Friendship University  

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  1. 1. Like or Dislike?

    • Rarity: I don't like to judge solely on appearances, buuuuuut... *camera switches to show FU's gaudy façade* what kind of friendship school is this?! (I HATE IT! >__<)
    • Star Swirl: The only pony I see who is up to something is the pony in this picture, and it is not the princess I know. (I dislike it!)
    • Twilight *deadpan*: Sorry, "Plainity," but I'm pretty sure this…isn't enough of a disguise. *closes closet door* (…meh…)
    • Flam: Well, well, well, Miss Plainity, keep it up and you'll be ready for our next level in no time! *crowd gasps in awe as Plainity sits back casually with a big grin* (I like it!)
    • Twilight *reading postcard*: "Of course, if I ever go to a school again, I'll make sure it's yours. In friendship, Star Swirl." (I LOVE IT! <3)


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I really liked the little elements of serialization in this episode. I can't think of many times in this series (if ever) when an episode's plot has involved a character coming in from another ongoing plot that's beyond the scope of the current episode. Even with stuff like the keys in season 4, they were all stand alone episodes with just a single shot at the end to imply they were something greater. Starlight in season 5 was present in other episodes, but only in background roles.

 

Here, Neighsay just waltzes in and puts his seal behind Flim and Flam's school, legitimizing it and antagonizing Twilight even more, then leaves. Who he is and what he's doing only really make sense if you've seen School Daze.

 

Same with that Cozy gag at the end. Her being any kind of suspicious only makes any sense if you've seen Marks for Effort.

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All righty! For those who didn't catch the episode (like a certain deer here; har har) beforehand it will have it's US premier tomorrow! Be here or be NOT HERE!!!! :D

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(edited)

I stopped at the bigotry and "Ponies First" thing. I don't want any of that in MY Little Pony!" I'm skipping it in favor of Digimon Adventure Tri: Coexistence, with Ophanimon Falldown Mode, and Meicrackmon

 Then again, seeing Shadow the Hedgehog cast AVADA KADAVRA was better than the episode.

Edited by YoshiAngemon

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So, as usual with the even-numbered season (besides their brief cameo in Cutie Re-Mark) We get the the return of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, with Tweedleracist to boot.

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IT IS ALMOST TIME!!!!

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If FlimFlam ever released an album...I would buy it...no questions asked. :x

And StarSwirl! Woot!

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I know this already aired in Australia but this is my first time watching it so here we go.  I was happy to finally see an episode focusing on Rarity and Twilight, plus getting to see more of the pillars after the season 7 finale is something I wanted.  With that out of the way, I thought this episode was enjoyable and a solid continuation of the season's school plot.  Rarity as Plainity was amusing.  Also I have a feeling Cozy Glow gave Flim and Flam the copy of Twilight's book.

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My favorite line of the episode:

Spoiler
Rarity: [squeals] Now, I've read enough Shadow Spade to know the key to going undercover is rehearsing your backstory. [clears threat, in affected voice] I'm "Plainity". and I love bland old normal stuff. No frills for me. [normal voice] Okay! Your turn. :grin:
 
Twilight Sparkle: [groans] My name's Eyepatch. I have an eye patch. :maud:

 

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A good episode. I liked the return of the Sparkswirl and Chancellor Neighsay, the latter of which had some good villainy. I loved the musical background when Rarity and Twilight got disguises, as it reminded me of Rarity Investigates. 

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40 minutes ago, Sparklefan1234 said:

"Plainity" & "Eyepatch" reminds me of this:

And this is what Eyepatch reminded me of:

"Arrgh, I'm not a pirate!"

