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I'll be honest, as I usually am. ;) But in all seriousness, the more I think about this, the more I reflect, the more childish, immature and plain petulant Celestia comes off as.

 

I am not one of the Mane Six. I'm one of the other guests. I'm one of the other guests who didn't do a damned thing wrong, who worship the ground Celestia walks on... and had their own night ruined because Celestia found it 'boring'. Because Celestia, instead of being mature and opening a dialog, or being the fucking planner herself, do direct changes to the event, ruins it for everyone else.

 

Instead, the night is ruined for others that, again, haven't really done a damned thing wrong. All that whole bullshit 'decadent deadly court' is FANON! The absolute worst of them is the admittedly-assholish Blueblood, and I'll take him at his worst versus, say, Discord at his 'best'.

 

And yeah, I know she says she 'didn't mean it' or something like that. i don't care. I look at the results, at what happened, and that she approves of the chaos, of the general destruction, and doesn't mind that just about everyone else had a shitty night, even though they didn't deserve it.

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@RK_Striker_JK_5The problem, I think, is that we don't know Celestia. The idea makes sense in this episode if she is forced to participate in a party that is boring and that she doesn't like. Until the next episode about the gala where we learn that she plans the party... Celestia is schizophrenic.:angrytwi:

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21 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I'll be honest, as I usually am. ;) But in all seriousness, the more I think about this, the more I reflect, the more childish, immature and plain petulant Celestia comes off as.

 

I am not one of the Mane Six. I'm one of the other guests. I'm one of the other guests who didn't do a damned thing wrong, who worship the ground Celestia walks on... and had their own night ruined because Celestia found it 'boring'. Because Celestia, instead of being mature and opening a dialog, or being the fucking planner herself, do direct changes to the event, ruins it for everyone else.

 

Instead, the night is ruined for others that, again, haven't really done a damned thing wrong. All that whole bullshit 'decadent deadly court' is FANON! The absolute worst of them is the admittedly-assholish Blueblood, and I'll take him at his worst versus, say, Discord at his 'best'.

 

And yeah, I know she says she 'didn't mean it' or something like that. i don't care. I look at the results, at what happened, and that she approves of the chaos, of the general destruction, and doesn't mind that just about everyone else had a shitty night, even though they didn't deserve it.

 

We don't know of how Celestia had wanted the party to go and considering how the lesson is, it's likely her plans for the night were wrecked too and it's just her laughing for a silver lining that "hey, at least it was something different this time", so she laughed about it. Just cause someone tries to be lighthearted about the situation doesn't mean that they're trying to be assholes but rather just trying to keep things on a positive up spin. Finally, it does not impact the narrative negatively in any form or so from what I see.

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Well after taking the week off due to Christmas and new year’s in one sitting, I've returned so I can do a review on season 1 and how I thought it went and other moments I feel is prudent to discuss about the season in general and offer rankings on the episodes, the mane 6, and positives and flaws of the season too.

 

1. Season 1 of Friendship is Magic helped establish a solid foundation for the series to be built on and still use today. As with every show, giving a good impression and show potential for how your series is going to turn out is very integral to how a show’s first season should showcase to an audience. You don’t have to be perfect throughout to attract an audience as for the most part a show’s Season 1 is where the writers try to hit something that works and try again with a different idea if it doesn’t work and Friendship is Magic is no stranger to that regard. Especially with regards to the series pilot and several other episodes in season 1, we have:

 

 

A. The two royal sisters that have ruled Equestria together until one of them got jealous for how the older one received for adoration than she did because they slept through her nights and turned to a demon of the night in Nightmare Moon in response. Princess Celestia, her older sister would be forced to banish her to the moon to stave off this enraged demon from terrorizing the ponies of Equestria.

 

B. Nightmare Moon and her impact upon the ponies of Equestria and especially upon Luna would play an important role throughout the series.

 

C. Six ponies held together by their friendship and apparent destiny for that and how it ties them to the elements of Harmony.

 

D. These ponies are a studios bookworm unicorn who has a snarky streak in her in Twilight Sparkle, a party minded pony who has surprising depth to her comedic and cheerful persona in Pinkie Pie, a hardworking and reliable but stubborn and traditional country pony in Applejack, a fashionista unicorn who wishes to spread her talent and make others feel lovely for the art she’s willing to provide for free in Rarity, a cocky but insecure athletic pegasus who holds a surprising sincerity and care for her friends in Rainbow Dash, and a socially anxious Pegasus who loves animals and is very kind to whomever in Fluttershy.

 

E. There are other characters in the series such as Spike the dutiful and snarky baby dragon and the cutie mark crusaders composing of the talent finding Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo which all three will play their own roles in the series to have whether as supporting roles for the mane 6 or even be the main characters in their own episodes.

 

F. There are other characters that would serve minor if not antagonistic roles such as the teacher Cheerliee, Gilda, Trixie, Zecora, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, Big Macintosh, Little Strongheart, and Braeburn that would make their first appearance in the show too.

 

G. Outside of the adventure centric two parters of the series and a few exceptions, the main point of the series is to be a slice of life fantasy show of ponies trying to overcome and figure out problems for them in their daily lives and how they can become better ponies for it. These problems are relatable to our own real life needs too to better emulate the

 

All those mentioned points are what Season 1 has provided for folks to be able to see on the show and it has proven to be very successful in that regard for the formula it provided. Sure, it may not have been perfect that I will explain more in detail below, but for doing a season 1’s primary objective of trying to give a great first impression to an audience and of how it needed to give a good foundation for the series to stand on in the long term, it did that very well.

