Friendship is Magic, parts 1 and 2 - 8.25/10
I don't understand why the pilot is disliked. It established the series and its protagonists rather nicely.
The Ticket Master - 8/10
Loved the Benny Hill reference.
Applebuck Season - 7.5/10
One of Applejack's very sparse spotlight moments, which when you think about it, we need more of. Hopefully Season 3 will remedy this.
Griffon the Brush-Off - 8/10
SECOND best showcase of Rainbow Dash's character.
Boast Busters - 7/10
It gets a seven because while she's a nice antagonist, Trixie is still overinflated by many people (*coughSethistocough*)
Dragonshy - 9/10
Lots of great hits here, especially with the episode's focal character.
Look Before You Sleep - 7.5/10
Rarity shares the spotlight with Applejack. Decent, overall, and a fun watch.
Bridle Gossip - 8.5/10
Lots of really neat humor here. Still surprised that the crew got away with the Appletini bit.
Swarm of the Century - 7/10
Not much to write home about, honestly. Enjoyed Twilight's brief insanity.
Winter Wrap Up - 6.5/10
VERY overrated episode. Outside of the song, everything is what you'd expect from a 1990's cartoon, which Friendship is Magic is reminiscent of.
Call of the Cutie - 8.25/10
It could have been a 9 if it weren't for the fact that the CMC's were going to be featured more prominently than their relatives in subsequent episodes.
Fall Weather Friends - 8/10
Typical rivalry-style episode. It's well-done, to say anything about it.
Suited for Success - 9/10
A great episode that really made Rarity feel more organic and realistic. Of all of the episodes in the first season, this is one of the more relatable ones to me.
Feeling Pinkie Keen - 6/10
MAJOR step down from the previous episode. If I want to learn about His Holiness and the fact that He is omnipresent and omnipotent, then I'll go open up my Bible and read it.
Sonic Rainboom - 7.75/10
Another overrated episode. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. But the theme has already been explored, and the eponymous event was the saving grace of this episode. If it wasn't present, this episode would have been a five.
Stare Master - 7.75/10
Not much to say. Enjoyed Sweetie Belle's gospel rendition, and seeing both the chicken and Twilight petrified made me dump bricks in my pants, which is a feat in and of itself.
The Show Stoppers - 6.25/10
A decent CMC episode. Highlight: the outrageous musical number.
A Dog and Pony Show - 8.25/10
For whatever reason, I praise this episode. Maybe it's because it proves that a pony like Rarity isn't always a damsel in distress, which is a breath of fresh air.
Green Isn't Your Color - 7/10
Gets a docked-down score for being the second Rarity episode in a row. To the production crew in charge of the show: Diverse. Character. Focus.
Over a Barrel - 7.5/10
Nice to see that the crew learns from its mistakes and to see some expansion on Applejack's family.
A Bird in the Hoof - 7.25/10
Not much besides the Fluttercry meme, which begins here. Woo-hoo...(sarcasm)
The Cutie Mark Chronicles - 9.5/10
Now THIS is an episode. Loved the character development and elaboration. Goes to show how ambitious the guys at Studio B/DHX Media and Hasbro are. SHOULD'VE been the finale, but oh well.
Owl's Well That Ends Well - 7.25/10
I don't understand why this episode is disliked. I don't. It's a Spike episode, the first of its kind. It does a decent job, but the pacing could have been better and the episode itself could have dragged on a little less.
Party of One - 8.5/10
I love this episode, but people praise the hell out of it too much. It constructs Pinkie Pie's character, deconstructs it and resurrects it, which a lot of modern day cartoons should take note.
The Best Night Ever - 8.75/10
Honestly, I'm among the minority who enjoy the musical number. Overall, great way to wrap up the season.
The Return of Harmony, parts 1 and 2 - 8.75/10
Great antagonist, decent expansion on the backstory for Celestia and Luna and a really neat Star Wars reference. How else can you start a season with a bang?
Lesson Zero - 9/10
Gave Twilight's character a new dimension. Hilarious, insane, creepy at times, but well-executed.
Luna Eclipsed - 7.75/10
It's nice to see Luna again after exactly one year (ironic, IYAM). But I swear, this episode is mostly fodder to the bronies.
Sisterhooves Social - 8/10
Great episode for both Rarity and Sweetie Belle. Loved how Applejack's portrayed as the wise. Really shows how diverse the Mane 6 can be in regards to how morals are learned; they can learn from each other, which is nice.
The Cutie Pox - 7/10
Typical CMC episode. Not much I can say.
May the Best Pet Win - 8.25/10
Pegasus musical number? Sweet...
The Mysterious Mare Do Well - 3.75/10
...but TWO Rainbow Dash episodes in a row? Plus the Dash fans, many of which are rabid, pompous and obnoxious? Plus the worst portrayal of Dash to date? Five words: GET IT OUT OF HERE!
Sweet and Elite - 7.25/10
Pretty good, which is pretty consistent for Rarity episodes.
Secret of My Excess - 6.75/10
Not the best Spike episode, but it does the job. And I have to say that the Rarity/Spike pairing was well-handled and commendable.
Hearth's Warming Eve - 8/10
Holiday episode. Gives a solid background on the pony-verse. But for some reason, I rarely watch this one.
Family Appreciation Day - 5.75/10
Starts off really slow, drags on until Granny Smith's presentation, which was the best part of the episode. So it's kinda so-so.
Baby Cakes - 7.5/10
I'm a sucker for insanely gifted and adorable twins, especially if they're a brother and sister.
The Last Roundup - 6.25/10
It gets docked down because of Derpy's speaking role. Despite being a nod to the fans, it drew both massive attention and backlash. So the focus on Applejack was completely non-existent, which pisses me off.
