I've noticed Girl Meets World episodes often have a habit of starting off pretty strong and then the wheels fall off the wagon near the end as they try to HAMMER. HOME. THE LESSON. This episode is no exception. I enjoyed the first half immensely. Riley and Maya were both charming, there were funny moments throughout. Lucas was conspicuously absent from the classroom scenes too, though Zay scooted up and took his spot and I'm not sure that qualifies as an improvement.
Like Sean said in an earlier post, I like this premise. It's probably something that would have worked a little better if they were a few years older - high schoolers can blend into a college party, middle schoolers can not. But otherwise I'd still like it. These are real shenanigans. While I was never naive enough to think Disney might actually tackle the real dangers a coupla fourteen-year-old girls might face at a college party, I did think they might make some tacit reference to at least... drinking. A little bit maybe? Sadly, no. Really, though, while this didn't look like many college parties I went to, it did kind of feel like an accurate representation of what just... hanging out in a dorm is like. People chilling on beds talking, people coming in and out. So, that was fine. And how well Riley managed to fit in was pretty funny too. Riley was actually awesome throughout in this one.
What I didn't like was how Maya and Josh it got. I get that you need a little of that, because that's what takes them to the party in the first place, but that it ended with a bunch of people sitting around talking out the Maya and Josh relationship was really lame. And I didn't believe anything that happened with those college girls. I didn't believe that they'd be this invested, I didn't believe that they'd sort of support Maya's crush on Josh and basically demand Josh entertain the idea, I didn't believe that they'd drag all this information out of Maya, in front of Josh, in a way that, if I were her, I'd find absolutely mortifying. The longer the conversation went on, the less I believed the way anyone was acting, and less I believed these people were real and actually saying things.
There was a potential for a nice moment here, when Riley and Josh called Maya out on not really knowing him, and for a second it looked like Maya was about to agree. I'd have liked that. For Maya's earlier "This isn't a crush, I know what I feel." to be pointed out as being bullshit. But then they tried to act like Maya really DOES know him, and that sucked. Anything that... acts like this relationship is viable sucks. Yes, true, in a few years this age gap (which ought to be four given their grades, but is for some reason three years) is going to seem like nothing, but for now... let it go. Josh, go date high school seniors; Maya, go date eighth-graders. Because there was this weird air of... "To be continued..." in the way things ended there that was sketchy. He's a senior, she's an eighth grader, and it's weird for them to date. Oh, and Cory and Topanga, who witness all this, should be putting the kibosh on it big time and are not doing a damn thing.
What's also odd about all this is the fact that we got the pre-ordained relationship of Lucas and Riley, and this complicated by age relationship of Josh and Maya... and yet Josh and Maya actually look about the same age, and Lucas and Riley look like there's an age gap. Honestly, Lucas looks older than Josh. In fact... I'm going to look it up. Alright, he's not older than Josh, but Uriah Shelton and Sabrina Carpenter are only two years apart, compared to Peyton and Rowan's three. So, anyway, that doesn't help either. If they'd gotten an older looking guy I'd totally get that they knew this was wrong. But right now I just don't know where theie head is with this... is Josh and Maya actually going to happen? 'Cause I really don't think it should.
The tot thing was dumb. There was no reason for the tot thing. Except I did enjoy Cory's scene with the tots. I just didn't need it to turn into a puppet tot. And it really didn't add much.
I was glad to see Riley actually got grounded for sneaking out. That's the kind of thing that would happen on BMW - Cory would be found out or come clean and actually have a nice talk with the folks or with Feeny and all would be forgiven... but he still got grounded or detention.
Ohohohohohohohohohohohoh, oh my goodness, what a crock of shit.
Christian describes this one as a descent from good to bad, but for me it was more of a sandwich. The beginning and end were flaming crap, but that middle, mmmmwah, prime rib, filet mignon, caviar. So let's break down the sandwich.
I made a prediction in our post about Jack that Riley would make a bad poker face while all dialogue pauses so the audience can laugh. I guessed that it would happen three times, and we ended up with two.
This show's predictability is a crippling wound. You can see every joke coming, every bit of conversation feels so one-dimensional and.... rough-drafty. Like Jacobs describes the scene and they just go with the first thing that someone puts on paper. It's so simple, so basic. Is that a necessary byproduct of being a kids' show? I don't think so, there are plenty of kids' cartoons with nuanced writing.
So the first ten or so minutes were a total waste for me, with the exception of the tater tot puppet's unbearable cuteness and I want one. It brought nothing to the show, of course, but as an object in real life I want it. At the ten minute mark I assumed I would be tearing the entire episode to pieces.
As it turned out, I was the most wrong I have been in a long time and my expectations have been reset for this show. Riley immediately thriving in the dorm's environment is one of the best things in this whole series. This reminded me of episode 3.20 in Boy Meets World, the story is about Shawn and Cory is, for some reason, excellent at selling real estate in the background. I adored that real estate gag, and I adored this sorority stuff. It was unpredictable and still believable, it was new, it was funny, we haven't seen anything like that that I can remember.
