Number95

Another MLP:FIM review thread

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Good lord, could you be any pickier? None of these complaints, especially against some of the most popular episodes amount to anything more than being mad that it didn’t happen the way your headcanon wanted it to rather than legit complaints. So stupid.

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On 9/16/2021 at 3:16 PM, Sparity4Ever said:

Good lord, could you be any pickier? None of these complaints, especially against some of the most popular episodes amount to anything more than being mad that it didn’t happen the way your headcanon wanted it to rather than legit complaints. So stupid.

On the contrary, I had no expectations for the show other than wanting the show to be competent and know what it's talking about.

On the other hand, you could say that my "headcanan" would have the show being competent and know what it's talking about, and in that regard, the show didn't match my "headcanon".

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The Last Problem

 

The final episode of the show, and it’s something of an epilogue as it starts some number of years into the future, and Twilight’s efforts have paid off as various species of creatures coexist peacefully in Equestria. And there’s even a statue of the Mane 6 in Canterlot. Spike is bigger and more physically developed, and while he looks fine, Twilight’s new alicorn model looks awful.  It’s an awkward fusion of Princess Celestia’s body and Twilight’s color scheme, and it instead looks like bad fanart. The most awkward parts of Twilight are definitely the mane and tail, and while they flow similarly to the ones that the alicorn sisters got, but they’re also angular like her old model. The results resemble wet paper towels being blown by the wind. The artists should have instead made Twilight’s mane and tail flow completely instead of this weird mix of her old and new model, but on the other hand, I don’t know how well that would turn out since it would just be Celestia’s mane and tail with the color scheme from Twilight’s mane and tail. Admittedly, Twilight never previously appeared as an older alicorn in the show, so maybe my averseness to this design is simply due to lack of familiarity. However, the current result is still Princess Celestia’s body with Twilight’s color scheme and flowing wet paper towels. It’s as bad as it sounds, and I have no idea how Twilights older alicorn model should look. Strangely, I’m not against older Spike keeping his voice even though it should be much deeper by now.

 

As for the episode, Twilight has her own personal student, Luster Dawn, and the show is keeping up with the naming convention. Luster doesn’t want to stick around at the School of Magic (is that the school Twilight previously went to?) because her curriculum has plenty of emphasis on friendship, which she feels is useless not unlike how her mentor felt early in the show. She would rather continue gaining knowledge and passing it onto others even if that might mean opening up a new school. Did she feel she has learned enough of anything/everything to teach many others? And I hope she put enough thought into the logistics of her current plan (especially if it involves opening a new school) because I have no idea how she plans to go about it. Additionally, Luster Dawn thinks that friendship is worthless since it might not even last forever if Twilight is anything to go by. According to her, Twilight has been ruling Equestria by herself, so even the Princess of Friendship isn’t showing any immediate or obvious benefits of her own philosophy. Those are some fair questions, and Twilight decides to answer with a flashback set right around the time of her coronation.

 

Twilight is nervous, and it’s not because she’s about to become the new (and better) ruler of Equestria, but because she has to leave Ponyville. As she will no longer be living in the same city with her friends, she’s afraid of becoming distant from them. She can still write letters and visit, and since she’s such a powerful mage, she could teleport to them and maybe even use a spell to conjure their version of a video chat. Also, long-distance relationships exist. However, she is only beginning to live a life where her friends aren’t immediately present, which will be a new and alien life to her, so her nervousness isn’t nonsensical. Spike suggests talking to her friends about this feeling since they will also be affected. This will no doubt be another example of the anticipation being worse than the actual result, but we must still see how the rest of the episode unfolds.

 

On a sidenote, she brought up a newspaper that highlights their battle from the previous episode. So, how has this newspaper not previously mentioned the return of Princess Luna?

