Monday, August 3, 2015

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

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

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

Holy bananaphone, guys! This episode rocked! This episode rocked my world! This is a gamechanger! The game done changed! You thought we were playing basketball? Well, lookagainwe'replayingbaseballbecausewegotagamechanger!

I don't even know where to- I don't even know how to begin! Let's start with the things I didn't like. There are two.

#1. Maya's big "Herrrrr" impression of Lucas. I don't have anything to say about it. I just didn't find it funny.
#2. I also dislike how fucking dipshit Cory Matthews lied to his fucking students. That story about Iceland? That's not true. That's a myth. Do your homework, writers. Jesus Christ. You telling them all about how we use only 10% of our brains next week, Cor? Or about how one time you heard there was a kid who ate pop rocks and then drank a can of Coke and he EXPLODED? Mr. Turner, fire him. 

Anyway, that's it. Everything else about this episode was goldilocks. And I'm going to present to you all the things I liked abut it by doing a TOP 5 EPISODE MVP COUNTDOWN because I want to hit on a number of characters and aspects of this episode that were good and this is how I'm choosing to do it.

HONORABLE MENTION: Cheryl Texiera as Katy Hart. Her impersonation of Riley wasn't as spot-on as I think they wanted us to think it was, but she was great in this episode. I really like Katy a lot, and this was a good use of her. When she showed up my first thought was "Hey Katy, how's it going with Shawn? You know that guy you went on a date with two months ago? Any updates there?" but they did give us enough updates to know that things are still progressing and getting serious with them. And this was a very good way to handle it - Shawn can't be in every episode. Shawn can't be in most episodes. So, using Katy to at least give a sense that Shawn's story is ongoing is a very good way to go about things. Good work. And, yeah, Cheryl was great in this episode, but had a small part and there were so many people good in this episode.

NUMBER 5: Danielle Fishel as Topanga Lawrence-Matthews. Also a small part, but Topanga was great in this episode! From"Hey Riley, random question, but have you seen every piece of black clothing I own?" to "Aw, sweetie, you're really scraping the bottom of the Halloween barrel, aren't you?" Topanga was just a lot of fun here kind of just hanging out and cracking wise. I like snarky Topanga.  I'm a little sick of her whining about how her husband likes Shawn better than he likes her though. Either let it go or dump him, Pangers.

NUMBER 4: Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus AKA Donnie Barnes. Ultimately, Farkle is probably the character most affected by this episode, but I can't say I didn't enjoy the rest of the kids better since the Donnie Barnes character was just a regular person who introduced himself a lot. 

At first I was a little annoyed by this plot because it felt like Farkle had already made the decision that he was going to be himself many times, and it was annoying to see such a drastic version of it when I thought he'd made his peace on this issue already. But the way they ended it was a very good move - he's not really going to be Donnie Barnes, that was just a brief moment of insecurity, but he is going to change his look because... well, he wants to change his look. There's nothing wrong with that. That's an age where you start thinking about how you dress and present yourself, and it's not "not being yourself" to try to present yourself better and be a more appealing and attractive person. That final scene with Lucas gave me confidence that Farkle is still going to more or less be Farkle, but that he just wants to dress a little cooler (which I commend) and maybe he's going to be a little less "Laaaadddiiiesss....." (which I also commend.)

I am, however, worried about the fact that I think this episode was shown earlier than it fell in the production order, and that we're going to see earlier episodes where he's acting like the old Farkle and invalidating these decisions. Either way, very cool that in Farkle's case this didn't get reverted back to status quo by the end of the episode. 

NUMBER 3: Peyton Meyer as Lucas Friar. It's a shame he only wins the bronze, because this was Lucas' episode bar none. It was a very good move to have everyone but him change identities, because it allowed him to (for once) be the character we, the audience, identified with. His increasing frustration with the situation was very funny, and I just really enjoyed everything he did here with no qualifications. Meyer's performance in this episode wasn't as good as Rowan or Sabrina's, but Lucas was probably my favorite character.

NUMBER 2: Rowan Blanchard as Riley Matthews AKA Morosha M. Black. Again, I like that we got two character changes here - one that'll kind of take and one that won't take at all. Obviously Riley was never going to be able to keep Morosha up, but she was SO much fun and Rowan was a riot the entire episode. "You can find her in the yearbook. Keep in touch and have an awesome summer." was my favorite line of the episode. The one major way Riley and Cory are alike, is that they both are central characters who are most effective when supporting characters get the dramatic storylines and leave them to be comic relief. Rowan is slowly but surely proving herself to be just as indispensable to this show's comic identity as Ben Savage is. Sabrina may be the best actress on the show, and Maya the most engaging character, but Riley's funnier. And still, all this comedy was coming from a real emotional place. Riley's life usually works out exactly how she hopes it will, which has reinforced this sunny worldview. The idea of Lucas and Maya obviously threw her for a loop. I'm looking forward to seeing more of that.

NUMBER 1: Sabrina Carpenter as Maya Hart. To me, Maya was the emotional centerpoint of this episode. Farkle's change wasn't as focused on, and Riley's change and Lucas' reaction was mainly played for laughs. Maya was the one that was taken seriously, as she seemed very strongly effected by these changes in her friends, and by the end was left solely aware of certain revelations that should play out in the rest of the series to come. The final scene with her and Riley, keeping silent on the fact that she seemed to have just discovered what most of the audience (and, apparently, the rest of the school) already knew was very good moment. 

So, what exactly does this all mean going forward? Is the show cutting bait on the Riley/Lucas thing, realizing that Maya/Lucas is clearly where the story is headed whether they planned it that way? The only actually stated revelations here seem to be Maya's understanding that Riley/Lucas just doesn't seem right. At the moment, that doesn't seem to also include the idea of Maya being with him instead. But they didn't do the Maya/Lucas best couple thing for no reason either. I expect further developments in "Girl Meets Semi-Formal" next week.

Okay, Sean. What do you got? I feel like there were things I'm forgetting to address. OH! Here's one. I wish they'd had Topanga and Maya try singing "Tomorrow" to reawaken the old Riley. Because I'm now thinking that not only is Riley's father Eric, but her mother has gotta be Corinna from "Shallow Boy."

I'm amazed that no one on this blog has ever drawn a line between Corinna and Riley before now. You get an A+ for that.

I'm still not impressed with Rowan Blanchard. She only has the one voice, which was just barely pitch shifted down for Morosha. Don't get me wrong, I love everything they wrote for Riley. This was a truly beautiful script all around, and if I were only looking at the script I would agree with Riley/Morosha at number 2. And I would maybe agree with Lucas at number 3. But neither actor delivered for me. Fogelmanis, on the other hand, is looking like the strongest (young) male actor on the channel, a SKYROCKET improvement from when this show started. I hope he continues on this trajectory.
So yes, I would put Farkle at number 2, Riley at 3, and Lucas at 4. We've seen Farkle struggling with his identity before, but unlike Christian, I don't think that's a bad thing. No one his age is capable of overcoming those issues after a single pep talk. It's an arc. This is further development. And it's interesting! I'm genuinely invested in Farkle's transition. Especially after that final scene, that was a home run. 

Initially I thought the Shawn plug was lame, but you changed my mind. An update is good, you're right.

100% agree on Maya though. Maybe I would have enjoyed Morosha more(osha) if she hadn't been set up next to the amazingly perfect Maya-playing-Riley. 
On Iceland, how could the kids think it's icy and Greenland green? DIDN'T THEY EVER SEE MIGHTY DUCKS 2?! 

Christian claimed this was the best non-veteran episode, which uhhhhhhhh, yeah maybe. I give it an A for sure. If we're being completely unbiased, it's worth noting that we're coming off a week of mediocre shows and that thing called "Descendants." Maybe a whole lot of stuff would look good right now. It's certainly a contender though. 

Yeah, I don't know why Riley/Corinna didn't occur to me before now. Girl Meets World is essentially Boy Meets World if Corinna had been the main character and not Cory. Also, when Cory dressed up as that female waitress he should have made his name be "Corinna" or "Corinne" and not "Cora" because that's a better femme-Cory name.

Hey, what did Zay win in the Yearbook I wonder? Most Likely to Fucking Vanish? I didn't like Zay either guys, but you can't just pretend he wasn't in the class. Tell us he went back to Texas or something.

Man, I thought Rowan was so much fun in this. I agree she's not as dynamic as she could be (although, in fairness, she's not written that dynamically, so, what's she supposed to do?) but I consistently enjoy her performances. Say what you want, but she's funny and that's usually all she's tasked with. And I guess I remain conscious that she's younger than the other three and cut her some slack. I also guess I wasn't concerned that she still felt basically the same as Riley when she was playing Morosha... because she was still playing Riley. This is Riley, a naive twit, playing a dark and disturbed character.

