Title: Battle of the Bands
Summary: In a lame attempt to shill a dying toy line (BUY OUR MERCH) the episode introduces Melody and the ROCKIN’ BEATS, who compete in a Battle of the Bands on PTV. No, really, PTV.
As if recapping Too Sick To Notice wasn’t punishment in and of itself, I decided to get my first “double header” of this series over and done with by selecting to take on the A story of the second episode. We are nothing if not sadists when it comes to My Little Pony cartoons, apparently.
Or are we masochists? I honestly cannot tell anymore.
ANYWAY. I have witnessed many a “battle of the bands” in my life time – Marty McFly’s band being shut out of competition for being “too loud” in Back to the Future. Bill and Ted’s mighty Wyld Stallyns
cheating spending “sixteen months of intense guitar training” (with a two-week honeymoon break resulting in their first and only children) before competing at the San Dimas Battle of the Bands and winning. I’m sure there’s others? Maybe the Muppets? I guess this makes me “qualified” to recap this episode? Somehow? [Dove: Also, you wanted to do this. So, there’s that. Also, every time you use the “here we go again” image, I get Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again stuck in my head. What I’m saying is: never stop using that image.]
I wouldn’t say I’m not musical; I held soloist parts in school performances and I can generally sing on-key, but I only took piano lessons as a child because my mother made me and it didn’t particularly take. I doubt I could plunk something out on a keyboard today, even on the piano sitting directly behind me as I type this. Oh, I did play in a hand bell choir for a short time, which was part of the school I was attending at the time. But yeah, I would not compete, by any means.
As for the episode at hand, is this the Tales attempt at a Knight Shade plot? Everything I’ve read tells me no, no it isn’t, how dare you bring up the traumatic four part episode of a manufactured pop musician who is stealing
souls shadows for a cloud demon?? You were supposed to have worked that out in intensive therapy by now! No this is just a straight up battle of bands…!
… that technically involves attempted child neglect and reckless endangerment. Because, of course. Some things never change in Pony cartoons.
Watching the title/opening sequence on mute, I’ve observed several things: For one, how the fuck are ten year old “Ponies” getting to do all this shit? Secondly, they are obsessed with morning hygiene. Thirdly, if someone pulled that shit on a school bus, would they would be banned? In the 1990s, hell yes, they would have been. Fourthly, why do the Ponies exit their elementary (?) school via a slide? Isn’t the slide strictly for emergency evacuation purposes?? Is the slide because horses have difficulties with staircases because they are unable to see their feet when descending them??? [Dove: *shrugs* People love slides. Really. Promise me you’ll watch those videos, bat. Promise me.] [bat:… what the hell did I just watch? Truly fascinating, though, and very clever. It will probably give me nightmares.]
Okay, so that nightmare wasteland of one minute and ten seconds is finished. I lived through it to recap another episode! High five, Dove!
We open on Melody and her mother in the kitchen area of their home. Melody is attempting to write a new song but can’t find a rhyme for ‘orange’. HA HA HA. “There is none,” Melody’s mother points out. Melody can’t believe it. I want to point out that Mother Pony has an clock cutie mark reminiscent of Bright Eyes but she is purple and not Twinkle Eyed. Nor can she be the Bright Eyes of the show, who was one of the mane seven. This series clearly failed at Cutie Mark 101. (Dove… have we ever decided what our cutie marks would be? Has… has that ever come up?) [Dove: I think mine would be the Excel icon, but then Microsoft would sue me, so instead I’ll go with “<?php”. How about you?] [bat: I’m torn. I mean, the obvious answer is a bat, but which bat always leaves me stumped. And if it’s not an accurate bat, then is it a cheesy Halloween decal type bat? It’s a predicament. But anyway, I like your cutie mark, Dove.]