 

2. In addition to the characters presented in season 1, it also provided some very interesting locations that have provided a lasting impression and use for the show. Friendship is magic does one thing especially great in the first season was setting up the locales of the world around Equestria. Here we get different locations such as the medieval inspired of the fantasy archetype of Canterlot and its castle theme, to the quiet hamlet and village with some modern takes on it in Ponyville, to the deep dark and mysterious forest of Everfree Forest, to the wild west inspired desert towns of Appleloosa, to the city in the sky settings of Cloudsdale with some ancient Greek style in it too despite being arguably the most modern and like our modern world in real life. These locales provide different flavors for how you want or like your setting in Equestria to be whether it’s from a more adventurous setting like the Everfree Forest or to the more slice of life style of Ponyville and being the show’s primary location.

 

3. Other than the three-main species of ponies in earth, Pegasus, and Unicorn, there are other sapient species in Equestria too. To better help establish the kind of world the ponies of Equestria live in, there are other creatures of equal intelligence too. These would include the proud and brutish Griffons, the Native American expies of the Buffalos, another subspecies of ponies in Zebras, and to the terrifying and powerful Dragons. All of them would serve their given roles in the series whether it’s to be as antagonists or even in supporting roles for the characters that would better establish the world of equestrian around them.

 

4. The season also does a fantastic job with the monsters. One thing that really helped set the series up to be a quality show is of how it portrayed its big bad monsters. From the Chimera and how menacing it was before it showed him as a kind big kitty, to the building sized Ursa Minor to its much bigger mother in the Ursa Major, to the full adult dragons that show of how terrifying they are while one does show off that he isn’t so bad too, to the cute but locust like destructive creatures in the Parasprites, to probably the scariest monster of the bunch in the three headed Hydra monster, and the underrated evil chicken in the stone turning Cockatrice. Serving as the primary antagonists of the many episodes of Season 1, they would serve very effective roles to challenge the mane 6, spike, and the cmc’s in their respective episodes. With their effective portrayals, this would show off the serious side of the show necessary for the audience to stick around as they deal with foes beyond their own ability for which they must outwit or even intimidate them to submission to win.

 

5. I really enjoyed the songs of Season 1. One other thing that also brought a lot of folks their attention to the series was the quality of the songs in it. Many of them are short catchy songs made to bring joy out of a scene or task being done, but there were a couple, especially in Winter Wrap Up and At the Gala, both that are some of the series’ best still, that really shows the great efforts they went into to make the show and its episodes great.

 

6. Despite how early their skill in animation was for flash, they did have a couple of moments that really stood the test of time for the animation skills. Now due to how cheap Flash Animation is, it was the chosen animation software for DHX to use for Friendship is Magic as it was originally supposed to be a safe reboot for the My Little Pony brand after how bad G3.5 was for the franchise. Remember, on the former HUB network, it was supposed to be the Transformers: Prime, one of the series’ best cartoons and frankly a very underrated show that got overshadowed by Friendship is Magic, that was supposed to be the big money maker for them with Friendship is Magic running a typical 65-episode course for TV syndication until a certain periphery demographic boost the series up to new heights unexpectedly. As for the animation, you can quite tell they weren’t exactly masters at using Flash but weren’t incompetent as while their missing pieces to certain characters or even hilarious mistakes like the cyclops pony, it wasn’t noticeable unless you pay a keen eye towards finding them so a credit to their editors and animation crew for pulling it off. Despite my mentioned point of them not being masters at it, they did hold several pieces of animation that I thought was and still is among their finest work in the series such as Suited for Success dress shows. The pleasant pony designs courtesy of Lauren Faust, the former head runner of the show and creator also helps to establish a good connection between the audience and the show as their good and simple designs would help to attract many impressionable fan artists to the show.

 

7. Despite how simple season 1’s arc is, it can be argued to be the series’ best written arc. The Grand Galloping Gala arc held only three episodes that held no two parters. Despite the simplicity, this arc can be considered the best of the bunch for how two of its three episodes, Suited for Success and Best Night Ever can be placed as among the series’ best episodes and of how satisfactory the conclusion was for it. In another point in its favor, it’s also the only arc that was really a pure slice of life arc where it held no adventure episodes. Honestly, I feel that the show probably can do better to go back to such a formula considering the episodes' quality.

 

8. Here I will give detailed information and review on how the mane 6 performed in Season 1.

 

 

A. Twilight Sparkle: Twilight in season 1 was the only character that was involved in every episode as she was tied to the series educational label for the children and thus must be involved to tell the audience of what was the lesson she learned in the episode. This would lead to problems in certain episodes where her role felt tacked on for the sake of providing her a role and where the episode could’ve avoided needing her if it weren’t for they needed to give a lesson for her to say to the audience. However, despite this anchor cast on her, for the most part she was pretty good in her supporting roles such as Apple buck Season. As for her main roles, she had one stellar performance in one of the season’s best episodes in Winter Wrap Up, but her jackass role in Feeling Pinkie Keen and especially arguably her worst role in the series happened in the episode Owl’s Well that Ends Well for her horrid behavior towards Spike. Thus, for her main roles, Twilight really wasn’t particularly good but she did hold her moments to shine bright in season 1.

