Yes, we have a Search Option

16 February 2014

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Filli Vanilli"

Wow. Look at that response. You see, I think this is where I was coming from when I wrote that Little announcement about me stopping the episode reviews after “Simple Ways”. It had nothing to do with how much hatred was being spewed by the Brony Analyst community, it was because I felt like I was writing these reviews for just three people. My announcement about me quitting got more comments than last week’s review! It’s kind of frustrating to do something when it feels like nobody is watching. I love doing these reviews, I love to hear your feedback, and I love reading your comments, whether you agree with me or not. I don’t get anything out of doing this. I don’t have a partnership with Google. I don’t have ads on my blog. I don’t get revenue from visits. I literally do this for free. I don’t beg anybody at the end of my reviews to go to my Patreon account, because I don’t need to. I get my revenue from doing artwork and taking commissions, and so far I’m doing great! I do these reviews out of the passion I have for this show, but it feels like I am wasting it when all I get are two or three comments from the same people. I now know that more of you are watching, and I want to see you all participating in the upcoming reviews. I’m not super popular, and I don’t have a thousand followers, but I have you guys, and I like to know what you think.

I am going to leave that announcement there as a prove of my stupidity and your lack of interest in commenting. If you can leave a comment on my stupid rage-quit I bet you can comment on my future episode reviews. Speaking of which, let’s get down to reviewing this week’s episode.

Enough with the bashing.
I've been told that one of the things I do, which is basically sum up the entire episode before I get down to review it, takes a lot of time and space of the review and that skipping it will make me gain a lot of time when producing these articles. My reason behind doing it was so those who haven’t watched the show could get a good grasp of what the episode is about without having to actually watch it. This is an approach used by many reviewers, like the Nostalgia Critic, Film Brain, The Spoony One, Brad Jones, etc. I like doing it because it does help me get a better idea of how to tackle the episode and approach it from an established tone and point of view. Yes, it does take a while to comment each one of the acts, but I am so used to it that I can’t imagine doing it any other way. So with that said, let’s throw the “Spoilers Dash” here and review the episode!

So the episode starts with Fluttershy singing in the morning as she attends to her chores and feed her animals, proving to all of us that she actually lives inside a Disney movie produced during its Golden Age. It’s only when she’s done that she realizes all of her friends have been listening to her the whole time.

It's like that one awkward scene in Titanic that you laugh at when you are a kid, but you cringe when you are an adult.
Rarity is so impressed with her singing that she offers Fluttershy a position in her music band “The Ponytones”, a barbershop pony quartet that’s very similar to The Be-Sharps” from “The Simpsons. Rarity wants Fluttershy to turn the quartet into a quintet, but then Fluttershy refuses due to her overwhelming stage fright. Not wanting to pressure her beyond that, Rarity decides not to bring it up again as the Mane Six move back to town to prepare for Ponyville’s Pet Center Fundraiser, which is organized by Fluttershy, and where “The Ponytones” will be performing. As they practice their singing, including Big Macintosh letting go of that glorious deep voice of his, Fluttershy sings along and moves her hips at the rhythm of the music, though she coils when other ponies walk past her. With the practice over, and Rarity failing to direct Spike’s praise from her to the entire ensemble, they all go to their houses to rest their voices. On the next morning we find out that everypony followed her advice, except the lead singer, Big Macintosh.

Big Mac is all like "Worth it!"
As it turns out, Big Mac lost his voice during Sweet Apple Acres “Turkey Call” competition, which was won by Pinkie Pie to add insult to injury, and they are now short of a deep voice to complement the harmonics. Short of a remedy, and desperate to keep the Pet Center Fundraise going, Fluttershy suggests they all go to see Zecora (wow, brave little pony who was scared to go to the Everfree Forest in Season 3, now that it’s been cleansed she’s a lot braver to go in there). Zecora can offer a remedy, but it will take a couple of days to take effect, which leaves the group without their singer in the meantime. However Zecora does have an idea to supply the group with a substitute singer. Give Fluttershy a dose of Poison Joke, and make her voice turn deep and manly like in the episode “Bridle Gossip” (all the way back to Season one!). Fluttershy is determined to do this, though she’s terrified of performing in front of others, so Rarity suggests they do playback. Big Mac will be on stage moving his lips, and Fluttershy will be behind the stage, doing the singing. As we can imagine, everything goes swimmingly. It goes so well that the Pet Center Fundraise is an absolute success, and their performance catches the eye of one pegasus dad who wants to hire them for his daughter’s cuteceañera. After this it’s all a string of successful performances that take them from celebration to celebration, and Fluttershy only grows more and more enthusiastic about it. She’s enthusiastic enough to appear more confident than Rarity, who is just worried they might be abusing from Fluttershy’s kindness. She is so enthusiastic that, even when Big Mac has been fully recovered, she still wants to sing. It’s during this performance that her enthusiasm gets the best of her and she ends up knocking down the curtains, revealing that it was her doing the singing.

