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Today's episode that I will review is the thirty fifth episode of the Friendship is Magic series and the ninth episode of Season 2, Sweet and Elite. It is written by Meghan McCarthy and the storyboard artists are Kenny Park and Marshall Fels Elliot.

 

There is no information I can find about this episode so this will be it for the background info.

 

Rarity finds a difficult time trying to choose between her friend Twilight Sparkles Birthday Party and the new found popularity she had earned among the Canterlot elite. 

 

 

Positives:

 

1. Fancy Pants is one of the few Canterlot elite that you will like.

 

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Fancy Pants (right pony with monocle) and Fleur Dis Lee (left pony) here. 

 

This is perhaps the episode's most memorable character in Fancy Pants. The reasons are that despite how he's easily one of the most elite members of the Canterlot nobility to which he's able to pull the chains of other Canterlot nobles simply for liking this even if they themselves do not, he's surprisingly very humble in his demeanor. He treats Rarity and her friends not only with respect, even helps Rarity out to raise her Canterlot status to the elite, and even covers for Rarity when she fell on the sword to protect her friends from the sneering canterlot nobles by not only accepting her friends but even shows interest in Twilight's birthday dress, which of course the nobles ate up immediately after. 

He's a nice twist from the norm of the Canterlot elite of being stuck snobbish ponies who seem to care only for the world they're in and not wish to acknowledge there's a more robustic world out there. It was also through him that we get to see another positive point on the list.

 

2. This episode also helped Rarity attain a certain status among the Canterlot nobles that would help her career and dream out. Here's one thing about Rarity's dream as a fashionista that really entails another part of her goal. She also wishes to join the Canterlot elite. This is due to how the fashion world is often tied to among the elite circles around the world for those who can earn it. Rarity's goal of becoming a famous fashionista seems to be the vehicle for Rarity to join the Canterlot Elite. Considering her ties to her element of harmony, Generosity, the term Noblesse Oblige could apply to her once her goal is achieved.

 

Noblesse Oblige is the french term for Nobles Obligates. This means that a noble's obligations extend beyond entitlements and that they must fulfill social obligations to society to better it in some form of capacity whether it is to offer jobs to a large number of folks, donate to charities, being a philanthropist, and other obligations that would help the needy out using their prestige and wealth to promote help and care in society. 

 

This seems to be what Rarity's future could be where she attains noble status through her status as a fashionista and uses it to help make Equestrian society and other areas around the planet better and healthier in social order so they can feel better and proud of themselves especially through Rarity's Generosity.

 

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3. The song Everypony should know is pretty good too. We've had a song here in this episode that helps describe Rarity's rise among the Canterlot nobility as a favored friend of Fancy Pants. This new found popularity would enthrall Rarity as she gets to achieve part of her dream in rising in social status much to her delight but at the end of the song we do see a moment of sadness in Rarity for what she's sacrificing to help achieve such a lofty position among the Canterlot circles.

 

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With a good singing performance from Kazumi Evans, Rarity's Singing voice, this does help one to be enticed by the song and it's vocals. 

 

4. Opalescence had a small but good role here too.

 

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While Opalescence's role was small, it was characterful as it shows that beneath her spoiled brat exterior that she also serves as a sort of guide for Rarity in case she feels she's getting off track from her work and needs to get on it. This can lead to some humorous situations between Rarity and Opalescence if this is picked on further in future episodes.

 

5. The remane five were hilarious at the Canterlot gardens party. They've had some hilarious moments in the episode that I really liked when they went to the garden party, which their arrival made that whole segment funny. These are:

 

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Dashie always goes derp after she swings a croquet mallet.

 

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Took them long enough to like Fluttershy.

 

 

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Twilight's crazy dancing is probably the best and most hilarious moment of the episode.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. I did not like the Bellhop joke nor the redneck stereotype shown in the episode. There were two jokes however that I did not like in the episode. These would be the Overworked Bellhop pony and the redneck pony from ponyville.

 

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Could the two mares who can use telekinesis to grab and move stuff help move some of that stuff off of him please?

 

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The poor pony is a redneck stereotype. Rather insensitive of folks to portray him as such.

 

These two poor jokes were irritable in my eyes rather than delight me with laughter.

 

2. We had a contrived event where Twilight moved her birthday party all the way from Ponyville to Canterlot just to placate Rarity despite how Rarity had told them that she wasn't able to join them. This was a problem simply because they not only chose to bring the whole party that they had planned for Twilight and move it all the way from Ponyville to Canterlot all just to ensure their friend won't miss out on the party. I know that Pinkie remarked it was easy and that Twilight didn't mind the party being moved, but those points were clearly done to ensure that whatever points would call them out on would get mitigated by those quotes thus it helps to mitigate this forced plot point. But this was clearly forced for the sole reason to bring the issue of Rarity lying to her friends for the sake of the Canterlot nobles and her needs directly.

 

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Happy ponies

 

 

3. Rarity was not only very selfish throughout the episode for deciding to pick her status over her friends but she relatively gets away with it too. As @Sparklefan1234 made mention of, the trope they used is the 'two timer date trope', which means that it's based on a premise where someone is trying to get away with two dates at once and is trying to date both of them successfully without any of them realizing what is going on. In this case, Rarity was trying to juggle between her new found rising social status in Canterlot and her promise to attend her friend's birthday party and this came to a head at within the 2nd half where Rarity was busy trying to attend both parties without any of the party goers realizing it.

 

Now it's not to say that Rarity isn't without merit as at least I could understand that because she wants to nurse her rising social status and especially in front of the two ponies who earlier had mocked her for her upbringing would be inviting her to the Canterlot Gardens party. But she grew more selfish for that social status to the point she actually chose them over her friends and the birthday party she had promised to attend. Even the dress she made for Twilight was a lazy half ass job from her as she was choosing to party with the Canterlot Elite over finishing the work she had promised to Twilight to what she had in mind. Sure she may have fell on the sword when she did got caught, but even than it was not her original intention as it were up to her she would keep the lie she had going at the party from her friends. But most damning of it all is that it seems the narration wanted to avoid having Rarity be called out for it. None of her friends called her out when it was shown she was going to another party next door without telling them that and was even lying to them to cover it. They not only are accepting of it but they even go to the party too much to Rarity's chagrin but again she got away with it without so much as a complaint. This was a moment I feel her friends really should've reprimanded Rarity for lying to them about her intent and call her out for choosing the Canterlot circle over Twilight's birthday party she had promised to attend to.

 

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Yea not exactly a good moment for you Rarity, even if you had merit to choose what you did. 

 

 

 

 

 

4. DHX also totally forgot about Spike in the episode. As @RK_Striker_JK_5 had made mention of, this is one of biggest oversights DHX had made in the series, not involving Spike in the episode at all. Considering how close he is to Twilight and especially at how he's been with her since she hatched his egg, you would expect he would be the one to join the party too. Not only he wasn't, but they didn't even mentioned him at all. When you consider of how they moved the party away from Ponyville to Canterlot without him, this leaves a poor implication that he was not notified of the event and was left out to be hung dry alone with Owlicious. 

