Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
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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21
Dec 2018
The Three Musketeers (1993)

The Three Musketeers (1993)

Title: The Three Musketeers

Summary: Based on the classic novel, Dumas’ story of the young Gascon d’Artagnan who goes to Paris to become a Musketeer and serve the king, and how he befriends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and they have to save the king of France from being assassinated. Only this version is extremely Disney-fied!

Tagline: All for one and one for all!

Though, honestly, the other two that were used for a poster and video packaging, respectively, crack me up:

A place of betrayal. The fate of a king. A time for heroes. (Considering this movie wasn’t even filmed in Paris, let alone in France…)

They’re Scoundrels, Playboys, Outlaws . . . The Greatest Heroes Who Ever Lived. (This literally sounds like a MCU tagline. All those things describe Tony Stark.)

Book!Aramis was a complete playboy scoundrel and the Musketeers technically turn outlaw… I’m lost on the “place of betrayal” part, though.

Note: I have seen this movie many more times than an average viewer. Something like 75 times, at least 3 times in an actual movie theater, during its original release. Yes, I have a problem. A problem named Sutherland.

Oh, and I will likely make the distinction of book!CHARACTER to keep them separate from the film version, through out the recap. Because book vs movie is rather important to understand how much different the version you’re watching is compared to the actual novel.

Initial Thoughts:

The 1990s were a weird time for movies churned out by Disney. Instead of a bunch of animated films (this was just when Pixar really kicked into gear, but who really remembers A Bug’s Life?) they were releasing a bunch of family-friendly live-action films. Stuff like White Fang, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, The Rocketeer, Newsies, [Wing: Newsies is one of my favourite movies!The Mighty Ducks (and its subsequent sequels [Dove: Bagsie I get to recap them!]), and Hocus Pocus, to name a few. [bat: Okay, Wing recap Newsies, Dove recap Mighty Ducks, and I’ll recap Hocus Pocus! THEN WE CAN CROSS-COMMENT ON EVERYTHING!]

The first three years of the 1990s saw only four animated films released compared to 14 live action films. Granted, animated movies take longer, so that’s probably why. Even today that’s still true, although computer animation is much more widely used compared to the tiny bit we were all dazzled by during the ballroom sequence in Beauty and the Beast in 1992.

Also of note would be the part where Disney was pulling from classic literature and interesting life stories. Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is based on a true story; White Fang is a Jack London novel. There were real news boys in NYC and they held a strike in 1899 but I don’t think they sang and danced while doing it. [Dove: I have only just got a copy of this, because it’s called “The News Boys” over here. I have no idea why the name was changed, but Dean Portman from Mighty Ducks will sing!] [Wing: His role is fairly small but completely delightful. Oh, god, I could talk about Newsies for hours. Carryin’ the banner, y’all.]

Alexandre Dumas’ The d’Artagnan Romances, which is the encompassing name given to all the stories Dumas penned about the 17th century musketeers and their adventures, is really, really long. Most people are familiar with The Three Musketeers, the first of the stories that runs sometimes over 700 pages in length, which introduces us to d’Artagnan and tells the story of how he becomes a member of the King’s Musketeers.

Like Disney was going to actually stick to the actual story. Based on real events and persons, it is not… shall we say… “family friendly”. There’s a ton of intrigue and romantic/sexual affairs, and murder plots, all set within the court of King Louis XIII of France.

There’s also about a billion and a half (slight exaggeration) characters with enormous French names and titles. Keeping track of it all is only slightly less harder then knowing who’s who on Game of Thrones. It’s taken me a long time to really understand it, and that’s just based on half-hearted effort to read wiki articles and such, and admittedly it interests me to a fault. Your average reader? Probably not so much.

The Three Musketeers

There was a family portrait package special down at Sears that day.

So, Disney being Disney, stripped the story line down to its basic and most “family friendly” elements. Gone are the Musketeer’s menservants, gone is Kitty and Constance’s husband, no one needs you Monsieur de Tréville! (Who is actually awesome in the BBC’s adaptation, The Musketeers.) Everyone else was either toned down or given amped up traits: Athos is the serious broken-hearted alcoholic, Porthos is the larger-than-life comic relief (although he is in the book, as well), and Aramis’ philandering ways are severely reined in.

Which, in light of what happened with Charlie Sheen, is rather funny in a dark way. Sutherland’s legal troubles with DUIs would happen after this film, so again, life and art have many blurred lines.

There’s a lot more I could get into about all this but I’d rather incorporate it into the recap, so there’s some reference that can be of aid to you, readers. It’ll help, trust me.

