Friday, September 7, 2012

6-Star Reviews Part 99: The Best Night Ever

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

For some reason, I found it remarkably depressing when I went to the grocery store and they already had a full Halloween display.  I think it's because I've got a September birthday, and the proper order of events is birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.  My holiday schedule is being infringed upon!

Below the break, my review of Capn Chryssalid's The Best Night Ever.

Impressions before reading:  This story has been recommended to me several times before, and it's been on my to-read list for... oh, probably six or eight months now.  One more reason I like doing this blog: having a posting schedule gives me the kick in the pants I need to actually read.  Anyway, based on what I've heard I suspect that I'll enjoy this quite a bit.

Zero-ish spoiler summary:  Following the disastrous Gala, Prince Blueblood finds himself reliving the same day, over and over again, without any hint as to why or how to break the cycle.

Thoughts after reading:  Far, far too many works of fiction can be described as "X, but with Y," where X is the (usually incredibly easy to identify) source material, and Y is whatever marginal change is being made.  Although this problem is endemic to all fiction, it is especially prevalent in fanfiction.  The reason it's generally a problem is because it represents lazy thinking.  Where "X, but with ponies" is a fair and accurate description of the story, it all too often represents an author who's slavishly adhered to the plot, setup, and structuring of X, then dropped Twilight and company into the fray without any concern for how well or how poorly the story fits their characters, and how to weld the two sources of inspiration on which he's drawing.

This all leaves me especially impressed with The Best Night Ever, because although it is unambiguously "Groundhog Day, but with ponies," it still works.  The story follows almost all the major beats of Groundhog Day, from the dawning realization over the course of the first several days to the teleportation/piano lessons and beyond (and many of the minor ones, such as the main character briefly dabbling in hyper-gluttony), yet it still generally maintains itself not just as a parody, but as a story that can stand on its own merits.  It's worth looking at what Capn Chryssalid did to make this more than just a retelling with an equine cast.

The most important thing: The Best Night Ever never borrows from its source material when doing so would be detrimental to the story.  Although I just talked about how closely the story mirrors the film, there are plenty of exceptions; the most notable, off the top of my head, is that there's no equivalent to Bill Murray's doomed attempts to save the homeless man.  While many who fall into the "X, but with ponies" trap would feel obligated to include some variation on every major scene, here the author used only what could be comfortably fit into Equestria, and what would mesh with the characters involved.

Second, the author isn't afraid to go "off-script."  From discussion of the Prince's cutie mark to a brief foray into the duties and function of the government's cartographic engineers, Capn Chryssalid isn't afraid to write wholly original scenes and even entire plot points into his story.  That may seem like an obvious thing--it's the author's story, why would they be afraid to write whatever they want?--but fear of straying too far from one's inspiration has doomed many a fanfic writer.  The end result here is that the story, despite being so obviously derivative not just in terms of its characters, but its plot as well, still feels organic and, dare I say, original.

Of course, there are a few missteps along the way.  Although I think that the repeated suicides (for those of you who have somehow managed not to see Groundhog's Day: 1-go rent it, seriously, and 2-what's this about suicides?  Well, after living the same day a few hundred times, and with no hope of ever moving on, death starts to look pretty appealing to Murray's character) were probably written about as well as they could be, darkly comic and neither overly maudlin nor straight-up silly, I still couldn't quite reconcile the tone there with the more lighthearted, less cynical "loops" through the day to which the reader is privy.  While I wouldn't necessarily want it (or a couple of other more potentially drama-laden scenes) to be more serious, I personally think that attaching a bit more gravity to those decisions, at least on the first time through, while the outcome is in doubt, would have fit the story's tone better.

On the writing side, there's little to complain about.  Basic slip-ups (missed words, using "hand" for "hoof," mixing up genders in pronouns... there was no one consistent problem) were an uncommon but nevertheless constant feature, and in a few places necessitated re-reading a sentence to make sense of it, but past these errors the writing was clear and evocative, and the narrative structure was excellent.  The varying levels of detail in which each loop were shown matched incredibly well with the needs of the story, and while I think that's not something most readers are likely to notice, the very fact that few would notice it is a testament to how well-executed this story is on a structural level.

There were a few semi-meta inclusions in the story, but they all worked for me.  Things like the song Blueblood wakes up to being Equestria Girls, or Pinkie being the only pony who doesn't act exactly the same in each loop (there's no actual fourth-wall breaking here, just a little unpredictability) were all nods to the reader which nevertheless worked perfectly fine within the story, and on their own.  That is precisely the level of meta which I can approve of in a non-random story, and I don't think that line was ever crossed.

