Saturday, March 25, 2017

MLP:FIM ~ How 2017 Can Save (Or Kill) the Series (ft. The Railfan Brony) Part 2

When we want new fresh ideas out of Hasbro, sometimes that means making more places out of Equestria besides common ones like Ponyville, Canterlot, and the Crystal Empire. At other times, it means more plots that vary from those in previous episodes. And this can also involve newer characters in some cases. Two prime examples of this would be Made in Manehattan and Viva Las Pegasus. (Where they're set should be obvious based on the titles alone.)

With Viva Las Pegasus, we get a cool concept of the show's equivalent to the real life town Las Vegas - especially the settings inside the building like an arcade, a backstage play production, and more and more. It may seem like a ripoff of one of those cities that never sleeps, but in some cases like this, it's an acceptably good one! And not that we'd want one too many ripoffs, but making them into a My Little Pony style concept seems more like the way to make them seem like newer ideas as to taking our minds off the fact that it rips off something. (Just like some episodes that could be a title spoof and parody of other films and stuff)

Meanwhile, in Made in Manehattan, we get to see how city life compares to village life; in village life - like Ponyville - just about everyone knows everyone and they're mostly friendly. But city life? Not only do you not know everyone - understandably, it'd take months to do so - but lots of people are jerks to each other with only a few good eggs once in a while. With the episode's ending, it was implied that eventually, with enough supporters, there would be changes and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Even besides most of those episodes that involve going across Equestria from the Mane Six setting out to find friendship problems in Twilight's castle's Cutie Map, there have been others like most two-parters which pretty much leave milestones on the show as to develop the whole purpose of both the show, it's characters, and the necessary friendship lessons it teaches. So if you're really gonna get anywhere with giving Friendship Is Magic more potential, look only for new ideas and lay off other gimmicks like holiday-themed episodes. And here's a common figure of speech, writers; leave the past behind, and look to the future.

So in other words; out with the old, in with the new.

Speaking of figures of speech, here's one for gimmicky plots, and that applies also to the moral of Canterlot Boutique - you can sometimes have too much of a good thing. And we all know it's impossible to come up with every last moral that differs from others in the world (involving friendship obviously), but we should never use the same thing over and over again as, despite that it's fun to look back on the old stuff, like rewatching an episode or two, we really just want more out of a show like MLP besides the same thing. Sure, episodes like Boutique and Buckball Season that retaught a certain moral or two of a previous episode were both good (in spite of having their fair share of small flaws), but we still want newer ideas out of the show's initial amount of messages that come across it - and not just the concept and storylines.

Of course, I'm sure some of you might be thinking, "But you may want to reteach some old messages to a newer audience as some of them may not even remember an episode like Read It and Weep!" And we have a simple suggestion for that. If they want to learn a particular lesson or two, just watch the episode that already taught that specific lesson that they're willing to learn. Cause really, all we're wanting in that sense is something new, so don't repeat the same thing over and over again like they're a bunch of Mega Man games or whatever...

Now here's where I'm going into detail about the show's next upcoming guest star William Shatner. When we were given the rumor that Twitter and other sites stated that Shatner was going to make a guest star appearance (in those cases of which he admitted himself, even to his fans), we have indeed heard a lot of people's excitement for his appearance. But because of his straight up rude behavior towards his fans, and the fact that he's apparently difficult to work with when you're on set with him, my question is; does he really deserve a minor role just cause he's a brony (as he stated before)? Or even particular roles like those of Star Swirl the Bearded or another draconequus like Discord (if either of those ever happen)?

The answer for both questions is "no". Personally, I ship my ponysona Vincent van Colt with Sunset Shimmer, and he's also the younger brother of Flash Sentry, but do I want a voice role for those reasons alone? No, and I'd much rather have my own stories and ideas separate from the actual show, thank you very much. But anyway, who would we want to appear on the show?

The answer to that question would be any celebrities who are kind-hearted - both on set to those that they work with, and to their fans as well. You all should know a few we're talking about (at least mostly).
  1. Chris Pratt
  2. Sean Lennon
  3. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
  4. Eddie Redmanye
  5. Ellen DeGeneres
  6. Michael Palin
The most kind-hearted celeb in Hollywood I think we can all agree on however is Toy Story's Tom Hanks; who's literally both easy to work with and polite with any of his fans that he randomly comes across. So the point is celebrities who are trying to be as nice as possible in reality like the show itself are the most suiting for these roles. And the last celebs we'd ever want to come on a show with true heart like Friendship Is Magic are any jerks who are terrible to their fans at most like Justin Bieber, Kanye West & Kim Kardashian, and Arianna Grande. Oh them, and others that just can't show enough respect for those that they're working with during production like Bruce Willis, Jared Leto, Christian Bale, or (again) William Shatner (who's literally both mean to his fans, and hard to deal with on set).

