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.


Honestly, as I'm watching the episode a second time, the whole first five minutes is average at best. The 10 months and 5 months back bits were, admittedly, necessary groundwork for future dialogue, but they weren't... fun... Like, the 5 months back was exactly the same as the 10 months. I kinda wanted to move on. And then the movie on "Etiquette" served no purpose in the story, it never even came up again. It merely served as a springboard for Maya's narration nonsense. I did enjoy Farkle's play, though. I love new Farkle with his infusion of Donnie Barnes.

But once we're past all that, things start looking up with the arrival of Charlie. 
Charlie is a much needed break from the tired and guaranteed obviousness of the Riley+Lucas pairing. He seems like a cool guy, respecting the likelihood of Lucas asking her, or "dibs" as it's known out here on the streets. And he taught Yogi how to skate. 
Credit to Will for being handed a pen and being told "write a scene to instantly make the audience like a romantic competitor for Lucas." It's frustrating that I like Charlie after one scene while we all hate Zay after he's had how many scenes? Why can they make EVERYONE work on this show besides Zay? I don't know. It probably doesn't matter since the actor behind Charlie doesn't have any future episode credits yet. 

Jack's tie-in is excellent. Especially after the fucking mess they came up with for Angela. He's exactly where he should be. He left the Peace Corps, lost contact with Rachel and Eric, now he's working for Evil Corp, come to lobby a senator. This is precisely the "Jack needs Eric's good influence" story that we've all talked about at length. They didn't sugar coat it. Jack is the bad guy. That's awesome. And Matthew Lawrence is the best he's ever been. Then again, that's not too hard when you've got the heaven-sent honor of playing off of Will Friedle. Jack really only works as a counterpoint to Eric. I doubt he'd be any fun to watch in a scene with Shawn or Rachel. 

Jack pulling from his love triangle experience to advise Riley was awkwardly predictable, and Riley looked uncomfortable getting advice from this guy who her father didn't even bother to introduce properly. I adored Jack's reaction to meeting Riley though. It was uniquely genuine, probably the second most genuine and human moment we've ever seen from Jack Hunter, behind Chet's death. The advice itself was well written and well executed. Frankly, this scene could have been a disaster. Jack giving romantic advice to Riley while Cory and Eric stand on the sidelines? That does not sound like something I want to watch, but they nailed it. It felt very smooth, very natural, and most importantly they didn't drag it out into some Cory's Life Lesson Speech. It was just a quick bit of advice.

On the subject of Cory though, that "I remember us every day" made me vomit. I appreciate the sentiment but it's just so smug, look at that smirk, ugh, God. "Aren't I so wise, Jack? Do you see how wise I've become?" Cory is not cut out for those kinds of lines. 

The musical performance was unnecessary, but at least it was a real band instead of some Disney-funded teen band. Christian has some great points about that that I'm not going to steal, so I'll just say in advance that I agree.

The conclusion was fantastic. All of the dialogue at the end of the dance was perfect. Maya's "You're still dancing with me and Riley's dancing with that guy," in particular. These characters are all flexible and adaptable, they're keeping their heads on in a situation where almost any other tween/teen show would have the characters making a disgustingly big deal out of it all. This is what I like to call a Michael Jacobs Moment. 
I know, I can't get good screenshots from this camcorder ass bootleg. I'll try to update these pictures once the episode airs. 

What about the Jack/Eric conclusion? Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm A+. Because there wasn't a conclusion. I was terrified of some "You're right Eric, this oil company is bad for the environment" nonsense, but we got out of there without a forced resolution. Jack is still Jack and we've got a lot of room for future development. Development that I'm honestly excited to see. WE'VE WAITED SO LONG FOR THIS STORY. If you ever read Boy Meets World Reviewed, you know how badly I wanted this. This should have been the original dynamic between Jack and Eric, and it feels so good to finally have it. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Matthew Lawrence's perform-awrence. Perfawrence? Something. Christian is going to tell you that he "didn't nail that one delivery" but I don't get it. What do you want man? You want him to dance a little caper and stare into the camera on the punchline? It was fine. I'm close to giving him my MVP, I really thought he rocked that scene at the dance. 

Somehow I haven't touched on the humor yet. This was one of the funniest episodes of the show, for sure, maybe the funniest. Will managed to hit that perfect note writing Eric's jokes where he's a big goofball, but not a total idiot. "This? No, this is candy" comes to mind. God that's funny. And the girls slamming their lockers to get chalk dust on Cory was excellent. It was a longer joke, rather than the standard two-line "setup -> punchline" that we usually see. Definitely one of the best for humor. Will is a genius. Except for Undapants. But that joke is so different from all the others that I'd almost believe Jacobs forced that on him.

I'll hold off on grading and MVP until we've heard from Jack's number 1 fan with the indigo font.

I guess there's no reason to say ANYTHING, is there, Sean? You've already SPOILED some of my thoughts! Okay, so, I'm going to go through and just directly address your things for me before I speak to my thoughts on the episode as a whole. 

YES, I LIKED MAYA'S NARRATION! WHAT OF IT?! I'm not some die-hard Maya apologist, first off, I like Maya, sure, but I've criticized her plenty in episodes like Mr. Squirrels where she sucked. I'm not even sure I'd definitively say she's my favorite of the kids. I think more often than not I like Riley better, even if I agree Sabrina's performances are stronger. But seriously, I enjoyed it, and I thought her Katharine Hepburn-esque mid-Atlantic accent was enjoyable. You know who was actually really good at the 1950s voice? The girl who played Sally, the 1950s film girl. Her lines weren't super funny, and there weren't many, but I'm going to give her a little shout for actually really getting 1950s actress cadence down. Sabrina's voice was actually a little more 1930s/'40s screwball comedy. Sally sounded like she was in a '50s TV show.

You didn't mention it, but you caught that was Will doing the '50s film strip right? I noticed it right away, but then I'm great.

I agree, I didn't like Undapants, and I agree my thought was "You weren't even THERE, Eric!" It reminded me a lot of the similarly unnecessary "They want you take the rolls!" in Pluto. In fact, it's REALLY the same. BMW vet comes into the apartment, sets Cory up for a classic nonsequiter line, Our hero delivers. AND THE CROWD GOES WILD! Not great. Yeah, guys. We like Cory. Cory's funny. Cory had a lot of great lines and moments on Boy Meets World. That's why you remembered him and his friends and gave him another show. Do your callbacks when they're subtle and fun. but don't shove them down our throat. I'd agree it feels like a forced line, expressly because it feels so exactly how it's already been handled.

Okay, what else did you call me out on? Oh, yeah, here's my thing with Sheppard. Yeah, I do not like celebrity guest stars (who are playing themselves) on shows and REALLY don't like musical guests. I don't get the point of them. Like, what are they expecting, some Sheppard fan is going to check out this episode because they like them? If they want to watch Sheppard sing a song, they can YouTube it. Why would they sit through a 30 minute episode for it? It's dumb. And it's always awkward. BUT! They didn't do some of the worst aspects of it - they didn't have the characters act and play a role in the story, they didn't have it randomly turn out that one of the characters was friends with them ("Shit, Cory's down in the dumps. I better call my good pal, MLB great Jim Abbott to give him a talking to."), and best of all everyone wasn't awkwardly and unbelievably HUGE fans of them. That's what I really hate, everyone's always like their number one fan ("Two random actors from the Love Boat?! I LOVE YOU GUYS!") even if they're characters who logically wouldn't be into them, and it sucks. So, they avoided all of that. While Sheppard isn't about to play a middle school dance, I can believe a U.S. Senator has enough pull to make something like that happen. And it was just a concert, nothing more. It didn't feel jammed into the story ("Hey, let's decide who gets what apartment so that- AHHH!!! WHY ARE THESE PROFESSIONAL WRESTLERS IN HERE?!")

So, this episode in general. I loved this episode. What we have here is an episode that effortlessly includes two vets (introducing one to the audience for the first time). handles them well, and still manages to really focus on the main story and characters and carry that forward, and make all the characters come off well and interesting. Plus, it's funny, plus it delivers a good lesson, plus it has a fucking celebrity guest band that doesn't feel gratuitous, plus it introduces a brand new character it wants us to like and we do, plus it handles Eric exactly how I believe he's supposed to be handled. It's tasked with a bunch of things, things that other episodes have only had to handle one of (and have failed at that) and it delivers. Is it perfect? Nah. I agree, that opening bit wasn't too much fun and felt like it was exposition, and Eric still had jokes that made him like dumb in a not funny way (Seriously, what is funny about Eric not understanding the differences between the words "secret" and "room" preceding "service", that's not funny dumb, that's I-don't-want-to-watch-this dumb) but those instances were minor... when looked at on the whole, everything considered, I absolutely believe this to be the best episode of this series. It juggled A LOT of balls, guys, and it delivered. This is, objectively, OBJECTIVELY, the best episode of this series. It will be receiving the coveted A+ that only Pluto has received thus far.

So, let's focus on some stuff, and why not start with Jack. And why not pause here because I'm BOOOOORED of writing. So, you can respond to any of this if you want, Sean, but I have a lot more to say.

Alright, while you're taking a breather, no I didn't notice Will did the film strip. I'm going to blame the bootleg quality. Adding to the list of "Stupid Things They Avoided With Sheppard," the main characters didn't end up on stage with the band, and there was no "This song is from Charlie to Riley." God it makes me sick thinking of all the awful things that sitcoms do with bands. I think that's it. I expected to mostly agree on what you've said, so I'll head backstage again.

So, Jack. Yeah, this was a great episode for him. His best ever episode is "Getting Hitched" from Season 6, where Jack struggles with his own grief for Chet's death mixed with his desire to not intrude on Shawn's grief which he feels is more deserving than his own. It's really a great episode for him, a rare instance when the audience likely ends up sympathizing with him over everyone's favorite delicate little dandelion, Tiger Beat Icon Shawn Hunter. It's also Jack's only good episode on that entire damn show. This is his OTHER good episode. Sean and I just had a laugh earlier today over the fact that, when all is said and done, Jack is probably the character on BMW that I most resemble in real life (not, like, physically, but personality-wise) but while that's true, my main issue for him has always been that he felt tacked-on to a show that was already working, and he wasn't given enough to do when he was, and that holds true. But it was fun to see him 15 years later, to see exactly how we expected he would be, exactly how "Seven The Hard Way" predicted, and that his rash impulse of joining the Peace Corps, while indicative of a soul buried deep down there, didn't take because, as evidenced by even most of the finale episode where it happened, Jack's, like, not going to do that. 

While I always felt confident the show was telling us Shawn and Angela weren't ending up together, it was Jack and Rachel I couldn't quite decide about. They broke up between Seasons 6 and 7 and, unlike C+T and S+A never got back together. But despite that the show still decided to send them off sepearately, by themselves, on the Peace Corps. While it seemed to be half a "We already wrote out Angela, and we know Jack and Rachel don't belong in this final scene" thing and half about that rumor that they were trying to spin Cory, Eric, Shawn, and Topanga (and them alone) off onto an ABC Family or Disney Channel Friends-clone sitcom, it also seemed like a headfake towards "Okay, sure, Jack and Rachel end up happily ever after maybe." But it never felt real, and this seems to be exactly what would have happened - Jack did it for a little while, quit, moved back home, his stepfather got him a job, and the rest is history. And good. I like that that's what happened, I like that instead Jack's redemption is a journey and not an eleventh hour Hail Mary. It was a very poignant moment when we discover that the inevitable side effect of that whole triangle was that now, in 2015, Jack hasn't spoken to Rachel in years while she and Eric are still close. That's, honestly, all I need from Rachel. I don't need to see her. It probably would have been wrong to never so much as mention her name, but you have now, and that's enough. Maybe a little bit more closure from Eric ("She's back in Texas, running a nonprofit, married with kids") may have wrapped the bow up neater, but it's fine, whatever. Very well handled.

Meanwhile, Jack, a character who never felt like a natural return due to his own tangential connection to Corpanga, returned very organically. It didn't feel forced like, in my humble opinion, Harley being the janitor or Minkus being Farkle's father is, it felt organic and natural. He came back... because he knows Eric, and Eric has become a character on this show. That's it. He reunited with Cory too, but they seemed to treat each other as guys who were friendly and ran in the same circle but were not close themselves (Jack didn't even know Cory had kids, which again, in this age of Facebook, seems unlikely but whatever) so that didn't feel forced. While I agree with your issue of Cory being full of shit when he acts all "Aren't I wise? Bet you're pretty impressed with me!" I think it was only that one line I didn't like. It is probably odd that there was not even a hint to the fact that Jack was Shawn's brother (since Shawn is a big enough GMW character now that to have his brother on the show and not let new audience members know that "HEY! THIS IS SHAWN'S BROTHER, GUYS!" is probably not right) 

But yeah, I liked Jack's awkwardness around Riley mixed with his legitimate excitement to discover Cory had a kid, hints that it's a life he'd appreciate but never got around to. And I liked that it wasn't wrapped up, though, there should have been at least a LITTLE closure. Like, Eric here was tasked with a decision and he didn't even make it. While it was sort of obvious Eric had already made up his mind and wasn't even considering another option, they should still say so. And since Jack isn't presently on the docket for other episodes, it might have also been good (unless we ARE going to see him again) to firmly hear that Jack is going to change some shit. Still, MVP to Matt Lawrence? No way. I briefly considered doing a Top 5 again, and Matt wound up only 5th when I thought it out. I do think he kind of didn't wring the comedy out of good lines like "Well, I'm at a middle school dance and your brother's my date". He's not horrid, but he's just not as talented, in my opinion, as folks like Will, Rider, and Ben. 

Lastly, let's talk about Charlie except no, I'm fatiiiiiiguuuuuued again.

Sure, we can pretend there are rules to your MVP system when it's convenient. But for me, it's whichever character I enjoyed watching the most, and today that was Jack Hunter. It's pretty insane though that they didn't give a quick "this is Shawn's brother," you're right. That's pretty crucial information. Man, they just knew exactly what to do with Jack. I didn't mention it earlier, but you did, how his meeting with Cory was "oh hey we used to hang out sometimes," instead of pretending they were real friends.

THEY'RE NOT TRYNNA SELL US ANY KINDA BULLSHIT. There's no bullshit being sold in this episode. It's nice.

And yeah, it was just that one line that I didn't like with Cory. But it was outrageously bad.
I like what you're saying about Rachel. Yesterday I would have told you that I never wanted to hear her name on this show, but you're absolutely right, this was the perfect thing to do with her. It was quick, Riley (realistically) doesn't seem that interested in the details, and clearly neither Jack nor Eric still has romantic feelings for her, THANK. GOD. Again, not trying to sell us any bullshit.

I wonder which character I'm most similar to. I think I talked about my Cory-like origins, but I'm so very independent while Cory lives and breathes on other people's attention. At the moment I feel like Seven The Hard Way's Shawn, lone-wolfing through creative and artistic endeavors, and when Feeny asks "Are you happy?" all he can say is "........Not yet." That line always hit me. But I digress.

Once more I shall retreat to the shadows while you wax poetic about our boy Charlie. You know who else would want to take breaks between writing segments? Jack. I want everyone, and god dammit I mean EVERYONE to refer to Christian as Jackstian in the comments of this post. No exceptions.

I definitely got a little Shawn in me too, especially with regards to how he approaches relationships and in his angsty-but-covering-with-a-smirk-and-a-quip which is maybe why I tend to be so hard on him too, and make fun of him for his more emo tendencies, which I've had my fair share of as well. And I've always felt kinship with middle seasons Eric too - I can be spoiled and cocky (also Jack traits), and I've also coasted on charisma and charm without really applying myself and living up to that famous potential people were always talking about, which ended me up on the wrong side of a lot of  situations. So, yeah, throw Jack, Eric, and Shawn in a blender for me. It's definitely not just Jack - after all, the Jack I'm talking about is Season 7 Jack anyway... they never even bothered to give the guy a personality until then. I do think I'd like Jack more if they introduced Jack as acting like that and told the story of that guy as Shawn's brother. Jack was like super humble and hard-working and generic nice-guy when we met him. I guess I'm all the guys but Cory. I'm really not like Cory at all. Except CAM is my initials too. 

But yeah, I definitely took you for a (latter seasons) Shawn, so glad my instincts on that were true. And Jack would maybe want to take a break between writing segments only because Jack doesn't have a creative bone in his body and wouldn't want to write a blog about a TV show in the first place. Fuck Jack, man!

