Separated from the Mob: “Twilight Time” review

It seems to me that there are only nine characters on My Little Pony that are fully fleshed-out, multidimensional and consistent characters: Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle, Applejack, Scootaloo, Fluttershy, Rarity, Apple Bloom, and Pinkie Pie. I would include Spike, but sadly, Spike at Your Service really fucked-up his character arc.

Now, this should surprise no one, since they are the main characters. But we’ve had many side characters pop up over the years that could’ve gotten proper characterization, but ended up as one-dimensional and bland caricatures. Some may suggest that this is okay for one-shot characters, and that they just don’t get enough screen time to show any real depth, but I don’t buy that. Take Sombra for instance. What did he do, and why did he do it? Something about slaves and taking over the Crystal Empire. But we get no explanation of what he actually did. He’s not so much a character, but a formless evil; which is just lazy storytelling if you ask me. He had a 45-minute episode where they could’ve spent three minutes explaining what he did that was so evil, and maybe even what his ultimate goal was. But we get none of that, and instead just focus on Twilight climbing stairs, and Fluttershy being shit at jousting. And don’t forget the two, frankly time-wasting, musical numbers.

Then we have the extras. Background characters who act like a single mass of idiots on a nearly constant basis. None of them have any personality! Which is fair enough since they’re background characters. But as a collective, they don’t act in a way any normal group would act. They all act as vapid and shallow morons. Not one of them takes a step to the side and realize the rest of them are idiots.

I might be misremembering things, but the second episode, The Ticket Master, highlights this very well, as the entire town begins mobbing Twilight for the extra Gala ticket. And I mean the entire town! We don’t see any background characters observing these events from afar. Looking over their newspaper as a mass of ponies mob the newest member of their community. And that bugs me. You’re telling me no innocent bystander feels the need to not join in with the crowd? None of them are patient observers? No! They’re all part of the herd!

I bring this up because a more recent episode did the exact same thing, but in a much more obvious way. And it makes me think the writers don’t even try to give personalities to characters that aren’t available on toy shelves. Continue reading