Yeah, less said about those guys (barring Mr. Hanks, whom we hold great respect for), the better. So my first choice for guest star is Eddie Redmayne. A few of his most notable roles as of late include playing a younger Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Ryan the purple engine in Thomas and Friends: Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, and Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He also portrayed Viola in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. In general, Redmayne tends to portray kind-hearted, introvert characters. His character could nicely play off with Fluttershy like Tom Hanks or - in reference to his role as a Hufflepuff magizoologist - Twilight like Rupert Grint (who, I should state, is also a brony).

Alongside Mr. Hanks, whom at least I myself (on the other hand) would want him to portray a character that plays off against Fluttershy based primarily on the fact that he's the nicest celeb of Hollywood as Fluttershy is of the franchise of MLP in general, (and based upon kind-heartedness) a choice I could go with, mainly as one who plays off against Rarity would be Ms. Ellen DeGeneres. Most kids would probably know her best from Pixar's Finding Nemo (and Finding Dory), but the reason would be based on the fact that she's a talk show host, and that her last name has the pronunciation of what Rarity is personality-wise...ironically. So the episode would solely be based upon Rarity being interviewed by a pony talk show host (in Equestria), and getting off that subject, I could agree with Rupert Grint as well for a character that Twilight plays against.

But does it matter how Hasbro casts them? Well...

This is an interesting question if we consider our concerns with William Shatner's guest role; I think I read somewhere that he was going to play Applejack's father, but I could be wrong. If that would be the case, that'd be somewhat of a surprise to us. If not, that depends. As of right now, we feel Shatner (as we said) does not deserve the role of a powerful character like Star Swirl; whereas that honor should go to the Star Trek franchise's other captain Picard; Sir Patrick Stewart (even if we don't look to much at his level of kind-heartedness), nor another draconequus like Discord since that should be reserved for an actor who can make a monstrous tone out of his voice like Benedict Cumberbatch (who made one out of Smaug of The Hobbit trilogy). And as a result, we feel a lot more excited for other things for this season like Applejack's and Rainbow Dash's parents (whether or not Shatner provides the voice for one or both of their fathers) and Celestia's time to shine in an episode of her own (possibly) than we are for Bill's minor appearance.

Like Tyler mentioned, there are celebrities which are jerks to their fans because reasons, or they're not the easiest to work with. In Bill's case, he's both. Considering his fame, it makes you wonder how the staff members of MLP are dealing with him... right? If it turns out to be a pleasant surprise, then perhaps we'll give him a pass... for now. But if his role doesn't work out... well, so much for all the hype. (And I'll get to that later.) Similarly adding to what Tyler mentioned earlier, does anyone recall Mel Gibson's behaviors? In one drunken rage in 2006, he was exposed as being foul-mouthed, violent, and bigoted. That led to a downward spiral in his life. If MLP were to have him a guest star, fans would fight. (Well, more so than usual, but that's beside the point.)

And since we found out now that another guest star named Felicia Day (whom apparently seems to be what some might call a celebrity nerd...much like "Weird Al" Yankovic and Patton Oswalt) will also be taking part for a brief role in the next season, we have no complaints about her (even though we've never actually heard of her until now, as we did with Lena Hall during Season 5) since we doubt she'd have that possible potential to play a major character like Shatner could. But anyway, that gives us the hope that anyone like Shatner doesn't portray the kind of character he's not meant to be, and take make more things clear, no matter how much anyone would judge/criticize one of us, I'd much rather have just any celebrity with poor quality in his work (like Adam Sandler for example, who's easy to work with, and kind-hearted) make an appearance on MLP, than I would have anyone besides Shatner who has little to no kindness to most others whatsoever.

So, here's a question - how did the Mane Six's collective story arc work in season four? A simple answer to that would be *build-up*. This is where having episodes that involved the Mane Six (one at a time) getting their specific keys to the Chest of Harmony after Princess Twilight Sparkle and before Twilight's Kingdom (the premiere and the finale in other words) were episodes that were few and far between - but with proper reason and pacing. Whilst it's not specifically clear to what the timeline is, for the most part, the five episodes (let's leave Twilight's Kingdom aside for a moment) had a structure, and it's dealt with in a natural, flowing manner. But when it came to the map episodes of seasons five and six?

