Sunday, 30 April 2017

Episode review: "Fluttershy Leans In"

And season 7 has officially lost me. "Fluttershy Leans In" provides a continuation of season 6's impressive treatment of Fluttershy, concluding her character arc by presenting her with a massive ambition which she finally has the confidence to see through. As nice as that might sound, though, this is an "Amending Fences"-type episode which gives absolutely zero personal growth to anyone involved and simply seeks to demonstrate Fluttershy's newfound strength without any sort of internal conflict. Worse still, "Fluttershy Leans In" lacks even a compelling secondary character, instead letting Fluttershy react to moronic antagonists without even a hint of decent intentions, and then has the gall to take itself mostly seriously on top of that. The result is an episode with little to redeem it except already established characterization and the specific phrasing of its moral. How did this even happen?

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Episode review: "Rock Solid Friendship"

Since her introduction in season 4, Maud Pie has made at least one appearance in every season, and every single one of those appearances is stronger than the last. By season 6's "The Gift of the Maud Pie," the writers had grown comfortable with subtly suggesting her emotions, and here, they've gone a step further and fleshed out her flaws and anxieties. She is rapidly becoming one of the absolute best characters in the entire show because of this, which makes it all the more disappointing that she shares "Rock Solid Friendship" with Pinkie Pie at her most obnoxious and Starlight Glimmer at her most bland. This is an episode with a great deal to admire, but it's really only got one joke, and all the nuance in the world only means so much when the episode gets in its own way so often.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Episode review: "A Flurry of Emotions"

While I wasn't very fond of the first two episodes of season 7, they represented a further shift in the right direction for this show. Both were very low-key slice-of-life affairs which took advantage of changes to the status quo, and "Celestial Advice" in particular finally showed an interest in the supporting cast which the show already has instead of tossing yet more new ponies onto the pile. Both of those traits are present in the adorable "A Flurry of Emotions," which, even more than "Dungeons & Discords" last season, is the exact kind of silly, endearing romp which caused me to fall in love with this show in the first place, and it also sees the show at its most controlled and polished. More of this, please. Way more of this.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Episode reviews: "Celestial Advice" / "All Bottled Up"

At long last, the two-parter is dead. Season 7 is the first My Little Pony season to open with two entirely disconnected episodes, and while they aired on the same day and share a (very) small degree of continuity, for all intents and purposes these are two different episodes, neither of which shares even the skeleton of an epic adventure plot. The formula is finally, finally gone, and so here's two episode reviews for the price of one: "Celestial Advice," which boasts novelty and continuity but lacks much going on or a conflict I have any interest in, and "All Bottled Up," which drags a good moral and some solid ideas through a relatively tired conflict. Neither are terribly exciting, and "All Bottled Up" is rather tedious, but while both are a massive step down from season 6's "The Crystalling," they both have points of merit and serve as a fresh change of pace for the show.