Saturday, 4 July 2020

Mini-reviews: Pony Life episodes 3 and 4

"In my plastic aeroplane"
Yes, it's Pony Life review time again. I was asked last week whether I was going to do Text Review Roundups for these episodes. I thought probably not, but in fairness I did have a look around to see whether there were enough text-based reviews for it to be justifiable. The answer, I'm afraid, is not really. However, if you're after more in-depth reviews, try True Blue's MLEEP Productions. My more compact mini-reviews come after the break.

Both this week's episodes were written by Katie Chilson, which gives her three out of four so far. It remains to be seen whether she'll end up doing most of them. "How Applejack Got Her Hat Back" was the first of the two, and to my mind this was easily the best of the four Pony Life instalments so far. And not just because Fluttershy's giggling "I'm a hat pony now!" line was so cute. I also enjoyed the little nudges at the importance of Applejack's hat both to her personally and in our silly fandom.

The title card at the start of part 2 was quite something. Certainly one of the most eye-catching visuals Pony Life has had so far! We also got some amusing guest characters in the shape of Derek, Matt and Also Matt – who lampshaded their weird names. This was a really enjoyable part of the episode, and things only really let up near the end. It was amusing to find out the... squishy cube things were edible, but it was a rather abrupt ending.
In short: Varied

Episode 4 was called "Cute-Pocalypse Meow", and here we got a character who was a talking cat. Not a foal who looked like a cat as we endured last week. And not an anthro cat like Capper. No, this was an honest-to-goodness talking cat. A bit odd in Equestria, but a) this is AU Equestria and b) it was a Fluttershy episode, so seeing ponies being able to converse with unlikely creatures isn't too much of a stretch.

After the Apple-J episode my hopes were high for this one, but it didn't really deliver. Maybe part of the problem was that I'd recently watched "Putting Your Hoof Down", and so the basic concept of "Fluttershy wants to show her dark side" didn't seem terribly original. Her being repeatedly duped by cuteness and presents was tiresome, too. The other problem? Bubbles the cat. A frankly boring character, whose comment on reality TV was about his only good moment. Oh, and fart jokes and ponies don't mix. Not even in this show.
In short: Tedious

We also discovered in episode 4 (and later from the woman herself) that Cathy Weseluck is no longer voicing Spike. Her own decision, apparently, so fair enough. Tabitha St Germain doesn't sound quite the same, but she's closer than anyone else would be likely to come. A little bit of a watershed moment, though, in that this is the first time a major VA from FiM has departed.

Going back to this week's episodes, it was a case of one good, one... less good. It would be nice to think that "How Applejack Got Her Hat Back" might be the "Applebuck Season" of Pony Life – the episode that points the way to what we can expect in future. I'll be rather less enamoured of the series if "Cute-Pocalypse Now" is the sign of things to come. On we go, though!

5 comments:

  1. Pic & caption to you, too! :D

    I feel like this show could reach levels of "entertaining", but will not exceed them. I just wish they'd slow the heck down.

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    1. Pic & caption to you, too! :D

      I fixed that two minutes before you posted, so joke's on you. :D

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    2. Just trying to greet you in your own language. :P

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  2. I didn't hate the cat one, but I found him grating. Though it was nice to see him get his comeuppance, I still had to endure the grating. So, pretty neutral. I wouldn't make a point of watching it again.

    On the hat one, I really liked it. It was a quieter and deeper episode than we'd seen so far. It had a sense of childlike wonder to it as AJ explored the possibilities, and her friends got some nice touches as well. Though we still have this odd use of potions. Changing hats by... drinking? Is this a social commentary?

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    1. It's looking like almost everyone* much prefers the hat episode. Not surprising, I suppose, given that it didn't spend the entire time being frenetic. I haven't seen episodes 5 and 6 yet, so I'll be interested to discover whether they return to fast mode or not.

      * In the fandom, that is. Actual kids, as ever, may have different views.

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