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Post-Series Finale Rewatch - Season 1

Discussion in 'MLP: Re-Living the Journey' started by Bridle Timeout, 1 November 2019.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Now that the series finale of MLP is behind us, it's time to watch the entire show again from the beginning! :p

    For reference, these are the episode names and numbers for Season 1.
    E1 & 2 - Friendship is Magic, parts 1 & 2
    E3 - The Ticket Master
    E4 - Applebuck Season
    E5 - Griffon the Brush Off
    E6 - Boast Busters
    E7 - Dragonshy
    E8 - Look Before You Sleep
    E9 - Bridle Gossip
    E10 - Swarm of the Century
    E11 - Winter Wrap Up
    E12 - Call of the Cutie
    E13 - Fall Weather Friends
    E14 - Suited for Success
    E15 - Feeling Pinkie Keen
    E16 - Sonic Rainboom
    E17 - Stare Master
    E18 - The Show Stoppers
    E19 - Dog and Pony Show
    E20 - Green Isn't Your Color
    E21 - Over a Barrel
    E22 - A Bird in the Hoof
    E23 - The Cutie Mark Chronicles
    E24 - Owl's Well That Ends Well
    E25 - Party of One
    E26 - The Best Night Ever
     
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  2. Recurrent Trotting

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    well I had my neices/nephews round the other day so I kicked this off early

    I tend to rewatch only my faves, but since I like so many of them.. :p

    E5 - Griffon the Brush Off <-- great ep. when Dashie says Pinkie's "not as annoying as I thought" you feel that edgy Faustier writing. In s9 you would never hear a character say that. In small doses I think the show benefited from having a brash Dash. Also holy pony is Andrea Libman's laughter in this ep infectious :D

    E6 - Boast Busters <-- neeeeeeigh sayers :D Brash Dash getting shocked. Gosh darn is Trixie a great character. Shame about Snips and Snails. On the rewatch 8 years later this ep still performs.

    E11 - Winter Wrap Up <-- I must have literally rewatched this ep 100s of times and never got tired of it. From waking up at night with a Christmassy "It's winter wrap up day" to enjoying exploring a new world, it is the best bits of kiddish wonder :3 struggling to fit in to that world is also a staple kiddy message. also the songs

    E20 - Green Isn't Your Color <-- an ep I wasn't wild about at the time but is a solid staple for rewatching. Great message about communication. Many cute Libman noises "I could just scream"

    We also rewatched the finale of s9 but that's for another thread :p
     
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  3. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    I tend to rewatch these insets of three or four, so I thought I'd relive the night I discovered the show with the very first four episodes. I know that spoilers aren't a concern anymore, but I think this format will help keep my posts here looking tidy.

    Friendship is Magic:

    I kind of expected to feel that things used to be much simpler in season 1, and while there is a slight sense of that, it really doesn't feel that different from later seasons to me. Incidentally, my interpretation was always that the other five knew each other, and saw each other around, but they weren't particularly close until Twilight came to town. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy go way back, but I feel like all the rest were getting to properly know each other over the course of the season, especially with episodes like Griffon the Brush Off and Look Before You Sleep. Even though Twilight might seem to come off as rude at some times, especially during part 1, it's not hard to see that her heart's in the right place, that she really does have potential as the future Princess of friendship, and ruler of Equestria, even at this point. Being overly focused on one thing is a trait she retains throughout the series, and in this case, it's finding the elements or harmony, without stopping to consider that they're also traits of a good friend. It's also interesting to see her "I have to do this alone" mentality at the start of part 2, which she isn't quite able to overcome until after the Movie.

    I like that Twilight accidentally dropped in on the Apple Family Reunion, and they welcomed this stranger almost as one of their own straight away. Twilight was understandably overwhelmed, maybe even suspicious, not being used to this kind of welcome; she wouldn't just trust a stranger like that, at this point. All the more appropriate that she had to learn to trust AJ in part 2. Rainbow Dash made a fairly "bad" first impression on Twilight, though it was interestingly more about seemingly being too laid back more than the narcissism usually associated with Dash in the early seasons (and which plagued some of her more recent episodes). I love that she almost said the same line in both parts: "I'd never leave Ponyville hanging"/"I'd never leave my friends hanging". Even before she needed to, she demonstrated her loyalty, and not just slight immaturity. I also like that the Shadowbolt leader has Spitfire's exact manestyle, before she was properly introduced.

    Likewise, Rarity showed generosity from Twilight right from the start. Twilight was understandably a bit freaked out by getting a sudden makeover, but Rarity saw this pony in desperate need of her help, so she immediately dropped her preparations for decorating. While Twilight's comment of "before she dyes my coat a new colour" was probably hyperbolic, I have to wonder if that's a thing. I think that would be quite cool. Of course giving up her own tail is a massive gesture from a fashionista, but the importance of her appearance for her confidence we saw in It Isn't the Mane Thing About You, it's an even bigger deal. And yet, she didn't even hesitate. Fluttershy in her first scene reminds me of myself up until about 18 months ago :p. I could actually hear her saying her name all three times by listening closely, which is a nice touch. I feel like her defining moment of part 2 is when she first sees the manticore, and instead of being afraid, her face is full of concern for its welfare. Pinkie is completely insane, of course, but this is also the first demonstration that she has her own Pinkie logic, which makes perfect sense to her.

