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. 

133 comments:

  1. Just this teaser of a review, Sean, leads me to write this:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, from the mind that brought you "How Girl Meets Fish Should Have Ended...And Started...And In-Betweened" comes an all-new novel length, script-comment: "How Girl Meets Demolition Should Have Ended...And Started...And In-Betweened."

    I haven't seen the episode yet but I will. And probably chant to myself "I do believe in loyalty to directors. I do believe in loyalty to directors. I do believe in loyalty to directors."

    Oh, and no mention of the two hundred comments on last week's post?

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    1. I'll probably have "How Demolition Should Have Ended..." here tomorrow, if I'm not overstepping my boundaries as a poster. If Sean and Christian don't think I should do it, then I'll step back.

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    2. Thank you for your blessing, Sifu Sean. I have had ideas for "Demolition" for a while, and I do mean "Demolition" not "Creativity." Might even do large scenes proper for "Fish."

      When you get down to it, "Creativity" is flawed in its ending. I know the kids win. I had it pegged. But money is money. My ideal ending? Well, the kids win. My ideal, /realistic/ ending? The kids lose. It's one of the worst things about our educational system, but the arts are the first to go.

      I do have a question though. Farkle's dad is a venture capitalist, a millionaire if not billionaire--why can't Farkle just call his dad and ask him to write a check? Or why can't these kids maintain what they love as HOBBIES?

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    3. Yeah Maya doesn't seem to realize that she can buy a set of paints at fucking Wal Mart for a dollar.

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    4. Minkus isn't a venture capitalist that I'm aware of. He's the CEO of a corporation. Very different occupations. Just saying.

      Also, I actually don't think a whole long fanfic for Girl Meets Demolition would be super appropriate as a comment in this post. Maybe put in on the blog entry for Demolition? Or fanfiction.net? We've recently been thinking we've been letting these comments get a little out of control and off topic.

      Thanks for understanding, and looking forward to your thoughts on this episode!

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    5. Christian-Thanks for letting me know about the new comments policy. I haven't watched the episode yet, but I plan to soon.

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    6. No problem! We don't mean to be hard-asses, we're obviously fine with joking around and bantering and some off-topic stuff. But there have been at times where it felt like you and Cryptid went a little far down the rabbit hole and maybe it was stuff that would be better served elsewhere. Appreciate your being okay with it!

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    7. No worries. This is a great space to discuss the show with like minded fans. I want to be a part of the conversation. I'm usually more than willing to follow rules/guidelines, as long as I know what they are.

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    8. I agree Kit. You and I have overstepped our boundaries. If Christian and Sean want us to stay on topic...
      *climbs out of rabbit hole*

      So what /is/ the plan for next week? Some throwback reviews? An overall discussion of the show in general? A debate on storylines we'd like to see? Whether or not Disney Channel is holding "Girl Meets World" back?

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    9. "Yeah Maya doesn't seem to realize that she can buy a set of paints at fucking Wal Mart for a dollar."
      Sean, I think you might be kidding, but that brings up a good point. If the school art program goes away, Maya can't afford private art lessons, so sure she could paint on her own, but she wouldn't be honing her craft. She obviously enjoys learning about art and wants to improve. This teacher seems so in love with her that it would have been nice to have her offer to give Maya lessons for free outside of school. I was really hoping that would happen.

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    10. True bsloths, but in the age of the Internet, there's a million and a half videos online teaching about art. For as many times as we waste our technology to beat King Koppa and save the princess, we also have a verifiable geyser of how-to videos.

      True that's no replacement for a private tutor, but there's hardly a want for information.

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    11. I was thinking the same thing cryptid. Jacobs has talked a lot about how he wants to incorporate technology more into the show because these kids love in a different wod and this could have been a good opportunity for that. It wouldn't have been realistic for a teacher who just lost her job to teach free lessons. However I know a lot of people who have learned to paint, draw, and play instruments thanks to YouTube tutorials

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    12. Live In a different world *** not love in a different wod hahah

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    13. That's true and you guys are absolutely right, but YouTube vids can only take you so far. At some point she's going to need real-time feedback. The few artists I know are always taking classes to keep their skills sharp. It's that in-person interaction that's important, and I want that for Maya! :-)

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    14. It's certainly not that Good Looking Detective and I disagree with you bsloths.

      I never had a hand at art, but I do have a hand at writing. I wrote a novel for my college thesis and I would hand out passages and get feedback from people I rode the city bus with. I sent chapters to friends to get their input. The importance of in-person analysis and response cannot be overstated.

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    15. For the concern that sure, Maya could buy art supplies, but who's going to teach her? The moment he heard about this, Shawn would sign her up for art classes so fast her head would spin. I get that obviously he shouldn't *have* to, but still. If Maya's serious about art, then the rinky-dink art classes you take in school aren't enough anyway.

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  2. The first half was actually quite good. I mean it still had a simple take on a more complicated issue with both the school's budget and testing, but it worked. Episode peaked with Turner scenes in the art room.

    The episode reminded me of Saved by the Bell, particularly the oil episode where if the main characters grandstand in front of the school board they'll do whatever Zack says. I guess that's one way to end an episode, but it wad never the BMW way.

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    1. Yeah exactly, it was Saved By the Bell, it was Michelle on Full House.

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    2. Quite frankly, it's Disney Channel. The writers have their hands tied by the company.

      Michael Jacobs gave an interview recently and it appears that Disney's been holding him on a leash. Not just with budgeting, which is why he had to cut some characters (Riley's would-be older brother Elliot. We can argue about the merits of Elliot as a character, but the actor was in the pilot and was bummed about being let go), but also with the direction of the show in general. Disney wanted a fourteen-year-old lead--who'd probably be fifteen by the time the show started proper production--and Jacobs had to fight to get what he wanted. I am dead certain that Disney's been forcing the plots to go a certain way.

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    3. Do you have a link to this interview?

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    4. Here it is Julia:
      http://www.ksitetv.com/interviews-2/ksitetv-interview-michael-jacobs-of-the-emmy-nominated-girl-meets-world/74019/

      Christian, Sean, maybe we can have a post next week about this interview. I know you guys want things to stay on topic.

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    5. Was a really good interview. Though the thing with Morgan made me want them to take the Roseanne route and have Morgan be in multiple episodes with the actresses taking turns in the role. :P

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  3. You mean we have to wait until September 11 for the next one? Nooooooooo. :( I thought we were getting a new episode every week now til like October or November. On the upside maybe we can break our comment record yet again and have a discussion that takes us all the way til then. XD

    I haven't seen this episode yet because I'm in Canada and don't get American Disney Channel but I'm supposed to watch it and the camp show with a friend soon (GMW because she hasn't seen a lot of it yet and I want to prove to her that it's actually a good show and the other one because our friend-okay her friend that I sometimes watch on YouTube because all my friends worship at her feet-was in it again tonight). I'm feeling since everyone seemed to hate the other show tonight I should spare us double the torture by secretly putting on Yearbook or Semi-Formal instead. I don't think she'd know the difference. :P

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    1. We've got something AWESOME ready for next week, so there's still a lot to look forward to. I think subterfuge is the way to go, you couldn't sell anybody on tonight's episode.

