niedziela, 30 marca 2014

MY LITTLE PONY - episode 85 "Leap of Faith" - The terrible anti-placebo message!

[Dla odmiany post po Angielsku, przebolejcie]
[Forgive me my bad english... I'm Polish ;) ]

Ok… So for the first time I’m making a review of “My Little Pony” episode and sadly it will be an “ANGRY RANT” (hurray!) aimed at the show’s writers.

Now there is nothing wrong for an adult making an rant about a children TV show if :

1) Your angry at the bad writing for treating kids as idiots.

2) It teaches kids bad stuff/the moral lesson is too confusing for the children.

…not some childish fan boyish whining about having Twilight become a princess and growing wings(or that ungodly stupid “Equestria Girls" movie)

Now as a person who starting a carrier as a kids show writer I have BIG RESPECT for “My Little Pony : Friendship is magic”. THEIR THE BEST IN THE GAME! Heck! They took one of infantile franchises ever and made it into one of best kids show of last ten years. It’s clever, it’s funny, the character enjoyable… the list goes on.  

Now as much I adore the work of the writing team of this show there were few episodes that made me slap my face before (“Magic Duel” get’s award for the most lazy handed “villain reform” moment I ever seen) but this one just took a new level in pissing me off.. at least by this shows standards.  

It’s a shame since I was actually looking forward to this episode hearing that my favorite villains – The Flimflam brothers will return in this one. Their like what I consider perfect villains for a children show. Their low level swindlers but at the same time their nothing evil looking about them. On the contrary! Their handsome, charming, charismatic and can act very pleasant. It’s a great lesson for the children that not bad people are evil-looking and I wish they would just made a spin-off about the Apple family with Applejack  foiling Flim and Flams scams each week…

But let’s get back to the core problem!  


So in this episode we learn that Granny Smith use to be a star high diver and acrobatic swimmer but sadly she stopped after she got to old to perform such stunts. She, Applejack , BigMcintosh and Applebloom run into the Flimlfam brothers who are making presentation of their new miracle “Curative tonic” .

They make entire musical number about how awesome their tonic is (sadly not as catchy as their Cider song from the last episode we seen them) and Granny who wants to feel young again and buys a bottle. Applejack is sure that Flim and Flams  potion isn’t a real cure but… NOPE! It actually dose wonder for Granny! She feels like her young self again and return into doing all the swimming acrobatic she was once known for.


Applejack (BTW! Applejack is my favorite Pony after “Fluthershy” – deal with it Rarity lovers)who have her doubts about the whole thing go investigate and DISCOVER THE SHOCKING TRUTH BEHIND THE TONIC!

Will the potion have some terrible side effects? Will it make granny addictive? Nope. It’s… just a placebo! (Tum-tum… Tum!!!)

Applejack is angry at Flimflams but they remind her that their tonic did in fact helped Granny feel young and happy again. If she tell her the truth it will ruined her newly found confidence again.
- Did you found out what’s in the tonic? – asks Applejacks little sister.
- Honestly Applebloom, as long it works I suppose it doesn’t matters… – replies Applejack all sweating from the fact she has to coverer up for the Flimflam’s lies…  

…and “honestly” for being the sleazy con-man villains the Flimflam’s usually are actually making a pretty good point here. TRUE! The whole cure is a scam but it’s not like their using some dangerous drugs that can effects ponies health. They shown it’s made out of apples so it’s not like the thing isn’t healthy by it’s own right. And as Applejack pointed out - the thing works! It's not like Granny is forcing herself to swim depsite the fact she's not strong enough to do it and Flim and Flam never adviced ponies to not go to see actual doctors, just to try their tonic as well...

From this point Applejack becomes paranoid with Granny expecting her new “I can do anything I want despite my old age” attitude back-fired any second… And Applejack isn’t alone! As a viewer you would expect Granny to somehow injure herself since this is what our main heroine is anticipating the whole darn episode (it's almost like she want's her Grandmother get hurt)

But… NOPE! Granny keeps doing stuff you would think she’s too old to do! It's an enjoyable sight! She’s energetic, she’s fit, has a good time and actually wins a award for doing water acrobatics! Applejack say she afraid Granny will get exhausted  but it never happens… It’s almost like the whole episode is about the wonders of placebo base cures.

And why not? PLACEBO IS ACTUALLY GOOD THING SUPPORTED BY PSYCHOLOGISTS AND MODERN MEDICNE ALL AROUND THE WORLD!  Yes, it’s more important to gave people actual medication as well but this method can in fact do wonders!
But… according to Applejack it’s just another lie and it’s bad as other lies. The thing is, were 5/6 into the episode and we didn’t seen a single thing go wrong for Granny or other ponies who were seen buying the tonic for that matter.

FINALLY – in the last few minutes after ENTIRE EPISODE of showing how awesome the new improve Granny Smith is she attempts to make an dangerous high diving jump. Applejack stops her in the last second, tell other ponies that the tonic isn’t real and Flimflam’s flee…

“Believing in something can help you do amazing things, but if that believe is base on a lie eventually it going  lead into real trouble” ~ Applejack tell us the moral… BUT what “real trouble” she’s actually talking about?

There was nothing indicating in the episode that Granny can’t make the stunt. We’ve seen her do impressing stuff in the episode, she apparently did similar stunt’s when she was younger and the show had the character do psychically impossible things all the time. Unless they would actually shown her get injure there is not a single reason for us to take this as the key point of why the tonic was a bad thing especially since... out-side of theat there isn’t a single argument for Applejacks  anti-placebo propaganda in the entire episode! It’s the Flimflams who actually provide us with some decent arguments on their side!  
Now I can see the writers intention’s! In fact this is actually, a very interesting conflict they had in this episode! One of Applejack’s main character trades is her honesty so having her being force to lie (a thing she despise the most) to help her family member is an very good dilemma for her to handle…  BUT MAN IS THIS MEASSAGE  MIXED AND CONFUSING FOR KIDS AS HELL!

If you want to show us why telling a hurtful truth is better than any lie... SHOW it in the episode! Don’t spent 19 minutes making arguments for the lie and then make a lazy, have-baked, last minute reason the truth was the right thing and expect people to buy it! Don’t expect us wanting to see the villains get their comeuppance at the end if you just had them doing things that actually helped improve the life of one of your character without no on-screen repercussions.  And on top of it… PUTTING AN ANTI-PLACEBO MESSAGE IN A KIDS SHOW!? That’s just wrong! I’m not seeying after watching this episode every child will start questioning his medicine but taking something that doctors, scientists and psychologist in real world proclaimed morally correct and making it a tool for the bad guys…? COME ON! And even if some some disturbing reason you have the need to dedicate entire episode to the "evils of placebo" don't spent that episode showing how awsome it is and then expect us belive it's evil just becose main heroine say so. This is just lazy writting!

One the reason it got to me is the fact that for first two acts and a half it was actually, a very strong script but sadly near the end it got totally misguided.

Ow, well… Let’s hope next one will be strong to the finish…

Maciek Kur (Pan Miluś) of Poland

Brak komentarzy:

Prześlij komentarz