Princess Rainbow Magic Pants

Fandom is life - Life is pain - Fandom is pain

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So I feel like I've had something of a revelation, and I want to know whether I'm full of it or whether I've ascended to level 20 brony.

 

We all know that the MLP fandom is one which inspires a peculiar dedication in it's members. I propose that this is because MLP makes us suffer. The more time you spend in Equestria, the more acutely you feel the pain of it's destruction. No, I'm not making a 'show is dying' rant. It's a fact that almost from the beginning MLP has been regularly punctuated by BUY-OUR-TOYS nonsense, and with cringy episodes written by people who have no passion for the world they are crafting. It hurts. But the pain creates emotional attachment: we pump out fanfics and music and art because we want to honor Equestria as we know it, and because we fear change. We have powerful responses to both good and bad surprises because when the quality is as inconsistent as MLP's is, everything is a surprise! And every hump on the roller-coaster sets each of us up for the next one.

 

So I conclude that since--as the great artists say--life is pain, in order for someone's fandom to become integral to their life, it must be painful. And I think that we can see this applied to other fandoms as well. Firefly is the obvious example, but look at the Gravity Falls fandom. There isn't one! Ask anyone what they think of Gravity Falls and they'll say, "it's friggin' fantastic," and move on with their lives! Doctor Who? People practically kill themselves over Doctor Who, because it's both wonderful and terrible intermittently.

 

I'm interested to know what you guys think of this hypothesis.

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MLP, I think ought to respect itself more. I know that this isn't very thought provoking but I think that you made a good exposition of the situation and I can't say much more than simply agree.

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You may be on to something here. I think fan content tends to flourish in the gap between what a thing is and what it could be. My Little Pony gives us a colorful, well-balanced cast, pop culture references and writing that doesn't talk down to its audience. There's this rich setting that casually hints at a much bigger world with different lands and species, and the show doesn't explore even a tenth of what it introduces. I mean, we haven't laid eyes on Saddle Arabia yet. It fires up the imagination, but the show itself is often hit-or-miss. You see a dumb episode like [What About Discord?/insert 22-minute pet peeve here] and think, "come on, I could do better than that". It also doesn't get into more adult issues, by design. There's no death, no drugs, hardly any romance or moral ambiguity. So there's a ton of room to take what the show puts out and go wild with it ourselves. Whereas something like Gravity Falls, from what I've seen, is pretty self-contained. It's got its own plan, and executes its story in a way that doesn't leave much room to add to. I've been wondering how the hell Undertale got such a huge fandom when it's basically just a short, humorous rpg that occasionally hits you right in the feels. But I think that's why! People get all attached to Sans and then suddenly the game is over, and they're left with these emotions swirling around and a drawing tablet. And then weird comics about skeleton yaoi romance happen. What you call pain, I call potential. It's that feeling that something can, and deserves to be, better than what it is.

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@Friendship is Horses

I've had the exact same thoughts in the past. It sounds like I failed to convince you that there's an extra passion created by inconsistency or deterioration in the subject media. In any case, I strongly agree that the MLP fandom is what it is (or was what it was) because of gaps in the canon. This is why I loudly object whenever an episode like The Times, They are a Changelin' comes out, because it closes gaps in the canon which should REALLY be left open for the health of the fandom. The showrunners see people talking about Alicorns a bunch and they think 'Gee, people really seem to love Alicorns! Let's get rid of some of the ambiguity surrounding them!' Which is understandable, but really the wrong response to feedback. Sometimes the result is merely crowd-pleasing, but just as often they completely wreck whatever they revisit. I think that this is why people were so excited about the Explore Equestria theme for season 6: people were like "Please! Hands off! Half-ass some new stuff so I can hypothesize about it!" Personally I think that the MLP fandom is on it's way out directly because of this kill-it-with-kindness treatment.

 

32 minutes ago, Friendship is Horses said:

There's no death, no drugs, hardly any romance or moral ambiguity.

I kinda disagree with you there on the moral ambiguity point. I think that the writers think that they're making (relatively) mature content. I think they actively try to bring moral ambiguity into stories (Starlight Glimmer being Exhibit A), but the problem is that they are pretty bad at their jobs and rarely succeed in this regard.