I'm only up because I woke up in the middle of the night. I'll finish this tomorrow. Promise my next update will be the full one, I was pretty beat tonight.

If you get to this before I get to it, though, assuming we never see Jack again and this is it for him (and, honestly, I probably don't assume that, I think we'll get another Jack episode, even if it's not this season) where do you see his relationship with Shawn standing? We know he lost touch with Eric and Rachel (people with whom he was, frankly, closer) do you think their relationship is Seven the Hard Way now? Are they totally out of touch? It kind of seems like they would be, but then I think if the relationship was truly estranged and Jack completely shut him out, that Cory would be treating Jack more icily. Or, who are we kidding, Cory would have already camped out in Jack's office and demand he come with him and talk to Shawn.

I'M DOING ANOTHER REWATCH (to fall back asleep, to no avail) and here's a quick one-two of continuity issues to muse on: 

1) The flashback to 5 months ago when Lucas still had not asked Riley to the dance is shown to clearly be winter, indicative of an episode that is probably intended to take place in May or so. But they showed this one early on (helpfully right after Yearbook, the events of which are mentioned, but where I don't believe it was intended) where it could only take place on the early end of the school year (we still have a Halloween episode coming up) and thus 5 months ago being winter makes no sense.

2) We begin in the middle of a school day. We eventually cut to Cory at home, hanging out with Eric. We then cut BACK to the exact same school day with Maya and Riley in the same clothes. Did Cory just.... leave work, hang out with Eric for a while, then go complete his day? Did he ditch? I bet Cory often gets into trouble where after the one period of the day where he has Riley and Maya he assumes he's done for the whole day and goes home only to remember he's got other classes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, let's continue on with this marathon post.


Charlie really worked for me. They completely fumbled the ball when introducing Zay and really made up for it here, making him an understated but likable presence, and having some fun with the fact that he's supposed to have been in the class the whole time ("Gardner? I like him. Little quiet so far.") He didn't feel as if he showed up in order to take attention away from anyone else and he didn't feel crammed into a show where he didn't belong, he was an organic addition to the show based on this storyline and it worked. The young men on this show have long been a weak point but, at the moment, Charlie seems most like my kind of guy. He's nice, charming, but he's got a bit of an edge to him when it's called for - he's not a jerk who tries to steal people's girlfriends, but he's also not a pussy who won't put forth a solid effort to get what he wants either, it's a delicate balance and he walks it well (his "I'm sorry, but do you need more than 10 months?" line was badass, too, I was like "Daaaaamn, son.") He's a good-looking guy, well qualified to be a love interest, but he also looks age appropriate for Riley (His portrayer, Tanner Buchanan, is actually only days younger than Peyton Meyer, but sometimes it doesn't matter how old you actually are) 

Not much more to say here. I like Charlie a lot, and I do hope we see more of him. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that he's not currently on the docket for more episodes except that a) not being listed for more episodes on IMDb doesn't necessarily mean none are forthcoming and b) I think this was an episode that's being aired out of order early (note my calendar issue earlier) so it's possible that we're going to need to get through a slog of what are mostly meant to have been pre-Charlie episodes before Charlie can come back. Or, maybe Charlie will go the way of one-hit wonders like Billy Ross, but I hope not. If Zay can come back after an extended absence (he's apparently back next week), hopefully Charlie can as well. And if they are indeed sticking a pin in Riley/Lucas, she's going to need somebody to be her love interest. 

Going off that, I also really liked how this almost functioned as Part 2 to last week. It would have been annoying to have had that moment at the end of "Yearbook" and just let it drop. We do have a lot of episodes coming up that were earlier in the production order, so I don't think we're going to get much story advancement after this, but presumably they were on the ball enough to make sure we weren't skipping episodes where they go back to Riley and Lucas being kind of a thing and Maya being a cheerleader for them since that has to be over now. I mean, right? I'm right that the point of that ending was that Lucas and Riley is done, right? I'm not getting ahead of myself?

Farkle didn't have a lot to do in this episode, but glad to see he's still in full Donnie Barnes regalia. I do like that they haven't really changed his personality, just how he dresses. That said, with him dressing like a cool kid now, and with the actor having sprouted and matured physically this season as well, it's a little weird that he's still treated like a loser. No date to the dance for him, in fact the mere prospect of him having one or asking a girl is treated like a joke. Poor kid. Just drop the Riley/Maya crushes, show. Seriously. Just drop it. It's a mistake. It was always a mistake. It's consistently the one big problem aspect of Farkle and it's a big part of the reason that I still don't really like him all that much (although you seem to have become a big fan, Sean)

In other news, authorities have still been unable to locate the body of Auggie Matthews. More as the story develops.

So, yeah, lastly, because I don't think I got to it, this is also Eric's best episode, despite being the least Eric-focused. That dumb room/secret mix-up aside, his is how he's supposed to be written, and I'm glad to see Will Friedle agree. Yes, he can still be ridiculous (and he was, and he should be) but he's not a blithering idiot, he's actually smart in his offbeat way, he's just a big weirdo goofball manchild. Eric at his best was still the source for this show's broadest, most off-the-wall humor, but he was also an actual person and character with depth, not solely a cartoon character. We got a little of that in "Mr. Squirrels Goes to Washington" and a lot of it here. Eric was shown to be mature, clever, informed, and good at his job. They could have (and might have if not for Will) gone a horrible route where Eric doesn't know what the fuck he's doing, all "I have to work on a bill? WHO'S BILL? I DON'T KNOW BILL! Natural gas? WHAT IS THAT ABOUT - FARTING?! The ice caps are melting? WE SHOULD PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER! HELP ME TIE MY SHOES BECAUSE I'M AN IDIOT! I MARRIED A MOOSE!"

But nope, none of that. He was completely well informed on the issue, he figured Jack out in about two seconds, the idea of him being tricked into making the wrong decision was a non-starter as he'd made up his mind and wasn't having any of it, he helped Jack and Riley have some important realizations, and did it all while sounding like an actual damn human being and STILL being funny. Great episode for Eric, great episode for Will. Don't give Matt Lawrence a pity MVP award! Will would deserve this just for playing Eric alone, but he was also very funny as the film reel voice, and he wrote the damn thing. Will wins MVP for me. Yeah, he's won it in every episode he's been in, but, hey, if the other guys don't like it they should be better at their jobs. BAZING!

Riley was good in this episode. I don't know, man, I think Rowan consistently tends to do a pretty good job. You're too rough on her (I know you didn't really say anything against her yet) I'd give either her or Sabrina the runner-up, I liked Sabrina here too.

One thing I'm not into is that this is the last Eric episode on the books. While I've really enjoyed how much of Eric we've seen so far this season, they maybe wanted to spread this out more so we don't then have to deal with not seeing him for, like, ever. We're not even halfway through the season. Are we seriously not going to have any more Eric? That's a problem, we've become accustomed to him. Shawn and Eric feel like they've become Girl Meets World characters in their own rights, not just little veteran cameos, so it's kind of bad now if it goes too long and we don't see them. I can be a little patient (like, we haven't seen Shawn in a while but it doesn't feel like "too long") but if we have to go through the entire season? Boo. Booooooo.

Okay, I think I'm done now. Oh, how 'bout Special Agent Jackie Chiles? Nice to see Phil Morris, I guess this is how that interview he did with Will a while back came about.

I doubt Shawn and Jack have spoken to each other at all. If they're keeping with the style of not selling us any bullshit, then that's the only way to go. 

I'm a bit concerned what the rest of the season has in store for us. It seems like they frontloaded everything to look forward to. Angela, Eric, Jack, Turner, Shawn and Katy dating... Oh, we still have Maya's dad coming back, that's something. 

Don't call out Farkle for not having a date when Maya doesn't have one either. On that note, how the hell did nobody ask Maya? 

I think we oughtta wrap this one up, I don't really have anything else I want to respond to. You made a very convincing argument that this is the best episode of the series. The episodes we've praised so far usually do one or two things very well, but this episode did like eight things well. There's so much going on, and it all flows together seamlessly, aside from the slow (and forgivable) beginning. The story was fun and engaging, Every character except Cory showed some sort of development or growth. Good laughs from start to finish, and comfortable little lesson for Riley and her friends. 

Grade: A+. If you wanted to convince a Boy Meets World fan to watch this show, this is your episode right here.
MVP: Jack Hunter. Suck it.

Still to come we have Maya's dad like you said (and Shawn's in that episode too), plus Minkus and Jennifer Bassett, and I think more Turner. Oh and isn't Morgan maybe supposed to be in an episode this season? Here are the things Girl will be Meeting for the rest of the season, by the way: Creativity, World of Terror 2 (*sigh*), Commonism, Forgiveness [Maya's Dad], Rileytown, Rah Rah, Normal [Minkus and Jennifer, I believe], Genius, Belief, Cory and Topanga, Sludge, Texas (Part 1), Texas (Part 2), Graduation (Part 1), Graduation (Part 2), Graduation (Part 3)

Interested in what the plot of Girl Meets Cory and Topanga will be, and I like that we got some multi-parters coming up. Them all going to Texas will be fun (maybe they can leave Zay there), and a THREE part finale sounds pretty epic. But I agree, if Eric's all done, Feeny's all done, Shawn's mostly done, and it was just one episode for Jack and Angela, then they front-loaded it too much. That's why I'm hoping the increase to 30 episodes when it was originally supposed to be like 24 or something means they threw another Shawn and Eric episode in there. 

Episode Grade: A+
Episode MVP That Isn't Sean Trolling: Will Friedle

Next week the triumphant returns of Zay Babineaux (Booooo) and Jonathan Turner (Yaaaaaay) 



223 comments:

  1. Well then, looks like I get to go first.
    Alright then, I'll probably be leaving several very long comments on this blog as the week goes on, so I suggest everyone pour themselves a bowl of Coco Puffs.

    First Impressions?
    I liked it, for the most part. Certainly not without its faults. I agree with Sean--Maya's narration got irritating really quickly, though I appreciate Cory mentioning that even he isn't thrilled about having to devote class time to the malarkey of a '50s film strip.

    I was also pleasantly surprised. I was half-expecting Charlie to have only asked Riley as an excuse to get to go to the Semi-Formal. My theory was that it was something similar to the second act of "Turnaround," when Popular Extra Whatshername asked Cory so that she could get to be with the boyfriend her parents didn't approve of. And I'm glad they didn't do that.

    Charlie is...interesting. I mentioned before my displeasure when a character is only introduced to be a love interest. I didn't like it with Angela. I definitely didn't like it with Rachel. And I don't like it as a plot point. But the actor is perfectly fine, surprisingly good, seeing as this is his introduction. Unlike Smackle, who had been a background character before being fleshed out, Charlie is new. And he worked far better than I could have imagined.
    Having said that, I'm still wary of the role he may play in the show. Call me cynical but I doubt we'll see Charlie again.

    Another surprise? Farkle's small roll. Once it was apparent that Charlie did not have an ulterior motive, I would have expected that both he and Lucas give Riley the cold shoulder during the dance, leaving her with the pre-arranged, platonic dance with Farkle. Platonic boy-girl friendships are something relatively rare in children's television, with respect to one-on-one interaction, and I'd like to see more of them.

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  2. I liked the episode. Didn't love it. I liked Charlie. He seemed to be more interested in Riley than Lucas was at first. Let's see how long he'll last.

    Jack was good, great even-despite limited screen time. I think it's obvious he's been away for a long time but I don't think he and Cory haven't spoken in 15 years.

    I want to see more of the "New Farkle" just to see how he works with his friends.

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  3. Can we talk a bit more about Jack?

    While Matthew Lawrence delivered what was probably in the top-ten of the best performances of Jack Hunter in his career, I was a little underwhelmed. I actually like Jack Hunter a lot, not so much for what he gave us on Boy Meets World, but for what he could have been. Outside of his first few introductory episodes, I agree with both of you Reviewers--Jack was usually rather plain. Not boring so much, just sort of there.

    Remember what Christian said about how it felt like Shawn was pulled out of a time capsule in terms of character development, while Turner looked as if he had lived his life? I feel as if Jack provides something of a balance between them. He's changed for sure, and not for the better, though he seems rather melancholy about that. It certainly isn't "Seven the Hard Way" with a Jack who is willfully distant from his friends; it just seems that Jack fell out of touch.

    I want to know why. I find it a little depressing. I liked Jack where we last saw him. I liked the idea that Jack had decided to try and make the world a better place. If nothing else it at least felt like an arc--unlike Rachel the Love Interest. Jack joining the Peace Corps had a lot to do with Rachel and his own lack of opportunities, but I think the tipping point may have been "You Light Up My Union." Jack really only gets one life lesson from Feeny, but it's actually one of my very favorites.

    "It's not enough to want to succeed in this cold, cruel world. You'll only become part of it. You must also have the desire to change it. And for that, you'll need your fine mind and his [Eric's] good heart."

    I wanted to see a Jack who had tried his best to make the world a better place, or at least a small part of it. I wanted a Jack who would proudly look people in the eye and say "Money doesn't make you rich. Life makes you rich. My father taught me that."

    A Jack who, whether or not he was still active in the Peace Corps, helps Cory give the class a presentation on the Peace Corps, and other charitable organizations. A Jack who devoted his life to altruistic deeds.

    I can easily imagine Riley being mesmerized by Jack's stories of doing good, and eager to do good herself, signing up for a bunch of Key Club-like activities and becoming ill over the stress and strain of the new activities.

    Alternatively, allow Jack to be a foil to Farkle. One of my least favorite episodes is "Crazy Hat." It's actually kind of disturbing that Riley and Maya call someone who is effectively a stranger to intimidate Farkle into stopping his sales. And then the eye-rolling lessons on how organic bran muffins are just as good as muffins made entirely (and chemically impossibly) of sugar.
    Jack allows for a similar lesson to be told but better. Suppose Cory arranged it so that each kid had to create one business. Suppose we see Farkle's successful, but soulless business plan. Counter this with Riley's too-nice-for-her-own-good business model that is not financially sustainable. Suppose Jack's friendly with Minkus, and gets wind of Farkle's latest school project. Suppose by some sequence of events, that Jack meets up with Farkle and Riley and gives them Feeny's old lesson.
    "If you want to change the world, it'll take you both. You need your good mind." *Points to Farkle's forehead.* "And just as importantly, you'll need Riley's good heart." *Points to Riley's chest.*

    On second thought, scratch that last bit. That'll only encourage the shippers.

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    1. I like your idea for how Crazy Hat should have happened. The writers should totally hire you. I haven't seen Semi-Formal yet, so I'll have to wait to leave episode specific comments.

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  4. Darnit, I had a comment going and then the page refreshed and it got dropped. Oh well, I remember most of it.

    Okay, I gave my last comment a lot of thought and realized it sounds a little too neat-and-tidy. A little too fanficy. I still think Jack is the perfect character to give the "Fine Mind and Good Heart" Life Lesson, and the recipients really can't be anybody other than Riley and Farkle, so I'll leave the comment up. Besides more comments mean more discussion and that makes Sean and Jackstian (There, I said it. Happy, Sean?) have a stronger blog.

    So Jack and Shawn...I hope they're at least cordial. I don't want things to be like "Seven the Hard Way," because if he's not in touch with his step-family, then Shawn is the only family Jack has left. Which could be its own plot point. It might be interesting to see Jack reunite with Shawn when the latter is interacting with Maya somehow. Not to mention that Maya has half-siblings of her own, so I think Jack will definitely return. Maybe not this season, but I want to see him again.

    I find it bewildering that Jack didn't even know Cory had a daughter. I'll excuse not recognizing Riley, but you'd think that Jack and Cory would be on Christmas Card terms and that Jack would be aware of her existence.
    With that in mind, they could have done a little bit more with Jack and Riley not knowing each other. Suppose Jack's sitting alone at a table and Riley asks if she can sit down, unable to find Cory in the crowd.
    Jack: "Is everything alright, Miss..."
    Riley: "Riley. And you're a stranger. I shouldn't talk to you."
    Jack: "Well then, I'm Jack. There. Now we're not strangers."
    Jack could give the same advice about Rachel, and then Eric can walk in.
    Eric: "Hey, it's my niche! Hi, Niche!"
    Riley: "Hi, Uncle Eric. Have you seen Dad?"
    Eric: "Why is my Niche not happy? Did Jack try to get you to help him sway my vote?"
    Jack: Mouth agape--"Uncle Eric? You're Cory with Topanga's hair."

    By the way, did either of you notice that there was no Auggie in this episode?

