Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episode 8

WARNING!  From this point onward, the following reviews will consist of using heavy profanity.  It is advised not to proceed past this point unless you are 18 years of age or older.  Profanity will be used to express personal opinions only, so there can be no one responsible if anyone is greatly offended because you have been warned.  If you can handle profanity and you're ready to proceed, by all means do so.

"I used to wonder what friendship could be; until I surpassed those who first showed it to me."

- Russet Burbanks,

Well, it looks I got another episode on my hands.  And while I found it to be relatively half-decent at most, there's more or less a lot of things I disagree with.  And these things may not be what you think.  Allow me to show you this moronic episode and you'll see what I mean.  This is "Rarity Takes Manehattan".

First off, we have Spike carrying Rarity's luggage and I couldn't help but notice the look on Twilight's face when Rarity uses her feminine charm to ask Spike to carry another load.

You have to wonder... is it really too much for Rarity to use her magic and levitate her own belongings?  I should think that any unicorn can levitate a good amount of luggage without breaking a sweat, so Rarity must be afraid of getting so much as one drop of sweat on her lovely white coat.

But enough of that.  Rarity and her friends arrive in the glorious metropolis of Manehattan, this being the first episode that takes place in it.  And we kick off with... what else?  A musical number.

And here's the first thing I disagree with.  The contents of this song.  Don't get me wrong.  It's a good song and it's always nice to hear Rarity sing.  And we get a voice cameo from Daniel Ingram himself.  But first of all, we should know these episodes by now, so that means there's gonna be a twist that bites whatever it is we hear early right in the back and it practically defeats the whole purpose of even having these scenes and songs to begin with!  And second, I know you're gonna hate me with a passion for this, but kindness and generosity does not work in this cruel, dark, and unforgiving world.  People only look for one thing, and that's talent.  Nothing but talent and skill.  Fuck kindness.  Fuck generosity.  Use these traits and people will take advantage of you, as you'll see later in the episode.  Maybe this is why Rarity hasn't found a spouse yet.

So we also learn that Rarity booked her friends tickets to see the upcoming musical "Hinny of the Hills", which is obviously gonna be an off-screen thing and couldn't possibly have any significance to the plot whatsoever.  After all, it's Fashion Week and Rarity is eager to show off her latest designs.
That's when we're introduced to the hitch, Suri Polomare (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain, who else?), who is apparently an old acquaintance of Rarity from the Ponyville Knitters' League (don't ask, just go with it) and revealed to be a backstabber.  Because Rarity graciously lends Suri some of her fabric and she uses it to create practically an exact replica of Rarity's fashion line.
And because Rarity is always last in line, Suri Polomare gets to show it all off first.  That's when we learn the awful truth and how the world really works.  Take it away, Suri.

Now call me rotten and unloving, but Suri Polomare represents the one thing I agree with in this episode.  If you're kind and generous to others, you may think it will be rewarding in the long run, but the cold, harsh truth is that people will almost always take advantage of you.

It makes perfect sense, it describes the way the world works perfectly, it's the sad, but God-awful truth...

...this is the way the world works.  Every person for himself or herself.  It's something I have to remember and utilize as I prepare to step out into the real world.  While kindness and generosity can earn friendships, it may be a lie.  And you'd be surprised that as a person, I wouldn't be willing to take that chance.  And besides, who got anywhere in life being completely honest anyway?  Sometimes we have to take risks.
Besides, as far as I know, only Disney movies have actual justice to things like this, such as Dillinger getting sacked in the movie Tron.
And for Christ's sake, do you recall what happened in the Season 1 episode "Suited for Success"?  Rarity's friends took advantage of her generosity by pushing her to her limit!  Okay, so it was Season 1 and friendships were still going through phases, but that's beside the point.

Okay, so maybe Suri Polomare is a jerk and maybe we love to hate her, but know this.  She is in the right.

So Twilight's friends discover Rarity's dilemma and they agree to help her bail her out by creating a new fashion line from scratch.  And get this.  Rarity takes a page from Suri's book and pushes her friends to their limit, despite their sowing not being as excellent as hers.