    Twilight's line about how the elements can't truly be destroyed is still just as true throughout even season 9, though it's understandable that she'd forget after using the actual elements so many times. Still, that's some impressive continuity. I can't help feeling like Black Snooty Nightmare Moon isn't much of a threatening villain, comparatively. It's true that eternal night would have devastating effects eventually, but it doesn't seem like she could do much to anyone who actually stands up to her. Like she's full of empty threats. I also have to wonder if she even made Celestia disappear or if Celestia just hid somewhere until the mane six could use the elements. I think they can genuinely use them better than her and Luna; She could only banish Luna to the moon, the mane six actually restored her. I also love the smug look on Celestia's face when she's like "What's the matter, my faithful student?". While I was typing this, I also came to the realisation that the mane six prepare the same elements of the Summer Sun Celebration in part 1 as they do for the Festival of Friendship in the Movie

    The Ticket Master:

    This was an interesting one. compared to the later seasons, the rest of the mane six actually act quite selfishly in trying to get the ticket from Twilight. It was certainly fun to see the quirkier side of Applejack ("So that's a maybe?"), something we see considerably less of in later seasons. I find it very interesting to see Rainbow Dash kinda trying to butter Twilight up for the ticket, something not usually associated with her character. I get the sense that she had to swallow her pride a bit to force "best friend forever I've ever ever had" from her mouth. Unless she didn't have her guard up quite so high yet. Rarity trying to give Twilight another makeover... she didn't quite fell as developed as a character yet. Even so, it was fun to see, and the scene just before gives us one of my favourite exchanges from the season I'd completely forgotten about:

    "Twilight, it's raining!"

    "No, really?"

    Even Fluttershy wasn't above giving favours, but I do kind of admire her for admitting it was just for the ticket. I get that it was meant as her being all meek, but I think it's actually braver to admit to lying than to let it snowball. She's stronger than she thinks she is. And then there was Pinkie, with no less than two different songs in one episode. And of course, she got the whole town coming after Twilight in that bizarre Benny Hill sequence. Interestingly, I heard one of the background ponies offering to paint Twilight's coat, implying that is a thing. I didn't see or hear who it was, though. The resolution is really nice, and the first of many great friendship lessons to come. It's also amusing that Celestia invited Twilight mostly to shake up the Gala she finds so boring year after year.

    Applebuck Season:

    This one strikes me as the first episode to focus mainly on a single character. It's nice to see Big Mac so talkative, and he's clearly quite intelligent. AJ being a workaholic makes sense as a character flaw: it's an intense, practically endless job, and I can see how she'd have time for little else. I also know myself how easy it is to keep struggling on instead of just asking for the help you need. When I first saw the episode, I found Applejack's hallucinations quite creepy, but I find them quite amusing now. It seems that early on, they tried to find a way to include most of the mane six in most episodes. The scene with AJ and Rainbow Dash is still a classic, and I absolutely love that there's an official bunny census :p. More than Applejack mixing unlikely ingredients, I just find it funny that Pinkie doesn't see anything wrong with the situation. Surely the Cakes wouldn't leave her in charge without teaching her some things about baking? Once AJ does finally learn her lesson, I don't think she ends up needing to revisit it many times after that. I had to notice that Some of the ponies gathered for Pinkie's samples weren't being looked after by Nurse Redheart. I wonder if they didn't get theirs, saw other ponies react and were put off, or if they'd already been discharged

    It's nice to see more of the sarcistic Twilight, something in short supply during later seasons. I'm thinking this Twilight is quite similar to Season 6 Starlight, but I likely won't get to confirm that for a while. I noticed that the animation has improved drastically over the years, especially with the background ponies. They mostly just stood still here, with the occasional movement, but I've grown used to seeing them actually talk and stuff in the background. Speaking of which, It's nice to see that Lyra and Bon Bon are still practically inseparable, even this early. Watching these, I felt the same joy as the first time, and even some lines of dialogue gave me a sense of "Why am I watching this?". Followed shortly by "Why can't I stop watching?"

    Sorry, I guess I can ramble a bit. Even with the show over, I still feel like there's so much to talk about. That's how amazing it really is, that I still notice new things every single time. This is why I really love it, and I can't see that changing any time soon.
     
  4. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    In starting this rewatch I feel like recalling some memories of the first time I watched it as I go, not sure if I'll keep that part of it up but nostalgia is kicking in so...

    So for me I first watched the premier in August 2013 followed by all of S1-3 finishing just in time for the start of S4 in November. I went in to it completely cold, knowing nothing about the show or characters. I had heard of the brony fandom since about a year earlier, but didn't know much about that either, yet the existence of a fandom for a show like this intrigued me and I was curious enough to see what it was about. I was unconvinced that I would like it, but honestly I had nothing else to do that day! "This is probably just going to be stupid" I thought...

    Episode 1/2: Friendship is Magic

    Must have watched episode 1/2 a couple of dozen times by now over the years, I practically know it word for word. It always strikes me though how different some of the animation looked back then. I think it really benefits from having a cliffhanger at the end of episode 1 to encourage people to keep watching, episode 1 has some obviously classic moments but I don't think it has enough to get anyone hooked on the show but episode 2 certainly does.

    I'm sure I've mentioned it before but really what sold the show to me is how this episode resolves using friendship (as opposed to the usual fight scene, which is what I was expecting), and done in such a great way, that's what makes it unique, and what made me keep watching beyond the premier. I feel that this is a show that imparts great wisdom, "sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness" is a great example, and as long as they keep that aspect in G5 then I'm happy.

    Well that's as far as I've got so far, might watch a few more episodes tonight...
     