On the other hand, I guess I wasn't as impressed with Corey. I thought he was good in the episode and everything, but I think the wardrobe change did a lot of the heavy lifting here. He mostly just stood around and said "I'm Donnie Barnes." I did like the final scene, but I dunno. Is he the best young male actor on the channel (as far as we've seen)? Yeah, maybe. But that's the faintest of praise, as the young men on this channel seem to be consistently worse than the girls. It's true on every single show so far. Also, he's not better than Uriah Shelton, but I don't know if we're counting guest stars. (And also, shit, what the hell happened to Josh too? Where's he been? Did Farkle murder him for his stupid cap?!) I don't even know who his competition is. Liv & Maddie's pointless brothers? Anyway, the point is, all he did was play like a regular person and say his lines in a normal tone. He did fine and everything, he's not a bad actor, but I'm not sure what I was supposed to find impressive. Rowan, at least, was funny. And not just because she had funny lines, I think she, herself, was funny.

It's been a good 20 years since I've seen D2, mind reminding me what the Icelandic connection is? And what made you think the Shawn reference was lame - you mean, like, in a "Don't try to get mileage out of Shawn when you didn't bother to put him in the episode" kind of way? 

You didn't touch on the Maya/Lucas and Riley/Lucas stuff at all, what'd you think? Like, both about what they did, and what it theoretically means for the show going forward?

Every bit of "I'm Donnie Barnes" was funny for me. I guess we just saw it differently.

The enemy hockey team in Mighty Ducks 2 is from Iceland, and there's a brief exchange between Emilio Estevez and his love interest about the Ice/Greenland naming thing. Also, I took you at your word that it was just a myth about the "let's trick people" naming story, but it seems pretty well founded from the logbooks of Erik the Red. Even on Snopes I can't find anything to prove otherwise.

Maya's revelation that Riley and Lucas are more like brother and sister is a solid direction that, unless my memory fails me, none of us predicted. Definitely happy with that. But now that Mucus actually seems like a  possibility... I'm not sure I want it anymore. Everyone on earth knows they banter well, but they still suffer from having absolutely nothing in common. Like, do you think Maya and Lucas ever hang out without Riley? That said, they've got more than enough for a few dates and some hormone fueled making out, a la Shawn and Dana. I'll eat my socks if that happens though.

NOW THAT I MENTION THAT, they could do a scene with Shawn and Maya where Shawn calls back his dalliance with Dana, the whole "we had nothing in common but I made the effort to blah blah," applying it to Maya's theorized situation with Lucas. That could be great.


I guess? I dunno. I actually don't think having tons and tons in common is the hallmark of a good relationship. Cory and Topanga don't have a lot of common interests. Shawn and Katy are very different too. You can't have nothing in common, but if you're already making a friendship work and you have enough between you to sustain consistent banter, I kind of think that's enough in common right there. No, I don't think they hang out without Riley, but that's not because I think if they did they'd have nothing to say to one another. Just because Maya like art and Lucas like sports, it doesn't mean they can't sustain a conversation. Most girls I've dated haven't liked half of what I like, and I haven't liked half of what they like, but that was never a problem. Meanwhile, look at Shawn and Angela, they had a lot in common, both in terms of interests and having common parental abandonment issues, and they were a horror show.

And is that really what tore Shawn and Dana apart? Their differences? That Valentine's episode kind of implies Shawn just ultimately flaked out like usual. 

And I think to have Riley and Lucas not work out because it wasn't what they thought it was, and then have Maya and Lucas not work out for more or less the same reason seems redundant. I'm not saying I need Maya and Lucas to up and marry each other (In fact, let's make sure that doesn't happen, okay?) But I think they have enough to like... date for a while. And I think the show could discover some interesting things about both characters by making it happen. Doesn't have to work out, but let's give it a season.

Oh, I also wanted to add that while Lucas and Riley aren't a good match, I don't exactly think it's because they seem like brother and sister. They just don't have a lot of chemistry or bring out interesting things in one another. It's not because they're so similar they feel related.  

As for Iceland/Greenland - the Iceland thing is total nonsense. If you found something about Erik the Red then you didn't find anything about the naming of Iceland because they happened long before his time. It was named Iceland because of the ice at the top of the mountains or something, it wasn't a trick to keep people out. Erik the Red (probably best known as Leif Erikson's papa) did found Greenland, like Cory said, and he did name it Greenland in order to make it more inviting, but A) There is green in Greenland and he probably was just referring to that B) It wasn't some diabolical ploy, it was just "Well, here's the country I'm founding, gotta name it something, may as well make it a nice name." And this is the first I'm hearing that everyone died. Where are you seeing different? I looked it up to make sure and everything.


Yeah, I guess humor is just subjective! I didn't find Farkle particularly funny in this one. Certainly not compared to Riley, who cracked me up. EITHER WAY! We can agree this was a very good episode, and Sabrina's the MVP, so I guess what's to argue about!

"..haven't liked half of what I like," yeah that's half, which is different from Maya and Lucas. They have nothing, unless they want to talk about Riley. "enough to like... date for a while," isn't that what I said? And when I mentioned Shawn and Dana I was thinking of how it started, not how it ended. 

I think the biggest problem is that it's trendy to be shipping Maya and Lucas. It was fun in like the second episode of the series when we were being rebels about it, but now this hype train is getting too crowded for a jerk like me.

I'm giving up on Ice/Greenland.

I'm not prepared to say that Maya and Lucas have nothing in common. The very fact that they enjoy this witty banter relationship proves they have something in common. I don't think two people without a single thing in common could sustain such a dynamic. Clearly they have a common sense of humor, and that, my friend, is a lot. They're also both strong, independent, loyal, apparently have occasionally destructive impulses that they try to control. So, what exactly is it so diametrically opposed about them? Their hobbies? We have no idea what all their hobbies are. I doubt Maya's only interest is art and cutting holes in her jeans, and I bet there's more to Lucas than sports and sheep herding. If they both like going out to eat, seeing movies, and hanging out in Central Park, they'll be fine. What did Cory and Topanga have in common? 

I don't know. I just think they have this fun Hercules and Megara vibe.

I do have a similar issue of not liking when something I liked starts becoming popular and I stop feeling unique for liking it, but there's also something to be said about vindication. I remember I thought Ron and Hermione were going to be the go-to couple from Book 1 and everyone was like "What? No way. She'll end up with Harry." and so when Ron and Hermione became canonical, I felt pleased with myself. If the show itself sees what I see in the characters and their dynamic, I find that to be good news. Also, do Harry, Ron, and Hermione remind you of Cory, Shawn, and Topanga or what?

Your responses are getting sparser, so you may be just about done (But reply if you're not!) In case you are, I'll throw my scores up:


Episode Rating: A 
Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter (as stated)


125 comments:

  1. Im afraid to read the review before seeing it but I'd love to see it. How can I watch it early?

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    1. I think Christian intended to drop the link at the beginning of the post where he said "this link." But here you go https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8gssBoUr6-XZVh3QTNISXlxUHM/view?pli=1

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    2. In the same boat as you. I have Comcast and not TWC, so must wait till Friday as well.

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    3. Thanks for the link. Great episode. I'll probably wait until you guys have finished with your back and forth to post my comments.

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    4. The reference to the link is because that first put is the part someone would see if they were on the homepage, so "this link" meant clicking this episode review where the spoilers would start. I probably wasn't going to put the episode link in the main review (we probably shouldn't be advertising shady ways to watch the show) but I'm also not that concerned about it.

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  2. I haven't seen the episode yet, but I wanted to comment on the couple with nothing in common part. In high school, there was a couple who was seriously dating. No one expected them to stay together past graduation. They stayed together through 2 years of college (long distance relationship). This was a couple that really shouldn't have worked, but somehow did.

    I like the idea of Lucas and Maya as a couple, but not if ruins what they have. Maddie and David in the first three seasons of "Moonlighting" was fantastic. House and Cuddie in "House" was almost as good, until they became an official couple.

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    1. Yeah, but the difference is those were shows that REALLY hinged on the whole "Will They/Won't They" thing where, once they do, what's the point of the show? Particularly Moonlighting. Lucas and Maya's flirtations are fun, but it's not, like, the reason to watch the show. So, if it goes south? Oh well. But, really, fear of the dynamic being screwed up is not a reason not to anything. Shows can't stay static. Imagine if Friends had gone all 10 years without ever having Ross tell Rachel he was in love with her. At a certain point you're just spinning your wheels.

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    2. "Will They/Won't They" can definitely be a curse if it's what defines the show--it's what made How I Met Your Mother drag so badly.

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    3. Studies have shown that it isn't that you have to have everything in common or that it's always opposites that attract, the couples that stay together longest are those in the mid ground. Things like interests changes over time, especially when you're talking about preteens to teens. Look at Cory in Season 1 compared to Cory in Season 5.

      Personality and values are also important. The fact that Lucas banters back with Maya reveals a personality that doesn't just let Maya dominate like she does everyone else. Also the things she makes fun of Lucas for are things she she actually does admire. I think that's why she is friends with Riley as well.

      I don't know if Maya/Lucas is a thing, at least on GMW imdb board, they seem pretty against it. At least, from a few posters.

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  3. Best thing about boy meets world was its ability to take a simple plot and do something new with it or put a spin on it. The writers have said repeatedly that cory and topanga were one of a kind. I remember an interview where jacobs talked about how he knew about a dozen high school couples who swore they would be together forever but at the end of the day there was only one that did. I appreciate that for boy meets world he wanted to tell that story, but girl meets world is its own beast.

