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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Play-By-Play: Luna Eclipsed

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

All the way back in Season 1 Episode 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, there came a character who was somewhat minor but beloved by fans everywhere. This character was instantly charismatic and loved by everyone. But despite popularity with the fanbase, this character was never seen again for the rest of the season and has yet to make an appearance in Season 2. However, with Season 2 Episode 4, it has finally been confirmed that this character is returning in their own episode.

That character is Steven Magnet.

Steven Magnet was instantly popular for his fabulous style, his dramatic depth as a character, and the fact that he’s a dragon (well, technically a Sea Serpent but let’s not split hairs here). I cannot tell you how glad I am that…

…wait, what?

…Luna?

…You mean Princess Luna? That’s who this episode is about?

Well, that’s kind of disappointing. Whatever, I guess we’ll just watch the episode now. Here’s the embed.

0:00 – Spike, why would you dress up like a dragon? You’re already a dragon. This is as lame as someone dressing up like their dad for Halloween.

0:11 – Are you a wizard?

0:15 – Ponyville has a retirement village now? I always assumed the only geriatric in the town was Granny Smith.

0:20 – Well, if you ever wondered if Twilight is a trivia geek, here’s your answer. She’s probably the reigning Canterlot champion of Trivial Pursuit. But seriously, this is just starting to remind me of the episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon dresses up as the Doppler Effect, and it’ll probably have the same punchlines as that too, like with 4 ponies dressed up as The Flash.

0:32 – Nice save.

0:36 – Oh boy, kids. This won’t be annoying at all. I do like how they were able to change the Trick or Treat rhyme though.

0:46 – Speaking of old ponies.

0:57 – Who the hell is this kid? I have no memory of him whatsoever, but they’re just assuming we know his history and backstory (and he does have a backstory apparently)? Up until now the only young male ponies we’ve seen are Snips and Snails (who are the reason why unicorns are extinct in real life btw). Maybe the episode with his backstory was made so that the production order introduced him earlier but this episode had to be aired first since it’s the Halloween episode? Either way, it’s really confusing.

1:11 – You know, the first step is admitting you have a problem, Pinkie.

1:16 – Remember kids, Pinkie Pie says don’t act like a reasonable adult when you grow up.

1:24 – If Spike doesn’t know who you’re dressed as and he lives with you in a library, why would Miss Manchild know?

1:27 – SICK BURN

Also, we can see the obvious foreshadowing that Luna will recognize who Twilight is because she was alive 1000 years ago to remember whoever she was dressed as was and they’ll become instant friends because of it.

2:31 – BAT BALLOONS.

2:32 – Yeah, nobody cares Twilight.

2:37 – It’s interesting to note how adult human women dress up as sluts and go on hayrides with hot guys on Halloween and now so do adult female ponies.

2:48 – Yeah, I’m sure a ton of people would join that. Maybe you should just vote for school reform instead?

3:10 – So Rainbow Dash is dressed as a Dark Wonderbolt? And I thought Twilight’s costume was obscure.

3:29 – OH MY GOD, SHE KILLED SPIKE! RAINBOW DASH IS THE WORST PONY!

3:46 – Oh hey, it’s…uhh…that tennis playing pony from episode 12. What was his name again? And why doesn’t he have a costume?

3:55 – I can see that, but what are you dressed as, Spike?

3:59 – Hah, that was kinda funny. Willie Nelson’s beard isn’t that long though. Expect a wave of “Twilight as a country music singer” memes though.

4:07 – Oh Derpy, you so crazy. Also, I like how there’s applause after Derpy’s scene, like they knew how fans would react.

4:20 – Oh hey, Zecora is in this episode too. And she gets to retell the story of Nightmare Moon. It’ll be interesting to hear the story told as a sonnet.

4:27 – Her spooky voice might work better if she wasn’t dressed like that.

4:32 – Yeah, exactly.

5:15 – I don’t remember Nightmare Moon being a cannibal.

6:05 – And of course Pinkie would actually be dumb enough to believe this.

6:21 – Why are Luna’s guards dressed like that? Is that how they normally dress or is it just for Nightmare Night? And why doesn’t she just have the same kind of guards as Celestia?

6:31 – Pinkie, you helped DEFEAT Nightmare Moon. Stop being such a…whatever animal is associated with being afraid.

6:39 – Okay, that did look pretty sinister.

6:52 – She also darkens the sky when she appears apparently.