      And just so I'm clear, you're saying you're two degrees of separation away from an actor on the camp show?

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    2. Oooo yay! Glad to hear this blog will be updated during the hiatus! (It's probably my favorite part of watching the show now :P) Can't wait to see what'll happen here next week! :D

      Also totally agree with the "talented" vs. "skilled" thing. I think if more people used the latter a lot of kids would have more confidence in themselves and be able to achieve more. Self-esteem has a huge impact on people, especially young people.

      And yeah I guess I am. :P I'm two or three degrees separated from a lot of "famous" and/or interesting people now that I think about it. :P Though I suppose a lot of people are.

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    3. Guys, it's too soon to refer to talk about September 11th.

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    4. Can't tell if you're serious or not Christian....

      And turns out my friend has already seen both of the episodes from this month (glad she's watching it more now but unless I can think of a better episode soon I'll have to watch this one as a follow up to her freaking out over her friend/"queen" as she calls her on Bunk'd). Guess I'll go look for some not-stale Doritos to much on as a mild distraction.

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    5. It was supposed to be a 9/11 joke. ...Sorry. I'm kind of drunk.

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    6. TYPICAL GRYFFINDORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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    7. Oh no do not get me started on the Hogwarts train again because I've been posting headcanons for that all week (it's all over the internet since it's back-to-school season and all) and just yesterday I found a Pottermore all-questions sorting quiz that I think may actually be able to judge the same way Pottermore does and all this is starting to consume my entire internet presence. XD

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    8. YEAH, JULIA. WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THAT QUIZ AND WE ALREADY TOOK THAT QUIZ, OKAY?!

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    9. I don't get why you're so down on us Gryffindors, Sean. Just 'cause we always win the house cup? Maybe you should win the house cup. OH, YOU CAN'T BECAUSE WE'RE THE HEADMASTER'S FAVORITES? SORRRRRYYYYY!

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    10. Haha, I'm just antagonizing everyone. That's the only reason I'm here. :)

      I love you all. Class dismissed.

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    11. I think it's worse than he's letting on. I know Christian, and he would have to be seriously shitfaced to use "class dismissed" so flippantly. We're in for a good show when he comes back tomorrow.

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    12. Haha. Yeah, I'm going to hold off on reviewing until tomorrow. There's just no benefit to me attempting to do it right now.

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    13. But I want Christian to review the show nooooooooooow it'd be way funnier! XD

      AND YOUR OBVIOUS-FAVORITISM HEADMASTER IS DEAD SO HA! You have McGonngal now...who's still Gryff (gdi). Though she'll be gone by 2017 so enjoy it while you can. She's probably much more impartial than Dumby though. XD

      Btw I was talking about the ProProfs Pottermore one. You didn't link to that one that wekek we had the whol quiz discussion so HA! XD

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    14. Give us a hint at what you guys have planned for next week!

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    15. It seems weird to me that they wouldn't have any mention of the twin towers on an episode airing on 9-11 which I'm guessing they won't since I know what that episodes about.

      I get that they wouldn't make as big deal about it in other parts of the country or even other parts of New York but that was very personal to everyone living in or near the city.

      Where I'm from everyone knows someone who died or was involved in that tragedy so it seems like it would be the same for Riley and maya and friends


      Then again maybe they're too young to really get it and of course it's probably too dark for Disney channel so it's not fair to expect. I was just surprised to hear the next episode was airing on September 11

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    16. Thing is, with the way these episodes were scheduled, they likely had no idea when any particular episode would be scheduled, outside of holiday-related ones.

      As for addressing 9/11, I guess I'm just not sure what sort of analysis the show should be expected to have on it, and why GMW of all things should be discussing it, 14 years on. It was a national tragedy, I don't need to hear Riley Freaking Matthews', who was chilling in her mom's uterus at the time, give us whatever her, like, take on it is.

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    17. Earlier Anonymous - ALL WILL BE REVEALED

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    18. I totally understand that without knowing scheduling and whatnot it would be nearly impossible to plan such a thing so that makes sense.

      But I disagree that they have no business ever touching on the issue. Yes it was an international tragedy and a national tragedy but it was specifically a New York tragedy. Every school In and around the city still holds a ceremony and moment of silence on September 11. And at the point that it happened Cory and topanga had been living there for a year and surely knew someone in the twin towers that day.

      In my school every teacher mentions it and gives it it's due respect on that day through a discussion or a moment of silence. So while for scheduling reasons I can definitely see why they wouldn't go there I don't think it's a ridiculous notion that Cory as a history teacher might make some mention of it in his class that leads into a lesson for the kids about America and community. There was never a time that the people of New York were more unified and connected than the day following 911. This is history that is very relevant to his class, more relevant than Damocles or Greenland/Iceland or Belgium 1831.

      So no I don't want to see Riley preach to me about a tragedy she wasn't alive to see but I would like to see Cory inform these students of an incident they were too young to experience but still feel the ripples of today in their community.

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    19. Hmm. I certainly agree that if this were a real school and it was September 11th that there should be some time set aside to address it. We as a nation certainly still taken moments of silence and commemorate the anniversary, and I'm sure in New York that's even more pronounced. But I'm not sure what the *show itself* would have to say on the subject. What would be the actual narrative purpose of a 9/11 episode? I guess I just don't understand what would be gained by anyone with an episode like that. Is it just 30 minutes of Cory talking about 9/11? Do they talk about 9/11 for only a bit and then drop it to go to some wacky Farkle story? Do they talk about 9/11 for just a bit then try to somehow thematically link it to whatever little middle school adventures they have going on? I just don't think it makes any sense story wise...

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    20. And I also just don't believe this show could handle that in a way that doesn't kinda feel like they're trivializing it - boiling a horrible (and recent) tragedy down to some nugget-sized parable the way they've done every other history lesson.

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    21. The scheduling is almost certainly a coincidence, Christian. The episode in question was originally called "Girl Meets Normal" and there's a rumor that autism will be a part of the plot.

      Which may or may not be a good thing. The last time there was a "diagnosis episode," for severe want of a better phrase, on Disney Channel, I believe it was that diabetes episode of "Hannah Montana." And that episode made "Meets Fish" look good.

      That said, "I Am Farkle" may be more along the lines of "When Carl Met George" from Arthur. A very tactful, surprisingly concise description of Asperger's Syndrome. In a show made for first-graders.

      Come what may, come what may. I did hear, a long time ago, we're actually due to see Stuart Minkus /three/ times this season. I think I heard Minkus and Shawn will reunite for the first time in over a decade as well.

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    22. You're probably right that it would be trivialized by the show and is not a great idea for an episode. If they were to do it I could see it going in the direction of hurricane and hurricane picnics and a community that comes together in a time of tragedy. But it's probably too soon to be talking about it in such a hopeful way. At the end of the day it's probably best that they steer clear of it I guess I was just trying to say it's not an outrageous idea

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  4. I'm okay with using Disney Channel as a reason for certain things, tone in particular. But their solution was lazy and uninspired. There were much more creative ways to get to that end and still be funny and show some ingenuity.

