Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episode 14


WARNING!  From this point onward, the following reviews will consist of using EXTREME profanity.  It is advised not to proceed past this point unless you are 21 years of age or older.  Profanity will be used to express personal opinions only, so there can be no one responsible if anyone is immensely offended because you have been warned.  If you can handle large quantities of profanity and you're ready to proceed, by all means do so, but of course at your own risk.

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

- Russet Burbanks, Fanfiction.net

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Okay, okay, I know exactly what you bronies are thinking now that I saw this episode.  "Please tell us you hate Pinkie Pie!  PLEASE, tell us you hate Pinkie Pie!  We're begging you to hate Pinkie Pie!  We're gonna rape the fuck out of you if you don't hate Pinkie Pie!"  Well, guess what?  I'm only gonna say this once.  I DON'T hate Pinkie Pie.  I still love Pinkie Pie.  She's still one of my favorite characters in the series!

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While I'm not gonna overlook her over-the-top ridiculousness in this episode, I'm also not gonna overlook everything else that was overlooked by these mindless bronies and Fluttershy fanbots because of Pinkie Pie.  You see, the problem that this so-called fanbase has is that with one major upset, they just don't seem to let it go and move on, thus they don't enjoy the episode as much and they don't see their favorite characters in the same way.

This was the same problem that cost the bronies their enjoyment of the episode "Three's A Crowd" and all of Discord's hilarious antics... although, to be brutally honest, they weren't that hilarious, but he was making a point in the end, which should not have been overlooked.

And so in this episode, I obviously have to tackle the same issues.  And again, I know what you're thinking.  "But The Thunder, you must understand!  The only problem in the episode was Pinkie Pie because she wouldn't shut the fuck up!"  No, that WASN'T the only problem with this episode, I insist.

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There's other things that need to be taken into account before we rain down all the hurt and blame on Pinkie Pie.  And trust me, I'm gonna go over every single one of them even if it kills me.  Besides, two episodes ago, Pinkie was hurting something fierce and now we're not supposed to feel sorry for her anymore?  Bastards.  It's like bronies actually want to find something bad about this series and its characters because they feel that if they bitch and moan over anything, they think Hasbro is gonna bend to their will, being supposedly the most popular fan base, and they think Hasbro will actually submit to them because they would lose money if they lost this most popular fan base otherwise.  But in fact, it's more like Michael Bay's work, in the sense that Hasbro seems confident that no matter what, the bronies will just keep coming back for more and put their penises in this pony-infested series.  And if any of you bronies out there are just gonna cover your ears and pretend that everyone else is always wrong while you pedophiles are always right...
...SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET A LIFE, YOU FAGS!!!!

Now that that's off my chest, let's dive into the episode that was named for that controversial band who faked their way to the top.  This is "Filli Vanilli".

We open with... well... a musical number from dear Fluttershy...

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That's when we see that her friends heard the whole damn thing.

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You know, I initially thought the looks of surprise would be a problem with the episode because they've heard Fluttershy singing before.  It turns out, they reveal that they've never heard Fluttershy sing like...
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...that before.  And quite frankly, neither did I.  Props, Andrea Libman, for not making me have to go fetch and trim clips from previous episodes that show Fluttershy singing.

So Rarity offers her a position on Ponyville's quartet singing team, the Pony Tones, but Fluttershy just doesn't look like she's up for it.  Oh, Pinkie Pie, our lovable laughter-inducing pony friend, cheer her up, will ya?


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Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Element of Laughter.


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You know, this actually explains a lot.  Once I saw this episode for the first time and heard Pinkie say this, I started to understand what a lot of these bronies and evil Fluttershy fanbots have problems with.  They're just not seeing the bigger picture.


Then again, look at Pinkie's expression after being smacked by that paper.  It's like she's deluded.  Like this guy.


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But hey, she's quick to snap out of it and Fluttershy seems quick to get over Pinkie scaring her into the next life, as she claims to Rarity that she's in fact the biggest fan of these Pony Tones.  She also mentions to her friends that she has stage fright, as seen in the "Hearth's Warming Eve" episode... even if she was able to perform the reenactment just fine and sing along with everyone in the end.

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And Fluttershy's friends didn't know this already, because...?  Well anyways, Rarity respects Fluttershy's decision to turn down her offer, so... moving on.


So we get to hear the Pony Tones rehearse and, what a shock, Rarity and Big Macintosh are two of the members.  How long have these Pony Tones been around?

