Tag Archives: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic

TV Thursday – Letter M

Merlin (2008-2012)

The adventures of the legendary sorcerer as a young man. – IMDb

Source: Merlin Wiki.

Source: Merlin Wiki.

Moonlight (2007-2008)

A vampire lands work as a private investigator and falls for a mortal woman. – IMDb

Source: IMDb.

Source: IMDb.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010-Present)

After learning that her friends, as well as herself, are the magical Elements of Harmony, studious unicorn Twilight Sparkle is sent by her mentor, Princess Celestia, to Ponyville to study the magic of friendship with help from her friends. – IMDb

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Movie Review: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

I was happy to get to watch My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, as I watched all the seasons. I was curious about it, but I didn’t expect much, no matter how I like the TV series. The idea of seeing the characters in a human form and setting was puzzling to me. Yet, I wanted to see what it brought to Twilight as a character when she just becomes a princess.

I won’t lie. What I liked best was the opening and ending taking place in Equestria and not in the human and high school world. I don’t watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for human characters and setting, and I missed seeing everyone as the ponies (and dragon for Spike) that they normally are. I didn’t really care for the high school story line either.

I think that the human versions and seeing them reunite and work together just like they do in Equestria was well done. Seeing Twilight have no idea of what to make of her human body or how things work, including computers, was also accomplished in a solid fashion. Spike turned into a dog was priceless and kind of cute.

Overall, I am glad I watched it for Twilight’s story, but I am not really interested in seeing anything else in the human world. I like the pony and magical world way more.

Movie Review: Pocahontas

PocahontasposterThanks to my friend Rose’s Disney related posts, I have decided to catch up with a few productions I didn’t get to see until now. The latest to the list is Pocahontas, and you can expect further Disney movie reviews this week! Rose stated a lot of interesting points in her post The Princess, The Fat Lady, and the Followup Post #2: Pocohontas, so I will try to focus on other aspects, especially as I agree with her opinion.

I overall liked the movie, though I admit that if Pocahontas wasn’t in the scene, I couldn’t get myself to care. I don’t have previous knowledge of the legend it was based on, save for bits and pieces I read in some of the movie analysis. Pocahontas is a great character and thinking that the movie is almost twenty year old, I definitely think that she participated to the evolution of the princesses. I liked that she didn’t go with John Smith to England, despite their respective feelings, because she is needed by her people. The same way I liked that she went to rescue him at the end, when he was sentenced to death, ready to be killed by her own father. Speaking of her father, I liked their bond and how he respects her, despite her own ways. It could have been easy that he pushed her much harder to marry her suitor, and I liked that it wasn’t the case.

The way she rushes to the cliff to watch the ship leave at the end, reminding of a very early scene when her friend, Nakoma, comes to find her. Pocahontas on the cliff makes me think of a later movie: Brave, when we see the protagonist, Merida, a very much independent female character, in a similar location (despite the stories taking place in different countries).

A further note on Nakoma: I found it very engaging that beyond Pocahontas’s animal friends, we saw her friendship with Nakoma. Seeing a female friendship as such was very interesting as we don’t see these that often in the Disney movies. There are lots of friendship but “chosen sisterhood” as such, isn’t that common. I found it a great touch.

I also had a soft spot for Grandmother Willow. There are many great elderly ladies in the Disney movies and this one was one of the best for me. I like how caring and witty she was. I enjoyed seeing her interact with not only Pocahontas but also John Smith and the animals. Having been watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic lately, I couldn’t help but think that Granny Smith and Grandmother Willow would be great (and mischievous) friends.

I really liked Meeko and Flit! They reminded of Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid. They were great additions and their presence along with some of the scenes in the forest (including the kiss between Pocahontas and John Smith) reminded me of this other Disney movie too, as well as Sleeping Beauty.