 

Conclusion: Sweet and Elite is a rather problematic episode that does at least have some good things to it. While I did not approve of the Redneck stereotype and the overworked bellhop joke, it did had that hilarious Canterlot Gardens scene to make up for it. While it did develop Rarity's relationship with the Canterlot elite, but she achieved it through selfish guile and got away with it. Fancy Pants is a likable character but the plot had a contrived plot point in order to push it to where Rarity is confronted with the problem she tried to avoid facing. It had a pretty good song number and a minor character building for Opalescence, but they totally missed out on including Spike in the episode. Overall, this episode had many good points to it's favor and some good entertainment value but also many problems to it's plot that would irk many folks.

 

Score: 7.0/10

 

Grade: D+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sparklefan1234 said:

@Nuke87654

 

"Sweet & Elite" is my least favorite pre- "Simple Ways" Rarity episode 

 

because, of how selfish Rarity is & also because, I hate the "Two Timer Date" trope.

 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TwoTimerDate

I'll need to add to my review later. Ty for mentioning that trope @Sparklefan1234

 

3 minutes ago, ChB said:

@Nuke87654

Who do you think is the best MLP writer, so far?

Out of all of them, I would have to say Meghan McCarthy as I feel she started off stronger than MA Larson and Amy Keating Rogers did for the show and was the headwriter from S2-S4. She's really good at writing slice of life and character episodes though she does a have a weakness at her adventure episodes and two parters are weaker in comparison. Now for the other two, Amy took some time but finished as probably S5's best writer by the end of it. MA Larson is probably the best writer for writing adventure episodes but his slice of life episodes till S3 and beyond hit were not so strong as the other two were.

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3 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

1. Fancy Pants is one of the few Canterlot elite that you will like.

I like them all. :D No, really. With the exception of Blueblood, Jet Set/Upper Crust from this episode and that food critic from that season six episode... I can't really think of anything really bad about them. As I mentioned in Best Night Ever, genuinely evil bastards like Discord, Starlight Glimmer and Chrysalis get way more leeway in the fandom than characters whose worst crime is... enjoying a fancy party.

 

3 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

and even covers for Rarity when she fell on the sword to protect her friends from the sneering canterlot nobles by not only accepting her friends but even shows interest in Twilight's birthday dress, which of course the nobles ate up immediately after. 

You mean the 'sneering Canterlot nobles' who had their party ruined and suffered some cases of near-assault by ponies who gate-crashed? Yeah. They had every reason to have Twilight and the others tossed in jail.

 

3 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

5. The remane five were hilarious at the Canterlot gardens party. They've had some hilarious moments in the episode that I really liked when they went to the garden party, which their arrival made that whole segment funny. These are:

I think... we shall agree to disagree on this one. Because I felt horrible for the other guests.

3 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

4. DHX also totally forgot about Spike in the episode. As @RK_Striker_JK_5 had made mention of, this is one of biggest oversights DHX had made in the series, not involving Spike in the episode at all. Considering how close he is to Twilight and especially at how he's been with her since she hatched his egg, you would expect he would be the one to join the party too. Not only he wasn't, but they didn't even mentioned him at all. When you consider of how they moved the party away from Ponyville to Canterlot without him, this leaves a poor implication that he was not notified of the event and was left out to be hung dry alone with Owlicious. 

Thank you. :) And yes, it's bullshit that he wasn't invited to the party.

 

Overall I liked this episode, except the ending. And it pretty much cemented in my mind that the Canterlot populace... really has done nothing to earn the reputation that the fandom's given them. I'm sorry, but they're not bad ponies and I took a shine to them here.

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2 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I like them all. :D No, really. With the exception of Blueblood, Jet Set/Upper Crust from this episode and that food critic from that season six episode... I can't really think of anything really bad about them. As I mentioned in Best Night Ever, genuinely evil bastards like Discord, Starlight Glimmer and Chrysalis get way more leeway in the fandom than characters whose worst crime is... enjoying a fancy party.

 

You mean the 'sneering Canterlot nobles' who had their party ruined and suffered some cases of near-assault by ponies who gate-crashed? Yeah. They had every reason to have Twilight and the others tossed in jail.

 

I think... we shall agree to disagree on this one. Because I felt horrible for the other guests.

Thank you. :) And yes, it's bullshit that he wasn't invited to the party.

 

Overall I liked this episode, except the ending. And it pretty much cemented in my mind that the Canterlot populace... really has done nothing to earn the reputation that the fandom's given them. I'm sorry, but they're not bad ponies and I took a shine to them here.

I understand what you mean. Just the issue is that we're not given enough on em to really bond with upper class and the episode's lesson doesn't quite help them either.

 

What I meant sneering I mean at Rarity's expense since they were starting to rip up a storm at how Rarity was from Ponyville.

 

Aye, I did felt the scene was meant to be funny and to poke fun at how different the two classes of ponies are at partying.

 

They don't really deserve the same scorn as say one would say about Starlight Glimmer. Just the issue is is that outside of Fancy pants and a few others, we haven't had a canterlot noble to really like and those that are likable aren't given enough appearances to make up for that. It's a case of folks not knowing enough about them and how they are in more detail and thus it's up to the audience own personal interpretation of it.

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9 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

What I meant sneering I mean at Rarity's expense since they were starting to rip up a storm at how Rarity was from Ponyville.

I... think we're talking about two different points in the episode. I'm talking about the Garden Party, where they had their party ruined. Are you talking about where Rarity meets Jet Set and Upper Crust, and Hayseed Turnip Truck acts like an idiot? If that's what you're talking about, then yeah. Those two were jackasses there. No argument from me.

 

11 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

They don't really deserve the same scorn as say one would say about Starlight Glimmer. Just the issue is is that outside of Fancy pants and a few others, we haven't had a canterlot noble to really like and those that are likable aren't given enough appearances to make up for that. It's a case of folks not knowing enough about them and how they are in more detail and thus it's up to the audience own personal interpretation of it.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this. Because among those with speaking roles/some personality, for me, I do like them and feel they're unfairly maligned. Like the guests at the Gala in Best Night Ever. Apart from Blueblood, none of them did anything wrong. Same here, really. I interpret them as... decent people.

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On 12/22/2016 at 9:04 AM, Nuke87654 said:

 Best Night Ever, despite ending the simplest arc and being one of two finales that was a one parter may actually be the best one the series has seen in both regards. With how well made and crafted this episode is in narration, use of it's theme, lesson, and humor this episode can be considered a sublime example of FIM at it's best. This episode to me proves my adage, a perfectly made PB&J sandwich is better than a messy lemon cake. Meaning that one should not be ashamed to writing a well crafted and great simple story as it is better than trying to but failing to reach with a more complicated but messier tale. This is something that honestly I would like for the show to go back to as I feel we've been trying to beat this episode's quality with more elaborate and meatier stories but their execution on em cannot match the perfection this story achieved for what it wanted to do. This is the best finale in the show and arguably Season 1's best episode.

