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I thought about writing a post about the latest episode, Baby Cakes, but there's only one thing I really want to say: those baby ponies are creepy as hell. Those beady eyes, those bulbous heads... I hope we don't see too much of them in the future, because they seriously weird me right out.
Also, Pinkie's letter to the Princess at the end is much funnier if you imagine that she's talking about teen pregnancy and not babysitting. Just sayin'.
Anyway, on to my review of Chicken Vortex's Getting Lucky. You know where!
Impressions before reading: I read this as it was being posted, and enjoyed it a lot. I seem to recall being disappointed by the ending, though I don't remember why. Anyway, I remember it being very funny.
It's based on (in the sense that it uses the same characters as) a story the author wrote for EqD's April Fool's Day contest--that story, The Bestest Pranksgiving Ever, is linked there as well. I won't comment on it other than to say that I thought it was very funny, and reading it is not required in order to understand the main story. Now, on to the story we're actually here to review!
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Lucky, Coconut, and Dr. Hooves are three lifelong friends who've won a free trip on a luxury cruise. Also on that cruise are the most important scientist in Equestria and his daughter. And when it just so happens that Lucky and the daughter have a history, his friends can't help meddling...
Thoughts after reading: There are many kinds of humor. This story has all of them. From wry observation ("her cutie mark was a crystal glass that was exactly half full (or half empty, depending on how you looked at it)") to meta-humor (there's a running joke that Dr. Hooves mispronounces the name of one pony, Joule, as "Jewel") to classic comebacks ("This whole time I just assumed you had no idea what was going on. That you were just living in your own little world, filled with candy and rainbows, drifting along without a care.” “That only happens when the hospital gives me morphine.”) to slapstick ridiculousness (I can't bring myself to spoil it, but Lucky and Joules' "fight" in chapter 2 is absolutely hilarious), Getting Lucky is a nonstop barrage of comedy.
What's easy to miss behind all the jokes (and they're wonderful, don't get me wrong) is a surprisingly adult look at how we treat the people/ponies around us, and what the bedrock of those relationships really is. I mean "adult" in the sense of maturity, not inappropriateness--although the story is labeled shipping, there's nothing in here that's that kind of "adult," thankfully. While a casual read-through might not reveal it, there's a remarkable amount of depth to what by rights ought to be a very simple, silly story.
The ending of this story has a dramatic shift in tone, and in some ways it doesn't really fit--the lighthearted comedy which pervades the first five chapters never really sets you up for what's coming. But in another sense, it seems almost inevitable; to conclude on a more saccharine note would have betrayed the integrity of the characters and undermined the moral, such as it is. On second read, I still find it more of a downer than it was probably intended to be (my heart aches for Joule and the choices she makes, though I can see why others would find those choices less painful to read about than I do), but I can't argue with its appropriateness.
There were occasional problems with random words being capitalized, and the early chapters had a number of punctuation errors (though by about chapter three or four, I stopped noticing these. The author apparently improved the technical side of his craft as he went along). Other than that, the documents were well edited.
Because it bears repeating, I'll say it again: this is one of the funniest fanfics I've read. With the sheer number of jokes, and the wide variety of humor present, it quite literally has something for everyone. Okay, there's no meme-spouting, so I guess anyone hoping for that will be disappointed. But still, the comic range shown by Chicken Vortex here is astounding. The only thing one could complain about is that that humor isn't always consistent; the first chapter takes a while to get going, in addition to what I've previously alluded to about the ending. Still, there's so many good lines (I thought I might quote one more here, but about a dozen came to mind) that I can hardly condemn the story for that.
Star Rating: ★★★★☆ (what does this mean?)
This story is positively hilarious. Some minor editing issues and an abrupt (but thematically appropriate) mood shift do nothing to change that.
Recommendation: Those who like a little hidden depth to their stories will enjoy this one. And I doubt anyone would find cause to complain about the humor. I recommend this to almost anyone, with the caveat that its ending may leave the casual reader unsatisfied.
Next time: Luna's Excellent Adventure, by Blueshift