Pony Thought of the Day: Mocking the Fans

Since the beginning of the month, I’ve noticed that Meghan McCarthy has taken what could be called a “gently mocking” tone toward fans that are unhappy about Twilight becoming an alicorn.

I have to say, I’m relieved. Not because I particularly care whether or not Twilight has wings, but because it shows clearly that the people in charge of the show are not listening to the fans. That’s a good thing! As I argued in my “Double Rainboom” review and as I will likely continue to discuss, especially in fanworks month but also throughout the project, fandoms (as opposed to individual fans) tend to not actually be very good at identifying what makes their shows good. A Friendship Is Magic driven by the opinions of the most vocal fans would be an utter mess, consisting of nothing but Fan-Favorite Character of the Week Returns, an endless stream of references, and characters reduced to their ask-whichever Tumblr caricatures.

0 thoughts on “Pony Thought of the Day: Mocking the Fans

  1. I don't think there was any real danger of the fans getting that much control.

    If nothing else, Hasbro still has the purse strings and they're still after the show's original target demographic. I doubt we were ever going to get more than easter eggs, most of which are planted by the animation team rather than the writers anyway (case in point, the biggest canonical shout-out turned out to have been the result of a big chain of mistakes and crossed signals amongst the staff).

    So yeah, I think the show's safe from us. The “gentle mocking” is crowd control.

    What I like about McCarthy's tone is that it shows an understanding of how the conversational dynamics tend to go in online fan controversies. I was worried she was going to shift blame, which could easily have just made the fandom keep savaging itself, but no, she's holding ground, not giving them anywhere to go. And she's doing it while remaining “informal,” to distance herself from the accusations of parroting Hasbro lines.

    It helps that she's now got the current big rising star of the YouTube pony-analysis circuit in her corner (well, in Larson's corner anyway, though the recent Twilicorn-analysis video also addressed a lot of the heat McCarthy took), and she tweeted his video in order to get some fan armor.

    I wish I'd thought to Tweet at her while she was still answering questions and ask when Sombra was returning. If nothing else, it'd have been interesting to see her sarcastic reply.

  2. I sincerely hope you're correct.

    I don't actually watch any of the analysis videos on a regular basis; as I think I've mentioned before, I think complex analysis is just too SLOW on video, because I read many times faster than I listen, and it's easier for me to concentrate on written words than spoken. So, who is this rising star–Digibrony?

  3. Yeah, Digibrony, who has just recently become massively popular while still being new enough for the peanut gallery to not become bored with him yet… and who has a gift for contagious enthusiasm.

  4. Hmm… it's gotten to the point where instead of actively following 3 Two Best Friends LPs, I'm down to 1.5, and one of those is nearly over. Maybe I'll start filling in with Digibrony, see what the fuss is about.

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