Thursday, November 23, 2017

MLP Episode 713: The Perfect Pear

And now we finally come to the episode that many fans have been waiting for; Applejack's parents. And it's got not one, but two guest stars as well! Would The Perfect Pear live up to its promise?

Yes. That's the long and short of it, really. I could link to other reviews that could do a better job than I could've done, but I'll see what I can come up with.

Right of the bat, I'm gonna say that there's a lot of similarities to Romeo and Juliet. MLP is no stranger to adapting classic stories - A Hearth's Warming Tail, for example, was an okay if slightly forgettable take on A Christmas Carol. With Romeo and Juliet, it is seen as a tragedy but alternates with the usage of comedy. Some adaptations, however, are straight up comedic.

With The Perfect Pear? Whilst it's an episode from what's generally a comedy show, this plays the Romeo and Juliet tropes a little more seriously than what you'd normally expect. Whilst there are little comedic moments like Applejack's reaction to the pear jam and Goldie Delicious' entrance (...or was it an exit? You decide.), for the most part, the flashbacks are taken seriously and they hit the right emotions, especially in the third act.

Pear Butter - er, sorry, Buttercup - has been given the bombshell that the Pears are moving to Van Hoover, but she doesn't want to leave Bright Mac. He makes the decision, with the help of the mayor, to marry Buttercup, regardless of the feud. You feel sorry for Buttercup at the thought of never seeing any of the Apples, much less Bright Mac, ever again, and you appreciate how determined he is to make sure they're never apart.

Much to the disgruntlement of their respective parents. One can imagine how long it took for Mother Smith (I doubt she'd have been called "Granny" back then) to get used to having Buttercup around. And the reason Grand Pear returns to Ponyville is because he feels remorse for falling out with his daughter, but it's too late as she's already died along with his son-in-law.

Bringing me onto the episode's theme - holding onto grudges for a long time isn't healthy. You never know what may happen to those you've hurt in the past, and if they die without you knowing, it may end up haunting you for the rest of your days. But even then, there's the possibility they may have been willing to forgive you and would want you to be happy - the past is in the past.

Though, this is the only negative I have with the episode; they don't explain how the parents died. Granted, this is a children's show and death is an intense subject, but I think it's better than Bright Mac and Buttercup revealed to be alive in the end. If that were the case, fans would be in a rage...!

Back to the positives; the continuity is perhaps at its strongest in the flashbacks, from Luna's face on the moon, to the Mayor having pink hair and keeping track of the records of Ponyville, to an implication that, if Hard to Say Anything is... well, anything to go by, Big Mac seems to take after his pa when it comes to being around the mare he loves. Same with Applejack taking on her dad's honesty and Apple Bloom her mom's helpfulness. And, no pun intended, this is almost what they mean by the apple not falling far from the tree.

For how small their roles are, the other characters like Burnt Oak and Mrs. Cake (a.k.a. Chiffon Swirl) are serviceable for the story, the latter in particular. Don't ya just love when minor characters get some backstory to them? I mean it seriously, by the way.

And you can't talk about the episode without mentioning the performances of William Shatner and Felicia Day. Only Shatner could've fit the role of Grand Pear and pull off a phenomenal performance. The same goes for Felicia Day as Buttercup; oh, and the song she performs is season seven's best - though given the other songs this season, there isn't much of a contest, is there? - and I swear that tears welled up in my eyes listening to it. I don't usually bring up voice acting, music, or animation in these reviews anymore since A) there's so long you can praise them before it gets old, and B) they're more or less standards in making an episode or movie great.

The other time tears welled up in my eyes was the ending. Just... the ending itself is bittersweet. In fact, I dare you to go watch this episode and say you weren't close to crying.

Final Thoughts
When it comes to Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco, I think they were the right people to act as script editors for season seven. When Josh Haber was editor for season six, it didn't really work out. The two ladies are far more natural replacements for Meghan McCarthy, though it would be a shame if she didn't return to the show following the movie given her current duties.

As for the episode? Well, sometimes, I do actually agree with the general consensus; this is one of the best episodes of the show, let alone this season. Does it beat A Royal Problem? No, but it's still in my Top 5.

I also want to extend my thanks to Joanna and Kristine; they didn't have to write this episode, let alone act as script editors for the season. They could've let someone else take the reigns and chances are that someone may have screwed them up. So thank you, ladies, for bringing us a wonderful episode. Keep up the good work, and I know you'll make even the lamest ideas work, so please don't let the fans, young and old, down.

Rating: 10 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment