Remember when I said that I was going to do this daily? What the hell has been happening the past couple of days to make me not do this?
You want to know why I haven't been doing these? Because of Thanksgiving. I normally live in a college dorm, but for Thanksgiving, I went home to my parents's house.
And you want to know what's wrong with that? I see home as an "escape" from my schoolwork, and I got so used to viewing it that way to the point where my body is physically incapable of doing work while at home. Yes, I have to get all of my schoolwork done before going home any time that I do want to go home.
And, well, now it's affecting PTTA. While I was at home, I had to struggle to get out the last few entries, and then ended up missing two entirely. I didn't even have the decency to put up temporary non-posts, like I did on Days 15 and 25.
So, what now?
Well, I am still going to finish PTTA. Today. Following this explanation, this post is going to be a three-part compilation post of the three posts that you should have gotten this past weekend.
I feel really really really bad for breaking the promise that I made to you guys to get these out daily, especially towards the end, when I almost could have done it. But sadly, it just couldn't be done.
One thing that was interesting about PTTA was just how much energy it took out of me to create. When I first envisioned it, I was expecting to stay 2-4 days ahead of what was being posted. In actuality, I struggled just to keep up with it. Most posts were posted after 11pm blog time just to fit in the day, because I was finishing them that late. Or some were being done just after midnight, at the start of the day, just so that I wouldn't have to worry about them later in the day. (Midnight blog time is 9pm for me, in case you didn't know.) In two instances (I forget which two), I actually posted them at around 11:30 despite being not done yet, and made it appear to be a site glitch until I did get them up (via edits), just because I didn't think that I could finish by midnight (at which point, it would be the next day). Ironically, both such posts were finished at 11:59 (exactly), making it feel pointless. (I checked the view counters, though, and no one actually saw the glitchy posts.)
And that's not even getting into what happened on Day 25. I was so busy that day with a stupid Facebook project idea that I had the night before (which, for those who were wondering, ended up going beautifully well) that I just chose not to do PTTA for that day. Day 15 was a bit different, as my reason for missing that one was because my Internet shot out and so I couldn't post it. Notably, that one was still written on the day that it was meant to be put up, it just wasn't posted.
And now we come to me just straight-up missing two days. Yeah, this project has been a bit of a disaster. I will freely admit that it was a mistake to do this in November. Anyone who has ever been to college knows that November is a very difficult month for schoolwork. The semester is old enough to the point where the workload has increased, you may have a midterm towards the start of the month if you didn't at the end of October, the professors often assign big projects or papers over Thanksgiving weekend, figuring that you have a lot of time because of the holiday weekend, and you've also got final exams looming on the horizon for early December, which you must prepare for. It was during this month, doing all of this, that I decided "Hey, why don't I add a daily post on OIM to my daily to-do list?". And this is made even worse when you consider that I added yet another massive project to my plate (the Facebook thing, see Day 25's post if you don't know what I'm talking about) in the middle of it all. I am shaking my head in shame for ever thinking that I could get this done.
But hey, for 28 straight days, I did it. I couldn't get the last two, but hey, I did it. In hindsight, this is probably better than I should have expected it to go. But still, I'm sorry for breaking my promise to you all to get this up on time.
Anyways, enough self-loathing. We got three more PTTA posts to do, so let's do them!
Expect this post to be long, to include THREE separate posts. Because of that, I'm including a break.
PTTA: Day 29
Well, okay, let's start this compilation with my opinion of Rainbow Rocks. For the final time, let's start up this 500-word counter.
---500 WORD COUNT STARTS NOW---
Rainbow Rocks has the perfect balance of everything. It has what Equestria Girls lacked: a threatening villain. It has enough action in it to make you happy, but still has enough moments of just the girls sitting around and being themselves, and that's totally cool. It has catchy-as-hell songs (including THREE VILLAIN SONGS), which are actually justified in-universe now. Remember, the Equestria Girls universe is like our world, except for human skin tones, and people don't just randomly burst out into song in real life.
As such, the songs felt awkward in the original movie if you looked at it that way. But here? Every single song exists for a reason (usually because of the band competition). There is no "random song out of nowhere". The characters always have a REASON to sing.