    He wants to show kids the other side of reality and what real relationships look like because the truth is that they change. Your first crush is not automatically your forever and if they open up Riley's storyline to have more than one possible ending there is potential for a huge divergence from the original series. Boy meets world never questioned corpangas destiny so we didn't really get to see the uncertainty that most real relationships undergo. Instead of repeating the same life lessons boy meets world taught (although valuable) this new show could really offer a new take on relationship life lessons.

    I don't support this revelation of lucas and riley being too similar solely because I'm all about seeing mucus happen. At this point I'm pretty much indifferent but open minded to a maya lucas pairing. I'm really just supporting it for the massive potential it gives the show.This would certainly set up maya and riley to have uncertain and therefore exciting future storylines that most of the audience didn't anticipate.

    Thanks so much for sending the link!

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    1. Sorry, not sure why that posted twice

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  4. I like that your reviews analyzed the plausibility of a maya lucas relationship. The way I see it though, is that if the show decides riley and lucas aren't meant to be right now, that doesn't make maya and lucas the new cory and topanga. They could just explore that possibility for a season only to end with an amicable break up that left them both changed and ready for a new relationship. Maybe Lucas could even have changed enough that he's ready for a relationship with Riley by season 4 or 5. The point is that its exciting that we don't know.

    I know that you guys were debating if maya and lucas could make a great couple with so few common interests and it got me thinking about what makes a great tv couple. Do they usually bring out the best in eachother? yes. Do they always have a lot in common? Not really. But I think it's clear the number one thing that makes a tv couple great is the chemistry between the actors every time. The best writers in the world can't fix the fact that there wasn't really a spark between rowan and peyton.

    But the fact is that peyton is like 16 while rowan is 12 or 13. What 16 year old boy wouldn't feel a little awkward trying look in love with a 12 year old. That's why I think riley and lucas could be great in a couple of years. That gap seems smaller as you get older but for right now it's just too big to fill with good writing. Sabrina on the other hand is already 15, making the connection much easier. Maya and lucas is the clear direction to take the show in for right now. But maybe not forever.

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    1. Woops I talked a lot about the implications for later in the show and I forgot to talk about the episode itself so i think ill throw in my 2 more cents on that.

      Kudos to Pangers for being in the top 5. She deserves it, especially for "I was weird, Cory was celery".

      I have to disagree though that Cheryl Texiera's impersonation of Riley wasn't spot-on. While the actual dialogue wasn't 100% spot on I thought Cheryl's interpretation of it totally was. When she first started talking I really thought they had edited riley's voice in and had her lip sync it. She nailed the facial expression.

      As for Lucas i pretty much agree with everything you guys had to say about him but if I was gonna single out his best line I'd have to give it to what he said to maya when he was trying to give that big pep talk to get them all to change back.

      "You're the most secure person in this room, you have great life, why would you change it? Well- okay not a great life, your family life could be better. But at school you... well youre here a lot! Thats something." There is just something so funny about a failed pep talk. That was the second funniest line in the episode for me right behind, "Keep in touch and have an awesome summer"

      I have to side with christian on the riley farkle debate. I thought riley was hilarious but I always find her funny.Although Im usually a bigger fan of when she's really confident in herself. I love the episode where she's one of the sorority sisters at NYU.

      Anyway, while the episodes a game changer and an obvious turning point in the series, it's also very good standalone. Funny, engaging, and unexpected.

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    2. To be clear, I didn't think Cheryl did a *bad* impression. It was good, actually. I guess I just didn't think it was good enough for the show to make a good deal of how good it was. It was better than Maya's impression of her though.

      My favorite Lucas line was "Is this a New York thing or what is this?" I really enjoyed his delivery of that. But that was good too. Lucas is most enjoyable when he's uncomfortable or out of sorts.

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  5. Alrighty, this episode was one of the more groundbreaking in terms of things changing for the good of the plot. And to that end it was good, and it looks as though it is a continuation of "Girl Meets Flaws" more than any other episode. Kit Cosmo, if you're reading this, I'd especially like to hear your comments. This comment is going to be very long, so I suggest everyone grab a snack. Or five.
    First I like that "Lucaya" (Uggg...I can't believe I wrote that) was not actually the focus of the episode. It would have been a bit too cliched. I also like that Maya was the one who realized that Riley's feelings for Lucas may be platonic, and actually keeps this from Riley. This will allow Riley to realize her feelings, whatever they may be, for herself. Having said that, I find it a bit odd that they liken it to a brother/sister relation. Lucas has been around for what, a year and a half now in the Feeny-verse (C'mon guys, what else could I have named it?). That doesn't really seem to be long enough for a sibling relationship to grow--especially considering Riley /did/ grow up with Maya and Farkle.
    As an aside, anybody want to place odds that Riley and Farkle met when Farkle got stuck on the monkey bars and Riley helped him get down?
    The idea of Riley and Lucas as brother-and-sister does bring to mind the original ideas for the show. Teo Halm, who was one of the kids in "Earth to Echo," had been cast as Riley's one-year-older brother Elliot. Disney Channel has three shows with a set of twins currently airing, and GMW could have been four with Riley and Elliot being Irish Twins. If I recall the promotional material correctly, Elliot's most defining characteristic in the pilot was his tendency to use Riley as his favorite wrestling dummy. I can't remember when Auggie was cast, but if they had elected to keep all three kids, Riley would have essentially been Auggie's favorite playmate, and Elliot's favorite plaything. Make of it what you will, it's been nearly two years since Halm left the show, and I wonder whether Girl Meets World would have been stronger with Riley having a brother close to her age. If there's only one year, at most, between them, Elliot could conceivably have been in the same class, which could have led to some interesting character dynamics.
    Where was I? Oh yes, this is a comment for "Girl Meets World Reviewed," not "Cryptid456's Soapbox." Maya and Lucas...the actors have chemistry, so I say go for it. If they're careful, the writers could deliver something interesting here--not that they have a particularly high bar to reach; I can't remember a single love triangle I thought was good. Eric/Rachel/Jack was just annoying and I despised the love triangles on HIMYM.

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    1. Now, moving on to the meat of the episode. Farkle and Riley being singled out by their classmates wasn't unexpected. It appears to be tradition with Farkle. That said, I think they could have done something a little bit differently with Riley. Riley going Goth felt a little too reminiscent of "Girl Meets Popular," with the wardrobe change and the personality change. That's not to say it was bad, just familiar. On the one hand, that was nice, because a lot of this episode covered new territory. That said, I think I would have gone for something a bit more subdued. Riley's classmates stated outright (holy crap, they actually talked. Don't know who they think they're kidding with the clearly not thirteen-to-fifteen-year-old extras, but still, nice to see it is a classroom) that they were fond of Riley's mannerisms. I'll say again, they said they liked Riley. We know from "Rules" a few of Riley's classmates are fond of her, so it makes the "Most Likely to Smile To Death" seem a little jesting, not really mean-spirited.
      But what if they went a slightly different route here. What if Riley's classmates had voted her something like "Most Annoying" or "Person We'd Most Like to Push Out An Airplane And Have Her Land On The Empire State Building On Her Eye." (It's middle school; it really isn't that big a stretch for something like that to be said). We could have just had Riley retreat into herself and be very quiet, which could just as easily trigger a response from Maya.
      Farkle's transformation is tied into his character development. It's a little bit much in the way they stated it outright, but it works rather well here. Certainly a better handling than what we saw in "Flaws," which I'll get to in a moment. Farkle wanted to change himself, but still had some tendencies he needs to work on--noticeably, he still speaks out plenty in class even as Donnie B. Part of me wonders how big a role the actor actually played here--I imagine he must have been itching for a wardrobe change or a story arc of his own. I'm not going to miss "Laaaaaaaadies" by any means, but I hope the writers know what they're doing. Now more than ever, I think the show might have a weakness in being on Disney Channel, not so much because of content restrictions, but because airing out of order really complicates things.

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    2. These tangents are going to be the death of me. Okay, I covered Maya and Lucas, and Farkle and Riley. So that's all fine and dandy. Is there anything left? Oh yes, this episode in comparison to "Flaws."
      I appreciate what they were TRYING to do in "Flaws," but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and frankly they didn't get very close with "Flaws." Frankly, not many kid shows handle bullying very well--Recess succeeded by making it a group effort to stand up to the bully, and Fillmore! basically stated that human nature was screwed up and that it would take an organized effort by EVERYONE to nip bullying in the bud.
      "Flaws" doesn't work very well I think, because it tries to call out the mob and succeeds for the most part. "Yearbook" features Lucas and Maya trying to call out the mob and it failing for the most part, while also giving the viewers a chance to see that maybe things people don't like about us are things that might be worth changing, while still holding true to ourselves. For that, I give the writers a lot of credit. It was a little disappointing to see the classroom be taken over again, but in light of the circumstances, I think it was necessary.
      Now I know this got really, really long, but if I may be so bold as to add in "How Girl Meets Flaws Should Have Ended...And Started...And Inbetweened."
      The episode only really falls apart in the third act, and does so badly--a bold vision that is very badly jumbled. So a simpler storyline I think is necessary. Make the episode about Riley and Farkle, and Cory and Harley.
      What if Farkle misses Roll Call, instead of getting announced as a finalist for an award. This eliminates the most eye-rolling aspect of the episode right off the bat, and we can have a darker joke about Riley panicking over Farkle being sick with something outrageously rare.
      I don't dispute the seriousness of cyber-bullying at all, but it does raise an issue of Farkle not telling a teacher or his parents what's happening. If Farkle is getting physically intimidated in addition to the insults, then it allows for him to have a reason to want to hide. It also gives Harley a more direct link to the situation. Bodily threats are what he knows all too well.
      Riley could emulate her mother's old personality here a bit as well. Farkle stops wearing his turtlenecks, even though he doesn't really want to? Have Riley say something along the lines of "But if they're important to you, Farkle, that makes them beautiful!" I enjoy Hippie Topanga a lot--and even in her re-imagining, there really isn't an indication that Topanga wouldn't say the exact same thing. She did cut her hair to try to teach Cory a lesson about inner beauty.
      We know that Riley will go to the ends of the earth for Maya, as Cory did for Shawn. But Cory would only do that for Shawn or Topanga. He would not do it for Minkus. From what we've seen, Riley will go to the ends of the earth for whomever needs her help. Show us that. Show us Riley marching into to Harley's closet:
      "Farkle! Come back to class."
      "I'm not going back, Riley...I got everything I need here."
      "Farkle, I'm not going back without you!"