Score: 10/10

Grade: A+

 

This is great analysis! To be honest, my first impression of the episode was pretty negative. I didn't like seeing the Mane Six getting all their plans ruined, and it made me a bit sad. I was hoping that Twilight would develop her relationship with Celestia, Rainbow Dash would get to know the Wonderbolts, Rarity will make a new friend (if not a potential date), and that the others will have a fun time. Not without some conflict or difficulty, of course, as that would make a boring episode, but I wanted them to eventually get their way. Even though they were happy to be together in the end, it didn't make me fully recover from the disappointment; at least, not instantly.

 

But after a time of pondering, I began to realize the point of the episode, as you so elaborately explained. I began to appreciate how the plot was a twist of irony to the romanticized and optimistic nature of the Gala Song, and reminded me of how some of my own planned vacation or leisure times turned out. There was at least one time where I would have a lot of hype for a party or some other event, sometimes to an unhealthy level. I was so obsessed with trying to "make the most of my time" there, that I spent more time getting worried about what to do next than I did just enjoying the moment. Finding something to relate to the episode, as well as understanding the authorial intent of the plot, helped me to finally see the episode in a positive light.

 

Though I wouldn't say that it was the best season finale ever, I would say that it was a very unique, creative, and well-planned episode with a more than catchy song, and a very applicable message. If there's anything this episode has taught me, it's that I should never let my first impression of an episode be my last. Because more likely than not, there is something to appreciate about an episode that I may not notice at first.

 

10/10 for a great review!     

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3 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I... think we're talking about two different points in the episode. I'm talking about the Garden Party, where they had their party ruined. Are you talking about where Rarity meets Jet Set and Upper Crust, and Hayseed Turnip Truck acts like an idiot? If that's what you're talking about, then yeah. Those two were jackasses there. No argument from me.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on this. Because among those with speaking roles/some personality, for me, I do like them and feel they're unfairly maligned. Like the guests at the Gala in Best Night Ever. Apart from Blueblood, none of them did anything wrong. Same here, really. I interpret them as... decent people.

 

I meant the scene where after or just before Rarity was falling on the sword, they were talking behind her and voicing their displeasure at Rarity's friends and her upbringing. They were trying to trash Rarity for it. If only MLP wiki had it

 

I agree with you there on that they're given a pretty shitty treatment of it. They're not bad at all. If there was any point if I bad mouthed them, I'll need to refresher on what quotes I need to edit.

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3 hours ago, ChB said:

This is great analysis! To be honest, my first impression of the episode was pretty negative. I didn't like seeing the Mane Six getting all their plans ruined, and it made me a bit sad. I was hoping that Twilight would develop her relationship with Celestia, Rainbow Dash would get to know the Wonderbolts, Rarity will make a new friend (if not a potential date), and that the others will have a fun time. Not without some conflict or difficulty, of course, as that would make a boring episode, but I wanted them to eventually get their way. Even though they were happy to be together in the end, it didn't make me fully recover from the disappointment; at least, not instantly.

 

But after a time of pondering, I began to realize the point of the episode, as you so elaborately explained. I began to appreciate how the plot was a twist of irony to the romanticized and optimistic nature of the Gala Song, and reminded me of how some of my own planned vacation or leisure times turned out. There was at least one time where I would have a lot of hype for a party or some other event, sometimes to an unhealthy level. I was so obsessed with trying to "make the most of my time" there, that I spent more time getting worried about what to do next than I did just enjoying the moment. Finding something to relate to the episode, as well as understanding the authorial intent of the plot, helped me to finally see the episode in a positive light.

 

Though I wouldn't say that it was the best season finale ever, I would say that it was a very unique, creative, and well-planned episode with a more than catchy song, and a very applicable message. If there's anything this episode has taught me, it's that I should never let my first impression of an episode be my last. Because more likely than not, there is something to appreciate about an episode that I may not notice at first.

 

10/10 for a great review!     

 

Thank you very much for your kind words for my review. I'm happy that you're pleased with it. Also, I've had fair of share of my goals and plans wrecked till I manged to salvage something out of it. It's a good lesson really.

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Now today's episode that I'm going to type is the thirty sixth episode of the Friendship is Magic series and the tenth episode of it's Season 2, Secret of my Excess. It is written by M.A. Larson and its storyboard artists are Raven Molisee and David Dick.

 

The background info on the episode was that it went through multiple name changes in 'Giving Dangerously', and 'Attack of the 50 foot Dragon', before it was settled on a play of the phrase 'Secret of my success'. The previous titles were a play on the phrase 'Living Dangerously', and the Godzilla films, specifically of the 1954 one respectively. 

 

Spike's birthday was met with so much success and gifts given to him that he becomes enthralled by greed and undergoes a puberty like growth to reflect upon it's grip on him.

 

Positives:

 

1. This is the first episode in the series where they established any sort of concrete information on Dragons. In this episode, Twilight Sparkle in her attempts to find any sort of clue or information on how to solve Spike's sudden growth spurt and need to horde things, she would go to a doctor for fillies and a veterinarian for which both of them would be stomped at Spike's dragon biology. 

 

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He's a dragon!

 

This would later get solved with plot device extraordinaire Zecora who explains that Spike is undergoing a puberty and that his dragon heart is prone to greed and if not controlled well, it will lead to disaster from the bursts of growth Spike will go through as greed takes greater hold on him. Thus we see how a young dragon lets their greed control them and is rewarded for it with a large horde of treasures of whatever it likes to collect and especially they become bigger for it.

 

While the implications on adult dragons being essentially greedy as hell dragons does not ring well and the information on it is rather vague on anything else, it does at least offer a glimpse into FIM Dragons and how they under go their puberty and growth even if it is not a good view on them and is too vague for it to be really effective.

 

 

2. This is the episode that really highlights and gives the one sided crush relationship between Spike and Rarity it's most positive and attentive light in the series. One of the key components to the story of the episode was Spike's crush for Rarity. While this isn't the first time that was even used as a main component to it's story as A Dog and Pony Show was that episode, this is perhaps the most positive about that relationship. 

 

Here, after Spike selflessly offers his ruby firestone gem to Rarity despite how he had carefully crafted it specifically for him to eat on his birthday, this gives Rarity great appreciation for him for which she rewards him with a kiss and affection for him. Thanks to such selflessness and the gem, Rarity even found inspiration for a fashion line in his honor.

 

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A kiss he will not wipe away as it's his most precious award.

 

Than after some time where Spike's greed took hold of him and made him into a godzilla sized creature, he would kidnap Rarity in a scene very reminiscent of King Kong where he would fight the buzzing Wonderbolts off with Rarity in his tail. Once he set his eyes on the ruby gem that Rarity still had in her possession, she refused to hand it to him, declaring how it was a symbol of one of the most selfless acts of generosity and she won't hand it to the big dragon which she didn't knew was Spike himself. Those words would spike a flashback in his mind where he would remember that act and how good it felt. This would quickly restore him back to normal conveniently, which would further add to how apparently the moment dragons conquer their greed they get back to their normal selves. As they fell to the earth, before Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy could rescue them, Spike would try to tell Rarity his crush for her for which she responds by tearfully placing her hoof on his mouth as a 'I know,' gesture.