She used the Blue Steel technique, and it was Super Effective!
So with Fluttershy revealed as the singer the whole of Ponyville looks at her but, surprisingly so, they all seem to love her for it. They love her deep voice and her energy, but she doesn’t see that. She just sees dozens of judging eyes like glowing spotlights that overwhelm hem and erase her out of existence. Frightened, terrified, and many other adjectives that means “scared shitless” Fluttershy runs away to home to remove the effect of the Poison Joke and return to normal. Her five friends come to visit her, but due to Pinkie Pie’s insufferable optimism she just runs away to escape the praise. She’s so scared she doesn’t even want to hear how good she was. They finally stop her at the stage, and that’s when Rarity tells Fluttershy that she knew she was performing all the time not because she didn’t want to disappoint others, but because she really wanted to sing, regardless of who it was. But most important of all is that Fluttershy had, though unintentionally, faced her biggest fears and in the end it didn’t turn out so bad. She got a really positive response, and that gives her the strength to keep on trying and keep on working on her singing. She becomes the fifth member of The Ponytones, and starts working on getting her stage fright under control, as she learns that keeping those fears under control will help her become the best pony she could possibly be.

That look is the look of a Best Pony.
So that was “Filli Vanilli”, and I do have to say one thing about this episode before I jump into saying what I liked and I didn’t like about it. I think this is the most adorable episode of the entire season. Yeah, I know, kind of weird to say this adorable show has a really adorable episode, but let’s face it guys; this Season has been switching between nightmare fuel, badass central, and rule 34 hub. When the episode wasn’t scary as fuck, it was saucy as hell, and when it was neither it was hardcore. Perhaps the cutest episode until this one came out was “Pinkie Apple Pie” and what people seem to remember the most out of that one is Pinkie Pie’s duck-face. “Filli Vanilli” feels like a downright absolutely adorable episode, one that serves to showcase how good its characters can get to be. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the good and the bad. This time the good will go next. Something tells me this is another episode where I hated absolutely nothing.

I didn't hate anything of this episode before you watched it.
For starters, I can’t believe there was a time when I actually hated Fluttershy. No, really, go take your time machine and travel back in time two years, and ask me which pony I’d like to throw into a wood-chipper. I’d say Strike (that fucking bowling-pin colt from “The Cutie Pox”) and then I’d say Fluttershy. I look back to those days and I feel like a monster. Past me deserves all the slaps in the face he could take and then a few more, because oh my God, Fluttershy was fantastic in this episode. She is, without a doubt, one of the strongest leads this show has right now. She was absolutely adorable, but not in an overwhelming way. She wasn’t “diabetes inducing” adorable, she was more like “I really want to give her a hug” adorable, and that’s a good thing. Too much of something good is bad. I like how toned down and under control this aspect of the episode was. She was strong, and she was determined. Her passion was palpable in every scene, and her enthusiasm for singing was absolutely contagious. There is something strangely relatable on her every time she has to face her fears and fight for who she is. She is starting to trample over the competition and she’s getting really close to Applejack on the third position of my Mane Six list.

This pony is so cute she shouldn't even exist.
Her singing at the beginning of the episode was beautiful at the start. It carries tones of the Opera scene from Final Fantasy VI mixed with Snow White. If the episode had been just twenty two minutes of Fluttershy singing like this, I would have absolutely nothing to complain about it. However, it doesn’t end there. Her singing and talking as Flutterguy, with that really deep baritone voice, was really good  and really funny too. I do have to admit though, there is kind of a disconnect between both types of voice. When Flutterguy is singing, she sounds great. It sounds great, it feels great, it’s the kind of voice that you want to keep on hearing because it’s smooth and melodic. However, when she talks in the Flutterguy voice it starts being ha-ha funny, and then it becomes weird funny. Flutterguy was first introduced in the show in such a surprising and hilarious manner that it was ingenious, and it was all based around the fact that you had no idea what was going on. I am really happy that they bring it back here, in probably one of the smartest decisions this show has ever made! But the price to pay is that the impact of the comedy wears out quite quickly. It’s really cool to see Amy Keating Rogers bring back one of her own pieces of show canon and gets to deliver it by a character she introduced to us in this show.

