It’s a bit soon to call Season 6 of My Little Pony the worst. I don’t think many would disagree though that so far a good amount of the episodes have been more on the average side. It seems like the writing is in a bit of a decline when compared to the early seasons. Back in the first two seasons for example (especially the first one) almost every episode was 4 to 5 star quality. There was the occasional average one, but those seasons were defined by their all stars. For this season, it’s being defined more thus far by half good half mediocre. This sounds like doom and gloom, but I am optimistic the season will start to pick up. Unfortunately, “Applejack’s Day Off” doesn’t help the good.
Here’s the official episode description from Discovery Family:
While Rarity struggles to get Applejack to relax at the spa, Twilight and Spike find covering her “simple” farm chores to be a more difficult job than they thought.
This episode feels like it exists because no one at Hasbro could think of a compelling story. There’s nothing to this episode. Interestingly, one might still be hard-pressed to list major negatives. Even though there aren’t many “terrible” aspects, there’s very little positive things to mention. “Lesson Zero” is often disliked by fans, but at least there was something. The story there, while questionably written, was important and the viewer didn’t feel like time was wasted. “Applejack’s Day off” is worse in some ways because it’s just empty. Yes, the story throws a good message at the end, but it’s completely in your face and blatantly obvious. (One could make the argument that most of the first season’s were too, but 99% of the stories leading up to them were good.)
The writing seems off most of the time. The characters talk to each other, but rarely does it feel natural, rather mechanical. Twilight saying, “Wow I didn’t realize Applejack had so much to do” doesn’t make sense considering Twilight has known her for at least…three years in the show’s timeline? This type of dialogue belongs in Season 1 when the characters are still becoming closer friends, not here. Some of the plot points are also written questionably. We have Applejack whom for some reason completely forgot a spa day with her best friend. Later Rarity appears annoyed when Applejack saved the spa by fixing some pipes. The dialogue sequence between Rarity, the spa pony, and Applejack was awkward to watch. This pales in comparison however to the extremely unusual antics (such as Applejack dancing like a chicken) in order to feed the pigs. This was bizarre, completely unrealistic, and unneeded. (Applejack’s intelligence is thrown out the window as she demonstrates hypocrisy in doing exactly what she spoke against seconds ago.) The spa sequence was enough to get the message across.
Overall, based on the previous paragraphs you might get the impression that this is the worst episode to date. It might be, but it still isn’t technically a bad episode. MLP deserves to held in such a high regard, so when episodes like this appear the review is noticeably harsher. It really didn’t seem like the Fox Brothers were attempting to write an engaging story. That’s not to say there were no enjoyable factors. Some of the dialogue between Applejack and Rarity was good. The former lending her expertise to help the spa was also great. Also the Rainbow Dash scenes were pretty humorous. Sadly everything else falls on the mediocre side.