Dammit, Rarity!: “Rarity Takes Manehattan” review

Rarity was never my favourite character, I’ll have to admit. Not merely because she was a fashion designer, which I find to be a relatively pointless venture, but because she was always portrayed as shallow and manipulative.

Not to say she hasn’t had her moments over the years. There was the time she dressed down the diamond dogs, and the time she jumped in a mud puddle to try to win back her sister’s love. Both of which show her in an extremely positive light.

But she’s had too many steps back. For instance, there was the time she seduced a gemstone out of Spike, and the time she used Sweetie Belle as slave labour. Neither of which show her in anything other than a negative light.

The more time she spends on-screen, the less I like her, and I find that disappointing. Having a main character this unlikable is just wrong. It would be great if she got just a few more good moments, but they’ve become almost non-existent in recent years.

Can we just get one episode where she’s not shallow, inconsiderate, self-centred, and rude? Just one!? Well, apparently we can! By making her stupid and naïve instead.

Fucking writers.

This isn’t to say Rarity’s most recent episode is bad, it’s just stupid and contrived, and it fails to portray our heroine in a positive light for the billionth time.

Okay, I guess it is bad.

The story is all about the gang’s trip to Manehattan, to support Rarity’s participation in the Manehattan Fashion Week. They arrive at the train station, and Rarity has her first moment of shining bullshit when she asks Spike to carry her bags.

There are actually two piles like that. But I understand, Rarity. It’s not like you have telekinesis and can easily move massive loads with the powers of magic or anything-oh, wait!

Even Twilight finds this pathetic!

But I digress.

Their plans also involve seeing a major musical in town, which even Rainbow Dash is excited to see. It strikes me as odd, since I wouldn’t expect Rainbow Dash to be a fan of musicals. Which is something Applejack mentions. But apparently, this musical is just that good. So her reaction would make sense, if she saw the musical before; but since it’s only showing in Manehattan, I find that unlikely. It would make more sense if she was just aloof about the show, and then, in the final scene when they finally see the show, she declares her love for it. Her excitement in advance makes no sense given the context. They state outright, Rainbow Dash doesn’t like musicals, except this one she hasn’t seen. Why would she like it if she hadn’t seen it!

But as Rainbow explains why she hates musicals (which is revealed to be the same reason I hate musicals), Rarity starts singing.

And it’s all about how generous Rarity is! Which is a trait she’s rarely shown throughout the series. Even though it’s what linked her to an Element of Harmony. But more than that, the song says, “I’m generous, therefore I’ll get shit!” Which I find to be the most bullshittiest part of the song. If the only reason you do good is because you think you’ll get something out of it, you’re not actually a good person.

And some unsettling scenes pop up during this number. For instance, what the fuck is going on in this window?

Or more specifically, what is about to go on? What was the point of that? I have a guess, but I’m almost afraid to share it. I’m guessing she’s there for an “interview.”

Anyway, they help people out, and try to spread joy throughout the city. In Manehattan. Yeah, good fucking luck.

But with all that singing, Rarity manages to lose track of time, and finds that she only has ten minutes to get her dresses to the other side of town. Well, at least it’s not raining.

Fuck.

So they try to snag a taxi, but apparently there’s a line.

Does it move with the taxi? Or is it a taxi stop? I didn’t know those things existed.

Anyway, they’re in the middle of ersatz-New-York, how the hell can cabs be in such short supply? Especially in a land ruled by four-legged equines who can likely gallop pretty darn fast. Let’s assume Mr. Cab Driver is an endurance runner, that’s why they need him. But why would so many be using them?

At any rate, Twilight tries to persuade one stallion to give up his taxi, with this gem of a line, “Please, won’t you let her have this taxi, she has somewhere very important she needs to be, right away!”

Yes, and she’s the only one in the entire city, Twilight. The rest of them just laze about doing fuck all. And I’m surprised the Manehattanite doesn’t respond with sarcasm, as I just did. This is why you’ll never be real New York.

But thankfully the cab driver they helped during the musical number just happened to be free and in the area, so he gives her a lift.