    They could even still do the same act for the school board, just tape it, put it on the internet to raise awareness, make a kickstarter to raise money. Minkus is a billionaire and Jackee Harry's one on the show. They even know a US senator. Not saying they guest star, just name drop them. Start a petition with the students parents signatures and with all that bring to school board.

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    1. Even further, why not just ask CRAZY HAT to save the arts department for crying out loud

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    2. Yeah, but I guess they can't do Crazy Hat-ex-machina every time someone needs money on this show. XD

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    3. Yeah, I'm certainly happy they didn't use their incredibly well-connected social network to get them out of this jam. Crazy Hat's just the worst, Eric's at least okay because it's Riley's actual uncle, not an eccentric billionaire they befriended.

      I forgive Disney Channel for tone too. I don't need gritty drama wherein Lucas develops a coke problem and Riley gets an abortion. But... still. It doesn't need to be dumb. It just doesn't need to be dumb is all. But I guess I should be silent to make my thoughts on this episode A BIG SURPRISE!

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    4. ^ I think this comment will inspire a lot of fanfiction, Christian. XD

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    5. I agree with everything Ben said.

      If nothing else, I could easily see Minkus writing some ridiculously large check to show off in front of Cory and Topanga, and Turner for that matter.

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    6. Christian, do you mean they should popular social network Tinder?

      They have to tread lightly since they have a billionaire in their back pocket to solve their problems, though most issues on GMW is on a micro level. Though I'd love to see how Crazy Hat would solve Riley's yearbook problem with money. There are precedents in real life for billionaires to helping save the arts. Like Cryptid mentioned below, these are after school activities and about 10 years ago, George Soros donated 30 million to NYC schools to save arts and music.

      That might solve one problem, I think a more interesting direction would be for the Main 4+Zay to get donations, but the school board deciding they wanted to use the space for testing. At the board meeting, Maya says how important art is because it keeps her wanting to come to school and then they bring up the Chairperson was an art major and instead of guilting her, use it as a positive. She wanted to learn and got an important job later.

      It's too bad Topanga's scene was giving bad advice. "Think illogically!" I guess it could be in character, I think back to when they handcuffed themselves to save the Study Hall teachers job. It didn't work until they thought logically and told the kids the cost of losing a teacher who doesn't care. I feel like Cory and Shawn(particularly Season 2's cynical versions) would have laughed them out of Chubbies if they told them this plan.

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    7. Actually, I think that was Cory's idea to use the handcuffs.

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    8. That's a fair point about the handcuffs and lockers, but I think there's a difference. Cory's Alternative Friends used the handcuffs to get in the way of their classmates, not the school board. The kids had a petition for the school board, which, while not likely to change anything, is better than the presentation. If anything, that handcuff stunt reminds me of "Flaws" in that the kids try to call out other kids.

      You know, with that remark about a test-taking room and the upcoming "Meets Commonism," which has test-taking as a subplot, and the knowledge that 7th-grade Riley and Farkle had as many 'A's as High School Graduates Topanga and Stuart did, we may eventually see an episode that out-right criticizes the overall structure of over-saturation of tests in the school system. That could be interesting.

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    9. That could be very interesting. Excessive testing is a major issue that's come up in conversation with almost every adult I know with a kid in middle school today. i didn't realize that's what girl meets commonism is about but that makes A lot of sense considering common core is such a hot topic in New York right now. Nice to see they're being aware of the location for this show

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  5. I did not enjoy this one. The humor wasn't very good, and the lesson was too heavy-handed. I actually kind of enjoyed Zay in this one. I still don't like how the writers use him as some sort of audience surrogate, pointing out the stuff that the audience is supposed to be thinking. It feels obvious and in-your-face. I don't really like the whole Lucas-Maya setup now. It was fine before, but now they're being too obvious that they're setting it up. But I really enjoy this blog. I was one of the readers of Boy Meets World Reviewed and I've gotten into this.

    I also love the love for Linda Cardellini on this blog. I grew up with her as Velma in the Scooby-Doo movies, as Lauren in BMW and as the crazy mental patient in Good Burger. But I really fell in love with her in Freaks and Geeks. If you guys haven't watched that show, you should definitely check it out. It was sadly cancelled after 18 episodes, but it's one of the best TV shows ever in my opinion.

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    1. Omg I never knew that was her in Good Burger! Gotta watch that again now.

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    2. You rock Anon. Thanks for sticking with me/us. Cardellini is a boss. That Lauren love is going to be relevant again with next week's event.

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  6. *giggles* I love the comment section. Hmm, are we really not having Christian do a drunk review?

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    1. It sounds much better than it would actually be, I promise.

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    2. Well hello, there. Did not expect to be responded to. It's quite a feeling, isn't it? And now I've gone and ruined it. *Grins*
      I liked Zay in this episode (not just 'kinda') and i just want to see that ballet thing not just be a one-off comment.
      Re: Farkle's hair- It's not just his hair, is it? His entire colour scheme has changed now; a lot more darker colours and it's working.

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  7. Off the bat the opening scene was really good. Riley's hilarious and as usual is one of my favorite parts about the episode. I like her banter with the art teacher, particularly the bit about the whole painting being a door haha. I thought it was a good save.

    Also I don't know if you guys have noticed but I think Maya's art actually has gotten progressively better with each painting they show us from her which is a nice touch.

    As for the Maya lucas interaction idk. I've actually liked their banter and hints at a relationship lately but this one felt a little in-your-face. I much preferred the more subtle, "hate to break it to you cowboy but you're still dancing with me". Maybe them staring at eachother just a little too long would've been fine in topanga's cafe but it felt too weird and obvious in front of the whole class with Zay's commentary.

    It did however make me very curious as to when this episode was originally supposed to air. I naturally assumed yearbook and semi formal were meant to be just before TExas and graduation, (particularly because yearbook really should be closer to graduation) but this kind of feels like the strongest they've hinted at these two in a while. Particularly the"blonde beauty" comment. If this wasn't the original order they did a good job of choosing an episode to feel like a continuation of last weeks.

    Now let's talk about that ending. What the hell was that? The whole plan was based on the fact that they "can't fight this with logic". I'm sorry but if your plan doesn't involve any logic then your plan sucks. There is a creative and logical solution to this problem and instead of coming up with it they embarassed the school board into coming up with a plan I'm sure we'll never hear.

    However, that being said, I didn't think the end was a COMPLETE waste of time like you seem to Sean. I did like the Maya's little singing bit that ends with them ripping the cord and pulling the microphone away. It acutally was a fairly good visual of the school taking away their artistic voice by cutting the arts. And particularly clever for a bunch of eighth graders. I also though farkles prime numbers listing was funny as well as auggies random comment about hating 23.

    But none of it changed what the head of the board said after Turner's speech, " That was a very passionate speech. Let's check if it changed any of the numbers. Nope." And that's how it really should have ended. But it didn't have to be a depressing ending which would make kids feel powerless to this issue that is actually happening in a lot of schools.

    A better solution would have ben a compromise where they can't fund art classes but they can find money in the budget for supplies for an art club after school twice a week and maybe they could do a student run production of pippin. I think cory donating his classroom for an hour after school each day for students like maya to run their own artistic endeavors would have been a much more earned resolution. Empowering kids without giving them unrealistic expectations of public schooling. It' actually something that could have driven future plotlines down the road set in student run activities, art festivals, and plays. We had all these things in my high school and they gave students a real sense of independence and responsibility. Just an idea but im sure there are a dozen other satisfying ways to end this.

