TheAnimationFanatic

Scoring Each Season of Friendship is Magic (Season 4)

Scoring Season 4  

39 members have voted

  1. 1. What did you think of Season 4?

    • Loved it!
    • Liked it.
    • Meh.
    • Disliked it.
      0
    • Hated it!
      0


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(edited)

Scoring Season 4 of Friendship is Magic.

Edited by TheAnimationFanatic

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In my personal opinion, the weakest season. 

It tried too hard to do too many things, and while some episodes were exceptional, most of them missed the mark, therefore making this a very "meh" season in my book. 

 

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13 minutes ago, imawesome said:

In my personal opinion, the weakest season. 

It tried too hard to do too many things, and while some episodes were exceptional, most of them missed the mark, therefore making this a very "meh" season in my book. 

 

That's funny, I feel the opposite. This is arguably the best season of the show. It retains the humor, charm, and heart of the first three seasons, but with improved animation, more ambitious storytelling, riskier stories, and more maturity.

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@TheAnimationFana Well, I respect your opinion. I just think that low points like Rainbow Falls, Power Ponies, Twilight Time, and Trade Ya! were just the opposite: safe, boring, and lackluster. And while the animation was great, just look at how much better it got at Season 5 onward. Still, I agree it kept the charm of the show, but too many safe and boring episodes made me disinterested. And am I the only one who didn't like Twilight's Kingdom, and think Princess Twilight Sparkle is the most underrated FiM episode of all time? 

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I actually quite like "Twilight Time" and "Trade Ya!" I thought was very amusing. I don't even hate "Power Ponies" that much.

I will agree with you on "Rainbow Falls" and "Somepony To Watch Over Me" being lowpoints.

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This season has grown on me over time. In general, it’s fairly similar to season 2, but it’s a little more reliant on gimmicks and has a little less introspection. At the time it seemed kinda stale to me, probably in no small part because Twilight’s mostly boring throughout. But I like a lot of episodes from this season, and I think it’s close to the most overall polished season of the show, even though there’s more duds for me here than in the first two seasons. It pushes a bit further for “maturity,” but mostly avoids being too flat or didactic in the process, which is not something this show would succeed at in later years. I find it slightly less funny and slightly more emotional, for better and for worse. It’s probably where the show started to move in the wrong direction for me, but it does so fairly gracefully and with its charm intact. 

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2 minutes ago, AlexanderThrond said:

This season has grown on me over time. In general, it’s fairly similar to season 2, but it’s a little more reliant on gimmicks and has a little less introspection. At the time it seemed kinda stale to me, probably in no small part because Twilight’s mostly boring throughout. But I like a lot of episodes from this season, and I think it’s close to the most overall polished season of the show, even though there’s more duds for me here than in the first two seasons. It pushes a bit further for “maturity,” but mostly avoids being too flat or didactic in the process, which is not something this show would succeed at in later years. I find it slightly less funny and slightly more emotional, for better and for worse. It’s probably where the show started to move in the wrong direction for me, but it does so fairly gracefully and with its charm intact. 

Well, you know what they say about every party needing a pooper... :bea:

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My opinion on S4 has improved upon revisiting a while back, it has some great moments and really started showing what the series could be capable of capable of(which I think was realized in S5 and S7)

Hell, I don't even think it's "low points" were as bad as people make them out to be.

And no, I thought Rainbow Falls was alright

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8 minutes ago, This Whomps said:

My opinion on S4 has improved upon revisiting a while back, it has some great moments and really started showing what the series could be capable of capable of(which I think was realized in S5 and S7)

Hell, I don't even think it's "low points" were as bad as people make them out to be.

And no, I thought Rainbow Falls was alright

Season 4 definitely has the least amount of "lows".

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1 hour ago, TheAnimationFana said:

Well, you know what they say about every party needing a pooper... :bea:

Wait, hold on, I quite like season 4. It's a huge step up from season 3, it has like seven of my favourite episodes, and I prefer my least favourite episodes of season 4 to my least favourite episodes of any other season. I particularly liked those "key" episodes - the focus on challenging the mane six's core values made for some very good drama, and they tended to be among the show's most purely charming stories. It's a different storytelling mode which I personally don't prefer, but it's great in its own right, and while this season is a bit less experimental than season 3 was, it's still got somewhat more complex morals and mature themes. 

