Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Character Battle Round 1 - Yellow Division -CLOSED-

Hey everyone. The voting for round 1 of Purple Division is closed. You can see the results on its post or here on the up-to-date bracket. Black Division will close later tonight and ROUND 2 will begin tomorrow!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Character Battle Round 1 - Red Division -CLOSED-

CLOSED

Happy Anniversary, Girl Meets World Reviewed! (and first two episode reviews!)

Hey dear friends, it's me. Christian. Hello.

August marked the one year anniversary of this blog. I started it on a whim, mainly because I was frustrated because the only reviews I saw of this show, in like bmwsequel.com, were cloying and sycophantic. The only places who did real reviews seemed to more or less stop reviewing it after the pilot (besides IGN which continues to do pretty good, though not especially nuanced, reviews, if you want to check it out) and I wanted there to be a review site that spoke to me, that both approached the series and its characters with the adulation that I did, while also being sophisticated enough to recognize when things were shitty and call a spade a spade. So I created it myself.

Character Battle Round 1 - White Division -CLOSED-


Hey everyone. Blue division voting has ended. You can find the results on the Blue Division Round 1 post, or you can see it here on the updated bracket!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Girl Meets World Reviewed - Caricatures

It's a slow day so I made a caricature of Christian and I blabbing to the commenters. I wanted to include everyone, I promise, but I couldn't think of a doodle for some of you.
Blogger is pretty restrictive with image sizes, so get a better look at it here




UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM okay guys, enough goofing around let's get those Wendy votes out into the polls please, thank you.

Character Battle Round 1 - Black Division -CLOSED-

CLOSED

Character Battle Round 1 - Purple Division -CLOSED-

Hi everyone. We've decided to speed things up a bit since most of these first round matches aren't too exciting. They'll still last three days, but we're looking at two divisions per day now instead of one. So here's purple, black will come out later today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Character Battle Round 1 - Blue Division -CLOSED-

Welcome to the beginning of the most exciting thing to happen to you since dinner. The "Three Days" window will begin and end at midnight Eastern USA Time because that is what I, Sean Of Golden Text and Golden Heart, have decided. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Poll Testing

Special Event: BMW/GMW Character Battle

Welcome, welcome, one and all, to the (as far as I know) first ever Boy/Girl Meets World Character Battle!
It's a massive picture, so good luck to you phone users.
The bracket was carefully seeded to allow for interesting matchups, without eliminating important characters too early. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Creativity" (#2.14)

EDIT: Be sure to check out the blog the week of the 28th (this week) for something special and awesome, even though we won't have an episode to review.


Christian's drunk at work or something else equally awesome so I'm kicking things off tonight.

This is the first time I've watched the show live on Disney Channel, and thus I caught the last two minutes of Camp Whatever. It is perhaps the worst thing that has ever been and everyone ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I'm afraid I don't have much of a review for you all, since reviews are meant for episodes of tv shows, not the backroom event at a circus. The second half of this episode was the backroom event at a circus.  I was taking notes since I couldn't pause the episode and type, like I normally do, so I'll share this part with you.
The first line is in reference to the horrifying commercials, of course.
I cannot stand the whole "pure youth breaking through the jaded bourgeois bureaucrats" trope. Every single line from the kids is followed by an implied "Aha! Gotcha! We're pretty smart even though we're kids huh!" It was almost entirely a nightmare. The one thing that kept me alive was the banter between Cory and Turner. An anonymous commenter wasn't happy with Cory in this episode, but I enjoyed his playing with Turner from start to finish. Cory immediately blaming anyone nearby who isn't himself is a very Cory thing to do. I had fun with it. I just feel bad that ATQ had to sit there while they filmed it all. 

Now listen, I'm an aspiring artist myself. I love art and I completely agree with the intentions of this episode. But come on. "You're right! We didn't try thinking about things differently, that changes everything! We're so bad at our jobs!" Jacobs knew what he wanted to do, and for some reason went with the very first execution he thought of. That super easy plot line you think of immediately when you want to "save the arts." All that was missing was the kids handcuffing themselves to an old tree when the bulldozers show up.