TV Reviews: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 4

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

I am so happy that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was renewed for a fifth season! I finally caught up with the most recent one and enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t get to see Equestria Girls yet, but hope to get to this in the upcoming weeks! I still love this show to pieces and think that they’re doing a really good job at developing the characters.

I wasn’t sure how they would treat things now that Twilight was a princess but I love the evolution. It was brilliantly done and was a good way to show how despite continuing on their respective path (as not just Twilight see changes in her life as we continue to follow Rarity’s work in fashion or Rainbow Dash’s ventures in elite flying for example). The three younger ones have been growing on me a lot since they were first introduced as well! I like that just like Granny Smith, they make for a fuller picture with multiple generations included!

One of the strengths of this season was how even episodes that started in a way making me think that I was going to be bored, turned out to bring something to the story and be enjoyable! I even learned to find interest in the character of Discord, against all odds! I’m shocked that he became such a solid character!

I also really like all the princesses in the show. I am always glad to see scenes between Twilight with Celestia or Cadence. My favorite princess (besides Twilight who is now one) still is Luna though! It was lovely seeing her in a handful of season four episodes, though I always hope to see her more! I loved the scenes with the four of them at the end of the season! Some of my favorite moments!

I didn’t see the connection between all the given elements to the different ponies over the season. That was great storytelling! I enjoy surprises like these! The same way I liked that Twilight needs the whole season to start getting a grasp on her new Alicorn magic. I like how all of this character development is show as a real work in progress.

Seeing Twilight’s house destroyed made me sad, and so many books lost! The showdown between Twilight and Tirek was epic. When she accepted to give her magic for her friends, including Discord, was a very emotional moment. And It is great that the final needed key is what Discord  gave Twilight! I liked how Twilight gets a lovely castle at the end and especially understands what she is meant to do. The Friendship council room was a great touch! I think it is very important to show that Twilight is where she is because of her friends!

TV Reviews: Game of Thrones, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic

Game of Thrones 4.06 – The Laws of Gods and Men: The opening with Stannis made sense in the story, but it isn’t part of what keeps my interest in the show. While I find Yara the only interesting character in the Grejoy family, I still can’t bring myself to really care for this story line either. Both Theon and his captors annoy me, so the whole first section of the episode was extremely long to me. The Daenerys scene was quite engaging, one of the most in the recent episodes, so it was a solid moment. I felt like rolling my eyes at Cersei during the Council meeting, and was glad to see that her father could understand that Daenerys might cause them problems given the extent and growth of her power and influence are. I was happy to see Tyrion again. It was good that they reached the trial in this episode. Tyrion was outstanding as always, and his witty responses had been missed. I also very much like that Tyrion still defends Sansa and her honor. Seeing Jamie standing up for his brother to their father made me think again how much I wish they hadn’t done the Jamie and Cersei rape scene earlier this season for so many reasons, from how it supported disgusting rape culture and how it damaged the great character development Jamie had gone through since the third season. The confrontation between Lannister father and son was one of the best in the episode. Great moment as well between Jamie and Tyrion right before the trial resumed. I didn’t expect Shae to testify at the trial. My shock in seeing her again was as great as Tyrion’s I think. Seeing her feed lies to the judges made me sick and sad. That was a painful scene. Tyrion’s speech afterwards was absolutely amazing and such a strong scene. I cried in front of it, and him demanding a trial by combat also gave me goosebumps. The whole trial segment of the episode was the show at its best and it was worth waiting for it.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 3: I watched it in the last couple of days. Before tackling some currently airing shows, including some season finales, I wanted a bit of a break, so I picked up this show again. I continue to like the show a lot and see the characters evolve, not just the main six, but also Princesses Celestia and Luna, and also the three little sisters. I find it interesting how they have different ages and development arcs, thanks to this and also their personalities.