"You'll be a dentist! You have a talent for causing things pain!"
It was also great to see Zecora coming back. We have had a lack of her ever since the Season premiere, so seeing her return was a welcoming surprise. Her iambic pentameter is still off and her snotty attitude hasn't improved, but she is our rhyming, magical, shaman zebra friend and seeing her always makes me happy.

Happy, and jolly, and I think I need to get my LP of The Pretenders.
Speaking of making me happy, Rarity was in the episode and she was perfect. I know, what a shock, James going ga-ga because his favorite pony is in an episode. Well, yes, because after last week’s debacle in Rarity’s insanity, I very well need and episode where she keeps a level of criticism while at the same time staying likable and fun. This episode was really it. Rarity is demanding and bossy, but she is also caring and compassionate. She does like to give praise to all of the Ponytones and doesn’t take the whole credit for the singing. She cares enough for Big Mac to take him to get healed, even though she got angry at him after losing his voice (although she did tell him to take care of his voice, and then he did whatever he wanted). The one thing that I enjoyed from her was how concerned she was about Fluttershy. Every time, after every performance, she always said no to the next client, only to have Fluttershy coming at her and making her change her mind. She didn’t want to put Fluttershy’s stage fright at risk of being triggered, which I found really touching. It was very subtle, but it was there. And when she finally goes at Fluttershy, and tells her that she knew it was her passion for performing, and not her concern for disappointing, what was driving her singing all along, that was a great moment. Yes, this entire paragraph is biased. You can go ahead and shout at me for that. I don’t care. Rarity keeps proving she’s best pony for how much she cares for her friends.

Oh darling, you don't have t-Oh my Luna, that ascot looks horrible with your eyes!
As for the other characters, they were alright. The rest of the Mane Six were a bit underplayed, especially Rainbow Dash and Twilight, who were just there to fill in for dialogue, but they were not a bother. Applejack was fantastic, and I will elaborate more when I talk about the comedy. As for Pinkie Pie, I think I should mention that she didn’t bother me all that much. She’ll be further explained in the comedy part along with Applejack and everything else, but I didn’t hate her whatsoever. Her extroverted attitude was obviously exaggerated in this episode to serve as a clear contrast for Fluttershy’s introverted personality. She might not have been a very nice character, but she was a great narrative device. In this regard, Pinkie Pie ended up being alright in my book.

She deserves several more rolled-up newspapers to the head, though.
The best way to define the characters in this episode is gorgeous. They were absolutely gorgeous. Their relationships, their friendships, what ties them together, it’s just so beautiful! This episode, like every other good episode of this show, represents what this is all about. It’s about the friendships and those behind them, in particular those of The Ponytones, and between Fluttershy and Rarity. That was the glue that held together the story and the narrative and it worked great.

Also, people said I look like this guy. I have no idea why.
Speaking of which, I think I can’t fault the rhythm nor the tone in this episode. You might have noticed how I have a trend of pissing all over the rhythm of each episode since pretty much “Flight to the Finish”? Well, that trend just got snapped in half over my knee with this episode, because I think the rhythm is perfect. It has its calm and relaxed moments where you can take a moment to breath, followed by the fast paced performance montage that shows how The Ponytones grow in popularity. It also walked the very thin line between comedy and drama really well, juggling Fluttershy’s internal conflict along with the ridiculousness of the situation. It gave time between funny reveals and dramatic moments, and it had a really well carried emotional climax towards the end of the third act. This episode did have big emotional punch. It wasn’t as strong as “Rarity Takes Manehattan” ending, or Cheese Sandwich’s reveals in “Pinkie Pride”, but it was around that area. The moment where Rarity begs Fluttershy to stop running tugs at my heart strings enough that I feel my eyes get a bit misty.

