Thursday, April 4, 2013

S01 EP01: "Friendship is Magic, part 1"

S01 EP01: "Friendship is Magic, part 1"

See Twilight Sparkle's face up there? That's my fuckin' face right now. It's everything behind the phrase "Goddamn it", condensed and contorted into a facial expression that barely construes the level of annoyance and resistance felt. We don't want this to be happening to us; her divinely mandated relocation to Ponyville, and my having to review this show. Our mutual butthurt is reactionary and a defense mechanism in the face of change, but that's where similarities end. 

Over the course of the next two episodes, Twilight Sparkle will obviously probably learn the value of friendship and then use it to unite with her new pals to curb-stomp a misunderstood alicorn with rainbow lasers and shit. Me, I just don't want to like this show beyond the point of "It's a'ight", which is my current opinion. I like that opinion. I spent a lot of time forming it, and you can't make me change it, Lauren Faust! My skepticism can't shoot lasers! It's not fair!


Okay, so actually watching the episode now. 

We open with "Once upon a time," followed by what I'm assuming is the text of the most condescending history book on Equestria ever written. Apparently there were two all powerful alicorn sisters. Alicorns are unicorns and...pegasuses? Pegasi? I'm just asking for some asshole to correct this-- whatever, it's those two things mixed together. Anyway, there were two sisters, one for day and the other for night. 


Things were chill as motherfucker until the younger night sister realized her nighttime was going completely unappreciated, because fuck circadian rhythms, ecosystems and the primal instinctual terror of what lurks in the darkness. She got fed up with this survival instinct bullshit, turned into Nightmare Moon (Make Up!) and said "Fuck it! Nighttime forever."

The elder daytime sister was having none of the night sister's genocidal tantrum, so she took off her earrings, removed her high heels and brandished The Elements of Harmony, six powerful gems which will in no way be relevant to the overall plot of the show. 

Seriously, I think they only bust out these fuckers, like, twice or something over the first two seasons.

Using the Elements of Harmony, the elder sister rainbowed the living shit outta Nightmare Moon, which sealed her away inside of the actual moon. In retrospect it kinda makes the younger sister's new name seem like a fucked-up tempting of fate in a way.

Asking for it.

Having sealed away her only living relative without even considering that the sisters could have just traded duties every other day or something, the elder sister took control of both day and night. 

"Relax y'all, I got this shit on lock."

Things became awesome once again, and nobody even thought to pitch the benefits of nighttime to the lesser ponies, condemning them to  a millennium of fear and ignorance.

Seriously, It's not that hard. 

The opening narration fades from one voice to another. The new voice belongs to our main character, Twilight Sparkle, who is reading all about the brutal history (mythology?) of her people.

"...Begat Twilight who then begat Twilight Twinkle...oh, gross! Illustrations."

Or her kind, I should say, since they use the phrase "Everypony" on this show for some reason. I never liked that kind of thing, it always seemed really smurfing gratuitous to me. But yeah, Twilight Sparkle ominously dwells on how familiar The Elements of Harmony are sounding and where she's heard of them before, and then it's time for the intro sequence.

It's upbeat, catchy and is the the aural equivalent of having xenomorph eggs laid in your chest cavity, because it makes you want to sing along against your will. Watch at your own risk.

It's quickly established that Twilight Sparkle will blow off a good time with her peers to pour over old books, ignoring the friendly waves of passerby and thoughtlessly trampling her assistant Spike. Not long after that we find out that Twilight Sparkle turns out to be that guy, you know the one. She's all freaked out about the inevitable return of Nightmare Moon, because it's been 1,000 years since the events of the opening narration happened. I'm guessing some of the books she's obsessed with are old RPG strategy guides. Twilight Sparkle gets all riled up about the return of pony Anti-Christ and decides to tell Princess Celestia via letter, which she dictates to the vocabulary-challenged Spike instead of using her horn's telekinesis power to write it herself.

Anti-social, thoughtless, lazy, AND abusive. Ladies and gentlemen, our heroine

The letter is written and then delivered to Princess Celestia with a hint of skepticism by Spike via dragon's breath, because magic. Twilight Sparkle barely has enough time to savor her smug self-righteousness when the letter gets a reply, thankfully not coming out of Spike's other end. Not even two sentences into the letter, Spike reads to Twilight Sparkle that Princess Celestia wants her to stop reading so friggin' much. A moment later and we see Spike and Twilight headed to Ponyville on a golden chariot pulled by two pegasusites. Spike continues to read the letter to Twilight, saying that she has been put in charge of the Summer Sun Celebration which is being held in Ponyville this year, and that she has to make some goddamn friends. Twilight Sparkle, naturally, is thrilled by the idea of this.

