jamesthedog: (aroused)
[personal profile] jamesthedog
So, after avoiding the "Bronie" fad of the fandom of the past 6 months or so, after finding out that the My Little Pony cartoon was starting to be run on Boomerang here in the UK, and having sod all else to do at 3PM in the afternoon (and already having the TV on, watching the butchered Only Fools and Horses repeats, even though I do have all the DVDs!), I decided to give it a go, and try an watch the first week's worth of episodes at least.

Admittedly, as seemingly the only one who never seems to be able to get into fads- being pretty much the only person in school who didn't get Pokemon (and is still just as perplexed by it 12 years later), I wasn't expecting much. With a show based on a line of dolls aimed at young girls and with the subtitle "Friendship is Magic", I expected a girly, sappy, moral filled show and I got.... a girly, sappy moral filled show.

So, it begins- Twilight Sparkle, a unicorn who's too buried in books to care about other people is sent away to Ponyville, along with her gemstone-eating dragon assistant, to make friends, and she meets the usual bunch- some Western-talking apple farmer, someone hyperactive, someone tomboy-ish, someone snobby and someone shy- the sort of mix you always get in these sorts of cartoons. They throw her a suprise welcome party, she goes to bed, not really wanting anything to do with making friends, she just wants to read books. Yeah, I can smell the moral lesson to be learned coming from a mile off already!

So... yeah... Actually after that first episode it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it was expecting. There is at least talent behind the show- one of the co-creators of The Powerpuff Girls (which shows a lot!) and Foster's home. It was quite well written, there is some comedy in there, but even after that first episode it was quite obvious I was watching a show aimed at 10 year old horse loving girls, and still struggling to see exactly what it is that's captivating these 20-something male furs and making them obsessed.

Though not wanting to write the show off after one episode, I decided I'd continue watching a few more episodes, see if my opinion changes, and if I can see exactly what's captivating half the furry fandom. So we get to episode to- the villainess that appears at the end of the first episode plunges the world into darkness and it's the power of friendship that saves the day, unsuprisingly, and Twilight Sparkle learns her lesson about friendship and has to drag her head out of books. This episode to me felt even more moral and sugary than the first, and when one of the characters burst into song, I thought "it is THAT sort of show" and started to bury my head in my paws.

After this, the next 3 episodes is basically half an hour of a moral lesson, usually with a song or two thrown in. Episode three involves having 1 spare ticket for a big event, but 5 friends wanting to go (so she gets rid of the ticket so not to favour or upset anyone), episode four involves being too stubbourn to accept friends' help, and episode 5 was all about not judging people and knowing who your real friends are (via a quite mean, nasty griffon). The show just seemed to go downhill and get more moral with every episode- it's the sort of thing I disliked when I was a kid!

The moral in each episode feel reasonably in your face throught the episode, and just to hit home, Twlighlight Sparkle writes a letter to drill home the "lesson" that she has learned today. If I'd heard about this show outside of the fandom, I admit I wouldn't have really expected anything different, but with furs jumping up and down and being so excited about it, I was genuinely expecting something that might have been a bit quirky and different. Obviously I was expecting the show to be moral, but considering the excitement around the show in the fandom, I was expecting any moral messages to be more subtle (like they were in shows like The Raccoons), or twisted and subverted somehow (like what Animaniacs and Tiny Toons used to do). At the very least I was expecting to see something in there that jumped out at me, and made me see how this show has adult appeal, instead I just find myself watching a cartoon made to push toys and teach life lessons to primary school aged girls.

Not that the show is bad, far from it. As I said, there's talent behind it, it is well written, it's just that it's well written for 10 year old girls and it doesn't feel like they were reallyy thinking about aiming at anybody else. I can see how an why it's so popular in its target group, but I can't really see why it is outside of it. Well outside of being cartoon animals (which I guess is enough for some furs), and plenty of other furs just following the crowd with the latest fad (though I suspect changing the last letter of that word to a "p" has something to do with it for at least some of the furs out there).

So, I've given the show a fair chance, I've heard Bronies telling people they haven't given it a fair chance and need to watch more episodes- is 5 enough? I think I've seen enough to work out the tone of the show and what it's about. Certainly enough to know that there's absolutly nothing about it that's grabbed me, and enough to tell me that the show isn't for me. I can be pretty sure the rest of the season is just another 21 episodes of the same, so I can't be bothered to watch any more, I'll catch diabetes before the end of the month.

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jamesthedog

June 2012

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