So here we are...in the middle of the fandoms darkest times. People are at each others throats, many are fighting, and alot are leaving. And what's to blame? Well...intolerance mostly. But also season 3 and EG, the things that many in the fandom feel might "ruin the show". Now while I'm not saying that season 3 was the worst thing in existance (it was actually pretty good by tv show standards) it certainly didn't do well in impressing me and had...a god awful ending. It's like the Mass Effect Trilogy. 1st no one expected but liked, 2nd is considered the greatest, 3rd is alright and stuff...but then pulls a 180, does questionable things, and screws whatever canon thought possible, and causing a divide in the fandom while doing so. So...what should the writers do to lower the heat? Get rid of the hate? Make things calm down in the fandom since tension is high? Well...I'm here to tell you. These are (at least in my opinion) the Top 10 Things That Should Be In Season 4.
10. Dude Time Episode
Okay, this one is kinda what I want to see...but that's why it isn't so high. If this doesn't show, it wouldn't destroy the series, but having it IMO would really help lift this series diversity. You have Spike, Big Mac, Shining Armor, and now Discord as possibilities for episodes. I know Hasbro kind of shot down the idea of Macintosh getting a day in the life episode, but hey I could hope for one. But if it's still a no, then we still have the comics to handle that.
Spike and Shining however could use some development together. I mean, he's the assistant of Twilight and practically her brother, which also makes Spike Shining's brother. How are they not interacting with each other? I wouldn't mind having an episode with them getting in a little trouble, or just having bro time. I wouldn't mind watching an episode of them just lazing around, drinking a few brewskies and lying on the ground sleeping (obvious exageration) as long as they have some good screentime together.
And as for Discord, just don't make him a super good guy...just have him chaotic neutral if you aren't going to make him a full fledge antagonist. I mean, Discord is in his name! Don't change the concept of the character! That would be like if they made Sonic slow...oh wait they did that twice (Sonic Labyrith and 06) and both were terribly recieved. So make a Discord episode...with his likability.
9. More Intimidating Villians
The villians we get in FIM were creative. I can't really complain about the villians too much (except for useless Sombra). NMM was an entity that controlled Luna due to her hatred, Discord was similar to the joker and was very distructive, and Chrysalis was a manipulative queen who tricked an entire nation into thinking she was Cadance. All of these are great..but...none of them are really any enemies that could really be considered intimidating to the deathly standards. Chrysalis sort of, but then all that would happen is that everyone would be emotionless zombies. Sombra tried for this route but he got his flank kicked by Spike and a Crystal pony; kinda lose your credibility.
No, I would like to see an enemy that poses a real threat to the characters. Have the elements be almost completely useless to him/her, have the characters in positions were the enemy could...gasp...hurt them. Have the villian be sinister. He/She doesn't have to have a reason for why he's doing what he or she does, just a really sinister motive and focused direction. I mean, imagine the group struggling to take this guy/gal down together (I put together in bold for a reason, and you'll see why later on down); it'll make their achievement more meaningful and the struggle more emotionally grabbing. Good emotion with a nice ending was something extremely lacking in season 3.
8. A Sad/Depressing Episode
Yeah, most can't fathom the idea of their favorite ponies suffering or going through depressing situations, but it can work in this show. Maybe an episode where we actually learn about AJ's parents and how they supposedly die. In fact, why not an episode focusing on the concept of life and death. I mean, it's not foreign to FIM anymore; they practically killed things before...in kind of brutal ways too. Hell, even back in season 2 they teased that death is canon with the funeral ceremony, so why not just go all out? I mean, what if Granny Smith expired?
Or, if it isn't the death of a character, how about a bittersweet reunion with someone you haven't seen before and have an emotional exposition. It's hard to explain fully but a sad emotional episode wouldn't be bad for the series. In fact, I think it might help it. I'm not saying that the ending has to be depressing, I'm just saying that we should tackle some situations that in general would be sad, might make people shed a tear, and feel inside. Kids could deal with deaths in the Lion King, so this wouldn't be too far fetched an idea. And you know...why not have a sad ending for once?
7. Explore The Universe
If it wasn't for other reasons, this would be much higher than it is now if it wasn't for the things below, but I digress. You have this huge, big as hell map that has many locations and places to explore...and how much has the show actually covered? Just Ponyville, Canterlot, part of the Badlands (debateable), and an Empire made for marketing reasons. What kind of use of a map is that!? If you're going to go through the effort to make a map with all these locations and places, GO THERE! For all these people that claim "Alitwi was for a reason", this would be a good time for them to prove that true.