      Show us Riley putting herself between Farkle and his bullies, because it's finally gotten physical. This is something Riley cannot fix, so she's going to share his burden. Show us Riley trying to fight and getting squashed like a pancake.
      Show us a black-eyed Riley tending to a bloody-nosed Farkle.
      And more scenes with Harley and Cory:
      "Baboon....Cory...when we were kids...I never made you feel that bad did I?"
      That's about all I have to say about that.

      Overall, I give "Girl Meets Yearbook" a B+. It isn't the best episode this season--that is still "Pluto," though I would have loved to see Riley call Mr. Feeny "Uncle George." If there is anyone who deserves Honorary Uncle status, it's him.

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    3. I'm thrilled that you want my opinion. :)

      "As an aside, anybody want to place odds that Riley and Farkle met when Farkle got stuck on the monkey bars and Riley helped him get down?"

      My guess is that she was nice to him when the other kids were teasing him and calling him a weirdo/other insults. After all, I'm sure she grew up with stories about what her mother was like when she was younger and Corey made friends Shawn in elementary school despite his peers telling Shawn wasn't a good person. I'm sure Riley has heard the story about the llama pen.

      "Show us Riley putting herself between Farkle and his bullies, because it's finally gotten physical. This is something Riley cannot fix, so she's going to share his burden. Show us Riley trying to fight and getting squashed like a pancake. Show us a black-eyed Riley tending to a bloody-nosed Farkle."

      I like the idea, but I would make a few changes. Riley tries to talk it out, and when that fails Riley runs away to get the nurse, because she knows where this is headed. At this point, Maya puts herself in harm's way. Maya and Farkle have a variation on no one makes fun of my brother expect me. (even though I know they are not related, it's still that type of dynamic) I can also see Maya as being more willing to resort to physical force. Maya also has a strong moral code (always have your friend's back,) so I could see her helping Farkle with a bloody-nose, at least until the nurse arrives.

      "And more scenes with Harley and Cory 'Baboon....Cory...when we were kids...I never made you feel that bad did I?"

      That's fantastic. If they ever do a bottle episode, I want Harley and Cory stuck in a room.

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    4. Glad to hear from you, Kit. I was worried the novel comments were too long for their own good.
      You raise some good points.
      "My guess is that she was nice to him when the other kids were teasing him and calling him a weirdo/other insults. After all, I'm sure she grew up with stories about what her mother was like when she was younger and Corey made friends Shawn in elementary school despite his peers telling Shawn wasn't a good person. I'm sure Riley has heard the story about the llama pen. "

      It's actually rather interesting what they're doing with Riley. A lot of the time it seems she's more like a prototype of a character--we really don't see her do much by herself. She's supposedly Farkle's academic equal, but we don't see her read for fun or set up over-the-top school projects. Going back to "Yearbook," how on earth did she not know the whole Greenland/Iceland thing? That's something I remember reading when I was nine--though as I recall, Greenland and Iceland got their names from more phonetic English translations.
      As for the stories of Past Cory and Topanga...I wonder how many of them Riley's actually heard. While I don't doubt she's heard the Llama Story, I doubt she's heard the Cherry Bomb Incident. though to be fair, that kind of thing isn't something to laugh about anymore. And she's clearly unaware of most of Cory's stunts that were overtly rebellious.
      I still think it's a missed opportunity for Riley to feel really guilty for her behavior in "Meets the Forgotten" and Harley say "Ya know, if it makes you feel better Junior, your dad actually led a student rebellion against the lunch ladies."

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    5. "I like the idea, but I would make a few changes. Riley tries to talk it out, and when that fails Riley runs away to get the nurse, because she knows where this is headed. At this point, Maya puts herself in harm's way. Maya and Farkle have a variation on no one makes fun of my brother expect me. (even though I know they are not related, it's still that type of dynamic) I can also see Maya as being more willing to resort to physical force. Maya also has a strong moral code (always have your friend's back,) so I could see her helping Farkle with a bloody-nose, at least until the nurse arrives."

      I don't dispute this, really, Kit. My point was more about how "Flaws" should have been more character centric. The show is "Girl Meets World," but it often feels like Riley has the least to do. While that isn't exactly a change from "Boy Meets World," I feel like we had more duos the first time around. Cory would interact with Shawn or Eric or Topanga. Eric would interact with Cory or Jason or eventually Jack. (I found out some spoilers about Jack that I'm sure we'll get into next week).
      Romantic plotlines with Lucas aside (and yes, let's ignore them for now) Riley interacts with Maya or the Group as a whole. She doesn't really interact with anyone else by herself. Remember my comments on how "Girl Meets Fish" should have been centered on Riley and Auggie? This is much the same thing.
      I don't disagree with you by any means, but I think it would speak volumes for Riley's character if she resolves to put herself in harm's way to protect Farkle. What you said makes perfect sense for their characters, but it doesn't really develop their characters. It also allows for Riley to be contrasted to her father--Cory and Shawn would rag on Minkus, who to be fair gave as good as he got and could hold his own, and I can count on one hand the number of times they stuck their necks out for anyone outside their circle: "Dangerous Secret" and that time they told off the kids who gave Frankie Stechino a hard time.
      Show me a Riley who stares down a pack of bullies, scared out of her wits, but defiant all the same. She has no fighting prowess and is too clumsy for her own good. Have her stand in front of a crouching Farkle, spreading her arms in a futile attempt to shield him. Show me four or five large eight graders taking on two smaller seventh graders. Show me a livid Cory and a fretful Topanga tending to Riley and Farkle's injuries in the Matthews' apartment. We really haven't seen Topanga mother Riley yet. We've seen her outright spoil Auggie, and act as a role model and mentor for Maya, but we haven't seen her really meaningfully interact with Riley. To lighten the mood, have Auggie hand Riley her favorite stuffed animal that he dug out of his toy chest.

      And it appears we are in complete agreement with Harley and Cory. Why couldn't this show have been picked up by Netflix or have Disney air it on ABC? Harley could have become the New Janitor Bud and fill a vein similar to Janitor No-Name on Scrubs.

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    6. "To lighten the mood, have Auggie hand Riley her favorite stuffed animal that he dug out of his toy chest."

      That is beyond adorable.

      I could use your opinion. (Sorry if this is totally off topic) One of my hobbies is writing fan-fiction. I mentioned in another episode the idea of Harley needing to sub last minute because Corey has to leave and no one else can watch the class. Instead of supervising study hall, he starts telling stories about Corey in high-school. Nothing too horrible, just some of the silly/crazy stuff he did. Harley makes it clear that while Corey was a good guy, he did get into trouble. The next day in class, Corey admits he made mistakes. The question is, where do you go from here? Is there an Act 2? Is there enough to this premise for a full 22 minute episode?

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    7. Alright, the page reset and I lost all my stuff. I had some exposition about how I'd recommend focusing on a three-act story, rather than a A-B plot, but I digress.
      Act I:
      Cory is giving a lecture on the dangers of lionizing and demonizing the figures in the simplistic fashion of history books. Case in point, FDR was an out-right racist whose policies PROLONGED the Great Depression. J. Edgar Hoover, the man who wiretapped God knows how many people, opposed Japanese Internment.
      So Cory gets called away (As a gag, I recommend having his ring tone be that Bahama Mix Tape of Feeny's. Feeny Feeny, Bo Beeny...love that episode) to pick up a sick Auggie--you'll need an emergency that is not too serious that Riley needs to leave too--and frets at not finding a sub. Harley hears the ruckus, and Cory commandeers him to sub.
      Act II
      Harley begins reading from Cory's notes and that includes bits Cory made in the margins, notably "Avoid having discussion steer into my past."
      Riley or Maya or Farkle (Most of my plot ideas revolve around these three) asks him what he means by that.
      "Well...back in the day...let's just say that Mr. Matthews wasn't exactly the best behaved kid in the classroom."
      "You used to be a bully. Was Matthews the same way?"
      "Daddy said to stay on topic!"
      "C'mon Janitor Harley, this will be easier to understand than any of those old dudes on the wall."
      "Well...okay. Cory and I were in school together. I was five years ahead of him, me and my lackeys Joey and Frankie."
      And then we hear the stories of T.K., the time Cory and Shawn set the chemistry lab on fire, the First Student Union. Have Harley deny flat out ever hurting Mr. Turner's bicycle and have him emphasize that he and Cory grew up a lot.
      Act III
      Riley is stunned by the news...and um...okay, so I don't have any other ideas. Cory can get angry and Riley can ask why didn't he ever tell her any of these stories.
      You said you wrote fan-fiction. Any good ones?