From the living room, voices call for Melody. It’s her toddler-age (?) twin sisters, Ting-A-Ling and Jing-A-Ling (no comment), who have flipped the channel to PTV, the Pony-fied version of human MTV. (Which is hilarious now, in 2023, since MTV no longer air anything remotely music video-related.) Melody sits down to watch, as a PTV… are they still called VJays? I mean? Anyway this PTV hostess is supposed to look like the Pony version of Downtown Julie Brown [Dove: Well, that was well-timed. I was looking at Celebrity Ghost Stories and was a bit dubious about who the celebrities were. In fact, I uttered the question “Who the fuck is Downtown Julie Brown?” about ten minutes before I started commenting on this. Now I know.] [bat: Synchronicity is my middle name.] and speaks with an accent that I’m unable to properly describe. She announces there’s a PTV Battle of the Bands on Thursday night, a contest with no particular requirements; if you’re a Pony and have a band, just show the fuck up and perform. Got it.
Melody instantly starts yelling-speaking, recapping for viewers exactly what was already described, and something about appearing on PTV. “Mom, can I go??” NO YOU’RE TEN YEARS OLD AND THURSDAY IS A SCHOOL NIGHT. Oh wait, is Melody’s mom one of those stage-pony moms??
I should add, Melody throws in the name of her band: the Rockin’ Beats.
*cue mystical music for history lesson*
History defines these Ponies as the Rockin’ Beats Ponies. Released in year 9, around 1990, I do remember them. I remember them specifically for two reasons: I never bought any of them and they were plastered in neon shapes and colours. Fast forward to 2020…
Just before the pandemic shut everything down – literally – I was on vacation to visit my cousin in another state. We went to a local vintage toy shop and they had a case of My Little Pony figures and whatnot. Now, I haven’t bought a G1 MLP figure since… well, the early 2000s, when I managed to get a Mimic off eBay. I just don’t collect them anymore. An employee of the store noticed I was particularly looking at the Ponies case and made me an offer of a discount if I bought something.
I bought two Ponies that night: Sea Breeze, of the year 8 Tropical Ponies release (which I had never owned during its original release) (I have since sold her on eBay, sorry) and it must have been me feeling nostalgic and melancholy for the neon and bold graphics of the 1980s (er, early 1990s?) because I also picked up Tunefull.
One thing about me, I do love a blue pony with a red or orange mane/tail combo. (Tropical Breeze is my favorite Flutter pony for this reason. FIGHT ME.) I also love orange, particularly certain shades of neon orange, so that may have explained my initial buy of Sea Breeze, but I ultimately was not attached to her. So far I have been unable to part with Tunefull. I wish she had her brush, but I am not up to trying to find one on the secondary market. (I am busy with chasing a different obsession of collectables these days.) She’s not too worse for wear; just a scratch or two on her cutie mark and some Sharpie writing on the bottoms of her hooves. Again, I just don’t know why I bought them. Nostalgia? Missing the 1980s? The colours? Maybe it was the 20% discount. [Dove: So jealous. I so rarely see Gen 1s in the wild.] [bat: If we lived closer, I would certainly take you to all the places who have them. If I ever find myself in that store again, I will immediately message you on Twitter so you can vicariously “live” shop through me.]
What does this have to do with the episode? THIS IS MELODY’S BAND: THE ROCKIN’ BEATS.
*cue mystical music for end of history lesson*
What *ten year old* has a band? Seriously. Yes, ten year old singers, sure, but a band? A full band? An accomplished full band? Why do I keep asking these questions, even rhetorically? I NEVER GET ANSWERS.
ANYWAY, Melody is utterly convinced her band, THE ROCKIN’ BEATS, can win this contest. A+ for confidence? Melody’s mother… who ever voiced this is YELLING their lines for some reason? She reminds Melody that Thursday is her night to work at the hospital (DO explain healthcare in Ponyland to me! [Dove: I can’t, but I can explain why a MLP cutie mark was a literal war crime. One of the nurse ponies had the standard red cross as a symbol to denote she was a healthcare worker. However, that symbol is reserved only for real-world genuine health care providers accredited to a certain level, as per the Geneva convention. They had to revise her cutie mark or… well, or nothing. There was no negotiation here.] [bat: Who says you never learn anything in these recaps? I certainly just did!]) and implies that Melody was to babysit the twins, by stating that if Melody can find a babysitter for the twins… Melody cuts her mother off, yelling NO PROBLEM BUT RIGHT NOW I GOTTA PRACTICE.