 

B. Pinkie Pie: Pinkie Pie for the most part was probably better than Twilight as she never held a role as bad as Twilight’s was in Owl’s Well that Ends Well, though she wasn’t perfect as her roles in Griffon the Brush Off, Swarm of the Century and Green isn’t your color will show that. As for her good roles, she was good as a supporting character for her comedic roles that help to entertain the audience throughout the season and offered helpful support to the primary characters such as giving a good pep talk to Fluttershy in Dragonshy, and her main episode in Party of One remains one of the best episodes ever to the point that it can be used as a good reference of how a good Pinkie Pie should act and be characterized as.  

 

C. Applejack: AJ had a rather unspectacular season as her episodes while good at establishing at whom she is but at the same time didn’t pushed her character to as good of heights as the other ponies had and she had a few stinkers such as Boast Busters, Over a Barrel, and Bridle Gossip. At the same time, she never really held a role that was as atrocious as Twilight’s Owl’s well that ends well either and she did hold a couple of good ones such as her supporting role in Dragonshy.

 

D. Rainbow Dash: Rainbow Dash had a very solid outing in Season 1 where she held many important roles such as her Sonic Rainboom tying her friend’s destinies and cutie marks up and had a great but flawed episode in the Sonic Rainboom episode. Even her cockiness and arrogance was used appropriately as I felt that it was always done with reason to show how much she disapproves of this, is challenged for it, and even helps make the narrative better for it. To say the least, I like cocky Rainbow Dash. However, her role in the episode Boast Busters and Bridle Gossip does mitigate a very good season for her with how much of a jackass she was towards Trixie and Zecora respectively.

 

E. Rarity: While she started off well in the series pilot, but soon after her character suffered for it for where she ended up being portrayed more as a vain pony who cared more for her own well-being instead of being her element of generosity. Her roles in Sonic Rainboom, Boast Busters, Bridle Gossip, and Look before you Sleep, really hurt her appearance in S1 and would take a lot of good episodes in later seasons to really recover from it. However, in the pilot and especially her main episode in Suited for Success and Green isn’t your Color, this is where she really shows off the kind of character she can. However, in season 1, despite how stellar she was in Suited for Success and good her role was in Green isn’t your Color, one great and very good role doesn’t make up for how mediocre and weak season 1 was for Rarity.

 

F. Fluttershy: She was sublime in the first season of the show. It can even be argued that Season 1 was Fluttershy’s best season in the show. This was due to not only of how stellar her roles were in both secondary and primary roles in episodes like A Bird in a Hoof, Dragonshy, Sonic Rainboom, and Stare master. With only her flaw of the season being part of the racist pony crowd in Bridle Gossip, she was fantastic in Season 1. Of that note, it also seemed that Fluttershy herself was even undergoing progress with her social anxiety in Season 1 where she learned from Pinkie Pie the little pep talk of ‘A Hop skip and Jump’ that would prove an effective continuity pull in Feeling Pinkie Keen, overpowered a dragon, helped Rarity to taking care of the cutie mark crusaders, and helped to cheer Rainbow Dash loudly for her in Sonic Rainboom. These points would highlight of how Fluttershy underwent a character arc in season 1 and would further enhance of just how good Season 1 was for Fluttershy.

 

Now for personal rankings of which pony was best to worst, it would be:

 

1.      Fluttershy

2.      Rainbow Dash

3.      Pinkie Pie

4.      Twilight Sparkle

5.      Apple Jack

6.      Rarity

 

9. Season 1 helps establish Spike’s character as Twilight’s #1 assistant well but doesn’t do enough to make him an especially favored character. While Spike’s role in the series was done well enough with his care and attention to his duty with Twilight and his one-sided infatuation would prove to be lasting trait in his character in the series, unfortunately he wasn’t established well beyond being a good supporting character mainly for how bad his main episode of Owl’s Well that Ends Well is, with how he treated to a cruel joke in Winter Wrap Up, he wasn’t, and how he was never given really any great moments to shine outside of a support role.

 

10. The Cutie Mark Crusaders while their start up episode would help establish their roles in the series, character wise they became annoying and oblivious brats in Season 1. To give credit here, Season 1 did help establish one good thing that would prove to have been an excellent choice in getting the Cutie Mark Crusaders up and running in Call of the Cutie. Unfortunately, throughout the season, they were pretty much spoiled brat kids and I’m not a fan of these types of characters. To make matters worse, Applebloom’s role in Bridle Gossip was easily one of the worst actions she has committed in the series for essentially ditching AJ to fend for herself in the Everfree Forest and of how in the episode The Showstoppers lampshade what cutie mark talents they would have but they’re too stupid to notice it. As I said, Season 1 did good to start the Cutie Mark Crusaders and paring Applebloom with Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle as friends, but it made poor use of them.

 

11. Princess Celestia was held to minor roles in S1 but they were effective. While in S1 and onwards Celestia has yet to have an episode to really be used as an effective reference for her character, in S1 we do see that she was treated well for how much respect she has garnered from the ponies across Equestria where she is venerated as a goddess amongst them and is greatly respected by them for their leadership. At the same time, they did reveal a bit about her character where despite her monolithic status, Celestia seems to like to have a bit of fun and make defuse situations to something more lighthearted and finally for how much her pet Philomena likes to have pranks too. If there’s one thing that I will say the show misses dearly the most from Faust, it would probably be her characterization of Celestia as it seems she holds greater respect and expresses better portrayal of her than future show runners have for her. I wish they would start treating Celestia more seriously as a character than the prop of important leader they seem satisfied to put her in as.

