Recently an alert reader named Sara sent me a message that simply said "Have you ever heard of Bronies? You should look into that. Also, your blog is awesome and you are hilarious and awesome." Or something like that.
Anyway, I accepted her challenge and took on the task of investigating the enigmatic "Bronies." I already knew a little bit about them, because of an episode of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, as well as numerous internet jokes and memes, but I admit that my perception was a bit off.
In my mind, Bronies were a small, but enthusiastic group of. . .shall we say "flamboyant" male fans of My Little Pony. I imagined them getting together regularly, dressing like their favorite member of the My Little Pony franchise and larping or reciting pony poetry or something like that. I imagined them as older, single, socially awkward beings living in their parents basement -- only achieving true happiness when they finally won the bidding war on that vintage Skydancer limited edition figurine with the misprinted cutie mark in mint condition.
In short, I pictured them like this:
surprise when I found out (through the tried and true truth factory of Wikipedia) that there are actually thousands of Bronies in the world. Yes, some of them participate in cosplay and go to conventions, but most of them are normal, well-adjusted human beings who are fans of the My Little Pony reboot series called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which is a little different from what I remember the old school My Little Pony TV series to be. This new version of My Little Pony is still for kids, but it features some elements that appeal to adults, as well. Apparently, many of these Bronies are just regular guys who enjoy clever humor and good writing -- no matter what the TV show is.
And, the more I read about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and it's fandom, the more intrigued I became in actually watching the show. Now, before you judge me, you should know that this series features humor aimed at adults. For example, there's a shout-out to The Big Lebowski, a pony that somewhat resembled Dr. Who (nicknamed Doctor Whooves by the Bronies) and a character whom the fans have named Derpy Hooves -- what's not to love about that? And while the creators of the show are aware and happy with the adult fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, they still aim to keep the show geared toward kids.
So I gave it a shot.
I wasn't comfortable watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on my own, so I made sure to include my kids on the first viewing. I gave this show my standard six-episode chance. I'll give any 20-minute sitcom six episodes to impress me. The 45-minute shows usually only get three episodes to get me interested. Anyway, after a little bit of a rocky start, I soon found myself chuckling at a joke in an episode. Then I started to actually enjoy the show. Now don't get me wrong, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is no Phineas and Ferb, but it's fun. I even watched two of the six episodes on my own, without my kids.
Am I a Brony? No. Not yet. Am I a fan of the show? Well, I've already recommended it to some people (one of which hated it) so. . .yes? Will I watch any more episodes? Maybe. I don't think I'll seek them out on my own, but I won't be so quick to walk out of the room if my kids turn it on.
So there it is, faithful readers. I'm a grown man (with kids) who enjoys watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (when my kids are watching it). Look what you've done to me, Sara. You made this happen:
I hope you're happy with yourself.
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