So sorry for posting this late into the day, but apparently after I commit to a big project like this, the universe likes to punish me for it by giving me an illness, so I haven't been feeling up to writing this today. Truth be told, I'm still not, but I said I would do this thing, and so god damn it, I'm gonna do it. Let's just pretend that this sickness never happened.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the first "real" installment of "Ponies Through The Ages", a series of blog posts in which I look at every single My Little Pony episode. In today's post, we will look at "Friendship Is Magic Part 1", "The Return of Harmony Part 1", "The Crystal Empire Part 1", and "Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 1". So let's get started.
The first episode of any TV Show is by far the most important. It needs to make you want to watch the show. If it isn't good, then your audience leaves and then it doesn't matter how good any of the other episodes are. MLPFiM is thankfully good from the get-go. Season premieres need to also be equally appealing, so as to please any new viewers who you are potentially getting after the summer break. In that regard, MLPFiM is a bit of a mixed bag. More info below.
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We have a show that's all about friendship, and so we need to have a character to go out there and make friends. It makes sense to have that character start out as a social recluse so that she may grow. Twilight Sparkle is an engaging character from Day 1. And she is just focused on her studies, so it's a situation that we can all relate to. Nightmare Moon, for what little we see of her here, makes a great villain, for the simple reason being that, well, she's a villain. This is much better than a G3 episode where it's just "We want to make a cake, so let's go make a cake" and that counts as your plot. Here we have an actual obstacle, and it works beautifully. The other members of the Main Six do a good job of rounding out many different personality traits, and it really drives home the message that there are many different ways to be a person. Overall, it works out very well. The only one that I am unsure of at this point is Applejack, who is more-or-less "racist southern stereotype". Thankfully, she improves in later episodes.
Moving on to Season 2, the show is still good here. Discord comes off as a great villain, being Genre Savvy enough to know that the power of friendship is really powerful in the setting that the show takes place in, and plotting to stop the Main Six from using it against him. Him being voiced by John de Lancie is also pretty cool. Rarity comes off as the weak link here, though, as the jokes about Tom get old fast.
We then move on to Season 3's premiere, and Sombra is really cool here. They do a really good job at making you feel the evil presence. The other issue is Shining Armor and Princess Cadence. We saw them in the Season 2 finale and now again here. Plus, thanks to Chrysalis, neither one of them were really acting like themselves for much of the episodes, so this is essentially our first time seeing them. So, why do I care about their kingdom? Honestly, I don't. I think it would have been a much better idea to make Sombra's empire appear and he starts trying to conquer a town that we actually care about, like Cloudsdale or Ponyville or Canterlot.
This brings us to the final episode of the day: Princess Twilight Sparkle. After the TERRIBLE Season 3 finale, this show now has to convince us that Twilight being an alicorn is a good thing. Does this episode accomplish that? Not really. The Everfree Forest invades, Celestia and Luna vanish, Twilight gets a potion from Zecora, and then we get to see Luna turn into Nightmare Moon again. That's a great cliffhanger, though, so it does buy this show some time. It makes me want to see Part 2, and hope that they do something with alicorn Twilight in that episode.