So, anyone with functioning brain cells and a minimal grasp on logic can see where this is headed.
We fade into the next scene, the camera zooming in on a garage, a car parked in the driveway, as a band practices inside. Wow, a My Little Pony garage band! But really, I am more interested in the GIANT TWO STOREY BRICK HOUSE with a weird gallery between the second wing, and why does it have a detached garage. ALSO HOW ARE PONIES DRIVING CARS. If they didn’t explain how 4-Speed drove a pickup truck in My Little Pony ‘N Friends, they certainly aren’t explaining it in My Little Pony Tales!
The whole of the ROCKIN’ BEATS Pony line is there, playing their various instruments but the colours don’t line up with the released figures. In fact, the Tunefull looks like the green international Argentinian version, but that’s just weird, also I just noticed something:
NONE OF THESE PONIES ARE UNICORNS OR PEGASI. THEY ARE ALL EARTH PONIES. WHAT THE FUCK. THERE IS NOTHING REMOTELY MAGICAL IN THIS SHOW, IS THERE. HOW DOES MAGIC WORK? IT FUCKING DOESN’T IN MY LITTLE PONY TALES.
I don’t know whether I feel insulted or stupid for never having noticed this. I mean, I probably did, subconsciously? It always felt off? Or odd? But I never seriously sat here and thought, HEY WAIT NO UNICORNS? NO PEGASI??
Well now I’m mad. The disillusionment is real and has totally taken the wind out of my sails. [Dove: *sigh* The magic of MLP is the variation of the ponies. I want Twinkle Eyes and Twice as Fancies and all the special ponies as well as the earth ponies.]
I’m also trying to figure out how that Pony is playing the drums with sticks if she has fucking hooves. Okay, pretty much any instrument besides the keyboard, which they can just smash with their hooves, even if the notes won’t come out more than just a terrible cacophony.
I should mention, the music playing is a generic, almost muzak, type of deal. A bit pop-y but incredibly bland. Certainly nothing that really screams THIS IS A ROCK BAND. Melody interrupts (my god, is that this episodes drinking game??) and informs the band the music is “too slow”. Half-Note (orange pony) says it sounded good to her but Melody argues that they have to sound great to win the Battle of the Bands!
The red Pony with the yellow mane that is long like Rapunzel for some reason, agrees with Melody and kicks off another round of the song. It’s the same fucking music, still slow, and not remotely ROCKIN’. Is it too much to ask for ROCKIN’ music? FIRST YOU TAKE AWAY MAGIC AND NOW DENY ME ROCK ‘N’ ROLL??? [Dove: This really needs to be a trope. It happens in so many cheap shows or movies. “Be more awesome!” *does exactly the same as before because they only have one recording*]
Oh god, now there is singing. Where’s the cotton for my ears? Thankfully I am not listening to this episode with headphones.
Weird aside: the green Pony is just a shade off from when Rep transformed into a Pony-shape wearing a nurse cap. Like, this one is more green toned than brown/khaki toned, but still, FLASHBACKS! [Dove: … wow. I had them too. Other people? They don’t know, man. They weren’t there.] [bat: We are bonded by MLP trauma. For life.]
Okay suddenly we went from a garage band practice session to the ROCKIN’ BEATS on an actual stage performing and now Melody is wearing sunglasses and signing autographs? Uhh… someone forgot to make it clear this is a fantasy sequence? Oh, nope, never mind, it is very clearly a fantasy sequence now. The band is posing for photographs and now they’re riding on a float with ticker tape and confetti filing the air. And now, Melody is stamping her hoof prints into cement, the band has already done so, and why is Melody standing on her back legs ala a human when the rest of the band are standing like NORMAL HORSES?
