Twilight Sparkle and her friends find themselves in the middle of a territorial conflict between a pony town and a bison tribe.Twilight Sparkle and her friends find themselves in the middle of a territorial conflict between a pony town and a bison tribe.Twilight Sparkle and her friends find themselves in the middle of a territorial conflict between a pony town and a bison tribe.
That is not to say that it didn't have any misfires. It did (a fair share of them), in all its seasons, even in the mostly solid though not completely settled Season 1. Found "Over a Barrel" to be the season's first misfire, there were a few disappointing episodes, mostly when following on from very good or more ones, beforehand but they still managed to be above mediocre. "Over a Barrel" is not unwatchable, don't consider any of the 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' episodes that even those that didn't do anything for me (those exist), but for up to this point of Season 1 it was rather lacklustre.
It is a shame because "Over a Barrel" actually starts very promisingly. The train segment was pretty brilliant, with some hilarious dialogue and the Fluttershy being or not being a tree dilemma amused. The animation is vibrantly coloured and it's not hard to see that much care went into putting detail and finesse to the backgrounds and drawing.
As is often the case with the show, the music avoids repetition, isn't too loud and the placement isn't random. Not everybody will like the theme song, have never had any problem with it myself. The voice acting is very good, though other episodes before and since did better at having standouts.
Not much else however works. Didn't really care for any of the characters in "Over a Barrel", and these are characters that are usually easy to identify with and their interactions and relationships interesting. None of them really are likeable, with Pinkie Pie being incredibly annoying here, and all of them are out of character for the worse. Rainbow Dash's character writing is a complete distortion and Rarity (after the previous episodes did so well developing her) is dumbed down, the amount of complaining is complete overkill. The bison are not interesting and it seemed that the episode didn't know what to do with them, while the conflict completely lacks tension and is just bizarre in especially the climax.
Despite a promising start, "Over a Barrel" practically falls apart after that segment and it feels like a different episode altogether. The story never grabbed me and the writing after the train segment descends into dumb and cheesy land. The show is more often than not great with providing relevant and relatable morals delivered with enough force but also tact, but this moral (not the most interesting or innovative of ones to begin with) was the most shoehorned in one of the season and is more confused and stupid than the one for "Feeling Pinkie Keen", also introduced and happening at an as close to an inappropriate time as one can possibly get.
Summing up, very lacklustre despite beginning so well. 4/10
- Sep 23, 2019