Limestone-Pie

Do people hold too high of a standard for MLP?

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Last night I was busy catching up on season six, and while reading off to bed I began thinking. Many of my assossiates have told me how they thought season six was the worst of the entire show run. Yet here I was laughing and enjoying myself just like every other season preceding. So here is my proposed question, is it possible to hold unrealistic standards or overanylize a show to the point where you lose enjoyment in it?

 

We all enjoy My Little Pony, that's why we're here. It seems that over time however that some people have forgotten that it's a kids show at heart. That's why Y7 appears in the corner of every episode after all. Yet some fans, with religious fervor, will go beyond reasonable measures to prove that it somehow isn't. This isn't to say adults can't watch MLP of course, what I'm getting at is that some people hold the show up to a high standard it will never reasonable achieve. In this way I feel that this not only alienates others from watching the show but when someone holds that high of a bar the more furious they become when it can't reach that artificial standard. I believe this is where the people crying that, "Season one/two was the best season," come into play. Again this isn't to say that one can't hold that opinion. Only that it may be because of a certain bar they hold over the older episodes that somehow limits their enjoyment of those following.

 

Then there are those people I feel may look too deep into the show for messages that don't exist. An common example I see is the season five episode Do Prinesses Dream of Magical Sheep. In this episode Luna is tormented by the Tantabus in her dreams as penance for the Nightmare Moon incident. The moral of the episode basically can be summed up to 'Don't beat yourself up over past events you can't change and move on to make yourself a better person'. At least that's what I got out of it, but some people find another message hidden there. They'll claim it's an allegory for self harm, and it is this manufactured message that has caused people I know to leave the fandom. I personally do not agree that this is what the message of the episode is at all, and is instead a warped one to fit what that specific person wants to believe. Again I direct you to the Y7 rating. I of course am not saying that children's television can't tackle mature subjects, but do you really think that MLP is trying to honestly teach little kids the ramifications of self harm when at this stage in life they wouldn't have even thought about such things? The message is about letting go of the past for those things that weigh on us, a relatable message as I believe we've all done things we've regretted. So there is my point, are people overanylizing a kids shownto the point of seeing things that aren't there?

 

I'll step off my soap box now. This is just a topic that has been bothering me for a while now. Do any of you agree that some people hold too high of a standard for children's media or not? Let me know, I just wanted to spark a bit of an engaging dialogue. Have a nice day everyone!

  • Brohoof 15

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So here is my proposed question, is it possible to hold unrealistic standards or overanylize a show to the point where you lose enjoyment in it?

Absolutely. Take a look at any TV show or film. 'Doctor Who', 'Lost' and 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' for instance. These things all have one thing in common. In the case of 'Doctor Who', both it's fans and it's head writer and showrunner keep wanting story arcs and new characters that never go anywhere. These characters are believed to be a popular character from the past, and when it turns out to be someone else, people get disappointed. This is a result of the series using the mystery box formula way too much. Same with 'Lost'. They created a bunch of loose plot threads hanging around that never got resolved, and people set their expectations way too high, leading to disappointment. 'Batman v Superman' was believed by many DC fans to be the film that would beat Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Titanic and Avatar at the box office. Aaaaaand then Rotten Tomatoes gave it a big thumbs down, and it failed miserably.

 

People set their expectations too high with MLP too. It's a kids show. It can appeal to all ages, but at the end of the day, it's a harmless, slice of life cartoon about talking colourful ponies who occasionally go on exciting adventures to solve a friendship problem or save the entire kingdom. People have to realise that not every episode is going to be good. Look at 'Newbie Dash'. A great concept, terrible execution with unlikable characters, awful writing and abysmal morals. It's gotta have bad episodes so that we as fans can point out these flaws, and then writers can take our feedback into account so they know what they can do to improve next time they write an episode. Weather fans like it or not, there's always going to be bad episodes. It can be one, or it can be a lot. There's going to be a lot of disappointing episodes that had you hyped up, but failed to do what you wanted. Look at the Changeling episode from this season. Many people were over-hyping it and it got a lot of hate because it wasn't what "we hoped for." This just goes to show that this series can get over-hyped,and can lead to major disappointment, but we have to deal with it and move on, because guess what? It's a kids show. It's certainly a bold one for using communism back in Season 5, but it's still a kids show, and it always will be that.

