As a member of what was once the target audience for the ORIGINAL My Little Pony, allow me to state that the reboot is many orders of magnitude better than the original. Fun, colorful, well-written and funny; my one regret is that Faust was not permitted to make the series as adventurey as she originally hoped (The Suits put their feet down and made the show more a slice of life deal than it was apparently planned to be.)
I think one of the things I like about it is that it is refreshingly light on irony. I don’t know if it qualifies as part of “The New Sincerity” or not, but it is somehow really good to see more things being released that don’t rely on snark for their power or entertainment value. I love me some snark as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s just nice to see something being unapologetically what it is and loved for it.
The “brony” phenomenon is something of which I generally approve – it provides a context for male viewers to admit they like something that falls well outside of “traditionally acceptable” male viewing turf. (In my opinion, gender-segregated viewing choices should die in a fire anyway. I am allowed to love giant robots if I want, and the boys I know are also allowed to love sweet, earnest shows with relationships at the center of many plotlines.) I regret that we need to do things like give it a name and such rather than any dude in the world just being able to say “Oh yeah, I watch that show,” but I understand the kind of defensive impulse that does things like create a “screw you guys, we’re making a culture out of this” reaction instead.
If you train as a librarian (as I have), or if you work in a bookstore or video rental establishment for any extended period of time, you will eventually most likely come to the conclusion that much of the world has different reading/viewing tastes from yours. Often, you will be asked to make recommendations for someone who loves things you absolutely hate, and it is essential that you be able to do this with poise and class. Reader’s advisory goddess Betty Rosenberg once proposed the maxim “Never apologize for your reading tastes,” and this is very true no matter what medium you are “reading.” You love what you love, and nobody has the right to mock you for loving something they deem inferior. Lots of people will hate on you for the stuff you love anyway, but they fall into the category of what you’d call “douchebags.”
There are a lot of people out there right now who are loving Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. These are not “good” books by any critical definition, but there are documented instances of books like these turning nonreaders into readers. I don’t like them, but if they bring more people to a place where they find they rather love to read, then I am sure as hell not going to discourage that by hating on either series in the ways I’ve seen lots of people do.
The difference here is that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is legitimately good. The only reason anyone feels they need to apologize for loving it is that they fear social censure for admitting their fondness for it – for reasons of age, gender, whatever. This is both sad and unnecessary. Someday when I am nominated JRPG protagonist one of the changes I bring to the world will be that everyone is able to love what they love fearlessly.
So…yeah. TL;DR version: IT IS OKAY to like My Little Pony. It’s actually quite good. So let yourself love it if you think you might.
(tucks soapbox away)