I’d like to begin this week by saying something I’ve probably said before: The fans are not always right. In fact the fans are most usually wrong. Yes, I include myself in that statement.
Fans don’t know dick. If they did, they wouldn’t simply be fans. But they would be…I don’t know what the word is…opposite of fans… They’d be creating things that people are fans of, not merely consuming it, is what I’m saying.
The wisdom of the crowd is an oxymoron, and I can prove it. The crowd will always do the same thing, for instance, they will always take what little information they may have on a minor fictional character, and extrapolate it to the most obvious result. Booooooring!!! It’s why the phrase, “design by committee” is often used as an insult.
Here’s an idea: take the audience’s first impressions of a character, and later reveal their actual personality to be the complete opposite of that. That’s a lot more interesting. It would show the character to be a bit of an enigma. Which is always a good thing.
Anyway, this week on My Little Pony, the writers gave a background character the fans have dubbed “Derpy,” a proper name and speaking role. Unfortunately, the name they gave her was “Derpy” and the speaking role basically portrayed her as both an idiot and a klutz. Though I might be extrapolating too much. She basically ends up nearly destroying the Ponyville town hall, and her voice makes her sound like someone with Down syndrome (at least I think she does, I could be wrong there). This is her first speaking role and this is what she gets!? Disrespect!? I’m sorry, but I’m really pissed about this. I know others have portrayed her as such in fan materials, but to do this in official material is offensive to all those with a lazy eye.
That’s the thing, the only reason people presumed she was an idiot was because in her first background appearance, she had derp-eyes, which basically means each of her eyes were pointed in different directions. That doesn’t mean she’s stupid! So stop saying she is!!!
You know, I’m probably just bitter it didn’t line up exactly with what I envisioned the character as. I had this idea: Her name is Mercury Bubbles. The best weather engineer in Equestria. Developed the tri-ionic rain cloud, which revolutionized rainmaking. Got out of the business after her husband died due to an accident involving one of her inventions. Since then, she’s been living a quiet life in Ponyville, participating in minor weather control operations, but she’s no longer inventing.
I like that idea, and I think I can still use some of it, but for the most part, my vision has died. So obviously I’m biased, but I stand by my original statement. It’s offensive to those with similar eye conditions.
So, now to this week’s A-plot. Applejack is off to the Equestrian rodeo in Canterlot, and the town gives her a huge send-off party before she begins her journey. During the party it’s announced that she will donate her prize money to the Ponyville coffers to fix town hall. Which makes the Mayor very excited. All the ponies in town are expecting her to win first prize and bring back the purse that goes with it. So…you know…no pressure.
A few days later, all her friends and family are preparing a welcome back party for her, only to receive a telegram from Applejack that explains that she’s not coming back.
Her friends, concerned for her welfare, begin to assume the worst, that she’s injured or something. So they begin a search for the orange earth pony, and end up in Dodge Junction, a colonial town reminiscent of the Old West. Kinda like Appleloosa from the first season. They quickly find Applejack and discover she started working on a cherry orchard for some reason.
They try grilling her to find out why she won’t come back to Ponyville, but stubborn old Applejack is tight-lipped. They begin by infiltrating the cherry orchard and parodying I Love Lucy. A scene which consists of them asking if it’s personal, listing a few times that they accidentally insulted or offended her, and ended with Applejack getting covered in cherry sauce.
Their next attempt involves an ancient torture technique the Chinese called “let Pinkie Pie talk.” Eventually Applejack caves and agrees to tell them the next morning at breakfast. Then she leaves town before breakfast.
You know, for the Element of Honesty, she’s very dishonest. But I guess if she was that one-dimensional, the show would be a lot less interesting.
Pinkie’s not too happy Applejack lied to her, and decides to kill her…I think. A chase ensues and once the team catches up to Applejack, she tries to lawyer her way out of it, by saying she only said she’d tell them at breakfast. But she didn’t say she’d actually be at breakfast, so she didn’t lie. Then Pinkie jumps from Applejack’s stage-coach, only to accidentally knock Rarity off their own carriage. Causing both ponies to be left behind by the team.
Eventually the remaining ponies successfully take Applejack down, after she realizes that pegasi can fly, so a moving train isn’t really much of an obstacle for them. So, Applejack is forced to reveal the big secret: That she didn’t win the rodeo, she won second place. …you have got to be shitting me! THAT’S THE BIG SECRET!? She made all her friends and family worry about her, and the big secret is that she’s only second best!? I’m surprised no one told her off for keeping such a stupid, mundane secret. Then again, considering the pressure everyone put on her, I can’t exactly blame her too much. But she should have been able to tell her best friends.
Here’s how I would have written the ending:
Applejack: I couldn’t come home a failure.
Twilight: Oh Applejack, [modest laugh; quickly switches to serious/mean look] you’re an idiot.
Twilight: Did you really think we’d look down on you for not being the best in the nation!? What do you take us for!?
Applejack: Well…when you put it that way…
Rainbow: Applejack, we’re your friends, we don’t care about that kind of thing. So you didn’t do as well as you thought you would, big deal. It’s not your fault. We would never blame you for something like that. That is unless you intentionally lost, which I doubt. …you didn’t did you!?
Applejack: No…no I didn’t. So, you’re not mad!?
Twilight: Mad that you lost? No. Mad you didn’t tell us…
Applejack: Oh…heh…right. Sorry I didn’t trust you enough.
Everypony: It’s alright!
[sappy ending with big group hug]
Then, we have the final scene, which reveals that no one cares about Pinkie and Rarity. I can only half agree with that. For these two are left alone to find their own way back to Ponyville. The others apparently forgetting to go back for them. They’re pretty shitty friends.
So, that’s all for this week. Not much to comment on, other than the Derpy thing. She’s growing on me though, so there’s that. Hope to see more of her, but I hope they try something new next time. Like this:
Yes, I’m well aware of the irony of using fan work as an example of going against the fans. I still find it apt.
Anyway, next week, another Applejack episode. Oh, boy…