Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pony Recap: Slice Of Life


100 episodes. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that a little girl’s show can not only last for more than 100 episodes, but also garner the praise and admiration from fans outside of its targeted demographic. And yet here we are, 100 episodes later, and the creators more than went all the way out to express their gratitude towards their loving fans.

Ever since the show first started, fans have been enamored with the side and background characters, to the point where they developed their own personalities and backgrounds for them. For the most part, these characters have kept to the background, with the occasional spotlight or shout-out now and then; but now, these characters, for whom the fan base have obsessed over, managed to get their chance to shine in an episode all of their own.

And yes, despite the majority of fans loving this episode, there have been a few whom have voiced a fair level of criticism. Yes, you can question how Time Turner had his name changed to Doctor Whooves with a new quirky personality and British accent. You can question how Cranky Doodle happened to know Steven Magnet. You can question how absurd it is for Bon Bon to be a monster-fighting secret agent. You can even question why the Mane 6 were shoved to the background.

But in the end, most of these nitpicks are just that—nitpicks. Everything else about this episode is so insanely awesome that those nitpicks can be easily overlooked. For once, these characters, whom the fan base have become enamored with over the years, finally had an episode all to themselves, a chance for them to take center stage when they otherwise took the back, and if this episode proved anything, it’s that the show’s creators are more than capable of taking characters who otherwise play supporting roles and giving them starring roles, and boy, do they shine bright!

I will be honest, if this were the last episode of the series, I would be okay with it. No, really! (Well, okay, if this truly were the last episode, I would be disappointed because I want to see the rest of Season 5!) This episode truly went all the way over the top—to the point where they literally jumped the shark—and as such, it’s hard to think of any episode after this that can top it. With all of the effort, all of the love, that was put into this episode, it very well could have been the most fitting way for the creators to lovingly end it. We can only wait and see how the rest of the series manages to play out, whether for the worst or for the better.


Right off the bat, we have a call back to “A Friend In Deed.” That episode saw Cranky’s scrapbook of old memories of his long-lost friend, Matilda, being destroyed; now, reunited with her, he has made a new scrapbook of new memories. (Film Brain: Sym-bo-lism!)


I wonder if this was Cranky’s attempt at a selfie. (“Matilda, how do these young fillies do them dang selfies with these here smartphones, again?”)


Question: Who sends wedding invitations the day before a wedding? Also, when have wedding invitations ever been the sole authority of when a wedding is? I’m sure Matilda and Cranky have already discussed their wedding with their friends beforehand, so they must have mentioned the right date to them. Not to mention that people usually have wedding receptions the day before, so if anything, shouldn’t they be having that right now? (Or maybe I’m overthinking this too much.)


When we saw the mail pony in “Make New Friends But Keep Discord”, we had feared that Derpy Hooves was demoted from her position as mail pony. Looks like she’s still working at the post office after all—and she has muffins to help with apologies.


A lot of fans have complained about the change to Derpy Hoove’s voice. Did I say “Derpy”? I meant “Muffins.” Yes, she has a new name as well, and fans are upset about that as well. Considering the whole fiasco of “Derpygate” with “The Last Roundup”, this only seems understandable. Up to now, Hasbro has never confirmed that her name is “Derpy”, and they already changed her voice in “The Last Roundup”—so, if anything, this change is understandable. Don’t blame Hasbro. Blame the soccer moms who complained about “Derpy Hooves” being “ableist”! (i.e.: unfunny to people with a stick up their butt!)


Question: How does Feather Weight not have experience with a printing press? He’s the student editor of the Ponyville School newspaper! Shouldn’t Diamond Twat (er, I mean, “Tiara”) be working that? At least then the joke would be understandable.


Originally, this scene was going to feature Derpy—er, I mean “Muffins”—accidently addressing the doctor from “Read it and Weep” before realizing she was at the wrong table addressing the wrong “doctor.”
A few fans have complained about how “Doctor Hooves” character had his voice changed with a British accent—which he never had before this episode. In fairness, most of the background ponies have never had a set voice (i.e.: Bon Bon), and considering Derpy—er, I mean “Muffins”—had her voice changed, this is understandable.


