Love and Adaptation

Okay, I know we’ve been down this road before.

The thing about love is that it can make you do stupid things. I know, I was a teenager for about six years, what do you think happened?

And these stupid things can run the gamut, from simply not learning to let go, to getting overly-excited and scaring the other off, or not understanding that they’re just not into you until it’s way too late for your heart to get out unscathed.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, really. There are so many stupid things you can do because of love. And when it comes to love and stupidity, look no further than Ponyville’s resident romantic.

Rarity! A mare with fine tastes and a big heart… ostensibly. And on this episode, her big heart gets inadvertantly crushed, and she does not handle it well. Continue reading

Reverse Hypocondria

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favourite movies is Contagion. A film all about a deadly pandemic and the impact it has on society and the world at large.

People die, others panic, and it all hits the fan. The film covered the event from every conceivable angle, including the perspective of a nutbar conspiracy theorist who creates more panic, and additional riots, over some type of miracle bullshit water.

Many characters even put themselves under personal quarantines, cutting themselves off from the world in an effort to protect themselves from the virus, which may be an appropriate reaction. And those who are infected… well they end up getting too sick to do much of anything. That being said, they don’t appear to be too concerned about quarantines or avoiding infecting others. Which is fucked when you think about it.

If you have a dangerous and deadly virus, going outside and letting it spread to others is just irresponsible. Oh, sure, you might survive… but that’s kinda beside the point!

If you think you’re sick, placing yourself under some type of quarantine is the only responsible thing to do. Assuming it’s feasible. And with that, I bring you the latest episode of Littlest Pet Shop, which is all about a quarantine. Two quarantines, as a matter of fact. Continue reading

Pinkie and the Usurper

Haven’t we been down this road before?

The most important thing to remember about celebrations, like birthdays and anniversaries, and weddings, and other things, is to remember who they’re for. It’s not about the host, it’s about the guest of honour. It’s important to remember that, otherwise you’re just jerking off.

And there’s no better jerker than Pinkie Pie, who plans celebrations based on what she loves, not necessarily what others love. Of course, with her friends, who share mostly similar interests, it has worked. But back during the old royal wedding, that wasn’t the case.

If you remember, Cadence expressed a certain amount of disdain at Pinkie’s design choices, and she didn’t really notice. Alright, it was actually Evil Cadance, but no one knew that.

My point is, either Pinkie didn’t notice that the bride didn’t like it, or she didn’t care. Neither one is good. And she’s supposed to be our expert party planner? I guess so.

I think the problem was, Pinkie’s never been taken out of her comfort zone. She was never challenged in any way. She always threw the same parties, over and over again, and no one questioned it. No one bothered to criticize her work. Oh, I’ve certainly been down this path before.

Party planning is an art, isn’t it? There’s certainly an artistry to it, I must say. And like any art, one must be challenged, and criticized on their work in order to get better. But that can only happen if you have colleagues that can do the job. And Pinkie doesn’t. This also means she has no competition. Which explains why, when competition actually enters the town of Ponyville. She doesn’t take it well.

What!? A free market!? That’s not on! Continue reading

Chaos, Resumed

I’ve been watching a lot of Once Upon a Time these days. It’s a show about fairy tales, old novels, famous poems, and pretty much anything in classic literature that Disney owns the rights to. Which is why next season, I expect a story line taking place in the Star Wars Galaxy.

I’m planning on doing a full write-up on this show, so I’m not gonna go into too much detail here. But suffice to say, one of the show’s most interesting elements is how they took classic villains; like the Evil Queen from Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin from… Rumpelstiltskin, or Captain Hook from Peter Pan; out of the old black and white, binary morality model of story, and turned them into interesting, dynamic, and even sympathetic characters. They’re given tortured back stories, explaining why they act villainy. We see them motivated not by greed, selfishness or vanity, but by things which we, ourselves, might find ourselves motivated by. We even see them side with the heroes whenever they feel the need. Which is actually more often than not.

But as a consequence, when we meet a real villain, one that we really have to hate, they end up taking off the brakes and turning back to the old tropes. But even then, they still avoid the binary morality trap, by giving the villain a back story we can understand. I mean, he was still an unsympathetic prick, but you understood why he was an unsympathetic prick. Even a stupid, selfish, amoral reason, is a reason.

But the important thing to note is that the old villains sided with the heroes to fight the real villains. Regina Mills, for instance, has had a very clear arc over the series, and is now one of the show’s most heroic characters, willing to give of herself for the sake of others. Or at the very least, for the sake of her son.

And her story’s been clear, and consistent. She worked hard to be good, and we all know why. She’s a character we can fully understand.

In contrast, another show with a former-villain turned supposed-good-guy has not been so consistent. It’s been more confusing, and bizarre, instead. And I’m starting to think he never went through any type of character evolution at all. Instead, he’s still the same douchebag he’s always been.

Yes, I’m talking about Discord! The jackass that makes Loki look reasonable. Continue reading

The Schizm

Friendships can break down on occasion. It happens. When I was younger, I had arguments with my friends all the time. Then I grew up, and I had no friends, so it wasn’t really an issue anymore.

