“I’ve gotten through a lot of bad movies by imagining a better movie. This is the first time I’ve seen a bad movie imagine a better version of itself.” – MovieBob, Escape to the Movies; Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two
It seems to me that most writers don’t know how to accept criticism. Specifically writers for animated series based on Hasbro franchises.
I remember once getting into a short discussion on Twitter with Amy Keating Rogers, one of My Little Pony’s better writers.
She was working as story editor on another series at the time, Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, and tweeted a clip from one of the episodes. I found the dialogue from the clip to be lacking, and a bit awkward. So I mentioned that to her. Her response? No, you’re wrong, fuck off (I’m paraphrasing).
Now, it’s not like I expected her to say: Oh shit, you’re right, it is terrible, you caught us! But something along the lines of: ‘One man’s opinion,’ or ‘well, you can’t please everyone,’ would have been fine. Ideally she would have said, ‘really? How so?’ and I would’ve explained that I found it to be a bit stilted and off. I could’ve even pointed to particular moments. Instead she, more or less, dismissed it.
Not that I’m saying anyone’s required to listen to the opinions of random douchebags on the internet, but to dismiss it in such a fashion is just… well… rude!
Then there was Magical Mystery Cure. I still think it’s the worst episode of the series, and most of the problems I found occurred in the first 12 minutes, before Twilight’s transformation. But it was also from one of the series’ best writers, so I think disappointment and disbelief are what fuelled my desire to see an actual response from him. I was desperate to hear someone prove me wrong and give a proper rebuttal to my criticism of the episode, and who better than the man who wrote it!?
But I understand why he didn’t respond to my tweets. There were hundreds of people criticizing the episode, and most of them were just irritating fanboys upset that something, or anything, had changed.
Their opinions can be dismissed outright. So my criticisms likely just faded into the douche noise. If everyone criticized my work for a stupid reason, I’d probably do the same thing. It’s basically the Man Covered in Shit problem.
Then there’s a more recent episode: Daring Don’t, where they took a character previously established to be nothing more than a character in a book, and made her a real character in the context of the show. It is of my humble opinion that that was a stupid fucking episode. Primarily because it was a stupid fucking premise that wasn’t even handled well.
But more recently, that episode got me to realize something. It got me to realize that despite everything I said earlier, even the writers on the show know when they’ve pumped out a bad episode. I say this because a more recent episode, Power Ponies, has a similar premise to Daring Don’t, except done well! Except done in a way that makes me think it was just written with the intent to say to David Polsky, “You idiot! This is how you do it!” Continue reading