I’ll admit that Pinky Pie is still the one I like least, as I find that she hasn’t grown as much. I feel the same lack of evolution for Fluttershy, Rarity and Spike. I think that Apple Jack, Twilight Sparkle and even Rainbow Dash have more consistent character development. I also like to see Princess Luna on a few occasions, including when she helps one of the little ones. I wish we saw more of her, as she is a very interesting character. I found it great that it kept capitalizing on previous events, such as when they brought Discord back. It was an interesting episode about redemption and understanding friendship too. At first, I wasn’t sold out on this, but liked how it was done.

I liked the Crystal Ponies that they introduced in the season and was happy to see Princess Cadance and Shining Armor again. Speaking of princesses, I didn’t see it coming that Twilight would officially become one at the end of the season. It was quite a twist and I liked how it was done and how her friends were happy for her and that due to how benevolent and supportive Celestia (and even Luna and Cadance) have been, it is easy to believe that becoming a princess won’t turn Twilight into someone she isn’t or become estranged from her friends.

Upcoming TV Catch Up and Blog Announcement

ID-100229963 - Tea by zirconicusso

Image courtesy of  zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the past week, I have been doing my best to relax because of my burnout and I hope that by early or mid May, I will be back on track. It is really weird not being able to focus on writing projects, but sometimes you have to listen to your body and brain. Okay, when it comes to the brain, you always have to listen to this pretty and creative devil!

In the upcoming couple of weeks, I hope to post a blog announcement which I hope might spark new collaborations down the road. I already have some points jolted down but I need to sit down more to put it in the right words so it makes most sense.

I have fallen on the way side of TV watching, since I have mostly been playing Torchlight II in the last days. I am watching the currently airing shows:

  • Agents of SHIELD
  • Believe
  • Continuum
  • Crisis
  • Game of Thrones
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Star-Crossed
  • The 100
  • The Tomorrow People

I am planning to continue watching all of them, but it is likely that I wait until Crisis, and maybe The 100 seasons are over to get back into them. I find good things in both shows, but I am not as deep into them as the others, so far. The rest, I will continue watching as it airs, except when I fall a bit behind as it is the case this week. Later this year, I also want to watch Angel‘s final season and continue to catch up with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I am also waiting for Beauty and the Beast to return in June, as well as Defiance and Falling Skies, and I’ll try The Last Ship when it starts.

Feminist Friday Discussion: Children and Youth Media

Even before I discovered the actual term feminism and what it could entails (in good and problematic depending on people’ definition), I was always interested in what it meant to be a girl, what representation of being a girl I saw on television or in books as I grew up. It was always on the back of my mind, even prior to my decision to engage into media studies. I do consider myself a feminist, but in an egalitarian and positive way. I don’t hate men and consider that accepting women as an equal part of the society who deserves same respect is a goal that needs to be attained so we all live in a better world, no matter our gender.

During the past months, I had the chance to read interesting materials that sparked not only my thinking about life in general, but also made me realize of how I have been working more and more on female characters in my research and writing. It had happened on a subconscious level, but it was there. I am grateful for Gene’O Gordon at Sourcerer for having been hosting Feminist Friday Discussions over the past few weeks, and to all the people who contributed. These have been compelling and thought provoking. There is still so much work to do to change mentalities but talking about it is a way not to sweep the issues beneath the carpet.

One topic that has been mentioned a few times in other discussions, such as Rose B. Fischer‘s discussion about Disney Princesses and Diana Gordon’s at Part Time Monster A to Z posts about children and young adult literature, is children and youth oriented media. Exploring girls’ representation in mainstream media, not just from the most recent years but other older creations which remain of significance either from a historical point of view or due to a still existing consumption is important. It gives input in what exists and what needs to be upgraded for a better and more substantial representations from girls.

A few years ago, I discovered that besides her work as an actress, Geena Davis had also created an institute with other professionals from different fields, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Covering all the work that is happening there would take me more than a post, so I invite you all to check the website to get a better idea. I love how Davis started to form the idea of this project while watching television with her daughter. The motto that is mentioned on a regular basis about how to develop more and well layered female characters in youth media (and in overall media as well, as the Institute is interested in female representation in any age bracket media) is telling, especially for children: “If she can see it, she can be it.” I also found that her guest column about easy improvement of female representation in media narratives, was a clever way to help change happen, should people follow it:

Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?

Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.

And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.

Nothing is going to be a magic wand that fixes everything at once, but I believe in how various small things can help. I admit for example that the thought provoking Bechdel Test doesn’t really appeal to me for example. I think that the idea behind it is great, and that it helps us identify the issues of lack of female representation in popular fiction. Yet, it tends to put aside some works that give solid and layered female characters, but that don’t pass the test because there is only one significant female character. In that, I believe that the Bechdel Test reaches its limit, as I personally prefer a single female character that is well executed than two or (let’s be crazy) three that are barely engaging.

Regarding children television, I grew up watching things made in my home country (I am French) as much as French dubbed versions of American programs. Beyond the obvious example of  the Disney princesses (which have been knowing a good evolution but that still had qualities in the titles I watched when a child, and I was also familiar with the Grimm tales and other original versions of the fairy tales used by Disney), I also watched a good many other things.

One Japanese anime based on an English children book that I loved to pieces, was Story of the Alps: My Annette. I admit that I don’t know whether it was ever shown in the US, but I loved the story and the female portrayals. Annette is a young girl who lives in a small Swiss village with her family. Her mother dies upon her young brother’s birth, and they are raised by their father and their great-aunt. I like that Annette has to deal with all the tragedy and later drama the best she can, but she isn’t made a saint or just a miserable being. I rewatched it a few years ago and I liked it as much. The show also gives room to other female characters with her great aunt Claude, her friend Julien’s mother (who raises her own children on her own), his elder sister Marie, and a few female classmates.

I admit that maybe this will come across as weird to Americans or any English native speakers but when I used to watch Tom and Jerry when a child, I always thought that Jerry was a girl. It was only a few years ago that I realized that Jerry Mouse is supposedly male. I still don’t buy it in my personal Tom and Jerry bubble. I still find it quite neat that Jerry is a girl.

Over the past few years, I have seen some children/family oriented movies and television series that I’ve found as good steps towards a better representation and space for female characters and viewers.Beside the ground breaking Frozen movie, another obvious mention is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I honestly didn’t plan on watching this, but after hearing a presentation about it at a conference, and what a few friends of mine were saying, I tried it. I was surprised in a very positive way. The characters are all different and none of them is perfect, making them more credible. The fact that some of them can be outright annoying also adds to the credibility in my view, or maybe this is just my personal perception.

While not all of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series is kid friendly as it tackles some heavy storylines and themes at times, this show has also participated in better female representation in my view. Ahsoka Tano is one of the most compelling female characters I have seen in a long time and to me she is a game changer in how layered she is and all the character development she sustains throughout the show.

I also find it interesting how the voice actress portraying Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein, decided to embark on her own journey to promote positive female characters and also fangirls of every age, from toddlers to grown up women. In 2013, she launched “Year of the Fangirl” and the blog of her website Her Universe, was more than an online shop featuring female kid and grown up fannish fashion, but also a showcase for fangirls, with a different one featured every day. It was so successful and such a praised idea that it has been carrying on in 2014.

Questions:

  • Which children and youth programs do you believe give a good place to female characters?
  • What do you think could be done to improve the current situation?
  • Which other institutes, organizations, groups, do you know of that work towards promoting better female representation in children and youth media?

Link of Interest:

 

TV Reviews and Trailers: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Killer Women, Intelligence, The Last Ship

I recently finished watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic season two. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first one. They really did a good and clever job with the character development. I appreciate how all the characters have their flaws and qualities. They are more realistic that way and more engaging to the viewer. I admit that Pinkie Pie still tends to annoy the living hell out of me, but even she has her moments and her development. I like how Princess Celestia always reminds them that they all have something to offer and can achieve much if they put their heart and mind to it.