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Well, this isn't too bad, except that they sound more like a barbershop quartet than an actual band.  Is this the kind of song that kids will want to listen to in a cartoon?  It sounds more like grown-ups could sit through this without sleeping.  We also learn that the Pony Tones are performing for this Pet Center fundraiser.  You think that would be an incentive for Fluttershy to make the Pony Tones a quintet, but no.  She has fucking stage fright.


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Okay, it's official.  Spike's crush on Rarity is a fetish.

Rarity: Oh, yes. It is wonderful when a plan comes together without any sort of drama, isn't it?


Something bad is going to happen, isn't it?

It turns out Big Mac also participates in Ponyville's annual turkey call and has been the running champion for six years in a row.  Not only does Big Mac's voice give out from his valiant attempt to defend his title, but it turns out to be in vain because guess who stripped him of his title?


Pinkie Pie: Lost his voice and the title! [gobbles]


So Fluttershy brings Big Mac and Rarity to Zecora's place to see if she can get that frog out of his throat.  And as always, she speaks in charming rhyme.  Chicka chicka chicka!

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Eventually, Zecora offers to make some kind of poison joke brew to bring back the voice of Flutterguy from seventy episodes ago and have Big Mac lip-synch while Fluttershy sings backstage.  Of course, Fluttershy is still having second thoughts, but...


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So Fluttershy agrees.  Okay, I thought Flutterguy was kind of funny the first time and even allergy-affected Candace was humorous, but I think 'masculine' should be for a real male, like Hogarth.


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So the performance at the Pet Center takes place and there's a couple of things to point out.


First, we see that the staff brought back Goldie Delicious and her cats the same way they brought back Cranky Doodle Donkey for a cameo.  I guess her name isn't meant to be confused with the name "Golden Delicious" from the very first episode.


And second (this one's odd), we see that not only does Cheerilee attend this first performance, but during all the singing she swoons as if head over heels for Big Mac.  It was one thing seeing them walk together in "Just For Sidekicks", but doesn't this raise the bar?  And call me crazy, but don't some of these mindless trolling fans NOT want Cheerilee and Big Mac paired up?
And why does she not swoon when the Pony Tones perform for her class?!  Meh, who gives a shit.  The staff shouldn't even be trying to please the idiotic side of the fan base anyway.

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Uh, I have a question that might forever ruin some magic for you.  But if Flutterguy is singing behind the scenes where no one can see her, how the hell is everyone still able to be convinced that Big Mac is singing?  Isn't he the one whose voice practically rises above the others with that stupid, STUPID do-wop style?!  So how does no one notice that he's lip-synching and the real masculine voice is coming from elsewhere?

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So it looks like the Pony Tones were able to pull off the stunt, oddly enough, but like the infamous Milli Vanilli, it's only a matter of time before they get busted.


But hey, we wouldn't have any drama otherwise!

I should point out that Zecora's brew must have some kind of strange ingredient involved because not only does Flutterguy have a different voice actor than the one seventy episodes ago, but also has a different voice actor for the singing voice of Flutterguy as well.  Pshaw.  At least Dan Povenmire gave us some real talent by speaking and singing for allergy-affected Candace.

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Due to their success, the Pony Tones are then asked to perform for other events again and again and again!  Now pardon me for noticing, but everyone should be aware of this.  They keep singing the same fucking song again and again and again!  You see what I mean when I said Pinkie Pie is only a minor problem with this episode?


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You see, there's two BIG, big problems with this part.  First and foremost, using the same song over and over and over again eventually leads to boredom and gradually Ponyville would catch on and become bored, causing any popularity to fade away over time.

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Now if they were a one-hit wonder, this would work better because they would only rise to the top for one time only and fade away before not singing again and becoming a thing of the past.  At least Phineas and the Ferb-Tones nailed this procedure down.  BTW, I LOVE the song!


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Okay, so the Pony Tones may not technically be this big band or anything spectacular like Crush 40 or Julien-K, but really, Daniel Ingram?  Couldn't you have written more songs for these guys?  It would sort of make them a little better because I don't know what we're supposed to gain from listening to the same song over and over and over again.  No, really, I don't.

And second, the Pony Tones are constantly doing these performances day after day after day.  So why didn't Rarity just ask Zecora to make the brew that could cure Big Mac's voice as well as bring back Flutterguy?  If Fluttershy was so nerve-wracked about this at first, why couldn't Zecora make that cure for Big Mac as well?  He would have his voice restored much sooner instead of having to lip-synch for days on end!  This makes no sense!  And I know what you're thinking.  Fluttershy was getting the hang of this, so why would she want to stop?  I'll tell you exactly why.