Those six episodes of the map in Twilight's new castle (three per season using two Mane Six members in specific episodes at least in two of them from The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone to Top Bolt) were few and far between as well, but they're also just where random friendship problems have happened throughout Equestria that two Mane Six memebers were called down to find - The Cutie Map not withstanding since all of them were involved in that two-parter. Randomness for the show may not have been much of a good thing, but these particular episodes are where randomness can be done right- that is if you're coming up with newer ideas and concepts for plotlines at the same time.

(See our "Newer Ideas" *SAVE* above for more details, but) If we go back to Season 3 with The Crystal Empire, and the end of Part 2, we have Princesses Celestia and Luna looking at a spiral bound book. "What did it mean?" is what some fans had wondered for at least three months. Said book was featured in Magical Mystery Cure, and we all know what happened next, right? It even paved the way for Season 4's story arc, which paved way for Season 5's, which paved way for Season 6's, etc, etc, you get the idea. (Oh, and have you heard of Everfree's theme song being nominated for a Daytime Emmy? I was most indignant to say the least.)

And if you need more info, see Part 1 of this post for more details on how characters can be developed (like when I used Discord as a prime example in the "Develop Characters Properly Via Their Character Arcs" *SAVE*). Next!

Now here's where The Cutie Re-Mark comes to mind on part of the subject. Long story short, it spent too much time on the bad futures it very much gets to the point where Starlight's backstory feels like a sloppy afterthought, along with her redemption. Really, they could've removed the backstory altogether, make Starlight realize that upon seeing the barren wasteland that all this isn't really worth it, and accept the consequences of her actions. Or, you know, just spread it out over three episodes. Either solution would've been fine! We can't really name any others since Re-Mark stands above anything else, but if a villain is to have the proper motive for being, then they need one thing above anything as every other existing villain does; reason. But at the same time, it needs to develop much more than just a brief minute or two

But after The Cutie Re-Mark? Well, our thoughts on Starlight's arc in Season 6 are well-documented, but the Season 7 premiere Celestial Advice - oddly, a single episode - seems to mark the end of her redemption arc, as well as her tenure as Twilight's student; to which I ask - why? Why bother making Starlight a student for A WHOLE SEASON and yet dismiss it for the next? If Starlight had more prominence during Season 6, as well as having the whole season revolve around her being properly redeemed, then perhaps we wouldn't be so harsh, and it wouldn't have made Season 6 look like filler, even if some of the show's best episodes came from it!

And (getting a little off subject and recapping some of the "Save" factor on giving underdeveloped characters episodes of their own) we still have hope that even if Starlight's part ends up being nonsensical at most, the next premiere will give some powerful development to Celestia and handle every other character that was handled for the worst back in Season 6 (like Rainbow Dash, Twilight, and Rarity) much better at best, as well as not effect any other good character for the worst (like Discord, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy).

Now here's where we discuss the upcoming movie. When it comes to this "save", it's that we're anticipating it strongly not just to see what it has to offer, but also how it can revolutionize the entire franchise in a good way- if not the best way possible. There, of course, is a lot to be excited for; the fact that it's a movie based around the actual show (not that we have anything against EG, of course), the visuals so far look appealing and - dare I say - more realistic, the new characters look promising, and the fact it's being written by Meghan McCarthy, with help from Rita Hsiao (Mulan, Toy Story 2). And I've already made a post dedicated entirely to those guest stars that'll make appearances for this film (like Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, and Zoe Saldana, etc.), so what about the other promising things like the actual plot and what it could revolve around?

The basic outline might have some similarities to Twilight's Kingdom (I'll get to that in the next section), but I think there's a fair amount to make the movie stand out against the Season 4 Finale. For the outline itself, the Mane Six leave Equestria to stop a threat - the Storm King - invading Ponyville. Like Tirek, the Storm King opposes ponies, but at this point, we're unclear as to WHY he hates them, but perhaps the King's backstory will be explained in flashback similar to Tirek's. That being said, they may not give him a redemption, and that's not so bad. Whilst traveling to stop the King, the Mane Six will meet new friends and overcome some challenges in the process. Perhaps the new characters will have a purpose to serve in the film, and each member of the Mane Five - excluding Twilight for now - could learn something from each new character or group of characters. Sure, it sounds like the season four arc, but it's in a movie that's at least ninety minutes long (just a guess, in case you're wondering) and it's on a grander scale.

