Pinkie Pie shows growth
I'm not the world's biggest Pinkie Pie fan (I'm a Rarity guy), but I can appreciate a good Pinkie Pie episode. Lately, Pinkie Pie's character has been degenerated to little more than an occasional slapstick gag, so it's especially nice when she's featured heavily, as we get to see her actual character, rather than a bouncing, fourth-wall-breaking joke. It really helps to remind us why we all grew to love her so much in the first place.
The episode features Pinkie planning for Rainbow Dash's "Birth-a-versary," a day celebrating both her birthday and the day she first moved to Ponyville. Pinkie, of course, is going all out with the celebrations until the arrival of a mysterious fellow party planner, by the name of Cheese Sandwich (voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic), who immediately begins to show up Pinkie with his superior party-planning abilities, knocking Pinkie out of the limelight.
After forfeiting a "goof-off" against Cheese, Pinkie attempts to leaves town but is stopped only by her friends and Cheese himself, who admits that it was Pinkie Pie who inspired him to become a party planner. He says he was trying to impress her all along and the two of them join forces to throw a better party for Rainbow Dash than either of them could throw separately.
Overall, this was a pretty good episode. It's definitely not the best of the season, but it's leagues ahead of the very lackluster "Rainbow Falls" or "Power Ponies."
Without question, however, the very best part of the episode was the relationship between Cheese Sandwich and Pinkie Pie. Very rarely does Pinkie express any emotion other than elation or psychopathy, so getting to see her finally (somewhat angrily) gain a rival showed significant signs of character development.
Also positive was the inclusion of six different songs, making it the second most song-filled episode in the series. Of course, I would have been shocked were there any less songs, considering that "Weird Al" was the episode's guest star. How can you have a famous musician in an episode and not use their singing talents? Weird Al's trademark wackiness came through in full in all of his songs.
I only have one slight criticism, that being the way the rest of the Mane Six treated Pinkie. I understand that MLP generally tries to get away from the typical kids' show formula, but I think this time they went a little too far. It felt totally unrealistic that in a world, which is basically the physical incarnation of friendship, that Pinkie's friends would basically abandon her at the first sight of someone throwing a cooler party. I know they ended up coming back to her at the end, but it just felt completely out of line with their character (especially Apple Jack and Twilight).
All in all, the episode felt tight, and as I mentioned earlier, a good reminder that Pinkie isn't just a joke character. She really does have the capacity to completely make (or break) an episode.
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