Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
9
Apr 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Magic Coins (Parts 3-4)

Summary: The baby Sea Ponies find a chest full of coins that turn out to grant wishes. They start out harmlessly, by wishing for food and a gigantic bubble (MLP means never having to give context… it won’t help), but then our favourite spoiled brat, Baby Lickety-Split, wishes for it to never rain ever again. And Ponyland dries up. Sadly, the lack of ponds for the (apparently fresh water) “sea” ponies doesn’t stop them SHOO-BE-DOO-ing at everyone.

While they still have coins left to make wishes on, there is a new mechanic in place which means the picture on the coin has to match the wish. Oddly, this wasn’t in place when Baby Lickety-Split made the world-destroying wish. So Team Good Guy have to find Niblick, a troll who apparently owns the coins, to set things right. On their way, they meet an irritation in humanoid form, named Puck.

They find Niblick tormenting a prince and taking his crown as payment for crossing a bridge, and the idiotic Team Good can’t see any harm in blurting out they’ve spent all of his magic coins. The episode ends with him pulling up the drawbridge, leaving Team Good clinging to the edge of it by their fingertips. (Honestly not sure why they didn’t just slide down it, but y’know, TENSION.)

Initial Thoughts:

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesI seem to remember this as being one of the better episodes, though my brain led me to believe that there would be more wishes and more going wrong, so I think once again, we’re at “pretty good concept, pretty terrible execution”. But who knows? These final two episodes might change my mind. It seems unlikely.

I realised as I started this recap that we only have 9 stories to go (18 episodes) in Season 1. I got very excited about this. It feels like we’re finally getting somewhere. 50 episodes is a lot. And that’s just season 1. Despite the loathing for the plotting in most cases, and Megan in every case, I’m still really enjoying working with bat on this. (In other news, I grew up in an emotionally manipulative household, and the previous statement could well be my way of saying, “bat, please don’t leave me alone with MLP.”) [bat: I’m not leaving. I’m in this for the long haul, with you, Dove!]

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26
Mar 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Magic Coins – Parts 1-2

Summary: Those crafty Baby Sea Ponies give the …land?… Ponies a chest full of cursed magic coins which grant the Ponies wishes! But, without much explanation, the magic comes at a cost. This is basically the plot of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl but… without… pirates and Johnny Depp. Oh, no it isn’t. Unless that’s Johnny Depp voicing the Moochick?

Grade: C

Initial Thoughts:

This will be fun!“, we said. “Look how much fun we’ll have reliving our favorite childhood cartoon!” WE FUCKING LIED TO OURSELVES, PEOPLE. DOVE AND I HAD NO IDEA WE’D END UP IN A CANDY-COLOURED CARTOON HELLSCAPE FULL OF TALKING PONIES LED BY A WHITE GIRL SAVIOR TROPE. [Dove: We chose this. Why would we do that?]

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesHello and welcome back to yet another installment of sheer torture My Little Pony and Friends, the 80s cartoon that did not deserve 50 episodes for a first season but my god, it was so popular in 1986, that’s what it got. I’m pretty sure that last entry gave me some brain damage (probably that and the antibiotics, ugh) and coupled with the fact that the way we planned this out (to equalize our suffering) it’s my turn for the back-to-back-to-nearly-back recap run. Literally anything that follows that goddamn nightmare of imagination games has to be better, right?

Probably not. This is My Little Pony for cripes sake, a show with no show bible, where magic has zero rules, Ponies can’t save themselves from anything, and rely on a human to do all their thinking and there’s so many villains who want to “rule” Pony Land for… pick a reason. It won’t matter. Megan always wins. [Dove: ♫ Evil may be powerful, but Megan always wins]

I always confuse The Magic Coins for the Golden Horseshoes for some stupid reason (the titles aren’t even remotely similar?) so at first I was excited then remembered I was thinking of the wrong episode arc. Oh well. I’M JUST GOING TO SPOIL THIS NOW: THIS IS THE LAST TIME WE EVER SEE MOLLY. SHE IS GONE FROM THE SERIES AFTER THESE FOUR EPISODES! (Sorry, Dove, for stealing that. But it just made me so happy. It’s given me reason to get through this recap!) [Dove: That’s not spoilers. That’s on par with “Hey, Dove, did you know it’s Christmas (or any other enjoyable day in the year that comes with a day off work) tomorrow?” That is excellent news that needs to be shared.] [bat: HEY DOVE, HAPPY CHRISTMAS! IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!]

