Dark Qiviut

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Everything posted by Dark Qiviut

  1. Dark Qiviut

    Ways to Prevent Spam Bots From Joining

    Ironic how spambots plagued the EQDF just hours later.
  2. Dark Qiviut

    Season 8, Episode 10: The Break Up Break Down

    I don't know who was nuts enough to think Discord, Spike, and Big Mac would make a great team, but whoever it is, thank you! This dynamic is outstanding. Big Mac, Spike, and Discord all act like they knew each other for years, even though this trio only formed in season 6. It's organic, they play off one another, and share great chemistry. Speaking of chemistry, Spike and Discord are outstanding in their best outings in probably the show. Discord's cynicism towards H&HD, and love in particular, plays off spectacularly with Spike, who's very optimistic. To think that only a few seasons ago, Discord was one of his enemies, but from the way they talked to each other and knew each other so well, you wouldn't think so. How they interacted with one another was among the multi-dozens highlights here, such as Spike criticizing Discord's pessimism to Spike intentionally teasing Discord for possibly having a crush on Fluttershy to Discord ignoring Spike's sappy romantic poem about Rarity. They know how to get under each other's skin without crossing the line, making their teasing all in good fun rather than mean-spirited. One of the season's biggest improvements — the dialogue — is really shown here. Every line's so organic, even when it's somewhat expository, gelling together. Every line oozed with personality and passion, whether it's from the O&O squad or the CMCs. The dialogue allows for not just some amazing comedy, but also some heart. More 'bout the latter later. The comedy here is golden! Every joke landed perfectly, from the dialogue responses to the satirically cheesy love music playing in the background as Big Mac rushes to Sugar Belle to Big Mac's drinking a barrel-load of cider to Sweetie's "Please say no." Oh, yeah, and that jab towards the greeting card industry by Discord is too funny. Oh, yeah… >Lyra and Bob Bon sharing H&HD bond & gifts >best friends Riiiiiiiight. XP The CMCs were also fantastic here. All season so far, they've been at their A-game. The episode recognizes them as kids, but doesn't make them so obnoxious. They were right to wonder where that mysterious pie came from and search high and low to find him. But the and does a nice swerve: They may not have found that actual special somepony for SB, but had a magnificent time together, anyway. Sweetie's small speech at the end had quite a lot of heart in it. Speaking of heart, as hilarious as TBUBD is, Confalone found how to balance it perfectly. Big Mac's sadness was somewhat over the top, but treated with the respect it deserves. His romantic feelings with Sugar Belle feel genuine, and you can tell by how he talked about the small stuff to Skeleanor, like how Sugar snorts and wiggles her nose when she giggles (something that Nyactis Mewcis Catlum pointed out a while ago in a status). Big Mac doesn't talk much, so when he does, you listen. After they cleared up everything, it was all okay again, and they had a great end to Hearts & Hooves Day. Discord's revelation of finally believing in romance works perfectly and marks my moment of the season so far: revealing to damage her wagon wheel. Why? 'Cause he believes it while remaining in character and figured out how to get them back together his way. Somehow, he predicted what Big Mac was going to do next. Really shows he cares for him as a friend. Derpy was great in her role as mailmare. Oh, and it has two morals, each executed masterfully: "Don't assume. Communicate with your friends, and everything will work itself out." "Don't be afraid to openly admit your feelings. Those who care for you will listen and understand." This one is my favorite of the season so far, because it's so relatable to everyone. When I first watched it in December, I watched a treat. Seeing it completed gives it such a fresh look, and it still holds up excellent. The Break Up Break Down isn't just the best episode of Season 8 so far, but one of the ten best of the show altogether, as well.
  3. Dark Qiviut

    Season 8, Episode 9: Non-Compete Clause

    I already watched it when it was leaked, and my thoughts remain the same. This episode is crap. AJ and Rainbow Dash were completely OOC here, especially the latter for putting her focus on winning Teacher of the Month over the Student Six's safety while rowing. Thank God FIM's a piece of fiction, because had it be real-life, the school and Twilight might've had their plots sued for negligence. This episode features easily my bottom moment of the season: Yona nearly drowning. You'd think for a second that Dash and AJ would stop acting competitive with each other, grow the fuck up, and learn to be teachers. Instead, they continue to qualify one of Neighsay's strongest criticisms of the School: AJ and RD act completely unqualified. You two, this isn't Fall Weather Friends; at least you two weren't that close at the time, and the stakes were much lower. Had they remained competent and in character, that canoeing accident wouldn't have happened, and Yona wouldn't have to have her life saved. The dialogue itself is lousy. Clunky, forced, and painfully unfunny. To make it worse, this episode feels a lot like filler. After thy learned how their competitive behavior got in the way, they started arguing again, and it was all back to square one. The only saving graces here are Twilight calling Dash and AJ out for their shit (and threatening to take over the field trip after Yona nearly drowned) and Dash and AJ getting nominated for TotM — them risking that reward will make them think about how stupid they behaved on the trip. Overall, a major thumbs down.
  4. One thing I learned over the years — every time a brony or ex-brony bitterly bitches, moans, cries about, and bashes bronies and the fandom for being toxic, they themselves hypocritically are — or support an attitude — more toxic than the bronies and fandom they claim to hate. :lol:

  5. Celestial Advice marks the season 7 premiere for FIM. All Bottled Up immediately follows it. If you haven't seen it, HD upload on Daily Motion (not mine). Please leave your comments on the episodes below.
  6. Dark Qiviut

    Do you still like Celestia?

