Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The Quest of the Princess Ponies (S02E03-4)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Quest of the Princess Ponies (Parts 3-4)

Summary: A bunch of mean girl Princess Ponies can’t figure out who should be their queen, and the villain of the week steals their magic. You know, I’d call that problem solved, but the writers don’t agree, so behold the next thrilling instalment and two completely off-key songs.

Initial Thoughts:

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesI only remember the end of this, not what went on before, and that’s not really a good thing.

My most important thought is: NINE EPISODES TO GO! [bat: Amen.]

I’ve really loved the experience of having shared pain with bat. I feel like our friendship is now utterly fireproof. This is a trauma we have endured together. I’ve also really liked the feeling of having recapped the MLP episodes, because nobody else has.

I’m also well aware of why that is. They suck. I genuinely believed that the series would be fairly mediocre, with a few highlights. And I suppose I was right. I just didn’t realise the song “Nothing Can Stop the Smooze” was one of three highlights (the other two were the specials, Catrina and Nightmare/Midnight Castle) and “fairly mediocre” is a bar that is way out of the writers’ reach.

Basically, I am fed up with this stupid show, and I can’t wait to reach the end.

On the other hand, the princess ponies are so cute. And I do love the Bushwoolies.

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Posted in Making Out

Making Out #11: Ben Takes a Chance by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #11: Ben Takes a Chance by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)
Making Out #11: Ben Takes a Chance by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Ben Takes a Chance by Katherine Applegate

Summary: Aisha found out first and she told Nina who had to tell Zoey, who let it slip to Lucas. Now Ben’s big secret isn’t a secret any more and they’re all waiting to see what will happen when…

Initial Thoughts

Ben in the title and it opens with a Zoey entry. We’ll all be lucky if I don’t break into bullet points within the first 50 pages. Or maybe we’ll be lucky if I do.

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The Quest of the Princess Ponies (S02E01-2)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Quest of the Princess Ponies (Part 1-2)

Summary: “Look! It’s Malibu Stacey! And she’s wearing a new hat!” When your merch begins to drive your story lines, you have a problem. Speaking of, look! There’s Princess Ponies! And they all wear hats! And each has a Bushwoolie slave servant! I don’t even care what the plot line is at this point. BUY OUR MERCH! [Dove: Literally the best summary of this show I’ve ever seen.]

Grade: D

Initial Thoughts:

I’m back.

My break from the land ‘o Ponies wasn’t long enough but what can one do, especially when one is so very much wanting to be free of this series yet there’s still *checks notes* 13 episodes to recap? (Yeah, see there’s technically 15 but Dove and I already recapped Escape From Catrina in the order in which the specials aired, because tacking the specials onto the ends of the seasons was bullshit.)

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap Series

Yeah. So. 13. Normally that’s my family’s lucky number but this just feels… the opposite.

Let’s see, 13 is a huge drop in episodes, down from the 48 “original content” episodes in that first season. Y’know, that was just a godawful amount of episodes. Dove and I are still traumatized by that 10-part “the movie flopped so here’s an entirely rehashed account of it” Flutter Valley nightmare. There is nothing that epic in season 2. Nope. Mostly two-part episodes. I can’t say any of them are any good; I only remember some of the titles and that doesn’t mean I remember plots.

I can, however, say that I clearly remember when the Princess Ponies were released as toys. Oh my god, that was huge. They had tinsel in their manes and tails, they had resin wands, they had pointy damsel hats that princesses wear, raised metallic cutie marks, and (in the US at least) they came with the first physical incarnation of the Bushwoolies! I specifically remember when my mom and I came across them in Toys-R-Us and she was liked Princess Tiffany the most. Until the Carousel Ponies came along, these were my mom’s favorite release. I also had Princess Serena from the first release, and when the second wave of Princess Ponies was released, I got Princesses Moondust and Pristina. Those little crown/tiara clips were one of my favorite accessories.

TIL that the UK got baby dragons with their Princesses, which explains why Dove never had Bushwoolie figures.

