Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

I guess Cheerilee loved the outift so much she was in huge denial about how she was weird dressing in that get up when no one else is.

Cheerilee: "NNNOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Come on, everypony! I swear, we all dressed like this!"

 

Trixie: "Cheerilee, get over it. It was you and you alone."

 

Applejack: "Hey, where'd you come from?"

 

Trixie: "Oh, please. It's RK_Striker. He loves me!"

 

:D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Cheerilee: "NNNOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Come on, everypony! I swear, we all dressed like this!"

 

Trixie: "Cheerilee, get over it. It was you and you alone."

 

Applejack: "Hey, where'd you come from?"

 

Trixie: "Oh, please. It's RK_Striker. He loves me!"

 

:D

Ha ha ha, exactly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's episode to be reviewed is Fall Weather Friends, a very appropriately themed episode dealing with our fall weather, which is our 13th episode in season 1 and of the series. It is written by Amy Keating Rogers and it's storyboard artists are Andy Bartlett and Francisco Avalos.

The episode Fall Weather Friends is pun on the words 'Fair weather friends,' a rather negative connotation on individuals to describe friends who are only your friends if conditions are good for you and them. Originally, Applejack's line 'Pete's Sake' was supposed to be uttered as Corn's sake according to Amy Keating Rogers. She would get the chance to use this line in a future episode of hers, Filli Vanilli. Corn's sake is a reference to the classic 50's sitcom I love Lucy's character Fred Mertz.

Our story can be summarized is that Applejack and Rainbow Dash compete against each other in a series of events in order to prove which of the two is the better athlete, eventually competing in the Ponyville event Running of the Leaves to decide it.

 

Positives:

1. Applejack and Rainbow Dash show off each other's character dynamics between each other as friendly if sometimes over zealous friendly rivals and how they treat their competition towards each other. The focus on the episode is to develop the two tomboy ponies and their friendship towards each other and to do this they use the narrative vehicle of them competing against each other to see who is the better athlete of the two. Through it, we get to see how the two see their competition and of how they react to their perspectives.

Applejack: Applejack is a very competitive and confident pony and likes to brag and mess with her opponent through it in order to get an edge. At the same time however, Applejack also likes the spirit of an honorable competition and seems to care more of things done the right and fair way than for the sake of winning. She likes to win too, but I feel she's the kind that would also accept losing pretty well so long as things are done fairly.

Rainbow Dash: The pegasus tomboy on the other hand seems to prefer to win and while she may try to do things on equal terms initially, at the same time she is not above cheating to win. Her initial desire to play fair is probably a result on RD's initial confidence until things do not go well for her. This would imply a level of insecurity within her where she feels that if she does not turn things around to win she will be dubbed a loser for it. As a result, she has developed a sense to win at any costs mantra, even cheating to win it regardless of how others would think of her as she would rather be declared a winner than to be a loser. Thus for her, she does not care as much for having a fair competition but to win.

This would contrast nicely against each other as Applejack's supreme confidence in herself and her talking smack would rub off on Rainbow Dash's weaker grip on her confidence level and thus it would prompt Rainbow Dash to be accepting to cheat to beat her even though she'll initially play fair until things take a turn south for her. There once Rainbow Dash starts to cheat, this would piss Applejack and her sense of honor off as she views Rainbow Dash as blatant cheater willing to break fair play and rules in order to gain whatever edge she can get in the Iron Pony competition and Running of the Leaves. Rainbow Dash's need to be a winner would brush it off as she views that so long as she wins than it won't matter what one pony will complain about her will to cheat or so. This would result in both ponies going at each other not only competitive wise but also of how one approaches a competition.

Honestly I feel that this is a dynamic that's rather underrated and probably needs more spotlight in future episodes as I feel that this isn't played up enough despite the great potential of good episodes this formula holds. At least certainly give the overused Rarijack episodes a break.

 

2. More lore building for the episode as we get another spot of how ponies change season from summer to fall. Here this episode shows off that in order for ponies to bring summer to fall, they try to knock all the tree's leaves down with whatever method they can such as magic or speed. In this case, we see the ponies in Ponyville have set up an annual marathon to help knock all the leaves down via running through the forest and trees of Ponyville. This is rather an ingenious way of solving a noted problem for them and frankly while a minor addition after what the more heavily focused theme of it in Winter Wrap Up showed, still it does highlight one way of ponies changing their environment's seasons.

 

3. Spike's attempts at commentating Applejack's and Rainbow Dash's competition and Pinkie Pie soon joins in much to Spike's annoyance does offer plenty of comedy in the episode. Here Spike takes the initiative to try to be a sports commentator initially at Twilight's exasperation until he proves it is worth it with the popularity of the Iron Pony competition AJ and RD were having and close the two were at that point. Than Pinkie Pie joins in on the fun even at Spike's annoyance as he liked to do it solo until eventually the two hit it off well together as they commentated the events and incidences at the Running of the Leaves. Those two can offer some comedy moments in the episode for folks to enjoy.

4. AJ and RD getting tied for last place and the egghead pony, Twilight, getting fifth or well above those two does put a hilarious spin for how focus those two were on beating each other so much they ignored the competition. A very minor point but one that is funny for me.

 

Negatives:

1. This episode only went into that phase of the running of the leaves between AJ and RD is because the audience and judges were struck with plot induced stupidity. This moment in the episode felt another case of plot induced stupidity where everyone, despite witnessing Rainbow Dash cheat right out of the open, only her competitor, Applejack, gives a fuss about it. All I ask is why did no one but Applejack attacked Rainbow Dash for cheating, especially the judges themselves who could've easily put a stop to it by threatening to disqualify her and have come out as a 'cheating loser' which certainly would've forced Dash right back down to playing fair when she realizes that her cheating is going to give her an even worse mark than loser?

 

Conclusion: While it didn't have much to offer outside of RD's and AJ's competition for each other, for the most part Fall Weather Friends does weave an effective narrative save for one major point in the plot when it gave the pony audience plot induced stupidity at RD's cheating that also does help build up on what Winter Wrap Up had shown of ponies changing seasons. Some minor points in humor can also ring folks to have perhaps have a higher opinion for Fall Weather Friends than the similar episode in Look Before you Sleep.

Score: 8.0/10

Grade: C+

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19/11/2016 at 2:27 PM, Nuke87654 said:

1. This episode only went into that phase of the running of the leaves between AJ and RD is because the audience and judges were struck with plot induced stupidity. This moment in the episode felt another case of plot induced stupidity where everyone, despite witnessing Rainbow Dash cheat right out of the open, only her competitor, Applejack, gives a fuss about it. All I ask is why did no one but Applejack attacked Rainbow Dash for cheating, especially the judges themselves who could've easily put a stop to it by threatening to disqualify her and have come out as a 'cheating loser' which certainly would've forced Dash right back down to playing fair when she realizes that her cheating is going to give her an even worse mark than loser?

Both of them missed the point of the competition because they were competing between themselves. Which is why I think that Celestia's appearance in the end, and Twilight's philosophy about the race mirror what others were thinking. The fact is that both RD and AJ made asses out of themselves and the others were worried about the event itself. I don't think there was even a judge in the event.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Metemponychosis said:

Both of them missed the point of the competition because they were competing between themselves. Which is why I think that Celestia's appearance in the end, and Twilight's philosophy about the race mirror what others were thinking. The fact is that both RD and AJ made asses out of themselves and the others were worried about the event itself. I don't think there was even a judge in the event.

Aye that is true that they did missed the point of the competition which wasn't to essentially beat each other in a race but to bring the leaves down to make way for fall. Considering that Fluttershy was keeping score, the other ponies were watching, and Applejack complained of them cheating, it still has me wondering why nobody but Applejack called Rainbow Dash out as she didn't even hide she was using her wings to cheat to gain an unfair edge and at how Applejack angrily complained about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Aye that is true that they did missed the point of the competition which wasn't to essentially beat each other in a race but to bring the leaves down to make way for fall. Considering that Fluttershy was keeping score, the other ponies were watching, and Applejack complained of them cheating, it still has me wondering why nobody but Applejack called Rainbow Dash out as she didn't even hide she was using her wings to cheat to gain an unfair edge and at how Applejack angrily complained about it.

Fluttershy was keeping score in the over "events". The Running of the Leaves was something entirely different from the Iron Pony competition. I'd like to say that their shenanigans didn't bother the others because they understood what the thing was about and didn't care about them, but the episode doesn't really say that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Fluttershy was keeping score in the over "events". The Running of the Leaves was something entirely different from the Iron Pony competition. I'd like to say that their shenanigans didn't bother the others because they understood what the thing was about and didn't care about them, but the episode doesn't really say that.

Sorry to say but I disagree as the fact that Fluttershy kept score of the events, Applejack complained about Rainbow Dash cheating which she did, and the nature of the iron pony competition where it was to see who was the best one should indicate that judges or so should be involved or at the least the folks in the audience siding with AJ should've joined with her in calling RD out for cheating. I agree that the Running of the Leaves is a separate competition where for the most part it's goal was to bring fall to Ponyville, not to be the best runner or so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/21/2016 at 4:34 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

You know, now that I ponder it, I wonder if there are specific Iron Pony competitions for unicorns and pegasi.

Likely considering of how unicorns need some way to show off their magic against one another and likewise with a pegasus's flight ability from what we've seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's episode that I'm reviewing before thanksgiving hits is Suited for Success which is the 14th episode of FIM series and season 1. This episode is written by Charlotte Fullerton with the storyboard artists in Mike West for the first half of the episode, first song, and fashion show, and alongside Sherann Johnson who did second half and song reprise. 

According to the 4th video in the Evolution of a scene series, the episode was originally called 'Dress for Failure' which is a more immediate reference to 'Dress for Success', which Lauren Faust confirmed to be true on her twitter.

Your summary here is that in preparation for the Grand Galloping Gala and to hone her craft at dressmaking, Rarity decides to make dresses for all of her friends and even have a fashion show to celebrate them in her dresses, but things go awry when her friends have other ideas for what they want in their dresses.

 

Positives:

1. This episode firmly reestablishes Rarity's character and her arc that was first shown in the season pilot and it really showed Rarity off greatly. One thing to note that in between this episode and the series pilot, Rarity's character for the most part seemed to have been lazed to where she came off more as a vain pony that cares about anything that makes her look good and other wealthy materials that the trope she is inspired from would fall victim to. Suited for Success however put a stop to that when it was Rarity's turn to have her moment in this episode and what a fantastic return to form it was.

Throughout the episode, we see Rarity's passion for dresses stem from not just because they look pretty, but most important of all is that they emphasized Rarity's aspirations as a fashionista, an artist for dresses, that her ultimate dream is to be a famous fashion designer in the world of fashion she wishes to be a part of. Here in the episode, she decides that due to her friend's dresses for the gala are subpar to her standards and a desire to hone her craft, they she will make new dresses for them, free of charge, and even host a fashion show to highlight her dresses but to also make her friends feel great wearing them too. After spending countless toil and labor trying to make the best dresses she can for her friends, when her friends responded with a less than pleased response to what they saw, Rarity instead of retorting with a frustrated or angered response at them disliking her dresses, she chose instead to not only do another set of dresses for them, but she also will allow them to help her design their dresses to their specifications as she wished to make them happy rather than herself be solely satisfied with them. This would lead to less than desirable dresses where Rarity's sense of good fashion considers it all horrible and wrong but still she goes with it as she wishes to make her friends happy. Than after Hoity Toity's unexpected arrival to where he and the rest of the audience react with repulsion from seeing the horrid dresses her friends, when hoity toity demanded who was the artist responsible for the dresses and had been called by Spike to come on out, she fell on the sword accepting the full blame and shame for the design of the dresses. There she went into a self imposed exile as she knew her career was ruined for what had happened. More on that part later, but when Rarity accepted the remane five's apology and the dress they made to show how grateful they were for the dresses she made for them, it really showed off a deeper part on her to forgive her friends for their terrible mistake.