CXsBBLqUQAEPMxD.png

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(edited)

I just saw the episode in full today. I saw part of the Australia airing too. I liked how Twilight had to confront whether her suspicions where jealously or not. I loved how the episode was a comment on the U.S system of colleges. After just being in college myself I found Film and Flam's desire for money out of the school to be ridiculously funny as I often felt my college's Admin would look at me and all that would pop up in their mind was "$$$$" LOL. (My professors were great and actually admitted the college was a huge money racket LOL). I liked how at the end we find out Twilight actually doesn't mind another school teaching friendship so long as the students aren't being taken advantage of. I did like that Naysay appeared again since I think that is foreshadowing for later but I hated how this episode showed Naysay to be a really one note character. In "School Daze" while I hated his conclusions about other species his reasons for shutting down the school had some reasoning behind them which made him more interesting. Here it is just bluntly obvious Naysay's only reasons are racism, and he is a bit of a fraud to say the least since Film and Flam are using the exact same lessons as Twilight but they get accreditation so obviously Twilight's new looser way of teaching was still within EEA guidelines and should have been accredited this entire time! I hope Naysay ends up in a pony version of prison or something. He's also really shallow letting the school be accredited based on Starswirl's attendance but then again I always found racists, and ableists too for that matter, to be incredibility shallow. What could be more shallow than judging someone on something like skin color which is just a biological reality that nobody has any control over? Naysay's one note racism just feels so out of place in current Pony society though. In fact any time MLP depicts ponies being racists towards each other or other creatures it always feels a bit "Off" compared to the rest of pony society and it bugs me somehow like they are forcing a pony world to be more like our crappy human world. I get that they have to make the characters flawed and I'm so glad they do but the racism still feels forced to me personally. I hope we find out something about Naysay's past that doesn't excuse his racism but at least explains how he got that way. Like a flashback to the StormKing's occupation of Canterlot where Naysay was treated horribly by the invaders or something. Please writers give Naysay some depth!!!

Edited by StitchandMLPlover

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(edited)

After re-watching this episode I realized one thing I also like about this is the inclusion of Neighsay. No matter how much I tried, I can't bring myself to fully dislike him. His convictions are wrong but also recognizable as we see those same thoughts in parts of our societies.

I can't help but wonder if Neighsay is just a bad pony, if someone is manipulating him or if he's more like Starlight and something happened in his past that made him like this. I have no idea which way they're going with this but I'm kinda hoping they'll develop Neighsay's character further.

 

Edited by JH24
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(edited)

So as I suspected, I liked this episode better upon the second viewing. The one part where Twilight is hounded by the other ponies (including Starswirl) when they think she's making all these accusations out of jealousy is still a bit painful to watch, but overall I liked the episode.

So, why is it when Twilight and Rarity end up together they invariably end up in disguises? :laugh: Maybe Twilight would have stood a better chance of staying hidden if Rarity had instead made another rock costume like she wore in "Gauntlet of Fire"? :) "Eyepatch" was pretty hilarious, though, especially the post-it fake cutie mark.

One technical flaw I did find (and it's really minor) is why Twilight shouting her reason for the school being a scam is "because it's Flim and Flam!" She assumes everypony she was shouting to knows who Flim and Flam are and all their past schemes. But really the only ones who would know this are the citizens of Ponyville, so I'm not sure why she jumped to that conclusion - other than she was probably exasperated and, well, jumped to conclusions.

A bit of world-building was revealed in this episode - apparently Twilight IS capable of sending dragon-mail messages to Spike, so she must know the same spell Celestia (and perhaps Luna) created to communicate with her star pupil. Though it's also possible Rarity was just assuming Twilight could do this since she's a princess, the answer to Rarity's (Plainity's, lol) question didn't get a response since Twilight was distracted by the revelation of the course materials costing bits.

