Let’s Talk About Fandom

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Rick & Morty has been all the buzz lately. And that’s great because it truly deserves it, it’s an intricate and funny and moving series. Its third season has been its most profound yet, giving genuine introspection into the character of Rick Sanchez and how toxic and destructive a human being he truly is. But that’s not what my social media feeds have been interested in. They’ve been talking about the fandom, the would-be real life Ricks who find themselves in almost every online community spewing indulgent nihilistic hatred on everything they touch.

Some friends have even expressed being turned off the series by this, which just really sucks. On one hand I can’t blame them but on the other it’s really just not fair. It’s not fair that people find themselves unwilling to have new media experiences because of hostile fan culture, and it’s not fair on the creators of earnest good works that they need to be accountable for crappy people. So what should you do if something you want to get into has a rubbish fanbase?

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What happened to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

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Let’s talk about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Yes, that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The once revered and controversial show about cartoon horses learning the magic of friendship is still going strong with a seventh season and a feature film on their way later this year, but it seems to have more years behind it than ahead of it at this point. The viewer base and the overall enthusiasm towards the series has seen a significant drop-off, and most notable fandom personalities have moved on to other things (sometimes as in the case of Digibro much bigger things). There’s been a lot of reasons for this, both specific personal reasons and reasons that broadly reflect the current state of the series. Putting aside fandom drama I want to talk about the direction the show has gone in and how that’s sparked disinterest.

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A Look Back on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 Part V – ‘Rarity Takes Manehattan’ Mini-Review [SPOILERS]

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Find the other parts of my S4 retrospective here.

It’s crunch time, and I’m gonna try to get out as many episode reviews as I can before Season 5 premieres. I ended up having more to write about than I expected for Rarity Takes Manehattan, so it’s going to be its own post just like Flight to the Finish. Enough chitchat, it’s pone time!

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A Look Back on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 Part IV – ‘Power Ponies’ and ‘Bats!’ [SPOILERS]

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Find the other parts of my S4 retrospective here.

Well, I’m waaaaaay behind schedule on these MLP S4 rewatch write-ups, but I’ll do my best to put out as many in the next couple days before Season 5’s premiere as I can. After Flight to the Finish, Season 4 settles into a groove, and the subsequent several episodes strike a good balance between the earnest and well-made stuff that made MLP popular in the first place and the engaging ambitious ideas that have propelled it forward since Season 2. These two episodes aren’t the best examples of that description, considering they’re reflective of some of the significant shortcomings of MLP trying to be more ambitious, but they still have a bit of what made MLP so great in the first place and a bit of what still makes it so great. Now let’s get down to some more pone!

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A Look Back on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 Part III – ‘Flight to the Finish’ Mini Review [SPOILERS]

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Find the other parts of my S4 retrospective here.

Flight to the Finish is one of those episodes that reminds you why MLP: FiM is a special show to a lot of people. It’s a wonderful package of genuine charm, humour and great character moments, with all its parts coming together into an incredibly empowering message for children that doesn’t talk down to them. In essence Flight to the Finish is about childhood and self-identity, but it’s the thoughtful construction of those ideas that makes this episode so fantastic.

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A Look Back on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 Part II – ‘Castle Mane-ia’ and ‘Daring Don’t’ Mini Reviews (MILD SPOILERS)

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Find Part I of my S4 Retrospective here.

MLP Season 5 now has an official date, and as of typing Pony Countdown says we’re roughly 16 days, 3 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds away from it. I guess I better get to my Season 4 rewatch. This time I rewatched episodes 3 and 4, and for better or for worse it’s pretty fair to say these two episodes are different to anything that came before them in MLP. First off we’ve got the establishment of the series’ first ever concrete season long arc, but besides that we’re treated to some pretty unique ideas that the show hasn’t touched on, some neat and some… well, not so neat. Enough chatter, let’s talk about some pony!

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The Brony Fandom and Media Criticism

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Criticism is one of the best means by which someone can intellectually engage with the media they consume. Whether it be towards literature, paintings, music, video games, TV or film, critique can strengthen your relationship with media by allowing you to understand how it communicates with you from its ideas to its themes to its presentation to its emotional resonance among other aspects. At this point in my life it’s one of my greatest passions, and yet one of the most toxic damaging things within the My Little Pony fandom. There seems to be a broad collective issue within the Brony fandom regarding how people critically engage with it. After a recent video by Tommy Oliver wherein he discussed how criticism has, in its own way, made the fandom overwhelmingly jaded and divided and a recent post on EQD about Digibro’s channel being taken down filled with malicious comments towards him for looking deeper into the series (e.g. use of the dreaded term “pretentious”), among other smaller incidents and personal experiences, I decided this was a topic I wanted to touch on.

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