Monday, November 30, 2015

Episode Talk: S5E25-26, The Cutie Re-Mark

We got our last episode of the season over the weekend--a two-parter, no less--and presumably the last for some time, complete with Starlight Glimmer's return, post-apocalyptica, and all the rest.  So, was it any good?

Well, as usual, I'll leave reviewing the episodes to the numberless masses of youtube folk who enjoy doing that.  I will, however, share some personal opinions on quality, coherence, impact on headcanon, and the like.  And I'll probably include some screenshots of Carrot Top.  Look, if you don't want Carrot Top screenshots, I don't know what you're doing here; clearly, you hate all things good and right in the world, and should probably go back to framing puppies for arson, or whatever it was you were doing before you came here.  Anyway, thoughts on The Cutie Re-Mark, below!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 136: The Star In Yellow

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

It's almost Thanksgiving; what better time for a supernatural light-horror story?  Check out my review of Blueshift's The Star In Yellow, below the break.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 107

Two mini-reviews in a row?  Yup!  Turns out the last week has kicked my butt pretty handily.  The good news is, it's almost Thanksgiving!  I could really use a few days off, frankly; work hasn't been bad, it's just been a lot.

But before we go on, let's talk about the latest episode, The Mane Attraction... ah, who am I kidding.  I'm just here to post screengrabs of Carrot Top!

Carrot Top is a huge fan of the Countess.  She was even willing to put aside her long-standing grudge against the Apple family long enough to cozy up to Pinkie's friend, if it meant getting a ticket to the show. 

The scene of everypony getting hoofsies is odd; it cuts away to AJ just as Carrot's about to get stamped, and when we cut back, the pony who was behind Carrot in line is already bounding away with her cheek stamped.  I mean, I assume Carrot got her hoofsie, but we never actually see it.  

Poor Carrot.  Not only did her hoped-for laser lights show/electronica concert abruptly turn into an acoustic two-song set, but after getting there early to grab a seat in the front row, she picked the wrong side of the stage!  The only thing she'll be able to see from where she is is the back side of the piano.  Also, people who wave around their lighters cell phones horns at concerts are the worst.  Friggin' unicorns.

Alright, alright.  On to some actual reviewing!  My thoughts on some of the stuff I've recently read, below the break.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 106

I spent all day stacking firewood, and now my back hurts.  I know that's not a big surprise, but I'm still not altogether used to being sore after doing things.  I really hope it doesn't mean I'm getting old.  From what I've seen, getting old is awful, and the only thing worse is the alternative.

Anyway, get some short-form reviews, below the break.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 135: Scootaloo's Parents

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

I had an idea for a silly premise/semi-serious execution oneshot I'd like to write a few days ago.  Now I just need to find the time to write it.

I really need to find a way to make fanfiction my full-time job, because actually having one of those seriously cramps my free time.  Oh well, until I figure that out, have a review of Carmine's Scootaloo's Parents.

Monday, November 16, 2015

First Sentences in (Fan)Fiction the 8th

So, Hoofields and McColts was a pretty good episode.  Silly, earnestly sincere, and with plenty of low-key visual humor (e.g. the animals' different-sized books in the intro, Fluttershy "gently encouraging" the tortoise to get to shelter during the hay bale bombardment, etc.), it had a nice blend of all the things I like in an episode.

And yet, I'm dissatisfied.  Why?  Because for the second time this year, carrots were a crucial component of one or more scenes, and Carrot Top wasn't there.  Come on, MLP animators: you've got a pony whose cutie mark is carrots, and yet, when the subject turns to everyone's favorite source of vitamin A, she's nowhere to be found?  She's even got the right coloration to be a Hoofield!  Hopefully on her mother's side, though; "Carrot Hoofield" would be a pretty terrible name, and "Golden Hoofield" is downright abominable.

But enough about my idiosyncratic desire for more appearances by thematically appropriate background ponies!  Click on down below the break for my idiosyncratic thoughts on the first sentences of stories I've recently read.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 105

So apparently, we're looking at another year-long hiatus after season five ends.  Now, I'm not a marketing expert, but isn't MLP still the closest thing that Discovery Family has to a cash cow?  I mean, I get that the gap is probably so that they have time to push out the movie and some more Equestria Girls, but shouldn't keeping fresh episodes of your biggest show coming take priority over limited-release or direct-to-video movies?

It may well be that there's a perfectly good reason why this is a fiscally sensible decision; I just can't imagine, with my limited knowledge and nonexistent industry background, what it would be.  Anyway, reviews of the mini- variety, below the break.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 134: Would It Matter If I Was?

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

We finally got eggnog in the stores today!  Well, sort of; for some insane reason, the grocery store only has "lite" eggnog right now, and in only one brand.  Who decided that there was no market for real eggnog yet?  For that matter, who decided there was no market for real eggnog year-round?  Goodness knows, I'd guzzle that stuff straight through July if it was as easy as going to the store and buying a quart.

Speaking of things which you can (apparently) never have enough of, how about another changeling fic?  My review of GaPJaxie's Would It Matter If I Was?, below the break.

Monday, November 9, 2015

FiMFiction vs. an Absolutely, 100% Definitive Comparison of Authorial Quality

Recently, I've seen a few separate instances of discussion on the relative quality of stories on FiMFiction versus here, and in a few smaller comments and discussions as well.  It goes without saying that the latter's UI is... not optimal, but what about the user base itself?

Well, my experiences with have all been pretty negative, but that's purely anecdotal (even if the person anecdoting is me).  What if we tried looking at a random cross-section of stories from FiMFiction, and from various fandoms on  What would we find?

I thought I'd find out.  So, head down below the break to see what I did, and what I found out.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fandom Classics Part 133: Night Guards

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

I was recently introduced to the phrase "surrender cobra," which describes a pose, often adopted by disbelieving fans as their favorite team snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, wherein they place their hands on the back of their head with elbows out, not unlike a cobra's hood.  I have no strong feelings about the pose itself, but I've gotta say: "surrender cobra" is an inspired name.  Catchy, evocative, and descriptive, all at once.  A+ phrase-coining to whomever came up with that name!

On an unrelated note, check out my review of Raugos's Night Guards, below the break.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mini-Reviews Round 104

I am beyond sick and tired of the reflexive "I don't know" as the response to all teacher queries.  I know public education is supposed to be free, but I am seriously, like, two hundred "I don't know"s (that works out to about three days) away from creating a swear jar.  Make the little devils pay a dollar every time they say "I don't know" without even pretending to think about the answer.  Y'all weren't like that, were you?  Actually, I don't even care how you answer that, just don't say "I don't know."

Anyway, a few short reviews, below the break.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A bit of this and that to tend to your reading and/or pony needs

It's been a while since I've done a grab bag-ish post, but here we are: I have several things I have a little bit to say about, and no fic to say a lot about.  Click down below the break for an amalgam of stuff!