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Why I'm not going to watch My Little Pony no matter how many times you ask me.

30 June 201107:26AMrants

I just spent half an hour writing this out for Haydn's benefit, but I thought I'd put it up here as well, just so everyone knows my position on this. Just for context, earlier in the conversation I'd been told that I should watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I did so, and said I'd watched the first five minutes and then threw up in my mouth. I got accused of not giving it a fair chance, so I copped it and said that yes, I had watched the whole first episode, and that the throwing up was an exaggeration. And then I got angry, and wrote this.

Yes. Really. It was an exaggeration.

I watched the pilot to the end. Conceptually, it was formulaic childrens television, pretty much on par writing-wise with your standard cartoon. The plot was pretty predictable, and seemed a bit contrived at times, which is really to be expected from a pilot and particularly from a cartoon, so I'll let that slide. I found the characterisation suprisingly good for an ensemble cast where each member is literally an embodied stereotype, but after a while the voice acting really began to grate, mostly because of its pitch. It needs more variance- listening to that for 45 minutes really was like subsisting on nothing but sugar: you'll survive, and maybe even enjoy it, but it's seriously lacking variety. The same can be said for the colour palette; even the 'spooky forest' was fluorescent purple. Aesthetically in general, it's pretty uniform which does mean it lacks a lot of depth- there's only a certain emotional range you can portray with candy floss colours and high-pitched sounds like that. I was, however, genuinely impressed by the self-referential humour which cropped up at times ("Is she really going to sing?"). Overall, it wasn't the torturous hellish mess I'd previously made it out to be, but at the same time it wasn't exactly what you'd call gripping, and I'm certainly not going to bother watching any more.

Essentially, my dislike of the show boils down to three key issues.

Firstly, the aesthetics aren't to my taste. Believe it or not, this is a legitimate reason to not like something. I don't really like rap, or Renaissance-period art, but that doesn't mean that either is devoid of merit or appreciation from others- it simply means they don't appeal to me. Happy squeaky rainbow ponies aren't something I find aesthetically appealing either. Simple as that.

Second are the ethical issues stemming from the show's existence. As remarkably well-made as MLP:FIM is, it's produced by Hasbro and then targeted at young girls for the express purpose of selling plastic ponies. I have moral problems with advertising to children, especially when it's wrapped up in the guise of entertainment.

Thirdly, and probably most relevant to you, is the same reason I'm a rabid Apple-hater. Apple makes aesthetically pleasing, functional, if overpriced and oversimplified, electronic goods. My problem comes from the cult of personality surrounding Steve Jobs, and the rabid Apple fans who insist that ZOMG TEH iTHINGS ARE TEH BEST PC UZARZ ARE TEH SUXX. I have this problem with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as well: on its own merits, the show is passable entertainment. However, the rabidly enthusiastic fandom surrounding the show, with its brony/hater dichotomy, much like the mac/pc dichotomy, is seriously unpleasant to be on the wrong end of, and I think this email thread has proven that. Admittedly, some of that is my fault, for instantly classifying myself in that dichotomy. It is possible to watch the show without throwing up in your mouth- but likewise, it's possible to watch the show without becoming a 'brony', or indeed, without really giving a fuck one way or the other, which is the camp I find myself in now. It was okay, but I don't really care about it any more.

I suspect I shall continue to find bronydom's relentless .jpg based assault a mild irritant, and reserve the right to mildly lampoon you by including images of my own in emails, the same way I'd lampoon an Apple fanboy. That said, I'm sorry for any offense my reflexive hater response may have caused. That said too, I really don't give a fuck any more, so all this? This is going to stop now. Thanks.

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