Sunday, 4 December 2022

My Little Repeats 129: "Spice Up Your Life"

"Second word. Sounds like 'bestie'. Really?"

S6E12: "Spice Up Your Life"

11 Jun 2016

My original rating: ★★★
IMDb score: 7.7

The one with the return of Pinkie's pig costume

Thoughts: Mike Vogel returns with an interestingly different Pony episode. Sadly they didn't quite go the whole hog and make the episode's very decent song into a Bollywood spectacular (although I'm sure I once read that it was considered early on) but the travails of an Indian restaurant in Canterlot wasn't something we'd seen before. Also, yay for this not being in Manehattan. The Tasty Treat's Saffron and Coriander are good guest characters, and I'm a little sad we didn't see them after this episode. (Fun fact: Saffron is voiced by Diana Kaarina, who also voiced Aria Blaze in Rainbow Rocks.) Pinkie and Rarity make a yes-and-no team-up as the Cutie Map makes its first S6 appearance: Pinkie is generally great, encouraging and inspiring in the way she does best. Rarity is perhaps a little more snooty and a little less three-dimensional than she should be by this point, though the flattest character is Zesty Gourmand. It's a shame to see the easy route to depicting a critic (he says during a review!) and a comparison with Hoity Toity from S1 is quite instructive. Also, minor annoyance in the animation: I find it hard to believe Minuette would turn up her nose at the food. She never came across as snobbish in "Amending Fences"! This is still quite an enjoyable episode, in spite of the "don't change who you are" moral hardly being original. The atmosphere, visuals and music help. So, another three-star episode. It's lifted above the average by the animation touches, but not that far above the average.

Choice quote: Pinkie: "That's true times three!"

New rating:

Next time, I'll be rewatching "Stranger than Fan Fiction", which I had a whale of a time with in 2016. Hopefully the same will be true in 2022!

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Ponyfic Roundup 419

Read it Later story count: 91 (-4)

It's finally getting colder here. I've been wearing my winter coat for the first time in many months, and today I even put on a thin pair of gloves. It's not that cold (as I type it's just over five degrees) but after a very mild earlier autumn it's still a minor shock to the system. With heating costs here now outstripping the budgets of many small countries, it's good to snuggle up with a bit of escapist equine literature. This week, I'm looking at four stories. I bet you're shocked, aren't you?

Queen of Clubs by horizon
Don't Look Back in Anger by Super Trampoline
Feared Abandonment by TheEvilCookie
Am I Senna? by Apple Lauda

★: 2 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 0 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0
Note: I use a skewed rating system. A fic I enjoy an average amount scores two stars.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

My Little Repeats 128: Flutter Brutter

"Zephyr, what does that manestyle say about who you are?"

S6E11: "Flutter Brutter"

4 Jun 2016

My original rating: ★★★
IMDb score: 6.9

The one with G3 Rainbow's cutie mark (on the curtains)

Thoughts: Fluttershy's family are finally introduced here, rendering non-canon-compliant all those fics about how pegasi don't have close familial bonds. Given Zephyr Breeze, some may respond "Shame". Still, this is Fluttershy's ep. She's excellent in it, demonstrating character development and a slightly steelier edge since her early days but without having lost her inherent kindness. This is a 'Shy who feels like she should at this point in the series, and indeed this is among my favourites of her episodes in later FiM. The episode is quite American in a "You've been 18 for fourteen seconds, why aren't you in your own house yet?" way, but let's be honest: Zephyr is so annoying that our sympathy for him is always likely to be a bit limited. (Especially when he's trying to hit on Rainbow, though that does lead to a fun misunderstanding from the Shy parents at the end. Poor Dash.) Perhaps Zephyr's personality is a bit over-the-top even for a cartoon, but fortunately the action keeps moving so we don't get bogged down. The song is a pretty good one, if not world-class, and there's even a fun background Zelda reference. I think "Flutter Brutter" is worthy of keeping its high three-star rating.

Choice quote: Zephyr Breeze: "Turns out the animal communication thing isn't genetic."

New rating:

Next time, I'll be rewatching "Spice Up Your Life", which I moderately enjoyed, but not quite as much as some of the fandom did.

Friday, 25 November 2022

Officially uploaded FiM episode list

Since Hasbro has been uploading Friendship is Magic episodes to YouTube in a pretty haphazard way, here is a linked list of everything that I've found so far. I would be very happy to hear of any I've missed, although I am only interested in full-length episodes uploaded, cleanly and in full, by an official source, most likely the "My Little Pony Official" YouTube account.