  • Brohoof 5

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The totality of MLP holds current/new MLP episodes to a high standard.  If they didn't have such good episodes before this, people wouldn't expect future episodes to maintain that level of quality.

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Absolutely and in all honesty since Hasbro and DHX are self aware of the brony fandom, instead of us being ostracized, we have been embraced by the very studio that produces the show. I am all for the fans being a part of the show, it makes it more personal. But back in early 2013, I knew I was getting into a show FOR CHILDREN! I knew it wasn't for my age demographic I didn't care. I loved the characters, colorful animation, the villains, Equestria itself and the songs. 

 

As far as kids shows go, this is more than basic syndicated animation, the people who animate it over at DHX I know love going into work everyday knowing that aside from a good paycheck, they're making everyone happy. We are sadly holding them to a high standard and its really bad for us as a fandom to do that for them. 

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People hold too high of a standard for anything they truly love.

 

And they rightfully should. You always want the best/most out of anything you are invested in, whether it is financially, emotionally or chronologically.

 

I think sometimes people get unrealistic expectations that just cannot be met in any satisfactory way for them, but that does not mean that they should stop wanting what they feel is the best for it.

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Different people have different expectations when it comes to the programs that they watch. There are those who watch a show because they enjoy it and to them, that is the only thing that truly matters. For other people, they have a tendency to delve into the more intricate details through an analysis. While those who choose to be analytical do it to show others various perspectives, themes, among other things most would simply ignore because they're not focusing on that, all they are doing is showing a different side to something that you'd normally wouldn't expect.

 

I watch the show and the movies because it's something I enjoy on a personal level. I watch for the animation, the voice acting, the references to pop culture, and the growing development of characters--songs are an added bonus. My advice when it comes to those who overthink the show is to not take what they say to heart. Sure, some things they see do hold a sense of truth behind them, but their words aren't meant to be the absolute truth. Just take it with what you will.

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OH MY CELESTIA YES

 

People have stupid expectations of this show.

 

It is my favorite series of all time. So ofc I expect every episode to be ENTERTAINING.

 

But other people expect deep complexity and perfection, any moment off beat, any moment that challenges THEIR opinion or how they wanted the story to go makes it bad.

 

I can't stand it, These forums suffered really bad for it when I came back around 8 months ago, I left again  in a week because every day I saw around 3 new negative posts. Seems a bit better now.

 

Honestly this show has the most critical fans of any series I have seen.

  • Brohoof 12

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do you really think that MLP is trying to honestly teach little kids the ramifications of self harm when at this stage in life they wouldn't have even thought about such things?

Why not? Don't get me wrong, I find myself agreeing with you overall, but just because some elements are over-analyzed, that doesn't mean the show can't have deeper meaning at all. Just writing it off as "it's just a kid show" isn't particularly accurate, either.

 

For example, I haven't watched Steven Universe. But I hear nothing but praise for its smart writing about (not exclusively) sexuality and other identity issues. You think kids are thinking about that very often?

 

Besides, art is meant to be open to interpretation. Luna WAS punishing herself by creating emotional/mental anguish via the Tantabus. You see how easy it is to connect that to self-harm? Why shouldn't we teach kids not to punish themselves like that?

 

There isn't anything wrong people with searching for meaning like that. Even if they're just scouring for details to nitpick, that's their business.

Edited by GeekySonic

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OH MY CELESTIA YES

 

People have stupid expectations of this show.

 

It is my favorite series of all time. So ofc I expect every episode to be ENTERTAINING.

