I hate to prove that entitlement is right but how else did this show get as popular as it did?
Because it’s a good show.
Wasn’t this show gonna be hit by the 65 episode curse before the unexpected success due to the bronies?
I doubt it. The show would keep getting made as long as the toys were selling. I somehow doubt the fandom that sarcastically quipped “buy our toys” was spending that kind of money.
Thing is, I figured Faust’s plate of ideas would be the new standard of the franchise. What did they have before? Dumb fluff. Why wouldn’t you go for the dumb fluff again? Unless you really wanted to keep the adult fandom away from the franchise in a very cold fashion.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
I don’t just mean “making a good show”. Faust worked wonders for the franchise, and I’d say Season One is still the most holistic and well-crafted season. I’m talking more about the setting and character details.
The issue is that a lot of her ideas had a shelf life/diminishing returns. Season One was a complex, purposefully-structured, interwoven set of character studies. Just when you thought you had a character figured out, you’d get an episode that revealed a whole other side to them. But without a clear goal or end point, you’ll just end up endlessly tacking on character details until you’re left with a bloated, unwieldy mess of continuity. Twilight and her friends saving the world once or twice is great. If they keep doing it season after season, it starts to get stale, and it undermines Celestia and the rest of the world.
The other issue is that the show is filled with cute little ideas that are fine for a kid’s show (and mesh well with the themes), but they really do not make for a comprehensive or robust setting. Faust herself said that they didn’t hammer the logic that hard. So far, G5 has been hammering the logic in all the ways I wanted.
I think it’s worth mentioning that during Season One, the fandom seriously over-hyped the show, and would bend over backwards to give the show the benefit of the doubt. On more than one occasion, early fans would use “it’s a kid’s show” as a defense. I watched Season One a few years ago, and if it had been held to the standards that the later show was held to, there would not have been a fandom. In fact, I’m pretty sure these people would have an existential crisis if they went back and watched Season One.
[…]Jim Miller gave a new show bible (not the one Lauren made) to the freelance writers that gives them three example episodes towards whatever character they are writing for,[…]
That’s a good idea, though. The problem with watching every episode is that different people interpret things in different ways. Even with context, two people could watch the series and come away with completely different ideas about how the show should be written. What’s actually important, and what’s just filler? What are considered “the good ones” and “the bad ones”? Plus, continuity drifts and characterization marches on; what was written in Faust’s bible might be obsolete by the time a later season rolled around.
So if the executive producer has a creative vision, it makes sense for them to just direct their writers to episodes that serve as examples for that vision.
But this seriously explains episodes like Daring Doubt.
What’s ironic is that if you’ve watched all the Daring Do episodes, you can see that “challenging preconceived ideas” was a central theme. So for the final episode, it would make sense to apply that theme to the villains.