Tag: opinion

Ratings Report (Steven Universe): Love Letters

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It was an up week for Steven this week. “Love Letters” drew an estimated 1.665 million viewers on Thursday night on Cartoon Network. As far as total viewers on the night, Teen Titans Go! drew more at 2.017 million as did a rerun of The Amazing World of Gumball (1.768), but a higher percentage of adults 18-49 were watch Steven at 5:30pm ET than did Teen Titans Go! a half hour later.

Next up for Steven Universe is “Reformed” at 5:30pm ET/4:30pm CT.

Ratings information for this report comes courtesy of Douglas Pucci of TV Media Insights which cites Nielsen Media Insights as its source.

StatManDan

MLP Review: Tanks for the Memories

I think it would be best here to go through this review in five stages and then a conclusion:

1.  Denial – Rainbow Dash cannot stand the thought of not having Tank at her side for the winter months. So when Fluttershy tells her that hibernation is natural for tortoises like Tank, she tries to seek a second opinion. Unfortunately, that second opinion is Spike and just because he and Tank are technically reptiles, that doesn’t mean their habits are the same.

2.  Anger – Rainbow Dash does not even want to hear the word “hibernation” and really flies off the handle. Clearly, she is not thinking clearly. She desperately wants to find a solution.

3.  Bargaining – That solution? She must stop winter from coming to Ponyville! Despite a great song and her best (or is that worst?) efforts, she cannot stop the pegasi from starting winter. So, she goes to the source in Cloudsdale and her plans fail disastrously creating a simulation of the conditions this winter in Boston and a Game of Thrones reference.

4.  Depression – Perhaps one of the saddest moments in the show itself. Dash is in bed depressed with Tank. Before she can lie in bed just like Brian Wilson did, Fluttershy becomes her most blunt ever and that drives Dash to tears, followed by Fluttershy herself, then Rarity, and then Pinkie Pie. Applejack is crying on the inside while Twilight is in a state of disbelief.

5.  Acceptance – It turns out that was what Dash needed as she finally comes around and accepts the fact that she won’t be with Tank until spring. Her winter fun will be without her pet. So Dash takes Tank to his hibernation spot and reads him presumable one more bedtime story for the winter.

On a side note, it will be inevitable that people will call “Karma Houdini” on Dash since it is unlikely she will suffer consequences for damaging the Weather Factory. Indeed, some of Dash’s actions are objectionable in this one. All things considered though, while it might distract, it does not deter the fact that this was another excellent episode.

It’s been well established that Dash does not like being alone. Not having her pet around for a long time (and yes, this is as close as the show will likely get to actually depicting the loss of a loved one—even when you consider AJ’s parents), that can be very devastating. So having her go through the five stages of grief was handled very well. There is a consensus that the show really let loose in Season Two starting with “Lesson Zero,”  but I’m starting to wonder if the mantra for Season Five is to abandon all pretense and put out stories like this one. Right now, it’s working.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Best Dash episode!
  • +  World-building
  • +  Emotions and five stages handled well
  • +  Dash song!
  • –  Some of Dash’s actions were objectionable.

SCORE:  9/10

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Bloom and Gloom”

When I first read the synopsis of this episode, you could presume that Princess Luna will make an appearance somewhere down the line. More on that later.

The CMC are having a meeting and Apple Bloom informs Sweetie Bell and Scootaloo that Babs Seed has got her cutie mark. It’s a pair of scissors which potentially means that she could be a stylist down the line (in addition to being good at cutting things). However, it leads to a few issues:

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MLP Review: “Castle Sweet Castle”

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Three of the first four seasons, the third episode establishes a ploy point that becomes key later as the season progresses. Season Three’s “Too Many Pinkie Pies” was the exception. We won’t know for sure whether elements in this episode will come later in Season Five, but let’s review what we just saw.

It appears Twilight has been too helpful with her friends lately. It become evident at a pancake dinner inside the castle when she is completely tired and frazzled. Twilight admits that she has been avoiding her castle because it just doesn’t feel like home to her. Redecorating it would be a daunting task. However, it’s one that her friends will take up to make it feel like home for her while Twilight and Spike go to the spa.

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LPS Review: “It’s The Pet Fest”

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As a reminder, two-part episodes are scored on a scale of 1 to 20. With that out of the way, it’s time to close up Littlest Pet Shop for Season Three.