I like that that the six ponies and also Spike take turn as focus of the episodes. It is always tricky when you have so many characters, but the show does well. Seeing the younger sisters on a semi regular basis is also a clever narrative choice for the show, because it gives another point of view and addressing different ages’ behaviors and concerns is important. The same way it is good to see relatives of all main characters’ because it shows more of their personality and their relationships.

I enjoyed all the season but the two part episode at the end of it was some of my favorite episodes since I started watching the show. I really wondered whether things would be solved by the end of the final episode or whether there would be a mean cliffhanger. I’m now looking forward catching up with season three!

While I don’t watch many thriller television series these days, I couldn’t resist checking Killer Women out, because of Tricia Helfer (and also Michael Trucco and Marc Blucas). I hadn’t realized when I recently checked the pilot, that the show had already been cancelled and that not even every episode had aired. It’s a shame because I found the show well executed, with solid characters and many topics brought up.

Helfer was amazing in it. To me it is her best role besides Six in Battlestar Galactica. Her acting was efficient, touching, funny making her character a very engaging one. I like that she had a lot of personal struggles and handled them the best she could. The whole part regarding her abusive ex-husband was one of the most important aspects in my view. It said a lot of things about how abuse victims can (or cannot) get around dealing with getting away from the abuser.

I also loved her brother (Trucco and Helfer as brother and sister was naturally awesome) and his family. They were interesting characters as well and I enjoyed seeing the interactions within the family. It was a great touch to add.

Intelligence 1.11 – The Grey Hat: This show keeps getting better and better. The whole team is interesting and it’s a pleasure to see the characters develop and the dynamics evolve. I love the dialogues in the show and the weekly stories are interesting with good suspense. This one made me emotional towards the end, and I had misty eyes when the day was saved and when Troy was reunited with his brother. I am looking forward to the two part season finale which started this week. I’m still hoping that just like Almost Human, Intelligence will get renewed for a second season. I know that both are unlikely, but I’m still crossing fingers regardless.

Did I say how much of a black hole YouTube is? I was checking for some links and trailers when one of the options on the side was the trailer for The Last Ship. I hadn’t heard about it, but I recognized Rhona Mitra on the still frame. I got curious and clicked. Now I just can’t wait for this show. The cast has several actors I like, besides Mitra (Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin). It does look like a mix between Battleship and World War Z to me, and I enjoyed both movies. So I’ll be watching when it starts airing end of June!

TV Reviews and Links

Last night, a bout of insomnia saw me catch up with TV to a greater extent than I had first planned. This is why you are getting reviews for a few episodes. The only shows I won’t include today are Killer Women whose pilot I fell in love with (Tricia Helfer was amazing) and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I will review both shows once I am done with the seasons I am currently watching (first one for Killer Women and second one for My Little Pony).

Crisis – 1.01 Pilot: I checked this show because of Gillian Anderson being part of the cast, which should come as no surprise who knows me. I don’t really watch actual thrillers these days, because I am not so much in the mood for them. So, I didn’t know whether I would get into Crisis. It already is one hell of a ride. I admit that I don’t really care about the kid characters, but I love the tension, the atmosphere and most of the adult characters. My favorites are Meg Fitch, Susie Dunn and Marcus Finley. These three characters are extremely interesting and I can’t wait to find more about them. I love how the pilot already provided a lot of great plot twists and I can’t wait to see the characters develop, including the relationship between the two sisters.

