I actually harbor no dislike for the show whatsoever, partly because I've never had a chance to watch it; therefore, I can't have an opinion on it. However, this particular little video struck me in such a fashion that I went hoarse in the throat after several minutes.
It's the ending, I think. The end of that clip is so... glorious.
Rainbow ponies do not come even close to being as great as Spongebob, IMO. Just because it doesn't have a religious group of followers doesn't mean it's not a great show. I grew up with that cartoon, and I'll die with that cartoon.
Pokémon's quality dropped severely after the first season. Also it was made in the 90s from what I recall. Also not western As for Spongebob, the first season reigned, but the quality drop after that :/
But yeah, quality in general is vastly subjective. I've really enjoyed the show for both the characters, writing and the content the fandom makes on the side.
The writing especially in the two-part episodes has been great and there often is actual character development which sets it aside from the usual cartoons with no grand plot. You'll notice characters making references to previous episodes and foreshadowing follow-ups. In one of the first episodes Fluttershy is afraid to cross a ravine, but Pinkie gives her an obnoxious cheerful song that gives her courage to go for it. In an episode far into the season, Fluttershy is faced with a similar situation and she tentatively quotes the song and mans up and jumps across. While it's something very minor, it just shows the attention the writers have gone through to keep things cohesive.
Obviously the show is not for everyone, but is far from being poorly written, animated, acted or produced. I'd say for people who enjoy anime that it's not a big stretch to consider that you'd actually like this. Especially some of the more "cutesy-wutesy" animes have a lot in common here. Though I think most of the "cuter" animes I've seen (Elven Lied, Madoka) usually make up for this by having people getting dismembered and in general depressed as hell towards the end. So yeah, if you can find yourself enjoying happy stuff, this show is for you. It can really lift your spirits with it's feel-good attitude.
I wasn't making judgement on the criteria of it being western. I was making judgement on the criteria of being a cartoon. Plus, I'm fairly sure the video you just posted up was not created by the creators of the show... that being said, I only enjoyed it because it was a well made spoof of Epic Meal Time, not on the basis of it being about some dumbass ponies with 2D personalities.
Yeah it wasn't made by the original creators, I meant it as an example of the fandom stepping up to the plate and doing a lot of good fanmade content.
However there are a lot of style parodies and references in the show itself. One of the latest episodes had references to Trainspotting for instance. Other notables I can recall off the top of my head would be Benny Hill, The Hall of the Mountain King, The Big Lebowski and Dr. Who. Though, I do not really consider references to be more than homage and pointless fan service but the way MLP has been doing it so far is very tasteful and not something obnoxious like what Family Guy keeps doing over and over with every single episode.
I find the personalities to be well used to create good comedy and plot devices very much in similar vain as The Simpsons, South Park and to some extent Family Guy. Though like with most modern TV shows the personalities of the main characters are a bit on the 2D side. It does not however mean they aren't well done and executed.
I watched the first season's first episodes without thinking much more of it than it being a fun thing to watch together with a few friends for a laugh or two, but the show turned out to be more than just ponies doing cute stuff. I actually I don't they do much cute stuff in the show at all. In fact it's quite disturbing at times. Some of the main characters have had mental breakdowns and they've not been that easy to watch.
I'm getting far too in depth with this It's a well-made show for its kind, but it's not any more watch-worthy than anything else on the TV these days. Just good entertainment.