 

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One of the most touching gestures on the show here.

 

And it did not end there as Rarity would try to comfort Spike after the fact he wrecked Ponyville when he was a giant dragon, telling him that it was by his own hand that saved Ponyville from himself. She would than give another kiss for Spike to cherish.

 

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For Sparity shippers, this episode is the equivalent of finding a tanker full of oil for supplies as the amount of shipping fuel goodness this episode offered was tons. In other aspects, this is by far the most positively shown of Spike's crush for Rarity in the series and coupled with an a good tale of Spike overcoming his greed for Rarity's sake makes this a very entertaining and great aspect in the episode.

 

 

3. I enjoyed Twilight's role in the episode where she tries to help Spike out however she can. This role for Twilight I enjoyed too. Here she does her best to ensure Spike's well being and shows diligence and care for him throughout the episode where she went through multiple places to find out what went is wrong on Spike and once she figures it out tries her best to fix it and control it but fails to due to how far gone in he is with his greed.  Despite the failure, I did liked the lengths Twilight went to to help Spike out as much as she could which shows the kind of caring relationship I expect from the two.

 

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Even if it's not always successful.

 

 

4.  I enjoyed the humor in the episode too. This episode was pretty funny for me in the forms of:

 

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Twilight's attempt to wipe a cheek from Spike. Guess which one.

 

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Twilight trying to hide another book gift for Spike after he remarks that's what she typically gives to him.

 

 

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Cool hat Spike. Reminds you of a smooth criminal?

 

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Pinkie Pie admits to assault Spike with Cakes.

 

 

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Poor Pinkie Pie after spike wrecked the bakery.

 

 

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Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy trying to play good cop and bad cop to no avail.

 

There is a good selection of humor for many folks to pick from and like in the episode.

 

 

5. While they ultimately failed, the Wonderbolts do come to Ponyville's rescue and show off of what their place in Ponyville is. Their role in the episode was to try and save Ponyville from Spike which they initially were trying to handle him until he would eventually trap them in the water tower container like so

 

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Still this does clarify that the wonderbolts seem to be more than just a stunt team of professional flyers and perhaps more of Equestria's royal airforce with their attempt to defend Ponyville from the Giant Spike the dragon attack.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. Rarity seemed like she was trying to manipulate Spike to hand the gem to her. Now while I had known that M.A Larson clarified that Rarity was not manipulating Spike as she simply hoped the gem was great for him and it was him through his own desire to please Rarity, even at his own expense that caused it, not alot of folks do. As a result, alot of folks would view this as Rarity manipulating Spike to hand the gem over to her and to take advantage of Spike's crush for Rarity thus the story could've done better to clarify that Rarity did not mean to dupe Spike to give the gem to her.

 

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Yea this scene didn't help the intended implication Rarity was saying to Spike that she really likes the gem and does not want to take it. As I said, M.A. Larson said on his twitter that was not Rarity's intent.

 

2. As mentioned above, the lore they gave to the dragons is vague at best and leaves bad implications on em. Now while Secret of my Excess did help establish a bit on dragons in FIM, it wasn't really a detailed information but rather a summary on Dragon's growth and how greed can affect them. Speaking of which, this does leave a bad implication on the previous dragons and beyond that the adult dragons we see in the past may have their growth affected by their greed too. 

 

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Yea, not a good impression on dragon's and their growth there.

 

 

Conclusion: Secret of my Excess is by far Spike's best episode I've seen. It blows away the terrible Owl's Well that Ends Well for it's much stronger story that involved our first but flawed interpretation on dragons in the series, Spike's crush on Rarity is at it's most positive in the series yet despite a poor job at expressing Rarity's intent for the gem with Spike, and especially of how good Twilight, the Wonderbolts, and the humor in the episode that I really enjoyed. Any Sparity shipper would love this episode and with ample reasons for others to enjoy Secret of my Excess too.

 

 

Score: 9.0/10

 

Grade: B+

 

 

 

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Today I will review the thirty seventh episode of the Friendship is Magic series and the eleventh episode in its Season 2, Hearth's Warming Eve. It is written by Merriwether Williams and its storyboard artists are Joel Dickie and Emmett Hall.

 

This episode was used in a storybook application called 'Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day' and it may have been originally the season's thirteenth episode due to the zap2it lists and one of the show's layout artists suggesting it was.

 

The gang travels to Canterlot to where they were chosen by Celestia to stage act in a play that tells the origins of Hearth's Warming Eve.

 

 

Positives:

 

1. We get the show's Christmas expy here. We are given here for what is the settings equivalent to a Christmas in Hearth's Warming Eve.  Here the ponies celebrate it very much like they would for a christmas where they would decorate their place with wreaths, snow, trees, and even 8 foot candy canes.

 

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Note this, is a good measurement of how tall a My little pony is as we have a definite measurement spoken from twilight about the cane's height being 8 feet.

 

And as we later see in the series, presents too. Now here, we are shown the major differences for Christmas and Hearths Warming Eve. Instead of celebrating Jesus's birth onto this earth, the ponies instead celebrate the founding of Equestria. Stage plays are created each year to concoct the story of how Equestria was founded.

 

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With Spike as the narrator for it all.

 

 

2. The Equestria past was explained here for the first time and it holds some surprising elements about how ponies were back than. This episode is really the first one outside of the series pilot to give a detailed explanation of the past of Equestria and well before any of the mane 6 were born. Heck this was before any of the alicorn sisters came either. And what the audience saw is very surprising.

 

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That ponies were racists towards each other back than.

 

This image of there being three separate pony tribes that hated each other's guts based on what race they were paints a very different color to the Utopian society of Equestria where before the princesses showed up, they were far from it. They hated each other so much they were actually killing their environment through the pure hatred a villainous force was feeding from that I will explain a bit later. Now one other thing to appreciate is the stark contrast in designs compared to each other.

 

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The Pegasus tribe is based on ancient Greek and roman culture.

 

 

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The Unicorn tribe are based on Medieval Europe.

 

 

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And the Earth Pony tribe based on Medieval European and African aesthetics of the time period. 

 

This helps to show off the differences between the three tribes where it was further shown that the Unicorn tribe was ruled by a monarchy led by a king whom a princess led in his stead. The Earth Ponies are ruled by an elected chancellor suggesting a democratic type of government. And the Pegasus tribe is ruled by a military dictatorship which is led by a military commander. This would help folks to greatly build their own take on each tribe and how their lives were conducted. Which btw, despite their grievances against each other, they did had a sort of truce where they agreed that the earth ponies provide the food for each tribe, the pegasus ponies controlled the weather, and the unicorns moved the sun and moon together. Which on that note of the unicorns, it does suggest that the powers of Luna and Celestia to move the sun and moon is not a special power they inherit, which does help explain of how the planet Equestria dealt without them moving the solar system objects before.

