Reviews: Whats Eating Rainbow Dash
The Mysterious Fic-Fall-Flat
The main problem I have with this fanfic is that, while well written, it doesn't take on "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" honestly or at face value, instead opting for a strawman version of events. The point wasn't that Rainbow Dash was bragging. The point was that Rainbow Dash was being insufferable, and this was an opinion that was seemingly common before the MMDW even appeared. This fic implies that the impression is somehow Twilight's fault, when Rainbow's actions caused them all by herself. I've seen someone else say it reads like a polemic against the concept of MMDW, and I'd have to agree. The message comes over far too strongly - within the first few paragraphs I could see where it was going. The ponies (either for or against MMDW) seem to be unrealistically schismed between the two extremes, and I find it very unlikely that Twilight would find it that hard to defend herself. So, basically, it doesn't match up very well with the episode, and the message is very ham-handled. I do see potential there, and rewritten it could be a very interesting fic, but as is I just couldn't recommend it.
Not Perfect, But Still Pretty Good
Having read both prior reviews, I see how both reviews raise valid points. At times, the fanfic can seem to be a bit over the top, but I generally agree with the first reviewer (though I agree a suicide fic would have been taking it too far). But as the first reviewer pointed out, Rainbow has a Inferiority Superiority Complex, and to think that Dash might be hurt by Mare Do Well's actions is not really a stretch. The degree to which the town turns on her, yes, but not Rainbow being hurt by the whole events. We saw in Sonic Rainboom how fragile her self-esteem can be, and Rarity's arrival and showboating only compounded the problem, to the point Dash suffers a mild nervous breakdown. Rarity showing up and upstaging Rainbow Dash in front of everyone has similarities to Mare Do Well's actions, though to the rest of the Mane Cast's credit, Mare Do Well has genuinely benevolent interests at heart, while in Rarity's case the fame simply went to her head. Finally, I think the fic wasn't just meant to be a comfort fic with Rainbow Dash, it was also a defense of the Mane Cast's noble intentions. A lot of fans agree that Rainbow Dash was getting too bigheaded in the episode, and she needed to be brought down a notch, but the way in which it was done was poorly executed. There would have probably been a lot less contention if there was a scene with the Mane Cast attempting to point out Dash's hubris, only for her not to listen, and then introducing Mare Do Well in response to Dash's refusal to listen to reason. The lack of such a scene makes the Cast's actions seem mean-spirited and disproportionate. The lack of such a scene could possibly be put down to the episode's writer, a new one, just learning the ropes, or time constraints. This fic attempts to explain that the rest of the Mane Cast were not jerks, simply miscalculating. In short, while this fic can bear some improvements, its insight in the characters' actions are very well done, if not necessarily how the characters react to such actions. That being said, the fanfic No Hard Feelings also deals with the same subject, but is less controversial, and manages to both point out the flaw in the Mane Cast's actions without undermining the aesop of being humble.
Childish, immature and just plain sickening
This fic is literally nothing but the author overdramatizing the twist of episode 8 for the sake of venting his rage over it. The perfectly reasonable stance of the other Mane Five is vilified to the point of strawman, Dash's own acts of hubris (which contributed to each disaster) are completely glossed over, and Dash is beyond childish here. And the fact that literally the entire town treats Dash like an outlaw just feels forced. There's no real reason they should be so enraged at her, and it just seems like a random plot device to make Dash miserable. Oh, and apparently this was originally going to be a suicide fic. Yeah...killing yourself just because your friends brought you back down to earth after letting fame go to your head. Classy. The fact that the author was willing to have Dash commit suicide over something so minor is not only highly immature, its sickeningly offensive.
"What The Hell Hero" as A Fic-And I Like It
The thing I like about this fic in that while this is a Hurt Comfort Fic, it really keeps the Mane 6 IC: Twilight's Kick The Dog moment was really born out of being socially clueless then out of some mysterious Ron The Death Eater transformation, and she honestly does feel horrible when she realizes how awful a thing she did to Dash. Dash herself is being a little immature when she threatens to leave, but keep in mind that this is the Element of Loyalty we're talking about here-to her, this is a pretty awful bit of backstabbing, and the loss of her fame made the wound fester. Besides, as the show has pointed out, she has a Inferiority Superiority Complex, and the fic takes this to it's logical conclusion-that without feeling appreciated, she feels utterly worthless. Overall, a very good fic if you felt The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well's aesop was suspect, and even if you did like it, it might be worth a read.