How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episodes, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching MLP there starting at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Afterwards, I’ll update this post with the chatlog.
ETA: Chatlog below the cut!
[13:09] <Sylocat> Tact is not Spike’s strong suit
01[13:09] <Froborr> Huh, I’d just assumed that plot thread was over.
[13:10] <Sylocat> Well, that plot thread is over, the characters are just restarting it because they felt they hadn’t gotten all the potential out of it… presumably the same reason as the writers
[13:10] <Whammy_> Gotta have an excuse to get out of Ponyville -shrug-
[13:11] <Sylocat> I love the title of the episode. Will this be an economic thriller about the spice trade? (probably not, but that’d be awesome)
[13:12] <mere_oblivion> That’s for you to write, Sylocat.
[13:12] <Whammy_> Spice and Pony
[13:12] <Sylocat> (I just read a Cracked article a couple weeks ago, apparently the spice trade is still a massive industry with a huge black market even in the modern world.
[13:13] <Sylocat> Ah, I haven’t seen Spice and Wolf in WAY too long. I wonder if anyone’s written a ponified version yet
[13:13] <Sylocat> Wait, has the restaurant critic been taking bribes, or are these pity scores?
01[13:13] <Froborr> Ooh, Indian food?
01[13:13] <Froborr> Ugh, no, don’t do the music thing.
[13:14] <Arrlaari> Restaurant critic is probably an awful Canterlot elite
[13:14] <Sylocat> She looks like a gender-swapped Cheese Sandwich
[13:15] <Sylocat> Yikes… in front of the guests, no less
[13:15] <Whammy_> Next on Restaurant Hell
[13:17] <Sylocat> I realize he’s supposed to be vaguely middle-eastern, but I keep expecting the dad to say, “It’s-a me, Mario!”
01[13:17] <Froborr> That’s who he reminds me of!
01[13:17] <Froborr> It’s the stache.
[13:17] <Sylocat> Oh, this should end well
[13:17] <Arrlaari> Rarity’s plan is a mistake
[13:18] <Sylocat> I like the contrasting musical numbers
[13:19] <Arrlaari> So the initial failure is going to proceed from the complete dissonance between Rarity and Pinky Pie’s approaches
01[13:20] <Froborr> I’m intensely curious if this will end up settling on Pinkie Pie being right and Rarity wrong, or a compromise position.
[13:20] <Whammy_> -remains quiet having seen the episode-
[13:20] <Sylocat> Yeah, it could go either way at this point…
[13:20] <Arrlaari> The framing so far strongly suggests they’re gonna both fail
[13:21] <Sylocat> Ah, I remember those ponies from the Canterlot Boutique episode
01[13:22] <Froborr> Hmm, they may be going for “instead of changing what you do for an audience that doesn’t want it, find an audience that does”
[13:22] <Whammy_> Still not sure that plate counts as food.
[13:22] <Sylocat> That’s a good moral
[13:23] <Sylocat> Is this Zesty Gourmand?
01[13:23] <Froborr> I mean, I’ve had some really good food at small plate restaurants that looks like that.
[13:24] <Sylocat> So, are they going to wind up impressing Zesty like the end of Ratatouille, or will they jsut tell her to shove off…
[13:24] <Sylocat> Or, will they douse her in soup? That works too
[13:25] <Sylocat> Ooh
[13:25] <Sylocat> Ah, a dish that cheered her up when she was little?
[13:25] <mere_oblivion> Ratatouille again?
[13:26] <Sylocat> Dang, this IS like the ending of Ratatouille
[13:26] <mere_oblivion> Suddenly i’m craving Ramen
[13:27] <Sylocat> I was thinking Rarity would do the decorations again just to get some practice with rustic themes, but of course, it’s Rarity’s skills at schmoozing with the Canterlot snobs that’s necessary for her to get attention
[13:29] <Sylocat> Ah, so they wind up inspiring other content creators to do their own thing as well
[13:30] <Sylocat> I like that episode.
01[13:30] <Froborr> I dunno how I feel about that one.
[13:31] <Whammy_> Yeah, ending rant has that bit of a straw-man anti-critic taste to it
[13:31] <Arrlaari> I think it plays off a nebulous atmosphere of ant-intellectual shaded anti-elitism in US culture
01[13:32] <Froborr> Yeah. I mean, there’s great dive food out there, but there’s also great “snob” food, too?
01[13:32] <Froborr> Hell, there’s great “snobby” Indian.
[13:32] <Whammy_> The irony being you got a Gordon Ramsay pony cameoing in the final scene.
01[13:32] <Froborr> I didn’t notice that!
[13:33] <Sylocat> Rarity herself has been a consistent example that snobbish tastes aren’t a bad thing.
[13:33] <Whammy_> See it best when everypony is coming in the door.
[13:33] <mere_oblivion> indeed
[13:33] <Arrlaari> I called it early that the influential Canterlot critic would be an awful Canterlot elite – the Canterlot upper classes have been punching bags for this show since the first Great Galloping Gala
01[13:34] <Froborr> Which I mean, I’m fine with taking potshots at “high society,” but leave the arts out of it?