Good job, Rarity!  You finally figured it out after all these years!  The only way to survive in the real world is to be selfish, think only of yourself, put yourself first and foremost, be your own number one, and of course never let others take advantage of you by throwing away your precious generosity.  It just gets you nowhere.  And to think...
That sarcasm is just music to my ears.  If you never know friendship is magic, you never try.  Take it away, NC!

So Rarity shows off her new line, Hotel Chic, and it seems to surpass Suri's fashion line, so while off-screen Suri plots behind Rarity's back to cheat her way to the top.
But Rarity notices her friends are absent and initially believes she droves them away.  That's when we're introduced to a new kind of spark that ultimately gives away the contents of that mystery box.

Rarity abandons the contest and goes looking for her friends but is given false information that they returned to Ponyville, so she laments with a reprise of that song from before.  It didn't have any meaning then, and it doesn't now.

But by chance, Rarity bumps into her friends at the reception desk.  It turns out that the reason they didn't show up for her fashion show was because they overslept.  That's a new one.  And here's something I probably didn't expect, but given her performance in the last episode, probably should have.  Applejack again proves that she's just... well... horrible.

You know, Rarity's friends weren't being too kind themselves back in Season 1 when she was trying her damnedest to make the dresses like they envisioned and they turned into a fucking disaster!  Why don't they just consider Rarity's bad behavior this time as paying them back in spades?  I'm sure they deserved it.

So Rarity is told that she lost the competition, but being reunited with her friends lifts her spirits and they all go to see "Hinny of the Hills".

Suri Polomare: And that is how it's done. Pretty clever how I convinced her to stay away from Prim, wasn't it? [chuckles] Wouldn't have wanted her to find out the truth now, would we?

Why are these kinds of things constantly revealed to the audience?!  Now it's obvious that Suri Polomare is scheming!  What, did the staff think the kids watching this wouldn't be smart enough to figure it out already or learn it as a "surprise" later on?!  What the fucking hell?!  Young girls aren't stupid, Hasbro!  Use your heads, you fucking morons!!

After the musical, the Mane 6 are joined by Suri Polomare's assistant, Coco Pommel, who reveals the truth about everything, which we obviously could have figured it out because apparently Hasbro likes giving the game away to the audience early (those fucking spoilsports).  Suri lied.  Suri lied about everything.  Apparently, she was hoping that when Rarity ran off, the judges would consider it a forfeit, but since that wasn't the case, she had roped Coco Pommel into doing her dirty deeds.  So Coco then reveals that she had finally mustered up the courage to somehow quit working for Suri when she could have been made her slave, but it's all good because Rarity offers her a new job...  You figure that one out.

So as it turns out, Rarity won the competition and ends up having to stay in Manehattan for a while longer, which we also never see because the episode ends with her back at the Carousel Boutique, adding Coco's gift to her collection.

This episode ended up revealing to us the first of six keys required to open the mystery chest.  And the rainbow spark obviously gave away that inside is none other than the Rainbow Power.  How do we know this?
Because it was revealed to us early in the toy lines!
That and the next Equestria Girls movie is titled "Rainbow Rocks", which would obviously take place after Season 4, when the Rainbow Power is used for the first time.

So that was "Rarity Takes Manehattan", and while it's not a genuinely bad episode, I'm just not prepared to soak it in, especially that cheap-ass lesson learned in the end.

That's the stupidest lesson I've ever heard!  Why would anyone not want to stop being kind and generous if they're not given anything in return and are only taken advantage of it?!  It makes no sense!  If people stiff you, doesn't that teach you through experience not to be friendly because it could happen again and you wouldn't be willing to take that chance?  Sure, if you work hard and show that to others, they'll be thankful and maybe kind in return, but I'm just saying it's no good to thrive off kindness and generosity.

Hell, do you know what happened to Brenner from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin when he refused to give up in seeing the good in humanity?  He got fucking killed off!

Not to mention, we never see Suri Polomare again after Coco Pommel sold her out, so we don't know if she learned her lesson or if she's able to live with herself for stiffing Rarity.  Hell, she doesn't even show up for the rest of the season!  Maybe she became so unlikeable that we didn't even care what happened, I dunno.  But know this...

You can say what you want about me, you can threaten me, you can send me to the doghouse, and you can argue with me as many times as you like... and maybe things weren't always like that, like maybe back in the 90s... but for me, even though she lied about everything back there...
And that's all there is to it.

