Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Most and Least Rewatchable: Season One

Fluttershy singing "So Many Wonders"
Filly Fluttershy being cute. The horror!
I was wandering through the EQD archives earlier and came across this post from June, in which Seth chose the ten episodes he found the most rewatchable. I like the idea, but am going to tweak it slightly – and also add some negativity, just for the hay of it. I haven't kept statistics relating to how many times I've seen any particular episode, so these are simply how I feel about the eps I mention. Let's start with the winners:

The most rewatchable episodes of S1

3. Dragonshy
Okay, okay, I'll admit to some bias here, but this is still the early-season episode I watch the most often. Admittedly the underlying story is a fairly straightforward "Fluttershy confronts her fears for the sake of her friends" tale, but what I really like it for is all the little touches Meghan McCarthy's episode provides us with. Whether it's the A-Team parody montage, Pinkie's skill at noughts and crosses or the great "adventuring" music, this repays multiple viewings.

2. Suited for Success
Charlotte Fullerton's best episode by a distance is also one I never tire of seeing. The way it turns an utterly clich├ęd synopsis about magical castles, fashion shows and singing into outstanding entertainment is as impressive now as it was the first time I saw it. The visual design is excellent, the song is wonderful, all the ponies have their parts to play and there's some fabulous dialogue. Pinkie's "Give her time..." is one of the best lines in the entire show.

1. The Cutie Mark Chronicles
M. A. Larson's episode is an utter masterpiece. There's so much happening that you really have to watch it several times to pick it all up, yet the pacing is so good that it never feels rushed. Even though we now know so much more, it's still immensely satisfying to relive the moment the Mane Six realised just how important Rainbow Dash's sonic rainboom was to them all, to see them as stupidly cute fillies and to hear one of Fluttershy's most underrated songs. It's pretty much the perfect episode.

The least rewatchable episodes of S1

3. Boast Busters
This isn't so much bad as overrated – and I doubt all of that is Seth's doing. I'm not a big Trixie fan at the best of times, and this most definitely not the best of times. No episode of Friendship is Magic is worthless, and Twilight's early display of magic prowess is undeniably impressive, but most of the rest aggravates rather than entertains me. Also, Snips and Snails. Chris Savino only ever wrote two episodes of the show; this is by some distance the lower-ranked in my estimation.

2. The Ticket Master
You'd think an episode co-written by Lauren Faust and Amy Keating Rogers would be great, wouldn't you? Well, this isn't. Even allowing for its being so early in the show's run, it's not an episode that's ever managed to win my heart; even the Benny Hill sequence was done better in "A Bird in the Hoof". The entire premise seems rather off as well: unless the friendship lesson for Twilight is "sometimes even your mentors are idiots" then Celestia's behaviour in sending two tickets is pretty inexcusable.

1. Owl's Well That Ends Well
This episode was written by Cindy Morrow, who will be appearing on the other side of the ledger in the future but really missed the mark here. With a couple of exceptions – the "Spiked punch" joke, the ketchup scene – it's one of the most boring episodes in S1, and not just because it suffers by comparison with the two excellent eps that sandwich it in the season's run. The prime offender is, of course, Owlowiscious and his excruciating "Hoo?" joke, which is run into the ground so far it's probably struck oil by now.


  1. I watched Party of One like 20 times in a row when it first aired. :V

    1. PoO, as I like to call it, only just missed out here. I like it a good deal, but it takes a while to really get going -- and episodes I often only rewatch bits of don't quite get in.

  2. In terms of episodes I keep going back to, the first ever episode is probably King for this particular season. Just reminding myself how far the characters have come since those magical first moments.

    For an episode I'd rather not go back to see, that would most likely be Bridle Gossip. The mane 6 are generally annoying, particularly AJ.

    1. The S1 premiere is a bit of a special case, granted, but I don't watch it all that often myself. As for "Bridle Gossip", that's an interesting choice. Although I wouldn't personally place it that low, I do think it's overrated, largely because of Flutterguy.

  3. Most liked of season one would be Party of One. Least liked would be The Show Stoppers.

    1. "Party of One" just missed out on the winners list; I like it a lot, but I spend most of the first half of the episode waiting for the second half to start! "The Show Stoppers" is one I like more than most people seem to, but I don't rewatch it often, and as I'm trying to distinguish between "best" and "most rewatched" here, "TSS" doesn't come very high up.

  4. Heh. To me the S1 has the least amount of episode I'd rewatch, considering that I dislike 9 episodes from that season (the Pilot, Tcket Master, Boast Busters, Feeling Pinkie Keen, Stare Master, The Show Stoppers, Over A Barrel and A Bird in the Hoof) plus other 4 I'm Indifferent toward (Griffon Off Brush, Call of The Cutie, Briddle Gossip, and Owl's Wll).

    The S2 to S6 episodes I disliked were only 6 (The Cutie Pox, The Mysterios Mare Do Well, One Bad Apple, Apple Family Reunion, Somepony To Watch Over Me and What About Discord) plus other 4 I'm neutral about them (Dragon Quest, Rainbow Falls, Princess Spike and The Cart Before the Ponies).

    Of course, I'm not saying that all the other episodes of the last five seasons are highly rewatchable for me, but every single one of those had at least a single element that makes me returning on it. Heck, even Spike at Your Service despite the bad writing had several of my favorite gags in the show to date.

    1. I largely agree with your S2–S6 choices, and you'll see at least some of those in the "Least rewatchable" list for future seasons. S1 is a little different: I quite like "Stare Master" (okay, Fluttershy bias) and even "The Show Stoppers". The big difference between us is "A Bird in the Hoof", which I really like.