    Dude, you're so paranoid of other people's tastes that you're threatening to kill people…over a KIDS' CARTOON! Do you even realize how delusional this behavior is? You need professional help.
  7. Maybe not you, but it may affect them. The ones who understand these political messages and agree with them. If that message spreads and makes others who know little about these politics more and more aware, then it helps further. They choose whatever topic they feel works for the show, and this can include politics. This is Hasbro's/DHX's show, and they can do whatever they want with it, but they also have standards of whatever quality they want to deliver. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes not. 1. These accusations I've been firm on and sill continue to stand by them. Why? Because when the show produces terrible moments, I refuse to stay quiet. But rather than blabber, I'm not afraid to point it out and back what I write up. 2. I'm not the only one who notices the crap you pointed out. I'm just among the loudest and the most relentless. Because I give a damn about the state of my country and the world around me. Politics shape our lives, and entertainment is one way politics are shaped, refined, and critiqued. Entertainment and politics intertwine, even when not blunt. You're factually wrong here. FIM's foundation comes from Faust, an unabashed feminist. One of her profound political beliefs is girls should have access to smarter, mature entertainment over the sexist drivel from the likes of G3 and G3.5. While she hasn't worked for FIM for so many years, her word still has massive respect behind the scenes. Dude, no one's forcing you to participate in political discussions in FIM, and your scapegoating is complete bullshit. The fandom is an independent bonus that doesn't affect the show's quality in any way. If you don't want to get involved in fandom activity, that's your choice. But pinning blame on the fans for losing YOUR OWN enjoyment of the show tells us you didn't genuinely appreciate the show in the first place. Here's a question. Are you onlyone from the MLPF, @newworld from a while back, and Cayo Toledo from EQD? I have a major hunch you are, because I'm very familiar with your patterned victim complex and how extreme you react to certain people and viewpoints. If you're not those accounts, then I don't care. Your terrible attitude is tiring, and you should start shaping it up before you burn every bridge built for you. If you are these accounts, I have more reason to be terrified of you than you to me. Why? Because you talked shit about me behind my back, slandered me on EQD, and wouldn't stop stalking me. I refused any contact with you, because I have you blocked. You threatened people with violence because an opposing viewpoint or opinion triggered you. Why did you constantly whine about me? Because I reported you for threatening to facially disfigure an EQD user two years ago. You threatened to kill me under your Cayo Toledo on EQD twice, after being given multiple chances to clean up and warned previously to mature or get banned. You were deservedly banned from commenting on EQD. Your refusal to grow up and get help cost you your commenting privileges there.
  8. In many episodes, the mane characters (whether it's the Mane 8, CMCs, or Discord) learn a valuable lesson. Sometimes, the lesson is standard and/or learned proactively. Occasionally, they learn it the hard way, and how they learn that lesson can be really difficult to handle. The one that comes to my mind immediately is Twilight from Amending Fences, and I still maintain it to be the hardest any of the M8 learned in the show. For so long, Twilight's mirrored image withheld her grief and pain because someone she felt she can trust and connect didn't take friendship so seriously in favor of over-studying. Each time Twilight tried to reconnect with her and make up for the terrible thing she did, Moondancer continued to reject every attempt at friendship, because the pain was so deep. Twilight's attempt to recreate the party she voluntarily skipped was her breaking point; MD finally let out the torment she suffered since devolving into a recluse. To make it tougher, Twilight had to watch her break down and cry, adding to the regret Twilight already felt leading up to it. Had she not develop and become the Princess of Friendship, Twilight might not have absorbed all of Moondancer's grief, but TS needed to hear MD's pain and absorb it so she could truly comprehend what it was like to be in MD's shoes. Can you come up with any other tough lessons the mane characters learned? If so, which ones, and explain why.
  9. To add to what you wrote, how she learned this lesson makes it stick. Twilight never caught the dangerous disease, because she had a good night's sleep, while FS spent all night reading and researching. Even as swamp fever rapidly progressed through her system, she continued to press herself to get that honey, and almost died from it.
  10. Two big reasons why politics are involved in stories: 1. They're fodder for story ideas. If any politics gives the writers an idea to run with, they'll do it. 2. Animation helps shape real-life culture. You may not wanna talk about politics or pretend they don't exist in the show, but animation is entertainment, and entertainment inherently political. You can't separate entertainment from politics. To echo @GlitterCat above, animation is a leverage to push for positive change.
  11. Dark Qiviut