 

12. Outside of the monsters, the season’s use of villains is not very good. While Season 1’s monster villains and antagonists were great, it’s other villains were not. Here we see:

 

A. Nightmare Moon: Despite her great background story as a jealousy driven sister of Equestria’s ruler who was banished for trying to rule the planet in darkness, in action she was struck with massive amounts of plot induced stupidity to the point she came off as an idiotic villain that allowed her foes to be able to win because of it.

 

B. Gilda: Was unfairly cast as a villain despite Pinkie Pie not behaving exactly well towards her and ends up losing her best friend in Rainbow Dash due to Pinkie Pie’s actions. Doesn't help her character in Griffon the Brush Off wasn't endearing.

 

C. Trixie: Another one that was unfairly cast as a villain except even more egregiously as she ended up losing her home and her career for a while for it.  

 

D. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon: They're one note bullies to the CMC's. That's pretty much it for them in S1.

 

Thus, we can say that S1’s villains outside of the monsters used were not good at all.

 

13. Here are my episode rankings for season 1.

 

1. Best Night Ever: A+

2. Suited for Success: A+

3. Party of One: A

4. The Cutie Mark Chronicles: A

5. Winter Wrap Up: B+

6. Dragonshy: B+

7. Green isn’t your Color: B+

8. Sonic Rainboom: B

9. Call of the Cutie: B

10. A Bird in a Hoof: C+

11. Stare Master: C+

12. Fall Weather Friends: C+

13. A Dog and Pony Show: C

14. The Ticketmaster: C

15. Look Before You Sleep: C

16. Apple buck Season: D+

17. Feeling Pinkie Keen: D+

18. Mare in the Moon/Friendship is Magic: D+

19. Swarm of the Century: D+

20. Griffon the Brush Off: D

21. Over a Barrel: D

22. Bridle Gossip: F

23. Boast Busters: F

24. Owl's Well that Ends Well F-

25. Showstoppers F-

 

14. What can the later seasons pick from S1 to help make the show better. For the most part I would say is that whatever this season had done the show would move on to making it better in a lot of aspects. But here are a couple of things I feel that season 1 did better than other seasons that I feel would help improve the show.

 

A. Don’t be afraid to write a simple story as your arc. As I said, despite how simple and its nature of being a slice of life story it is, the Grand Galloping Gala arc of S1 can probably be the best arc in the show in my opinion. Sometimes just writing a well written and simple story is all you need to make a great arc instead of making a pomp and grandiose arc that doesn't turn out as well as you'd like for how over contrived it becomes in the end.

 

B. Bring Celestia back to the level of awe and respect she had in Season 1. This is one definite thing I feel needs to happen on the show considering of how badly faded Celestia’s luster on the show has gone. I mean Twilight in S6 even ditched Celestia to get Starlight and Trixie back in the episode No Second Prances from an important dinner they had arranged. Twilight from S1 would’ve been terrified to even let Celestia wait a second too long. I’m not saying to bring that aspect of Twilight back but to bring the level of respect and adoration Celestia once had with Equestria in S1.

 

These are all the spots I could think of that I feel that later seasons of the show have not done so well that I feel they need to learn more to be better from Season 1. And that’s it for my review on Season 1. I hope all you enjoy this J

 

 

Edited by Nuke87654
Changed the score on Showstoppers and it's and Owl's Well that Ends Well's position.
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11 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Hmm, overall I... can't really find anything to disagree with here, @Nuke87654. A good overview of the season, pointing out the highs and lows. Hope you had a good holiday week. :)

I have with all the candies I got. How about you?

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5 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

It was a good one, overall. Barring getting sick at my father's house for lunch. :(

Ouch, have you recovered well from the sickness?

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On 1/3/2017 at 3:34 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Yeah, thanks. Mild, all things considered. Sucked when I had it, mind. ;)

On 1/3/2017 at 9:08 PM, Anti-Villain said:
On 1/3/2017 at 9:08 PM, Anti-Villain said:

Speaking of Blueblood, anyone read his Friends Forever comic with Shining Armor?

Happy that you've recovered RK and as for Anti Villain, no I have not read on that comic issue.

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I return with the twenty seventh and twenty eighth episode of the Friendship is Magic series, and the season 2 pilot in the episode Return of Harmony. It is written by M.A. Larson with it's Storyboards artists being Tom Sales and Sabrina Alberghetti.

 

Your backstory is that despite rumors of it being originally the S1 finale, Jayson Thiessen, the show's director, has stated that while the two parter episode was produced at the tale end of S1's production, it was always intended to be the S2 pilot. This was done to keep as many of S1's production staff with them as possible via shortening the hiatus. Lauren Faust has clarified that the episode's writing was finished at the time the series pilot premiered and was not created as a reaction to the show's surprisingly large periphery demographic. Several lines in the episode were cut according to M.A. Larson. These lines are of AJ saying "Hope everything's ok back in Ponyville. I don't know if Big McIntosh and Granny Smith have enough butter for all that popcorn. The other one was Rainbow Dash's line to Discord, "Get off that cloud and put em up! I'm not afraid of you! Come on, Marquess of Queensbury rules! Let's go!" This was edited due to M.A. Larson feeling the Marquess of Queensbury line didn't fit in the universe well.   

