Captain Clark

King Clark's MLP Review Topic

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This is where I will be putting my episode reviews when I get around to doing them. Expect a review of season 7's A Royal Problem first.

 

I don't exactly have any grading system either. I will probably put one in later when I get a bit more comfortable here. For the time being, I'll just say what I thought about the episode.

 

These reviews will likely start out rough, but hopefully I'll find my footing as time goes on.

 

Likely order that I have in mind at the moment.

1. A Royal Problem

2. Not Asking for Trouble

3. Newbie Dash

 

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26 minutes ago, Cinder Vel said:

A bit of an unusual order. Ah well I await your judgment.

Thank you :) And, the order is weird because I heard somewhere that we will be getting a large break between Not Asking for Trouble and the next episode. So, I thought that I would review some of the older episodes in no real order during that break. I'll just pick one I feel like talking about and review it. I picked Newbie Dash first because I REALLY hate it! I just want to get it out of the way. It will be very painful, but you just gotta...do it. If you know what I mean.

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@King Clark

It's the usual mid-season hiatus. Although think they will air EqG episodes during it. 

And yes I have dislike for Newbie Dash too. And no, I don't accept the excuse "it's just hazing",   

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35 minutes ago, Cinder Vel said:

@King Clark

It's the usual mid-season hiatus. Although think they will air EqG episodes during it. 

And yes I have dislike for Newbie Dash too. And no, I don't accept the excuse "it's just hazing",   

Oh, I actually have nothing against the mid season hiatus. It's nice to just have a break from the new episodes and let the older ones settle in. It just seems like they are making it happen earlier and earlier every season. The last episode before the break in season 5 was episode 13. In season 6 it was 12. And now we are getting this one after episode 11.

 

Also, EqG episodes? Is there an EqG TV show that I am somehow unaware of.

 

Lastly, expect me to rip that "excuse" a new one in my review of ND. Glad to see another person who thinks that the "it's just hazing" argument doesn't hold much water.

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@King Clark
This year instead of EqG movie there will be a special made out of 3 regular length episodes. You can actually watch them in Polish. 

And oh boy now I am excited!

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@Cinder Vel There isn't an EqG movie this year? Thank God. I am hoping that those episodes are good, but I have sort of given up on that series. However, I am glad to see that you seem to like it. Just my silly personal opinion, I suppose. 

 

Btw, I am guessing that Starlight is going to be in it. 

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@King Clark
Actually I dislike EqG, the "excitement" part is regarding the Newbie Dash review. And yes Starlight is in the 3rd EqG episode which is the only one I checked out because of that reason alone. Trust me, it won't increase your opinion. Might actually lower it.

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In that case, I am happy that you want to see me destroy that episode XD

 

Sorry I misread your opinion regarding EqG. But when you say you dislike it, do you mean all of them?

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Not in equal measures but yes I was never able to get into the EqG. Number on reason is that the design simply is ugly to me. I just can't get used to humans with pony colors as they don't always match properly. And they know the colors don't match which is why most of EqG only characters have rather human like skin, or in case of Cheerilee they made her look like Berry Punch. Also the High School setting doesn't sit well for me. For anything else I would have to talk about each film individually. I can say good things too about them but all in good time.

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@Cinder Vel You're right. The design is terrible. They all look very uncanny and a little bit creepy.

 

Regarding ND. Most people pick up on the horrible moral and horrible characterization of basically everyone (and I will be talking about this), but after my last viewing I realized that the story makes no sense at all. How did the WB's not realize that the insults were making RD preform worse. Considering that they are preparing for an event as a TEAM, wouldn't it make sense to stop with the insults because one of their team members just so happens to be preforming worse the more you use the insult. Considering how great aa flier RD is, you need to be a complete moron to not figure that out. The hazing was counterproductive as it hurt the progress of the team.

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Well after season four I no longer associate teamwork or intelligence with Wonderbolts. I mean I do accept that ponies as species are dumber than humans (it helps A LOT) but Wonderbolts are special. Also the thing is that it was not hazing. First it was just petty school level insulting, just look at the Misty Fly (the one that does most of insults). Then it was just "wtf is wrong with Dash" kind of feel and they were probably just confused with Dash developing split personalities. And in the end they finish the turn and are suddenly just teasing.