 

This is really the episode's best highlight as this episode does plenty to explain the origins of ponies before Equestria was founded and led by Celestia and Luna. 

 

3. The windigos add an interesting element to the series with feeding off the hatred of each other ponies for their own vice. 

 

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The windigoes are a supernatural villainous element that seems to have an appetite for pony's hatred for each other. This leads them to getting stronger in power and create a powerful and deathly winter storm that was threatening to cover the pony lands in a thick sheet of snow where nothing can grow or survive. This powerful force does add an interesting part to the show's gallery of villains where this force seems to be one of the show's more powerful forces due to how it was able to overpower the pegasus control of the weather clouds and even over power the unicorn's magic to stop it. It was this close to causing an extinction amongst the ponies where they desperate for food and starving. In fact, their journey that led to the founding of Equestria was the pony tribes own individual attempt to save themselves from their inevitable death otherwise. Course, when the pony tribes found each other claiming their own pot of land in Equestria, they quickly resumed their bitter quarrel which only caused the Windigos to wail their otherworldly scream to move to the land of Equestria and bury it in snow too. While how the ponies managed to beat this foe is one point I'll explain later among other things, I'll give credit to the show for making these foes a very powerful foe that came very close to killing off the ponies. 

 

 

4. Starswirl the bearded gets mentioned again here, and this time he's given a more pronounced time period and what role he played as. Here, this episode gave more clarification on Starswirl the Bearded, the wizard pony Twilight cosplayed as in the episode Luna Eclipsed. Not only did he served as a mentor to one of the pony attendants to one of the three pony leaders of the pony tribes in the Unicorn Clover the Clever, but that he had lived before the founding of Equestria and the Alicorn sisters arrival there. This also shows that he probably won't be treated as one off episode character but would be given much greater importance in the series too from then on. 

 

 

Negatives: 

 

1. The Windigoes were not only not explained well enough for their role in the series but they way they were defeated felt like a cheap ass pull.  Let's limit that to just them hating each other being the requirement to get power for the windigoes even though they should have no limit on what object pony's hate. Now because they fed off of ponies hatred for each other, than this would imply several issues in the series like if there were any major dispute between ponies that got really bad like say the Hoof Fields and McColts, ponies going to war against each other like say the timeline where Equestria was at war with the Crystal Empire, or even when Nightmare Moon tried to usurp her sister's place in the throne and take it over entirely where she ran on bitter jealousy for her and allowed the demon to control her, in those instances where were the Windigos at? If they fed off of pony hatred like that, why haven't we really seen them since then? Is it a series element that was meant to be a one off thing and is discarded since?

 

Now onto the other issue the windigos had was how they were beaten. Just as it seemed they were going to freeze the attendants to the frozen pony leaders and doom was at hand, just because the three attendants didn't hate each other and were trying to be friends instead, the windigos were beaten like that through some unexplained spell that Clover the Clever managed to create just as she was about to be frozen which she didn't even knew how it happened other than she was befriending the other two attendants. 

 

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So you're telling me that at no point did any three ponies from each different tribe came to reconciliation but hated each other so badly that there was no single moment of friendship or love between them? And that the windigos are beaten so easily by just a couple of ponies wanting to be friends? That's a bloody deus ex machina.

 

Thus while I may consider the windigos an interesting supernatural force and how close they came to killing off the ponies, at the same time they were not explained well enough to where they fit well in the series and especially of how easy they were beaten when just a few ponies started to like each other.

 

 

2. The pacing was slow here too. Now the stage play itself was slow in pacing mainly for how otherwise there was little to tell in the story other than ponies hated each other, snowstorm forces them to talk, fails, they go off for new lands, bring conflict to new lands, nearly bet buried in snow till deus ex, and they actually reconciliate. This wasn't too bad compared to other episodes with such problems in the series but it was notable here. 

 

3. I felt DHX was also pretty lazy with the flag design of the founding of Equestria being the same as the modern flag of Equestria. 

 

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While this isn't too much of an issue honestly as it's not a bad choice to use the modern Equestrian flag, but I felt that it would've been a better and more interesting choice to see what the founding flag of Equestria looked like instead of the one it bears today. It's much like how I would prefer to see the founding flag of the United States instead of the 50 star one we have today. I feel this was a missed opportunity there for them.

 

Conclusion: Hearth's Warming Eve does an adequate job of explaining the past of Equestria and shows a very interesting view point on Equestrian ponies where they were once far from the ideal society we see them as in the series with their intersectional conflicts between each other, giving us our Christmas expy in the series, and for giving us more details on Starswirl the bearded. Now the windigos maybe an interesting supernatural force, but their insufficient defeat at the hands of the ponies and especially of how they seem to not appear anymore after this episode despite there being plenty of other pony conflicts in the series for them to feed and the slowed pacing of the episode's narrative make this a decent but clearly flawed episode.  

 

Score: 7.5/10

 

Grade: C

 

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I love this episode for the background provided. And for showing that the ponies aren't perfect by a long shot. One thing I and others do is take the play as...

 

One parts historical fact

One part allegory.

One part inevitable cultural drift.

One part making it simpler for the audience/presentation method.

And two parts, "Hey, Bob?"

"Yeah, Fred?"

"Got any idea what this says?"

"Looks like Pudding... Had? Hide? Go with Puddinghead." ;):D

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@Nuke87654

 

The things I LIKED about "Hearths Warming Eve" were:

 

  • I liked that we saw a bit of Equestria's version of Christmas.
  • We learned about the history of Equestria as well as  the roles of the ponies before the Alicorns took over.
  • The Hearthswarming Pageant being used as a backdrop for the episodes conflict was creative.
  • I thought the idea of the windigoes was cool.

 

The things I DID NOT LIKE about "Hearths Warming Eve" were:

  • I also thought it was slow in it's storytelling.
  • While I thought the idea of the windigoes was cool, their use in the episode was weak, IMO.

 

 

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On 1/25/2017 at 1:27 PM, Nuke87654 said:

Now today's episode that I'm going to type is the thirty sixth episode of the Friendship is Magic series and the tenth episode of it's Season 2, Secret of my Excess. It is written by M.A. Larson and its storyboard artists are Raven Molisee and David Dick.

 

The background info on the episode was that it went through multiple name changes in 'Giving Dangerously', and 'Attack of the 50 foot Dragon', before it was settled on a play of the phrase 'Secret of my success'. The previous titles were a play on the phrase 'Living Dangerously', and the Godzilla films, specifically of the 1954 one respectively. 

 

Spike's birthday was met with so much success and gifts given to him that he becomes enthralled by greed and undergoes a puberty like growth to reflect upon it's grip on him.

 

Positives:

 

1. This is the first episode in the series where they established any sort of concrete information on Dragons. In this episode, Twilight Sparkle in her attempts to find any sort of clue or information on how to solve Spike's sudden growth spurt and need to horde things, she would go to a doctor for fillies and a veterinarian for which both of them would be stomped at Spike's dragon biology. 

 

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He's a dragon!

