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Scoring Each Season of Friendship is Magic (Season 3)


Ranking Season 3  

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  1. 1. What did you think of Season 3?



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Season 3 was weak, through and through. No episodes stand out as being in any way good. Sure, not all of the episodes were BAD (though I'd say 5 or 6 of them were), but... Most of them were mediocre at best. Not to mention, the finale was a total and utter train wreck...

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Season 3 never deserved a lot of the hate it got. It has some of the show’s best episodes and quite honestly, the “worst episode” are nowhere near as bad as some made them out to be(save for One Bad Apple, which I do think is genuinely bad),  but even then it has a lot of merits

28 minutes ago, TheAnimationFana said:

Not even "Sleepless in Ponyville" or "Wonderbolt Academy"?

These alone justify the season’s existence 

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1 minute ago, TheAnimationFana said:

"One Bad Apple" and "Spike at Your Service" are the only ones I would seem bad. The rest of the season is middling or solid.

Honestly wouldn't even call SAYS bad. Yeah Spike's a bit on the dumb side, but just about everything else carry the episode

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38 minutes ago, TheAnimationFana said:

Not even "Sleepless in Ponyville" or "Wonderbolt Academy"?

Sleepless in Ponyville was probably one of the better ones and I thought Wonderbolt Academy was okay. Still has far too many duds in comparison, though. "Princess Spike", "Keep Calm and Flutter On", "Magical Mystery Cure" (I swear I always want to sub in 'cure' for 'cancer' every time I even mention it)... Really the only three or maybe four episodes that I consider worth watching are those two, "Magic Duel" and maybe "Too Many Pinkie Pies." That is in my opinion what makes season 3 the worst season of the show quite easily, without any contest. Not even the inconsistent mess known as Season 8 can really compete with that in terms of just being bad.

5 minutes ago, TheAnimationFana said:

"One Bad Apple" and "Spike at Your Service" are the only ones I would consider bad. The rest of the season is middling or solid.

I can agree that those are two of the worst, though I personally think that most every episode aside from "Sleepless in Ponyville", "Magic Duel", "Wonderbolt Academy", and "Too Many Pinkie Pies" were mediocre at best (pretty much bad in MLP terms, because as a show it's been generally fairly strong with a few outliers. Too many of them just happen to be in the third season I think). 

Edited by ~Dusky~
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1 minute ago, ~Dusky~ said:

Sleepless in Ponyville was probably one of the better ones and I thought Wonderbolt Academy was okay. Still has far too many duds in comparison, though. "Princess Spike", "Keep Calm and Flutter On", "Magical Mystery Cure" (I swear I always want to sub in 'cure' for 'cancer' every time I even mention it)... Really the only three or maybe four episodes that I consider worth watching are those two, "Magic Duel" and maybe "Too Many Pinkie Pies." That is in my opinion what makes season 3 the worst season of the show quite easily, without any contest. Not even the inconsistent mess known as Season 8 can really compete with that in terms of just being bad.

I can agree that those are two of the worst, though I personally think that most every episode aside from "Sleepless in Ponyville", "Magic Duel", "Wonderbolt Academy", and "Too Many Pinkie Pies" were mediocre at best (pretty much bad in MLP terms, because as a show it's been generally fairly strong with a few outliers. Too many of them just happen to be in the third season I think). 

Well  every party needs a pooper, I guess.

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Season 3 is a pretty middling one. The season definitely has a number of standout episodes (including the obvious two, although I actually was surprised to find I enjoyed "Apple Family Reunion" more than I recalled, whilst "Too Many Pinkie Pies" and "Magic Duel" hold up better than expected) and even the 'lows' are not actually that bad (unlike the lows of other seasons (most bronies would be hard-pressed to name one redeemable aspect of "Rainbow Falls" or "Non-Compete Clause", myself included) - "One Bad Apple", as terrible as the moral is, at least featured a certain immortal musical sequence and is largely dull and forgettable outside of its third act (as opposed to consistently terrible throughout its duration as a handful of the series' absolute worst are) and I actually kind of enjoy "Spike at Your Service" on a guilty-pleasure level (everything involving Spike and his role in the actual plot is contrived and out-of-character, whilst the M6 (save for specific scenes such as Twilight merely glossing over Spike's resignation) are actually extremely well-characterized, particularly by Merriwether Williams' standards).