No more of Molly’s redundant anxiety and whinging. This is a gift. It’s not Megan but I’ll take it.

Anyway, I’ll just get on to recapping this. It’s that or go back to watching Annie. The 1982 version. Which is terrible. But Tim Curry! (TBH, that film is so over-produced, it’s ridiculous. And the bridge chase at the end still upsets me; it terrified me as a child, so some of that is residual. But, and 37-year-old-spoilers ahoy, the fact that they’re trying to throw Annie in the river so she’ll drown is almost so fitting for an 80s movie, since those “children/family” films scarred the crap out of my generation.) [Dove: Pretty much everyone I know was traumatised by Return to Oz. I was traumatised by some random anime (I don’t remember the name) where a bunch of birds killed a little boy by pecking his head. He then turned into an old man telling a story and both old him and the little boy died. Or something. I was very confused and upset over it for days.]

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20
Mar 2019
When you got that itch

It takes more than calamine lotion to deal with her…

Title: Batman #181 – “Beware of – Poison Ivy!”

Writer: Robert Kanigher

Penciller: Sheldon Moldoff

Inker: Joe Giella

Cover Artists: Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

Summary: The first appearance of Poison Ivy in “Beware of Poison Ivy!” Poison Ivy challenges the reigning female villains in Gotham City. Batman and Robin are on the move to stop her, but they’re both at risk of falling victim to her charms!

Initial Thoughts

It’s springtime, y’all! A time of renewal, of birth and change. It’s a time… for Poison Ivy.

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12
Mar 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Little Piece of Magic

Summary: Several Baby Ponies, who are only identified as such by their smaller statures and the fact they cannot speak proper grammatical English, spend the afternoon playing imagination games. Or are they really just some metaphorical acid trip?

Grade: F-

Initial Thoughts:

…wasn’t I just here? Didn’t we just take a vacation to that fabulous liminal space that only appears every 500 years, aka Tambelon? Did I wink out improperly?? WHY AM I BACK IN DREAM VALLEY SO SOON???!

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesBecause Dove and I fairly divided up the episodes so we would suffer equally through this project, and it’s my turn to do back-to-back recaps, starting with this utter piece of crap filler episode, that’s why. Which, because the recap gods hate me, has stuck me with an episode that is entirely devoted to the goddamn Baby Ponies. Yes, a whole 25 minutes of cutesy baby talk. WHY AM I BEING PUNISHED SO UNJUSTLY? [Dove: I didn’t know this would happen, but I can’t help be relieved I didn’t get this episode. I’m sure the recap gods will hit me with an equally horrible episode at some point.]

Because I want to know who to hold responsible for this bullshit, I looked up Michael Reaves on the ol’ IMDb. Seems he went on to have quite a career, writing for Batman: The Animated Series (which I love, still, to this day, best Batman ever, FIGHT ME) and the original cartoon series for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (again, FIGHT ME, although I really did love that reboot Nickelodeon did a few years ago) and The Smurfs, as well as The Real Ghostbusters, and there was an episode of Jem, as well. Dude, why you gotta hurt me so? I well realize that he wasn’t the only writer responsible for the travesty that is the majority of these episodes but I’ve seen his name get onscreen credit enough that I’m just gonna pin it on him.

Still reading Dune, FWIW.

Let me just put this poison pill between my back molars… ready. Let’s go.