7:08 – BOW DOWN, STUPID!

7:19 – And she talks with that voice effect.

7:46 – And she uses lightning bolts as punctuation.

7:48 – Oh Pinkie Pie, you’re so…incredibly stupid and annoying. But I gotta admit, with the way Nightmare moon is talking and acting right now, I’d be scared of her idf she was reading the phone book.

8:34 – “A dangerous all-powerful being appears who everyone in the town is afraid of. I’m gonna go talk to her.” Remember when we all thought Twilight was the smart one?

8:57 – Called it.

9:13 – “I know who you are. You and your friends defeated me in Season 1.” Wouldn’t it be kind of awkward meeting up with a reformed villain you defeated previously? I mean when it happens to Catwoman and Batman they usually just fuck the awkwardness away according to the DCnU.

9:24 – Not clear? Where do I even begin?

10:09 – Oh god. Yes, Twilight, take her to Fluttershy. It’s not like she would shit bricks or anything.

10:12 – “She’s delicate and demure with the sweetest little voice. You’re going to love her.”

10:32 – “Hold on Princess, let me just go beat the shit out of my friend real quick.”

10:56 – Heh, that was pretty funny.

11:38 – I gotta admit, it does kind of look like Luna is holding Fluttershy’s corpse in her arms.

12:06 – Uh oh, I see some actual Nightmare Moon mentality slipping through.

12:30 – “We don’t take kindly to your types around here!” “Now Skeeter, he ain’t hurtin nobody.”

13:40 – Calling someone by their own name? What a revolutionary idea.

13:54 – Well, she could have used her unicorn magic to save Pip, so I guess this whole thing could have been averted that way.

14:25 – Villagers not receptive to my antics. Attack them.

15:23 – Well if there was an entire holiday about making me look like a horrible monster, I’d want to cancel it too.

15:56 – A zombie? That’s so played-out though.

16:06 – What you do best? How is reading going to help us now?

16:09 – Lecture her, lmao, it’s so true.

17:01 – She baits her with candy and then tells her not to scream. Rape jokes really are the low hanging fruit for me when I write these. I mean the writers practically give them to me.

17:38 – God dammit Rainbow Dash there’s a time and a place.

17:44 – Holy shit, she actually laid an egg, I don’t even know…

17:58 – So let me get this straight: Pinkie Pie is trying to ruin the reputation of someone who reformed just because she enjoys being scared? What a little bitch.

18:17 – Well she’s definitely not a genius.

19:03 – Oh yeah, Spike was in this episode. I almost forgot.

19:36 – Whaaaaaaat? So she can still transform into her Nightmare Moon form?

19:54 – Oh, so the minor character who should have been introduced in a much earlier episode saves the day. Hooray?

20:26 – Pip is part of the Lunar Republic.

20:51 – Heh, a guy getting eaten by a shark. Classic costume.

21:28 – Yeah that’s right, get owned Rainbow Dash.

This episode was…well, honestly it was kind of confusing. I don’t really want to call it a disappointment, but, well, it’s definitely not what I expected. The animation is about average for this show, with no particularly outstanding effects or great moments but no major goofs either. It’s also not very clear how Luna’s public appearance changes at the end of the episode. On one hand we have her appearing as Nightmare Moon which implies that ponies are still afraid of her, but then not even a minute later we see her playing their reindeer games (so to speak). Thewhole motive doesn’t make much sense to me, but then again I also don’t like horror films so maybe it’s just me. The character of Pipsqueak is someone who should have been introduced in an earlier episode, because frankly nobody knows who he is right now. His purpose in the episode is significant, but it could have been easily been replaced by the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who along with Rarity are oddly absent from this episode. He also just doesn’t have any personality overall, so really, who the fuck is Pip? And why was Applejack farming corn?

EDIT: Readers have informed me that the Cutie Mark Crusaders are part of Pinkie’s group, and although I didn’t notice it at first, this is correct – Apple Bloom is Mrs. Frankenstein, Sweetie Belle is Dracula, and Scootaloo is The Wolfman –  so they are in the episode in non-speaking roles. But that still raises the question of why Pip was in the episode at all when they could have effectively rewritten his part to be done by the Cutie Mark Crusaders in speaking roles. Who the fuck is this guy?

This is not a bad episode, but it’s definitely the weakest of Season 2 so far. I guess it would be hard to live up to the precedent set by Return of Harmony and Lesson Zero, so I’ll give it a little leeway there. I’m still looking forward to the next few episodes, and I do hope we see Luna again sometime.

