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How would you fix "Fake It 'Til You Make It"?


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Fake It 'Til You Make It isn't very good. The episode has an array of major problems that progressively worsen the more you think about it. Fluttershy is out of character for being abusive to her customers, friends, and especially Smokey and family. Rarity continues to display major incompetence as a business owner: asking her friends to manage her shop at the 11th hour and then talking crap about her Manehattanite customers behind their backs. The Manehattanite customers are all stereotypical representations and very unlikable. Rarity becomes out of character by talking shit about Saddle Row and Manehattan as a whole, implicating she opened Rarity for You for self-fulfilling purposes rather than to extend her generosity outside of Ponyville or Canterlot. On top of that, the jokes don't land, and the story treats her transformation of character very seriously, yet FS outright states she was pretending the whole time, absolving her guilt and making her apology really hollow.

As fun as criticizing a crappy episode is, FITYMI can be much, much better, whether it's rewriting bits of it and keeping the format or scrapping it in favor of a brand-new idea. What ideas do you have for improving Fake It, and explain how your ideas will improve the flaws featured in the episode?


Here are some of mine.

  1. Make the tone far less serious. The more laid back, intentionally sillier, and looser the tone, the better you can intertwine the jokes. The Saddle Row Review's format, surprises, and tone are why the jokes so well.

    Plus, clearly establish to both the characters and the audience that FS is only acting. Try to incorporate some jokes and lighthearted banter between Fluttershy and the Manehattanites to establish communication.
  2. Establish Fluttershy's moral compass. To echo @Scootaloved in the discussion thread, Fluttershy's abuse to Smoky and family makes no sense, because it disregards hr character. Rather than back the Manehattanite, when the Manehattanite spits her tea on the raccoons, she defends them and tells them to respect them, whether the tea is cold or not.
  3. Speaking of which, less caricaturing and way more genuine variety of the Manehattanites. As a New Yorker, this quarter-dimensional approach strongly indicates no one knows a dime about NY. My city is a mosaic of many people, some good, some bad, but are all real people. Treat the Manehattanites like real people instead of caricatures of people, and maybe establish that many of them are Rarity's loyal customers.
  4. Make Rarity much more responsible. Instead of willingly asking them all at the last minute, how about having to go on an emergency after an assistant (who's co-managing the Canterlot fashion festival) at Canterlot's sick, and she has to ask someone she trusts while she's gone. FS is the first to pop in her mind, who accepts.
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Those are pretty good additions, but here are some others I'd like to provide:

  1. If you're going to include the Remane 5 for the solution about Fluttershy's escalation, have each of them provide a viewpoint with respect to their character. This is a problem I'm noticing with the show in general, but the Mane 6 or otherwise are being treated as one group of mouthpieces, which might be what's making people feel like they have less focus. If you're going to bring certain characters, have there be a reason you choose those specific characters to be there. "Top Bolt" is actually a good example of what I'm talking about, as it has Rainbow and Twilight's suggestions play into their character. Something like that could be utilized here.
  2. This is more of a pacing issue, but if the focus of the episode is on the whacky personalities, allow each of the personalities more time to shine. This could easily be done by trimming some of the unnecessary jokes (such as Fluttershy being the last for Rarity to ask) to make time for each personality to have time to get established. There are people who have said that they don't understand some of the dialogue of the personalities, and this is likely due to those personalities not having enough establishing time.
  3. Give Fluttershy more of a reason to change her approach. There was one instance of that within the episode, but it didn't receive enough spotlight and it doesn't explain why she became more aggressive. Have the customers be more resistant to her approach which would make her feel as though she must escalate it.
  4. This is more of a personal gripe, but the moral of the episode of "be yourself" is not that great of a moral. A better moral perhaps would be something that is a bit more like "Putting Your Hoof Down" if you want to make a similar approach, but with more nuance, such as the fact that customers being jerks to you doesn't mean you can be jerks to them, or to trust your own judgment in a situation. I can't think of the best moral for this on the fly, but pretty much anything would be better than "be yourself". It's really a moral I think we should stop preaching in general.
  5. When Fluttershy is getting out of line, have Smokey and friends approach Rarity first. If you want the other Mane 6 to be there instead and have Rarity come in last, it'd be easy to explain away with a line of dialogue from the Mane 6 or otherwise that Rarity was too busy, so Smokey and friends came to them instead.

