Tag: dnn

SU Review: Letters to Lars

Here are a few short stories about Beach City from Steven to help Lars catch up with things at home. Mayor Dewey is feeling worthless after no longer being mayor. Nanafue organizes an emergency plan in case gems attack again. Pearl has a cell phone! Ronaldo and Greg are lookouts and now have a huge telescope to work with. Sadie Killer and the Suspects are planning their show in Beach City. Jamie has formed an improv group featuring Amethyst, Peridot, Barb, and Mr. Smiley. Peedee has taken over Bill Dewey former van and turned it into a food truck for tater tots. Oh, the Big Donut is still closed and Mayor Dewey is still feeling useless. Steven puts two and two together and Bill Dewey is now running the Big Donut and a gives a few to Lars’s parents.

This episode was a breather and a (no pun intended) gem. Everything about this episode was fun and it was tied together nicely by finding a new purpose for the former mayor given all the changes that have occurred recently. And we all cannot wait for Lars to meet Peridot for the first time!

GRADE: A+

StatManDan

MLP Review: Horse Play

Twilight is planning to celebrate Celestia’s “ones-versary” (1,111th) of her raising the sun for the first time by staging a play at the school. Since being in a play is one of the things Celestia has never done before, though she has a love for theatre, Twilight decides in her infinite wisdom to cast Celestia in lead role as a way of doing something nice to someone who has always put herself before others.

Celestia is uncertain since she has zero acting experience. Despite Twilight’s reassurances, Celestia’s inexperience shows and no amount of acting lessons will help her. No amount of Twilight’s over-willingness to make the play work for Celestia instead of telling her the truth about her acting skills will help either. Rainbow Dash telling every creature she knows definitely doesn’t help—ruling out Spike’s suggestion of cancelling the play. Pinkie’s attempts of replacing the prop sun damaged earlier just makes things worse—especially when she imitates an Illinoisan looking to put on a fireworks show (where such amateur acts are illegal) and smuggled the fireworks from Wisconsin to do that.

Twilight goes over the edge and the cat escapes the bag—upsetting Celestia that her pupil had been lying to her all this time. Celestia tells Twilight that honesty is always better than the best of intentions paved by lies and has an idea to save the play. Celestia plays the role of production assistant and helps salvage the play with Fluttershy (some pony who has acting experience) as Celestia.

To some, this is a bit of a retread of “Inspiration Manifestation”. However, this is someone attempting to hide the truth from someone who has been like family and a mentor to her.. Also, this is not to help someone get out of a creative funk, this is someone trying to give back to said mentor. Twilight’s real fault is that she puts Celestia so far high a pedestal, that she does not realize that there are things that even the ruler of Equestria cannot do—such as act.

However, in both situations, honesty is still the best policy despite best intentions. However, this episode is still better than “Inspiration Manifestation” as Twilight isn’t one to be so dismissive about the lesson like Spike was in the former. The biggest problem with Twilight is placing Celestia high on a pedestal that some of things she feels she needs to do to pay Celestia back are unnecessary.

GRADE: B+

StatManDan

SU Double Review: Pool Hopping, The Big Show

SU Review: Pool Vision

Past performances are not an indication of future events. Garnet is being a bit random lately from taking a job at the Big Donut, ordering 20 pizzas and giving them away, to wanting to chase a kitten with one eye. Well, she wanted Steven to tell her to chase the kitten while posing for a Vidalia portrait.

Garnet has been struck by how her future vision has not accounted for the decisions Steven has made recently and it’s been vexing when people want her to use her future vision to help predict things. That’s because Steven has grown up and taken responsibility for himself. Steven helps Garnet along by focusing on what we want to have happen instead of using her future vision to see what will happen.

Obviously, what we want to have happen with the kittens is for them to get a good home. The kitten with one eye will get one at the temple and will be named “Cat Steven”.

You really have to stay for the whole 11 minutes to figure out what was going on here. You can’t merely predict that Garnet was going off the rails for no reason. Those who stay for the whole episode are well rewarded for it. Even me as a statistics buff who is interested in probabilities, it’s a waste to focus on what the statistics say and it’s more useful to focus on what you want to have happen.