    Nuke's FIM Episode review thread

    I wrote it before, and I'll write it again. Zeppelin is Fame & Misfortune written correctly. The story comes first, and is written with more care for continuity, effort, and heart. The lesson is outstanding. Every fan (including Star Tracker) has a real reason to be there, and they're treated like people than stereotypes. Furthermore, neither Tracker nor Twilight are written entirely in the right or wrong. It's a deep, nuanced story. Great review.
  12. The more I think about, the more I'm convinced (and thank MrEnter's latest review for F&M for making me think about it more). "We're a Work in Progress" is the worst song of the entire series. Worse than the bungled Cloudesdale Anthem, the CMC showstopper song, the generic songs from EQG1, Unleash the Magic, Awesome As I Wanna Be, or battle for Sugar Belle. Why? Because it tries to teach a moral — with a straight face — that is not only broken from a storytelling level, but harmful and toxic in real-life context, as well.

    1. In universe, the RM6 publish an autobiography of what they learned through season 4, but the stereotypical straw fans view it entirely as a work of fiction. We saw how the characters learned through every lesson, but their readers didn't, so unless they were very clear they learned and grew, they're going to have a wide array of judgments and opinions of their actions, both good and bad. When your premise is fatally flawed, the lessons run the risk of being hurt, too, because they're the driving point of every single episode. Every episode is narrowed to the lessons they're trying to teach.

      The moral within the song is a lazy coverup for really bad writing over the years. Flawed characters are inherently interesting, but characters being flawed is no excuse for them behaving badly or out of character. IRL, a person may regress and forget the lessons they learned. But RL and fiction aren't the same. When a character has to repeat a similar outcome and lesson again and again, the stories feel pointless, and the character becomes more of a waste of time than something relatable or intriguing. FS relearning from her mistakes is really bad writing. Yes, they acknowledge how they're a work in progress, but a declaration of improvement isn't evidence of improvement, and the episode puts forth no effort in showing that, not even when FS mustered the courage to confront her harassers.

      Thirdly, it's very hypocritical. This series has a long history of both reforming and redeeming villains and antagonists, like Discord, Sunset, DT, and Starlight. What do they all have in common? Their old behavior wasn't tolerable, and they recognize it. But rather than take it all for granted, they tried to improve and become better people. This song literally handwaves it all as a waste of time, and that it was bad for the show and reformed bad guys to self-improve, a complete contradiction of what FIM preaches.
    2. Apply this to a real-life context. Liking someone in spite of their flaws is a very reasonable message. But the song literally treats their flaws as part of who they are and what makes special as people. That's not a good message to teach. Acknowledging your flaws is fine, but how do you go about an improve it? By recognizing it and making sure you correct them. Individual flaws make or break friendships or relationships.

      To take it from a personal note, I used "objectively" and "factually" way too often in the previous years to the point where I used them more as reactionary buzzwords than concrete conclusions from presented evidence. Not to mention episodes I once wrote off as objectively terrible or bad (or vice-versa)…well, some of that has changed, like Bats! (from calling it good or average initially to borderline-awful), Equestria Games (from declaring it as one of the ten worst of the series then to being poor to mediocre now), Flight to the Finish (from calling it not good initially to being one of S4's big three), or even Stranger Than Fan Fiction (from calling one of S6's worst to one of the better episodes that season). Why? Because I gain more knowledge and understanding of the episodes as time and crappy episodes come by, and my tastes changed as a whole. I gained a better understanding of the craft and became better as a reviewer. (A part of me cringes from how I behaved back then.) Nowadays, I use it much more rarely, only apply it when I'm absolutely sure, and try to not fuck up when using it.

      What this moral's stating in a real-life context is how self-improvement is pointless. You're flawed? Good! You're fine as is. Uh, no. "Being yourself" doesn't work that way. This lesson applies perfectly in Aladdin, because Aladdin lived a lie and deceived Jasmine, his friends, Agrabah, and himself. F&M doesn't have that leverage, because the song, its moral, and those who sing it acknowledge their flaws and don't give a shit if they try to change and become better. "Changing and becoming better" being, y'know, one of the show's most important themes.

      And how does this toxic moral apply to real life in general? Here's some examples:
      Quote

      He never tries to self-improve, but that's okay, because I like him because of that.

      Quote

      He's a complete asshole, but being an asshole is what makes him so endearing.

      Quote

      She's a reckless driver who drives 30 miles over the speed limit and never wears her seatbelt, but I lt it slide, because it's part of who she is.

      Quote

      They're very abusive to their spouses and children, but they're fine as is, because they're flaws to their personality.

      ^ The song and attached moral were teaching that slippery slope of accepting bad behavior without concentrating on its implications. It's legitimately a dangerous lesson to teach, especially to kids.
    1. Dr Ned

      Dr Ned

      I agree that's a dangerous lesson to teach kids

    2. Anti-Villain

      Anti-Villain

      Quote
      Quote

      He never tries to self-improve, but that's okay, because I like him because of that.