  5. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Tiny little thing I've always liked about "The Ticket Master" is in the scene where Twilight's at the restaurant. She plucks the petals off the flower as she's trying to decide who should get the Gala ticket. They're lying on the table, Twi's tummy rumbles... and she eats the petals. It's a nice reminder that back in S1 these were very definitely talking horses. In later seasons I think they tended a bit more (too much IMO) towards the "humans in pony suits" idea, but back in the days of "The Ticket Master" their equinity was fairly significant. :)
     
  6. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    I like in “Friendship is Magic” when Twi snorted and scratched at the ground before charging at Nightmare Moon. (I think she did the same in “Feeling Pinkie Keen” when facing the Hydra—haven’t gotten that far yet. :p )

    Another little thing I like is when they “applaud” by stomping their front hooves on the ground. :D
     
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  7. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    So I kicked off today with The Friendship is magic two parter, I must have seen these episodes 3 or 4 times now.
    I really don’t like Applejacks season 1 voice. Young Luna looks odd I don’t know why they did that when they make her fully grown from season 2.
    This episode is always good fun and sets up the characters great.
    The Rainbow dash, Rarity and Fluttershy intos are my three favourite introductions .
    I love how it sets up Celesta as a caring mother figure to Twilight and the group.
    Such a strong opening which helped the show do so well. Straight into the themes of friendship and fighting foes (and reforming them!)
     
  8. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    I don't particularly want to join in with a full re-watch, but in the spirit of this thread I've gone back picked out one of my favourite moments from each episode of Season One. Not intended as a definitive list by any means, but just a list of some of the highlights. And although I haven't re-watched in full, I've ended up re-watching bits and pieces when making this list anyway:

    "Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria" - Friendship is Magic, Part 1
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    On sitting down to watch the first episode for the first time I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, but the opening narration does wonders to set the tone of the show. This isn't a show that's interested in being being silly, funny, sarcastic, cool, or detached (though it will be all of these things at points in its run). This is a show that's interested in being sincere, heartfelt, and meaningful, even if perhaps at the cost of coming across as slightly clunky and old fashioned. This opening sets the boundaries of the show and means that when it is quick witted, smart and funny later on it never loses sight of the fact that it's doing these things in the service of sincere storytelling. The jokes are firmly here to serve the story, not the other way round.

    The spark in Twilight's eyes - Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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    A triumphant moment, and a beautiful play on the word "spark" from the prophecy earlier on. It's probably obvious to most of the audience what the sixth Element of Harmony is, but then we have the advantage of knowing we're watching a children's TV series and knowing what conventions are at work. The double meaning of "spark" to refer to "the spark at the heart of us all" allows the series to go for a full throated moral without getting overly sappy.

    Granny's saggy old hip - The Ticket Master

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    A smart, funny and "modern" joke that a hip replacement operation can be in the same list as a new plough and a new roof. This was the moment where it clicked for me that as well as being warm hearted and sincere this show was also clever and witty and didn't talk down to its audience.

    "Can I help you?" - Applebuck Season
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    Snarky Twilight is one of my favourite things about Season One, even though that inevitably fades as Twilight becomes more emotionally open. Her brief exchange with Rainbow Dash here is pure gold.

    "So I guess I'm queen lame-o" - Griffin the Brush Off
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    The heart of this episode is the moment where Rainbow Dash chooses Pinkie Pie over Gilda, but until this moment the natural assumption is that Pinkie Pie was the one setting up the practical jokes. The revelation that it was Rainbow Dash instead forces us to re-evaluate Pinkie Pie's levels of kindness and forgivingness.

    Spike slams the door... and then walks through it again - Boast Busters
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    Just a lovely, deft bit of physical comedy. Comedy is timing, and the timing here is spot on. Without any dialogue we get a funny moment that's completely rooted in the characters.

    "How dare you!" - Dragonshy
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    Fluttershy's first big moment of triumph. If you don't love her after this you have no soul. (Just kidding).

    "It is [safe] if you have a magical lightning rod protecting your home like I do" - Look Before You Sleep
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    Another "smart" joke. It's educational for the young audience, a clever way to write around the fact that a tree would otherwise be a very bad place to spend a lightning storm, but also a funny line because it feels so true to Twilight. Of course she has a magical lightning rod protecting her home. She's Twilight Sparkle.

    Pinkie Pie invades Rarity's hair - Bridle Gossip
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    Applejack, shrunk to the size of an apple, has gone missing. "Rarity's hair!" shouts Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie starts checking inside it.
    "Pinkie, what are you doing?" cries Rarity. "You ever hear of personal space?"
    "No," says Pinkie.

    Classic Pinkie.

    The return of Zecora - Swarm of the Century
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    A small moment in a very fun episode, but this is significant for being the first piece of continuity we get after the opening two parter. All the other episodes have been stand alones that could take place in any order, but this scene has to take place after "Bridle Gossip", establishing the idea that continuity is something this series does.

    "Three months of winter coolness" - Winter Wrap Up
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    We'd had Pinkie Pie ditties before this but never a full on musical number, so when Rainbow Dash walked into that spotlight and opened her mouth it completely caught me off guard and blew me away. I hadn't expected the show to be a musical, and I hadn't expected songs this good.

    "It means she's full of potential" - Call of the Cutie
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    Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo come to Apple Bloom's defence and we get to see the Cutie Mark Crusaders being formed in front of our eyes. A classic moment that starts a long journey for these three characters, and Apple Bloom learns that she's not alone in being a blank flank.

    Twilight comes fifth - Fall Weather Friends
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    The cliché here would have been for Twilight to win. Here the show deftly avoids the cliché and delivers something that feels true to character instead. Of course Twilight wouldn't win a race. But she still beat Rainbow Dash and Applejack.

    "Give her time..." - Suited for Success
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    There's a lot to love about this episode (it's easily one of the best of Season One) and the scene where Rarity wallows in "whatever it is that ponies are supposed to wallow in" is full of razor sharp dialogue: "she kind of is", "that's your answer for everything!", and "she only has one cat" are all gems. Pinkie Pie's final line here is the icing on the cake though.