Ever had a film that you wanted, and yet the writers mess it up completely? Yes, I'm referring to Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Last year, the film was hyped up as a huge deal. For nearly eight decades, people wanted to see the greatest superhero in the world take on the Bat, and when does that happen? TWO HOURS INTO THE MOVIE. ...give or take a few minutes. Most of the time, it's just the characters spewing nonsense out of their mouths and plot points randomly coming and going; it turned out to be a recipe for disaster, not helped by studio interference. Sound familiar?* Earlier this year, they gave us The LEGO Batman Movie, only that was written way better, and the characters are actually likable and engaging. Now, I know some of you are thinking, "Okay, but how does that relate to the MLP movie?"

The point is, even though Meghan is our favorite writer, even she could be prone to a slip-up or two. Ditto Rita, and she's only partaken in TWO Disney movies. I even heard from someone that fans aren't too happy about the plot synopsis for its similarities to Twilight's Kingdom. That could be a cause for concern, especially when a first trailer comes out (if any). I don't think it'll be a direct clone of Twilight's Kingdom, but Meghan and Rita will need to do a lot to make it stand out from (arguably) THE best episode of the show.

As with our final thoughts on our last post, we could consider them to be the same that we'd have for this one as well. For me personally, after doing our first ever collab post on avoiding terrible writing, we could come up with more and more, but since you Zack came up with the idea to come up with the show's downfalls after taking inspiration from two posts that did the same thing with the DC Extended Universe, we went with this just now. And just to let those of you who tune in to our blogs know (and I'm kinda getting a little off topic here), we'll be doing two more collabs after Season 7 this year on both boring and mean-spirited episodes. But getting back to how this year could save, yet at the same time, kill the series, these are what we have to give off as possibilities on how Hasbro could redeem or ruin the show. But if they can read this through clearly (that is if they even take posts like ours on a serious note) then I think they can see clearly at both the possible ups and downs for the show.

At this stage, this is how each season has gone, from one to six - good (1), hasn't aged well (2), underrated (3), amazing (4), meh (5), and bad (6). It really is up to Season 7 to save the show... or it could sink it like the Titanic, and then in which case, it's gone on for too long. Hopefully, the former. So all we can say here is we're just hoping MLP will redeemed once and for all. We do think it should come to a close eventually- if not sooner, but our most recent collab posts on the overview of MLP's downfall and this one and the saviors and enemies on the show's potential, should be more than enough help to convince Hasbro to pull their act together (assuming they'll hear us out anytime soon).

This has been Tyler Smith, and Zack Wanzer
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

MLP:FIM ~ How 2017 Can Save (Or Kill) the Series (ft. The Railfan Brony) Part 1

Remember in our previous collaborative post when I said that Hasbro let MLP's popularity get to their heads? Yeah, well, it feels like it, especially with as there is a chance that the three summer EG specials could end up retreading Legend of Everfree. Similar to a post on what could save and kill the Extended DC Universe, we're looking at those savings and killing that could effect MLP's possible potential later on. So let's get to it, shall we?

There are several particular writers we can name; those who started off greatly but then slowly went downhill, those who were seemingly lucky with their work in spite of maybe one or two dark spots while still remaining admirable, those who just failed on their first try, and those who's episodes tend to be either hit-or-miss.

One such case for writers who tend to be hit-or-miss is Mike Vogel. He wasn't that good during season six. The episodes he worked on tended to A) be predictable and/or uninteresting (The Cart Before the Ponies), or B) spell out the problems fans (and not just us, mind) had with Starlight Glimmer (Every Little Thing She Does). More often than not, his episodes suffered from both issues. The same could be said for Nick Confalone (who, I should note, is writing for season seven) - Party Pooped was a mess, Hearthbreakers and The Saddle Row Review were just dull, and No Second Prances? Yeech! The only episode from him thus far that was half decent was Dungeons and Discords, but that's it.