Also, with the portal now permanently open, and Twilight's human counterpart appearing in the post-credits scenes, I am hyped as hell for Equestria Girls 3. (Or potentially Season 5 stuff? Maybe...)
I also very much liked how they handled Sunset Shimmer. She isn't just instantly forgiven for what she did in the first film, she has to actually work to improve herself. This movie is awesome. I can't say that enough.
Okay, so you've heard me gush about the film, but what did I DISLIKE about it? Well, there are a few things.
Snips and Snails, for one thing. Remember how I said Sunset Shimmer wasn't easily forgiven for her actions in the first movie? Well, these two were. For no reason. Which is stupid.
Next, Twilight's princesshood. Spike mentions the events of "Magical Mystery Cure" and how she became a princess. And it sounds just as dumb as it was. I would rather they just not acknowledge it at all. In addition, Spike gives her title as "The Princess of Friendship", which Sunset Shimmer admits is impressive.
Okay, what the hell has she been smoking? Remember, the Equestria Girls universe is exactly like ours, minus skin tones. And in our universe, if someone said that this was their title, you'd be bursting out laughing at how idiotic that is. Especially at the high school age-level.
Lastly, I didn't like the fact that Trixie had a major role and that Maud was in the movie. It's not because I don't like the characters (although that is true too), but it's mostly that it feels like brony-pandering. And I just don't like that.
Of course, all of the above are just nitpicks, at best. And so overall, I can't give this movie anything less than a rating of "Awesome". Some people have expressed dislike at the fact that Rainbow Dash is so full-of-herself to the point of potentially being an antagonist, arguing that it's out-of-character for Rainbow Dash to be that arrogant. But remember, this is Human Rainbow Dash. She hasn't had four seasons of character development like Pony Rainbow Dash has. And Pony Dashie was like this as well pre-character development. So it works.
---500 WORD COUNT ENDS NOW---
PTTA: Day 30
Probably the post that everyone has been waiting for. Let's talk about MLP: Season 5.
...how, exactly? It isn't out yet!
Yep. But we still have some information on it, so I'm going to be talking about that. Because this type of thing can be seen as "News" rather than "Opinion", I'm not going to be imposing a word-count limit on it. After all, because there is so little to talk about, I'll be limiting myself anyways. So, here's what we know about Season 5, in the order that we learned it. IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS, STOP READING NOW.
1) Season 5 exists.
Yeah, a bit obvious now. But technically, we didn't know it before, and we do know it now. Discovery Family Channel will be airing a fifth season of the television show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Not much else to say about that. Next.
2) Season 5 will be released on The Hub in 2015.
Ironically, this was proven wrong later, by The Hub no longer existing. Okay, so let's talk about this. Why 2015? Why not do it in late 2014? Well, go read the post above this one, and you have your answer. Rainbow Rocks is awesome. Making a good movie takes considerably more effort than making a bad one, and so it is likely that the creative team just wanted to focus on that instead for now. I am actually okay with getting it in 2015. If it were to be rushed and then done badly as a result, people would be complaining forever. If you delay it until 2015, then people will be complaining only until it is actually released. So it is a superior option. Before people comment telling me that this is wrong, Wall Street Journal did in fact say that Season 5 would come "this fall", but later admitted that they got it wrong and edited the article to say 2015.
3) Season 5 will contain 26 new episodes.
Even though I didn't really care much for the first Equestria Girls movie, I'm sure it does have its fans. So if Equestria Girls was a good movie, then why did they not delay Season 4 like Season 5? Well, because Season 3 was only 13 episodes. They got it done in half the time (presumably) and then had the extra time to work on Equestria Girls. As a result, with Rainbow Rocks being worked on during the Season 5 production times, it would probably only be 13 episodes if you want it right away. Fortunately, the delay allows them to put out 26 new episodes instead of only 13. Yes, I will always defend that the delay into 2015 was a good thing.
4) Jim Miller, Jayson Thiessen, and Amy Keating Rogers are working on Season 5.
