The Second Opinion is a Brony reviewer and analyst, though these were not his origins. Originally a blogger on manicexpression.com, he started reviewing the show in a side series aptly named "From the Files of a Non-Brony," having been dumbfounded to learn of the phenomenon but later intrigued, as an animation fan, by the possibility that the new My Little Pony show was simply that good. Over the course of the reviews, he slowly accepted his fate and became a Brony within the fandom.
Due to the the positive feedback on "From the Files of a Non-Brony," he decided to recreate it as a series of unscripted vlogs, renamed "Non-Brony Reviews," to release simultaneously. Apart from his own curiosity, he thought there might be some potential interest in what an aspiring critic, entirely willing both to praise and to dismiss the show, would think.
Evolving Beyond a Side Project
His series continued in the same format (doing one vlog for every episode) up through season 2, his general consensus being that it was creative, offbeat, and better than he expected, if perhaps not enough to rank as one of his favorite shows. He became somewhat less positive in the third season onwards, a belated reminder that he had never committed himself or his vote of approval to the show. However, in many ways, this only seemed to make him more committed to analyzing it.
The most obvious change was his incorporation of the character version of himself, also named The Second Opinion, for an occasional scripted review. Originally appearing in his one-off review of Double Dragon (the TV show) as a plucky film and TV enthusiast, Second adapted him to Non-Brony Reviews in a version more akin to his blogging voice: a slightly eccentric, self-described intellectual with a massive ego and no modesty about showing it, though more irreverent than mean-spirited and still capable of being moved by his favorite scenes. He found he could more aptly express himself through this version of the character, in both his positive and negative points.
Over time, the character became more prominent, the scripted reviews more frequent, and his production quality gradually improved, especially after he was offered a contract by Channel Frederator, following his review of Pinkie Pride. After catching up to the current episodes at the end of season 4, Second's "real life" self was phased out of his reviews, being limited mostly to reaction videos. However, he began using it again in season 7, citing burnout and schedule problems with his current routine.
Feeling the "Non-Brony Reviews" label was played out, he dropped it at the beginning of season 5 and even began using a pony OC, to improve his video thumbnails. Despite saying in his glowing review of Twilight's Kingdom that he could probably never join the herd, because his approach as someone who was around first and foremost to critique it didn't fit, it was eventually the herd that integrated him. After making several brony friends, he accepted an invitation to join The Rift, later being promoted to a moderator. He remains as active as ever, making videos for the fandom, though he also remains unafraid of negative criticism, feeling the episodes that truly succeed deserve to be set apart.
- Second's OC does not have an Equestrian backstory, having been established as simply the human version of the character taking the form of a pony (instead of the other way around) to mingle with the others, a nod to the character's non-brony origins.
- His current version of the OC was created by MagerBlutooth.
- He freely admits that he made Second Opinion more of a heel on purpose, both as self-parody and a way of recognizing that not everyone will be happy with the critical side of his reviews.
- His catchphrase is "From a critic first and a fan second, here's the second opinion."
- His most popular recurring motif is his tendency to break into choreographed dances, especially to music from the show or the fandom.
- His major (nonfiction writing) actually does pertain to reviewing, hence his interest in doing so.
- Despite his reputation for being somewhat critical and hard to please, he has technically only given negative votes to 11 out of all 143 episodes of Friendship is Magic to date.
- In his Spice Up Your Life review, he explained that he does not see critiquing as a way to be intellectually harsh but a way to explore the things that interest you (including their overall level of achievement).
- Against his character persona, he is relatively quiet and business-like about his current status as head moderator of The Rift Cafe (along with UnovaBrony).
- Is dating a mare named Daylover