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Games Ponies Play

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Feb. 10th, 2013 | 09:50 pm

Thoughts on "Games Ponies Play":

Another solid, fun episode. I really liked the interwoven plot with "Just for Sidekicks" a lot — it adds to the feeling of interconnectedness in Equestria; it makes it appear so much more realistic when it's made explicit that the ponies do not exist in isolation but that they're a part of a larger world, and that everyone who's not on-screen in any given episode is still living their lives, going about their business etc.

There were no issues with timing in this episode; unlike some previous ones, it didn't feel rushed. The plot was fun, if foreseeable — you could tell that they had the wrong pony pretty much right from "well darn tootin', ain't that the cat's meow". Funny how none of the Mane Six caught on earlier.

The resolution was pretty quick: just be honest and admit your failure instead of trying to wriggle out of it, and you'll be fine. (But note if it hadn't been for Ms. Peachbottom tell Ms. Harshwhinny about HER welcome after meeting her at the spa purely by chance, it wouldn't have worked). It was nice to see that Rainbow Dash made this confession; it fit in with her caring the most about the Crystal Empire getting the Games in the first place. The paranoia that Dashie was displaying about mind games was interesting, too: a new aspect of her personality? She always seemed rather straightforward so far, but perhaps covering up her anxiety is part of the reason for her spunk and her confident attitude.

Speaking of anxiety, it was interesting that Ms. Peachbottom was pretty explicitly shown to be afraid of enclosed spaces or heights (or both), without it otherwise defining her as a character. I think that's a good thing, doubly so on a kid's TV show; anxieties and similar ailments, unfortunate as they are, are pretty common, and people who have them are still that — people. Even though the Mane Six didn't really seem to catch on here, I liked the fact that the show a) featured a character suffering from these anxieties, and b) that said character was not reduced to just those anxieties, with the other characters only ever pitying her for her inability to function normally or lead her own life.

Speaking of Ms. Peachbottom, BTW, I also rather liked her in general — upbeat, warm and open, what's not to love? I wonder if there is an unwritten rule somewhere that characters with "southern" accents have to be this way, though. :)

What else? I like how the group's not afraid to split up — e.g. Rarity staying with Cadance in this episode (even though Rarity really needs more screentime again some time!). I also like how Rarity's able to handle heightened stress and demanding situations, and still do an admirable job even when under several different kinds of pressure.

And I liked how Twilight managed to keep herself from getting stressed; she had trust in her friends' abilities, and rightfully so: although their efforts were directed at the wrong pony, they did a commendable job. (And everything worked out in the end, right?)

Pinkie seemed pretty silly again; perhaps a bit over-the-top at times, but all in all in a good way. I liked her "Noooo!", and later her "Yeeeees!", and the way she jumped into the gak mudbath was also pretty amusing. And really, BTW, I'm finding it VERY hard to believe that that was not an intentional in-joke for the bronies. :)

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Comments {11}

The Goddess of Smoo

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from: heathersmoo
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 08:51 pm (UTC)
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I always enjoy reading these sorts of follow ups to see what others are thinking :)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, I'm glad to hear that! I was actually just thinking when I posted this that maybe I'm writing too much there in these, so it's nice to hear that they're actually appreciated. :)

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The Goddess of Smoo

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from: heathersmoo
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
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It's your journal so you should be able to write as much or as little as you want about anything without worrying about what others think. Having said that, I'm about to reveal to you a Deep Truth: there is no such thing as posting too much about ponies.

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ungulata

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from: ungulata
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
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These are words of wisdom, Schnee. Pay heed!

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The Goddess of Smoo

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from: heathersmoo
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
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:)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
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"Dear Princess Celestia..."

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Heh! That's probably true, but they also say perfection is reached not when there's nothing left to add but when there's nothing left to take away.

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Rabs Whitetail

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from: whitetail
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 09:23 am (UTC)
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Although I have really enjoyed this season, I find that I now have considerably more interest in the fan-generated pony media than the TV episodes. At its core, Friendship is Magic remains very much a little girls' show (for which I'm glad - it should be true unto itself), but I have to accept the fact that I like what adult fans do with the characters FAR more than what Hasbro does with them. I'll still keep watching the show, of course, but I won't pine for the lack of new episodes for the next several months, because the stuff that I really enjoy is still going to be produced on a pretty much constant basis in the interim.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Feb. 11th, 2013 09:29 am (UTC)
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*nods* I appreciate both equally, myself. I wouldn't call the show itself a little girls' show; that's the primary target audience and what it is created with that in mind, but it's not exclusive to that group, or designed in such a fashion that it would be a turn-off for others (as many other kids' shows are).

But yes, I appreciate the fan-generated content a lot as well, obviously. My DA favorites probably speak volumes about that. :) (And that's not even counting things that aren't on DA, such as videos, music and so on.)

I'll definitely be happy to see a 26-episode season again next season. :)

Edited at 2013-02-11 09:30 am (UTC)

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Drhoz!

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from: drhoz
date: Feb. 17th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
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found a pretty average episode myself :(

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Feb. 17th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
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*nods* Yeah, I just read your own review. Looking back at this one, I can see what you mean; it wasn't an exceptional one. In retrospect, the plot really did feel a bit forced (just how did they never catch on), the resolution was a bit unlikely and just magically fell into place because the writer said so, and Pinkie was... zany, without actually showing any real personality.

There've been better ones, but still, I can't say I didn't enjoy it. It'll be interesting to watch the season's finale now — I haven't gotten around to watching it so far, but should tonight.

Edited at 2013-02-17 01:38 pm (UTC)

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