 

But other people expect deep complexity and perfection, any moment off beat, any moment that challenges THEIR opinion or how they wanted the story to go makes it bad.

 

I can't stand it, These forums suffered really bad for it when I came back around 8 months ago, I left again  in a week because every day I saw around 3 new negative posts. Seems a bit better now.

 

Honestly this show has the most critical fans of any series I have seen.

Season 6 took a ton of risk and while taking a risk is well.....a risk. I am happy with what they did with the finale. A complaint I will agree with is Flurry Heart just existing.. Flurry Heart is in the Flash Sentry tier of useless characters.

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I think people care a little too much in some cases. If an episode makes me happy and is enjoyable I like it, that applies to pretty much every episode. I don't care if characters are a little bit off sometimes as long as it doesn't make it less entertaining. 

  • Brohoof 2

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Why not? Don't get me wrong, I find myself agreeing with you overall, but just because some elements are over-analyzed, that doesn't mean the show can't have deeper meaning at all. Just writing it off as "it's just a kid show" isn't particularly accurate, either.

For example, I haven't watched Steven Universe. But I hear nothing but praise for its smart writing about (not exclusively) sexuality and other identity issues. You think kids are thinking about that very often?

Besides, art is meant to be open to interpretation. Luna WAS punishing herself by creating emotional/mental anguish via the Tantabus. You see how easy it is to connect that to self-harm? Why shouldn't we teach kids not to punish themselves like that?

There isn't anything wrong people with searching for meaning like that. Even if they're just scouring for details to nitpick, that's their business.

I wouldn't write it off as being a 'kids show' per say, but overall MLP is aimed at a younger demographic and as such they won't typically tackle dark or overly complex subjects. While typing up my original post Steven Universe did cross my mind. It is a kid's show technically but indeed it does touch on a wide range of themes and subjects that you normally wouldn't expect, like sexuality. Yet I think the distinction is that Steven Universe and MLP are two separate shows with two separate aims. SU has taken a path that its characters and themes can exist without feeling out of place and can cover those subjects well. Six seasons in and MLP has not covered the issues of loss and sexuality, and perhaps it never will. The shows were made to cover different themes and have found a place in the medium where they know how to do what they do well. Complex themes are welcome in all children's media but I don't think MLP is really going to be the one to really tackle those subjects.

 

As for anyalyis itself I don't find it inherently wrong to do so. Finding a hidden message in a show is fun, as people saw with Gravity Falls. Though what I was getting at is when does this anyalysis become a defermental factor in watching any media? Because there is a line between healthy and constructive thinking and over-thinking to the point where you can't properly enjoy the show anymore.

Edited by Limestone-Pie
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OH MY CELESTIA YES

 

People have stupid expectations of this show.

 

It is my favorite series of all time. So ofc I expect every episode to be ENTERTAINING.

 

But other people expect deep complexity and perfection, any moment off beat, any moment that challenges THEIR opinion or how they wanted the story to go makes it bad.

 

I can't stand it, These forums suffered really bad for it when I came back around 8 months ago, I left again  in a week because every day I saw around 3 new negative posts. Seems a bit better now.

 

Honestly this show has the most critical fans of any series I have seen.

 

Those people seem to forget that despite the writers throwing in all kinds of pop culture references for Bronies, they still have to conform to the intended age group. I know that sounds like a weak argument--and it probably is--but at least the acknowledgement of the older fans is still present. If Hasbro wanted to, they could say enough using references and focus on the age group the show was originally created for.

 

A better way to look at it would be this. The fans who complain say that they could do a much better job than the writers, yet from what I've seen of their actions, they are just talk and no substance. I'm certain it's not easy to be a writer on MLP given how the fandom reacts to just about every little thing imaginable. They tread a fine line that is constantly swaying back and forth, ready to snap at a moment's notice.

  • Brohoof 3

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From what I'm reading lately here, yes!

 

I just see the show dragged through the dirt all the time now. People saying that it needs to end, people who can't stand Starlight, people who just don't like it at all anymore and think the story has issues...

