Welcome to what I believe will be my most controversial blog yet. As you may or may not know from my negative-ish reviews of S6 and 7 episodes, I haven't been liking the way the show has been going. In fact, I've had this opinion as early as S4 having not liked the Tirek episode (seriously that IS the most overrated episode of all) and Equestria Games before it was a total letdown.
Like KillRoy and Shadowgallade, I'm willing to fanon discontinuity Seasons 8 and beyond if they don't start shaping up. But that's not what we're here for. These are the episodes that among the cesspool of bad ones, managed to surprise me. Are they as good as classic episodes? (In most cases? No.) So you can call this a list of the surprisingly good season 5+ episodes. And if you don't like these episodes? That's perfectly okay. It's just my opinion, and I'm happy we live in a world where two people can have a completely different opinions and still be friends. To specify, this is not the ONLY good episodes, as just because an episode isn't on this (like quite a few S5 episodes) doesn't mean I don't like it.
Am I giving up on the show? I'll admit, not too excited about the movie, but I'll still give it a watch. So no, I am not giving up on the show. So without further ado, here is my list.
10. The Cutie Map Parts 1 and 2. After being disappointed with how generic Tirek seemed (generic meaning evil just for the hell of it) I actually liked Starlight Glimmer as a villain... at first. We'll get to that later. But out of the newest characters, I like her the best. Is she a little TOO similar to Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer to the point where sometimes in recent episodes she's literally asking "What would Twilight do"? Yeah... but you have to learn to look past the similarities and maybe you'll find something even I couldn't see about this character. But I digress. Anyway, what I really like about this episode is that it seems like whoever wrote it (I believe it was Josh Haber) did a very good job at showing what communism could be like for all the kids to enjoy. Out of the new arrival Town exclusive characters, I can't say I like any of them (Party Favor's pretty cool I guess, but aside from Sugar Belle in a later episode they aren't given much characterization to make me care.) And that's what I miss about the classic seasons. They have three times as many characters and can only develop a handful. Maybe Slice of Life (as much as I don't like it) wasn't such a bad idea after all? And I liked the fact that for once, it WASN'T Twilight that saved the day. I get it, she's the mane character! But she's a princess now and the focus should go on the other members as they achieve their dreams. Fluttershy is one of my favourite ponies despite not changing as much as say Rainbow Dash or Twilight, she still has her core character down and to be honest, I don't think you can botch her character. I promise not all of these are from S5.
9. Buckball Season: (See? I told you not all would be from S5) I'll be blunt. I hate sports episodes. The only reason I really got into this episode was that it didn't play out like a traditional sports episode. Hurricane Fluttershy and Flight to the Finish being exceptions for Dash's rather kind behaviour in both of them and the training montage in both being AWESOME. For one the sport seems to be a mix of kickball, soccer, and basketball. And the ponies they chose for the episode worked surprisingly well. Are they the perfect choice? Probably not. Should Rainbow Dash and Applejack been the stars instead? Probably. And yet I love Pinkie and Fluttershy for different reasons and seeing them in an episode together which was something normally neither would be interested in me made me easily relate. As a young buck I was put in a few sports (because of the 90s/early 2000s fad of fathers wanting their sons to be sports stars) and I can say I didn't like any of them but Tae Kwon Do and Swimming. Tee ball/baseball was alright but I always hated getting hit with the ball or in the case of tee ball, not being able to run fast enough to get away. Now I wasn't a fat kid growing up, but I wasn't super fit either. I've since then put on some weight and I am vainly attempting to lose it, so I have mega props for anyone who can burn 30 pounds in a week or two. Heck even 15 pounds. Oh, there I go getting off topic again... well now where was I? Ah yes, being that I was put in several things I didn't want to do I can relate to both Pinkie and Fluttershy and with Tae Kwon Do and Swimming, I grew to like them like those two. Now I swim for fun, and never wanted to be super competitive with Tae Kwon Do, but the second I stopped having fun, I quit Tae Kwon Do. And unlike Pinkie and Fluttershy, I didn't get back into it. And yet I can relate to both sides. Applejack and Rainbow Dash wanting to beat Appleloosa (I've wanted to be better than people before) and as I've said before, Pinkie and Fluttershy. I kinda saw the premise coming that Applejack and Rainbow would work Pinkie and Flutters too hard to the point they'd want to quit, but I'm amazed that rather than just not getting on the train at all, (probably what I'd do if someone was yelling at me to win) they got on the train implying they just needed a little positive reinforcement. And this episode doesn't paint Rainbow Dash and Applejack as in the right or in the wrong. And seeing Snails do something cool rather than being a villain's crony was nice.
8. Castle Sweet Castle: Here's an episode I can get behind and relate to. Like Buckball Season I've had to move a couple of times, once not too long ago back in 2014 around the time this episode was new. And yet I loved this episode for how it showcased getting used to a new home. I still miss my old house but I'm really getting used to this neighborhood. It's one of those episodes that I feel is underrated or glossed over by people who either haven't moved very often, or don't remember the last time they moved. It's... shall we say, an episode that hits close to home. The problem with a lot of the new episodes is that I can't relate to them. (Newbie Dash being an exception, but I felt that was a travesty regardless.) The song was... ok. Nothing special but not bad. Would it be something I'd hum to myself like say Winter Wrap up? Probably not.
7. Top Bolt: I've had some... issues... with the Wonderbolts in the past. They seem focused on winning almost to a sociopathic degree (if only because of Rainbow Falls) and yet I can't help but like most of the episodes they're in. Spitfire is a polarizing character now at best, and a terrible one at worse. Here however, I feel she was nothing but supportive of Twilight and Rainbow in her own gruff encouraging way (you can see where Rainbow Dash gets this attitude). Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail were both really cool characters and I hope to see them both later on. Not much to say about this one but it was a great wonderbolts episode in a season that was fairly dry of good episodes. The jokes were on point and it felt like a classic episode. If you asked me what season this came from having not seen the episode and not knowing, I'd say S3 or 4.
Part 2 coming soon, with a possible part 3 coming if I can't fit everything I want to talk about into part 2. Feel free to comment.