Have the characters go to the gryphon's location and solve diplomatic issues within the system. Have them actually travel and explore these locations, going on adventures since Alitwi "obviously had a point" (again, we'll get to that when that road come). What's in the Frozen North? What's in Vanhoover? Is Tall Tail a nice place to be? Why are dragons are so excluded from the map? I want answers, and I want the writers to use this map to their advantage. Hell, how about an episode in Manehatten with Babs Seed organizing the Manehatten branch of the Cutie Mark Crusaders? There is alot of map to cover and only 30% has been explored. I don't want to see anymore Cashbro marketing trips (Crysal Empire)! I want to see some damn exploration of the actual damn map. And yes, I know that the Crystal Mountains could be the location, but that doesn't change the fact that it's only a small portion of the map. So seriously, put your money where the map is and explore these places.
6. No Annoying Pinkie Or No Pinkie at All
I'm going to get this out of my system now so no one gets too huffy...I...hate...Pinkie's...character! But, admittedly, during season 1 she was tolerable. I'm not saying she was any less annoying but her randomness sorta had a point back then. In Swarm of the Century, you could see how her randomness worked out. In Feeling Pinkie Keen, you saw how her Pinkie sense's worked. She had a point to her randomness...and then...
Seriously!! This is what's considered funny!? No...it's stupid and nonsensical. 1. Shouting at random isn't cute, it's annoying. 2. You were in a giant derailing lettuce with fillies that could have gotten hurt! You could have at least acted like you gave a damn!
I'm going to give examples of what a random and giddy character is like the right way! Borderlands 2's Pychos were random, they were chaotic, but they had charm and legit enjoyment! What they said were relevant to the situation and they were chaotic and random by nature...so when one just shouts out nipple salad and runs towards you, there's legit enjoyment. And even if you don't agree, you could freakin kill them, so it's not like you had to deal with it. Luffy from One Piece is sparatic, and put people in danger often, but he backs it up with charm and promise. He might have put others in danger, but would hate himself for getting them harmed and would do anything to protect them.
What does Pinkie do? She throws herself onto Rarity, knocking her off course and having them stranded in the dessert because...I don't know, screw it it's supposed to be funny. Except, oh wait it isn't! And nervicited! NERVICITED. Since when was creating a word from nothing and saying it random ever funny !? Look, I understand why people thinks she's funny, I really do, but even Pinkie fans have admitted that recently she's been annoying. And when even fans admit a character is annoying, there's something wrong.
So they need to do either one of two things: either give her to people who know how to write the character (the one who wrote Party of One namely) or have her sidelined like Rarity in season 3. If she's as annoying in season 4 as she was in season 3, she might just replace Trixie for my least favorite character.
5. Princess Episode
It's no secret that the history of the princesses is lacking, and we could use one. But there's also something else we could use...princesses actually doing crap! I mean, the alicorn princesses are either worthless and not doing anything worth while or just Mary Sue (again, not Twilight; we'll get to her later).Let's start with Luna and Celestia; we need origins for them. We need a reason for their powers and how they came to be. If they can explain why these two sit around drinking margaritas and watching the sunset while teenage girls (and a purple dragon) go out and fight bad guys, then I might buy it. But while I have a little concern about Luna's lack of involvement in anything, at least she tries to come up with solutions and has a personality. Celestia on the other hand, is all like "no, let's let a bunch of teenagers do our jobs for us. Let's sit back and retire for we suck at what we do?" And suck she does; when I can say a freakin baby dragon is more reliable than the lady that raises the sun, something is wrong. Not that Luna is any better, but like I said, she had personality that made her likable while Celestia...has nothing.
Cadance on the other hand, is just boring. She's not interesting, she's doesn't have a defined flaw, and overall she's just a pretty face for Hasbro to sell. How about changing that next season? Give her traits that make her memorable and not a plastic doll that was meant to be sold...as well as more on her history? All and all, princesses need better treatment and development, cause I'm tired of disliking most of them. But until this is handled...Celestia...you are the worst princess in the history of history!
4. Spike Development
It's no secret that this guy is my favorite character in the series, and of course he would be high on the list. But it's for reasons that are completely needed. There's so much mystery to this character. Who are his parents? what is his origins? Why does he turn into a giant monster when prone to greed? Is that how his species grows or is he just a special case? Why did Celestia find him and use him as a test for Twilight? There is so much potential for this character...and most of what we get are episodes that are just bad attempts at humor (with exception of Secret of My Excess and Just for Sidekicks). I was hoping that Dragons Quest would answer questions he himself asked, yet all we got was teenage bullies. While not a bad episode, it didn't explore Spike really well, and barely any episode in season 3 did. Yes they developed his relationship with Twilight and made him more relevant to FIM (big plus for season 3 ^.^) but as far as history, there's still much we don't know about him. I think season 4 needs at least 1 or 2 episodes dedicated to his history and written by people who will treat his episodes with respect (if I see Merriwhether's hands on another Spike episode I'm going to blow a fuse)
It's kind of sad that a character so closed to Twilight and does nearly everything with her has less development. Speaking of....