    The first appearance of Muffins - Feeling Pinkie Keen

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    Or Derpy, if you insist. This isn't her actual first appearance of course, that was back in episode one, but this is the first time she has her eyes crossed deliberately. In other words, it's the first time the show itself directly acknowledges the Brony fandom. The trail you can trace back from "Slice of Life" starts here.

    Rainbow Dash completes a sonic rainboom - Sonic Rainboom
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    There's a reason this scene became as famous as it did. It's a punch-the-air moment of triumph and it's impossible not to feel happy for Rainbow Dash saving Rarity and finally succeeding in her goal.

    "I lined them with this special gold silk" - Stare Master
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    Sweetie Belle copies her sister's dialogue word for word, showing us far more about their relationship than we could ever learn by being told about it. It's a key point in Sweetie Belle's development as a character: endearing, wants to emulate her big sister, and yet also doesn't think through the consequences of her actions. It's a pity she didn't check to make sure Rarity wasn't needing that silk...

    "Dumb fabric" - The Show Stoppers

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    No further comment necessary.

    Spike's "explanation" - A Dog and Pony Show

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    Immediately after Rarity gets kidnapped we cut to the other five and Spike rushing to save her. A brief flashback reveals that Spike's explanation of what happened was no more than the words "Aaaah! Rarity... woods... jewels... dogs... hole... taken... Save her!". Which, in fairness, more or less does the trick.

    Rarity applauds Fluttershy - Green Isn't Your Color

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    One of the most mature stories of Season One with a strong moral about jealousy and communication, and I love the strength of Rarity's character in this scene. Fluttershy has just embarrassed herself and Rarity risks throwing her entire reputation, and consequently career, down the drain by sticking up for her friend. Despite having being wishing only a few moments earlier that Fluttershy's career would "burn out" Rarity has no hesitations about sticking up for her friend when she thinks she needs it. The irony that Fluttershy didn't want saving is too delicious.

    "I'd like to be a tree" - Over a Barrel

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    Is it bad that many of my favourite moments are dialogue? I think it tells you more about what type of thing I enjoy than anything else. In any case, another scene full of punchy, sharp, witty, character-based dialogue that deservedly ascended to meme status. Deceptively simple (but not really simple) scenes of the Mane Six bouncing off each other like this are what Season One does best.

    "Gotcha!" - A Bird in the Hoof
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    The scene that launched a thousand fan-fics. Glimpses of Celestia's character felt few and far between in Season One, but here we had a clear character moment showing off Celestia's playful side as she tricks Mrs Cake into overfilling her teacup.

    "There was no talking. There was no smiling. There were only rocks." - The Cutie Mark Chronicles

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    In the middle of an episode chock full of great ideas and scenes the stand out has to be Pinkie Pie's flashback to her childhood. For years people suggested that Pinkie might have been being an unreliable narrator here. Surely her childhood couldn't have been this grim? Later we find out that yes, it was exactly this grim. Even though it's left ambiguous here M. A. Larson set up the very strong suggestion Pinkie's joyless childhood is responsible for her becoming the overcompensating adult we know and love.

    Twilight tells Spike she'll always love him - Owl's Well That Ends Well

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    An underrated episode, and one that I had written off as "the bad episode in Series One". I re-watched it while writing this and you know what? It's actually really good. A very sweet story, and probably the best development of Twilight and Spike's relationship, certainly in the early years of the show at least.

    This scene in particular is a touching and sentimental moment, handled with tact and delicacy by Cindy Morrow. The characters stay fully in character throughout, with dialogue that's distinctive to each of their unique styles of speech. Twilight never actually says the words "I love you" out loud, she's far too introverted and sensitive for that, but she doesn't need to. By the scene's end neither Spike nor the audience are in an doubt how she feels about him.

    Gummy's birthday party - Party of One
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    One of the nice things about "Party of One" is how the start of the episode suggests the idea that, maybe, just maybe, Pinkie Pie's parties aren't as much fun for everyone else as they are for Pinkie. Applejack gets soaked, Rainbow Dash is attacked by Gummy, Rarity has to spit out Pinkie Pie's punch, and Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy end up being thrown into a pair of concrete walls. Is it really any surprise then when Twilight is less than enthusiastic about Pinkie Pie throwing another party the very next day?

    Rarity smashes her slipper - The Best Night Ever

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    Lots to choose from here again, but it's impossible not to love an episode that gives us "You're going to love me", Celestia saying "Run" and Rarity smashing her glass slipper, all in less than thirty seconds of screen-time. The repudiation of the Cinderalla love story has to win though for being funny, heartfelt, character driven, and a great moral. Everything I love about this show in fact, all rolled into one hilarious moment.

    So that was Season One. I expect I'll see you all here again for Season Two.
     
  9. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    I always liked how they made horse noises when they snore, or sometimes when one of their jaws dropped open in shock :p. I feel like the decline in that kind of thing coincides with the gradual decline of the "mystique" surrounding the world of Equestria. Early on, and even somewhat in the middle seasons, it was fun to speculate and fantasise about the details not mentioned in the show itself. There are still things like that, but as the show went on, we were obviously given more answers to the mysteries there were early on. It was good, it made the world feel more real, but perhaps that was something of a double edged sword. I feel like maybe some of the mystical "fairy tale" feel of Equestria early on was kind of lost in the process.

    On a separate note, is it just me, or have the colours gradually become less pastel-y as the seasons went on?
     
  10. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I'm not going to try actually quoting @CuldeeFell 's post as I'm sure I'd mess it up, but one thing he mentions a couple of times is the educational aspect of the show. If anyone remembers watching the TV versions of S1 episodes, they had an "e/i" logo in the corner of the screen. I believe this stands for "educational/informative" and is related to the (US) Children's Television Act. I don't think it applied to FiM from S2 onwards, but it may be part of the reason that S1 had more of these little "mini-lessons".

