Clarity

Is there fanservice/pandering this season?

What's your opinion on fanservice this season?  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think the writers are pandering to the bronies?

    • Yes
      28
    • No
      8
  2. 2. Do you want the writers to continue with the references?

    • Yes
      20
    • No
      1
    • I don't give a cow's market
      15
  3. 3. Will the show take a completely other direction, directed towards the bronies instead?

    • Yes
      3
    • No
      20
    • Maybe cow so
      13
  4. 4. What's your general opinion on it?

    • It's great that the writers are acknowledging us and giving us hints. I like the references.
      21
    • I don't like the fact that the writers are pandering to the bronies instead of focusing on the show.
      3
    • I have no opinion. The fanservice doesn't bother me.
      12


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Lately, lots of people have been wondering about the various hints the writers have given us this season, most notably Slendermane. There were also other minor nitpicks such as the Grumpy Cat cutie mark, and references to other shows/musicals. No one can forget Derpy's appearance and Bulk Biceps being canon.

 

Do you think there's a bit too much fanservice there, and the show is starting to direct towards the bronies instead of the original intended audience?

 

I, personally, have no opinion on it. Minor nitpicks, such as these, are hardly noticeable to me, as I'm not a very observant person who looks out for a particular background pony among the main events. I watch the ponies that are actually part of the plotline, so the references don't bother me one bit.

Edited by Clarity
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I don't even understand why this is a PROBLEM to many...I mean, they give bronies, who are fans of the show, shoutouts and that is a problem? It isn't even on a major scale like Derpy was for example. I didn't even notice Slendermane until after I watched the episode and I think that is awesome! It did not effect the episode in any way at all so...what is the problem?

 

I ask this because I have heard people complain about this before and I don't see the negatives that they apparently do. Me personally, I a, perfectly fine with it. The writers want to acknowledge their fans? Cool, I say go for it. They have not overdone it at all, not even close, so they should keep doing what they do.

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slender_man_in_mlp_by_kitty_swag-d723e3l

I don't see it.

 

mlp_season_4_episode_8_grumpy_cat_cutie_

 

Seriously, it's non-existant.

 

Honestly, though, I don't care all too much. I'm into the fandom for the people, and I'm into the show for the ponies :D

 

That's what's important :D

Edited by ghostfacekiller39

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I'm pro panda LOL.  Now give me my back groud ponies with lines.

 

I want an episode with pinkie pie and vinyle scratch terrizing ponyville with dub step.

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It's there, but I generally don't care about it. I like that it's generally not blatant and that you can enjoy the episodes without "getting" the inside jokes.

 

But it seems like they're drawing more from internet memes and really fad-like jokes that will probably not be very funny in a few years' time. Relying on in-jokes too much may really date the show and make it kinda embarrassing to watch. It's not much of a problem for me at this point though - they don't seem to be running off the tracks with it yet - but I just hope they don't take the memes too far.

Edited by Powderpuff
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I don't mind it at all, also throwing pandas...yeah right.

I agree with you which say that its minimal.

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I think it's fine if it's rare and unobtrusive. Like if you didn't know the reference, the line or scene still makes sense. A rare bone once in a while is fine, but not too often.

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I think it's the storyboard artists that throw in those things in there. I don't have much of an issue with fanservice as long as it doesn't take over the show. I'll start complaining about pandering and fanservice though if Derpy gets an episode or Trixie joining the mane cast

 

 

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I think it's less 'pandering' and more 'animators goofing off'.

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Simply proof Hasbro's listening to us.

 

Unlike, say, WWE, which seems to both push most fan-hated things and bury most fan-loved things these days.

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I don't really think so, they're just having more fun now they have the freedom to throw in stuff like this every once in a while.

 

I honestly though ABs "licous" song was hilarious and it really caught me off guard(in a good way).

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It most certainly is pandering. They're trying to hold onto the brony population while they can before it possibly fades away. It kind of is a little annoying but it isn't effecting episode quality much...yet.

Edited by Rivendare

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img-2203663-1-slender_man_in_mlp_by_kitt

I don't see it.