Overall, if you ever needed a good reference for how Rarity should behave in adversity or behavior in general, Suited for Success remains an excellent example of it and should be appreciated for what it did for Rarity after her lackluster showings in between this episode and the series's pilot in S1.

 

2. Her Friends further show greatness when they came to Rarity in her hour of need. One thing that you got to appreciate having good friends is that when you're ever in a dire situation that you cannot get yourself out on your own, even if it was their fault, having good friends coming to your aid and helping you out to fix problems is always a great thing to have. Here this lesson in life pays great dividends for Rarity after what they had done to Rarity by demanding she make new dresses to their specifications for them only to have it get revoked at the fashion show by the audience for how horrid they look and having their friend's chances at becoming a big thing in the fashion world ruined, they chose to come to aid her however they could. Feeling great guilt for ruining their friend's career, they not only went beyond the lengths by creating Rarity's dress she had planned for herself but put it off for her own friend's needs as she designed it on pen but they even managed to convince Hoity Toity to give Rarity a 2nd chance to prove herself a capable and rising fashionista. This time they wore Rarity's first dresses for them and it resulted in Hoity Toity being so impressed that he plans to not only give a good word about her in Canterlot about her talent but also put her up for a line of work too.

What the remane five did after the first fashion show remains one of the best moments the mane 6 did as a group to help one of their friends out in great need for them as not only did they felt great remorse for what they did to them out of their wanted desire to attain the best dresses they thought but to especially pull a hail mary move to convince Hoity Toity to give Rarity a 2nd chance really shows off of how Friendship is magical indeed.

3. Speaking of which, Hoity Toity deserves some good marks on his character. One thing that I like about him is that despite being a renowned fashion critic he is not above giving a 2nd chance to folks as remember, he was only obligated to give his critique on the first fashion show and he hated it. There was no reason for him at all to stick around and he could've easily refused the plea but instead he chose to give Rarity and her friends a second chance to prove her talents to them which ended up greatly pleasing him to which he even promises to give a good word for Rarity in Canterlot and even puts him for a line of work for him. Honestly I feel that Hoity Toity probably needs more recognition for the moment he gave Rarity a 2nd chance for how generous he was in turn for her.

4. For those who like her, Vinyl made her first appearance in this episode too.

5. I do like Opalescence in the episode and I think she was pretty underrated in it too. More minor points for me to note.

6. The humor in this episode is also memorable. Of this note, I especially loved the humor and jokes in the episode, most notably when Pinkie Pie feared Rarity was going to end up being a cat lady for which after Twilight remarked she only had one cat to which Pinkie hilariously replied 'give her time', and Rarity depression was made more lighthearted with how over the top she is about it, a usual characteristic of Rarity's humor.

7. Fluttershy had a good moment of characterization that helps the gang out to help save Rarity in making her dress due to how advanced her knowledge in clothing and sewing is. One thing that probably should play up more in Fluttershy and especially when she does an episode with Rarity is how knowledgeable Fluttershy is about clothing. This to me is not only a very interesting characteristic Fluttershy has but one I would like the future seasons to pick up on it cause this is really an underrated and rather unique thing in her.

8. Art of the Dress is not only a sublime song that remains one of the finest animation moments in DHX's history but also of the deeper meaning of using the remane five in the 2nd part of art of the dress. Outside of a couple of lyrics (thanks to my much more attuned to music minded friend @Rivendare), Art of the Dress is a fantastic song that not only may top the previous best in Winter Wrap Up for best song I've heard but the way it was used by DHX in my honest opinion was superior too. Throughout this song we see and hear Rarity wanting to make the best dresses to the characteristics of her friends to how it would best fit them and her happily doing it for the thought of her friends being happy and pleased for it. Than after her friends decide to take over and aid Rarity in the thinking process. This part of the song is probably my favorite for how rather deep this part was in showing off the different types of clients an artist will face in their life through the remane five and those are:

Twilight Sparkle: The client that has this certain idea they like to see put into existence and would like the artist to design it as they imagined it should be like. This runs into the problem for the artist in that not all ideas are good and that because the client doesn't know that their idea maybe bad this can result in an idea that while it looks good on paper but in practice is actually pretty bad.

Pinkie Pie: She represents the client that isn't fixed on what ideas they want in their product but is spontaneous with ideas and would usually randomly send thoughts and goals in for the artist to do. This usually results in a haphazard product with no rhyme or reason to it and of course runs the risk of looking ridiculous and misshapen. 

Fluttershy: She's the client that likes to show off their knowledge on the field they want their product to be created in as a way to emphasize that their ideas are good because they are able to point out stuff that only folks with intermediate knowledge would know and how much they know. This runs the risk of a product while made with ideas based on what they know also isn't complete as they may not know everything about the inner details of the work put into the product and knowing something is very different to actually applying it in action.

Rainbow Dash: The person who offers little support to the artisan on what they want with only vague answers with minimal direction to guide the artist. This can result in a product that can go in any direction as without knowing what to do, the artist runs the risk of making a product not to what they want or into something else that isn't what it should be.

Applejack: The stubborn person who wishes this product done to how they want it to be done as they see fit and will accept no compromises to their vision. This of course is problematic when the said idea is bad no matter how you tell the client how it is bad.

All of this is fantastic metaphor for those types of people an artist would encounter and gives a surprising depth to the song and episode for many aspiring artists to pick up on and learn on their own craft. For those reasons, Art of Dress is quite possibly the best song of S1 so far.

9.  Even early in DHX's animation in the series, this episode's Art of the dress scenes and especially the 2nd fashion show remain a high point in that department. On that note, the animation in this episode even by DHX's growing standard remains absolutely great to look out for how imaginative and detailed many of the scenes were in this episode with especially how the 2nd fashion show and the mane 6 dress intros and reveals pushed absolutely great heights for what DHX can achieve in the show in the animation department. Thus this episode remains a great point of pride for what DHX achieved animation wise in S1.

 

10. The lessons in this episode are good to know. Here the episode had a duel lessons for Rarity and the remane five to learn.