Then the rest of the group realizes, she doesn’t have the dresses. So get Rainbow Dash to fly them over, I thought she was the fastest thing alive or something.

But no, they just have the valet bring them over. How is that faster than having Rainbow Dash carry them?

Whatever, so, with her outfits, Rarity is all ready to show off. She meets Prim Hemline, who is apparently some big-shot in the fashion world. There are a lot of those. I’m guessing she’s a parody of someone, but I’m not sure whom.

But Prim starts by giving Rarity a dressing down because she cut it so close to deadline. Everyone else was there thirty minutes ago. Explanations!

Yeah, she fucked up. But on the bright side, she’s still in!

Then we meet my favourite character of the episode, h’okay.

Suri Polomare, a former Ponyvillian who used to know Rarity. She moved to Manehattan years ago for fashion… I’m assuming.

Anyway, she helps Rarity move her things to the back room, and gets a good look at Rarity’s collection. It’s really nothing spectacular, I find, except for the holographic fabric it’s made from.

I really like this effect. Where the colours swoosh around. Obviously done with CG. It’s a really great look, and Suri’s equally impressed. She shares her own woes, apparently some of her designs still need work, and she realizes a bit of the magic fabric could be exactly what she needs. So Rarity gives her a whole fucking roll!

Yeah, that won’t bite her in the ass.

Spoiler alert: It bites her in the ass.

Yeah, turns out Suri decided to use the roll as the basis for her whole line, rather than just accents. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone. It was Rarity’s fault for giving her a whole fucking roll. That’s not generosity, that’s stupidity. Yeah, she should’ve been able to trust her, but that’s not the point. Suri didn’t need all that fabric, so why’d she give her all that fabric!?

I don’t see how Suri did anything wrong here. Seriously! She probably intended to only use it for accents only. But realized that she had a whole fucking roll and thought, “well, I have enough, might as well redo everything.”

Or, to be more precise, have her assistant redo everything, h’okay.

Meet Coco Pommel, who’s a bit Fluttershy-esque. She’s also painfully boring, and possibly sycophantic.

So, Suri ends up gloating, which sorta turns me against her. One would at least act apologetic. You’d think. Why not explain her thought process. “Well, I was going to use it for accents. But you gave me a whole roll, h’okay.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wouldn’t the judges notice that Suri basically plagiarized the designs? Well, they might, if Rarity went first, but since she was late on the first day, she went last.

Back at the hotel, the other five have just returned, high from a day of tourism. When Rarity wanders in.

Fucking downer. Of course the others are concerned. Pinkie asks if she got the dresses they sent. Yeah, yesterday. You’re asking if she got them yesterday? One would think she would’ve told them that she did get them… yesterday!

I’m sorry it’s just a weird incongruity that bugs the hell out of me. What was the point of that? Unless it wasn’t yesterday. This was all one day wasn’t it? Then why did Rarity go back to the receptionist if she was already in the building?

And that would also mean that Coco is the fucking Pony-Flash! Sew together six dresses in a few hours. Holy fuck!

Anyway, with a bit of a pep talk from the girls, Rarity is suddenly inspired to create a whole new line. But it must be ready by the next day! So she does the same thing she’s done so many times before. Employ her friends and family as slave labour.

Yes they start making her dresses, which I don’t really have a problem with, since they did say they’d help. But unfortunately, Rarity’s a bitch. See, they already sacrificed an evening of sightseeing and fancy restaurants, so when Rarity reveals they’ll also miss the musical, the others are understandably disappointed.

Then Rarity responds with this, “I go out of my way to get you tickets for a show, and this is how you repay me?” By seeing the show!? How dare you! Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense, especially considering they didn’t say they were going to leave. They just expressed surprise and disappointment.

Now, we all know Rarity’s good at psychological manipulation, but why is she trying to do it thorough guilt, rather than empathy? This attitude of hers is actually quite… the only word I can think of is ‘bitchy.’

The next morning, they finish the job, and Rarity storms off without even thanking them for their help. Which I don’t blame her for. She’s in a rush and a quite stressed. Etiquette can slip your mind in those times.