 

Let me be clear: I'm not saying that the MLP staff never makes anything good. Why would I be here then? Even with regard to fan-pandering and revisitations, they sometimes hit the mark. I think that Hearthreakers and the Pie family in general has been well-done enough to make it worth the destruction of early fanons. I also give the staff tremendous credit for Slice of Life, which I think was an amazingly elegant homage to the fandom.

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I do think the borderless world with unexplored factors plays heavily into a fandom. If you look at, say, Avatar: The Last Airbender, you'll find no shortage of fanfiction despite the the show being decidedly more mature and ambiguous than FiM ever has been. But what it has working for it, much like FiM or SciFi marques with big fandoms, is a large and diverse world that seems primed and ready for exploring, even after the show spends much of its time doing just that. It offers a lot for the imagination to work with, and more creatively-minded fans jump all over that.

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3 hours ago, Princess Rainbow Magic Pants said:

It sounds like I failed to convince you that there's an extra passion created by inconsistency or deterioration in the subject media.

There certainly can be! That deterioration/inconsistency widens the gap between what the show *could* be doing with its characters and plotlines and the sometimes-mediocrity and mandated content from Hasbro (like Twilight's castle) that we actually get. It drives people to sit down and actualize their own, 'superior' headcanon.

3 hours ago, Princess Rainbow Magic Pants said:

This is why I loudly object whenever an episode like The Times, They are a Changelin' comes out, because it closes gaps in the canon which should REALLY be left open for the health of the fandom.

Random lore shake-ups are why I don't dare write fanfiction while there's an active season of the show.

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1 hour ago, BasementPony16 said:

Fandom is also pain when i see a poll result like this: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2016/12/poll-results-what-season-of-friendship.html#more

After reading the comments i so do wish for Starlight to disappear, Celestia owning the whole place and make Luna look bad, Discord goes into another dimension without chances of return, blah blah blah.

Season 1 is second worst season? Fandom is dead to me. -.-

Celestia owning the place and making Luna look bad? Discord just leaving? Starlight disappearing? You'd have better chances of freezing fire than getting the show's production to do that.

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2 hours ago, BasementPony16 said:

Season 1 is second worst season? Fandom is dead to me. -.-

That's not *quite* how the poll was phrased. Technically it could be the second favorite season of literally everyone who picked something else as their favorite, and by a narrow margin at that. It's hard to imagine that the pony fandom would still be a thing in 2016 if the show was all downhill from Season One.

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This fandom has spiraled downward quite a bit to the point where people accept HORRID redemption's like they're so great.

If this BS keeps up I'll take their bad tasting medicine and shove it down their throats and see how they like the bad tasting medicine.

As in I'll quit.

:anger:

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21 hours ago, Princess Rainbow Magic Pants said:

@BasementPony16

@LostSanity

 

Those of you unhappy with the state of the show should give the official comics a try. They're not all good, but on average they are much better than the show.

 

Also: "Edgelord Shadowlock." Heh. We'll see. I've got high hopes: it sounds like a fun arc.

I already read the comics.

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On 12/22/2016 at 7:48 AM, Princess Rainbow Magic Pants said:

People practically kill themselves over Doctor Who, because it's both wonderful and terrible intermittently.

Can confirm. I died a little on the inside when David Tennant and Matt Smith stepped down respectively. The comedy died down a bit after that, Capaldi's Doctor is great and all but the man's way too serious looking. 

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13 minutes ago, Skyrazer said:

Can confirm. I died a little on the inside when David Tennant and Matt Smith stepped down respectively. The comedy died down a bit after that, Capaldi's Doctor is great and all but the man's way too serious looking. 

Same. I was a big fan until Smith left. I didn't dislike Capaldi, but after watching one episode with him my will to watch the show just kinda... petered out.

 

@BasementPony16

Sorry, I'm a little confused: you say you doubt that the comics can do justice to Celestia, and then you say that the comic version of Celestia makes show-Celestia look bad.

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