Sunday, 24 June 2018

Season 8A – the UK of Equestria rankings

It's that time again – the mid-season hiatus, that is. This time around we had 15 lists submitted, up three on this time last year I'm pleased to say. One thing that was noticeable was how close things were in the middle of the pack, but there was a clear leader and an even clearer wooden-spooner. My own rankings are in brackets after the episode name.

1. "Surf and/or Turf" (1)

2. "The Mean 6" (5)
3. "The Break Up Breakdown" (4)

4. "Molt Down" (3)
5. "School Daze" (7)
6. "Horse Play" (2)
7. "Marks for Effort" (6)
8. "The Parent Map" (9)

9. "Fake It 'Til You Make It" (11)
10. "The Maud Couple" (10)
11. "Grannies Gone Wild" (8)

12. "Non-Compete Clause" (12)

Number of times each episode placed first
4: "Surf and/or Turf"
2: "Marks for Effort"
2: "Molt Down"
2: "The Break Up Breakdown"
1: "Fake It 'Til You Make It"
1: "Grannies Gone Wild"
1: "Horse Play"
1: "The Mean 6"
1: "The Parent Map"

Number of times each episode placed last
13: "Non-Compete Clause"
1: "Fake It 'Til You Make It"
1: "Grannies Gone Wild"

Most controversial (highest standard deviation)
1. "Fake It 'Til You Make It"
2. "Molt Down"
3. "The Break Up Breakdown"

Least controversial
1. "Non-Compete Clause"
2. "School Daze"
3. "The Maud Couple"

A notable feature of this list was the amount of disagreement: every single episode had at least two people placing it at ninth or below, and almost every single episode had at least one person placing it in the top three. (I'll get to the exception in a minute.) This may lend support to UK of E's general feeling that it was  a consistently decent half-season, but one without true standout episodes.

Although "Surf and/or Turf" was a clear winner, no fewer than nine episodes were chosen as S8A's best by at least one person. Compare this to S7A's rankings, when "A Royal Problem" ran away with the contest, being placed at the top of the class by nine out of 12 voters. Two episodes were given both first and last places: "Fake It 'Til You Make It" and "Grannies Gone Wild".

All but one episode had a standard deviation of rank between 2.640 and 3.871. The massive outlier, which scored just 0.561, was "Non-Compete Clause", by far the most consistently disliked episode since we started doing this in S4. Out of 15 people, one placed it tenth, one 11th... and everyone else last. Most didn't hate it, but all felt it was well below the standard of the half-season as a whole.


  1. Well, at least there's some disagreement for once. I just don't see what people like about this season anymore, and I don't think I'd give any of these episodes more than three stars, myself. :/

    1. The star ratings for these things don't directly correspond to the star ratings I give. I (nearly) always divide the responses into five tiers and score those accordingly. For me, everything this season has been two, thee or four stars, though "Non-Compete Clause" might have suffered a one had it not been for the Student Six.

  2. Non-Compete Clause is where it deserves to stay. It IS the worst episode we got in years BY FAR (I still hate the S6 finale WAY more, but still). For the rest.... I think Grannies Gone Wild is rated WAY too low. It might not be spectacular, but it's still a funny episode, and it has one of the best portrayals for Rainbow Dash in the series. I don't understand why many people hated it....

    Speaking of which, Logan, answering to what you told me the other day, here's the thing: Like I said, despite all the people who did a 180° toward them only because the S6 made them weakling in order to give 4 secondary characters the spotlight, the Mane 6 are still the pulsing core of the show for me, and I still watch it mainly for them. As a fan of them, is really that wrong to want to see the ending of their story, especially considering that there are only one and half seasons (plus a Christmas special) left? I don't understand why you answered me in that way. If I didn't know you better (and I know you very well at this point and I KNOW you still care for them) I would have seen your comment as an implication of passing to the dark side and coming to hate them myself.... And for your information: it was mainly the fan reaction to the S6 finale that drove me in my crisis at the time, not much the episode itself...

    1. I don't understand why you answered me in that way.

      Happy to explain. :) I remember back in S6, you got so worked up by everything that I was concerned for your health. It's unhealthy to let a TV show, even a TV show that's important to you (as it is to me) upset you that much. I love the Mane Six, but talk of "the dark side" and such is way over the top. I think it would be healthier if you didn't keep getting so wound up about the issue.

    2. Again: it is true that I suffered of some healthy issues because the way the Mane 6 were treated in the S6 finale, but only lately I realized it was mostly fault of the fandom. You maybe wasn't awared of it, but a lot of fans did a 180° against them after that episode aired. I've seen more and more hate against the Mane 6, the characters who brought fans on this show AND this fandom in the first place, only because they were made weakling in that finale. And as the time passed the worse they got: not only they deliberately ignored their best moments in the S7 and the Movie, but also seem to have forgot the ones from the first five seasons, like if they never happened in the first place. Episodes like Party of One, Amending Fences, Pinkie Pride or Hurricane Fluttershy have suddenly become reviled by the fandom ever since To Where and Back Again aired. You see what is my problem? It's how the fandom trend to react to the stupidest of the thing, and the fact that many people turned their back against the pulsing core of the show for such a stupid reason, made me suffering so much.....

      Ah... truth being told... I've seen this before, when I was in the gaming community... I mean people who suddenly come to hate franchises they love only for one bad entry... but I would have never guessed that MLP would meet the same fate as well, even less the Mane 6...

      Right now, all I want is to conclude the show, see the end of the story of the Mane 6 and moving on. I just hope that the reputation of the characters won't be irrimediably crushed by then. 37 eps are not so few...

    3. I don't agree with you. I don't agree that there is "more and more hate against the Mane 6" and I don't agree that those episodes you mentioned "have suddenly become reviled by the fandom". Those episodes are popular to this day.

    4. Ah.... Look Logan, you're free to disagree, but I Know what I saw. From ED, to MLP Wikia, to MLPforums, I've seen hundreds of People who turned their backs on them. And I can say it myself because... Some of those People were Close friends of mine...

      In any case, I don't want to fight or argue about this Logan sir. I just want to enjoy the rest of the show and to see the end of the story of the six characters that made me into it in the first place... I just hope fanship won't destroy them... And me by then...