For example, you’re “future vision” would have had Loyola Chicago maybe getting to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. What Loyola fans would want is for them to go as far as they can and they were well rewarded with a trip to the Final Four.

This episode requires people to stay for the whole 11 minutes and they will be rewarded for it.

GRADE: A

StatManDan


SU Review: “The Big Show”

We take a break from the arc about the diamonds to present this documentary about a local Beach City band as they get their first big break in the form of a concert in Empire City produced by Steven. Sadie Killer and the Suspects (aka, Sadie, Jenny, Sour Cream, and Buck) have been playing in basements until Greg takes them on as their manager and books a gig for them in Empire City.

Sadie still has issue with her Mother being so involved in her life and how she doesn’t want her band to be encumbered in it as well. The group holds their concert, complete with effects, and the song and performance were excellent. We even get a cameo from Joan Jett as Sunshine Justice, an old friend of Greg and booking agent. After the concert, Sadie wants to play the next show in Beach City so that her Mom can see it.

So yeah, Sadie slayed it tonight. Everything about this episode was excellent. I liked how Steven filmed this on an old camcorder to give it that old effect. Greg is also fantastic here telling Sadie that he would’ve enjoyed the support Barb is giving her instead of his parents telling him he was wasting his life (turns out he wasn’t). It gets Sadie to eventually accept Barb’s support (even though she really wasn’t at the concert as Sadie thought).

Just everything about this episode was excellent from the song, to the performance, and every character was in top form.

GRADE: A+

StatManDan

MLP Review: Surf and/or Turf

The map is calling the Cutie Mark Crusaders to Mount Aris for a friendship problem. It is their first and the first time the map has called some pony creature to a place outside Equestria. It’s either been Ponyville, Canterlot, Manehattan, or where the Pony of Shadows hung out.

Twilight is coming along for an excuse to visit Mount Aris since the events of the movie research and to get Silverstream’s parents to sign a permission slip so she can go on field trips (shouldn’t that be Silverstream’s job?) They come across Silverstream’s brother Terramar who can’t decide between living on land as a hippogriff (like his father Sky Beak) or in the sea as a sea pony (like his mother Ocean Flow). This being Hasbro, they are not going to mention that the parents are separated/divorced. (Is it only Arthur who really goes that far?)

The CMC get a tour of Mount Aris and Seaquestria and Sweetie Belle is in love with Harmonizing Heights on Mount Aris while Scootaloo enjoys Seaquestria (while Sweetie Belle does not). That doesn’t help Terramar with his problem which he believes he needs to choose between the two. Actually, no hippogriff or pony told him to choose and Terramar’s parents realized that he shouldn’t be compelled to choose either and he can go back and forth.

While fans may not appreciate Hasbro possibly going end around with the parents living separately, they do establish that some of the hippogriffs got used to the sea while others returned to Mount Aris after the defeat of the Storm King. In the case of Terramar, it splits down his family. There does not seem to be any animosity between Sky Beam and Ocean Flow, and there are ways hippogriffs can go back and forth as the magic pearl has been split and distributed throughout the realm.

I guess Twilight has been forgiven for trying to steal the pearl in the movie as she is treated like a celebrity here. Of course, the bar is low for forgiving characters here.

Overall, this is a very good episode, though some may find some aspects a bit off. Terramar, Sky Beak, and Ocean Flow seem like nice characters and we get a decent bit of world building.

GRADE: A-

StatManDan

MLP Review: Grannies Gone Wild

Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night
And the feeling’s right
Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night
Oh, what a night (oh, what a night)

—“Ladies Night” by Kool and the Gang

If it’s the best rollercoaster ever, why is it closing? Anyway, Rainbow Dash wants to ride it before it closes. However, she also has to chaperone for Grannie Smith, Apple Road, Auntie Applesauce, and Goldie Delicious (aka The Gold Horseshoe Gals). Applejack gives Dash a series a things she should not let them do. Hilarity ensues.