Rarity: learns that while you may wish to make everyone happy, sometimes it's better to tell them the honest truth that may hurt them as it would end up being better for all involved in the long run. This is especially helpful when you're making a product that you do not think is good but the person wants it so you can tell them that it's not good and we're saying it because we care for you and do not wish for you to be mocked for it.

Remane five: Learn to not be overly critical when someone is going out of their way to present a gift to you and doing it for free. While there are times to critique someone on what they're making, however you should also know when to accept someone's own generosity and labor to make and get such an item for you as the fact they went to such lengths for it is what should truly be appreciated.

Thus I would say that I' am happy about what I saw in this episode's lessons for both involved.

 

Negatives:

1. The fashion show was tacked on. While probably not even a real negative point really, but one thing to note about the episode is that the reason the fashion show and the events that were involved happen was simply cause Rarity thought about making a fashion show for it. The reason why this point is not even bad really is because it was motivated in part by Rarity's desire to make her friends happy wearing her dresses even if it didn't required a fashion show to have it happened.

 

Conclusion: Suited for Success is quite possibly the best episode I've seen in S1 yet. With a fantastic return to form for Rarity's character to set her character up and the grand galloping gala arc to great heights, how great her friends were in saving her career from ruin from their own screwup, how fantastic and surprisingly deep the song is, lessons that were good, and the humor, Hoity Toity, and Opalescence were marvelous in this episode. With only a tacked on fashion show offering even a sliver of a negative in the episode that can easily be shrugged off, this episode deserves my highest grade I can give unto an episode for I do not like it, I love it!

 

Score: 10/10

Grade: A+

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Returning after the break, here I' am going to review the fifteenth episode of season 1 and the FIM series, Feeling Pinkie Keen. This episode in particular is written by Dave Polsky and it's storyboard artists are Scott Underwood and Tom Sales. 

 

The episode itself was inspired by the superstition of having aching joints would often mean a sign of weather or so and the science minded pony, Twilight being a skeptic of this phenomenon. Lauren Faust has remarked that if there's one thing she would go back on the episode it would be how the moral was executed as she wanted to clarify what the moral was instead of brewing the controversy as it did with many folks interpreting it as believing in the unprovable or so (ala religions.)

 

Summary of this episode is that after seeing Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense in action, Twilight Sparkle wishes to prove this occurrence Pinkie Pie is doing is a trick by her and she is willing to study it just to prove it. 

 

Positives:

1. Pinkie Sense offers a rather interesting take on Pinkie Pie's character. While in hindsight  this may have originally been a one shot idea considering how infrequently it has been used since S2, however this does provide an interesting pre recognition ability for Pinkie Pie. The fact that she has the ability to sense impending events or doom though she won't know exactly what's coming just that she can guess at what's coming from past experience with it does leave a rather interesting ability for those who wish to role play as Pinkie Pie as honestly, that is an awesome thing to have to be able to sense danger or something else and it would score high points with you in role plays to do it. While the impact of Pinkie Sense overtime has proven to not have been such a strong thing for Pinkie Pie's character, it does however give her a nice thing to have.

 

2. For the most part, the characters in the episode behaved well and were in character. Save for one notable exception that I will get to, I liked how many of the characters in the episode were written as Pinkie Pie was the joyful pony that was being very gracious towards Twilight regardless of her behavior, Spike tried to be the reasonable person and  give voice for Pinkie Pie to Twilight's ear that the pinkie sense was real, Applejack not only provided further support for it but also showed off her bravery in being the first to jump in when she heard Fluttershy could be in danger based on what the Pinkie Sense could indicate, and finally Fluttershy was also good in this episode for not only showing off her dutiful care for the animals but also for remembering Pinkie Pie's little song from Dragonshy 'A Hop, skip, and jump' for which she would invoke to bring courage to her when she needed it the most in a good continuity callback. Hell, even derpy hooves herself I was entertained by for initiating a loony tunes like gag with the anvil falling on top of Twilight. Even more, I even liked that one point where Twilight used Rainbow Dash's bravery to motivate her actions to help charge recklessly at a hydra. Ha good to see Rainbow Dash be the recklessly brave one.

 

3. I liked the moral of the episode despite it's problems with execution. While I will go and explain below for why I thought the moral had it's problems, but by itself, it's point was that it is important to have faith in your friends to establish a healthy relationship. Which is actually a very good lesson as one of the key cornerstones in any relationship is trust, and friendships is no different. Having faith in your friends can go a long way.

 

4. I really enjoyed the hydra and the scenes it was involved in. On another note, I really enjoyed not only how they set the hydra up, the eerie music in the scenes to highlight how mysterious and dangerous the Froggy Bottom Bog is, the stompings it gave, and just seeing the Hydra trying to consume the ponies and Spike in action despite the light humor given when one of it's hydra heads laughed at one of them really showcases how dangerous this creature is. Despite the educational label it held, I would have to be impressed at how far they pushed it surely here considering just how dangerous and gloom you genuinely feel from these ponies as they made their escape from it.

 

Negatives:

 

1. The moral's execution was pretty poor, and as a result it has caused conflicting interpretations about it. As mentioned above, while I enjoyed the moral it provided for this episode, it's execution leaves alot to be desired and because of it did it cause the early controversy of the show promoting religions or so. The culprit was this poor dialogue here:

 

Twilight Sparkle: I am happy to report that I now realize there are wonderful things in this world you just can't explain, but that doesn't necessarily make them any less true. It just means you have to choose to believe in them, and sometimes it takes a friend to show you the way.

 

Yea, as you can see, this dialogue can easily be interpreted that 'just cause you can't prove it's real doesn't mean it's false, have faith in your friends.' This would often invoke negative feelings towards religions for which it was unintended as Faust and Polsky would often defend themselves from, even causing Faust to wish to go back and make the intention clearer for folks to understand. 

While this doesn't knock an otherwise good moral out, it does deserve a negative score for it's poor choice in words that unintentionally caused the conflict to begin with.