And let that be a long-lasting tribute to the pony who properly prepares kids for just how hard life is going to be when they grow up.  Remember, folks.  I still suffer to review this series so you don't have to.  Also... kindness and generosity doesn't pay...  Well... sort of, I guess.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episode 7

WARNING!  From this point onward, the following reviews will consist of using heavy profanity.  It is advised not to proceed past this point unless you are 18 years of age or older.  Profanity will be used to express personal opinions only, so there can be no one responsible if anyone is greatly offended because you have been warned.  If you can handle profanity and you're ready to proceed, by all means do so.

"I used to wonder what friendship could be; until I surpassed those who first showed it to me."

- Russet Burbanks,

Hoo fucking doggy, we got us another really bad episode on our hands.  And I mean really bad.  This is the episode that makes the Twilight saga look charming and realistic.  Yes, this is worse than sparkling vampires.  It's THAT bad!  It's one of the worst episodes I ever had to sit through! Too much of it doesn't make sense.  And too much of it is just anus shit!

But don't take my personal ranting for it.  Let's take a look!  This is the episode simply titled "Bats!"

So we start with Applejack up at the crack of dawn ready to take part in Applebucking Day as she calls it, which is more or less the start of another harvesting season.  She knocks down a bunch of apples, only to find that their juices have been sucked out.  I suppose those apples won't do any good for eating nor to be made into anything.  So Applejack calls on her honorary family members for an emergency meeting... and some assistance.
Rarity: Calm down, Applejack.

Applejack: Calm down?! How can I calm down at a time like this?!
Oh boy...
Applejack: Vampire fruit bats are attackin' Sweet Apple Acres!

Oh?  Vampire bats, huh?  This sounds like a job for... Supermare!

Twilight Sparkle: But I thought the fruit bats usually stayed put in the west orchard.
Applejack: The fruit bats do, but these aren't just your everyday ordinary fruit bats. They're vampire fruit bats! I'll be darned if they think they're gonna sink their fangs into my blue ribbon apple.

Applejack: Them vampire bats want to shrivel it up like a raisin!
Fluttershy: Oh, I'm sure if we just let them know how special that particular apple is to you, they'll leave it alone.
Yes, leave it to dear Fluttershy.  After all, we do give her credit for when it's due, so I'm sure she can make things work in the long run--
Fluttershy: Um, excuse me, Mr. Vampire Bat--

Fluttershy: We were just wondering if maybe you wouldn't mind leaving that really big apple alone?

Yes, this is about that giant apple.  If Applejack was so protective about it, why would she give the okay to allow Fluttershy to try to talk some senses into these bats to begin with?  This is the first moment of the episode that makes no sense and trust me, there's plenty more where that came from.  If Applejack, however cynical, allows Fluttershy to talk to the bats and tell them not to eat that apple, wouldn't that be revealing the big apple to those juice-sucking bats and making it all too obvious that they're gonna eat it?!

You can say that again.

Fluttershy: This is the first vampire fruit bat I've ever met and, well, it might take some time for me to really understand their language.

Applejack: Uh-huh. And in the meantime, this pest and his vermin friends are gonna go after my prized apple and, while they're at it, every other apple in the orchard!
Okay, even if that wasn't sounding a little too paranoid, if that's such a big concern, why are you just talking about these bats then?!  First you reveal your 'prize apple' in plain sight where the bats can eat it and now you're saying that you don't even have a second to lose?!  Isn't that like saying that no matter what you do, even taking action against the bats, is gonna count as time that vampire bats spend eating your goddamn orchard?!  See?  That's another moment that makes no sense.

All that's missing is for Applejack to waste even more time by singing about these vampire bats--

Oh man, not only is this song distasteful, but it shows us that Applejack's character is practically all but backwards!

In Season 1, Applejack was dignified and likeable.  Sure, her stubbornness and pride got in the way in "Applebuck Season", but give that some credit.  It's not...

This Applejack is a pride fetish nut ball!  Just listen to her when Fluttershy tries to get her to see some sense.

