Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 17: Read It and Weep + Hearts and Hooves Day

Introduction

< Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 >

Season 2, Episodes 16-17


Season 2 Episode 16: Read It and Weep

This review contains spoilers for season 4, but only in the overall thoughts section. Still coloring the title red to signify as much.

In five words: Allegory for becoming a brony.

Premise: At the hospital, Rainbow Dash finds herself captivated in a book that she had aggressively waved off, but she refuses to admit it to any of her friends. Does this sound familiar???

Detailed run-through:

Warning you now: this review will be more than a little self-indulgent because the entire episode reminds me of how I became a brony. It’ll be one of my reviews where the detailed run-through is extra super detailed.

Imagine what it’s like watching this episode for the first time, unaware of what it’s about. Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity watch Rainbow Dash perform stunts in the sky, until she gets out of control and injures herself. We don’t see the injury, but rather hear sound effects and reactions from the ponies shown above, loosely indicating that it’s not something good. This cleverly leads up to the dire circumstances that cause Rainbow Dash to become the in-universe equivalent of a brony.

For a pony as action-oriented as Rainbow Dash, a hospital may as well be a prison. She’s forced to stay there for a few days, and she is incredibly unhappy about it. Rainbow Dash’s imminent obsession with Daring Do comes about through circumstances that would be dire and grueling specifically for her—circumstances that cause her to reach the absolute peak of boredom. This episode is much like a story that takes place in prison, except more kid-friendly. Then again, people often use “prison” as a figure of speech anyway.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 12: Lesson Zero + Luna Eclipsed

Introduction

< Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 >

Season 2, Episodes 3-4


Season 2 Episode 3: Lesson Zero

In five words: Twilight undergoes hilarious mental breakdown.

Premise: Twilight Sparkle realizes the deadline for her weekly letter to Celestia is imminent and causes havoc (and hilarity) trying to find, then make a friendship problem.

Detailed run-through:

Spike probably hears the word “checklist” so often that it sometimes doesn’t even seem like a word anymore.

This episode starts with Twilight Sparkle reminding us about her comical obsession with checklists by reviewing her checklist for items needed to create a checklist, then starting her checklist of things she has to get done today with making a checklist of things she has to get done today, which is confusingly recursive. This obsession reminder leads to a groan from Spike and sets the stage for this episode’s focus: Twilight Sparkle’s obsession with order and detail going complete bonkers.

Derpy Hooves is here!!!!!

This episode is where the show’s theme song is updated for the first time, both visually and musically. The instrumentation has been adjusted to be a little more punchy (especially in the intro), and the vocals have been re-recorded. As for the visuals, only the scene above has changed, most notably adding a train with a certain fan favorite background pony inside the roof and replacing the random background stallion with Big Macintosh—a heartwarming testament to the fans and a logical, obvious replacement respectively. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are briefly seen together in the back of the train, which is again a logical addition.

Worth noting that this episode is the first one where unicorns’ magic has a consistent look, with a different color for each unicorn.
Between magic colors and the updated theme song, this episode is the first one that FEELS like season 2.

Twilight Sparkle’s signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder increase as she goes to Sugarcube Corner and picks up a box of twelve cupcakes from Mrs. Cake, except it turns out to be thirteen, and the frosting isn’t spread 100% evenly. You could argue it’s weird that Twilight’s character is exaggerated just for the sake of this episode, but I couldn’t care less in this case because this episode is so hilarious. She resolves the situation by leaving an equally tiny bit of frosting on each cupcake. Most of the frosting ended up on Spike, who comically washes himself using his tongue with a sort of tornado formation, which is perfectly in line with this episode’s sense of humor.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 117: TRAGIC ENDS AND NEW BEGINNINGS.

Introduction

< Part 116 | Part 117 | Part 118 >

Act 6 Act 6 Act 4

Pages 6921-6943

Always fun to follow an extremely long post with an extremely short post.

Picking up from where we left off in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3, Caliborn goes to sleep and dreams in his crude pre-Homosuck art style. He ruminates on his humiliating defeat and presents us a pseudo-emotional monologue, starting as follows:

A TEEN DIDN’T LIKE THE DIRECTION OF MY STORY, SO HE CAME AND BEAT ME UP.