If anything, the most significant flaws of the season are its short length (which causes the season's weaker points to become more conspicuous) and its general 'atmosphere', which resembles S2, albeit more ambitious and ultimately less charming/Faust-esque - the latter is possibly symbolic of the show's first noticeable 'growing pains' away from the comedy and simplicity of the earlier seasons, but isn't ultimately a major problem, just a mildly disappointing one at worst - for example, "The Crystal Empire" attempts to craft an epic narrative with significantly higher stakes than many previous two-parters, but a few major issues (mainly how underpopulated/underdeveloped the Crystal Empire felt to me, which dissented with the grandiose way the story treated it) held it back and led to a 'style-over-substance' feel (to a more noticeable extent than the S2 two-parters, which at least featured more effective humour despite CE's sporadically more intense character moments on the parts of Twilight and Spike), whilst parts of other episodes such as "Magic Duel" and MMC are possibly the first examples of the series beginning to strain against its own limitations at the expense of a solid plot/characterization (which isn't helped by the decrease in the number of genuinely hilarious moments compared to S1 and S2). It's still a good season with some amazing episodes (particularly WBA, which ranks with some of the series' absolute best), but it's not the show's highest point either.  

Edited by Them's Seeing Ponies
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18 minutes ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

Season 3 is a pretty middling one. The season definitely has a number of standout episodes (including the obvious two, although I actually was surprised to find I enjoyed "Apple Family Reunion" more than I recalled, whilst "Too Many Pinkie Pies" and "Magic Duel" hold up better than expected) and even the 'lows' are not actually that bad (unlike the lows of other seasons (most bronies would be hard-pressed to name one redeemable aspect of "Rainbow Falls" or "Non-Compete Clause", myself included) - "One Bad Apple", as terrible as the moral is, at least featured a certain immortal musical sequence and is largely dull and forgettable outside of its third act (as opposed to consistently terrible throughout its duration as a handful of the series' absolute worst are) and I actually kind of enjoy "Spike at Your Service" on a guilty-pleasure level (everything involving Spike and his role in the actual plot is contrived and out-of-character, whilst the M6 (save for specific scenes such as Twilight merely glossing over Spike's resignation) are actually extremely well-characterized, particularly by Merriwether Williams' standards).

If anything, the most significant flaws of the season are its short length (which causes the season's weaker points to become more conspicuous) and its general 'atmosphere', which resembles S2, albeit more ambitious and ultimately less charming/Faust-esque - the latter is possibly symbolic of the show's first noticeable 'growing pains' away from the comedy and simplicity of the earlier seasons, but isn't ultimately a major problem, just a mildly disappointing one at worst - for example, "The Crystal Empire" attempts to craft an epic narrative with significantly higher stakes than many previous two-parters, but a few major issues (mainly how underpopulated/underdeveloped the Crystal Empire felt to me, which dissented with the grandiose way the story treated it) held it back and led to a 'style-over-substance' feel (to a more noticeable extent than the S2 two-parters, which at least featured more effective humour despite CE's sporadically more intense character moments on the parts of Twilight and Spike), whilst parts of other episodes such as "Magic Duel" and MMC are possibly the first examples of the series beginning to strain against its own limitations at the expense of a solid plot/characterization (which isn't helped by the decrease in the number of genuinely hilarious moments compared to S1 and S2). It's still a good season with some amazing episodes (particularly WBA, which ranks with some of the series' absolute best), but it's not the show's highest point either.  

The lows of early seasons are far lower than most later ones.

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Just now, TheAnimationFana said:

The lows of early seasons are far lower than most later ones.

I'm not going to lie that S1 and S2 had some pretty deep lows as well. I was using 'other seasons' in relation to them as well - I wasn't stating that I thought the lows of later seasons to be objectively lower. The dud episodes of later seasons are approximately comparable to those of earlier seasons, just in different ways (some may take more issue with the aspects earlier-season duds falter at whilst others are more frustrated by the qualities of later-season duds). 

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This one I like a bit less. I have a bit of a soft spot for it, because its episode concepts are just so experimental, but my favourite this season - "Wonderbolts Academy" - is probably one of the episode's safest episodes, which might say a lot for this season's problems. For some reason, I just don't like as many episodes this season, and while a lot of them hang around my middle ratings, their stories just seem less polished than the previous two seasons, and for how few of them there are, that's a problem. When those experiments pay off, like in "The Crystal Empire" or "Keep Calm and Flutter On," I found them genuinely exciting, whereas the weaker examples usually felt like too much of a deviation from what the show did well, without enough to replace it. Furthermore, this season ends with a massive, poorly-executed change, not to mention one of my least favourite episodes of the entire show. That would hang over it even if its quality was more consistent. But I don't dislike it as much as others seem to, and the short length also means that the episodes I like make up a relatively large percentage of the season, even though there's only about six of them. So, there's that, I guess. 