The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 - 8.25/10
Two pretty good antagonists and a really catchy number. Plus, great use of Applejack here. Finally, she gets more spotlight time. Already she knew the moral of the week. And her letter to Celestia? Written like a BOSS!!
Read It and Weep - 7.75/10
It gives Dash's character dimension, and the Daring Do segments are a really neat treat for adventure-genre/Indiana Jones fans. But outside of that, I don't see what the hubbub for this episode is about.
Hearts and Hooves Day - 7/10
Another holiday episode. Another CMC episode. Fluttermac fans are at an uproar after watching it, solidifying their obsession and possessiveness. Moving on...
A Friend in Deed - 8.5/10
Things're getting good again. A spectacular musical number, many Cartoon Network references, one of the better outings for Pinkie... Definitely one of season 2's finer moments.
Putting Your Hoof Down - 8/10
- "About time we get a Fluttershy episode! Praise Celestia!"
- "Oh no. Merriwether Williams wrote it!"
- "Merriwether? Heh. Can't be that bad."
- watch episode* *go into an uproar*
- "Curse you, Merriwether and your Out-Of-Character garbage! YOU DESTROYED FLUTTERSHY!!"
But honestly, this episode isn't THAT horrendous. However, this episode is where I'm starting to fear of the bronies' possessiveness and their "bite the hand that feeds you" mentality.
It's About Time - 6.25/10
Squandered potential. This episode could have gotten above an 8 if it weren't for the anticlimactic ending. Still, the whole thing was somewhat decent and the Metal Gear, Terminator and Greek myth references do give it bonus points. It would have been a 4/10 without them, in fact.
Dragon Quest - 8.25/10
I don't understand the pedantry of a lot of people towards this episode. This does beat Owl's Well That Ends Well because the plot itself never felt dragged on and dully paced.
Hurricane Fluttershy - 9/10
Another Fluttershy episode and DAAAAAYUUUM!!, is it a good one? A crazy awesome new background character, very nice character development for both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, the BEST use of Rainbow Dash as a character, one of the more relatable episodes in the series... Hands down one of the best season 2 episodes. Could have been a 9.5/10 if the Flutterdash fanatics didn't sour up the taste and if the plot didn't feel like a recycled Dragonshy.
Ponyville Confidential - 8.25/10
- groan* Another Crusaders episode. But wait! It's actually one of their best outings so far. And that's coming straight from the heart. That's all I can say.
MMMystery on the Friendship Express - 5.25/10
Major step down from A Friend in Deed and not as superb as its other predecessor, Party of One. Ironically, both episodes are just before the finale of their respective seasons and are Pinkie episodes. It wasn't bad, but Pinkie looked like an imbecile in this one. I know that she's Pinkie, but come on now. Couldn't she have some dignity?
A Canterlot Wedding - Parts 1 and 2 - 9.5/10
Note that I am reviewing these episodes individually as a person who was born in 1992 and grew up with classics, which is why I have a solid (not the best) perspective. I think hard about the score I give each of these episodes and make sure that they are in accordance with the comments that I leave behind. Unlike a lot of people who praise this show incessantly for no reason other than being bandwagoners, I justify why I enjoy My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic the best that I can and in the most rational and coherent way possible. This statement will hold true for what I'm about to say about these episodes.
A Canterlot Wedding gets such high praise from bronies and viewers alike; yeah, there's a distinction between the two. A lot of the bronies, sadly, can't justify why. I myself believe that credit has been given where it's due. This episode really shows the dedication and ambition of DHX and Hasbro, which is a sight for sore eyes considering the standards for animation as of present.
Characterization is still in tact. I will forgive the very abrupt introduction of Shining, Cadence (both of who are Mary Sues in my book; no, being one-offs does not save them from that status; and yeah I still remain grammatically correct about spelling) and (admittedly) Chrysalis and the Changelings because the crew handles them very well in terms of expanding on their respective stories. That being said, it feels cheap that the climax has hints of a deus ex machina. It makes one ask, if they did have over a month to forward the finale, what the crew was doing the past fortnight. So yeah, like the previous two-parters, it suffers from that rush-job syndrome.
So many different moods and atmospheres are created here, ranging from heartwarming to humorous to mysterious to foreboding, and on top of being well-executed, they transition in between each other smoothly. The best example has to be the confrontation with the Changeling forces and the subsequent fight scene.
The music is definitely a plus here. One of the highlights. B.B.B.F.F. will tug the heart strings of those who admire their older siblings. This Day Aria creates the foreboding feeling, a sense of hope and despair simultaneously, being sung from two different perspectives and by the same (talented) voice actress to boot. Love is in Bloom excellently concludes both the episode and the season despite the minute-and-a-half length.
Finally, last but not least, is the mutual relationship between the crew and the fans shown throughout. Everything above, plus cameos by Luna and DJ Pon-3/Vinyl Scratch, all prove that the crew at DHX and Hasbro know what they're doing and possess an awareness for both their target and periphery demographic bases. Sure these nuances might feel contrived, but it just goes to show the lengths that the Friendship is Magic team will go to make quality animation.
A Canterlot Wedding ranks among both the best animation finales (season and series finales alike) and the best primetime-length episodes such as Last But Not Beast from Dexter's Laboratory, Big Picture Show from Ed, Edd n Eddy, The Rowdyruff Boys and See Me, Hear Me, Gnome Me from The Powerpuff Girls, Sozin's Comet from Avatar: The Last Airbender and so on. Definitely one of my favorites despite the (very) minor flaws. It would have been a perfect ten out of ten if those were iron out, but I suppose I'm being nitpicky about them.
So that is it. If you disagree, let me know. Or if I feel that I've contradicted myself or pushed your buttons, let me know. Until my next blog, this is R Martin signing off...
R Martin 02:04, June 29, 2012 (UTC)