Episode 4: Applebuck Season
How big is Ponyville? I thought it was supposed to be a small little village where everyone knows each other. And yet here I see hills and valleys and apple trees galore! This can't all fall within the city perimeter, right? Well, somehow Applejack is responsible for picking apples off of hundreds of trees. She wants to do it all herself, which is obviously impossible and doesn't seem like her. And here I thought she was a respectable business owner!
Meanwhile, a stampede of cows is about to attack Ponyville!! Do cows have their own country? With their own government and citizenship laws? If not, why are they trapped in the horse-ruling land? I say the cows must be freed! FREE THE COWS! While they are attempting to run for their freedom, Applejack rounds them up and sends them away. Not only does she tackle projects she can't handle, she's gone mad with power! I'm beginning to not like her.
Pinkie Pie decides to celebrate AJ's egotistical move with a party. They reward her with the "Prize Pony of Ponyville Award" after one good deed. Okay, so she did a lot of other good things, but essentially she won the award for segregating the cows. Unfortunately, she's late to her own ceremony because she's been too busy picking apples. She's starting to act like Pinkie Pie. She's so work-obsessed that she's dangerously deprived of sleep. And yet she refuses offers of help. Anyone in a management position can tell you that the more manpower ponypower you have, the easier and faster the work gets done! That's Business 101! I miss the self-employed entrepreneur Applejack who would think logically.
Along with trying to prove she can handle a dangerous amount of work, AJ volunteers to help other ponies with their side projects. This is sending a threatening anti-laziness message to kiddies out there. I thought TV was supposed to increase youth inactivity! Quit preaching your "be productive and help others" sermon, MLP! AJ's own workload has left her so exhausted that she can't successfully help others. In fact, she may have seriously injured R-Dash, helped Pinkie Pie poison the whole town, and caused a stampede of bunnies to destroy all vegetation in the village. Again, none of this would have happened if everyone was always lazy and never did anything. Don't get off the computer today—you'll only cause trouble.
Twilight confronts Applejack's excessive pride one last time, insisting she needs help. AJ thinks she's done the entire farm on her own, but it turns out there are more trees. Is the size of this town ever consistent? Or is there a whole separate piece of land privately owned by the Apple family? Kid shows need more storylines dealing with real estate. Prepare the young'uns for the real world!
Why did Applejack want to prove she could do all that work in the first place? By proving you can do a ton of work, you're only setting yourself up for more assignments in the future. You don't tell your teacher you can write a 5-page essay in an hour with no problem. Then she'll expect you to write a 10-page essay in a day! So far, if I had my own kid show, the lessons would be: learn how to successfully run a business, educate yourself in real estate, and set the bar low so that you can be as lazy as possible. No wonder PBS rejected my ideas...
Applejack finally agrees to let the others help her in order to get work done. They finish the harvest and she thanks them. My favorite part is when she says, "I may have won the Prize Pony award, but the real award is having you as my friends!" That is a smart way to admit you were wrong while still keeping your trophy (which is the only thing people will remember in the end). Take a note, athletes of the world.
The episode is over, but I have one more question: Does Twilight Sparkle really have to write a weekly letter to the not-Queen Celestia on the topic of "What I Learned About Friendship This Week"? Celestia is a monarchical leader in this country of Equestria! Does she really care what some pony has learned about friendship?? I think there are more important matters she should focus her attention on, like the whole cow segregation issue. Man, I hope those cows have their own territory by the end of the series.
FREE THE COWS!!