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26
Feb 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Return of Tambelon (Parts 3-4)

Summary: So, the Unicorns were winking because that’s how they roll, except that when they winked out, they never winked back in. A city called Tambelon disappeared 500 years ago, and somehow when they winked, they ended up there. It might have been explained, but I’ve been recapping this series for nearly a year now, and very rarely is anything explained.

Then Grogar, a pissed-off goat who lived in the city of Tambelon, rocked up and pony-napped a load of ponies. Megan had a psychic dream. The ponies saved themselves, and Megan rocked up at the last minute to take credit for it. Just as they were about to leave through the city gates, Grogar showed up again to capture them once more.

Peach Blossom (I think), a Flutter Pony who acts exactly like Wind Whistler, saw everything and told the rest of the ponies. And Danny and Molly.

In a shocking turn of events, there was no song in Part 2. My gast is well and truly flabbered. [bat: It was (allegedly) cut. It was supposed to be between where Megan was sitting around the fire with her siblings and the Ponies and then she’s suddenly standing and talking to Danny.]

Finally, I think Tambelon sounds like a sanitary product. The kind that helps you wear white jeans and go roller skating with a cute boy and a dog, while some very now pop music plays. (I may have just had a flashback to the Dr Alban ‘It’s My Life’ tampax advert here.)

I will refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as FiM, to save typing it all the time.

Initial Thoughts

I don’t really have any. bat tweeted that Tambelon was not what she thought it was. So I’m intrigued. At this point, I haven’t watched any of the four episodes (I’m going to batch watch them), but I’m guessing this won’t be as good as the FiM Crystal Empire plot.

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12
Feb 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Return of Tambelon – Parts 1-2

Summary: The legendary city of Tambelon returns after 500 years, resulting in missing Unicorns before the villain Grogar invades Dream Valley, bent on revenge against the Ponies. The usual nonsense follows. Enter White Girl Savior Megan, to form search parties and sing sad songs about unicorns.

Grade: C-

Initial Thoughts:

IS THIS SERIES NOT OVER YET?

Yep, Dove and I are back for yet another recap of what I’m just going to go ahead and predict as a terrible episode (how can something/someone return if you’ve never fucking heard of them before??) but I did realize that this screen cap from Bright Lights is my new favorite representation of the toll this series has taken on Dove and I. Once… once we were happy and excited.

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap Series

Now? Not so much.

Dove had the honour of recapping episode #25 and suffering through a plot line that left a bad taste in both our mouths. Like, it was bad. I know the bar is set below the crust of the Earth at this point but we still have a generous twenty-five episodes left of season 1.* (Well, okay, we’ve already recapped Rescue from Midnight Castle already, so technically just 23 episodes to go!)

Face it: Dove and I are still traumatized from Flutter fucking Valley. A GoFundMe will be set up for our eventual need for treatment and recovery. [Dove: That’s a good picture. I often do have pink hair. And dead eyes.]

As I mentioned, this episode involves Tambelon (I keep typing Tamberlan? ??? I don’t even know why??) and his/her/its alleged return. We’ve never met him/her/it and fuck knows why he/she/it would want to return to Dream Valley, unless (like every “villain” before him/her/it) he/she/it wants to steal and rule it as some kind of third-world dictator. I literally don’t know what Tambelon is. I’m assuming it’s the villain? Who knows.

You know what I’d rather be watching right now? The 3.5 hour fan edit of David Lynch’s film version of Dune. And I fucking hated Dune because the officially released film version never works / makes sense story-wise for me. Hell, I live an hour away from where Herbert got his inspiration for Arrakis and I still have never actually read the first novel* (bite me) but even the original film makes more sense then these damn cartoons.

(I didn’t run out of Vikings episodes to watch yet; I just need a break. I can only take so much of that, knowing what’s going to happen to Ragnar. And season 5 just ended; talk about a shitty cliff hanger to end on!) [Dove: I ran out of South Park. I’m on Catfish now.]