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53 minutes ago, AlexanderThrond said:

Wait, hold on, I quite like season 4. It's a huge step up from season 3, it has like seven of my favourite episodes, and I prefer my least favourite episodes of season 4 to my least favourite episodes of any other season. I particularly liked those "key" episodes - the focus on challenging the mane six's core values made for some very good drama, and they tended to be among the show's most purely charming stories. It's a different storytelling mode which I personally don't prefer, but it's great in its own right, and while this season is a bit less experimental than season 3 was, it's still got somewhat more complex morals and mature themes. 

I'd argue that this season is more experimental, tbh.

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(edited)

I would debate that season 4 is more experimental as well, even if the success rate isn't 100% - material such as Daring Do being nonfictional, a legitimate emotional exploration of Scootaloo's disability, the Power Ponies, Flutterbat (even if it was basically little more than a distraction from the episode's main conflict), Pinkie and Applejack's familial ties, major guest stars (Weird Al), development of the M6's (previously) largely enigmatic family members (Maud Pie), intense action sequences (the infamous Twilight vs. Tirek fight) and two simultaneous season-long narrative arcs (the keys and the Equestria Games, the latter originating in the previous season, which the show hasn't attempted since in any comparable form), when combined with the more ambitious lighting and storyboarding (particularly within the premiere and finale), renders S4 the most experimental of the show's initial half and a significant transition from the more comedic slice-of-life capers of the Faust era into the more bombastic and ambitious (and fanservice-laden) plots of Meghan McCarthy's tenure, a move which pays off for the most part. Although some of the episodes have soured a little on recent rewatch (largely due to lack of successful comedy, although the more dramatic angles of several episodes are strong enough to absolve this) and the season's treatment of Pinkie's character (outside the character monument that is "Pinkie Pride") leaves much to be desired (with a few exceptions, such as her rap in "Testing" and a number of isolated gags across the season), I find S4 to be one of the show's most refined and unique seasons, owing to its multiple potent explorations of the M6's characters in a way which affirms their past progress whilst endeavouring their entrance into new territory (many of the key episodes are prime examples).

Even the duds (with the exception of "Rainbow Falls", which I dislike largely due to its unusually wooden and cumbersome approach to writing dialogue) are far from bottom 10 material. "Power Ponies" contains a handful of successfully executed "dumb fun" moments ("it's been quite the maaaanneee-raising experience!" still causes me to crack up when combined with the animation of the Mane-iac's eyes rolling idiosyncratically), "Simple Ways" features some great dialogue and dry comedy courtesy of Spike (like him or not, Josh Haber is undeniably talented at writing Spike as a character, which may explain the popularity of his roles in S6 and S8), "Somepony to Watch Over Me" features the genuinely compelling chimera fight and "Trade Ya" is a fun watch regardless of its messier elements (although I dislike Pinkie's role in the episode more than most bronies seem to). It's seldom as charming and hilarious as S1 or as stratospheric as the highs of S2 (although "Rarity Takes Manehattan", "Pinkie Pride", "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Tolls" and "Twilight's Kingdom" are definitely up there and possibly equivalent or better in some regards), but S4's polish and more successful attempts at pushing the envelope of the show's content (ultimately resulting in the darker and more climatic tone of S5) pay off and make for a legitimately solid season. 

