Big McIntosh is one who has certainly done himself wonders as a character what with some episodes in the past two seasons despite both being considerably average due to more poor writing than even Season 2. After the success of both Brotherhooves Social and Where the Apple Lies, we're now given a sequel to the underrated Hearts and Hooves Day; Hard to Say Anything. (Ironically of which, this is the second Cute Mark Crusaders episode with none of the Mane Six or Spike making even a cameo after one of Season 6's first, and most overhated installments On Your Marks) It could very well be another divisive episode among the fandom, but there are those who love and those who hate it. For me however, I loved it!
The Cutie Mark Crusaders discover that Big McIntosh has a crush on Sugar Belle, the baker from Starlight Glimmer's village. They encourage Big Mac to confess his feelings, but he is interrupted by Feather Bangs, a pompous stallion who also has affections for Sugar Belle. The Crusaders help Big Mac compete against Feather Bangs using romantic methods learned from fairy tales, but Sugar Belle is overwhelmed by their grandiose advances and rejects both stallions. Dejected, Big Mac and the Crusaders find a more suitable gift for Sugar Belle by building her a new bakery display case like she always wanted. Sugar Belle is delighted and accepts Big Mac's feelings, while the Crusaders decide to help the brokenhearted Feather Bangs find new love with his own admirers.
Hearts and Hooves Day has earned some bits of criticism among fans (more than critics) based on it's *stupid* humor and cliched story, but the way I see it, it's rather compelling, humorous, and realistic. The same could be said with Hard to Say Anything, but it's one I defend with great honor, and honestly feels like it took elements from Legend of Everfree (or Everfail as me and Zack the Railfan Brony prefer to call it), and fixed them up, like the story, the reasonable chemistry of love between Big Mac and his crush Sugar Belle, not to mention the bearability of the Justin Bieber-inspired Feather Bangs. He may not be the most endearing character of the season so far, but we can all agree though that he's at least more tolerable than Everfail's Timber Spruce. (You could say he's at least understandable by the very end of the episode, but we'll just have to see how he develops if he returns with an episode of his own; something of which I wouldn't mind seeing).
Getting to Big Mac's and the Crusaders' parts, Big Mac is just as excellent as he was during Seasons 5 and 6 (the less said about Apple Bloom's nightmare of him and his disturbing dialogue in Bloom & Gloom the better), and the Crusaders proved themselves to be just as quirky, lovable, and magnificent in their roles as well as any other episode centered around them (minus their childishly stupid selves in Stare Master during Season 1, and their hypocritical behavior towards Spike in the painful Just for Sidekicks from Season 3). Sugar Belle is just as likable of a character as everyone else as her personality just grows on you with no disliking towards her interest of pies and apples, and she's just... well, sweet in that sense. My only two grudges between Big Mac's and Sugar Belle's chemistry of a shipping is that I feel they aren't meant to be forever (as I'm personally a FlutterMac shipper after Filli Vanilli), and that Big Mac's song mixed with that of Feather Bangs doesn't feel like a song I could listen to a second time even if it does seem a little hilarious. So the episode may lack a bearable song, but for me, it doesn't destroy the overall plot's positive reputation completely.
With great plot pacing, plenty of good humor via the Crusaders' humorous, but failed attempts to hook Apple Bloom's brother up with Sugar Belle, a superb moral, a more bearable Timber Spruce for this series (even if he isn't exactly one of the all time greatest characters of the show as I said), and excellent portrayals of the Crusaders, Big Mac, Feather Bangs, and Sugar Belle, Hard to Say Anything comes off to me as something underrated that I feel it doesn't have that annoyance and unbearability that Not Asking for Trouble has (which I'll get to in a few weeks when the MLP Wikia uploads the episode's screenshot photos but anyway). Even if it isn't perfect what with its flawed song by Big Mac and his rival against Sugar Belle, the episode's laugh-out-loud moments, gripping storyline, and the excellent moral that comes across it, it still all adds up to an appreciative outing by newbie writer Becky Wangberg (let alone her very first).