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Season 8, Episode 8: The Parent Map

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Title: The Parent Map

 

Synopsis: Starlight and Sunburst haven’t visited their parents in a long time, but when they are called by the map to return to their hometown, they discover their parents are at the center of a friendship problem they need to solve.

 

Airs: Today at 11:30 A.M. on Discovery Family

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This just annoyed me. I felt it kept repeating the same points over and over, and I was way ahead of Sunburst and Starlight in the plot. They're okay characters, but I don't find them just being constantly annoyed by their parents very entertaining, and those parents felt unfunny and simplistic. And I don't like how every single element of the episode existed to reinforce the main themes. It feels inorganic and forced to me. Didn't have a good time with this one. 

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I was excited to see more of Glimmer and Sunburst as well as the town name they're from. Their parents are interesting, yet relatable. One interesting theme I see is gentrification with the town having a committee of sorts which is why it looks so damn nice. I have a feeling the town was run down back then (like NYC from the 1970's to the early-1990's, minus crime and craziness) during Glimmer and Sunburst's childhood and this committee was formed to help improve it. 

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3 hours ago, Thrond said:

This just annoyed me. I felt it kept repeating the same points over and over, and I was way ahead of Sunburst and Starlight in the plot. They're okay characters, but I don't find them just being constantly annoyed by their parents very entertaining, and those parents felt unfunny and simplistic. And I don't like how every single element of the episode existed to reinforce the main themes. It feels inorganic and forced to me. Didn't have a good time with this one. 

While I don't hate the episode as much as you do, I can understand where you're coming from. For example, in "Stranger Than Fanfiction", Quibble Pants plays a similar role with "guy who annoys the main character of the episode" as Starlight and Sunburst's parents, but at least there, you can see parts of his personality slowly reveal themselves over the course of the episode, which helps pace the story.

And it just hit me that "Stranger Than Fanfiction" is one of my gold standards for MLP episodes.

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58 minutes ago, WaterPulse said:

While I don't hate the episode as much as you do, I can understand where you're coming from. For example, in "Stranger Than Fanfiction", Quibble Pants plays a similar role with "guy who annoys the main character of the episode" as Starlight and Sunburst's parents, but at least there, you can see parts of his personality slowly reveal themselves over the course of the episode, which helps pace the story.

And it just hit me that "Stranger Than Fanfiction" is one of my gold standards for MLP episodes.

That episode is fantastic, in large part because Quibble isn't just two-dimensional, and in part because it's genuinely funny and exciting, which I didn't feel was true of today's episode. 

I could probably deal with this plot formula if there was more to it, but the episode just kept banging on the same points ad nauseam to the point that I was having to force myself to continue. I don't find the idea that the parents approach the town the same way they approach their children funny or interesting enough to endure it being repeated over and over and over again. 

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for me im a bit confused, i mean the story plot is nice and simple but i got a question?

does the table call everyone other than the mane 6. i mean this is also similar to surf and/or turf .

and now starlight and sunburst get called as well.

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Thank Celestia Firelight and Stellar Flare didn't hook up by the end of it.

 

Also:

1725833__safe_screencap_starlight+glimme

1725834__safe_screencap_starlight+glimme

 

What is it with city planners in Equestria?

Also also:

 

large.png

 

That feel when you've kinda lived through exactly that.

 

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I really enjoyed it, Starburst's mom is very unique looking with a cool accent and anything with more Glimmy Glams is great. I get the lesson about relationship problems with your parents, and how sometimes 'you can't go home again'. What I didn't get is, where was Glim's dad when she was sick with loneliness and rage? Absent minded professor like Indiana Jones's dad, or an insensitive cad? Inquiring minds want to know! :berrywut:

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1 minute ago, Snide Ways said:

 What I didn't get is, where was Glim's dad when she was sick with loneliness and rage? Absent minded professor like Indiana Jones's dad, or an insensitive cad? Inquiring minds want to know! :berrywut:

Perhaps telling himself it was "just a phase" and burying his attention in antiquities.
Which would kind of explains Starlight's complete lack of patience for the antiquing habits of Sunburst and Twilight in last season's Uncommon Bond.

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In the comics, one of the things that bothered me the most was how the Elements of Harmony lost their charm. Their... Uniqueness. Until they pretty much became a big stick anyone could grab to beat the big bad with. It's like they never had a connection to the Mane Six to begin with. In the cartoon, this manifested in this dumbass map starting to summon just anyone for missions... But I suppose I'm digressing and I won't go into how stupid this idea of the map is.

Instead, let's talk about the episode...

I don't know. It just wasn't funny for me. Not to mention that this is practically a single joke, prolonged until it got stale and rotted. in a similar way to "The One Where Pinkie Knows". But, with a little more story. I feel like there is a premisse, but that never got really developed into a proper story. It got repetitive. Honestly, I thought just it was boring. Uninteresting. It's that feeling when you're watching something and the story just fails to grab your attention.

I can't say that it was bad, though. Just that it was a dud, for me. But, I'm glad Starlight Glimmer didn't fix the problem with a spell.