Edited by Them's Seeing Ponies

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1 minute ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

I would debate that season 4 is more experimental as well, even if the success rate isn't 100% - material such as Daring Do being nonfictional, a legitimate emotional exploration of Scootaloo's disability, the Power Ponies, Flutterbat (even if it was basically little more than a distraction from the episode's main conflict), Pinkie and Applejack's familial ties, major guest stars (Weird Al), development of the M6's (previously) largely enigmatic family members (Maud Pie), intense action sequences (the infamous Twilight vs. Tirek fight) and two simultaneous season-long narrative arcs (the keys and the Equestria Games, the latter originating in the previous season, which the show hasn't attempted since in any comparable form), when combined with the more ambitious lighting and storyboarding (particularly within the premiere and finale), renders S4 the most experimental of the show's initial half and a significant transition from the more comedic slice-of-life capers of the Faust era into the more bombastic and ambitious (and fanservice-laden) plots of Meghan McCarthy's tenure, a move which pays off for the most part. Although some of the episodes have soured a little on recent rewatch (largely due to lack of successful comedy, although the more dramatic angles of several episodes are strong enough to absolve this) and the season's treatment of Pinkie's character (outside the character monument that is "Pinkie Pride") leaves much to be desired (with a few exceptions, such as her rap in "Testing" and a number of isolated gags across the season), I find S4 to be one of the show's most refined and unique seasons, owing to its multiple potent explorations of the M6's characters in a way which affirms their past progress whilst endeavouring their entrance into new territory (many of the key episodes are prime examples).

Even the duds (with the exception of "Rainbow Falls", which I dislike largely due to its unusually wooden and cumbersome approach to writing dialogue) are far from bottom 10 material. "Power Ponies" contains a handful of successfully executed "dumb fun" moments ("it's been quite the maaaanneee-raising experience!" still causes me to crack up when combined with the animation of the Mane-iac's eyes rolling idiosyncratically), "Simple Ways" features some great dialogue and dry comedy courtesy of Spike (like him or not, Josh Haber is undeniably talented at writing Spike as a character, which may explain the popularity of his roles in S6 and S8), "Somepony to Watch Over Me" features the genuinely compelling chimera fight and "Trade Ya" is a fun watch regardless of its messier elements (although I dislike Pinkie's role in the episode more than most bronies seem to). It's seldom as charming and hilarious as S1 or as stratospheric as the highs of S2 (although "Rarity Takes Manehattan", "Pinkie Pride", "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Tolls" and "Twilight's Kingdom" are definitely up there and possibly equivalent or better in some regards), but S4's polish and more successful attempts at pushing the envelope of the show's content (ultimately resulting in the darker and more climatic tone of S5) pay off and make for a legitimately solid season. 

The highs of Season 4 more than surpass the stratospheric ones of 2, IMO. 

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It's an instance of different strokes - I liked that the best episodes of S2 were able to combine their emotional cores with more effective comedic moments (just see the infamous "Pinkie Promise" scene as an example), which is ultimately why I consider them to be among the show's best, but the highs of S4 are more polished and dramatically executed. I can fully understand your opinion here. 

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4 minutes ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

It's an instance of different strokes - I liked that the best episodes of S2 were able to combine their emotional cores with more effective comedic moments (just see the infamous "Pinkie Promise" scene as an example), which is ultimately why I consider them to be among the show's best, but the highs of S4 are more polished and dramatically executed. I can fully understand your opinion here. 

That's cool. Don't get me wrong, Season 2 has many amazing episodes, but Season 4 (for me at least) has less lows. 

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27 minutes ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

I would debate that season 4 is more experimental as well, even if the success rate isn't 100% - material such as Daring Do being nonfictional, a legitimate emotional exploration of Scootaloo's disability, the Power Ponies, Flutterbat (even if it was basically little more than a distraction from the episode's main conflict), Pinkie and Applejack's familial ties, major guest stars (Weird Al), development of the M6's (previously) largely enigmatic family members (Maud Pie), intense action sequences (the infamous Twilight vs. Tirek fight) and two simultaneous season-long narrative arcs (the keys and the Equestria Games, the latter originating in the previous season, which the show hasn't attempted since in any comparable form), when combined with the more ambitious lighting and storyboarding (particularly within the premiere and finale), renders S4 the most experimental of the show's initial half

Fair enough; perhaps it's just that season 4 is more consistent, which makes it seem less strange overall. In particular, the recurring key motif (it's barely a story arc) and the Equestria Games payoff are probably equivalent to those two season 3 episodes which take place at the same time. 

