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'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' season 5 finally gets an air date

Your rating: None Average: 4 (15 votes)

seasonfive.JPGThe last episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic debuted May 10 of last year. The latest, fifth season of the show won’t arrive until next month, April 4, narrowly avoiding a year gap between seasons.

This will be the first season since the show’s home channel, The Hub, was rebranded as Discovery Family after Hasbro relinquished its controlling stake of the channel to Discovery Communications. The Hub just never made its presence felt against its cartoon/family channel competitors as much as they wanted; the fact that the channel was owned by a toy company meant that toy advertising was curtailed as rival toy companies spent their money elsewhere. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic could be considered the biggest hit of the original content produced for the channel, though most of Hasbro’s original content will remain on the rebranded Discovery Family channel. The restructuring of the channel and its ownership almost certainly was responsible for the longer than usual gap between seasons.

Avoid the Read More button if you consider episode synopses spoilers.

Discovery Family describes itself, via press release, as:

Since its debut in October 2014, Discovery Family has grown its viewership by double digits in daytime, attracting children and their parents to Hasbro Studio's popular animation programming, including MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PEST SHOP and TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS.

Available in nearly 70 million U.S. homes, Discovery Family is a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro. The smart entertainment choice for families, Discovery Family offers award-winning children's animation programming in Daytime with the highest-quality, real-world content that appeals to the entire family in the Natural History, Adventure, Animals and Science genres at night.

The press release contains this synopses of the first couple episodes, a two parter, as is traditional for season openings with the show:

n the Season 5 premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the Mane 6: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity and Applejack meet Starlight Glimmer when they are summoned to solve a friendship problem only to find a utopian village in which everyone has given up their Cutie Marks. At first look, the ponies in this village appear happy, but it soon becomes clear that Starlight Glimmer has a vastly different and rather sinister view on friendship and the individual talents that make Equestria's ponies so special.

A recently announced DVD from Shout!Factory, Cutie Mark Quests, offers an alternative synopses:

In Equestria, being true to yourself is the key to earning your cutie mark. But staying true to yourself is just as important! Join Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash — as well as everyone's favorite Cutie Mark Crusaders, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom and Babs Seed — as they journey to find their own Cutie Marks, take on the spirit of chaos and disharmony and visit a village where… everypony has given up their Cutie Marks?! It's all here in Cutie Mark Quests!

crossie’s note: And while we’re on the subject, furries might want to check out this upcoming Blu-Ray, while both furries and wayward bronies may like this one.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic will hit the fabled 100 episode mark this season, as well. The special guest voice for this season will be Tony Award winning (for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, because that’s appropriate) Lena Hall. Finally, the press release says background characters will be brought to the forefront, because that hasn’t spectacularly backfired in the past at all.


Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Okay, so the season ended this morning; not the best season. No real clunkers, but it never picked up a lot of steam. Some interesting ideas that didn't necessarily have bad executions, but could have been better ("all ponies are equal, but some ponies are more equal than others" opener and the "timey wimey" finale, for instance). Really, it felt like a "okay, guys, this is the final season, so wrap it up" (whether or not it actually is) (and that's not even going into most, if not all, the major creative people leaving). The CMC finally accomplishing their goal is the obvious example, though a lot of character arcs seemed to reach a satisfying place. Even the Equestria Girls tie-in movie was left in a satisfying character place for Sunset Shimmer.

There was also a lot of fan service, too. Not just the episode 100 Derpy and the Doctor and dubstep extravaganza, either. I was surprised to find out that bringing back Gilda actually worked, and even the really stupid "hey, let's explain why background ponies that are basically just reused computer sprites appear in both Canterlot and Ponyville which is not a thing anyone besides obsessive fans should even notice, much less care about" episode not only worked, but was a season highlight. This also felt like part of the "this is the end" feel to the season; kind of acknowledging that, without the obsessive cult fans, there probably wouldn't be a fifth season to begin with (I mean, the show has outlasted its own channel).

Basically, I feel like, if this is it until the movie and then that's it, well, actually, this is a good end spot. Here, it's ending it on, if not the highest note, the correct note. Any thing past this, and it runs the risk of becoming what it somehow managed to avoid at the beginning; an extended commercial to sell toys.

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