"Don't be like that, Twilight! This'll totally be lots of watch."

"...Fuck off, Spike."

Spike tries to console Twilight by saying that they've been given lodgings in a library. Twilight Sparkle immediately plans to use this as a means to verify her insane theory once she's done checking on the festival and go back to ignoring the layponies.

...God-Smurf it, they've got me doing it. FUCK

The two of them come in for a landing as Twilight dismisses Spike,  who reiterated that Princess Celestia also wanted her to make friends. As they disembark, Twilight thanks the two pegasusinos, calling them "sirs". They don't actually speak, instead they make pony sounds. This probably doesn't mean anything, but I'm going to assume that it's another sign that Equestria is a racist, sexist matriarchy, because lol.

Spike implores Twilight to give the whole thing a chance once more as a pink pony approaches them. When Twilight decides to give this whole friendship thing a genuine try and introduce herself, the pink pony gasps dramatically and runs off without another word.

"...The fuck was that about?"

Annoyed and discouraged respectively, Twilight and Spike decide to just get on with inspecting the preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration instead. It's from this point forward that I'll probably just be summing up characters as much as commenting on the plot of the episode, since this is just a string of introductions. First up we have...


Twilight and Spike head over to Sweet Apple Acres for their first order of business, which is to check on the food for the banquet. The establishing shot for Sweet Apple Acres is pretty good looking, I have to admit. Anyone that still wants to shit on Flash animation at this point can go and fuck themselves. Seconds after arriving, Applejack shows up and kicks one of the apple trees, causing the fruit to fall into baskets below. Unimpressed, Twilight grudgingly introduces herself as politely as possible.

Applejack is friendly, dynamic, and has an obscenely huge family with conspicuous apple themed names. I actually like Applejack so far. So of course, Twilight goes out of her way to get away from the crowd of ponies that want to show her hospitality, staying solely because of the guilt she feels from everyone's disappointment. I really hope they explain the reason for all this misanthropy, because up to now? not digging Twilight Sparkle. She's kind of a bitch, really. 

"Nothing pisses me off more than free food and friends!" 
-Nobody ever, except Twilight Sparkle

Moving on from the torture that is delicious apples and baked goods, Spike and Twilight seek out the pony who's in charge of clearing the skies, who turns out to be...

Rainbow Dash

The first thing Twilight comments on is that Rainbow Dash hasn't done her job. Her next observation is on the bottom of a mud pool that she's been slammed into by the reckless flying antics of Rainbow Dash. Dash notes her mistake and cleans off Twilight by stomping on a rain cloud and drying her off like Superman trying to turn back time by spinning around really fast. This goes about as well as you'd expect.

"Bitch done messed up my weave!"

Spike and Dash laugh hysterically at this, and I think I've found a pony I dislike as much or more than Twilight Sparkle at this point. We then learn that Dash has been too busy practicing her flying in order to  join the Wonderbolts, who are basically the pony version of the Blue Angels. Twilight scoffs at this, saying that they wouldn't admit a Pegasus into their ranks that can't even keep the sky clear for a day. Rainbow Dash, incredulous at this statement, says she can clear the sky in ten seconds, then actually does it when challenged by Twilight. Twilight and Spike gawk in disbelief, and Dash says the look on her face is hilarious and that she can't wait to hang out more. This predictably unnerves Twilight Sparkle further.

Okay, I kinda like Rainbow Dash a little.

Moving on, it's time to check out the decorations, where we meet...


Twilight and Spike enter the reception hall, which has been expertly decorated with streamers and bows. Twilight admits this, but only in the context of how quickly the competency of the decorator will get her to the library (bitch). Spike, however, is stricken with something else entirely. We zoom in on a pony who's sorting through a bunch of ribbons, trying to find the perfect one. Rarity monologues to herself about how awesome she is until she notices Twilight's fucked up hair-do and immediately takes Twilight to her home to fix it.

I'm not even going to bother with a real caption. 

During the makeover/torture session, Twilight mentions that she's from Canterlot. Rarity is enthralled, saying that she and Twilight will be the best of friends in the hopes that she can tell her all about the glamour of the big city. When Rarity runs off to get yet another outfit, Twilight takes it as an opportunity to escape, taking the love-struck Spike with her.

Rarity is alright, if not a bit over-enthusiastic, but I can easily see her as being one of those characters that could go either way on the spectrum of endearing to annoying if played wrong. I guess we'll see what I think in the long run, won't we?

