Sunday, 4 August 2013

Video review: "Seed No Evil" (Friendship is Witchcraft E09)

 

This release (go here if you can't see the video above) really caught me by surprise! I knew that this episode would be based on "One Bad Apple", but I wasn't expecting it to appear until the autumn. I wasn't quite as blown away as many by "Foaly Matripony", but FiW certainly remains my favourite series of this type, in any fandom. There was a real twist in this episode (although not a real Twist) that I wasn't expecting at all, and that has caused a little bit of an uneven reaction. What did I think? You know the form by now: past the jump, everypony!

When I first found out what this episode would be based on, I did wonder whether "One Bad Seed" was a strong enough story to last a full 15 minutes. The answer appears to be no... but that doesn't matter, because of its "story within a story" section. (While I'm on the subject, guys: that trope was around several aeons before Inception existed, m'okay?) As you'd expect, the main part of the FiW version stars the CMC, which of course means a welcome return for Sweetie Bot.

A lot of fans were rather dissatisfied with the way in which "One Bad Apple" was resolved, and the FiW team are pretty much on the mark with their commentary on that. Poor Scootaloo gets the rough end of the stick once again ("But I'm the third wheel!) and Apple Bloom is... well, the "Apple Bloom Goes Grave Robbing" caption slayed me — although she doesn't allude to "Buy some [canteloupes]" once, so presumably Dole Corp. won a superinjunction. Sweetie has the best scene with her car alarm impression!

I felt the last-second "nope" when it came to the CMC song was a little mean-spirited, and it actually felt as though the team wanted to include it but ran out of time; I hope we'll get to hear "Bully Bandstand" at some point. Into the cinema and we then watch several minutes of "Snowblind", a rather cruel but razor-sharp dissection of the fan-made episode "Snowdrop". Now, I liked "Snowdrop", but I can't deny that its sentimental nature made it fair game for a parody series. The rejigged story, which links into Babs Seed getting her come-uppance, is pretty nice.

There are the usual clever references throughout the episode, many of which I probably missed, though the fact that the Equestria Girls movie has turned out to be quite decent makes one early joke a little bit less funny than it might be. As you'd expect from FiW, there are also callbacks to earlier episodes, such as the little snatch of "Friday" played at the carnival and Celestia's comment about Twilight pretending to be a fifth-grader. Oh, and at the end of the whole thing we do get a song. It's short, it's brutal... and it's very funny.

Oh, and "Ellie Mint" is in the credits for "Snowblind". This is just ridiculously perfect.

Yays
  • Frequently very funny
  • The "Snowblind" sequence is cleverly done
  • Sweetie Bot returns!
Neighs
  • Seems slightly rushed in places
  • I want to hear "Bully Bandstand"
  • Applejack's train fetish is disturbing!
8/10


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