They… they gave them a trophy? I am so confused. HERE IS A TROPHY FOR STAMPING YOUR HOOVES IN CEMENT.
“I know our song will never die!” Sings the whole band. WHAT, YOU’RE VAMPIRES NOW?
I guess I missed the weird transition to the fantasy sequence, because we see one bring us back to current garage band reality. You know the best part of this episode? When the garage door rolls down and SHUTS THE BAND OFF. Unfortunately, the song continues for few more seconds, ruining it.
We transition to the next scene – I guess they’ve practiced enough? Sure. – and Melody is wearing golden bangle bracelets and tying an orange scarf around her neck. What, they’re glam rockers now?? Oh and there’s an orange bow in her hair, too. Melody asks if the scarf with the green fringe would look better but I can’t tell if she’s asking the mirror, talking to herself, or asking her mother, who just walks in. Mother is now sporting a nurse’s cap and a yellow satchel bag (ala Jack Bauer!) and why the fuck is there special effect sparkles that randomly blink on and off surrounding Melody!??!
Mother asks who Melody got to babysit the twins. Melody PANICS. She immediately starts rambling about the predicament of her own making. She even has the audacity to suggest her mother call in sick. [Dove: Wow. Just wow. And usually when a parent drops their younger kids in the hands/hooves of their older kid, I go off, how dare you not parent your own kids, etc. But usually, that’s in Sweet Valley, and the clueless parents do so without any warning at all, ignoring their child’s long-established plans, and everyone acts as if it’s the big sister’s job to raise a newborn. This? Melody, you had a week of notice. You knew you had to babysit. You are diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim.]
WHAT THE EVER LIVING FUCK THESE PONIES ARE SO SELF ABSORBED AND SELFISH.
Melody’s mother is like, hell no, everyone at the hospital depends on her to show up to her job. Sounds… like inflating the importance of her position but sure, go with it. Melody counters that the ROCKIN’ BEATS depend on her and she’s far more important than her mother going to work and getting a paycheque that supports her daughters.
Oh my god, I may faint. Mother Pony informs Melody that it was her responsibility to secure a babysitter and until one is found, she will have to stay home with the twins. ACTUAL PARENTING JUST HAPPENED. PLEASE MARK DOWN THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION [Dove: Yep. I’m stunned.]. Mother leaves and Melody looks totally despondent.
We move to the kitchen, where Ting and Jing (I AM NOT TYPING THEIR FULL NAMES, DAMN IT. [Dove: I use auto-correct. My Word dictionary is full of nonsensical letters that turn into lengthy character names.]) are sitting in high chairs at the kitchen table, eating soup? while Melody makes phone calls. First up, she calls Patch’s house, but Patch’s mother informs Melody that Patch is out playing soccer. Or, football, for the rest of the planet. Rudely, Melody just hangs up on Patch’s mother, before dialing another number.
Next up is Sweetheart, who could be in the running for this version’s Fluttershy personality-wise. She is close to talking in a pseudo-Valley Girl cadence and informs Melody that she is busy with inventory. Starlight is also a no-go, as we see her working at the… soda shoppe? I don’t know, there’s a blender and ice cream in the scene and she is clearly dressed in a paper hat and apron. We move on to another clip; the phone cord trails under a bed as BON-BON stage whispers that she is grounded and her mother would be so upset to find out that BON-BON is even on the phone talking to Melody that she would “ground me forever”.
God, I hate BON-BON.
Wait, that’s only… four of the seven main Ponies. Well, five, since Melody is doing the calling. What about Bright Eyes and Clover?? Melody is still despondent and unsure what to do, since this will mean telling the ROCKIN’ BEATS she can’t attend the Battle of the Bands. Ting and Jing start flinging food at Melody, splattering her face. She screams at her sister, threatening them that they will “get it!” but of course the doorbell rings. Everyone looks real fucking surprised.
