Title: The Tea Party
Summary: The entitled brats have a clubhouse where the host tea parties, unfortunately someone tries to take it from them. And by clubhouse, I mean an empty house that they have illegally entered. And the someone is the legal owner who does nothing more than walk in to the property they own.
Is it my turn again? Already? bat and I really didn’t think it through when we just randomly took titles. We should have realised that our poor broken brains needed time off to reboot from these episodes.
On the plus side though, we’ll be done by September, which makes me feel very productive.
[bat: Yes, we decidedly didn’t think it through trying to recap one episode a week. Oops. But I fully agree, we will be done way faster then we were with ‘N Friends and I feel remarkably productive because of that. We’ll just have to take a break before we tackle G3’s cartoons.]
We open with the ponies walking towards a ramshackle house.
I say this as a horse girl, I think Bon-Bon is lame. Like, actually lame, not just feeble and pathetic. (Note: I can use it in either context because I’m mobility impaired. Unless you are too, you can’t.) She’s bringing up her left front leg more sharply than the others. Perhaps she has laminitis from over-eating, given that she pauses outside the house to eat something from her bag. [bat: PONY GOUT! Also, I HATE BON-BON.]
Let me see if I can get a gif of this.
Ok, so maybe it’s more that her knee is at the bottom of her leg. But any good horse girl will tell you that having your knee on the wrong part of the leg is a sign your horse is lame.
Sweetheart throws off the constraints of her name and reprimands Bon-Bon for eating the goodies, with complete bitch face. OMG, animators, do you not get that these ponies are supposed to be cute? You made Sweetheart, the one pony we like, look like Satan.
Inside the run-down house, the ponies sit around a round table and have tea and… what the fuck are those, bat? It looks to be a triangular pile of unpeeled spuds. What are they? Donuts? Scones? What the fuck are they supposed to be? [bat: Rocks with dots. That’s what they are.] [Dove: I’m so glad you don’t know. I was expecting to be told, “Oh them? They’re demonstrably obbly-dos, a key part of any American tea party.” And then I’d feel daft for being so baffled.] Why are they piled so high? Why not just draw cakes? I’m not paid to draw things for a living, but I bet I could draw a cupcake that anyone would recognise as such.
There. I did that in 2 minutes in Paint.net, I used five colours. Do better, animators.
Bon-Bon asks in a haughty accent for a “drop of cream”, and Clover – who I had completely forgotten existed and has pink hair and body on my cheat sheet – drops the entire bowl of cream into Bon-Bon’s tea. Which is made with cold water.
Just putting this out there. I’m British.
I will not stand for this nonsense.
Tea must be made with hot water. Boiled in a kettle.
And also, “funny” things must actually be funny. So this “drop” joke needs to go.
Starlight calls things to order and says that the first topic of the day is should they allow boys to join the tea party?
Child. It’s the 90s. Toxic masculinity is the only option. No boy is going to admit to wanting to go to a tea party with girls, even if you find one that doesn’t hate the idea. [bat: I would say Vanilla Ice would be down to join these Ponies.] Second of all, do you know any boys except Teddy? You know, the boy everyone but Starlight hates? [bat: I would interject that they do have two more male classmates… classponies? but neither have been formally introduced by the show at this point.]
Cue some looped animations or rage. Which I have turned into a gif.
Yes, I like making gifs. It keeps me from thinking about my life choices that led me here. [bat: Dove makes wonderful gifs.]
“No boys!” screams Clover, smashing her hooves down on the table so hard that the… spud-things scatter everywhere. No, seriously, what the fuck are they? I need to know.
Bright Eyes says they have to consider it, they don’t want to be accused of being prejudiced. Which is not actually the same as not wanting to be prejudiced. Sweetheart, the viewer’s avatar, asks what’s prejudice, and Bright Eyes describes the Gender Criticals quite elegantly for a cheap kids show designed to sell toys: “It’s having an opinion without having all the facts.”
Sweetheart says they definitely don’t want to do that. Bon-Bon pulls an epic bitch face at her. From this facial expression, I can only assume Bon-Bon will go on to defend JK Rowling, fight strawmen passionately, demand to see the manager, and probably promote a line of MLMs, probably essential oils that cure cancer.
Look, bat made me hate Bon-Bon so much that I’ve given her a future. [bat: What have I done… oops?]
Bright Lights says that if they find a boy they like, then can vote on it at the next meeting, which is agreed by all.
Then they sing “Boys! Boys! Boys!”. No. Not that one. This one’s much worse.
The short version of this song: boys suck. Except for when they don’t.
They decide to vote after school the next day. But when they come to the house, OH NOES! SHOCK! HORROR! WOE!
… the Berrytown family?
It bloody is, you know. [bat: I knew this was going to happen and I was so waiting for Dove to discover it. She did not disappoint me.]
And here was me thinking they’d just make up more ponies.