 

Your summary is that an ancient and powerful foe, Discord returns to ransack Equestria once again. Celestia sends in the mane 6 composing of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy to stop him but he took the one thing that would allow them to be able to defeat him in the Elements of Harmony. 

 

Positives:

 

1. Discord in Return of Harmony is a fantastic villain. 

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While Discord may have ended up being a reformed pseudo anti hero in the later parts of the series, one mustn't forget of just how brilliant of an entry he had as a major villain in Season 2. He's easily one of the best villains the show has ever had with only the likes of Tirek and Starlight Glimmer that can really compete with him for quality of villainy in the show. 

 

The reasons why I love Discord in Return of Harmony so much is his fantastic combination of the near omnipotent powers compared to the ponies he faces, how clever and manipulative he is where he can easily mislead and fool his foes with guile, but what makes him so endearing is of how in your face he is about it. This guy is so assured of his might that he casually trolls and mocks you just cause he knows he's that powerful and clever and he can easily get away with it and you can do nothing but grit your teeth in anger at his insults at you. This draconequus is also easily one of the strongest characters on the show period as he's one of the few characters that can completely teraform and change the whole planet of Equestria and move the Sun and Moon casually at FTL speeds without a single problem. At the same time his supreme confidence in himself is also one major weakness of him as he typically holds back when he's assured of his victory and doesn't really try to go all out, only putting enough to beat his foes. That kind of behavior while it helped lead to his downfall is one character trait that I love from him as it shows that despite all of his god powers that he could've easily have thrown at you to beat you easily, he'll hold back without any issues just simply cause he has that arrogant attitude that he's so above you in both might and intellect that he feels the need to give you a 'sporting chance' against him. That would drive some people even more mad at him cause it only adds further of him mocking your abilities and might compared to his own. Finally, what makes his character so memorable is of how his character was not only based on a fame trolling nigh omnipotent god from Star Trek in Q, but of how they managed to even get the same actor of Q in John De Lancie to actually voice act for Discord! Seriously that's some major kudos on them to attract such a star on their show as a recurring character. 

 

Regardless of one's opinions on Discord after his reformation, one cannot deny of just how awesome he is a villain in this episode.

 

2. Princess Celestia had probably her best role in the series here. 

 

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Stand proud Celestia!

 

This to me is quite possibly one of the most underrated characterizations in the show's run period. Here in this episode, Celestia really was shown as the kind of good leader the show has told she is. Not only do we see her summon the mane 6 to explain the situation, tried her best to ensure the Elements of Harmony were kept safe until Discord shows just how powerful he is, have Discord remark of just how grim and determined she can be for her snarling retorts, and after she wished the mane 6 luck on beating Discord, we soon see that she had kept close eye on them throughout their trek. Soon after she saw her pupil falter and lose against Discord, which is after the rest of her friends lose to their disharmonious forms, when it seems that Twilight would resign herself to defeat and leave Ponyville to wherever, there we see Celestia had sent all of Twilight's letters and friendship reports that she had sent to the princess through Spike in order to save the mane 6 and Equestria. For those who say that Celestia has never done anything on the show to save Equestria or so, that's actually not true for if it wasn't for Celestia doing this, Equestria was going to be doomed to become another playground for Discord once again. This act really shows of how diligent Celestia is to the defense of Equestria and really highlights her as an effective guardian for it. 

 

This episode and S1 reminds me of why Celestia misses Lauren Faust's involvement in the show the most out of everything. As I said in my season 1 review, it's clear that Faust holds great respect for Celestia and clearly wishes to show her as an effective leader that future showrunners either say she is but don't really show it well or even just discard her as some awkward prop that no one has a clue of what to do with and it's easily one of few things the show misses dearly from Faust.

 

Either-way, I feel folks should give Celestia much greater credit here in this episode for this is one of the few cases where Celestia does come off as a good and effective guardian  for Equestria that we're told she is. Finally, as icing on the cake, we also see of how Celestia has commissioned stained glass windows to commemorate any great heroic deed done in defense of Equestria and will tell the tale of why that stained glass window is there to ensure of how Equestria has heroes that come in different shapes or sizes to help ensure the safety and harmony of Equestria.latest?cb=20111101230629.

Man this really puts a new love and appreciation for how great Return of Harmony is.

 

3. The story for Return of Harmony is one of my favorites and one of the show's best. The tale in Return of Harmony is one of the best written on the show. This is not only for the points I mentioned above in detail, but also of how this fantasy tale of adventure and triumph over a great and ancient evil was done superbly. The mane 6 and Spike were characterized fantastically as well in the episode too as they were used to great effect to highlight the expert crafting of the episode's narrative. We see the mane 6 not only face down this great and powerful foe, but they lose badly against it just to show off of how terrifying and powerful their foe is. Then after Celestia saves Twilight, the bookworm pony goes out to save her friends too to restore their minds from their corrupted disharmonious nature so they can fight Discord with their elements of harmony, recovered sooner but couldn't use due to them being corrupted, to attack and defeat Discord for which they're soon commemorated for it with one of the show's best homages ever.

