Okay, missed commenting on last week's episode, so I'll briefly cover it here... actually, I don't have to, because The Mysterious Mr. Enter pretty much said everything I would:
Video won't embed, so follow the link here.
I don't necessarily agree with EVERYTHING he has to say, but it's pretty spot-on to how I feel about the episode. Now that we have that out of the way, moving on to this week's episode: Maud Pie!
It would seem this is another new writer, Noelle Benvenuti... who apparently hasn't written anything, TV Show, movie, or otherwise, before this! So what we have here is a NEW newbie! ...And it's quite good for a first go!
Yeah, really, this was a great episode! Well, great might be stretching it, I'm not entirely sure it hit all the right notes, but it definitely felt like a good episode, and enjoyable to watch! Gosh, not sure where to start. This time, I'm going to go back into in-depth mode! How y'all are ready!
I should probably first say that this is the first episode I saw when it aired in a while, since someone at my work asked me to trade shifts with him, so I'm supposedly working later tonight. I would have commented on this episode sooner had I not needed to drop my sister off somewhere... Anyway, onto the episode!
I guess I should start with Maud. I freaking loved her! Just that incredibly monotone voice and that stoic expression, plus her weird middle ages peasant outfit! Her mannerisms and plain manner of speak are just hilarious and fun to watch... ironic, given that she's the complete opposite of Pinkie Pie who's supposedly all about fun. She's also a frickin' athlete! Aside from throwing that massive rock she threw as part of the game she played with Rainbow Dash, her final dash to save Pinkie Pie was just so incredible! Like, I'm at a loss for words at how much I love Maud! That being said, I do have to wonder why she specifically exists... It's not like Pinkie doesn't have two other sisters, and since we never see the rest of her family, they could have easily used one of them instead of inventing an entirely new sister that was never seen or heard about until this season. However, I still applaud the writing staff (or perhaps the storyboard artists or animators) for at least hinting that she exists in Pinkie's Pride, as opposed to having her come completely out of nowhere like Shining Armor did. It shows that the staff as a whole are improving and making sure these things are properly set up, and that alone earns my respect.
...Incidentally, was anyone else reminded of Arnie from Hey, Arnold!? Admittedly, Maud isn't QUITE as weird and disturbing as Arnie was, not to mention Maud is Pinkie's sister and they're very close, as opposed to Arnie being Arnold's cousin who seem pretty distant, but they do have a lot of the same traits, such as the monotone voice, the very plain and blunt way of talking, having peculiar hobbies, etc. Needless to say, I like Maud a lot more, if only because Arnie seems far more insensitive.
The main conflict kind of spoke to me in a way, due to something I've been dealing with for a while. See, there's this person I know, someone who's insightful and considerate, that wants to be my friend. Thing is, we've had some past arguments, and the thing about this person is that they don't take arguments personally, not to mention the way they phrase their arguments makes me feel like an idiot for even thinking otherwise. I recently asked why they considered me a friend, to which they responded they didn't really have much of an answer, and since I seemed so "interested" in them (I got a little intense in my arguments, to the point where I was utterly fascinated with how their mind works... This person actually finds Squidward getting his toenail ripped off funny, and how they can in any way conceive that is beyond my, regardless of how they managed to deal with it... supposedly it's because they can seperate fiction from reality and look at the scene in the context of the show or something, but even then-okay you know what, I'm rambling and getting off topic, POINT IS), they acted on "instinct" and kind of assumed a friendship was formed after that. It didn't help matters that this person comforted me when I felt down on myself after one of our arguments, and I started showering them with affectionate comments, which I do for a lot of people who try to comfort me or be nice to me... Thing is, some time after that, we got into another argument, and after it seemed like we had THAT settled, Pinkie Pie in Filli Vanilli happened, and I completely stood my ground in that episode! To this day, you will never ever convince me that Pinkie Pie's actions in that episode weren't cruel and unnecessary, OR that they were somehow funny in any way, ESPECIALLY when they brought Fluttershy to the point of tears, TWICE! Still, because this person is so good at arguing, it brought me to the ultimate low, I was seriously contemplating my life by that point, because I literally could not find a way out of this situation. I don't want to have to deal with this person again, but the thing is, they've been so kind and considerate of me that they've done multiple things to ensure I don't get upset with them again; little things like using emoticons, breaking up my arguments and breaking them down bit by bit, they even promised never to argue with me on PMs again (being on an open forum like this, though, is fair game they said)... so long as I continue to be their friend. Yeah, they're deeply upset that what they're doing upsets me, and they're even more upset about the prospect of losing me as a friend, because as it turns out, they really like me... So, I just don't know what to do about the situation...