Melody clops her way over to a ridiculously oversized door meant for a giant, opens it, and finds the four ROCKIN’ BEATS standing there. Argentinian Tunefull says it’s time to go, time to shine! Yeah, I get it, Melody is fucking sparkling ever few seconds and I am deeply annoyed by it. (Funnily enough, none of the other ROCKIN’ BEATS members get sparkles. HMM.)
Melody drops the bomb immediately, like ripping off a band-aid (HA HA I MADE A FUNNY) and says she can’t go, she has to babysit her “sister”. UM THERE ARE TWO OF THEM, TWO SISTERS. WHO DOUBLE CHECKED THE SCRIPT. Half-Note screams (why are all the voice actors yelling their lines??) in shock, incredulous, because “we need you!” No, no you really don’t, but if you want to win, I guess you would need Melody.
Ting and Jing appear in the shot, whispering to one another. Melody apologizes in Canadian (it’s the “soory”, tell me I’m wrong) and there’s nothing she can do. Argentinian Tunefull lets her have it, good for Argentinian Tunefull! Pretty Beat (?) and/or Sweet Notes sneers that they’re still going, they’re just now the ROCKIN’ BEATS MINUS ONE. “Annnnd maybe we’ll be just as good! Maybe better!”
That is not the solid burn you think it is, whomever you are.
Melody starts crying, as Ting and Jing appear on either side of her as they all stand in the doorway, watching the ROCKIN’ BEATS walk away. SO DRAMATIC.
We transition to the next scene, in which the Downtown Julie Brown Pony is explaining the rules of the contest, while in the background Ponies who are standing on their back legs wave their front legs in the air
like they just don’t care as the camera pans through… three different stages all in the same room? IMPOSSIBLE. Oh, my bad, those Ponies are sitting in bleachers (????) while there’s a bunch standing in front of the three different stages. None of this is particularly interesting but here we are.
Basically, the way voting works is by which band gets the loudest audience response. So, not scientifically fair or accurate but YEAH SURE I DON’T CARE THIS IS THE LONGEST TEN MINUTES. We end with one of the ROCKIN’ BEATS lamenting that Melody isn’t with them. LOOK YOU JUST TOTALLY FREAKED OUT ON HER WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM.
The first band is up? Um, they have an actual name! METALLOID. Oh god, this is fantastic. It’s like the writers thought they could sort of combine Ponies and Metallica, throw in some Crüe, a dash of Poison, and for some reason I keep thinking Anthrax when I look at them. Of course, it isn’t actual rock music being played; that wouldn’t work for a children’s programme. One dumb guitar riff isn’t actual rock music. It lasts about half a second.
We cut to a shot of Melody on the couch, at home, watching the Battle of the Bands on television while Ting and Jing play with a puzzle. They begin to fight over a piece, while Downtown Pony Brown tells the audience to vote with their… voices and hooves? There is zero scientific or fair play involved in this voting system. Melody growls and insists that the ROCKIN’ BEATS need her.
Wait, hold up, does this mean METALLOID scored high? I CANNOT TELL. [Dove: *shrugs* Shhh! You’re not supposed to think of these things if the writers didn’t.]
Turning the television off, Melody informs the twins they are leaving. Her loophole? “Mom didn’t say where I had to babysit ya! She’ll never know!” CUE CHILD ENDANGERMENT!
So… we transition back to the Battle of the Bands and the second band… well, there’s a Pony playing saxophone. And the middle one reminds me of Gwen Stefani during her No Doubt days. And there’s a Pony wearing a tie playing drums. Okay so this is some sort of punk/ska trio? ALL WE HEAR IS DRUMS BEING PLAYED.
