I finished season 7! (Some thoughts)So yeah, I did it. After 3 years and a half, I went back to the show. It took me six months in order to finish it, mainly because of wifi issues, some problems finding the right episode with the right resolution and even image ratio, some personal circumstances and some bigger priorities than watching this TV show. But I did it, and I wanted to discuss a lot of things right now.MY TOP 6 FAVOURITE EPISODESBefore I start sharing my thoughts, I wanna talk about my favourite episodes pretty quickly. 6- The perfect pear,This was a pretty interesting episode. And while I assume many people will say this is the best one in the season 7, I think thatís still good. The premise was interesting and it didnít feel like a twist that was out of nowhere, it felt like a revelation that added more layers to Applejack, her family and some prejudices many characters will overcome. The song was pretty good and I like the conclusion.The only problem I had with this episode is that, while I like watching Applejackís parents, I wanted to see a progresion and some motivations of why these two ponies love each other. MLP writers donít tend to write good romances, all of these stories felt like out of nowhere, like in Legend of Everfree or Simple Ways. And, while I like this one, it wasnít an exception. Applejackís parents happen to love each other, nothing more. Itís the main reason why I donít think this is the best episode in the show, but I still like it.5- Discordant Harmony.,The Discord episode is pretty decent. Before watching it, my first thought was "ok, Discord will learn how to be himself, but is this gonna be funny and inventive?". And, thanks to some little genuine touches on animation, it is. And I appreciate it, because he was kinda boring in Celestial Advice. Every five seconds something happens that was made by Discord, something chaotic and random. And this episode is filled with small funny details. And we also see Discord's houce in his weird dimension. Back in season 5, my first question was "why don't we see this dimension very often?". And this episode shows his house and it's as weird ad him and his dimension or physical plane or whatever it is.And it's kinda cool to see why Discord likes being chaotic. Let's face it, we don't know too much about Discord, so what happens in this episode explains why he's like that, and it was kinda cool.The only nitpick I have with this episode is that the first minutes of this episode were very slow and less funny than the rest of the story. The water punchline was very predictable and I wish the first scene was faster or funnier. But I think most people would agree this is a pretty good episode. And it's also nice to see Pinkie Pie not acting or screaming like she consumed some drugs.4- Parental Glideance,When I finished watching Sleepless in Ponyville back in 2012, my first thought was "we need an episode about Rainbow Dash's parents with their daughter and Scootaloo". This episode, while late, took a different spin on the concept that I ended up liking: The support Dashie receives from her parents might be too embarrassing. If you didn't like the episode, it's because you don't have parents like Dashie has.The story is pretty decent, with a pretty funny opening that reminds me of the cheat codes from GTA San Andreas. Remember those? I also like the fact that this story started this way to go on and becoming an episode about oversupportive parents. I think it was in Dashie's room where I started thinking "Oooh, I feel sorry for her". Nobody is that detailed or that obsessed. So I like that. I think I didn't even mind the plot was a bit predictable because I was interested in what Rainbow Dash has to say about this.I like some of the funny moments, particularly the animation and the facial expression. It's really funny. I also find Rainbow Dash pretty relatable in this episode, even in the scene where she loses it. You can see her anger, you can understand her frustration, you can empathize with her.The only thing I didn't like about the episode (despite the fact that it came too late, it should have been an episode from season 4) is that the ending might be too corny. However, I'd say one detail about the ending I love, and it's the fact that Dash's parents said that her apology was too embarrassing. I love that detail. Can I say how refreshing it is to see a My Little Pony episode where Rainbow Dash wasn't incredibly mean? I usually dislike these episodes, and this one, even though she loses it in one scene, it wasn't in the entire episode. Remember Tank of Memories where Rainbow Dash denies her turtle needs to be point where she destroys Cloudsdale? Remember Rainbow Rocks, where she was possesive and mean during the entire film except in the last 15 minutes? Remember 28 Pranks later, where Rainbow Dash scares Fluttershy even though she was told back in season 1 that she was too sensitive? Most people are fine with this type of attitude with Rainbow Dash, but I don't, it's the total opposite of loyalty. So I really like that detail in this episode. 3- A Flurry of emotions,An episode about Twilight and Flurry Heart sounds like a good episode and a type of story we havenít seen in the show, and it is. The story is decent, the episode wasnít slow and the jokes are funny, especially the gallery art, definitely my favourite part of the episode. It reminds me of not only the gallery art scene from the 2012 film Skyfall, but it also reminds me of the works from the art school where I studied.I think I like this one much more in comparison to the Starlight episodes because it shows a constant contrast in design or character dynamic for comedic purposes or character development, like Flurry being a little yet so powerful alicorn (that is funny), the dinamic between all the characters, especially Twilight and Spike; and Twilight trying to be patient with Flurry and learning from her mistakes.I think the only two problems I have with this episode is that Pinkie kinda looks scary in two frames, but itís a nitpick. And two, wouldnít have made more sense if this episode was from season 6? I mean, you have introduced Flurry Heart in the first episode of that season, you would expect an episode dedicated to her. Why would you wait until the next season when you decide itís the best moment possible to have an episode dedicated to the little alicorn? I donít get it, maybe it was too late for season 6 in terms of pre-production or production, maybe they have mixed things up, who knows.But itís a pretty good episode. I wouldnít mind watching it again.2- Marks and Recreation, One of the greatest things about the Cutie Mark Crusaders is that their motivations are strong but dense enough to be adapted in many different premises without getting boring or flanderizing the characters. This episode not only is great at doing that (a camp for all the little ponies who wanted to get their cutie mark), but it also shows an interesting motivation for Rumble. The cutie mark topic of finding your own identity isnít new, we saw that since season 1 in Call of the Cutie and Cutie Mark Chronicles, but Rumble makes some interesting points that makes you to understand him. Itís just his actions and attitude what makes him an antagonist.And I like the resolution of this. Having one major talent and ignoring a cutie mark just because of it is misleading, but the fact that a little pony says that is what makes this episode very believable. You donít need excesive magic to tell that type story (ehem, A Royal Problem, Cutie Map, ehem), you just need some decent likeable characters and an interesting premise.1- Campfire Tales,We all heard and read a myth a tale or a fictional story that just fascinated us back when we were kids. Some countries and cultures have different and unique tales, and cinema has some of the greatest stories ever. Campfire Tales not only has very likeable characters, some funny lines and a nice pacing, but it also has some characters that share their stories about characters that they admired and still admire. We see different characters, different worlds, different stories, we want to see more of these storiesÖ Itís great!I like that Friendship is Magic has some tales within the TV show, because it shows that they can tell literally whatever they want without sacrificing the context of the show. Itís like Power Ponies from season 4, or the backstory of Griffonstone, or the beginning of the first episode of the show. And I love all the character interactions, especially the Cutie Mark Crusaders at the end of the story. Itís just great.THE STARLIGHT (AND TRIXIE) PROBLEM,To say that Starlightís motivations and backstory are a little bit more complicated than the Mane 6 motivations would be an understatement. I donít mean it in a negative way right now, Iím just saying that Starlightís story and motivations are not as simple as the original premise of the show.Because of that, we have to recap the entire show from Cutie Map to Shadow Play.Ok, roll the music, here I go.,The mane 6 discovered a weird sign in the map of Twilightís castle. Then, they meet Starlight Glimmer, the boss of her own town. And even if the mane 6 noticed something off in there, Pinkie Pie sabotages Twilightís intentions despite suspecting Starlightís intentions in the first place, which makes Starlight capture Mane 6 and extract their cutie marks. Then, thanks to Fluttershy they sabotage Starlightís plans even though we discovered that the stick was a normal stick and Starlight happens to be more powerful than an alicorn. Why? It doesnít matter, Starlight runs away.,24 episodes later, after ignoring Starlight (because 2 or 3 episodes that are there for the sake of developing her character is too mainstream), she comes back to Twilightís castle with no security guards whatsoever and she uses a time travel spell to change the past, because the mane 6 cutie marks happen to be the key of Equestriaís peaceful state? But whatever.,Twilight finally catches Starlight and she reveals that sheís a villain because her best friend got a cutie mark, which is a bit absurd, even for MLP Standards, but that doesnít matter because despite the fact that we donít actually know her because of lack of time, she will be the new main character, and her episodes will be all about Starlight being a bit awkward, which doesnít make sense because she already got along with a young version of Rainbow Dash to the point where she doesnít trust Twilight back in Cutie Remark, but whatever. She constanttly mentions her past as a punchline, in case we didnít hear it the first time, but thatís ok.,We also see the return of Trixie, and not only she hasnít learned anything from the ending of Magic Duel from seson 3, not only sheís still being selfish for the sake of being selfish, but she also critizices Twilight for judging her despite what she did in Magic Duel. Because Trixie and Starlight, despite their previous actions, like to comfort each other and dislikes being judged.,Then thereís an episode where Starlight, despite wishing to get better and not to be evil, she ends up manipulating Twilightís friends for the sake of doing insane crazy magic. Everyone is mad at her but thatís ok because she said ďsorryĒ, because the TV show, even though it wants to talk about redemption, it depends on the status quo of the episodes, where everything is ok at the end of a story, like nothing ever happened. She just wanted to get away with everything.Then I thought ďwhen is Chrysalis coming back and when is Starlight going to learn her lesson?