      Quote

      He's a complete asshole, but being an asshole is what makes him so endearing.

      Quote

      She's a reckless driver who drives 30 miles over the speed limit and never wears her seatbelt, but I lt it slide, because it's part of who she is.

      Quote

      They're very abusive to their spouses and children, but they're fine as is, because they're flaws to their personality.

       

       

      That's not just a slippery slope.

       

      That's...

       

       

    3. EpicEnergy

      EpicEnergy

       

      Further Things I Want To Add 

       

      1. I actually like the song, but not because of its moral; rather, because of the music. However, I noticed what it was saying when I sang it out loud - our flaws make us special! What! They bond the mane six and keep them strong! Are you kidding me!

       

      2. I could give you reasons why the song is good in other ways, but I won't because what if a 6-year-old heard this song, understood the moral, and applied it? They would be like - hey mom, so you like me because I throw temper tantrums all the time? That is what makes me special? Is that what makes me strong? Is that what holds me and you together? 

       

      3. Twilight says, "our flaw are what brought us together". Liar alert! What brought them together, according to the overall plotline of the series, was the magic of friendship - they were destined to be friends, as they all got their cutie marks at the same time. Are their flaws part of that magic? Even if they are, that isn't what brought them together. Twilight didn't like Applejack because she was too honest. They didn't like Rarity because she sometimes was a stuck-up drama queen. Twilight didn't say - oh Fluttershy, I just love how you were so shy and not assertive the very first time we met; I love that about you. 

       

       4. " it's our flaws that make us work". So, Applejack's flaw of being way too honest worked is season 7 ep. 9 ("Honest Apple"), when she made legit everyone quit Rarity's fashion show?

       

      5. The developers could have chosen better words to put in that song! The concept should be that flaws are not the point of our book – what really matters is how we got over them time and time again, and how we learned from those flaws. We make mistakes, we learn from them. We work on our flaws. You shouldn't look at our flaws as seen through our book; you should look at what we learned from them and how that made us better. At least, that is in my opinion a better way of re-wording the moral and story in the episode. 

  13. Dark Qiviut

    Nuke's FIM Episode review thread

    What makes F&M even more insulting is who wrote it and how it came up. From the get-go, Larson didn't like the premise and wanted to change it into something that would not only work within the canon, but also make the citizens of Equestria at least somewhat redeemable. But his idea was rejected. Everything about the episode felt very out of character of Larson because he's a major stickler to continuity, his writings of SoL and Amending Fences, and his tight connection with the fandom. His panel at the con explains everything. When your very own writer dislikes it (and Silver Quill even said Larson hated it), that says a whole lot about how he feels about Fame. Given the circumstances, I don't think he'll write for FIM again.
  14. One complaint I'll never understand about The Perfect Pear is why DHX didn't state Bright and Buttercup were dead or how they died. They're missing the point massively. The episode explicitly states their passing, but treats their death as common knowledge throughout Ponyville. TPP ain't about figuring out how they died, but how they lived.

