But I don't really mind. It's a kid show about colorful ponies after all.
Warning: incoming ramble
The point that MLP is a kid's show is fair enough, it's true that the writers are trying to make plats to draw in a very young audience, so you're not going to get the kind of deep, nuanced stories you'd get in a more adult work of fiction. But frankly, that hasn't stopped the show from producing episodes like "Suited for Success" or "The Best Night Ever" both of which were pretty mature in their content and messages, and didn't sink down to the level of mindless entertainment. Hell, the whole point of Best Night Ever might as well have been quoted from the Stones: "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you'll get what you need."
The conclusion of this episode, though, is pretty much the opposite. It's clear that the moral from Cranky's point of view (and the one the writers want us to walk away with) is along the lines of "don't shut other people out - open up and maybe something good will happen."
But what's the moral from Pinkie (the star character's) point of view?
"If someone doesn't want to be your friend, hound them.
Keep on them, day and night. If they get mad, just keep badgering them. Break their will! They won't be your friend? There must be something wrong with them! Everyone wants to have friends! Snoop around in their personal stuff! Find their deep, dark secret! They will
be your friend! You're the god, YOU'RE THE INFALLIBLE GOD OF FRIENDSHIP! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!"
I often take issue with the way the MLP writes handle Pinkie. This isn't the first episode where I feel they've mishandled the chracter, but I do think this is the most egregious it's gotten since "Party of One."
I mean, I get it. They want Pinkie to be the happy, bubbly, cheery, friendly valley girl. There's nothing wrong with that, per se, but there's a difference between bubbly and vapid, and I really think that too often the MLP writers handle Pinkie in a fashion that makes her fall firmly on the latter side, and she ends up just feeling weird
compared to the rest of the cast, like she's supposed to be in a wholly different series.
Episodes like the babysitting and the one with Glenda the gryphon handled Pinkie right, I felt. She has her limits. She's not brainless. She'll step in and say "maybe pranking Fluttershy isn't a good idea." In this case, though, the writers pretty much pulled a deus ex machina out of their asses to justify her behavior, and that's just not necessary.
Why can't Pinkie be taught the lesson that sometimes to make friends you need to throttle it down a bit? That Cranky might deal warm up to her a bit better if she relaxed the overtures a bit? Cranky's not a bad guy, after all, just a bit of a cantankerous loner, and there's nothing wrong with that. Instead we've got this bizarre "all or nothing" scenario in which Pinkie MUST have him as a friend NOW or else she's going to suffer some kind of emotional breakdown because there's one guy in Ponyville she's not on good terms with. That's what I'm taking about when I say she crosses the line from bubbly and cheerful into vapid.
Too often, Pinkie just comes across as (for want of a better term) a cartoon character. And when the show really puts time and effort into developing rounded, realistic, down-to-earth characters (Rarity, Twilight and Luna are three I think they've done well) it just feels bizarre. I think Pinkie's character would go a lot farther if the writers pulled back a bit and gave her more depth instead of the way they've been handling her.