I know I sucked in last week's episode, but I can change!
So the narrative is great, the characters are great, but how is the story? I think this is one of the smartest written episodes of the entire show. I don’t even doubt about it. I am absolutely sure that this entire episode is written around that one incident out of the many that left that one music duo “Milli Vanilli” out of business. There is a reason why this episode is called “Filli Vanilli”, because it’s about a music group that performs on-stage, and the singing is done backstage by somepony else. And the funny thing is that, when it’s revealed that the singing is done by somepony else, the audience doesn’t give a shit. They love it regardless! Which is exactly what happened in real life! This is the type of episode that only gets better the more you think about it. It has imaginative situations that weave into each other and they flow great. They don’t feel forced, the characters stay themselves, the focus isn't lost, and the writing is just spot on.

I also heard your cottage caught fire. All those poor little critters.
But if there is one aspect that deserves a special mention is the comedy. I am making this one a separate paragraph because this needs to be its own little section. I've been watching this show since 2011, and I've been watching the premieres of each new episode since “The Stare Master”. From then on there have been an endless barrage of comedy thrown at us, and I have laughed my ass off so many times I can’t be bothered to count them. With that said, and I am going to bold this, this is the first episode of this show where I laughed so hard I literally knocked myself unconscious with my laughter. I laughed so hard I literally made myself dizzy and I almost passed out. It wasn’t the appearance and continued presence of Flutterguy, though she was really funny. It was the moment when Big Macintosh starts explaining Applejack what was going on with The Ponytones all this time. That scene is beyond funny. It is impossibly funny. Something so funny should not exist, and yet here it is. That scene is like something written by The Marx Brothers. It was absolute genius, it was in character, and it was brilliant in its execution, timing, and everything. If this was a fair world, that little scene should won its own little Mini-Emmy, because that was ingenious writing at its best.

Derpibooru? Eyup. Shinning Armor? Eyup. Rule 34? Eyup.
So the writing is, overall, absolutely brilliant. Is there anything that I didn’t like about it? Well, yeah.

How dare you hate something of this episode!?
One thing that kind of bothered me when I first watched this episode was how they introduced Fluttershy’s stage fright. It’s clear that she has always had a fear of performing in front of others as episodes like “Hurricane Fluttershy” and “Hearth’s Warming Eve” have portrayed, so I really didn’t understand why was it suddenly such a big deal. It felt like she was back at square one, which to me it felt like they were negating character development and sacrificing growth in favor of story. But then I talked to one of my friends, and he mentioned how he had no problem acting in front of others but singing terrified him. I realized that acting and singing are two completely different things, despite both of them being categorized under “performing”. It’s quite clear that Fluttershy managed to help with the tornado in “Hurricane Fluttershy” because it was an emergency and a case of need, and she managed to act in “Hearth’s Warming Eve” because all of her friends were there with her. So after watching the episode with all of this in mind it didn’t bother me all that much. It does make sense though. You can easily tell when an actor is comfortable when he or she is acting, and when he or she is singing. Just look at “Les Miserables”. You have Anne Hathaway, who’s amazing both acting and singing; and you have Russell Crow, who acts and sings only when he feels like it. It’s not so much stage fright as it is pure incompetence, but you see the point. It’s all about breaking barriers and Fluttershy is clearly still breaking through hers.

She has no problem about shoving her ass on a window, though.
Speaking of which, the way they ended the episode was unbelievably mature. I have to admit, I am getting tired of how this show solves its conflicts within the time span of 22 minutes and then it moves on to the next drama. The only conflict I really have never seen get resolved within one episode was the Cutie Mark Crusaders never getting their Cutie Marks (and we all know this is because Hasbro doesn’t want them to). So it was a breath of fresh air to see that Fluttershy hasn't gotten over her stage fright. She does manage to perform in front of her friends, and her animal friends, but she backs down when it comes to perform in front of bigger audiences, and says that a process like this takes baby steps. That is incredibly true. You can’t throw someone out there and expect them to be amazing, it takes a lot of confidence, and hard work, and time, and practice. Fluttershy is probably the only pony who could take on this kind of story and make it work, which only makes it even more enduring. She is proud of her progress, even if it’s small, and by the end of the episode it’s clear that she wants more of it. But only in small doses, and very slowly.

Really, this series is now heartlessly teasing us.
So yeah, the writing is pretty much spotless! But what about how the episode looks? What about the visual aspect of it?