    1. Dr Ned

      Dr Ned

      I have no clue on that either

  15. Note: Credit to @Anti-Villain for linking to the trope on the EQD Forums several months ago, eventually leading me to inspiration for this thread. This thread is also connected to two other threads I created a while ago. One of S5's biggest strengths (aside from using the mane character's strengths to dominate the story at time) is telling a really mature story. When done right, it pulls no punches and tells a really compelling story with often mature and gray morals. S7 follows up that level of maturity in many episodes, too, but also adds another important element into it: not dominating one side of the conflict. Named "Both Sides Have a Point" on TV Tropes, several episodes present the audience both sides of the story and expanded upon that. Examples include: Parental Glideance: Windy and Bow sometimes act really hyper and get to the point of sometimes embarrassing Dash by accident. Can it get overbearing? Depends on your perspective. However, Scootaloo doesn't have parents around her all the time and dreams of having parents like them, because she feels neglected back home and doesn't have parents that stick around and really appreciate her. So, was Dash justified to feel upset at them for crossing the line? Yes. Was she justified to suggest disownment of them because they embarrass her? No! She really crossed a major line and showed a lack of appreciation for both their support and sacrifices. The episode and moral are right on the money. Forever Filly: Rarity's overbearing attitude was written to be in the wrong, and the motive to trigger it was really flimsy, but she has a really good point. She loves SB and wants to generate the memories that bonded them. OTOH, Sweetie Belle isn't interested in those same passions, but doesn't exactly say she's too old to abandon them altogether. She has a really important job and doesn't want to neglect it. Perfect Pear: One of the grandest daddies here. While the Pears' and Apples' tribal hatred of each other is very silly in today's world, it wasn't the case back then, both in Equestrian timeline and our own. Both families competed for supremacy and profit in Ponyville, leading to this lifelong feud. Given historical context, you can see where they come from. Additionally, so do BC and Bright: They loved each other too much for their families to separate them. But this plot presentation was used rather sparingly. Then To Change a Changeling aired, foreshadowing a major shift in the story structures for the rest of the season. Sure, TCaC could've written off Pharynx as some stereotypical throwback grump who hated change "just because" and wanted things to be the way they are. Instead, Lappin went for the high road: Pharynx hates the way the hive's run, because the Changeling kingdom is so complacent and doesn't prepare to keep the hive and its inhabitants safe. He has a very solid point, and luring the Maulwurf away doesn't guarantee their safety. When Haber returned to the show, the gray approach to conflicts took off: Daring Done?: Daring's upset from the collateral damage she caused. While the episode could've absolved her of her guilt and paint Somnambula's residents as the bad guys, DD? doesn't do that. At least, not entirely. She learns at the very end to be more aware of her actions and the consequences they may carry. Secondly, the citizens are absolutely justified to be upset at the statue being destroyed. Somnambula was so important to the town that destroying her statue comes across as a desecration of their ancestry and history. Mane Thing: Despite being told in Rarity's POV, the episode paints neither her nor the citizens of Ponyville as the bad guy. Rarity's justifiably upset for losing her mane, and thus loses her voice. She covers herself from embarrassment and says nothing, but Ponyville doesn't recognize her, consequently. A Health of Info: Twilight is absolutely right; Fluttershy needs to rest. The episode hammers in that lesson: FS catches swamp fever from Zecora, because she wouldn't sleep (shooting her immune system), while Twilight did. However, AHoI goes out of its way to make you understand Fluttershy's position. She believes she caused Zecora to catch it and would do whatever it takes to help her heal. Can you blame FS for thinking this way? Not at all. Marks and Recreation: S7's most underrated episode, outside of All Bottled Up. Rumble was the episode's antagonist, but he has very real reasons to fear getting his cutie mark. He loves everything he does, and he fears getting a mark will ruin his love for them. Rather than shooting him down, M&R justifies it: Apple Bloom loves making potions with Zecora, and Rumble asks her when she last did it. She couldn't answer. Was his approach (sabotaging the camp and making everyone bored) extreme? Yes. But his fears weren't unfounded. The climax handles his fear brilliantly: letting Thunderlane (a WB) lead the charge by giving everyone at the camp activities they love doing, and Rumble joins in. Zeppelin: Fame written correctly. The fans have a very real reason to be on the cruise and are treated like real people. Star Tracker's awkwardness wasn't excused, but he wasn't a stereotype, either; he's a kid who's eager to mke an impression. Think about this. If you won the opportunity to be with someone you idolize, would you be excited or nervous, too? Probably so. Most importantly, Twilight also has a point. She joined the cruise to hope she'll spend quality time with her family, and she accepted IW's deal so she and everyone else would be happy. She was justifiably hurt when she missed a moment so dear to her, but the episode acknowledges that taking her anger out on her family and not sincerely apologizing to Star for accidentally stepping on his hoof was out of line. Rather than undergoing the clichéd result of having fun and damn everyone else, Cadance informs her that she can establish her own boundaries, and Twilight asks everyone for peace. Uncommon Bond: Starlight understandably wants to bond more with Sunburst however she could, but Sunburst also has his own pastimes and accidentally gets caught up with her closest friends instead. Starlight's magic trick (changing the scene and themselves as if they were kids) was creepy, but it's in character, and the episode doesn't demonize her or him for that. Shadow Play: The granddaddy of this presentation. SP wasn't your straightforward good-vs.-evil story, even though the villains and heroes are established. Villains aren't completely encased in a vacuum. Heroes have their flaws and missteps, turning them into fuller beings. SP presented a high-quality story where you can understand everyone's perspective. That's how gray the conflict is. The Pillars are absolutely justified to feel upset at Stygian, accuse him of trying to steal their magic, and eject him from their group. During a very dark time in Equestria, Stygian stole their priceless artifacts and told them nothing about it. It was not a magically friendly era. But Stygian is also a person. He feels worthless in their group, since he's basically Equestria's Squib. Yes, he was wrong to steal, but you can see where he's coming from. Becoming one with the Pony of Shadows gives him status equal to his ex-friends, because the PoS listened and comforted him. On the other side, Twilight's reason to release Star Swirl et al from Limbo was really short-sighted of her, but her motives were also justifiable. Star Swirl and the Pillars altogether are Equestria's most important figures, and bringing them back can help make Equestria in a safer place. Unfortunately, she completely overlooked the PoS, and SS was rightfully ticked at her for it. She was so embarrassed for what she did that she did that she'll do anything to prove to him she's no slouch or idiot. With the PoS released and Ponehnge destroyed, the Elements were needed to push him back to Limbo and keep the Realm secure. But what the RM7 knew about the PoS was the story Sunburst told them and the Pillars' side of the story. To use the Elements to banish him again stung Starlight Glimmer, a former villain. Blasting them felt so extreme and didn't go after the source of the problem. Her strength as a detective took over here, and she was able to piece together the jigsaw puzzle. Seasons four and five really brought forth a mature approach to storytelling in FIM by telling really risky and adult conflicts and attaching gray morals, but S7's presentation feels even more mature by telling really gray stories. Many earlier seasons' conflicts were mostly one-sided, although they did go to a middleground at times; whether they succeeded or not depended on the execution. So, why is it important to tell a gray story? Like telling a deep moral or theme, you're showing a respect to the audiences watching it. FIM is an all-ages, family-family program with very young kids as the base demographic. Like I wrote in one of the threads linked above, kids may not the mature brain development as adults, but they understand respect. You're not talking down to them by writing a deep, multi-sided story. High-quality, gray stories show children stories and characters don't have to be so black and white. Some of FIM's best episodes prior to S7 — like Sisterhooves, Amending Fences, Mane Attraction, Lesson Zero, Winter Wrap Up, Testing Testing, Flight, Fault, and Times — were told through a multi-sided conflict. S7B ran with this trope and was successful most of the time. The majority of S7B would not have benefited without that complex approach. So, here are some questions for those reading my thread: What episode(s) would greatly benefit by telling a multi-sided conflict than one only? How would you revise the episode to make it better? What do you feel about S7's gray approach to their stories? Do you hope Seasons 8 and beyond continue to follow through it? Do you have any possible episode ideas that could tackle a conflict while validating both or more points equally? How would you go about it? Which episodic themes do you want to see tackled in a multi-sided perspective rather than have just one shot down and ignored?
  16. Give credit to Miami. They played fine tonight against the Pats. :)