    As it happens, another of those is in "Owl's Well That Ends Well", where we see Twilight writing about comets. (By candle-light! Technology in Equestria was so much simpler back then.) Her lines about this are told at some length, and personally I really liked that, even though the episode as a whole isn't a favourite.
     
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  11. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Yeah I think the colours changed as the show went on, especially as the need to explore new parts of equestria came in. I guess as the show became more popular there was less need to match the pastel stereotype to justify its production.
     
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  12. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    Just had another rewatch session, of the next four episodes. It occurs to me that although the mane six are clearly all independent women from the start, they're all quite immature at this point. Many adults are immature in many ways but it does seem a bit strange. But I understand that they needed to be relatable for their intended target audience.

    Griffon the Brush Off:

    This is the first time Rainbow Dash comes off as particularly irritable. That she found Pinkie annoying and tried to avoid her at first is why I think the mane six didn't really know each other that well at this point. Although Pinkie is still kinda insane by season 9, she's actually grown up a lot in that time. She's learned to reign her hyperness in so she doesn't often get on anyone's nerves, doesn't go around wearing joke shop glasses and doesn't sing 30 second songs at the drop of a hat. But she still hasn't fundamentally changed. On another note, I think the mountain Dash crashes into at the start may be the same one from Dragonshy. I wonder if it appears anywhere else. I think the scene where Dash desperately tries to escape from Pinkie is the first time the latter defies the laws of physics, as well.

    I do like the very deliberate point about Pinkie and Rainbow going around town, harmlessly messing with their friends. Even Applejack saw the funny side after they left, and after making sure her apples are still okay. And I like that Celestia got literally bombarded with scrolls, but she clearly has the sense of humour to appreciate that. I think the most important point is that they left Fluttershy alone, they knew how delicate she was at this point. It's a fun sequence, but it also draws a nice contrast with Gilda terrorising the town later on. It's interesting that Gilda just seemed like a sadistic bully at this point, but we find out that growing up in Griffonstone, that's basically how she has to survive. I'd like to know how Pinkie thought Gilda might give back the apple she ate, though :p. Even so, roaring in Fluttershy's face was still pretty needless, but it's possible that Gilda thought Fluttershy's timidness was an act or something. It was kind of sweet that the background ponies all stared daggers at her for picking on Fluttershy, though. I suspect that the reason she acts like she does is a combination of being raised in Griffonstone, and being given a hard time at junior flight camp (it seems like everyone got picked on there).

    I don't think we can really blame Twilight for what she said to Pinkie. Pinkie didn't properly explain what had happened, so it did sound like she was just upset because Rainbow Dash was spending time with someone else. It sounded like popping Pinkie's balloons could've been an accident, for example. This was actually a really important episode for establishing both Pinkie and Rainbow as characters. Although we were lead to believe Gilda's suspicions, Pinkie's innocent logic was "If I throw her a party, she's sure to cheer right up!". That maybe Gilda was just lashing out because she didn't feel welcome. Likewise, Rainbow Dash might have seemed rude before, but compared to Gilda, it's plain to see that she means well. I think the biggest hint that she was behind the pranks at the party was her excitement, and her complimenting her own pranks. And she once again proved why she's the element of loyalty, sticking with the friends who like her for her, and not the one who expects her to be "cool". I do feel a bit sorry for Gilda, though. While she brought it on herself, she may have lost the only friend she ever had here.

    Boast Busters:

    So obviously, this was the first time we were presented with the GREAT AND POWERFUL TRRRRRRRRRRIXIE! I can see that she was originally designed to just fulfill her purpose as the opposite to Twilight in this episode, and yet, most of the subtlety of her personality in later seasons is already there, under the surface. I also find it interesting that Spike seems pretty convinced that Twilight is the most talented unicorn in the land. I'm sure it wasn't planned, but it almost feels like Starlight's becoming important already. At this point, it still feels like each episode is written to demonstrate a lesson to its target audience, and yet it still ends up being incredibly nuanced.

    "Anything you can do, I can do better!". Except she can't. She didn't outdo AJ, that was just simple levitation. She didn't improve on Rainbow Dash's trick (which seems to be the same one she was practicing at the start of Griffon the Brush Off), or even make herself look better than Rarity. It is credit to her showponyship, though, that no one seemed to notice. My own little theory is that Twilight did notice, but she was scared that pointing it out would count as showing off. Actually, most of Twilight's magic tricks are pretty random here, and you can really see how much she's grown, compared to her sparring duel with Starlight at the start of Every Little Thing She Does. But even here, the strength it would've took to create a milk bottle big enough for the Ursa is insane. I love that she sent it back into the forest peacefully, without hurting it.

    It seems that Trixie is basically used to contrast with Twilight and her modesty about her skill. I couldn't help noticing that her wagon was destroyed. I'll have to see if I can spot the first appearance of her new one. I've rewatched this a few times between seasons, and one line has taken on new meaning every time; "Just let her go. Maybe someday she'll learn her lesson." Little did they know, it would just take a best friend who really understands her.

    Dragonshy:

    The very first Fluttershy episode. I did find it slightly painful to see her trying to get ponies' attention, and just not being loud enough to get through. I used to experience that quite a lot. Something that strikes me here is that Rainbow Dash really doesn't seem to understand Fluttershy at all, even though they've been friends for years. I suppose Fluttershy never actually had the courage to talk about what she'd been going through, and Dash saw it as an annoyance, but one she could overlook for their friendship. Conversely, even though Fluttershy was terrified of annoying or upsetting anyone at this point, she doesn't seem dissuaded by anything Rainbow says about her. So maybe that says a lot here. Come to think of it, if we read between the lines, it's possible that what Rainbow Dash really meant, but couldn't say was "Do we have to bring Fluttershy? She scares really easily, and I'm worried about her".