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Play-By-Play: Lesson Zero

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

The premise for this episode is that the writers Twilight Sparkle is unable to think of a lesson about friendship that she learned to send to Princess Celestia and she has a nervous breakdown because of it. We all know how great Twilight is when she goes crazy (as well as everypony else for that matter – this whole town needs to be on Prozac or something), so let’s jump right into the episode.

Earlier, someone asked me to embed the video so that they can have an easier time following along with the episode, so I’m going to do that from now on.

 

0:12 – Scalpel. Forceps. Bubblegum.

0:16 – I just realized that Spike is just holding up that scroll without a flat surface to write on. Shouldn’t he just use a clipboard? I know he has one from Winter Wrap Up.

0:18 – You made a checklist of things you need to make a checklist? We need to go deeper.

0:32 – Hey look, it’s Twilight’s trollface! Not bad, Twilight, but you need to keep your eyes open a little bit.

0:35 – Really? You’re gonna go to the intro off of that joke? …okay, if you say so. I guess it could be worse. It could be a red herring scene featuring the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

0:36 – This intro sounds a bit different.

0:44 – Whoa! It IS different! I completely forgot that this episode was going to be the debut of the new Season 2 opening. Well, let’s watch it and see how many characters are included for fanservice reasons. Right off the bat we have Big Mac, Granny Smith, and Cheerilee.

0:45 – And a split second later we have DERPY! HOORAY!

0:47 – CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CABOOSE! And Berry Punch on the edge of the screen.

0:50 – Who are these guys?

1:08 – Okay, so they didn’t change all that much. Still, it’s nice to see a new intro that acknowledges the fanbase somewhat. I don’t remember a big train running through Ponyville, but then again if it wasn’t then they wouldn’t have been able to go to Appleloosa.

1:19 – Jesus Christ, Twilight, maybe you should just get a smart phone and a Google calendar so that Spike doesn’t get your checklist all dirty when he drags it on the ground.

1:25 – OH GEE, I WONDER WHY YOU RAN OUT SO FAST. Seriously, I’d expect this from Pinkie Pie wondering about why she’s out of party supplies because she’s dumb as rocks, but I thought you were more perceptive than that Twilight. For a pony who is supposedly well learned and very scientific, you’re a fucking dumbass.

1:30 – Thank you, Spike, for capturing my emotional reaction to this perfectly. Why isn’t this show about you instead of Robin Williams from Flubber over here?

1:37 – I don’t even need to bring it up and you’re already thinking it. You know what I mean.

1:46 – Huh, I thought it would be Pinkie Pie trying to explain it instead of Mrs. Cake.

1:52 – What an abusive mother. I’m calling Dragon Protective Services on Twilight.

1:55 – Are you fucking serious, Twilight?

2:03 – Well, that’s a bit of a justification, but you’re still worrying way to much about it. Also, this could totally be the setup for a brick joke. (Spoiler: No it’s not)

2:12 – That spatula looks a lot like a knife.

2:13 – OH SHIT, IT IS A KNIFE! LOOK OUT MRS. CAKE!

2:15 – Okay, we all know where this is going – There’s going to be none left on any of them by the time Twilight gets through.

2:30 – Oh god, I already know what’s going to be photoshopped there.

2:39 – Oh my god, what’s wrong with your faaaace?

2:53 – That was fucking awesome.

3:06 – A check within a check within a check? We need to go deeper.

3:13 – Oh shit, Spike has wanker’s cramp. Looks like he’ll need to go to the Southpaw Saloon for his nightly ritual with a picture of Rarity tonight.

3:28 – “BAD!? The last pony who didn’t keep up on their friendship reports got banished to the moon for a thousand years! SO YES, SPIKE, IT’S PRETTY FUCKING BAD!”

3:36 – “Not every other week, not every ten days, not with a three week break in between episodes or a four month break between seasons! EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.” Twilight should be in charge of scheduling at The Hub.

3:55 – For me, it was Tuesday.

4:01 – Why is the windmill ticking like a clock?

4:03 – …Banished?

4:04 – Oh, god forbid. Twilight, you are such a dork.

4:06 – Pinkie Pie’s not the only one who can break the fourth wall. You show ’em, Spike.

4:24 – “But Spike, do you have any idea how cold it is on the moon? There’s no way I’m taking that chance.”