Where was I going with this? Oh right, the episode's conflict! Basically, the situation I'm having is similar to what went down in the episode, where the mane 6 want to be friends with Pinkie's sister, but find that they just can't get along with her because of her mannerisms. It's just not clicking for them, similar to how it's not clicking for me and this person. Maud doesn't seem that upset by this, though Pinkie definitely is... it makes me feel like that's how this person feels. And much like this person, Pinkie tries to make things work. I have a feeling that, had Pinkie's plan gone according to plan, it wouldn't have worked out that way either... But then the boulder drops and Maud dashes in to rescue her! Why she even bothered going through the obstacle course and wearing that outfit she was supposed to wear is beyond me, though. Still, Maud realizes things aren't working out, though, and spares both Pinkie and her friends the difficulty of either making things work or calling things off by going home. It's then that the rest of the mane 6 realize that they and Maud have at least ONE thing in comment: they all love Pinkie Pie! And with that, all of them arrive at Pinkie's family's rock farm to make rock candy necklaces! Really sweet and heartwarming! If only my situation were that easy... I mean, we technically BOTH love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but even THEN we tend to disagree a lot. Finding a common ground is a good idea, but I'm still contemplating whether this friendship is really worth keeping... considering I've gotten into at least 4-5 long arguments with this person. Really, this probably would be a lot easier if this person wasn't so considerate otherwise.
ANYWAY, anything else about the episode... Well, the rock candy idea was a cute tradition, and the fact that it's made from actual rocks his hilarious! Again, Pinkie's Family seems to be all about rocks, and Maud seems to be the rock expert among them! ...Though then again, I haven't seen any of the other family member's expertise on rocks, so I wouldn't know for sure. Also, the beginning seems to make it out that Pinkie and Maud made the rock candy together, from a recipe Maud came up with, and yet it's revealed at the end that Maud doesn't like candy! So why bother? ...Because she knows Pinkie likes candy? Awww. :)
Rainbow Dash with a belly fully of rock candy is adorable, BTW.
The fact that all the mane 6's pets are there is a nice bonus, I like seeing all the pets! BTW, Boulder the pet rock... better then Gummy. Just sayin' *deal with it*
The joke with Maud eating one of Rarity's hat rocks, mistaking it for a muffin was also pretty dang funny, and the fact that Pinkie comments that an actual muffin was crunchy made it all the funnier! Gosh, it's so rare that I say a joke in this show is actually funny to me, this writer really is on a role here!
The mane 6 breaking the news to Pinkie... that felt very real. Like, when it comes to reveals like this, particularly from this show, I tend to think of some character, usually Rainbow Dash, blurting out the bad news because the rest of the mane 6 were walking around the issue. Instead, the mane 6 have a hard time getting out, but they slowly do so, and apologize for it. Pinkie is dejected by this, of course, causing her hair to deflate. She doesn't go full-on Pinkamena mode, but you can still hear what sounds like air coming from a balloon or something when it happens. Again, it feels like a very real situation, and not played for laughs at all. This is part of the reason why I don't like this show's comedy, because it doesn't compare to their genuine, heartfelt moments that are properly executed. Whenever the show attempts comedy instead of taking an issue seriously, like last week's episode, or tries to shoehorn in a moral while half-assing it's execution... again, like last week's episode, it usually ends up falling flat on it's face, and it annoys me more then anything. That's probably why, for a while, Dave Polsky was my least favorite writer, and why Scott Sonneborn is my new least favorite writer (at the moment). But when an episode just sits down, and takes a relatable issue seriously, ESPECIALLY when it's a more touchy subject like Scootaloo's apparent disability in Flight to the Finish, you earn yourself a lot of respect, and prove why this show has the following it does! So bravo, Noelle Benvenuti, you've earned my respect.
Other then that, I don't have much to comment on. The individual moments with the mane 6 trying to bond with Maud were pretty good, mostly because of Maud's nature. I have to say my favorite moment was... oh gosh, I can't decide! I DEFINITELY loved Maud's poetry, and her comment that Applejack's cider "tastes like apples"! That rock throwing competition with Rainbow Dash was pretty badass, and I have to admit, even though it was a touch predictable, I found myself giggling at Rainbow Dash being utterly SHOCKED at the notion that someone could not be interested in winning! Rarity's moment was alright, the joke about Maud wanting to wear a dirty dish towel was okay. Wasn't really a fan of Fluttershy's segment, though; it's like Fluttershy was upset about the prospect of someone finding rocks more interesting then animals. What, so the person who relates more to animals then her own kind is getting annoyed with someone who finds rocks interesting then what she's interested in? Can't help but feel she's being a little hypocritical. Still, not that I don't understand, I can totally relate to being frustrated with someone more interested in something else then what you like.
It was cool seeing Pinkie's rock farm in the present day, thought I would have liked to see Pinkie's whole family...
So Maud keeps all of Pinkie's rock candy... I almost thought it was because she was sentimental about them and couldn't bare to actually eat them... but no, it turns out she just doesn't like candy. Eh, whatever, still a sweet sentiment, and one of the few times we actually see her smile in this episode! ...I wonder what she's going to do with the mane 6's rock candy necklaces... Incidentally, did you see Rainbow carrying that big rainbow-lightning-shaped rock candy necklace? It looked like she was struggling to carry it, and when she put it on Maud, Made didn't even flinch! Badass...
Seriously, I can't get over how much I love Maud! I TOTALLY want to see more of her! So yeah, good episode, bravo! And bravo for me, for actually getting this out in a timely manner!