Saturday, September 12, 2015

Welcome back, MLP

Mid-season hiatus is over. At least for now. (I suspect when they roll out the next Equestria Girls movie in a couple weeks, there will be at least on week's hiatus for new Pony episodes).

This one was a Rarity episode: Rarity gets to open a branch of her boutique in Canterlot. (I knew that something would happen to keep her from moving full time. I suppose the LAST season of Ponies could be a Marriage/New Job/New Family/Whatever is Breakin' Up That Old Gang of Mine, but we've got at least one more season coming)

So she has a boutique with a store manager - Sassy Saddles (which I first heard as Satin Saddles, but whatever*)

(*Satin Saddles could be an Equestrian burlesque artist. If such things exist in Equestria.)

Also, could Sassy's design and vocal style be a bit of a nod to the earlier-gen Rainbow Dash ("Rainbow Dash always dresses in style") - the parti-color mane, the affected voice? I know Old-Skool RD was an Earth Pony, not a Unicorn, but I just wondered....


Yeah. Sassy has her version of a cheap MBA and starts pushing Rarity around. Rarity makes this fascinating collection of dresses inspired by Canterlot, but the only one Sassy wants to push is the "Princess Dress" (originally named "Reign in Stain" - inspired by a stained glass window about Twilight's coronation, but Sassy essentially says, "Ponies are too stupid to get that allusion, pick something simpler")

Someone over at EqD mused that this could have been a little backhand by the writing crew at DHX, who want to make an entertaining and good show (and have done excellently thus far) at Hasbro, which mainly wants to sell stuff (I am remembering the fan dismay over the initial Celestia toys, which were pink - Celestia is, and has always been, white). I can actually see that hypothesis.

Well, anyway, Sassy is mostly interested in making money whereas Rarity is mostly interested in her art and

(oh wow, the idea of for-profit colleges vs. what those of us who care hard-core about teaching just hit me between the eyes)

Anyway, Rarity is mostly interested in doing a good job on the dresses - and she doesn't want to mass produce.

But of course, the way consumerism works now, apparently, is Everybody Wants Exactly The Same Thing.

(This is odd to me because it was not very long ago - and heck, it may still be - a major embarrassment to show up to some fancy 'do and find another woman there had the same dress as you did. There was a whole number in "How to Succeed in Business without Trying" about it ("Paris Original"). Is that no longer the case? I haven't been to a fancy thing in years and years, and the last semi-fancy thing I went to was a wedding, and I wore a semi-fancy dress I had made myself, so....)

Anyway, Rarity is swamped with orders for The Same Exact Dress and when she tries to change it up a little, the pony who ordered that particular dress gets really unpleasant and snippy about it.

And Rarity comments something along the lines of "If I got what I really wanted in life, why am I so miserable?" ("Welcome to adulthood, Rarity!!!!" No, really: I have pretty much what I wanted in life and there are still days I am miserable, or there are still things about my job that make me sad. Being an adult means realizing that there's no Happily Ever After, there's only (and only if you're lucky) a Kinda Content Ever After)

Of course, Rarity could have stood up to Sassy Saddles and said, "Now, Missy, who has paid for this whole boutique through the labor of her hooves? And who is the design genius here? Now kindly shut it and let me work the way I wish to work." But Rarity is too nice (perhaps a bit of her BFF, Fluttershy, has rubbed off on her) and doesn't challenge Sassy.

So Rarity chooses to close the boutique. And of course, because Everything Must Go, she pulls out all the other designs she had - the ones Sassy downplayed in favor of The Princess Dress. And it turns out each one of those designs is PERFECT for a particular pony - once again bringing up the nice little theme of "you really don't have to be like everypony else, be yourself."

And Rarity realizes this is what she loves, so why not keep the boutique open? And why not help Sassy learn from this, and let her stay on as manager (Element of Generosity!) and let her run things while Rarity works in Ponyville at her home base (Whew! So she doesn't have to move to Canterlot!)

I will say one tiny jarring moment at the end comes, when what I interpreted as an obese (well, she was also oddly shaped, not unlike the "Poo Brain Pony" on "Adventure Time") horse walks in and says "I heard you were having a sale?" And....scene.

And I don't know if that was a veiled fat joke....I hope it wasn't because really, that kind of goes against the theme of MLP:FiM, that everypony has value and all that. But why such a bulbous pony? Why not one super-tall, or with a dachsund-type long body? (Fat women aren't the only ones who find it hard to find clothing...). I thought to myself, "Maybe they rejected the idea of a pony with an orange mane and a plaid cutie mark coming in and saying "I hearrrrrrrrrd ye were havin' a sallllle" as too stereotypical....

Then again, there may be some other joke there I'm not seeing, I just tend to bristle at those kinds of things, seeing as I was once chased from a boutique (in my much younger days) with a dismissive, "Oh, we wouldn't have anything in YOUR size here." I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this but if that was purely a fat joke I'm a little disappointed.

I will also note that I think I prefer the episodes in which the Mane Six is mostly involved throughout the episodes.

1 comment:

CGHill said...

The fat-mare joke, if that's what it was, did seem a bit jarring. I'm betting we see her again, though. (Snowflake/Bulk Biceps is now pretty much accepted despite his appearance.)