Speaking of Spike, it was nice Twilight seems to have taken his lesson of putting your reputation on the line for what you believe in to heart. I just wish she had acknowledged his contribution in that regard. :please:

The blackmail to try to stop the Mueller school probe really raised the stakes. I guess I really shouldn't have expected Flim and Flam wouldn't stoop to blackmail to try and stop Twilight from snooping around. Speaking of snooping, that scene of her poking around their office is amusing in how she asks beforehand if it's okay to enter. Technically, she didn't do anything illegal since she announced her presence, asked ahead of time if there was anypony in there that didn't want her to enter, and the door was unlocked and didn't have any signage stating it was private. Of course, the optics (especially with the photo) would be bad, so the blackmail was still an effective deterrent.

When Rarity revealed all of those crates of sewing machines she ordered, I first went :confused: because I thought she had used school funds to purchase them. It was good she didn't - because buying a bunch of equipment with public funds that you could use to help your own business would be frowned upon by the general public. It reminded me of an old scandal in Miami-Dade County public schools where the school superintendent and a principal of a vocational school purchased expensive gold plumbing fixtures with taxpayer dollars which were alleged to have been ultimately destined for the superintendent's home after the course had completed.

Another few bits of world-building to indeed confirm Twilight's school is free to all the students, yet from the comments Rarity made above there is also funding for the school which must come from somewhere. Unfortunately, the episode doesn't go into detail how the school pays for itself which is something @Music Chart Fan asked way back in the premiere. The same possibilities that existed then still apply today: Celestia could be sending Twilight a stipend as princess and Twilight is using that money to pay for supplies and equipment, or maybe Celestia agreed to pay for upkeep of the school outright. We still don't know if Twilight has any local taxation powers over Ponyville, though if she did I would think it would make her a little less popular in town, lol.

Rarity sucking up to Flim reminds me how good she is at using her feminine wiles to get what she wants. :pout:

Flim and Flam were stupid in the end, just like they were in "SSCE3K". When she revealed herself, they immediately go on and say they'll carry out their blackmail plan, even though they're all standing in the room with all the evidence that they're both crooks. You would think they wouldn't be surprised when Twilight threatened to expose them in that setting, but apparently they're dumb enough to indeed do that. =P

Anyway, an interesting episode. It hits at real-world events a lot closer than I expected it would.

Edited by Truffles

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(edited)

I'm glad that the Flim Flam Brothers at the end are still not reformed.

Some villains are better off staying villains.

I enjoyed the episode.

Edited by BrawnyCharger

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I have added a new YouTube link to the OP. It shouldn't be taken down now since it's unlisted. Anyways, happy episode viewing everyone!

@Dark Qiviut

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1 minute ago, BrawnyCharger said:

I'm glad that the Flim Flam Brothers at the end are still not reformed.

Some villains are better off staying villains.

I enjoyed the episode.

I'm glad YOU enjoyed it! I stopped it immediately with Neighsay in it! If it were up to me, I'd have the Flim Flam Brothers sent to Tartarus where Tirek would traumatize them into being GOOD, and joining a performance troupe headed by the Great and Powerful Trixie!

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I really enjoyed that episode. It was a pretty adorable Twilight and Rarity episode. :fluttershy:

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(edited)

I can't help but find it funny no one seems to have any respect for Twilight as a princess. That stunt Flim and Flam pulled on Twilight... just wow. 

 

 

Edited by JH24

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Just seeing Starswirl sitting at a desk in an institution made me happy despite this episode having some awkward moments. Chancellor Neighsay continues to show us why he has become such a despised character--Maurice LaMarche once again shows us why he is one of the greatest voice artists of his generation--though I was surprised that he showed up though it makes sense as he wanted to knock Twilight down a few pegs. Flim and Flam showing up yet again was a treat while also maintaining consistency. They've shown up now as key characters in an episode in every even numbered season since their debut so for me, it was a matter of when they would appear as opposed to if. Speaking of Twilight, maybe she should've used magic to give herself a better disguise as opposed to an eyepatch--it was funny how that one pony didn't recognize her with it.

I had heard that this was a polarizing episode but I don't think so. Aside from some awkward moments that made me pause the episode a couple of times, I enjoyed the overall experience it had to offer. Would I call this episode one of the best of the season? No as I think the school setting made it too obvious, but it wasn't terrible to the point where it's unwatchable.