All I can think of after seeing that it that post is that I need a new toaster haha.

|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

 

I absolutely hate when this fandom just grabs a word and puts it in everything everywhere. At the end of the day would you rather not have Applebloom make a reference to the 'licious' thing? No you wouldn't, so drop it.

 

Not talking to the OP or anyone specifically just the fandom in general haha. 

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Not a big deal as long as they don't go overboard.

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I feel like the poll options are too definite between the options of "love it", "despise it", or "couldn't be more apathetic". My feeling as a whole has been that the references are okay when they're done well or subtly, but that's far from always the case. In those cases where it isn't (and I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but) it breaks my immersion or makes me cringe.

 

I'm not saying that I hate the references, I appreciate the sentiment and their going through the trouble of putting them in there, but like a friend of mine once said, "a good reference is one you can enjoy if you know the source and one you don't even notice if you do not". That having been said, I'd like for the references to stay to some degree, but I wouldn't complain if hey were a little less frequent. I feel like as a fandom the animators and writers have done plenty to acknowledge us and I would personally love it if they provided us with stuff to reference as opposed to making the references for us.

Edited by Starstream
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Even if there's too much fan service, I really don't mind, in fact, I enjoy it. It shows that the show's staff are listening to us and interacting with us and I fail to see how that's an actual problem. As long the joke in an episode is still humorous without the watcher having to know the reference, then it's fine by me. 

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The pandering is so subtle that I don't even notice it until I go on the Internet the next day and people freak out about it.

 

I still don't see Slendermane in that picture.

 

Flutterbat has been the most obvious bit of pandering, but I don't care because it makes things more interesting.

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I can only see fanservice becoming a problem if it becomes excessive and detracts from the show itself. That just isn't the case. They're more ornamental than anything in the sense that they're just... there. I often miss the majority of these references and I'll be the one to tell you that the plot of the episodes flows just fine.

 

Maybe what's happening is that some viewers who get these references allow their reaction to disrupt their viewing experience.

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I still don't see Slendermane in that picture.

You can really only 'see' it if you're watching that section of the frame while the episode is playing. It's the movement of the shapes behind the foliage that shows it up, so screen shots don't really work. The shapes move as a unit, so it's a puppet of it's own that gives the impression of an eyeless light gray head with a black suit & tie beneath it. It may not be Slendy, but it's definitely odd as it's a piece of background moving without reference to anything around it, so it was deliberately put there by the animators.

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Fanservice is okay as long as it:

  1. Contributes to the plot.
  2. Is a reference that blends in and belongs in the canon itself.
  3. Used sparingly.
  4. Doesn't interfere or distract.

The "-licious," "Slendermane," and "dusty cat" references work.

  1. The "-licious" jingle (initiated by Tara Strong and expanded by the bronies) was hilarious, but resulted in Apple Bloom making a stupid mistake, causing extra friction between the Apples. The fact that it kept being referenced was a good thing because it wasn't a one-off gag where it was quickly forgotten. Stupid stunts equal consequences, and it was effective.
  2. Slendermane (a little bone by Top Draw, most likely) showed up for just a second and was so far into the background, you have to quickly pause it to see it.
  3. The dust ball of a cat is a reference of DustyKatt (one of the bigger names in the brony fandom), but it fits in PAP so well, you literally won't catch it unless you're really that much into the fandom.

But the brony references in Equestria Girls (minus a select few) and Grumpy Cat completely fail and are pandering at its worst. I'll first explain why Grumpy Cat doesn't work.

  1. The famous meme is taken straight out of the Internet and plastered onto the flank as a cutie mark. No ponification. No effort to blend it into the scene. It's the actual face of the meme as a cutie mark. It sticks out way too much and is too in-your-face. It's not like Chanel, Derpy, The Big Lebowski, the Nyan Dash (from The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well), or Sweetie Bot (in Equestria Girls), as they are blended into the canon. It's a vectorized image of Grumpy Cat's trademark frown and fur pattern, something you can find easily on the 'Net.

