Tag: season 7

Season Seven in Review

 

Well, that was a fun ride! While a lot of attention was placed on the Movie (and of leaks and other countries jumping ahead of the US schedule), Season Seven was a step up from the previous season. It was also unique in that the comics were tied-in more closely to the events of the show from Issues 51-53 (“From the Shadows” Arc) to the Legends of Magic series. Everything got tied up in a neat little package called “Shadow Play”. Oh, and we finally got to see Starswirl the Bearded, Rainbow Dash’s parents, and Applejack’s parents. I showed my hand a bit after the “Shadow Play” review on what was best an what was not, but here’s the full list from 25 down to 1:

25. Triple Threat: After two great episodes for Spike in Season Six, this episode reminded me of a Brady Bunch episode where Peter double-booked dates and he’s going out of his way to not have one see the other.

24. Not Asking for Trouble: Much like “Party Pooped,” this episode came down on the Yaks and how they absorbed the lesson in the end about asking for help. The comic that followed about Pinkie being an honorary yak was a bit better.

23. Marks and Recreation: A little switch from what I put down in the “Shadow Play” review upon further review. Rumble was being too much of a jerk in this one.

22. Honest Apple: This reminded me of an old Monty Python saying, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.” That fits AJ to a T here when it comes to fashion.

21. Rock Solid Friendship: Here we have an example of Pinkie at her worst. Luckily, Starlight and Maud manage to hold things up in this one.

20. Forever Filly: Two words best describe this one: Helicopter Sister

19. Hard to Say Anything: I hope they are not typecasting Vincent Tong as a waifu thief. The song duel got very cringeworthy.

18. Daring Done?: Good lesson, but scene setup is too predictable even by this show’s standards.

17. Uncommon Bond: Sunburst was a little too inconsiderate of Starlight in this one.

16. A Flurry of Emotions: Twilight could have saved herself a bit of trouble by either delegating some of her duties to Spike and/or paying more attention to Flurry Heart.

15. A Health of Information: Fluttershy was a little too disturbing in this one. This was her “Applebuck Season”.

14. To Change A Changeling: This is where Starlight’s impulses are not a good thing, though her dynamic with Trixie was good here as was Pharynx.

13. Secrets and Pies: Rainbow did not have to overcomplicate things in making up with Pinkie. She also did not have to be so dishonest, either.

12. Campfire Tales: This episode initially set up the Legends arc for the show while the comics preceded it a bit. Just a nice sequel to “Sleepless in Ponyville”.

11. Fame and Misfortune: There are lessons here for both show staff and for fans however harsh they may be. The town ponies were too harsh in this one.

10. All Bottled Up: It was a funny episode. There were just nine episodes that were better than this one.

9. Fluttershy Leans In: I still enjoyed this episode a lot. I still say Fluttershy is in the right here. This is that Monty Python saying done a little better than in “Honest Apple”.

8. Celestial Advice: This was a good way to start the season with some focus on Celestia for once and a nice follow-up and breather to “To Where and Back Again”.

7. Discordant Harmony: Discord hasn’t been the best in single-part episodes (“Dungeons and Discords” an exception), but he was much better in this one with Fluttershy reminding him of how chaotic he is.

6. It Isn’t the Mane Thing About You: If you suspected Season Seven was slacking off a bit, in comes Rarity and this episode to pick things up.

5. Parental Glidance: We meet Rainbow’s parents for the first time and they were quite the cards, but Scootaloo is the MVP of this episode.

4. Once Upon A Zeppelin: If “A Flurry of Emotions” didn’t do as good a job of showing that Twilight needed to balance duty to others and duty to herself and family better, this one did. Everypony in top form here.

3. A Royal Problem: A few episodes delivered on what fans were hoping for such as this episode focused on Celestia and Luna. This episode had everything except a song and it was still the third best episode of this season.

2. Shadow Play: This was an outstanding way to tie everything up this season and with the comics. It also sets up the potential for future storylines for the show if it wants to. That’s something for a show in its seventh season.

1. The Perfect Pear: While a Celestia/Luna episode was something much cdesired. One about Applejack’s parents was even more so. This episode went above and beyond all expectations for it and it is still the highest-rated episode on IMDB. Need I say anymore?

So that was Season Seven. I already mentioned the top five songs in the season—which were the only ones this season. Here are the top ten character debuts in the season:

1. Pear Butter
2. Bright Mac
3. Grand Pear
4. Pharynx
5. Starswirl the Bearded
6. Mage Meadowbrook
7. Somnambula
8. Bo Hothoof
9. Windy Whistles
10. Burnt Oak

Other Unofficial Awards this Season:

Most Surprising Return: Iron Will

Best of the Mane Six this Season: Twilight

Best Parents: Applejack’s

Lingering Question of the Season: How were Rainbow’s parents allowed to bring a cannon and fireworks to the Wonderbolts show?

