Well, your logic is sound, as always, but I do think that a drastic change in the setting will effectively lead to the end of the popularity of the show among the brony demographic. An alicorn Twilight (I don’t want to look at the spoilers,) strikes me (as you’ve said) as a good point to end the current series. If the series ends there, then it ends there. I’d be a little disappointed, because I think there are other interactions to explore along with new areas listed on the official map, but I’m OK with that.
But I do tend to “side” with Popperfett. A bulldog with makeup is still a bulldog. A bad plot (or a series’ threatening plot) written into an episode by good writers is still going to be a bad or series’ ending episode.
Even more than that, this isn’t like Pinkie Sense where you can ignore the fact that it ever existed. Should Twilight become an alicorn and/or a princess, then unless it’s a temporary spell of something, then Twilight will remain an alicorn or a princess. She’d probably stationed in Canterlot…
With a new life…
With a new set of responsibilities…
Away from the rest of the Mane 6.
Unless you watch the show for Twilight Sparkle’s personality only, then everyone in Ponyville more or less is forgotten. Everyone isn’t moving to Canterlot with her. She’s no longer the librarian who’s really good with magic. She’s a royal advisor, if not a princess, in an entirely different city.
How is it even possible for the show to remain anything like it’s been if Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, Applejack, Big Mac, Granny Smith, Rarity, etc. aren’t in the same town as Twilight? Do you focus on Twilight in the next season? It’s not like each episode, someone would come to visit her. Do you sorta write Twilight off? The fact that the Mane Six are together is one thing that I don’t think you can write away no matter how good you are. The dynamics that we’ve come to love would have been written out.
In this instance, the show is no longer "Friendship is Magic: as we’ve known it. Now I’m not really a person that fears change, but the room to experiment to keep the series and popularity of the show (at least among bronies) going might not be in changing the main character’s race or making her into royalty. It’s odd enough that the show is super popular among bronies.
Was it Lauren Faust? Probably not. We didn’t love the other shows she had a hand in as much as this.
Was it the writers and the voice actresses? Probably not. We don’t love Littlest Pet Shop or many other shows like FiM.
Animation? Design? Powerpuff Girls wasn’t as popular.
It’s probably the combination of all of these and more, including the interaction of the well-conceived characters. If you change something drastically in the show, then the show becomes something entirely different. And considering that this isn’t the thing that most of us normally like, changing FiM to My Little Pony of any other iteration may not keep bronies interested in the same way.
It’s not Cadance. The show doesn’t need Cadance.
It’s not Derpy Hooves. The show doesn’t need Derpy Hooves.
…But you’re thinking the show is going to be the same if you put the main character of Twilight Sparkle in Canterlot, potentially as an alicorn, away from the friends that interact with each other in every single episode so far, then I’d say you’d be wrong. It won’t be. Whether or not it’s good or not is almost irrelevant. Many shows are good.
But there aren’t any shows like FiM. Not like this. And the show wouldn’t be the same at all.
I think Popper is on to something if the show has drastic changes. But I’m not really worried if it does. The fandom will be big for a while after the hypothetical “big event,” and the fanart will always be there even if it’s in lessening amounts.
So yes, I have faith that M.A. Larson will make this an entertaining episode should Twilight become an alicorn or if she has to live in Canterlot for any reason.
I don’t think he can make Twilight live in Ponyville in a context where she can be with her friends…
…if Twilight’s a princess living in Canterlot. The episode might bring tears to my eyes with how good it is, but if Twilight becomes a princes/alicorn princess and has to live away from her friends…
Then what of the next season?