The episode begins with Blythe preparing the Pet Fest mentioned seven episodes ago with Youngmee when the manager of the Soul Patches (from “If the Shoe Fits”) visits to drop off Jason #1’s pet beagle Heidi (Heidi Klum) at the day camp. Jason #1 is in town to help promote the Endangered Animals Fund (EAF). Blythe gets the big idea from Heidi that the Soul Patches could headline Pet Fest and help promote the EAF.

On a tip from Heidi, Blythe come up to Jason (as Youngmee makes animal sounds when nervous) and pitches the idea. He likes it. The Biskit Twins see Blythe talking to Jason #1 and they try to get in on the action. Blythe gets another idea. The Biskits could get their father to get a permit to use the Park for the Pet Fest. So Blythe and her friends, Mrs. T, and Roger help get the word out via continuity cavalcade.

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LPS Review: “In the Loop”

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Maybe this episode would have been better placed closer to February 2nd than March 2nd. Indeed, Groundhog Day the movie was released on Lincoln’s Birthday in 1993 (February 12th). I should’ve known that when there would be a groundhog in the episode and given the title, this would be an homage to Groundhog Day. We just didn’t know it would be a full-on homage. More so than how “Sleeper” was an homage to Weekend at Bernie’s.

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LPS Review: “Sue Syndrome”

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The episode begins with Sue winning a race in a track meet and the Principle awarding her a medal for being the city’s best athlete and asks her to give a speech at a special assembly. One problem:  Sue has a fear of public speaking. Blythe, Youngmee, and Jasper will have to help her overcome her fears. That’s the A-plot. The B-plot is a guest skunk named Mitzi comes to the day camp and is able to emit fragrant scents that makes the other pets happy—much to the dismay of Pepper.  Actually, this should have been the A-plot because it seemed like more time was spent on this than the other.

In any case, Sue gets so frightened when speaking in public that her voice goes into a higher pitch. Index cards don’t work out too much. Imagining others as clowns doesn’t work (as she’s afraid of those as well). Studying Blythe reciting the speech almost works, but the high pitch comes just before she’s supposed to give the speech. Blythe finally comes up with the idea that Sue is most confident when she’s running. Thus, Blythe brings Sue out to the assembly on while on a treadmill and she’s able to give the speech flawlessly. In fact, this whole plot was flawless. I mean it. There was nothing wrong with it. The B-plot was not perfect—at all.

The other pets completely ignore Pepper and get addicted to Mitzi’s scents. It may make the other pets happy, but it turns out Mitzi is not. She eventually confides to Pepper that she envies her that she gets to be a real skunk who could emit not-so-fragrant scents as well as fragrant scents. Pepper suggests that Mitzi get in touch with her skunk feelings which she does when the other pets keep bothering her to product scents of colors. The other pets eventually apologize to Mitzi for overworking her and all is forgiven. In all honesty, they should have apologized to Pepper as well for ditching her and being insensitive, if not oblivious, to her feelings. Pepper has every right to be disgusted with the other pets because how would you feel if your friends just suddenly dumped you for someone who could be better at your talent than you and make them happy?

I know some LPS fans hate it when I compare an episode to one of MLP, but I think it’s relevant here. In “Pinkie Pride,” Cheese Sandwich is arguably better at planning parties. Pinkie is dismayed that every pony in town is in awe of Cheese Sandwich and challenges him to a goof-off. There, Pinkie is in the wrong since she is letting her pride get in the way what was supposed to be Rainbow Dash’s special day. The rest of the Mane Six and Spike do apologize for getting carried away with Cheese, but they and Cheese make it clear to her that she cannot be replaced as Ponyville’s permanent party pony.

Indeed, no scent-off occurs in this episode. Actually, a very good country song occurs as Pepper and Mitzi find common ground. Indeed, Mitzi is not looking to replace Pepper. However, Pepper is clearly in the right for being dismayed at her friends. I’m sorry, but I cannot defend the behavior of the other pets in this one. And again, it seemed like more time was devoted to this plot that the one for which the title of episode is for. They broke away from the day camp for one minute a la a game break during sports telecasts to show you what’s going on at the school. It just came off as imbalanced this week which is a shame because the plot involving Sue was very well done.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  The A-plot with Sue
  • +  Song
  • +  Interesting guest character
  • –  Episode tilted too much towards what’s supposed to be B-plot
  • –  Pets are a bit too insensitive to Pepper and deserved apology.

SCORE:  7/10

StatManDan