One last thing I really ought to mention is that I didn't like the ending.  To try to avoid spoiling too much, I'll only say this: in Groundhog Day, it's never clear why Murray's character was so afflicted, and that's fine; it's not the point of the story, the point is how he deals with the situation he's been put in.  Here, the reader is given a few hints (though nothing definitive) at the end as to who was behind everything, and I thought that this actually weakened the story.  To use the conclusion to focus on the "curse," rather than on Blueblood, is to take the focus away from his development over the course of the story, and place it squarely on the otherwise almost invisible (and frankly irrelevant to the story, save for its effects) plot hook.  This is a story about the Prince, and I think the focus should have stayed there rather than wandering at the end.

Star rating:  ☆ (what does this mean?)

I'm really glad I finally read this one.  Much like the movie it unapologetically cribs from, it manages to be funny, introspective, and positively sweet in turn.  And most impressively, it does all this without ever becoming a wholesale find-and-replace version of Groundhog Day.  The structuring of the story is incredibly good, and frankly, most of my complaints are pretty minor.

Recommendation:  Did you know that some people don't like Groundhog Day?  I don't get it either.  Anyway, those folks probably won't like The Best Night Ever seeing as how the one so faithfully follows the beats of the other.  But I'd recommend this to almost everyone else, including those who've never seen the movie; despite its doubly derivative nature, this story manages to feel fresh and thoughtful, and does a great job mixing humor and "big questions" throughout.

Next time:  6 Angry Mares, by Jelly


  1. I thought this was a 5-star story if there ever was one. Perhaps the reviewer is becoming one of the AV Club's TV reviewers, who never give out A+ any more?

    I might be somewhat biased, since I love Ground Hog day, but I don't think you need to have seen the movie to enjoy this story. Your enjoyment might however be quite a bit heightened, noting the parallels between the movie and this story.

    Blueblood and Luna atop the astronomy tower was one of the most moving scenes in fanfiction that I've ever read. It's also very nicely adapted from the movie. Instead of trying to shoehorn the same character (Rita in the movie, thus Rarity in this story), the author choose a much more fitting MLP character for this scene.

    There's nothing in this story I would change, which is the criterion by which I personally assign a "5-star" rating. It's very rare for me to read a piece of fanfiction and be wholly satisfied at the beginning, middle, and end. This is one of those works.

    I am currently following the sequel to this story, which is an ambitious world-building attempt. I don't think the sequel is quite up to the same level, although to be fair it is a very different type of story. I don't want to say too much about that though.

    1. I meant to say something to the effect of "you don't need to have watched Groundhog Day to enjoy this story" in my review, but it looks like I forgot. Better go add that.

      And to your first paragraph (and to Derpmind's question): the two biggest problems for me were word errors which impinged upon readability (again: although this wasn't a terribly edited story, situations where the author's meaning can't be immediately parsed are a MAJOR issue, in my opinion), and the ending (the story really would have been much better without the last few hundred words; in addition to my comments in the review, see the more spoiler-y ones by Bugs for more on why this seemed out of keeping with the nature of the story and the characterizations in it--it really left a sour taste in my mouth, frankly). Either one by itself, I wouldn't have gone down to four over. But together, and a long with a few quibbles minor enough that I felt they didn't merit mention, I decided that the cumulative problems lowered this from "Holy crap this is so awesome guys" to "This is definitely among the best fanfics out there."

      Of course, your mileage may vary and all that. I certainly wouldn't tell anyone they were wrong for considering this 5-star material going by my rating system--I loved the story, personally.

      Ah, well. One of the problems with reductivist ratings is that they can create disagreements between people who are in agreement in principle, as I suspect we all are in this particular case. I appreciate your comments, and I promise I won't turn five stars into some sort of unattainable ideal--I find reviewers that never use the highest (or more often, the lowest) end of their rating scales only slightly less annoying than people who only use the highest and lowest.

    2. I've always loved how your ratings follow a bell curve. It may be a little biased towards the low end, but that's probably due to the change in quality of EqD's fics over time

      I do find it odd, though, that you gave It's A Dangerous Business 5 stars when it had the same issues you'd normally give out 4 stars for. I get why, but you have to admit it's a little funny

    3. Ooh! If we're critiquing Chris along these lines, can I just say that he should have given FoE a four instead of five? A perfect score is not justified by how much he waffled in the summation. It is the one thing on this blog that has ever truly rankled me.