“We’re being robbed!” Patch says.
Are you though? Is it robbery if you don’t own the house or the contents? [bat: Squatters’ rights?]
Patch and Bright Eyes hide in a bush and overhear Daddy Berrytown say, “We’ll come back for the rest later.”
This infuriates the ponies. How dare they?
Cut to a meeting where Starlight suggests they table the boys vote. Clover, who is looking to be my nemesis, since bat has already picked Bon-Bon [bat: I thought Melody was my nemesis, but FUCKING BON-BON was hated first, so I guess Dove is right.] [Dove: I think at this point, we need two each. You can have Bon-Bon and Melody, and I’ll have Clover and Starlight (the latter whenever she acts like a dick)], points out they have no table.
Oh the hilarity.
Patch no-sells the joke and says they need to do something, their clubhouse has been “invaded by a ring of thieves.”
Starlight rallies the troops, saying that if they let this happen here, what next? Will they break into Bon-Bon’s house? Sweetheart’s? Melody’s? Where will it end? THEY ARE THE LAST BASTION OF FREEDOM.
Urgh, shut up Starlight. You’re being way too relevant right now. We have a moron, who shouldn’t have an opinion about something they know nothing about, rallying the troops to fight a problem that doesn’t exist. Just fuck you, Starlight.
NOBODY IS TRANSING YOUR KIDS. DRAG STORY HOUR ISN’T GROOMING. TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN. PRONOUNS ARE NOT ATTACK/HELICOPTER. AND THAT IS NOT YOUR FUCKING HOUSE.
JUST DIE, YOU DAILY MAIL-READING HARPY.
Sorry. Long week.
(Also, trans men are men, and non-binary folk are valid, but nobody seems up in arms about which bathroom they use, so they Daily Mail never mentions them.)
And now we have a Home Alone montage. If Kevin was a bunch of moron ponies who keep injuring themselves every time they do something.
They wait until dark, which makes me wonder, do you suddenly not have parents? [bat: Pretty certain we’ve seen “parenting” is still new to the Ponies at this point. It takes what, 5000 years for the Ponies to finally get the hang of actual “parenting”.] Melody, don’t you have twins to babysit? Sweetheart even mentions this, but then the Berrytowns arrive.
Yeah, I did just reference a much better version of this franchise. Sorry. Rarity is my favourite.
The Berrytowns arrive, Mommy, Daddy and Baby, who’s a boy in the show, even though the toy is a baby girl model (I’m not being crap, those are the names given on the packaging of the toy). Although this line was all for smashing gender norms because the daddy pony was a female base. The adult males usually have the Clydesdale feathering around their hooves, but this line didn’t do that, and instead used the Gingerbread mould, which had only been used for girl ponies to that point. “Baby”, for context, is about the same age as the main ponies.
The doorknob falls off, so Daddy kicks in the door. They immediately encounter white goo. I guess “It’s nut time!” again. Baby tests the goo and reports that it’s honey.
Bat, explain to me why honey looks like… *thinks* cream. Because over here, honey is a yellowish-brown, and transparent and kind of sticky, rather than white and gooey. Is this an American thing – like you can get cheese in a can – or it an idiot writer/animator thing? [bat: Honey is yellow/amber/golden coloured in America so I have no idea what the fuck these writers/animators were smoking or ingesting at the time. But it wasn’t honey.]
Patch pulls a rope and a bag of flour is emptied down on them. The Berrytowns are very confused. [bat: Me and the Berrytowns = so confused.] Daddy makes for the stairs, ignoring the fact they’re covered in white goo. Which I guess is honey too? *shrugs*
Patch then says, “Don’t come any closer!”
“Who are you?” Daddy asks, with infinitely more patience than I would have at this moment. All week I’ve been reading about right-wing monsters who’ve been shooting kids/young people for having the audacity to: ring their doorbell; accidentally hop in the wrong car; pull up on the wrong drive. And somehow we have these annoying kids waging war on what is demonstrably the owners of the property, and nary an AK-47 in sight. America, what the actual fuck?
Daddy falls down the stairs and the rest of the ponies start pelting him with red blobs wrapped in brown. This was in the montage, and I didn’t really see what it was then. Maybe jam/jelly in paper? *shrug*
Melody beans Baby in the face with the jelly, and this kicks Mommy’s inner Mama Bear-ytown into gear. (Did ya see what I did there?!) [bat: *applauds*]
She chases Melody into a room, only to be confronted with this picture:
She runs out screaming. Shame. I hoped she was going to brain Melody.
After a couple of pratfalls and Patch slingshotting a plunger over Daddy’s muzzle (it’s even dafter than it sounds), he surrenders.
Patch then falls down the stairs and slides all the way to the front door, where her friends join her. Even though a couple of them were upstairs. HOW DOES PHYSICS WORK?