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(edited)

Compared to something like "The Mean 6" or "Horse Play," this is a lot more reliant on dialogue and general character personalities, but I found this very fun to watch for exactly those reasons. I'm not sure the moral resonates strongly with the rest of the episode, which is just Twilight and Rarity figuring out what's wrong, but that's my only major complaint. Point by point:

  • I find it unsurprising that Flim and Flam indulged Neighsay's racism in order to make a quick buck. I find the show's complete lack of subtlety about this hilarious. 
  • Also, shout out to the criticism of expensive textbooks. 
  • Funny as both of these gags are, I find it weird that A. Rarity would give Twilight such a poor disguise, and B. Rarity would get suckered in by the Flim-Flam Bros.' school like that. Combine that with the fact that she apparently ordered sewing machines with no idea how she would use them, and I don't think she's really qualified to be teaching. 
  • Gotta love how Rarity will take any opportunity to dress up in costume. Her disguise here looks great and proves she can pull off any look. 
  • Early on, this places a lot of emphasis on the fact that there's any other friendship school. As suspicious as those advertisements are, Twilight really does seem to take the presence of a competing school a little too personally. That made the ultimate moral of sticking to your gut a little less satisfying to me, and I wish this had found some way to make her right while still having her learn not to be so bothered by competition.
  • Nonetheless, I did like the whole jealousy element, which brought a little more complexity to what would otherwise have been a relatively formulaic story. Adding Starswirl also helps. 
  • Starswirl seems a lot nicer and more sympathetic here than he did in "Shadow Play," and his more thoughtful attitude is a lot more appealing to me. I admit that I still wish the show had given us the kooky Starswirl from the comics, though. 
  • Flim and Flam are always funny, and even though all of their songs sound the same, I never get sick of them. 
  • Flim and Flam sort of steal the show, even with the presence of Rarity being silly and Starswirl existing, and while Twilight is unfortunately not given anything nearly as silly to do, she does have a lot of fun reactions to Flim and Flam's sketchiness. 
  • The Cozy Glow gag didn't register to me at all because I interpreted her as being sincere in "Marks for the Effort." 

Score:
Entertainment: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Themes: 7/10
Story: 7/10
Overall: 73/100

On 8/10/2018 at 12:11 PM, gingerninja666 said:

I really liked the little elements of serialization in this episode. I can't think of many times in this series (if ever) when an episode's plot has involved a character coming in from another ongoing plot that's beyond the scope of the current episode. Even with stuff like the keys in season 4, they were all stand alone episodes with just a single shot at the end to imply they were something greater. Starlight in season 5 was present in other episodes, but only in background roles.

  

Here, Neighsay just waltzes in and puts his seal behind Flim and Flam's school, legitimizing it and antagonizing Twilight even more, then leaves. Who he is and what he's doing only really make sense if you've seen School Daze.

 

Same with that Cozy gag at the end. Her being any kind of suspicious only makes any sense if you've seen Marks for Effort.

That's something this show's done a lot of lately. It's really neat. 

Edited by AlexanderThrond
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@JH24 I’ve noticed that as well. It’s like no one cares that she’s a princess. No one shows her any respect. 

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(edited)

Neighsay is looking pretty one-dimensional here.

Neighsay: "Hey. Look. I'm a xenophobe. Hate me. Or just notice me."

How do you manage to be an even less interesting antagonist than Fim and Flam? That's... kind of an achievement in itself. 

And what was this about other creatures using friendship as a weapon against Equestria? I'd say he's senile but he has yet to explain himself in any detail whatsoever. That'll probably come in the finale. Here's hoping he'll be something far less annoying than a broken record.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to put this little cherry on top. You see, you could have cut Neighsay from the episode without adjusting much of the script, let alone disrupt the plot.

Edited by Querch

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