PathfinderCS

S06:E12 - Spice Up Your Life

Your opinion on the episode.  

191 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you like it?

    • Not at all darling; it was DREADful!
      4
    • Eh, not really.
      11
    • The meh is strong with this one.
      24
    • Why yes; I enjoyed it!
      94
    • IT WAS SUPER-DUPER EXCELLENT!!!
      58


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DID SOMEONE SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL MARE WITH THE HAT? I LOVE HER SO MUCH PLS LET ME KNOW HER NAME IF ANYONE KNOWS HER.. She's... Amaze. She looks a lot like my ponysona , too, but I'm in love with this cute new by pony..post-32288-0-68546700-1465771141_thumb.pngpost-32288-0-62410400-1465771105_thumb.png

Edited by darkwingmare
  • Brohoof 2

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No offense, but it was one of the worst episodes ever. O.o

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Really enjoyed this episode. I love the Rarity/Pinkie episodes, they're always so fun.

 

I really liked how the ponies were Indian, and the dad made me laugh multiple times with his who cares attitude.

 

Saffron Masala was actually very pretty I think.

 

The sitar music in this episode was also a great addition. Wasn't too hot in the new song though.

 

The Gordon Ramsay pony too, that was terrific.

 

I've enjoyed this season a lot so far, it's really focused on the fun aspect of the show.

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I wanted to see the Gordon Ramsey pony rant at Zesty. "It's bucking RAW"

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Spice Up Your Life is way, way better than Flutter Brutter, but there is a fatal issue in this episode: the moral’s execution.

 

There are multiple morals in this episode, including how not to let others decide your decision for you and to think for yourself. The overall moral is dealing with criticism in multiple ways. Two of them include properly delivering criticism and learning how to appreciate it. Criticism in itself is an art that way too many people in and out of the fandom take for granted. A good chunk of society loves to stereotype critics and dissuade the art of criticism, sending implications that to think for themselves and critically think of material is meaningless. This classism is echoed here in the brony fandom by how many bash the analysis community or anyone who has good reason to point out the flaws and pan an episode for poor quality.

 

Simultaneously, Zesty Gourmand proved in Act 1 and the latter half of Act 3 that she’s terrible at her job. As a critic, she’s responsible for analyzing and explaining observations and facts to lead to conclusions of the overall quality of the restaurant. She doesn’t do that and instead lets her taste, opinions, and ego get in the way.

 

On the other hand, a good moral about criticism has two glaring flaws.

  • Rarity’s approach into making The Tasty Treat succeed was out of character. Does she have a reason to go about the way she did it? Yes. Every other restaurant in Restaurant Row, despite their low-quality meals and generic decor, are highly successful. Rarity wants The Tasty Treat to succeed and stay in business, and that leads her to believe that in order to do so is to start anew. This rationale is completely understandable; sometimes restaurants don’t succeed the first time, so a complete retooling can improve the restaurant and invite more attention and better success.

     

    Unfortunately, she was really blind in her approach. Rather than trying to increase the quality of their meals or focus on other more constructive ideas to increase the chance of success, Rarity was completely focused on pandering to Canterlot’s stereotypical snoot, which were reinforced by how much the ponies gave Pinkie and Saffron the cold shoulder when they refused to think of everything except the lack of rating. In other words, she believed the best method for success is to make the entire restaurant as bland and generic as the others. It’s out of character of her, because she takes pride in succeeding via individuality, not conformity. Rather than stripping The Tasty Treat of its Middle-Eastern and/or Indian roots, maybe they could’ve tried to advertise the restaurant better and ask questions about the other restaurants themselves. And maybe ask questions about if Zesty was wrong.

  • Zesty Gourmand is a complete “tyrannical critic” stereotype. A single-track mind with the expectation of Canterlot to suck up to her and fuel her ego, yet completely inept in actually being a critic. She doesn’t know what makes a restaurant successful. Rather than judging each restaurant on its own merits, she forces them to conform to the way she wants it in presentation, taste, and decor. If you don’t, then it’s a failure. That’s not how to judge the restaurant’s objective quality.