 

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Reminds of you certain 4th episode in a series?

 

 

 

 

 

 At the same time, we also see some good humor used to lighten the seriousness of the situation such as:

 

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Rarity's infatuation with Tom, her one true love. 

 

 

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Dash showing her skills at hoof boxing.

 

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Fluttershy successfully counter trolling Discord to the point he had to actually directly use his powers on her to corrupt her. 

 

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Flutterbutch being so proud of Angel running over Twilight.

 

Thus not only you can be entertained by a fantastic tale written for the season 2 pilot but also of how good it's humor for it was.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. During the scenes were Twilight goes to restore her friend's minds, the pacing sped up a bit to make up for time. This is really a minor even call it a nitpick as I've noted that the pacing sped up a tiny bit here in order to make up for time. Nothing troubling or so but just something that I wanted to point out.

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Let us never speak of it again.

 

 

2. The fantastic narration's real kink in it's armor is of how Discord was struck with plot induced stupidity and practically allowed the mane 6 to beat him. I will say this is the episode's only real flaw in it was of how when the mane 6 met Discord at the climatic showdown, after he used his telekinesis to hold Twilight's friends in place above until she broke free of it for them, instead of trying to fight or even escape, he chooses to just sit there on his chair and let the mane 6 charge up their harmony beam to turn him back to stone once again. While the elements of harmony is one of the few things that can easily beat Discord, at the same time considering Discord's powers and abilities, you would think he at least try to fight for his freedom from being petrified or at least escape to avoid the attack, and it's not as if he doesn't know as he saw how even at their corrupted forms. they almost pulled it off previously and Celestia has faith on them to succeed so what's his excuse other than artificially struck with stupidity.

 

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Come on Discord, aren't you going to at least escape from them if you're not going to fight back? Bah, get turned to stone for all I care.

 

 

Conclusion: Despite Discord being struck with plot induced stupidity that knocked it down from achieving that perfect A+ grade from me, he was still fantastic in this episode. Return of Harmony is one of the show's best season pilots it has ever had with a great villain, Celestia's best role in the series that really needs to get highlighted more, and a fantastic and lighthearted fantasy tale of adventure about the mane 6 meeting hardships and trials to help defeat a powerful enemy to save their homeland from his control.

 

Score: 9.5/10

 

Grade: A

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For me, this might be the best season premiere of them all. Discord is awesome in it, like you said. Completely evil and loving every minute of it. I compare him to The Millon-Dollar Man Ted DiBiase or Jake the Snake Roberts. I wanna see him get beat. I'm gonna PAY to see him get beat.

 

And nothing that comes after this episode can tarnish it, either. Just... fantastic all-round.

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"Me? Amazing! Them? Uh, well, I've already forgotten who we're talking about." -- Discord (Dungeons & Discords)

 

^Nutshell.

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@Nuke87654 @RK_Striker_JK_5 Okay, about Discord.

Similar to Celestia after Faust's departure, I think Discord's character kind of suffered a bit after his debut, albeit not as severely. I mentioned in a comment on Striker's review of "Luna Eclipsed" about how Pinkie Pie is tricky to write and I think the same could be applied to Discord.  This is me mainly familiar with him most in S5 and S6 and the comics, but post-villain Discord comes across as a character that works best in very small does, which, to be fair, said seasons have done.  I find he can be every bit as irritating at his worst as he is very enjoyable at his best, mainly because the writers come across as using him as a vehicle for pop-culture references, which, thanks to the comics, has left me numb to this sort of thing.

But maybe it's me and I need to see his S3 and S4 episodes just to confirm this.

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8 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

@Nuke87654 @RK_Striker_JK_5 Okay, about Discord.

Similar to Celestia after Faust's departure, I think Discord's character kind of suffered a bit after his debut, albeit not as severely. I mentioned in a comment on Striker's review of "Luna Eclipsed" about how Pinkie Pie is tricky to write and I think the same could be applied to Discord.  This is me mainly familiar with him most in S5 and S6 and the comics, but post-villain Discord comes across as a character that works best in very small does, which, to be fair, said seasons have done.  I find he can be every bit as irritating at his worst as he is very enjoyable at his best, mainly because the writers come across as using him as a vehicle for pop-culture references, which, thanks to the comics, has left me numb to this sort of thing.

But maybe it's me and I need to see his S3 and S4 episodes just to confirm this.

 

I would say it's more of that because he's a reformed anti hero that likes to pester and troll the mane 6 whenever he appears, I would say it's more of a case of how they have to use Discord more frequently while tone his villainy down alot as he's not allowed to be a major villain anymore post S4. You're right that he's tricky to write as he can come across as very annoying at worse, especially as they do seem to use him as a vehicle for pop culture references in the series as you said correctly.

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Today I' am going to review the twenty ninth episode of the Friendship is Magic series and the 3rd episode of Season 2, Lesson Zero. It is written by Meghan McCarthy and it's story board artists are Raven Molisee and Nicole Wang. 

 

This episode is noted as the first episode to use the remastered theme song of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Theme Song and one of the first to incorporate the Y rating for the show and remove the educational label on it as well.

 

The summary here is that Twilight forgets to write a friendship report to Princess Celestia and grows more desperate to write one in time before the deadline is up.