Jim Miller is a Co-Director of the show, and a Storyboard Artist for the first Equestria Girls movie. Jayson Thiessen is the Supervising Director of the show. He was only a director during Season 1, but is now the showrunner ever since Season 2, a title previously held only by Lauren Faust herself. Jayson was also responsible for coming up with the idea for the story of "Pinkie Pride". Amy Keating Rogers is a writer for the show. The episodes that she wrote were: "The Ticket Master", "Applebuck Season", "Bridle Gossip", "Fall Weather Friends", "A Dog and Pony Show", "The Best Night Ever", "The Cutie Pox", "The Last Roundup", "A Friend in Deed", "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", "Pinkie Pride", "Filli Vanilli", "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3", and the shorts "Guitar Centered", "Player Piano", "Shake your Tail!", and "Perfect Day for Fun". Overall, I consider that a good resumé. She's written some of the best episodes of the show, and has absolutely no episodes in Season 3, which is a plus, because Season 3 sucked! It's also great that both of the brilliant minds behind "Pinkie Pride" are returning, as that was always a favorite of mine.
5) M.A. Larson is a writer for Season 5.
M.A. Larson's previous episodes are: "Swarm of the Century", "Sonic Rainboom", "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", "The Return of Harmony Part 1", "The Return of Harmony Part 2", "Luna Eclipsed", "Secret of My Excess", "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", "It's About Time", "Ponyville Confidential", "Magic Duel", and "Magical Mystery Cure". Okay, so he has all of the really good Season 1 episodes under his belt, as well as the amazing Season 2 premiere. And... then he goes way downhill for the rest of Season 2, then takes a huge nosedive with Season 3, including the worst episode of the series to date: "Magical Mystery Cure". Well, I can see this going one of two ways: either he sucks now, which explains MMC. Or he has had enough time off from the show now (no Season 4 writings) that he has taken the time to regain whatever creative juices that he had before, and can actually bring something decent to the table for Season 5.
6) Andrea Libman, Michelle Creber, Cathy Weseluck, Tabitha St. Germain, Nicole Oliver, and Tara Strong have all done some voice recordings for the show.
Yeah, yeah, I know it's obvious, but Tara Strong did tweet about this voice recording session, so it is kinda news. In case you've been living under a rock, the characters that each of these people voice are: Andrea Libman voices Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Pumpkin Cake. Michelle Creber voices Apple Bloom, and used to provide Sweetie Belle's singing voice for Seasons 1-3. Cathy Weseluck voices Spike and Mayor Mare. Tabitha St. Germain voices Rarity, Princess Luna, Nightmare Moon, Cookie Crumbles (Rarity's mom), Photo Finish, Mrs. Cake, Granny Smith, Derpy (before being censored), and Pound Cake. Nicole Oliver voices Princess Celestia and Cheerilee. And lastly, Tara Strong voices Princess Twilight. So, OMG GUYS! TWILIGHT IS CONFIRMED TO BE IN SEASON FIVE! WOOT!
7) Sabrina Alberghetti is a Storyboard Artist for Season 5.
No surprise there, as she was a storyboard artist from the beginning. She also does the artwork for the covers of the Micro-series comic books. It'll be good to have her back.
8) According to Meghan McCarthy, one episode written by Amy Keating Rogers has "feels".
Given how Amy Keating Rogers's past episodes are mostly Pinkie episodes, I wonder if we'll see Pinkie Pie break down again like in "Pinkie Pride" or "Party of One". (And yes, I know that the latter wasn't written by AKR.) We'll have to see.
9) Ashleigh Ball claims that Season 5 has "lots of cool music and plot twists".
I can already tell that you guys are going to complain about the sheer number of "obvious" news updates in this post. Well, look a little closer at this one. "Oh wow, GSS. You mean to tell me that MLP will have songs? And plot? Seriously?" Well, think about it. These are plot twists, which tend to only happen if you have an overarching story. Of course, there could be twists just within the episodes themselves, but that's difficult to do in only 22 minutes (which is why that most standalone episodes don't have them and a good number of the episodes are predictable). Either the writers are getting better or the episodes are getting more connected. Either way, this is very good news for us.
