Monday, 21 October 2013

Rainbow Dash Presents: Bittersweet review

So... the final entry in the Rainbow Dash Presents series.

Well, it's better than the "My Little Dashie" episode, so I guess that's going for it. But, really, that's a low bar to reach. This just... isn't watchable. "Rainbow Dash Presents: Bittersweet" is a depressing way to end the series. At one point, it was quirky and fun. It was entertaining. That time is long gone, and the Rainbow Dash Presents that remains isn't even a shadow of its former self.

I haven't read "Bittersweet". I tried to, but I found it manipulative and stopped. This video did succeed in making me interested in trying again, because, if it's anything like the video, it's a character-driven story about emotional turmoil. This video certainly has that, but it doesn't go anywhere. Nothing gets better. At best, Rainbow Dash gets to bounce her negative emotions off a clinically depressed Fluttershy. At worst, her so-called "friends" brush her off and treat her with anger and annoyance. That's not a joke. That's mean-spirited. The video is clearly trying to say something about not being a deadbeat, but it goes about it in the most cruel and depressing way. If you want to say something, make us care. Don't make the video unpleasant to watch. 

If the comments are any indication, then this is supposed to be a comedic video. Well, if that's what it's going for, it failed pretty miserably. The few times it even tries to make a joke, it's just some creatively bankrupt obvious reference. I didn't laugh once in this video. If anything, "Rainbow Dash Presents: Bittersweet" just depressed me. Even if it weren't for the mean-spirited tone, even if it weren't for the bad jokes, even if it weren't for the fact that it doesn't have much actual parodying in it, it's still needlessly depressing. It's not enjoyable to watch, and that's its biggest sin. 

The video is done in Rainbow Dash Presents' stop-motion not-quite-animation, and it looks about as good as that type of "animation" can. There are some points when it's surprisingly smooth, though it's never fully animated. Visually, there isn't much to complain about here. But that doesn't matter when it's such a miserable experience to sit through.

The video also features a song. The songs in Rainbow Dash Presents are consistently bad, and this one's no exception. It's just dull, lacking interesting lyrics or a catchy melody. The lyrics don't even make too much sense, which doesn't exactly help the song. That said, it's still one of the relative high points of the video. 

It ends on a shoe-horned in moral, and not a very good one at that. I couldn't really feel disappointed, though, because it was actually a step up from what had come before, by way of being somewhat upbeat. Look, I'm not expecting high art. Were this at least funny, I'd have given it a much better review. But I didn't enjoy this. If only it had gone somewhere, the depressing tone would have worked. But it didn't. At the end, it just loops around with a mediocre lesson. Whatever this was trying to be, it didn't succeed in being anything except exhausting. I can't recommend it, because it's just not enjoyable in any way. That's the most damning thing I can say about a video. Just don't watch it.

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