Top 20 Best MLP Episodes #18

flight#18: Flight to the Finish

Writer: Ed Valentine

Storyboard: Steve Sanderson, Jocelan Thiessen, and Tim Packford

Season: 4, episode 5

Episode: 70

Characters: Applebloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash

Summary: The Equestria Games are underway, and Ms. Harshwhinney has come to the elementary school with Rainbow Dash to announce the Flag-flying competition for the children. The team with the best routine will be able to represent their town, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders want in. But can they compete even if Scootaloo can’t fly?

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Top 20 Worst MLP Episodes: #18

three#18. Three’s A Crowd

Writers: Meghan McCarthy and Ed Valentine

Storyboard: Mike Myhre and Mike West

Season/Episode: 4, 11

Overall: 76

Characters: Twilight Sparkle, Princess Cadence, Discord

The story begins with a scene that actually sets up one of the two arcs for the season–Fluttershy going to witness the Breezie migration. Twilight Sparkle gets a letter from her sister-in-law Princess Cadence, who has decided to treat her to a museum exhibit for her idol, the wizard Starswirl The Bearded. When they arrive at the train station, Discord is there and is apparently sick. He’s even passed on his disease to Rainbow Dash and Rarity. Discord asks them for a long list of requests (in song), which they agree to on the condition that he helps them. But because of his disease, they have to pull him to where the cure can be found by chariot. When they arrive, the plant that will cure him is guarded by a Tatzlwurm, a worm that looks like a pink version of the sandworms from Dune.

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Top 20 Best MLP: FIM Episodes #19

feeling pinkie keen

#19. Feeling Pinkie Keen

Writer: Dave Polsky

Storyboard: Scott Underwood and Tom Sales

Season/Episode: 1, 15

Overall Episode: 15

Main Characters: Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie

This is probably one of the most contested episodes of the series so far. I’ll start with the summary, and then I’ll give you my thoughts on why this episode has been so criticized.

The story starts with Twilight practicing spells, but she’s distracted by Pinkie, who keeps sneaking around town for cover, as if she’s expecting something to fall on her. She asks her what’s going on, and we learn that Pinkie Pie has a sixth sense that lets her know of impending danger. Twilight dismisses it, thinking such a thing isn’t scientifically possible, that is until a frog hits her in the face. Pinkie thinks this is proof, but it’s really just Fluttershy taking a colony of frogs to safety in Froggy Bottom Bog.

Twilight just thinks this is pure coincidence, but Pinkie is unfazed. What’s more, Applejack tells her that Pinkie’s not kidding, she’s seen it herself. After another calamity from a hay cart, Twilight is bound and determined to prove that Pinkie’s “Pinkie Sense” isn’t real. She sees evidence when she’s using Pinkie’s shower and an alligator tries to bite her, but that’s just Pinkie’s pet Gummy making his first appearance. Since Gummy has no teeth, there’s no danger there. Twilight decides to follow Pinkie around town and record every instance Pinkie senses danger, but each time, something lands on her, including my favorite moment when she gets hit with both an anvil AND a piano! I just love Looney Tunes slapstick homages.

Then Pinkie panics because now she senses “a doozy!” at Froggy Bottom Bog, and that’s where Fluttershy is! She, Twilight, and Spike get there as fast as they can and discover a hydra is attacking the bog. That has to be the doozy! Twilight is so scared that she comes to a crevice and can’t make it across. Pinkie calls out to her, convincing her to take a “leap of faith”, which she does and makes it to safety.

The hydra has convinced Twilight, and she believes that has to be “the doozy”. Pinkie dismisses it, saying it still hasn’t happened yet. Twilight blurts out “That wasn’t ‘the doozy’? What couldn’t be more doozy than that?” Pinkie shakes her head and says “Don’t know, but that wasn’t it.” Twilight sighs in defeat, and just accepts that Pinkie is correct, even though she can’t understand it.

And this is where the disappointment comes in. The moral of the episode is that you don’t have to be able to explain something to make it true. To some, this seems analogous to religion, as many religions tell you to just accept divine will and not try to comprehend it. Some feel the moral is poorly taught, but I don’t. Using a superstition is actually not a bad analogy, as some still swear by superstitions, even though we are much more enlightened than we were when those superstitions started. For example, so many athletes have rituals that they are convinced will bring them luck: wearing the same pair of socks, having the same number on their jersey no matter what team they’re on, and so on.