    Funny that the episode is about "Thinking creatively" and "outside the box" While the writers chose the most cliched solution out there. The only ending that could have been worse would be deus ex billionare busting in during the last 2 minutes. Sorry this turned into such a long comment.

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  8. In light of the new comment policy, I have decided to throw out "How Girl Meets Demolition Should Have Ended."

    Ironically, "Demolition" and "Creativity" are very similar in what I thought about the episode. A very good set-up with a extremely lackluster resolution. That's all I have to say about "Demolition," so I'll move along.

    On to the review proper:

    What did I like?
    The art class. Though I'm not sure I liked this scene as much as the first time we saw the classroom, it does serve to make the school seem more like a school, rather than Cory's Lecture Hall. And Maya's talent has improved exponentially since "Maya's Mother."
    So, props to the crew for finding a better artist for stand-in, since I'm sure we would have heard if those were really painted by Maya. I remember Christian saying he wasn't that wowed the first time around.
    Another plus? It appears we finally learned Riley's favorite color, something she asked Shawn whether he knew what it was eight months ago! Royal purple.

    It was a little obvious but I really thought the Bay Window Scene was one of the best of its type so far this season. Riley encouraging Maya to grab something she cared about and fight for it (however lackluster the execution), was very Cory-and-Shawn. It reminded me a lot of "Poetic License: An Ode to Holden Caulfield," but not quite as obnoxious.

    It was quick, but I actually enjoyed seeing Riley encourage her little brother with his drawings. I've mentioned how I think Auggie's strongest scenes are with Riley, and I think it extends to the show in general. With the exception of the sets of twins, I can't remember a Disney Channel show where siblings that had this much genuine affection.

    And Turner was in this episode...which was nice, in its own way. Mr. Turner is always awesome. Still sort of surprised Riley calls him "Uncle Jon," since like Christian said a while back, Cory and Topanga were never very close to him. Heck, I think the only time Topanga speaks directly to him is when she tells Turner he walked right into giving Cory and Shawn an easy way to skate on that Biographical Essay Assignment.

    What didn't I like?
    The presentation. All of it. Not one bit of it was good. It was extremely awkward. I actually did chant "I do believe in loyalty to directors." No grown-ups in North America would tolerate the kids doing that.

    More to the point, most of what was being cut--drama, dance, ballet--those are not classes. Those are extra-curricular activities that would almost certainly be on such a shoe-string budget in the first place and have to reuse costumes and props Art, Music, Chorale--those are classes. The difference might not seem like much, but it does make a difference in terms of what gets funding.

    Grade: C+
    I'm being generous here. I have a feeling Disney probably has an agreement that Sabrina has to sing at least once a season. So, in light of that, as bad as this was, it could have been much, much worse.

    Christian, Sean, I hope this new comment is more in-line with what you have in mind. I will try to keep things on topic from now on.

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    1. Cryptid456-"In light of the new comment policy, I have decided to throw out "How Girl Meets Demolition Should Have Ended."-That's a shame. Why don't you post it in the comments section for "Girl Meets Demolition." It follows the blog's new comment policy, and people still get to read what you wrote. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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    2. Hi Kit,

      If Christian gives his go-ahead for me to post "How Girl Meets Demolition Should Have Ended" in the comment section for that episode I'll go for it.

      If.

      I don't actually have an account on Fanfiction.net so don't bother looking for it there. I spent way too much time on that site in high school. And college.

      I intend to try to keep things on topic from now on. I think we've overstepped our boundaries a bit.

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    3. Wasn't that his suggestion in the first place?

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    4. Oh yeah...I actually did consider doing that in the first place, but I figured "Would anybody actually see it there? How many people go back and look at the older reviews?"

      If neither you nor Christian mind it being posted in those comments--and I should note it would not be prose; it'd be little more than a script--then I just might.

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    5. Have you considered starting a blog for it? I'm not saying like "get that outta here to your OWN blog," I just mean that might work better in general than writing it in a comments section. Formatting and pictures and all that.

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    6. If I started my own blog, Sean, which I have considered mind you, it would not be focused on analysis of a television show. Or at least not entirely based on a show.

      I'd probably post musings more than anything else. Politics and theology. My own writings. Maybe an excerpt from my novel. Or a fisking of an article I dislike. God knows I love a good fisking.

      As it stands, I'm seriously considering sitting "Commonism" and "Sludge" out entirely. I'm not sure I could keep myself from making too long comments based on what'll be presented.

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    7. Cryptid456-"Oh yeah...I actually did consider doing that in the first place, but I figured "Would anybody actually see it there? How many people go back and look at the older reviews?"

      I don't think Sean and Christian would get too upset if you wrote a short/one line post in the most recent post telling people you wrote a comment in an older post. (If I'm totally wrong on this, I'm hoping Sean and/or Christian will tell me).

      A blog can cover multiple topics. A blog that I love started off focused on "Mad Men," and gradually started to cover other shows too. If you have the time, you should totally start your own blog to post your work on "Girl Meets World." The "Mad Men" blog that I mentioned earlier had someone quite active in the comments section who also wrote for his own separate blog too. You wouldn't have to chose between this blog and your own blog.

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    8. I don't think long comments were the problem. I think Sean and Christian were more upset that we were off-topic and creating fan-fiction, instead of discussing the episode that the post was about. Sean and/or Christian will correct me if I'm wrong about that.

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    9. So here are some more better-late-than-never (maybe) comments. Before I start, did you end up putting your offside commentary somewhere? I would be interested.

      After a couple of pacesetting episodes, this one puts us back in the peloton. Not a much to say about it that hasn’t already been said.

      The art room scene worked for me too. I didn’t mind the art teacher’s treatment of Riley. It was done for laughs, not as a model for teacher/student interaction. Rowan Blanchard is either becoming quite good at comedy, or always has been and I am just starting to notice (wasn’t watching GMW for its value as a sitcom). She was very funny here. And the line later in the classroom about another teacher scratching Riley’s nose like she didn’t want to was gold, and not just by virtue of the writing. Might have been my favourite line, and line reading, in the episode.

      I grant Maya her angst. Maya’s circle of friends includes a son of a billionaire/smartest kid in school, a star athlete with a parent whose transfer to New York is no doubt a sign of professional success, and Riley is preposterously well connected and fixes everything. Maya has art. Termination of the class is not just about future learning, but about losing the place, public and official, where she is the shining star. It must be hurtful to be told the thing you are really good at isn’t important.

      I liked the polarity reversal in the bay window and agree it was a nice scene. Then that was about it for things I liked.

      You are on to something about Auggie. Auggie almost only seems worth the time when he is interacting with Riley…and Maya if she is there too. If I see Auggie and Riley isn’t there, I sigh and wait for the next scene.

      The presentation wasn’t quite as sensationally awful as I feared going in, and there were probably bits and pieces I would admit to liking if someone put a gun to my head. But it is nothing I would ever want to watch again. The show gave itself a problem to which it didn’t have an answer anyone would like, then invoked magical thinking, after a little song and dance.

