Thursday, 25 August 2016

Text Review Roundup: "The Times They Are a Changeling"

Thorax hissing with hunger
It's awfully clever how he manages to avoid the channel logo like that!
Before I forget: a while back, I said I was disappointed in the disappearance of the Unleash the Fanboy reviews – it's such a shame that none of the major geeky sites take much interest in Pony any more, as I'd have loved to have seen what they made of "Stranger than Fan Fiction". However, all is not lost! Daniel Alvarez, who wrote the UtF pieces, is still around and still writing text-based MLP reviews: he's the guy behind Articles of Destroyer!

Right; onward. With a few exceptions, the text-based reviewers really liked this one, and that fits with the very positive reception the episode had over on UK of Equestria. It's actually quite interesting to compare this with the generally pretty negative commenters on Chris's blog post about the episode, but that's not what I'm here for right now, so let's move on:

ArthurCrane – extremely positive ("pretty damn terrific")

Articles of Destroyer – quite positive (rated 8/10; "very solid")

BatBrony Reviews – very positive ("exactly what MLP is supposed to be all about")

Derpy News – wildly positive (graded A+; "wonderful")

Michaelsety – slightly negative (graded C; "the story has some emptiness")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "new writers who properly get this show")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive ("this episode just knocked it out of the park")

MLP Fanatic – extremely positive ("definitely going to join my all time favorite episodes")

The Railfan Brony Blog – negative (great concept but poor execution)

The Super Mario Brony Blog – very negative (one star; "yet another rushed redemption")

Super Recaps – mostly positive ("what it gets right is way more than what it gets wrong")

TheDragonWarlock – very positive (graded A-; "a very strong episode for Spike")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – extremely positive (rated 95%; "packed with depth and profundity")


  1. .... It's just me or the season 6 has been EXTREMELY polarizing so far?

    There are many people who are really loving it but at the same time many who are hating it.

    I for one think the season has been great so far, as all the episodes (except Newbie Dash, Applejack's Day Off and The Cart Before the Ponies) were AT LEAST a 9/10 to me.

    1. There does seem to be something in that, yes. I'm somewhere in the middle, in that my main complaint isn't that there have been awful episodes, but that there have been too many that elicit little more than a shrug. "Applejack's 'Day' Off" is my least favourite so far, and even that's not one I hate.

      Since you bring the episode up, "Newbie Dash" is probably the most polarising ep of the lot this season so far. I gave it four stars and still like it a good deal, and it came third in the UK of E poll (of S6 up to the hiatus), yet there are plenty of people who think it's one of the worst episodes the show's ever done.

    2. (I'm the same anonymous of above)

      Actually ND is my most liked of the episodes I gave less of 9/10.... for that matter I'd have gave it a 9/10.... if it was for those cringy imitations...

      My least favorite would be The Cart Before the Ponies. My most hated writing exploit: making the characters acting badly just for the sake of the story. AJ, RD and Rarity were TERRIBLE there. I'll say here: if it wasn't for the song, that episode would be in my top 10 least favorites episodes of the show (which would say something as the only post alicorn Twilight episodes I legittimately disliked were Somepony To Watch Over Me and What About Discord). Luckily 28 Pranks Later and The Times They're a Changeling came up and gave me new hopes. Plus the next episode is written by Confalone, which I think has been the best writer in this season, tied with Mike Vogel, so I'm really positive for it.

    3. I agree with you about the annoying characterisation in "The Cart Before the Ponies", and that the song was the best thing in that episode. I wasn't a huge fan of "28 Pranks Later", but last week's was a different story and was very good.

      About Nick Confalone... I have mixed feelings about "No Second Prances", but (like almost everyone else) I loved "The Saddle Row Review", so I'm also pretty optimistic. :)

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    5. Ah.... anyway you're right about this season. As much I loved most of it's episodes, compared to the last two seasons the rate of misses has become higher (I mean I had only two episodes I wasn't a big fan for both S4 and S5, in S6 there are already three). I guess that it isn't so much of a surprise as Meghan McCarthy, M.A. Larson and Amy Keating Rogers, the three REAL columns who made this show great in the first place to me are all gone now (by being both writers or editors). Of course, I would be a jerk if I said that the S6 has no episodes with the same level of quality to me (The Gift of the Maud Pie, Gauntlet of Fire, No Second Prances, Heart's Warming Tail, The Saddle Row Review, Flutter Brutter, Stranger Than Fanfiction and The Times They are a Changeling. I also add 28 Pranks Later to the list despite the mixed reception because the Zombies part is one of my favorite moments in the entire show, making this episode my guiltest pleasure ever), but it is effectively true that the show is slowly losing its magic without them. Also I might point that for the S6 McCarthy, Haber, Vogel and Lenard were the ones who approved the scripts, but the latter three are now all gone as well, so I don't want to dare to immagine what could happen after the S6... So I guess it's time for me to do the same I did for the majority of the shows I loved in past, and quitting MLP at the right moment. I just need to find the right point to quit..... mmmmmhhhhhh.... the Movie might be a good point?

    6. Actually, I said a long time ago that I thought five seasons would be the right length for FiM, and maybe the uneven S6 is showing that there was something in that. I don't want it to end up like The Simpsons, going on for 20 years and becoming a shadow of its former self.

      It's a pretty personal decision, deciding when you've fallen out of love with a show, so in the end it has to be what you think is right. Personally, I won't be quitting, as I now consider myself a fan of MLP and not just of FiM. So I'll wait to see what G5 is like! :D