    4. How DARE you!? My reviews are without fault, and anyone who can't see that just doesn't appreciate the subtle nuances of pony fanfiction as deeply as I do. To even SUGGEST that my ratings are anything other than invariably objectively accurate... pah!

      In all seriousness though, it's interesting that you brought up two of the stories I waffled the most over. FoE... if I had to write that review again, I honestly don't know if I'd give it four or five stars. It's definitely got problems, but it's also incredibly immersive and one of the most consistent long stories out there. I don't know that I could feel entirely comfortable with any number I tried to assign to it.

      Dangerous Business, on the other hand, I actually feel a lot better about now than I did at the time. I really struggled to decide on the appropriate rating for that one, but looking back I realized that, despite its flaws, it's still arguably my favorite piece of fanfiction, full stop. I'm sure that will rankle some, judging from the lively discussion that review generated, and I really do understand why plenty of readers are far less enthralled by it than I am, but hey: I don't claim to have mastered the art of "objective reviewing." Once I looked back, I realized that just because I'm trying my best to write reviews that will be useful to any potential reader doesn't mean I can't (or indeed, shouldn't) have and express my own opinion, as long as I do so in a way that isn't misleading or detrimental to the reader's ability to parse whether or not a story is right for them. And I think I have managed to do that, by and large. With that in mind, I feel a lot better about giving Dangerous Business five now than I did then.

    5. I agree that the highest rating should be something special, reserved for works that have a "spark" and not just works that are technically outstanding.

      I think the difference here is that I enjoyed the story so much (probably because I loved the movie) that I was willing to forgive its minor flaws. The errors never distracted me, and critically I didn't think the ending was outrageous. I think the hint is just that: a hint. You can believe what you want to in the end. Perhaps I dismissed it too quickly, to the point of willful ignorance, but I am surprised that others are so fixated on it that this almost ruined the story for them. In any event, I do agree removing the hint would be best, but I had no trouble ignoring it.

      For me, this story had the special spark that so many other works lack, even those that are technically proficient. I thought it was funny and moving (or maudlin, depending on your view) in just the right way at the right times.

      Similarly, FoE, while hardly a perfect work, had enough outstanding qualities that I could forgive its fault. Love it or hate it, I think it can safely be said to be the single most influence MLP fanfiction ever written, considering the dozens of spinoff stories that it has inspired. Popularity isn't necessarily a bad thing; I think it's silly to think that if it's popular, it must necessarily be vulgar.

      On the plus side, we are in complete agreement that Groundhog Day is one of the greatest movies ever.

    6. I make the judgment based solely on your body of work as a reviewer. Reading that review and seeing a five-star rating, I was shocked. It really didn't sound like you were headed in that direction. Granted, hating on FoE is popular (and I try to not ride that wave, not having read the story), but ask yourself: should quantity override quality? (The answer is probably yes.)

    7. For the record, I loved Dangerous Business and am perfectly fine with your rating. Its faults were distracting at first, but the story really took off and made up for them as I kept going. The fact that you described your uncertainty in the review was very useful in conveying that information. It said to me "Yeah, there are some annoying problems, but it's worth it to read on." Yet another reason why you're my favorite reviewer of any medium (sorry Ebert). I'm a little confused, though. Didn't you say before that Memories of Those Friends Who've Gone Before Us was your favorite?

      Present, quantity cannot completely override quality. I imagine the formula is something like Greatness = Quantity x (Quality - min. Quality)^2

    8. Actually, forget the formula. What made It's A Dangerous Business Great wasn't the size itself, but what Jetfire did with it. If anything, I'd say a fic's greatness would be inversely proportionate to its size, for both bad and good stories, all else being equal

    9. I think I came out on the side of quantity being allowed to override quality solely to avoid looking the hypocrite. c.c Goodness knows I've enjoyed long fics with systematic errors simply because the amount of good outweighs the bad.

    10. Figuring what deserves the highest rank (particularly if one is trying to be "intersubjective" in their ratings) is a tricky business and I don't think any sort of hesitation is a bad sign. I do a lot of cartoon watching and of the two hundred and ten new ones I've looked at, I only gave nine of them four-and-halfs and only one was given a five, and the latter was the result of quite of a bit of thinking and uncertainty. Some works don't leave you with a ready to tell ratings when finished, you might have to go over again. I think that's fine because thinking about the strengths and weaknesses can given one a greater appreciation for something (and also when one needs to defend their rating). Plus, no system for ranking is going to be perfect and there are some outside factors that might not be a work's fault such a reviewers mood going in. After all, if you had an incredibly stressed filled day or are stuck on a desert island, you're probably not going to enjoy much.