There's some quality in the first half though. The scene in art class was great. Riley's personality was used in the perfect way for humor, but I think somewhere in the script they told Sabrina to be "even broodier than usual." The art teacher comments a lot about Maya's talent and... I have a personal distaste for the word "talent," because it makes people feel like if they weren't born good at something then they'll be painting Riley's purple cats forever. Why can't Maya be skilled instead? "Skilled" makes you think "if I work hard, I can be that good," while "talent" says "You weren't born good? Shit outta luck." That's not really here nor there, but it's something I feel very strongly about.

I also liked Farkle's hair. Farkle's hair has looked SO good lately. Who's with me?

The last important thing to talk about is Zay. This is the episode where they wanted to make us like Zay or die trying. And it wasn't a total failure. His commentary on Lucas and Maya looking at each other in class was a complete misfire, but maybe some Lucaya shippers saw it and identified with it, I don't know. That's what the writers were going for, I'm sure. Another one of those "Yeah we're listening! We're in on it too!" But as always it was too heavy handed.

The rest of Zay... Yeah not bad. The best he's been, for what that's worth. He took charge, which will always get points from me, his acting is looking at least as good as Peyton's, and his dialogue was enjoyable once we got to the bakery. That's what I referred to as "Zay's redemption speech" in my notes up there. It's a shame that his opportunity to shine had to have such an unsatisfying climax. Did you ever think for a moment that they wouldn't save the arts? No, you knew that the kids' talent show was going to magically poof more money into the budget. It just felt so effortless. I don't think anybody even tried when they wrote this. It was Friday afternoon and everybody wanted to go home. Like I said, every line from the kids had this air of "Can't argue with that, can you, you stuffy datamuncher?!" And it's like yes, they can argue with that Maya, because they're professionals, did you look at the graph?

But let's be fair. We were on a hot streak. Yearbook and Semi Formal are frontrunners for the whole series, and we were hungry for more. Starving. So there were two options. We could stay hungry until September 11th when the next episode airs, or we could eat this. This episode is stale chips. It's stale Doritos. You're like "maybe they're still good," so you go ahead and eat a few handfuls because you're starving, but... they're gross. You regret eating them. You kind of wish you hadn't, and you certainly won't eat them again. But... at least you're not hungry anymore.
I'll add more pictures when I get the episode on my computer. There was magically a picture combining both Disney and Doritos in the first handful of Google image results for "stale Doritos," so there you go.

Christian? 

Not a great episode. Not totally devoid of merit, and you actually perfectly articulated the cringiness of that whole final bit better than I could, so I won't say much on that front except to say... blech.

One thing I did like, and I believe a commenter brought this up as well, was an excellent point Maya made that I don't actually really hear being made much. America has become so low in math and science test scores in comparison to other countries, that maybe it's time to realize it's not where our strengths lie - because meanwhile we lead the world in art, music, film, literature, everything else. (Not that great art isn't produced elsewhere, just like it's not as if we don't have some scientists and mathematicians here) so maybe that should actually be what we're boning up on. 

There's a quote I like from the patron saint of Boy Meets World, John Adams: 



“I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy*. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music..."

* Until around the 19th century, the word 'philosophy' meant the study of nature, and thus was also what today we would call science.

All societies are trying to get to a point where the're so developed that they can spend their time creating and enjoying art, music, and all the more fun, entertaining, finer things in life. We worked hard for centuries to get to exactly the point we're at now. Other countries, especially the ones who are kicking our ass in math and science, aren't there yet. They're studying math and science, ignoring the arts, so that one day their children can live the lives that we do. Meanwhile, in even less developed countries, they're fighting wars so that their children can get to the point where they're working hard studying math and science to become industrialized.

We did it. We made it. We're Rome. It won't last forever. In this country, most of us simply don't have to work as hard as we used to, and others like China work harder, so they'll pass us up and eventually become complacent too. It's the way of the world, and it's inevitable, so, until we go, let's dance.

I don't know how much of that Maya was actually saying, but it was nod toward that philosophy, and I appreciated it.  And that's what I think about that!

I liked that we saw the art teacher again, who we haven't seen since "Girl Meets Maya's Mother" and who I, back then, actually thought would be a fun Turner-esque teacher who'd be closer to Maya, but instead we got stupid Harper who, thankfully, doesn't appear to be coming back like everyone else predicted (though it's probably too soon to tell.) However, I didn't actually like her in this one. She kept comparing Riley negatively to Maya, which was pretty unprofessional. We get it, Maya's a good artist, Riley's a bad one, you don't have to rub Riley's nose in it. And then her getting all maudlin and "Good painting, Maya. Too bad it's your last one forever!" and bitching publically about the school board. I feel like she was intentionally getting the kids to riot on her behalf because she was too lazy or chicken-shit to do it herself. I want art and music back, but that lady fired.

