You are not alone in your opinion, Pixelkitties. I, too, view them as humorous bits of fun. The alicorn transformation is a risky move, to be fair, and if handled wrong could lead to total fanatic reversal, but given the expertise and experience of the writers, I'm optimistic.
The movie... yeah, that wasn't as thought out a plan as we were expecting. But it expands the universe and answers the question everyone has asked as to how the characters would react to humans, so points.