    If you're going to reference a well-known meme like the Grumpy Cat, show some effort by blending it into the canon and ponifying it. Don't rip it off and make people wonder if the artists lack the creativity to include interesting background ponies and organically blend pop culture simultaneously.
  2. Pop culture references are actually a gigantic bone to pick around and have to be inserted carefully. Like movements themselves, pop culture is very self-contained in specific eras. What may be "the thing" today may not be tomorrow. Memes in particular are responses to pop culture, but their biggest weaknesses are length before becoming extremely corny. Grumpy Cat is going to age in a few years, and as the scene in RTM revolves around a grumpy businesscolt with a ripped off cutie mark of a famous meme, the scene will look very cheesy (in a bad way) a few years from now.

The other moment of true pandering came in Equestria Girls via all of the brony references. The writing sucks, and the whole concept is extremely antifeminist. The brony references didn't unite the demographics. Instead, they divided the demographics by distracting the periphery demographic and merely made them just look for as many Easter Eggs as possible without concentrating on the quality (which is nothing to write home about). The only times where they worked are:

  1. The vendor painted as Sweetie Bot.
  2. Derpy in the credits as a treasure for those who stayed around long enough.
  3. Scootaloo doing the chicken dance.

To quote my EQG review:

 

The periphery demographic is segregated from both the market and target audiences, relying on constant current pop culture and brony references to retain attention. While it's fine to reference the brony fandom in the form of Vinyl Scratch (with and without her shades), Trixie, Photo Finish, and Derpy, it's important to balance everything out with well-written plotlines, intelligent dialogue, and thorough characterization; this movie forced itself to divide the demographics.

 

If you're going to reference the core brony fandom and older demographics at large, be careful and make sure they don't age so quickly. Otherwise, they're going to look really stupid in the long haul and will make people fast-forward to the next scene.

 

@@IHazTommyWiseau, And that video from SaberSpark and Blackgryph0n is extremely idiotic and exemplifies why I HATE the panda "meme" (it doesn't deserve to be called one)! What Saberspark and BlackGryph0n did was take every single criticism (valid and invalid) of pandering into one ball and attack a specific portion of the fandom via a derogatory strawman. I hate "Flash Sentry stole my waifu" because it's a strawman argument against people critical of his poorly written performance and role, and the "pandas" "meme" is exactly the same. That "satire" (to say it lightly) is unfunny and just plain stupid.

Edited by Dark Qiviut
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Maybe what's happening is that some viewers who get these references allow their reaction to disrupt their viewing experience.

 

 

To a certain degree, this is definitely the case. I have spoken to enough people who actively look for references to then complain about them. Keep in mind though that complaints here are coming from a vocal minority and that the complaints themselves do come in a legitimate, more reasonable form. It's just by people that don't lash out as loudly about them.

 

Now to play devil's advocate for a bit more, what I've heard many people argue is that they don't notice the references and therefor there is no reason to complain, and while I feel that might be true for references like "slendermane", where the reference is in a background corner of the shot, where you for all intents and purposes should not even be watching if you're paying attention to the main focus of the scene, that argument holds absolutely no weight in the case of stuff like "Power ponies" or "Castle Mane-ia" where the references are so in your face that the only way to not notice them is to not know what they're referencing. When someone has an issue with references as they're handled in those episodes I think they have a legitimate complaint. 

Edited by Starstream

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@@Starstream,

Castle Mane-ia... It was a fun episode to watch. It also felt like those old-school booby-trapped, old, spooky castles. For me, the writers made it work.

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@Starscream,

 

At least Power Ponies was still exciting regardless. But Castle Mane-ia? SO... BUCKING... BORING!!!

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@

 

They work for me as well, I was smiling broadly for a good part of that episode, but that's not the point I was making. The point I was making is that you can't just dismiss someone's issue with a reference handled like that based on your own personal preference. It is at the forefront of the episode and at that point it becomes something that those who can relate to the reference can enjoy and those who can not are left out by themselves. And out of the two episodes, especially Castle mane-ia would not have suffered from having more of an own identity. If the references weren't there nobody would have gone, "You know what this episode is missing? Scooby Doo!"

 

Edit

 

Case and point: 

At least Power Ponies was still exciting regardless. But Castle Mane-ia? SO... BUCKING... BORING!!!

Edited by Starstream
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