Ah, this line. A line often quoted in response to people aggressively complaining about Homestuck media, typically used in arguments that go in circles with such magnificent, original points as “if you don’t like it, then don’t read it”. The fan satire here is off the charts already.

> THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

AND BEAR IN MIND THAT ONE TIME, MY LEG WAS BITTEN OFF. AND I TRAGICALLY LOST A SISTER TO MURDER.

Here, Caliborn is parodying people who plead for attention and support by fabricating bad things that happened to them. But since this is Caliborn we’re talking about, he doesn’t come up with total lies; rather, he omits details to imply lies. Lying through omission is a long-running theme of such characters as Doc Scratch, Lil’ Hal, and of course Caliborn himself. In this case, he’s implying that someone other than him bit his leg off and murdered his sister. Well, his version of Jack Noir did murder Calliope’s dream self, but his wording is still very misleading.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 115: ILLUSIONARY YAOI FINE ART.

Introduction

< Part 114 | Part 115 | Part 116 >

Pages 6853-6900

Act 6 Act 6 Act 3 (before GAME OVER)

Caliborn’s manga drawings are not for the faint of heart.
Neither is my commentary on them, probably.

Welcome to the fourth and final section of my Homestuck blog post series, Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections! This is the point where I start going over the portion of Homestuck that I read as it came out. As I said at the end of the last post, expect a lot more reflection on how I reacted when those updates first came out, as well as some criticism towards the direction Homestuck started going in.

I should also note that I’ve finalized the subdivisions of my Homestuck posts from here on out (though I haven’t decided on firm cutoff points for each post yet). Here goes:

  • A6A6A3 before [S] GAME OVER: 1 post
  • [S] GAME OVER and the rest of A6A6I3: 1 post
  • A6A6A4: 1 post
  • A6A6I4: 8 posts
  • A6A6A5: 1 post
  • A6A6I5: 12 posts
  • [S] Collide and following pages: 1 post
  • Act 7 and credits: 1 post

Under this plan, my Homestuck series will end consisting of a nice, round 140 posts. 115 posts down, 25 to go! I can get through this final stretch, I know I can.

WELCOME BACK.
(AGAIN.)

To start things off, you may wonder how I initially reacted to this update, which was the first Homestuck update I experienced live (and the start of Act 6 Act 6 Act 3). I didn’t think much of it; I just found it all humorous and absurd, long before I realized how inspiring Caliborn’s evolution as an artist is. Now, seeing Caliborn’s curtains open on the How to Draw Manga book that had befuddled him so much before, it’s already clear he’s going to show off his new artistic skills that the book taught him.

Thanking readers for their “unimpatience”, Caliborn proudly reveals that he has indeed succeeded at learning manga. Lil’ Seb presents him a cool trophy that I can only assume was alchemized. Or maybe it’s a game construct from his severely distorted journey through the standard Sburb player progression? I’m asking some REAL questions right here.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 104: BEDROOM SCREWAROUND SESSION, REIMAGINED.

Introduction

< Part 103 | Part 104 | Part 105 >

Pages 6243-6277

Act 6 Act 6 Act 1

A YOUNG MALE HOMO SAPIEN IS TRAPPED IN HIS ROOM

Welp, this is happening. There’s no turning back now. Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck has now finally reached the Homosuck section. You BETTER be ready.

Act 6 Act 6 of Homestuck starts with the comic’s website getting a makeover in Caliborn’s style, with a flash that begins like Act 6’s opening flash…

… until the curtains fade to crudely drawn dark green ones accompanied by a fart noise that leads to Caliborn horribly playing piano, ending with an obnoxiously long applause that he won’t let you skip (I remember being caught so off guard by that my first time reading Homestuck). I’m glad to see this flash was successfully preserved in the move to homestuck.com; either it was translated to HTML5 or was already in that format, I don’t know which. Website gripes regardless, [S] Act 6 Act 6 does an excellent job preparing readers for a saga of utter hilarity.

