It’s a step in the right direction from last week, but for the first time since Season Three, it’s a third successive episode drawing under a half million viewers on Discovery Family. “Party Pooped” drew an estimated 369,000 viewers on June 27th. It is well up from the low of 260K and “Princess Spike,” but the Season Five average drops to 467,636.

While it’s been a down season thus far in terms of average viewership for MLP, to put things in perspective, Regular Show’s 7th season premier drew 1.289 million on Cartoon Network—its lowest marks since “Brain Eraser” (Season 2, Episode 10) in February 2011 where it drew under a million. Most cartoon shows have had down seasons compared to the season before, but most including MLP are guaranteed at least one additional season.

Ratings information for this report is courtesy of Douglas Pucci of TV Media Insights and Mithc Metcalf of Showbuzz Daily citing Nielsen Media Research.

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Over the weekend, Grunkle Stan interviewed six (even though the promo implied thirteen) potential employees for hire at the Mystery Shack. There were also some promos for “A Tale of Two Stans,” airing on Monday, July 13th. Watch it all after the break.

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It’s the second straight episode by a new writer. Neal Dusedau’s effort (“Princess Spike”) was OK. Here is Nick Confalone’s debut effort.

Twilight is nearing “Lesson Zero” mode as she welcomes a delegation from Yakyakistan. As you might have guessed, they are yaks led by Prince Rutheford. However, every attempt to make the yaks feel at home is met with Angel-like tantrums at the slightest imperfections. It’s up to Pinkie Pie, who is planning the party, to save the day.

She had read up on yaks, absent a pony ever visiting Yakyakistan. However, she gets a bit unnerved when she and her friends just can’t get things just right. So she make a journey to Yakyakistan which is north of the Crystal Empire. Random hilarity ensues. Meanwhile, Twilight and rest of the Mane Five are in a bit of a panic mode themselves as the yaks are threatening war. However, they stumble upon Pinkie’s war room when she has files on every pony so she can properly plan a party for whomever. Here, they appreciate all the hard work Pinkie puts in to planning parties, if that was not apparent in “Pinkie Pride.”

Back to Pinkie, she gets to Yakyakistan after a series of ponies help her from Cherry Jubilee to Princess Cadance. But a diablous ex machina sends her right back to Ponyville. She thinks she has let her friends down, but brightens up when she figures out how to please the yaks. Every pony she came across on her way to Yakyakistan was friendly and offered his/her/their assistance from Cherry and her stable after the train was stopped at Dodge City due to sheep, to Princess Cadance at the edge of the Crystal Empire. Of course, there are some random moments where Pinkie Pie briefly becomes the one and only Pinkie Shears, and that made things more humorous. In the end, the yaks become friends with the ponies and Twilight’s hide is once again saved by Pinkie Pie (“Swarm of the Century”).

This was an episode that improved as it went along. At the start, the yaks were very one-note and very Angel-like from “Putting Your Hoof Down.” Most people in the Mane Six’s position would have thought, “Why bother?” at some point. However, Twilight’s mission, and by extension that of the rest of the Mane Six, is to spread the magic of friendship across Equestria (and beyond in this case). It was actually brilliant to have Pinkie learn the solution through her journey and use that to show that the friendliness of Equestria’s residents can make the yaks feel at home. However, the yaks are just a step over Trenderhoof in terms of interesting characters in that they were largely unlikable for two-thirds of the episode.

Overall, this was a better effort than last week as this episode started off a bit slow, but got better as it wore on. Not quite a top-tier episode, but another in a string of good Pinkie Pie episodes dating back to “Too Many Pinkie Pies.”

Pluses and minuses:
+ How Pinkie goes about solving the friendship problem.
+ Humor
+ Wonderful lesson.
+ Twilight shows that she still can slip into “Lesson Zero” mode when answers aren’t forthcoming.
– Yaks are not too interesting for most of the episode.
– Yaks acting like Angel in “Putting Your Hoof Down”

SCORE: 8/10

A quick note that the next episode, “Amending Fences,” airs on Monday, July 6th at 4:30pm ET/3:30pm CT. Discovery Family is going through the first ten episodes of Season Five on Saturday (1-4) and Sunday (5-10). “Party Pooped” will lead into “Making Amends” on Monday.

Friendship is Magic returns to its regularly scheduled time slot on Saturday, July 11th at 10:30am ET/9:30am CT with “Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep.”

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511 – “Party Pooped”

Written by: Nick Confalone
It’s up to Pinkie Pie’s party to save the day when an important friendship summit with some visiting yaks turns into an utter disaster, but it takes an epic voyage of discovery across Equestria to reignite her party inspiration.

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In addition to 512, we’ve also got a synopsis for the 13th episode of season 5. Check out the details after the break.

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Discovery Family’s schedule has updated with the summary and air date of the 12th episode of season 5. Find out the details after the break.

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Friends Forever #18 Extended Preview

Friends Forever #18 cover by Jay P. Fosgitt

Friends Forever #18 cover by Jay P. Fosgitt

IDW has put up on their Facebook page an extended preview of Friends Forever #18, starring Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash as they go to their flight camp reunion. This issue will be out next Wednesday, on July 1st. Check out the preview after the break.

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