Friday, April 18, 2014

March of the Ponies: My Little Pony Season 2 review

[NOTE: Links to other March of the Ponies stories will go here as they are published.Part 1 - Abridged MLP historyPart 2 - Review of Lauren Faust's prior works, Part 3 - MLP Comics (TwilightRainbowDashRarityFluttershyPinkiePieApplejackCMCs/Celestia,Spike/LunaNightmare Rarity arc (main series)), Part 4 - Equestria Girls review, Part 5 - Fan-made episodes (Dusk's DawnDouble RainboomSnowdrop); Part 6 - Fan works (MusicDoctor WhoovesFriendship is Witchcraft/Mentally Advanced Series, Fanfictions), Part 7 - Season Reviews: Season 1, Season 3, Magical Mystery Cure, Season 4 (to date)]

I'd equate Season 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to Ron White's special "They Call Me Tater Salad."

- Worst Episodes

- Best Episodes

Be honest, you didn't think this analogy was happening
when you clicked this.
It was a consistently good-to-great viewing that rarely missed and hit near the bulls-eye most of the time. Season 2 is closer to White's "You Can't Fix Stupid."

By that I mean, it hits as high, if not higher, than the predecessor, but it also misses wildly and has some of the lowest moments in the comedian's run. I really felt that in MLP: FIM Season 2.

You'll hear what I really take issue with in either the audio or YouTube videos (depending on which you choose), but I'll give a little rationale about some episodes following the rankings, so scroll on down if you want some reasoning for why episodes are bad and good.

26Ponyville Confidential
25The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well
24Hearth's Warming Eve
23Dragon Quest
22A Canterlot Wedding I
21Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000
20A Canterlot Wedding II
19MMMystery on the Friendship Express
18May The Best Pet Win
17Hearts and Hooves Day
16The Last Roundup
15Sweet and Elite
14Baby Cakes
13A Friend in Deed
12Return to Harmony II
11Sisterhooves Social
10Cutie Pox
9Return to Harmony I
8It's About Time
7Luna Eclipsed
6Read It and Weep
5Lesson Zero
4Secret of My Excess
3Putting Your Hoof Down
2Family Appreciation Day
1Hurricane Fluttershy

I wavered on the rankings for a lot of episodes (heck, 2-8 probably could be interchanged with any in that set of seven and I wouldn't debate it at all), but I feel like the episodes I set as Best and Worst were unquestionably, head-and-shoulders most deserving of those positions.

"LOL WTF R we doing?" or, "What the writing staff of this
episode was doing while working on it."
"Ponyville Confidential" was an episode I was really excited for because it was going to focus on journalism and wound up being unfathomably bad. The characters were either completely brain-dead or unlikable dirtbags; the premise, which started cute, became horrendously nonsensical; no one seems to understand how newspapers (even student-operated newspapers) work, and even the moral that has been repeated successfully in far less competent shows only manages to hit halfway.

I still cannot believe how bad a span of 22 minutes this atrocity was. There are episodes in this series I'm indifferent to, there are some I dislike, but this is the only one I outright LOATHE.

I LOL'ed
By contrast, "Hurricane Fluttershy" is an episode I outright LOVE. FIM earned an honor with this episode that only 4 American animated shows before it have earned with me: It produced a perfect 10/10 episode.

Though I don't rate TV episodes formally, I do keep a mental list of TV episodes that I consider outright great, and MLP found one in HF. They took a simple premise and gave it multiple levels of depth, the supporting characters were likable and helpful, no one was acting inherently badly, they avoided the cliche of 100 percent perfect ending for the main characters but left them happy with what they managed, and it managed to be laugh-out-loud funny while also inducing tears.

Before MLP, Cindy Morrow was the storyboarder for one of my favorite Powerpuff Girls episodes, "The Bare Facts," as I found out while rewatching old PPG episodes. Now she can lay claim to writing an outright great episode of television.

 - Songs and Honorable Mentions

Best Song: The Smile Song (A Friend in Deed)
Best Song Sequence: This Day Aria (A Canterlot Wedding II)
Worst Song: Heart Carol Song (Hearth's Warming Eve)
Worst Song Sequence: BBBFF (A Canterlot Wedding I)

Funniest Episode: Putting Your Hoof Down, narrowly over Lesson Zero
Best Joke: Iron Will doing the extra leg shift while talking to Fluttershy when asking for his payment (Putting Your Hoof Down), narrowly beating Fluttershy in a tree (Hurricane Fluttershy)

Video reviews (Going up as they are uploaded):

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