Ē. Donít worry, Starlight is going to save the entire Ponyville, but in exchange for Chrysalis appearing for 2 minutes and the changelings are no longer the changelings, the changelings are these super weird ugly multicolored alien deers. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. All for a price.,I think I remember why I stopped watching the show 4 years ago.,Anyway, so Starlight, Trixie, Discord and Thorax have each one a medal for their services, but then Starlight happens to create dark magic and manipulate other ponies whenever she gets stressed, which wasnít established back in season 5, but whatever, donít question Starlight and donít bother her, because sheís literally a magic time bomb. Because why not, I guess.,But thatís okay, because she meets Maud Pie and itís revealed by a flashback that Maud Pie indirectly helped Starlight in order to manipulate an entire town. See? Starlight isnít that bad, sheís just a misunderstood poor pony. She also says that she likes rocks because they donít judge you despite what she has done in the past.,She also doesnít empathise with Rarity and her hair issue. Does she have a problem? I donít care, as long as itís not mine. Hell is other people.,She also whines about Sunburst socializing with Twilight and Maud Pie. Iím so sorry, Your Majesty! I forgot youíre the center of the universe! As long as itís not about you, you deserve to complain and you wonít stop moaning about it.,She also creates out of nowhere very complex magic spells about time traveling like a videogame cheat code, because why not.,She also makes Sunburst and herself much younger, because why not.,She also goes faster than Rainbow Dash to the point where se can be in two places at the same time, becuse why not.,She also translates ancient languages even better than Twilight, because why not. And thatís all her character arc until now. It's a lot. A lot to take in.And remember. Starlightís actions In Every little thing she does presents a very crucial conflict that can really affect how you feel about her going foward in the next seasons. And while a lot of fans will be ok with Starlight, some other people might not feel that way about her.Because of that, Starlightís presence in Friendhip is Magic creates a very complicated motivator for the people who maybe donít find her relatable or interesting and donít want to see her because sheís a very conflicting character with situations where the story being told in dialogue conflicts with the story being told during actions.And some characters in the show are aware of that, but theyíre not exactly consequent to Starlight. Which leads up to the next point.SELECTIVE SELF AWARENESS,Sometimes Friendship is Magic shows some self awareness and they show some consequences to a character because of what they did in the past. In Luna Eclipsed, everyone is scared of princess Luna because of her previous actions in season 1 as Nightmare Moon. In Crusaders of the lost mark, Diamond Tiara realizes that sheís not liked by no one, even Silver Spoon, but then we realize that not only sheís being mean because of the influece of her toxic mother, but also Diamond Tiara can change for the better. She learns that being good is not only two words, itís a possible goal. And since season 3, Discord is constantly questioned by Ponyville, not only the Mane 6. And in season 7 thereís a funny episode where all Ponyville represents some absurd complaints about the show from the fans, like the granny who said ďTwilight was great without her wingsĒ.So, theyíre gonna do the same thing for Starlight, right? In a TV show that sometimes talks about redemption, it sounds great, right? Itís possible, it isnít like itís a technology issue or a narrative problem that would severely affect the TV show from a dramatic point of view, right?,Yeah, it doesnít matter at all.Whenever Discord is planning something, itís ok to question him because he can be crazy. Whenever the writers want, they show some Ponyville characters to critizice some mainstream opinions about the show. However, nobody, absolutely nobody in Ponyville questions Starlight regardless of her actions during seasons 6 and 7. Itís a selective self awareness that doesnít translate very well in the context of the show.,I donít think Rainbow Rocks is a good film, but one thing that the movie did right is that it shows some consecuences to Sunset Shimmer because of what she did in the first EG film. The entire high school doesnít want her as a friend. That makes sense. However, she receives the right treatment after saving her high school and her friends. I wish the story was more organic and funnier, but it was something, itís not like itís impossible to show some consequences in a kids