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Darker and more serious.

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What do you think of the idea of the show having a darker and more serious tone? It could open up more storytelling options for the writers.

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Well, I argue that this show has already developed a much more serious tone. I argue that the turnaround occurred as far back as the S2 premier. After that, the show really starting growing in terms of maturity.

 

We have had episodes like Flight to the Finish, Tanks for the Memories, Amending Fences, DPDoMS and many others that have explored very mature themes which would never even be considered early on in the series run.

 

For the most part, I say it has paid off big time. We have had some of the best episodes of the whole series as a result of this change.

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I don't want to see the show grow anymore "dark" or "serious". I don't think that the present producers can handle more complex or sensitive stories. It'd just end up like an angsty teen trying to be edgy. Which the cartoon kinda is already sometimes.

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I would be against that idea, simply because the main reason I love My Little Pony is because of how sweet and innocent it all is. On TV these days, I find there are too many depressingly serious/dark tv shows, and it kinda bums me out. The beauty of MLP is, to me, its colourful, harmless and fun themes. 

 

But you know, that's just like, my opinion man

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Dark and serious are not synonyms. I definitely do not want MLP to be Dark that would be missing the point. And the show is serious when it matters even if it has lighthearted tone for the most part. Show is nice blend of various tones depending of the situation presented.

If you want more storytelling options what you need is continuity and an actual writing staff instead of the freelancing the episodes per writer. The tone of the show is fine.

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I think bronies already made more serious and darker creations, Hasbro will never do something like that.

I admit that I could like a more serious episodes, but I think the show has already dark and serious episodes. imo, the difference with adults show is the violence. No blood, no apparent injuries, no rudeness, no explicit death, and I don't want it especially in the show. Anyway it will never happen because Hasbro think thanks to a survey, than bronies are something like 30% of the fans.

In another hand, the movie seems little more violent than the show (that poor fish). Yes of course nothing gore, but still...

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This show actually serious (because, comparing to another typical western animation, MLP has good moral and don't toilet/rude humor). And yes, not so dark, as it can be. But it not bad, because we can relax, watching something (MLP), that lighter, than our reality.

For me the darkest episodes was S5E25-26. They are examples of qualitative darkness, darkness that brings grim atmosphere without blood and intestines.

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I had 3 semesters of a Role-Playing Is Magic campaign that, at first started light-hearted, quickly took both a dark and serious tone when our GM decided to throw H.P. Lovecraft into the scene. There were a lot of demonic related moments, a several NPCs and a major player died, and had a very harrowing experience where the main antagonist nearly dropped a dimension on my head.

Yes, I'm being serious, an ENTIRE FREAKIN' DIMENSION nearly crushed me to death. It's a bit complicated.

With all of that said, if there was a completely separate series that took the world of Equestria in that direction with perhaps a new slew of characters, it could totally work, because despite everything I said, the entire story of the campaign I participated in was probably some of the best writing and storytelling I've ever experienced in a Roleplaying session.

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The thing is, in a cartoon world like MLP's taking things both darker AND more seriously is usually an oxymoron. The world and characters are set up, we've had 7.5 seasons of how things work. To do "dark" in a way that's consistent with the Equestria we have, you'd need to amp up the evil monsters, or make the existing and established characters more monstrous. Neither one of those would lend itself to greater seriousness.

Amping up evil monsters is not really a "serious" development, in fact it's just more of the same fiction. If anything, it's less serious because the perils are ever less realistic beasts or sorcerers. Darker for MLP would almost necessitate less realism, which works against "serious."

Giving existing characters a darker nature undermines the seriousness of everything we have right now. The settings and characters are well-established for what they are. Injecting darkness into them would be unrealistic under almost any circumstances, again going against the effort to make MLP more serious. It forces us to treat the existing bulk of canon as if it were not serious prior to introducing the new direction. You also run the risk of going waaaaaaaaaaay overboard. Cupcakes, for example!

You can do "more serious" episodes without going darker. Give the ponies more complicated problems, but ones that are rooted in the challenges people face in daily life. Rather than introduce a new Master of Evil to menace them, or inject a morally ambiguous anti-hero with a gun? Have ponies address topics like ADD, depression, or withdrawal from face-to-face social interactions. It's possible to cover these topics without doing a Very Special Episode that screams "EMMY BAIT!" Really, it would just have to be more subtle, nuanced, and character-driven than an after school special and it could work.

There are topics that are serious and would be worthy of exploration within MLP. There are also issues of darkness that could be dealth with in the cartoon, but to remain true to the show as we love it, those would almost universally be purchased at the cost of "seriousness."
 

Now perhaps you meant something else for "serious." More threats to Equestria? Well, we've had those pretty much every season, sometimes more than once per. Sometimes the threat has been existential; changing timelines that result in a vast wasteland, or battling to contain a nightmare being with the potential to turn waking world into a permanent horror show. Maybe what you're asking for is more villain episodes and fewer slice of life? That wouldn't necessarily make the show any darker than it is, just increase the ratio of action sequences and physical conflicts versus dramatic interactions and interponysonal conflicts.

Basically, "serious" as in something with more weighty of subject matter is not really going to work if you're also trying to go "darker" AND keep the show consistent with its own nature.

Easy workarounds? Incorporate some of the material from the IDW comics. The Reflections story arc, for example, is more morally complicated than the typical MLP episode because, although they would up saving two Equestrias, they did so with a tremendous cost. It raises some legitimate questions about the desirability of the solution and involves some tragic developments, things which don't usually happen in episodes on TV. If that's the kind of "darker and more serious" tone you're talking about, I could stand to see some of that in the show rather than relegating it to the B canon, so long as we still get a good mix of those world-at-stakes adventures and slice-of-life stories.

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If MLP became the dark and brooding show that so many angsty young people want it to be it would lose the very qualities that attracted me to the show to begin with.  With the animated genre already being inundated with "adult" cartoons like Family Guy and so much anime oozing into the western world, a wholesome show that's safe for the entire family to watch is a breath of fresh air.

 

 

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Dark is fine in its place. But it's so overdone in just about everything these days I'd hate to see MLP fall into the same cliches that so many others have. Something's got to be family friendly and that's how I like my ponies. Some episodes get a little darker but they seem to have the right balance for the most part. 

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I agree with Toki Zensekai.  I think that it would work as a separate series with different characters.  Maybe as an online thing.  I still don't think that Hasbro would let it go to far since that isn't in their wheelhouse, but I do think that as an idea, it might work.  It also depends what darker and serious mean and how far you intended to go with them.  For instance, if you're meaning that you want it to be closer to a horror movie with blood and gore, then I don't think that would work at all.  However, if you mean more serious such as ramifications of magic use, issues of possible mind control, the aftermath of problems such as Starlight's Village?  Then I think it would work as an online shows directed toward slightly older viewers.  Sort of like how Harry Potter grew up with its readers.

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