10) At an interview at Comic-Con, they revealed a bunch of stuff. Covered in separate sections below.
a) Season 5 is "bigger and better" than the previous seasons. Doesn't really tell us much.
b) Princess Luna has a nightmare in Season 5. Most likely the plot of an episode will involve someone (Princess Twilight, most likely) having to go into HER dreams instead of the other way around.
c) Rainbow Dash has a song of her own. Finally, I mean, she was the only one who didn't have one before. (Unless you count Human Dashie's "Awesome as I wanna be" song.)
d) For the 100th episode, we're going to focus on background ponies. Also, Coco Pommel returns in the 100th episode. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! This is the worst brony-pandering that I could even imagine. This is worse than Derpy speaking in "The Last Roundup". This is just awful. One thing that confuses me, though, is how do they know which episode is the 100th? They have aired the episodes out-of-order before, so you don't have any guarantee that your 100th episode will even be the 100th episode. More importantly, one hundred is just a number. It is no different than 35, 216, 4, 22, 2937, or 870. There is no reason to do anything special for it, and it bugs me when shows do stuff like this. Just... why?
e) Maud Pie is in Season 5, and there's even an episode about the whole Pie family. I really don't like Maud, but most bronies do, so I see this as more pandering. However, it is entirely possible that little kids like Maud too, in which case, this isn't pandering. Plus, as I explained earlier in PTTA, my problem with Maud was mostly the moral of the episode, which will hopefully be different here. I would love to see an episode where they examine the downside's of keeping your emotions "bottled up" like she does. In fact, do you know what the most requested item is for Christmas shoppers for little girls is this year? Merchandise from Disney's Frozen. Frozen is all about a girl who keeps her emotions bottled up and has to face the consequences for it. You want to cash in on this little girl demographic, Hasbro? This is what you need to do!
f) There is an episode about how Twilight misses her old library. When asked whether or not Twilight will get her old library back, they said "We'll see!". Which hopefully means "no". Otherwise the fight with Tirek had no lasting consequences. Also, with them sometimes airing the episodes out-of-order, you can't really do any major changes outside of season premieres and finales, in case the order screws around with them. So I hope we don't get the library back. As for the episode, I think it's a great idea.
g) When asked whether or not Flutterbat would return, they simply said that Mike Vogel wants Flutterbat to return. If you don't know who Mike Vogel is, he is an actor that has done some stuff, but nothing relevant to MLP. So I don't get the point of this question. I will say that I hope Flutterbat doesn't return, as I was never a fan in the first place.
h) When asked whether or not the CMC will get cutie marks, they said "You'll have to wait and see!". Again, I'm hoping that means "no". That would drastically change the show if it is not done as a series finale. And if it is done as a series finale, then it's a dumb idea to end on a CMC episode of all things. So this really should never happen.
i) "Will we see Chrysalis in Season 5?" "Maybe." WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF ANSWER IS THAT!?
j) We will NOT have an episode addressing AJ's dead parents. Apparently they have not yet found a way to do it while still making it appropriate for children. Well, maybe they'll figure it out by Season 6?
k) When asked whether or not any ponies that are exclusively from the comics will be in the show, they said that it is possible. This sounded like something that they hadn't thought of, but are now considering. Could be interesting, I suppose. But I think you have to keep the show self-contained too. Not everyone wants to buy a bunch of expanded universe crap.
l) "Will we be seeing seaponies?" "Anything is possible." Again, vague answer. I just want to be the first to say: I don't have a problem with seaponies. Provided, of course, that they are well-written. If they do appear, we'll see whether or not they are.
m) Some old G1 ponies may appear. You know, I really should watch through the old MLP generations just to see what they were like. I've seen bits and pieces, and G1 isn't really as bad as you would think. The animation is awful and the voice acting is beyond atrocious. I'd even call the voice acting the worst I've ever seen, and I didn't think that anything could top Star Trek: The Animated Series. (Don't look it up. You'll thank me later.) However, speaking strictly in terms of writing, G1 actually did have good story. The characters were more-or-less all the same, but the story was actually well-written. G2, oddly, had this reversed. All of the characters were compelling, but the story was lacking. G3 was just... bad. Then G3.5 and Newborn Cuties and... ew. Back to good ponies.