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    8. Oh, and I was wondering--what did you think of my more expanded idea of Riley helping Farkle?
      Not saying what you said didn't make sense--it does, but it doesn't actually allow for a whole lot of growth for the characters.
      It's a little bit like in "Harry Potter," from where I stand, Neville standing up to Malfoy doesn't mean as much as him standing up to Harry, Ron and Hermione.

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    9. I can see a way to have Riley stay in character, and fight the bullies. Riley, Maya, and Farkle are in the hallway. Riley can see the bullies coming down the hall.
      Riley: I'm going to go get help.
      Maya: If you really want to help him, stay here.
      Riley: But-
      Maya: I'll be right here. We'll do this together. Okay?
      Riley: Okay.

      The fight ensues, and it ends as you described it.

      Thanks for your help with my fan-fic idea. I was thinking two acts, because a half hour script has two acts. Here's what I've got so far, based on my ideas and your ideas.

      The episode would start with class. Corey would start the lecture, historical figures are complex people. He's called away because Auggie is sick. It's not life threatening, but he's sick to his stomach or has a fever or something else where he needs to be taken home. Topanga is away on a business trip, so Corey has to leave school.

      Because it is super short notice, Harley is the sub. (I skipped the part about margin notes, because he wouldn't have time to write them, and I don't think it's needed). He starts reading off the list (I like the idea of J. Edgar Hoover, and I'd probably include Thomas Jefferson or George Washington),
      Harley: Sort of like Mr. Matthews.
      Lucas: What do you mean?
      Farkle: You used to be a bully. Was Mr. Matthews one too?
      Riley: How could you say that?
      Harley: Forget I mentioned it.
      Maya: C'mon Janitor Harley, this will be easier to understand than any of those old dudes on the wall or in our history textbook.
      Harley: Okay, but you didn't hear this from me.
      The class is hanging on his every word.

      Harley starts telling stories about Corey in high school. Riley laughs at some of the stories. During lunch, the reality of it all hits her. She had this vision of her father as the perfect kid, and it's completely wrong.

      Act 2 is about Riley deals with this information/realization. At the end, she comes to the understanding that her father is a person, who had a past, and made mistakes. Eventually Riley realizes that her father is still a great person, and she stills love him.

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    10. "You said you wrote fan-fiction. Any good ones?" I think some are better than others. I use FinalDraft, because I'm far more comfortable with screenplay format than prose. I don't post online, because that format isn't compatible with most websites, and more importantly, I just write for myself for fun.

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    11. Good ideas. The one only thing I'd add is have Riley threaten to tell Mr. Feeny on Harley and Cory if there was a story Harley told that Cory actually got away with.
      Maya and Riley facing the bullies to protect Farkle is great. The dialogue there is perfect....and is it my imagination or have neither of us put Lucas into any of our What if scenarios?
      A bottle episode featuring Cory and Harley stuck together is great and I wonder what'll happen if Shawn meets Harley for the first time in over a decade.

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    12. Thank you. I'm glad you like the ideas. Riley's threat would make a super cute tag scene. I have Lucas in on of my what-if-scenarios. In the fight scenario, Lucas isn't there because he's at practice (he is a scholar/athlete). I know I gave Lucas lines in the classroom scene that's part of my fan-fic idea.

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    13. Oh yeah...oops.
      Wait a second, what's a tag scene? I don't think I've read that on TV Tropes, though I'm sure I've seen it.
      Something I noticed--the main four kids appear to correspond roughly to Hogwarts Houses. Riley's a Hufflepuff, Farkle a Ravenclaw, Maya a Slytherin...kinda, and Lucas Gryffindor. And I've learned that Gryffindors are really boring if there isn't Lord Voldemort to fight.

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    14. I was thinking about what houses they'd be in recently myself, and I do have some disagreements on yours. Farkle's smart, but I think he's more defined by his ambition and his Machiavellian hunger for power than he is by pure intellectual pursuits, I say he's a Slytherin. Maya may be a rule-breaker, but in kind of a Fred and George way. I think she's more brave and charismatic than she is cunning and ambitious, I'd say she's a Gryffindor. Riley's probably a Hufflepuff, yeah, and Lucas could be either Hufflepuff or Gryffindor.

      Less obvious to me is the main characters from the original. Topanga's a Ravenclaw, probably, and Jack is a definite Slytherin, but other than that it's tricky.

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    15. I have to agree with The Sorting Christian, and I'd put Lucas into Huff. I like that you compared Maya to Fred and George.

      Minkus is a Ravenclaw and was initially outraged at his son's sorting. He blames his wife, a veteran Slytherin herself. I think the Matthews family is a whole lineage of Gryffindors.

      Shawn, as always, is difficult.

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    16. Yeah, I guess I more or less agree. I was debating between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff for Cory and Eric, and between Gryffindor and Slytherin for Shawn, but ultimately it probably would be Gryffindor for all three. Eric is too lazy and, despite his good heart, too egotistical to be a Hufflepuff, and Cory's also braver than he is hard-working, and more Good than he is Nice.

      Shawn could easily be a Slytherin, but like HP himself, I think would have requested to be in Gryffindor, which is really all it takes.

      Harley was a Slytherin (even if he wouldn't be if he was sorted now), as are Frankie "The Enforcer" Crabbe and Joey "The Rat" Goyle. Minkus, yeah, Ravenclaw. Angela's probably a Gryffindor too. Rachel I have no clue. Rachel's a squib.

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    17. Oh, yeah, and Alan and Amy are Gryffindors, Feeny a Ravenclaw, Turner a Gryffindor.

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    18. Awesome! Kit, we finally got the Reviewers to respond!

      I put Farkle in Ravenclaw for his by now probably eight hundred 'A's. His ambition and cunning really only comes into play in "Crazy Hat." Which is probably my least favorite episode, since I deliberately missed "Fish." Never mind, i already left gigantic comments on that posting.

      Lucas seems to be driven by chivalry than hard work, which would direct him to Gryffindor, and I do stand by the point that without Voldemort to fight that Gryffindors have a tendency to be boring.
      Maya does have a Fred and George vibe...I put her in Slytherin mostly because of "Rules."
      So does that make Feeny Dumbledore?

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    19. One other thing, Frankie the Enforcer changed dramatically over the course of the show, becoming a soft-spoken poet...not unlike Binky Barnes from "Arthur." Where would he be sorted now, Ravenclaw?

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    20. "like HP himself," I'm glad you said that, I felt like Shawn is more analogous to Harry while the Matthews are basically the Weasleys.

      There's a conversation to have about Feeny though. After Shawn reads that journal in City Slackers, he becomes a little harder to place. Young Feeny might have been more Gryffindor.

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    21. I certainly don't agree that without Voldemort, Gryffindors would be boring. They tend to be depicted as the boldest, most charismatic of the bunch. They're basically a house full of alpha males and females, not sure why that'd be boring. While I agree Lucas is driven by chivalry, he's certainly always hard-working, and he's also very humble, which is pretty Hufflepuffy.

      Farkle's world domination ambitions come up all the time. Hell, they were mentioned in Yearbook. Sure, he gets all A's, but Riley gets all A's too, and she's no Ravenclaw. I think they key is if their key concern is intellectual pursuits and creativity, or if it's something else. Farkle's stated ambition is rulling the world. I bet Tom Riddle never got a B in his life either.

      Feeny certainly is Dumbledore-esque, but I say he's a Ravenclaw not a Gryffindor. Bastion of goodness though he is, Feeny's struggled with a reserved personality and an aversion to bold moves for much of his life. He's a ponderer.

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    22. Feeny has a few Gryffindor traits. He's old-fashioned on a lot of things that might indicate chivalry. And it takes a lot of courage to stick his neck out for harder cases; Teenage Cory might need a kick in the pants every now and again, but Shawn and Eric were projects that took a great deal of effort and emotional investment. He's college-educated and has service in the Navy...I can't remember the episode where that was said but I think it may have been the time-travel episode. He could easily be Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. Heh, I just had an image of the Sorting Hat asking Feeny for a life lesson.

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    23. I think Cory and Shawn are kind of an even mix of Harry and Ron. The adopted family aspect, and Shawn's angstiness and struggle with his identity, mixed with Cory's insecurity, comparative lack of coolness, and his ending up with the Hermione all speak to S = H, C = R, but then Shawn's also the poor one, the more wisecracking one, and the one who dicks around in class and refuses to study. So it's kind of a mix.