[Dove: We not only got different slaves/companions for the ponies, our ponies had completely different names too. I can’t be bothered to look them all up, but I remember that Princess Tiffany is Princess Pearl over here. I have no idea why. Also, it’s fairly easy to get Bushwoolies in the UK, but people will fight to the death over the dragon pals – I’ve seen them go for over £50 per dragon. (But, to be fair, I’ve seen the same dragon sell for half that in the same week, so part of that is people who can’t walk away from a bidding war.) I don’t actually remember these guys being released over here. Looking at the years, I know I was still young enough to unashamedly stand in the MLP section of a toy shop for hours, thinking about which pony I wanted next. So either: they didn’t get a huge release in the UK; or they did, but a large amount of shops in Kent never bothered to buy them in. Maybe the latter, because I had Strawberry Fair (or Sugarberry, to the US audience), who was released the same year, and she was the most beloved and cherished of all of my ponies ever. Behold my obsession. So yeah, tl;dr: I don’t remember these ponies being around at all.]

Now that I’ve been reminded that the Princess Ponies each had wands, I can foresee a lot of MAGIC: HOW DOES IT WORK ranting in my future. You’ve been warned. Also, wait, if Majesty was a queen… HOW DOES THE ROYALTY SYSTEM WORK IN PONYLAND??? I don’t even know if MLP:FiM ever addressed that. Dove? Did it? [Dove: Not exactly, but the most recent season seems to imply that it’s not a bloodline royalty, but a title bestowed on the most worthy candidate, chosen by the current monarch. Possibly in reaction to Majesty being superbly absent, and the Princess Ponies being incapable of thought?]

Already this shaping up to be a fucking nightmare. What did I expect…

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Posted in The Famous Five

Famous Five #10: Five on a Hike Together by Enid Blyton

Famous Five 10: Five on a Hike Together by Enid Blyton

Title: Famous Five #10: Five on a Hike Together

Summary: When Dick is woken by a light flashing through his window, he is puzzled. Is someone trying to send him a coded message? And when the Famous Five hear of an escaped convict in the area, they are on red alert. The police won’t help, so the Five have no choice. Yet again, they’ll be solving this mystery by themselves… [Wing: Does anyone else ever solve a mystery? Ever?] [Dove: Adults are useless. Where have you been?]

Initial Thoughts

At last I have returned from the war! The war known as life. I’m certain the dear Famous Five have changed not one whit and will be as precocious and fun and sometimes assholey as ever I’m looking at you Julian.

(I love how the cover shows them actually on a raft and not hiking at all.)

Onward to adventure. And probably some hatred of Julian.

[Dove: I figured this would be helpful: For reference, the kids’ ages should be roughly: Anne: 14; George and Dick 15; Julian 16. I have a spreadsheet that figures out their ages, because I’m pretty sure Blyton couldn’t be bothered.]

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: Through the Door (S01E47-48)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Through the Door (Parts 1-2)

Summary: A door is opened to the world of fairy tales, and the ponies meet legends such as Robin Hood, Aladdin’s genie and Hercules.

Initial Thoughts:

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesI dimly remember watching this. Not as a kid, but when I first got hold of this series. It stuck in my mind, but not in a good or bad way. Just in a weird way. Why on earth does Ponyland have the same fairy tales as us? Perhaps my question will be answered in the episode. But given that bat asks every single week “how does magic work?”, I don’t hold much hope.

[bat: I don’t remember this at all. Which isn’t surprising. Why bother to come up with anything original when you can steal borrow copyright-free characters and shove them into Ponyland at will!]

On the plus side, this is the final episode of season 1. This is a real milestone. bat and I have lasted this far.

[bat: I am proud of us. We may never be the same again but we have survived.]

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The Revolt of Paradise Estate (S01E45-46)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Revolt of Paradise Estate (Part 1-2)

Summary: The Ponies are terrible slobs and fail to do any upkeep or property improvement on their vast land holdings, so Paradise Estate (and its contents) rise up again their equine oppressors. There’s some kind of magic paint involved and yet another character who wants to steal the Ponies’ home. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Grade: F—————————–

Initial Thoughts:

OH MY GOD. I DID IT. I SUCCESSFULLY SURVIVED SEASON ONE OF G1 MY LITTLE PONY. HOLY FRICKIN’ COW, I AM FREE. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

[Dove: Really? It feels like the recap equivalent of being at Newark Airport. I know that eventually it will end, but I’ve no illusions it’ll be any time soon. (Dove is very bitter, in the space of two layovers, she spent 30 hours there.)]