The ROCKIN’ BEATS are seriously worried. Argentinian Tunefull laments that the second band is really good. (No, METALLOID was better.) Fake Rapunzel snaps that so are the ROCKIN’ BEATS. (Press X to doubt.) Drummer Pony says they’d be better if Melody was with them. WHY IS THIS ALL HINGING ON FUCKING MELODY. I MEAN I KNOW WHY THIS IS MY RHETORICAL CAPSLOCK RAGE.
Cue Melody and the twins suddenly just there, on stage. SURE. SURE SURE SURE SURE. SECURITY IS NOT A THING IN PONYVILLE. [Dove: Get those babies some ear protectors. Only a monster takes a youngun to a concert before their ears are finished growing.] The ROCKIN’ BEATS are ecstatic to see the star of this episode. Melody promptly forgets the twins, who apparently converse in silent twin hand signs. Hoof signs? Whatever, they disappear deeper into the backstage area.
FOR FUCK’S SAKE, STOP MAKING MELODY TWINKLE EVERY OTHER SECOND OF THE SHOT.
Ting and Jing immediately… well, one of them immediately trips over and breaks open a sandbag, discovering, well, the sand. They both start to play in it. There is bay-bee-tawk and something something about building sand castles and being “qween”. For some reason, I guess the background music is supposed to be the second band playing? It… isn’t good. Doesn’t matter – the sandbags are now empty and the ropes are loosened, causing the circus tent (?) backdrop to crash down upon the second band.
Nope, they’re not hurt. They have popped through the backdrop and look dazed, but that’s about it. The audience CHEERS. Tell me the Ponies are not sadists. Of course they fucking cheer injury and property destruction. [Dove: Remember Sundance cheering as her baby fell over at the dance recital during the movie? These ponies are not right.] [bat: Most G1 Ponies are terrible role models.] Downtown Pony Brown is confused that the audience loved it. Stage hand Ponies attempt to lift the damaged backdrop as the second band walks off stage.
Now is when Melody realizes Ting and Jing are missing. Now we’re up to neglect AND reckless endangerment, yes?
The ROCKIN’ BEATS are told it’s their turn, but Melody insists she has to find the twins, she’s responsible for them. Wow. I still hate Melody but I am pleased by this sudden-but-won’t-last-sense of responsibility being portrayed. Melody weirdly walks off stage while Argentinian Tunefull complains, again. I swear.
We’re backstage, again, and now Ting and Jing have discovered a pyramid set? But it’s more Mayan pyramid than Egyptian? They immediately push a row of switches and a large guitar set piece begins to pulse with laser lights (oh god, is this the Pony version of Rock’N’Roll Nightmare???) as the rest of the set fills with puffs of fog. The twins giggle. Oh, so a little of the Grady twins thrown in the mix as well, huh.
A very Star Wars-esque side wipe returns us to Downtown Pony Brown, who is actually introducing ROCKIN’ BEATS for their turn at the Battle of the Bands. Weird. Didn’t fucking bother introducing the other two bands, only one of which had an actual name. (METALLOID FOREVER!) The band… well, I think it’s supposed to be implied by the fact it takes them a second or four to start playing after the introduction, that they are hesitant to play without Melody there. HA HA. REMEMBER HOW YOU SAID IT DIDN’T MATTER IF SHE WAS THERE. GUESS IT DOES.
I really don’t even know how to classify their “song”. It’s so generic muzak that I’ll never get it out of my head for the rest of my life. Oh, so they all remember the backup lyrics and sing them but… noticeably, Melody singing the song is missing. Yikes. How awkward. [Dove: I found this part genuinely funny. Not the laziness of the music used, but the idea that the rest of the bad legitimately thought that a song missing all the lyrics but containing all the “oooooohs” and “yeeeeahs” would be “better”. Ponies are really dim.]
We are shown Downtown Pony Brown whispering to a… stagehand? On-set producer? WHATEVER. We can’t hear what she says and it’s not totally obvious, either. I would like to pretend she is telling him to yank these idiots off stage, they suck. We are shown the audience yawning and sleeping. “Wake me when they’re finished,” somepony says to another.