      For what it's worth, I would have given Best Night Ever a four myself, without a second thought. It's a wonderful fict in many ways, but it also has problems including an ending that compromised quite a bit of what happened with Blueblood and what choices he made, that I can't ignore.

      I also would have given Fallout: Equestria a four (if giving Best Night Ever a four ruffles people's feathers this much, I wonder how much worst it would have been if the same was done for Fo:E), but this one wasn't an easy to reach decision. There are definitely a lot of things I liked a lot but it also had a sizable number of irksome flaws that I couldn't ignore, especially if I wanted to be fair to ficts that I did not enjoy but didn't feel had as many weaknesses (what made the problems of Fo:E more frustrating on that front is that I almost always knew why I didn't like something after I read it; some works of fiction I don't enjoy leave me a little baffled on what exactly my issue was). I ultimately decided with giving it a four, instead of the three-and-a-half or even three I considered, because a) the world and the state of being of its inhabitants are well-integrated into the plot, b) a good number of characters (mainly the four main leads) are interesting, vivid, and open in ways that most fictional characters are not, and c) I look forward to reading it again. I'm still going to have problems with the same things when I do so and they do prevent me from even considering going higher and if I was a publisher, I would have told Kkat to fix a number of them before I would publish her story (if it were legal), but I'm not worried that, overall, I won't enjoy it because of what it does do right.

    11. Bugs, I have to ask, what's cartoon you rated 5-stars? I'd actually love to see a cartoon review by you. Not entirely sure on your tastes, but you like MLP and Bugs Bunny, so we're off to a great start. Would you consider running a blog like this, only with cartoon reviews instead of fanfiction?

    12. To answer your first question, probably more than I really should. What I like is a variety of cartoons though, there's no clear cut pattern to what I would give a five to (the last cartoon I gave a five to would probably work for no one here but myself; it's too abstract to have mass appeal).

      As for a cartoon review blog on this level, I've considered doing one plenty of times in the past, but there are a few things that hold me back (the biggest is that it would eat quite a bit of my time that's going to become more and more scarce). Having said that I am doing something similar right here.

    13. The question is then, what exactly rates 5 stars? Yes, if you start giving out your best rating constantly, then it cheapens the meaning of it. But if you give them out so sparing, like once a year to works in any medium, then that also cheapens the meaning of it. Others might be confused upon seeing that mythical 5-stars. They might be very disappointed after reading the work and it didn't quite live up to their expectations.

      Perfection is unachievable. Coming close to perfection is almost impossible. If a work strikes me just the right way, I can overlook some flaws. It is very, very easy to find flaws in anything. I don't think being good at pointing out flaws is the same as being a good critic. It's about being able to evaluate both flaws and strengths (much like Chris does), but so often, critics just tend to fixate on one or two flaws and bemoan the imperfection of the work. Often in fanfiction, the flaws are greater than the strengths, but sometimes, the strengths are much greater than the flaws.

      Once a work is above a certain threshold, I think it's best just to give them all the same rating. I really believe that something like the 5-star rating should be something decided by your gut, as a snap decision, and you really should not second guess yourself. Because once you start to do that, nothing can possibly be 5-stars anymore. Show me your perfect work, and I'm sure I can point out any number of flaws. The highest rating should not be something assigned to a "flawless" work, but something given to a work that is extra special in some way.

    14. Oops, that should have said "what's the cartoon you rated 5-stars?" I was specifically interested in the one you mentioned, but didn't name. Though what constitutes a great cartoon for you would certainly be an interesting discussion

  2. I’m going to start with my complaints

    1) Normally, it’s the mark of a poor critic to compare works in two different mediums when comes to saying one did something better than the other, but because this is pretty a much pony-novelization of Groundhog Day, I don’t think it’s wrong to do so here. And in this regard, I find the movie to be a tier above this fict. If I could name one reason, it would be this: Murray’s character actually comes across as a real jerk. When he was out there seducing and playing with the hearts of women, mistreating his co-workers, etc., I thought myself, “what a sleazeball.” In this fict, I don’t get that impression with Blueblood (he does things I wouldn’t approve, but he doesn’t inspire contempt), and that’s a missed opportunity (for example, his interaction with Light Touch and Sandy at first could have had verbally abusing them for messing up the initial grooming, instead he comes across as just aloof with them) because it would have made parts where bad things happen to him funnier, final transformation more powerful. Yes, Blueblood was a shallow, sissy prick in the show that most people wanted to punch in the face but I never got a sense he was that kind of character here. And while I’m on the subject of comparing the film to the fanfict, there are few parts that across as “medium misplacement” (I’m thinking of when the alarm clock gets smashed day-after-day; such editing and rapid scene placement works in film, it usually does not work in literature, however, the one’s where the dialogue carried the joke worked).