For those who were just doomed from the start, Neal Dusedau is one such example. While I can't exactly say that Princess Spike was 'bad', and was admittedly okay by my standards at least, it earns lots of hatred for how Neal Dusedau wrote for everypony's favorite baby dragon. And while Applejack's "Day" Off was rather acceptable to where we're both neutral towards it, it's What About Discord? that's our main problem, to the point where sometimes we're both wondering what's going through his head when he writes for beloved characters like my personal favorite. So in Dusedau's case, by most fans, he just failed with anything he took shots at. This might be a bit contentious, but M.A. Larson easily falls into that category as well; for every Amending Fences he gets right, there's also a Ponyville Confidential he gets wrong. But when it comes to presenting morals, they're shoved down your throat at best and send mixed messages at worst.

As for those that started off nicely but lost it all eventually, Josh Haber would be the best example. Sure, we'll admit he did do fine when he worked alongside an expert writer or two like Dave Polsky and Meghan McCarthy, but when he writes episodes on his own, the problems he seems to make with his installments tend to be straight up boring (Bloom & Gloom, anypony?), or poorly bankrupt (hey there, The Crystalling). So long story short, he may have been having, shall we say, dumb luck in Season 4 (the best season of the series no doubt), but every preceding season afterward seemed to be where he completely forgot what makes a good episode. Though he was admittedly intelligent with Vogel when they both worked on Stranger Than Fan Fiction. And we would've consider To Where and Back Again something admirable... but next time, they really need to know when to time an episode correctly!

So with the weak ones like Josh Haber gone, and other recurring ones with real potential like Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (together), and finally, after Season 6 has passed, G.M. Berrow, Season 7's sure to have something of an impact, but with other good ones like Jennifer Skelly taking a hiatus until next year with Season 8, and Noelle Benvenuti not given a current status on whether or not she'll be coming back, we never exactly know just how this next season will turn out to be.

Not too long ago, I posted a status post on DeviantArt to express my brief views on the upcoming book Magic, Magic Everywhere. The synopsis they presented did not fill me with any hope for the summer specials at all, and the fact that they've come off the heels of Legend of Everfree doesn't really help. And as I've stated in our last post together, there's really nothing we take in the newer films after Rainbow Rocks other than Sunset herself. This is to where everyone else in the newer sequels weren't handled well and we feel as though the only person who knows how to make something in the spinoff films good is Friendship Is Magic's chairwomen Ms. Meghan McCarthy. But will she write another EG film or special after the official MLP movie (which we'll get to later)? A bit doubtful; neither possible nor impossible - just doubtful. So if there's really any hope for the spinoff franchise, it's basically only McCarthy herself since she's literally spot on with everything she writes for, but the less said about her involvement with 28 Pranks Later the better.

Now this is one where Twilight and Rainbow Dash (and sometimes even Rarity) are the first characters that come to our minds. Cause we feel that over the past season they've got the worst treatment while Pinkie and Fluttershy got the strongest reputations of character development throughout (and of course Applejack being thankfully redeemed before the disastrous finale). For those of you who've been living under a rock, let me explain what flanderization is - it takes a single action or trait a character is known for and it becomes exaggerated over the years to the point it's their ONLY trait. It came from Ned Flanders of The Simpsons where he started off a considerate neighbor and attentive father, but in nature, he willingly paid attention in church - in other words, a contrast to Homer - but as time went by, Flanders became obsessively religious to the point you wish he could shut up.

(And calm down; this isn't an attack on religious people. I just wanted to provide an example here.)

A couple ways characters for this series, like the two I just mentioned, can get back to their REAL selves instead of being a bunch of hypocrites or jerks on a permanent basis is to work them back up to who they're meant to be (much like Fluttershy throughout Season 6), or simply to avoid derailing them into something they're not. EVER! AGAIN! So if they're really going to bring things back to normal in the nick of time, both these factors need to be taken seriously...

With No Second Prances as an example of how you should not write for a particular character, that episode, for us, was what wrecked Twilight's likability. She had undergone great development in Magical Mystery Cure, Twilight's Kingdom and especially Amending Fences - all of that undermined by Confalone. And considering how she'd gotten worse during season six with The Times They Are A Changeling, it's the kind of writing that makes you wonder if Twilight even deserves that title as Princess of Friendship.

So that may be some cases as to how characters can be handled better as to help save the series from corruption, but what about the thing that could kill the show via its characters? Well...