 

Anyways, Twilight visits each of her friends who are all preparing for their participation in Twilight’s coronation, and they don’t seem to be fazed by the change of status quo, which she finds off-putting. A number of them have already accepted this as change is always a part of life. Twilight is back at her castle and feels dejected about her friends feeling seemingly indifferent about this change. When her friends visit to say their farewell as Twilight is about to board the train to Canterlot (her friends apparently wouldn’t be able to stick around for the train ride as they are not done preparing for their roles in the coronation), Twilight finally vents her frustrations about their apparent indifference. Unsurprisingly, her friends are also feeling uneasy the change in status quo. They wanted to focus on their jobs and not make a big deal about this change so they wouldn’t end up wallowing in their own self-pity like Twilight was doing. And now comes the scene where they all cry and express their sadness. Some of them are worried about no longer keeping in touch, and that would only be a problem if one doesn’t actually try to keep in touch. Otherwise, you’d end up with another dumbass like Starlight. Twilight unsurprisingly feels relieved about her friends also feeling as she does, which means they can and should work on a solution to this problem. However, there is no time for this as Twilight still has a train to catch. Starlight even appears briefly to give Twilight a present, but the Mane 6 accidentally knock her aside during their hastiness.

 

It turns out they missed the train, so Twilight decides to teleport the entire group into the train. None of them were carrying luggages, so why not teleport them to Canterlot? I can understand that they would still want to spend some quality time together with a trip, but that can still be achieved by traveling through Canterlot. Also, I can’t help but feel irritated about the episode trivializing the problem since Twilight was never risking lateness if she could immediately teleport to her destination. Of course, just because one can teleport doesn’t mean that managing time, keeping on top of one’s schedule, and being on time are useless virtues, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling annoyed about an episode bringing up a problem only to quickly trivialize it. Also, don’t Twilight’s friends have still work to do? Why did she Twilight teleport them onto the train as well? Rarity even notes being behind with designing Twilight’s gown even though the gown should be finished before the day of the event as rush jobs can be stressful and messy. AJ wonders if Big Mac knows the products their clients are supposed to receive, and it turns out that he doesn’t. Why weren’t the crates and list properly written or marked? Did AJ relay any instructions to him? Did they communicate anything about their jobs to each other? Apparently not, which makes them rather lousy at their jobs. RD was supposed to meet up with the Wonderbolts back at Cloudsdale, which she was unable to do since Twilight teleported her onto the train, and when she does fly off to meet them at Cloudsdale, it turns out the Wonderbolts left for Canterlot as they thought RD was already there due to not showing up. Fluttershy was supposed to get food for some of her performing animals, which she was also unable to carry out as she was also teleported. I don’t know why Twilight screwed her friends over for the sake of quality time, so teleporting the entire group to Canterlot would also have been a stupid move from the start. The train even gets stopped due to some sheep crossing the tracks, which causes Twilight to be late to Canterlot anyways. And why didn’t she teleport her way there like she did previously in regards to the train? If this is reading like a confusing series of contrived problems, that’s because this is a confusing series of contrived problems.

 

Eventually, Twilight meets up in a disheveled state with the alicorn sisters, but at least she arrived to her coronation on time. Rarity immediately arrives afterward with a completed gown for Twilight, and I have to ask again: Shouldn’t Rarity have completed this gown well before the event? I can respect that she wants Twilight’s outfit to look better than perfect, but this is why managing time, keeping on top of one’s schedule, and being on time are useful and important virtues. I know not everyone will be perfect in any of those regards, but Rarity certainly shouldn’t finish creating Twilight’s outfit right when the coronation starts.

 

The sisters begin the ceremony with a speech, and Celestia even stated that the duo has “ruled [the] land for quite some time.” That’s quite the understatement in the case of Celestia. Too bad neither (especially Celestia) have done anything useful during their reign, which is pretty sad when comparing their (lack of) accomplishments to Twilight who has done far more for Equestria while not being a ruler. As Twilight steps forward to present herself, she trips over her own dress, making a rather embarrassing first impression. Too bad she didn’t know to lift up her dress or watch her step. Celestia and Luna fuse their tiaras to give to Twilight, and I’m surprised they would be able to do that since they’re both weak and incompetent mages. Then again, Luna isn’t nearly as bad as Celestia, so maybe Luna did all the work during the fusion. Luna also notices spiders crawling around Twilight, which resulted from Rarity inadvertently catching the spiders onto Twilight’s outfit while hastily dressing up the latter. The outfit was even created with help from said spiders, and this example is one reason why you wouldn’t want to be late with creating an outfit. Obviously, all of this (and Big Mac messing up the orders) will result in a disastrous coronation, not that it would actually cause much trouble even in the long term whether or not the show glorified Twilight, but I’d rather continue detailing the events.