01[13:34] <Froborr> (And I’m definitely counting food as one of the arts.)
01[13:36] <Froborr> I mean, part of it is that the episode started off on a wrong foot by doing the music thing, so maybe I’m judging it harshly.
[13:36] <Arrlaari> I mentioned before that this episode plays off a current in US culture – one often sees the idea that self-conciously elite tastes tend towards elaborately bad things so that they can say normal people just don’t get it
[13:37] <Arrlaari> Often, but not in this episode and hopefully not in this show, no-one actually likes the thing sincerely but is only pretending to in order to portray themselves as a better class
[13:38] <Whammy_> Oh sweet, new episode has Youtube/Dailymotion up
[13:38] <Arrlaari> (whereas in this show, the antagonist reviewer really does like the restaurants she approves of in her reviews)
[13:39] <Arrlaari> but really they are making fools of themselves, setting them below common sense folk
[13:39] <Arrlaari> The phrase “avant garde” is often invoked in this stock plot
[13:40] <Whammy_> But anyway, yeah, “everyone has their likes and no one has right to tell someone what to think” tends to be cliche response to the field of critcism that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when pops up in as a moral =P.
[13:40] <Arrlaari> I’m pretty sure it dates back reaction against Modernism
01[13:42] <Froborr> Yeah. The whole point of newspaper critics is that they present WHY they liked/didn’t like something, so that a reader can (a) determine if the critic’s tastes resemble theirs, and (b) decide for themselves whether it’s worth the time and money it’ll cost to try.
[13:42] <mere_oblivion> Actually, Beckett himself expresses it in W4G, where the worst insult they can hurl at each other is “critic!”
[13:43] <mere_oblivion> Hey, i just noticed who’s doing the guest voice in the next ep. Can we press on?
[13:44] <Arrlaari> I believe that the 3 hoofs thing is an intential reference to the 5 star rating system used by a particular publication
[13:44] <Whammy_> ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
[13:44] <Whammy_> Stranger than Fiction
[13:44] <Arrlaari> But IIRC that’s not a single critic, but a group that uses a procedure of anonymous reviewing. Name starts with Z
[13:44] <Whammy_> Froborr may have seen my brief comment on it when I watched it the other day during a catch up XD
[13:44] <Sylocat> Not a fan?
01[13:44] <Froborr> I did not.
[13:45] <Whammy_> It’s the first episode that made me go “You know, maybe not a bad thing if the character died right here” XD
[13:45] <Arrlaari> Stranger than Fiction, or this episode?
[13:45] <Whammy_> Stranger Than Fiction
[13:46] <Sylocat> Everyone ready?
[13:46] <Arrlaari> Wait, there’s an unanticipated ambiguity in my sentence. by “this episode” I could have meant either the restaurant episode we just watched, or “Stranger than Fan Fiction”
01[13:46] <Froborr> Daring Do? Huh.
[13:47] <Sylocat> A convention.
[13:47] <Arrlaari> That is a pegasus, why is there dramatic tension around the falling bridge
[13:47] <Sylocat> Gee, I wonder what this is a commentary on
[13:47] <Arrlaari> Why does the pegasus not fly over as soon as the bridge proves unsound
[13:48] <Sylocat> I assume they’re going to meet a weird fanfic writer or something?
[13:48] <Whammy_> Worse
[13:48] <Sylocat> … “Adventucation?”
[13:49] <Arrlaari> Be a bit more circumspect with foreknowledge of the episode
01[13:49] <Froborr> Patton Oswalt?
[13:49] <Whammy_> Yep, he’s the guest voice.
[13:49] <Sylocat> …Wow
[13:49] <Whammy_> And by the end I wanted him to dieeeeee
[13:49] <mere_oblivion> Josh Haber wrote the third movie (among others?)
[13:49] <Sylocat> Josh Haber is the story editor/showrunner this season
[13:49] <mere_oblivion> Ah
01[13:50] <Froborr> Um.
[13:50] <Arrlaari> Were those body pillows in that one shot
[13:50] <Whammy_> Oh, and that hell right there
01[13:50] <Froborr> Did they just?
01[13:50] <Froborr> Ewwwwwwww
[13:50] <Arrlaari> With illustration of Derring Do tied up
[13:50] <Whammy_> And here we go
[13:50] <Sylocat> Uh oh
[13:50] <Sylocat> So he’s THAT kind of fan
[13:50] <Whammy_> Yep
[13:51] <Arrlaari> She could say that she personally knows Discord
[13:51] <Sylocat> That’s a good point
[13:52] <Arrlaari> And that guy does shit weirder than anything in the books on the daily
[13:52] <Sylocat> Ah. Of course, there’s an actual adventure going on
[13:53] <Sylocat> Wait, what if Caballeron is there and everyone thinks he’s a cosplayer?
[13:54] <Sylocat> WHOA
[13:54] <Sylocat> I was joking!
