Okay. So, for those of you who aren’t on the up-n-up, let me hit you with some Internet lore.
In late 2010, Hasbro began the continuance of the eternal milking of their cash-cow, My Little Pony. Although this new iteration, titled My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, was targeted at the logical 1-17 female demographic, something entirely illogical happened. As the season went on, the show got increasingly popular with males between the ages of 13 and 30. As these gentlemen found solace in one another via the wonderful Internet, they formed a community and began affectionately referring to themselves as “Bronies”.
This proclamation has supplanted every other unwritten law in the history of… bro-kind.
This is serious business. The Bronies have all but conquered the virtual Mos Eisley Cantina that is 4chan. There is an ever-growing number of fan sites filled with pony-inspired fan art. YouTube is overflowing with pony clips, remixes, and god-knows what else. Over the summer they held a sold-out convention in New York City called BronyCon. If this is all new to you, you’re probably asking the same question I asked myself upon hearing of this.
What the fuck?
In truth, I have no clue. So I’ve set out on a quest of discovery. I’m currently marathoning through the first season of the show whilst scouring the Internet for any information pertaining to this cult phenomenon. The things I do for you guys. Seriously.
So far, twelve (Jesus…) episodes in, and I can say that I get it… kinda. I’ve read that a big draw for a lot of these guys is the quality animation of the show. I can see that on occasion. There is also a lot of content that I did not expect. So far there have been a couple dragons, a fucking MANTICORE and some other mythological beasts I didn’t see coming. There was a direct reference to Benny Hill and an entire episode that was basically Star Trek‘s much celebrated “The Trouble with Tribbles”. I approve of all these things.
When I want my son to grow chest hair in kindergarten, I will show him this image of Rarity the unicorn kicking a manticore directly in the grillmix.
The show in general is exactly what I expected it to be: Moral stories aimed at children that pertain to how one should go about building lasting friendships. Applejack learns that sometimes it’s okay to ask for help. Fluttershy learns that there’s nothing to fear but fear itself. The entire gang learns that they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover as they all befriend the creepy African-American hermit that lives in the woods. These bitches be learnin’ something new every episode.
All in all, it’s a watchable show. The executive producer of the show, Lauren Faust, has a reputation of working on shows that expand beyond their demographics. Her work on both Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends undoubtedly influenced her into making a show about ponies that is smart and funny enough to appease various audiences. Furthermore, the creative team behind MLP:FIM has set up active communication between themselves and the ever-growing fanbase, to the point of taking the meme-generated Derpy Hooves and writing her into the show. We can all agree that is awesome.
Sadly, I’m not sure I’m quite there. I thought that perhaps I was missing out on some communal aspect by watching the show on my lonesome. After attempting to watch it with friends I received a grand total of one positive reaction, and it was from my betrothed (who in all honesty would have watched the show on her own if she knew about it). Any other attempt at watching the show with a group caused me to receive grimaces as if I had put on that video of the lady in heels stepping on kittens. So, what should have been an instinctive move in the first place, I joined my fellow outcasts on the Internet.
Maybe I should have preluded them with this.
These guys love ponies. The website Equestria Daily, a fan-blog of submission based art and fan fiction is getting over half a million hits a day. Also, as I mentioned previously, YouTube is swarming with clips, remixes and some really weird shit all crafted by devout fans of the show. In honesty, I find it baffling.
So fourteen episodes in and I still don’t think I’m a convert. Will I finish the season? Yeah, probably. Will I draw up some funny fan-art of Applejack riding Rainbow Dash ala Batman/Superman? I mean, if I find the time. Will I be venturing out to Bronycon come this Summer? Maybe. Who knows? It’s might be fun.