To address the shipping discussion first:
For me, shipping just sort of lies there. I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way. Sure, sometimes I get my laughs out of a fanfic or fan video, sometimes if it’s intended to evoke more serious feelings, I experience that; and sometimes I can be just plain disturbed by what some fans come up with.
I think that this applies to EVERY fandom, but to the MLP fandom more so than most, because this fandom has one of the largest communities that include shipping as a primary interest in their fandom-related activities. This is not a bad thing, because I’ve seen some great artwork and read some great stories. But I can’t even take OTPs and shipping seriously enough to provide much in the way of discussion towards these topics, so consider my opinions null and void if you must (which I don’t recommend doing).
Now then, without further ado, how’s everypony doing in this thread? I’m that new brony who joined only two weeks ago that’s just sort of been sitting there, watching this thread pass me by. I prefer to call it “lurking,” but I guess that in truth, it was just me being too lazy or nervous to finally post in this thread. But here I am now, out of my lurking phase that was a bit more prolonged than it should have been.
So, because I’m late, I feel obliged to share with you guys my opinions on the episodes that have aired so far. Feel free to skip my post if you’re not interested (I’m derailing this conversation SO MUCH right now it isn’t even funny), because I know that there’s likely been discussion about these things already and this thread has packed up and moved on. Well, I was late to the party and want to do this, so I will.
The Crystal Empire, Part 1--Not bad, but not very good either in my opinion. On the bright side, all those leaked Sombra pictures finally made sense after watching this episode. And we got a bit of new canon to play with, which is always a plus. But I felt that it just didn’t have much of a kick to it, I suppose. I don’t know, but something about it seemed a little off and a tad boring.
The Crystal Empire, Part 2--I think this one was a lot better. Sombra was certainly very different from the previous two season-opener villains in MLP (Discord and Nightmare Moon). His motive appears to be a lot darker. Oh, and Cadance is awesome, but what else is new? I thought this episode was much funnier than the season opener to add on to that. Whatever it was that the first episode lacked, this one delivered on. Whatever that “whatever” may be.
Too Many Pinkie Pies--More Pinkie is never a bad thing. This episode reminded me so much of “Party of One” that I still sort of get chills thinking about it, except that the complexion and plotline are different. But the dynamic is still there, and that’s what makes them so strikingly similar. Overall, a good episode.
One Bad Apple--More CMC, something I was looking forward to a great amount. This is also the return of Diamond Tiara, a character I love to hate and hate to love. I thought that this episode had a nice message and successfully helped toward quenching my thirst for CMC episodes. (Yeah, right.)
Magic Duel-Not what I expected at all, but HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF GOD TRIXIE’S BACK WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT…that was sort of my reaction when first watching the episode. I didn’t know Trixie was that kind of a character, though…as in, the kind that would force the other ponies to work for her.
Saddle Arabia. Really. Saddle Arabia. That knocked a couple of points off of this episode’s rating, but still really good.
Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system (for now), I’ll be here to join in the discussion on the upcoming episodes while the discussion is actually going on. Sorry for throwing a sudden wrench in the conversation, but let it be known that I have arrived!