And then comes season seven and they are very understanding. Wonderbolts are very inconsistent since the start of the show till now. From characterization to actual canon about them.  

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@Cinder Vel I'm confused. I was lead to believe that you disliked the Wonderbolts in this episode. 

 

About your point regarding hazing, I still argue that it was hazing. They saddled RD with an insult that was incompetence laden, hammered it in throughout the episode and didn't stop even though it was obviously effecting her in a negative way. On top of that, they never said or made it clear that it was in good fun until the end. What I got from the episode is that the nicknames were given as motivation as well (which is one of the main points of hazing), however this fails spectacularly. If they had never given her the stupid nickname, non of this bullshit would have happened. On top of that, it treats it as a one size fits all solution. The episode wants to tell the audience that this is ok because it will ALWAYS be a motivation to EVERYONE, but that is not the case. Not everyone will find this motivational. There will be people out there who will feel worse because of this as it can effect them in various very negative ways.

 

In short, that is why I don't approve of the WB's here. If I misrepresented your argument, then I'm sorry. Also, sorry if I sounded angry at you. I'm not angry at you in the slightest. I just really hate this episode. You also did say before that you didn't like it, so I am 99% sure I misunderstood your point.

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Hey, it could have been worse. Thy could have gone full Full Metal Jacket.

In all seriousness, though, regardless of whether or not it was hazing, the fact that the Wonderbolts didn't question Rainbow Dash's odd behavior until she wrecked the show pretty much puts them as incompetent.

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1 hour ago, WaterPulse said:

Hey, it could have been worse. Thy could have gone full Full Metal Jacket.

In all seriousness, though, regardless of whether or not it was hazing, the fact that the Wonderbolts didn't question Rainbow Dash's odd behavior until she wrecked the show pretty much puts them as incompetent.

What the WB's did here was not cool, but it definitely could have been worse. Although, going Full Metal Jacket might actually be entertaining...in a sick kind of way.

 

Ya, anyone with a working brain would be able to figure that out. Rainbow Falls made them assholes, this one made them assholes and morons. What great characters they've become!

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@King Clark
I don't like Wonderbolts in almost any episode. Also I called them dumber than dumb and inconsistent, I don't see that as a compliment.
 
And well I don't call it hazing because it was not team collectively trying to put Rainbow Dash in her place via initiation of some sort or the general picking on the newbie like pranking or fetch quest. What I am trying to say is that hazing is a much more organized and serious thing than just schoolyard name calling. So I am saying that Wonderbolts were just immature high school teenagers that made fun of Rainbow, didn't give a crap later about her and then it was like "friendly name calling", a thing they do to each other all the time like we have seen it so many times. So it was 180^ turn in one episode.

It was not an episode I enjoyed and don't think that anyone could change how I felt when I watched it.


  

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1 hour ago, Cinder Vel said:

@King Clark
I don't like Wonderbolts in almost any episode. Also I called them dumber than dumb and inconsistent, I don't see that as a compliment.
 
And well I don't call it hazing because it was not team collectively trying to put Rainbow Dash in her place via initiation of some sort or the general picking on the newbie like pranking or fetch quest. What I am trying to say is that hazing is a much more organized and serious thing than just schoolyard name calling. So I am saying that Wonderbolts were just immature high school teenagers that made fun of Rainbow, didn't give a crap later about her and then it was like "friendly name calling", a thing they do to each other all the time like we have seen it so many times. So it was 180^ turn in one episode.

It was not an episode I enjoyed and don't think that anyone could change how I felt when I watched it.


  

Like I said above, I was about 99% sure that I misread your point. I know that you called them dumb and you said you didn't like them, but I guess the reason I was a bit confused is because I feel like calling it just school yard bully stuff is downplaying it. While they did call her a childish nickname, it had a massive effect on her. It brought back a traumatic memory from her childhood and it made her preform worse.. As a result, from her point of view, it was not funny at all. Also, I could be wrong, but isn't hazing more than an initiation? I always thought that singling out the newbie and making it harder for them was another part of it. If that is hazing, then what we saw in ND was hazing because RD was singled out the entire time. There was only one time before the end that anyone else was called a nickname. That scene was also really lazy because the one and only other nickname they use was "clipper", which doesn't sound insulting until you know the background on it. Another thing to keep in mind is that calling her a nickname was not the only thing they did to her. They put her nickname on her jacket and made her clean up the entire compound as a result of being the worst flier.