Like these five guys, it's very pretty.
Well, to continue in the line of this show’s animation quality, this episode is absolutely beautiful. I rarely bring this up, but I love how the shots are planned, and how the cinematography adds to the scene. I know it’s weird to talk about cinematography in an animation, but really some of the shots in this episode are gorgeous. Both close ups Fluttershy gets are pretty, she looks really cute, but then there are the birds flying before the sun rays, and how their wings cutout over the light, or those tracking shots as Fluttershy trots over the field. The night scenes during the Pet Center’s Fundraise, and during the last performance at Sugarcube Corner were fittingly gorgeous. The musical numbers were always interesting, and even though they kept on performing the same song the variety of locations made them feel fresh and new every time. But if there is one thing that I am taking out of this episode in the visual department that is the second panic attack of the entire series.

I seriously wonder when did My Little Pony turned into "Pink Floyd's The Wall".
The moment at the beginning of the third act when she is on the stage, with all the ponies looking at her, that is legitimately horrifying. This show just keeps pulling off ways to represent panic attacks, and they all relate to Fluttershy. First it was the eyes hallway, and now it’s the council of floating ghost pony lantern heads, that can erase you from reality with their spotlights. That was horrifying! That is going to give little kids nightmares! It’s going to give me nightmares! When Fluttershy just gets erased into a blinding white light it’s just horrible! But horrible in a good way, like so well done and so well portrayed that you feel sorry for that pony. It’s so good.

It's good for us, but it's terrible for her.
As you can tell I have basically next to nothing to complain about this episode. The two flaws I did come across get quickly lost in a myriad of dozens and dozens of good points that all are stronger than Chuck Norris’ chin. This is a beautiful episode, gorgeously put together, perfectly acted, fantastically performed, really creative, with an air-tight armored screenplay, sympathizing characters, relatable conflict, and an upbeat, hyper-positive attitude. Few times watching something made me feel so good about myself and everything around me. This is going to be one of those episodes that I will re-watch every now and then to remind me why I do what I do.

- Defining Moment: From the dramatic point of view, the scene where Fluttershy runs away at the end and its conclusion; and from the funny point of view, Applejack’s argument with her brother Big Mac. But honestly, the entire episode is basically a defining moment for what this show is all about.

- Moral: Sometimes being afraid can stop you from being who you really are, and by hiding behind these fears you are only hiding from your true self. You have to be able to face these fears, so you can shine and be as good as you can be.


  1. Este episodio fue muy adorable, y concuerdo con varios de tus puntos, salvo por el de Pinkie, puedo ver que querian exagerarla y todo eso pero al menos para mi no funciona.

  2. Very true ^^. And you're right about Rarity. She did great in this episode. And she's not even my fav ^^.

    I'd like to add some things though:

    First of all, about the father and his daughter.
    You'll notice that they accepted Rarity's "no" with deception, but they still went with. They didn't try to convince her more, nor try to make her feel bad about it or anything. Actually, none of the ponies asking for a show did. And that's great. It's this way people in general should approach artists.

    Something you forgot about Rarity.
    In the episode Rarity takes Manehatten, she used her friends help without taking count of their feelings, in this episode we can see the lesson she got from that getting applied; She is the first worried about it.

    And finally;
    This one is about Big Mac and Fluttershy.
    As the shows go and gets better, we can see Fluttershy getting more and more enthusiast about the whole thing, while Big mac begin to sweat and seems uncomfortable. I think this was because she was adding more and more to the song, without Big Mac even being aware, so he can't follow her, and she sings faster and adds more and more as it goes. He can't follow and well... you saw where this ended...

    You did a great review and I can't wait to read your next ^^

  3. I loved this episode, it is indeed masterfullly done. Once I understand the mechanics behind making episodes, I should analyse the hell out of this episode.

  4. ¿Una nueva reseña? ¡Sí!

    Varias cosas sobre este episodio:

    yo soy de los que creen que exageraron mucho con Pinkie Pie. Puedo entender que haya tenido una actitud insensible al principio del episodio, pero no me trago el que haya seguido haciéndolo en cada una de sus apariciones. Me desesperaba en esas escenas y deseaba que alguna de las otras ponis la detuviera y la callara de una vez.

    Aparte de eso, me encantó el episodio: me gustaron las canciones, hubo nuevos personajes, cameo de Zecora...
    Lo que más me encantó fue el ritmo (pacing, que llaman). Hay cierto episodios de varias series que tienen un ritmo tan bien trabajaod que me hacen sentir que estoy viendo algo más largo que 22 minutos, pero que no me aburre y me hace disfrutar todo el visionado.