Daddy demands an explanation. The Berrytowns are the owners of the house. Also, he says Berrytown like a human surname, like Berriton. [bat: Is this like the English spelling of surnames that look way different than how they are pronounced?? Because I think so.]
Oh. Fuck. Well, this is their super sekrit clubhouse and they wanted to defend it.
Daddy is much kinder than the ponies deserve, saying he can understand why they did this.
To be fair, Starlight immediately steps up and says they owe a big fat apology. Which is amazing. Based on the bad behaviour this franchise has let slide so far, it wouldn’t be unfair to imagine that someone would fall in a river and everyone would laugh and that would be the resolve. [bat: So Starlight and Sweetheart are the only decently written Ponies in this series. Got it.]
Now we have a montage of the ponies helping clean up. And not just the white goo that’s coating every surface, but rehanging shutters, painting the outside, etc.
Clover, the moron, knocks a can of paint off the scaffold she’s on. It looks like it will hit Sweetheart, but she’s saved just in time by Baby, who she calls Logan. All the boys love Sweetheart, don’t they? Yes, that was a reference to the movie. Kind of hoping that’s the series finale.
After a montage, we have Mommy taking a picture of them all in front of the newly-restored house. Mommy says she wants to thank them, especially for helping with Posey’s room. Posey is a baby in a basinet, and not the early wave Gen 1 adult pony. Posey burps in response.
Can we not? Why not make her just giggle or coo? Why a burp? [bat: Because the brothers made to watch this because it is their sisters’ turn with the telly will laugh at a baby Pony burping.]
Mommy then asks if Sweetheart wants to be Posey’s new babysitter. Sure, why not.
OMG, they go back to pose for the picture, this time with the baby in, and look at the two images side by side. Yep, they used the same frame, but they just erased Posey in the second one. Maximum effort!
Then Logan says that it’s ready, and Mommy says they have a surprise for them.
It’s their own clubhouse on the Berrytowns’ property. Wow. Just wow. If I was ever caught breaking and entering, and then covered every surface in goo, I’m not sure I’d be given exactly what I wanted.
Although I will say that the ponies did work to set things right, and this level of sickeningly helpful is on brand with Ponyland.
The ponies can’t wait to have a tea party and Mommy says that she makes a great honey tea. Starlight awkwardly explains that sure, that’s great, you can definitely make us tea to drink in the clubhouse you and your husband paid for, on the property your family owns, but you can’t come to the party, because it’s a private club.
I can’t even right now.
On the one hand, boundaries should be respected. On the other, that is hella rude.
Mommy, far more zen than me, smiles and says she understands. Logan asks if he can join, and Starlight says they have to have their first meeting in the clubhouse.
They unanimously vote him in. Does he have anything to say.
“Yeah, sure, send the scones over here.”
OMG, THEY’RE SCONES. NOT SPUDS. OBVIOUSLY. [bat: I still say they’re fuckingrocks.]
All the ponies look shocked by his rudeness.
Then he adds “please” and everybody laughs.
I don’t get it. Was this proof that boys are rude and silly, like in the song, or was Logan just messing with them? This was a really dim final line. He could have just toasted “To new friends!”, which would have been trite and unimaginative, but at least it wouldn’t have just been weird.
Like Posey’s burp. I’m just wondering why the writers put that in.
Also, how awkward would it be if they hadn’t voted him in? “Hi Berrytown fam, just going to our clubhouse on your property, where none of you Berrytowns are welcome or allowed!”
A bland-ish episode. I’m not really sure what the moral is. Boys aren’t as bad as you think? Don’t steal houses and assume robbers are stealing your stolen house? Don’t jump to conclusions? [bat: Never inquire as to what the white goo really is?] [Dove: Definitely that one!]
It was a bit of a mish-mash of all of the above. And ultimately the ponies put what they did wrong right. They didn’t need to be so gloriously rewarded though. That rankled. It was a bit Sweet Valley, where Jessica does something very destructive and then gets exactly what she wants anyway.
Still, I got to make gifs, and that was fun. And major points for using existing ponies, rather than making up ones that don’t exist to fill out the world.
Overall, I’m giving it a C. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t really bad. It just didn’t enthuse me. I’m looking for something that makes me go, “Oh, that was so nearly what I wanted” for a B, and “Well, that made me care a whole lot” for an A.
[bat: Dove told me not to waste my time adding comments since it was my birthday, but I did. There wasn’t much to say that Dove didn’t already cover, TBH. This was one of the blandest, most banal episodes we’ve encountered. The writers finally incorporate actual Ponies from the toy line but don’t use them in a way that helps sell toys. Nor did they really build more character into the main seven Ponies. We still hate BON-BON. Sweetheart and Starlight seem to be the only two Ponies that have some minimal moral compass. I’m honestly suffering whiplash from this series. It is not consistent, or it is consistently bad. I’m going to be completely spiteful and give it a D-. I am not as lenient as Dove. September cannot arrive – metaphorically – fast enough.]