 

Anyways, Luna notices the spiders on Twilight, and I wonder why Luna just didn’t carry of the spiders with her own magic. The spiders get into conflict with Fluttershy’s animals, the Wonderbolts perform without RD’s consent as the latter was running late, Gummy sets off the fireworks too early, and thus all of the participants get into conflict with each other with the incorrect foods being served due to Big Mac’s mistake. It doesn’t take long before everyone realizes that the coronation was a disaster, and this is because nobody bothered to rehearse the event. A rehearsal would have reminded each performer and/or instructor when to participate so there would be another means of communication between the different parties.

 

Luster Dawn assumed that the result of the event caused the Mane 6 to drift apart, which is obviously not the case. Personally, I can’t imagine a disastrous execution of an event actually hurting anyone or their relationships unless reputations were also damaged and never recovered. And since Twilight is so much better than her predecessors and pretty much everyone else, she could only damage her own reputation by going out of her way to fuck it up.

 

It isn’t long before Twilight’s friends show up to prove Luster Dawn being wrong about her assessment of friendship. They’ve all grown up, and some have even started their own families, but they still meet and greet periodically. The most notable detail indicating their older age would be the bags under their eyes, so they’re not too far from Granny Smith’s age during the show’s main setting. However, Twilight isn’t showing her age as much as her friends, so she’ll definitely outlive them. Pinkie seems to have married Cheese Sandwich as she has a filly named Lil Cheese who’s also carrying a rubber chicken. Rarity is still expanding her business and has even reached the land of the yaks. AJ and RD appear to be married or are living together at least as they’re talking about chores at home. Obligatory comment about Ashleigh Ball talking to and/or marrying herself during this exchange. AJ is still at her farm while RD has adopted Spitfire’s hairstyle and might even be in charge of the Wonderbolts. Fluttershy is the last to appear, and she’s still hanging with Discord. Interestingly, Starlight doesn’t show up. I don’t particularly care about Starlight, but I still find this exclusion odd because she became a main character after season 5 and was around when Twilight announced her establishment of the Council of Friendship. And there’s also nothing to indicate that Starlight was ever excluded or expelled from this little club.

 

But the story of the flashback isn’t quite done yet. The Mane 6 laugh about the event going wrong as it will just be another event in their lives they can entertain themselves and others (especially each other) with when relaying it. Starlight appears and gives Twilight a present, which is a magical photo album chock full of reused footage and with input from each of the Mane 6. While Twilight is elated about being able to look back and remember past memories, she still wants this circle of friendship to continue, so she creates this Council of Friendship and also suggests that they meet once per moon to catch up with each other. I would also like to think that they would hang out with each other from time to time outside of this meeting because there’s nothing stopping that from happening.

 

Celestia and Luna arrive to give their farewell before departing to Silver Shoals, and according to the MLP Wiki, it’s a residential area located next to a body of water. Even though the sisters are stepping down, they are still offering help if needed, but it’s far more likely that the sisters will just call and ask for help with chores. The sisters even hope that the Mane 6 will visit them, but why would the Mane 6 want to waste their time hanging with or do chores for a pair of idiots? Despite the relationship between Celestia and Twilight even looking familial at times, the show has done absolutely nothing with that idea, so I don’t even see a reason for Twilight herself to visit her former mentor.  

 

Luster Dawn finally understands how her concern about friendship is handled and now sees its value after hearing Twilight’s story. According to AJ, the friends have been using this council to rule Equestria, so I wonder how many citizens are actually aware of the political power of influence that Twilight’s friends have. For that matter, are their political positions even public knowledge? Rarity even adds that new threats have still popped up, and the Mane 6 are still around to answer them. I’m irritated yet again about the alicorn sisters still being useless since the creative team would still allow the Mane 6 to deal with problems but couldn’t be bothered to give the same kind of respect toward the sisters at any point.

 

On another sidenote, the episode conveys the “friendship isn’t easy but is worth fighting for” idea better than “The Return of Harmony”.