If there's any character I'd NEVER wish to see again, it's Timber Spruce. You can see my character analysis for fuller details, but long story short, he's a jerkface that should never have been animated to begin with. And then alongside Gloriosa Daisy and Sci-Twi especially (at least for the spinoff films), there's also plenty of other loathsome characters in the main series, whether or not they served somewhat of a purpose while others are just... well, there (for no reason whatsoever)! Plaid Stripes, Prince Blueblood, Prince Rutherford, Svengallop, you get the idea.
  1. Good greif, Plaid Stripes makes me want to rip my hair out! That whiny voice, her eyesore of a design, and that ending shot with her... bleugh! I've got nothing more to say.
  2. With Prince Blueblood, he's exactly what Rarity considered him to be; a royal pain! I mean think about it; he literally has no redeeming quality of being a gentleman (or gentlecolt, or... whatever you prefer to call any stallions or colts in this case) since he constantly has unbelievably bad manners like when he tried out Applejack's pie recipes, and he even used Rarity as a shield from a flying cake!! If there's really any comeuppance I myself would like to see him get after Rarity only flicking a bit of cake in his face, it's Spike roasting him with his flame breath to teach him a lesson in manners - and this of which I'd like to see him act out right in front of his rightful date Rarity.
  3. And does anyone actually remember Prince Rutherford? No? Then you've pretty much figured out his problem - he's totally forgettable. That aside, he's an annoying stereotype, and acts like an ungrateful crybaby just because it's "not Yakyakistan". Seriously, Diamond Tiara has more maturity than that, and she was a spoiled rich filly! (No pun intended.) So yeah, if a character is a cultural/real world stereotype, they're pretty much in the Bottom 10.
  4. And then there's by far THE worst pony of the main series; Svengallop. Good golly was he straight up loathsome in every conceivable way. Sure, he may have served a purpose in The Mane Attraction's plot as did Zesty Gourmand in that of Spice Up Your Life in the preceding season, but he's a character that still just grinds on you no matter where or when he shows up, be it his obnoxiously irritating voice, sadistic personality, and just anything else that makes him unlikable - whom of which you really want to kick his sorry flank so hard he won't even know what hit him. (Very much everything about how awful Svengallop has been said, so moving on to...)

Ever wanted more out of particular characters (like Starlight in our case) to develop properly with a lot more realistic execution? Well, sometimes, if there are too many writers and there's no communication amongst them, that can lead to confusion... but without the delays. (Yes, I know the joke wasn't even funny, but anyway.) Seriously though, every writer has his or her own style, as well as an interpretation on each of the main characters.

Take Discord for example: When he questioned why he didn't his own throne in by far the show's best episode known as Twilight's Kingdom, Fluttershy told him he wasn't quite there yet... and we think she does make a point. And at first, I personally would've wanted him to get ASAP before the series finale since they announced Season 5 afterward. However, when this subject comes to mind, to make more sense, it's really something that should be built up to overtime in order to be handled expertly. I mean Season 4 did this between various episodes throughout when Twilight and her friends all received their keys to the Chest of Harmony from different ponies to build up to Twilight getting her own castle once they opened the chest as to also defeating Tirek, so why not do the exact same thing with Discord building up to getting his throne in the Season 4 Finale? Insert the whole "new ideas" factor into that particular season without entirely repeating every last plot in Season 4.

And we can most definitely understand that Mr. John de Lancie himself doesn't have all the time in his day, or even his life for that matter (since he obviously keeps on aging, meaning it's a major fact of life), but just for the sake of giving him a realistic and complex character arc as to giving him his throne, can Discord be a regular for just one little season and then go back to his usual two or three episodes (plot wise) per season agenda? And to give total prof of this, during an interview with pegasister ILoveKimPossibleALot, he made a reply about his character; "There would be nothing worse than having to go everyday to play Discord." And we have serious respect for the man who made appearances in Breaking Bad and Star Trek: The Next Generation. But even still, don't rush anymore things like you did with Starlight's so called *character arc*, Hasbro. We doubt we'd ever be able to take one of those again.

So in the end, just make sure you've got a good idea with that character, otherwise, you'll won't get the results you'll want. (Hey there, Flash in Everfree)

Remember in the previous collab post when I said that Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? aired too late and that To Where and Back Again aired too soon? There's also some episodes during seasons five and six that could also easily fit during the first four (Buckball Season and Tanks for the Memories being two excellent examples), but since they're slice of life based, they immune to our criticism.