Believe – 1.01 Pilot and 1.02 Beginner’s Luck: I like some of Cuaron’s work, so I got intrigued by the show, but I didn’t have any big expectations. I found the pilot interesting but the second episode really won me over. I like “special child” themes and they are doing it really well. There are elements that remind me of The X-Files, Dark Angel, Children of Men and Bird on a Wire. I like the cast and I find that the way they give information about who’s who is pretty well done so far, between the two episodes. The build up is well done and I love the interaction between Bo (yes, I think about Lost Girl every time I hear her name) and Tate. I like that Bo is a smart kid, but still a kid. She has a good heart and yet she isn’t perfect at all, which makes her all the more credible. I am definitely going to keep watching!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – 1.15 Yes Men: I got excited about this episode from the moment I knew that Sif would show up. She is one of my favorite female characters in the Avengers verse. It is always a treat to see her and I really hope that she could get her own movie at some point. Seeing her join forces with Melinda May was awesome. There was again a lot of interesting moments between the characters and I like how the team is now. The episode completely reminded me of the first season Stargate SG-1 episode Hathor, but it didn’t feel like a poor rip off, so I didn’t mind it. The final scene with Melinda May left me staring at my screen.

Continuum – 3.01 Minute by Minute: The cliffhanger at the end of the second season was one of the worst I had ever seen and I couldn’t wait for this episode. I wasn’t disappointed at all. I was expecting a lot, and my brain got fried even more than I thought it would be. It went beyond all my expectations. Time travel is a very tricky business, but this show is doing very well with its theme. Seeing Kiera and Garza in their scenes together was something I hadn’t seen coming at all, and Kiera had outstanding moments. The story was good as usual, and I can’t wait to see the direction of this new season. It is dark and I have the feeling it will go darker, but I love the show to pieces. I’m so glad it’s back on air!

Once Upon A Time – 3.13 Witch Hunt: I still remember how I tried this show because I wasn’t sure I had much left to watch back last Fall. I then went through a marathon of everything and couldn’t get enough. I still feel like that now. This show is one of my favorite ones right now and I love what they have done with the fairy tales and assorted imaginary worlds in the story. This episode was great and I like how they jump back and forth in the timeline. It is well executed and easy to follow. Regina and Emma teaming up and being sneaky was great and the banter between Regina and Robin Hood worked well in my view. I’m going to keep repeating it until it happens, but I can’t wait for Regina to smack the Wicked Witch!

Links: Writing, the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman and Pocahontas

Star Wars, Paper Ideas, Links, More Writing And TV To Watch

I can’t even begin to express all the emotions Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lost Missions brought out of me. It went beyond everything I had expected for this final season. I love how they tapped into the Star Wars mythology on such a deep level. There were so many feelings. I am so grateful to the whole team of talented people who worked on this. It was Star Wars at its best and it made me want to rewatch all of the previous seasons (+ the movie). I also realized I never rewatched Episode III: Revenge of the Sith since watching The Clone Wars. I am already dreading the day because I believe that I’ll cry even more (knowing I could barely stand after the first time I saw Episode III on the big screen).

There are so many things I want to write about in future papers about The Clone Wars within the Star Wars universe. I already landed a new paper idea, thanks to Rose who fed my muses (Star Wars and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic cross study angle, knowing I already have an idea for a comparative analysis between some aspects of The Lion King and Star Wars).

Speaking of writing, I have started the afterword for my book Women in Science Fiction Television today and did 1,400 words out of the 2,000 planned. I’ve already mentioned other shows I didn’t study in the actual chapters in it and I can’t help wanting to make a series and not just a one shot book. Time will tell, of course.

While looking up a random detail about the Stargate franchise for the Afterword, I suddenly wanted to try Stargate Universe out. I love Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, but I had always refused to watch Universe, because of all the mess that surrounded the production and then how Atlantis got cancelled. I liked a few of the cast members, and since the original Universe airing, I got to know even more of them. And now I want to try the show out. I am the first surprised! Oh well, that only means two seasons to check out (in case I like it).

I also just found out that executive producer Howard Gordon (The X-Files, 24…) has a new show coming up: Legends. I don’t need more shows on the to watch list, but I am a huge fan of Sean Bean, and of Gordon’s work, so I will have to check it out when it comes on TV this upcoming summer. And it’s labelled as a mini series, so how am I supposed to resist?

Links: Women, Media, Science Fiction and Writing