That's just a few suggestions, I'll put in more if I think of them.

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Alright, while I did enjoy the episode's comedy, I can say with certainty that it is not a "good" episode. Aside from in the animation department, I suppose.  I honestly don't think you can "fix" this to make it anything more than a decent episode. The premise itself just doesn't really work. It reminds me of "it's not the mane thing about you" in that it was probably some cool designs that the team decided to make an episode out of, except in Mane, it was well executed and worked with Raritys character, here Fluttershy is off and cheap laughs won't let me forgive what I believe is poor writing.
I suppose if I had to come up with a few suggestions-

- Write the mane 6 out, they had no place being there and their plans just being suddenly done is stupid, as well as the Raccoons getting all the way to ponyvile, that was jarring and uncalled for honestly as they didn't service the plot at all, they were useless and pointless. Have the Raccoons find a way to contact Rarity, maybe have Spike along for the ride just so he can write a letter to Rarity telling her what is going on. This way they could have resolved the issue more quickly and given Fluttershy more time to make amends for being so stupid.

- Maybe instead of Fluttershy just choosing to take her characters so far, maybe have it so some ponies call her out saying she is "fake" and Fluttershy decides she has to fully BE the part instead of just acting for it.

-Bring in some mystical elements to manehattan, maybe have a spell be involved with Fluttershy losing control of herself, I am not sure how it would work but aside from common activities, magic spells and fantasy doesn't seem to exist in Manehattan, I bet somewhere like the Castle of the Two Sisters would be a myth to them.

-Scrap the entire episode and instead have a manehattan episode with a return match of Rarity and Suri Polomare.

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22 minutes ago, Scootaloved said:

Give Fluttershy more of a reason to change her approach. There was one instance of that within the episode, but it didn't receive enough spotlight and it doesn't explain why she became more aggressive. Have the customers be more resistant to her approach which would make her feel as though she must escalate it.

This is the main issue I have with the episode (although it didn't stopped me from enjoying it, especially at my second watch).

Should Fluttershy had a good reason to escalate her acting, even the yelling at the racoons may have seemed plausible, by being under the stress to please the customers and too deep into her characters to realize her actions.

Edited by DonMaguz
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Cut out the back half of the episode and add a sub plot about Rarity and her fashion show drama. There was nothing wrong with the premise of the episode, it just didn’t have enough substance to fill 20 minutes, and that led to some bizarre writing choices to fill time.

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Honestly, I couldn't follow half the dialogue involving the customers' desires, fashion talk, and sales pitches. 

If you ask me, the dialogue should be rewritten so that even if you know nothing about shopping, fashion, and the like, you could understand what's going on.

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I don't think Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie, and Applejack were needed in the episode upon taking a closer look at what was happening. They were all practically dragged from what they were doing in order to deal with a situation that they weren't fully aware of aside from what Spike learned from Smoky and his family through charades--I personally thought that scene was humorous because of it--so they don't have much investment. If anything, it should've been Rarity, Sassy Saddles, and the three assistants confronting Fluttershy about the problem.

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I liked the episode, but I guess what would have helped would be just a small insert: When Fluttershy kicks everypony out of the door and walks away, have a subtle "..what am i doing?" expression.

Cause she believes she needs that persona to be successful at the boutique, and dropping it would ruin things. But she would have to have doubts.

 

Edited by Toastypk
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  1. Double the joke density. Instead of relying on a couple wacky characters and just leaving it at that, construct a wide array of jokes throughout the whole 22 minutes. 
  2. Forget the mane six and keep the focus on Fluttershy. The raccoons can still run to Rarity, and she can intervene alone, as the others are unnecessary. But we must continue to see this through Fluttershy's point of view so we can understand her reasoning, and therefore relate to her, and therefore actually care about the moral. 
  3. On that topic: give Fluttershy any reason whatsoever to dial up the nastiness. To tell the truth, I'm not entirely sure how this can be done, as her motivations are so incoherent that there's absolutely nothing in the episode to work with. 
  4. If the premise is unworkable, then change the back half to relate to Fluttershy becoming overwhelmed, or perhaps her personae-driven approach just not working. "Be yourself" is a simplistic message which the show has done before, so perhaps if we had something else, maybe more related to getting further instruction from Rarity, we might have something. 
  5. That cold open joke about Fluttershy being the last person Rarity asks is kinda weird. Maybe explain that briefly. 

 

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