    2) There are some bits that I personally thought were unneeded (and would have cut). To start off with, the whole song bit portions are just strange to read about. Scenes where characters all of sudden start singing lyrics they’ve seemingly always known with spotless choreography that the whole thing becomes surreal and knocks me out the work. That’s just if it’s in a movie, it has less place in literature because there is no music period. There are also a couple of jokes that come across as too meta or fandom related for this kind of fict (Spike thinking Art of the Dress was the better song; okay for one, how he would he even know what the song’s title was). Plus, other things that could have been removed included things such as the stuff with Trixie and Scootaloo. One, character wise they only say what has already happened, namely that Blueblood has changed as a person, and wouldn’t have something had been missed if they were cut. Two, I didn’t think either was really funny (Scoot’s part especially, it wasn’t funny in the movie either).

    3) I’m going to be honest, during this re-read, I found chapter 4 to be a slog at parts. Now in one sense, it feels appropriate because the show’s main characters are getting what they want but they’re really not happy about that because they get their dream being untrue to themselves thanks to Blueblood. It’s a forced happiness that drives home (however bluntly) that perfection is an impossibility. However, in doing so, the number of gags had been cut down in and it makes it less engaging. Overall, it comes across as sentimental.

    1. Spoilers: 4) This is the element that bothers me the most in a sense and it comes from the concept: a day is constantly repeated. In the movie, we don’t know exactly why that day kept repeating itself. Now we shouldn’t know, but it’s easy to see it as the result of the supernatural (fate, god, the force, the invisible flying spaghetti monster, etc.).
      That pushes me back because it makes me question how seriously I should take the character’s change if he had to be a better person in order in escape his predicament. It takes away the power of deciding to be a better person and the impact of a character’s transformation (“…no matter which path you take, you’ll always end up where it [fate] wants you to be…”). It’s like he got into the line to ride the metaphorical rollercoaster of life and he was stopped at some point because he failed the “you must be this nice in life in order to ride” requirement and he has to restart at a certain point.

      It’s the same here; but this fict implies another possibility for the loop, and that’s Celestia was behind it (it’s the grin at the end and the hoof on the chest at the start, that does this). Now sure Celestia said she didn’t have the power to do this but she was also described as a good actor and that epic trolling was a family tradition. For reasons stated above, that really doesn’t sit well for me, but even more so, it comes across as abuse of power. (On a more positive note I find amusing that Sandy might have been aware of the time loop.)

      Overall, I’m reminded of Rod Serling’s The Twilight zone or Will Eisner’s The Spirit, in that they often use some sort of fantasy or sci-fi gimmick to tell a very moral story (the difference being is that The Best Night Ever is a comedy as well). Both often walked a very thin line with those gimmicks when it came to their morals. Best Night’s gimmick causes it to fall off that line when it comes to its message. I can’t take that part seriously, and therefore, take away nothing from it.

      End of spoilers.

      Now, having said all that above, there’s quite a bit I do like. The prose is great because its rather unconventional nature seems natural and gets the character’s attitudes out very well. There are a number of very funny jokes (the constant re-dos of the same scene come instantly to mind). It rehashes and expands on one of the show’s worst characters (part of me wanted to write an angry letter to the staff for giving me a character that I’m convinced they put little to no effort in creating) into a strong one in its own right that has some of the best character interaction for a fict. It does a good job of adapting its inspiration (Groundhog Day) into a different medium and improving on some parts (there’s more time allotted to Blueblood trying to improve the lives of others than there was in the movie for Bill Murray’s character). Despite some problems in chapter 4, the pacing is overall great and it always keeps my interest. So, while I can’t take it seriously theme-wise, it never bothered me enough to not enjoy it. And I did enjoy a lot, enough since I first read back in November (almost skipped it because of the shipping tag) that I consider this to be one of my favorite pony fanficts.

  3. Well, here it is. The Blueblood Redemption fic to end all Blueblood Redemption fics.

    For the most part, your review matches my own opinions. It's a very good story, and manages to escape just regurgitating a great movie but with ponies and becomes a story all its own. In the end, it's one of my absolute favorites.

    And next time, review #100.

  4. This sounds like exactly the kind of story I'm looking for. Probably helps that I loved Groundhog Day (seriously, who are those people who don't? Stop disliking things I like!) Treating the characters as though they were humans instead of ponies, either through slips in word usage or description, is a major pet peeve of mine. I believe Getting Lucky made that mistake at points, and it was really distracting

    It's funny you should mention sentences one has to re-read. No idea why, but I had to read "... having a posting schedule gives me the kick in the pants to actually read" three times before it made sense. Maybe I'm just tired

  5. Halloween display? Half the stores here have Christmas displays up already.

    1. I can still remember when Christmas didn't start until December...

      *grumble grumble uphill both ways*

  6. I've asked this only once before, but I feel that I must ask it again: Could you please specify why exactly this did not rate five stars? Why was this not the best story it could be?

  7. Agree wholeheartedly with your review. Groundhog Day is an absolutely brilliant and beautiful movie, and reading this fic brought out the nostalgia of watching that film. What was stunning for me was, even though I had already seen the film and knew how it ended, towards the end I really got emotional reading this fic, completely caught up in the story. That, for me, is about as good a sign as any you could ask for.

  8. FUDGE!

    Fudging fudge fudge! Fudgity fudge fudging fudge!


    Ok, first off, super spoilers here, but everyone probably already knows that with the comments. Anyways, everything after the line "Never once had he seen her in the morning before. She was breathtaking." wasn't originally in the story. I don't know when the author added those parts, or what other changes may have been added, but I do remember rereading the story a few months ago and not seeing any of that. I suspect that it might be an effort to tie the story in more with it's not-really-sequel, This Platinum Crown, and there might be more changes elsewhere in the story too. I think I'm gonna have to go and try convincing the author to undo this stuff, since The Best Night Ever should really stand on its own. The author's previously stated that Platinum Crown is a very different story that's really about Rarity and is a way for him to experiment a bit, so it shouldn't take much to convince him that he's made a horrible mistake and should reverse it. Maybe.

    Anyways, before I go ranting into the night I'm gonna go drop a comment on the Fimfiction page asking about the changes and see what Capn' Chryssalid says. Then there might be call for ranting, but hopefully not. I'm not that good at ranting and only do it as my duty to... of... something. I have a duty, not sure what it is. Lemme think about it.

  9. ...I've never seen Groundhog Day.

    What happens now?

    1. What happens now? Now you go see Groundhog Day.

      I mean it. Go rent it, check it out from the library, borrow a friend's copy, whatever.

      Seriously, it's so good. And I'm almost certain you'll like it.

    2. Hey, I watched it!

      I was kind of surprised when someone threw it through my window tied to a rock and yelled, "Punxsutawney forever! Literally!" then peeled out in their BMW and hit my mailbox as they drove away... but you were right! It was pretty good. Goodness knows I want to be immortal more than anyone else I know, so seeing a character change over time as they progressed through such an event was fun, and gave me a lot to ponder about.

      It strange, because though I don't have any particularly powerful love for Bill Murray, many of my favorites movies have him as the main character, one of the top ones definitely being The Man Who Knew Too Little.

      Star rating: ★

      Keep in mind that's 1 out of 1 stars, so that's pretty dang impressive. The only downside is now I'm left asking myself, "If I had to make this comment over and over again, what would I have changed?"

  10. Just read this after this review, and I've got to say I didn't notice any kind of unwanted explanation at the end. I'm reading the Google Docs version, so maybe it's just not in that. I don't know.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention though, Chris. It was great fun. Loved Groundhog Day.

  11. I absolutely loved that movie. But to expand on how many loops Murray's character went through...

    Many viewers have entered opinions based on how many were actually shown in the movie and how many others are alluded to or implied. They have come up with a total usually in the neighborhood of 150 years.

    The movie's writers said in an interview that they envisioned the total as closer to 10,000 years.

  12. I really, really don't like this fic. And this is coming from someone who loves "Groundhog Day" to bloody pieces.

    Strangely, I think the reason for my dislike is that canon Blueblood doesn't deserve the treatment he gets here. Phil in "GD" is a jerk, but he's entertaining; Blueblood in "The Best Night Ever" (the episode) was shallow, one-dimensional and just not worth it. Sorry. Also, any kind of Blueblood shipping makes me want to barf bone marrow, to borrow an exceedingly useful phrase I read somewhere, doubly so if it's with Rarity.