     

    Yet, when she judged The New Tasty Treat early in Act 3, she was right to slam it. By trying to be successful, Rarity forced Saffron and Coriander to rip off the others in terms of flavor and decor, creating a poor first impression for Zesty, who had every right to call her out for her poor creative choices. And, yes, the service was very substandard. The episode tried so hard to paint her as entirely in the wrong, but screwed up when she was completely justified in her words just before she left the first time.

     

    But rather than make up for what she did, Zesty stayed true to her stereotypical roots when the episode painted her as an even bigger egomaniac than the scene prior. Immediately, she went from being inept to giving her a valid point to instantly invalidating her. Her reintroduction in the resolution entered way too suddenly and thrust in the moral of how to not to let others dictate your taste. There was no gradual buildup into making the moral work.

     

    Zesty’s presentation as a stereotype, a straw character, and the only serious professional culinary critic in Canterlot muddles the message.

     

    a. Surely, there are tens or hundreds of culinary critics, both amateur or professional, out there. Why does Canterlot’s fine-dining hinge on one? What about the others out there, if they exist? Did they write their reviews, too? What do they say about the meals, restaurants, and so on? There ought to be more than one reviewer, including ones who are way more competent than her. There are many critics in real life who really comprehend and appreciate the art of criticism.

     

    b. For those who don’t know, straw characters — or straw men/women — are visual fallacies. Their only purpose in the story is to use terrible logic to back up their points in order to be proven completely wrong at the end, while the other side of the argument is entirely supported. One big problem: A majority of the debates have many valid arguments across every point of the snowflake. If you’re going to teach a (gray) moral or conflict, using a straw character is one of the most dishonest, laziest ways to teach it. Zesty Gourmand is the first in the animated show and third overall (the others being Praiser Pan from the Fluttershy Micro and Well-To-Do from Root of the Problem).

     

    To use a straw character/stereotype villainizes one side of the moral on an issue with fifty shades of gray. There are multiple people with multiple tastes with what they like or don’t. Initially, Spice Up Your Life tries to paint both Rarity and Pinkie as equally right and wrong by justifying their worries. Who can blame them? The three-hoof system parallels the Michelin Guide; in France, losing one star can determine whether it will thrive or go out of business. Here, no stars equals no business, so her review can determine whether they’ll have a job or not. But Zesty herself and the rush to paint her as a villain in the resolution results in painting Rarity’s side (which makes sense) as 100% wrong and Pinkie’s 100% right. To generalize one side so broadly hurts the other.

     

    And the fact that this show is supposed to teach lessons to kids makes the stereotype of critics even more damning. Kids are smart, yet easily impressionable by their surroundings. To glorify a stereotype like Zesty can present a false impression of critics and the art of criticism to kids.

     

    c. Zesty’s whole concept comes across as a parody of Anton Ego without understanding his whole purpose. Anton Ego is intelligent with an ego and strong sense of taste. His backwards perspective on Gusteau’s motto about how anyone can cook gave him blind spots. Despite his tough approach to reviewing, he willed to try something new and admit to being wrong. When the ratatouille delighted him, he ate his words and delivered easily the best moral about criticism in entertainment. But the way he spoke about it delivered the message about criticism without being condescending, and the fact that he said it made the moral feel authentic. Unlike Zesty, Ego was the antithesis of a stereotype. Caustic, yet fair. Everypony else delivering the moral for Zesty and Zesty letting her ego get in the way contrives the moral.

What ideas can improve it?