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    1. If Jack didn't know about Riley, he definitely doesn't know about Maya and Shawn's role in her life. So I like your idea of him reuniting with Shawn when Maya is around. I want to see him again, too, and I absolutely want to see him with Shawn.

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    2. I'd like to see Jack and Shawn too, and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for it to happen unless Maya is there too.

      A thought I had for the possibility of a medical emergency episode. Suppose Riley (for the sake of argument) needs her appendix taken out. We could see the main cast waiting for news in the lobby. Shawn comes in later, having gotten a call from Cory, while Riley's still in surgery and a terrified Maya runs to hug him, whispering something along the lines of "Riley's really sick....I'm scared Dad." I want Maya calling Shawn "Dad" to be spur-of-the-moment, born out of apprehension. And I don't want anybody to comment on it right away. Let it sink in by having Shawn hug Maya to comfort her.

      How Jack fits into this I'm not really sure. Unless he's still trying to lobby Eric for his vote, and Eric gets a call that Riley is in the hospital. "My niche is in the hospital?!" Cue Eric dropping everything, grabbing Jack by the arm, and running from the office, with the Secret Service Agent at their heels.

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    3. "Jack: Mouth agape--"Uncle Eric? You're Cory with Topanga's hair."-That's fantastic.

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  5. People just lose touch and there doesn't need to be an explanation beyond. I think it makes sense that Jack hasn't been in contact with Cory, Topanga and even Shawn and Eric. They aren't the Facebook generation, they left college in 2000, years before Facebook was even created and early Facebook was only open to college students so they wouldn't have been on it. I can see Jack maybe writing emails and letters to Shawn at first, but by a few months that stopped which is way before Riley would've been born in 2001. As someone who did lose contact with a few close friends from high school over the years, easiest thing in the world is not talking to someone. One thing I'd say, it is possible that both Jack and Topanga would have Linkedin accounts.

    I liked this episode quite a bit. Probably more than Yearbook, but I'll wait till I can see it on TV Friday to decide. I think the big reason is only one classroom scene so the lesson wasn't told there.

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    1. Fair point. Cory and friends pre-date Facebook. And they never did seem the social media type. Cory and Eric wanted real interaction with everybody they came in contact with. I'm not surprised Jack hasn't been around.

      Jack's a lobbyist, right? Not a lawyer? Either way, there could be an episode where Topanga's job and Jack's job put them at odds with one another. People have been begging for there to be a "Girl Meets Take Your Daughter to Work Day" for the last year, so that could tie in the kids..

      I did actually enjoy the episode for the most part. I'd probably give it a "B."

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    2. I don't agree with this. Cory and company are absolutely of the Facebook generation they were in their mid-20s when it hit big. I don't know anyone under the age of 40 (outside of people who are avoiding it to, like, make a point or people who are just huuuuuuge loners) who doesn't have a Facebook. And I'm not sure what makes them not the social media types, these were extroverted, friendly, sociable people, all of them. I'm not saying they all have Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and all that, but they have Facebook. Shawn's the only one you could make the argument is too angsty and offbeat to have it, but his occupation as a blogger for a travel website sort of necessitates him having a social media presence.

      I have no issue with Jack losing touch with all of them, but this being the first he's heard that Riley even exists seems a little much. She's not exactly a newborn - he fell off the radar with everyone *that* quickly? He and Shawn were already not talking by 2001, merely a year after the show ended? It's just a little much.

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    3. Oooh, a debate. I love debates. I should first say that my earlier comments were what I wanted. Realistically speaking, I am more inclined to agree with you--though I do wish to know /why/ Jack chose to leave the Peace Corps.

      It is true that Cory and company were in their mid-twenties when Facebook went big...gosh has it been that long already?
      That being said, I remember Cory indicating that he was skeptical of the effectiveness of social media in "Girl Meets Boy." That wasn't a great episode by any stretch of the imagination, so maybe Cory was just venting. Though I do wonder why Cory would give his twelve year old a smart phone--though that's more /my/ displeasure with how many gadgets we seem to have than anything we see on the show. I digress.

      I agree with your second point. It would be ridiculous for Jack to be close to the Matthews family, unless he went out of his way to make an effort. By no means should he be "Uncle Jack," though a joke about how the Matthews wound up best friends with the respective Hunters would be much appreciated.
      Yeah, the most I could see would be Jack and Cory being on Christmas Card terms.

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    4. Well, Jackstian, I still stand by my point and will tell you my made-up timeline. Early Facebook wasn't created till 2003 and was only for Harvard students. By the time it expanded in 2004, Cory, Topanga and Shawn would've graduated and couldn't use it since they'd need college emails at the time. When in 2006 it was open to anyone over 13, Cory and Topanga would've had a 5 or 6 year old, working at a law firm and into his teaching career. It wouldn't have been on their radar then.

      I can see Topanga joining in 2009 or 2010, but definitely not Cory. The only reason to join Facebook in your 20s is to see what people in high school you remember are doing and for Cory, one he's married to and the other wouldn't bother joining. Unless he found out about Harley's time in the gutter on Facebook.

      I've actually come around on Jack not knowing Cory had a kid now. I think he and Shawn do see each other, until they do have an episode together where they say they haven't seen each other. But its only on occasion and something like affectionate obligation. The reason is when they do see each other it's like when they decided to hang out with each other and had nothing to say. I see them really only talking about Cory and Topanga since Shawn wouldn't know what Eric is up to so them having kids must have been brought up.

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    5. Yeah Jackstian. I agree with Mister Sandwich. I have no trouble believing that Jack didn't know about Riley.

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    6. You're nuts, Sean, even Sandwich agreed it's unbelievable Jack wouldn't know about Riley. If Jack and Shawn EVER saw each other or even had a phone conversation over the last FOURTEEN YEARS it would have come up, "Oh, you hear Cory and Topanga had a baby?" They don't exactly have a ton to talk about, little life updates would be about it.

      I don't know that I think Shawn wouldn't know what Eric is up to. I don't think they talk, but I'm sure Shawn heard through the grapevine that he was a mayor, and I'm sure he'd mention it to Jack. I don't know, just in this day and age, it's almost hard *not* to know what everyone's up to. People I don't talk to anymore, haven't spoken to for years, I still basically know what they're up to if they were ever in my orbit. I think the omnipresence of Facebook is being a little undersold here. For people my age and even older it's the basic way everyone communicates with one another. Unless you're a VERY close friend where I'd probably text you, a work colleague where I'd email you, or my mom, if I'm communicating with you at all, it's through Facebook. And everyone I know is like that too and I have plenty of friends Cory and Topanga's age. No, maybe they didn't get it in 2006 when I got it, but I say by 2008 or 2009 they had it. I feel like, because of how old Riley and company are, you're tricking yourselves into thinking Cory and Topanga are older than they are. They were born in the early '80s. They're still kinda young. They have Facebook.

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    7. Ben and Danielle are both 34. That's super young, you guys. 34 year-olds have Facebook. I'd say AT LEAST 90% of computer-owning 34-year-old Americans have Facebook, and I'd say that number increases when you consider the city they live in, their socioeconomic status, and their extroverted and attention-seeking personalities.

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    8. yeah well with facebook Cory and Eric would have already known that Jack works at Evil Oil Inc. I think every episode will have holes if we say SHOULDN'T THEY ALREADY KNOW FROM FACEBOOK?

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    9. Not if less episodes hinge on people not knowing basic basic facts about each other. ;)

      But I don't see an issue with that part - it seemed like Eric *did* already know Jack worked for EvilCorp, and I don't think it even came up with Cory.

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    10. They're not that much older than me and I barely use my Facebook except for messages, know people my age who've deleted their Facebooks and I live in New York. Even with messages, at work, we would use Google Chat since being on your email isn't the same as being caught on your Facebook. It's not even the most popular social network anymore, that's Instagram. I could see Topanga and even Shawn maybe being there, but I'll never be convinced freaking Cory would join a social network. Who'd he friend? "Hey, where's Feeny on Facebook?"

      Looking if any of the original cast have official Facebook profiles. Fishel had one from 2008, close to when I think Topanga would have. Strong doesn't. It looks like Matthew Lawrence has had one since 2011 though.

      I doubt Shawn could tell Jack about Eric being mayor, didn't Cory and Topanga just learn that when he first appeared this season?

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    11. Actually, maybe Cory tries to friend Nunzio and Dancing Guy. I think Nunzio would accept, but Dancing Guy wouldn't. Lionel from "It's Not You…It's Me" would try to friend Cory, but Cory ignores the request.

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    12. Instagram's the most popular because of teens though, among people in the Cory age bracket, it's Facebook by a mile that's most popular.

      I don't know, man. My office is an open floor plan and I'm looking around and seeing Facebook everywhere, eveeeeerywhere. And I'm probably one of the younger guys here. I'm really surprised that you're focused on Cory not having one - I totally think he'd geek out about it, and want to have as many friends as he can, and would take pictures of his breakfast, and lame selfies and shit. And I dunno, I don't know who Cory's friends are. TV characters always seem to have a smaller social circle than real people would, but I'm sure there's 200 or 300 people he knows through high school, college, and now being an adult.

      Just because you can't find their Facebooks doesn't mean they don't have one, it's probably private. What you're finding is likely just their public one where you can follow them. In an interview Will Friedle did recently he mentioned seeing his friend post something on Facebook, and yet I can't really find what Will Friedle's Facebook is.

      No, Cory and Topanga already knew he was the mayor of St. Upidtown, that wasn't a revelation. Topanga was actually the first one to bring it up.

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    13. Actually, what's even your source that Instagram's the most popular, I'm looking it up and I keep seeing Facebook still listed as #1. I knew it had lost some ground among teens, but overall it still seems to be on top.

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    14. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/

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    15. The only way to have a completely private profile is to change your setting to who can see you which makes no sense if your a celebrity on social media and they all have twitters to promote stuff. I don't have any source on popularity, just going by what I hear. It's not abandoned like Myspace, but it's not imperative for everyone's life.

      I stand corrected on his Mayoral tenure.

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    16. This has gone way too far. And that's coming from a guy who spent a year of his life analyzing a 90's sitcom.

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    17. Debates are fun, Sean. I like debating. And once engaged, I don't back down!

      I run in an actor-y circle and every actor or musician or even screenwriter I know that has reached a certain stature in their career has two Facebooks: a public one that's less a profile and more a fanpage where people can like and follow them and get updates on their upcoming this or that, and then an entirely separate private one, which is just for people they actually know and is full of the normal personal stuff. That one is private, and is often under a different name (maybe they use their middle name or some nickname, but often times it's just set to private). It's extremely common, I'm sure that's what they're doing.

      Your anecdotal evidence falls in the face of my links! Facebook is still by far the most popular, Instagram seems to be fourth. Approximately 80% of people between the ages of 30-49 (a bracket that Cory and Topanga are on the low end of, and thus is probably an even higher figure) who have the internet regularly use Facebook.

      *drops mic*

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    18. *picks up mic*

      To say my peace and to finish it up since it we've strayed from GMW. Facts are that not everyone, no matter the demographic, is on Facebook. From the pew research, 71% on Facebook. Fine. That means 29% are not. Some of that 29% are going to be living in NYC no matter if the prudent thing to do is to have a Facebook. And it just so happens some members of the BMW cast are in that 29%, though I've said I think Topanga has a Facebook. It's no more coincidental than anything else on this show and probably more probable than Maya, Riley and Lucas's grandparents all meeting each other.

      And just because you are on, doesn't mean you search for everyone.

      *puts mic down and goes on Facebook*

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    19. *Picks up mic and thumps Christian, Sean, and Ben on the head*

      Never thought I'd live to see a tangent that was longer than the Harry Potter one from last time. You guys have anything else to discuss, like what might be Jack's role in any future episodes? Or maybe what they might be planning since there's still a few episodes left to film? Something big is going down according to the writers' Twitter.
      Oh, who am I trying to kid--I love it when you guys argue. I love debates too.
      "Hands mic to Frankie the Enforcer so he can give a poetry presentation*

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    20. *asks Frankie nicely for the mic*

      Just because you have a Facebook, doesn't mean that you use it.

      I'm barely ever on mine. And even when I am, I'm only checking up on the people who are closest to me cause they live far away. All my old high school chums who try to send friend requests, I don't give two figs for. They don't know who I am now, and I don't know them, so why bother?

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    21. *asks Frankie nicely for the mic*

      Okay, that was the funniest bit in this part of the comments.

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    22. *brings his own mic so as not to step on anyone's toes*
      I hate to reignite the debate but I just read through all this and realized that a huge part of this debate spun out of jack not knowing riley existed. That's not how I took that exchange at all though..

      If you rewatch thee scene jack doesn't say to Cory, "You have a daughter?!?" He says "This is your daughter?!?" To me that could easily mean that he knew Cory had a daughter but had never met her before in person so he maybe wouldn't recognize her right away from just a few pictures he saw online. That could easily still mean that they're all on Facebook.

      This is further backed up by the fact that Eric did state that he knew Jack worked for the evil company, indicating some sort of social media presence on both parts.

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    23. "If you rewatch thee scene jack doesn't say to Cory, "You have a daughter?!?" He says "This is your daughter?!?" To me that could easily mean that he knew Cory had a daughter but had never met her before in person so he maybe wouldn't recognize her right away from just a few pictures he saw online. That could easily still mean that they're all on Facebook."

      That's a fair point. That's actually a very fair point. But it still feels a little weird that Cory essentially tag-teams Jack into giving Riley advice. It's not as if Cory couldn't give her any advice. Cory had his own love triangle with Lauren...but then again, he probably doesn't want to go into details telling Riley about how he almost didn't stay with Topanga.

      I mentioned in the long comments I left at the top of the blog--which I might add, I added late at night and should have waited to sleep on it--that I thought it might be interesting if Jack gave Riley some advice, without knowing who she is. If Jack gives Riley advice because he sees a confused kid, rather than the daughter of an old friend, it might speak more to Jack having a good soul deep down inside.

      "This is further backed up by the fact that Eric did state that he knew Jack worked for the evil company, indicating some sort of social media presence on both parts."

      There's foundation for something here as well. If Jack is either a lawyer or a lobbyist for an evil company, then he might end up butting heads with Topanga if her law firm clashes with his company. That could be funny. Jack's co-workers could be dismissive, Jack can be terrified, Topanga could be all professional, Riley...could be there because it's "Take Your Daughter to Work Day."

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    24. Many lobbyists are lawyers/have law degrees, so that part of it works. I love the idea of Jack vs. Topanga in negotiations or a courtroom. Riley being there as an observer would be perfect.

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    25. Alright Kit, you're the script fanfic writer. The set-up is easy enough.

      Topanga: Riley, I'm arguing a case today. My firm is at odds with a company that cut corners on --insert nonessential detail for plot here--. I need to to be very quiet when you're taking your notes.
      Riley: Sorry.
      Topanga: Oh, sweetheart, it isn't your fault. This isn't anything you can change.
      Riley: Sorry.
      Topanga: Stop saying sorry!
      Riley: Sor...oops. So do you know what lawyer you'll face?
      Topanga: No, actually, I don't.
      ****
      Jack: Riley? What are you doing here?
      Riley: It's "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." What are you doing here, Mr. Hunter?
      Jack: "Take Your Daughter to Work...uh oh."
      Topanga: There you are Riley....Jack? Oh my goodness, it's been ages!
      Jack: Uh oh!
      Jack's Co-worker Number 1: Hunter, stop hugging the opposition!
      Topanga: Opposition?!
      Jack: UH OH!
      Topanga: Jack Hunter, you're working for these people?
      Jack: Well I...force of Topanga too strong...must tell truth...yes.
      Jack's Co-Worker Number 2: Hunter, you know this...Topanga? What sort of name is Topanga?
      Riley *Scribbling Down Notes*
      Jack: Riley, please take this. *Hands her his watch.* Your mother is going to eat me alive, so please make sure Shawn gets this.
      ****

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    26. It's way up there but I just need to hi five Ben for mentioning Nunzio and Dancing Guy in the same sentence.

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    27. The part about the "sorrys" was good. It shows that Topanga is trying to teach Riley how to be more assertive, and less apologetic. I love the second scene, especially the part about the watch.

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    28. Hey Sean, didn't you put a still of good ol' Dancing Guy in the review featuring Nunzio?

      Thanks for the comment Kit. After what we came up with for "Harley the Substitute," I've become far more sympathetic to script-writing. Any thoughts for a third scene?