 

With Luster now wanting to make friends, Twilight pulls the same move as her own mentor and sends Luster to Ponyville. The episode concludes itself and the entire show with a song at Ponyville, and a number of ideas have been confirmed through this sequence such as Pinkie Pie being married to Cheese Sandwich and RD leading the Wonderbolts. They even visit the School of Friendship, and it turns out Starlight and Sunburst are both running the school. We get a number of cameos as well, and I don’t really care to point out the background ponies that online fans are attached to. We do see Trixie, the Student 6, and the CMC at the school, and Scootaloo is teaching a class. Scootaloo’s wings are also still undeveloped, so it looks like the creators have pretty much confirmed that she’s disabled without directly saying so, which is not bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scootaloo’s wing condition was discussed in an earlier episode that I haven’t seen, and I don’t care to find out. After the song, Luster goes off to mingle with other creatures from the school. The final shot of the show is of the older Mane 6 and Spike looking at the audience, and the camera zooms out to show the book from the very first shot of the very first episode closing. Obligatory comment from me about the book being rather lame, underwhelming, and wasteful.

 

Overall, I’m mixed about the quality of the episode. I actually like the ideas behind the episode with the Mane 6 still having their own individual lives to live, so they’ll inevitably go their separate ways as they also have different interests and goals. I like the Mane 6 still actively keeping in touch with each other as the episode shows that friendship requires input from each party. And of course, just because the Mane 6 aren’t always together doesn’t mean that they don’t care about each other. There are some other good touches such as AJ wearing Granny Smith’s scarf, pretty much confirming that the latter died at some point.

 

There are some bits to look at when pausing the episode. There are plenty of cameos, and Capper and Tempest can be seen attending Twilight’s coronation. Where’s Skystar, by the way? At the beginning of the episode, Twilight and Luster walk by some stained-glass windows that showcased events happening after the coronation. Too bad I’m not interested in those events. An older Flurry Heart can also be seen in one of the windows.

 

Equestria is in a better position than ever with plenty of diversity, and the Mane 6 are still handling threats to the country. If one was ever doubting Twilight’s ability to follow up on her predecessors, this episode confirms that Equestria has been better than ever under Twilight. I mean, she was already better than her predecessors before becoming an alicorn, and I know the writers would never be able to say or prove that the other alicorns were ever useful. I’m just tired of seeing the show glorify Twilight while also trying to make her modest, and this only makes her modesty artificial. This is more of a flaw of the show instead of the episode.

 

If you’ve read my recap of the coronation and the circumstances surrounding it, it’s obvious that I felt the story in the flashback was handled pretty sloppily. It wouldn’t My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic if the show doesn’t stumble with a good idea. For starters, I actually do like the idea of Twilight’s coronation getting screwed up, and what could make that screw up even better is each of the Mane 6 contributing to the screw ups. Ultimately, this fiasco merely resulted in the friends having another event to remember fondly. There aren’t many better ways to commemorate such a momentous event than having it go wrong at every step. However, the real reason the coronation was such a disaster is because the event wasn’t rehearsed, and Rarity in particular was terribly behind in her work for whatever reason. Rehearsals would minimize the chances screw ups like this happening, and a professional fashion worker like Rarity wouldn’t want to have an outfit ready for an event right before the event starts. As a result, the disastrous coronation felt forced by the writers instead of natural or even coincidental because the Mane 6 had to purposefully act stupid or incompetent so a humorous screw up could be the result. On the other hand, having the Mane 6 rehearse the coronation would mean each of the ponies not being able to accidentally contribute to the disastrous coronation. One option I think might work would still involve a spider on Twilight that came from wherever, and that could still lead to a chain of events that causes each of the Mane 6 to miscommunicate. They would still be confused about the way the event is play out as it isn’t playing as rehearsed, but they have to go on ahead anyways as they’ve been given their cue and don’t want to screw up only to do so anyways. I’m not entirely sure about how a disastrous coronation should play out, but there could be better reasons than the Mane 6 being completely unprepared.  

