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9 May 2011

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Episode 26: “The Best Night Ever” Review.

Just before I go into analyzing the last episode of what can be one of the best seasons for any show ever created let us gather up and hold a minute or solemn silence to commemorate all those awesome moments we experienced together (…) Alright, now that we are done with that let’s jump right into it.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has demonstrated to the world that if there’s one thing you shouldn’t stop doing is chasing your childhood dreams. Lauren Faust dreamed with a series of My Little Pony that didn’t suck and it came true. Of course you need to build yourself a good career as a professional animator, writer, and be very lucky to find people that support you, or else driving just fueled by dreams is quite useless and rather not advisable. But enough of that! It always happens to me, anytime I mention something Pony related I can’t help but go on a two hour long tirade on how fucking good the show is. I could do that all day but that’s not interesting and there’s no way to get input and feedback from a review if you don’t actually review anything, so let’s get on with it!

 You know the drill.

The last episode of the season deals with the much anticipated Grand Galloping Gala, an event every single pony of the main cast was excited for. How anticipated you may ask? The first time they mentioned it was in episode 3, and then again in episode 14 where the ponies were shown making arrangements for it. Few shows actually built up so much for just one episode that not only it had to meet up high expectations from the characters but also from the viewers themselves, a rather intelligent way to make the audience connect with the characters.

So right from the start I see the name of Amy Keating Rogers behind the writer credit and I yelled out like a Hooligan happy and waving a pink flag, because Amy Keating Rogers is the best frigging writer of this show! Not only because she did the biggest number of scripts so far (6 scripts for “Ticket Master”, “Applebuck season”, “Briddle Gossip”, “Fall Weathers Friends”, “A Dog and Pony Show” and this one), but because she has a perfect balance for story-telling, slapstick, morals and character development. And in this episode we are given something she didn’t do yet and that is a massive musical number. The musical number “At the Gala” is so good and so well done that all I could say by the end of the song was: “Oh shit, Winter Wrap Up has biiiiiiiiiig problems!” It’s a choir driven, fully orchestrated musical piece that tells you the motivations of each of the six main ponies that ranges from the traditional melody to a rock ballad to a minuet. Really well composed, the rhymes are not forced or tricked, and it feels like what you’ll get if you put Alan Menken and John Williams together in the same room. Let that song set the tone for the rest of the episode because it only gets better from there. So after that number the six main ponies leave to meet their much hyped expectations and like all the kids waiting for what they’ve been looking forward to for basically their whole lives they run to enjoy it. And then disappointment hits the plot like a freight train through a busy city street! If the freight train was made of mourn and explosives. 

Now with 100% less Marion Cotillard.

Twilight gets to Princess Celestia’s side, looking forward to talk with her, just have a nice chat about magic and what she learnt about friendship. Fluttershy goes to the garden to enjoy the flowers and the little animals. Pinkie Pie goes to the ballroom to dance and play games. Rainbow Dash goes to meet and hang out with her heroes The Wonderbolts. Rarity trots to her beloved Prince Charming. And Applejack sets her selling post looking forward to do some sales and gather money for the farm. Not soon enough they realize that, respectively: Princess Celestia is too busy greeting boring snobbish people; the animals don’t really want to hang out with Fluttershy; The ballroom is the most boring and annoying place in the whole castle; The Wonderbolts are tossed side to side like the celebrities they are; Prince Charming is actually Prince Douchebag; and high class society people don’t have a taste for the food Applejack bakes. Their expectations crumble before their very eyes like a piece of paper inside a furnace. If you couldn’t relate to this feeling you’ve certainly never met with disappointment before. If you really want to know ask to any Marvel fan about X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Spiderman 3, The Hulk (Ang Lee’s version) or The Punisher. I bet they can explain you how it feels.

Seriously. Walk straight ahead to a Marvel fan and dare tell them this was good. Fuck, I am not a Marvel fan and my reaction would be to dunk you in a pool of acid...really slowly.