You're right, I adored Cory in this one. His lesson was extremely applicable, and he tried to make it general even if his bratty kids didn't let him. And I loved all the Turner scapegoating a lot. It's frustrating how we have such jarring dichotomy with Cory - sometimes he's lame Diet Feeny and is a complete failure as a character, and sometimes he's actually Cory Matthews and he becomes delightful. Today he was mainly Cory Matthews.

Speaking of Turner, other than those jokes with Cory, what was the point of him in this episode? He showed up simply to say "Hey, out of my hands." I get that with Turner established as an authority figure, you need to address why Turner isn't simply fixing this, but they could've had that be in the dialogue when Cory explained it wasn't his fault: "Well, what about Mr. Turner?" "It goes over his head too, it's the school board's call." And you're done. Don't get me wrong, I liked seeing him, but it wasn't a particularly good use for him. Instead, maybe we should have actually had Harley in this one, since his concern over music classes being cut was previously established in "Mr. Squirrels Goes to Washington." (which, by the way, was nice foreshadowing of this being an issue JQA was already facing)

Yeah, the bit with Zay calling out Lucas and Maya was weird, particularly as it went absolutely nowhere. Like Riley seemed to notice what was going on and didn't like it.... but then she never brought it up again. Still, I did like the touch of the reason Lucas was so up in arms about this was simply because he knew what it meant to Maya. They didn't try to pretend it meant anything to him. Lucas has never seen a paintbrush in his life. Yeah, I know he was in the art class too. I stand by what I said.

 Zay still sucked. Yeah, maybe it's his best episode, but he still wasn't good. Sabrina over-sold her angst a little bit, but she was okay. Peyton was whatever. Corey was fine, but the more I think about it, the more I'm actually not into the Donnie Barnes look. I did think he needed a wardrobe change and to look not so ridiculous, but I think he can do that while still being a little colorful. This all black thing is just too much of a switch and makes him feel like not even him. 

The best of the kids, by far, was Rowan, who I thought was delightful throughout this episode. I'm really at the point where I think I just plain like Riley better than Maya. 

Lastly (FOR NOW!), so, when they shut down art classes (...mid-semester) janitors come and just throw everyone's art away? Really? The students couldn't have just taken their art home with them? Come on. 

I meant to say this before, but my favorite part of the theme was when Farkle said "Science feeds creativity. Creativity feeds science." I don't know if I have much else to say. I give this episode a C. It tried. It had heart. There was some quality humor, and Cory actually felt like himself. MVP goes to Cory because I'm not on this Riley train that Christian's riding.

Episode Rating: C+. Not awful besides the final scene, but a wholly unremarkable episode that, now having seen twice, I doubt I'll ever watch again unless, like, Anthony Tyler Quinn dies in a tragic accident and I decide I want to watch his last episode (if we don't see him again)
Episode MVP: Yeah, Ben Savage. Rowan's the runner-up, but I like the return to form of Cory. I was never not enjoying him.

GMW is dark for two weeks, but next week we shall reveal to you a FUN LITTLE SURPRISE that all may participate in which will be our activity in the interim. Much fun will be had! 

The show will return on September 11th (Yeah, I know) for an episode that is, I guess, called "Girl Meets I am Farkle" for some stupid reason. It will be Farkle-focused and should feature the return of Minkus and the introduction of Farkle's mom. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Semi-Formal" (#2.13)

Hi. 

There's over 120 comments on the previous review, which is quadruple the average, so if we didn't get to your comment, that's our bad. There were a lot of them and life is short. But we absolutely love all the discussion and feedback, so don't be shy!

There's a lot to love in this episode, so let's quickly run through what I didn't like.

1. Maya's narration. Here's a re-enactment of me watching this shtick:
"Oh, hah, she's narrating like that 50's footage they just watched in class."

"Hmm she's doing it a second time, well okay I guess they didn't have a lot of ideas for this script."
"A third time? They're milking this gag a bit too much."
...
"A HUNDRED TIMES?"

