Monday, July 23, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 2 Episode 12

Family Appreciation Day
Not only does this episode center around Applejack and her family, but she's the only one of the six main characters to appear.  But not even she is considered the central character this time around.
Instead, it's none other than... Granny Smith herself!  And of course her granddaughter Apple Bloom.  In fact, Granny Smith has her biggest speaking role in the whole series in this very episode.  So what's the story this time?

Well the episode takes place at around the same time as this zap apple harvest, which lasts for four days straight, and Granny Smith takes this opportunity to make one of her most famous recipes in all of Ponyville - zap apple jam.
That's when we're introduced to this nice guy named Filthy Rich, who as it turns out, is Diamond Tiara's dad.
Filthy Rich: Hello, Mrs. Smith, did I hear right that there's a zap apple harvest coming in a few days?
Granny Smith: Four days, to be exact.
Filthy Rich: Excellent news, and as usual, I get your first hundred jars?
Granny Smith: 'Course, Filthy.
Filthy Rich: Uh, I prefer Rich?
Okay, so he's as his name suggests, but the only thing that seems to curdle his cheese is being addressed by his first name, not that I really blame him.  I mean, I get the joke name and all that, but being called by his first name in this case seems a bit... unkind, I guess.
Well, here's a question.  How does this guy put up with his own daughter, who's practically as we might guess at this point and time is a near polar opposite of him?  I mean, we all know that Diamond Tiara is extremely disrespectful, particularly towards the Cutie Mark Crusaders for the sad reason called segregation.  What the hell, bitch?  It's not like those three are the only fillies in Ponyville without their cutie marks.
Hasbro, quit rubbing the subject of segregation in our faces.  Even if it means scrapping Diamond Tiara, do it.

So Apple Bloom is then worried about being publicly humiliated because Granny Smith is seemingly acting crazy, but of course the only thing that worries her is Diamond Tiara poking fun at her.  Now it's obvious that she gets picked on especially.  Seriously, where's Filthy Rich when you need him?
Eventually it comes down to Cheerilee accepting Granny Smith as Apple Bloom's selected family member for the Family Appreciation Day presentation.
So the Cutie Mark Crusaders try many ways to help weasel either of them out of it, with of course no success.
So Granny Smith shows up and despite seemingly being crazy before, we learn that there's actually a reason behind it.  And that reason is the zap apple harvest itself.  Granny Smith explains it all.  Here we go.
Granny Smith: Long ago, when I was a little pony, things were very different here in Ponyville, 'cause there was no Ponyville!
Granny Smith: That's right, my little ponies. Me and my family were pilgrim pony folk, back when I was a little filly. Oh, we ventured far and wide, collecting new seeds and sellin' the old. But my pa was the finest seed collector in all of Equestria. Then, one day, the Smith family found themselves in the most brilliant, most grand, most magnificent of all cities.
A place called... Canterlot. Well, I bet your hooves to hindquarters I had never seen anything like it before nor since. And as if the beauty of that city wasn't enough, suddenly, she appeared.
Princess Celestia, the most regal of all ponies. When lo and behold, she stopped to look at my pa's seed collection.
Then Princess Celestia saw that we were plumb-tuckered, and hankerin' to find our forever home.
And bein' a royal Princess and all, she knew exactly the place for us to lay down our stakes. My pa gave the Princess a mighty thanks. We quickly found that land near the Everfree Forest, and we built our first home.
Next, we planted our first orchards. But an orchard don't grow overnight, and we were getting mighty short on food. Now mind you, we were cautioned about the forest, and we knew that it was not fit to enter.
Granny Smith: But I knew there was critters livin' there. There must be somethin' to eat. It was dark and musty, and I won't lie, it was scary. But every inch was covered in plant life, and before I knew it wasn't I standin' in front of the most incredible apple trees!
I had never seen anything that bore this kind of colorful fruit! Oh I started picking apples quick as a whip!
Granny Smith: I turned, and there before me stood the timber wolves! I've never run so fast in my life. I did the only thing I could think of.

Granny Smith: My pa and I planted those special apple seeds, and before our eyes they grew like wildfire. Well, we had full grown trees faster than you could say lickety split.
Then each year, I paid close attention to the signs of the zap apple special harvesting times.
How the weather affects the Everfree Forest... the timber wolves howl when the zap apples first start growing...
...and how they zapped away if you didn't pick 'em all in one day!
And the fruits of our labor were the best fruit we ever tasted.
Soon enough I was mixing up batches of zap apple jam. Just like harvestin' the zap apples had its special rules, so did makin' zap apple jam.
I learned that you gotta be extra friendly with the bees, otherwise their honey won't taste rightly sweet to mix in with the zap apples.
Who'd'a thought that glass jars needed talking to?
Or that zap apples like pink polka dots? But magic is as magic does. Just funny that way.
Then ponies started comin' to our farm from far and wide just to get a taste of my zap apple jam. Some of them decided to stay, like Stinkin' Rich, Diamond Tiara's great grandfather. Matter of fact, the first thing he ever sold was my zap apple jam.
Granny Smith: And before we knew it, we had ourselves a nice little town, bustling with all kinds of ponies. And that is how Ponyville was founded.
Now that is one amazing story, never mind the Forrest Gump reference.  And of all the class fillies to start a round of applause, Silver Spoon is the one to start clapping.  This is undeniable proof that she isn't really in cahoots with Diamond Tiara, she's just Crabbe and Goyle, simply playing along with her as if being pulled by her strings.  If you were to take away that, you'd probably have a whole other character underneath.
So every filly begins to agree that if the zap apples haven't been founded by Granny Smith, Ponyville might not have come to be and Filthy Rich certainly wouldn't have his business.  Of course, Diamond Tiara tries to get the last laugh by opening her bitchy mouth and saying...

Diamond Tiara: But she's just a... kooky old lady!

See?  Even Cheerilee looked uncomfortable with that.

So Granny Smith makes her annual zap apple jam and just like in her story, a huge line of every denizen in Ponyville is there to purchase a jar.  And the episode ends with Granny Smith and the fillies bouncing around the watering cans to sing to the water.  And they sing... the alphabet.  ... Yeah, I really wish I was making that up to be honest.  Seriously?  No ritual?
Now I'm gonna assume that Filthy Rich somehow found about Diamond Tiara's snarky comment on Granny Smith (maybe Cheerilee told him, I dunno), because he all but forces her to join in with the fillies, complete with the bunny ear props and all that.
But seriously, if even he can't teach her any manners, no one can.  And I have a bad inkling that when she next shows her face, the stunts she pulls are gonna make things get really ugly.  Ugh...  Not looking forward to that.  Better the next episode than eleven episodes later.

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