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    24. My comment on Gryffindors being boring is more about how the stereotypical hero can be boring if he doesn't have a villain to try and fight.
      i probably could have phrased it better but suppose during the original incarnation of "Boy Meets World," Cory had Lucas's personality? It would have been unfathomably boring. Bravery can only be so interesting if there isn't someone to stand up to.
      Sean mentioned a while back in "A Look Ahead" that he wished Riley would make a mistake that had consequences. While I agree to some extent, Riley's neurotic do-gooder tendencies could have been enough if they used them as her driving characteristics.

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    25. I agree that *Lucas* is boring, and that just bravery is boring. But part of what I like about the Gryffindors is that they actually tend to embody some of the negative traits of brave, heroic types. They're also arrogant show-offs, and tend to be cocky and dismissive to people who aren't them. To me, the archetypal Gryffindor is James Potter, who was heroic, admirable, and all that good stuff, while also just being kind of a dick.

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    26. And I can say that about Gryffindors because most Sorting Hat tests I take tend to put me in Gryffindor. (Sean, I'd guess you're a Ravenclaw?)

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    27. I had a feeling the Marauders would come up at some point. Speaking for myself, I am a self-identified Hufflepuff. Camaraderie and merit are two of my highest virtues.
      Reddit was right. Harry Potter can take over everything.

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    28. Cryptid456-"Riley's a Hufflepuff, Farkle a Ravenclaw, Maya a Slytherin...kinda, and Lucas Gryffindor."
      Yes to all four. Maya is what a friend of mine would call the softer side of Slytherin.

      The tag is the scene after the main plot and/or subplot(s) has been resolved. It occurs right before the end credits, usually after the last commercial break in an episode.

      Christian-You make a strong case for Farkle in Slytherin and Maya in Gryffindor.

      Sean-"I felt like Shawn is more analogous to Harry while the Matthews are basically the Weasleys." I agree with this 100%

      I could see Lucas in Gryffindor or Hufflepuff.

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    29. In the case of GMW, the tag is the bit after Riley and Maya throw the paper airplane.

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    30. Oh yeah...sorry, my knowledge tends to be in how to tell stories rather than how to produce them.
      So a tag scene where Riley tattles on Cory and Harley could be hilarious.
      "She's got Feeny on speed-dial?! Baboon, what were you thinking?"
      "Don't look at me--my kid brother gave her Feeny's number!"
      "You have a kid brother? Since when?!"
      "Daddy, Mr. Feeny says you have big-boy detention the next time we go up to Philadelphia. Oh, and Aunt Bonnie says 'Hi.'"
      "Oh...I won't do well in big-boy detention."
      Alternatively, Turner's due to return someday--if he runs into Harley, he can ask about overdue homework assignments.

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    31. Cryptid456- This is perfect except for one thing. It makes far more sense for Eric to be one who gave Riley Feeny's phone number. Eric and Feeny had a real connection/bond. I could totally see Eric telling her, if you ever get into real trouble, and you don't want to call family member, call Feeny.

      I love the idea of Turner and Harley meeting again. Turner would totally ask about overdue homework assignments.

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    32. Fair enough. Don't need to convince me that Eric and Feeny had a bond--though I'm willing to bet that Cory, Shawn, Eric and maybe Minkus drew straws before Riley was born over who had the right to name their firstborn after Feeny. If so, Eric appears to have won--and Shawn definitely has Turner-name rights.

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    33. This brings up an important question, and one that I can't believe the writers didn't think of. You would think Corey and Topanga would have named one of thier kids after Feeny. George for a son, or Georgina or Georgette for a girl. It could have been a middle name if the writers didn't want to be super obvious.

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    34. Eh. I don't necessarily think that. Honestly, that's the kind of thing that seems to happen in books and TV shows more often than it happens in real life. I remember finding the epilogue of Harry Potter really stupid where the first and middle names of all their kids read like a Daily Prophet obituary section. It's corny and overly sentimental. While occasionally people will name their kids after a beloved relative, I think more often than not, people just choose names they like. And, like, Georgette? When was the last time you heard of someone named Georgette? I don't know. I just think a bunch of Jonathan Chet Hunters and George Alan Matthewses on this show would be cheesy and lame. I'm glad they didn't do that. I can *maybe* see Eric naming his son George, because Feeny really did mean *that* much to him. I don't see Copanga or Shawn doing it, I really just don't. It's, to be frank, the kind of thing someone would include in Boy Meets World fanfiction, not something that should actually happen.

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    35. You made multiple valid points. I can totally see why they didn't do that.

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    36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    37. Fair enough. It does sound like something you'd find in fanfiction--though why Minkus named his child "Farkle" of all things is something I can't comprehend. Why didn't Minkus just name him Stuart Jr.?
      Though I do remember Mr. Feeny suggesting that Joshua be named George before he was born...."George Matthews"...eh, could go either way.

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    38. We haven't met Farkle's mother yet, so maybe the name was her idea and Stuart agreed. We don't know which parent suggested the name.

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    39. We'll learn eventually, I agree.
      I can't help but laugh when I think about the more casual viewers of the blog, when they tune in tomorrow night only to find the review is already here along with more than fifty comments, half of which are a part of our thread, and of those, more than a few concerning Harry Potter.
      Speaking of which, all this talk of names and generations and such, with regards to Potter, this fanfic is always good for a laugh:
      https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4396574/1/The_Wendell_That_Wasnt

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    40. I'm not sure if you wanna know but I saw a spoiler that said who Farkle's mom was going to be.I'm not going too spoil it just in case you don't want to know but its one of Shawn's exes.

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    41. I saw that spoiler too, Anonymous; there was a whole discussion between the reviewers a while back. And given that spoiler...I think I see a potential plot line coming up. I'll keep it on the low-down for now.
      Aside from that, have you anything to comment on from the last thirty nine comments? Always nice to hear what other people think.

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    42. Omg I know I'm a little late but I just got back from HP-world and an HP-rooted convention so this house discussion excites me! I guess I'd say:

      Riley-Hufflepuff
      Maya-Gryffindor or Slytherin
      Cory-Gryffindor
      Shawn-Gryffindor
      Topanga-Ravenclaw
      Lucas-Hufflepuff
      Farkle-Gryffindor or Ravenclaw
      Eric-Gryffindor

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    43. Really? We're giving Cory a solid Gryffindor? C'mon, he's basically a badger that's prone to roaring, people.
      And that's coming from someone who inexplicably gets hufflepuff on every sodding quiz.

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    44. My initial thought for Cory was Hufflepuff (same with Eric actually) but they both just seem to embody the Gryffindor traits more: protective and kind of reckless doing things without thinking first. And they're not particularly patient or hard-working, at least not as much as the aforementioned Gryffindor traits.

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    45. I think a better case can be made for Cory being a Hufflepuff than Eric can, but yeah, I do think both are Gryffindors.

      BUT LET'S FIND OUT! Here's a Sorting Hat quiz I've always liked because I feel like it's not as obvious as most (Which tend to have dumb, obvious questions like: "What are you doing on a Saturday night? A) Reading books at the library, B) Going on an adventure, C) Being loyal, D) Betraying my friends for power!") so... I'm going to take this quiz ANSWERING AS IF I WERE CORY!

      http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Reviews/HarryPotter/Docs/Quiz-House.html

      Follow along and see if you all agree with my answers:

      1) C
      2) C
      3) B
      4) C
      5) D
      6) E
      7) D [I totally wouldn't be this nice, but I definitely could see an episode of BMW that ends with Cory giving the poor kid the money]
      8) B
      9) A
      10) C
      11) B
      12) D

      Hey! He got Hufflepuff:

      "Your in-depth results are:

      Hufflepuff - 14
      Gryffindor - 12
      Ravenclaw - 12
      Slytherin - 6"

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    46. In fairness, though, this quiz isn't as great as I remember. It's got some dumb questions and weird options to answer them.

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    47. The best HP sorting method by far is a site called HEX (aka Hogwarts Extreme). You have to sign up and then are given a space to write as little or as much about yourself as you want and then a day or two later you get sorted into a house and go from there. It is very easy to lie to get a certain house but if you're honest and thorough it tends to be very accurate. But if I had to pick the best sorting QUIZ I'd go with Mugglenet's. It focuses on choices and personality over superficial preferences.

      Delete
    48. I like the one on Pottermore, there were some neat questions.

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    49. Pottermore's great, and definitely "The Official" Sorting Hat result, but my recollection was that you had to register an account and junk and I didn't want to do that. Maybe I'll look into if there's an easy, breezy way to take the quiz. Another issue though is that I recall questions like "You encounter an enchanted forest. Which objects interests you? A) The shimmering silver sword hanging in the tree, B) the mysterious orb floating in the distance, etc." where my choice for Cory would be kind of arbitrary.... Maybe if I took it alongside Sean we could come up with consensus choices for those questions.

      I'll look into that and this Mugglenet quiz.

      Yeah, this HEX thing sounds cool. I took a similar test way back to find out which Triforce piece would be mine in the Legend of Zelda. I'm pretty cool.

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    50. You can't beat a quiz written by Rowling herself.

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    51. Okay, Sean and I collaborated on the Pottermore quiz, with these results for Cory.

      Your Result: HUFFLEPUFF!

