Unpopular opinion time

Philweasel
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Right About Everything
@Egil
To be fair, it’s even worse than that with big X. He was so cheery at the end because he got everything he wanted, he pretty much won. His hypothesis was incorrect, but like a good scientist he still took satisfaction in the raw data.

…but I’m going off topic. Cozy deserved her extreme timeout, and her backstory almost certainly involves puppy murder and kitten fighting rings.
CronoM

@Mildgyth
Innocence until proven guilty. Understanding before damnation.

It's quite possible that she truly was unreformable, but that's not the point. The point is she wasn't even given the opportunity to be explored why she is so evil with personal attention and backstory detail.

Your outright advocating lack of effort based on your own personal emotional bias, which is why it will always be the wrong judgement by default, whether the theoretical final result was a success or failure.

Put in the effort, she's reformed, you made the right decision.
Put in the effort, she's not reformed, you still made the right decision.
Don't put in the effort, she's not reformed, you always make the wrong decision.
Egil
Wallet After Summer Sale -

screaming forever
@CronoM
She proved she was guilty from the end of season 8 to the season 9 finale. Reformation is wasted on characters like her unless you are being threatened with physical harm by a psycho fan who has you trapped in their house if you don’t morally unfuck them.
Philweasel
Equality - In our state, we do not stand out.

Right About Everything
@CronoM
She had plenty of time to give us a tragic backstory and beg forgiveness while she was imprisoned. That she didn't suggests she didn't have one to give, at least one that wasn't a giant lie. Along with her pointless sadism towards people who's only crime was being in her frame of vision, tendency to outright identify with irredeemable villains (in which world is Tirek a good role model?) and monumental irrationality (her ultimate evil plan was nonsensical), she's considerably worse in every way to Starlight Glimmer, who many already note got very charitable treatment from Twilight.

Considering she's also capable of outright infiltrating the school of friendship (where as the Mane 6 figured out that Starlight was a bad guy within about 30 seconds of meeting her), she's considerably more dangerous too.
Star Seeker

@CronoM
Not all characters need a backstory, it depends on the character in question. Now, think about Cozy Glow for a second and question yourself if she actually has to have a backstory or reason for villainy.

In almost all of her appearances, she manipulates/hurts others to get what she wants, and sometimes for no reason at all, and in the of this last one, she already distance herself for other reformed characters like Starlight and Discord, as these two, even if they didn't have backstories, still had a "reason" to do things, some more "reasonable" and "logical" than others ( a misguided attempt at creating an equal world
; Chaos for fun; etc.).

However, that's not necessarily because of a failure in writing, it is — and this is my view on the matter — because Cozy plays a different type of roles than other characters. Basically, she's a psychopath, and even if she doesn't always match the medical definition to a T, her actions and behavior just scream "Psychopath" and everything involving her in the show almost always point in this direction, for lack of care in others that don't interest her, to her manipulation, etc.

Cozy is a psychopathic, megalomaniac filly who hides her true self in a cute facade, manipulating other in clever ways for whatever reason until she no longer needs them. That's the point of her character. Giving her a backstory just for the sake of it or because other antagonists had them would be redundant as it would only reaffirm trait we already now she has without putting them in a new or interesting light, and since she does what she does because she is a psychopath, she doesn't have a "motive" (other than a lust for power), so a backstory exploring that would be a waste of time unless the writers had not decided that one of her primary traits was Psychopathic tendencies, which nullifies ( or at least, it should have, but she's a cute filly, so…) any degree of sympathy the audience could have for her.

She was given chances to stop and to explain herself, but didn't took or desired them. She did cruel things, sometimes for no reason. Why does she need a personal and detailed backstory to build on that, if she herself already does that?

That's not to say that giving her a backstory would not add something of value to the her character, the worldbuilding, or whatever else, but if it is not needed due to the role that she plays, then calling it a "lack of effort" would be missing the point.

I'm also not saying that I or anyone else doesn't want or wouldn't appreciate a backstory for Cozy or that they would be in the wrong in wanting it. Hey, more pony content is generally never bad, and a lot of potential for interesting scenarios could be hidden in there. Heck, I wouldn't complain about the inclusion of a backstory for her. But, as controversial as things are, it's fine (at least relatively) the way it is. Better that other ways things could have gone, that's for sure.
Mildgyth
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@Star Seeker

And frankly — one big failing of the show writing in general in regards to villains was a inability of writing a backstory that didn't serve as a excuse for their actions. Because of that, a villain getting a backstory, as flimsy as it was (*coughStarlightcoughGarblecough*) was pretty much a guarantee of redemption. The only exception to this was Tirek (briefly) in The Ending of The End, but that idea was taken from the comics, so it doesn't count.
Dustcan
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The best part is, Cozy's entire shtick is "Golly mister, I'm just a little child. Won't you let your guard down around me?"

