Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day Eighty-five - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Season 1, Episode 6, "What NOT to do when you're Awesome!"

Time for some more Brony action.

Episode six of the surprisingly quality and well-balanced series that is MLP:FiM is the second in as many episodes that features a visitor to Ponyville (The Great and Powerful Trixie, Pony Magician Extraordinaire) stirring up some trouble, the first being the unblogged episode 5 with Gilda who bullys Fluttershy.

This is yet another example of rotating the cast of the Mane 6 to keep things fresh as both Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie are absent for unknown reasons, despite the fact that the second act crisis seems to involve both wildlife (Fluttershy's specialty) and the entirety of town (you'd think Pinkie would hear the noise of Ursa roars over whatever party she has going on).

That's pretty much okay, though, as this is another Twilight centric episode and it makes sense that the three prideful/competitive ponies of the Mane 6 (Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash), would care more about Trixie's boasts than the timid and accepting Fluttershy and utterly oblivious Pinkie Pie.

Plus, Pinkie's preternatural powers for breaking the fourth wall (and the universe) would mess with the inevitable confrontation between Twilight, who doesn't want her friends to hate her because she's awesome at magic, and Trixie, who is a show-pony to be sure, but not all that magical in comparison.

I like the contrast this episode has with the one previous.

Where Glinda is all physicality, Trixie is mostly sarcasm, cunning, and finesse. Plus, it helps that Trixie almost always refers to herself in the third person. A nice little bit of egotism to both set her apart and, coupled with her general attitude and mannerisms towards the Ponyville folks, establishs a negative impression towards her.

While is was kind of odd to have the Mane 6 trio of neigh-sayers (don't look at me, it's a direct quote from the episode) be instantly critical of Trixie just to force some self-conscious denial from Twilight Sparkle, I'm willing to suffer the cliched delivery in exchange for the fun Trixie snark and other side jokes of the epi.

I mean, there's a freaking mustache spell for crying out loud (and Rarity not being impressed loses points for her in my book)... not to mention Trixie's smoke bomb/run away gag and the Snips and Snails pun.

Actually, I'm a little divided when it comes to Snips and Snails. They're a bit of cheesy fun in the vein of Pinky and the Brain if both characters had the mental capacity of Pinky instead of the Brain, but they're also not the greatest male role models for kids watching the show. Aside from Spike (who's just a baby, even if he acts like a preteen) Big McIntosh is pretty much the closest thing to a positive male role in the series so far... and he doesn't talk much.

 It would be nice to have one or two more positive Colt characters showing up more often, but oh well.

Overall, at this point in the show, the series is still just pleasing it's target demographic. The stories are mostly simple morality plays and there aren't nearly enough inside jokes for the adult fanbase yet. That will, of course, change... but while the first few episodes are definitely enjoyable and quality, they aren't quite to the level I want in all aspects.

Still, fun stuff. This is a series that both children and their parents (and even a few thousand childless adults, like me) can really get into. It's not quite up to Phineas and Ferb levels of self-reference and crossover appeal, yet, but I imagine it'll get there. You know, if Hasbro doesn't kill the magic to push more toy sales, but that may just be me being cynical.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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