 

Another bit I criticized was Twilight teleporting onto the train after missing it, but she didn’t teleport after the train was stalled. A character having a useful ability but properly utilizing it isn’t an uncommon problem in fiction, but it was still awkward to see the Mane 6 be concerned about a problem only for that problem to be trivialized shortly later. And then a similar problem arises, but the previous approach wasn’t taken. I have no idea how this could be tweaked if the writers wanted the possibility of lateness to weigh on the characters. Maybe not teleporting at all could be the answer so the episode could be consistent about Twilight not wanting to teleport. However, I’ll still criticize Twilight teleporting her friends away from their jobs even though the characters were concerned about still having jobs to complete. It’s another bit of forced incompetence on the characters.

 

As for Luster Dawn, I don’t care about her as she doesn’t do anything truly noteworthy. Her real purpose was to be someone for Twilight to talk to and indirectly provide answers for Twilight’s new position. Another reason I don’t care for her is because I don’t know why Twilight would want her own personal student. It made sense with Princess Celestia as Twilight needed help honing her magic, and I guess Celestia felt like she could teach other things to Twilight if they were gonna see each other for more than a while. So, what did Twilight see in Luster Dawn? The answer may be for the viewers to decide, but that doesn’t stop me from saying that Luster doesn’t serve any useful purpose.

 

The ultimate fates of the other alicorns aren’t mentioned, but it’s not like they’re important to the show. Knowing the writers, the alicorn sisters might as well be murdered on their way to Silver Shoals. Since the writers like Luna better, she was given a quick and merciful death. Celestia is probably getting tortured for an eternity with no one ever being aware of her fate and no hope of escape. Cadance (and Shining Armor) simply vanished. It won’t be long before Flurry Heart also vanishes.

 

How appropriate for the final episode of the show to be a metaphor about my overall feelings of the show: there are some things I liked about it, and there are some good ideas, but the good ideas have sloppy execution.

 

I don’t want to talk too much about the show overall as this ramble is just for the final episode of the show itself instead of the entire show. Still, if I had to describe my feelings about the show, the show may not be terrible, but it is terribly wasteful.

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1 hour ago, Number95 said:

How appropriate for the final episode of the show to be a metaphor about my overall feelings of the show: there are some things I liked about it, and there are some good ideas, but the good ideas have sloppy execution.

I don’t want to talk too much about the show overall as this ramble is just for the final episode of the show itself instead of the entire show. Still, if I had to describe my feelings about the show, the show may not be terrible, but it is terribly wasteful.

:approve:

At least it can't be said that the show didn't end properly.

Maybe the problem was expecting too much out of some people that never cared about the cartoon, the universe of the cartoon, as much as the fans did.

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23 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

:approve:

At least it can't be said that the show didn't end properly.

Maybe the problem was expecting too much out of some people that never cared about the cartoon, the universe of the cartoon, as much as the fans did.

I'm probably just restating something from a discussion we had at some point, but I would still say that the creative team did care and put their heart and souls into their work. Even the result of the final episode suggests as such. Of course, all that doesn't equate to a great product, and they still didn't know what they were doing.

 

And there's one more thing I'd like to add about my comment about the Mane 6 not rehearsing for Twilight's coronation. I would assume that they would want Twilight's big day to be successful, so that's more reason for them to practice for their roles. Thus, the apparent lack of preparation also becomes more baffling.

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30 minutes ago, Number95 said:

I'm probably just restating something from a discussion we had at some point, but I would still say that the creative team did care and put their heart and souls into their work. Even the result of the final episode suggests as such. Of course, all that doesn't equate to a great product, and they still didn't know what they were doing.

 

And there's one more thing I'd like to add about my comment about the Mane 6 not rehearsing for Twilight's coronation. I would assume that they would want Twilight's big day to be successful, so that's more reason for them to practice for their roles. Thus, the apparent lack of preparation also becomes more baffling.

Yes. I replied to that that it didn't matter that they poured their heart and souls into their work. I believe that the words were more like "hard work", or something. What matters is that the idea was that. My argument was that working hard was expected from professionals, and that nobody cares if someone ours their soul into whatever they're doing. I pour my soul into my fanfictions, but nobody really cares it takes me about eight hours to write a new chapter, some two hours more to edit, and then review it again when it takes them less than a second to downvote something because they didn't like  some random thing that isn't even important. And I'm not even getting paid.

