Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
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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14
Nov 2018
Making Out #10: Nina Shapes Up by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #10: Nina Shapes Up by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Nina Shapes Up

Front Blurb: At first Nina thought Ben was fooling around with Aisha. But then she discovered the truth: Ben’s facing a decision that could change his life for ever and she’s scared he’ll leave unless… Nina shapes up. [Dove: That is literally fuck all to do with this book. That’s a recap of the last book, and a throwaway line in this one.]

Back Blurb: They’ve all grown up together on a tiny island. They think they know everything about one another… but they’re only just beginning to find out the truth.

Nina shapes up because she’s desperate to keep Ben’s love. She’s terrified that if he regains his eyesight, he won’t need her any more. And if Ben can see Nina, will he still love her? [Dove: as before.]

Initial Thoughts:

This is where everything starts to blur together for me. The titles, beyond Zoey Fools Around, Nina Won’t Tell, and Aisha Goes Wild, don’t really have much meaning, to be honest.

I’m going to tell you right now: Nina does nothing that comes close to shaping up in this book. But in her defence, she wasn’t unshaped to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, I continue to love the hell out of these books. I just find the titles to be word soup. $name $verb $thing [Rosey: The blurbs and titles are so inaccurate for the most part. I get that they had a formula they want to stick to, but surely they could have come up with things that actually reflected the book?] [Wing: I wonder if the person writing the blurbs wrote them early on, without having read the books and only a synopsis of the overall series.]

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11
Sep 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 9-10)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Grade:

[Dove: D- (see Final Thoughts for my reasoning)]

[bat: D]

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches. Also, if any one person had to recap this whole thing, I think that person would resign.

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14
Aug 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 5-6)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches. Also, if any one person had to recap this whole thing, I think that person would resign.

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7
Aug 2018
The Hole (2001)

The Hole (2001)

Title: The Hole

Summary: Four teenagers at a British private school secretly uncover and explore the depths of a sealed underground hole created decades ago as a possible bomb shelter.

[Dove: Yeah, no, sorry imdb, but that makes it sound like a caving adventure. What happens is four teenagers are locked in the bunker, with no means of escape, and the film explores what put them there and what happened in the hole.]

Grade: B

Note 1: In England, public school means publicly funded, e.g., the parents of the students, the public, pay for its running costs. I know this means the opposite in America. [Wing: Americans, it’s a private boarding school. It’s great.]

Note 2: I’m trying to recap the story as it unfolds, and if you’ve seen this you’ll know that what you see in one scene can well be contradicted in another. So my comments take the scene at face value. I’ll loop back to anything on the contradicting scene, rather than “spoiling” what comes next. [Wing: Smart plan! And so is the one below.]

Note 3: I won’t mention the contents of the book. However, when I recap the book, I will definitely mention the contents of the film.

Initial Thoughts

Just FYI, this is one of my favourite movies. Please note the difference between “favourite” and “best”. If you want my “best” movie, it’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Stand By Me. This falls firmly in the guilty pleasure category.

It was one of the first movies Raven and I watched when we moved in together. It was so early on in our relationship that we didn’t have a TV licence (we were waiting for payday) and so we were very naughty by watching it.

Also, I will be recapping the book. If you’ve always wanted to read the book but never got around to it, go buy the book now. The book is a very different entity to the movie, and it really should be read if you enjoy this story or any variation of it.

Also, I did screen caps of this entire movie for the cap_it community at LiveJournal. Who knew that 12 years later, it would save me a task when I came to recap the movie? [Wing: I remember people frantically asking you to screen cap Kiera Knightley’s tits, and you refusing, like the A+ person you are.]

[Wing: I love this movie so much. Dove introduced me to it, and the book, as she does many things, and I adore it to this day.]

READ AT DEVIL’S ELBOW

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3
Aug 2018
Famous Five 6: Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton

Famous Five 6: Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton

Title: Famous Five #6: Five on Kirrin Island Again by Enid Blyton

Summary: What is Uncle Quentin up to on Kirrin Island? He won’t let anyone visit—not even the Famous Five! But he’s not alone on George’s island—somebody is watching his every move! Can Julian, Anne, Dick, George and Timmy the dog find out who and warn Uncle Quentin?

Initial Thoughts

*sigh* I’m really sorry, but I hate this one. This is the book I’ve been dreading, and hoping it wasn’t allocated to me. I don’t know why – it’s not particularly different to any other book in the series. Maybe it’s the fact there’s a silver tower constructed on the island, maybe it’s a lot about the adults, or maybe there’s just not enough godamned lettuce. Who knows?

Let’s do this thing.

(Also, I started this recap a month early because I knew it would drag hard.)

(For reference, the kids’ ages should be roughly: Anne: 13; George and Dick 14; Julian 15.)

