Disclaimer: I liked the episode, I just didn't think it was as good as expected.
Way about half a year ago, at a pony convention, I'm sure most if not all of you are aware of the animatic that was shown there; the animatic for the premiere song of this episode: "I'm just a pony."
Now, that was a RAW version of the song. untouched by any final edits as far as I knew.
In that raw form, however, there was a VAST amount of emotion behind it. It felt powerful, it felt pure, it was simply amazing.
And that right there sums up why I wasn't too invested into this episode: It didn't live up to the animatic.
The episode isn't really bad, per se. However, I feel like the entire thing is just... not as powerful.
Especially once you finally get to the link
version of that song.
Don't get me wrong; the song is still amazing. The only problem was... I wasn't as invested in it.
For some reason, the finished version seemed a bit... toned down. It felt as if the whole thing had all of its power, its spirit, its EMOTION... ripped out.
...I'm a singer. Some of you here know that, some of you know how passionate I can get when it comes to listening, watching, and performing. I love music so much. It's a great way to express feeling and emotion using a healthy method.
That's why it saddens me to see that emotion taken away.
...I'm disappointed with this episode. It could have been so much more, but it just didn't deliver.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty of it: The episode itself.
got the Lips of an Angel
First off, when we meet Ra Ra (also, yeah, totally a "Ga Ga" reference right there, now that I think about it), and we hear her sing, she's spectacular. I had no qualms with the song that first showcases her. She sounded beautiful, and it was obvious she was going to be amazing for the rest of the episode.
Once adult Ra Ra arrived, however, I was even more excited. There it was, a beautiful singer taken by the music industry to become modified to the point of being almost fake. She was a Lady Gaga clone if I had ever seen one.
Then she started to sing... well... On her own.
Baby you're a firework
I mean, yeah, there was that one point in "Spectacle" where somepony shoots a magical autotune beam at her, but that lasted for barely 10 seconds and it was a part of the act. It was obvious that this RaRa was legitimate, and she was damn good doing it.
I don't need to tell you about the shady agent she had, you already know he's a douchemonger.
The main thing I thought was wrong with the episode was that both she and her agent both thought she was nothing without him.
and they spent no time expanding upon that
I mean, they took what I thought would be the underlying plot, mentioned it once LATER, and cast it aside for a completely different and meaningless subplot.
Sure, let's have an episode where a beautiful singer gets downtrodden by a douchebag
of an agent, and tricked into believing that she's nothing without him, and do nothing with that particular subplot
Instead, they waste the entirety of the episode showcasing how MUCH of a douchebag the agent is, instead of not showing how much his behavior has affected the self-confidence of a talented musician.
I'm especially disappointed, because it was already obvious that she was ALREADY a spectacular singer without him, so this subplot would have needed
to be expanded upon.
No one was fooled. There were no tricks "making" her voice good, because it was already spectacular.
disappointed, because I thought this episode was going to be about a pony whose voice and image were ruined by the music industry, making her think she wasn't good enough to sing on her own. I thought this episode was going to be a journey through a mare's cycle of self-confidence, finally coalescing into a spectacular moment of clarity and assurance that wows all of equestria.
Instead, it was about a douchebag's journey to being sacked onto the street.
And if you think i'm unfounded on my reasoning, THE REST OF THE EPISODE BACKS IT UP.
The entire moral becomes about "staying true to yourself." Yes, that mostly refers to her being charitable and not having a douchey agent, but how does that relate to CHILDREN?
That kind of moral is better relating to people who aren't confident enough to get out there and show their own abilities.
If you think i'm still unfounded, the very beginning of the episode STILL backs me up.
this is trepidation
this is OMG WHY THE FUCK ARE WE DOING THIS
The very beginning of the episode SHOWS how little confidence she had with her voice, but applejack spurred her on to show how much of a talent she truly had.
So no, I don't really HATE this episode. I'm just... Disappointed. It could have been so much more, and after the hype from the song, it just doesn't match up.
"I'm here to show you who I am.
Throw off the veil, it's finally time.
There's more to me than glitz and glam."
Analyzing these 3 lines alone, I thought this episode would be about a star faking her way through and hiding her true talent.
"For I had believed what I was sold.
I did all the things that I was told."
She wasn't being bossed around by her agent, not really. If anything, there was a part in the episode where it was obvious that SHE made the big decisions out of the two of them.
From the animatic that we were shown half a year ago, I was expecting so much from this episode. I guess it's my fault for setting expectations, but none of them were met, so I'm giving this episode a 3/5.
From one singer to another, I'm rooting for another appearance from RaRa.