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The Pretty-Goodest Night Ever

So we've got some pretty serious flooding here; laurie_robey and I have been fortunate enough to have only been inconvenienced by worse-than-the-already-low-standard traffic, but others have been hit much harder. This, on the heels of the earthquake and hurricanes, suggests that the powers that be are pretty annoyed with the east coast for some reason. I did ask the rain to go help out in Texas, but rain is notoriously resistant to my persuasion. ("Rain, rain go away..." never helped much when I was a kid, either.)

So most of yesterday was spent in the car. But we did eventually get home, at which point I inked half-a-page of Arclight Adventures, finished Lachwen's questing in the Flaming Deeps of Moria, and watched the season closer of MLP:FIM in anticipation of the new season coming up next week. :) So I had a pretty good night, all things considered.

The MLP:FIM season closer, "The Best Night Ever," is something of an odd duck. After referencing and building up to the Grand Galloping Gala all season, the whole episode is about what a dud the party is. This theme is reinforced by the episode opening with a huge song-and-dance production number with fireworks and choruses etc., then following that up with Pinkie Pie's less-than-successful Hokey Pokey song, and finally just falling completely apart.

I've heard grumbles that the episode is a disappointing season finale, particularly after the epic season opener, but honestly I don't think so. In fact, I think it's a pretty gutsy move. If you keep in mind that the main target audience is young girls, it's a particularly strong statement. There's a recurring theme in fairy tales, girl's stories, etc., about "their magical day," whether it's their 16th birthday, or their wedding day, or whatever, that gets built up as this huge event that can't possibly live up to the hype surrounding it. (Take a look at something like "Say Yes to the Dress" to see the weird knots this can tie women into.) Granted, I'm not an expert on lit for girls, but this is certainly the first time I've seen addressed the idea of how to cope when The Magical Day turns out to actually be crap.

This is not an issue that guys are confronted with so much, so I can see why so many bronies out there might not get so much out of the episode. But if you look at it in the correct context, it's a brilliant episode, if only for the moment when Rarity (of all ponies!) smashes the glass slipper. That right there is a stroke of genius.

-The Gneech

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
trpeal
Sep. 9th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
I agree, I think the season finale worked very well with the concept of the show and its target audience. It warned avainst the danger of unrealistic expectations, and showed that without your friends, even the most anticipated events can turn into dues. None of the ponies enjoyed the Gals on their own, and it was only after they reunited at Pony Joe's that they had a good time. On their terms, not anyone else's.
rowyn
Sep. 9th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
Really? People complain the Grand Galloping Gala episode was a dud? It was AWESOME.

I loved Princess Celestia's lines best: "Run." And: "The Grand Galloping Gala is *always* awful!" Heeheeheehee!
the_gneech
Sep. 9th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
It's the internet, people will complain about anything! ;) But I'm with you, it's one of my faves.

-TG
hossblacksilver
Sep. 9th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
The moral of the story, don't mess with Fluttershy, the quiet ones are the ones that will explode the biggest.


YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
hossblacksilver
Sep. 9th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Strangely enough, that IS how I tame pets on my WoW hunter. LOVE ME, DAMN YOU!!!
mecampbellesq
Sep. 10th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
This episode is maybe #2 of my favorite episodes of season 1 (with #1 of course being 'Bridle Gossip' because is features Applebloom and Zecora, the two best members of the supporting cast ^_^) The lesson that this one points about about having realistic expectations is one that dang near everyone should pay attention to, ESPECIALLY geeks, as we have a nasty habit of ramping up our individual hype motors to the point that nothing in the real world can live up to the standards we set. My favorite scene in this one is Rarity giving Prince Blueblood the verbal pimp-slapping he deserved.

As to your observations about how guys don't have 'the magical day' the way that girls do, you're right. Guys have 'the BIG DAY' instead: The Big Game against the school's #1 Rival with the talent scouts in the stands, the entrance exam to The Really Good School, the once-in-a-lifetime Job Interview with the Really Awesome Company, and about a hundred other scenarios featuring the event THAT WILL INFLUENCE THE ENTIRE REST OF YOUR LIFE, SO DON'T F**K IT UP! If there was ever an animated series that dealt with guy issues the way that FiM deals with girl's issues (and let's be honest, we all know there never will be) one of the episodes would have to be about the cast having that Big Day, and dealing with the aftermath of when they f**k it up....
the_gneech
Sep. 10th, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
Don't be silly. Guys don't ever need to talk about that kind of thing and if you even try you are some kind of loser non-person who must be shunned at the very least and preferably beaten to a pulp! ¬.¬

Sorry, my social conditioning kicked in there. Stupid high school! -.-

Honestly, I don't think a show ostensibly for boys that didn't involve blowing things up would fly. Not because there wouldn't be boys who liked it, but because parents would freak out. Look at the nonsensical reactions to the op-ed that showed a woman painting her 5-year-old sprog's fingernails. What in-it-for-the-money entertainment company would waste their time bashing their heads against that wall?

That said, there are some anime series that deal with that kind of thing, but there are cultural divides that don't translate -- and frankly a lot of the lessons they teach are dubious at best IMO. (Suffice to say, Japanese culture is just as screwed up as our own, even if it's screwed up in different ways than ours.)

I actually think MLP:FIM deals with a lot of "boys' issues" very well, in as much as they're really "human being issues" that both boys and girls face. There are only a few cases where gender specifically enters into the equation, and "Best Night Ever" is one of them.

Now, if they were to do a show about how anypony who thinks too much, has any kind of strong emotional response, is not athletic, or even just likes hugs is likely to face hostility and violence, then they'd be talking about boys' issues specifically...

-The Gneech
mecampbellesq
Sep. 10th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
Well, considering that FiM's producers know that their audience extends well beyond the expected 'preteen girl' demographic, they may expand their storytelling range...well, we can hope anyway ;)
the_gneech
Sep. 10th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
Nah, I'd rather they left it a girly show for girls that is girly. :)

...and make another show that deals with that other stuff!

-TG
c_eagle
Sep. 10th, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)
Egads.. :/ ... Good luck to youse all... wow.....
the_gneech
Sep. 10th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :) We've got it easy for the moment, tho. *knocks on desk*

-TG
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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