    Eso es: este episodio se sintió más largo de lo habitual pero de un buen modo. Hay muchas series que no siempre logran esto, incluyendo MLP, pero lo consiguieron con este episodio.

    Bueno, eso son mis dos centavos. Muy contento de leer tu reseña y a ver cuánta gente comenta ahora. :)

  5. Well, of all the episodes this season, this is the third episode which can easily stick in my my mind. the other two being "Power Ponies" and the other being "Three's a Crowd". But, then again, I rarely watch any of these episodes a second time, so one will have to ask me in a week whether I remember this one. Afterall, I had to look up your previous review to remember what last week's episode was.

    And, since we're on the process of giving a comment to your reviews: Hate to break it to you, but I did not care for "Rarity Takes Manehattan". Sure there were some good moments in it, but it did nothing for me.

    Which brings me to the reason as to why you are the only reviewer for this show of which I go out of my way to look up. The fact that it's written, rather than a video review helps me focus on what you're talking about and what you liked about the show. It helps me look at the episodes from a different light, which I find it hard to do so on my own, so it's always interesting to hear your opinion on it.

    For example, I believe you disliked "Putting your hoof down." While I enjoyed it, but mainly due to Iron Will, Tabitha St Germain's hammed up Rarity cry and...just plain Iron Will. Out of character and needlessly mean? Maybe, but I still enjoyed it...for Iron Will.

    But this episode was just a treat. The Quartet was a ice change and was nice to bob your head to and the ongoing joke of not letting Big Mac talk is always an enjoyable thing to take note of. And I agree, the applejack and Big Mac moment made the show, it was just character for them. Honesty and insightful, as well as knowing your family. No needless misunderstandings, which is a breath of fresh air that this show keeps surprising me with.

    Overall, I'd say this is my favourite Fluttershy episode, if I go from a gut feeling. I'd have to look up the previous episodes. But it is worth commenting that this was the first episode in months where the beginning didn't make me want to stop watching.

    If you choose to quite this reviewing hobby of yours, that is your prerogative. But it is enjoyable to read and do keep in mind that the vast majority of people out there, including myself, are incredibly lazy and can rarely be bothered to leave a comment, even if they do like it. Keep up the good work and don't let the fandom get to you.

  6. Hi. Sorry for rarely commenting, I just never have anything to say, and I feel embarrassed about just posting "Great review!" every week.

    I pretty much entirely agree with you on this episode, except toned-down. You thought the episode was amazing, I thought it was good. All the parts you thought were funny are the parts I thought were funny, the few problems you had are the same problems I had... but just to a lesser degree on everything.

    Keep up the awesome work! Glad you're still writing reviews!

  7. I have to agree. This episode was just really great, and definitely one of my favorite episodes of the season so far.

  8. Ah haha, I knew this one was too good for you to pass up. I don't always agree with you...or comment, but I do always read. I'm glad you reviewed this one.

    It was solid. My only complaint I can even think of is Pinkie just not being very friendly, as you pointed out. This is a far stretch from the Pinkie from season 1 who didn't want to prank Shy because she is "Too sensitive".

    Regardless I loved this episode.