 

 

Positives:

 

1. This episode really shows off just how happy the show is being under the Y rating by pushing it as much as they could. This to me is the episode's most underrated aspect is of how this is one of the first episodes in the series to receive FIM's new Y rating and removing the educational label. I will explain on the shakeups this episode brought to the series in detail. To start here, one of those changes is the Y rating and removal of the educational label. Unless you're a stickler for what kind of material a person watches and will look to the parental rating just to see of what they can see, this unnoticeable rating is important as it effectively puts a cap on what a show is allowed to put in. In Season 1, the show had an educational label under it, this means the following:

 

A. They cannot show an excessive amount of cartoon violence. They can only show a small amount at most, which even than it depends on how forgiving the censor is about it. 

 

B. They must show a lesson being given at the episode to help teach children what education there is to learn from it. 

 

C. They also cannot use any demeaning language, even for something as innocuous as Egghead, which note, Faust and DHX got alot of flack by censors for Rainbow Dash saying that to Twilight in the episode Fall Weather Friends. They had to fight hard for it to stay in the episode just to highlight of just how a pain censors can be when they feel like it. 

 

Since S2, while Return of Harmony was really the first to make use of it, it is Lesson Zero that really pushes the limits of their new Y rating with the following:

 

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This scene is to represent of how much action violence the characters can pull of in the scene as Rainbow Dash goes to demolish the Barn using a variety of attacks. Including an Atomic Rainbownuke. 

 

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It's over!

 

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Fluttershy breaking a bears back but mitigates the violence by showing that she was massaging it. That was obviously done to please the censor demands for the Y rating.

 

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I would say even this counts as not only was Twilight acting crazy longer than Pinkie did but even Pinkie was never this expressive in insanity compared to her. 

 

 

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The animators must have alot of fun putting this many fight scenes up at once. 

 

All of these are to represent of the many changes the Y rating has allowed them to have and DHX made great use of it to really stretch the series's legs out. We should commend Lesson Zero for it's importance to being the first episode to really show off that Y rating and pushing as hard as they could for whatever they can do. 

 

 

2. I really enjoyed the narrative and Twilight's slow descent to madness for it. Of course, what makes Lesson Zero so good for me was it's narrative about how Twilight would forget that she is to write a friendship report for Celestia to read over for the week. This would expose a part of Twilight's character where it shows her great fear for disappointing Celestia for being late on an important arrangement to the point of hysterics as her mentality degrades as the time winds down. Twilight would be spurred to action to try to remedy this by desperately seeking among her friends if there's any friendship problems which Rarity's is quickly resolved, Rainbow Dash and Applejack's have none, and Twilight is too scared to deal with whatever Fluttershy is doing. Then she would go to the picnic hoping her friends  can help her out to solve this problem only for them to spurn it away as none of them thought it was serious enough to warrant their attention over the picnic. This causes Twilight to leave in anger which only allowed her to stew her degrading mind as the time winded down.

 

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Which Twilight decided to take it out on the CMCs and popped their beach volleyball for it.

 

There Twilight would break and decide to create a friendship problem as she saw little choice to make up for time via using her own child doll, Smarty Pants, to bring a conflict between the girls. When the CMC's refuse to accept the doll, Twilight pulls her final gambit in using the mind control spell 'Want it and Need It', spell. This works to it's design as the CMCs become infatuated for the doll but it's power is too strong as they ignore all of Twilight's commands and it soon envelops a large amount of ponies from Ponyville for it. At such a point, Twilight could do nothing to stop it and was too late to write a friendship report. 

 

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Which gave way to a pissed off Princess Celestia to help restore things and to bring Twilight in for her actions.

 

Celestia's arrival while it help restore and save the town from the mind control spell also demanded Twilight to meet her at the Golden Oak Library. This would terrify her and her friends when they realize of how dire they thought it was. Fortunately, Celestia while upset at what Twilight had done was able to help defuse the situation and assure Twilight that she didn't had to bring a letter every week and even told her she was a fantastic student still. After seeing of how the remane five are desperate to keep Twilight in Ponyville, Celestia took the time to tell them an important message. That they no longer need to send a friendship report each week, and that each of the mane 6 and Spike can do it too. 

 

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3. That scene of Celestia declaring they no longer need to give a friendship report each week and the mane 6 can do it too individually is one of the most important and formulaic changing moments in the show's history. That scene I told above is also a game changing moment in the show for the following reasons.

 

A. Future episodes are no longer required to have a lesson to give at the end of the episode. This is very important as this avoids having to do a forced tacked on lesson to satisfy the educational label quota.

 

B. Twilight is no longer required to be in every future episode of the series. This is also important as it removes an anchor away from Twilight that she had from season 1 and allows the writers more freedom to use the pony characters without having to take into account that one pony must always be written into the show and be given tacked on roles to satisfy that demand.

 

C. Most importantly, it also brings the mane 6 to be involved in giving friendship reports thus getting them more involved be and more integral to the series plot with their own views and experience in solving and fixing friendship problems which would play an important role to an ongoing arc that started in S4.

 

Taking all of that into account, Lesson Zero is easily one of the most important episodes in the series alongside others like The Cutie Mark Chronicles. 

