Monday, February 13, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 37: Trouble Comes in Threes

To read the story, click the image or follow this link

Poor Cheeriliee.  It's bad enough when students try to get involved in your romantic life, however ineffectually (few things are more awkward and, quite frankly, disturbing than finding out that half the 14-year-old girls in a class think you're "totally hot").  Thank goodness there's no such thing as love potions poisons in real life.

Speaking of the crusaders, today's review brings us to Slowpoke's Trouble Comes in Threes.  Check it out after the break.

Impressions before reading:  Ah, another incomplete fic.  This one seems to be abandoned, so I'll comment on it, but I'll probably not be able to rate it.  Of course, it is a comedy fic, and comedy doesn't always require a coherent plot.  Maybe there will still be enough here to make it worth suggesting, at least to readers who can handle the permanent lack of resolution.

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  When the CMC learn a new word from their schoolmates, it sets off a chain reaction that leads to... well, presumably it leads somewhere.  The author didn't make it that far.

Thoughts after reading: It's difficult to say much about the plot, because this story stops sometime in the middle of setting up whatever it is it's setting up.  Several seemingly unrelated events are established, but how they would eventually have tied together is a matter of pure speculation.  Unlike Fair Feather Friend, where at least it's clear what direction the author was going by the time he quit, this story will forever remain a mystery (unless Slowpoke decides to update someday.  Hey, Spacegirl just recently had a new chapter added after a 10 month hiatus, so anything's possible).

Of course, the selling point of a comedy story is typically its humor, not its plotline (though the best are exceptional in both regards, obviously).  The jokes here generally revolve around descriptions.  This is the kind of comedy Douglas Adams was famous for, although he often combined it with ridiculous and/or patently impossible events.  Slowpoke, in contrast, mostly takes more mundane (by Equestrian standards, anyway) situations and applies his comic elements through the narration, as in this example: "It was a dark and stormy night. Now, the first bit wasn’t anything unusual. Finding a night that also happened to be dark wasn't exactly Equestria’s most difficult scavenger hunt. Historically, there hadn’t been a night without dark in over eighty years, which coincidentally also happened to be the exact amount of time that had passed since Celestia had her most recent stress-related psychotic break, the poor dear. Nevertheless, the night was certainly dark, and this surprised very few ponies."

Personally, I enjoy this kind of humor quite a bit, though there are a few weaknesses in the presentation.  The comedy is very uneven; despite each chapter being only a few pages long, it felt like half of what I was reading was filler designed to move the reader from one scene to the next.  Likewise, the majority of dialogue was pretty dull.  It wasn't poorly written per se, but the characters were often given nothing exciting to say, and the result was stretches like the CMC's storytelling in chapter three; there's really not much of interest that happens between the introduction of the scene and Scootaloo flicking off the lights.

On the plus side, the story such as it is is pretty well edited, so there's that.

Star rating:  N/A

I went into this story hoping I'd be able to give it a rating based on what existed, but there's simply too much of the story missing to even begin to evaluate it as a finished product.  Oh well.

Recommendation:  I can't recommend this story, for reasons which should be plain.  If explanatory comedy is a real weakness for you this might merit a look, but there's nothing here that makes me think this story is worth reading, knowing it will never be completed.

Next time:  Friendship Is.... by Cascore

1 comment:

  1. Heh, if you think Cheerilee has it bad now, you should read the sequel fic I'm working on (and just finished the first chapter of). Let me taell ya, IT GETS WORSE.


    Sorry for the shameless self promotion. I just couldn't help myself, having been working on it all weekend. XD