So it’s time for the fashion show, and Rarity shows off Hotel Chic!

What?

The fuck is that!? That’s fucking horrible, she has a lampshade on her head! There’s soap hanging from her neck!

Anyway, apparently ponies are easily impressed. Seriously? It looks like some avant-garde art project. You’re liking that?

But Rarity’s more upset that her friends are absent. Of course they are! They stayed up all night working on the dresses, they’re probably still in the hotel room, semi-comatose because they’re exhausted!

So, after some weird and inexplicable rainbow effect in her eyes, Rarity runs out to find her friends. She fails, and assumes they returned to Ponyville.

So she decides to go back as well, and returns to the hall to thank Prim for the opportunity. But according to Suri, Prim’s very angry about something.

Then, out of nowhere, the others arrive and explains that they slept through the show. Which makes sense.

They also reveal that Rarity lost. But she doesn’t care. She just apologizes to her friends for being such a bitch, and they instantly forgive her. After all, they know her too well to know that was anything other than a fluke. Which also makes sense. She was just stressed, it all adds up.

Then Rarity reveals her plan to make it all up to them. She managed to book the entire theatre for them, so they could watch the musical as they originally planned. I thought she was leaving town!

Skip ahead to the end of the show, Rainbow proclaims how much she loved it, before reverting to her cool persona. Which would make sense if she wasn’t chomping at the bit to watch it throughout the entire episode. If she acted aloof throughout the entire episode, that would make sense. But she didn’t, so it doesn’t. Why would she suddenly try to hide it now!?

But how did Rarity get this exclusive performance? Well, she talked to the show’s costume designer, and offered to make all the costumes for his next production.

Which’ll apparently keep her in Manehattan for a while.

Then, out of nowhere, Coco Pomell appears and gives Rarity the first place trophy for Fashion Week. Apparently Suri lied, and was hoping that if Rarity just left town without seeing Prim Hemline, she’d automatically forfeit the prize, and it’d go to her. Okay, yeah, now she sucks.

Apparently, Coco had a change of heart when she saw Rarity, and her interactions with her friends. It gave her hope that it didn’t have to be every pony for herself. I feel like I missed something.

So she quit Suri’s employ, and is now jobless. So Rarity gives her the job she just took, and- I didn’t know you could do that! Just trade jobs like that without the approval of the employer. Yeah, seriously, he hired you, Rarity. Not Coco.

Anyway, the episode ends with some bizarre spool of multi-coloured thread, which confuses me for many reasons. And overall, this wasn’t good.

It wasn’t the worst episode of the season, not even close. But the entire thing was just bad. Full of illogical plot points, awkward characterization, and a villain who wasn’t much of a villain. Suri didn’t really do anything wrong, at least until the end, she just took advantage of Rarity’s mistake, which I don’t find to be that bad. Except for the fact that she let everyone give her full credit for the fabric, which is certainly not on. But I kinda want to see more of her in the future. Plus, how Rarity’s designs were considered good is beyond me.

These clusterfucks were better designs than that monstrosity!

I stand by that statement!

And you know, that episode was from season one. And it just reminds me how good of a character Rarity used to be. She was caring, generous, hard-working, and always willing to please.

Now? She’s self-centred, inconsiderate, shallow, and moronic. And that’s not a positive development.

Next time Rarity gets an episode, can they at least try to make us like her? PLEASE!? She deserves better than this!

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One response to “Dammit, Rarity!: “Rarity Takes Manehattan” review

  1. Regarding Rarity’s next episode – it just happened last week – titled “Simple Ways”.

    I’m going to blunt – it THIS wasn’t Rarity at her worst for you – the latest episode, which is also a Rarity episode, is!

    …And Rarity is my favorite character in the Mane 6, too – yet I can’t shed tears when someone is acting stupid and deserve the hate they get.

    I may have actually liked this episode, IMHO, but you really put things into perspective… For that, I thank you. Such stupidity must not be allowed to go unpunished.

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