 

This would later get solved with plot device extraordinaire Zecora who explains that Spike is undergoing a puberty and that his dragon heart is prone to greed and if not controlled well, it will lead to disaster from the bursts of growth Spike will go through as greed takes greater hold on him. Thus we see how a young dragon lets their greed control them and is rewarded for it with a large horde of treasures of whatever it likes to collect and especially they become bigger for it.

 

While the implications on adult dragons being essentially greedy as hell dragons does not ring well and the information on it is rather vague on anything else, it does at least offer a glimpse into FIM Dragons and how they under go their puberty and growth even if it is not a good view on them and is too vague for it to be really effective.

 

 

2. This is the episode that really highlights and gives the one sided crush relationship between Spike and Rarity it's most positive and attentive light in the series. One of the key components to the story of the episode was Spike's crush for Rarity. While this isn't the first time that was even used as a main component to it's story as A Dog and Pony Show was that episode, this is perhaps the most positive about that relationship. 

 

Here, after Spike selflessly offers his ruby firestone gem to Rarity despite how he had carefully crafted it specifically for him to eat on his birthday, this gives Rarity great appreciation for him for which she rewards him with a kiss and affection for him. Thanks to such selflessness and the gem, Rarity even found inspiration for a fashion line in his honor.

 

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A kiss he will not wipe away as it's his most precious award.

 

Than after some time where Spike's greed took hold of him and made him into a godzilla sized creature, he would kidnap Rarity in a scene very reminiscent of King Kong where he would fight the buzzing Wonderbolts off with Rarity in his tail. Once he set his eyes on the ruby gem that Rarity still had in her possession, she refused to hand it to him, declaring how it was a symbol of one of the most selfless acts of generosity and she won't hand it to the big dragon which she didn't knew was Spike himself. Those words would spike a flashback in his mind where he would remember that act and how good it felt. This would quickly restore him back to normal conveniently, which would further add to how apparently the moment dragons conquer their greed they get back to their normal selves. As they fell to the earth, before Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy could rescue them, Spike would try to tell Rarity his crush for her for which she responds by tearfully placing her hoof on his mouth as a 'I know,' gesture.

 

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One of the most touching gestures on the show here.

 

And it did not end there as Rarity would try to comfort Spike after the fact he wrecked Ponyville when he was a giant dragon, telling him that it was by his own hand that saved Ponyville from himself. She would than give another kiss for Spike to cherish.

 

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For Sparity shippers, this episode is the equivalent of finding a tanker full of oil for supplies as the amount of shipping fuel goodness this episode offered was tons. In other aspects, this is by far the most positively shown of Spike's crush for Rarity in the series and coupled with an a good tale of Spike overcoming his greed for Rarity's sake makes this a very entertaining and great aspect in the episode.

 

 

3. I enjoyed Twilight's role in the episode where she tries to help Spike out however she can. This role for Twilight I enjoyed too. Here she does her best to ensure Spike's well being and shows diligence and care for him throughout the episode where she went through multiple places to find out what went is wrong on Spike and once she figures it out tries her best to fix it and control it but fails to due to how far gone in he is with his greed.  Despite the failure, I did liked the lengths Twilight went to to help Spike out as much as she could which shows the kind of caring relationship I expect from the two.

 

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Even if it's not always successful.

 

 

4.  I enjoyed the humor in the episode too. This episode was pretty funny for me in the forms of:

 

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Twilight's attempt to wipe a cheek from Spike. Guess which one.

 

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Twilight trying to hide another book gift for Spike after he remarks that's what she typically gives to him.

 

 

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Cool hat Spike. Reminds you of a smooth criminal?

 

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Pinkie Pie admits to assault Spike with Cakes.

 

 

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Poor Pinkie Pie after spike wrecked the bakery.

 

 

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Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy trying to play good cop and bad cop to no avail.

 

There is a good selection of humor for many folks to pick from and like in the episode.

 

 

5. While they ultimately failed, the Wonderbolts do come to Ponyville's rescue and show off of what their place in Ponyville is. Their role in the episode was to try and save Ponyville from Spike which they initially were trying to handle him until he would eventually trap them in the water tower container like so

 

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Still this does clarify that the wonderbolts seem to be more than just a stunt team of professional flyers and perhaps more of Equestria's royal airforce with their attempt to defend Ponyville from the Giant Spike the dragon attack.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. Rarity seemed like she was trying to manipulate Spike to hand the gem to her. Now while I had known that M.A Larson clarified that Rarity was not manipulating Spike as she simply hoped the gem was great for him and it was him through his own desire to please Rarity, even at his own expense that caused it, not alot of folks do. As a result, alot of folks would view this as Rarity manipulating Spike to hand the gem over to her and to take advantage of Spike's crush for Rarity thus the story could've done better to clarify that Rarity did not mean to dupe Spike to give the gem to her.

 

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Yea this scene didn't help the intended implication Rarity was saying to Spike that she really likes the gem and does not want to take it. As I said, M.A. Larson said on his twitter that was not Rarity's intent.

 

2. As mentioned above, the lore they gave to the dragons is vague at best and leaves bad implications on em. Now while Secret of my Excess did help establish a bit on dragons in FIM, it wasn't really a detailed information but rather a summary on Dragon's growth and how greed can affect them. Speaking of which, this does leave a bad implication on the previous dragons and beyond that the adult dragons we see in the past may have their growth affected by their greed too. 

 

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Yea, not a good impression on dragon's and their growth there.

 

 

Conclusion: Secret of my Excess is by far Spike's best episode I've seen. It blows away the terrible Owl's Well that Ends Well for it's much stronger story that involved our first but flawed interpretation on dragons in the series, Spike's crush on Rarity is at it's most positive in the series yet despite a poor job at expressing Rarity's intent for the gem with Spike, and especially of how good Twilight, the Wonderbolts, and the humor in the episode that I really enjoyed. Any Sparity shipper would love this episode and with ample reasons for others to enjoy Secret of my Excess too.

 

 

Score: 9.0/10

 

Grade: B+

 

 

 

 

At least we eventually got gems (*Rimshot!*) like Friends Forever #14 and Gauntlet Of Fire to cancel out said "flawed interpretation."

 

P.S.: Anyone else want Mina and Ember to interact in the comics?

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Today's episode that I will review is the thirty eighth episode in the Friendship is Magic series and the twelfth episode of it's season 2, Family Appreciation day. It is written by Cindy Morrow and it's storyboard artists are Sherann Johnson and Justin Nichols. 

 

Only thing to say is that this was listed as episode eleven in Zap2it's list.

 

During an important harvest of a special species of apples is underway, Applebloom tries to avoid letting Grannie Smith to show up for a family appreciation appointment in fear of being mocked for her grandmother's kooky behavior.

 

Positives:

 

1. Grannie Smith gets some character development in the episode. Now Grannie Smith has been around the show since last season. In Family Appreciation Day, this is the first time where her character was not only put in  a spotlight but developed too. Her character in the episode was more pronounced as a 'kooky' old lady that is surprisingly pretty energetic despite her age and does alot of weird things out of tradition or superstition. 

 

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Even if many of em are cute.

 

However, we soon learn the method to her madness is that it helps to make the Zap Apple jam harvest better, more efficient, and even tastes better too. Especially when she gave the story of it and Ponyville's founding to her class audience. 

 

Ultimately, the characterization they would give for Grannie Smith would prove lasting as it does provide that 'energetic granny that knows what is she doing despite how insane it looks.'

 

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As I said, there's a reason why she is wearing a beard of bees.

 

 

2. We also get to see Diamond Tiara's father, Filthy Rich, in the episode too.

 

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Of note, we see Diamond Tiara's rich father, Filthy Rich, which note he does not like the name filthy even though he could easily legally change the name if he wanted too seemingly out of respect to his parents naming him as such. Either way, despite how spoiled rotten his daughter is, it seems that he's a pretty decent fellow himself in comparison as he not only seems to hold Grannie Smith with respect, does business with the apple family for their zap apple jam, a tradition his grandfather started, but even punishes his daughter Diamond Tiara by joining with the fillies with Grannie Smith at the end too. 

 

All of this shows that whatever reason is the cause for Diamond Tiara's spoiled bratness, it seems her father is not the big cause of it as he seems to be much more level headed and fair in comparison.

 

 

3. Silver Spoon had a moment where she broke away from consorting with Diamond Tiara and actually went and congratulated Grannie Smith on the speech she gave to the class.

 

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A small but notable part in the episode is when we see Silver Spoon, normally doing and agreeing with whatever Diamond Tiara does breaks from that for a bit to where she shows a softer more empathetic side for other ponies if she likes it even at Diamond Tiara's expense. 

 

 

4. The Zap Apples show an interesting dynamic and share background lore that proves key for the Apple Family and even Ponyville. One key thing in the episode was the Zap Apples, a special apple that grows only at a certain time of year and will disappear from sight as quickly as they came if they're not picked from their tree host within a day. Through careful observations and experimentation in her youth, Grannie Smith, the founder of the Zap Apples and their seeds they would plant, would figure out the signs of their incoming and even other remedies like painting polka dots at the house that Zap Apples like apparently. These supernatural apples are also pretty hardy too as if they're not ripe for harvest, they're very difficult to remove from their tree as they have an electrical defense surrounding it's bark to prevent effective bucking on it and even are strong enough to resist getting pulled by three fillies. 

 

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Now these magical apples are of course really good taste in anything and are considered a special delicacy for anyone to have and sell. This would actually lead to the founding of ponyville itself due to how good they are.

 

 

5. When Grannie Smith tells her story of how Ponyville was founded, it's a huge delight. This was easily the episode's best mark and one that really makes the episode's biggest flaw worth it for what she tells. She says that before Ponyville's founding, the apple family were nomads who traveled from place to place with no permanent home to call as their own. Than when they visited Canterlot, Princess Celestia set eyes upon the weary nomads and decided to have them go and create a pony settlement at this location, Sid Meir's Civilization style.

 

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Of course the Apple family would struggle to find a place in the middle of a heavily forested area, especially one being so close to the Everfree Forest. One night, Annie Smith (considered the name Grannie Smith had when she was much younger) snuck off into the everfree forest in an attempt to forage for food there for which she would find a successfully ripe Zap Apple Tree for which she would pick as many as she could before she had to run away from the Timberwolves, the Everfree Forest's most dangerous predator. Soon after, they would use the seeds from the Zap Apples and plant them as their crops. Their labor would be rewarded with many delicious apples when they riped which would have Annie Smith study and observe of what were the signs to the zap apples arrival and how to make the best tasting fruit in any way. This would pay off greatly as the apple family would successfully harvest enough zap apples to sell it off for any travelers that heard of their crop and wish to have it for themselves, including a young Stinkin Rich who was looking to strike at a successful business with which he found selling Zap Apple products. Many of these travelers would take a liking to staying with the Apple Family and help build the settlement to what is Ponyville today. 

 

Not only does this segment along tie up everything that was shown and said in the Family Appreciation Day nicely, but it also gave us awesome lore on the Zap Apples and Ponyville to which we can conclude Grannie Smith as one of the founders of Ponyville itself and thus really puts a great crowning moment for Grannie Smith in the series. 

 

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A lady with a method to her madness.

 

Negatives:

 

1. The slow pacing of the episode and buildup to that great story of Ponyville's founding takes quite a while for you to really enjoy the episode. While that story alone makes this episode a great delight for any fan to stick around watch, but before that, we have to deal with a plodding story taking it's time building up to that moment. Thus it can get quite boring and even a chore for folks to stick around for the climax. Not to say the episode before that is bad or anything as it's very fundamentally sound and effective, just on that takes quite a bit thanks to the slow pacing before it really gets good.  

 

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Meanwhile, have some jelly bread.

 

 

Conclusion: Family Appreciation Day may take a while to hit it's stride, but damn does hit it really good. With good characterizations for Grannie Smith, Filthy Rich, and even a minor one for Silver Spoon in the episode, great lore building with Ponyville's founding and use of the Zap Apples to tie all of that together makes Family Appreciation Day a good candidate for a very underrated episode to talk about.

 

Score: 9.0/10

 

Grade: B+

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On 1/20/2017 at 9:37 AM, Nuke87654 said:

 The Mysterious Mare Do Well.

I see the episode's flaws, but one of the reasons I liked it is that it reminds me of the episode Major Man from the Powerpuff Girls. :P

Major Man had a personality much like Rainbow Dash in that episode, and the Powerpuff Girls did something as flawed as what the MMDW did.  

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21 hours ago, ChB said:

I see the episode's flaws, but one of the reasons I liked it is that it reminds me of the episode Major Man from the Powerpuff Girls. :P

Major Man had a personality much like Rainbow Dash in that episode, and the Powerpuff Girls did something as flawed as what the MMDW did.  

Major man, yea the superman ripoff braggart was funny for me too :P

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Today's episode that I will review today is the thirty ninth episode in the Friendship is Magic series and it's thirteenth episode in Season 2, Baby Cakes. It is written by Charlotte Fullerton with the storyboard artists being Tom Sales and Corey Toomer.

 

This is the twelfth episode listed on Zap2it's list. 

 

Pinkie Pie wishes to prove that she is responsible enough to take care of babies in the cakes absence, but she soon finds babysitting the babies will be alot more difficult than she had imagined.

 

 

Positives: 

 

1. Pinkie Pie learns a good lesson and under goes growth to being a more responsible pony. If there is one thing that I did liked here, it would be of how it's point was to help Pinkie Pie under go a growth in development where she learns to be a more responsible pony. Despite her earnest desire to have fun and help the cakes out in caring for the babies, the cakes feel that Pinkie Pie is not mature enough to handle caring for babies. After everyone else passes it over, the cakes were forced to give the babysitting job to her.