      Maya’s line about getting rid of math and science was okay as something provocative a 14 year-old might say but doesn’t stand even the slightest scrutiny. Sure you guys are world leaders in film and music, but there is a fair bit of science in that. You also have rovers on Mars and sent a space probe to Pluto. Anybody else doing that?

      Given that the show made global warming an issue in the previous episode, it is odd that it would champion an increase in scientific illiteracy.

      C+ for me too.

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  9. Things I liked:

    Riley's banter with the art teacher. It's fun to see her not be a Mary Sue.
    Zay being the one to get the group to stop moping.
    Turner's always great.

    I saw the ending coming a mile away. While I appreciate what they were trying to do, it still didn't work well. Didn't see the head chairwoman being an art major, that was actually a nice touch.

    Yeah, we all knew this episode wouldn't be great.
    My MVP would probably be Rowan.
    The next three episodes should be really good.

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    1. What are the next 3?

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    2. Unless there are last minute schedule changes, the new episodes are as follows:

      Girl Meets I Am Farkle--Originally called "Girl Meets Normal." Stuart returns and we meet Farkle's mother--Jennifer Basset, the blonde who tried to break up Cory and Shawn's friendship while she was dating Shawn. Lots of Farkle in this episode, and this just might be the "Farkle-and-Riley-Platonic-Friendship Episode" pwfan and I have been waiting for. Also, anybody want to place odds on a joke about Cory and Shawn sneaking each other cinnamon rolls? Mmmm....cinnamon rolls

      Girl Meets Cory and Topanga--I know very little about this episode, since I have learned the IMDB summaries are not to be trusted. Michael Jacobs said this one is BMW-heavy, but no guest stars. So we might get to see Riley and Topanga interact one-on-one, which sounds fantastic

      Girl Meets Conflict Resolution--Originally called "Girl Meets Rileytown." I have no clue what this will be about, though I heard a rumor Riley deals with getting bullied. Rumor of a guest star is just a rumor so I won't bother telling who might appear. A Riley-centric episode that might not be about a romantic interest? We haven't had one of those since...um...hmmmm....

      In any event, September looks like it will be a month for the ages as far as this show is concerned.

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    3. I heard girl meets Cory and topanga is basically an episode meant to fill in the younger audience on who Cory and topanga were as a couple before girl meets world so they will understand more of the references.

      I'm guessing that means a lot of flashbacks to the old series recapping important milestones but I'd also love to see them fill in some of the 14 year gap with new scenes we haven't seen of them moving to New York or finding out they were pregnant or adjusting to city life. Could be a lot of fun if they chose to go in this direction

      Either way it's a good idea to get the merge the show's separate audiences and get them on the same page

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    4. Aw man, if Girl Meets Cory and Topanga is just a BMW clip show episode (and a Cory and Topanga focused one at that, as opposed to being able to see great Eric clips) that's going to be a bummer. I had no idea what kind of episode it could be, but I also wanted it to be a flashback episode. Maybe it's Riley's birthday, and Cory and Topanga "tell her" (via flashbacks) the story of the day she was born. And so you could have Shawn and Eric in it too. That would have ruled.

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    5. Yeah, more and more, I just think we're going to get a 30-minute abridged story of Cory and Topanga with intercuts of Cory, Topanga, Riley, Maya, and maybe Auggie sitting on a couch and talking:

      Clip 1: Doughnut in the sky
      Clip 2: Locker kiss
      Clip 3: Laundry basketball
      Clip 4: "You are you and I am I..."
      Clip 5: "If I had to dream of the perfect woman..."
      Clip 6: Jean jacket
      Clip 7: First break up
      Clip 8: Disney World!
      Clip 9: I dunno, maybe throw in hair chop off for some color?
      Clips 10-15: A bunch of Long Walk to Philly stuff
      Clip 16: Lauren
      Clip 17: Breakup
      Clip 18: Starry Night
      Clip 19: Proposal
      Clip 20: Probably straight to marriage, skipping the final breakup arc entirely
      Clip 21: Moving to NY!

      And we're out!

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    6. You're forgetting their FIRST EVER fight that they had in the provider in season 7. No no not their first fight as a married couple, their one and only fight. Sorry still bitter. But I like the idea of the day Riley was born and bringing in other characters. It's still a possibility if they decide to do a few less clips and intercut some new footage

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    7. While most of what Christian lists would probably be there, I have to add this comment. Riley is a soon to be 14 year old girl who will sometime soon become obsessed with boys. As a parent myself, if I put myself in their place, there is no way we tell her about what happened in "The Happiest Show on Earth" or "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh". That can wait till she is much older and she can appreciate what they are telling her, but not put ideas into her adolescent mind. Can you imagine if Lucas moves back to Texas? Riley hops on an Amtrack to go to him, and it must be ok because my mom did it. That's not anything you want to help your children think about. It is bad enough if they think of it on their own, you wouldn't want to imagine that you as a parent contributed to that way of thinking.

      Also, the writers said we would be seeing laundry basket basketball this season, so that might be a clip, or it might be a scene of their current life. Mom and dad keeping it fresh.

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    8. It will be interesting to see if they can stitch Cory and Topanga's history all together without contradicting itself.

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  10. I actually thought Maya's thing about America being so far behind in the world in every area other than creative media and arts was a good point. Of course that doesn't mean they should actually get rid of math science and reading but I don't think that's what she meant either. She was just pointing out that one thing that has always differentiated America from the rest of the world was a culture that supported the creative arts. It's a culture that's inspired millions of entrepreneurs, pioneers like Steve jobs and bill gates, the big names in Hollywood, authors, and musicians. We are prided on an ability to think differently and all our great leaders were creative thinkers.

    It's not a perfect argument by any means but it was at least the beginning of piecing together a logical argument for why we shouldn't consider the arts disposable.

    I actually really liked good looking detectives idea for how it should've ended it would've been a much more satisfying conclusion. And maybe next year they could plan to rally and really campaign to the people in their school district to vote for the budget to pass so that they can reclaim their art classes

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  11. We open up in the art classroom and if you look carefully Maya’s painting of her mother in the Nighthawk Diner is hanging in the room. Nice touch. Mrs. Kassel is back and impressed with how much progress Maya is making. Look at her picture carefully (I’ll get back to this later). Riley’s work however, doesn’t impress her so much. Riley’s use of exclusively purple here is just to emphasize for us that that is her color in the series. I like Zay’s lines here to Lucas and Maya and Farkle’s bummed admission that now that he can finally audition for another play, drama will be cut. Nice callback to Meets the Truth.

    (If you hadn’t noticed: Riley – Purple, Maya – Yellow/Gold, Lucas – Blue, Farkle – Orange/Donnie Barnes – Black)

    Then to the classroom, where Cory is trying to actually teach them about an historic event that will tie into a lesson, but Maya forces the whole thing out and then bitches at his teaching methods. I loved that. Now our moral compass goes on about how wrong this all is. Zay starts a running commentary here, and Riley has a look like a light bulb has come on above her head with all this Lucas-Maya talk. Riley also needs her nose scratched in a reminder of Master Plan. I wonder if we will get that gag every season? Riley does say that she will not be the person to solve the problem though. Interesting.