      91%

      Congratulations! You have been sorted into Hufflepuff, the house of loyalty, hard working, acceptance, and fairness. You are amongst other Hufflepuffs such as: Tonks and Cedric Diggory

      48%
      GRYFFINDOR!

      41%
      RAVENCLAW

      22%
      SLYTHERIN!

      That was pretty decisive. I want to take it for Eric and Shawn too, but Sean's being a jerk about it.

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    52. Okay I know we're already onto next week but it's Harry Potter we're talking about here so I don't care. XD

      I don't particularly like the Pottermore Quiz because:

      A) Only gives you seven out of a possible 27 questions

      B) Has some great questions but others that are just really dumb (out of like six "this or that" questions there is ONE good one and you get two no matter what). Also there's one that basically asks "what's your favorite instrument" like why? Lol

      I like Mugglenet's better because it tests soley on values. On Pottermore someone could be a Slytherin just because of an affinity for the element of water or a deep respect for Merlin, or a Hufflepuff just because they love animals, etc. I really like Pottermore's wand quiz though. It's also seven questions but everyone always gets the same seven and it combines stuff your wand would actually be based on (height, appearance, values, adaptability, stubborness).

      Also Christian the quizzes that claim to have all the Pottermore questions aren't really able to weigh the options the same as Pottermore does because they're usually made on sites with limited options for the quizzes. For example, I've taken a few of those and got Gryffindor on one, Ravenclaw on another, and I think maybe Slytherin on a third.

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    53. If Rowling wrote a question asking my favorite instrument, then it must matter somehow. I agree that the one on the site itself is too short. I pulled up Mugglenet's just now but every question has the same format @_@ It's extremely difficult to be honest about yourself when it allows for such noncommittal answers.

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  6. Huge and pleasant surprise in this episode with the adult characters. I want to see more of Katy and Topanga. There's a real chemistry between them. It's easy to see them as friends. I could totally picture them doing a girls night out, or a girls night in if one of them had an apartment to themselves for the night. The series has spent far too much time on Auggie, Eva, and Topanga.

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  7. So it finally aired officially on TV tonight and I have some more observations about the classroom scenes. They remind me of Seven the Hard Way except with a bunch of other students as background extras with Lucas as Eric. It makes me think about how Cory just isn't written as an authority figure in the way that Feeny and Turner were. While it's true Cory, Shawn and Topanga always dominated the classroom scenes, Feeny and Turner were always able to steer it back toward a lesson.

    In every one of Cory's classroom scenes, he's just overwhelmed by the kids and lets them run roughshod over him. Turner and Feeny knew what the lesson was, but wanted them to learn the lesson on their own, on GMW, the kids basically have to learn it on their own since they have no mentors.

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    1. That's something I noticed too--it hasn't been this bad since "Meets Mr. Squirrels." Something nice about Season 2 has been that the classroom scenes have been vastly improved. Take "Pluto" for example, Cory has a conversation with the class about Churchill and in "Hurricane," Cory throws a line in for Maya's sake when it's apparent the lecture's almost over.
      I've thought for a very long time that Cory might have been better off as an English teacher. Conversations based on reading assignments seem more natural and a curriculum of moralistic books doesn't look quite so strange as a nonsensical timeline of random historical events (To be fair, airing the episodes out of order doesn't really help matters here). And from my memory, some of the best episodes of Boy Meets World concerned the English classes.
      It really makes you wonder--the show went under creative differences after the pilot was filmed and I think it's a given that classroom antics were among the changes.

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    2. Oooh criticism, I think the showrunners went out of their way to make this one a little different. During the roughshodding, at least two other unnamed students got to chime in. It was still absurd having Lucas up there like he owns the place, but at least it was CLOSER to a classroom discussion than it usually is. Maybe?

      My concern is usually "no one in the class matters other than The Elite Four," so I'm being lenient on this one since those other kids were involved. In general though I agree with you.

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    3. I agree too, to a point, for this episode, Sean

      I mentioned in my novel-length comments that this episode had one of the more overt "Taking Over the Class" scenes of the season, but in light of the circumstances, it made some sense. Lucas was frantic that three of his friends had changed dramatically.

      Having said that, I did notice that the two unnamed students said they liked Riley, and those two students had been on opposite sides of the schism during "Rules." It made me think that Riley getting the "Most Likely to Smile to Death" was more of a joke than anything overtly mean-spirited.

      Farkle's superlative was mean-spirited and I think it may have been more interesting to see Riley retreat into her shell, becoming soundless.

      One thing to note--in regards to the classroom scenes, I remember "Turnaround" as one of the more notable from Boy Meets World. Turner went out of his way to try to make the class relate to the material, "C'mon guys, how you look, how you speak, affects the way people think about you. You guys can understand that right?"

      One other thing--remember Feeny's accusation in "Eric Goes Hollywood" about it being diabolical that the classroom had only eight desks? Cory's classroom has sixteen desks which, while a little small, is by no means unreasonable for a class.

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    4. "Farkle's superlative was mean-spirited and I think it may have been more interesting to see Riley retreat into her shell, becoming soundless."

      Forgot to mention that this would have come after getting a mean-spirited superlative, say "Most Annoying" or "Person We'd Most Want To Push Out An Airplane And Have Her Land On The Empire State Building On Her Eye."

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    5. I think it's beyond just the Big Four being the only ones who speak, this is a TV show and they are the main characters so I understand that, I just don't like Lucas standing in front of the class while Cory is behind him doing nothing. BMW style would have had the characters talk about their issues through the teacher's lesson like how Feeny was talking about Kennedy and Shawn and Dana had a debate over his infidelity which was really about Shawn's dating past. It felt natural in a way that a student lecturing does not. Maybe Cory going if you mention Greenland to Lucas for credit was a kind of meta joke.

      This isn't to say I disliked the episode. In fact, I think this is one of the best GMW episodes.

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    6. Oh yeah I forgot about that "if you mention greenland" bit. Definitely a meta joke, but in pretty bad taste if you ask me. Cory is admitting with that joke that he KNOWS what's about to happen has nothing to do with the lecture and is of no educational value. It's funny on a basic level, but depressing when you think about it.

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    7. To me, the way Cory runs his classroom is something akin to a college professor, moreso than a high school teacher. When I was in college, I had a couple professors just give us a topic, give some of his opinion, and then let us essentially go. It never got out of hand, and he would reign it in when we talked too much, but that's how I feel Cory is handling it.

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    8. And that style of teaching has a lot of merit, pwfan.... when you're in college. But in middle school you still actually just kind of need to actually be taught a bunch of facts. And I don't know if you've talked to a middle schooler lately, but most of them don't have anything interesting to say on, like, a scholastic level. At my last job, we ran a scholarship for middle schoolers who had the best stories (be it essay, video, art, whatever) for why the 1st Ammendment is important and I was in charge of choosing the ten finalists. There were thousands, and it had already been whittled down by interns by the time it got to my desk, and finding ten that were not, like, infantile was a streeeeetch. Middle schoolers are dumb.

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  8. I haven't gotten to see this one yet (or last week's but I don't really care to :P) so if anyone has a link please let me know!!!

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  9. Have we forgotten the pilot episode? I mean, technically, Maya was the first to see Lucas, to approach him. And in almost every episode after, haven't the writers been hinting? Are you saying that was all in my head?! Peyton's SPECTACULAR performance with that thug in Zay's first episode, Maya's reaction compared to Riley's. They're always standing in each other's space.... the first date episode, the episode where they had detention....omg, i need to stop analysing this.
    I'm just glad that adults watch this show as much as i do, and feel the need to talk about it more with others.
    Yeah, where IS Josh?! Isn't he on some NYU summer programme?
    Liking Farkle's new look.
    Ohmygods! The repercussions of Maya's 'discovery'!!!! It doesn't HAVE to spell Mucus, does it? I mean, what about Uncle Boing? He should pop 'round.

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    1. Regarding Josh, I think that NYU Summer Program is over. I mean, it's the school year in GMW right now, obviously. I think that happened in the interim of Seasons 1 and 2, and in the episode we saw Josh in (It's only been one episode all season) we heard he got into NYU and was going there, but for now he's still in high school back in Philly, so that is a good reason to not see him much.

      That said, as he's a fictional character, they could have any number of reasons to bring him up to New York if they wanted, I'm not sure why we've seen so little of him this season. There's also nothing on the horizon for him that I'm aware of either. Maybe they *did* actually intend for Tell-Tale Tot to bring closure to the Maya/Josh issue (if they're going the Lucas/Maya route) and they just... didn't articulate that well.

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  10. I would love to read your reviews but how can I take you seriously with SO much cussing? Your language is so bad I can't stand reading, which is sad because I love to read others' thoughts on my favorite show.

    It's a shame.

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    1. It's just text on a screen. Sorry if you're unhappy, but sometimes adults use adult language.

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    2. While I certainly don't intend to offend anyone, I will say that I really don't believe we use excessive swearing (glancing through the review, the only place I saw it was my saying 'fucking dipshit Cory Matthews fucking lied to his students.' I dunno. I think that was a funny way to put it!

      I'd say we'd work on it, but if it offends you to the degree to which it does, my guess is we'll never be able to clean it up enough for your tastes.

