Saturday, 31 May 2014

Retrospective review: The Ticket Master

I'm a bit late with this one for personal reasons but here's my thoughts looking back at The Ticket Master. 
After the premier, The Ticket Master doesn't seem like quite as much. Without nearly as much scope or ambition, it's not the best episode to come back to. There's no obvious improvement, no particularly new ideas, no big risks, and quite frankly nothing it does better than the S1 premier. 

That said, The Ticket Master is far from a bad episode. It's not the strongest the series has to offer, but given that it's such an early episode that's understandable. There's a number of great laughs to be had here, and the story is at least serviceable. The characters have not reached their best yet, but they haven't had time to, and what we're shown of them here is certainly charming enough. 

The characters' motivations are set up here, and these motivations combine with the previous episode's core virtues to form a solid foundation for each of the main characters. Their personalities are distinctive, and while they're not quite as complex and refined as they become later, it's still a worthwhile first step. That said, if people refer to these characters as stereotyped and cliche, this is definitely the period of the show they'd be referring to. This episode occurs before most character development, and is one of the least ambitious episodes in the entire show. 

The story is still more complicated than the generation directly preceding Friendship is Magic, which is something that at the time was very respectable. It's definitely mundane, especially compared to the preceding two-parter, and while I think that makes this episode less interesting, there is certainly a time and place for this. 

At this point, the show (as with many shows) was still trying to form an identity for itself. As a result, episodes released in this period are not gonna be as refined as later ones. As with the pilot two-parter, the animation quality is still splendid, but the models aren't near the quality of the later seasons and there's a number of odd things the visuals do that wouldn't appear in later episodes. 

The mundane plot of this episode really does make this a less interesting one to look back on for me, but it's certainly charming. This episode is funny, entertaining, and definitely watchable. I wouldn't say it contains much in the way of flashes of brilliance, but then I don't think that's what they were going for anyway. All things considered, it's a forgettable episode. 

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