  • Allow Rarity to handle her half of the solution better early. Going back to Sweet & Elite, the Bearer of Generosity has credentials in Canterlot. Yes, she’s more about fashion design than food, but does that mean she can’t use her status and eye for quality in other material? No. It makes no sense for her to fear Canterlot’s hive-minded mentality. Instead of deciding to rebrand The Tasty Treat, why not write a review herself? Judge the restaurant by the meal presentation, decor, and meal flavor. She understands the food tastes good and, quite possibly, tastes the complexities themselves. Remember, one of her strongest assets is her ability to analyze details so finely. Use it to challenge the stereotypes of Canterlot society and make them reconsider Zesty’s words.
  • Don’t drag the fate of Canterlot’s fine-dining on one. Culinary criticism is a competing occupation covering multiple magazines, newspapers, books, and TV shows. Again, others equally trusted like Zesty, yet are more competent in their jobs than her, ought to be out there. What do they have to say about Restaurant Row, and what do they recommend? What do they have to say about Zesty herself?
  • Don’t paint Zesty as a stereotype and bad guy, and rewrite the moral. The “evil critic” is a cliché in and of itself, so it’s very difficult to execute him or her very well. Anton Ego is a well-written villain critic. Instead of writing a stereotypical antagonist out of Zesty, why not allude to the idea of Zesty being the antagonist, but when she decides to show up, she isn’t like what any of the four make her out to be?

     

    Early on, Coriander and Saffron admit to disliking her for hearing bad things she allegedly spewed about the restaurant and staff. But when she shows up, expectations crash. She’s intelligent, can easily analyze the textures and flavors, and doesn’t talk down to anybody. She wanted to give The Tasty Treat a chance, but had to leave due to an emergency, but in earshot muttered angry things about a restaurant next door that had a history of abusing the staff. As for the poor quality of the other meals, they were very good last year, but apparently, the meal quality degraded since then. So she gives The Tasty Treat a fair chance, likes it, and encourages others to write reviews for all the restaurants. The fate of everyone’s occupation shouldn’t have to be pinned down to one person. Just because some of the customers here may not be professional critics doesn’t mean they’re incapable of thinking critically of the overall quality of the meal, too.

  • While Pinkie and Saffron try to convince others to come into the restaurant, Coriander tells Rarity to renovate the restaurant against her best judgment. Graphic design is her best field; she can critique color theory, ideas, originality, and the details far better than the other seven. It goes against her best judgment to willingly change the decor and not realize doing so is a terrible idea. To make her change it as she trepidates allows her to change the decor without derailing her character.
  • Streamline the conflict. I talked with a good friend on Skype yesterday, and he explained to me about how SUYL suffers from an identity crisis. In many corners of the episode, the episode indicates decision to want to teach one thing, only to attempt to teach something else, only attempt to teach something else. This episode crammed way too many ideas in one episode. The moral it spouts is not be a sheep to critics, but its whole lesson is to appreciate the art of criticism as a whole, but the ideas within the presented conflict came and went, helping damage the credibility of the morals it was trying to teach. One conflict while showing it in objective detail and not using a stereotype of critics can really improve the quality of the episode.
  • Don’t write Canterlot as a hivemind. Hundreds of individuals live in Canterlot. No one pony will think the same as the other or snub it just because it doesn’t have a rating. Chances are at least one from Canterlot ate there, and some ponies there might’ve heard about it and planned to visit for lunch or dinner. To make them think and step away from the city’s most unlikable trait from the get-go subverts the expectation that Canterlot’s a robotic, pompous society.

Rather than trying to suggest appreciation for the art of criticism, it implicates that criticism deserves abandonment. While that’s not what they’re trying to say, there’s a difference between what they’re trying to say and what they’re saying. SUYL suggests appreciating criticism, but Rarity’s poor characterization, Zesty herself, and the rushed ending suggest the opposite. In short, it’s a below-average episode with a good moral hurt by sloppy execution.

Edited by Dark Qiviut
  • Brohoof 2

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This episode was okay and interesting to watch. It's great to see the map is back again and Pinkie naming who was going where was really funny. Saffron and Corriander were interesting characters and I liked how Pinkie and Rarity tried to help the restaurant be more noticeable. The song was pretty good and I liked how Pinkie was sign spinning. Zetsy was an interesting character and it was crazy trying to knock Pinkie and Rarity's attempts down a peg. I liked how Pinkie and Rarity swapped roles in helping and making the restaurant a success. I also liked how they stood up and proved a point to Zetsy and helped get other restaurant owners to do what they did best. The moral was pretty good and I liked the Gordon Ramsey cameo appearance. All in all it was an okay episode and I look forward to seeing what's next after the hiatus. 

