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Post-Series Finale Rewatch - Season 8

Discussion in 'MLP: Re-Living the Journey' started by CuldeeFell, 20 December 2020.

  1. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Since there wasn't a thread for this I thought I'd start it.

    I've spent the last week re-watching Series 8 in order to reach Best Gift Ever before Christmas in a re-watch I'm doing, and I've watched all 26 episodes of Series 8 in the last seven days which is actually nuts. So what have I learned from it?

    Series 8 isn't very good.

    I'm not going to beat about the bush here, it just isn't. The premise of the school breaks a lot of the world building of the show, and after how negligent Twilight and the other Mane Six are as teachers it's hard not to have sympathies with Chancellor Neighsay. On top of that a lot of the episodes have pacing problems, have characters acting out of character, or just go for choices that obvious and pedestrian rather than interesting.

    Rankings:
    1. "Surf and/or Turf"
    2. "Sounds of Silence"
    3. "The Break Up Break Down"
    4. "A Rockhoof and a Hard Place"
    5. "Road to Friendship"
    6. "Yakity-Sax"
    7. "The Parent Map"
    8. "What Lies Beneath"
    9. "Grannies Gone Wild"
    10. "The Mean 6"
    11. "Friendship University"
    12. "The Washouts"
    13. "The Hearth's Warming Club"
    14. "Father Knows Beast"
    15. "Marks for Effort"
    16. "Molt Down"
    17. "Horse Play"
    18. "School Daze"
    19. "The Maud Couple"
    20. "School Raze"
    21. "A Matter of Principals"
    22. "The End in Friend"
    23. "Fake It 'Til You Make It"
    24. "Non-Compete Clause"
    Compared to the last time I made a rankings list like this, here's what's changed:
    • The Premiere and Finale are not as good as I remembered
    For some reason I put them 4th and 5th on my list last time, but the premiere introduces some of the biggest world building problems in the show's history, while the finale is both overstuffed and underdeveloped, and could have done with some of the extraneous plot being stripped out of it.
    • "Surf and/or Turf" beats "Sounds of Silence" for the no.1 spot.
    These are the only two properly good episodes in Series 8. After several episodes in a row that get the characters wrong in one way or another (subjective, of course) "Surf and/or Turf" was refreshing for getting subtle character details spot on; particularly Sweetie Belle being entranced by the Harmonising Heights music and Scootaloo's utter joy at being able to swim up and down as if flying. These were not just in character, these were details that nailed the characters.

    "Sounds of Silence" which before this week I'd probably have picked as the best episode is still really good, but we don't learn an awful lot more about Applejack and Fluttershy from it. "Surf and/or Turf" nails all its character choices. Both are really good though.
    • Poor Yona goes through a lot
    By the end of the series Yona has almost drowned, been chased by a bugbear, trapped in melting stairs, covered in spiders, and fallen through a cloud. No one else goes through as much hardship as she does.

    • The Tree of Harmony's interest in the Student Six makes more sense now we know they're supposed to be the future element bearers
    Or they are if Twilight's speech in "The Ending of the End" is anything to go by anyway.
    • Starlight is best character.
    Or she's the one the writers know what to do with anyway. Most of the Mane Six are pretty static by this point but Starlight has interesting new angles to explore in all her major appearances, from going back with Sunburst to see their parents again to going on a road trip with Trixie, her episodes are always interesting and always add something new to her.
     
    Loganberry and Oilyvalves like this.
  2. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Thanks for that! :) An interesting list, too. It'll be a long time before I reach S8 in my own rewatch, but my current opinions broadly match yours for most episodes here -- though I do currently rate "School Raze" a fair bit higher, I wonder whether I might end up doing what you have in reassessment. That aside, the only two major disagreements I'd have would be to rank "Horse Play" comfortably within the top half and to put "Yakity-Sax" a good deal lower. No complaints about your choice at the top! :D
     
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  3. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    I think this season came up right around when I was moving house, and at the time I felt like no one was really interested in these, so I guess I never got around to posting it. Thanks for doing that and also proving me wrong. :p

    I've rewatched the first 9 episodes of the season so far, so I'm not going to do a full ranking just yet. I agree the concept of the school is a bit awkward, however it did give us six wonderful new characters, the Student Six. :) I think the premiere was enjoyable, though there are better ones in other seasons. :)

    "Surf and/or Turf", "Horse Play" and "The Parent Map" are definite favourites for me in the first third of the season. :)

    "Non-Compete Clause" is still a decidedly mediocre episode, though, in my opinion. :p
     
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  4. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    yes
     

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