Suddenly, the shot changes. A television screen frames the animation, but the overlay is out of sync so badly it looks like it is bouncing around over top of what is supposed to be on the television screen. Yikes. Turns out a crowd is watching at the Sweet Shoppe and Starlight notes the ROCKIN’ BEATS don’t stand a chance without Melody. Yes. It is so very clear that it is ALL ABOUT MELODY AND HER PERFECT SINGING.
Melody has found the empty set where Ting and Jing are, uh, hiding. She calls to them but we watch them gallop up the front steps of the Mayan pyramid set. Melody is still sparkling every other second. She chases the twins up the set, only to watch them jump off it… but it’s only onto a slide that runs down the other side. What. The twins fly through the air, over and into/towards several other set pieces. Double what. Then they land on a trampoline and bounce into the air, knocking against the massive guitar hanging from the ceiling. Whee, indeed. [Dove: That weird big wheel makes me think, “Hey! It’s a Dungeons and Dragons ride!“] [bat: That entire clip is much more interesting and well written compared to this entire episode. And there’s an ACTUAL UNICORN IN IT.]
For some reason, Melody nearly lands on her face as she attempts to jump onto the slide, going down face-first but somehow sliding on her butt until she, too, flies through the air. WHAT IS PHYSICS. She hits the trampoline just as the twins are falling back to it. Apparently, just seconds after the trampoline bouncing them into the air, the twins land on it and are done. Not another bounce. Until Melody lands and sends them FLYING INTO THE AIR AGAIN. They land atop the guitar set piece and, unsurprisingly, their combined weight isn’t enough to dislodge it. In fact, Ting and Jing sit on the guitar neck. [Dove: PHYSICS! HOW DOES IT WORK?!]
Melody yells, “JUMP!” from down below, standing on the trampoline. I don’t know about you, but it is difficult to imagine Melody being able to stand completely still atop a trampoline. Also, yes, endanger your toddler twin sisters even more by suggesting they jump from a great height down to a fucking trampoline. In fact, the twins tell Melody they are now “afrawid!” Fucking bay-bee-tawk.
So Melody does the first thing that comes to mind: She bounces three times on the trampoline and catapults herself into the air. At first she nearly overshoots but suddenly lands on the guitar set piece’s neck, next to the twins. Unlike the twins, she weighs more, and now the guitar set piece is jerking about wildly, unbalanced and straining under the added weight. The trio slide back and forth along the neck until, yet again for no discernible or scientific reason, go flying through the air. Only to grab a hold of a convenient rope, which drops them right onto the stage where the ROCKIN’ BEATS are failing to convince the audience they are any good at music.
MELODY INSTANTLY BEGINS TO SING, NOT REALIZING SHE HAS NO MICROPHONE AND THUS THE AUDIENCE WILL NOT HEAR A WORD OUT OF HER MOUTH. Yet, suddenly, in front of her, is the microphone stand, which was NOT there a second ago. Melody grabs the mic and whirls around in a burst of sparkles, singing, and I puke.
We are shown everypony – which I guess are actually four of the main seven – at the Sweet Shoppe rocking out to the… pathetic excuse for music as they watch the event on television. Now even the twins are dancing on stage and bay-bee-tawking their way through the lyrics, how sickeningly cute. Wait, half the band just disappeared? THEY FORGET THE DRUMMER AND KEYBOARDIST WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE SHOT? Yep, they are just totally gone, as the song ends and the twins pop up and say stupid cute shit and everypony in the audience goes wild. [Dove: The twins appearing with tambourines was just sickening icing on a ridiculous cake.]
Look, is it even a spoiler at this point to say, duh, the ROCKIN’ BEATS totally win? Because WHY WOULD THEY LOSE? That would be reality-based and My Little Pony Tales isn’t remotely based in reality.