Best non-Mane Six Character of the Season: Starlight Glimmer

Something I Thought I Would See in Season Seven, But Didn’t: Chrysalis (let alone her planned revenge)

Final Thought of Season Seven: This show has a lot of life in it, yet!

See you in Season Eight!

StatManDan

Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! – Circles

Source: MLP: FIM Marks and Recreation

Her passion is drawing circles.  Her cutie mark is in writing haikus.  These things are actually connected!

Kettle Corn’s circles resemble ensō, a form of Zen Buddhist calligraphy in Japan. Haiku is a form of poetry that originated with Buddhist monks in Japan.

I think this beautifully illustrates how our passions, our talents, and our destinies (as manifested in our cutie marks) are connected in ways that we can’t always see.  It gives a whole new dimension to the themes that the show has explored in post-cutie-mark Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes. Getting your flank tattoo doesn’t set you in stone for your entire life like Rumble thinks. In fact, you can have post cutie mark crises, (as exemplified by Apple Bloom, Diamond Tiara, and Bulk Biceps).  You can find whole other layers of meaning in what you do that weren’t necessarily apparent when you first got your mark!

Kettle Corn has a whole journey ahead of her.  Parts of her personality, and parts of her soul are going to become clearer to her as she explores these Zen-related interests, but she will not have the words to articulate their connection.  She will never know what Buddhism, or Japan is, even if her life’s journey is destined to be *weeaboo af.*

However, that doesn’t stop different elements of Japanese philosophy from making themselves manifest in her.

Think of the implications of that!

What if different life events, or passions that define who we are turn out to actually be connected in ways that we cannot see?  Just like this little girl will never fully be able to articulate that her personality is essentially a running gag, referential to a place she’ll never see or read about, our own lives may never fully be clear to us except in the vaguest of feelings and intuitions.

Simply put, we lack the perspective to “get the joke.”

When I posted this theory on Facebook, I got one cynical comment about our lives being “jokes.” I want to clarify. I don’t mean that we are literally fictional characters and that our lives are literally one big meaningless joke. I’m saying that perspective is everything!
We know ourselves better than anyone else does, and at the same time, only see ourselves from the inside. Those of us who are prone to guilt look at ourselves more harshly than we look at others. We don’t extend the same kind of forgiveness to ourselves that we extend to our friends in the same situations. Conversely, those who are defensive actually repaint their own actions in positive lights. They refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing in their own behaviors, even if they objectively view those behaviors as wrong in others. That’s part of what makes life so confusing. No matter what, we will always lack the perspective to examine ourselves truly objectively.

We can try, we can even come a little bit closer with every revelation, but at the end of the day, we are still viewing ourselves from the inside. There’s an old saying, “I don’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish.”

It is as tragic as it is humorous. I think there’s joy to be found in that. I also think there’s a greater understanding to be had by it. While there are some truly messed up and evil people in the world, for the most part, when folks do wrong, they are usually just doing the best they can with what they have. Simply put, we mess up because we’re human.

Once you recognize your own trappings, however – once you contemplate and appreciate just how difficult it is to try to make sense of your own life, you start to realize that everyone else is going through the exact same thing. We are all feeling around in the dark. We all lack the perspective to gain a fully objective picture of ourselves. We are all suffering because of it: our friends; our enemies; our ideological opponents. That existential question – that suffering – is at the core of all of our beings. It is the one thing we all have in common.

While we, like Kettle Corn, will never find the answers – will never fully be in on “the joke” – we can still look at one another and attempt to be compassionate, and to show compassion whenever we can, even to those whom we oppose. After all, we’re all in the same boat.
Or at the very least, maybe we, like Kettle Corn, should stop, and simply take joy in doing something we love every now and again, and do it for its own sake. Maybe that’s all the answer we need.

A girl loves circles
But is meant to write haikus.
They are the same thing.

-Sprocket

Please support me on Patreon. That is, if you want to.  No pressure of course.
You can also follow Heart Full of Pony on Tumblr or FimFic.

