Still a few episodes I haven't done yet for Season 1. So, here's a little mini-review. No Sean for this one, but he'll be back for Girl Meets Demolition tomorrow. It's been a while, so if you don't remember this one, it's the one where Farkle's picked on by Lucas' fellow jock friend Billy.
So, I respect what they were trying to do with this episode, bullying is an important issue in the lives of kids today. But I found their take on it a little simplistic and ultimately of very little benefit. Yes, many bullies do it because they themselves are insecure, but merely pointing this out to them is probably not enough to, like, solve it. Farkle's bullying should not have been so easily stopped, and Billy's redemption shouldn't have been so easy and quick and neat. It's not realistic, and so kids who are actually dealing with bullying don't really have anything to take from such a portrayal. I think it would have been better for Billy to just... stay as he was, and for the lesson to be for Farkle to not let someone like that bother him. It's not like we ever saw Billy again, why redeem him?
More realistic, from my point of view, was how it was handled on Boy Meets World. Cory was bullied by Harley and his cronies, and it never really got any better, no matter how much detention the bullies got. Eventually he just sort of learned to live with it, and Harley left, and it was over. He and Harley never made up and became friends during the course of their high school careers - yes, Harley eventually seems to have realized he was wrong and he and Cory became friendly, but this happened in his adulthood after, it seems, Harley took some real licks.
Speaking of Harley, this was a much more effective episode for him and would have been better served as his introductory episode (It was intended to be, but many episodes were aired out of order, including his two. And it's the execution that matters, not the intention) as it's clear who he is, and we learn how he came to be the janitor here. I'm glad that it's not just some big coincidence that he and Harley ended up at the same school, but in fact Cory and Harley must have run into each other, Cory saw Harley had fallen on hard times, and he did a decent thing and got him a job (I wish we'd actually seen that.)
Still, Danny McNulty is rusty as hell, having clearly not done much performing in the interim between stints as Harley. Really rusty. I'm not sure if he'll be back in Season 2 or not (honestly... I don't need him to be) but if so, he's going to have step up his game. Ben and Danielle started off a little rusty too, but they weren't anywhere near this level.
It wasn't a great episode. A lot of Disney-ish humor, a grating amount of Ava Morgenstern, a lesson that rang false. Still, I'll give them some credit from making an attempt at a relevant tween issue.
P.S. I don't believe for a second that a young, intelligent African-American athlete like Billy would have no idea who Jackie Robinson is. Bullshit.
Episode MVP: I dunno, Ben Savage? No stand out performances.
Episode Rating: C