 

I guess my point is that the second part of that older post sounded to me like you were justifing their actions in this episode, but now I can see that that isn't true. I can see what you are saying much clearer now. You point out here that you found them immature. I didn't get that feeling in your other post.

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@Cinder Vel Btw, you said you wanted a review of ND. Well, I have already sort of explained my biggest problem with it here. I will still be reviewing the episode and there are many other problems I had with it, but you just experienced the biggest one for me. Hopefully that was enough to tide you over until I get to it.

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@Cinder Vel Actually, I plan on getting the review for A Royal Problem out as soon as possible. In fact, it's done. I just haven't posted it yet because of nerves. For the record, it will be a pretty positive review. In fact, I would call just about every episode this season at least good except for Fluttershy Leans In (which I was meh about), Hard to Say Anything (which I find terrible), and Honest Apple (which I find bad).

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Princess Spike Episode Review

 

Change of plans!
Now. I know that I originally said that A Royal Problem was going to be my first review, but I recently stared rewatching some season 5. The episodes are usually just how I remember them to be, but then came Princess Spike and...oh boy. I can definitely say that I disliked this episode before, but I had obviously forgotten how complex the awfulness is. Well, I have this one fresh in mind so let's go!

 

The episode begins and we already have a problem. That problem is the dialogue. While the dialogue the pretty bad throughout, the bad dialogue that occurs later fails for different reasons than what we see earlier on. On top of that, it kind of merges with other problems that I will talk about later. So, what's wrong here? Well, the quote that really summarizes my problem is as follows: 

 

Spike: Um, hello, everypony! I'm here to help any way I can. So if there's anything I can do for any of you— 
Neigh Sayer: We love you, Princess Twilight! 
Delegate 2: We love all the princesses! 
[crowd cheering]
Spike: [sighs] I guess everypony loves a princess. Hmph.

 

What the hell is this shit? Not only is this really unnatural and mechanical sounding, but it is also about as subtle as an anvil dropping on someone's head. It reveals the conflict and the exact approach to said conflict right off the bat. I know exactly what is going to happen now. Spike is clearly being ignored and this hammers it in even further. It's not funny. 

 

Speaking of contrived, the set-up is kind of pushing it too. The water main problem, the polo game and dragon sneeze trees are so obviously gonna be a part of the climax that it hurts. To be fair, it's hard to predict how, but they are clearly going to contribute to something later on and the episode is very unsubtle about it.

 

Let's talk about the very next scene. In it, Cadance (I'll get to her) opens the door, which crushes Spike against the bookshelf. *groans* Much like the last scene, it pretty much sets the tone for how Spike will be treated in this episode.  A buttmonkey. Listen, there are only so many times that you can say "just putting Spike at the butt of your jokes doesn't make it funny". Wanna know why it isn't funny? Simple, he doesn't deserve it. He was shunned in the previous scene by the audience even though he was trying to be helpful. Same goes for this. He wants to open the door for Cadance, nothing else. He hasn't acted like a jackass, he hasn't been mean to anyone. Just a kid trying to do his job. Not funny, makes me cringe every time. On top of that, the bad dialogue persists. This scenes sole purpose is to set up the conflict, but the problem is that it is all exposition. We have to be told about Twilight's situation, but we never see it develop. We're told that she has been awake for three day's preparing, but we don't see it. Now that we have gotten the smaller details out of the way, let's talk about one of the bigger problems (if not the biggest) with this episode. Spike himself.

 

 

Spike is a problem in two ways. He is treated like a buttmonkey and he is out of character. Let's talk about his buttmonkey status first.

 

1. I touched on this when I talked about the first two scenes. In those scenes, the episode pretty much confirmed how he was going to be treated here. Nobody gave a shit about him and he was hit by the door when Cadance came in. Neither are the slightest bit funny because he was being helpful and didn't deserve it. We've established that. Unfortunately, it continues. The bird, the pipe worker, the polo game, and the pony cutting the dragon sneeze trees all get in Spike's way and are also written as jokes... I think. The tone of this section seems to want to be serious because the trees and water main are revealed to be safety hazards, but there is also some cartoony slapstick tossed in there as well. It just feels really awkward from a tonal perspective. If they want us to take this seriously, then take it seriously, please. I don't know what the writers were trying to do here with this scene, but it is a mess every way you look at it. Oh, and did I mention that those jokes are at Spike's expense. Because that just never gets old, does it? Comedy gold!