 

2. Twilight Sparkle's characterization in the episode is one of her worst ones in the series. The big anchor that would weigh heavily against the episode was easily Twilight's behavior. For a pony who wanted to let science rule her decisions and actions in studying Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense, she not only brushed aside any evidence that would showcase it to be true, be an asshole towards anyone that didn't conform to what she wanted to believe in, but when she found (for a moment) a shred of evidence that shows Pinkie Sense to not be true, she took the time to bloody brag about how she's right in front of everyone (while ignoring how scared they were of the emerging hydra behind her) and showing off of how her beliefs were vindicated based on one evidence while she ignored everything else just to prove she was right. This Twilight in the episode was an unlikable jerk who clearly wanted to prove her skepticism correct at any cost and didn't cared about anything that would give support to Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense regardless of what she said. It's a good thing the hydra managed to knock that crap out of her but it was well too late to change my view on how I disliked Twilight in the episode. This remains one of the worst characterizations of Twilight in the series.

 

Conclusion: Feeling Pinkie Keen is an episode that did everything right with how characterized, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Spike, offered some loony tunes style comedy with the anvil drop scene, the hydra and it's scenes were the episode's highlight, and I did liked the moral, but due to Twilight's jerk characterization that weighed the episode heavily and the moral's execution this episode was knocked substantially from what it could have achieved with everything else.

 

Score: 7.0/10

Grade: D+

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/19/2016 at 11:27 AM, Nuke87654 said:

Today's episode to be reviewed is Fall Weather Friends, a very appropriately themed episode dealing with our fall weather, which is our 13th episode in season 1 and of the series. It is written by Amy Keating Rogers and it's storyboard artists are Andy Bartlett and Francisco Avalos.

The episode Fall Weather Friends is pun on the words 'Fair weather friends,' a rather negative connotation on individuals to describe friends who are only your friends if conditions are good for you and them. Originally, Applejack's line 'Pete's Sake' was supposed to be uttered as Corn's sake according to Amy Keating Rogers. She would get the chance to use this line in a future episode of hers, Filli Vanilli. Corn's sake is a reference to the classic 50's sitcom I love Lucy's character Fred Mertz.

Our story can be summarized is that Applejack and Rainbow Dash compete against each other in a series of events in order to prove which of the two is the better athlete, eventually competing in the Ponyville event Running of the Leaves to decide it.

 

Positives:

1. Applejack and Rainbow Dash show off each other's character dynamics between each other as friendly if sometimes over zealous friendly rivals and how they treat their competition towards each other. The focus on the episode is to develop the two tomboy ponies and their friendship towards each other and to do this they use the narrative vehicle of them competing against each other to see who is the better athlete of the two. Through it, we get to see how the two see their competition and of how they react to their perspectives.

Applejack: Applejack is a very competitive and confident pony and likes to brag and mess with her opponent through it in order to get an edge. At the same time however, Applejack also likes the spirit of an honorable competition and seems to care more of things done the right and fair way than for the sake of winning. She likes to win too, but I feel she's the kind that would also accept losing pretty well so long as things are done fairly.

Rainbow Dash: The pegasus tomboy on the other hand seems to prefer to win and while she may try to do things on equal terms initially, at the same time she is not above cheating to win. Her initial desire to play fair is probably a result on RD's initial confidence until things do not go well for her. This would imply a level of insecurity within her where she feels that if she does not turn things around to win she will be dubbed a loser for it. As a result, she has developed a sense to win at any costs mantra, even cheating to win it regardless of how others would think of her as she would rather be declared a winner than to be a loser. Thus for her, she does not care as much for having a fair competition but to win.

This would contrast nicely against each other as Applejack's supreme confidence in herself and her talking smack would rub off on Rainbow Dash's weaker grip on her confidence level and thus it would prompt Rainbow Dash to be accepting to cheat to beat her even though she'll initially play fair until things take a turn south for her. There once Rainbow Dash starts to cheat, this would piss Applejack and her sense of honor off as she views Rainbow Dash as blatant cheater willing to break fair play and rules in order to gain whatever edge she can get in the Iron Pony competition and Running of the Leaves. Rainbow Dash's need to be a winner would brush it off as she views that so long as she wins than it won't matter what one pony will complain about her will to cheat or so. This would result in both ponies going at each other not only competitive wise but also of how one approaches a competition.

Honestly I feel that this is a dynamic that's rather underrated and probably needs more spotlight in future episodes as I feel that this isn't played up enough despite the great potential of good episodes this formula holds. At least certainly give the overused Rarijack episodes a break.

 

2. More lore building for the episode as we get another spot of how ponies change season from summer to fall. Here this episode shows off that in order for ponies to bring summer to fall, they try to knock all the tree's leaves down with whatever method they can such as magic or speed. In this case, we see the ponies in Ponyville have set up an annual marathon to help knock all the leaves down via running through the forest and trees of Ponyville. This is rather an ingenious way of solving a noted problem for them and frankly while a minor addition after what the more heavily focused theme of it in Winter Wrap Up showed, still it does highlight one way of ponies changing their environment's seasons.

 

3. Spike's attempts at commentating Applejack's and Rainbow Dash's competition and Pinkie Pie soon joins in much to Spike's annoyance does offer plenty of comedy in the episode. Here Spike takes the initiative to try to be a sports commentator initially at Twilight's exasperation until he proves it is worth it with the popularity of the Iron Pony competition AJ and RD were having and close the two were at that point. Than Pinkie Pie joins in on the fun even at Spike's annoyance as he liked to do it solo until eventually the two hit it off well together as they commentated the events and incidences at the Running of the Leaves. Those two can offer some comedy moments in the episode for folks to enjoy.

4. AJ and RD getting tied for last place and the egghead pony, Twilight, getting fifth or well above those two does put a hilarious spin for how focus those two were on beating each other so much they ignored the competition. A very minor point but one that is funny for me.

