Saturday, 30 April 2016

Episode review: "No Second Prances"

One of my least favourite aspects of the show recently has been the increasingly dull characterization of Twilight Sparkle. Now that she's a princess, the writers have struggled to figure out what to do with her, and although she's my favourite character at her best, the past few seasons have more often than not depicted her blandly. However, parts of season 5 were starting to play on her increasing anxiety about her responsibilities as a princess, and giving her a pupil in the form of Starlight Glimmer appeared to be a way to streamline and focus on those anxieties. By completely redefining Twilight's role in the series, there was considerable promise for this character to be taken in a new direction.

So it's greatly concerning that the second episode to address this is so redundant and blandly delivered.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Episode review: "Gauntlet of Fire"

Although he's been around since the pilot, Spike is often neglected in the show proper. While a handful of episodes give him solid character development, and while he is an enjoyable and interesting character in his own right, there is less attention given to him than the main six and arguably even the Cutie Mark Crusaders. After a particular dry spell in season 5, where the only Spike episode was the rather uninteresting "Princess Spike," we get an episode that doesn't particularly develop him or any other main characters, but which provides a somewhat interesting glance at the culture and society of Equestria's dragons and possibly causes major changes to the status quo.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Episode review: "On Your Marks"

Among other things, season 5 was defined by its big events, which were easily among the biggest the show has ever seen. Many of these events directly contributed to the altered status quo of season six, and in a season of big changes, easily the biggest was in "Crusaders of the Lost Mark," which featured Cutie Mark Crusaders obtaining their cutie marks. With that long-running story arc out of the way, the question opened of what would be done with those characters next. "On Your Marks" attempts to answer that question, picking up the new story arc for the Crusaders which was set up in "Crusaders" while attempting to focus on the individual characters' development. The results are decidedly imperfect, and yet, "On Your Marks" is perhaps the most purely enjoyable episode of season 6 yet.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Episode review: "The Gift of Maud Pie"

In season 5, one of the stand-out episodes was "Rarity Investigates!," which set the under-used pair of Rarity and Rainbow Dash against the mutual achievement of their dreams. Although it was a thoroughly entertaining episode on its own, there was also a subtle level of pathos in the two's mutual respect for each other, especially with Rarity demonstrating how much she cares about her friend. "The Gift of Maud Pie" takes what worked in "Rarity Investigates" and rebuilds it around Rarity and Pinkie Pie, while injecting it with the new confidence and vitality that was demonstrated in the season 6 premiere, "The Crystalling." In other words, season 6 continues to impress.