Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Retrospective review: Read It or Weep

An episode which boasts an exciting story-within-a-story and a relatable conflict.

"Read It or Weep" is an episode that provides the character development and fun expected of the show, and does so in an unconventional fashion. The Daring Do story is gripping on its own, and it's paired with some strong character work with Rainbow Dash. On top of that, this episode has a main conflict that might prove especially relatable to older male viewers.

The Daring Do story makes this episode a different sort of deal than previous ones. It's constantly switching between Daring Do and Rainbow Dash, and on Daring's end we have a gripping adventure story. It's an obvious homage to Indiana Jones, but it's fast-paced and exciting in its own right. Daring herself is a good protagonist for the novels, and honestly I'd probably buy the first one if it were actually published.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash has to come to terms with some of her preconceived notions of "cool" being challenged. This is itself a strong conflict that shows serious character development and maturation for Rainbow, but it's coupled with her worrying about the consequences of her previous statements. She feels guilty about insulting Twilight, and thus doesn't want to face her, which is an interesting character trait. In the end, the six's friendship is reinforced as all is resolved.

However, the main issue of coming to like something you had previously been condescending towards is something which might be increasingly known to viewers. Cliques, subcultures, and even gender roles can cause individuals to consider certain things beneath them, and thus they'd feel uncomfortable admitting to it. Really, a prominent example is older and male viewers who have come to watch this show. It's becoming increasingly uncommon, but many feel uncomfortable sharing their interests, especially after having initially condescended the show. Rainbow Dash's conflict here paralleling that feels almost like a hand extended to that side of the community.

"Read It and Weep" is a strong, relateable episode with great character development for Rainbow Dash, and its Daring Do bits are very entertaining. It's another great episode for this season, and a step up over the previous.

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