I am a child of the 80's. More specifically, I was a little girl in the 80's. While, for me, that means I stole my brother's G.I. Joes and Voltron lions, I also collected and played with My Little Ponies. Cotton Candy, Firefly, Moondancer, Meghan the human minion, the damned castle...between my sister and I, we had quite the stable of plastic pony goodness. (Related to my brother's G.I. Joes, we also wound up with the G.I. Joe Mounted Division going up against the Attack of the 50 Foot Barbies, but that was a whole other bit of crazy.)
I watched the cartoons. They were pretty standard 80's cartoon fare. Animation was bland, music was tranquil, morals were heavy, plots were... surprisingly dark at times, but basically good vs evil. See also Care Bears, Rainbow Bright, any of the other girly-targeted 80's marketing cartoons. I ate them up as a kid, but going back and looking at them in hindsight, they were kinda crap.
Fast forward to now.
I'd read about the Bronies and cocked a brow. Bronies, for the uninitiated, are male fans of My Little Pony, between the ages of late teen-mid thirties. Yes. Dudes who not only watch a cartoon made for little girls, but obsess over it. They write blogs, they collect the toys, they make fan videos.
Take a look-see:
Brave high school lad confesses Bronyism, concocts a physics presentation based on the toon.
YouTuber BronyVids has a fantastic collection of Pony film trailer parodies. (Sidenote: OH MY FUCK HE DID SERENITY!!! GLEEEEE!!!)
Err, as I was saying...
Equestria Daily: A blog about All Things Pony
So, yeah. I read about this subculture phenomenon. And, of course, I wondered. I am a curious person by nature. I just am. And this was Relevant To My Interests, as a former Pony aficionado.
When I got back from my vacation last week, I needed a day to defrag my brain. Sooo... I remembered my curiosity, and I found the pilot episode. Figured, "Let's see this firsthand. This is research, dammit!"
Seven episodes later... as my finger hovered over the play button for Episode 8... I understood. And I realized.
Fuck, I'm a Brony. Or whatever the mid-thirties female equivalent would be. Shrony? Cougarony? Kinda-young-for-a-midlife-crisisy?
Seriously, this show is actually pretty cool. It reminds me a lot of Powerpuff Girls, actually. Hip, fast-paced, witty, funny, personality driven, clever, and all-around fun. Maybe it was Twilight Sparkle mentioning "Ponyville Urgent Care." Maybe it was the line "What is it with you and falling off cliffs today?" Maybe it was empathy with Fluttershy, as a mousy squeaker in my youth (and occasionally still.) Maybe it's just a hell of a lot of fun.
Yeah, there are still morals, but they're a bit less heavy-handed and framed with a lot more style. In an episode focused on one pony's refusal to accept her friends' help, preferring to overwork herself into heavy sleep-deprivation, they had fun with it. Applejack goes from groggy, to punchy, to klutzy, to trippy auditory hallucinations. After she's committed a mass poisoning and traumatized the blazes out of some baby bunnies, she finally allows her friends to help her out. (I'd give a spoiler alert, but jesus, if you're over the age of 10, you probably can figure out where the episode is going shortly after she makes her declaration of intent in Minute 2, after headbutting her injured brother in his broken ribs.)
Whatever the reason, I can't wait to sit down and watch the other 19 episodes. Fuck it, it's awesome and I don't care.