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  6. I've got a bit to say about Eric and Jack. I don't know why I doubted the show, especially considering how well they handled Turn'er's return, but I expected this plot to leave a lot to be desired. However this turned out to be a great continuation of their story without retconning any of their history.

    A++ to Jacobs for the truth bomb that didn't need to be hammered home: "What I never knew is that life was preparing us, to make the right decisions later. But you get a little older, grow up, face another choice, and you make the wrong decision"

    Isn't that just always how it goes? What a great thing to hear from an adult, even on a tv show. It's not a novel idea but sometimes when you're young it's hard to really see the consequences of your decisions because when you're young nothing is all that permanent. You can tell white lies, steal things, and break promises, and despite what you see on full house you usually won't get caught so it seems like there's no consequences. But when you start doing those things on a regular basis it blows up into much worse decisions later. It's good for middle schoolers to know that the choices they make now matter.

    Also perfect set and spike with the Rachel Eric jack triangle applying to riley lucas and charlie. Your best friends are around forever and the truth is, except for the .01% who get married, your eighth grade boyfriend won't be.

    Also a side note but what's kind of ironic is that Eric and Jack at least half the time were kind of annoying together. Who'd have thought that jacks return would bring out my favorite showing of eric yet! He was perfect in this episode: funny, crazy, and lovable. "Idiot genius " was a solid description. I didn't realize until I read this that Will wrote this episode, which just makes it even better. Of course he has the best handle on Eric's character, as it should be.

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    1. Love everything you're saying. Book em good lookin.

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    2. Thanks, Sean and Jackstian, I love the blog!

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  7. Well we open in the hallway with Riley obsessing over her issues with Lucas. I liked the flashbacks, especially with Charlie always looking on in the background, and Maya telling Riley she worries too much, until her worries turn out to be well founded. (By the way it was a nice touch that in the winter flashback Maya was wearing the exact same coat she received as a present in Home for the Holidays – I’m a continuity fan) Hard to believe that the etiquette film was actually on film and not a DVD in this day and age. And could it have been any more out of date? Holding doors so girls don’t get unsightly arm muscles – wow! The running gag with the lockers and chalk were pretty funny (and Riley didn’t seem to care that Maya was picking on her father).

    The scene in Cory’s living room with Eric and Cory and the Secret Service Agent was pretty funny, but though I do understand you guys not liking the UNDAPANTS codename, I thought it was cute. I mean Cory did shout it out in the student union in college, so I’m sure the story got back to Eric. The other obvious codename would have been celery, but they just used that gag in Yearbook, so no go there.

    Now, Riley dreaming of the big ask (Not sure if that is a thing today in general or just on Disney shows. Just saw that stuff on Best Friends, Liv & Maddie and Austin & Ally) and it’s all pretty funny. Even though Riley is a dreamer, she should know by now that Lucas doesn’t have the imagination to pull this off. The saying yes and turning around to Charlie seemed like a callback to Cory in Turnaround. Watching Riley try to lie her way out of it was funny, because she is so bad at it (props to Maya giving herself credit for being a bad influence on Riley in her running commentary there). And Charlie seems like a good kid. Then that poor slob Lucas stumbles into it all and only makes it all worse. About time Riley has a real issue that her parents or friends can’t magically make go away in 30 seconds.

    On to Chubbie’s - oops - Topanga’s where Eric waits for the representative of the evil company, and look, it’s Jack. Eric and Jack have a good conversation that quickly fills us in on the important parts of Jack’s last 15 years, and shows how Eric has a good heart. Jack is right, Eric Matthews, idiot genius, is a character I want to see more of, not the clown we got on the 2 previous Mr. Squirrels episodes this season. (I’ve never been a big fan of Eric after season 2 BMW, though I think Will Friedle is great) Eric is simply great here and his chemistry with Jack shines through. I like it.

    Back home and this must be a different day as everyone is dressed differently and Topanga (in her first scene 13 minutes in) says they have been at the window 6 hours. On a school night that would be like 9 at night, so the dance must be on a Saturday. Riley complains the window is broken, and I love it. We are 32 episodes in to this show and Riley has her first real issue. Cory and Shawn had real issues long before this. Riley has been coddled (by her parents and the writers) for far too long. Perhaps more growing up is in her future. Cory and Topanga don’t do the real parent thing too often (hard to believe since Alan and Amy were the best TV parents ever) but here they “punish” Riley by making her go to the dance and face her issues head on. Way to go. Then Riley comes back with 1 of the 2 best lines she has uttered on the series so far “What color goes with shame?” (The other for me is “Change fills my pockets with pennies of uncertainty”).

    On to the dance where Lucas and Charlie are in the throes of a new bromance. Well this can only make things worse for our heroine, and while the boys aren’t doing a bang up job with their lines, I do like what it does for the story. This is pretty good writing here.

    Replying to my post to continue -

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    1. The Eric and Jack arrive and I love Eric trying to get Jack to remember what Feeny taught them when they worked together at the student union– Eric needed some of Jack’s common sense and Jack needed some of Eric’s good heart. I believe that is why Eric turns to Jack and says “see look – there’s Feeny” while looking at Cory. He wants Jack to go back and realize what he forgot and see if he can try to fix himself. This Eric is great. They should make sure that no one gets to write Eric except Will from now on. I’m guessing he wasn’t a fan of moron Eric either. I agree that Cory’s interaction with Jack seems appropriate for the type of friends they were. Not super close, but part of a group that cared for each other.

      Now here comes Riley trying to get her father to fix her problems. Nice acting from Mathew Lawrence here as he seems genuinely surprised that Cory has a daughter. Then Cory channels Feeny hard to get Jack to help Riley, thereby trying to fix Jack and Riley at once. We need more of this Cory and less of the kiddie Cory. (Eric saying he killed the polar bears was super funny) Nice using Rachel as a way to introduce her to the GMW crowd, while also relating to Riley’s situation almost dead on. This might be the best writing the series has had, and it’s coming from someone that has never (as far as I can tell) done a script before.

      The band was ok, and the kids bounced around for a few minutes in what passed for dancing. Riley talks to Lucas and Charlie, and ultimately nothing is resolved. I like it. For once, all the ills of our little world aren’t solved in 22 minutes. I’m sure we will find out how this plays out later, but it will certainly lead to some growth for Riley.

      The PSA at the end was cute, but here Eric goes to the “Niche” well once too often for me. Three episodes for Eric, 3 times he uses that joke. I’m not sure he used it 3 times in 7 seasons on BMW. And we know he knows the difference.

      So – Grade A+. Not my favorite that is Yearbook, but not because of anything inherently wrong. Strong acting all around, except Peyton, which is a shame because he was so good in Yearbook. MVP: Rowan. She was given some more dramatic stuff to work with here, and did very well.

      My few issues were: Not enough Topanga. She had 2 minutes of screen time. Why even bother? I would have thought she maybe could have at least explained how she initially didn’t want to date Cory (Pairing Off) because she was afraid it would hurt their friendship. Maybe that plays out later. My other issue is that this episode aired when it did. I’m sure it had to do with the “Sounds of Summer” event Disney was airing. I’ll address both of Christian’s points in another post (which will include the airing order).

      Overall, the show is on a roll.

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    2. You brought up a lot of good points.
      I still have issues with Charlie essentially being introduced as a love interest and only as a love interest, but reading your comment made me re-evaluate the episode.
      It is one of the strongest of the season--though my favorite is still "Pluto." Heh, the shovels...

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    3. Lots of good points, "For once all the ills of the world aren't solved in 22 minutes" haha. I also liked maya giving herself credit for being a bad influence on Riley in her little commentary. It was the only thing about the commentary that really worked for me to be honest.

      However, one thing I would say though is that this is not riley's first ever problem. The entire pilot episode was about riley's desire to be just like maya. Episode 2 she realizes that technology has inhibited her ability to communicate with new friends. In episode 5 she is trying to draw the line between when it is and isn't okay to lie for the sake of sparing someone's feelings.

      Girl Meets New World stands out in season 2 as a riley episode because the entire beginning is meta jokes of her trying to make the story about someone else so she doesn't have to deal with her big problem with Lucas. (It also happens to be one of my favorite episodes of the series). That was probably the most major episode centered on Riley.

      I can see where you might have forgotten a lot of these seeing as many of them wrapped up in 22 minutes like you said, making them more forgettable than other storylines like mayas ongoing story of her broken family life. But Riley's problems are still real issues. They tend to be less exciting but they're also far more relatable. Especially to the target demographic.

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    4. I never meant that Riley has not had any problems at all. What I was trying to say (maybe poorly) was that Riley has not had any real far reaching issues so far. This situation with her relationship(s) with Charlie/Lucas is really significant for her and has now continued on for 2 episodes and is still ongoing. I was saying that Shawn and Cory had each had more difficult problems sooner in their series than Riley had hers. Maya has certainly had important issues following her since the pilot, but by and large Riley's up to now have all been small things easily put to rest with just a little guidance from family/friends as opposed to now where she has serious soul searching/growing up to do in order to resolve them.

      I agree that New World was her biggest issue up till now. However, that same issue is really at the heart of her problem now. She still hasn't figured out how to resolve it.

      Truthfully she and Lucas should either start dating and figure out if they are really a couple or give it up and stay friends. Jack's advice here might be the writers telling us that this is what is in store for them. I have no issues with this if that is the direction they go. Even Cory dated a lot of girls in season 2 before he and Topanga became an item. You have to start dating and learn sometime if you don't want to end up old and alone.

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    5. OMG! I'm so grateful you pointed that out. Charlie is looking at Riley in the background. That's such a nice touch, very realistic, middle school crushing.

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  8. Where's the link for the episode ?

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    1. Look in my reply to Yearbook at the bottom of the overall post

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  9. Christian brought up the scenes seemingly airing out of order in one of his posts and I just wanted to say that I’m sure they do it for several reasons. Number 1 it probably helps pacing and number 2, especially for some stories with a serious B plotline it breaks them up so they all start and finish together. I’m sure they know if at the end of an episode we are going to get 5 minutes of Auggie and Ava (both of whom I like BTW) that a number of people are going to tune out.

    This isn’t the first time they have done this, but maybe you just haven’t noticed. I’m sure they did it a few times in season 1, but I’m too lazy to go back and find out exactly when, but they did this exact same thing in New World. That entire episode is 1 day, starting in the bay window in the morning and going throughout school and then after. Everyone is in the same clothing all episode, so it’s easy to see. Part way through the school day Auggie and Dewey are in the living room with Topanga and Cory and we know Auggie is in the first grade now, so he goes to school full time and Cory is in school all day as well. Then back to see Riley in school then back to the Matthews house with the boys, before we get to after school at Topanga’s and the timelines meeting up when Riley and Lucas come to the Matthew’s home. I’m sure it doesn’t get filmed that way, but breaking it up seems to make it flow better for me.

    He also mentions that Yearbook and therefore Semi-Formal shouldn’t be airing in this part of the season. I agree with Semi-Formal, though I guess Yearbook could have aired anytime. This was one of the issues I had with Semi-Formal. Riley is talking about 10 months till the dance (kids in NYC start school 2 days after Labor Day and go until the 3rd week of June) so she and Maya are probably talking a few days after the events of Gravity and that would make the Semi-Formal take place maybe the first week of June. (10 months is a round figure) This really needed to be aired at the end of the season, but I suppose that they needed to air an episode that would work with the “Sounds of Summer” event and could have a musical act and the subject of Riley’s problems flowed directly from what Maya found out in Yearbook. So I guess airing it here made sense for Disney, but at the end of the season, we need to go back and look at which place these 2 episodes really belong in the story/viewing order.

    I hate that they do this for Disney. They are airing Girl Meets Cory and Topanga in September, which was just filmed in July, while Commonism, which was filmed really early (before Demolition), still has no air date. The kids are going to look way younger when it finally airs (almost as bad as Fish I would guess).

    In regards to another comment – Girl Meets Normal is apparently now “Girl Meets I am Farkle” and Girl Meets Rileytown is “Girl Meets Conflict and Resolution”. No idea why the names have been changed.

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    1. SPOILER ABOUT GIRL MEETS I AM FARKLE---- I had heard that girl meets normal was an episode about autism. Very interesting to hear that it is now changed to I am farkle... Id be very surprised if they went in that direction. It would've made even a little more sense in season 1 maybe? But he really hasn't shown signs of autism or aspergers in recent episodes that I've noticed.

      Still it would certainly be a first for Disney channel to have a main character with autism or aspergers. And it's not completely out of the realm of possibility based on people I know with those things.

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    2. SPOILER FOR GIRL MEETS I AM FARKLE******~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I had heard that Girl meets normal was an episode about autism so this name change is veryy interesting. I assumed that it would be about a peripheral character and the kids would learn about the disorder (a naive assumption considering no episode has ever not been completely about the core four, a fact made fun of in Gravity) but it seems it's about farkle?

      I'm not sure how I feel about it seeing as, In season 2 at least, I haven't really noticed signs of autism or aspergers in him.

      On the other hand it would certainly be a first for the Disney to have a main character with one of those disorders. I'm certainly not gonna put down an attempt for the show to grow beyond the norms of Disney channel so I guess I'm cautiously optimistic that Jacobs will handle this correctly

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    3. "This really needed to be aired at the end of the season, but I suppose that they needed to air an episode that would work with the “Sounds of Summer” event and could have a musical act and the subject of Riley’s problems flowed directly from what Maya found out in Yearbook. So I guess airing it here made sense for Disney, but at the end of the season, we need to go back and look at which place these 2 episodes really belong in the story/viewing order.

      This. This completely. I enjoy "Girl Meets World" very much, but it is not helping that the episodes air out of order. Sure an episode like "Commonism" is going to be filler (Character-driven from what I hear, but not particularly ground-breaking so still filler. Can't say I'm eager for it either--Momma always said don't discuss religion, politics, or the Great Pumpkin in public) so it can air with some flexibility, but an episode like "Yearbook" or "Semi-formal" is tied closer to the calendar.
      I've thought this from the beginning of the show--the air dates are confusing. You have a show centered on the school year, for crying out loud. It should be the easiest thing in the world to set up a timeline. In fact, I'm going to go back and look up the episodes and try to construct a timeline. I'll post it in a new comment.

      Oh, and for the record. "Fish" isn't canon. I already did the math. "Farkle's Choice" is an early episode--predating "Popular"--and it clearly established Farkle having a pet fish named Chelsea that died after four days. But in "Fish" it's halfway through the year at the least and Farkle is the second-to-last kid to take home the fish. Ergo, seeing as "Farkle's Choice" was written first and introduced Smackle--who became part of the show--"Fish" cannot be canon.

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  10. If I may be so bold as to change the subject for a moment:

    Hey guys, look! A Fresh Prince re-boot is getting talked about!

    https://tvline.com/2015/08/13/fresh-prince-reboot-will-smith/

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    1. Yeah, I saw that. That's dumb. It's a full-on reboot? So, like, someone else will be playing the Fresh Prince? But.... Will Smith *was* the Fresh Prince. He wasn't cast in that role after an audition process, it's a fictionalized show about him, Will Smith, the Fresh Prince. His name is in the title! That's like rebooting Seinfeld starring, I don't know, John Mulaney as Jerry Seinfeld. He can't play Jerry Seinfeld. It's a show about the life of Jerry Seinfeld.

      Now, if this is a Girl Meets World/Fuller House style continuation where the kids are now parents... great, I'm on board.... except I don't think that's what they're saying. And there's no way Will Smith would actually be in it day to day, and James Avery's dead, so that's like.... some big holes. They were the two most important guys. What could it be, just Carlton and Hillary and their kids?

      That said, they can totally take Amir Townes if they want and have him play Jazz Jr.

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    2. That's a fair point. I never got into Fresh-Prince. By the time I got old enough to watch, it wasn't on in syndication on any channels I watch regularly.

      And you're right--James Avery is dead and that really sucks.

      I only posted it because, well a re-boot is a re-boot. If this isn't a continuation, I really don't see the point. And if it isn't, then why on earth are they bothering?

      Something to chew on with regards to re-boots. Apparently Disney initially didn't want to have Rowan play the lead for "Girl Meets World," arguing for a slightly older actress. I don't know all the details about what went on behind the scenes, but apparently Michael Jacobs decided he could do something different with a younger lead and talked Disney into it.

      I also recall that the original pilot featured Teo Halm as Riley's one-year-older brother Elliot. Apparently the show underwent creative changes after the pilot was filmed. I still wonder what these changes were.

