My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “The Crystal Empire” Review

Spoilers for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic below

After season 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ended, the fans instantly began clamoring for what would happen next. After months of waiting, several teases through various conventions of songs and clips and more speculation and fan creations than you could shake a thousand crazy fans at, the series has returned to The Hub. November 10th was a date a lot of people were looking forward to, but I’m not sure if they should have been.

I didn’t start My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic until right after the second season had ended. After some prodding from a friend and some serious curiosity into this whole ‘brony’ thing, I watched the show and was pleasantly surprised. The first season was a bit lackluster, but season 2 was incredible. It pandered to both little girls and the adults who had latched onto the show. It was intelligently written and touched on the same reasons why I love Adventure Time, Gravity Falls and Regular Show, but hit different buttons.

The Crystal Empire
Welcome to the Crystal Empire

Where it stands, “The Crystal Empire” seems to ignore everything they’ve learned from season 2. It felt so flat and lifeless. The two part premiere and finale of season 2 were some of the best episodes of the show. Even the premiere of season 1 was stronger than this. It also doesn’t help that the first musical number was terrible for the same reasons I hated the music in Smash. It was just such a generic and cliched musical number. The second song, which was the one teased, was good, but the last one fell somewhere in between. I could have done with just a single, awesome song instead.

Nothing felt destructive. They’re supposed to be stopping this dark lord who sealed away this empire, but I never felt like there was any danger. Sure, the ponies are never going to lose, but the last episode had them literally fighting monsters and now they’re making crafts to make everyone happy. The threat is such a step down and it’s undefined. This bad shadow guy is bad, make everyone happy to stop him, that’s all the motivation you get. It didn’t help that Twilight was so worried about failing her test, she completely ignored her friends for the most part. It seemed like such a selfish thing for the character to do after everything that has happened in the previous season.

Citizens of the Crystal Empire in My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
The citizens are foreshadowing my feelings on this premiere

Also, I hate Rainbow Dash. She used to have her moments, but she’s become that moron who keeps touching the hot stove after being burned 10 times. Just learn from your mistakes and grow as a character. Everyone else has done it, why can’t you? Instead you just fly around being obnoxious and entertaining so many fans for reasons I can’t comprehend. I’m sick of her fictional bullshit and she needs far less screen time.

There’s nothing wrong with “The Crystal Empire,” but there wasn’t anything right either. Everything that was built up over the past two seasons that actually justified the rabid fan base was completely thrown away. If someone were to watch these episodes to see what everyone was going on about, it would be embarrassing. It also doesn’t help that Gravity Falls premiered in time My Little Pony has been off the air.

Twilight and Spike from My Little Pony Friendship is magic
I know Twilight, I’m sorry your premiere was mediocre

If “The Crystal Empire” is any indication of how season 3 is going to go, I may not end up finishing it. It feels like season 2 was a fluke and they’ve lost that wit and charm that they developed. There’s nothing wrong with character development in a children’s show. I’ve been watching the original Doctor Who and if they can develop characters in the 60s, we can develop some damn ponies. The two part premiere of season 3 can’t hold a candle to the premiere or finale of season 2 and it’s starting to feel like a children’s show again.

  • Galiquany

    Wow, I’m surprised at the strong reaction as I quite enjoyed the episode. I felt the villain was very good. I have difficulty putting why into words, but the first comment on this link sums it up nicely: http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/tv-shows/My-Little-Pony-Friendship-is-Magic/King-Sombra/. I really enjoyed The Failure-Success Song, I thought it was less derivative than some of the other songs on the show such as Winter Wrap-Up or Love Is in Bloom, both of which I felt were a little saccharine. This one though I actually hum all the time. I kinda agree with you about Rainbow Dash, she was written better in the first season, but I found her conversation with Twilight touching, and it showed off the fact that she is indeed the element of “Loyalty.” Also, looking back at an episode like Dragonshy or Fall Weather Friends, you can’t say the more brash and cocky Rainbow Dash of season 2 was completely out of character. She has always been a divisive character for me. She has the most unlikable qualities, but she is also the one who always falls the hardest.

  • Sigh

    I loved this episode, why hate it?

    • That question can easily be answered by reading the review.