 

Negatives:

1. This episode only went into that phase of the running of the leaves between AJ and RD is because the audience and judges were struck with plot induced stupidity. This moment in the episode felt another case of plot induced stupidity where everyone, despite witnessing Rainbow Dash cheat right out of the open, only her competitor, Applejack, gives a fuss about it. All I ask is why did no one but Applejack attacked Rainbow Dash for cheating, especially the judges themselves who could've easily put a stop to it by threatening to disqualify her and have come out as a 'cheating loser' which certainly would've forced Dash right back down to playing fair when she realizes that her cheating is going to give her an even worse mark than loser?

 

Conclusion: While it didn't have much to offer outside of RD's and AJ's competition for each other, for the most part Fall Weather Friends does weave an effective narrative save for one major point in the plot when it gave the pony audience plot induced stupidity at RD's cheating that also does help build up on what Winter Wrap Up had shown of ponies changing seasons. Some minor points in humor can also ring folks to have perhaps have a higher opinion for Fall Weather Friends than the similar episode in Look Before you Sleep.

Score: 8.0/10

Grade: C+

 

 

Who else was rooting for AJ (if only out of annoyance toward RD's Dick Dastardly streak)?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic Rainboom, better known for many as their gateway episode into the series, is the sixteenth episode in the FIM series and season one. It is written by M.A Larson and it was storyboarded by artists Alex Basio and Kenny Park. 

 

Your background info on the episode is that two sound clips from the series pilot, Rarity's laugh was the same as the one used when she saw Twilight's unkempt hair and Fluttershy's hale is Pinkie Pie's grasp in reverse, were used in the episode. According to M.A Larson, the episode was supposed to include a scene of them keeping lightning in a bottle but was cut due to time constraints. This would return in the S5 episode 'Tanks for the Memories'. 

 

In this episode, Rainbow Dash struggles to come to grips with an ability her filly self managed to pull off, Sonic Rainboom, which she hopes she can somehow succeed in pulling it off as she needs to in order to earn the crown in the best young flier competition for the chance to spend a day with the wonderbolts. 

 

Positives:

1. The narration for Rainbow Dash is very good as we see her struggle to perform an ability opening up alot about her character in the process and her triumph for it. The star of the episode is Rainbow Dash. Here we see the mare struggling to successfully perform an ability that has been alluding her for a while, as Fluttershy has described, she hasn't come close to achieving it no matter how many times she does it. The upcoming Young Flier's competition would open up an interesting character in Rainbow Dash, her insecurity when things are not going well for her. While not the first time such a characterization would show itself as the previous episode 'Fall Weather Friends' would show that first, without the ability to cheat and win, she really had little choice but to try to attain that one flight maneuver that her past self had achieved but has since failed to do so. As deeper she is in the competition, she begins to start suffering anxieties as she worries she will fail and be viewed as a loser for her failure and especially to miss her chance at spending time with the wonderbolts. This would result in her suffering a mental breakdown where she is struck with paralyzing fear for failing in front of everyone in Cloudsdale and suffer the stinging mark of losing and be called mean names from her past bullies such as 'Rainbow Crash.' We would than see RD, in an act to save her friends after Rarity flew too close to the sun, Icarus style, and fell down that would lead to her death and three of the six wonderbolts there present that she would summon the determination necessary to push herself to achieve the Sonic Rainboom in the nick of time to save them. This of course would lead to the happy ending Rainbow Dash had sought at the end where she's not only successfully attained that long elusive Sonic Rainboom, earned her first respect with the wonderbolts, and gained new confidence for herself too. 

 

I especially loved the tale for Rainbow Dash here as this is the kind of tale where a person in their younger years miraculously succeeded attaining something but it has since not only failed to be replicated but it's reputation and the fact that person herself has achieved it before leaves a lasting negative impact on that person to where they feel that if they do not successfully get it than they're not only worse for wear but feel haunted by the very past to which they did succeeded somehow someway and they will stop at nothing to achieve it.

 

Sonic Rainboom deserves kudos for what it had done for Rainbow Dash to which it really helped hit it off for her for those that especially care for her as it helped give more meat into her character for it.

 

2. The episode not only introduces us our first glimpse at the Pegasus home city of Cloudsdale and even shows it's importance to Equestria in general too.  I really enjoyed what this episode had done was not only introducing us to a major city in Equestria, Cloudsdale, for the first time in the series but even of it's importance in Equestria too. It's role is of how it creates and stores the weather many Equestrian cities and the rest that need it to be able to handle the important weather necessary to maintain health in the ecosystem. This really gives the series an even greater importance to the role of pegasus ponies in Equestria where it seems it's their primary responsibility to bring and maintain the weather in it to the point that it seems their major cities are given such roles to create and store weather when it's necessary. 

 

3. I did like Fluttershy's growth here where this is the first episode to really start off her being more assertive. A notable thing in my eyes was Fluttershy's character in the episode. Here she not only progresses steadily in her great support role for Rainbow Dash in not only being her cheerleader, standing up to Rainbow Dash's bullies, giving her encouragement or so when she needed it especially, and her shouting up and down in triumph seeing Rainbow Dash achieve the Sonic Rainboom is to me a good mark of secondary character she played in the episode.

 

4. Sonic Rainboom the flight maneuver's inception would not only shape Rainbow Dash in this episode, but it would play important roles in future episodes. One thing that I would praise this series for is it's use of the Sonic Rainboom that started here great with serving as that seemingly unachievable barrier for Rainbow Dash to overcome and how mythical it seemed considering it's 'mare's tale' status. This won't be the last time it will play it's part in the series and the Sonic Rainboom's inception remains one of the most important things to have happened in the series as we will find out soon why so this episode deserves plenty of credit for that.

 

5. A minor thing, but for those keeping track of twilight's abilities, she can create wings on a pony and allow them to walk on clouds too. A small point but one to make mention for folks caring for such things.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Rarity's behavior was out of character where she not only let her vanity get into her head but she selfishly chose to compete against Rainbow Dash and betray her initial arrival to help support her. I didn't like Rarity's behavior in the episode as not only did she allowed her vanity to get the better of her, but she also decides that it would be best in her interests to compete against the anxious Rainbow Dash to further ruin her confidence to dust. To make matters worse, she knew that Rainbow Dash was already nervous enough as it is so it just makes Rarity's actions even more careless and thoughtless of her for her friend's interests. While yes she did apologize graciously at the end after realizing her screw up and she wasn't being an asshole towards Rainbow Dash and even tried to offer some form of encouragement to her fellow competitor, those two points only mitigate what could've been worse as Rarity pulled a very otherwise petty and selfish move against one of her best friends in a competition she wanted so badly and trained for so long.

