So, I think the solution to the problem of my lack of interest is just to do shorter/less intense episode reviews. Not an episode-by-episode walkthrough requiring me to re-watch it all and take notes as I go, but just a general summation.
Episode Title: "Girl Meets Brother"
Episode Number: 15
Boy Meets World Episodes Borrowed From: There are a few episodes in BMW that deal with one of the Matthews brothers feeling jilted by the other, but I actually think the closest analogue is actually "Brotherly Shove" way out near the end of the series. Despite the differences in Cory and Eric's stage of life then vs. Riley and Auggie's stage of life now, Auggie still plays the role Eric did - jealous of their sibling rather than spending time with their friends than him, especially in an activity that was supposed to be just the two of them.
Cory's History Lesson and Relevance: None! No class! Yay!
Episode Review: This was a pretty good episode, one that restored a modicum of faith in me after the one-two punch of train wrecks, in my opinion, that were "Girl Meets Flaws" and "Girl Meets Friendship". Maybe I'll get around to doing mini-reviews of them (I probably should) but if I don't, suffice to say they were both bad. "Girl Meets Flaws" took an insultingly simplistic look at the very real problem of bullying that helps absolutely no one and in no way reflects real life (it's subplot of Riley wanting an award for being special and ending up getting the bestest award of all at the ceremony was equally insulting) and "Girl Meets Friendship" was just a horrendously written clusterfuck.
But this episode? Not bad. Not bad at all. Not perfect by any means, but a lot of this worked. Cory and Topanga felt like themselves, were pretty well written and funny, and felt like pivotal parts of the show. It focused on the Matthews family (+Maya, which is fine) and that's a FAR stronger part of this series than the school stuff and class stuff is. The school scenes are just so badly written, and they move Cory rather abruptly from the best part about the show into one of the worst parts, and the friendship dynamic still doesn't work either. Maya and Riley's friendship individually works, and in fact works probably better than Cory and Shawn's did 15 episodes into Boy Meets World when Shawn still felt undefined and part of a vague "Cory's gang", but Lucas and Farkle's inclusion into a foursome isn't getting any better.
In fact, the complete lack of Lucas (and the only minimal inclusion of Farkle, which was just enough of him) was probably part of what made this episode so strong. Riley really shines when he's not around to be an albatross around her neck. I like her much better as goofy, awkward, and painfully square but Lucas in Riley's orbit turns her into a boring generic Disney girl. As discussed, he works a lot better with Maya, but I still think he works best just... not there.
Some negatives? Well, Auggie felt off sometimes. He kept saying like... aggressively sweet and endearing things, and while he does that sometimes, it's not usually as in your face as this ("Riley makes me smiley!") It made him feel a bit less real.
Oh, and that whole Herbie Hancock thing was lame as all celebrity guests on these shows are when the shows make a big deal about him. Did you instantly recognize him as Herbie Hancock? I didn't. I consider myself at least slightly more with-it about older music than today's preteens, and I couldn't have picked Herbie Hancock out of a line-up if my life depended on it. And yet the audience all clapped and recognized him instantly, and the show played up the wink/wink/nudge/nudge of "Hey, you should play music for a living!" This may have worked if it was, like... I don't know... Elton John or Stevie Wonder or someone more instantly recognizable. But it just felt really forced and uncomfortable and embarassing for everyone. Obviously, Girl Meets World is not going to be get big-name celebrity guests. Just like Boy Meets World, whatever celebrities it gets are going to be random and C-list and not worth the "WOOOs!" we're forced to endure for them. Just don't do it.
I also think we're going to the flashback well a little often. We're half a season in and I think we've now seen that "Cory and Topanga's first kiss" flashback twice, yeah? Drop it. We know what their first kiss looked like. Earn your moments on your own merits.
Episode Review: A- (I'm trying to keep in mind... the series, for BMW this wouldn't have been an A- episode. But I actually think this was probably the second-best episode of the series after "Girl Meets Maya's Mother")
Episode MVP: I'm going to give it to Rowan Blanchard, but Ben and Danielle were both strong candidates too.
Oh my god, you guys. Next week? I can't even handle it.