    The others were really patient with Fluttershy, to be fair. Twilight wasn't the most helpful, but this was back in the day when she couldn't bear to stray from a schedule anyway. And again, she didn't know what Fluttershy was going through. She didn't say it outright, but I feel like Pinkie was perhaps the most understanding here. She did the same thing with A Hop, Skip and Jump as she did with Giggle At the Ghostly. The scene with Fluttershy trying to explain why she's afraid of dragons reminds me of times I've tried to explain my anxiety to people, as well. "How come you're afraid of this, when you can do that?" This was another time when they clearly demonstrated their moral in true season 1 style, with everyone's tactics failing, until Fluttershy unexpectedly resolves the whole thing. She could've done it easily had she not been afraid, and Rarity almost succeeded, had she been able to resist stealing. Not her proudest moment, really. I'm not that impressed that Rainbow Dash almost blew the whole thing by kicking the dragon in the face. She looked really proud of herself when she was called on it, as well.

    Look Before You Sleep:

    So already, I almost knew every word to this one. I didn't like it much the first time, but I consider it an absolute classic now. This might actually be the most childish any of the mane six get at any point, but I mostly see these things as growing pains in their friendships. It's a textbook case of taking two characters who can't see eye to eye, and forcing them to spend time together. From Applejack's perspective, she'd never get her work done if she fussed over every little thing like Rarity does. This pony is impossible to please, and she only really cares about how she looks. And to make things worse, she just has an answer for everything. It's not that Applejack takes issue with girly things, it's more that she's just very practical minded. She just doesn't see the point.

    This is the first time we see Rarity as more than just the pony who gives makeovers. I think this is where we start to see her artistic side, with the tree sculptures, and just her general attention to detail. From her perspective, Applejack just keeps going and messing up the details she put a lot of thought into. And she even gets annoyed at Rarity for it. Their ridiculous exchanges are a lot of fun to watch, and I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit jealous of the dress Rarity dares AJ to wear. And I do kinda feel the need to arrange the bed a certain way...

    I do feel sorry for Twilight being caught in the middle this whole time. Her mindset of needing the book to tell her if she's having fun or not is another great example of how far she's come. The resolution with the tree falling into the library was a great way to show that both Rarity's attention to detail and Applejack's big picture mindset are needed in balance. And I do love that the only reason Twilight is upset about that is because the tree isn't in the book.
     
  13. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Watched “Boast Busters” last night. It’s not my all time favourite S1 episode, but I’ve always been quite fond of it. :D

    I never quite understood the all-consuming adoration some people have for her, but I do like Trixie. (I’ve had “angry Trixie” as my icon for a while, after all. :p ) While this episode has a good moral, Trixie is a stage performer, so a certain amount of boastfulness might be expected for entertainment value and to create a certain “mystique” surrounding her stage persona. But perhaps there’s a second, more subtle, moral to not take everything you hear at face value.

    This episode did a good job of introducing Trixie though, as a sort of “opposite Twilight”. More so as the actual Twilight was so worried that her friends would hate her, she wouldn’t even discuss her magical abilities openly.

    It also established how unicorn magic works. Most have just a bit of magic related to their special talent, but it’s a bit different for Twilight since her special talent is magic. (I would also assume the same is true for Starlight, Sunset and maybe Sunburst too)

    One thing I’ve never understood is the fact that some people will bash Twilight and blame her for what happened to Trixie after this episode. While Trixie certainly did not deserve to be outcast and have graffiti sprayed on her wagon, Twilight was pretty much dragged into the situation by being the only one who could deal with the Ursa Minor that Snips and Snails brought to town. :p

    Oh well, in time Trixie will get a best friend so at least everything does end up alright for her. :)
     
  14. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Watched Episodes 3 and 4 today.
    Ticket master is one of those great episodes you can re watch again and again, the Benny hill music bit is so funny, I love how Rainbow is still kind of a jerk in it when everyone else is like nah we don’t want the ticket and she is like I get the ticket!
    In Applebuck season Bigmac is quite the conversationalist at the start, Twilight is so irritable when everyone is interrupting her. Actually forgot how funny this episode was with cake baking mixup!
     
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  15. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    Episode 3 - The Ticket Master

    I actually didn't like this on my first time watching, whereas Episode 2 had been the episode that persuaded me to keep watching, The Ticket Master almost made me stop watching. I was disappointed that the show didn't continue in a serial format like the previous two episodes, it had what I thought was a trivial storyline, and the characters didn't strike me as very likeable.

    I've changed my mind on it now of course, but for me this episode has always been a bit of an anomaly. If memory serves me, this was the original pilot used to sell the show and it was written before the premier. I think there was a certain amount of development that took place between this one and the others which gives this one a bit of a different tone.


    Episode 4 - Applebuck Season

    Quintessential early episode, the first "normal" episode in my book. Here is where the characters really became established and likeable, along with the emergence of the show's sense of humour. I love Twilight's sarcastic "can I help you?" response to RD dropping in, and the attempted conversation between Twilight and Applejack. Very fun episode, one of my favourites from S1.


    Episode 5 - Griffon the Brush-Off

    I'd forgot that Rainbow Dash thought Pinkie was annoying intitally, I had thought they'd always been good friends but this is the start of their friendship. Pinkie and Rainbow's harmless pranks might be a bit annoying in real life but it seems ponies in Ponyville have a good sense of humour, and I like how they were considerate enough to not prank Fluttershy.

    Gilda's an annoying bully who needs to be shown the magic of friendship - I'm glad they resolved her story later on.

