- Good moral
- Straightforward and clear presentation of said moral
- A creative twist that is at least not already overdone
- Some comedy
- A good heartfelt moment or more
- And maybe a song. Depends on the song for some.
This is one of those episodes.
I mean, anyone can teach generosity. It's like one of those little-kid answers one automatically gives without thinking about what it actually means. But this episode took it a step further than that and showed that generosity sometimes has it's downfalls if abused, and thus to perhaps show good judgement and caution on when and where you give it, but that it's still greatly important to be generous to all, especially back to those that have already been generous with you.
Which is exactly what Rarity learns in this episode. She gets burned by a pony who she was generous with, only to have said generosity exploited mercilessly, and nearly being very costly to Rarity. She becomes embittered by this turn of events and momentarily forgets her generous side and treats her friends, who were going well out of their way to help her out, rather poorly. She realizes her error (at perhaps the worst time, though), makes amends, and it all works out in the end, and better still, set an example to another pony who in turn makes things work out even better in the end and makes a choice for her own betterment too. There was even a bit of a nice heartfelt moment in there to jerk at the heartstrings of viewers.
So yes, I quite liked the moral taught here, and thought it was presented wonderfully and quite clearly, and paced just well enough to not become too overbearing, and with sufficient time for a musical number earlier in the episode.
Which, by the way, I'm indifferent about. But it was made totally worth it by the best line Rainbow delivers in the whole episode:
-- "Ponies just bursting into song in random places at the drop of a hat? Who does that?!"
I also liked the the Hinny of the Hills musical and its likeness to The Sound of Music. Obviously, I'm not much of one for musicals (like Rainbow) but The Sound of Music is an exception and thus I could appreciate the references, what little there were, quite nicely (though I have to admit that I had thought they were trying to refer to Gone With The Wind when they first mentioned Hinny of the Hills. That's a musical, isn't it? I don't know, I've never seen it myself). I even noticed the leading mare in said musical bore some resemblance to Julie Andrews, so much so that I think it's only fitting that the inevitable fan name that'll be assigned to her be in reference to that. I was thinking "Hoofie Andrews." Which is exactly why I shouldn't be giving fan names for ponies, so never mind.
I also liked the world-building they did for this episode, giving us our first really good in-depth viewing of Manehattan, and it all felt fitting for a big city, yet quite distinct from other big MLP cities we've seen (namely Canterlot, which feels much more "old-fashioned" in comparison. No wonder it's inhabitants seem so...stuffy). It also didn't feel like it was parodying just Manhattan (though that's obviously a large part of it) but a few other elements from other famous cities as well...though I'm no expert, as I haven't really been to that many big cities (really just Dublin and London, and those on the other side of the globe from here. Technically Chicago too, but all I saw of that was the airport and a nice panning view of the cityscape as my plane came in for a landing at said airport, so...).
I also liked all the background "Manehattanites" we saw in this episode...with not as many Manehattan accents as I expected, or at least not as thick as I would've expected, but oh well. I was really more interested in their attires anyway. The crew were very generous with the fedoras and trilby hats in this episode, and as an owner and liker of such hats, I heartily approve of this.
So over all, a very well rounded episode, and an instance where all the best elements of the show come together and work well.