Jump to content
Banner by ~ SFyr

The show and season-long arcs.


Recommended Posts

Why is the show so bad at doing season-long arcs? When they try to do a season-long arc, that arc only gets a few episodes focused on it, while 90% of the remaining episodes are slice of life. Look at how they botched the Equestria Games arc. Look at the School of Friendship arc. You'd think there'd be more focus on it. Instead, less than half the episodes of the season focus on it. To make it worse, we have like 10 episodes about it, and only 2 of the sound like they're going to develop the Student Six.

  • Brohoof 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


The show has ALWAYS been mostly about episodes that can stand alone and slice of life. The Season Arcs are just a nice secondary bonus. This show isn't like Gravity Falls or Avatar in terms of telling one big story, after all.  And it's NOT meant to be all a season arc.

Edited by SwitchGuy2018
  • Brohoof 5
  • teacup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


It's probably because they want to make the show as newcomer-friendly as possible. If a young girl (IE, the target audience) watches an episode of MLP, and is completely lost or can't follow anything, than they're not likely to watch the show again. Granted, it will always be a better idea to start from the beginning and work your way up from there, but like I said, it's most likely is Hasbro's best interests to make the show as welcoming as possible to increase their audience.

That's just my input, anyways. i could be wrong. :)

  • Brohoof 2
  • teacup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


To address

 

First "Muh SoL" argument: Half-arsing an arc is worse than having no arc at all. Be SoL or have some damn emphasis on your own stories. If you're gonna do it, do it good.

 

Second "Muh SoL" argument: we are living in the age of the internet. Children are not watching their shows on TV anymore, thus they can go watch whichever episode they want, and like most intelligent beings, they will likely start from the beginning.

 

There is no excuse!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I don't see this as a problem. There is no way to satisfy everyone – some people will think there are too many episodes about the school, others that there are too few. I doubt the Mane 6 (who also have other jobs) will have all their time taken up by teaching so it makes sense in a way to have episodes about their lives outside the school.

I agree with what @Recherche said: at this point, with the show getting new viewers, some of whom weren't even born when the show began, it has to be kept accessible to those who haven't seen all episodes. And in spite of the episodic format, FIM has always had more continuity than most cartoons aimed primarily at kids (compare it to the earlier Cartoon Network shows, for example). Not only does the show have fewer characters who appear in just one episode and then disappear completely than many other shows but we have also got several events that affected the show from that point onward.

  • Brohoof 2
  • teacup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I think it varies by the arc. For the Equestria Games, I would personally say there wasn't much to offer beyond the handful of episodes we got; as to the low quality of "Games Ponies Play" and "Rainbow Falls," that's subjective, but I don't like those episodes and don't have an explanation for how they turned out the way they did. Just incompetence on the writers' part, I guess. 

For the Tree of Harmony and those keys the mane six got, I think the idea was for the mane six to inspire others through their own epiphanies, and that leads them to unlock the box, but I really couldn't tell you why the mane six immediately stop putting even the slightest effort into searching for the keys or studying the box. This must have come from the show runner at the time just not running a tight enough ship; I bet they didn't even tell individual writers about the box. It sure would explain a lot. 

For Starlight in season 5, I'm not sure anything more was necessary. The Cutie Map almost seems like an arc, but the show never cared enough to go anywhere with it, which I must attribute to sheer laziness. 

For Starlight in season 6 and the School of Friendship, again it's due to not running a tight enough ship. The former is the most ambitious thing the show has ever done, and while I still appreciate what we got, it's hard to deny that there are parts missing. Meanwhile, the friendship school should by all means be a complete refresher of the series, but instead the writers seem to be convinced they have to continue doing the same thing they've always done, new context be damned. In both cases, either the show runner just didn't care, or was too afraid of rocking the boat. 

The show could easily do slice-of-life with the mane six while still doing each of these story arcs (except maybe Starlight) justice, and especially in the latter two cases, those new concepts are so fresh that they really ought to have dominated the season. Alas, that's the story of My Little Pony: a good show which could have been so much better. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


"Why is the show so bad at doing something it isn't even trying to do"

None of the arcs in the series have been set up for a 22 episode story arc (not counting two parters) from the Grand Galloping Gala, to the Keys, to the Luna CMC dreams, to the pillars, etc have all had the goal of telling a consistent story throughout a season that gives the narrative flow and a feeling of progression, which I think has worked well.

Look at Steven Universe where season five is getting a lot of criticism for too many SoL stories, why is this a problem to so many? Half the season has been SoL stories. The problem there is that SU hyped up a major season wide story arc and the slice of life episodes are meant to be just a bonus but in reality the SoL episodes take up way too much space and feel like a distraction from the arc. Why isn't this an issue in MLP? Well because the show is based around slice of life stories so that way we expect SoL stories with character development and maybe some world building and adventure, but the story arcs are smaller and feel like a bonus, it's the opposite of SU but works much better.

  • Brohoof 2
  • teacup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Slice of Life episodes are what MLP does best with the occasional adventure thrown in for when they need to start or end a season with a bang. I personally wouldn't mind seeing them tackle a season long adventure properly but I'll take what they are providing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'd rather the show not shift focus away from the mane cast, and I also like that it only focuses on plot every once in a while.  Like, yeah there's an overarching plot, but there are friendship lessons to be had in between, and I like all the fun moments we have with the Mane Six.  A lot of fantasy really thrives on the action and plot, and I'd get bored really fast if they spent too much time on the day to day life of the characters, but not so with FiM.  It's actually kind of interesting given what kind of world FiM takes place in, but somehow it's entertaining to watch Fluttershy look after Rarity's Boutique while she and her staff from that location work on a line for a fashion show.  Sure, they could be fighting a giant cyclops or something, but they don't have to be for this show to be entertaining.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Badges

7 hours ago, AlexanderThrond said:

This must have come from the show runner at the time just not running a tight enough ship; I bet they didn't even tell individual writers about the box. It sure would explain a lot. 

There's no way that wouldn't have been brought up in the writer's summit. And the reason why the box arc was handled that way is because it came down to network and executive demands. The key episodes had to be executed in a way so that they were stand alone and could be watched in any order, not counting the events of the premiere and finale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


6 hours ago, Marimo said:

There's no way that wouldn't have been brought up in the writer's summit. And the reason why the box arc was handled that way is because it came down to network and executive demands. The key episodes had to be executed in a way so that they were stand alone and could be watched in any order, not counting the events of the premiere and finale.

Ah, that makes sense. Explains most of these, but the whole school thing still seems like it's being played safe even with that considered. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


On 4/10/2018 at 9:51 PM, AlexanderThrond said:

Alas, that's the story of My Little Pony: a good show which could have been so much better. 

I'd call it a decent show that could've been so much more. At times, I wonder if the best thing I can say about MLP:FiM is that it's a little girl's show that doesn't suck.

But to answer the title, I'm fine with episodic storytelling because the creators can still expand on the characters and their world in that manner.

Though the OP isn't talking about the quality of the "arcs" so much as the show's lack of dedication to them. In that case, I'd say the show isn't doing anything unusual as the show isn't exactly dedicated to its more interesting ideas, e.g. the other alicorns who each come with their own slew of wasted potential.

I don't think a show needs to have story arcs to be good because the quality of the story arcs matter, too. As in, I'd take good episodic over bad story arcs. One example of a cartoon that I don't think did story arcs well is the 1990's Spider-Man, and I'm not talking about its production troubles.

Edited by Number62
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...