How did I never notice the new, slightly more crowded, opening credits? (Doc: I’m not sure, Res. It went from the Mane Six to like… most of Ponyville. It’s a big jump.)
Ponyville Days are upon Ponyville – any of our readers from a suburb will recognize this festival, celebrating the mediocrity of middle class life. I'm sorry, I spent a lot of time driving around suburban Columbus yesterday, and it sets my teeth on edge. All the houses look the same!
Anyway, there's a Ponyville Days committee, of which Granny Smith is of course a member since she’s as old as Ponyville itself (potential future episode: coping with the death of an elderly loved one), and in the opening they're selecting the Pony of Ceremonies for the festival. “Pony” is starting to join the ranks of “smurf” in the “words that can easily be substituted for other words” category. Naturally, they select the most organized of ponies, my main mare Rarity. She has a “few” ideas for how to get this festival started right.
Ugh, Rarity, we need to re-evaluate your taste in men... horses... male horses. (Vocab lesson: until around four years, they’re called colts, like the Indianapolis handegg team; after that, they are either geldings, if they’re, y’know, gelded, or stallions, like Sly Stallone.) While the rest of the gang is focused on making the festival great, and helping Rarity because friendship!, Rarity is focused on impressing Trenderhoof, the most metrosexual of ponies. He knows what's hot while it’s still tepid! Sometimes Rarity really reminds me of Tom from Parks and Rec. Also, what is with the girls having feelings about stuff when it comes to male ponies these days? First Cheese Sandwich and now this bozo. (Looks like it’s time to teach the fanbase about puberty!)
Whoa Rarity, using the word “climax” to describe your festival's events is not subtle at all. She's focused on impressing Hipster McDouche Pony (he has highlights, come on!), and takes him to Sweet Apple Acres – where Ponyville began, after all. He kind of nerds over seeing it because it's so genuine – I guess when you're used to being fake about all the stupid things in the world, you crave some authenticity. Are the writers making fun of hipsters? You bet your bottom apple they are.
Things are getting rather entendre-ish between Rarity and Trenderhoof (use of “au naturale” while gazing deeply into each other's eyes is my primary source here), when a third point is added to this love line. (Doc: Res, really it’s fourth, you forget that poor Spike is still deeply besotted with Rarity, truly the Duckie of our equine world) (Res: nice “Pretty in Pink” reference) Trenderhoof espies the fair (-ly dirty but “authentic”) Apple Jack. This pony has some very specific fetishes.
Of course, Rarity being Rarity, she must react dramatically to everything that happens in her life. It’s why we love her, but also why we sometimes want to strangle her. (Friendship is complicated.) Spike finds her crying over her Trenderhoof shrine (wow, this isn't creepy at all) and listens to her whine about how T-hoofy likes AJ more. (4th Wall Awareness alert!) Meanwhile, Trenderhoof kind of stalks AJ and she doesn't have time for his crap.
Res gave up on the episode when Rarity dared to stoop to change her entire personality over a boy. (#Feminism #FightThePatriarchy) We’ve been to high school, we’ve all been there, but it’s pretty tough to watch our equine heroes degrade the personalities they’ve worked so hard to build up just because a boy likes their friend better. It’s worth noting that he doesn’t even like AJ for her personality so much as her down-home-country-gal aura, which he seems to only appreciate for its novelty. Hipsters, amiright?
Anyway, Rarity goes full-country, donning coveralls, adopting a terrible country accent, and brushing out her lovely curls. Twilight and Fluttershy are alarmed, but it’s AJ herself who goes the distance to show Rarity how absurd she’s being –she puts on a fanciful dress of tulle and satin and attempts to mimic the high-falootin’ way Rarity speaks. Rarity attempts to insist for a while that she really has embraced country life, going so far as to literally roll in the mud (subtlety is dead), until she finally snaps and admits all she wants is a long soak in the bath. Trenderhoof shows up, also in overalls and a straw hat, and Rarity tells him off (sort of) for not liking her for her. Which, okay, fair point, but if he doesn’t like you Rarity, he just doesn’t like you. Sometimes it happens. Learn to cope with rejection. (Lesson #2 of the episode?)
In the end, Rarity bounces back and throws a lavish-yet-tasteful ceremony for Ponyville. She also maybe learns a lesson about not changing yourself for others, but apparently does not learn a lesson about regulating your behavior a little when it gets over the top.