Why Season 3 Never Happened

I said that, right? Here I am to back up that statement. Bronies take note. This is why you shouldn’t be holding Season 3 under a microscope.

“But My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 3 is on television. See it? It’s done. Look at it!”

Anyone remember who was hired to bring us this adaption of an existing show which was arguably already successful? I keep pointing to her like you’ve all forgotten she exists. I get it, she’s the Goddess of Ponies. Faust the Mighty, I get it.

I. Get. It.

MLP:FiM wasn’t successful, for starters. Clearly it wasn’t making money for Hasbro, instead it was a marketing placeholder for toy sales. Transformers has survived in its forms on little more than that, though for fans of the show we’ve gotten more show than toy.

I’m grateful for that, being a fan of the characters rather than the toys. I’m not the ideal fan, being critical and a cautious consumer.

Hasbro decided to ramp it up and hire an artist with a proven television production record to alter their fortunes. What they got was a cultural reinvention the likes of which we have not experienced since the Mouse took over the world.

Hey Harlan, how’s it feel now they are making pornography of Disney’s characters? Not officially, of course. No, not even Touchstone would lay a digit on that. That’s a cruel irony, even if you did admittedly get canned for cracks about it.

Thanks to 4chan we’ve learned nothing is sacred. Thankfully that’s not true, and if I have to explain why, this is a dark world indeed. Even so I’ll do it: A twelve year old playground for the morally untethered does not unhinge the roots of society.

What I’m saying is that Hasbro hired Lauren Faust to do a job, and she did it. Unfortunately we may not get to see why she left. From the tone of the documentary she is co-producing, this is going to be a soft presentation of a very diverse picture of fandom. As I’ve said, she’s got her bridges to mind, and has no interest in burning them.

Her choice, but I ask, what is more important? Creative future or integrity? We’re getting to see that, as she does. This is an interesting tale in the telling, and far more than I would ever be able to tell it.

Now she’s gone. No longer does she pour over every word, direct every action, demand a standard of performance and appearance. That is over.

How many here watched West Wing? Aaron Sorkin brought us the sharpest writing since… probably the 1940s before the Hayes Act cast a permanent pallor on every cymbalta no prescription script that will ever see the screen. This was a show so quick-witted we often wished for a digital version because we couldn’t get the house to be quiet enough to catch every last word.

Writing isn’t permitted to be that sharp on television. M*A*S*H is unstoppable, thankfully, and a textbook example of the kind of writing that should be honoured in the industry. Instead we get sex and action, drawl lines and sarcastic wit so dry your throat is also.

I misspelled “sarcastic” as scartastic. Interesting. Sounds about right to me. We’re so calloused that we’d rather let 4chan do Grimm’s Fairy Tales work than be around to deal with the nitty-gritties as responsible adults of children who need us.

Anyway, Aaron quit West Wing for one reason or another, and it had another season to go. They brought in… lets see if I remember this right: Six writers. This group couldn’t keep pace, and in the end the show ended without any social resonance. You realize that was his goal, don’t you?

If you didn’t, that’s your tip-off.

Sorkin is a political writer first and foremost, but his foundation, like Faust, is strong characters. There’s a noteworthy correlation.


Let’s carry on.

When he left, the show lost all of its bite. The pace slowed – I could easily keep track of the dialogue. I also lost interest. It was the show’s last season.

That’s my point. This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last show to be struck down by the loss of the creator – such as, say – Star Trek. So many examples, so little time. Faust had a vision, a goal, a purpose. We watched it and were enthralled.

Now that purpose is gone, and the show is no longer the same. The characters have gone astray. Do what they will, the creative team at DHX Studio is not a match for her vision. They are not Faust. They didn’t bring us the creativity only she is capable of. Thus MLP:FiM is no longer the same show that brought us in and made us proud to call ourselves Bronies.

It’s over.

Need more examples? Dragon Flight picked up some pretty out-of-category ideas when McCaffery’s son went for a wing, and none of the fans have followed along. That’s indicator enough. None? Not even the hardcore?

Oh, probably, but where are they now?

Yeah. Exactly.

Bicker as Bronies will about the state of Season 3, I get the distinct impression that like Gene Rodenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict, there were a few ideas to pull from, but without the creator’s vision, where was the show going to end?

Certainly not in the vicinity of the creator’s intended goal.

  • February 1, 2013