Again, the point is that I don't even judge them for trying something and failing. I judge them for not even trying when they are professionals doing the bare minimum. I can see that the people that worked with the BGM did a good job. I can see that animators often did a good job (ironically with a platform that is meant to make the job easier). But the writers did not.

 

About Twilight and her friends in the episode... Yeah. It's the writers messing up their job and it is what I'm talking about. You still can't convince me that at some time they 'put their hearts and souls' into their work, because if they did, I wouldn't be where I am today in this regard.

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I feel like I need to add something. I love this whole universe. I didn't bother with the second generation, the third and the 3.5. I loved the first and the fourth and I am well on my way to love the fifth.

Which is curious because I don't like the concept of human in Equestria or Equestria Girls.

The point of this whole thing is that I expect them to take care of something that I love. I expect, at least, the same level of care and dedication that I give my fanfictions and my original works. I don't think that this is wrong. I'm not paid. I do it out of passion. If was paid to do it, I probably wouldn't even publish anything because I would be pent up on making it as best as I can and I would freak out at every little detail.

This is my philosophy in my RL work, and I don't always achieve what I aim for, but another thing is that I will learn from my mistakes and from the feedback I get. And this is another thing that really hurt the cartoon... They kept making the same mistakes, then they tried to lampshade their mistakes.

I don't think that I'm asking too much. Especially because I wouldn't if didn't like it.

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Oh geez, it's been a while since I last put my two cents with this.

The final two parter was kind of a shrug, and I liked the epilogue, but... I dunno. I do agree that "terribly wasteful" is as good description as you can get with it. Celestia post Season 3, Throax's story and Starlight's redemption in Season 6 being rushed, Flurry Heart being a nothing of a plot point, the list goes on.

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On 1/18/2022 at 2:37 PM, Metemponychosis said:

I feel like I need to add something. I love this whole universe. I didn't bother with the second generation, the third and the 3.5. I loved the first and the fourth and I am well on my way to love the fifth.

I'm pretty back and forth about the new generation. On one hand, I wouldn't mind checking it out since it wouldn't be FIM. On the other hand, it is set in the same universe - albeit so many years later that the Mane 6 have become a distant memory - but this just means that will will still have some influence from FIM, which is something I don't want in a new MLP show

At least the new show doesn't have a high bar to clear. However, neither did FIM, and look how that turned out.

In any case, good luck this generation, MLP. You'll probably need it.

On 1/18/2022 at 3:14 PM, WaterPulse said:

The final two parter was kind of a shrug, and I liked the epilogue, but... I dunno. I do agree that "terribly wasteful" is as good description as you can get with it. Celestia post Season 3, Throax's story and Starlight's redemption in Season 6 being rushed, Flurry Heart being a nothing of a plot point, the list goes on.

I'd say Celestia was wasted even within the first 3 seasons, and Luna was also wasted. Twilight herself was even affected since she was only able to prove her prowess when her competitors were sidelined, and the show even tried to make seem so humble about her status while also flaunting her superiority over others. And the lore behind alicorns was also wasted even though Twilight was one for a majority of the show.

I'm so irritated that Starlight was able to become a main character while the characters that were neglected were still sidelined. I would presumable that Starlight came along because the creative team wanted to change the status quo and have a new main character for the established main characters to interact with, but they already had a number of characters to fill that niche. And they pulled the same bullshit again with the School and Student 6, further leaving behind the neglected characters and other good ideas. And compounding my irritation was the show going having so many episodes, so they obviously had more than enough time to give attention to the ideas that were already neglected. I think that it would be inevitable for some number of things to never get explored since new answers would also conjure new questions, but that's no excuse to not bother answering the old questions. This just makes the show feel so incomplete despite running so long.

I have to wonder how the show would have turned out if it were an episodic comedy sort of like Spongebob or Hey Arnold! Maybe it wouldn't look as ambitious as there's no lore or mystery to unravel, but a show doesn't need to be ambitious to be good as MLP was better with its slice-of-life episodes. Hell, I probably wouldn't complain about lack of continuity if the episodes were also funny.

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