      One of the strengths of Boy Meets World was that Cory and Eric were meeting the world simultaneously, but on two different paths. I actually think the show might have been stronger with an older brother.

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    3. I believe they decided to replace the older brother elliot with the already established character of josh. The writers likely decided they wanted him to have a smaller role and that is fairly easy to pull off with josh, seeing as he lives in philadelphia. They only bring him in when they really want to use him and have time to expand on his storyline.

      I can picture an alternate reality of the show where maya has a crush on riley's older brother elliot instead of her uncle josh. You're right that this could have been a great addition to girl meets world, just like eric was fundamental to boy meets world. But let's face it, much of the reason eric was the character he was can be attributed to will friedle's phenomenal performance. His would be the most challenging character to recreate.

      Also I wonder if they decided that having elliot would pretty much leave no time for any auggie stories, making him the new morgan. While Auggie hasn't had any transformative storylines he was essential, especially in season 1 for keeping Topanga involved. She would have had much less screentime on the show if his storylines were replaced with Elliot storylines.

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    4. Let's take poll of the commenters: Would the show have been better or worse if Riley had an older brother?

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    5. Actually, there was no Auggie back when Elliot existed. When they scrapped Elliot, they added Auggie, presumably because they wanted at least one brother for Riley and one other kid for Cory and Topanga, but they figured Auggie would take up a lot less time and focus.

      Anyway, I think it's for the best. There were a lot of complaints that Elliot's age screwed with continuity because he would have had to already be born by the time the show ended (as-is, Topanga has to have gotten pregnant with Riley not too long after they arrived in NYC) so that may have been part of it. But really I just think they didn't want him to take too much time away from Riley and company. Eric worked on BMW, but then Cory had less friends to focus on, and his parents (and their friends) weren't nearly as important.

      I also like that Riley is Cory and Topanga's first child, so whatever issues they have with her, they're dealing with it for the first time. Sometimes when dealing with Cory, Amy and Alan treated his issue like old hat, something they knew all about and knew how to handle, because they'd already been through it with Eric. While I liked that about Amy and Alan, with Cory and Topanga (who still have the feeling of protagonists themselves) I'd rather them be out of their depths sometimes too.

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    6. Interesting points from all involved.

      On the one hand, I think Christian (Sorry Sean, I am not using Jackstian anymore) is right, though hindsight may be factoring in here. Doubt we'll ever see the original pilot but moving on....

      Riley being Cory and Topanga's first child allows for growth on their end. That is a fact and it's been a recurring theme of the show that Cory has no idea what he's doing half the time. Having Elliot would not really allow for that dynamic. You are definitely right about Amy and Alan treating issues like old hat, though Alan has the advantage of being among the greatest television father in history.

      Unfortunately, Topanga doesn't really interact much with Riley. I still think "Demolition" would have been stronger, one of the best really, if it had focused on Riley and Topanga. Suppose Riley had wanted to get Topanga a nice Mother's Day gift and her judgment was clouded with the debit card. We'd get to see Topanga speak very sharply to Riley, thinking the impulse was for selfish reasons, but then we'd get to see reconciliation between them, instead of Billionaire Ex Machina.

      And I also think Christian has a good point at Elliot taking up too much time away from Riley. Eric took a good chunk of time away from Cory...but then again everybody on this blog and Sean's old blog loves Eric and Feeny's dynamic.

      Though, if they are only a year apart it's not out of the question that they would be in the same class. If Elliot repeated a year, even early on, it could allow for some justified feelings of insecurity on his end. He's older than his classmates and he's in a class with his little sister. On the other hand, if he is ahead of Riley, then she could feel insecure being in his shadow.

      Auggie...well, we've all made our points clear. He's best in small doses and then only really with his family. Say what you will, I actually find Auggie and Riley's dynamic one of the more enjoyable aspects of the show. Again in small doses. Even I--the one who wrote the comments about "How Girl Meets Fish Should Have Ended...And Started...And Inbetweened" have my limits for hokeyness.

      That being said, a brother-sister dynamic allows for its own storylines. As I recall, Elliot was originally written with the intent that, in regards to the pilot, Riley would be his favorite wrestling dummy. In light of that, I think it'd be very charming.

      Elliot was designed to be one year older than Riley. It's possible they could be Irish Twins, born in the same calendar year but nine-eleven months apart.

      The show apparently underwent creative changes after the original pilot. I have to wonder if the "Power of Friendship" theme that ran through Season One was a part of those changes. Or the quadrillion life lesson/class presentations....

      Personally, I think I'd have taken Elliot and put him in Riley's class, having repeated a year of kindergarten or something, and then cut out Lucas. Nothing against the actor, but it ties back into my distaste of characters being introduced as love interests. It took a long time before Eric and Cory could even be considered friends--Elliot and Riley could have been True Companions from the start.

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    7. My ideal GMW would just have Riley as an only child and the writers do the work to integrate Topanga into story lines with her freaking daughter. Topanga/Auggie scenes are like Michelle stuffing her face with cake on Full House, it's supposed to be cute and funny and it's just cringeworthy.

      BUT it's easier to just write Auggie out of an episode, he's some 5 or 6 year old so he's not in Riley's school so she wouldn't have to interact with him often. An older brother, 1 year or 2 years older or whatever, would be around awkwardly. It would feel weird for him to be part of his little sisters group.

      It's funny to mention Mulaney playing Seinfeld, Christian, since on his own show, he was practically trying to recreate it. A comedian who even has his own Newman character.

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    8. "My ideal GMW would just have Riley as an only child and the writers do the work to integrate Topanga into story lines with her freaking daughter. Topanga/Auggie scenes are like Michelle stuffing her face with cake on Full House, it's supposed to be cute and funny and it's just cringeworthy."

      We'll have to agree to disagree on the subject on Elliot. But I agree completely with your points on Topanga...though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to equate Auggie with Michelle. Auggie might be spoiled by Topanga, but he's hardly treated as Riley's equal in regards to privileges.
      Remember that episode where Danny was going to let Michelle go to a Counting Crows concert? A concert that was meant for DJ and Stephanie? Though, now that I think about it, I don't think I'd have let Stephanie go either.

      Topanga and Riley scenes are something this show needs very, very badly. And that means scenes with just the two of them, not Topanga giving Maya advice and having Riley be in the room.

      Let's play a new game, everybody. In addition to people commenting on whether or not they'd have kept Elliot, either replacing or keeping Auggie, let's see what ideas people have for Topanga and Riley having story lines.

      Take "1961," for example. Why not just have Riley ask Topanga questions about her hippie grandparents? And what about Aunt Prudence, where does she fit into the Lawrence family?

      Not to toot my own horn, but there's also the idea I had for "Demolition," where Riley uses the emergency card to get Topanga a pricey Mother's Day/birthday gift.

      Pwfan, Kit Cosmo--what do you guys have to declare?

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    9. Girl Meets Popular is the one that comes to mind. Riley changes herself, Topanga changes back. They have like a two-line scene when it could've actually been a good moment between the two.

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    10. I actually like that Topanga and Riley don't seem to be as close as Cory and Riley are. That's real life, not all mothers and daughters are besties. They've already established that Cory and Riley have special traditions, and it seems to me that Topanga probably worked very long hours to establish her law career (not to mention she was in law school when Riley was a toddler -- weren't they college juniors when they moved to NYC?) and Cory had regular school hours and summers off, so he and Riley naturally spent more time together. And now with Auggie, Topanga has been able to cut back her hours at work so those two are closer. I think Topanga popping in to be there for Riley when it counts is all I need, and I like her scenes with Katy and Auggie. It could be fun to have an episode where the four girls (Topanga, Katy, Riley, and Maya) have an adventure, though.

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    11. True, bsloths. I don't think anybody is disagreeing with you on why Topanga and Riley are distant...but nobody's asking for Topanga and Riley to be as close and Riley and Cory. We're asking the writers to use Topanga as something that vaguely similar to what we saw in Boy Meets World.

      Take "Yearbook," for example. While it makes sense that Topanga would laugh off Riley going Goth for a day or two, it also makes me miss the Topanga who chopped off six inches of her hair to encourage Cory about the meaningless nature of physical appearance.

      Everybody loves the scenes with Topanga and Katy.

      Oh, and Mr. Sandwich? Excellent point on "Popular," they had a Riley-Topanga scene practically gift-wrapped for them and then it happens off-screen and Riley is still wearing the Harajuku get-up.

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    12. They made the right choice eliminating Elliot. A sibling a year or two older doesn't add anything. Usually, the sibling is more than a few years older. On BMW, they could use Eric for older teenage stories (driver's test, having a girl in a bedroom) that they couldn't do with Corey at the start of the season.

      Keep Auggie, dump Eva. Having an older sibling interact with a younger sibling can make for cute moments. Eva is annoying, and doesn't add anything.

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  11. Who knew a day early would be late to the review haha. I'll still toss in my input for the episode. You all have pretty much covered my feelings on Jack and Eric so i'll leave that be. They had a great storyline and both actors nailed it in a pretty seamless boy meets world cameo, props to the writers.

    As for the core kids, boy was this episode a great followup to yearbook. I don't know if I found it to be so much better than last weeks as many of you did, if only because I laughed a bit more during yearbook. (Maya's funny voice didn't really do it for me either. Although i was trying to figure out what it sounded like for the longest time and I realized it is exactly like the imitation voice jade uses in victorious https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNPI8QahbSo). But that's all irrelevant because this episode had one job and it was to prove that the show would be following through on the promisesk made by girl meets yearbook, and it most definitely did.

    The transition from Riley and Lucas to Riley and Charlie was smoother and sooner than anticipated. But what was really unanticipated was how understated parts of it were. They are not at all throwing maya and lucas in our face but instead trying to ease us out of Riley and Lucas.

    I was surprised to read from you guys that he's not scheduled to be in anymore episodes as it seemed like they were setting him up to be part of the group. Especially because they made a point to have him and lucas reconcile their differences and say that they really liked eachother. I thought this was especially clear because it seems like they've wanted to add a fifth member to the group for a while, starting with that weird mystery bad boy in the episode we all try to forget where lucas comes in with a white horse. And then it seemed like they were really going to push zay on us. I just assumed Charlie was the comfier middle ground character they were easing into the show. However, the more I think about it, the more this makes sense seeing as the episodes clearly aired out of order and Charlie could very well be an important character of next season. After all, yearbook probably was meant to be the episode right before texas and graduation so it makes sense he wouldnt be in the episodes beforehand.

    But getting back to the episode at hand, all you really had to see was the last scene with them all dancing and it was handled PERFECTLY. Let me first just say that there is nothing more accurate than the way they were all dancing in Geronimo hahaha. The most classic middle school dance of all time is just jumping up and down and no actual dancing so bonus points for realism Jacobs.

    But more seriously the dynamics of the group were smoothly demonstrated by the mix up of dance partners and conversations going on on the dance floor. Riley first needed to talk to Lucas as one of her good friends to see where they stood before moving on to Charlie who she seemed to be establishing as her choice for her date. I really was very indifferent to the maya lucas relationship but I really enjoyed their interaction:

    "Why would you be dancing with me if you're officially a huckleberry?" To his just mildly baffled, "No I'm not dancing with you." Followed by, "Hate to break it to you cowboy but you're still dancing with me. And Riley's dancing with that guy.." it was very casual and didn't feel forced. A perfectly subtle introduction to pairing those two characters. I'm actually genuinely excited to see where it goes. Especially becuase maya seems so confident in all her relationships, boys and girls alike. But any kind of romantic relationship with lucas would force her to be a little less bold and a little more vulnerable. And I love to see characters leave their comfort zone.

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    1. Well, I mean, I think it's better than last week's but not *so* much better. A+ vs. A. And I agree last week's was probably funnier, but this one felt more... epic, we had BMW vets in there too, plus the story seemed to have more stakes. Yearbook felt a bit like a preamble to the story that was actually carried out here.

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  12. Also, I know I had a long comment before, but I'd love to talk about what lies ahead for the show. I know everyone's worried they've used up a lot of their good episodes already with eric shawn turner angela etc. But Ive actually heard great things about the rest of the season as well, there's a lot to look forward to.

    I know you guys mentioned maya's dad which is sure to be an exciting episode. There's also going to be an episode about autism which should be interesting and I am really looking forward to see girl meets belief as the episode that tackles God. I don't know if I'm excited or anxious for this episode, especially considering jacobs track record on boy meets world and that unexpected ending of cult fiction. Personally I hope it's an episode about faith in general as that applies to everyone: be it faith in God, a religion, a cause or faith in other people in your life.

    I also found the joke that riley and maya try out for cheerleading every year and never make the team hilarious. i bet rah rah will be one of the funnier episodes of the season as that's basically what it's about.

    And while i haven heard much about graduation, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a great episode. Especially because the writers have said that what starts in yearbook ends with graduation. Considering how much we loved yearbook and semi formal this is sure to be a home run. Get pumped!

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    1. I think I'm looking more forward to the discussion we'll all have after "Belief" airs than the episode itself. I'll probably have to dig out good ol' C.S. Lewis to help articulate a few points I'm sure I'll make.

      I am optimistic though--I trust Michael Jacobs enough not to give us the old stand-by of Token Nominal Christian, Token Jew, Token Kwanzaa Celebrator that most children's shows tend to have for their Non-denominational, Check-list, Vague Details So Nobody Gets Offended Holiday Specials.

      Once Disney saw the script for "Belief," they said it would make their company better. So that is actually very promising indeed.

      "Graduation" is three parts and the writers said something huge is going down. What if it goes beyond relationships? Some other big plot point perhaps. No, I do not think Shawn will propose to Katy--though if they don't use a medical emergency of some sort, that'll probably be the best way to get Shawn and Jack to reunite.

      While Girl Meets World still isn't at the quality we saw of Boy Meets World (I think the biggest factor is that it still feels like overt teacher favoritism. Feeny may have played favorites but there was still a professional distance between he and the heroes for the better part of four seasons. It's better than it was though), it is definitely Growing the Beard. My name is Cryptid456 and I am a TV Tropes addict.

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    2. That's almost the exact conversation Christian and I had earlier today about Meets Belief. As far as I'm concerned, as long as Zay DOESN'T celebrate Kwanzaa, I'll call it a win.

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    3. Yeah...I'll get into specifics more when it's more appropriate to do so. At the time, I'll say I really don't like the whole "Every Character Celebrates An Individual Holiday But We're Not Going to Tell You Anything Specific."

      Oh, and God bless the writers of "Rugrats" for their Hanukkah and Passover specials.

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    4. I'm also looking forward to creativity a lot. The commercial actually made it look really good. And schools really are cutting art programs all across the country. Plus wasn't that an issue mentioned in mr squirrels goes to Washington? Points for consistency

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    5. I'm really excited for the episode on autism, as well as the one with Maya's dad. I think those will be real winners, at least the former will.

      I'm honestly nervous for Belief. I get the sense that we're just supposed to accept that God exists in this universe which doesn't make me completely comfortable. I feel it should be ambiguous just like in real life. I remember Glee doing an episode on religion which did feature people of different faiths and denominations and atheists and I think they handled it well. I can only hope GMW does the same.

      Predictions for the big thing in graduation:
      - Medical emergency
      - "Shaty" proposal (it could happen)
      - Maya almost not being able to graduate
      - Riley and/or Maya beginning a romantic relationship
      - Topanga being pregnant

      Of course, I don't think ALL of these things will happen but maybe one or two will. :P

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    6. I think we're all a bit itchy for Meets Belief. It's hard not to be after Cult Fiction. I was telling Christian I'd like to see Farkle as an atheist or agnostic, especially if it makes Lucas uncomfortable and they have to smooth things out. But on Disney Channel? There's almost no way.

      I can't see Shawn proposing to Katy, but the rest make sense. I fucking despise pregnancy cliffhangers though. If Topanga's pregnant I'm going to stop watching the show.

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    7. Really? Why? What's the big deal about Topanga being pregnant? I feel like they're bound to do it sooner or later just as, like, something for Corpanga to do. What's the big deal?

      And yeah, while I do think by series' end Shawn and Katy will be married, I think it's a little premature for them to get engaged now.

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    8. Because I HATE it Christian. I hate it. It's the easiest thing to write in the entire world. I don't think it's worthy of being a season-ender, not after a thousand seasons of a thousand shows have ended on it. It's a waste of valuable finale screen time. I don't mind the fact that she'll eventually be pregnant, just... don't end a season on it. Rise above.