"It's a Gamma thing." Fucking hilarious. "You were already voted best-friend-to-have." God, every line... I am so impressed with that whole bit. Bravo. Standing ovation.
There. That's me clapping in real life. That's how much I enjoyed it.
I need to shave.
But then, as is the way of the sandwich, we went back to shit real quick. I don't have anything to add for the last 7 minutes, really, Christian hit it all the same way I would have. It was unrealistic and honestly pretty awkward, Maya/Josh needs to stop being portrayed as a real thing. I was SUPER excited to see Riley calling out Maya's bullshit feelings, just like Christian said, but then they fucking tried to sell us on it for real. What a huge mistake. They almost had me, they were so close, but we ended up in another galaxy. I also want to highlight Christian's comment, "Cory and Topanga, who witness all this, should be putting the kibosh on it big time and are not doing a damn thing." That earns my second standing ovation of the night. They need to step the fuck in.
Auggie was a total non-factor and I still don't care for him.
Zay was the best he's been, but that is an almost meaningless statement.
As unappealing as the Josh storyline is, I can admit that Uriah Shelton is an enjoyable actor to watch. Maybe the bar is just set low after Lucas and Zay, but for the garbage nonsense he's being dealt, he makes it easy to watch.
Christian? At least admit that the tater tot was cute.
I don't know, man. I'm kind of a sucker for cuteness. You don't even wanna be around me when there's a baby or a puppy. That puppet was just weird. I found his voice kind of funny? I guess. But mostly I was just wondering how this talking tot, which was a surprisingly small aspect of the episode, didn't get excised entirely.
Interesting, so you hated the beginning, loved the middle, hated the end. Now, there is some crossover here, as what I'm defining as the beginning and the end is that I liked everything until they ended up in that dorm room with Josh and the girls, and didn't like anything after - besides them getting grounded, I guess. So, I suspect all that middle you liked is actually there in my beginning I liked.
And I meant to get around to it, but yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed Riley-in-the-dorm. I enjoy when they show us new sides to Riley, like Riley the Obsessive Knicks Fan (which, by the way, needs to not be a thing that was mentioned once and then dropped, that needs to be a thing with her) and now Riley the Really Shines in College. I loved all that, how she was the one who felt bolder and more in control in this atmosphere which is exactly the opposite of what you expect. I love the Maya and Riley dynamic as-is, but ultimately... they're both so young. They don't know who they are yet. And so there's a degree that Maya, with all her tough talk, is just a fraud and a poser, who talks a big game but is ultimately as fragile and needy as the rest of us, and so there's a degree where Riley, for all her naivete and innocence, can be savvy and bold and kick-ass when she wants to be. I like that.
Also, I totally cracked up when Riley and the sorority girl did the "Stop it." and Maya protested and Riley delivered a scathing "Grow up."
Whata handsome young man, Sean. Laaaaaaaadies in..... Florida, is it? Am I right about that? I used to think you were in Canada for a while, I'm not sure why. Anyway, ladies, better get in line!
And, then, yeah, we agree on the end. Sure, I'll grant this is Zay's best episode but... he also was barely in it, so, I mean, what's that tell ya? I still didn't like him. The thing with Zay is, the kind of character he is? That's a kind of character I actually tend to like in things. They seem to want him to be a charming rogue, a troublemaking rascal, always getting by with his wits. That's great. I'd love a guy like that on Girl Meets World. They just need to have writing and an actor that can sell it.
Oh, c'mon, Auggie's fine. I don't pay him much mind, but he doesn't bother me. But then Morgan didn't bother me either during those periods in Season 1 and 2 where Lily Nicksay's version seemed to be driving you crazy during your walkthrough. Now, I'm the youngest in my family, so maybe it's because I don't know what little siblings are like, but Morgan and Auggie always seem like what it would be like, especially with much younger siblings. They're always running around, doing and saying stuff, ostensibly being up to something, but I'm not really paying that much attention to them because I'm living my dramatic 13-year-old life.
Hmm. Uriah Shelton's fine. Certainly the best of the teenage male cast, but then, the teenage male cast is a weak point on this show. Much like I like clever n'er-do-wells like Zay's supposed to be, I like slick charmers as well, like Josh is supposed to be, but I'm not sure I'm sold yet. But I think I need to see Josh do more than say "My brother!" and be lusted after.
The clever and charming rogue is the best archetype there is. I hope they can pull it together.
If you've ever read Boy Meets World Reviewed, you know that I'm a big fan of the episodes inspired by literature. This was no "Me And Mr. Joad," but I definitely still appreciate the effort.
EXCEPT THAT WE DID THIS ONE ALREADY.
BWOOP BWOOP BWOOP BWOOP, IT'S THE ALREADY-DID-THIS SIREN!