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This could be one of my favorite episodes of the season. Also, I spotted a Gordon Ramsey pony near the end. XD

 

Yeah, there was a ton of cameos of pony versions of famous chefs near the end of the episode, including Chef Ramsey being among them. Anyone happen to identify any more?

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I really want to say that I liked this episode, but it just wasn't that memorable. I had to think a couple minutes just to recall what it was about.

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DID SOMEONE SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL MARE WITH THE HAT? I LOVE HER SO MUCH PLS LET ME KNOW HER NAME IF ANYONE KNOWS HER.. She's... Amaze. She looks a lot like my ponysona , too, but I'm in love with this cute new by pony..attachicon.gifScreenshot_2016-06-13-00-08-13.pngattachicon.gifScreenshot_2016-06-13-00-10-27.png

She is a cutie. I think she looks adorable the way she wears her cap with her horn through the opening.

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I have to agree with the people who were saying that Rarity wasn't out of character. Keep in mind that she's a fashion expert, not a food expert, so it's understandable to see how she was portrayed here.

 

I also want to say I love the interactivity between Pinkie and Rarity. They really work well off one another.

 

The song was pretty good. My only major complaint about this episode was that the resolution was too quick. I know it's a 22-minute episode and all, but I personally wished they built up to it a little more.

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Coriander was a hoot when he was grumpy, with his constant, deadpan expression and complete disinterest in everything (very nicely captured in his movements; I thought the animators did a wonderful job of making Coriander actually LOOK as heavy-set as he was drawn through his very slow, drawn-out movements).

Totally agree! Coriander was wonderful! I LOVED his design! He was very no nonsense and bluntly honest yet incredibly sweet like when he tells Rarity not to worry when everything goes horribly wrong. Please tell me somebody made a Coriander fan thread here already???  

 

Here's a nice post I found on tumblr http://stitchthebest36.tumblr.com/post/145837727308/spice-up-your-life-mlpfim that I re blogged to my own tumblr that explains this episode's meaning and the 2 Indian ponies very well. I love how the Indian ponies are just characters and this episode did not turn into a "race" comment. 

Edited by StitchandMLPlover
  • Brohoof 2

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Now there's just too much Rarity in Season 6.

Edited by cider float
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Here's a nice post I found on tumblr http://stitchthebest36.tumblr.com/post/145837727308/spice-up-your-life-mlpfim that I re blogged to my own tumblr that explains this episode's meaning and the 2 Indian ponies very well. I love how the Indian ponies are just characters and this episode did not turn into a "race" comment. 

 

Oh I wasn't surprised in the slightest that they didn't make the episode into a race comment, even with those two characters, simply because I would expect nothing less from the writers after 5 and a half seasons of exceptional to flat out outstanding writing.  But yes, totally agree with your assessment of the episode.

  • Brohoof 1

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meh
+/- Never thought I'd see the day when Rarity wouldn't be inherently interesting to watch
- First song I've ever skipped
--- Cardinal sin of boring me

I honestly don't know what I was supposed to find interesting in this. I give this episode a 3 hoof rating.

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When they started their first attempt, it was almost painfully predictable what would happen.

But when they finally did things right, it was just a joy to watch the solution at work. :-) And it's a good lesson, as usual.

 

The episode left me with a thought:

 

When spicey food brings tears to your eyes, those are tears of joy. :D

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I love how the Indian ponies are just characters and this episode did not turn into a "race" comment. 

It's probably because race had nothing to do with their problem. It was related to ponies not trying anything new and Zesty's decidedly unzesty ratings.  ^_^

 

 

 

Now there's just too much Rarity in Season 6.

True. I posted in the relevant thread on this.  :twi:

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She is a cutie. I think she looks adorable the way she wears her cap with her horn through the opening.

She is absolutely marvelous. I'll be making plenty of fanart of her. She looks like a sister of my ponysona or something, she's just too cute! It's sad that we didn't get to see her cutie mark! Or know her name..Her design is amazing.