 

And that's their issue. I have love for the show no matter what because it had a huge impact on me, plus it really isn't that bad to me. Perhaps a long time of over-examining the show has jaded people and made it so it has to be their way or the high way. Maybe they just want it to be more like other shows. I'm not looking for continuity errors or whatever else, I just sit down with the intent of enjoying, loving, and appreciating each episode of my favorite television masterpiece of all time - and you know what? That's alright. And that's how I still enjoy the show with the same heart I've always had for it. c; <3

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Those people seem to forget that despite the writers throwing in all kinds of pop culture references for Bronies, they still have to conform to the intended age group. I know that sounds like a weak argument--and it probably is--but at least the acknowledgement of the older fans is still present. If Hasbro wanted to, they could say enough using references and focus on the age group the show was originally created for.

 

A better way to look at it would be this. The fans who complain say that they could do a much better job than the writers, yet from what I've seen of their actions, they are just talk and no substance. I'm certain it's not easy to be a writer on MLP given how the fandom reacts to just about every little thing imaginable. They tread a fine line that is constantly swaying back and forth, ready to snap at a moment's notice.

Imagine if season 6 was just another carbon copy of seasons 4 and 5(the action driven ones) No saying action is bad, no way. But season 6 felt unique... Nice blend of light action and interesting dialogue. Yeah I don't like Starlight... But it didn't ruin the finale for me.

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Art should only be taken as seriously as its creator takes it.

 

From what I've seen, the MLP staff are at a modest level of seriousness when handling the show. As loud and exuberant the Brony community is, it's ignorant to say that we should have the biggest say in the direction of the show. Point is, we as a whole take the show far more seriously than its creators, and should act as such.

 

As for analysis, in my opinion, people are over-analytic to an almost disgusting extent. The only reason you take the show that seriously is if the analysis in question is meant for entertainment and entertainment only. 

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I feel that sometimes this is true, but in some cases it should be able to reach those high standards. Not every show is perfect and having a bad episode is inevitable, but there are some bad episodes that are not worth getting worked up over, while others, quite frankly, deserve to get the thrashing they deserve. For MLP, it can be the morals or hype that can justify the latter. Take something like Princess Spike, or Hoofields and the McColts for example, two terrible episodes that I can understand why people don't like them, but when you really think about it, they amount to fuck all and aren't worth getting upset about. Then you got cases like Newbie Dash, which is a conclusion to an arc that people were waiting since episode 1 of the show, so obviously people had very, very high hopes for it, and understandably so, so when the episode does everything in it's power to completely destroy everything Rainbow Dash has worked for up to that point, on top of having a moral that can be easily interpreted as "hazing is cool", people are gonna be understandably furious at the writers(and quite frankly they deserves it, yes, I know that sounds harsh), as that's 5 seasons, and damn near 6 years worth of progress and character development(and people's time) wasted for the sake of a dumb joke.

 

Likewise, when you handling heavy topic, you have to be careful. Sometimes you get something like Flight to the Finish which does a good job of handling disabilities, saying that Scootaloo's inability to fly shouldn't define who she is and has other things that make them special, then you get episodes like One Bad Apple that handles bullying in the worst way possible, making Babs Seed unlikable throughout the duration of the episode, only for them to suddenly reveal that she was bullied herself, and somehow makes it so the CMC have to apologize and pass off the terrible shit she did(granted I haven't seen the episode in a long time so I don't know if that's accurate). And honestly, when they mess up the moral soooo bad, again, the backlash is warranted. Of course, you also get weird cases like Tanks for the Memories, which tries it's hardest to address the issue of death without actually having Tank die. Like it really does feel like they wanted to kill him off, but someone higher up put a stop to that and Morrow had to continue with what she could to do it. And whether people are willing to like it/forgive it depends on how much they're willing to see that

 