Bear in mind that some video titles are misleading, even on the official account. For example, this one's might lead you to believe it was "Lesson Zero". It isn't. It's one scene from that episode, followed by a bunch of other scenes from unconnected episodes. For the purposes of this post, all I want is the actual episodes, as seen in the lists below.

So far, this is what I've managed to dig up. It's a start, at least! Edit: I've also added Rainbow Rocks. It's not FiM of course, but it's the only EqG content to be added that wasn't free from the start like the shorts and specials were. So it seemed a little churlish to leave it out. :P

FiM Season 1

S1E01 Friendship is Magic, part 1
S1E02 Friendship is Magic, part 2
S1E03 The Ticket Master
S1E04 Applebuck Season
S1E05 Griffon the Brush Off
S1E06 Boast Busters
S1E07 Dragonshy
S1E08 Look Before You Sleep
S1E09 Bridle Gossip
S1E10 Swarm of the Century
S1E11 Winter Wrap Up
S1E12 Call of the Cutie
S1E13 Fall Weather Friends
S1E14 Suited for Success
S1E15 Feeling Pinkie Keen

FiM Season 2

S2E01/02 The Return of Harmony, parts 1 & 2 (combined)
S2E04 Luna Eclipsed
S2E11 Hearth's Warming Eve
S2E12 Family Appreciation Day
S2E25/26 A Canterlot Wedding, parts 1 & 2 (combined)

FiM Season 4

S4E03 Castle Mane-ia
S4E07 Bats!

FiM Season 6

S6E08 A Hearth's Warming Tail

Equestria Girls

EQG2 Rainbow Rocks

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Ponyfic Roundup 418

Read it Later story count: 95 (+5)

A bit of a boost to the RiL tally this week, partly because of a few contest entries being added and partly because of a couple of stories that were well reviewed elsewhere. As far as my reviewing goes, it's time for another set of four short stories. As a sneak preview, I'll be reading a longer fic over the Hearth's Warming break, but you'll have to wait and see to find out which longer fic. Not Project Horizons, I think I can disclose that much! Here we go:

Tirek Season by TheDriderPony
Adagio Dazzle, Fanfiction Author by Majin Syeekoh
Feared Abandonment by TheEvilCookie
Misty Needs a Hug by EileenSaysHi

★: 1 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0
Note: I use a skewed rating system. A fic I enjoy an average amount scores two stars.

Monday, 21 November 2022

"Winter Wishday" is out today!

For those with Netflix or with... other means to acquire the special, "Winter Wishday" has now been released. I'm not sure whether or not it officially counts as the first episode of Chapter 3, or whether it's meant as a standalone special, but either way it's out there. I will be watching it, but not for a little while as I have a lot of other stuff to catch up on. Not least the little reviews of Chapter 2 episodes, which I hope to begin on by this weekend.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

My Little Repeats 127: "Applejack's 'Day' Off"

"Er, Twilight? I think Troubleshoes has already made this act his own"

S6E10: "Applejack's 'Day' Off"

28 May 2016

My original rating: ★★
IMDb score: 6.3

The one with Rarity pronouncing "schedule" the British way

Thoughts: This was written by the Fox brothers, with Neal Dusedau in addition for story duties. Let's be honest, that's not the most inspiring FiM team. And look at that IMDb score. Not great, is it? Even allowing for IMDb-ishness, that's not the sign of a popular episode. It wasn't particularly popular with me either, as my 2016 review score shows. What I remembered, and indeed said back then, was that I wasn't actively repulsed by it but that it just wasn't all that interesting to me. This is still the case: the 22 minutes really do not fly by. Now, a lower-key, small-town feel isn't a bad thing in itself, of course. But I'm afraid this one just feels dull. It also doesn't help that for some of the routines Applejack with eg the pig-feeding, her having stuck to them all this time without thinking about it requires her to be frankly rather stupid. And AJ is not rather stupid, nor even always set in her ways. Indeed, when she fixes the spa machinery her intelligence is there for all to see. Twilight and Spike don't do a whole lot that's actually interesting in this episode, at least not until fixing the farm irrigation system at the end. Rarity has a decent showing in this episode and is probably the most entertaining character pretty much throughout, though Rainbow's pretence that she doesn't like spa pampering is amusing, or at least would be if the one joke didn't go on quite so long. (Her Tank slippers get a point, though!) So yeah, I'll stick with the two-star rating here. This isn't offensive, it's just not very interesting.

Choice quote: Rarity: "An hour of spa perfection? I can work with that."

New rating:

Next time, I'll be rewatching "Flutter Brutter", an episode which many people disliked (largely because they disliked a certain character in it...) but which I rather enjoyed.