Sunday, 23 December 2012

Review: "Apple Family Reunion" (S3E08)

The Apple Family in front of the barn
"Buy some Apples"? Slavery has been abolished, you know!
We're coming up to Hearth's Warming now, so Louder Yay will be taking a short break. Not quite yet, though! Tomorrow, you can look forward to a full review of the Season One DVD from Shout! Factory. In the meantime, here's what I thought of "Apple Family Reunion". This is a rather shorter review than I'd expected to write, since there wasn't a lot to write about. Follow me past the jump to find out more.

Poor old Cindy Morrow: although she has the honour of having written "Hurricane Fluttershy", as things stand she's also written my least favourite episode in all three seasons! "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and "Family Appreciation Day" also come last in my affections, and actually this latest episode is quite reminiscent in feel to "FAD". I don't know quite why, but in most cases ("Read It and Weep" is the other main exception) Morrow's episodes just don't feel particularly emotionally involving. Things happen, I watch them happen, I move on to something else.

Fruit bats flying in rainbow formation over the Apples
"Hey, it's a sonic rainbat!"
There were good things in this episode, and not only the welcome return of a letter to Celestia. Foal Applejack was adorable, Granny's elderly relations were a hoot and the fruit bats were great. The cameos by Rarity, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash were amusing. Babs got more of a part than I expected, but I was amazed that Braeburn didn't get a single line. A lot of fans are going to be very unhappy about that one! Mind you, it's hard to tell who is and who isn't in the Apple Family: one of the group shots (though not the final photo) included Carrot Top, Bon Bon and Cloudchaser...

There was a lot of excitement beforehand in some quarters of the fandom about the fact that Applejack was going to sing. In the event, the song rather left me cold. I suspect it would be spectacular if performed as a large-scale hoedown at a con, but it wasn't all that memorable as a piece to sit and listen to. And as plenty of other people have already pointed out, did nobody on the creative team notice that the lyrics sounded like "Racist barn"? I noticed that Babs didn't join in the singing, although Apple Bloom did; does Babs' VA not sing, then?

Two shooting stars above Sweet Apple Acres
But if they died that long ago, who are Apple Bloom's parents...?
One thing I only found out after writing the bulk of this review, and something which I think is very touching: according to none other than Sibsy, the two shooting stars we see from time to time in the episode represent AJ's parents. I think we can therefore infer fairly safely that yes, they are dead. (They're not even in any of the flashback photos.) That aside, though, I think this was (unfortunately) the least impressive episode of S3 so far, losing out to "One Bad Apple" because of the earlier episode's much better song.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect it would be spectacular if performed as a large-scale hoedown at a con

    I got that right! :D