Thursday, December 4, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episode 21

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,

*sigh* Wonderbolts, schmunderbolts.  Yes, people.  Rainbow Dash is still trying to live her dream of becoming one of these elite schmucks for some reason when twice in this series, they've proved that from being at the top of their game, they boast about their positions.  Remember back in my "Rainbow Falls" review that I pointed out everything that proves them to be selfish, fucking Mary-sues in which that no matter what anyone does, these fliers are like invincible and can't be surpassed?  And they have to go and fucking brag about it?  And of course, I complained that hosting the Equestria Games is a flat-out waste of time, especially when the Wonderbolts compete.

Seriously, why does anyone even bother with these Mary-sues?  It's like Brainiac from DC Universe Online who keeps saying that there is no point in fighting him and that he should win before battles even start!  I guess it's fair that Rainbow wants to be a part of this elite crowd the same way I want to be a part of this popular media field of work.  But even the best of the best have their breaking points and weaknesses and the Wonderbolts don't even give us the impression that they have theirs.

...Actually, I take it back.  There was that time when giant Spike outsmarted them and made them quake in their boots, but they just pridefully passed that off as nothing!  Really, series?!  Showing that even the best of the best aren't always the top makes such characters more three-dimensional and gives them personality and complexities!  All we've identified with are their gung-ho and selfish sides, willing to do whatever it takes, even sacrifice team members, just to keep their game above and beyond 100%.  One of these days, they'll become corrupted by their own talents like the A-Squad from Power Rangers SPD.

So what is Rainbow Dash doing this time?  Let's find out in this episode, "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3", written by none other than Amy Keating Rogers.

Basically, this episode just shows Rainbow's friends trying to help her study for this history exam using their personal methods of studying, which obviously proves to be defective because we wouldn't have an episode to watch otherwise.  Apparently, it's considered important to learn the history of the Wonderbolts to become a member and understandably enough.  For similar reasons, it's important for an animator to know the history of animation and start learning from the very beginning.

Twilight Sparkle: A test that will determine if you can join the newly-formed Wonderbolts Reserves, and being part of the Wonderbolts Reserves means you'll have the opportunity to live your dream as a Wonderbolt!

Wait, what?  Reserves?  Isn't that like the understudy of a performing cast?  How the hell would Rainbow ever become an official Wonderbolt if she only ends up on the reserving lineup?!  This makes no sense!  And even if it does, I'm willing to bet my bottom dollar that the staff is just gonna pass this episode off as nothing and not bring up anything related to this for the remainder of the series.  It's what they do.

So Twilight Sparkle shows Rainbow a few of her studying methods and obviously Rainbow botches them all up.  And her pop quiz just sucks.  Okay, it's one thing to be goofy, but could she at least try to take studying seriously?  How do you think I passed art school?
Twilight Sparkle: The initials E.U.P. stand for what?
Rainbow Dash: Ernie's undercooked pancakes.
Twilight Sparkle: The original aerial team performed for...?
Rainbow Dash: Celestia's cereal celebration.
Twilight Sparkle: The Wonderbolts were given their name by this famous Pegasus. Who is she? [to herself] Please don't say Colonel Waffle...
Rainbow Dash: Hello? General Blazing Donut Glaze! [scoffs] So, did I ace it or what?

Rainbow Dash: I'm gonna fail, I'm gonna fail, I'm gonna fail! And it's all your fault! 
God, I have never seen Rainbow act so STUPID and so PATHETIC in this episode than any other time in the whole goddamn series.  Even if a person doesn't test well, I'm sure that person's wrong answers wouldn't be nearly as dumb as what Rainbow says... unless of course that person is Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes", but that's beside the point!  Goddamn it, Amy Keating Rogers!  I know you wanted to give us the impression that Rainbow might not seem the kind of character who tests well, but did you really have to degrade her to that level?!  I thought we were watching My Little Pony, not the Flesh from Action League NOW!

Twilight Sparkle: Maybe I should become a Wonderbolt.

Yeah, I'll bet the fans would love that, you cocky little bitch.

So Rainbow and Twilight trade blows until Fluttershy breaks them up only to offer her method of studying... which is watching animals perform.  And as you might have guessed, it doesn't end well.

But of course, the ever random Pinkie Pie butts in and offers her method of studying, which brings me to the one thing I had to brace myself for in the entire episode.  Pinkie Pie performing rap.  How can you even grasp that with a straight face?  Well, if anything, I had to ask myself if Pinkie's hip-hop would be as classic as this...
...or as downhill as this.

Now I'm just gonna come out and say this.  I'm not too crazy about rap music at all.  Or rather, at least it's not my favorite genre.  But I can tell at least there's effort put into their songs and more times than not, they have actual singing involved, like "Unknown from M.E." with performers Marlon Saunders, Dred Foxx and Hunnid-P.  At least those kinds of rap songs are more tolerable.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...  No.
Yeah, I'm just gonna come out and say it.  I don't care for Pinkie's rap song.