Also, for anyone complaining about how Doctor Hooves doesn’t have a time-traveling phone booth, if he actually had that, then he would be able to take Derpy—er, I mean “Muffins”—back in time and we wouldn’t have an episode, now would we?

Besides, even if Hasbro were to claim parody, it would still be rather iffy to incorporate an aspect of one franchise and input it into a completely different one—especially one about cartoon ponies. (And also besides, at least his science lab is the closest thing we have to the Tardis than the actual Tardis.)


Derpy—er, I mean “Muffins”—wants to build a spaceship. Spaceship. SPACESHIP!


“There are so many things that magic can’t explain, where science and mathematics are the real magic.” You know, I always wondered if, in worlds like Equestria where magic is commonplace, “science” to them is what “magic” is to us—an unexplained force that most other people dismiss as nonsense. If that’s the case, then Doctor Whooves would been seen as less than “brilliant” and more as “eccentric”—though really, both words are essentially synonymous if you think about it.


You know, for as much as Rarity is considered the town’s seamtress, we’ve never actually seen her tailor suits. (Obviously, she would, it’s just that we’ve never seen her do so up until now.)


I know Vinyl Scratch’s gimmick is that she’s supposed to always being wearing her headphones, but you’d think she would set them aside to hear someone else talk to her. (Then again, we wouldn’t have this crucial misunderstanding, now would we?)


I guess Thunderlane got his name by bringing the “thunder” to the bowling “lane.” Get it? Because crashing bowling pins sound like thu—oh forget it! If you have to explain a joke, there is no joke.


The Return of the Big Lebowski. (Seriously, how is that not the name of the sequel? For that matter, why is there no sequel? Then again, considering how many sequels tend to be years after the originally film was released—but I digress!)


Dr. Hooves: Gentlecolts! I'm facing certain calamity, and I couldn't help noticing your remarkable fashion sense. Could I have the name of your incredible tailor?

Jeff Letrotski: Oh, yeah, man. His name is me.

Dr. Hooves: "Me". What an unfortunate name.

Either that or he’s Chinese. (Oh great, now the Tumblr SJWs are gonna berate me for being racist.)


What’s this word you keep using, “man”?

Good question. In a world without humans, the word “man” should not exist. Then again, in our world where unicorns exist, the word “unicorn” exists. I wonder if “humans” are to them what “unicorns” are to us. Does that mean they have a cartoon show called “My Little Human”?


Doctor Hooves has a beautiful mind.


So, he can comprehend complex equations about striking down pins, but the concept of actually throwing the ball “straight” eludes him. Not sure if brilliantly stupid, or stupidly brilliant.


Octavia Melody: Do we know what they're on about?

Apple Bloom: The way they're huddled up like that, I'd say it's either a friendship problem or a monster attack.

Octavia Melody: A monster attack?! Blast! I'm performing at the ceremony this afternoon, and I still haven't sorted out what to play. How am I meant to practice with a monster invading Ponyville?

Sweetie Belle: Maybe it's just a friendship problem, and it'll all be cleared up in half an hour or so.

Acheivement Unlocked: Super Self Awareness!


It’s the "Adventures of the Gummi Bugbears"—bouncing here and there and…


…IN YOUR FACE!!!!!


Question: If Ponyville had an organizer before Twilight Sparkle, then how come they never had anyone to organize Winter Wrap Up?


Somehow, I’d figure that the fainting flower sisters would be more upset about the bugbear attacking town, but an emergency flower arrangement seems somewhat equally stress inducing. At least we get to see them utter their famous lines.


Again, to anyone complaining about how Bon-Bon’s voice has changed, keep in mind that her voice has changed numerous times throughout the series. And if you think that’s bad, then you should have heard how the main villain, Shredder, from the original TMNT sounded.


Special Agent “Sweetie Drops” may seem to have come out of nowhere, but as the creators have explained, the concept was to reflect how her identity had changed from her original name “Sweetie Drops” to her current fan-adopted name “Bon-Bon.” (Also, her becoming a secret agent out of nowhere may seem stupid, but it’s awesomely stupid.)


