Welcome to Weekly Ponies, where Daniel Newton takes a look at My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the charming kid's show that's taken the internet by storm and somehow amassed a predominantly teen to adult male fan base. Created by Lauren Faust, who previously worked on shows including The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
Season 2, Episode 14: The Last Round Up
Summary: Applejack turns up missing a week after she left for the big rodeo. When her friends find her working at another ranch, she claims that she is not coming back to Ponyville, and refuses to give them an explanation. What is keeping her from returning and, more importantly, is her stay permanent? Twilight and the others hope to find the answer.
Air Date: Jan. 21, 2012
Run time: 22:00
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode on YouTube or buying it through iTunes.
Okay, lets get something out of the way: Derpy Hooves. Derpy. Is. Canon. Now. ...what?! For those of you who don't watch this show (and are probably reading this My Little Pony article out of curiosity and/or disbelief) let me explain. Derpy Hooves--the cock-eyed blonde pegasus pony--was originally a minor background character with a technical hitch messing her eyes up. Fans of the show noticed this and took a liking to her, giving her the "Derpy" nickname. The show's producers decided to include her, lazy eyes withstanding, in several cameo appearances, and she was referred to as "Ditzy Doo" by the show's creator. This episode however... had a degree of fan service we aren't used to here at Anime Vice. Ditzy not only made an appearance this episode, but even got a voice, full-on herp-derp personality and is now officially named Derpy. This is all purely for the crazy internet fan base this show has, and it's amazing.
Check out the Equestria Daily post here to understand the level of crazy I'm talking about.
So, thanks to Derpy, well... being Derpy, the roof of Ponyville Town Hall was destroyed. Since it's time for this year's Equestria Rodeo Competition (which everyone is convinced Applejack will win) Applejack has promised everyone to use the prize money to fix the roof. After a week the other ponies organise a victory party for her... but she doesn't show up, prompting our pony-heroes to go and find her. Once the gang find her in Dodge Canyon working on a cherry orchard we're treated to a particularly great homage to the 50's TV show I Love Lucy, which I only recognised because of a similar homage in the show Drake and Josh (I mean come on, I'm not that old). Again, like the whole Derpy scene, this is something that would go right over the target audience's collective heads, and it was great.
But wait, there's more! They finally convince Applejack to tell them what's going on at breakfast the next morning, but she doesn't show up; enraging Pinkie Pie to no end for breaking a Pinkie-Promise. After making a quick "I gotta get the heck outta Dodge" comment, Applejack, a pony, gets on a carriage pulled by... other ponies. It's not the first time this has been seen in the show, but I found it fantastically dumb and brilliant at the same time. Of course, they eventually catch her and she spills the beans. She didn't win the rodeo and took the job at the cherry orchard to earn money for the roof.
There was a lot to love this episode from the cherry sorting scene, to the pony cart chase... to Derpy effin' Hooves (did I mention that?) and it reassured me that by watching this show I've become part of something very special, and completely ridiculous. It's not that unusual for a kid's show to appeal to those outside of it's target demographic, but My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic takes it to a whole new level. If you haven't checked this show out yet, this is a great episode to try. Dive in and see what all the fuss is about, you might just enjoy it.