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    9. Based on an
      Interview with the writers farkle will be "the scientific minded " person in the classroom for belief suggesting that he ll be the atheist voice in the classroom which is s good choice.

      However I'm gonna go ahead and predict that Cory will somewhat smugly explain why God does in fact exist. I'm a fairly devout Christian but that doesn't mean I want to see them pretend that it's okay for a teacher to preach his beliefs in a public school history class.

      I hope they don't go in this direction and instead choose to have Cory facilitate and moderate an open minded conversation about beliefs in the classroom which I actually think would be cool.

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    10. For me, the big one I'm looking forward is Sludge. That looks to have Rowan's hands all over it. (Incoming spoliers) It has to do w/ Lucas saying something sexist, and the girls rally together to teach him a lesson. For those who don't know, Rowan is a very active feminist on Twitter, so she at the very least influences this episode.

      I'm also looking forward to a 3 part finale. Seems like a large undertaking, but I really hope they make it worth it.

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    11. It's upsetting that "feminist on Twitter" is supposed to be meaningful these days.

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    12. Bad wording on my part. She is a feminist, and uses Twitter to relate her opinions on important matters and other things happening in the world. Recently, she spoke at a UN Women's forum in LA and was really impressive.

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    13. Oh I can't wait for Sludge now! :)

      A Shaty proposal might seem premature but considering how fast everything else moves it this show I wouldn't put it past them.

      I seriously think they might go there with another Corpanga baby at the end of the season and here's why: The girls are graduating from middle school. Unless they REALLY decide to pull a Feeny and get Cory to be their teacher again in high school (which there is a reasonable chance of happening) he is going to need something to do. Given the fact that Topanga seems to barely have anything to do most episodes as is, a pregnancy/baby storyline seems like an easy way to fix this. I don't really want them to do it but it's kind of inevitable.

      And I can only hope Cory will be the facilitator of the discussion about beliefs and not try to convince everyone one way or the other. But I guess if he does maybe we'll have an episode about whether or not religion should play into public education.

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    14. Looks like I'll have to dig out my copy of "Mere Christianity" early.

      Well, we know the Matthews are at least nominally religious. They say grace before meals, and Riley matter-of-factly declares the universe to be a part of the mind of God. And while Maya may not be religious, her parents were married in a fairly religious ceremony if Katy's comments about saying her vows in front of God are to be taken at face value. (I actually really liked that tidbit). And Lucas has declared his faith as far back as "Girl Meets Father."

      I don't know...Farkle said he believed he had a soul way back in "Girl Meets Boy," commenting on the nature of human connection. And besides, some of the most important scientific thinkers in all of history were religious. Sir Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendel, Georges Lemaitre (the dude who thought up the Big Bang Theory) was an ordained Roman Catholic priest!

      Further reading:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science#2001.E2.80.93today_.2821st_century.29

      I think it'd be more interesting if Farkle, son of Minkus and Basset, is researching religion behind his parents' backs, trying to figure out whether or not there /is/ something more. It'd give him a heck of a lot more depth. Besides, if he is an atheist and is obnoxious about it, I doubt Riley or Lucas would still be his friend.

      I really hope they don't do a Token Atheist--that's even worse than Token Nominal Christian, Token Jew, Token Kwanzaa Celebrator. And I say that as a very devout Christian--heck, I'm probably the most conservative person on this blog.

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    15. No need to "dig out" anything.

      Strictly in terms of the quality of the show, I don't want to see an echo chamber about a magical religious Christmas. That's perfectly fine in real life, but a show designed to make us think should reflect the reality of non-religious folk. Farkle is the most obvious candidate. No reason for him to be "token" or "obnoxious" about it.

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    16. Woops, let me clarify. I'm not equating "making us think" with "non religious folk," I'm equating it with diversity indicative of reality. That could definitely have been interpreted badly.

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    17. When it comes to "Belief" I'd like them to explore not only the beliefs of the characters, I'd like for them to show how we historically got to this point of religion/faith/belief. Discuss the Enlightenment, the splintering of the Catholic Church, Judaism, the Crusades, etc. I know its only a 30 minute TV show, but I think framing the episode around one of those topics in a history class could help deal w/ some of the weight this episode will inherently come with. I went to public school, and even then we had a small unit on King David, Solomon and some of the stuff in the Old Testament. And I was the same age as Riley/Maya when we did. So, I think there is a way they can do this, and not ruffle any feathers.

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    18. Trust me, Sean. I've made my share of comments that I could have better articulated.

      I'm just saying what I DON'T want to see happen in "Belief," compared to what I'd prefer. I don't want to see a conversion story crammed into a half-hour episode. And that's coming from someone who still watches "Touched By An Angel."

      One other thing, if Farkle reads as much as he appears to, then he's probably heard of the sightings of "Our Lady of Fatima."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_F%C3%A1tima

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    19. I don't think anyone wants to see a conversion story @_@

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    20. Maybe "conversion story" isn't the best choice of words...but what else could you call the last five minutes of "Cult Fiction"? I bring that episode up for comparison's sake. "Epiphany" isn't the right word, seeing as Shawn doesn't see a vision of Jesus or the saints or the angels.

      I agree with pwfan. Some of the most important events in history were driven by religious movements. There's plenty to build a classroom discussion on. Martin Luther's schism with the Vatican, Constatine's vision of the Cross (though that may be apocryphal), the Crusades, the Abolitionists of Nineteenth-Century America and England, the Spanish missionaries who were among the first to travel to the New World.

      Personally, I was in high school, I loved learning about George Whitfield and the Great Awakening.

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    21. If they ARE going to do a "conversion" story I'd want it to go both ways. Maybe one character has very strong faith while another is convinced that there is no Higher Power. But by the end points have come up to make them think and the one who was originally a strong believer now has some level of doubt (they could still believe but think about other points more and no longer have "blind faith") while the other would have either converted or at least started to believe in God or go from being an atheist to an agnostic person.

      I wasn't really around on the old blog but I NEED to go read the post about Cult Fiction now because I have some mixed thoughts on that episode and would love to hear what you think.

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    22. Nobody wants to see the end of Cult Fiction either

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    23. Julia, that's a great post, here's a link http://boymeetsworldreviewed.blogspot.com/2014/07/episode-4x21-cult-fiction.html

      Christian didn't comment on that one for some reason, the scoundrel. SPEAKING OF CHRISTIAN, anybody else notice I'm alone in here tonight? Typical Gryffindor, shirking his responsibilities...

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    24. Just read it :) I agree Cult Fiction could have been great if there'd been more buildup in previous episodes or doing it earlier in the series. Even without doing either of those things, it could have been improved by making it more about Shawn and Turner at the end rather than God (they could have tackled religion in another episode if that's what they wanted to do) and using a term other than "judging" for what Shawn was feeling from Turner and maybe some other people in his life. It just didn't really make sense.

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    25. Okay guys, I think we're all in more or less general agreement on what we do not want to see in "Girl Meets Belief." I recommend we thus change the subject. What will come will come and we'll meet it when it does.

      So in respect to "Graduation," any more in-depth thoughts on what'll happen? A three-parter doesn't seem like it'll be focused just on the romance. There has to be a catch.

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    26. Well it's not a graduation episode unless Riley proposes at the end of it.

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    27. ^ Well SOMEONE, anyway. That's partly why I think Shawn will propose to Katy, since this show loves it's BMW callbacks (sometimes a little TOO much for its own good).

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    28. Do I think Shawn will propose to Katy?

      Yes. Eventually. It makes sense for Shawn's character growth to reach out for something he does not have. This has been fairly consistent for him, to counter inner doubts and reach for more. But not just yet. By the point of Graduation, he's barely known Katy a year and only dated for what, seven or eight months?

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    29. Perhaps after graduation Lucas is told he is moving back to Texas (channeling A Long Walk to Pittsburgh). Moving him out of the show would shut down all the shipping wars online. It would also open up both girls to fresh relationship possibilities in high school while maintaining their friendship. Also I don't see Shawn and Katy getting serious so quickly. Remember Katy said she was happy being by herself for quite a while so moving slowly is probably best for her. And we all know Shawn can't possibly get his happy ending without going in to self-destruct mode at least once. So far he hasn't done that on this show.

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    30. I think 1960's made the most compelling argument so far. Shawn has to try to sabotage the whole thing before he gets serious. So until that happens, there's nothing to worry about.

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    31. I agree, Sean. No matter how much he wishes to be, Shawn is NOT Cory. He is almost sure to go into self-destruct mode somehow. Don't know how, but I'm sure they'll think of something.

      Heck he and Katy might not even stay together. I hope they do, since I want Shawn to find happiness, but at the same time that allows for a life lesson that an adult can care very deeply for a child and not be that child's parent. We got a glimpse of that in "Uncle Daddy," when Eric realized he was NOT ready to be a father.

      Then again, this is Disney Channel.

      I just realized...if Shawn was single and had Cory's personality...he'd be Ted Moseby from "How I Met Your Mother."

      One other thing, I only thought of it the other day. I know it's crazy off-topic for this thread, but it concerns Eric. And seeing as nobody is about to check out "Mr. Squirrels Goes to Washington" again, I might as well post it here.

      As nice as it was to see Tommy again, I think it may have worked better if Eric had emphasized himself as a man of the people. If they wanted to pull a stunt, then I think it'd be...well, slightly better at least, for Eric to pull out a deck of cards.

      "Some of these cards are queens and kings. Some are sixes and sevens. Some are red and some are black. But without any one of these cards, the deck does not work. And that is what Mr. Matthews says is America."

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    32. In terms of Shawn needing to self-sabotage first before he can get to the stage where he and Katy are getting married - I agree, but I also think that could easily be what the Maya's Dad episode (which Rider is in it too) is about. Kermit comes back to town, starts hanging out with Maya, Shawn gets all "Oh, they're a family, they don't need me, I'm just in the way. I walk this lonely road, the only one that I have ever known. I walk these empty streets, on this Boulevard of Broken Dreams.." And Katy sees this and has to be like "Fuck Kermit, I don't want to be with that asshole, I love YOU, Shawn."

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    33. I'm not sure what to say about the whole religious angle. I try to be respectful to all religions, but I admit I don't enjoy when the characters get religious, just because I suddenly feel disconnected from them. Yes, I think if you were to ask anybody with the last name Matthews if they believe in God, they'd say yes. I don't think they have a lot of complex thoughts about it, I don't think they attend church, but they, ostensibly, believe in him. But I just don't want to hear about it, to be perfectly frank. I just think they shouldn't bring any of it up. I don't think religion has any place in this kind of show, no matter what the religion is. It's not going to be handled artfully, it can't be, so I don't think they should do it. And the idea of Farkle, the brave religious son of atheists learning about God in secret because his big bad atheists parents won't hear of it, makes me angry. We're not atheists because we're evil, we're no atheists because we'd rather there not be a God. I'd rather we not be portrayed that way.

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    34. To sum up... I don't want to see how religious people (and I believe Jacobs is) would portray people with my kind of beliefs. And you, likely, don't want to see how we would portray you. It's a bad idea across the board. It shouldn't happen on any level.

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    35. "And the idea of Farkle, the brave religious son of atheists learning about God in secret because his big bad atheists parents won't hear of it, makes me angry."

      Yeah...sorry about that Christian. I shouldn't have said what I said. Whatever we don't see eye-to-eye on, I am inclined to agree with your apprehension about whether this can be handled artfully.

      Heck as far as "Boy Meets World" is concerned, the only other time religion came up was in "Resurrection." And I can't watch that episode without wanting to scream at Cory: "Your brother is sick! Get over yourself!"

      Is there any show that handled this sort of material artfully that wasn't specifically religious from the beginning?

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    36. The only one that comes to mind that was even remotely similar was the aforementioned Glee episode which I think was done pretty well but idk.

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    37. There was a great Christmas episode, where Corey and Topanga think they are pretty much the same, but discover they have completely different traditions. It's sort of about religion.

      As for the GMW episode, what if Farkle hasn't been brought up with a faith. Not an atheist, but in a family that does not identify with a particular religion/faith. Farkle could try to figure out what he is, and what he wants to be.

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  13. For me,I thought Jack and Eric killed it. however the ending was extremely frustrating with the four kids I just felt like they were trying to make more time for the band and all of their lines were just going really fast, and dear God they needed to stop jumping. I found the dialogue confusing and all of the back-and-forth kind of like 'OK well what do we do with this 30 seconds of dialogue?' Among these kiddos?
    And side note but, seriously, disney is doing the same thing they do to all disney moms, it is rare for them to ever be out of the house, even if she is a lawyer...

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  14. I've come the conclusion that MAYA is actually the girl meeting the world in the show. Since her character is more dynamic than the one dimensional Riley, I think the writers have been underhanded showing us and will continue to show her self discovery as opposed to a repeat of BMW. In traditional Disney fashion, I think the brief dialogue at the end of Semi-formal and the "because he lets me" conversation in Mr. Squirrels are the writers' ways of introducing the Lucas-Maya relationship that is inevitable (Maya sits in front of him in class, like topanga sat in front of Cory). I'm probably wrong, but the possibility of maya being the protagonist is definitely food for thought

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    1. Cory was the protagonist in BMW, but Shawn and Eric were the more dynamic characters. This is largely due to a relationship not being their longest running story-arc. Cory had school days and Topanga. Shawn had his family issues, school days, struggles with having a relationship at all, his own insecurity about whether he could be more than what he was born to be. Eric had hopes and dreams and struggled with whether he had the abilities to do achieve these dreams.
      I don't disagree with you, necessarily, that Maya is more dynamic.
      Oh, and one more thing. Riley sits in front of Farkle....well, if nothing else, it'd be funny to see Cory throw a tantrum and Shawn laugh himself into a coma at the notion of Minkus Jr. and Topanga Jr. falling in love.

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  15. I think the maya sitting in front of Lucas is an awesome point and seems like something they wouldn't do by accident!

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  16. We need more Charlie- and he does seem more of a better fit as a friend to Lucas than Zay. Loving new Farkle too.....you guys kind of made me scared they'd revert him in the upcoming episodes. Say it ain't so

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  17. Totally unrelated but Will Friedle himself favorited one of my Tweets and I've never felt more special in my life

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    1. Nice! I've got a favorite from Will and a response from Anthony Tyler Quinn. Two of the best days of my life.

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    2. What were the tweets!

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    3. http://i.imgur.com/3GSb5bH.jpg and http://i.imgur.com/V0sysCj.png

      also had Joey the Rat~ http://imgur.com/ox30z7F

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    4. Which one did will favorite?

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    5. Oh, that second one isn't very convincing, here you go http://i.imgur.com/llGe9Xj.png

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    6. Just so you know, that name you crossed out is me :P

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  18. Does anyone have the link to girl meets creativity??

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    1. Lol I'm still waiting for a link to THIS episode.

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    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrFurD5e4pc

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  19. Two things:
    First on the Shawn-Jack relationship. Watching this episode, I got the impression the producers may have retconned out Jack and Shawn as half-brothers (just like they retconned out Shawn's sister Stacy, and other half-brother Eddie). This new Jack seemed more of a combined reboot of original Jack and Jason.

    Second, on a tangent fro the Sheppard appearance, I'd really like to see GMW do a Monkees episode. Peter Tork can reprise his role as Topanga's father/Riley's grandfather. Micky Dolenz can reprise his role as Alan's best friend Gordy (or was it Norm...Norman Gordon? Gordon Norman?) Then Mike Nesmith, who didn't appear on the BMW Monkees episode, would be perfect to be written in as Lucas' grandfather or uncle.

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    1. Afraid I need to disagree on both counts. I don't think there's anyway they'd do such a dramatic retcon - it's one thing to retcon out Stacey, a character who was only mentioned once very early on in the series, Jack was a huge part of the show and him being Shawn's brother the entire impetus for his character. To retcon that away would just be... insanity, especially since it isn't even necessary. Just because he doesn't mention Shawn being his brother, doesn't mean we should jump to the conclusion that they're not even brothers anymore.

      And, I kind of think a Monkees episode would be kind of lame and pointless. But that's me.

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    2. Ugh omg I can actually see that happening (the retcon) but I will be so upset if it does because I was kind of a big deal in the original show, unlike the other siblings Shawn had.

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    3. It's *not* going to happen, guys, I would spend absolutely no time worrying about it. But if you need further assurance, he was credited as Jack HUNTER in the credits, but, guys, seriously, they're not going to do that. That would literally be the most insane retcon I've ever heard of in my entire life. There's no *reason* to do it. It doesn't even *accomplish* anything. It's not happening.