TV show.If you think Iím very nitpicker, youíre not wrong because Iím a person whoís losing his sanity in a house where people are not the best confident in the world. But the reason why Iím saying this is that, even more than Sunset Shimmer, Babs Seed or Tempest Shadow, Starlight really wants to talk about redemption. And people who love this character praises her story.So, if everyone wants to talk about Starlightís story, Iím gonna talk about Starlightís story.,Thereís a popular film called Iron Man, where we see Tony Stark, a playboy millionaire who wants to protect the world by using dangerous weapons. After having the revelation that his weapons are dangerous in the wrong hands, he escapes, he decides to close Stark Industries and he starts working on a suit designed to destroy weapons and to punish enemies if necessary. The film isnít perfect, I think the last 20 minutes are focused on convenient power fantasy, but itís not too distracting and itís still a solid film.And that movie came out in 2008.Let that sink in.Some people donít seem to have a problem with that because itís more about redemption in a reformed villain. But, I donít know, I have the feeling we saw two different shows. Many people would argue it was risky and rewarding to create a character like Starlight, but thatís not risky or brave or rewarding. Besides, most of what Starlight had said or done donít indicate that she wants to redeem herself.You know what would have been brave? A TV show where the new character doesnít depend on insane crazy game breaking magic to talk about redemption as the main gimmick of the character.,Starlightís arc characters reminds me of Weathering with you. Like that movie, the TV show made the decision to highlight the insane magic and powers as the core part of the story as a way to emotionally manipulate the viewer but commit to none of these themes in an organic way. Itís mindless power that doesnít mean anything. If I really wanna see that, Iíll go and watch a Dragon Ball episode without caring about the story.,I donít say with this that violence is bad or anything like that, I actually like it. Iím one of the few people who acknoledges the existence of Elfen Lied, and thatís the most violent bloody story ever. Iím talking about showing some consequences of certain actions. Here, that doesnít happen, at least to Starlight.,Itís not like The Last of Us Part II, where the story shows some consequences of some mean decisions made by some specific characters (which is one of the reasons why I love this game). Or Undertale, where everything you do has some consequences. Or Marie Antoniette's story, where not only she had an affair despite being married, but also she used public money to buy unnecessary stuff (like beautiful dresses) in an era where the citizens were suffering because of hunger. She was abusing her power in a childish way that she indirectly proved the point that the Ancient Rťgime was outdated and the social division was so extreme.,Friendship is Magic had shown some consequences because of characterís actions with Putting your hoof down. In that episode, Fluttershy wanted to learn how to be assertive. But we slowly see her going too far to the point where she insulted her best friends, which leads up to a really emotional moment where Fluttershy realizes it was all her fault.,What Iím saying is that this is a very hollow, forced and hipocritical approach for a TV show that wants to tell this specific story with this specific psychopath character and this specific way of redemption and empathy that people who love Starlight seem to keep saying that the show is trying to get you to understand.And I agree with them. Really. I think the TV show is trying to do that with Starlight, because if itís notÖ what is the point of this scene to being with?,If you wanna talk about redemption, thatís ok. I love Crusaders of the Lost mark because of that. And I love the MLP film because of that. But most of Starlightís actions and lines conflict with this idea.At this point, I still havenít seen a change for the better in Starlight. And one of the reasons I wanted to say all this long overdue explanation is because I donít wanna repeat myself when I finish the seasons 8 and 9.DISSONANCE,One of the biggest problems this TV show has is that the more seasons it gets, the stupider their characters are going to get. If youíve been in the Internet for many years, you might be familiar with the term flanderization. Itís a term to describe a writer abusing one feature of a character in an exaggerated way to the point where this feature is all the character. Easiest example: Ned Flanders was not as fanatic and controlling in the golden age of The Simpsons. Ned Flanders is suppose to be the opposite of Homer Simpson a good respected family guy. He was religious, but his extreme fanatism was only shown in very few but very funny moments. Right now itís a fanatic controlling person.Friendship is Magic had that problem many years ago and it still has. Probably the example I used to mention the most was Pinkie Pie. Since season 3, her appearances were only for screaming, telling unfunny jokes and trying to quickly guess the plan of one of her friends. I was so oversaturated because of that. In season 7, almost all her episodes are an excuse for Pinkie to go insane or creepy for 22 minutes, like Secrets and Pies and Rock solid friendship. Rainbow Dash also had that problem. With