Next up, we have...


The last item on the list is music, and it seems to be done entirely with birds. This only makes me wonder if Equestrians prefer bird songs or if there were no creatures worth enslaving/domesticating that had opposable thumbs and musical talent. The pony responsible for the avian symphony is in the process of training her flock when Twilight and Spike come to introduce themselves. Twilight gives it a go, and with each attempt the yellow pony becomes so shy that her attempts to say her own name devolve into a high-pitched squeak.

Twilight gives up, and just as she's about to leave, the other pony notices Spike. Excited to see a baby dragon, the other pony enthusiastically introduces herself as Fluttershy. Fluttershy follows the pair and asks Spike eleventy-million questions about dragons all the way to the library, much to Twilight Sparkle's chagrin.

Fluttershy's not bad, but she better get some character development quick. The whole "I'm shy and interacting with strangers is awkward" thing could get old really fast. 

Okay, so that's it for character introductions! Twilight manages to shake off Fluttershy at the door, much to the annoyance of Spike. Inside is pitch black, and Twilight wastes no time stating her intent to begin studying when the lights come on and...

"One of us, one of us, gooble gobble, gooble gobble..."

It's a surprise party! It turns out that the whole thing was arranged by the pink pony from earlier in the episode...

Pinkie Pie

...and goddamn, she is annoying. Friendly and well-intentioned, but she clearly cannot shut the fuck up. There is literally nothing about her that I don't want to have lit on fire from the second she opens her motor-mouth. For once I feel like Twilight Sparkle's annoyed demeanor is entirely justified in this particular case. Anyway, Pinkie Pie blathers on about how she decided to throw this surprise party for Twilight, who has tuned her out even more than I have since she thoughtlessly poured herself a tall glass of hot sauce and took a drink.

"How much of this do I have to drink to make me forget that I've met these ponies?"

Twilight runs off to her room, mouth blazing in agony as the party rolls on without her. Spike tries to get her to come down and enjoy the celebrations, but Twilight resigns herself to sulk and stare at the moon, which looks not ominous at all. 

"That's one fucked up-ass moon."

Twilight says the specifics of the prophecy foretelling he return of Nightmare Moon to no one in particlar as Spike returns to announce that the sunrise ceremony with Princess Celestia is about to begin. They go out to the main hall and meet...ugh...Pinkie Pie, who still can't seem to silence her Pinkie Pie-hole. The mayor of Ponyville comes out to introduce Princess Celestia, but she's not there when the spotlight shines on the stage.

Rarity searches around, but finds no signs of the princess. As the panic begins to reach it's peak, A black alicorn appears on the stage! Rainbow Dash demands to know what has been done with the princess, flying straight at the black alicorn before Applejack holds her back. Pinkie Pie irritatingly attempts to guess her name and has her prattling gob stuffed with an apple by Applejack, who is officially my favorite character in this show, just for that.

...Thank you. Thank you, so goddamn much.

The black alicorn tries to get the other less annoying ponies to guess her identity, and only Twilight Sparkle seems to have bothered to read a history book, calling her out as Nightmare Moon. Pleased that someone remembered her, Nightmare Moon then asks if Twilight knows what she's planning, and Twilight can barely get the words out. Nightmare Moon then tells them to "remember this day, because the night...will last...FOREVER! MWAHAHAHA etc."


And that's the end of the episode!


Not that it was bad, it was perfectly serviceable if anything. But I did spend many hours writing this article and gathering screenshots, so it just seems so...much...longer than it actually was. Mind you all of that was after I already watched the episode straight through once with no interruptions. But yeah, it was a great introduction to Equestria and it's inhabitants, flawed though many of them may be. I do have to say that I'm glad this premiered as a full hour, because if I had just seen this one episode the first time around?

*changes channel, never watches again unless it's in the background when Adam does*

Which is basically what happened anyway, but I at least got 3 or 4 episodes in before that occurred. Fortunately for anyone that gives a shit about this blog, I'll be going far beyond that point.

tl;dr: "It was a'ight...for a start. Pinkie Pie sucks."

Okay, so that's it for my first post! stay tuned, leave comments, subscribe to the RSS feed, and tell your friends if you found this even vaguely amusing! I'll try to have the next one up in a week or so. Although they will likely be far, FAR shorter than this one, because I want these out on a semi-regular basis, and this one took forever.
See you next time when I'll be reviewing Friendship is Magic, part 2!

- Apathy Pony

1 comment:

  1. Great review, sir! Fair, funny and another word beginning with F because alliteration is fucking rad!