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  20. Did anyone else notice the music during the jack/Corey/eric/riley scene was the credits music from BMW?

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    1. That would have been a cool Easter Egg.... but I just rewatched the scene, and I'm not sure you're right about that...

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    2. I got excited reading that, but I'm not hearing it either :(

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    3. That being said, if they DO bring that song back at -just the right moment,- I will weep like a child.

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    4. I totally heard it! It was very faint and the under melody of the music! I promise. But if I'm wrong I'm sorry if I got you excited. But I don't think I am.

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  21. WOW! Major explosion of comments over the last two weeks. Congrats to both Sean and Christian.

    Since I'm commenting so late on this one, everyone has stolen my thunder. Which is fine, less typing for me. I'll just get into what I liked, disliked and my grade.

    Pros:
    Will Friedle's writing. He handled his character, and everyone else's, w/ care. Total pro at this, despite what seems like his first crack at screenwriting. And yes, this is how Eric should be handled. As an "idiot genius", not as just an idiot. And yes, the "niche" and screwing up Maya's name joke's have officially gone stale for me. Although, Maya's reaction did crack me up.

    Jack Hunter: What a return, and I put it up there w/ Mr. Turner's in terms of success. Like Mr. Turner, it seems as if Jack has done some living. And, has some regrets. His chemistry w/ Will was just right, and it was good to see them together. Also, I liked how Eric asked Jack a question without even turning around was really cool. The way they handled Jack and Riley's interaction was superb. And I like how, in my opinion, Riley was hanging on Jack's every word enough to ask those follow up questions.

    Riley's Crisis: Finally, some real life drama for idyllic Riley. And she looked truly petrified at having to make this decision. She was so used to everyone else making tough decisions for her, that she literally froze at the thought of it. I liked the scene on the dance floor, and I think it subtly opens up so many doors. Hope we see Charlie very soon. Oh, and Charlie is another pro for me. Nice introduction, and he seems like a real person. Unlike Lucas when we first met him.

    Cons:

    Maya's '40s exposition. Cute for a little bit. Not half the episode.

    Farkle: Only a con for the Riley/Maya thing. Stop. Seriously. Stop.

    Episode Grade: A. Solid A. Liked pretty much everything, and can't wait to see where this arc takes us.

    Episode MVP: Will Friedle. He, for all intents and purposes, made this episode as good as it was. Honorable Mention to Rowan Blanchard and Matthew Lawrence.

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    1. I agree with almost everything you are saying except for Farkle's Riley/Maya line. The three of them have been friends since at least first grade and that and the "Ladies" greeting seems to be their thing. Truthfully if they stay close friends forever it wouldn't bother me to see him use those 2 lines with them forever. I mean, I think he understands that (at least right now) neither of the girls is going to date him, but it's just him being playful.

      Otherwise, I agree with your assessment of this episode.

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    2. I agree with 1960 on Farkle.

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    3. Its one line, so its a take it or leave it thing. Just would like to see him move on slightly from it. I have no issue w/ "Ladies", but with his "either one is fine w/ me" gimmick.

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    4. Hi pwfan! I was wondering when you'd get here.

      I'm not saying I want them together necessarily, but I'd like to see more of Riley and Farkle's friendship.

      Platonic boy-girl friendships are rather rare in children's television--notice that the Main Four is really more Riley and Maya, and Farkle and Lucas as duos.
      Season One actually did this rather well. Riley was the first to reach out when Farkle was being bullied--the lousy, simplistic lesson aside. Riley also comforted Farkle when he lost to Smackle in the first debate, going so far as to hug him.
      To that end, up until Lucas showed up, Riley was probably Farkle's best friend, even if she was closer to Maya.

      Seeing as the comments are bound to turn the conversation this way, I might as well nip it in the bud now.
      While I am NOT saying I "ship" them by any means (I learned my lesson with Avatar: The Last Airbender and Harry Potter), Riley and Farkle developing a genuine romance would be far more satisfying from a story-telling standpoint, because they were friends first. Unlike Lucas who was introduced solely as a love interest, Farkle was Riley's friend first. And to me, that makes a big difference, if for no other reason because we saw their friendship.

      Again, I am NOT saying I want them together. Though it would be funny to see Cory throw a tantrum over his daughter falling for Minkus's son.

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    5. I'd like to see them do at least one episode on how they became friends. I forget the name of the S1 episode where Riley & Maya agree to "never settle for someone who doesn't treat them as good as he does". Yeah, I butchered that quote, but that's essentially what they said. So, at least show us how these 3 totally different people became friends.

      And I agree, don't go down the romance path. Its too easy, and I'd like to see at least one show in this genre not use it. Show us boys and girls can be just friends, and take some of the romantic pressure that this show is currently under. Keep in mind that now that they've introduced Charlie and set up a possible Lucas-Maya relationship, we have 2 potential romantic triangles on the show at the same time. Lucas/Riley/Charlie & Lucas/Maya/Josh. That's a lot to juggle at once. It might help to just do a great friendship episode involving Farkle.

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    6. That episode was Farkle's Choice. And yes, I'd like to hear that story as well. They said right in that episode that Farkle has loved them since first grade, and in Sneak Attack they say his hair hasn't changed in 6 years, so they have been friends at least that long. As long as they didn't rescue him from the monkey bars in the playground I will be good with whatever they tell us.

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    7. While I don't necessarily want to see a Riley/Farkle romance, it's the one I'm the least adverse to from a story-telling standpoint, since they were friends first. That means a lot more than introducing a character and having the lead go "Ooooh, potential mate! Let's get married!"
      Never mind, I think I've mentioned that point enough for this particular comment thread.

      As to how they met--I originally thought it'd be something funny. Riley helped Farkle get down from the monkey bars or a climbing net or something.
      I've changed my mind on that. I'm more inclined to think that Riley and Maya were the only ones who came to Farkle's sixth birthday party and he's been devoted to them ever since. It gives an actual reason for Farkle to care so much about them.
      Really, with what we're going to see about Farkle's family...his mother is SPOILERS
      SPOILERS
      SPOILERS
      SPOILERS
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      LAST WARNING ABOUT SPOILERS! SCROLL AWAY WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

      Jennifer Basset. I don't think this was the plan originally but there's a lot to work with here. Cory butted heads with Stuart, but he despised Basset and the feeling was mutual. Assuming his parents divorce, I could see Farkle spending a LOT more time with Riley and the Matthews in general because he sees their home as a sanctuary.

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    8. I don't think so. We already know that Farkle's parents fight quite a bit, and he doesn't spend that much time at Riley's house. He's not like Shawn that way.

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    9. Hi Kit! I was wondering when you'd get here. You raise a fair point, but Shawn didn't spend that much time with the Matthews until the end of Season 2. Remember, in Season 1 of "Boy Meets World," Shawn was one of several of Cory's friends, perhaps his best friend but for the most part is best remembered as being the one with the Good Hair.

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    10. I'm I the only one who would like to see a Farkle/Maya relationship? They have all the same potential as a Riley/Farkle ship with being friends first. But in addition to that you have an opposites attract angle that made the Lucas/Maya stuff so appealing in the first place.

      To me it's the best of both worlds and wouldn't involve a potentially messy Riley/Lucas/Maya love triangle and hopefully avoid the shipping wars to boot.

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    11. I'm afraid that more or less represents the worst case scenario for me, Disneydork, for a number of reasons.

      1. It seems designed to more or less preserve Riley and Lucas, a pairing I don't think works and has, indeed, been an albatross around this show's neck from jump. While this may perhaps prevent some shipping war, I neither believe that likely (it already exists no matter what happens) nor do I particularly care if it occurs or not.

      2. It's not that we just want Maya with an opposite and any opposite will do - she specifically has chemistry and a fun bantery flirty relationship with Lucas. Her darkness and his light compliment each other in an interesting way. Maya and Farkle on the other hand just feel... different. Too different even to banter the same way. I think they'd legitimately struggle to have real conversations. Also, Farkle doesn't, frankly, feel like an equal to Maya. I don't believe she takes him seriously enough as a human being to date him. He's treated almost as a mascot among the group.

      3. Farkle's obsessed with Maya and Riley in a way that reflects badly on him. He needs to get over them or, at least, and he needs to stop his excessively vocal declarations of desire. Until he does, I would not want to see those actions rewarded. And I can't believe either of these two girls would be inclined to either.

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    12. Eh....I wouldn't count on it, disneydork57. The writers and Michael Jacobs himself have said time and time again that Riley and Lucas are not going to be Cory and Topanga 2.0. Now while that statement does not discredit Maya and Farkle pursuing a relationship, given the tendency of fandoms to "pair the spares," I wouldn't place money on it.

      One look at the IMDB board, and the fanfiction.net page (Which I don't read, only skim!) indicates that war is already upon us. This is a darned shame. A lot of good soldiers were lost in the shipping wars of Harry Potter and Avatar: The Last Airbender. I still get nightmares...

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    13. Cryptid, you think those shipping wars were bad. I was around to see the aftermath of the iCarly shipping wars. You want to see a tentative truce, that was it. That war was inflamed by the shows creator, Dan Schneider, who seemed to take pleasure in trolling his fanbase to the point of making his own show unwatchable. I

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    14. Oh no pwfan, I was there for iCarly as well (hmmm, maybe my thought that Girl Meets World focusing on Riley, Maya and Farkle as a Power Trio wasn't such a great idea after all) and it was bad. Way bad. But it fizzled out, eventually.
      There are still skirmishes going on in the DMZ of the Harry Potter Fandom. When Rowling came out and said that Ron and Hermione were somewhat wish-fulfillment on her end, the ceasefire erupted back into firefights again. If it weren't for that hero Scamander directing attention for his stories, we'd probably still be fighting.

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  22. Honestly I'm not sure about Charlie yet. His acting seemed a tad forced and/or over-the-top. But I don't hate him.

    The scene between Cory, Jack, Erc, and Riley is now probably my favorite in the whole series thus far.

    Jack's return seemed way more natural, as opposed to any Shawn appearance we've gotten thus far. I've come to dread the episode's he's in because his storyline is so forced, plus some of what he said in the last episode kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. And I'm still meh on Katy Hart and their relationship. Wheras with Jack, I'm anticipating his return which will hopefully happen at some point.

    Also I think Rachel IS is fact coming back. I believe they said she was on twitter.

    Episode Grade: A

    Episode MVP: Will Friedle, which was a tough choice in terms of the actors but since he also wrote this episode he gets it.

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    1. Oh and this is for sure my favorite episode thus far.

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    2. Oh, I agree that the kid playing Charlie is green as a freshly mowed lawn... but its his first episode, I'll give him some time to work out the kinks. No, he's not any better than Peyton, and is not as good as Corey, but he's begun at a level far ahead of where they were in the very beginning, and he completely nailed his best line: "And, I'm sorry, did you need more than 10 months?"

      I suspect that if he's allowed the time to catch up, he'll pass them both by.

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    3. At the moment, there is no official word on Rachel coming back. Maitland Ward's last comment (around the time of the airing of this episode) was "Never say never."

      After all, there isn't even technically any confirmation that Matt or even Will has another forthcoming appearance. And there's no way they include Rachel without at least Eric and probably Jack also being in that episode.

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  23. Hey look everybody, we're over a hundred comments again!
    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

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  24. I always found Farkle's "ladies" schtick to be overcompensating. He's always set off my gaydar in a big way. I thought it was obvious until I saw you guys complaining about his "skeeviness" on this blog. Not only do both the girls not take him seriously, but it seems like the adults seem to be on to his sexuality as well. Lucas got chased from the bay window yet Farkle has free reign since he's an obvious non threat.

    I've never liked the idea of Smackle. The idea, I think the actress is pretty good and she's had some good moments on the show. But in concept, she's an obvious "girl Farkle" who exists so the network execs think there's an obvious straight romance option for Farkle.

    Not that I think he's secretly in love with Lucas or something. They're legit friends. I think Farkle is still young and still working things out.

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    1. I like the idea of Farkle being gay, and not realizing it yet. I've read stories about parents realizing their kid is gay or lesbian before the kid comes out. I doubt it would happen because it's Disney, but it's a great idea.

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    2. Oh, I agree that my pet theory has always been that Farkle's gay (not to be too stereotypical, but he kinda... seems like it) and he uses his "crushes" on Riley and Maya as cover. If he officially likes them, than he's seen as straight, and since they've both made their lack of romantic interest in him exceedingly clear, he knows he's in no danger of actually having to be involved with them. Then, when someone shows actual romantic interest in him (like Smackle) he gets to point to them and be like "Sorry, in love with both these girls. Can't date you, but I'm still straight!"

      I don't think he's actually that diabolical, I think this would all be on an unconscious level. He probably wouldn't even fully have admitted to himself that he's gay.

      Still, while that's my theory, I've never actually thought Disney would do it. His skeeviness, meanwhile, remains the established canon and what they've decided to go with until we hear otherwise. And his behavior (even if it is only because he's using them as a beard) is completely inappropriate either way.

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    3. I don't think it's inappropriate at his age. He's not hurting anyone, and he is letting Riley and Maya have romantic/social lives. He's never even asked them to lie to cover up his sexual orientation. His behavior seems pretty normal, especially if he hasn't figured out/admitted to himself that he is gay.

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    4. I think it's inappropriate for him to continuously ask them out when they tell him no over and over, I think it's inappropriate for him to have forced a kiss on a clearly repulsed Riley in the play episode, I think it's inappropriate for him to secretly record their voices and rearrange them to say stuff like "I love you Farkle" in recordings on a watch that also TRACKS THEIR MOVEMENTS.

      Farkle's very often written as a fucking creep and lunatic.

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    5. "I think it's inappropriate for him to have forced a kiss on a clearly repulsed Riley in the play episode."

      While I agree with you Christian, I find it bewildering that people don't seem to have a problem with Topanga kissing Cory while he was handcuffed to his locker.

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    6. Well, to hear Cory tell it, he and Topanga had already been dating for about 29 years by then. ;)

      But seriously folks, I don't think it's quite the same. Riley was literally recoiling in revulsion, Cory merely looked shocked. And in like the very next scene they were exchanging flirty smiles and we saw Cory had given her his favorite baseball hat. Cory clearly already liked her, he was just being an 11-year old boy about it. Cory's fine.

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    7. Christian-"I think it's inappropriate for him to continuously ask them out when they tell him no over and over, I think it's inappropriate for him to have forced a kiss on a clearly repulsed Riley in the play episode,"

      I didn't realize what you meant. I agree with you 100% on that.

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    8. Hmmm...fair point, Christian. Cory liked Topanga from the time they were born. Maybe even before.
      Farkle...I think he was closing his eyes in an attempt be even more romantic. So he might not have noticed (at first at least) that Riley was not kissing him back. Well...that, and he missed and kissed her chin.
      I thought from the beginning, ever since that aired, that it would have been a lot more tender if Farkle had chastely kissed Riley's cheek...and then have Maya say "You know, that counts" before scatting over Riley's protests.

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  25. I think Riley should go out with Charlie Lucas should ask Maya on a date then Farkle goes out with some girl but Maya will start to get jealous over farkles girlfriend and the should all go on a triple date but by the end of the date Riley will end up with Lucas Maya will end up with farkle and Charlie and farkles girlfriend will end up together... I think almost every show needs a twist but not like I don't like this show but I think it would be better like this but it's good how it is but I wonder and it's starting to get boring with Riley and Lucas they both like each other in the show it's starting to get boring I think it just needs this little twist to make it better

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  26. I have to disagree on the band not feeling shoehorned in and weird. Yeah, I'm glad they didn't do the cliches you listed, but also like....there were SO many long shots during that final sequence of nothing but the band playing. It was really weirdly edited together, they would hold on them playing for a long time, then have the kids say some stuff, then cut back to the band forever again. It felt like someone stitched a music video into the scene for no reason, and also like the kids and the band weren't even in the same room.

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  27. What would have been great, is if the episode had focused on changing gender roles. Riley gets fed up with waiting for Lucas to ask her to the dance. Maya reminds her it's the 21st century, not the the 1950s. Riley asks Lucas to the dance, and Lucas is a tad surprised and maybe a little upset. He thinks that there are certain roles for men, and certain roles for women.

    Save the story about a love triangle for a Valentine's Day episode.

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    1. Didn't Riley more or less ask Lucas if he was going to the dance featured in "Girl Meets Father"?