Suddenly, the stage is massive again and the whole quartet of the ROCKIN’ BEATS exist again, along with Melody and the twins, taking repeated bows to the cheering of the crowd. Ugh. The “totally unscientific” measuring device literally explodes from the noise the crowd is making. WE ARE RANDOMLY SHOWN BON-BON JUMPING UP AND DOWN ON HER BED. DIE, BON-BON, DIE.
“I’ve heard about ‘blowin’ away the competition’ but you ROCKIN’ BEATS really did it!” Downtown Pony Brown says as she wheels in the massive trophy we previous witnessed in the fantasy daydream sequence. A convenient Pony photographer snaps a photo of the winners (ROCKIN’ BEATS SUCK!! METALLOID FOREVER!!) and now that photo is in a frame that Melody is holding. She actually places the framed photo on the twins’ nightstand. HOW. NOT PLAUSIBLE.
She tells Ting and Jing she’ll make them a deal: she won’t tell their mother what they did so long as they don’t tell their mother what Melody did. Wow. Just… wow. Yes, please don’t tell our mother I allowed you to leave the house, go to a television studio, get lost, create havoc, go unsupervised, destroy property, and crash a live television set!
What a fucking life and/or morality lesson being taught here!
The twins promise never to tell. Melody laughs and hugs them, telling them she loves them. Something tells me the twins will go on to be pathological liars later in life. Mother pops into the room, asking how things went. Melody is startled but recovers, saying everything went fine. The twins are literally hiding under their coverlet.
“Congratulations on wining the contest,” mother Pony tells Melody. “You heard?!” She cries. Nope, Mother witnessed it all, as it was airing on the hospital television. Melody panics, saying she can explain!
“Not tonight, honey, okay?” Mother Pony says, saying it’s late. WHAT. WHAT KIND OF HALF-ASSED NO PARENTING AT ALL UTTER FUCKING FAIL JOB IS THIS. Melody looks a gift horse in the mouth and rambles that it is a long story, she learned her lesson, and she will totally call for a babysitter for sure, she promises!
OH GOD NO THE TWINS START HUGGING MELODY AND DEMANDING SHE BE THEIR ONLY BABYSITTER BUT IT’S ALL IN BAY-BEE-TAWK MY POOR EARS ARE BLEEDING. THE END.
So this is three for three on terrible writing. We’ve had a BON-BON-centric episode and a Melody-centric episode and both were awful. (I’m not sure if the first episode counts as a Sweetheart-centric or was just considered a group introduction episode; we’ll find out.) I honestly still hate BON-BON so much more than Melody, so that’s something.
Melody is one of those “ha ha, I get away with everything!” sorts that I cannot stand. So, no, I didn’t enjoy this episode. She caused chaos, was self-centered, didn’t do the right thing yet was still rewarded in the end and (as far as we know) was not punished for endangering her toddler sisters. I mean, I know that we’re real low on life lessons in this show, and anything “learned” by these Ponies is promptly forgotten before they’re back to their self-centered ways.
What did you think, Dove?
Listen, I know we had problems with My Little Pony ‘N Friends but damn, it wasn’t always as bad as this. AT LEAST IT HAD FUCKING MAGIC. Is it terrible that I actually miss Megan? White Girl Savior she may be, but at least we could blame her for a lot of the stupidity.
I am curious to see if any other episodes in this short-lived series shill the dying toy line…
[Dove: As far as I know, this show has a staunch niche of people who defend it to the hilt. But I’m not one of them. I am not loving this show so far. I don’t like that so many ponies are unfamiliar – they could have easily added in some recognisable ponies, rather than making up parents – this is Wave 2, couldn’t these be the babies of the first releases, because not every pony had a baby version? We could have had early releases being the parents, like Moonstone, Minty, Lemon Drop, etc. Also, the writing is no better than Wave 1, but – as bat points out – the loss of magic is a big one. I don’t watch magical pastel ponies because I want to see mundane stuff that humans do. I’m giving this a D- because I deeply dislike the “babies create havoc but everything’s fine” trope.]