4:41 – Twilight, aren’t your test dates on your syllabus?

4:50 – Actually, I’m studying to become a teacher and I can tell you that all she would do is make you take the course again, maybe suggest you complete an IEP, your graduation date might be pushed back a little but you can make it up in summer school. Seriously, Twilight, chill the fuck out.

4:55 – Oh right, I forgot that this show is supposed to be for little children. I mean why wouldn’t it be?

5:00 – Magic Kindergarten? Is that like a feeder school to Hogwarts?

5:06 – Look at that one unicorn in the back row looking contemplative. What’s her deal?

5:08 – 4th wall? Fuck that shit, I’m a dragon, son.

5:36 – “Well, there is this one white unicorn I like, but I don’t really think she’s into me. Can you hook a brotha up here? Either that or you could magically make me a giant again so I can live like a dragon should. Do it or I’ll torch your Harry Potter books.”

5:43 – “I got nothin’. ‘Twilight Sparkle’, I mean seriously. I can’t even work with that.”

5:59 – Hey, it’s Berry Punch! Maybe you could help her with her problem of people creeping on her on Tumblr.

6:09 – Rarity just saw a compilation of Lady Gaga’s outfits.

6:21 – Oh shit, Sweetie Belle learned magic and found out how to clone herself?

6:30 – Well at least you still have Tom. OH WAIT.

6:54 – Oh Rarity, you’re such a drama queen.

No seriously, she’s a total drama queen and it’s very annoying. I honestly don’t know what you see in her, Spike.

7:31 – Twilight, it’s rude to teleport away when you’re talking to people.

Also, it’s probably worth noting that Rarity’s telekinesis seems fairly advanced since she can levitate multiple objects without needing much concentration. I never really noticed it until now, but it’s pretty impressive. I think it’ll be interesting to see if Sweetie Belle share this affinity for psychic/magical prowess, not that she’ll need it when she finally earns her cutie mark as a set designer.

7:42 – Rainbow Dash has been learning the Horse-Style Kung Fu as well as Rarity. Actually, it’s been established that she’s a black belt, so maybe she’s the instructor. Anyway, why is she wearing those safety goggles?

7:53 – Okay, what the hell is going on here?

8:02 – No, we did the Rainbow Dash vs Applejack episode already.

8:08 – “My friends hate eachother! I’m so happy!”

8:35 – lol Twilight as a shrink. I think Lucy from Peanuts would be a better psychologist.

8:39 – “Well, Twilight, when I was growing up in Cloudsdale, I’d go into the fillies locker room and I’d see the other girls, and sometimes I’d get these…feelings…”

9:00 – Fire the orbital friendship cannon!

9:07 – Holy shit, there really was a Sonic Rainboom at the end.

9:28 – “Fluttershy always needs help whenever she goes off her anxiety medication, which is always. I’m sure I can help her out of her stew of psychoses.”

9:37 – I got $200 on Fluttershy.

9:40 – HOLY SHIT. Are you watching this, Mane6Dev?

9:53 – FINISH HIM!

10:07  – FRIENDSHIP!

10:31 – We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little ponies. Wicked, tricksy, false!

>No. Not master!

>Yes, precious, false! They will cheat you, hurt you, lie!

>Master’s my friend!

>You don’t have any friends! Nobody likes you.

>I’m not listening… I’m not listening…

>You’re a liar, and a thief.

>No!

>Murderer!

10:36 – Hey, Spike’s back! The episode is awesome again.

10:45 – Yeah, this is what a lot of people think of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

10:49 – Oh Spike, do your reality altering powers know no end?

11:20 – Wow Pinkie. Just, wow. Also, nice shades, Dash.

11:26 – Just eat off of some napkins. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since I moved into my apartment.

Oh my god, I’m disgusting.

11:34 – Oh, so you forgot to bring the plates but you remembered to bring your drama couch?

11:50 – You’re going to see that face in your nightmares now.

12:35 – Wow, way to be supportive of your friend in her time of crisis, guys.

13:07 – Fluttershy, weren’t you there when she got so mad flames came out of her mane? You know, when she was possessed by the Phoenix Force?

13:10 – Dear Kettle, You’re black, Love, Pot.