    1. Captain Clark

      Captain Clark

      They did but you also have to put some blame on New England. Especially Tom Brady. He played absolutely horrible. Two interceptions and completed under 60% of his passes. 

    2. Dark Qiviut

      Dark Qiviut

      And had a Miami defensive line that was smothering him.

    3. Captain Clark

      Captain Clark

      Absolutely. He was getting hit more and harder than any 40 year old should. 

  17. I'll never understand the hatred for Glideance's moral. Was Dash right to be upset at her parents? Absolutely. But was she right to yell at them, swat Bow's hoof away, belittle them, and suggest that she wants nothing to do with 'em anymore because she embarrassed them? Heck, no! She took her parents' joy, love, and dedication for her for granted and considered all of it interference. Not a lot of people are that lucky to have such supporting parents; Scootaloo looked up to Bow and Windy, because they are the parents she yearned for and appreciated them. The moral shown and expressed was right on the money.

  18. "Being in character or likeable doesn't make the actions okay."

    It's a lesson I said a lot when it came to FIM, and the same applies to other shows, too. An action may make sense to the character, but if what he, she, or they committed is stupid, mean, or any other negative trait, and if it affects the story, you need something to tell the audience the story won't tolerate that kind of behavior. Soos is stupid with a heart of gold. Stan's an asshole and, to quote Mother's Basement in his GF review, "a conman with a heart of passable gold substitute." There needs to be consequences for their actions, and they have to be addressed by other characters and /or the story itself.

    Land Before Swine handles this perfectly. Before the intro, the episode doesn't portray either of them in the right.

    1. Soos's stupidity historically makes the situation worse for both the twins and himself. Although it started harmlessly, Dipper's already frustrated with him accidentally destroying the film. When he nearly runs himself over, Dipper confined to Mabel, worried that he'll only worsen their journey to rescue Waddles. As it turns out, he does — winds the ball of yarn and destroys the lamp, both without any malice. Dip's frustration mirrors our own, because without him, they'll probably rescue Waddles by now. In Dip's POV, Stan ain't taking Mabel's feelings seriously, and when you see how carefree and absentminded he behaves, you can see where he's coming from.
    2. Grunkle Stan is an asshole, and a lovable one at that. All series, his behavior landed him with some consequence, traditionally ones not affecting him. LBS's the first one where he encounters something supernatural and goes on a supernatural adventure, and with the others working to hide it from him, it's a big twist of events for us viewers. Stan breaking his promise to Mab is the perfect time for him to witness a supernatural creature (and nearly make him pay for it).

      But when he tries to be a bigger asshole by lying to her and saying it out of the blue when witnessing the underground cave of hibernating dinosaurs (with great use of continuity from The Deep End), Mabel was completely justified to be angry at him for reasons already stated. As long established both here and in the past, she and the pig are really tight, and losing Waddles means losing a really dear family member. If he won't care about Waddles, then why the hell should Mabel care about Stan? The voice acting (with Mabel's voice breaking as she disowns him) adds so much emotional weight to both the overarching theme of maturation and episode's of regaining trust.

    Aside from them doing bad or stupid things, LBS adds one more caveat: make them fix the problems.