So there was a secret agency that helps fight off magical monsters. So why was it disbanded? It’s not like Ponyville hasn’t had its share of magic monster attacks. Heck, most of them (Discord and Tirek) have tried to take over the entire world. Again, why would such an essentially necessary agency in a world overrun by magical creatures disband?


“The benches we sat on!” Sitting Lyra confirmed.


Doctor Whooves pulling a Fred Flintstone.


Aw, so close!


For anyone complaining about how Cranky “knows” Steven Magnet: Cranky spent most of his life traveling Equestria. Steven Magnet is a sea serpent who, despite living in the Everfree Forest, could possibly also visit the sea. So yes, there is a chance that, during his travels, Cranky bumped into Steven Magnet. It’s not really all that improbable.


Confirmed: Vinyl Scratch and Octavia a roommates.


And they make beautiful music together! Beautifully awesome music! Seriously, how can I describe how awesome this classical/dubstep duet is? You have to hear and see it for yourself!


“Stop!”…Hammer Time! (If you didn’t say the exact same thing, you’re either not a 90s kid or you’re simply not alive.)


And now things turned from awesome to HOLYSWEETCELESTIATHISISSOAWESOMEICANNOTBELEIVEIT!


Ladies and gentleman, the show has literally jumped the shark!


Seriously, words fail me as to how insanely awesome this scene is. Seeing Octavia and Vinyl roar through town on their bass can—er, I mean, wagon—scooping up the other cameos, rushing them to the town hall, wrapping up the other plot points, it’s just so beautiful.


Even Twilight’s scepter makes a return cameo.


Along with the staff dressed in horseheads.


And just when you think things couldn’t get any weirder, things couldn’t get any more insane…


Gummy soliloquies about philosophy. I can’t if this is real life anymore. Am I hallucinating? If so, best hallucination ever.


And here we see Celestia and Luna bickering like actual sisters rather than maintaining the decorum of royals.


I wonder if Shining Armor crying at weddings is a recent development, considering that his own wedding could have easily given him PTSD.


You know, considering how Andrea Libman voices Bon-Bon and Pinkie Pie, when I heard her say “our friends have done it”, I thought it was Pinkie Pie. Not enough voice differentiation.


“You’re not the only one with a secret, you know.”

Let me guess, you have hands? You’re a human? You’re a seapony. You—

“You know those expensive imported oats you were saving for a special occasion? I cooked them up and ate them! All of them! [laughs] It's sort of thrilling to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets!”

Well, there’s that, too.


“How do I look?” Like your second regeneration.


“Alonsy!” OMFG! HE SAID IT! HE SAID IT! HE ACTUALLY SAID IT!


Rarity cut off her tail to give to Steven Magnet, so now Steven Magnet is giving his mustache to Cranky. (Film Brain: Sym-bo-lism!)


Why would you lock the door to a wedding? Even if someone is late, they can always slip in unnoticed without causing a scene.


“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join these two in mare-trimony. As I look around this room, I can only imagine how uncomfortable Cranky must be. But I also see so many ponies from all trots of life, brought together by love. Cranky searched all across this great land of ours to find Matilda, and no matter what obstacles kept them apart, love would finally bring them together, just as it has brought all of us together now. It's remarkable to me how a story like Cranky's search for Matilda could fill this room with such a unique collection of ponies! It makes you realize that everypony is the star of their own story. And it's not just the main characters in our stories that make life so rich! It's everypony – those who play big parts and those who play small. If it weren't for everypony in this room and many more who couldn't be here today, Cranky and Matilda's lives wouldn't be as full and vibrant as they are.”

In all seriousness, I love this speech. Not only is it the Mayor addressing the background and side characters about how each of them make a difference, no matter how small a role, but it is a love letter to the fans of the show and how they play a role in the show as well. This is beyond being meta. This is the show’s creators acknowledging their fans and expressing gratitude towards them.


And of course, there’s a changeling.


Cause baby you’re a firework. Come and show me what you’re worth. As you shoot across the sky-y-y!
Where would the Doctor be without Rose?


Again, I know a lot of people have complained about how the Mane Six were shoved to the sidelines, not only with the wedding reception, but also the entire episode. But really, the episode isn’t about them. It’s about the character who otherwise appear in the background taking center stage for once.