    On my first time watching MLP, this was notably the point where I decided I was totally on-board with the show and started checking out the fandom (which was going through a fair bit of drama at the time between S3 and 4, to be fair). I started lurking at UKofE (signed up a few months later), listening to brony music, and I had my first Pony merch within a week! I decided to limit myself to 1-2 episodes a day from then on to savour the experience.
     
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  16. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    So next few episodes

    I watched Griffin the brush off and Boast busters quite recently so not watched them this month.

    Key take away is the mane six are different ages as Fluttershy states she is older than Pinkie and Trixie really develops a lot in future episodes.

    watched Dragonshy, the “suit up” part is great as is the a team style music.Rainbow is an utter jerk to Fluttershy. It’s quite a cool episode when you see Fluttershy take a stand.
     
  17. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    Bridle Gossip:

    This was actually loads more fun than I remember. I don't quite know how it was possible, but I'd totally forgotten about Evil Enchantress. I remember not thinking much of it the first time, mostly because it's not a good song in the same way as Winter Wrap-Up or Smile Smile Smile, but I can see now that it's kind of great in an ironic way. I love the way she just keeps singing it every time she gets an excuse to, and that Applejack implies that she does this every single time Zecora comes to town. I also really enjoyed Fluttershy's reluctant rendition later on; the look on her face really sold it for me. Aside from that, I also feel like this episode was sassy Twilight at her finest. The way she makes fun of the others for being afraid of Zecora might be a bit harsh, but it is quite funny. I feel like that and the moment where she mock laughs at Spike's comments about her horn before snapping that it's a serious problem go beyond her usual sarcastic attitude, even this early. It doesn't seem too far out of character, though. On the flip side, she demonstrates a stubbornness here which she eventually learns to outgrow, and that's nice to see. It's also an interesting point that even though she didn't suspect Zecora at first, she still jumped to the wrong conclusion later on.

    Apple Bloom was great, of course, though it almost feels weird for her to have an episode without her soon to be best friends. Her innocence here means that she doesn't share anypony else's preconceptions about Zecora, she can see that there's absolutely no evidence that she's doing anything wrong, and Twilight could see that same at first, being a relative outsider. I hadn't noticed this before, but the episode seems to be the start of the mentor-apprentice relationship that Zecora and Apple Bloom develop. Of course, it also sets Zecora up as the friendly expert on supernatural phenomena just outside of Ponyville.

    I can mostly see the sense of irony in the poison joke effects, but I'm not entirely sure why it shrunk AJ, unless that was simply about her relationship with Apple Bloom. I have to wonder what it actually did to Rainbow Dash, why it messed up her flying, but I do find it amusing that she doesn't even think to just walk. I wonder if she ever does just walk? The nickname of "Flutterguy" just because she gets a deep voice makes me a bit uncomfortable for personal reasons, but it's fine, as long as I don't dwell on that too much. That said, it has a great moral, and one which I'm sure many adults and kids could benefit from learning, even now.

    Swarm of the Century:

    I have to be honest, I still feel a bit like this was a good episode, rather than a great one. I'm generally not a big fan of parasprites, I suppose. Though this was a good reminder of the pedestal they all used to have Celestia on. I think she really did just mean a casual visit, but she must be really used to ponies pulling out all the stops for her by now. I think she'd be pretty amused to see a banner saying "Welcome Princess Celest", as well. It seems weird that she'd apparently never encountered parasprites before, though from the way she talks about the infestation in Fillydelphia, that's her "I know what's going on" smile. If I'm not mistaken, her revisit is rescheduled for A Bird in the Hoof. I know they hadn't put as much thought into continuity yet, but how and when did they rebuild the town?

    Pinkie was the one who really made this episode for me, and not least because she's not just being silly the whole time, she actually knows what she's doing. It's another important episode for her character development, and the reveal at the end gives it more rewatch value. I still think that the lack of communication went both ways; she didn't try to actually tell them until Ponyville was already in crisis, as much as they, fairly understandably, ignored her, thinking she was full of her usual nonsense. I'm not sure if they all knew at this point that she was from a rock farm, but that might help explain why they didn't listen to her.

    It strikes me that this was back in the day when Twilight used to resort to magic to solve most of her problems. She also outgrew that, passing it on to Starlight and Trixie :p. I had to wonder if Fluttershy couldn't have simply stared the parasprites, but if she couldn't resist keeping one, she probably couldn't have brought herself to do that. It also occurs to me that Rarity in later seasons would be less freaked out by how parasprites seem to multiply, but most interestingly, it seems like she was able to partially direct them somehow. Rainbow Dash makes a pretty impressive tornado on her own, as well. I couldn't help noticing in the background that while Bon Bon just looked mildly shocked to have her cake devoured by a parasprite, Lyra looked deeply hurt :p.

    Winter Wrap-Up:

    First of all, let's separate the song from the episode. The song is absolutely legendary, it's fully fledged out and longer than most pop songs. It's the first time in the series where it's felt like we had a "real" song, in that sense. I especially love that there are at least three different layers of vocals in the chorus, it really conveys that community feel.

    The episode itself is one that actually feels very warm and comforting to me, even compared to those around it. It does seem a bit weird that no one thought to get Twilight on one of the teams before the day, but it becomes clear later on that their organisation is a total shambles, so that probably explains that. I can see that Rainbow Dash leads the weather team, and AJ leads the plant team, but was that Amethyst leading the animal team? I don't particularly think that Twilight messed up waking the animals from hibernation, she just wasn't expecting snakes. To Fluttershy, they're all equally adorable, so she didn't think to mention it. I don't think she really messed up on the nests, either, it's just that Rarity had insane standards. I can understand why she used magic on the snowplough, like I said, she was still in the habit of relying on it, and she didn't want to be a disappointment. She was still rather insecure like that. It was an important episode for her, that even though her magic is a great talent, there's more to her than that.