And despite Fluttershy seeing the potential benefit of these vampire fruit bats, Applejack is able to manipulate her friends to take her side, leaving Fluttershy totally outnumbered.

Oh, you anus-raping shitheads!  It doesn't help that during the song, Applejack and the others have slightly less color as if they've been half-tainted by Discord.  But cry, those goons just terrified Fluttershy into the next life!  You saw her reaction, didn't you?!  Remind me again, these big horses' asses are Fluttershy's closest friends?  The only denizens in Ponyville who respect and put up with her sensitivity and personal boundaries?!  And now they're haunting her nightmares?!  This a load of manure!  I mean, a load of fresh-from-the-anus manure!  Since when did the staff behind this nonsensical garbage decide to throw in a genuinely frightening and mean-spirited moment?!

You know something else?  This might just remind you of another song that plays out the exact same way as this one!  Can't quite put your finger on it?  Maybe this clip will sum it up for you.

...Don't do that again.

Good God, Applejack!  You're horrible!  I swear, this is like Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh and his garden.  Pride gets in the way!  Okay, I know that both Applejack and Rabbit work hard and they're proud of their patches, I get that, but really?  Does Applejack really have to put her fucking orchard ahead of her friendship with Fluttershy?!  I swear, this is the part where I would ditch my friends and back out, wanting nothing more to do with this anus-raping shit.  Why?!  Because clearly, Applejack and the others are choosing the fucking orchard over Fluttershy!  It's obvious!  I don't care if they say "I'm sorry"!  That's not cutting it!

And look...

Fluttershy: They're only here because they're hungry! If we build a sanctuary for them, they could have their own apples to enjoy! After a while, they could even help the rest of your orchard! The vampire bats don't eat the seeds of the apples, and when they spit them out, they grow into even more productive apple trees!
Applejack: Listen, Fluttershy. That sounds real nice 'n' all, but every second we spend buildin' this so-called 'sanctuary' is a second they'll spend destroyin' orchards!

Yeah...  Weren't you pretty much complaining about the same thing a minute ago?  You know, with Fluttershy trying to learn the language of these bats, never mind how she somehow knows that they can be helpful like insects without having met them or being able to speak their language.  So if you're complaining about what these bats are doing every second...

...why did you even waste your time singing about them to begin with?!?!

It just doesn't add up!  That means Applejack has totally lost it!  God, I could just cry.


Now if I recall correctly, didn't the Mane 6 go through this exact same problem in the Season 1 episode "Over a Barrel"?!  You know, the buffaloes and the denizens of Appleloosa at each others' throats and not even so much as consider peace an option!  Bunch of sick fucks!  Pinkie Pie offered the peace treaty, but what do they do?!  They turn her down flat because they thought she sang a God-awful song when it wasn't God-awful and had good wholesome decency!

Here, it's literally the same thing!  Fluttershy offers sharing and caring while Applejack insists on an all-out war!  Okay, so maybe the staff was trying to teach our kids that you have to fight for what's right and not everything works out the first time around.  Yeah, I get that.


*sigh* That's like Homer Simpson when the family dog ate his cookie!  Just leave it to something like this to get Rainbow Dash easily suckered in.

Friendship is magic, everyone.  Friendship is magic.

Talking of this walking contradiction, why don't we just remember these idiots' decision to round up these bats and put them in the meat grinder instead of taking their dear friend Fluttershy to heart.  Because later in this episode, Applejack will say something that will bite this whole thing in the back.  Trust me.

But for now, Twilight comes up with a plan to put the vampire fruit bats out of commission.  She looks up this magic spell that can make the bats stop eating apples together, provided of course that they give their complete undivided attention.  That means that Fluttershy will have to use her patented stare on them in order for this scheme to work.  But of course, Fluttershy is against the idea, so Twilight reminds her what's at stake...


Remember what Twilight herself said in that episode?



Now then... where was I?  Oh yes.  So, does anyone see anything wrong with Twilight's plan?  I mean, wasn't there a similar circumstance from another movie that tried a similar plan and it backfired?

Yep!  That's right!

*sigh* This may be a dire circumstance concerning all of Ponyville, but I think we all know the most morale solution, don't we?  But because Fluttershy's friends just think that she's being Hagrid, they won't hear any of it.  God, this may really be a job for... Supermare.

But no.  And it doesn't help that Fluttershy isn't being firm enough with her friends, which surely I would be.  Why couldn't Fluttershy just be like...

Damn right.  These shit-infested cock-sucking bitches are dead to me.

So, because obviously taking extreme drastic measures is the answer to everything, Fluttershy uses the stare on the vampire fruit bats, Twilight executes the spell, and it seems to work.

Guess everything at Sweet Apple Acres will be back to normal in no time, right?  Riiiiiight?!

So next morning, Applejack gives apple-bucking another go, only to get the exact same results as yesterday.  She rounds up her friends and they double-check on the vampire fruit bats because they thought the spell wore off, but since they still won't eat the apples, that must mean there's another juice-sucking culprit.  And I'll give you three guesses as to who this culprit is.  No, wait...  No need to guess.  We all know who it is, don't we?

The Mane 6 split up during the night to scour the orchard and search for the apple eater.  And what do you know?  They find out it's their dear friend Fluttershy, who has now become cursed by Twilight's spell and is now a bat-pony who slurps on apples.

Eventually, leave it to Twilight to reveal that she and the others are the ones who created this beast by somehow transferring the appetites of the vampire fruit bats to Fluttershy.

Twilight Sparkle: Okay, so this is me, these are the bats, and this is Fluttershy doing her Stare. The spell was supposed to go right onto the bats like this, but somehow the spell must have backfired. It took the vampire fruit bats' desire to be vampire fruit bats and transferred that desire into Fluttershy.

Okay, I'm just about ready to go berserk here, but I'm gonna let all build up first.  So until we get to that point, enjoy this wild goose chase scene as Fluttershy exacts her revenge against her lowlife friends for what they did to her.  Go get 'em, Flutterbat!  Bite those bitches!  They deserve it!

So remember when I said that Applejack would say the most ironic line in this episode?  Well, here it is.

Rainbow Dash: If she keeps this up, your whole crop will be gone in no time!

Applejack: That's the least of my worries. I just want my friend back.


So in the end, Applejack pays the price for what she did to Fluttershy by slitting her prize apple in order to reel her in.  Fluttershy ends up casting the stare on herself when her friends set up a bunch of mirrors and while distracted, Twilight reverses the spell, transforming Fluttershy back to normal and also restoring the vampire fruit bats back to normal.

Applejack FINALLY sets up that sanctuary for the vampire fruit bats, which she should have done right from the get-go because it wouldn't have cost her that fucking competition and more importantly would have saved us from having to watch this dreadful episode.

You tell 'em, Rhinox.

So, if you've been keeping count...

But it's all good because Applejack and Fluttershy learn a lesson, Spike records the terrible events that transpired in Applejack's journal, and they all live happily ever after...

Yep.  If you can grasp this, Fluttershy's dearest, closest friends created a monster.

And it's Fluttershy herself.  A permanent bat-pony.  All because they never took her pacifism to heart.

Not that it really matters because... well...  This isn't gonna be brought up again for the rest of the series, is it?

So kids, the morale of the story is, if you can't be the voice of reason, just let something seriously bad happen to you or get yourself killed off.  Then surely people will finally see that your way will be the best way... or the most humane way, for that matter.


It's dirty, it's rotten, it's a waste of time, the song is terrible and mean-spirited (I don't care if it was derived from Danny Elfman in The Nightmare Before Christmas!), and while the episode is not being overbearing and unpleasant to watch, it just makes no sense.  And I know what you're thinking.  Well, if Fluttershy had been more firm, she probably would have been able to snap some sense into Applejack.  But I'm gonna bet my chips that given Applejack's state of mind at the time, it probably would not have helped and would have likely made the situation worse.
Of course the one thing that did come out of this episode was the popular Flutterbat trend.  It wouldn't be so bad if Fluttershy had become a bat-pony from being bitten by a bat.  But no, Twilight, Applejack, and the others are to blame for bringing Flutterbat to life.  So in my personal opinion, that just makes Flutterbat one of the many things wrong with the episode.

But in any case, I'm sure as hell glad to be done with it.  And now you might ask.  Will I ever find a Season 4 episode that's actually good?  Well... we'll see.  But I make no promises.