Eventually, Big Mac does regain his voice and can now relieve Fluttershy from afterstudy.  But Fluttershy wants to sing at one more performance while still sounding like Flutterguy!  Good God, why does this wuss still not want to perform in front of a bigger crowd?  With Sweetie Belle, I can kind of understand because she's much younger, but with Fluttershy?  Gimme a break!  She's done things much more tense than singing in front of a crowd!
Even Gabriella from High School Musical got over her stage fright much faster than Fluttershy is ever going to at this rate!


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So Flutterguy sings behind the scenes while Big Mac is lip-synching and this is where the episode gets its name.  Fluttershy gets so into singing, she accidentally knocks over the backstage drop and reveals to the audience that she was the one doing that masculine singing the whole time!


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But what do you know?  The audience is suddenly cheering, impressed that Fluttershy was able to pull it off.  Remember why I asked earlier that Fluttershy couldn't just stop while she was ahead?  This is why.


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Really, Fluttershy?  Really?!  Are you deaf?!  Those ponies were cheering for you!  They were fucking cheering!!  What part of that did you not hear?!  There is no way in hell I am about to believe that you could have possibly imagined otherwise!  I swear, she handled being a fashionista better than this!  Why couldn't Fluttershy have reacted like this?


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But no, because she has delusions of inferiority, she takes off and uses an obvious recycled audio clip way back from the episode "Dragonshy".


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Creepy.

And speaking of creepy, doesn't it come across as such whenever Fluttershy for some reason feels like she's being haunted when in reality, she's actually just fine and only horribly imagining things for some reason.  In the case of having visions, this has as a matter of fact happened before.  Remember this scene?

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And now this.


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You really can't deny that Fluttershy is just getting worse as the series goes on.  And if this is what she sees when it looks like she should have been given the impression that things weren't so bad... then...

Good God...  This can only mean one thing...  Fluttershy... has a mental illness!  No, seriously!  It all adds up!  It makes sense!  I don't see any other explanation!  I know that being gripped with fear can probably cause strange things to happen, but what fear should Fluttershy have felt at that point?  Sure, the ponies were looking right at her, but they were cheering for her!  She should have felt relieved or maybe turned beet red for that matter!  But all Fluttershy could see was just eyes on her and her mental brain was projecting the fears that she was instinctively feeling, despite that the cheering crowd should have provided her with a reassurance.  So how else can this be explained?  Fluttershy's character has deteriorated so much as the episodes went on... that she now seems to suffer from a mental illness that causes her to think of only worst-case scenarios!  What else am I supposed to think anyway?  And if the staff isn't careful, one of these days, Fluttershy could actually die from fright!  How creepy would that be?!


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Okay, what was the point of that?  Applejack pretty much answered all her own questions.


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So the others find Fluttershy back at her cottage and check up on her--


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Yep.  The damage has been done and Fluttershy takes off running away from her friends and her cottage!  Good God, where does she think she can go?!


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Yeah... you think?  Oh well.  It's not like you knocked down the backstage and left Fluttershy totally exposed.

Now... just to clarify... this is the same Pinkie Pie who way back in Season 1 stopped Rainbow Dash from pulling a harmless prank on Fluttershy because she's far too sensitive to handle any prank?

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Of course she's the same Pinkie Pie!  We all know it.  But apparently the bronies, particularly these mindless Fluttershy fanbots, completely disagree.  See, this was the episode that made fans HATE Pinkie Pie simply because she made Fluttershy cry, especially with her nutty and irrational behavior.  But you know something?  It really wouldn't be so bad, but these Fluttershy fanbots are the ones who completely overreacted and anyone who refuses to understand that is in way over their heads.  The fanbots themselves are considered the real problem at hand.  They're the ones crazy enough to go on a rampage whenever Fluttershy so much as squeezes out one tear from her eyes and murder whoever caused it.  God, what if Fluttershy just felt like crying without any real reason, like if she got a case of the blues like Lisa in that one Simpsons episode?  What would the fanbots do then?  Would they pick a random victim and murder that poor soul for no apparent reason at all?!


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It's like that one of these days, they're just gonna start hating everyone and everything except their 'precious little Fluttershy'.  Well I'm just sick of it.  Because these fanbots just get so agitated so easily, that it just makes them the perfect victims for trolling.  Like this.
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Now this episode was written by Amy Keating Rogers, who also wrote "Pinkie Pride", which I just don't care for, and she stated that Pinkie's filter had apparently been turned off.
Not the best explanation in my opinion, but remember earlier Pinkie said that she's good at being ridiculous?

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Besides, regarding pranks, I recall that in the Season 2 episode "Sweet and Elite", she was able to take a slice of cake in the face from Rainbow just fine, which probably would have been a bigger deal than being squirted with water by a squeaky turtle toy, and she even had a smirk on her face when she was getting Rainbow back for it.

So if you're asking me who's to blame in all this and you DARE me to blame Fluttershy, I say no one is.  Because if Pinkie's performance in this episode is still considered horrible, then to be brutally honest, so is Fluttershy's performance.

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She just hasn't really improved over the course of the series when you think she would have, especially after episodes such as "Hurricane Fluttershy" and "Keep Calm and Flutter On".  Back in Season 1, she was a relatively balanced character, but nowadays, it's like you have to walk on eggshells just to so much as look her in the eye!  She hasn't even outgrown her teddy bear!!  There's a long list of proof to go through to justify my criticism, but I'll get to that in a bit.  For now, just enjoy this wild goose chase across Ponyville as Fluttershy's friends try to corner her instead of giving her some time alone... even if I don't know why Fluttershy would run away from her closest friends.


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It just makes no sense whatsoever, but after a long run, Fluttershy's friends convince her that while she lived her own personal worst nightmare, at the same time she should have overcome it as well because they ask her what exactly was bad about it.


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So in the end, the Pony Tones host a private performance and what do they sing?  The same fucking song as before!  The only difference is that it includes lyrics from the first song that Fluttershy sang in the beginning of the episode.

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It may be a somewhat slightly different remix, but it's still somewhat of a waste.  And to top it all off, Fluttershy still refuses to sing in front a public audience the next time the Pony Tones perform!  GOOD GOD!!  WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET OUT OF THIS?!  THAT AFTER ALL THIS TIME AND TEARS AND TURMOIL, FLUTTERSHY IS STILL GOING NOWHERE?!


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Baby steps, shmaby steps!  Do you know what happens when episodes end like this?!  Their events and any lessons learned are not brought up ever again!  That means that Fluttershy isn't even going to take those 'baby steps' towards being able to sing in public without hallucinating!  Even the lesson she records in her journal doesn't hold water because she might as well be back to square one!

So that was "Filli Vanilli" and now I look back at it, let me tell you.  It sucks!  And no, it's not because of Pinkie Pie, so shut the fuck up!  Remember when I said that I would prove to you that Fluttershy got worse as time went on?  Here's a compilation of every single clip of Fluttershy doing great things to show that she shouldn't have to be the character she is today.

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And what have all these things amounted to in this episode?  Fucking hallucinations!  Fluttershy just has to be diagnosed with the mental disorder schizophrenia or at least falls into the category of schizotypy.  And after this, can you prove to me otherwise?


While I'm not considering this episode to be God-awful bad, it just isn't all that appealing.  The Pony Tones sing only one song that sounds like any barbershop quartet could pull it off and Fluttershy is just a wuss!  I'm sorry, but it's true.  And with these problems, I consider Pinkie's filter-turned-off moments to be a minor setback, especially in comparison to the big-picture problems that are really meant to make an episode suck.  Hell, for all we know, Pinkie might have just been acting ridiculous as an all-out means to break Fluttershy out of her shell and toughen her up the same way Iron Will made her an assertive, no-nonsense, and tough chick.  Talking of which, it's obvious that the staff just can't please these bronies and Fluttershy fanbots no matter what they do.  When they toughen her up, they call her Flutterbitch.  Remember when she made Pinkie and Rarity cry in "Putting Your Hoof Down"?  Not so pathetic then, right?  And when they make her vulnerable, they go berserk and want to murder whoever made her so much as shed one tear!  All these assholes ever do is bitch and moan no matter who does what!
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So that's all I have to say for this fucking review.  And now, I'm signing off with one final shout-out to these warped-minded Fluttershy fanbots.


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2 comments:

  1. The problem is that, especially for a cartoon, this show has ran for a while and all the characters have been flanderized to some degree. When I first watched it, I didn't like the way Pinkie acted either but Fluttershy's problems in this episode are actually pretty scary, and they weren't resolved.

    And I don't really see that many people who have problems with Cheerilee/Big Mac. It's pairing off any of the six that's anathema.

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    1. Yeah, you think Fluttershy would be better than this. That's why I compiled all those clips. To back up my claim.

      I actually don't know if anyone had problems with the pairing of Cheerilee and Big Mac. I recall a fan art of a shitstorm thermometer and the pairing was on it.

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