3. Explanation to That Damned Alicornization
Yeah, we're on this again. I don't have to tell anyone this...but that season 3 ending was the worst ending I've ever seen to a season ever. Note how I said I've ever seen. I mean, this was bad; people can defend this to the end of the earth and say "it was planned from the beginning" but it clearly wasn't, otherwise the handeling would have been better! This was an unnecessary plug to sell another stupid princess concept; and if I hear another person say that "oh they needed this to happen to advance the story; there was no other way" I will fight you in the middle of the street with a RUSTY PIPE!! (I'll do it too).
But with that said, we can't go back...well we could but it would be even more convoluted and contrived then it already is. So for the time being, the situation needs to be explained, developed, and executed to a better level then it already is. If they really want to sell this idea, make sure she actually has a purpose to it. Like I said previously, make her new position actually meaningful otherwise the people saying "this needed to happen" are going to look...welll...wrong. I never really found a need for her having wings since she knew magic out the wazzo that could break flying by a landslide, but if she has to use the wings, then make sure it's in a legit way. Still have her go to Zecora for assistance like in Magic Duel. My concern with Twilight (who I really don't like much even before the alicorn thing) is what we might not see from her, or as the next number entails...what we might see of her.
2. Develop Main 7...Not Just Twilight
Remember back in season 1 and early season 2 when the elements were actually useful? Remember when Twilight didn't have to do everything? Well I want to go back to that. Twilight isn't the central character, she doesn't need to be oversaturated in development. This is MLP: Friendship is Magic, not the freakin Twilight Sparkles Chronicles. I'm getting sick of seeing Twilight do everything by herself and getting all the development while the others are getting just slice of life episodes and not really advancing as characters. And no, using the elements to revive Discord was not an example of using them effectively; in fact it was pointless and unnecessary. I still don't know the point in doing it.
Let me put it to you this way: How long has Rarity tried to build up her fashion dream? Since most of season 1; still not there yet. How long has RD been aiming for her goals to become a Wonderbolt and getting to fly with the best? Since episode 1; still not a Wonderbolt. How long has Twilight worked for the position of being a princess? In no episode I recall; writes a line in a book and poof, princess! Okay, even if she did deserve the position, how the hell does someone who did nothing to get there gets the position before characters who actually tried to get somewhere did. That's backwards. The other six deserve their time in the spotlight and deserve to be what they dreamed since it's been clear from day one that that was their goals. Still waiting for that hip replacement AJ.
I also don't like the gradual gravitation from the group being useful. It's not too late since it hasn't been established [yet], so they still have a chance to save it, but since the end of season 2, the elements have not been useful for much of anything. Let's do more examples. In Avatar: the Last Airbender, it was Aang who had to take out Fire Lord Ozai yes, but he had his friends to help with opposition and moving him forward. Heck, some of them even trained him. They weren't sitting in the background watching him do "something only he could do". In One Piece, if Luffy didn't have his crew, he would have died way before he even hit Alabasta. His crew completes him, and without them, he has nothing but a dream he might not even reach.
If Twilight becomes the only character that matters...or the only character that does anything meaningful in missions...can't believe I'm gonna say this...but I'm gonna have to agree with a majority of people who claim she's a Mary Sue. And I don't want to do that. Believe me, I don't want to dislike Twilight's progression anymore then I want to hate Pinkie or Celestia, but when they don't do anything that makes me like them, or when they oversaturate a specific character (again, Twilight is the only one who goes in the portal in EG along with a freaking dog version of Spike!) then I can't really defend them.
1. Lauren Vision
At this point, it's obvious how Lauren feels of the recent events...and it's saddening. I'm going to link a video. Eggman is Hasbro, and the little baby chao is Lauren's ideals for the series. You can end when clement starts talking. And it's obvious that she's saddened by it by her Twitter posts. Her ideas was to get away from the stereotypes of "girl shows" and stray away from those ideals. What is being done now is leaning towards the things she didn't want to happen. And while not a complete trainwreck, the series feels uninspired and not as fun as it was before.
I'm not asking to follow it 100 percent; they can have creative license over the series. However core stuff, like none of the princess route, or affiliations to anything girly should not touch the series or even be affiliated with it. And even if they did find it necessary to do that, at least have some respect to the original person who made the show what it is anyways and not insult her by saying "this was planned from the beginning" when it clearly wasn't. So all I'm asking for in season 4, is that whatever they do, whatever they come up with, please keep Lauren in mind. No antagonist going good; no OP Twilight doing everything by herself with her princess powers; no pandering to the fans. Be creative and do what made the show good in the first place, and then season 4 will be excellent.
I have no doubt that season 4 will at least be decent; there's still potential for the series. But if you want neigh sayers to shut up, if you want those who are worrying to calm down, trolling isn't going to help. Pandering isn't going to help. Doing what made the series good in the first place will help. And then, just maybe, you can calm down a fandom that seems to be going off the deep end. There's still hope...but only if they move forward in the right direction.