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19 hours ago, ~Dusky~ said:

Season 3 was weak, through and through. No episodes stand out as being in any way good. Sure, not all of the episodes were BAD (though I'd say 5 or 6 of them were), but... Most of them were mediocre at best. Not to mention, the finale was a total and utter train wreck...

I beg to differ. Wonderbolts Academy, Sleepless in Ponyville, Too Many Pinkie Pies, Keep Calm and Flutter On, and Magic Duel were all very good episodes in my book. 

The rest were all terrible. 

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For my money, Season 3 is the weakest. It still retains many of the strengths of Seasons 1-2, but, the formula was beginning to grow a bit stale and cracks in the armor began to show. You'd think that having only 13 this would mean less filler and more precision, but, Season 3 ends up feeling the most pointless. Very little happens in between the opening two-parter and the finale.

There are fewer low points than Season 2 (With only "One Bad Apple" and "Spike at Your Service" being truly awful), but there also aren't as many highs. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like this season. In a lot of ways, it's the most polished of the first 3 seasons with even better animation and a firm grasp on the characters and their dynamics in episodes like Too Many Pinkie Pies and Wonderbolts Academy. The seasons hits a lot of really high highs. However, the season only being 13 episodes means that any slip up is a big deal and season 3 has too many of those to be the best of the first 3 seasons. 

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  • 1 month later...

I actually love this season and think it's highly underrated imo. Many seem to have forgotten it gave us episodes like The Crystal Empire Parts 1 and 2, Wonderbolt Academy, Sleepless In Ponyville and Magic Duel, all of which were excellent episodes. Still I admit it has it's flaws, as episodes like Keep Calm and Flutter On, Spike At Your Service and Magical Mystery Cure were not very good. The rest of the season though, was fine and highly enjoyable. It might not quite reach the benchmark that seasons 1 and 2 set, but its still a great season.

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5 minutes ago, Nsxile said:

I actually love this season and think it's highly underrated imo. Many seem to have forgotten it gave us episodes like The Crystal Empire Parts 1 and 2, Wonderbolt Academy, Sleepless In Ponyville and Magic Duel, all of which were excellent episodes. Still I admit it has it's flaws, as episodes like Keep Calm and Flutter On, Spike At Your Service and Magical Mystery Cure were not very good. The rest of the season though, was fine and highly enjoyable. It might not quite reach the benchmark that seasons 1 and 2 set, but its still a great season.

Not sure if I'd rank it higher than Season 5, but to each his own.

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  • 1 month later...

Upon rewatch, I still enjoy Season 3, but it is the weakest season of the series to date. A lot of that might have to do with production issues cutting it down to only 13 episodes. 

It works as a conclusion of the show's first act.

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6 hours ago, TheAnimationFanatic said:

Upon rewatch, I still enjoy Season 3, but it is the weakest season of the series to date. A lot of that might have to do with production issues cutting it down to only 13 episodes. 

It works as a conclusion of the show's first act.

that’s probably why I give S3 so much slack, it had virtually everything going against it, shorter season, had to wrap up lots of loose ends, Hasbro wanting to force a huge status quo change in the end, the finale being reduced to one episode and going through several rewrites, among other things. 

I’d still say it’s a better season than S6, which had the benefit of having the most creative freedom in the show yet making most of the show’s worst missteps imo

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7 hours ago, This Whomps said:

that’s probably why I give S3 so much slack, it had virtually everything going against it, shorter season, had to wrap up lots of loose ends, Hasbro wanting to force a huge status quo change in the end, the finale being reduced to one episode and going through several rewrites, among other things. 

I’d still say it’s a better season than S6, which had the benefit of having the most creative freedom in the show yet making most of the show’s worst missteps imo

I'd say both Season 3 and 6 deserve a bit of slack. Season 6 had its fair share of missteps, but it was a transitional period with major changes to show shows formula. Its highs for me outweighed its lows.

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  • 2 months later...

I feel like this season missed out on an opportunity to tie more closely to the end of "A Canterlot Wedding". Wherein Twilight and the others have to repair their fractured relationships and rebuild their trust in each other in the aftermath of the Changeling Invasion.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/6/2019 at 8:06 PM, Lucky Bolt said:

It was alright...honestly could’ve been a LOT better in my opinion though. 

Agreed, although I still think that it's good(ish) season of television. The decision to narrow it down to 13 episodes hurt it.

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I find this season to be highly underrated. Despite only being 13 episodes, I'd say it's one of the best half seasons of the show and if there was a second half that maintained the same level of quality, I'd call season 3 the best of the show. As is, it's still my second favorite behind season 2.

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