Okay, why is Pinkie dressed like the late Michael Jackson as a start?  The guy didn't do rap!  He was the king of Pop back in his time!  The fucking moonwalker!  And this is one of those stale rap songs that just has no real singing (because Andrea Libman performed it) that can really make me like this song as a whole.  Okay, so if bronies liked this song, did they like it because Pinkie did it, much less any pony?  Or do they happen to like rap?  Being the hardcore anti-brony that I am, I'll guess it's the former.

I give Amy Keating Rogers credit and I'm sure she's trying, but I hope she didn't just toss in a rap song thinking that it's gonna catch on because the awesome logic-defying Pinkie Pie is performing it.  Or maybe the reason is that you can mix pony with anything and get away with it.  That kind of stunt would likely work on a gullible brony because he's willing to put his penis in anything pony he sees on any media, but not for a guy like me.  Even "S.I.M.P." and "There's a Platypus Controlling Me" from Phineas and Ferb had more potential than this.  So... sorry, but I have to be brutally honest.  "The rappin' Hist'ry of the Wonderbolts" leans more towards that fucking rapping dog from Titanic: The Animated Movie.

Pinkie Pie: That... was pretty terrible.

With that out of the way, let's go back to Rainbow's futile studying efforts.  Rarity offers her way, which is obviously 0% useful, as she only has her dumb fashion ideas on the brain by having herself and her friends dress up as historical figures and is in no way helping Rainbow learn anything historically.

Applejack: Now, don't you fret, Rainbow. This fashion show nonsense wouldn't help me learn nothin', either.
She agrees.

Speaking of Applebreath, all she can do is offer Rainbow long periods of time working with stuff just to learn any kind of history, so that idea is right out.  And who'd have thought it, but Rainbow's friends then start arguing, thus going to a load of trouble just to help her study.  Or in my case, to make my ears bleed.

Eventually, Rainbow Dash snaps and we get our traditional episode problem.  In this case, Rainbow decides to call it quits on her dream... for the second time in this series.  Seriously, she doesn't even want to form her own squad?  The Rainbolts?  Probably could rival the Wonderbolts in their own unique way.

Instead of something that could have been God-awesome, we finally learn that there's a lot more going on with Rainbow's life than we know.  After saving Twilight from an oncoming helicopter, because Cherry Berry didn't think to steer around her, she shows Twilight that through multitasking, she is actually quite observant with sightseeing, being able to see what goes on at ground level while she flies.

So... she's suddenly that worm from Dr. Seuss' "The Big Brag"?

Twilight decides to use this to her advantage and comes up with a brilliant idea to help Rainbow get that Wonderbolts history memorized... and it works!  Except for one BIG problem.

Goddamn it, Amy Keating Rogers!  You caved in to those retarded bronies!  First Derpy and now this!  Do you even remember how it went in the original story?  The one that Lauren Faust wrote?!

Narrator: ...she defeated her younger sister, and banished her permanently in the moon.

"IN" the moon!  It was "IN" the moon!  It's bad enough that bronies had to go and misinterpret this original story that gave us a brand new animated series to look forward to based on the imaginations of Lauren Faust herself by reading it as "to the moon" and depicting Luna on the surface of the moon and Celestia as a tyrant, but for you, Amy Keating Rogers, who helped write the third episode of Season 1 with Faust, to write this in the script for this episode (unless it was a mistake, unlikely) shows that you and probably everyone else who works on the show is just giving in to the demands of these fucking bronies whose fan base more or less consists of sick and retarded preverts and pedophiles with absolutely disgusting imaginations and their own takes on the series and... and...  I'm sorry, but this is just completely... dis... dis...  Disgraceful!  Disgusting!  Despicable!  Okay, so I'm making a big deal because this is only said twice in the episode, but it is in fact a very big deal.  Need I remind you that the bronies, the once-promising fan base that originally existed to open the series up to all audiences beyond just young girls, came up with "to the moon" first, and to bring that up here and now, as part of Wonderbolts history no less, what do you think that says for the rest of us?  What do you think it says to the fans who are not bronies?  And on another sour note, this also gives the impression that kids who saw the series premiere might have forgotten "in the moon" overtime because they grew four years older as the series went on and probably wouldn't even give "to the moon" any thought whatsoever.
No!  It doesn't work that way!  It just doesn't work that way!  For God's sake, forget those stupid bronies and get your sources right!  Just because Lauren Faust isn't working with you people anymore doesn't mean you have to stop respecting what she was giving to the series!  I'm not gonna act like Season 1 was flawless because she on the team then.  It wasn't!  It had a few episodes that I absolutely despised!  But the very least you people could do is respect some of her original ideas like...  You remember "Apple Family Reunion"?  You remember the subtle hint that we got that Applejack's parents were deceased?  That was one of the things that Lauren Faust envisioned and it was worked into the series perfectly!  And I know I'm probably sounding fussy because of just one little thing here, but as I've ranted on and on about already, it's a big difference.  The bronies envisioned Luna on the moon while Lauren Faust's story clearly said that Luna was imprisoned within the moon!  There's a big difference.  And for bronies to get it wrong, maybe even deliberately so they can portray Celestia as a fucking tyrant, is one thing, but for the staff to go along with it... that just makes me sick!  It really does!  These bronies, as old as 45 years of age, do crazy and outlandish things with this 2D animated series that started off so well...  And now, it's come down to the staff going along with the bronies, just to recap Faust's story as told by them.  It's like the staff just suddenly stopped caring and decided that they think we're cool with just throwing any random shit at us.  Fandom is one thing and I know fan stuff is inevitable, but taking on fan-made ideas just to reel in the penises of even more bronies...  Dan and Swampy never did this with Phineas and Ferb.  So why should this series give in to the demand of a rioting fan base?

