fall in line for them to even be able to continue existing. The breezies could not even truly fly on their own, relying on the wind being the perfect speed and strength to get them where they needed to go. So much had to bend over backward for them to continue to exist. That's probably why they didn't land so well with fans and very little if any merchandise of these little guys exists at all. 2. The Buffalo Despite more visits into the wild west and even Apploosa itself, these native American resembling characters have never been seen since their introduction in season one. These creatures never really seemed to catch on for the fans, and as such very little merch of them was made and they remained in season one. They made cameos in a few other episodes but never played an important or even speaking role again. This may have been for a number of reasons, but two that I can muster at this time. Fans simply didn't enjoy the designs. In the early days a lot of fans wanted cute, adorable characters and the buffalo were not exactly the cutest or cuddliest group around. This likely resulted in low interest from fans to bring them back. Hasbro potentially felt they might have come off as racist depictions of natives. Unlikely, but possible they feared people mistaking them as racist. Hopefully not, though. For whatever reason, the buffalo don't look like they will be making a re-appearance any time soon and it looks like interest in seeing them again is insanely low anyway. Perhaps for the better that this stampede trots off into the sunset for good. 3. Diamond Dogs While their debut episode is generally enjoyed and they were amusing at the time it's clear that Hasbro simply could not figure out how to capitalize on this race of characters. Their designs felt off for the entire show and it's possible Hasbro wanted to avoid having too many neandering idiot male characters. To top this off, their only real role outside of this is a cameo in Equestria Girls. I think most fans enjoyed them as antagonists but didn't really care enough to see more of them. Naturally being not cute, and not even appealing to look at they made nill in the way of toy sales or merchandise. And a character that isn't merchandizable always seems to get the boot. These dogs were put outside and never let back in, but that's okay because realistically most seem to be quite okay with the decision. 4. Babs Seed A spectacular failure if there ever was one. Babs Seed was clearly intended as a new addition to the CMC, and clearly designed to be a recurring character for them to potentially expand the CMC dynamic as she was written into two episodes in the season of her introduction so it was obvious Hasbro had high hopes for her. Unfortunately they clearly counted their chickens before they hatched because the general reception to Babs Seed was mostly negative. From her episode being written fairly badly, her terrible attitude, and her annoying stereotypical brooklyn accent that felt completely out of place. Babs Seed became a very disliked character. By the end of season three little merchandise was made of her, and she was dropped entirely with a quick excuse made up to more or less never show her again. It didn't help that her voice actress moved away, which more or less put the nail in the coffin for this unlikeable cousin. What started out as a potential new dynamic for the CMC ended up just being another forgotten adventure with a useless tag along. What are some characters that you feel fell flat and were quickly forgotten?
  24. Jonny Music

    review Chimneys worth dying for!

    These chimneys are sure worth dying for! Shoutout to the Hungarian and Czechian Bronies here!