MLP Friendship is Magic, Season One, Episode Fourteen, "Suited for success" Review

Welcome back everyone.

Once again this episode will contain spoilers. Those of you who haven't watched this episode yet, you have been warned.

So the episode begins with Rarity fawning over the design she's made for a dress she plans to make. Specifically, the dress she plans to wear for the upcoming "Grand Galloping Gala", first mentioned in episode three "The Ticket Master". After revelling in the thought of going to the party (and making her cat suffer all the way I might add) she makes a start on the dress in question, leading into today's title sequence.

When the episode begins proper, Twilight and Applejack come into Rarity's home while she's working on the dress. When Rarity asks why they're here, Twilight asks if she could fix a button on the dress that she plant to wear to the Gala herself. Rarity, upon seeing the dress in question, Rarity offers to make Twilight a new dress herself. Twilight initially says not to bother given how much work she would have to take on to do something like that but Rarity insists. The following moments of the scene lead to her offering the same service to Applejack, to Rainbow Dash (who promptly crashed through the ceiling during this scene) and eventually saying she'll make new dresses for all of the six main ponies and that they'll put on a fashion show with them.

this leads straight into the song for this episode, or rather, the FIRST part of the song. This first part involves Rarity making the dresses for her friends that she thinks will suit them. When part one of the song is over she shows them her efforts and while the five other ponies admit to liking them and thanking Rarity for her efforts, they also confess that they're not what they were expecting. Rarity acknowledges this, which leads into the second part of the episode's song, wherein Rarity is constantly re-designing the dresses according to the demands and requests of her friends. After this Rarity shows them the finished products, hidden from the viewer, but apparently exactly what the five were expecting, much to Rarity's relief.

However, she becomes increasingly nervous when it's declared that an important fashion expert, Hoity Toity (no really that's his name) from Canterlot is coming to town to see Rarity's show. Now Rarity, being the actual fashionista in this group is fairly worried over her friends tastes being put on display like this. And, with a certain inevitability, when the show finally happens and everyone in town, including the fashion expert, finally see the dresses Rarity made under her friends' instructions, the whole thing turns into a disaster for her given how ridiculous they look.

This leads to Rarity having something of a mental breakdown, distraught at the possibility of her career being decimated by this humiliation. The other try to console her but she just wants to be left alone. The others figure out a way to make her feel better and, after luring her out with the possibility that her cat might be in danger, reveal that they managed to create Rarity's personal Gala dress from the design she made in the start of the episode. Rarity is impressed with their efforts and accepts their apologies for they way they imposed on her during the episode. But Rarity's still concerned about the state of her career after the show. That is until it's revealed that Hoity Toity has been convinced to give her a second chance. This leads into a private display of the original dresses Rarity designed for the others, including the one they made for her, with Toity declaring that he loves these creations.

And so the episode ends, as usual, with Twilight narrating her weekly letter to Princess Celestia.

So then, Rarity's first focus episode. How does she fare?

Well, as I said during my "Look before you sleep" review, I wasn't too happy with Rarity's character during that whole episode. Here however, the character is elevated for me and she really does get a chance to shine here. You may remember from my "Applebuck season" review that I took issue with how the character of Applejack seemed to be at odds with her respective element, honesty. Here however, Rarity's element, generosity, is displayed perfectly. All she does throughout this entire episode is give and give. She puts her absolute all into doing things she hopes will make her friends happy and it doesn't come of as forced or contrived that way it might be with other characters. Rarity's voice actress, Tabitha St Germain, does a fantastic job here, providing a wide range of emotions for the character, from happiness and stress to depression and nervousness, and giving her an episode that actually made me like this character far more so that I have in the past.

Having said that I do have one issue with the story in this episode and that's the behaviour of the other characters. They seem very out-of-character throughout most of the episode in the way they keep imposing on Rarity here. They constantly said that they "don't want to impose" and yet they're CONSTANTLY imposing, criticising her work and her creations. I know what you're going to say. "If they didn't we wouldn't have a story". And I agree. But they way they went about seems very forced, making the characters behave in a way that they otherwise wouldn't have done in any other episode.

Now I'm just going to confess right here that I'm a complete novice when it comes to the world of fashion. As such the episode has the issue of being based entirely on a subject matter in which I have no knowledge or interest in, and that admittedly is a problem for me when I was trying to get into it. Having said that the episode as a whole was done well enough that I was able to push myself past that mental barrier and really enjoy the story here.

Humour now and, as I mentioned in earlier reviews, any episode to focus heavily on Rarity features many funny moments due to her voice actress giving wonderfully over-the-top performances. We get that here in spades but for the most part those moments are confined to the third act, mostly after Rarity has her mini-breakdown. There were other funny moments as well though, in particular Fluttershy just coming out of nowhere with her knowledgeable rant of fashion, which felt me with quite the "what the hell just happened" look on my face I can tell you.

Time to talk about the song now, called "Art of the dress" and I'm just going to come out and say it. I love this song. Of the songs I've looked at for this series, this one gets ahead of all of them, pushing past my previous favourite of "Winter wrap-up". As I've said before I give huge amounts of credit to any singing voice actor who can sound like the regular voice actors, and this example is no exception. Kazumi Evans, who does Rarity's singing voice, not only managed to sound like Tabitha St Germain, but did so in what, I felt, was a wonderful song to listen to. I don't know if she's done much singing before this series but it's clear she's good at it. As for the song itself it's Rarity's first solo in the series and while the other characters get there moments here and there it's very much about her. As I said before it was divided into two parts. One part focusing on Rarity making the initial dresses and the second part focusing on the "updated" versions after her friends made their requests. True it may just be a montage song but it's easily one of the best of it's kind I've heard. Props too for making the two sides of the song feel very similar in tone despite being about different situations Rarity's in. It's also the longest of the songs I've looked at so far, taking up a good twenty percent chunk of the episode. Some of you may not like songs being that length but I didn't mind.

The moral of the story this week seems to be that when people offer to do things for you, you shouldn't be so critical of their efforts. I have been both on the receiving and giving end of this at various point in my life so I know from first hand experience how important a lesson this is for kids, especially if they don't want to come across as being ungrateful. A fine lesson to learn.

Overall this was a good episode with some good humour, a nice song and serves ad a fine showcase for the character of Rarity. Definitely worth watching.

Join me next week when things get crazier than usual in episode fifteen, "Feeling Pinkie Pie Keen".

See you then.

Good review like last time. Though just need to say something. First off with Applejack going against her element in the applebucking season. I wouldn't really call it that or not being faithful to her element since she believe she could do it all on her own without any help, but she does go against it at times within certain episodes.

Though that brings me to my second point. All the characters at time show the opposite of their element at some point or another. Which is why I like this show. Cause they aren't "perfect" at all. They each have personalities that work and go against their element.

Anyways enough with that, just one to say one more thing. I wouldn't say they were out of character. They just got to caught up in the moment of getting something from a friend and not having the same idea of what their dresses will look like. Though just my opinion on the matter.

 

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