 

2. The reason why Rainbow Dash was able to save Rarity and the falling Wonderbolts was because everyone else was struck with plot induced stupidity. This to me however is the biggest problem with the episode where in order for Rainbow Dash to be the heorine, these characters that could've saved the wonderbolts and Rarity are:

A. The three other wonderbolts that were there at the ceremony.

 

B. The security ponies that undoubtedly should've been there and in fact they should've been the first ones to jump in and not the celebrity wonderbolts.

 

C. The other pegasus ponies deciding to take the initiative to help save them.

 

D. Princess Celestia and her guard ponies that were there watching.

 

All of them had to be struck with plot induced stupidity in order for Rainbow Dash to not only set herself up as the heroine saving the day via performing her Sonic Rainboom as she was in an even worse position to save them than any of those mentioned ponies and yet she was the only taking the initiative to save them. I do not like these moments as to me it cheapens the narrative as instead of making it feel like Rainbow Dash herself saving her beloved friend and her idols from impending doom, we must also congratulate her on being the only one to think of saving them too.

 

Conclusion: Sonic Rainboom is a great character episode for Rainbow Dash as it develops and opens her up in ways that have only greatly attracted the audience's interests in her character and struggles. Coupled with Fluttershy's own good characterization, Cloudsdale's appearance and role given to it from this episode, and of how important the creation of the Sonic Rainboom flight maneuver would prove later in the series was a great choice to make. Those points help overcome it's flaws such as Rarity's characterization and the large amount of plot induced stupidity struck on every able pony other than Rainbow Dash in order to ensure she would be the one to save the day and perform the Sonic Rainboom while doing it.

 

Score: 8.5/10

 

Grade: B

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great episode. Lots of worldbuilding, and had me cheering for Rainbow Dash. ;)

 

Also gave us one of the earliest PMVs:

 

 

26 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

A. The three other wonderbolts that were there at the ceremony.

Why are you blaming them? They tried, at least. And getting kicked in the face by a pony and 'only' being knocked unconscious shows some serious toughness. ;)

 

27 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

1. Rarity's behavior was out of character where she not only let her vanity get into her head but she selfishly chose to compete against Rainbow Dash and betray her initial arrival to help support her.

Eh, Rarity's been known to let her ego get out of control on more than one occasion. The road to hell's paved with good intentions like hers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Great episode. Lots of worldbuilding, and had me cheering for Rainbow Dash. ;)

 

Also gave us one of the earliest PMVs:

 

 

Why are you blaming them? They tried, at least. And getting kicked in the face by a pony and 'only' being knocked unconscious shows some serious toughness. ;)

 

Eh, Rarity's been known to let her ego get out of control on more than one occasion. The road to hell's paved with good intentions like hers.

Thank you and I agree with your points especially on worldbuilding.

 

As for the critiques, there were three other wonderbolts at the event as shown here:

 

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/4/45/Wonderbolts_making_an_appearance_S1E16.png/revision/latest?cb=20120721002020

 

 

That's what I meant three others as only three, including Spitfire and Soarin jumped in when there were three others available. Other than that, I don't blame the three that got knocked out for their failure and I see no problem with it as it can be just a bad hit on em and just not their best moment to shine or so.

 

Sure she has had moments when she has been vain and such, but to the point she did it at her friend's expense? That's the main issue I had as Rarity dumped her original intention to support Rainbow Dash to compete against her simply to stroke her vain glory despite knowing how nervous Rainbow Dash is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

As for the critiques, there were three other wonderbolts at the event as shown here:

 

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/4/45/Wonderbolts_making_an_appearance_S1E16.png/revision/latest?cb=20120721002020

Oh, damn. I forgot about those three! Okay, yeah. You're right. Them not trying to help, bad on those three.

 

45 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

Sure she has had moments when she has been vain and such, but to the point she did it at her friend's expense? That's the main issue I had as Rarity dumped her original intention to support Rainbow Dash to compete against her simply to stroke her vain glory despite knowing how nervous Rainbow Dash is.

I suppose it's a bit out there for her, but I see it within her wheelhouse. Agree to disagree, I guess.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/1/2016 at 6:10 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Oh, damn. I forgot about those three! Okay, yeah. You're right. Them not trying to help, bad on those three.

 

I suppose it's a bit out there for her, but I see it within her wheelhouse. Agree to disagree, I guess.

Aye, I had forgotten those three too. It was after my latest watch that I was able to see them.

 

Perhaps, sure. Continue with your critiques as any way to know more is what I seek and encourage others to do too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's episode I'll be reviewing is Stare Master. It was written by Chris Savino and it's storyboard artists are Sabrina Alberghetti and Nicole Wang. 

 

Of an interesting note, this is the first and only episode in Season 1 where Applejack does not make an appearance at all. The name is also a pun on the american exercise brand: Stairmaster. 

 

The summary here is that after convincing Rarity to let herself take care of the CMC's in her stead, Fluttershy worries that she may have bitten off more than she could chew with the girls rambunctious behavior. 

 

Positives:

 

1. I really enjoyed Fluttershy's characterization in this episode and consider this one of her more underrated roles in the series. A rather surprising thing upon further inspection of this episode is just how good Fluttershy was in this episode to the point that I wonder why I don't hear more of how great she was in this episode. She graciously and kindly helped the CMC's and give Rarity a peace of mind when she told her she would like to babysit the girls in her stead after Rarity had to work overtime to make ends meet after Sweetie Belle ruined her last gold silk fabrics needed for her order. There once we see Fluttershy and the CMC's at the cottage, she showed great patience and care for them despite how bratty they were that would drive other folks mad which even Fluttershy showed frustration at them for their behavior. Still she preserved and managed to coax them to bed, though this would be short lived when the girls decide to go to the everfree forest. Despite her fear for the place, Fluttershy showed great courage when she not only went inside the everfree forest to save the CMCs, accidentally found a frozen Twilight that I will get into more detail below, stood up against a terrifying creature directly in the face, which doing so will cause you to be turned to stone medusa style for it, and managed to use her own stare to overpower the creature and intimidate it to submission, even having it turn it's two victims in Twilight and Elizibeak the chicken to normal. 