But that disappointment soon turns into anger and determination, as they break through their frustration to act. I have not much to say about most of the ponies in the way they react, mostly because not many people made a big deal out of it. Applejack decides to bake a cake more fitting to the high class tongues of all those snobbish ponies. Pinkie Pie creates a musical number filled with screeching violins and a DJ Table. Rainbow Dash tries to play the heroine only for it to backfire and destroy a set of columns like a row of dominoes. And Twilight just shows up by the end to point out that things can’t get worse (she never learns). But the two ponies everybody seems to be talking about are Rarity and Fluttershy. Rarity less but I will speak about her since I think it’s appropriate, being her the butt monkey of the episode.

She is met with this character called Prince Blue blood, and in her dreams she pictured him as a suave, charming Prince who is polite and nice. But in reality he is an absolute motherfucker who thinks only to himself and treats Rarity as a slave. He tosses her around forcing her to pay for a meal, open doors, cover puddles with her clothes and taking her seat. Things escalate to the point where he uses her as a shield to protect himself from Applejack’s flying cake (don’t ask why the cake was flying). She ends up covered from head to hoof in cake, ruining her hair and her dress. I was feeling rather bad for Rarity, until I realized something. She drove herself to this. She spent the entire season ditching Spike, lost in her thoughts of what she imagined to be the perfect stallion, and when her dreams turned into a nightmare the Karma Fairy turned things up to eleven and bit her in her pretentious ass. Realizing this, seeing her covered in cake doesn’t hurt so much, and after all she ends up spraying Prince Cunt-Farting Cock-Sucking Father-Fucking Ass-Vomiting Motherfucker with cake, so that’s perfect for me.

But the other character, and the one people seem to be making a bigger deal about is Fluttershy. Their basic and only line of defense is that Fluttershy breaks character, as she turns from this shy and seemingly fragile pony into an absolute bat-shit crazy nature bitch. They call it character breaking, I call it character development! It’s like people forgot to put their brains on after they took them to the dry cleaners or something. Fluttershy started the season as a very fragile, very panicky and very fearful pony. She was the total opposite of assertive. Then in between episodes 1 and 26 we’ve had her facing a Manticore, a Dragon, a Cockatrice, the Fashion Business, the Diamond Dogs, a bunch of Bullies, and her own feeble cheers. With all those events popping in her life she surely had enough to build a character and this shows in this episode, it shows evolution of character, something not even life action TV Shows do. It usually takes three or four seasons to develop a character, with this one they developed not just quickly but you really can’t tell the seams in the change! Fluttershy breaks the barrier; she crosses the line and becomes this unstoppable, insatiable and absolutely insane pony who screams louder than a ship’s mist siren. Her final mental breakdown moment has quickly turned into a meme and a phenomenon. I won’t be surprised if the quote of the years is: “You…are going to LOOOOOOOVE MEEEEEE!!!!!!!” along with the afore mentioned angry face. If you thought Pinkie Pie was scary in “Party of One” Fluttershy is scarier. You expect any of the ponies to break out, but Fluttershy…and it gets even scarier when you realize the entire season was building up to this moment. The shy character breaks through and empties all her contained anger, frustration and disappointment. I’d watch those four seconds in a five minutes loop if I could.

I have a thing for mentally unstable girls. Mmhmm, mentally, unstable, girls...
So after such disastrous night where nobody got what they wanted, ruined the ball, the party, the castle and pretty much the whole Gala itself, what happens? They all gather up at the Donut Shop with Spike and…they start laughing. Yeah. It’s a really valuable lesson in life that many of us should exercise more often. When you have nothing else left, all you have left is laughing. That’s something nobody can take away from you. But that’s not the ending! Oh no. Princess Celestia shows up to thank the six mares that this was, indeed, The Best Galloping Gala ever! The Gala is a boring, tedious and unbearable social event that drains even the Gods. It’s the meeting place of snobs and rich ponies; ponies who forgot how to have fun, enjoy life and take things easy. You know; ponies (people) who forgot how to be normal people (ponies). So by inviting Twilight and her friends to the Gala Princess Celestia not only taught her favorite student a valuable lesson, but she also made the Gala a whole lot better…by ruining it. Well, sometimes you need to break some eggs to make an omelet, and sometimes the only way to enjoy something is by destroying it (like building a sand castle only to destroy it by jumping on it). There’s catharsis and there’s satisfaction.