      Gender bias apparently plays a role in "Girl Meets Sludge," and apparently science is playing a role there as well. I'm not exactly looking forward to it. Don't get me wrong--I think it's very important for a lesson on genuine gender bias to be taught.

      But any lesson about equality they give us, no matter how effective, is going to be cheapened by the continued existence of Auggie and Ava's storyline. Equality cuts both ways. If Riley had a little sister who had a little boyfriend who treated her the way Ava treats Auggie, it would have parents up in arms and rightly so.

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  28. Solely raises hand.. I actually found Maya's voice impersonation cute. It was one of my favorite things about the episode because she was having so much fun doing it and it was very Maya-the rascal-like. Also when she ran from Corey, post chalk incident, "Ok, I'm done!"

    And the show is making me sooorta lose interest. I watched BMW, I did. I really liked it, but I can honestly say I'm not that interested in the adults and where they stand. Did I just say that? I don't know where it's coming from, but I'm getting tired of the, "hey, where you been?"

    Shawn? I haven't had a problem with Shawn's episodes on GMW. It would be silly not to bring us up to speed on Shawn/Corey/Topanga and build on it some more... they were the core. I'll say it was nice to see Mr. Turner and I thought that episode was nicely written. I don't really have any urge to see Morgan (although as Riley's aunt, and to further Riley's development along, I'll take it of course). I just never cared for Morgan. Jack/Angela/Rachel - also kinda feel meh on them. I know I enjoyed them while watching the later seasons they were in, but I'm not dying to know what became of them. I feel bombarded with this nostalgia angle for some reason. Maybe too much, too soon, and all I really want is to focus on the kids, who I'm feeling distant from.

    For instance, I didn't care at all which guy Riley would choose. The writers dumb her down so much that it's detracting me from feeling the required emotion. Would she really not know the difference between a romantic crush and a sibling-like dynamic? She has Maya as a reference for the latter. Heck, Auggie knows the difference. I would never have scribbled my crush's name with hearts on a notebook if I didn't feel the romantic aspect of it. She finds him attractive. He gives her butterflies. So... brother? The fact that this is her storyline is kind of sad. Instead of buying into this scenario, I'm scratching my head thinking the writers don't know what direction they're going, so they're experimenting, which, I can't sit back & appreciate as a viewer. There was no other way to carry out this story if they knew it all along? (not convinced on that)

    Back to my original rant, I need more of an enticement to watch the kids. I'm more than happy to see Eric and Shawn, so don't get me wrong. I've loved them in every scene. Ironically enough, though, a lot of the flashbacks to BMW have interrupted the flow of GMW (in my mind) and therefore my enjoyment. It's depressing watching these adults reminisce on the past fondly, like the present doesn't compare. Such is reality. But it's a kid show and I want to escape while I'm watching their adventures. What am I saying? Who knows. Maybe someone will understand. It's starting to feel like one big high school reunion and I've always hated those. Do I love Riley, Maya, Farkle, Lucas? Ehhh... I guess if I had to pick, I love Riley & Maya's friendship the most. Their bonding scenes get me most.

    I never had an issue with Corey's parents' lives. When Alan had insecurities about his job at the supermarket, I wasn't all 'omg, I don't care.' No. It was great. So it's not that. It's all the catching up and how can we squeeze this other person in before season's end... and maybe my problem comes down to show don't tell. The advice segments fall flat for me. Maybe Charlie kisses Riley at the dance and Riley feels something different. We don't need an "omg, my first kiss wasn't like this" deal. Maybe she liked it because it was a little more unexpected, and she didn't have pent up expectations like she did with Lucas. There are ways to cause Riley to question her feelings for Lucas that don't involve a lightbulb expression on her face when her uncle and his friend share their own experience with her, which didn't feel natural to me at all.

    I rambled.

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    1. Well, I'm with you on Maya's voice. It was cute, and you're right, very rascally. I enjoyed it. I don't get what everyone's problem is. On my favorite show, The West Wing, there's a recurring character named Oliver Babish, who's the White House Counsel. One time, the heroine C.J., is being questioned by him about something and she's not taking it super seriously and is instead cracking wise and doing a bit throughout the interview, which is clearly irritating. Finally, to get her to stop and just answer his questions, he blankly tells her: "C.J., in my entire life I've never found anything charming."

      THAT'S WHO YOU ALL ARE, A BUNCH OF OLIVER BABISHES! I don't know why I chose such an elaborate story to explain why I thought you guys weren't properly appreciating Maya's whimsy, but I did, and I like it.

      As for the rest of your post, I just... I don't know what to tell you, I'm not on the same page. I'm just not bothered by those things, and a lot of them are exactly what's working for me. I guess I'm maybe not too clear what you're saying? Because it came off kind of "I just don't like all the returns and reunions, it feels forced. I mean, actually they're all really enjoyable and I've enjoyed them. But I don't like them." I mean, I guess I understand your basic premise, and it's one you're not alone in - this is a show about a girl meeting the world, and it should be strong enough to subsist off that premise alone and not need to rely upon the appearances of veterans to the original show.

      To that my response has always been thus: If this was *just* a show about a girl growing up and discovering the world, there would be no need to make it a sequel to Boy Meets World. The fact that they did.... then I'm going to need it to feature Boy Meets World characters, like, a lot. If they're going to make this character be Cory and Topanga's daughter, and get me to watch her adventures and care about her for that reason.... than episodes like this, and plenty of them, are kind of part of the bargain for me. Otherwise, why do it? Just make it a show about a girl growing up. Hell, cast Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as the parents if you want, and name them Richard and Janet Albright. But they didn't do that - and because they didn't, this is exactly the kind of thing I'm expecting.

      But that's because it's what I'm looking for. I don't really... want to watch a show about a girl growing up. I want to watch a continuation of Boy Meets World. I don't *mind* that it's a show about a girl growing up, in fact I'm enjoying that, but if this wasn't Cory and Topanga's daughter I wouldn't be watching it. Not because it's not good, but because the show would never have interested me enough to watch it.

      Also, I'm not getting the sense that all these characters were so much happier in the past than they are now. I kind of think just Jack was. Cory and Topanga are happy now, Eric's happy now, Turner's happy now, Shawn's only kind-of happy but he's getting there, and he wasn't like Mr. Happy Guy back then either. Jack Gatsby over here is the only who seems to be plagued with regrets and longing for the simpler days of his youth.

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    2. And I think you're over simplifying the 'brother' thing. No, she's not a buffoon, she's not sitting there thinking of Lucas EXACTLY like how she thinks of Auggie and not recognizing that this isn't love. She wasn't the one who says they were like brother and sister, Maya did. While the way Eric worded it reiterated that idea, Riley's concern was that this dating thing (which she's always actually pulled back on when the time came) could screw up a perfectly good friendship. When she heard Jack and Eric explain her story, it seemed o be clear that Riley just wasn't invested enough in the idea of dating Lucas to risk their friendship - and the fact that she clearly doesn't think dating him is enticing enough to risk that, kind of means she's not all that into dating him. Whether she totally gets that there's something that Maya's dynamic with him possess that hers does not, and in order for a relationship to work that needs to be there, I don't really know. Probably not. But she realized this much, and it seems that's enough to put that relationship on indefinite hold for her.

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    3. And I'll add, I don't find that sad at all. It's actually most interesting for Riley than anyone else. Lucas and Maya are sort of unaffected by this decision on Riley's end - they already had their flirty and increasingly romantic chemistry, the one that seemed sad to me before was Riley, still blissfully carrying on as if she and Lucas were fait accompli when, in if this was the real world, it would be becoming more and more obvious that her best friend is into him and he's starting to be into her too whether he's admitted it to himself or not.

      Instead, Riley's realized herself that this isn't really what she wants from Lucas and despite, yes, thinking he's a hottie, she values him more as what he is to her now than what he could be if they were together. Despite the focus Maya gets, we're not actually in any danger of Riley not getting plotlines. Whether it's Charlie or someone else, Riley will have another love interest, don't be too worried about that. But it makes her more interesting to me that she was so on board with just casting this original Prince Charming one away. That this guy could literally whisk her away on a white horse, and she could still come to the conclusion of "You know what? Nah. Let's be friends. I think I want something else." Good for her, frankly.

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    4. Wow that was really a perfect description of what is going on Christian because I was really having similar concerns to anonymous on the whole lucas brother dynamic. I had been ignoring my doubts only because I like the potential that would give the show to explore other relationships, but there was something just a little too unrealistic about all of the sudden deciding she only thinks of him as a brother.

      But that is exactly it. It's not that she's never been attracted to him or anything.

      "Instead, Riley's realized herself that this isn't really what she wants from Lucas and despite, yes, thinking he's a hottie, she values him more as what he is to her now than what he could be if they were together."

      That is a great point. And I really appreciate how they have tried to be subtle about what's happening and introduce it little by little instead of having an episode where everyone just does a full 180 and riley and lucas are nothing and lucas and maya have a thing. But I do hope that when the time comes they can explain that a little better because I think that's going to play into the inevitable fight between maya and riley if maya ever pursues lucas.

      If riley really thought of him as a brother then she wouldn't ever have a problem with them dating. But the idea that she decided their friendship wasnt worth risking for a potential relationship makes it much more understandable if she were frusterated by Maya choosing to risk their friend group for a potential relationship.

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    5. It might seem like they're rushing it, but we need to remember how out of order these episodes are airing.
      Season One didn't really have a lot of arcs for the most part, outside of Maya and Shawn's relationship with the Matthews, and Smackle becoming a friend of the group. So the episodes could air out of order and it wouldn't be quite so drastic. Sure "Smackle" had to air after "Farkle's Choice" and "Popular" but that was the extent of it. "Crazy Hat" is a sub-par episode, but it can air pretty much anytime after "Boy" and "Sneak Attack."
      There's still seventeen episodes left this season, and I'm willing to bet that only "Texas" and "Graduation" are going to be set after "Semi Formal."

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    6. "Sure "Smackle" had to air after "Farkle's Choice" and "Popular" but that was the extent of it. "And it, problematically, did not. Popular was first, then Smackle, then Farkle's Choice waaaay later, where Smackle was being introduced for the first time and people were reacting to her strange name as if hearing it for the first time, when we'd already done her titular episode.

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    7. Yeah, I remember that. I also found it odd that Riley laughed at "Smackle" when she hasn't laughed at "Minkus." And seeing as she's heard the stories, you'd think she would.

      "Farkle's Choice" aired in February, as I recall. It was probably meant to be a Valentine's Day episode without actually being a Valentine's Day-themed episode. It's not like they had much choice--"First Date" had to be the season finale, even though it was filmed before "Master Plan." But then, that probably had to do with Rider's availability more than anything else.

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    8. I just want to say that Christian absolutely hit the nail on the head w/ the Riley/Lucas explanation. This isn't Riley falling out of love, or infatuation, with Lucas. This is actually her making a big girl choice and, for the moment, choosing friendship over relationship. That's actually some of the character development I've been begging for when it comes to Riley.

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    9. "I just want to say that Christian absolutely hit the nail on the head w/ the Riley/Lucas explanation. This isn't Riley falling out of love, or infatuation, with Lucas. This is actually her making a big girl choice and, for the moment, choosing friendship over relationship. That's actually some of the character development I've been begging for when it comes to Riley."

      I agree with this. It is an important life lesson for kids to learn, especially since the vast majority of Disney Channel shows with female leads have had major subplots concerning romantic interests and, to my knowledge, it has only been recently that those storylines didn't play out in typical Disney fashion.

      Having said that, I can't help but remember what Sean and Christian said back in "New World," that apparently the friendship based on deep conversations Lucas and Riley have happens mostly off-screen. Platonic friendships are somewhat rare in coming-of-age shows--it wasn't until Season 4 that you could fairly call Shawn and Topanga friends--so I'd actually like to /see/ the platonic friendship.

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    10. I had something similiar to Riley and Lucas in college. There was a boy I liked, and we could have taken the friendship into a romantic direction, but decided not to. Neither one of us wanted to risk the friendship. I found out through my roommate that most of my friends on the floor thought I should date him. She had to lie and tell them we dated once, and decided to be just friends.

      I give the writers a lot of credit for granting Riley the maturity to choose friendship over a first boyfriend.

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  29. Just a quick comment on something Sean wrote that I missed the first time around - :why doesn't Maya have a date?". Perhaps because in a school full of seventh and eighth graders everyone but Farkle and Riley are afraid of her? Even if someone liked her, do you think they would have been brave enough to ask?

    Farkle knows better than to ask at this point, and well Riley obviously isn't asking Maya to the dance. Lucas looks like he will be playing linebacker on the high school football team next season, and we know he is afraid of her (I'd run but how would that look? - Yearbook). It is interesting that other than Josh, Maya hasn't yet seemed interested in anyone romantically. You would assume that by now someone would have caught her eye and that it would have been mentioned, but not a peep.

    The obvious feeling from the fans is that they are setting up Maya-Lucas, but if that is the case, it might be a long wait since most of the rest of the episodes this season should come before Yearbook-Semiformal in the story order.

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    1. My assumption is that if Maya doesn't have a date, it's because she doesn't want a date. Homegirl goes after incoming college Freshmen. You think she wants to go to the dance with Yogi? Zay? Sheeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiit.

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    2. The Wire? I'm so glad we're friends if that's The Wire.

      I agree, she almost certainly got asked a thousand times off camera, but she's holding off for someone way too old.

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    3. Well not Yogi (he is taken don't you know) but Zay and Maya might make for some interesting television for a few episodes. They seemed to get along pretty well in Secret of Life.

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    4. You don't know anything. Yogi is a player. He's out there. Only reason he didn't ask Maya is cuz his limo was already gonna be full.

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    5. Who needs a limo when you can have a helicopter?

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    6. My guess is that Maya doesn't like the boys in her class. The other boys are probably too afraid to ask her. If Maya wanted to ask someone on a date, she should ask, instead of waiting to be asked. She's going to the dance alone because she wanted to go alone.

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    7. I agree, she almost certainly wanted to go alone. My initial question in the review wasn't like "why doesn't Maya have a date," it was more "Maya is very good looking so why isn't anyone asking her to dance (even though she would say no)"

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    8. I think if they'd had more time they would've showed it. I've (spoilers) seen Girl Meets Creativity and Zay makes a move on Maya who's having none of it, so it goes on, they just had a lot of ground to cover in Semi-Formal, and it was an episode that was really more about Riley.

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    9. Oh can someone please post the link to girl meets creativity I've been looking for it

      Ps.... It happens to be my birthday today!

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  30. Am I the only one that noticed the Secret Service agent was the Martian Manhunter from Smallville?

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    1. Apparently so. Never saw Smallville--I heard it was good early on but after a few seasons grew stale. Would you recommend it?

      Come to think of it, something else happened in this episode that was a callback to classic Boy Meets World. When Riley is first stricken with her indecision, when she and Maya are still at school, Maya says "Uh oh" twice in close repetition. I was always fond of Cory and Shawn saying "Uh oh" in increasingly frantic tones when drama is introduced.

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    2. No, run from Smallville as fast as possible. Do the same with Fox's Gotham. Same awful show.

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    3. Really? I heard Gotham was great.

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    4. Smallville was decent, Gotham is shit.

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    5. I rather enjoy Gotham. For me, Smallville tended to wander too far out there, but maybe that was because of how long it was on.

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    6. Sure I noticed he was the Martian Manhunter, but I do think Phil Morris is far more famous for his role as Jackie Chiles on Seinfeld which I cited.

      I watched Smallville - but Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor is the only reason to watch it. He's great. The show itself is only okay, but I liked it well enough at the time.

      I tried Gotham, but I just thought it was atrocious and couldn't get past the first handful of episodes. Really, I think I'm just completely bored of Batman in genera.

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  31. What is girl meets rileytown about?

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    1. According to IMDB, Riley gets bullied and asks for help from a guest star. I've seen some spoilers and there isn't a mention of a guest star so I just chalk it up to misinformation on the site.

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  32. Has anyone posted the link for girl meets creativity ??

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  33. The writers are days away from 50k followers on Twitter which means a mass 24 hr ask and answer. We should have a brainstorming post for questions we should tweet at the writers. The last time the writers did this was actually super informative and they really answered them. It not their should be a post compiling everything we learned from it

    Btw we re two comments away from a 200th comment . Whoever posts that comment it better be awesome and should probably be Christian or Sean

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  34. I am the 200th comment. Bow before my works ye mighty, and despair.

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