Sure enough the entirety of defense for her is "Golly guys, she's just a little child. Won't you let your guard down around her?"
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@Mildgyth
The issue with giving them a backstory is it takes up time, and if you make the audience focus on a character they have to at least enjoy it. Giving them a backstory by definition makes them more sympathetic- yes, even Tirek, to a limited extent. It can be done without redeeming villains, but MLP has neither the time nor the tonality for that sort of nuance. Is that bad? Maybe. I don't mind, personally.
rdibp
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Kerfuffle lover
Cozy was honestly a very underwhelming villain in season 8, but I loved her in season 9. They just hammed her up so much. :p
Philweasel
Equality - In our state, we do not stand out.

Right About Everything
@Mildgyth
Tirek's backstory didn't really redeem him at all in my eyes. As I've said before, the notable part of it was how little motivation he had for being evil, which made him seem more so. He became evil because… well, why not? And he hated his father because he wouldn't let him be evil.

I imagine Cozy's would be similar, and the simple fact is such a backstory doesn't have a lot of value. It didn't change my perception of Tirek, except to confirm that he really was a douchebag and his resentment towards his brother was entirely unjustified (which was already pretty clear).
Latecomer

It says something about the show's approach to villain backstory that so many of us read it as synonymous with excuses and cheap redemptions, doesn't it?

And the problem really isn't how COzy is written — it's how everypony else is.
Latecomer

@Mildgyth
And no doubt Cozy would try lots of tricks, maybe even feign redemption. That's why it's important that not everypony trust her. But somepony at least trying might help.
Spinny
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Resident Spin Fetishist
The bottom line with Cozy is that you're never going to convince me that the mane six should have given up on her as easily as they did, and that throwing her in an out of sight, out of mind prison like Tartarus wasn’t an incredibly fucked up thing to do.

She most certainly should have been given a backstory, too. I, for one, will never stop wondering about her parents. Maybe she outright killed them, maybe they truly have never given a fuck about her and left her feeling neglected. Who knows? But I think there's a genuine argument to be made that whatever her home life was, it shaped her into what she became.
Latecomer

@Spinny
Maybe it did and maybe it didn't, but with the show's rating and writing, I dunno if going there would have helped or just made things worse.

(Totally agree on the first part, though.)
Philweasel
Equality - In our state, we do not stand out.

Right About Everything
@Latecomer
@Mildgyth
The ponies consider Doscord a sucess, though. Emulating that result with Cozy would count as one to them too.

Goddamnit, if that fails to convince me of the virtue of trying to redeem Cozy. There are only two, two finales since his redemption where Discord hasn't screwed everyone over, and one of them was because he wasn't actually in it.

And two premiers that were all his fault too, before I forget!

I think this falls into "Nice idea Celestia, but honestly I think the cost/benefit on this redemption is looking a little iffy".
Vivace
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“ShimSham my GlimGlams”
@CronoM
Quite serious: effort is wasted on the unwilling. The unwilling- those steadfastly and doggedly so are those whose one true motive is power over all others- Tirek, Chrysalis, Cozy Glow. The reformed villains of FiM primarily desired better outcomes for their own lives. Discord is the exception.
Vivace
Artist -
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“ShimSham my GlimGlams”
Here’s something the writers seem to adhere to: backstory needs to be given before the battle is over while the villain is in a state of emotional vulnerability.
Vivace
Artist -
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“ShimSham my GlimGlams”
Cozy Glow: … Yay! All my friends are safe!
Applejack: You can drop the act, Cozy Glow! Your pen pal Tirek told us all about how he helped you suck up all that magic!
Twilight Sparkle: But I still don’t understand why.
Cozy Glow: [growls] Why?! Because friendship is power! You might be the Princess of Friendship, but as headmare of this school, I can collect even more friends than you!
[students murmuring]
Twilight Sparkle: You’re the one who doesn’t get it, Cozy. Friendship is powerful, but power isn’t why you make friends. I’m sorry I couldn’t teach you that.
Gallus: Well, you taught us.
Silverstream: You can’t let one bad apple make you think you failed.
Sandbar: And we never could’ve stopped her if we hadn’t learned what you taught us about friendship.
Cozy Glow: Honesty? Loyalty? Generosity? Blah-blah-blah! I can make more friends without using any of them! And if I can’t do it here, I’ll do it somewhere else!
This is Twilight attempting to reach out to Cozy Glow, who proceeds to spit on the idea of making friends through being honest, loyal, and generous. This is not somepony eager to see her put away in Tartarus. Even if I accept that Cozy was offered no 2nd chance, her attitude demonstrates not only that she didn’t yet deserve one, but that she wouldn’t even want one for the purpose of becoming a better pony. Given one, I have no doubt that she’d continue to deceive and manipulate them into thinking she was genuinely reformed. But until Cozy said that she could collect more friends than Twilight, I’m sure that Twilight believed she was salvageable. And fitting to what I said before, this is after the battle has been decided.

——————————

Let’s be honest: how would a trial for Cozy Glow even go without resembling/amounting to a kangaroo court? Who’d be willing to be a lawyer for the defense? Best ruling to be hoped for is not guilty by reason of insanity, but I think she could still be ruled sufficiently sane to stand trial, thwarting the insanity plea.
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