We haven’t had too much Rarity for a while, so it’s off to Manehattan, with Spike in tow, still starstruck by her. The other Mane 6 are going with her to support her during Fashion Week. And the ponies are all going to the Hinny of the Hills musical on…Bridleway. They’re staying in Manefair.
No. Please. Make it stop. Make the puns stop. Now.
The ponies got the tickets through favours and favouritism. This is ramping up to be a dead disappointment, because of the law of carefully-laid plans. Rainbow Dash doesn’t like musicals because of random singing, which just calls for a song.
Not a great song, but they can’t all be awesome. It’s a bit cheesy and, well, like something out of a musical. It’s all about doing favours for people. Be kind without a fuss – Generosity.
I wrote a story entitled Generosity once. I had a specific naming theme and…well, later.
Now we’re on…a famous shopping street without a puntiful name.
Rarity has been working on a new fabric and needs to go and set up — by 2 in the afternoon, which is ten minutes from now, and she needs to find a cab to get there. Despite all the fuss about generosity and friendship, Manehattanites are not happy with .
The dresses aren’t there. Rarity has collapsed in panic before the bellhop brings out the dresses. Because she did people favours. During the song. Cute.
We then meet Prim Hemline, with a very strong British accent, who is angry at Rarity’s tardiness, and who explains the rules of the competition – win an audience with the best MHC designers.
Rarity meets a friend from the Ponyville Knitters’ Circle, Suri Poloneck, who moved to Manehattan to make it in the big city. The animation of the dresses is reminiscent of something from the Pink Panther. Poloneck wants a swatch and Rarity generously gives her friend a sample; and she promptly disappeared.
Now Rarity is early, and the reception pony compliments her on her clothes – only to find out that Poloneck has somehow stolen her designs. Rarity is obviously rather angry. At this point we’re half-way through the cartoon. Poloneck reminds Rarity that Rarity gave her the material so she could add accents. She just happened to have less an accent on her work than a whole other language. She points out her put-upon assistant, Coco Pommel (as in saddles – no, that one wasn’t too bad), and behaves pretty crappily towards Coco’s complaints. Ah, so we have another villain on our hooves now…
Poloneck slyly tells Rarity she’s only a rube who fell for a big city trick. Then she bullies Coco a bit more and prances off.
And Rarity comes back in, crying over her humiliation. The other Mane 5 listen to her bawling about being a sap and her generosity going wrong, but Twilight assures her – with a little unease in her voice – that they’re all here to help her out. All they need is fabric, right guys? Right?
Hotel bedspreads give her some inspiration. (Hang on, what happened to her appointment in half an hour?)
The Mane 6 set up an assembly line. The ponies want dinner, and it’s not very long until Hinny of the Hills. But she starts getting cross over them abandoning her. Obsessed with the fashion show, and the ‘Every Pony For Herself’ mantra, she abandons them without even a thank you. And they don’t walk out on her either, not even to go to the show.
Poloneck has a few digs at her over her ‘copycat fashion’, but ‘Hotel Chic’ seems to amaze the audience. Rarity can’t wait to celebrate with her friends…but in the process of creating her sensation, she’s lost her friendship. She can see the adoring crowds, but not her friends.
Who are gone.
Back to Ponyville – she realises her mistake, their hard work, her winning collection, and her ingratitude.
Reprise of the musical song earlier on. It really doesn’t have the same clout as other songs this season, particularly Hearts as Strong as Horses, but to give them the benefit of the doubt, they’re trying to ape the sung musical style. Which is fine…just not my sort of thing, so I’ll pass.
But the Mane 6 overslept and missed the show. Rarity apparently lost (well, according to Poloneck). So we get a kind of strange and anti-climactic ‘ending’; a personal performance of Hinny of the Hill and a consolation. How did they agree? The costume designer gave her a costume-making gig in Manehattan. She takes her opportunity.
Cloak and dagger to the last, Poloneck and Coco have deluded Rarity into thinking she lost. Actually she won. (Did anyone NOT see that coming?) Coco is given a few lines to say that Poloneck had convinced her that ‘every pony for herself’ was a valid tactic; however, she. Rarity gives her the costume gig, enabling her to return to Ponyville.
The lesson is obviously not to take advantage of the giving nature of friends.
I think I’m going to give this episode 6/10. The story is enjoyable. I think Coco’s character, with such a significant role at the end, could have been better developed over the course of the show; it seems like a bit of an ass pull. The song wasn’t as strong as others. The adult in me could see a lot of plot coming a mile off; whether kids would see these things is debatable, and again and again we remind ourselves that MLP is for seven year-olds, but frankly, the rest of the season has been better than this. It’s a fashion show story — the usual fashion show tropes apply. After the first couple of times they need to get a different handle on it, I think. I did like the twist that it was enough for Rarity to think the Mane 5 had abandoned her, rather than just overslept because of all the work they put in. They might also have fixed the plot hole about Rarity being half-an-hour early for her appointment and apparently not showing anything to the other ponies beforehand. I didn’t quite follow that part and it might have been better writing to have her see Poloneck’s collection elsewhere.
But a cute, loveable episode, not as exciting as I judged from the trailer last week, but certainly charming and a worthwhile inclusion.