So, with season 5 of this show slated for 2015, I’m not quite sure about where things are going to go from here. There are two aspects to Friendship is Magic, which, although they have for the most part dovetailed rather nicely thus far, could start to grate against each other
On the one hand, you have the character driven, slice-of-life style, which is the bread and butter of the show. On the other hand, you have the desire to be more story driven, to build up a continuity and develop a world. Its the usual tension between wanting a TV show to be instantly accessible to everyone, versus rewarding the more dedicated viewers, although it’s thrown into greater relief by the fact that this show is ostensibly aimed towards little kids.
It seems like it’s going to become increasingly hard to just keep the status quo – exactly how many lessons about Friendship can you crank out? But you also don’t want to give things completely over to story arcs and whatnot, since that runs the risk of demographic alienation. The worst possible scenario is stagnation: the show goes into Star Trek Voyager mode as the same crap just gets recycled, while the increasing amount of Plot becomes paradoxically irrelevant (i.e., Twilight Sparkle becomes god-emperor of Equestria and still can’t get a taxi). Since this is a franchise that is all about the merch, I don’t think ‘quit while you’re ahead’ will ever be considered a viable option. Still, Star Trek spent about a decade shooting itself repeatedly in the foot until it finally died, and yet it continues to hold a dear spot in my heart.
The comic, which I have finally begun reading, already takes the by geeks for geeks approach. They’re in the middle of a story arc about parallel universes (speaking of Trek…) which is brilliant. It occurs to me that part of what makes the show so fun to write and speculate about is that there is a lot in the setting which is just begging for SF/Fantasy experimentation and worldbuilding, and I like the fact that the actual canon is willing to run in that direction with its expanded universe.
But hey: the fact that I am even able to take an interest in the periphery, as well as all the fan material (which is unusual for me) bespeaks that there will still be a lot here to hold my attention even if the main feature runs a little dry.