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Hmmm...

 

On one hand, it was an uneventful episode (though at least it wasn't "dull"). But on the other I really appreciate the moral/message this time.

 

I've eaten at fancy/expensive restaurants a few times myself and feel the same as Pinkie did. It boggles my mind that people would pay so much money for so little (and not very tasty) food.

An even bigger issue I take heart with is restaurant conformity. Many eateries are made to be too much alike (I know a chain where all there locations have the exact same layout and decor :blink: ) these days, as well forced to used the same recipes/ingredients to where they often taste alike to. Heck, there places that used to be  different from location to location that have changed to where they're all alike now (not to mention how a lot of restaurants have been remodeled to look like boxes with stuff on 'em than actual restaurants), which I find disappointing and disturbing. So a message about an eatery wanting to be different regardless what anyone thinks is something I can cheer for.

 

Also...I liked that Zesty didn't change at the end. With all the awkward "reforms" on this show (right, Starlight?) it was nice to see an antagonist not change her tune because the plot required it.

 

PS: Goron Ramsey previously got a pony in the IDW comic. Can ponified versions of the Harry Potter cast and the Sailor Scouts (among others) be far behind ? ;)     

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I loved the way Pinkie ate.
Totally agree with you friend  :pinkie:  

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Also...I liked that Zesty didn't change at the end. With all the awkward "reforms" on this show (right, Starlight?) it was nice to see an antagonist not change her tune because the plot required it.

Yes, that was believable as a first reaction, but your comparison might not be a good one, because Starlight Glimmer started out the same way. (And so did Discord. And Gilda.)

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Oh I wasn't surprised in the slightest that they didn't make the episode into a race comment, even with those two characters, simply because I would expect nothing less from the writers after 5 and a half seasons of exceptional to flat out outstanding writing.  But yes, totally agree with your assessment of the episode.

 

I totally agree! I just wish other media aimed at older people could do such a seamless job. If a "cartoon" can do it so can other shows. I also wish our society was more like how the Indian ponies were just accepted as regular ponies. 

 

It's probably because race had nothing to do with their problem. It was related to ponies not trying anything new and Zesty's decidedly unzesty ratings.  ^_^

 

 

 

True. I posted in the relevant thread on this.  :twi:

Yes that's exactly why the episode works! They show instead of telling us a PC speech. It's a regular pony life conflict and that's all it needs to be. On a side note, I don't think there is too much Rarity. No offense. 

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Morgan Freeman was once asked how to stop racism. He said "Stop talking about it."

Doesn't need to be practiced to the extreme, but seriously, what's with all the racism talk here? How did that even come up? Are you guys having a mental searchlight 24/7 scanning everything you see for possible racism so that when you don't see it you can't stop talking about it?

I'm saying this because such mental practice can lead to the practice of artificial, forced PC. You can talk something good into the ground.

That's not how to celebrate that something did NOT turn into a race commentary.

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My main problem with this epiosde is that  i should care about a restaurant from complete strangers and why should the map do? This felt forced and i dislike upper class-style-reputation themes anyway-

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My main problem with this epiosde is that  i should care about a restaurant from complete strangers and why should the map do? This felt forced and i dislike upper class-style-reputation themes anyway-

How is it forced when their mission is to do good and not to act in their own interests only? A whole city was plagued by an unhealthy authority limiting the culinary potential.

And since when does the map need to "care" for any of this? It indicates friendship problems.

If you cannot care for the friendship problem of strangers, it sounds like you have especially much to learn from MLP. ;-)

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The setting of this episode reminds me of one of my favorite movies, The Hundred Foot Journey, which takes place in southern France and is about a new Indian restaurant opening 100 feet away from a traditional upscale French restaurant. That's where the similarities end but eh :P

 

Aside from that (or rather because of it), I really liked this episode. Still, Pinkie and Rarity have already had an episode together this season, so I think it would have been more interesting to have another pairing, but I guess these two worked the best for the episode's plot. I also liked Saffron and Coriander.

Edited by SparklingSwirls

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