So because Twilight apparently rallied... Ponyville just to help Rainbow study in her own unique way, Rainbow gets the Wonderbolts' history down cold and marches on to take the exam.

So that was "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3..." and... well, needless to say... I have mixed feelings about it.  While we do get an insight to what's actually a very intriguing and fascinating way of studying, this episode just doesn't really hold out looking back on it.  Sure, we know that Rainbow earns a spot on the team of Wonderbolts Reserves, but what are the chances this is ever gonna be touched upon again in the series?  Sure, it's a kids' cartoon and all that, I get it, but I'm still convinced that the staff is just secretly looking for ways to break dreams and not give us any closure on any characters aside from Twilight Sparkle.  Some don't need closure because they're in good enough positions already, like Applejack and Rarity, but for characters like Rainbow Dash and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, can't the staff open their eyes and see that their intended audiences might be interested to see how things turn out for them?  I've seen over 80 episodes so far and I'm not getting a ton of that.  And I'm not taking that they're expecting to squeeze in more seasons as an excuse.  Anything can happen.  Future seasons aren't always guaranteed and even if they are, they might not be good.  This season is an excellent example of that.
I've said this numerous times, but we really didn't need any more episodes beyond the ending of Season 3.  "Magical Mystery Cure" gave us enough of a plot worthy of closure to the series, which was basically following Twilight Sparkle and her journeys to discover new friendships and all that mushy stuff.  We didn't need to see any more stories beyond Twilight becoming a princess.  The story should have ended after her coronation... and that's all there is to it.

Also for this episode, it really, really sucks that we get the impression that Amy Keating Rogers has again caved in to the demands, not requests, of these God-awful bronies simply by tossing in "to the moon" in the script... twice.  Let's face it, people.  As time went on during the progression of the series, bronies got so addicted that they felt that the series should be more about what they want to see and less of the original stories and imaginations that Lauren Faust envisioned.  But maybe to be fair, it was because she stopped working for the series once Season 2 came around and maybe the bronies felt that they could see more of their ideas getting worked into the series, but that would mean they took advantage of Faust leaving the show.  The thing is, no form of media, a television series, a video game, a movie adaptation, and anything else should never be based on fan-made ideas EVER.  Dan and Swampy were smart enough to acknowledge this and any episode ideas they had for Phineas and Ferb that might have just happened to be similar to fan-made ideas are just coincidental.  Even their episodes "Meapless in Seattle" and "Act Your Age" were not based on fan-made ideas at all.  They were simply requested by fans and the contents of those episodes had nothing to do with what the fans envisioned.  So having the name Derpy revealed and writing "to the moon" in an official episode script just goes to show that the staff behind this series might just be so desperate for ideas to fill up a 20-minute time slot, they're willing to incorporate fan-based stuff.  And I know the name Derpy was supposed to be a tip of the hat to fans, but it was based on what these fans thought of nonetheless.  I know fans love it when they get what they want, but what exactly is this series proving if it keeps doing this?

And why is Rainbow still so keen on joining these Wonderbolts anyway?  Twice in the series, they've shown her that they take too much pride in being the best of the best and do whatever it takes to keep it that way.  They're like the A-Squad in Power Rangers SPD!  I don't care what they're representing!  Rainbow, just forget the Wonderbolts!  You've shown that even you aren't that prideful and don't value victory as much as they do!  Dump them!  Say "screw you"!  Form your own squad!  The Rainbolts!  You could rival the Wonderbolts!  Do that instead!  Prove what true championship really means!  Trust me, I used to be a part of such a team once myself.  Winning is one thing, but demonstrating what really matters is more moral and noble, traits that you know you're capable of.  All we see is that you aced the exam and nothing else!  And this isn't even brought up for the remainder of the season!  So how are we ever gonna know if Rainbow is ever gonna live her fucking dream?!  For all we know, she might not!  After all, I'm convinced that the staff behind the series just absolutely loves crushing dreams.  See those CMC episodes for proof of that.

Case in point.  And with that said, this is The Thunder, signing off once again.  And until next time... Pig Power is in the house!

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