And there may some like both of Nick Confalone's second episodes in both seasons (after both of his atrocious ones that are Party Pooped and No Second Prances); Hearthbreakers before the end of the season when the finale almost reached December, and The Saddle Row Review, which we'd say would been more suiting right after Season 6's premiere; in other words, right before The Gift of the Maud Pie instead of some other time later in Season 6's first half. We'll admit though they're not technically bad, but at the same time, they're still nothing special either. It's one of those things that makes you wonder, "did the writers plan any of this through?" Frankly, they could've outlined where MLP was going before they wrote the first episode. If they wanted to make Starlight a main character, at least know what you're doing. Ditto the Equestria Girls films - they could've at least determined if Flash and Sunset's past was going to be important, and to give it a minute's worth of screentime in Everfree makes that subplot worse as not only did it come from nowhere, it also led to nothing.

Now there's plenty to discuss for this one, I can tell you that much. No matter how much we might criticize seasons five and six, one of the best things out of both was giving some development to Big Macintosh, in Brotherhooves Social and Where the Apple Lies, respectively.  There are others we'd like to see more of like Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, and even those who've only been plot devices so far like Flurry Heart and Sunburst. But since Princess Celestia's supposed to be getting an episode of her own (finally) in this upcoming, we are having high hopes that we'll see her give it her all, and make our jaws drop in amazement as much as Big Macintosh did in Brotherhooves and Apple Lies. And with Rainbow Dash's and Applejack's parents, there's more where that came from. (Despite that their parents will only be newly introduced, but anyway) If you write an episode that could've ended up in any season, that's not a huge deal. What IS a huge deal is that if an episode that wrecks character development they've had up to this point, then you should know you've done royally screwed up. ...unless your name is Scott Sonneborn.

And we don't know about Luna, but characters like Cadance, Shining Armor, and just any other characters that still leave much to be desired as I said could really use episodes of their own, assuming they have possible potential. Sometimes if Disney characters can their own film or franchise like Peter Pan's Tinkerbell can get her own film (and later her own franchise) and even the most overrated animated flick Frozen can get more than what it is, then we think the same can be said for a few characters we're wanting more out of for MLP.

What makes a good episode or movie is that the story structure must have the following - likable characters, consistent pacing, and above all else, entertainment. But if all of these aspects aren't the case, and are rather something that just pop to mind with no reason of it existing at all, then there's a serious problem going on...

One such example is What About Discord?, one of the show's most despised episodes by the fandom; it makes The Mysterious Mare Do Well look like Twilight's Kingdom. So what went wrong with it? Everything, that's what! They wanted to show Twilight as being in the wrong, but it backfired as she just wanted to know what actually happened between Discord and the rest of the Mane Six whilst she was organizing her books for the umpteenth time. Instead, you end up being sorry for her because they kept shoving in her face that "she wasn't there". Not only that, but as they explain what goes on, they use jokes to try and distract you from the fact that it's taking way too long to get to the punchline, and it becomes tedious by the second. It almost makes you go something like, "For Pete's sake, just get to the point already!!" Then there's the moral; they want to say it's okay to be jealous, but instead, it comes off as "you can berate your friend much as you like for not being there on that day, but it's okay in the end since it was all done on purpose". Just... no.

Not only did the Mane Five come off as insensitive jerks toward Twilight, it also nearly wrecked Discord's likability as a character (thankfully, Season 6 helped in some way to make us forget that), the moral came off as a mixed message at best and a toxic one at worst, the jokes were either forced or unfunny, and on top of that, the plot barely made sense from A to B! It may as well end up at the bottom of the "C" for all I care...

And there have been others like The Cart Before the Ponies, Applejack's "Day" Off, and the atrociously overrated Slice of Life, but that's about all we can name as it would be hard for us to name more overtime. There plenty of other examples we could list, but What About Discord? (my most hated episode... if To Where and Back Again would've aired much later on) could probably be the primmest of them all.

Continuing in Part 2...

Friday, March 10, 2017

Blast to the Past: Happy Mario Day - Mario Games I've Reviewed (So Far) (Supercut)

Since it's Mario Day and I'm posting maybe a little too late in the day, I shall be bringing back memories of every Mario game I've reviewed on my blog here so far. If you want more out of them, be sure to check out my countdowns of levels, bosses, and music tracks on nearly each one during your search on my blog. For even more detail on Mario day, be sure to check out my original Happy Mario Day post from last year.

Happy Mario Day, everyone!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Super Mario Kart - Top Five Music Tracks (Supercut)

Do you agree with my choices?
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