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Homestuck Epilogues Addendum Post: The Deal with Jade

Content warning: This post contains some discussion of sexual content, starting from the header “The Candy (in Candy)”. Read at your own discretion.

In the past week, I’ve barely thought about my blog at all and will probably continue not thinking about it for quite some time. My Homestuck post series’ hiatus might last longer than I initially thought; I can’t see myself bringing it back anytime soon.

But despite not thinking about my blog much, I’ve most certainly continued reading the Homestuck Epilogues over and over again. And I think I know exactly who it’s time to talk about.

The Not-So-Wonderful World of Shafted Characters

Enter Jade Harley, the character who’s been an odd spot in the comic’s sprawling cast since day one. She starts as basically just a plot device but becomes a genuine wonderful character in Act 5. But after that point, she gets an upsettingly small amount of screen time and is rudely stripped from the on-screen dialogue reunions most everyone else gets. And by the time Collide and Act 7 happen, the comic has done away with dialogue. Yeah, that sure is fun.

So obviously, one of my biggest hopes for the epilogue was that Jade would get a full strong resolution, perhaps with dialogue “reunions” she should have gotten or with a major new role in the storyline. Jade did get plenty of dialogue early in Meat and some in Candy and it was pretty great, but what ultimate resolution did her character get? Fucking nothing!!! No resolution in Meat, no resolution in Candy.

The epilogues did a LOT of things right, don’t get me wrong. Each of the twelve creators on Earth C gets a good share of screen time and I think the epilogues are reasonably balanced in that regard—far more balanced than late Act 6 was. But the epilogues are incredibly imbalanced in giving characters resolution. Some characters had an astounding resolution arc that far surpassed my already high expectations!!! But for one reason or another, some characters get the opposite of resolution arcs—you probably know who I’m talking about. I’ll have to talk about those another time. And as I said before, Jade doesn’t even get a resolution. I’ll discuss exactly how she doesn’t get a resolution, first in Meat and then in Candy.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 84: Cherubic Gloats and Confused Glances

Introduction

Part 83 | Part 84 | Part 85 >

Act 6 Act 3, Part 10 of 11

Pages 5137-5237 (MSPA: 7037-7137)

But no coconut guns, sadly.
If there were any, you’d better believe they can fire in spurts.

Lucky coincidence: today is the first anniversary of Homestuck’s migration from MSPA to homestuck.com!

I made this GIF myself, please appreciate it.
Why didn’t I think of making my own GIFs for these posts sooner? There’s plenty of non-[S] Flash pages I could have done that with.

Once again, last post ended with Calliope and this post starts with Caliborn. This selection screen gives us teasers of what he looks like. It leaves out just enough not to outright confirm that he is Lord English.

undyingUmbrage [uu] began jeering uranianUmbra [UU] 
uu: HEY. 
uu: I WOuLD LIKE TO PLAY A GAME. 
uu: IT’S CALLED “BOND WITH AN IDIOT SISTER OVER SOME BuLLSHIT SHARED INTERESTS BEFORE SHE DIES FOREVER.” 
uu: DOES THAT SOuND FuN. 
uu: HERE’S A GOOD PART OF THE STORY I THINK. 
uu: YOu MuST KNOW THE ONE I MEAN. 
uu: LET’S TALK ABOuT IT TOGETHER. 
uu: SHARE SOME THEORIES. 
uu: DO SOME FAN GIRLING. 
uu: PRODuCE SOME. 
uu: “FAN ART.” 

We got more than enough story told through Calliope speculating already, so it’s only fair that now we get a big dump of Caliborn’s speculation. Both cherubs’ speculation is surprisingly reliable and accurate; you’ll never fully understand how much those two have in common unless you dig deep into the stuff they say. Or if you have a realization that you were in denial about being a fan of something. I mean, purely hypothetically of course. It’s not like I was ever in denial about liking something people like to trash on, haha what are you talking about!!!!!

(I was in denial about liking something people like to trash on. Let’s not dwell on it, OK?)