Okay now that I’ve rambled on and complained myself out, time to lock in and start recapping this clusterfuck. Shall we?

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22
Jan 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Sweet Stuff and the Treasure Hunt

Summary: Sweet Stuff wants to play games with everyone else, but feels left out because she is an Earth Pony and doesn’t seem to be good at anything. She ends up surprising everyone (even herself) when she joins a treasure hunt with the pegasi and is the only one able to answer the last riddle and win the game. [Dove: Copied and pasted from imdb. And wow. Spoilers.]

Initial Thoughts

Sweet Stuff (G1) rehair by Dove

Sweet Stuff (G1) rehair by Dove

I have no recollection of this episode at all. I didn’t even know that Sweet Stuff had an episode. She’s one of my favourite ponies (the Gingerbread pose is so pretty), but every copy of her has an issue, dry hair, no hair, pen marks, head/body different shades, and, of course, they all have pony cancer.

[bat: Sweet Stuff was one of my first Twinkle-Eyed Ponies. She and Gingerbread were two of my favorites to play with. I, also, had no recollection that she was given a lead role in an episode. This bodes well.]

In other news, I recently rehaired my worst copy of Sweet Stuff with gradiented acrylic wool that I combed out and straightened (flat ironed). She looks awesome (her tail is wet, unfortunately, it usually looks as gorgeous as her mane). Here’s my site, if you’re interested in my collection. [bat: She looks great, Dove!]

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8
Jan 2019
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Bright Lights (Parts 3-4)

Summary: A pony called Knight Shade, who is not based on The Symbol Formerly Known As Prince at all, has enticed the baby ponies to become his groupies (just keep pushing past the squick), and his manager Zeb has stolen their shadows for Arabus, a giant cloud monster. Megan is functionally useless and WE HATE HER. Our intrepid heroes have gone back to Grayvale (Knight Shade’s home town) to… do something… but of course, Grayvale are going to burn them as witches, because Knight Shade helped STEAL THEIR SHADOWS. So… things are kinda tense.

Oh, and there’s some mice/rates which punny cheese names that nearly gave bat a migraine. Let’s not talk about them.

In other news, I rated this as B- and bat gave it a C-. So read to the end to see if we stuck to our grades.

I will refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as FiM, to save typing it all the time.

Initial Thoughts

I have an uncomfortable feeling that this is a metaphor for sexual assault in the entertainment industry. So, it’s very awkward that Knight Shade is forgiven for his enabling of all this.

I actually enjoyed the previous two episodes – more than bat, definitely – so I’m hopeful that this will continue to be an adventurous romp. I like the dark subject matter – especially when bat pointed out that one interpretation of Galaxy’s assessment of the situation is that the shadows represent the ponies’ souls.

[bat: I had zero intention of actually watching the episodes, but now that Dove’s made the connection to the super dark suggestion that this plot is a semi-expose on the abuses of the music business, I totally just put them on. So help me, I want to see how this ends.]

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25
Dec 2018
Amelia Rules #4 Cover

I really need to find more about this comic

Title: Amelia Rules! #4 – Amelia McBride and the Other Side of Yuletide, a.k.a. “What the hell is Ninja Kwanzaa?”

Writer and Artist: Jimmy Gownley

Editor: Michael Cohen

Marketer: Karen Gownley

Initial Thoughts

My first Christmas review for Nostalgic Bookshelf, and I swear to bring as much enthusiasm to this month’s reviews as I have for Point Horror. To that end, I wanted to start off with a special one-off comic review with a series I admittedly don’t have as much history with.

“Amelia Rules!” is a YA comic series written and drawn by Jimmy Gownley. It’s about Amelia McBride, a young girl adjusting to life after her mom and dad split up. Amelia has to move from NYC to Connerton, Pennsylvania, where she and her mom are now living with her cool Aunt Tanner. She gains new friends in the form of the bombastic Reggie, the stubborn Rhonda, and the amazing yet silent Pajamaman. Together, the four become G.A.S.P. (Gathering of Awesome Super Pals), and get into all sorts of hi-jinks as Amelia navigates life.