[13:54] <Sylocat> I didn’t even notice Patton’s cutie mark. It’s a text message bubble
[13:54] <mere_oblivion> Careful what you joke for
[13:54] <Whammy_> Hi Ramna
[13:55] <Sylocat> Is that a ponified Ranma Saotome?
01[13:55] <Froborr> I see what you meant about wanting this guy to just die.
[13:55] <Sylocat> AHAHAH that one costime
01[13:55] <Froborr> Pretty sure that was DH.
[13:55] <Sylocat> Is he going to think this is a LARP?
01[13:56] <Froborr> “The jungle it took forever to get to”? Ha!
[13:58] <mere_oblivion> How long will PO go on being Tim Allen on his first trip into space in Galaxy Quest?
[13:58] <Sylocat> Wait, what? How did HE do that?
[13:59] <Sylocat> Oh, the solution was in the books?
01[13:59] <Froborr> Probably memorized how, since he’s the kind of fan whose primary goal is to show off and establish status via mastery of trivia.
[14:00] <Whammy_> Episode over
[14:00] <Sylocat> Can’t she just carry him?
[14:00] <Whammy_> The End
[14:01] <Sylocat> Oh jeez
[14:01] <Sylocat> And they weren’t even trying to
[14:02] <Sylocat> Legal threats. The ultimate weapon of every internet commentater
[14:05] <Whammy_> Do wonder why being 7-sided is so special.
[14:05] <Sylocat> And now Rainbow Dash gets to KO the bad guys, showing that both puzzle-solving and action sequences are good
[14:07] <Whammy_> And you’re an ass
[14:08] <Sylocat> The most unrealistic part of this episode is that he would acknowledge that there are multiple ways of being a fan
[14:08] <mere_oblivion> So he literally NEVER shuts up . .
[14:08] <Sylocat> …Did he just suggest a Daring Do RPG?
01[14:09] <Froborr> The most realistic part is that he kept babbling about his fanfic over the credits.
[14:09] <Arrlaari> Well he is a Pony awful nerd fan, and not a human awful nerd fan
[14:09] <Sylocat> Eeyup
[14:09] <Whammy_> And now you see why I wouldn’t have minded him falling off the bridge XD
01[14:09] <Froborr> Yeah. Ugh.
[14:12] <Sylocat> We should all collab on a fanfic about him getting his flank kicked. That’s in the spirit of this episode
[14:12] <Whammy_> So yeah, episode introduces insufferable fanpony obsesed with “realism” and calling the author a sellout.
[14:13] <Whammy_> But be friends with him cause he can solve a couple puzzles
[14:13] <Arrlaari> And he Learns the Error of His Ways, or at least one of the errors of his ways
[14:14] <Whammy_> Though I guess to be somewhat fair, his unwillingness to not believe the events happening are real is understandable from the perspective of “Daring Do is fiction”
[14:14] <Whammy_> THough quite an ego to think someone would kidnap him and put him on one of these adventures to prove a point.
[14:14] <Arrlaari> I dunno, I got the sense that the writers were making him out to be the fool with that
[14:15] <Whammy_> Yeah, after the “almost died falling off a bridge” point would have been good time to accept realness.
01[14:16] <Froborr> I’m meh about the answer to “it’s not realistic!” being “sure it is,” when the correct answer is “who the fuck cares, you boring-ass killjoy?”
[14:16] <Whammy_> lol
[14:16] <Whammy_> Fair enough.
[14:16] <Whammy_> But that scene of them walking out and him saying “and that’s how we know she’s not left-hoof!”
[14:16] <Arrlaari> The ultimate lesson is that “realistic” was never his actual objection
[14:17] <Whammy_> Just, ugggggh so many flashbacks there.
[14:17] <Arrlaari> Also note: They could have, but did not, go for the many common sexist things a bad nerd could have said to Rainbow Dash
01[14:17] <Froborr> Though at least they did recognize that the “it’s not realistic” complaint is really about personal taste.
[14:17] <Arrlaari> specifically I was braced for “not a real fan”
[14:17] <Whammy_> They had some real fan comments during the convention
[14:18] <Whammy_> But yes, thank goodness only weird sexual thing was the body pillows.
[14:18] <Arrlaari> And not even a taste for realism! He was interested in puzzles and everything he thinks is “unrealistic” is just the stuff that isn’t puzzles
01[14:20] <Froborr> Well, yeah. Nobody actually wants realism in their fiction, otherwise characters would be saying “uh” all the time and constantly trying to find a bathroom.
[14:20] <Whammy_> Yeah, we only want ‘uh’s’ if Jeff Goldblum is the actor
[14:20] <Sylocat> Or Bob Newhart
[14:23] <Whammy_> Tis interesting the episode before and after the hiatus were both “let people like what they like!” morals
[14:23] <mere_oblivion> Indeed!
[14:23] <Sylocat> yeah, only coming at it from the opposite directions, top-down and ground-up
[14:24] <Whammy_> -cue super controversial season finale-
[14:24] <Whammy_> They’re trying to prime us!
[14:24] <mere_oblivion> Exactly. Two different takes on Duke Ellington’s “If it sounds good, it IS good.”