MLP:FIM-Review-S4ep13 – Simple Ways

Posted: February 8, 2014 in My Little Pony- Reviews



Make love, not Trenderhoof

I won’t lie, this episode is not perfect. Perhaps it’s because of the stunning episode that aired before this, or maybe even the fact that this entire season has been pretty consistently excellent so far… but all I know is, this episode seemed to have some issues.

Josh Haber penned this episode, the new writer who created Castle Mane-ia earlier in the season, which I personally loved. He has said multiple times that he loves writing for Rarity as a character, and even in this episode, it shows that he put his own unique take on the character, while keeping her consistently charming and likable… for the most part. The first half of Simple Ways falls flat. Very flat. It hits too many similar marks, with too many cartoon cliches (a word i almost never use, cause cartoons are built on cliches) that weren’t appealing, but instead, grating.

By the end of the first half of the episode, I was acutely aware of the show I was watching. The funny thing is, this episode seemed to be penned for a slightly more adult audience too… meaning a few years older than the casual six to eight year old girl that may watch this show. Perhaps eleven, twelve, thirteen? I say this because the theme involves attraction, and whether it is right to change something about yourself because you are attracted to someone.

Which is an honest, and very banal lesson of “Be who you are, not who you think someone else wants you to be”… which is a lesson i’d think we learned before. While the episode maintained a frantic and entertaining pacing throughout, it seems that Rarity very much digressed in this first ten or so minutes. This is because the way she was acting was around ten years too young, as a love-struck kid instead of a business owning adult. Something that has been addressed countless times about her character, she is ALL about her business, all about her fashion, yet when this two-dimensional character trots into town, she puts her entire business at risk for him.

Which is a blatant character contradiction. When Rarity tried to juggle her friends and her lively-hood in a few episodes of the show, we got a true sense of how much her business means to her. This pony, whom she has never met, apparently means more to her than both her business AND friends? If you couldn’t already tell, this really rubbed me the wrong way.

Thankfully the episode ended up coming back into form during it’s second half, where it relied heavily on Tabitha St. Germain’s fantastic voice work for Rarity, and Ashley Ball’s impressive voice work for Applejack. They verbally spar, and try to out do each other. They are quite honestly opposites, which is why I find their actual friendship to be endearing. You don’t need to like everything someone else does to be their friend, and this issue, although it’s been addressed before, is still a valid plot.

However, the reason for the plot itself felt out of place, in my opinion, for a show like this. Rarity fell head-over-hooves over some random prince stallion in season one, i’d think she would have learned her lesson by now. But no, instead she regresses back to a crazy teen… damn.

Overall, I highlighted much too many faults in this episode for this review, and I most definitely am going too hard on it. That’s because i know how good this show can be, and how far ahead this season is to it’s predecessors, so i can’t help but notice the flaws. However, do not worry, if you read my reviews of the previous third season, you’d notice that i have put a few episodes with a similar grade… to perhaps quench your worry I will say that this episode is far better than they are. It was funnier, more frantic, and was generally still a pleasure to watch. But as a critic, especially on this website, i’m obligated to deduct for the flaws, this episode had quite a few of them…

Lastly, I will be re-watching it more as time goes on, hopefully as i re-watch it, I will come to appreciate and enjoy it more. Thank you.

Grade: C

  1. narrator007 says:

    Just a couple of quick corrections:

    Where you said Rarity “digressed” in the fourth paragraph, you meant regressed. Also, Ashley Ball’s name is spelled Ashleigh.

    I have no problem with the content of this review whatsoever. I fully admit to liking this episode way more than I probably should have.

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