the exception of Parental Glideance and It isnít the mane thing about you, she was mean for the sake of being mean. Despite loving her turtle Tank, she still gives cake to a turtle (which is not good) and she doesnít even care about it. I know some people would find that funny, but, I donít know. I think you can create funny situations without unlikeable elements, unless that is the point, like the animated show Villainous.UNNECESSARY RETURNS AND REPETITIVE CONCEPTS,Some episodes are very similar to other episodes. All bottled up is Every little thing she does, but with Trixie as the main character. Daring Done is like Stranger than Fanfiction, which was also like Daring Don't but with an extra plot. Shadow Play is as fanfiction as To where and back again. Hard to say anything is like Top Bolt, but with a character from that town in season 5 I donít remember its name and a story that passes even less the Bechdel test. Sassy Saddles is like Coco Pommel, but thiner and, unlike Coco Pommel, now she can be used as a complementy character for Rarity.Speaking about characters, everyone returns. Every character in the show (the Flim Flam brothers, Trixie, Sassy Saddles, Maud Pie, Filthy Rich, Diamond Tiara, Nightmare Moon, Thorax, the yaks, Sunburst and finally Iron Will) is back. But when Chrysalis is back, it's only for a few minutes after waiting for four years. Plus a complete redesidn of the changelings.Yay...THE NEW CHANGELINGS,FINAL THOUGHTSDespite its problems, I still like season 7. I think the first two episodes were a bit more annoying than I expected because of the lack of self awareness, including the rest of the Starlight episodes. As a result, and a list of other issues (like wifi connection or finding the right episode with the right aspect ratio), it took me six months to finish it. Out of all my favourite episodes from season 7, I think Campfire Tales would be one of my 20 favourite episodes in the whole show. It has a lot of content and likeable characters that makes My Little Pony so fun, inventive and enjoyable to me.There are three reasons why I went back to the show. The first reason is that the MLP film made me love all these characters and all this magical world again. I remember being so active in that thread back in 2017. The second reason is that Legend of Everfree was the Equestria Girls movie that made me really like Sunset Shimmer.And the third and most important reason is that, as much as I like the show, Friendship is Magic is a procedurally-generated story getting more and more off the rails. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic isn't supposed to have a concrete planned-out logical storyline. If there was one, it would be there, clear as day, including a consistent arc character for Starlight, thatís for sure. The writers didn't think of the idea of writing stories for nine seasons. Pinkie Pie had 2 sisters, not 3. Applejack now has fear of big crowds in a time where we already see her in Manehattan without that fear of big crowds. The show has a lot of moments like that. Because of that, I canít be mad at the redesign of the changelings, or Pinkie Pieís flanderization. Or Starlightís inconsistent arc character.Iíd say My Little Pony is as inconsistent as Kingdom Hearts, but what makes the TV show so great is not its overall consistency. It's the episodes and their respective stories regardless of the consistency of the show. Putting your hoof down, Party of One, Rarity Takes Manehattan, Crusaders of the lost mark, the MLP film, Campfire tales, Call of the Cutie, Cutie Mark Chronicles, A Canterlot Wedding, etc.Because of that, instead of Kingdom Hearts, I compare My Little Pony to Metal Gear. What people love about that series is not the series itself (trying to chronologically connect all these games in a logical sense is impossible), it's some games that have some interesting stories, such as Metal Gear Solid 3. I can see the same thing in My Little Pony.,I guess the lesson here is that, if you are severely disappointed to a movie or a book to the point where you are angry, try to be cool about it. Try to take it easy. Try to focus on the things you know you can change. Try to take the negativity on a different spin to make it more fun and enjoyable. ŅWas I disappointed to some creative decisions made in My Little Pony? I try to look at the individual episodes as if they are their own thing instead of a part of a bigger story.As much as I love A Canterlot Wedding, I accepted that Iím not gonna get an episode where Twilight and Chrysalis are gonna fight like I used to dream every single day since 2012. The closest thing we got was an official comic and some fanarts, and thatís enough for me to be happy and satisfied.If I have this mentality, I might finish the seasons 8 and 9 this year without realizing it. I donít wanna have high expectations and say ďI want 18 really good episodesĒ, I just want for the season 8 to have at least 5 good episodes. Because I know that, even for unexpected reasons, some of the episodes are gonna be really cool.Take care everyone.PD: I said it before and I'll say it again: I hope most of us can agree that praising a character or a story just "because it wants to say something to us" is a pretty boring way to talk about movies, shows or books. It's also equally important to talk about what stories might say in an unintentional way.
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