MLP Season Seven Resumes in US on August 5th

Discovery Family will resume showing new (to those who have managed to avoid spoilers) Season Seven episodes starting on Saturday, August 5th. That day will see both “Discordant Harmony” and “The Perfect Pear” air starting at 11:30am ET/10:30am CT. Other episodes airing in August are “Fame and Misfortune”, “Triple Threat”, and “Campfire Tales”. Synopses below:

  • Discordant Harmony premieres Saturday, August 5 at 11:30a/10:30c
  • When Discord invites Fluttershy to his realm for tea, he worries she won’t be comfortable and begins to change it and himself with disastrous results.
  • The Perfect Pear premieres Saturday, August 5 at 12/11c
  • The Apple Siblings learn about their parent’s love story and discover that they’re half Pear. Guest stars William Shatner and Felicia Day.
  • Fame and Misfortune premieres Saturday, August 12 at 11:30a/10:30c
  • Twilight Sparkle’s publishing of the friendship journal has unintended consequences when ponies start to argue over who wrote the best lessons.
  • Triple Threat premieres Saturday, August 19 at 11:30a/10:30c
  • Spike accidentally invites Ember and Thorax to Ponyville on the same day! Confident that the two new leaders will not get along, he does all he can to keep them apart and cover the fact that the other is there.
  • Campfire Tales premieres Saturday, August 26 at 11:30a/10:30c
  • When their big sister/little sister camping trip is ruined by Fly-ders, Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash tell Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo the stories of their favorite legends. Inspired by the tales, the girls make the most out of their new situation.

Of course, both “Discordant Harmony” and “The Perfect Pear”—which features William Shatner and Felicia Day—were aired in Australia in June on Boomerang. It is the policy to not release reviews of these episodes until their airings in the United States.

With BronyCon the next weekend, that means that “Fame and Misfortune” will air that weekend. It is unknown at this time as to whether there will be an official screening which would be a first for the Baltimore-based convention.

If the season continues to air weekly, and the finale is a two-parter, the projected finale date at this point would be October 28th (three weeks after the movie opens). It has already been revealed that a sneak peek of Season Eight will be unveiled at Hascon on September 9th at noon at the Rhode Island Convention Center (Room 551 A/B) in Providence.

Of course, this weekend sees the My Little Pony panel this Friday at San Diego Comic Con with presumably both a preview of the Movie and the remainder of Season Seven.

StatManDan

Episode Titles for 724, 725, & 726

The Pony of Shadows by Kaliptro2

The Pony of Shadows by Kaliptro2

Zap2It has revealed the last few episode titles of season 7.

Episode 724 – Uncommon Bond

Episode 725 – Shadow Play Part 1

Episode 726 – Shadow Play Part 2

TV Guide: MLP Season Seven to Resume on August 5th

According to a listing on the TV Guide websiteMy Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic will resume Season Seven on Saturday, August 5th on Discovery Family. The show will resume with “Discordant Harmony” airing on August 5th. If indeed the show airs a new episode once a week, then it’s possible the attendees at BronyCon could get a screening of “The Perfect Pair” on Saturday, August 12th.

The show is also on pace to continue running Season Seven through the end of October (and after the Movie has opened in theaters) should it continue to air once a week.

Stay tuned.

StatManDan

Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! – Growing Up and Growing Apart

Source: MLP:FIM, Forever Filly

Source: MLP:FIM, Forever Filly. (Note how Rarity and Sweetie Belle are framed in such a way that they appear as equal as possible. Rarity is actually a lot taller than Sweetie, but this trick of the eye really drives the point home).

Filly Forever explores a very complex issue, and it tackles the subject matter so effectively that I can hardly contain my need to reflect upon it.  The lesson here is loud and clear, and easy to read, but the web of conclusions one can draw from based on one’s personal experiences is near infinite.  I’ve been turning it over in my head for hours, and the themes just get richer the more I think about it.
This story captures the bittersweet anger and joy one feels watching those of a younger generation come of age.  It captures the rage, and frustration that the younger generation feels as they struggle to be taken seriously.  Most importantly, it captures the tension in between.

After hours of being treated like a foal, Sweetie Belle, in her frustration, snapped at Rarity, “You don’t even know me anymore.”

It’s a devastating thing to have to say, and it’s a devastating thing to have to hear, but it’s true.

As an adult, I can think of a great many friends and relatives with whom I was very close during my childhood who don’t know me at all these days.  I don’t know them either.  It sucks and it hurts.
Preventing loved ones from drifting apart takes a surprising amount of work, and once you have drifted, reforging those bonds can be very difficult.  Add a generation gap, and it becomes even more complicated.  You go from dealing with each other as child-and-adult, to dealing with each other as adult-and-adult.  It’s a tumultuous transition for everyone involved.  For starters, the need for new boundaries never becomes clear until they are broken, and until both parties can examine, and articulate the problem accurately, which takes rather a lot of trial and error.

It’s frustrating.  It’s painful.  Most of all, it’s frightening.  You both need to work at it, and if you can’t figure out how to grow together, you are doomed to grow apart.

Forever Filly tackled that problem head on.  The story itself is quite simple, but the complexity of this conflict lies in what we already know about the characters.