 

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Which went about as well as one would expect. Throughout the episode, Pinkie Pie would struggle finding any sort of means to keep the babies quiet and complacent as she tries to pass the time over. This would usually result in little success and mostly failures as she was at the complete mercy of the babies who have their own needs and wants that she struggles trying to find and give. Poor Pinkie tries very hard to prove that she's a capable baby sitter only for the babies to overwhelm her. This would end with a frustrated and crying Pinkie Pie.

 

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The babies would feel sorry about her and try to cheer her up. Which ends with Pinkie regaining her composure from the gesture and finding the strength to finish the day on a much happier and better note with the babies. There she learns of how babysitting is not fun and games and that more often you'll probably end up biting more than you can handle on a job which is why it's important to  be very prepared. 

 

While I'm not going to say this was especially good considering the materials it used and how Pinkie Pie was abused throughout the episode that I will get to below, I will at least give it credit for helping to develop Pinkie Pie into a positive direction where she becomes a more responsible pony for it. The lesson is also a good note for folks to consider whenever they do some job in life.

 

2. We are given the baby cakes in the series here. While I'm not going to gloss over them alot for my reasons below, but I will at least give credit to the episode for giving us the cake twins here in this episode. Also, their use in the episode does indicate that pegasus ponies are able fliers very quickly at around a month or so while unicorn babies get magic bursts without warning and are able to do some powerful magic until it goes away eventually until they're able to tap into it properly when they get older.

 

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Which leaves those implications of Scootaloo being a disabled flyer with more credence after this episode.

 

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. The explanation for how the cakes got a pegasus and unicorn foals is poorly done. Now in the episode, despite the cakes being earth ponies, their foal twins were a pegasus and unicorn pony. Mr. Cake tried to haphazardly explain it as because they have some distant relatives or ancestors that were unicorn and pegasus ponies, their foals became as such. This to me makes little sense since this would essentially mean that any pony can end up having a child not relating to any of their pony species simply because some ancestor was one. Yes I understand recessive alleles, but there's no definite explanation for how those recessive alleles can work as they did here to give them not one but two different pony species despite how they're both earth ponies well in their genetic line. There's no consistency or rhyme to it at all and just seems to be 'leave it up to random luck'.

 

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Headcanons went wild that Mrs. Cake cheated on him due to how weird and nonsensical the pony genetics thing is.

 

2. The diaper scenes were gross. 

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I nearly gagged with how he used his mouth to remove it. Hack hack. There's a reason why you don't do such scenes as it's too uncomfortable, especially with earth pony's usual of handling things.

 

 

3. The humor in this episode were pretty bad too. I really thought the humor in this episode was one of the series's poorest attempts. Not only did alot of the jokes fell flat, but they repeated many of them just to add further annoyance to it all. An important thing with comedy if that if it failed the first time, repeating it is only going to annoy your audience and be viewed as a sign of laziness or desperation to make it work.

 

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Be prepared to face this gag several times.

 

4. The babies themselves were your typical spoiled baby brats that tormented and abused Pinkie with their antics. I really do not like the cake twins simply because they're baby brats who are characterized as your typical babies who do stuff at their leisure and usually at the expense of folks watching over them. This is not only unfunny simply because of how Pinkie was trying to prove she was a capable babysitter but with just how annoying the cakes were to her as they seemed to enjoy tormenting Pinkie Pie and just putting her in bad positions just to simply get their jollies. Sure they apologized and made up to her in the end, but I really did not like them throughout the episode and honestly justifies why I prefer not to do many episodes on pony babies as babies aren't fun characters to play with. 

 

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I'd be a terrible babysitter honestly.

 

 

5. When Twilight shows up around two thirds into the episode, this scene not only felt unneeded, but just felt it was padded for time. Twilight Sparkle was able to finish her chores and tried to join Pinkie Pie in babysitting the babies for which Pinkie was initially grateful until Twilight remarks of how not everyone is cut out to babysit which Pinkie took it as a challenge and pushed her out for it. Not only was this scene ultimately pointless but it just felt like filler more than anything.

 

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Well, that was meaningless.

 

 

6. The 'horror' segment they tried to do here in the episode clashed badly with the tone and felt really unnecessary too. In one particular sequence in the episode, they tried to induce some horror scene reminiscence of the film 'The Shining' or so I believe. This really stood out like a sore thumb with the rest of the episode for just how it upsetted the tone of the episode from being a slice of life episode with a trying but humorous story to where it suddenly takes a turn for scaryville. To make matters worse, it's pay off was just some more humor with the spoiled babies. 

 

Now to let you know why I made a big deal on tone, tone is very important in a story for it tells the audience how they're supposed to feel for this part of events. It can help captivate an audience to where they can feel absolute highs of some great adventure and accomplishment to give them that great euphoria, feeling tense and nervous for a time sensitive situation, terrified and scared for something scary, it's what helps set the mood for the audience to feel for the story. Improper use of tone can mess up your audience's enjoyment as they would be confused at how they're supposed to feel for this story. Here, including some unwarranted scene just feels like a case of throwing something scary in just cause they can even though it does nothing but clash with the slice of nature story and just leaves folks wondering what's with the horror feeling in their kids show when it shouldn't be.

 

 

Conclusion: I hate Baby Cakes. It and the Mysterious Mare Do Well are the two worst episodes of S2 that I have seen yet. Regardless of the development it had for Pinkie Pie, the rest of the episode was poorly done with it's humor and explanations on pony genetics, some unnecessary scenes in it, and the really unlikable babies kills my mood to like this episode. Baby Cakes is easily one of S2's worst episodes and an unfortunate torture porn episode for Pinkie Pie. 

 

Score: 4.0/10

 

Grade: F

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10 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

2. We are given the baby cakes in the series here. While I'm not going to gloss over them alot for my reasons below, but I will at least give credit to the episode for giving us the cake twins here in this episode. Also, their use in the episode does indicate that pegasus ponies are able fliers very quickly at around a month or so while unicorn babies get magic bursts without warning and are able to do some powerful magic until it goes away eventually until they're able to tap into it properly when they get older.

 

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Which leaves those implications of Scootaloo being a disabled flyer with more credence after this episode.

 

Not necessarily; maybe Scootaloo could fly as a newborn, but simply lost it longer than normally.

 

10 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

2. The diaper scenes were gross. 

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I nearly gagged with how he used his mouth to remove it. Hack hack. There's a reason why you don't do such scenes as it's too uncomfortable, especially with earth pony's usual of handling things.

 

I've seen you guys being able to grab with your hooves and/or tails (and you're even using the latter to hold the clean diapers) -- USE THEM!

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@Nuke87654

 

I've only watched Baby Cakes once since I started watching MLP because, 

 

  •  I don't like episodes where a character says something like "I can handle this.", 

            only for the character to be in over their head in the next scene.   

 

  • I don't like episodes where a character is taking care of kids/throwing a party etc. because, 

          those types of the episode's are always too predictable, IMO.

 

  • The gross out scenes were too much & the humor was repetitive.

 

Unfortunately, I have nothing good to say about "Baby Cakes" & it is on my list of MLP episodes that I'll never watch again.

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