One last thing: most of the main cast had either previously worked for Disney at some point or subsequently went on to do something else with them after this film. Basically, once you get in bed with the House of Mouse, you never really get out again. (Well, Sheen might be the exception…)

Onward! To the recap!

[Dove: I love this movie. Oliver Platt is awesome, and I swear to god, he played this role as if he knew that gifs would be a thing one day. Also, Michael Wincott is probably my longest-running crush. He’s wonderful.] [bat: Dove, you REALLY must see Forsaken. Wincott saves that movie from being a total bore.]

[Wing: This movie is so much cheesy fun, and also full of attractive people, or at least people who are attractive in this movie even if not elsewhere.]

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19
Dec 2018
Famous Five 9: Five Fall into Adventure by Enid Blyton

Famous Five 9: Five Fall into Adventure by Enid Blyton

Title: Famous Five #9: Five Fall Into Adventure by Enid Blyton

Summary: Julian, Dick and Anne are really worried – George and her devoted Timmy have just disappeared! Not only that, somebody has broken into Kirrin Cottage. Could there be a connection? The Famous Five think so, but it’s going to be tough getting to the bottom of this mystery when there’s only three of them…

Initial Thoughts

I have literally no idea which one this is. I used to read these religiously but that title really couldn’t be more generic, could it?

So let’s instead talk about the cover, in which George is winching Tim up some rocks. That looks painful, for George as well as Tim.

(For reference, the kids’ ages should be roughly: Anne: 14; George and Dick 15; Julian 16.)

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11
Dec 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Puppy Pony

Summary: When the Ponies discover Clifford the Big Red Dog a huge puppy has mysteriously been dumped on the doorstep of Paradise Estate, they set out to make the animal abandoner pay! No, no they don’t. They make friends with said puppy and build it a huge dog house for the winter.

Grade: Read to Find Out!

Initial Thoughts:

Welcome back for another installment of My Little Pony ‘n Various Characters-of-the-Week That You’ll Never Remember. I swear, Dove and I are fervently slogging through these, regret clouding our minds every single step of the way. THE EPISODES ARE NOT GETTING ANY BETTER, PEOPLE. [Dove: This episode may be the greatest example of “you can never go home” in history.]

We’ve finally reached one of those single episodes, a one-shot that doesn’t require us to split it between two recaps. A quick glance tells me there’s four more one-shots after this, but about a billion multi-part episodes on top of that. Oh mysterious creators of Dream Valley, be merciful and end my suffering quick.

(It’s kinda hard to go from a rewatch of all seasons of Vikings to pastel-coloured talking cartoon horses but here I am. If only Floki would show up and yell nonsense about the pagan gods and blood sacrifices at Shady. I would watch that.)

After that misleading GLASS PRINCESS crap, I am not holding out hopes for this episode being any good. Setting the bar low early on! Let’s watch.

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27
Nov 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Glass Princess (Parts 3-4)

Summary: A narcissistic pig named Porcina has ponynapped Heartthrob, Gusty and Lickety-Split with the intent of shaving them and fashioning their hair into a magic cloak so she can turn everything into glass, so she can look at herself all the time. Because apparently you can’t buy mirrors in Ponyland. And the word “mirror” is synonymous with “glass”. The ponies have had makeovers that make the bright red Mimic custom project look like a good idea, and Porcina intends to turn all of Ponyland into glass.

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

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15
Nov 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Glass Princess (Parts 1-2)

Summary: Pony Olympics! Yes, it’s the Pony Olympics! With no explanation about why! Can’t make it up. (Although, I guess the writers did.) More ‘villain of the week’ crap; this time it’s Porcina and the Raptorians, who are after magic to use in order to repair Porcina’s magic cape. Dove’s favorite, the Sasswoolies, return for more madcap adventures with the Ponies.

Grade: D-

Initial Thoughts:

Hello and welcome, again, to this continued semi-nightmare road trip of childhood nostalgia that is the first season of My Little Pony ‘n Friends. I’m sad that I can’t say this is the halfway point through season 1, since that won’t be until episode #25, and we’re quite a ways off from that, still.

Anyway, Dove and I are doing our best to get through these poorly crafted/written episodes involving Ponies and their, um, friends. On deck today is the first half of “The Glass Princess”, which I honestly do not remember. I keep confusing it for the episode when the Princess Ponies show up, but that’s not for a while. The fact I remember nothing — and probably won’t even when I’m watching it or will suddenly something will trigger my memory? — should be interesting.

[Dove: I also thought this was about the Princess Ponies. Clearly we’re so frazzled that we can only react to a single word in the title. This is further evidenced by my confusion over The Ghost of Paradise Estate being the episode where furniture comes to life.]

Let’s just get this over with.

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