  9. I feel like some fans have an identity problem with Flutttershy, mainly because they feel that most episodes starring her have very same-y morals, an observation that I don't buy. I feel like an even bigger problem would be the lack of strong supporting roles for her in other episodes, but that's a whole different discussion. Over the course of the series, we've seen Fluttershy deal with rising to the occasion for her friends, not biting off more than she can chew, speaking with sincerity to her friends, not acting on her own accord despite good intentions, being more assertive, finding self-worth, and not giving into peer pressure ("Flutter On" is one of the few episodes of the show where the main character has the moral high ground from the start). Basically, the vast majority of Fluttershy's morals are rooted in her awkwardness and insecurities, and complaining about that and not also complain, for example, about how most of Pinkie Pie's morals are rooted in her extrovertedness and desire to please everyone, or how most of Rainbow Dash's morals come from her ego clashing with something else, is a very short-sighted assessment of the show's characters. I don't think this episode will help their cause much, but frankly it's their loss.
    -I think this is the first episode since The Show Stoppers that uses music less in a musical format and more in a more traditional format, where the music is an actual performance being done for an audience. While we have heard Fluttershy (and her friends) singing before, this episode may count as the show introducing us to the notion that Fluttershy is trily passionate about singing.
    -Like mentioned before, a lot of fans have this default image of Fluttershy as not much other than being gentle and meek, but even the show often forgets that she's passionate about things and is willing to stand her ground for her passions and what she believes in (see also, "Flutter On"). As mentioned above, the main reason why Fluttershy continues to sing is because she truly loves it, despite her stage fright (BTW, bonus points to the audience for not turning into a mob when the truth comes out). It's nice that this episode reminds us that Fluttershy doesn't have to be submissive to everything around her.
    -Peter New has a lovely barritone.
    -Zecora is basically here again just to be a plot device, but at least it's executed better than it was in "Princess Twilight Sparkle"
    -It wouldn't be an Amy Rogers episode without a good helping of Pinkie Pie ridiculousness (which she's so good at). Particularly standing out are her turkey call, climbing a wall Spider-Man style, and her reckless use of the word "dude".
    -This is easily one of the most satisfying episodes on multiple levels. Not only is it adorable, not only is it funny, not only is the music very catchy, not only is it genuinely endearing watching Fluttershy growing into her love of singing, but the lesson is especially poignant and pretty mature for the series. Getting over a fear doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and dedication. Just like that, the show is able to justify how the characters can learn new things while still being their usual personas

    1. Well, should you be added to the Ten Minute Retirement trope page?
      LOL just kidding, so glad to have you back and I agree with you. Loved this episode. and also agree with you Arturo altought I do believe that´s kind of the point, that the ponies´ obvious flaws is what motivates the lesson they learn like having Applejack learn to be diligent makes no sense since that´s her whole characther but still you raised some good points.

  10. I just got into a bit of a rant on Tumblr, so I think I should add one more thing to the discussion just to blow off some steam: I didn't mind Pinkie's behavior this episode. Some have called her a straight-up bully for putting Fluttershy in a corner (twice), but honestly, that was relatively par for the course for Pinkie. It's easy to pass Fluttershy as the victim in this scenario, but I feel like her reaction was more exaggerated (for effect) than Pinkie's rants.

  11. Good to see you again.

    And now I can't decide which S4 episode is the best.

  12. YEAH! *Insert Bulk Biceps*
    It means that I don't have to post that infinitely long comment on how I will miss your reviews :)

    Mini-review-comment-session coming soon.

  13. "When the episode wasn’t scary as fuck, it was saucy as hell, and when it was neither it was hardcore."
    Lol, that is one epic quote. Regarding the episode at hand, I basically completely agree with you. I really enjoyed seeing the cast, and Rarity in particular, casually hanging around and participating in small-town events. It felt very natural.
    It also crossed my mind that the Ponyville Pet Center was actually just Fluttershy's cottage, and that the fact she needs a fundraising campaign means she barely makes a living. What do you think of that?


  14. I really enjoyed this episode and it spoke to me as a sufferer of stage fright - and stage fright specifically related to my singing, too. I can categorically say that although I work through my stage fright and do public speaking and singing on a regular basis, that no matter how much growth I have, no matter how many compliments I get, the stage fright never goes away - so I love how the end of the episode has Fluttershy still struggling with her problem (though obviously with improvement). Also, as I child of the 80's, I loved the reference to Milli Vanilli in the title of the show.
    PS1 - I love your reviews - never ever stop. I like them so much that all the way through the episode I was thinking "The pacing and story structure here are great, James is going to love it!".
    PS2 - More Zipporwhill!

  15. I am gonna agree. That Fluttershy breakdown scene was horrifying.

  16. Glad you're back. If the cost of reading your reviews is to comment on them each week, I'll happily oblige.

    Great episode. I knew it was going to be special the moment Rarity deferred credit to the rest of the quartet. However, I do wish the Ponytones would've sung a second song instead of doing reprisals the entire way. Maybe they were poking fun at the "too much time to re-arrange" bit.

  17. I do agree with you on your review, this was a really good episode and I think this episodes will go down as my favourite Fluttershy episode so far in this season!

  18. Not going to lie. One of the main reason why I "read and run" without posting a comment is that I felt it wasn't read. That when I hoped to start a discussion no one replied so I figured it didn't matter. Though the totally main reason is because I always end up reading the review days after it got posted. Which makes me believe no one will read my comment anyways. So yea, I guess the "not feeling like people read us" is full circle kind of thing.

