It’s time for the Apple Family Reunion, and based on the RSVPs it seems this one will be the biggest ever, and possibly the last one where so many family members will be gathered. As Granny Smith is getting up in years, she “passes the torch” to Applejack to handle the reunion this year. After hearing all about the major events in past reunions, Applejack is determined to combine them all to make the biggest and best reunion ever. However, when the guests arrive, Applejack’s tightly-regimented and oversized celebration soon has the family working so hard at activities for making “good memories” that no one has any time to hang around with any family members. Eventually, Applejack’s attempt to “jazz up” the reunion’s hay ride ends up destroying the barn she and the family live in. Realizing what she’s been doing, Applejack fears she made the reunion the biggest disaster ever. However, encouraged by Granny Smith, she decides on one more activity for the whole family: rebuilding the barn. As this is something the family does together and at their own pace, it ends up being a great event and everyone leaves with good memories. Applejack writes to Celestia about how making good memories with your family is more about being together than what you do together.
Seriously…after three seasons, how come the Applejack-themed episodes are always so gosh darn bland?
I have a large family myself, with two generations alone making up over 50 individuals, and I’ve been to my share of reunions and done my share of sitting around looking at photo albums. It’s a personal experience for those involved…but is likely pretty darn boring for anyone who would be watching us. And that’s the problem here. My guess is the writers thought back to Season One’s mentioning of the Apple Family Reunion and thought it was an episode whose time had come, especially with the assorted “Apples” who had been introduced on the show over the years.
Unfortunately, most of the “Apples” had only been in episodes to be a quick “apple-themed joke” and then forgotten. And if there was any humor to be milked from being “country-folk”, Applejack and her immediate family had that covered a long time ago. The end result is an episode that has a bit of promise and delivers absolutely nothing. This episode is one of the blandest, “yawn-worthy”, and ultimately dull episodes in the entire series. Nothing in it seems very entertaining at all…neither the few mild jokes (kind of sad a good number of them are simply Babs saying idioms common to New Yorkers) nor the weak “drama”. There are a scant few moments which seem kind of “warm” or “cute”…but not many. The only “worthwhile” thing about the episode is fleshing out Babs’ character a bit to be more than just “the MacGuffin needed for the bully episode”, but that’s it.
All in all…one of the most forgettable episodes of the entire series.
This episode brings sensations of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, in the sense of how Clark Griswold tries to make the “perfect Christmas” for his family, and it ends in disaster.
I’m not sure what exactly Applejack is saying after Granny Smith sneezes. It’s obviously a takeoff of “Gesundheit”. Don’t tell me they were THAT worried about being religiously PC…
Granny Smith says it’s been “100 moons” since the last Apple Family Reunion, which the fans know was in the pilot episode. If each “moon” was the same as it was for Earth, that would mean roughly 100 months, meaning that it’s been over eight years since the show began in “Equestrian Time”. That can hardly be accurate, and likely isn’t since the moon’s cycle appears to be dependent on Luna’s will.
Granny Smith pushes up on her face early in the episode, momentarily looking like how she appeared as a younger character. This episode also shows what she looked like as an adult mare.
The first episode to show one of the Mane Six (Applejack) as a baby.
Another airship appears in this episode.
It’s an interesting “sound” when Apple Bloom and Babs Seed talk at the same time…the blending of the country accident with the Brooklyn accent…
It seems there isn’t electricity in Equestria…but gas motors?
When Apple Bloom gets dizzy and falls, there’s a Wilhelm Scream (the third so far this season including “Equestria Girls”).
At one point, Applejack says: “Come on, Apples! Get ‘er done!” This may be an allusion to the “redneck comic” Larry the Cable Guy.
The episode ends with something we haven’t seen in a while…a letter to Celestia. 😛
1.5 Stars out of 5