Fighting with friends doesn’t mean losing friends. But it’s easy to see why that would be the case. Tempers flare, you say things that aren’t so nice. It all culminates in declaring you never want to see the other again, or unpleasant declarations about someone’s mother, or something getting broken, possibly a nose. And then you think it’s over.

But true friendship doesn’t end. At least, not that easily. After all, friendship is magic!

Which is why it should surprise no one that this theme played out perfectly on the show that’s all about friendship, and love, and tolerance: Littlest Pet Shop!

Oh! Of course! Continue reading

The Little Outdoors

I’ll admit, I kinda like camping. It can be quite relaxing. The day-to-day bustle of modern life can get excruciating over time, so the chance to get away from it, and just relax in the great outdoors, can be nice. Assuming you can still get an internet connection.

Then there’s light pollution. Next time you go camping, try looking up. You may notice something quite spectacular: Stars! I know! Amazing, isn’t it? You don’t get those in the city. I can spend hours just looking in awe at the night sky. With the Milky Way arching across. On occasion I might see the moon in all it’s brilliance, like a second sun. You can even pick out planets, nebulae, even galaxies if you try hard enough.

I might be genetically hardwired to appreciate the inherent beauty of the universe. Just the fact that I can spot the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye just leaves me euphoric, and awestruck. In that moment, I’m witnessing of trillions of stars, and perhaps even millions of alien civilizations, all at once.

And that’s why I love camping, because of astronomy.

But there are certainly other reasons. Dozens of reasons, in fact, to go camping. Which must have been why everyone was so excited to camping on last week’s episode of Littlest Pet Shop. Continue reading

Her Name is Minka, and She Dances on the Sand

I love callbacks! They’re great! They combine comedy with continuity, tickling both the funny and nerdy parts of my brain. But they’re very rare on shows like Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony. This is mainly because these shows are structured so episodes can be watched in any order, and even skipped over, so as to not penalize those who are either casual viewers, or just decided to miss an episode or two.

There was a time when making a continuity-heavy show like 24 would’ve been, if not impossible, a fast way to lose viewers. Since missing a single episode would mean missing a large chunk of the overarching story, making the program unwatchable. And missing single episodes is something that’s going to happen on occasion to all but the most dedicated of viewer.

But now, these kinds of programs have become a mainstay of modern television. And it’s all thanks to on-demand services such as TiVo, NetFlix, and whatever online solution the broadcaster wishes to provide. This kind of flexibility allows the viewer to watch a show at whatever time they want. Which wasn’t possible before without a blank VHS tape, a VCR, a computer science degree so you could program the damn thing, and the ability to predict the future so you know when you’re gonna be late.

And that was all assuming the show didn’t get rescheduled that week, or wasn’t delayed by some cheesy sporting event.

So, why are they not more common? Like I said, Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony don’t do continuity that often. Generally if a new character appears on a given episode, there’s a good chance we’ll never see them again. And references to earlier episodes are almost non-existent, even when you’d expect a character to do just that.

Rainbow: Come on, Fluttershy! You have to get angry!
Fluttershy: But I’m not angry.
Rarity: Oh, I know, pretend the Mane-iac took your taxi, or stood in front of you in line, or asked for directions…
Rainbow: What?
Rarity: You weren’t there, just trust me on this.

That was cut from the superhero episode.

Then there are episodes where a character learns the same thing they learned in a previous episode. As if they were lobotomized or something in the interim.

On the bright side, this practice seems to be falling to the wayside. On My Little Pony, we had Twilight becoming a princess which closed off the last season and is running throughout this one, the renovation of the castle in the Everfree forest was covered in two different episodes which built off each other, and then there’s the ongoing Equestria Games saga.

But on Littlest Pet Shop, it’s been much more pervasive, as we see characters mention events from earlier episodes on a regular basis. Like the Pet Jet, the Pet Fashion Expo, and Russell’s phasmophobia. And I think it finally reached its peak, on the day the pets take a trip to Rio De Janeiro for the big Brazilian Carnival (car-nih-VAHL) celebrations! Primarily because it feels like a sequel to an earlier episode, and because it just won’t stop it with the callbacks! Continue reading

Vote for Creepy Clones

Normally, I’m a very positive and upbeat person. Shut up! I am! But I can understand why people would assume otherwise. After all, virtually every post I write does nothing but throw shit at TV shows that I’m not even the target audience of.

But the only reason I do that is because most of the time, I genuinely enjoy these shows. My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop are great programs that simply don’t get enough credit. Or in the case of My Little Pony, get way too much credit by sycophantic nutjobs wanting to suck off the main cast, or insane fanboys who can’t stand change of any kind.

But because I genuinely enjoy these shows, whenever I see them falter, I feel the need to draw attention to it, so it doesn’t happen again. Because we can only fix problems that we’re aware of, and making us aware of problems is the exact niche criticism fills. Continue reading