Could it be that this episode is seen as bad simply because the moral can be applied to religion? So what? There are still many things that science can’t explain away. (Yep, I’m getting on my soapbox just like Twilight literally did in this episode) But the humor is executed well, with some great slapstick throughout. Really the only thing I don’t like is how the hydra is drawn.

 

 

Top 20 Worst MLP Episodes #19

owl19. “Owl’s Well That Ends Well”

Writer: Cindy Morrow

Storyboard: Mike West & Sherann Johnson

Season/Episode: 1, 15

Episode: 15

Characters: Spike, Owlowicious (1st appearance)

Episodes focused on Spike tend to be the most poorly written episodes, and that’s really a shame. That’s not to say he hasn’t gotten some good stories, “Equestria Games” and “Gauntlet of Fire” are my favorites. But I think part of the problem is that Spike is essentially a satellite character. Unless he has someone to play off, he’s not all that interesting. He’s really at his best when he’s the voice of reason and supports the other characters, particularly Twilight Sparkle.

My main problem with this episode is Owlowicious. In the episode’s climax, we are told that Twilight allowed him to stay in the library because he was helping her at night. There’s just one problem, Cindy Morrow. All the scenes where he helps Twilight take place during the day! And what was the point of those fake jump scares every single time he turned his head all the way around? They accomplished nothing, and he wasn’t even meant to be a scary character, much less a villain.

I’m ranking this episode so low as a means of forgiving it. It’s a season one episode, and while the first season wasn’t necessarily bad, it was easy to tell the writers hadn’t really gotten the hang of some of the characters. As I’ve always told people, it wasn’t until I got to the tail end of season 2 that I was hooked. This is part of the reason.

40 Years of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

sithNow we come to the only prequel that seems to receive positive opinions. I’ve even heard people say you should just skip Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones and just watch this one. I disagree. Both movies do set this movie up, and let’s not forget the original trilogy wasn’t perfect.

If the original trilogy can be called an outer space version of Campbell’s famous “Hero’s Journey”, then the prequels can be its polar opposite: “The Shadow’s Journey”. The Hero’s Journey is a quest for glory. The Shadow’s Journey is a journey not to glory, but to darkness.

Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship has taken a turn for the worse. His romance with Padme is far from secret, and now he has a child on the way. But dark visions plague him–he sees again and again that his wife will die during childbirth. Anakin has never really gotten over the death of his mother, and still wants to find a way to stop people from dying, as he had promised in the previous movie. And now Palpatine is offering him a chance to fulfill that promise.

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Top 20 Best MLP Episodes #20

gabby

My last post started the top 20 worst episodes. But, I am a fan, so I will be posting the top 20 best episodes as well. Let’s start with one of the gems of Season 6.

20) The Fault In Our Cutie Marks

Writer: Ed Valentine

Storyboard: Karine Charlebois, Patricia Ross, and Nicole Wang

Season/Episode: 6, episode 19 (note: aired early in Poland)

Episode: 136

Characters: Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Gabby (1st appearance), Twilight Sparkle

The episode is already off to a good start with three of the show’s best writers, Josh Haber, Meghan McCarthy. McCarthy has been with the show from the very beginning. She also wrote for the upcoming movie as well. Josh Haber and Ed Valentine are late entries, starting in season 3. (The show has a habit of bringing in new writers whenever a new direction is being taken.)

At this point in the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ arc, they’ve finally gotten their cutie marks. Now it’s time for them to apply what they’ve learned in their struggles. They’ve found their purpose, which is to help others understand their own purpose in life.

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Top 20 Worst My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Episodes #20

mlpworst20

With the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie coming in a couple months, the time is ripe for Bronies everywhere to spread their Love and Tolerance and assimilate new members into the herd! But how? By showing those who are still on the fence just how good the show is!

For the next 10 weeks, I will be talking about my picks for the top 20 best episodes, and the top 20 worst episodes. I’m starting with the bad ones to get them out of the way quicker. These are the ones I feel you should avoid showing to those fence-sitters you wish to recruit. Bad writing! Characters written way out of character, even for Pinkie Pie! (one of the flaws of the show is that the writers seem to think because Pinkie is the crazy one of the group, they can write her any way they like) I will present these episodes by degree of increasing annoyance. The higher we go on the countdown, the more they annoyed me. But what about the worst episodes? Oh, that’s another countdown, don’t worry. So, here’s our starter.

#20) “Somepony to Watch Over Me”

Writer: Scott Sonneborn

Storyboard: Nicole Wang & Steve Sanderson

Season/Episode: 4, 17

Episode: 82

Main Characters: Apple Bloom, Applejack, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle

 

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