Let’s start with Rarity.  She had, in past episodes, found Sweetie’s childishness irritating when it got in the way of her work and her ambition.  In Sisterhooves Social, Rarity had had a lot of important work to do.  That work of hers got in the way of bonding with Sweetie, just as much as Sweetie Belle’s presence got in the way of Rarity trying to meet her deadlines.  Sweetie Belle wanted to help, but she was just a kid, and her efforts just ended up getting herself underfoot (under hoof).
It’s a scenario that most of us know very well from our own lives, in one form or another.

However, now, it’s the total opposite.  Rarity finds herself at the top of the fashion world, having achieved most of her dreams and ambitions, but she misses her sister. v She yearns for the days when they had bonded together, and longs to spend uninterrupted time with her.  Sweetie, on the other hand, is now the one who has responsibilities to take care of.  She has become an entrepreneur in her own way, and doesn’t have time to spend with her sister.

The scene where Rarity admires the wall of the crusader headquarters, and the photos of their satisfied “clients,” is brief, but it tells us volumes about Sweetie – profound information.  It tells us exactly the type of pony that she is growing into.

They say that kids don’t learn from what you tell them; they learn from what they observe.  In this moment, we see just how much of an influence Rarity has been on Sweetie’s life.  The work ethic that Sweetie had despised in her sister as a child, has sunk in, and become her own, as she cultivates real responsibilities, and moves toward adulthood.

It’s the sort of thing that’s impossible to put into words, but when you see it, and really think about it, it shines a light on both characters – who they are – what they mean to each other.  There’s a piece of Rarity that Sweetie will always take with her, and it will arm her throughout her life.  The problem is that Rarity can’t see that.  She mistakes that genuine professionalism for flight and fancy – a quaint form of child’s play.

That tiny moment not only captures so much about the characters, it conveys the very essence of the conflict at hand – the gap that needs to be bridged.

I could spend rather a lot of time pointing out parallels in the dynamic between the two sisters in this episode, and the dynamic that they had back in Sisterhooves Social.  It’s certainly a topic worth discussing, as there are quite a lot of subtle differences in characterization that make this episode an elegantly told story.  However, I’m concerned more with the message than dissecting the narrative itself.

When Rarity realizes the error of her ways, she expresses her sorrow that “[She] didn’t know that the last time [they] did those things would be the last time [they] did those things.

This line pretty much says it all: about growing up; about life; about the need to cherish every moment, while at the same time, not being afraid to let those moments go.  I personally didn’t know that the last time that I pushed my youngest on the swingset would turn out to be my very last time doing that.  It was a day like any other.  I don’t even remember anything about it right now because it was so very unremarkable.

I don’t remember the very last time I helped with my kids’ shoelaces either, nor the very last time my own mother needed to help me with mine.

There was no ceremony.  No grand announcement in either case.  It just sort of happened when no one was paying attention.

-Sprocket

Please consider supporting Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! on Patreon.  You can also follow this blog on FimFic, and Tumblr.

MLP Review: “Rock Solid Friendship”

Well, this one had plenty of talking points. The episode begins with Maud earning her “Rocktorate” and pondering moving to either Ponyville or Ghastly Gorge. Obviously, Pinkie is hoping/pushing for the former. Maud says that it will be a rock-based decision, but could explore less exotic rocks with somepony who ‘gets her.’

Enter Starlight Glimmer. Apart from Maud perhaps lending Starlight an indirect hoof in helping her enslave the village, the two start conversing. Things are off to a good start, but then Pinkie gets a little pushy to make them BFFs and to clingy to Maud. Maud and Starlight also come across a hidden paradise within the gem cave in Ponyville, but again Pinkie appears and you get the picture.

It pushes Maud to choose Ghastly Gorge where she can be alone with “great rocks”. Oh, there are the quarray eels that were introduced in “May the Best Pet Win.” After fleeing form them, Pinkie apologizes to Maud for trying to force friendship between her and Starlight and promise to give her space. Ultimate, Maud finds a space in the Crystal Cave town that she and Starlight discovered.

First off, let’s talk about the pink elephant in the room. This is behavior we have seen before from Pinkie where she gets insecure if she feels she does not have all the friends or the best parties. This is leaning towards Pinkie at her worst a la “A Friend in Deed.” On the other hand, it’s nice to see development for both Maud and Starlight here. This is indeed the first episode in which Starlight appears and Twilight does not as well as prolonged interaction with somepony other that either Twilight or Trixie. Of course, with Maud, we have some of the funniest parts of the episode like Rarity panicking after Maud tells her how ‘common’ chartreuse gems are in the cave.

Already, the speculation is that this season will be about developing characters other than the Mane Six and Spike for the most part, but we’re just four episodes in and there’s a long way to go. So overall, this was a great episode though sometime despite Pinkie rather than because of her.

Post Episode Notes:

  • Third Wheel Pinkie again
  • Maud and Starlight interaction and development
  • Giving Starlight another pony she can relate to
  • Humor, especially with Maud

GRADE:  A-

StatManDan