Well, okay, as soon as this damn recap is completed, then I am free. Until we start season two. Which, from memory, is awful, possibly worse than season one.

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesBut holy shit I am celebrating now, because this has been a very long slog. How many years ago did we start this, Dove? How much have we aged and how bitter and more jaded have we become, due to this cartoon?

Honestly, it’s been an honour to suffer (alongside Dove) through what seems like hundreds of hours of bad plots, terrible writing, subpar animation, insufferable Ponies, cartoon teen girls with white savior complexes, MAGIC THAT HAS NO EXPLANATION WHAT SO EVER, and then there was that episode with the red ball. God, I’m never going to get over that particular nightmare.

Throw in some heavy handed topics like drug use and predatory grooming, plus all the times the writers botched the moral messages… it’s amazing Dove and I didn’t give up. (Dove still has two episodes to go, appropriately entitled “Through the Door”.)

Okay, focusing in on this final installment, this is one I partially remember, at least in concept. I kind of don’t want to say anything because it is a wild concept — just look at the title — and leave it all for a surprise for those that haven’t seen it. I will, however, leave you with a cartoon from The Far Side (which I read constantly as a child and probably explains some things) which has always reminded me of this particular episode:

The Far Side - Gary Larson
This pretty much sums up this episode better than you know.

[Dove: This is the one episode I actually remember. Well, except for the one where the travelling fair comes to town and… something happens. In my games, a witch stole everyone’s magic and symbols and the ponies were so upset, they couldn’t bear to look at themselves without their beautiful symbols, so they wore robes to hide them (a nice scarf my mum never wore, cut up rather roughly with her best dog trimming scissors). Eventually Strawberry Fair saved the day with super Mary Sue powers. But that never happened in the show.

Anyway, back to this episode. I seem to remember this being a fun idea in concept, but since it’s MLP, it’s bound to be terrible in execution.]

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: Crunch the Rock Dog (S01E43-44)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Crunch the Rock Dog (Parts 1-2)

Summary: A vicious dog carved from rock charges through Ponyland, turning everything it encounters to stone. But not, sadly, Megan and/or Danny. Sigh.

Initial Thoughts:

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesI have no recollection of this story at all. My only thought is: WHO THE HELL THINKS 50 EPISODES PER SEASON IS A GOOD IDEA?

At least bat and I only have two more stories to recap (four episodes total) until we get to the end of season 1. That’s exciting. And bat has promised me that Rainbow Brite will be more fun. [bat: At minimum, the Rainbow Brite animation is so much better our eyeballs will no longer bleed.]

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Posted in American Girls

Molly Book #5: Molly Saves The Day by Valerie Tripp

Molly Saves The Day Cover
Molly Book 5: Molly Saves The Day Cover

Title: Molly Saves The Day

Author: Valerie Tripp

Illustrator: Nick Backes

Summary: Molly loves Camp Gowonagin from the moment she arrives. She spends two wonderful weeks there singing, hiking, canoeing, and making arts and crafts projects with her friends Linda and Susan. When the camp director announces the beginning of Camp Gowonagin’s Color War, Molly is afraid that the fun may end. Molly and Susan are on the Blue Team. They have to capture the flag hidden on Chocolate Drop Island by the Red Team. Linda is on the Red Team. She is their enemy and their friend. Will the Color War ruin camp for everyone, or can Molly think of a way to save the day?

Initial Thoughts

WOW SO GUESS WHO TOOK LIKE FOUR MONTHS TO FINISH THIS.

Guys I’m really, really sorry for how I let the Molly recaps slip so badly. I lost steam focusing on these and I hope I didn’t wreck the schedule too badly. I wanted these done by the end of 2018 but clearly that didn’t happen. So here’s hoping I’ll have the last two done for real before the year is over.

I’m not good at this.

Head’s up Wing there’s a prank involving bugs and spiders, but it focuses more on worms.

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: Baby, It’s Cold Outside (S01E41-42)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Episodes 1-2)

Summary: Climate change has finally hit Dream Valley! [Dove: “Fake news!” says Megan.] Er, Ponyland? Where ever the hell this cartoon takes place. And, oh wait, it’s not actually climate changing. It’s the work of an evil… penguin? Well, I’ve lived to see dolphins take over Springfield; I guess a maniacal penguin king destroying the Ponies with magic blizzards isn’t that much of a stretch.