    Still glad you are back.

    I'm also glad they didn't go around and having Rarity pressure Fluttershy into keeping singing or anything. This episode was great but it doesn't change the fact that Fluttershy is on the lower ending of the favorite mane6 ladder. I never hated her but she's far from my favorite.

    1. I've read your comment this time :)

      I had the same feeling about Fluttershy in Season 1. However, for now, things changed and she's become a great character (still not my favorite, though).
      Twilight is the total opposite for me. I loved her so much in Season 1 and 2, but now she is just boring (I suspect, it has something to do with the princess-ness). I hope, we will see her as an interesting character again.

    2. Ahah I'm happy I got read eventhough I posted so late.

      I share your feelings for Twilight so much. Though she's still my favorite pony. (mostly because I'm stubborn and she has her moments) I don't think it's because she's a princess (I mean I love princesses AND queens) but mostly because I feel her character has grown and reached her final point. She learned quite a lot of lessons, made a lot of mistakes and saved the world... quite a few times. So what comes after that?

      So yea... maybe it IS the princess thing since it's an "end of adventure" kind of reward. But maybe I'm wrong and she still have room to grow without having to pick up the idiot/distress ball.

    3. You are welcome. I too post my comments late, due to the lack of freetime.

      You made a pretty good point. I tend to agree with this explanation. Being just perfect makes Twilight really uninteresting. Many people argues that a character should learn every single lesson. However, it isn't exactly the good thing for us, the audience. I, personally, love laughing at the silly things the ponies do.

  19. Originally, I wanted to write a moderate comment on this episode, but your enthusiasm is so adorable that I can't help but go with it. It is the case when watching an episode is insufficient to completely understand it. Now, I have a better grasp on it, and it is because of you, and that's why I stay up late at night and read this blog.

    The following part will be somewhat irregular because I'm not going to write about every good and bad points. The good points almost cover the entire episode and you have written down every important thing about it. So, I will just say something about the things that I loved or found interesting.
    (You may notice that I haven't rated the episode yet; it could be anything between 3+ and 5. This is because I can't decide it now, time will tell.)

    So, this episode was good in every aspect, except the characters and their interactions ... which was downright BRILLIANT! I'm glad to see something like that.

    Oh my God, Fluttershy was so adorable and cute! When she was singing and dancing... cuteness overflow. When the others say that she's got the most beautiful voice in the world, it's totally believable.
    And, we got a brand new line of Fluttershy's ass. She shakes it on the bridge, in the Windows... haha, what kind of character development is it?

    Though, Pinkie is unduly mean to our beloved pegasus, Applejack and Rarity were completely in character. Rarity was very kind and patient with Fluttershy. It showed her bright side in contrast with the previous episode.
    Oh, did you guys see who led the Mane 5 when they ran after Fluttershy? Yep, Applejack. She was the one who handled the situation. She is constantly reliable as I stated earlier, and this is why she occupies a prominent place in the Mane 6.

    The drama, the tension, the comedy and the graphics were fine and smooth too. But still, I didn't feel that the drama or the humor were supposed to be in the focus. That's why I have a hard time deciding what kind of episode it is. Somehow it feels like it is a breathtaking mixture of "Bridle Gossip" and "Hurricane Fluttershy". Everything was mingled into a well-balanced mix and I can't decide whether it is a good or a bad thing.

    I agree, the story was very smart and creative. It is, how to renew old, not-so-great ideas to produce something evidently great. Nothing felt forced (maybe Pinkie as a narrative device, but she wasn't so bad at all). The ending was refreshingly mature and also very true: you cannot solve a big problem from one day to another. You should start with baby-steps.

    Maybe, the only one thing that bothered me is the part from Flutterguy's first singing backstage to the horrific moment of her unveiling. It was a bit too long. I expected some conflict right at the beginning during the first or the second song. In this way, it neither stepped up the tension nor released it. Okay, I enjoyed the singing, but I'm still not completely satisfied with this part.

    In spite of this little complaint, I can totally sympathize with Fluttershy. I know that feeling, the stage fright. Sometimes I have to give talks in conferences and I could be so nervous that I cannot do my best. Believe me, it's something very hard to fight with.
    So, I can easily relate with the moral. You must overstep your worst fears in order to deploy your true self.
    If I ever want to explain to a non-brony why MLP is so fantastic, this episode will definitely be a great help for me.