Rainbow follows the instructions to the letter—much to everyone’s disappointment. Even when the Gals are selected to be part of Big Bucks’s and Jackpot’s magic act, Rainbow Dash stops the trick and it’s a whammy (in a bad way a la “Press Your Luck”). Once the Gals realize AJ put Dash up to this, everything is forgiven and Dash gets to ride the Wild Blue Yonder thanks to their line jumping pass.

Yes, this was a very silly romp and a very funny one. That’s all the episode is trying to accomplish as the fast pegasus has to watch over what she thinks are slow grannies. The grannies are typically anything but slow and most of the humor (and flirting) in the episode comes from them. The other highlight was how AJ acts as Rainbow’s conscious to get her to act to make sure the Grannies don’t over-exert themselves.

It was just a funny episode and a breather one and works in what it was intended to do.

GRADE: B+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Fake It ‘Til You Make It”

No song to intro this review because I have nothing on that end. Anyway, Rarity needs to finish a centerpiece dress for the Canterlot Royal Fashion Show and needs all her assistants from Canterlot and Manehattan to help. No pony else can help, so that leaves Fluttershy. While she has developed self-confidence, it does not extend to confronting the brazen and super-judgemental Saddle Row shoppers. Rarity advises her to access the strength confidence within her. She’ll have the assistance of her raccoon friends from “The Saddle Row Review” to help her.

No sooner does a customer ask about the number of threads on a suit does Fluttershy develop a “sophisticated” character that is able to please him. She adopts two more personas to accommodate the valley-girl and goth sets. However, she gets swept up in her characters that she becomes them drives away the raccoons, her friends, and the customers.

Rarity comes back to Manehattan to rectify things by sacking all three of Fluttershy’s personas before Fluttershy herself apologizes explaining that acting like the ponies of Saddle Row gave her the confidence to interact with them. Rarity explains that she only needed to be Fluttershy to run it. Fluttershy does give her the inspiration to finish the centerpiece dress.

Fluttershy’s timidness is not the problem here. It’s her getting too involved in something to conquer it that’s the problem here. We saw this in “Putting your Hoof Down” when she did a 180º from a doormat to a monster. The 180º here is from a newbie at running a shop to a snooty Saddle Row salespony. She talks about “baby steps” to overcome her fear of performing on stage in “Filli Vanilli”, but there are other situations where that is the appropriate approach when it comes to timidness. We’ve seen twice now that she flies before she trots into to something to conquer her timidness.

This had the potential to be an A-episode, but it gets derailed by Fluttershy getting too much into the characters she develops and leaves no time for inflection prior to the apology.

GRADE: B-

StatManDan

MLP Review: The Maud Couple

Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started, wait
The earth began to cool, the autotrophs began to drool
Neanderthals developed tools
We built a wall (we built the pyramids)
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries
That all started with the big bang! Hey!

—theme song to “The Big Bang Theory” by Barenaked Ladies

Technically, I’ve never watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory, but my brother likes it and I enjoyed from PMVs set to this theme. Anyway, Maud has been too busy to spend time with Pinkie because she has a boyfriend now. His name is Sheldon Mudbriar who is a proverbial “stick in the mud” just like his cutie mark in the way he speaks. Pinkie for the life of here cannot see what Maud sees in him. Maud likes rocks and Mudbriar likes sticks and speaking in a precise form—technically.

Things do get a bit tactless when it is revealed that Maud only enjoys Pinkie’s surprise parties because she was protected her feelings. Pinkie has an internal crisis that drives her to the rock farm and Limestone actually proves useful with a metaphor to get Pinkie to understand (eventually) what Maud sees in Mudbriar. Eventually, they have a surprise party with Maud viewing from a distance as she preferred just a small party with Mudbriar and Pinkie.

Technically, this wasn’t the best episode involving Maud (that was “Maud Pie”). There were some funny moments, especially with the dialogue. However, that sometimes led to tactlessness on the part both Maud and Mudbriar. At least the former should know about Pinkie’s sensitivities. I’m also not sure the “opposite day” visions around the head accomplished anything, either.

It’s not a terrible episode, technically, but I don’t believe it will be in the top half of Season Eight’s favorites.

GRADE: B-

StatManDan