n) When asked whether or not Spike would have a song, Jayson mentioned how he wanted to do a rap battle between Spike and Pinkie Pie, and Cathy Weseluck immediately said that she wanted to do one. I gotta say, after the commentary on the Running of the Leaves, I've really wanted Spike and Pinkie to interact with each other more. Even something as simple as Pinkie getting Spike to babysit Gummy in "Just for Sidekicks" was hilarious. These two just play off each other so damn well that it's hilarious. (Someone who is good with voices: Please make some YouTube episode commentaries in-character as Spike and Pinkie Pie. It'd be the best thing ever to hit the Internet.)
o) Twilight will NOT get into a relationship in Season 5. And thank god for that.
p) DJ Pon-3 is in the foreground at one point in Season 5. Meh.
q) Star Swirl will be in Season 5. This is kinda expected. He more or less has been doing everything that happened in the pre-Celestial era. Any type of flashback to the distant past will feature him.
11) We have our first video clip of Season 5 Episode 1. Click here to view! Well, okay, it's not an actual clip, it's an animatic, and the music hasn't been added in yet. And it's crappy cell phone quality. But still! It's better than nothing!
This is probably the biggest look into Season 5 that we're going to have in a long time. I like the idea of them tackling communism. The idea of everyone being equal is not all that it's cracked up to be. In order to be equal, all advantages must be removed. In a truly equal society, if you're strong, then you need to carry weights around wherever you go, to balance you out. If you're smart, then you have to listen to a buzzing sound through an earpiece to constantly distract you. If you're beautiful, then you have to remain covered up. And so on. People don't actually want equality. They just want to remove the inequalities that are caused by the governing system potentially being unfair. After all, we are all different people, and so we should all be treated differently. But that's just it: the inequalities have to be caused by us being different. If it's caused by anything else, then it's not what people want. But that's enough politics from me. The idea of a town where all of the buildings look alike, all of the ponies have the same mane and tail style, all of the ponies have the same unnatural smile, and all of the ponies have the same "equals sign" cutie mark is something that FiM hasn't done before, so I'm hopeful for an original story at the very least. It definitely conveys the "Big Brother Is Watching You" vibe that I think they're going for. And the idea of the castle having a magic map means that Twilight will still have a higher-ranked person sending her on journeys from now on. It's just that instead of Celestia, the person in charge is now... this castle. Weak.
12) William Anderson worked on Episode 100.
He's the guy in charge of music on the show, and this is honestly expected.
13) Nick Confalone is a writer in Season 5.
He hasn't done anything related to MLP yet, so he's a fresh face. Hopefully it'll be a good episode though!
14) G.M. Berrow is a writer in Season 5. We later got word that this would be a Pinkie Pie episode.
She previously wrote most of the MLPFiM Chapter Books. I have not yet read them, so I don't know how good (or not) they are. Hopefully she's a good writer. As for Pinkie Pie, I guess now we know that there's a Pinkie episode in this season? Honestly, I'm hoping they do another Season 4-esque story arc, so that each member of the Main Six gets their own episode. Rarity not getting an episode in Season 3 was really unfortunate.
15) Kristine Songco and Joanna Lewis are writers in Season 5.
More new writers! Yep, these girls are MLP virgins as well. No idea what to expect.
16) A full list of writers for Season 5, as tweeted by Meghan McCarthy, is M.A. Larson, G.M. Berrow, Amy Keating Rogers, Cindy Morrow, Dave Polsky, Josh Haber, Natasha Levinger, Scott Conneborn, Noelle Benvenuti, Nick Confalone, Joanna Lewis, Kristine Songco, and Neal Dusedau.
Interesting line-up. Perhaps most interesting is that Meghan didn't include herself. Does she get an episode this season and is just being humble? Or is she not going to be around anymore? Meghan's episodes have the best track record out of all of the other writers in my opinion, so I desperately hope that it was the former.