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@Metemponychosis

Speaking of the dumbass map, I think it had a lot to do with how slow the pacing was. They needed something to get Starlight and Sunburst to Sire's Hollow and, while probably not the only way to do, was probably the most convenient in the eyes of the writers. The mission got in the way to the point where it sapped any potential chemistry with the children and parents, which, it just hit me, made "Parental Glidance" work.

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21 minutes ago, WaterPulse said:

The mission got in the way to the point where it sapped any potential chemistry with the children and parents, which, it just hit me, made "Parental Glidance" work.

This! So much THIS! These are the words I wish I had thought of to define this episode!

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On 5/7/2018 at 1:05 AM, WaterPulse said:

@Metemponychosis

Speaking of the dumbass map, I think it had a lot to do with how slow the pacing was. They needed something to get Starlight and Sunburst to Sire's Hollow and, while probably not the only way to do, was probably the most convenient in the eyes of the writers. The mission got in the way to the point where it sapped any potential chemistry with the children and parents, which, it just hit me, made "Parental Glidance" work.

I can see how the red herring map mission worked to introduce the (admittedly pretty lame) central metaphor, but the last two seasons I basically only found the map tolerable because it allowed stories to start faster, and now that it's starting to bog down the pacing instead, I just want it gone. 

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If nothing else, though, seeing it grow increasingly arbitrary makes me feel vindicated in having criticized it as forced and clunky for years now. 

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@WaterPulse "Triple Threat" was absurd. Spike doesn't even have a cutie mark. "Surf and/or Turf" and "A Royal Problem" are also offenders in this regard; I feel like every time it appears, the map finds some new way to annoy me. 

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@Thrond The only reason I can think of the map calling everyone, even Spike, for friendship problems is that some mega threat is looming on the horizon and the map wants to prepare all of Equestria when it comes. Problem is, the concept was kind of dropped after "The Cutie Re-Mark" and, only now, are they coming back to it. And even then, did "Triple Threat" really need the map? Remove the map, and it would have no effect on the main story. In fact, they could have done that in the first place and put more focus on Spike's conflict in the episode.

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15 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

@Thrond The only reason I can think of the map calling everyone, even Spike, for friendship problems is that some mega threat is looming on the horizon and the map wants to prepare all of Equestria when it comes. Problem is, the concept was kind of dropped after "The Cutie Re-Mark" and, only now, are they coming back to it. And even then, did "Triple Threat" really need the map? Remove the map, and it would have no effect on the main story. In fact, they could have done that in the first place and put more focus on Spike's conflict in the episode.

The map was in the show for two years before it started calling people other than the mane six, and I don't buy that all of these missions occurred over a relatively small period of time. 

Yeah, while I liked that the main story kept getting interrupted by weird stuff, it could have been something better than the map. 

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When the planning committee was first mentioned, there was a moment of hope that we were getting an episode dedicated to city administration. And then that moment ended.

That aside, for whatever reason I enjoyed this episode more than most, if not all, episodes in the last couple seasons. The "biggest" issue I had was probably that the message seemed not very applicable to the "target audience" of the show. It seemed to emphasize the different parental relationship when the child becomes an adult—as opposed to, say, "Forever Filly".

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I found this one...good. Not bad, but not amazing either. It kind of felt somewhat similar to Parental Glideance. I mean the whole child-and-parent(s) relationship. But I can relate to this one since one of my parents has enough from both of Sunburst's mom and Starlight's dad (sorta), and it's pretty difficult indeed. 

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I have many things to say about this episode.

First, the Cutie Map problem is in here. The problem I am referring to is the mysterious attributes of the Cutie Map that remain unexplained. Some say it is arbitrary and like a plot-device. It does seem that way, especially with it being used to summon Sunburst and Starlight and other characters outside of the mane six for no stated reason. I personally wouldn’t jump to that conclusion yet, but I am starting to lean that way as more ponies and creatures are being summoned. Hopefully the developers will explain this incident in future episodes.

Now I will shift my focus toward the plot, characters, and moral. The town ponies are well characterized for side characters, and their occupations add to this. I also love that Sunburst’s Mom and Starlight’s Dad are introduced. The parents of the main characters and some side characters are great parts of the entire MLP FiM series. One never would have thought that the parents of the mane six we watched since season 1 and Starlight since season 5 would suddenly become canon, yet here we are with all of them! I digress. Moving on to a different topic, Sunburst and Starlight are portrayed in a negative way in half of this episode, as they are completely oblivious to the obvious fact that the friendship between them and their parents is the real friendship problem; moreover, it is so obvious that even the town ponies see it. Of course, Starlight and Sunburst eventually recognize this and take immediate action, which then portrays them in a positive way. They took responsibility and told their parents about how they really felt about how they were being treated. This all links to the moral. Therefore, in conclusion to this part of my comment, I am content with the way the characters, the plot, and the moral was handled.

I would like to add that I am pleased with the world building. We actually got to see where Starlight and Sunburst grew up and know more about their past in Sire’s Hollow. Despite its mediocre appearance at first, this town is great when you look deeper. The walls give you a feeling of security, but it does spark my curiosity as I wonder what purpose these walls serve. This town also gives you two differing sections – the modern and the classic.

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