 

On another note, while this isn't the first episode to make use of Fluttershy's stare as that would be Dragonshy, but this episode can be considered the first to really emphasize it and make it part of the narration of the episode. This is very good to have for Fluttershy as it's rather hilarious to see the timid pony be given an ability able to intimidate a full grown adult dragon and an evil chicken via staring them.

 

Overall, sporting one of Fluttershy's finest moments of bravery in the series, her excellent characterization in the episode, and making good use of her stare ability really highlights my opinion that this is one of the most underrated roles for her in the series.

 

 

2. The Cockatrice despite it's funny description of 'evil chicken with a snake's body and a medusa like gaze ability' is treated not only as a terrifying monster but it really highlights how well Season 1 treated the big bad monsters in it. I really enjoyed seeing the evil chicken in the Cockatrice in this episode. Despite what I said, the Cockatrice was legit scary with how well they built up the atmosphere in the Everfree Forest in the middle of the night, had Twilight Sparkle be frozen by it in an ambush which by the way that's pretty grim dark considering how if Fluttershy hadn't stumbled upon her who knows how long Twilight would've been stuck in there, turning Elizibeak into stone on the spot, terrorizing the CMCs, and nearly turning Fluttershy to stone too if it weren't for Fluttershy standing her ground against the beast. The scenes it was involved in were easily the best moments of the episode. In fact, I would say the cockatrice is a pretty underrated monster considering what it was able to do and nearly pull off despite it's size and body as it's certainly an evil chicken with a nasty attitude augmented by it's ability to turn it's victims into stone. 

 

3. Hush now quiet now is a funny little song number. While certainly not something that is great or something to remember, it was pretty funny for what it was, a comedic moment in the episode for how Sweetie Belle over sang it and also the first to show off Sweetie Belle's ability to sing.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were annoying as hell in the episode for their repetitive and bratty behavior. One thing that is to note about the CMCs in Season 1 is of how annoying they were with their desire to find the cutie marks. There was a reason why the cutie mark crusaders best episodes weren't them finding their cutie marks but their own individual episodes developing their character outside of it and this episode is one such proof for why. Not only were they your typical brat kids who cause mayhem for the sake of finding their cutie marks which an older member of an audience would not be so enthralled unless it were to sympathize with Fluttershy's plight in babysitting them Due to their characterization as bratty children looking to get what they want, you're not going to be really enthusiastic with them in Stare Master and they weigh against it for their behavior.

 

2. The scenes at Fluttershy's cottage was slow paced as it was bogged down by the CMC's repetitive annoying behavior until the episode decided to move on from it. One scene that really highlights the episode's problem is how the cottage scene was literally a boring mess of seeing the CMC's wreck Fluttershy's home in their adventure to find the Cutie mark crusaders however they can. To make matters worse, this scene took up nearly a third of the episodes time which only exasperated my annoyance for the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

 

Conclusion: Stare Master is a very underrated character episode for Fluttershy as she was utterly sublime in it coupled with her stare ability. The cockatrice is also a great addition to the collection of monsters in this series for how genuinely terrifying it was by it's actions. But the Cutie Mark Crusader's repeated and annoying behavior brings Stare Master down in my view despite the good it had done in other areas.

 

Score: 8.0/10

Grade: C+

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nuke87654

You didn't give the Pilot Episode a B or better. I hate you!

 

Seriously, I appreciate your constructive analysis of "Friendship is Magic," even though I liked it very much. Maybe I'm a bit biased because it was the episode that made me love MLP and become a Brony, but that's my opinion. I agree with you on the character introduction aspect, and I definitely agree with you on the AJ honesty part. I guess I can concede to the villain stupidity analysis, which probably went over my head because I was enticed by the Everfree Forest setting and the "mystery" aspect of the Elements of Harmony. I didn't feel like the Elements of Harmony plot was rushed, but rather well-prepared and cleverly executed. I was all like "what's the point of all this laughing at spooky trees and encountering a random dragon who needs a mustache," until Twilight Sparkle explained it in a dramatic and borderline "detective smart" way. I was always into mystery and sci-fi, so I guess that's part of what made me love the climax. I'd give the episode a B+, if not an A. But of course, I respect your opinion and your rating.  

 

Cheers!     

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, ChB said:

@Nuke87654

You didn't give the Pilot Episode a B or better. I hate you!

 

Seriously, I appreciate your constructive analysis of "Friendship is Magic," even though I liked it very much. Maybe I'm a bit biased because it was the episode that made me love MLP and become a Brony, but that's my opinion. I agree with you on the character introduction aspect, and I definitely agree with you on the AJ honesty part. I guess I can concede to the villain stupidity analysis, which probably went over my head because I was enticed by the Everfree Forest setting and the "mystery" aspect of the Elements of Harmony. I didn't feel like the Elements of Harmony plot was rushed, but rather well-prepared and cleverly executed. I was all like "what's the point of all this laughing at spooky trees and encountering a random dragon who needs a mustache," until Twilight Sparkle explained it in a dramatic and borderline "detective smart" way. I was always into mystery and sci-fi, so I guess that's part of what made me love the climax. I'd give the episode a B+, if not an A. But of course, I respect your opinion and your rating.  

 

Cheers!     

Happy to have you coming along here in this corner of EQD forums and thank you especially for offering your critique and viewpoint on the episode. I have my own reasons still for why I thought the plot in the 2nd half was rushed and contrived still, but still I would like for you to continue conversing here as I like to add to whatever information or stuff that I was missing in my review for the episode.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now