    1. While they're trapped, Soos gets an epiphany, understanding how clumsy he is and may commit actions that really bother Dipper, but lets him know he's a good guy. Yet, even though he's dim, he's very instinctual. When he sees how the baby pterodactyl is looking, he knows how far apart their eyes are, so walking in a straight line takes advantage of his blind spot and allows them to escape the nest. Then when there's virtually no way out, he uses his strength to burst them up the geyser.
    2. When Stan tries to use Waddles as dino bait, he eventually realizes (through clever voice-acting and visual subtlety) how much Mabel really means to him. She's his niece, and both care for each other. If he loves her, he'll keep Waddles safe. And he does just that: strapping Waddles on his back and punching the pterodactyl to protect him. The adventure brought all three closer, and he tolerates Waddles now.

    This is in complete contrast to Old Man McGucket. He was absolutely reckless, completely unaware that his stupidity worsened their predicament, and continued to get into trouble. Reaching out to touch the baby pterodactyl was his grandest (and most gruesome) mistake.

    Mr. E didn't give it an Admiral for no reason. Land Before Swine tackles both jerkiness and stupidity, but rather than tolerate it, they inflict consequences to the story, the plot puts them in the wrong, and highlights their best qualities to help everyone resolve it and regain everyone's trust. It's a more difficult plot to handle, but done spectacularly. So far, the best episode of the series! :D


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: C+
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
    15. The Deep End: B-
    16. Carpet Diem: A-
    17. Boyz Crazy: D+
    18. Land Before Swine: A+
  19. Boyz Crazy done.

    No way to cut it. Aside from their often-animalistic behavior, Sev'ral Timez and their five members are nothing more than quarter-dimensional, boy-band stereotypes. There's nothing about them to actually differentiate from each other, sans the clothing and outdated, 1990's jargon. Their "personalities" are flatter than cardboard and can be shared from any of them aside from their clothes and slang. Jargon/slang is repeated way too often, flattening the dialogue and aging the gags real quickly. Every joke from them comes from being associated with the Dreamboat sub-stereotype of boy bands, acting like animals, or both without any extra dimension behind them; they're quick, shallow, forced, and repetitive. You can have one of these characters, add more dimension to make the character rounder, and write out the others entirely. Because they lack creativity, it's very difficult to care for them and their desires to be free from Ergman Bratsman. All five being trapped in a large hamster cage makes Bratsman really evil and controlling, but because he doesn't appear so often and is written out 2/3 of the way through, he loses his presence as a threat.

    Other jokes related to the A-plot don't work, too. Candy ramming into the soda vendor was pointless, and Grenda making out with a Sev'ral Timez cover was cringeworthy.

    Unfortunately, Mabel's desperation for keeping them in the Shack becomes contrived, too. Sure, every guy she liked ended in separation, but the episode doesn't do enough to show us why being around them matters so much to her. Being confined to a short braiding scene and a montage ain't enough. Give more time to grow Mabel's attachment to them. How? Maybe she helped them learn how to eat and drink, talk without relying on forced slang, new clothes to scream individual personalities for each, being able to walk on two feet instead of four all the time. Sure, the pacing would be pretty quick, and the beginning might have to be cut a bit, but Mabel helping them grow up and adapt within maybe a day or two would help her feels like she contributed to GF society and made their lives better. They'll feel indebted to her, and vice-versa. So when she does let them go (probably to a new house to something), freeing them will break her heart, but be the right thing to do.

    However, they keep their animalism and are released into the wild. Candy's line of them not lasting a day made their release really unsettling. Sev'ral Timez has no idea what food, water, trees, dirt, daylight, or probably a bathroom are. One of them almost choked to death from swallowing a tape dispenser. The forest of Gravity Falls is very dangerous, and they're completely unprepared to survive out there. What if they come across a bear, cougar, rattlesnake, or a supernatural demon? They can't defend themselves, 'cause for all we know, they don't know they exist. Mabel not forcing them to live in her room was the right idea, but the implications aren't thought out at all.

    Thankfully, the B-plot saves it from completely tanking. Dipper's wild theory of Robbie hypnotizing Wendy fits in his character and continues to progress their rivalry, but he also feels justified. The CD, packaging, and way he sang to her made him suspicious. Stan believing Dipper foreshadows the future of the series (and calls back to Tourist Trapped's last scene of Stan sneaking off behind the soda vendor). The episode subverts the accusation of hypnotism to Wendy being rightfully mad at Robbie for plagiarizing another band. She's justified to break up with him. Though she acted misandrist towards Dipper, it's not hard to understand where she's coming from. Wendy was betrayed one too many times and doesn't appreciate Dipper's lack of foresight after she felt hurt. Kudos to Stan for giving Dip words of encouragement after he felt terrible for what he did. There were also two really great jokes here:

    1. Stan spitting his soda in Dipper's face after the song may be a mind-controlling scheme when rewound.
    2. Stan ramming into a blocked road.