Her accent wasn't even very good. None of it worked. And Christian is going to tell you the opposite because he'd rather die than say something bad about Maya. But there you go. Maya was, for once, the weakest of the four young'ns.
2. "Undapants." Help me out here. What's the thought process when someone laughs at a callback like this? Is it simply "Haha I know what that's referring to!"? I know what it's referring to, so does everyone else, but that alone doesn't make it funny. What am I missing? Eric wasn't even there when Undapants happened. It was just Cory, Topes, and Shawn. May as well have called Cory "Celery" or "Baboon" for all the sense it made. This was a poorly executed joke, and an affront to the legacy of Undapants. It deserved better, made worse by the fact that Will Friedle wrote this script. You don't have to force it, Will. We don't need to reference a BMW joke in every episode with a guest star.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Yearbook" (#2.12)

I saw this episode early but debated about holding off until Friday when it airs. But I just have so many feelings I want to share nooooow. So I'm starting this review now. You don't like it? Lump it! Take it down the street and dump it!

But, seriously, don't click this link if you don't want them spoilers.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Descendants Reviewed

Descendant is REALLY bad you guys, nearly unwatchable. I don't know if either Christian or myself is going to be able to watch the entire thing. (EDIT: I did) So for now, the review is simply "it's super duper bad."
I can damn well guarantee you that Christian will not be watching this entire thing. Good lord. I did actually think Kristin Chenoweth did a good job with Maleficent, but then she sort of stopped being in it, so.... nope. Didn't like anybody else. Very bad, and also I don't like what they did with the Disney characters. Like that's Jafar? He wishes. That guy's nothing like Jafar. Jafar fucking rules. Also, I don't know who "Jafar" thinks he's fooling, because that kid is clearly Aladdin's son. 

Other things I'll cite: It's weird they included Cruella deVil (whose depiction was far too goofball) and her child. They don't belong in this kind of world. They're from 20th century London. What's next, the child of Buzz Lightyear and Cowgirl Jessie? I'd have stuck with just the traditional fairy tale kingdom-y stories - Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast. Throwing in 101 Dalmatians, and even Aladdin and Mulan felt off. They're too tied to real-world histories and locations. Like, you're trying to tell me Mulan's from this Auradon kingdom too? I'm pretty sure she's from China, you guys. I'm pretty sure her whole thing is that she lives in feudal China. Whereas Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty are from nondescript fantasy kingdoms, and while Beauty and the Beast takes place in France, it doesn't have to in the way Mulan has to take place in China and 101 Dalmatians has to be fairly modern. 

I'm probably taking that too seriously, considering this movie isn't taking itself seriously at all, but I dunno it bugged me. 

I'm about 2/3's through it now. The date between Mal and Six-Pack The Blonde is one of the worst things this channel has ever released. 
Why is this a musical? There's not even that many songs. And none of the kids can sing. Everyone is auto tuned, making every song incredibly difficult to watch. Most of the time the music doesn't match up with the characters' mouths.

This boils down to a story about a girl changing her entire world view after hanging out with a boy for two days. Thank goodness Elsa isn't in this or she'd be pissed


And that's hilarious Christian, I didn't think of that, but Jay is absolutely Aladdin's kid. 

OH WOW I just got to a hip hop remix of Be Our Guest. Somebody end the madness, please. I'm actually dry heaving right now.

video

Okay this ending is pure fucking garbage. The entire movie, Carlos and Jay have no real romantic situations at all. Here at the end, they're both happy because of independent personal satisfaction. Carlos has this dog, Jay has his sports. But you know what makes the girls happy? Well boys obviously! In Mal's big speech to her friends at the end, her wise words for Evie are basically "You're smart! Smart enough for even a boy to like you! Doesn't that make you happy?!" I'm not even being an ass about it, I'm not reading between the lines, that's what she says! It's so insane! And obviously the only thing Mal cites as a source of happiness is the prince. 

Poor Evie. It may have just been her visually appealing color scheme, but she was the only one I sort of liked. Regardless, her ending was fucking disgusting. "I may not have a boyfriend now, but I'm smart enough that I could have a boyfriend eventually!" God. 

The set design was mostly okay. I think the entire budget went toward set design and Kristen Chenoweth's paycheck, except for maybe about 10 dollars that they used to pay the writers and audio engineers.

Final thought: I don't wanna be a jerk, but Jay's actor's first name is Booboo. That's his name in the credits, Booboo.