It's like with WWE storylines. Something like RAW Guest Hosts, are easier to ignore because there's not much baggage it's carrying, it's a really stupid an terrible idea, but when you really think about it, lets be honest, there's not much damage other than a terrible celebrities being more involved than they should. But when you have something like Lesnar ending Undertaker's WM streak, or the Invasion, they effectively throw tons of potential/money down the crapper and cheapened legacies

Edited by Megas
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I wouldn't write it off as being a 'kids show' per say, but overall MLP is aimed at a younger demographic and as such they won't typically tackle dark or overly complex subjects. While typing up my original post Steven Universe did cross my mind. It is a kid's show technically but indeed it does touch on a wide range of themes and subjects that you normally wouldn't expect, like sexuality. Yet I think the distinction is that Steven Universe and MLP are two separate shows with two separate aims. SU has taken a path that its characters and themes can exist without feeling out of place and can cover those subjects well. Six seasons in and MLP has not covered the issues of loss and sexuality, and perhaps it never will. The shows were made to cover different themes and have found a place in the medium where they know how to do what they do well. Complex themes are welcome in all children's media but I don't think MLP is really going to be the one to really tackle those subjects.

As for anyalyis itself I don't find it inherently wrong to do so. Finding a hidden message in a show is fun, as people saw with Gravity Falls. Though what I was getting at is when does this anyalysis become a defermental factor in watching any media? Because there is a line between healthy and constructive thinking and over-thinking to the point where you can't properly enjoy the media anymore.

I see what you mean. But I would like to point out that MLP has attempted to cover more complex themes recently. Tanks For the Memories had a veiled message about dealing with the loss of loved ones (I personally suspect Applejack's parents will be the focus of a future episode). I'm also fairly certain that there was a Scootaloo/Rainbow Dash episode in which Scootaloo had to come to terms with the possibility that she may never fly, and will remain handicapped.

 

Again, not challenging you, I just think that there's plenty of room for more mature themes in the show, if done correctly (as you are correct, other cartoons that handle such topics do so with different approaches).

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Imagine if season 6 was just another carbon copy of seasons 4 and 5(the action driven ones) No saying action is bad, no way. But season 6 felt unique... Nice blend of light action and interesting dialogue. Yeah I don't like Starlight... But it didn't ruin the finale for me.

 

I liked how season six turned out even if there were a couple of episodes that didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. Spike definitely had his time in the spotlight as both a leading and supporting character, we were introduced to some new locations, new characters, and even some returning characters were given a breath of fresh air that fans can now relate to on a different level than before. Starlight is a character who is growing on me, yet she needs to go just a little bit further before I can truly say that I like her.

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I liked how season six turned out even if there were a couple of episodes that didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. Spike definitely had his time in the spotlight as both a leading and supporting character, we were introduced to some new locations, new characters, and even some returning characters were given a breath of fresh air that fans can now relate to on a different level than before. Starlight is a character who is growing on me, yet she needs to go just a little bit further before I can truly say that I like her.

I have grown fond of Discord thanks to season 6, and I used to never like him. Dungeons and Discord and the finale have really made me dig him. I know the season had no "direct theme" but I am fine with that just this once

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I have grown fond of Discord thanks to season 6, and I used to never like him. Dungeons and Discord and the finale have really made me dig him. I know the season had no "direct theme" but I am fine with that just this once

 

Like I said, older characters were given a breath of fresh air. Dungeons and Discord was arguably his best outing yet considering what the previous one was about

although the finale did present him as vulnerable because he had no magic, and the Changelings took advantage of his relationship with Fluttershy.

 

 

Not all seasons need to have a theme throughout it to be good.

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I'd say one could expect the same quality as they do from Disney movies. If they think Disney can offer such thematics, then so can MLP. I find that MLP is already tackling such thematics pretty well, so that kids and adults alike can enjoy the show and learn from it.

