• 5 Things That Would Make Season 6 More Interesting

    Hello everyone, ABagOVicodin here. With the hiatus in full swing and Season 6 looming over the horizon, it’s time to talk about some new ideas that could thrive with a change of scenery. From how the Cutie Mark Crusaders could mature, to the Crystal Empire’s role, let’s count down five things that could change within Season 6 after the break.

    #5: Don’t Use the Cutie Map Anymore

    The Cutie Map was necessary to stand out from Season 4’s Rainbow Power arc. Nearly everything in Season 5 feels like it wants to differentiate from others by being more interconnected, notably with its characters and lore. While the Cutie Map was an excellent idea to flesh out Equestria’s cities and also allow an Element duo to tackle the episode’s problems, these types of duos will eventually run out.

    The Cutie Map could work for another season. I would argue that the idea behind each episode is ultimately more important than where it takes place. However, switching up the overarching plot is now tradition ever since Starswirl’s Notebook in season 3. If the show decides to bunker down in the same arc, the novelty of the Map will wear off. The show would probably be fine if there wasn’t a reason for characters to travel to different and unexplored cities (seasons 1 or 2) but “fine” isn’t an improvement. I’m positive that the writers have a plan for next year, but I feel we must keep the future in mind as the hiatus begins to consume us. There is always room to improve upon the past, and repeating an arc might be a step in the wrong direction.

    #4: More episodes focusing on secondary characters

    Make New Friends but Keep Discord, Slice of Life, and Brotherhooves Social. What do these three episodes have in common? They all had secondary or background characters grabbing the spotlight, each with different intensities. Friendship is Magic has been slowly experimenting with giving secondary characters their time to shine, and Season 5 took this theme and decided to run with it. Those three episodes proved that you could have a more entertaining and refreshing experience with different characters that aren’t focused on Honesty, Kindness, Laughter, Loyalty, Magic, and Generosity going wrong.

    This was attempted in the beginning of the show, such as Lauren Faust’s idea for Big Macintosh where the episode is entirely told in his silence. While I don’t think that idea would work nowadays since Big Mac obviously speaks up when he feels that he needs to, there are a myriad of characters that are waiting (or even ripe) for material. I can understand the current writers not wanting to tamper with the background characters other than Slice of Life, but considering that it’s canon, they might as well double down on what they’ve created.

    Within the past few seasons, everyone working on Friendship is Magic has done their part to expand the universe. They care about their characters as much as we do, and it shows with how gigantic this fandom has become. The characters are what keeps us here. While it would be harder to keep the attention of the younger audience with characters that are different from the Main Six, I’d say we’re at a point where MLP can afford to take these types of risks. It would certainly make the overall season seem stronger if, instead of the Main Six being shoehorned into a lesson that doesn’t fit them, we had a new character experiencing or struggling with a moral that they needed to learn. I’m sure Hasbro wouldn’t mind if they saw a boost in Minuette toys because of Amending Fences or Slice of Life. Season 6 is waiting for this lightning to strike twice.

    #3: The Cutie Mark Crusaders Can’t Crusade For Buttmarks Anymore

    Much in the same vein as the Cutie Map, the Cutie Mark Crusaders now have their flank tattoos, which means that their status in the show should probably change. We’ve seen a myriad of criticism towards Season 4 for condensing Twilight’s royal duties into the premiere and finale, and I can see this criticism being repeated if the CMCs act as if Crusaders of the Lost Mark didn’t happen.

    I’d say the CMCs need their own “Castle Sweet Castle”, where the three are having issues with accepting that they have marks. They’ve searched for their talent rumps for more than 5 seasons, so it would be jarring if their next episode had them acting as if they’ve had their marks for a while. While the mistake with Princess Twilight’s status was not heinous, it should not be repeated. As much as it’s easy to keep the status quo, Season 5 did the opposite of this. Characters are maturing and growing with the show, which is why Friendship is Magic cannot afford to backtrack.

    #2: The Crystal Empire Needs a Reason To Exist

    I love the Crystal Empire, but I don’t know why. The Crystal Ponies are cute aesthetically, and Princess Cadance having her own subjects is awesome and makes sense thematically with the rest of the Princesses (except for Luna because I guess she doesn’t get her own batpony city). But there’s a lack of substance within the Empire and I feel that this is one of the few locations in Equestria that could be taken out without missing anything.

    The problem with the Crystal Empire is that any sort of lore that was added to it was added in G.M. Berrow’s book on Princess Cadance and the official MLP comics, which not everyone has read (including myself, much to Illustrious Q’s chagrin). There hasn’t been anything substantial added to it besides Spike’s role as the savior. The Crystal Empire was said to affect all of Equestria with the magic of the Crystal Heart, but that doesn’t seem to be the case since numerous villains can come and go as they please.

    I’m sure this is because Magical Mystery Cure was supposed to be the series finale, so having the magic protecting the rest of Equestria as the show ends gives us a “happily ever after” vibe. But Friendship is Magic didn’t end. It’s going into another season. So, perhaps a change of the Crystal Empire and Cadance’s overall role in Equestria is in order?

    This tweet is a reference to The Mane Attraction.

    #1: More Continuity Nods

    I’m not the one to say that something absolutely has to happen, but I’m putting all of my eggs into this basket. Season 5 polished all of the good things about Friendship is Magic, while still keeping its charm. The introduction of the Cutie Map helped weave a cohesive, overarching narrative (or at least as much as they could) which the show has needed for a while now. It also had a myriad of continuity nods, some that became entire episodes due to the amount of material there was to work with. We need more of this.

    Of course, I’m not talking about a season of pandering where every background character comes back for their own 22 minutes of fame. Slice of Life was enough for me. But with the new season coming, the show should capitalize on its desire to remain more interconnected and cohesive by having more continuity with the past and present. With enough planning and forethought, it would be second nature for every writer.

    With some episodes, it might be impossible to reference previous stories since they can be moved around in post-production, which creates a continuity error. But references to previous events is what keeps the world within Friendship is Magic feel more alive. If the Cutie Mark Crusaders are going to a city that Diamond Tiara’s father runs a business in or visits, Diamond could tag along. If all of the secondary, background, and main characters interact with each other as if the spotlight wasn’t always on the Main Six, then everyone else would feel more fleshed out and important even though our time is obviously spent on the Elements. It’s these types of shortcuts that can make the show feel more dense than it already is, and implementing continuity nods is close to painless with the right planning. Season 5 tried it with fantastic results, and the trend should continue.

    What do you guys think? Is there something in the next season that deserves a major change? Let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you guys soon. Let me know what you guys think of the video version!