Grade: F+

Initial Thoughts:

;pwegwpaffebryku;nbbnprbnwpnphwf;avms’a;kdsg;sndg;wn;ynsseradvwwqghh.

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesTranslation of the above: WELCOME AGAIN TO THIS NIGHTMARE CARTOON HELL. Yes, I’m back again, so soon after that very special after-school episode starring Spike. I’m really unhappy to have to write another recap so soon — that last one was absolutely shite and taxed me greatly — but this recap puts us less than four episodes away from the completion of Season 1. Seriously, if Dove and I were in the same country, we’d probably drink in celebration. I suppose the fact we’re separated by the Atlantic ocean and several time zones won’t stop us from drinking in celebration, it would just be more fun it we were together. [Dove: Agreed. And there would be drink!]

Really, honestly, we have this series set up and divided equally so we finish this freaking nightmare by the end of 2019. Can you see it, Dove? THE END IS ALMOST IN SIGHT. [Dove: I knew we were finishing season 1 soon, I didn’t realise we’d finish the whole show before the end of the year. I feel better. Then a bit worse, because there are more MLP shows neither of us know anything about, but have agreed to torture ourselves with.]

I think we have stopped caring about the grading. These are all poorly written episodes and the plot lines are hackneyed and it’s become clear that everyone was “omg how are we going to fill these last four slots on the board?? TODD WRITE US SOMETHING, STAT!” because, truly, Dove and I could write better fanfic than what’s being churned out in these scripts. (No, I am not going to write MLP fanfic. Ask Dove for hers.) [Dove: We did briefly consider trying to rewrite series 1 so that there would be some plot, that magic rules were consistent, and the characters actually had, y’know, character, but we quickly realised we’d be deleting all but the first three entries of the show (movie, Catrina, Nightmare/Midnight Castle). Ain’t nobody got time for that.]

Glancing at the plot summary, this sounds almost like some sort of rip off of the Care Bears’ 1984 television special. Which I know I’ve watched, maybe not in two decades, but you can damn well be sure the Care Bears were something I loved at the age of 3. There also might be a bit of Snow Miser mixed in but those Rankin/Bass specials have always upset something in my brain so I am far less familiar with The Year Without a Santa Claus. (I hate that one with the big-eared Baby New Year.)

Okay let’s just get this crap over with. Then I get a nice long break until mid-July, when my final recap of Season 1 will go up. I’m so excited about Season 1 being finished. I want a goddamn participation ribbon for making it all the way through. [Dove: What we could do is go through our collections, list duplicates and have a swapsies if anything seems suitable? That would be like a prize for dealing with this nonsense.]

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The Would Be Dragonslayer (S01E40)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Would Be Dragonslayer

Summary: In what is a rather random rip off of both Sleeping Beauty and The Sword in the Stone, the Ponies befriend a human boy who just wants to become a knight but must “do a good deed” before that will happen. Join the damn Boy Scouts, moron.

Grade: F

Initial Thoughts:

Hi-ho, bat here, ready to sit through another soul-sucking episode of My Little Pony & Friends and complain my way through it. The misadventures of Woebegone was bad but…

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesYet again I get a one-shot filler that’s probably going to have a failed “moral” at its core and just my luck (because it can’t hold out forever) MEGAN AND SPIKE ARE IN THIS ONE. Ugh. My first complaint and I haven’t even started watching the episode!

At least this episode is only ten minutes, which means it won’t take an eternity to recap. Which means I can get back to mourning(?) the loss of Game of Thrones. (Here’s an unpopular opinion: I thought the ending was fine.)

[Dove: I’m actually with you re GoT, but then, I was doing the “partner-watch” thing. I’d been kind of into it to begin with, but had become progressively bored as the seasons went on (the bits with the Ironborn were particularly snoozy – except Reek) and I was only there to keep my husband company, so I was at least glad that things happened. Oh, wait, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re talking about this dire filler episode of MLP. My initial thoughts were correct: 1) it’s a one-shot, so at least it’s short; 2) it’s a one-shot, so it’ll be awful.]

 

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