All's well that ends, despite the ruined dresses and the messy hair. But hey, there's laughing.
The only criticism I can get to this episode is that it’s too short, and any movie or TV show leaving you wanting for more is definitely well built. There’s that feeling of wanting more though, but you can always rewind that YouTube playlist and go back to episode 1. I hate nitpicking a really well rounded episode, and despite it having some animation errors here and there, or some audio queues out of synch, it was good and well done and more. One of the top Five episodes and worth every single second of the wait. I write this with a clamping feeling in my stomach that’s caused by the wait we have before us: Five more months until the start of season 2. At least it’s better than the original seven months, am I right?

So here goes for season 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the series that rebooted my creativity, made me question my own purpose and inspired me to write six articles on a show about magical unicorns, ponies and pegasi living in a world controlled by a magical Sun Princess. Lauren Faust, she is the best, and even though she won’t be executively producing the show in season 2 (she is going to be a mom, you know?) here’s to her talented imagination and unstoppable illusion that brought this to us. And finally, allow me to twist the end of this article so I can end up with a message to all the Brony community out there by paraphrasing the great Captain Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”. You are all going to be here when it comes back, right?

Thank you all, and good night.

· Defining Moment: Fluttershy breaking into the already disastrous and chaotic Gala screaming with the angriest, scariest and most nightmarish face I’ve seen in this show thus far. “You…are GOING TO LOOOOOOOVE MEEEEEEE!!!!!!” You don’t wanna know what she’ll do if you don’t do so.

· Moral: Never over-idealize. If you are attending an event (a party, an exam, a meeting, etc.) never go too far imagining what you are going to do there. Keep your feet on the ground and don’t let your imagination run wild. Also, having your friends with you all the time can make the worst situations into the best ones, since their support will get you anywhere.


  1. I think Fluttershy reacted the way she did because connecting with animals is an essential part of her character and when she was unable to express a fundamental part of her nature her frustration grew into a frenzy. It would be like a natural runner being suddenly unable to run, but not being able to tell why they suddenly can't, so they would continue to try and fail becoming more frustrated until they react harshly.

  2. Okay, an immediate criticism of this review is the swearing, the amount of un-funny, uncalled for swearing and in particular the use of the four lettered C swear word. Perhaps it's a British thing but that there is the one swear that is completely frowned upon, shouldn't be said, shouldn't be written, and your line of swearing made this review difficult to read.

    For the rest, well you analysed it well and you expressed your opinions clearly. You had several good moments of wit (bar that unsavoury moment) and both raised and explained your arguments well. You are however rather judgemental in this review, being overly harsh to Blueblood (he deserves criticism but you were taking it a bit far) and quickly judging the other gala attendees as snobs without any real evidence other than enjoying a formal social gathering. People have fun in different ways and I'm actually a little ticked at how they never tried to sympathise with the other gala guests whose evening had been destroyed by others with a different idea of fun to them.

    My opinion of this episode is not high but it is not poor. While I didn't like 'At The Gala' song I did enjoy the 'Pony Pokey' song and the scenes that were going on with it. I also enjoyed Fluttershy's trap, Spike’s remark about being right all along, and the moral. I found it to be a great finale to the season, but I consider many of the other season 1 episodes to be better than it.

    Honestly, while the structure is wonderful and the analysis has depth, this is not your best of reviews. Luckily, I started reading your reviews from Season 2, and thus had a better opinion of your reviews and manner of expressing opinion. I will not move onto your season 2 reviews just yet as I wish to move onto your top ten characters of season 1 first but for now, cheerio!