    Even though the B-plot's good, the awful A-plot really sinks this episode.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: C+
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
    15. The Deep End: B-
    16. Carpet Diem: A-
    17. Boyz Crazy: D+
  20. Finished The Deep End (Gravity Falls, Ep. 15).

    There's a boatload of comedy here in this episode. When the comedy lands, it lands really well. The best ones are Soos telling Dipper not to think about why the sun on his towel wears sunglasses, Mabel sneaking about to get to know Mermando, Mabel sighing in relief after realizing he doesn't have a girlfriend. Some dark jokes, like the pool boss revealing his prosthetic hand, Mermando not being able to breathe when beached, and Stan's back catching fire work real well. Initially, the Jail Pool Kid worked well as a dark joke, but because he was left there for too long, the joke became less funny and more sad, if not mean-spirited.

    Gideon makes his return, and that white-haired SOB remains as devious as ever. XD He and Stan continue their rivalry, but he reveals his cleverness and intelligence by always having some backup plan in case Grunkle Stan wants to take his spot. This show uses its continuity to its advantage, and TDE ain't no exception.

    This episode focuses a lot on Mabel, her crush angle, and getting to know Mermando while fulfilling her kiss dream. No, she ain't afraid to admit lusting over him, but as she gets to know him, begins to appreciate him for his caring personality. When he reveals how much he misses his family, she decides to help him, a side of her personality that rounds her character.

    The pacing here was really tight, although maybe a little quicker than others. Probably because the show uses jump cuts rather extensively, and the scenes go through rather quickly. There's a lot of content here, and it crams it through. But if there's one scene that doesn't work at all, it's the climax. The episode tends to rush his beached scenes and plug in a lot of comedy here, but this is the first time where he actually shows great danger, but the scene plugs in a quick "I think I'm dying" joke, and Mabel takes a picture of both Dip and the dying Mermando "kissing," severely downplaying the serious situation. Mermando telling them both they could've dragged him to the lake undercuts the tone more.

    Act 3 and the pacing can be filtered a bit (and the climax given more dignity), but it does a nice job overall.


    Grades (Boss Mabel grade changed):

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: B- C+
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-
    15. The Deep End: B-/B
  21. Clinton campaign, I have a protip: The Russia boogeyman didn't cost Clinton the election. Who cost her the election? The campaign for colluding with the DNC, sucking up to big corporate interests, Clinton's skeletons in her closet (both recent and otherwise), and Clinton being too egotistical to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan till it was too late. Trump's win was Clinton's own doing.

    But the Clinton campaign has its head so far up its ass that when Brazile outed the collusion, they had the gall to cowardly accuse her of being Putin's lapdog. Russia has already been treated as a Neo-McCarthyist scapegoat for quite some time now to cover up the political process's and the Clinton campaign's own failures. Jesse Ferguson and every idiot who signed his open letter to her made that xenophobic scapegoat a racist one, too.

  22. S7 episode rank, from best to worst! 

    1. The Perfect Pear: A+ (best of the franchise)
    2. Shadow Play: A+ (best two-parter)
    3. Parental Glideance: A+
    4. Marks and Recreation: A
    5. Discordant Harmony: A-
    6. Uncommon Bond: A-
    7. Once Upon a Zeppelin: A-
    8. It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A-
    9. All Bottled Up: A-
    10. A Flurry of Emotions: B+
    11. To Change a Changeling: B+
    12. Triple Threat: B-
    13. A Health of Information: B-
    14. Celestial Advice: B-
    15. Not Asking for Trouble: B-
    16. Campfire Tales: C+
    17. Rock Solid Friendship: C+
    18. Forever Filly: C+
    19. Daring Done: C+
    20. Fluttershy Leans In: C
    21. A Royal Problem: D+
    22. Secrets and Pies: D
    23. Honest Apple: F
    24. Hard to Say Anything: F
    25. Fame and Misfortune: F (third-worst of the series)
  23. Finished Bottomless Pit! Mabel's story is the best of the four. Finding those truth teeth because she's sick of Stan lying and scheming everyone makes sense, as kids normally have a B&W worldview of lying. The moral presented — sometimes lying is the best solution to solving a problem — is really gray (for a family-friendly show) and nicely framed. Some things, like Stan's gross revelations, are best left unsaid.

    If I have to place them all in order, from best to worst (with a grade):

    1. Mabel: B+
    2. Stan: B-
    3. Dipper: B-
    4. Soos: C-

    Avoid the racial stereotyping, cultural appropriation, and unfortunate implications, and you got something real good.


    Grades:

    1. Tourist Trapped: A-
    2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker: C+
    3. Headhunters: A
    4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel: A
    5. The Inconceiving: C+
    6. Dipper Vs. Manliness: A-
    7. Double Dipper: B
    8. Irrational Treasure: C
    9. The Time Traveler's Pig: A
    10. Fight Fighters: A
    11. Little Dipper: B-
    12. Summerween: A
    13. Boss Mabel: B-
    14. Bottomless Pit!: B-