Thursday, July 26, 2012

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 2 Episode 23

You know, I honestly thought that the episode "Over a Barrel" was pretty bad, but I cannot even begin to express how disappointed I am with this episode.  It's so bad that I almost cannot forgive M.A. Larson for writing the script to this beast.

Ponyville Confidential
Okay, so we start with the Cutie Mark Crusaders and again, they're envious that another filly named Featherweight earned his cutie mark before they did.  I swear, Hasbro is deliberately tormenting these three fillies, and this is just the beginning.  Once again, the Cutie Mark Crusaders come up with another plan to earn their own... by participating in the school newspaper, Foal Free Press.
Okay, so Apple Bloom is the idiot who came up with the idea, but still.  So they sign on, but Cheerilee explains that their new editor-in-chief is non other than Diamond Tiara.  So how did she get the position anyway?  Clearly, even Cheerilee knew she was being naughty on Family Appreciation Day.
During Diamond Tiara's lecture, she's basically the next J. Jonah Jameson and intends to improve the Foal Free Press so that students will seemingly take it seriously.  But what we later learn is that her methods are in fact all but malicious and becoming editor-in-chief turns her into a corrupt little filly.  Scootaloo suggests that they beat feet while they still have the chance, but Sweetie Belle is all for them staying as journalists for what could be their last chance to earn their cutie marks, but also the most dangerous task they've ever performed.
See, segregation in this series still exists, as well as it did in The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss, and as such, during their expeditions, Featherweight secretly snaps pictures of the Cutie Mark Crusaders getting into humiliating situations, or in the case of Apple Bloom, her baby picture, which there really shouldn't be anything humiliating about if you ask me.

So Diamond Tiara threatens the Cutie Mark Crusaders to get an interesting story and just when things look bleak, they stumble upon Snips and Snails, who somehow got their rumps stuck in gum or something sticky, and Sweetie Belle calls on Featherweight to take photos.  It becomes a hit all over the school, yet Snips and Snails don't seem to mind the attention their getting.  Unfortunately, Diamond Tiara now gets the evil idea of peeping into the personal private lives of Ponyville residents and signs them up as her gossip columnists under their alias name Gabby Gums.

Eventually what starts out as simpleminded jokes soon gets everyone in Ponyville swept up in a massive upheaval, destroying the privacy of everyone's lives.
Rarity is all for defending Gabby Gums, but she soon discovers that the pages of her own diary are in one column and only Sweetie Belle has access to her diary.  Putting two and two together, she isn't too thrilled at first, but then softens up and tells the truth behind the potent of gossip and encourages her to do the right thing.  Up and quit.

Diamond Tiara: Feelings? I don't care about feelings!

Unfortunately, things get progressively worse when Diamond Tiara states that quitting is not an option and reveals what we could have gathered earlier, that Featherweight had snapped images of them trying to get their first stories without success.  Not wanting to be mortally embarrassed, the Cutie Mark Crusaders try in vain to get more scoops, but every single other denizen in Ponyville will have none of it.

Okay, I've several questions at this point.  First of all, Foal Free Press was meant to be a school newspaper, but somehow it ended up in the hooves of Ponyville, and seeing how it has its own newspaper, Ponyville Express, this is very surprising.  So, how did this happen?  Oh, that's right.  Rarity found Gabby Gums hilarious at first and spread the word to begin with when she read Sweetie Belle's first article. 
Next up, last I checked Rarity's in a good mood compared to everyone else, so why did they go and her and if she refused to lend them a hoof with their column, explain their situation?  I think that was a preferable option.  Thirdly, why didn't the Cutie Mark Crusaders seek out Cheerilee, never mind where she was at the time.  She should have gotten word of all this, which apparently she must have eventually.  But here's the thing that really pisses me off about this episode.  The denizens of Ponyville prove to be stubborn and unforgiving, not even willing to talk to them.

Now let's compare this to a scene from the movie The Land Before Time XI:  Invasion of the Tinysauruses.  Littlefoot causes an accident and out of fear, tells only half the truth about it, but the rest of it becomes clear, his friends get mad at him and refuse to talk to him after saying why.

Later on, his friends are shown to be remorseful about breaking up with Littlefoot and they start bawling over it.
Cera catches them crying and tells them that they should just apologize for being no better than Littlefoot.  So now, I ask you.  Which set of characters proves to be better?  The denizens of Ponyville?  Or the denizens of the Great Valley?  If you think the latter, then kudos to you!

Because just when the Cutie Mark Crusaders have nowhere to go, they decide to make amends with one final article.  And just like that, all is forgiven.  But I'm personally still pissed off that no one in Ponyville got over this mess on their own.  Did that make them any better than the Cutie Mark Crusaders?  Hell, no.  So in the end, the three stooges are still the better fillies simply because it took this article to make everyone else see the light.  But the episode's not over yet!  Not by a long shot!
Diamond Tiara herself is now pissed off, seeing as Gabby Gums has quit and apologized for their actions.  But just before she can get the last laugh, Cheerilee steps in and instantly fires her for setting Ponyville up in arms.  Despite all the damage she caused, despite the lives she hurt, Diamond Tiara shows no remorse nor does she seem to regret her actions because when Featherweight becomes the new editor-in-chief, she still asks.

Diamond Tiara: But what about me?!

Really?!  This is bullshit!  With all the harm she caused, I'm surprised getting fired was all Cheerilee did to her.  If it were me, I would have exposed the truth and subsequently expel her from the school.  Cheerilee is far too soft and I've encountered situations in my own life where I can't be the same way to people anymore.  Either it's come down hard on them or they don't learn at all.  Mercy is just not my middle name.

So Featherweight gets promoted and Diamond Tiara takes on the job of another filly named Shady Daze, who was the printer before being promoted to the new photographer.

"You know what I think?  I think this Foal Free Press shouldn't even exist!  I don't why it does.  School newspapers... what a waste of time!"

Ugh...  I'm sure glad to be done with this hellhole.  Based on what I've gathered, Diamond Tiara isn't just a bully who's mean to the Cutie Mark Crusaders for reasons of segregation, but she's also a menace who enjoys watching others suffer for her own sick and twisted amusement.
To be blunt, Diamond Tiara is dangerous.  I mean, she doesn't learn her lessons or anything.  Mitch Larson succeeded in writing one of the worst episodes of the whole series ever.  It's practically neck and neck with the Season 2 finale, so I'm definitely not pleased with how this series is running so far.  Now I have to wonder if it's really more amusing to watch the Cutie Mark Crusaders struggle to earn their cutie marks rather than actually get them.  Considering that Diamond Tiara practically all but ruined their lives, leaving her own actions more than unforgivable, I'd say these three stooges have suffered enough, and if there's any more of this, I will never forgive Hasbro and call Season 3 of this series just as bad and completely unable to make up for the damage that the Season 2 finale caused.  You'll see what I mean once I get to it.
[Pinkie Pie]
'Cause I love to make you smile, smile, smile
Yes I do
It fills my heart with sunshine all the while
Yes it does
'Cause all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
From these happy friends of mine

1 comment:

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I've written out my own version of the apology letter sequence in which the CMC's friends and family members apologize for treating them like trash: