Way back in February, I wrote a post about a little show called “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”. At the time, I’d just finished watching the first few episodes, and I was dumbfounded. I liked it, that much was certain, but I was having a hard time figuring out why. So I blogged about it, and nearly six months later, much to my surprise, the people of the Internet have viewed that post over 4,000 times. Some of them identified with my observations, some thought I was being ridiculous, but most agreed on one thing: I wasn’t getting the whole picture. They were right.
A lot has changed in those six months, and it’s time to set the record straight.
Six months ago, I was thrust into a bizarre new world in which I was interested in a cartoon about ponies, and I was understandably confused. I wanted an explanation, something to help my brain make peace with this unlikely new attraction, and that first article was my initial reaction, my attempt to sort out my upended preconceptions and reconcile them with this pastel newcomer. As I mentioned at the end of that article, I had a vague premonition that there was more, a lot more that I was missing, but I didn’t know what it was. Over the next six months, I found out.
I found out as I watched the rest of the season that MLP:FiM isn’t just good in a moral sense. It’s a quality show in every aspect, from the impressive animation to the snappy writing, the talented voice acting to the excellent characterization. The jokes are actually clever, the characters are actually engaging, and the music is excellent. I can say with confidence that I like it for the same reasons that I like shows like Stargate Atlantis, Psych, and Corner Gas: not because of some psychological predilection to innocence, but because it’s just plain good.
I also found out about something outside the show itself that makes the show that much better: the fandom. The brony community is one of the most creative, friendliest, and most talented groups of people I’ve ever encountered on the Internet. From the ever-informative and entertaining staff at Equestria Daily to the boys down at the Bronyville podcast to the writers and musicians who combine their immense skills with their love for ponies and create all kinds of memorable stories and replay-worthy tunes, the more I saw and heard of my fellow bronies the more I was glad to count myself as one of them. Of course, they’re not a perfect group, and not everything they put out is going to be good, but on the whole they’re a great bunch of men and women I’d be proud to call friends.
Six months ago, I answered the question of “why do you watch this show?” through the eyes of a brand-new, bewildered brony, and for some reason a lot of people took notice. Now, with six months behind me and the season 2 premiere just a week away, I want to let you know that my answer has changed. I still do believe that men should support innocence and that the inherent cleanness of MLP:FiM is a refreshing thing to see, but there truly is so much more to it than that. I watch this show because it’s made me smile and introduced me to friends I never would’ve met otherwise. I watch it because it’s given me the opportunity to try something new, to expand my horizons and find that there’s a lot out there to enjoy. I watch MLP:FiM because I love it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And this time, I can say without a doubt that that’s the whole picture.