    I think it's great that the Apples are apparently helping, but don't they have their own hometowns to which they need to bring spring? There's some fun dialogue in there, as well, not least Derpy apparently heading every direction but south to find the southern birds. Even so, that just demonstrates hwo they'd yet to find the right job for the right pony. I'm sure she found her place helping out in later years.

    Call of the Cutie:

    So I suppose this could technically be considered the first CMC episode, even though they only formed at the end of it. There was obviously some necessary exposition about cutie marks and how they work, and I find it quite amusing how the members of Cheerilee's class apparently change every shot :p. And how she apparently has the same formula and diagram on her blackboard for literally years, no matter what she's teaching. It's a shame that Twist doesn't seem to have another role than being a friend who isn't very true to Apple Bloom. I think Diamond Tiara's passive aggressive form of bully is pretty realistic, but I can't deny getting hit with a rush of nostalgia upon hearing "Bump bump, sugar lump rump" for the first time in absolutely ages.

    The mane six didn't really have much of a role other than being the sensible adults in comparison. But I do love the Rainbow Dash started the CMC on their quest to discover themselves. I think that at some point, they almost forgot about their cutie marks, and it just became about having fun together. It might just be me, but I kinda think the only thing that went wrong with those cupcakes is that they were baked for far too long. It seems Pinkie still has a way to go as a baker if she can't recognise that yet.

    Obviously, the moment where Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo stand up for Apple Bloom is an important one, but I had to notice that they were hiding under a table up until that point. So they were both as terrified of being found out as Apple Bloom, but it reached the point where she just had to stick up for this pony getting picked on. Sounds a lot like her idol Rainbow Dash. "Sometimes, the thing you think will cause you to lose friends and feel left out can actually be the thing that helps you make your closest friends and realize how special you are.". I think we can all vouch for that ;).
     
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  18. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    A little late to the party, but watched the opening two-parter and thought it was worth one of my more in-depth thoughts:

    • Loved the way it starts with the book narrated by Celestia and then transitions to Twilight speaking
    • Moondancer and the others were throwaways but it's interesting watching in hindsight knowing that they eventually flesh them out
    • "Oh Spike, you know we don't have time for that kind of BEEP" - yeah I still remember watching the MLP with CENSOR BEEPS video, which is hard to get out of my head when watching this
    • Dashie's muddy entrance was fun, and that cute laugh of hers. I can see why she was my first favourite (later to be joint-ish with Flutters). That sort of "voice break" she tends to do is so cute.
    • Fluttershy enters and is her absolute most timid-as-she's-ever-been self. Until spotting Spike! The moment that endeared her to many.
    • The moment where you see Derpy with straight eyes, very briefly, until she derps. It's funny how huge parts of the fandom simply came from this one first episode and how fans literally pored over every single frame. Never has so much been wringed out of so little!
    • (Part 2) - AJ grabbing RD's tail - first interaction between this future couple?
    • Pinkie's famous "It was under Eeeeeee!" moment - come on Twilight, you can do better than that.
    • Note how the elements were described as the 'camera' focused on each pony. Can't remember if I caught that the first time.
    • As they say they're Twilight's friends and head into the forest, the stars twinkle. Bit of a trope, but I like it.
    • Fluttershy's first and adorable moment of kindness :3
    • First song!
    • Rarity's first moment of generosity, after the bizarre moment where they make you think she's cut down the serpent with his own scale. Why XD
    • Dashie's moment is lovely in particular as we know how extremely ambitious she is.
    • I always tear up when Twi's eyes widen and she realises she has friends, and when she's speeching about it just after.
    • Twilight gets a crown so yeah, they knew what they wanted to do from day 1.
    • Everypony bows - very different to the close relationship they have with Celestia later.
    • Another long-running and clearly planned thing - Celestia knows exactly what she's doing.

    Differences/glitches/matters of interest:
    • The sisters referred to as unicorns rather than alicorns
    • Magic at this point doesn't have a colour, and works off the kind of sparklies that Harmony Tree Twilight is made of
    • AJ's proud stance after bucking some apples was forever enshrined into merch as the Generic Vector
    • It's said from leaks that Hasbro wants G5 to be heavy on the classic fantasy stuff. It's interesting in that we had things like a manticore in the first episode of G4 so they must have had similar ideas, but this seemed to go by the wayside in the long run with classic Greek/Norse/Etc mythological creatures (as often featured in traditional fantasy) certainly existing but mostly having been created in the first season, thinking about it.
    • Ashleigh hadn't quite perfected AJ's accent yet. It wasn't noticeable at the time, but it is now!
    • When Celestia returns, the "Elements of Friendship" are mentioned.
    • The words "The Magic Inside" are uttered.

    Criticisms:
    • It's always been hard to really make this story "work" when given too much scrutiny. Mostly: Celestia gave up on her sister for a THOUSAND years over something that a student can sort out?
    • Applejack's moment was always weird. Can't you just tell Twilight you've spotted RD and Flutters flying across and that if she falls they'll catch her? Why the need to force her to put her life in the word of someone she's just met?

    Rubbish Fan theory:
    Celestia knowing exactly what she's doing makes you think. Could an answer to my criticism be that she's done a bit of reality bending and Luna wasn't really gone for as long as a thousand years? *shrug* just a random thought


    It's such a different show in season 1. Far as I recall from a half-rewatch a few years ago, it's quite special. I don't know if the full Faust approach would have worked as well for 9 seasons, but as the foundation it was perfect.
     
    #18 Cloudane, 14 November 2019 at 12:36am
    Last edited: 14 November 2019 at 12:45am

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