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Season 8, Episode 16: Friendship University

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Title: Friendship University

 

Synopsis: When Twilight Sparkle discovers there's another School of Friendship, she and Rarity go to investigate and are shocked to discover that Twilight's idol and Pillar of Old Equestria, Starswirl the Bearded, is enrolled at the school.

 

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

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I'd say this is a pretty good episode. The fact that Flim and Flam were able to run a university in Las Pegasus just tells you the two have yet to change their ways. Surprised to see they were able to convince Star Swirl to join though. Odd how those two unicorns have yet to go to jail over the way they do business. 

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This was a lot of fun! I find the Flim-Flam episodes tend to be that way. Less magical all-the-world's-at-stake and  more confront-the-scam-artists, with lots of character-ing. Kind of a slice of life with clear antagonists thing.

I do like Rarity's enthusiasm for slipping into character, and how easily she got caught up in the flattering and gamification of worksheet-learning.

Twilight giving in to blackmail was a little disconcerting. I kept expecting her to tough it out and allow them to try and slander her with the faith that being right would win out in the end, without having to turn the tables on them. Although this does open up a potential fanfic turning point: what if Twilight did give in completely and became a Principal Cinch-like reputation-obsessed headmare? I'm sure there's some meat to that.

Starswirl was there! He kind of played the same role as Celestia in Royal Canterlot Wedding.

Also: F. U.

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- REEEEEEALLY? Flim, Flam, you don't know when to quit, do ya? Also, how high their CHARISMA stats are so everypony buys whatever they say?! Also, that scene with poor pony made me, probably for the first time, hate those two for their cruel guilt.

- Paper Twilie makes her triumphant return! :D

- That racist scumbag Neighsay again! :anger:

- "Plainity" is one cool pony-gal...but nothing beats RARITY!

- That "mhm" from Twilie <3 <3 <3

 

Pretty good episode! Maybe could use more of Starswirl.

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8 hours ago, Light Blade said:

- That "mhm" from Twilie <3 <3 <3


What 'mhm' are you referring to? I love the cute and quirky, blink-and-you-miss-them character moments, and I must have missed that one. Anyways, it's just always interesting seeing what small moments others liked. The Twilight one I took away from this was her response to Flim and Flam asking if she thought her disguise would fool anybody; Perfectly adorable, exasperated expression, and a great 'No' to go along with it <3

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Kind of strange that Neighsay didn't ask Twilight from the start if she had any proof of Flim and Flam's intentions, especially considering a) that's what someone of his stature would do (at least, would be expected to do) and b) would have been a perfect opportunity for Neighsay to mess with Twilight even more.

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13 hours ago, Light Blade said:

 I meant the one she made in the end, right after Starswirl recommended everypony her school.


Just had to rewatch that specific scene; agreed, very adorable. That's why Twilight is my favorite pony :')

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Compared to something like "The Mean 6" or "Horse Play," this is a lot more reliant on dialogue and general character personalities, but I found this very fun to watch for exactly those reasons. I'm not sure the moral resonates strongly with the rest of the episode, which is just Twilight and Rarity figuring out what's wrong, but that's my only major complaint. Point by point:

  • I find it unsurprising that Flim and Flam indulged Neighsay's racism in order to make a quick buck. I find the show's complete lack of subtlety about this hilarious. 
  •  Also, shout out to the criticism of expensive textbooks. 
  • Funny as both of these gags are, I find it weird that A. Rarity would give Twilight such a poor disguise, and B. Rarity would get suckered in by the Flim-Flam Bros.' school like that. Combine that with the fact that she apparently ordered sewing machines with no idea how she would use them, and I don't think she's really qualified to be teaching. 
  • Gotta love how Rarity will take any opportunity to dress up in costume. Her disguise here looks great and proves she can pull off any look. 
  • Early on, this places a lot of emphasis on the fact that there's any other friendship school. As suspicious as those advertisements are, Twilight really does seem to take the presence of a competing school a little too personally. That made the ultimate moral of sticking to your gut a little less satisfying to me, and I wish this had found some way to make her right while still having her learn not to be so bothered by competition.
  • Nonetheless, I did like the whole jealousy element, which brought a little more complexity to what would otherwise have been a relatively formulaic story. Adding Starswirl also helps. 
  • Starswirl seems a lot nicer and more sympathetic here than he did in "Shadow Play," and his more thoughtful attitude is a lot more appealing to me. I admit that I still wish the show had given us the kooky Starswirl from the comics, though. 
  • Flim and Flam are always funny, and even though all of their songs sound the same, I never get sick of them. 
  • Flim and Flam sort of steal the show, even with the presence of Rarity being silly and Starswirl existing, and while Twilight is unfortunately not given anything nearly as silly to do, she does have a lot of fun reactions to Flim and Flam's sketchiness. 
  •  The Cozy Glow gag didn't register to me at all because I interpreted her as being sincere in "Marks for the Effort." 

Score:
Entertainment: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Themes: 7/10
 Story: 7/10
Overall: 73/10

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Another episode that was just witty and silly the whole way through. The disguise thing with Plainity and Eyepatch with the cruddy paper "cutie marks" had me busting a gut :awesomecheer:

 

 

 

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On 9/14/2018 at 1:22 AM, Snide Ways said:

Thanks for grabbing this scene so I can easily re-watch it multiple times. It's so cute I don't think it could get old

 

 

 

 

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