 

If that isn't bad enough for you, then look no further than the narrative because the narrative is a sick joke. The problem is that the story sets Spike up to fail from the very beginning (ignoring the obvious solution that I will talk about in a bit). Think about it. Because Cadance dicides to be a moron (another thing I'll get to), Spike has no way out of this. If he abides by what Cadance asks of him, then you get what happened in the episode. If he does the reasonable thing and lets the two workers continue, then Twilight wakes up and he fails. He faces punishment no matter what. 

 

2. Most people would immediately jump to the second part of the episode when coming up with negative points regarding Spike's character in this episode, which is reasonable because it is definitely the worst part, but I'm not letting him off the hook in the beginning either. This is because he is to dumb to recognize the most obvious solution. If Twilight getting woken up because of the noise is a problem, then why doesn't he try to block out the noise? Celestia, Cadance or Luna must be somewhere. Heck, we saw Celestia and Luna at the beginning of the episode and Cadance plays guilt tripper throughout the episode. Why don't you get them to cast a noise block spell. Or, if that's not an option, give Twilight earplugs. And if THAT isn't an option, then move Twilight to an area that is less crowded. The episode clearly shows that the rest of the princesses are there. So why does the story just forget about them? Oh, because if the episode did remember them and their capabilities, then this sorry excuse for a story would be over in maybe three minutes. Sorry, I forgot. *shakes head in disapproval*


 Only, that isn't the only problem I have with him at the beginning. 

 

Another problem I have is the fact that he actually goes through with telling the workers to stop even though they told him the consequences. Spike may be a child, but he is much smarter than this. He understands danger when he sees it and telling them to stop is clearly very dangerous (as he was directly told that it was dangerous by professionals). If he was competent and in-character, he would have told them to continue working and then think of a solution. If he was as smart as he usually is, his solution would most likely be to go to Celestia or come up with one of the solutions that I did above.

 

But, we're not done yet. The next big problem is his sudden bout of greed. What do you want me to say? It's out of character. This is because he willingly gives in to the greed despite having TWO episodes prior about this exact same damn thing (SoME and JfS). All the while he keeps this smug grin on his face the entire time. He already knows the consequences of giving in and letting it get to his head. He has learned this twice. Why do we need to see this bullshit again?


At the same time, who can really blame him. Like I said above. The story was out to get him from the start. Do you know who we can really blame for that? If you guessed Cadance, then you are correct! Surely she must have known about the workers and the possibility of delegates coming up to ask Twilight questions. If so, why didn't she give Spike advice on how to handle it. Better yet, why wouldn't SHE have handled it. Also, why the HECK would she put Twilight in a room next to a construction site?

 

Of course, what doesn't help Spike or the episode is the portrayal of the deligates and workers themselves. The new one shot characters are complete morons and are unlikeable.

 

The first reason for this comes from the workers at the beginning. I don't claim to be an expert in water mains, but I do know that fixing them as quick as possible is a must. Not dealing with it can lead to major problems. Knowing this, why would a so called professional stop working on it because "the princess asked him to". I don't care if the princess said so. Not dealing with it is extremely dangerous. If the princess told you to run into a brick wall, would you do that too?
The guy fixing the trees is the same way. Not cutting the trees is a hazard, but he decides to stop because...plot.

 

My second point here is that the deligates go to the princess for really stupid reasons and follow Spike's terrible advice because...princess. They seem to believe that only good advice comes from princesses. They are still ponies. Instead of just taking advice willy nilly at face value, why don't you guys actually stop and THINK! Maybe the advice from the princess isn't very good. Princesses are capable of making mistakes and are very very capable of possibly giving bad advice as well. Good advice and points can come from anyone, not just royalty. The most obvious one comes from that dumbass who asked for friendship advice because of a goddamn seat. He is seriously questioning whether or not he should remain friends with this person just because he took his seat, which very well could have been an accident. If you are debating whether or not you should remain friends with someone because of something so trivial and dumb, then maybe you two were not very good friends to begin with. I refuse to believe that anyone is this pitiful. To top it off, he is a racist.