 

Now sure, it won't necessarily have epic battles or dark plots with deaths on screen or whatever. But those aren't the only ones worthwhile, and MLP, Disney, Steven Universe among others have proven it. Besides, MLP DID deal with heavier thematics now and again, and heavy or not, like or dislike, it's making you think. That's already a big accomplishment to have people do that, and possibly reflect on themselves, see how it applies to them.

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I used to hold MLP to a high standard, but it really seems like it has fallen from grace. And the deal with me is that I really don't find many things to be unenjoyable. Obviously stuff like "the nutshack" and a lot of modern family guy (just for a few examples) I can't really stand (mostly the nutshack). Like I watched crap like Hannah Montana and equally abysmal shows as a kid, and also didn't notice the bad episodes of good shows as being all that bad until I went back and looked at them.

 

At first, I thought I was just being cynical, that was until I watched other shows like Star vs the Forces of Evil where I really really enjoyed despite the occasional leap in logic (although logic doesn't bug me unless it's a gigantic leap in logic) and also going back and watching earlier episodes. I have to say season 6 was the least enjoyable for me personally. I did like some of the episodes, but most of my reactions to them are just "meh". 

 

btw I'm also not one of those people who are like "MLP NEEDZ MOAR ACCTION!!!!!"

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I think any level of standard/expectation for media you consume is fine, up to any including standards so high that there are only 1-2 series that you are interested in seeing in a particular season.    

 

However, if your standards get higher, or you feel MLP has dipped below the level you are happy with, the correct course of action is probably to leave before you get frustrated/angry/pessimistic/etc.

 

I want the people around me to be happy.  And I don't achieve that by complaining about things that i could just abandon and replace.  my life is too busy to contain something that I don't care about.  

 

Now, if MLP transcends into a hatedom for you, go find some like minded people and enjoy tearing the series apart.  I'm 100% behind you, so long as you aren't actively bringing down regular fans that are on a fandom website.  

 

HOWEVER:
If you have high standards that you believe MLP generally exceeds, your disappointment over a failing is justified, and your standards are not to high just because you give voice to those standards.

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I think any level of standard/expectation for media you consume is fine, up to any including standards so high that there are only 1-2 series that you are interested in seeing in a particular season.    

 

However, if your standards get higher, or you feel MLP has dipped below the level you are happy with, the correct course of action is probably to leave before you get frustrated/angry/pessimistic/etc.

 

I want the people around me to be happy.  And I don't achieve that by complaining about things that i could just abandon and replace.  my life is too busy to contain something that I don't care about.  

 

Now, if MLP transcends into a hatedom for you, go find some like minded people and enjoy tearing the series apart.  I'm 100% behind you, so long as you aren't actively bringing down regular fans that are on a fandom website.  

 

HOWEVER:

If you have high standards that you believe MLP generally exceeds, your disappointment over a failing is justified, and your standards are not to high just because you give voice to those standards.

I'm not too sure if I want to go to Brony Con 2016. I went in 2014 and this year.. But from the 2016 con, as fun as it was and all that I did, this fandom is negative and in great irony, a show that incites creativity and positive actions, has one of the most depressive and inane fan bases ever. We need to mature and change. I am only going to Brony Con 2017 if I get my friend from Arizona to go with me.. Going alone would be a waste of time.

  • Brohoof 2

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I like overanalyzing the show because I love it and I usually don't end up disappointed, but if I can choose to like or dislike something I'll choose to like it, when I don't like an episode I take my time to see how I could like it, and even if it doesn't work my attitude towards it changes most of the time. For example, watching the season 5 finale I didn't know what to think of Starlight's reformation, but I decided I wanted to like it and took some time to see where it was coming from, the more I thought about it the more I liked it, and now Starlight is one of my favorite characters. Another example is the first Equestria Girls movie, while I don't exactly like it now I have a more neutral opinion of it (I used to despise that movie). Of course that doesn't work all the time (like with Tanks For The Memories, I still dislike that episode), but it usually helps me have a more open minded attitude. How much you enjoy the show depends a lot of if you choose to enjoy it, and a lot of times people choose not to.

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