 

4. Spike had his best characterization yet. One thing that I felt was a very underrated role for Spike was his characterization in this episode. He really shines as a dutiful and good assistant to Twilight as he not only helped her out with her many checklists to do, but it was when Twilight grew fearful of the winding day when she needed to do a friendship report on time. He tries his hardest to not only assure Twilight that things are fine and that it's all in her head of the consequences of being late, but it was actually him that brought Celestia onto the scene to restore order when he told Celestia of what is happening to Twilight and of how he wants her to come and assure Twilight's aching mind that things are alright. 

 

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It's good to see a happy Spike.

 

His care and actions to ensure Twilight is alright really casts a bright light on this episode and especially on Spike for what he did here.

 

 

5. I liked many of the episode's humor in it too. While not without caveats that I'll explain below, but for the most part I did really enjoy alot of the humor here from:

 

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Rarity being overly dramatic over her lost ribbon.

 

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Twilight trying to convince Rainbow Dash it's alright to express her love to Applejack for her.

 

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This is hilarious that all of the violent actions she had done was cause she wanted to massage the bear.

 

 

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Twilight trying out her smeagol acting. 

 

 

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This is hilarious despite the rather dark reason behind it.

 

 

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Happy Big Mac for the doll. I am too.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Rarity's couch gag got repetitive at the end. latest?cb=20130320032611

 

While I did enjoy the gag, however it does get repetitive in it's use at the end after being used three times. Still this is a very minor flaw and can be considered a nitpick. 

 

 

Conclusion: Lesson Zero is perhaps an even better episode than Return of Harmony and that's saying something. This is not only Twilight's best episode in the series so far I've seen, but this is also one of the most important episodes in the series for how much it changed the episodic formula for the show that will leave a great impact upon the series and of it's new Y rating for it. Coupled with some hilarious humor, a well written narrative for Twilight, and an awesome characterization of Spike, this ensures Lesson Zero will leave a fond place  in my mind among FIM's many episodes.

 

Score: 10/10

 

Grade: A+

 

 

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Thi episode was on tv just a few hours ago here in Argentina xD

 

Oh, Lesson Zero. On of the first episodes I ever saw, and one of the reasons why I truly became addicted with MLP. The Y rating really made wonders for the show: The gags, the scripts, the toon-violence. S2 grabbed the best of S1 and took it to the next level.

 

And honestly, even though I always loved this episode, I never realized how important it was for the show until I read this (I didn't even know about the Y thing). Really, except for Rarity being WAY overdramatic, everything here is perfect (and even the couch gag was funny enough). There are so many characters that were so well written: Celestia acts like a good mentor yet at the same time retains a certain level of badassness and respect that never again was shown in the following seasons, Spike's characterization is the best you will get (and this episode is the reason why I like Spike so much, I'm glad I saw this before other episodes like Spike at your service) and even Twilight's characterization is one of the best, if not THE best, you will get in the whole show. And its funny because she is the 'antagonist' of the whole episode; we spend 22 minutes watching the worst of the worst of her, and that makes her so real!  I really miss this kind of episodes. Along with 'It's about time' we see the dark side of Twilight without making her an annoyance like in Feeling Pinkie Keen.

 

This...this is just so good! I always felt that if you want to make a friend start watching the show, Lesson Zero is one of the best ways to do it.

 

PS: The part with Smarty Pants and the Crusaders is pure gold.

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Loved that episode. I think it's one of the funniest in the show, and I have it as one of my favorites in the entire show. This episode, though, really makes me wish I could see some insight into how was the relationship between Celestia and Twilight in her earlier years under Celestia's tutelage, specially as Twilight seemed to be fearing failure all the time and it's Cadance that teaches her how to calm down. ... Or maybe I don't.

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2 minutes ago, Metemponychosis said:

Loved that episode. I think it's one of the funniest in the show, and I have it as one of my favorites in the entire show. This episode, though, really makes me wish I could see some insight into how was the relationship between Celestia and Twilight in her earlier years under Celestia's tutelage, specially as Twilight seemed to be fearing failure all the time and it's Cadance that teaches her how to calm down. ... Or maybe I don't.

 

I'd probably not as one comic issue gave off a bad impression on it.

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As much as I love Lesson Zero... it got really nuts in a bad way towards the end. And quite honestly, I really didn't have much sympathy for Twilight when she MIND-RAPED three fillies because of a fucking friendship lesson.

 

@WaterPulse Concerning, Discord... you're right in that he's tricky to write. Unfortunately... the show, barring the very end of Twilight's Kingdom and Make New Friends but Keep Discord, have shown what a monumentally STUPID idea it was to free him. And hell, the situation wouldn't have been anywhere near as bad in Twilight's Kingdom if Discord was still in stone.

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19 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

 

I'd probably not as one comic issue gave off a bad impression on it.

I stopped caring about the comics a long time ago and I thought that you did too. If you didn't, I really recommend that you do. :angrytwi:

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17 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

As much as I love Lesson Zero... it got really nuts in a bad way towards the end. And quite honestly, I really didn't have much sympathy for Twilight when she MIND-RAPED three fillies because of a fucking friendship lesson.

True but to be fair, she was going insane from disappointing Celestia, she did it as a last resort, and Celestia chewed her out for it. This stands in stark contrast to Starlight Glimmer in every little thing she does who uses mind control as the first thing to do and she relatively gets away with it from Twilight other than having to apologize to the remane five for it. Of the two, Twilight's situation was far more understandable in comparison.

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