    On to the bay window and Riley shows some growth by making Maya admit that she cares about her art and doesn’t want it to go away. Nice line by Riley saying that Maya, who professes not to care at that time is speaking IN ALL CAPS. The girls go to ask Topanga for help, and she tells them she can’t fix their problem, but they need to think outside the box to look for their solution. Then here comes an Easter Egg that I love. Auggie puts his new art on the fridge. Look at it. It is the solar system, AND IT ONLY HAS 8 PLANETS! Come on Riley, even Auggie knows Pluto isn’t a planet! Get with the times, girl. (Sorry, continuity fan here, and I love little things like this that only a few people catch).

    Over at Topanga’s and the extended gang is in the house. Zay hits then with a speech that only he could give. Bear with me on this. We know the core 4 and their personalities by now, and none of them would have given that speech, but it was needed. Having a random kid from their class like Darby, Sara or Yogi (the playa!) say that stuff wouldn’t have meant as much because none of them are as close to the group as Zay is. Zay is like 1 step removed from the core as he is a good friend of Lucas and so it gives the speech more weight, and therefore the kids take it more to heart (I would place Smackle in this position as well. In a situation that called for her instead of Zay, she would qualify as being close enough to lend it the gravitas required if the episode used her instead). So now they devise their plan.

    Replying to continue -

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    1. Good to see Turner back, but in my opinion he served no real purpose except as a target for Cory’s jokes. Truthfully, I have no issues with trying to get him to help, but since he had no input into the decision, making him the butt of Cory’s humor seemed poor.

      And on to the school meeting where this entire episode went to die. I get what they were trying to do, but this was poor execution and writing, in my opinion. Maya’s point about the United States’ position in math and science worldwide was interesting, but obviously dropping them would be foolish. While I’m sure Rowan can dance, Riley seems terrible (this seems surprising as in season 1, we can see on the calendar in her room that she attends dance class once a week). If they wanted a dancer, why didn’t they have Zay dance? He just told them he takes ballet class. Anyway, this entire thing gets resolved rather awkwardly and we are finished.

      My Rating: C+ - the first half was good, and the cast was on their game. MVP: Mr. Isiah Babineaux. He had some important lines, delivered them well, and his character was important to the development of the group of 4. Not sure this will go over well with the masses, but that is the way I saw it this week.

      My Issues – first Maya was dressing like pre-Hurricane Maya and sounded like she was still the non-hopeful Maya from before that. I went to look when this was filmed, thinking it might be an early episode and shown out of order, but no, it was filmed after Yearbook and before Semi-Formal, so I’m not sure why her character growth from Hurricane seemed to be forgotten. SO in terms of story/viewing order it probably belongs between those two episodes. I also thought the entire scene of the meeting of the board making the cuts was terrible. That entire scene was bad from every imaginable angle. I don’t see how that got approved.

      My last note here; I notice how people are always complaining that this show hits us over the head with the delivery of the message every time. While we got one message loud and clear, I believe there was a very subtle message included that you would only catch if watch very closely and perhaps several times. Remember I said to take a close look at Maya’s painting? A brick house with a white stoop, with a closed door. Maya and Riley both said they wanted to know what was behind the door, and Riley said she would make sure Maya got through it. Now look at Chairwoman Sanchez’s painting. Brick house, white stoop (from a close perspective) and now the door is open. There is no way this is just a coincidence. That painting represented Riley helping Maya admit she cares about art and that it mattered very much to her that it was getting cut and that she had to help save it to help her take control of her life. This was a very important growth moment for Maya, but we didn’t get that slammed over our heads. Sometimes, the writers that give us the trash in the school meeting, can still surprise me with something wonderful like this. This by itself would be enough to make me upgrade the episode grade to a B, and believe that this show is a worthy successor to BMW.

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    2. Wow I didn't catch that bit with the door that's cool. I have to disagree with you though about this seeming like a setback from hurricane. I actually saw this as a definite followup to that episode specifically. The light behind the door represents the hope and the potential for a whole family to Maya. The teacher says, "THe artist wants to know what's behind the door as well. I think it's been a door that has been closed to her up until now." That door was opened just a crack during Hurricane and that is what is demonstrated in the painting.

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  12. Hope people are remembering to glance up at the review. My two cents has been up for a while now! :)

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    1. Honestly I thought the same thing about the teacher comparing riley to maya. And then she turned the painting around hahaha. I mean it wasn't even just bad she didn't even try to do the assignment which was to draw a door. She drew a cat. I thought the teacher was pretty justified to be pissed. And it was fun to watch riley throw it right back at her

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    2. Oh, I agree that, like, Riley should get an F on that project. But I don't know why she's gotta be like "You're nothing like Maya! Maya has so much natural talent!"

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    3. Yeah...Riley can be a twit, but she never seemed the type to deliberately not do an assignment.

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  13. I like that they did the whole Lucas maya thing and zay calling them out on it. I also appreciated that every time this happened Riley would make a face out of complete confusion... I thought it was good character development

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  14. Wow lots of comments already, don't know if mine's even going to be read.

    Anyway...I'm actually kind of blown away by your speech on Philosophy, Christain. Hadn't really even thought of it that way.

    But I'm not so sure if the US really DOES lead the world in art, literature, film, etc. Sure, we are probably the one nation that exports it the most, but that's really more a consequence of our global reach and, whether you want to admit it or not, the US's success as an imperialistic power. People talk of the rising influence of China, and how China is starting to exert enough cultural influence that they're starting to influence how American movies are made...but the US still has such cultural influence, that we can pretty much bury China's own domestic movie market and force-feed them our own movies. And not by some sort of devious money-filled palm sneaking behind our backs ala Senator Jefferson Graham from Mr. Squirrels Goes to Washington - the Chinese' own government is assigning more and more movie premiere slots over to American movies over their own domestic cultural output (though there is probably a lot of palm-greasing going there too).

    But the thing is, art and movies and film and what have you is going to be subjective, and much of that is going to be based on cultural background. Reproducing a 19th century Chinese period piece painstakingly with the stingers of mosquitos instead of using a paintbrush (yes this is a real thing you can Google) is considered a magnum opus of visual art in Taiwan, but in the US might be met with yawning jaws stretching as far as their muscles can allow. Or how Last Year at Marinbad is probably considered a snoozefest to most people in this country, but on the other hand you might have trouble finding a shortage of people who think the height of cultural output is the first Avengers movie.

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    1. "Avengers" is certainly an accomplishment in ambition. Here you had five movies spanning the course of three years of release leading up to a grand finale--and that grand finale was only the beginning! We got Marvel films up until 2029--if this pans out, this will be discussed in film history classes for the next century.

      It's actually quite interesting what people will turn in for. A couple years back, there was a twelve-hour special in Norway about firewood that took in a million viewers--twenty percent of Norway's population!
      http://pluggedin.focusonthefamily.com/a-lot-of-barking-over-norwegian-wood/

      Unknown, what would you consider the pinnacle of American film-making?