 

Fluffy Clouds: No offense, but I don't need some random dragon's opinion. I-I want to hear what Princess Twilight thinks.

 

Why was pointing out the fact that he is a dragon necessary? If he said something like "some random kids opinion", then he would still sound like an asshole, but it would be better than this! This also gives me Dragon Quest flashbacks. That is never a positive.

 

Oh, but I'm STILL not done with these idiots. My next point is near the end when they go to Twilight as an angry mob. In this scene everyone is putting 100% of the blame on Twilight for the dumb decisions. Hey, dumbasses! Were you not the ones who agreed with those dumb decisions? Didn't you go through with them? If they were so terrible, then why did you agree to do them in the first place. It was YOUR FAULT! Don't go and blame someone else because you did the obviously stupid thing. Those are your problems!

 

Spike becoming a greedy jackass seems to be one of the main flaws people bring up when panning this episode. I agree. It is one of the worst parts. So, why haven't I been talking about it much? Quite honestly, it's because it doesn't even feel like a part of the actual episode. It's like a random detour from the main plot for a few minutes. Not only is greedy Spike shoehorned into the episode, but it also has nothing to do with anything. The episode tries to tell the audience that it was Spike being an asshole that caused all the problems, but it wasn't. All the shit that went down during the climax came from the beginning. Spike being an asshole didn't contribute to the plot or effect anybody in anyway. If the episode introduces a plot point that is not connected to the beginning or ending, then it is just lazy filler. You also have to keep in mind that Spike is blamed for everything here. Even though the things that he is getting blamed for came from good intentions and when he wanted to just help out. While the actions he preformed when he was an asshole contributed to nothing and harmed nobody. At worst, his demands when he becomes an asshole are minor inconveniences. That's it. On top of that, he isn't blamed for any of the bad actions. Only the good ones. In short, the episode implies that the actions you present with good intentions will bite you in the ass, but you will get off the hook for being an asshole. This would be less of a problem if his dumb decisions at the beginning were written as a bad thing, but they are not. We are supposed to sympathize with him and feel like what he is doing is the right thing. As a result, the episode doesn't just teach a bad message, but contradicts itself as well. 


Some of the positives I have here come from the end. The moral is pretty good and that part where everyone forgives Spike as well as helps him fix up the statue the he broke is touching. However, the episode messes up both of these.

 

The moral is done poorly because of two things I already mentioned. It has nothing to do with the conflict. The story makes no effort to bridge the first half (Spike's good intentions) with the second half (greedy Spike) so it is off topic. The other problem is that this is the third time that Spike has had to learn this lesson. It has lost all impact because of the blatant repetition.

 

The heartwarming moment was brought down by the last five seconds. It confirms that Spike is not allowed to have his moment. It was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY!!! Everyone had already forgiven him and he learned his lesson. Give him a BREAK!!! It does nothing but confirm that he is a complete joke and doesn't deserve anything that was given to him here. You had a good moment and you ruined it!

 

Overall, this episode is an atrocity. It does pretty much everything wrong and is a clear pick for worst episode of season 5 and is one of my top ten worst of the series.

 

Grade: F

 

Note: I am giving credit to @Nuke87654 for the point about Cadance being an idiot.

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Thank you for the credit for Cadance, King Clark. But I feel that you're knowledge in this episode is much better than my own considering what you had typed there and especially this piece right here that honestly has given me some insight of how I need to type more detailed information into my points. I enjoy this review of yours and I would like to see more of it please :)

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@Nuke87654 Very glad that you enjoyed this review, but most of my other reviews will not be this long. My reviews of terrible and completely broken episodes like Mysterious Mare Do Well, Rainbow Falls, One Bad Apple and Newbie Dash are the only ones that have any chance of being this long. 

 

Btw, I mentioned that PS is a bottom ten episode of the show for me. Here is the full bottom ten list, imo.

 

1. Rainbow Fails. Oh, sorry. I meant Rainbow Falls. How could I get those two words mixed up?

2. One Bad Apple

3. Newbie Dash

4. Dragon Quest

5. Bridal Gossip

6. Putting Your Hoof Down

7. The Mysterious Mare Do Well

8. 28 Pranks Later

9. Princess Spike

10. Owl's Well That Ends Well

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