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Dec. 21st, 2013 | 09:58 pm

OK, that was... fairly insane.

The idea of a Spike-centric episode, with the moral being that Spike, despite being neither an Element of Harmony nor a pony in the first place, is still as helpful and appreciated and as much of a friend as all the Mane Six — that's a good idea, in principle; Spike gets treated like the proverbial fifth wheel all too often, frequently not appearing in fan art depicting the Mane Six etc., so an episode to emphasize that he is part of the team, as it were... that's something I can get behind, yes.

But this story? Spike reads a comic book, and he and the Mane Six somehow magically get sucked into said comic and dumped into its story, transformed into superheros, only able to escape again after defeating the comic's fictional villain? Come on. That's utterly crazy, doesn't make any sort of sense, and (worse) really isn't even all that much fun. If I were interested in a stereotypical (if tongue-in-cheek, but that's run-of-the-mill these days as well) superhero show, I'd watch something else, not MLP:FiM. The reason I'm watching this show is that it's better than that: that instead of "it's time for our weekly crazy adventure, at the end of which everything will be exactly like it was before again", it offers intriguing stories, continuity, character depth and development, slice-of-life as well as high drama, and an original, fascinating, believable, internally consistent, well-thought out and just plain beautiful world.

Well: that it usually offers that, because this week, I didn't see much of any of that. I don't want to say the episode couldn't have been worse, but it was the first one (ever!) where I felt that I could've just as well done without watching it, and I'll file it under "I watched it once for the sake of completeness, now let's not speak of it again". But I suppose you can't win all the time, and season 4 has been pretty exciting up to now, so I can forgive one stinker. Next week's episode will make up for it again... I hope.

I did like Twilight's mask, though.

Elsewhere: discussion in broniesaremagic; episode follow-up on EqD.

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Comments {6}

Drhoz!

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from: drhoz
date: Dec. 22nd, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
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I rather enjoyed it myself - the various expys were spot on, the costume designs really nice, and FlutterHulk hilarious. I was a bit surprised that it didn't turn out to be a dream sequence, but still..

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Dec. 22nd, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
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Expys?

Having it have been a dream would've made some sense, yes (although enchanted choose-your-own-adventure comics are equally plausible); either way it just wasn't a good fit for MLP:FiM. Well, IMO anyway; YMMV.

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Drhoz!

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from: drhoz
date: Dec. 22nd, 2013 11:55 pm (UTC)
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characters from something else, thinly translated, usually as an affectionate nod. i.e. Discord is an expy of Q

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Dec. 23rd, 2013 12:07 am (UTC)
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Ah, right, thanks!

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Dec. 22nd, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
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However, I just find the whole premise too hard to reconcile with the rest of the MLP universe. I find even the existence of that type of comic book hard to justify in a society that mostly appears to be pre-Industrial.

For me, it seems to be a very strange mix of "it's entertaining, but it's not actually good."


Indeed! Even if you disregard the whole "everyone gets sucked into a magical comic book and transformed into US-American superhero parodies" bit, it isn't a good fit. Sprawling metropolises? Electricity and electrical appliances? Industrialization, factories and all that jazz? That's definitely at odds with everything we've seen of Equestria so far.

(Sure, it's just a comic that Spike is reading. One might hand-wave it away as being science-fiction, but it still doesn't vibe, if you catch my drift. Look at the ideas of the future that people had before the advent of electricity and industrialization, for instance: it was extrapolations from what existed, vastly different from what actually turned out to happen.)

I enjoyed the over-the-top cheesiness of the villain and the zany humour in this episode. In particular, Flutter-hulk is simultaneously frightening and adorable at the same time.

I see what you mean. I still didn't enjoy that THAT much, but if it had been a genuine superhero show, I could've said, OK, this is an OK show, it's just not my kind of show. But given it was a pony episode... it really felt like they had to drag MLP:FiM kicking and screaming to try and shoehorn this story's premise in, everything the series has been so far be damned.

(I'm really trying to not be too negative, BTW, but the whole episode was basically one big "...what in tarnation" moment for me.)

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