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(edited)

I understand your point. S3's shorter length may also play a role in its experimentation being more conspicuous from the perception of some (the intertwined Equestria Games episodes were definitely experimental, but accommodated two of thirteen episodes of the season (imagine if Pinkie and Applejack's journey to visit Goldie Delicious was intertwined across four episodes of S4) and were closer in tone to the Faust seasons, which is more noticeable against the McCarthy seasons' more experimental tone. 

Edited by Them's Seeing Ponies

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20 minutes ago, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

I understand your point. S3's shorter length may also play a role in its experimentation being more conspicuous from the perception of some (the intertwined Equestria Games episodes were definitely experimental, but accommodated two of thirteen episodes of the season (imagine if Pinkie and Applejack's journey to visit Goldie Delicious was intertwined across four episodes of S4) and were closer in tone to the Faust seasons, which is more noticeable against the McCarthy seasons' more experimental tone. 

It's also that season 4's experimentation feels a bit like a logical extension of season 3's, whereas I find season 3 was noticeably weirder than season 2. 

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Season 4 is my favorite season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic thus far. 

 

This season gave us great episodes like, "Rarity Takes Manehattan", "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3" and of course "Twilight's Kingdom".

 

I also really like "For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils", "Castle-Mane-ia" and "Pinkie Apple Pie".

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Season 4 had a few duds, but all in all the best season of the show thus far. This season has several of my favorite episodes of the entire show, including "Twilight's Kingdom", "Somepony to Watch Over Me", and "Pinkie Pride."

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This season definitely tries to be experimental and more mature, but it doesn't succeed for me. Of all the episodes, I'd say only 3 stand out as being great (Simple Ways, Maud Pie, For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils). The rest range from "good but there's something holding it back from being great" to "barely anything redeemable in them". Most of the attempts at being more interesting and mature don't quite reach what they're looking for either for bad pacing (Rarity Takes Manehattan, Flight to the Finish), bland execution (Twilight's Kingdom), or a lack of focus (Equestria Games). 

When the season isn't trying to be mature, it's usually pretty dull. For the most part, the comedy is barely there. There are only 3 episode that I can say are funny from start to finish (Simple Ways, Maud Pie, Trade Ya). The rest either don't rely on jokes, have other aspects distracting from what could be good jokes, or have bad jokes.

That said, there are some good things. For one, the animation is the best it's ever been. The cartoony, squash and stretch style may be gone, but the season still looks fantastic with improved lighting and some great atmosphere in episodes like Castle-Mania and Bats. And while a majority of the season isn't that good, there are a chunk that are pretty enjoyable to watch, even if they wouldn't make the top 10 of the series. Lastly, I like that the season tries to be experimental and more mature. There are a lot of creative ideas here that could've worked with better execution and many of the stories attempting to be more mature come really close to being great. There just needs to be more polish in pacing and the stories while making them more interesting with maybe more jokes or some more creativity. The creative experimentation needs to mix with the mature stories because in this season, they're mostly mutually exclusive. 

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Season 4 for a while was my favorite, before being replaced by S5 and S7. 

After the somewhat divisive third season, Season 4 managed to put to rest any fears fans had of the show becoming stale or going downhill. It's risky, ambitious, emotional, and the animation is a massive step up from Seasons 1-3.

The whole key storyline I feel works as a metaphor for the show unlocking its full potential, Going from a fun Slice-of-Life show to a full-on fantasy series.

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It's not hard to see why many people consider this season to be the best. 

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Probably the most consistent season quality wise, I cant think of an episode I truly hated, yeah "trade ya" and the episode about the breezies were mediocre however the rest were alright, even "rainbow falls" was in my view a good episode, and "somepony to watch over me" was not that bad.

Episodes like "flight to the finish" shows that they ready to take more risks and go to darker places from now on.

I think s5 and s7 were a bit better because they both had a few episodes better then this season even though they had lower points.

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On 3/30/2019 at 6:24 AM, TheAnimationFanatic said:

Going from a fun Slice-of-Life show to a full-on fantasy series.

Oh, so that's why you prefer the later seasons. Personally I prefer the slice-of-life stuff. 

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