Sunday, 21 May 2017

Episode review: "Not Asking for Trouble"

In any other season, "Not Asking for Trouble" would be a middle-of-the-road throwaway episode. It's simple, it repeats a lot of jokes, and its moral has already been done in this show. In season 7, however, I'm just glad the episode was funny, even though its simplicity wasn't enough to carry the handful of funny gags. Those repeated jokes are at least good on their own, Pinkie Pie is consistently delightful, and it's neat to learn just a little bit more about yak culture, but this is hardly a memorable episode in the grand scheme of the show, even with its small virtues.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Episode review: "A Royal Problem"

This is not what I wish it was.

The Celestia and Luna episode I wanted was a light-hearted, humorous slice-of-life. This is a semi-serious moral-driven episode. But it wouldn't be fair to begrudge the episode for that, especially since the episode we got is still very entertaining and hugely admirable. This entire season has had a laser-focus on moral-driven stories, and while that's often been for the worse, "A Royal Problem" demonstrates how well this formula can go with the right jokes and sufficient, well-thought-out character depth. Indeed, stuff like this is even enough to make me tolerate the Cutie Map at its most nonsensical, because otherwise a plot like this would likely not happen in the first place.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Episode review: "Honest Apple"

"Honest Apple" is an Applejack and Rarity episode, and I'm genuinely not sure if I have anything constructive left to say about episodes they share. Of course I didn't like "Honest Apple," because I think that pairing is inherently unentertaining. Of course Applejack's worst traits are exaggerated here, because that's just how episodes starring this duo work. If there's one thing I can uniquely criticize about this episode, it's the moral, which is even more unbalanced than that of "Parental Glideance," and is followed by the episode falling apart at the seams with a formulaic ending and some genuinely obnoxious jokes, more or less destroying all my goodwill towards it.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Episode review: "Hard to Say Anything"

I'd almost forgotten how it feels to hate an episode of My Little Pony this much. How long has it been? Since "What About Discord?" I mean, "Fluttershy Leans In" was awful, but at least it didn't sink to this level of annoyance and odiousness. "Hard to Say Anything" has almost nothing to redeem it. Most of its jokes fall flat, its plot is tired and lazy, the characters are borderline reprehensible, and the moral is pedestrian at best. Every season has its stinkers, but I was really hoping we'd moved past My Little Pony stooping this low, and having this in an already dire season is really starting to test my patience with this show.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Episode review: "Parental Glideance"

There's a reason humour is my highest priority in this show. A funny or cute episode with narrative inconsistencies, a predictable storyline, or flawed characterization is still a funny or cute episode, whereas a boring episode with zero inconsistencies, is still a boring episode. The wonderful "Parental Glideance" is a strong example of that, demonstrating how energy and charm can overpower even a weak moral, and while I can't help but feel frustrated with the direction the moral took, everything around that is so plainly entertaining that it's still hard to resist. The fact is, I'll take a fun episode with a weak moral over yesterday's dull episode with a strong moral, and getting some lovely new characters in the form of Rainbow Dash's parents certainly helps.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Episode review: "Forever Filly"

My Little Pony will probably survive season 7, but I might not. This is the third episode in a row which I haven't had much fun with, and the second in a row which appears to have placed character consistency and narrative focus above any sort of personality or humour. "Forever Filly" is much like season 6's "The Cart Before the Ponies," not only in how it focuses on how adults treat children, but also because it grafts a specific archetype onto a preexisting character to the point of overpowering what makes that character endearing in the first place. But whereas "The Cart Before the Ponies" at least had a little bit of structural messiness, "Forever Filly" doesn't contain a single beat which isn't in direct service of its story, which would be admirable if it didn't have the side effect of straining out almost any entertainment the episode could have offered.