17) According to IMDB, Season 5 Episode 1 has the following synopsis: "While still trying to adjust to her new role as the Princess of Friendship, Twilight learns that her new castle has a secret."
Well, we already know from the animatic that the secret is a map to communist land. So this doesn't really tell us anything new.
18) Lena Hall guest stars as a character in Season 5.
For those who don't know who Lena Hall is, she is an absolutely amazing actress on-stage on Broadway. I am very much looking forward to her episode (I adore theatre, so trust me, I know good talent when I see it). I hope she gets a song. Her singing voice is lovely. In fact, if she doesn't get a song, I think that's a huge wasted opportunity, and whoever wrote this episode ought to be ashamed of themselves. Also, "whoever wrote this episode" was later confirmed to be Amy Keating Rogers, by the way. And yeah, I trust her.
19) Daniel Ingram is writing songs for the show.
I'm kinda surprised that it took NINETEEN things before we actually got official confirmation on this. Oh well. It's still awesome. The songs are some of my favorite parts of the series.
20) Maud Pie's voice actor (Ingrid Nilson) will return.
No surprise there, given that Maud herself is already slated to return.
21) Over the past month, we've gotten teasers for Twilight and Fluttershy, each showcasing their journeys from Episode 1 until now. Nothing new is revealed, apart from a release date of Spring 2015.
See? The delay isn't so bad. It's just Spring of 2015, so it'll be early on in the year. We'll probably get more trailers for each of the other members of the Main Six until then. I admit that when I first started PTTA, I thought that by the time I reached Day 30, we would have a little bit more info than that, but oh well. It is what it is.
Overall, I am quite impressed with what Season 5 has given to us so far, with the exception of the 100th episode thing. Ugh. That'll be painful to watch. But other than that, everything else looks good to me. Cool.
PTTA: Day 31
And now for my overall conclusion. The show, like any other show, has its ups and downs. The bronies and the haters constantly argue that the show is 100% good or 0% good, but the truth is: it's neither. The show is somewhere in the middle. I hope I've opened your eyes to some of the criticism that the show has, while still showing that it is a good show, particularly in the beginning.
I also am pleased to announce that this project has made me better as a writer. I definitely felt like I was more concise in my writing than I usually am (despite breaking the 500-word-limit on a couple of occasions - sorry!). Just recently, I actually had a teacher assign me a writing project with the limitation of "no more than 500 words" and I just laughed at how easy that was (it was on Day 21, so I was already used to writing with a 500-word-limit). It definitely got easier as time went on, and I kinda learned where the 500-word-count was. My first few posts are almost all exactly 500 words, because I ended up exceeding it and then just trimming it down later. But with some of my later posts, I was only writing 300 to 450 words and being totally okay. There were a few times when I did write exactly 500 words (or close to it, like 499 or something), and didn't have to trim it, particularly towards the end. Even when I did exceed it, it was never by more than a few words. So overall, I was doing pretty good.
Of course, I do wish that I never missed a day and that this whole thing went off without a hitch, but I already complained about that, so I'm just gonna stop here.
Obviously, the next question is "What now?". Will I start another month-long series of posts about ponies in some way?
Hell no. It was hard enough doing this once. There is no way in hell that I'm going to do this again, when I have final exams in just a week. Yeah, sorry, but you're going to have to live without your daily dose of GSS.
I'm still going to be writing for OIM, and I'm still going to be reporting on news as it comes, and who knows? Maybe I'll be inspired to do another project similar to PTTA in the future. But in the immediate future, it just isn't happening.
I did say in my "GSS Teaches You To Play MLPCCG" video that I might do it for other card games in the future, and I am pleased to say that this will indeed be happening soon. As for when, I have no idea. I'm going to try to get through my final exams before dealing with this at all, and even then, it'll probably be a couple of weeks before I get it done. I'm guessing that I'll have another video up sometime around New Year's, but I could be way off. One nice thing is that I don't have classes during January, so I am literally free from the December 12th until February 2nd. So you don't have to worry about life getting in the way of a video showing off this game.
As for what game it is, you'll have to just wait see.
Well, it's been fun, but all good things must come to an end, so let's close the book on PTTA right her and now. Bye guys.