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10
Jul 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 1-2)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches, so bat’s recap will cover Parts 3-4.

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26
Jun 2018
My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Title: My little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Summary: Capture the magic and escape to Dream Valley to join all your favourite Little Ponies! Take a magical journey to Ponyland just as the Little Ponies’ annual Spring Festival is about to begin. While the ponies enjoy their festive spring party, the evil witch Hydia is up in her gloomy home, the Volcano of Gloom, plotting to turn Ponyland into a wasteland. When her first attempt fails, she decides to cutterover Ponyland with a purple ooze called the “Smooze”. It looks like the end of Ponyland, unless all the magical creatures of Dream Valley answer the Ponies’ call for help!

Grade: C (it would be an F, but that Smooze song is sooooo damned catchy.)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Notes: You could do a drinking game with this movie. Every time there is merchandise to be bought (aside from the ponies themselves), take a shot. But you’ll die. Like really die. Instead, have a carrot stick. Or something. I don’t know. I’m not good at health and safety warnings.

Second Note: Several times I refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. To avoid having to write out this title over and over, I’ve abbreviated to FiM.

Timeline: I never really understood the order of this series, because the first episode of season 1 has everyone meeting the Flutter Ponies, who they didn’t meet until the movie, but the movie references things – without explaining them, ffs – which feels like it should be in the TV show. I’m really hoping bat will help me out on this, because she’s seen the whole show multiple times.

[bat: Basically with My Little Pony the toys came first, which were then shilled in two cartoon television specials: My Little Pony (aka “Rescue/Escape From Midnight Castle” or “My Little Pony in Dreamland” if you were in the UK) and Escape from Catrina (or Katrina, people seem to argue about this) before this feature length film was released in 1986. Subsequently, the G1 cartoon series followed. The television specials were chopped into pieces and added to the cartoon series, at the end of both seasons, respectively.]

Edit: For reference, I recapped this first, and then bat emailed me and said did I want a tag team partner for MLP, and if so, would I consider doing things in the right order? (*grin*) Thankfully, bat knows which order the episodes go in, so I did this recap, then watched Nightmare/Midnight Castle then Catrina/Katrina. But I stand by my questions. This is a stand-alone piece of media, there shouldn’t be so many unanswered questions.

Initial Thoughts

I think my thoughts about this (and, by extension, the Smooze episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) are the very definition of “what could have been” at TV Tropes.

Let’s look at this objectively. A bunch of fundamentally nice characters are having a perfectly nice time when a tsunami of purple ooze crashes over their home, obliterating everything in its path, and hardening to a solid shell when it is finished, forcing the survivors to go on a quest to find a way of de-smoozing their home and friends. When the Smooze hits a living creature, that creature becomes grumpy and disagreeable. If the Smooze has hardened, there is a good chance that when they de-Smooze, they will find the corpses of their suffocated friends.

That, my friends, is horrific.

[bat: But it was the 1980s and all us kids watched Artax drown in the Swamps of Sadness in The Neverending Story yet he was resurrected without a scratch at the end of the film, which was released two years prior to this Smooze-fest… Okay, 1980s “children’s” movies messed up the lot of us.]

Instead, we get this…

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9
May 2018
Making Out #5: Claire Gets Caught by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #5: Claire Gets Caught by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Claire Gets Caught

Front Blurb: First Zoey fooled around with Lucas and Jake found out. Then Claire wanted Jake, so she broke up with Ben but ended up alone. Now Claire has a scheme to get Jake back. It’s foolproof—unless… Claire Gets Caught.

Back Blurb: They’ve all grown up together on a tiny island. They think they know everything about one another… but they’re only just beginning to find out the truth.

Claire gets caught meddling in people’s love lives. She’s trying to help her friends fix their frazzled relationships, but she succeeds in messing up all of them except one—her own.

Initial Thoughts:

I love this book. It’s not so much that it’s a book about Claire being awesome and manipulative (in an incredibly non-meddling way) – although that’s great too – but I love books where the characters go away from their normal lives, and I ADORE Grapplegate’s fun ways of speeding up time, so this has everything. Also, it’s light-hearted (comparatively, anyway) after the emotionally draining Nina Won’t Tell, and I find Ben’s in Love to be a bit dull. This one kicks up the energy again.

It’s just a win all round.

That said, I am not having much fun recapping the books. I love reading them, I love talking about them, I love reading Rosey and Wing’s recaps of them, but actually doing the recap myself? Not so much, and I’m not sure why. Probably because I love them so much as they are that having to sit down and think about them is a hard for me.

[Wing: I think it’s harder to recap things we love, and, for me, it takes at least twice as long and often more to write them, which is exhausting.]

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