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    2. I'll put it out there that I'm not a fan of Avengers: Age of Ultron or most the MCU products, but the creativity in it is astounding. From the artisans who do the props, the prosthetics people, the costumes designers, the entire SFX department.

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    3. Never stop impressing me, Ben.

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    4. While I love the MCU, I'm the first to admit that they are popcorn flicks through and through.

      But the creativity--take Ant-Man, for example. Only Marvel could make us get behind and root for a man whose initial vengeful motivation in fighting the bad guys is to avenge the death of his pet ant. And we mourned for that ant!

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    5. I wasn't trying to say that the first Avengers movie shouldn't be regarded as worthy cultural input, just using it as a popular example of what many people do. To answer your question, I don't know - I feel it's kind of unfair to hold up something above all others without considering factors like genre, etc. Just like you can't declare tres leches good because you happen to be in the mood for white mountain cake instead.

      But, if people like Girl Meets World you might want to check out a film called Little Manhattan then. Fans of Boy Meets World or at least Girl Meets Popular will recognize a certain someone in it too :)

      And I promise it's better than Jessie, I apologize for that.

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  15. Not saying it's the only reason, but even hinting at moving Lucas on to Maya has made me like Maya less. Why is that? I have also enjoyed Riley so much more, and Maya has probably been a consistent fave of mine. I was always hesitant about Lucaya. Although I could overlook an overkill setup, it's more. Lucas is just so gallantly looking out for her happiness... That's one problem I have with him (or the writing for him) - he's so cheesy and unrelatable. Just like when he rode in on a white horse for Riley.

    I have a greater appreciation for Riley, not that I ever disliked her. Could the Lucas connection be the hindrance? I'm starting to wonder.

    I miss the old Farkle. I think he looks a lot cuter, and I don't necessarily mind the makeover, but I hope he doesn't become too different. I'm looking forward to the next one.. I didn't realize there were so many episodes left.

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    1. I think her infatuation with Lucas ABSOLUTELY hindered her growth as a character. Absolutely. She'll be much more flexible and interesting with that out of the way.

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    2. Agreed. For Riley's next love interest, be it Charlie or someone else, I want it to be someone who challenges her, and brings out something interesting and unexpected in her. Because right now it's someone who absolutely conforms to her every expectation and life philosophy.

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  16. The importance of direction & guidance, even in art, was my favorite takeaway from the episode. Maya could paint/draw as a hobby, but she clearly wants to learn beyond that level. Loved how the lesson on observing the natural world resonated with her. Also loved her telling Riley she turns golden. These two, particularly at the bay window, always deliver. I agree on the teacher comparing the artworks. Even though Riley's purple cat was hilarious & far from a door, the praise for Maya was overdone.

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  17. The painfully shoehorned "Maya/Lucas" commentary was pretty bad. Can't really be too happy for either girl ending up with Lucas since he's essentially just a bland slab of meat. At best he'd be a good lay, so I guess I could be happy for them there. But they both could do better in terms of finding a good relationship.

    ATQ was wasted here, his bit could have been handled with exposition. I also wish they could have told us HOW they'd save money. I don't know if this is an issue at the middle school level but I notice the arts will face cuts before sports. Would have been interesting to see the athletes refuse to play until the arts were brought back.

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  18. I'm shocked Corey was surprised by Riley's dance about the loss of purple. He knows who the girl's mother is. Instead of that look of surprise, it would have been super cute if he held Topanga's hand, acknowledging her influence on their daughter.

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  19. Sorry I'm late with my review. Long weekend, and I just now finished watching this episode.

    Yeah, it wasn't great as a whole. Now, I thought a lot of the individual performances were great, but the writers missed on the execution of what they wanted to do by a mile. The non-ending wasn't bad, but I would have liked something more definitive. Also, the Lucas/Maya stuff had all the subtlety of a semi-truck hitting a deer on the highway. I have no issues w/ them wanting to explore a potential relationship between the two, but please don't do it at the expense of the audiences opinion of the characters involved. Don't make us hate Maya over this. It's not worth it.

    Like I said, I think there were some great individual performances. Led by Rowan and Sabrina, in my opinion. I think the girls were absolutely fantastic this week. The scenes in the art room and at the bay window were the highlights of this episode. Hell, the best scenes so far in this series have been when the girls are playing off each other. Both Corey and Ben were fun this week, and like everyone else I love it when Ben gets to be Cory Matthews. That really is when he's at his best.

    Since everyone else has pretty much covered other points, I'll just move on to my grade and MVP.

    Episode Grade: C+ I didn't hate it, but it definitely wasn't great. Yet, I did find more than a few laughs and smiles out of it.

    Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard. I really enjoyed her work in this episode. So fun, and she also had my favorite line of the entire episode.

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    1. I completely agree on Lucas and maya! "Don't make us hate maya over this. It's not worth it. " this is so accurate. It's not like sticking them together just makes her unlikable because past episodes show that's not the case. But it was like they had completely different writers for this episode from last weeks! Last weeks was perfectly subtle with the swapping of dance partners and quick glances and short exchanges. For the first time I saw them together and it worked. But then they just had to take 10 steps backwards and make it annoying. If you're reading this writers There is a right way to do this! Talk to will friedle. Don't make us hate maya over this!

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    2. The writer and director did not let the natural chemistry work in this episode. Lucas can still stand up for Maya without it feeling like he's swinging a sledgehammer. Of course Lucas wants to stand up on her behalf, they are friends. Had they made that point, and then let their subtle back and forth take over, then I think it would have worked better.

      It also didn't help that Zay was doing a poor imitation of a Shakespearean chorus all the while being the same, loud character he's always been. His "revelations" were subtle as a Mike Tyson haymaker. His speech wasn't horrible, but once again, it had more heavy handedness w/ Lucas/Maya. The combination of Lucas/Zay really hurt this episode when they could have easily contributed to it. Its a shame.

      I guess my major complaint is that involves that word I used over and over again. Subtlety. There was nearly none, and I think it was needed here.

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    3. That's fair, pwfan, I do think there's a real concern to be had that now that they're doing Lucas/Maya *on purpose* they're going to just do the same damn mistakes they made with Lucas/Riley. That the inadvertent, and thus underplayed, nature of Lucaya was the only thing that made it work.

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    4. Maybe there is nothing between Lucas and maya and it's all in our head. Maybe Zay just has a thing for Riley but he can't compete with Lucas so he's trying to make it seem like there's more going on with Lucas and maya. Maybe Zay is the real master puppeteer here. .. I should go to sleep

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    5. I agree, pwfan. The writers need to be very careful here. I do not think it helps matters that the show is airing on Disney Channel--pacing issues more than anything else, not to mention an out-of-order release pattern that is especially noticeable given that Girl Meets World is a nominally serial show.

      There's little question that Lucas and Maya have chemistry. The problem is that Lucas is still more or less a Disney Prince. And Disney Princes are very boring.

      Riley's a little flat and we don't know as much about her as a lead as we should (Which goes back to little details I would have liked to have seen in the show; Riley being a science fiction fan in "Popular," telling her quiet classmates what she knows about them in "Rules"). But Riley isn't boring.