EPISODE 17, SEASON 1, NINE MINUTES AND FORTY TWO SECONDS. Feeny starts to read The Tell Tale Heart and Cory feels guilty about lying for Shawn. In the entire universe of literature, Jacobs really felt like re-using one from BMW? And don't give me that "Cory is passing on a lesson from Feeny" crap. Cory is not Feeny, Girl Meets World is not Boy Meets World, we can't just rehash the old lessons and reuse the old literature. Or at least give Feeny credit, Cory, damn.
And yeah, I live in "It can't possibly be this hot" Florida, but I was in "It can't possibly be this cold" Wisconsin for most of BMW Reviewed.
Ah, interesting. Yeah, and now that you say it, I think I do remember you taking a hiatus one week because you were moving cross-country. Well, there you have it folks. Sean's thoughts are coming at you courtesy of the Sunshine State. And, if you're curious, I live in Chicago.
See, while I don't like when they totally rip-off plotlines and reuse them, I don't mind them reusing history lessons. In school, you're going to read the Tell-Tale Heart. Feeny doesn't own teaching that story. Although, I'm not sure why Cory's teaching it. BECAUSE HE'S THEIR HISTORY TEACHER. C'mon, bring in the hip English teacher from "Girl Meets the New Teacher" stat. Take some of the teaching load off Cory's teacher so he can play the role he was always meant to play - dorky dad. Dude's been a dorky dad since he was 14. It's finally his time. I forgot to mention it, but I really enjoyed Miley being shocked that Cory and Topanga were the same age - though I do have trouble believing Riley wouldn't already know that.
Oh, I forgot to mention. And this is quite embarassing for a coupla BMW-philes like us, but... I don't remember this Cory doing Real Estate bit you mention. This is in "I Never Sang for My Legal Guardian"? I remember the episode. But I don't remember Cory doing anything but hunting Chet down and winding up dancing with that bar girl in the bar as Topanga looked on disapprovingly. This real estate business rings no bells. Guess I better cease my habit of all my BMW-rewatching being Seasons 4 and 5.
Not sure if we're not here or not, but in case we are:
Episode Rating: B-, I guess.
Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard for sure.
I'm in no rush to finish up, so if you got more, let me have it. Otherwise, let's speculate about Farkle's mom more now that we apparently have... no candidates.
You disappoint me, padawan. It's in the first half when Shawn and Turner are looking for a new place. For carpet, Cory recommends the "shag, cuz it's feels good between your toes." I've carried that line with me for eight years, that's at like the two minute mark. And then again from 4:30 to 5:00. I think that's it, so it's not really a running joke, but whatever. That's a good episode. "I'd do it again."
There's an entire universe of literature to choose from though. Crime and Punishment follows a similar exploration of a guilty mind, and Dostoyevsky was brilliant. I maintain that Tell Tale Heart was a lazy choice.
So let's readdress Farkle's mom. https://twitter.com/GMWWriters/status/575990323496677376
That article we linked to in the investigation post was inarguable. If their alleged hints were all true, then it must be Kelly Packard's character. So either their hints are wrong, or the writers are being cute, since, they're right, Farkle's mom is not Kelly Packard, it's Tracy, the character that she played.
I'm leaning toward the second option. I have yet to see a source on the claim that the girl was in season one, which is the linchpin for the Tracy argument, but I'm willing to believe that it exists.
Oh come now, Dostoyevsky's great and all, but first of all, they're not going to have 8th graders reading it, and secondly, it doesn't provide as clear and simple a visual as The Tell-Tale Heart. You get the point right away with the Tell-Tale Heart. You can explain the plot in one sentence, and that's what's needed here. And while there's an entire universe of literature to choose from, in terms of the books that get taught in middle school, no, there's probably only about 50 or so books to choose from. Maybe less. I find in middle school (and high school) what everyone reads is usually pretty much the same with very limited exception. And I certainly didn't touch Russian literature until college.
I mean, god, I guess they could be getting all semantical like that, but God, is this mystery that important that they want to keep it going in that way? Obviously no one thinks the actress Kelly Packard is the mother, they meant her character(s). God, I'm just mad at this whole premise now.
Would you go with Tracy and not Candy? I find Candy the more memorable of her characters.
Yes, I think they are being intentionally pedantic to preserve the mystery. Obviously they're not gonna go YUP THIS GUY GOT IT RIGHT, IT'S SPOILED. The statement "Farkle's mom is Kelly Packard" is not true, and I'd probably do the same thing if someone were trying to guess a secret of mine. As long as I had some sort of wiggle room, I wouldn't be giving it away.
Well, that's all she wrote for this review folks. We'll be back on Friday for a brand new episode, "Girl Meets the Rules" that seems to involve them devolving into a Lord of the Flies scenario when Cory is gone and they don't have a sub for some reason.
I wonder if Farkle is going to declare himself supreme overlord while the audience goes "ahahaha."