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Homestuck Mini-Post: A Revelation About Caliborn and Dirk Strider

Today I realized something about the best character in Homestuck that should have been obvious a long time ago.

Caliborn (the best character) always says that Dirk (also one of the best characters) is the only tolerable one of the alpha kids and his death doesn’t have to be as painful as the others. Until today, I took that literally, akin to Jack Noir’s relationship with his fellow Derse agents; that Caliborn despises Dirk, but less than the others. But now, it’s painfully obvious* that Caliborn is a major fan of Dirk and legitimately idolizes him. As much as Caliborn can’t stand the other three, he genuinely wants to be best friends with this guy.

* I keep using that phrase dammit

Caliborn was always a metaphor for people who read Homestuck and despise it, as was made clear in his debut. But deep down, Caliborn is also a metaphor for people who are fans in denial. He represents fans of something—not even necessarily Homestuck—who are embarrassed about it and very poorly hide it. Think of a guy that thinks he will be ostracized if he likes anime, and thus says that the one anime he really likes, maybe one many people consider to be trashy, “isn’t completely terrible”. That’s how Caliborn feels about Dirk.

EDIT (1/11/2019): I realized there’s something in the comic even more fitting to my analogy, especially the “trashy anime” part, than what I just mentioned. On this page, starting from Dirk’s line “Does your sister even know you’re into this sappy shipping stuff?”, Caliborn insists his interest is completely ironic; he could not more blatantly be a fan in denial.

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 81: Oceanic Eyes and Bowmanian Montages

Introduction

Part 80 | Part 81 | Part 82 >

Act 6 Act 3, Part 7 of possibly 10 (or 11)

Pages 4963-5028 (MSPA: 6863-6928)

12/16/2018: Next post is still in the works! Will probably post tomorrow morning, even if I somehow manage to finish tonight. I was a little busy today.

I love Caliborn.

I was originally going to make a long blog post to explain my sudden return to Homestuck posts, but I’ll keep things simple instead.

Long story short: the reason why I’m suddenly making Homestuck posts again is because since winter break started a few days ago, I’ve had a lot of downtime and still will for a few more days, so I seized the opportunity to spew out posts. After that, probably back to hiatus.

Jane’s conversation with Calliope ended with a wham line (“the true meaning of…” “beauty?” “horror.”), which is a perfect transition to the other cherub who is better and cooler in every way imaginable.

uu: HELLO DIRK. 
uu: GuESS WHAT I WANT TO PLAY. 
uu: THAT’S RIGHT. 
uu: A GAME. 
TT: Not now. 
uu: DIRK I WANT TO PLAY A GAME. 
uu: DIRK. 
uu: HELLO DIRK. 
uu: LET’S PLAY A GAME. 
TT: I’m busy. 
uu: DIRK I DON’T THINK YOu uNDERSTAND. 
uu: I WANT TO PLAY A FuCKING GAME WITH YOu. 
uu: I WOuLD LIKE YOu TO DRAW ME SOME PORNOGRAPHY. 
TT: Man, does it look like he can draw anything for you right now? 
uu: WHO CARES. 
uu: I AM NOT TALKING TO YOu. 

Caliborn tries to bug Dirk to play a game of drawing hot spicy porn, but the responder tells him he’s busy fighting drones. It’s not too surprising that Caliborn immediately waves off Dirk’s responder as an artificial robot. And says something about red herrings? I almost want to say the cherubs’ interactions with the responder are a bit of unexplored territory, but maybe it doesn’t need to be elaborated on much; the auto-responder only decided he was his own separate being the day the events of Act 6 began.

Going on, the responder remembers what happened a year prior, and then suggests that Caliborn contact Dirk in the past, which he does.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 74: Dawn of the Other Twelve

Introduction

Part 73 | Part 74 | Part 75 >

Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 3

Pages 4741-4819 (MSPA: 6641-6719)

NOTE: I’m not going to pretend this isn’t just filler text again.

John wakes up in a dream bubble and oh hey it’s another 2x callback combo: to Jake waking up to see Aranea, and to Karkat getting hit in the face by a bucket.

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