      Hmmm. Has there been an episode yet that has this near uniform level of commentary? Everybody appears to have been sympathetic to the episode's /intentions/ (Man I wish I could italicize) but not the episode's /methods/.

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    6. @Christian-That is definitely my greatest concern. That the writers will put both Maya and Lucas in the same position that they put Riley and Lucas in, and that it will kill what makes them work.

      @Cryptid-Hmmm...I don't know. Yet, this was an episode where being sympathetic to the topic comes naturally. Nobody wants to see the arts cut, ever. I just wish they would have executed better.

      And yes, Disney Princes are mad boring. Also, Riley being flat is on the writers too.

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    7. I don't know what you guys are talking about Riley is one of the most bubbly, fun, and relatable characters! I just don't see what you mean when you say she's flat. And we know plenty about her. Probably more than any other character. Her problems aren't huge like Maya's but they're much more accurate to a typical 7th graders problems

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    8. We're not saying Riley is boring, Anonymous. Riley's a lot of fun to watch. She's quirky and endearing, and reminds me of Uncle Eric.

      A flat character is a character who doesn't actually much themselves. Doesn't really grow. Riley learns life lessons but we don't see her actually /do/ much. Cory watched scary movies and loved baseball and hanging with his friends as a kid. He did a bunch of stuff--to be far, part of this was Boy Meets World being set in the 90s but still feeling relatively timeless for a lot of the first two seasons.

      Riley's clearly a child of the 2010s (Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that) and her most defining characteristic is her infatuation with Lucas. If Riley's a little flat, then Lucas is a cardboard cut-out.

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  20. Come on Sean and Christian you've got to give us a hint at what we re doing next week! Or at least when?

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    1. Hopefully early on next week? I believe Sean and I are still in negotiations on a timeline. I'm a harsh, decisive Northerner and FAVOR QUICK ACTION. Sean is a southern gentleman, and is accustomed a more courtly forum, sipping mint juleps and ruminating on when to begin.

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    2. If you want to expedite it, I suggest you guys come up with a performance art piece to convince him of his folly.

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    3. HAHA I'll consider it. Do you mean next week as in this upcoming week or the one after?

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    4. If you guys need help feel free to consult the comments section. We are very opinionated

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    5. What the fuck are you saying

      I made VERY quick decisions, you just disagreed with them!

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    6. If we guess, will you tell us?

      A mid-season analysis?

      An attempt to construct a proper timeline?

      An overview of the show in general? Which episodes worked? What could have been changed--slightly--to have episodes that missed the mark worked?

      A trivia contest?

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    7. @Sean,

      Yeah, but you want it to take forever and to start in foreeeeever!

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  21. Y'know, after reading that interview with Jacobs, I have a feeling some of the casting on this show were concessions to the Disney higher ups. Peyton Meyer especially. I mean, he's gotten better but he really just is there for looks. They always seem to be looking to give him something to do and they can't figure out what. He can't really carry the storylines they give to Sabrina. Now they're trying to pair them up, if for no other reason than to hope she masks his stink.

    I'd say the same for Zay. I mean, I get it, they go to the whitest fucking school in New York. But his being there as a token character makes it worse. They probably should have hired a more capable black actor to play Lucas from the beginning.

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    1. Yep, this echoes my thoughts completely. I absolutely believe Peyton Meyer was foisted on them. He was actually in a recurring role on Dog with a Blog before this and left that to come here, implying to me that Disney, like, saw potential in him and decided to give him a promotion. I also believe he was one of the last casting choices announced, which could suggest a later decision made by Disney.

      As for Zay, I have no particular reason to believe Amir MItchell-Townes himself was a Disney decision rather than Jacobs one, but I do believe Zay exists solely as a conscious effort to diversify the main cast. Whether that was Disney's mandate or something GMW itself realized it was remiss on, I don't know. But Zay is very token. I agree that, instead, Lucas or Maya should have been someone of color.

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    2. Whoa I'd be perfectly fine to see them replace Lucas but don't joke about them getting rid of maya. For all our complaints about Lucaya Sabrina carpenter is still one of the best actresses on Disney channel

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    3. I mean, I wouldn't want them to replace Sabrina *now*, but maybe they could've cast a black or latina girl back when casting was going on, before we got attached to her.

      Honestly, my complaints about Lucaya are pretty minimal. There'll still be some growing pains, but I do think is was the right call.

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    4. So, what do you say? We become billionaires, build a time machine, travel back in time, and shower Michael Jacobs with enough money he can have his ideal cast? Oh, and get the show to air on Netflix (I'm astonished "Fuller House" wasn't picked up for cable but they may have more creative freedom on Netflix).

      In all seriousness, I think you're right. Some of the casting was almost certainly concessions in order to get Rowan for the lead. Such is the nature of television and corporate mandates. Jacobs is right; 14 is not coming-of-age, 12 is coming-of-age.

      Last week there was some debate in the comments over whether or not the show would have been stronger had Riley had a one-year-older brother Elliot, whose primary characteristic in the pilot was "Use Riley as favorite wrestling dummy." Elliot was cut after the pilot originally filmed, as was mentioned in the interview. I still think it's a shame. One of the strengths of Boy Meets World was that Cory and Eric were meeting the world co-currently.

      One thing I've noticed is that on Disney Channel, with the exception of the twin sets, siblings very rarely interact with each other amicably. Little brothers (Gabe on Good Luck Charlie, Parker on Liv and Maddie) often manipulate their older brothers, often in disconcerting ways. That's one thing I actually really like about Auggie--he and Riley adore each other.

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    5. And at the end of the day, I think Jacobs was right in campaigning for Rowan to get the role of Riley. If you ask me, I'd rather have the Rowan/Lucas combination we have now than no Lucas/different Riley.

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    6. Pwfan, my friend, Rowan IS Riley Matthews. Her acting isn't as strong as Sabrina's but in terms of actually getting into the role, frankly I don't think I've seen this strong a match since Evanna Lynch taking the fandom by storm as Luna Lovegood.

      My ideal version of Girl Meets World would definitely have featured Rowan as Riley. I could do without Lucas as a /main/ cast member (this harkens back to my distaste of love-interest exclusive characters) but maybe I would have kept him in the show with occasional appearances. You know, to give Riley a storyline that doesn't feature him.

      And I probably would have made Cory an English teacher--moralistic life lessons and redirecting course material to make it applicable to the kids' lives in an English class seems a bit more natural. Besides, it allows Disney to have a "Get Kids Reading Campaign" very easily.

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  22. Maya and riley switched seats from the pilot? Had this been noticed already? But the boys haven't switched...

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    1. Yeah, think it happened when season 2 started

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  23. Am I the only person that noticed what Riley pointed to in the chairwoman's painting? It's a white horse. Like the white horse that Lucas rode in on.

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  24. literally will friedleNovember 7, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    The comments sections for the last few episodes have been HUGE.

    I think a better ending for the episode would have been like, the chairwoman tells the kids that there's literally nothing they can do (SHE CAN BE APOLOGETIC OR WHATEVER), the art teacher is FUCKING FIRED, she talks to Maya about working on her art and Cory/Topanga pay her to give Maya art lessons or some shit. i dunno make it clear that following your passion is important and tough or whatever but ALSO that kids can't do SHIT

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