13:20 – I gotta admit, this episode has some of the best facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

13:29 – Oh god, she’s gone off the deep end. This is going to be like that one comic book where that one superhero went mad with power and turned the world into a totalitarian regime. I think it was called Squadron Supreme, Irredeemable, Superman: Red Son…

13:39 – Oh hey Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo! Where were you after the beginning of the Discord story arc? CUTIE MARK CRUSADER PLOT HOLE!

13:50 – OH SHIT SHE’S GOING TO RAPE THEM.

14:05 – Twilight would name her doll Smarty Pants.

14:25 – Is that what girls do with dolls? Make them do homework? idk, I only really played with Legos.

14:30 – It just occured to me that Kefka’s theme would probably go well with the rest of the episode.

14:37 – Wow, Sweetie Belle, you must really like her mane.

14:50 – She sure is, Scootaloo.

14:55 – Hah! Good one, Apple Bloom.

15:20 – Wow, so now she has a love spell?

15:28 – THIS IS HOW HASBRO ACTUALLY THINKS LITTLE GIRLS WILL REACT TO NEW MY LITTLE PONY TOYS.

15:33 – Okay, we’ve heard the opinions of the other two, but what do you think of the doll now, Scootaloo?

15:35 – I was expecting her to say “Dumb fabric” actually.

15:38 – “The Want-It-Need-It spell”? Isn’t that how Larfleeze forged the Orange Power Ring?

15:47 – OH I’M SORRY, DID I BREAK YOUR CONCENTRATION!? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue. You were saying something about lessons to be learned?

15:56 – Twilight gets into a fight with three kids half her age and GETS HER ASS KICKED. That’s just sad.

15:59 – “Big Macintosh! You licked me last episode. And it was, uh, gross. But, if you ever get the urge to do it again, I live in the library and I can send Spike out on an errand to count all the blades of grass in Ponyville or some tedious shit. What do you say?”

I’m not even joking about this. Twilight is waaay too wound up about her friendship letter. She really needs to get laid.

16:15 – OMG A FEMALE CHARACTER NEEDS A MAN TO SOLVE HER PROBLEMS FOR HER FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY.

16:20 – Bic Macintosh is a brony? Why am I not surprised. Oh, and even when men try to solve problems, they fuck everything up FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY.

16:35 – All the female ponies are all over Big Mac? Yup, I’ve read that fanfiction.

17:16 – “Don’t look at the Ark!”

17:44 – Oh shit, it’s about to go down. I hope you packed your oxygen tanks, Twilight.

17:56 – DERPY!

18:10 – Wow, he really is a brony.

18:20 – “Meet me in the library. There’s a better path to the moon on the second floor.”

18:25 – “If you care to visit, contact NASA. I’m sure they could hook you up with something.”

18:38 – Sure you will…in a thousand years.

18:45 – What is it with Rarity and Sweetie Belle repeating jokes 3 times in this episode? Maybe it’s a genetic defect.

19:41 – “You’re right Fluttershy, I shouldn’t banish Twilight. I SHOULD BANISH ALL OF YOU, BWAHAHAHAHAHA!”

20:13 – Once again, Spike saves the day.

20:35 – Aww, that’s sweet. Almost makes me forget the abuse Spike had to go through under the hooves of these ponies back in season one.

20:48 – Fluttershy, why are you looking straight at the camera?

21:05 – You took the words right out of my mouth, Spike.

21:20 – Well shit, Spike, you don’t have to cross out the whole thing.

21:23 – “No respect at all. I got Rarity’s cat watchin’ me when I’m over at her house, she wants to learn how to beg. Back at Canterlot, I was in a game show and I won, so Celestia gave me a 20 day vacation…to the moon. And Twilight keeps takin’ me to the Everfree Forest, she says she’s hopin’ my real parents will claim me. I get no respect, I tell ya, no respect at all.”

So that was the third episode of season two, and I thought it was pretty good. The animation is solid with some wacky faces being used all over, the acting and writing are very good in that nobody is doing anything out of character, with the only possible exception being Twilight’s nervous breakdown, but that sort of thing is not unprecedented. In contrast to the season premiere, this episode is extremely character driven, and character driven episodes are what this show excels at. I also think that it’s a decent episode to serve as a jumping-on-point, although most of the ponies besides Twilight kind of get ignored. This is the first episode of the entire series where Lauren Faust is credited as a Consulting Producer instead of an Executive Producer, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the quality of the show at all. I said in my Return of Harmony Play-By-Play that this was nothing to worry about, and I’m glad that this episode largely proved me right. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season, especially after reading some of the episode summaries.