This particular comic is the fourth issue in the series, and as you can guess it’s a Christmas story. In it, Amelia and her friends find themselves wondering if there really is a Santa Claus, and the answer is different from what you’d expect. I had this in mind remembering Wing’s thoughts on Santa Claus from last year’s reviews on PH. Naturally I’m curious to see how she feels about this particular story.

How I acquired this comic is a rather bizarre, disturbing tale. In the spring of 2015, a woman came to my comic shop hoping to sell a massive collection she inherited from her dead uncle. He owned Disney and cartoon comics ranging from the Golden Age to the early 1990s. Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Disney, Sleeping Beauty, Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbera, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain. The books showcased the transition from Dell Comics to Gold Key to Whitman. He even had some picture books and old Disney Adventure digest magazines.

However, there was a LOT more.

To this day, no one has brought in the amount of furry comics and porn comics as that woman did. Omaha the Cat Dancer, Battle Vixens, Four-Footed Furries, Albedo, it was baffling. I don’t even want to remember the fairy porn issues. The man practically bought every badly done 90s manga rip off comic out there (Ninja High School, Gold Digger, etc.). And guess what? I had to go through everything. EVERYTHING. Because we needed to figure out what the conditions of the books were in so we could sell them online. I had to make sure to leaf through every single comic the man owned, checking to see if pages were falling out, if they were missing coupons, or if they had writing on them. A lot of the porn comics had pages torn out of them… and so did some of the kid comics.

I did NOT enjoy this task at all. I’m not trying to bash furries, but I am very much not fond of anything NSFW related and I don’t want to think about why so many pages were missing. Not to mention a lot of the comics were incredibly dirty and grimy. I’m just glad the pages weren’t sticky.

So anyway, that’s another chapter out of my twisted life story. Onto the recap.

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25
Dec 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Bright Lights (Parts 1-2)

Summary: When a trio of Baby Ponies become enamored of a singer called Knight Shade, things take a turn for the worse when it becomes clear he’s just a front for an evil wizard bent on gaining power through magical means.

Grade: C-

Initial Thoughts:

 

Bright Lights (Part1-2)

🎶 The view from hell is blue sky / so ominously blue 🎶 (with apologies to Josh Homme)

…whoa, déjà vu! Wasn’t I just here, recapping about a giant puppy? These back to back recaps are brutal.

Okay. Welcome, once again, to the masochistic recapping series where Dove and I rewatch My Little Pony and Friends cartoons and question our memories and choices, a lot. We’re only four episodes away from the halfway point of Season 1 (Dove gets the honor of recapping that episode, #25/50) which means we have hit BRIGHT LIGHTS.

(Sadly, no, it is not Bright Lights, Big City, which I could be watching right now. Alas. This also has MUCH LESS cocaine use then that movie, but the clothes in this could very easily be worn by any character in the film. Weird.)

Out of… well, the series as a whole, this four-parter is one of the ones I have concrete memories of. Mainly because of Knight Shade and the plot twist, which I’ll get into during the recap. Things in this episode clearly date it to mid-1980s (oh what a time to be alive!) bu they don’t hold up well. I was made in the 1980s and I’m not holding up well, either.

[Dove: I have more memories of this, because I’ve watched this one several times. Not deliberately. I misread our schedule and thought I was doing parts 1 and 2, I set them going just to remind myself which story this was, but got involved in coding something, and background-watched them. Then I realised what I’d done, and started over. Just in time I checked the schedule and realised that I was doing 3 and 4. But then my brain went: “Watch them again, so you can start parts 3 and 4 now.” So I did. But I didn’t start my half of the recap because life. Then I watched them again when bat made the draft page for her recap – I assumed she’d finished it, but she hadn’t. So I only watched part 1. I still haven’t retained much though.]

This will all eventually make sense, so, let’s just get to the recap.

 

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