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  11. What I think is interesting and I agree the best quote was 'stay in touch...' But how when maya was riley they basically said, don't change back riley is better and maya realized people don't really like her. I know we shouldn't compare her to Shawn but people actually liked him. Why can't it be the same for her? Is it because girls are just different and when we're rebellious we have a different stereotype?

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    1. That is an interesting point. I think a key difference may be that Shawn never went out of his way to antagonize people like Maya does. Maya picks on people a ton, Shawn never really did that, besides Minkus when he was a kid.

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    2. I don't think it's that people dislike Maya, she and Shawn are both considered cool by their peers, but that is not the same as being well-liked. They can hang out with Maya, but never really know her. It's a bit of continuity to Girl Meets Rules where the kids stay with Riley because she's someone they know her and believe in her.

      I think the difference is that Shawn always understood that, like when he was willing to blow off a party at Chubbies and go with Cory or when he and Cory broke up and had a party and demonstrated how easy it is to kick them out and invite them back. He was fine with just a few close friends, but this seemed to be a revelation for Maya where she wasn't as essential to their classroom society.

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    3. Tthis part of the episode confused me because didn't those same people say how important maya is to contrast riley's goodness in girl meets rules? They asked her to make them more like her and they really enjoyed having her around. That was like the whole point of the episode: the bad kids need the good kids to make them better and the good kids need a maya to bring out the fun. I don't know why in this episode they would just turn around and say they only like riley. Especially becuase she did help them to have more fun that day and other times. That seemed unusual to me

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    4. That is a really really good point about the girl meets rules storyline. I get there is a difference between being popular and being well liked, and it may just be bad acting but it seemed like she isn't even popular either to them in this episode when she has been in others. no one liked her in this or even cared she existed when riley and maya are the way they are because of each other.

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    5. That absolutely is a huge continuity error, and hurts both episodes in my opinion.

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    6. Speaking for myself, I'm not sure I like the message of "Rules" in the first place. Something just seems off. The idea that everyone needs to be a little bad sometimes has some concerning ramifications--not the least of which is Auggie agreeing to spend time with Ava who does not treat him nicely.

      Usually, when there's a "Everyone needs balance" Aesop in an children's show, it has to do more with a serious student taking on too many responsibilities and becoming overwhelmed with the stress.
      Conversely, there's also the slacker/class clown who panics due to poor study habits catching up to them.

      Sure by now it's a cliche, but cliches are not inherently bad as plots. They don't make for good characters but sometimes for a plot, a back-to-basics set-up can work.

      And also, are we supposed to believe that pre-Yearbook Farkle would go out of his way to disobey his favorite teacher without getting cold feet halfway through?

      One more thing--Riley is the teacher's daughter. We can complain about Riley having too overt Protagonist Privilege in the classroom, but it's also possible her classmates are just saving face to make themselves look good in front of Cory.

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  12. Well, I loved it. I absolutely loved it. Every note they wanted to hit was done really well. I think this was Lucas' best episode to date, and its great that we are seeing improvement from him. Farkle was funny, and I liked how they had him commit to change. Change is expected at that age, and I hope they explore that. I found Rowan really funny this episode, as well as Cheryl. Cheryl has added something to this cast that I enjoy. Very talented, and has become a favorite of mine.

    I know Rowan's ability is somewhat up for debate, but I personally find her to be funny. Now, I don't think they have her character fleshed out like some others, but I chalk that up to her idyllic lifestyle. I really wish the writers would focus on who Riley the person is, but I suppose there is time for it. Yet, she was funny this episode, and in several others.

    But yeah, this episode belongs to Sabrina. She was amazing, and really took to the change. Now, that's probably because her change was given the dramatic focus, but I really liked her take on Riley. Also, I like how it was almost inferred that the reason that she couldn't handle the change was because who her friends are is the only true constant in her world. Once that changed, her security in herself faded which led to her wanting to be Riley. And just as an aside, as apart of possible character building why don't they explore why Riley's classmates like her so much? Its been said twice, but not really explained. Delve into that, please. I digress, Maya's revelation about Riley/Lucas wasn't great, but I'll take it for what it could possibly set up. No show has ever really pivoted and went in a new direction like they are hinting at here. I think they could have some real fun w/ this and I hope they do.

    Episode Grade: A+

    Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter.

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    1. "And just as an aside, as apart of possible character building why don't they explore why Riley's classmates like her so much? Its been said twice, but not really explained. Delve into that, please."
      This is actually something that has a lot of potential. Why do Riley's classmates like her so much, especially compared to Maya? I think, in simplest terms, Riley's neurotic do-good attitude, while slightly flat to us as viewers, might be seen as endearing by her classmates. Riley might be a bit of twit, but she's their twit. Maya, on the other hand, with her banter may come off as more obnoxious. Riley wears her heart on her sleeve, while Maya does not.
      With that said, I think the writers could experiment a bit here. We still know very little about Riley--to remark on her questions to Uncle Shawn, I don't think we've ever learned her favorite color or favorite food. And it's not as if they didn't have the chance to show us this stuff--take "Popular," why not establish Riley as a science fiction fan and that's why Farkle invited her over Maya, because he thought she'd enjoy whatever movie they'd watch? I've already made long comments about how I think "Flaws" and "Fish" should have gone, but those ideas could have established Riley as a more pro-active All Loving Hero.
      One final thought concerning a missed opportunity. I would have loved to see Riley tell her usually silent classmates things she knows about them in "Rules." It could have given Riley tremendous development from "Gravity," in that she no longer wishes to not have anyone in her orbit, been reminiscent of "1961" and Riley's great-grandmother's observations of the world, and even tied into Feeny's speech to Shawn in the fandom-beloved "City Slickers."

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    2. The things we really know about Riley are that she's a huge Knicks fan, has an unwavering faith in the improbable (Pluto), loyal, and is shockingly naive. While each of these things help bring out a character, the writers haven't really shown us anything tangible about her. The closest thing was the whole Knicks rant, and that was all Rowan's doing. Totally improvised. I'm kinda disappointed that one of the main characters of the show is so lacking in character development.

      And I like all of your ideas, btw. Those all would have gone to help make Riley a more rounded character. Opportunities have absolutely been missed by the writing staff.

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    3. "The things we really know about Riley are that she's a huge Knicks fan, has an unwavering faith in the improbable (Pluto), loyal, and is shockingly naive."
      And this is actually plenty to build on. Knicks fan? Have the family go to a Knicks game (Do the Knicks ever play the Sixers? Cory is probably still a huge Philadelphia fan, so there's a plot).

      Faith in the improbable? We're getting "Belief" which concerns religion and frankly, I'm nervous on how they're going to execute it. Downright nervous, with due respect to Jacobs, his shows tend to be hit and miss with this subject matter.
      But a more overtly-religious Riley could have more to do: organize food drives, or drag Maya and Farkle to sing Christmas carols (which would have been a funny way to have Shawn meet Minkus Jr. and have Riley and Maya be in the scene). Or we could at least get a few more funny scenes, say have Riley frantically pray before a test. Or if Farkle's sick, Riley can panic about the Apocalypse.
      Loyal? Test that loyalty, especially outside of love triangles. Have Maya pressure Riley to sneak the answer sheet to a test. Is Riley loyal to her friend or her father? "Commonism" may experiment with that to an extent. Or loyalty in terms of family? My ideas on "Fish" could come into play here--Riley takes the blame for Auggie (or Maya for some other accident) and gets chewed out by her parents.
      Shockingly naive? Well "Demolition" comes to mind, but I would have done things a little differently. I think the episode is actually set around "Semi-Formal" since I think I heard the dance get mentioned. But I would have set it around Mother's Day or Topanga's birthday--Riley's judgment is clouded by her desire to get her mother a nice present instead of a glue-and-popsicle stick project like Auggie. Cut out the third act of "billionaire ex machina" and instead focus on the mother-and-daughter scenes we've been begging the writers to give us for the last fourteen months.

      "And I like all of your ideas, btw."
      I'm very pleased to hear you say that, pwfan. It's not that relevant, but my college thesis was actually a coming-of-age novel featuring a group of teenagers. To hear you say you think my ideas are good gives me hope that I might one day get my thesis published.

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    4. By "faith in the improbable" I don't mean belief in a higher power. Although, that is something DC has poked at before, but its not something I'd expect them to really make a focal point of a character. Nor, is it something I'd expect to ever happen. So, you can probably put those nerves to rest.

      As far as those other traits that you gave ideas for, they are all things I'd like to see. Because they all focus on the characters we regularly see, and will help us relate to them maybe a little more. "Demolition" was heading in that direction, up until they called in their billionaire friend and ruined any kind of possible commonality w/ the viewer.

      You are very welcome, and I wish you luck.

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  13. Early S1, I thought Maya & Lucas would be cute. But then I let go of that because there was development for Riley & Lucas.. and I no longer had any urges to ship Lucaya.

    When Maya uttered the 'brother' realization, I had to pause and go back and re-watch. I have to be honest, I feel bad for Rucas fans. From the mirroring of the lap scene with their first kiss, to their 'couple' development at the beginning of S2, I would be kind of crushed. There's almost nothing worse than cutting a pairing by using the sibling thing. That's not to say they can't grow and change and end up dating, but wow, I just didn't expect the show to do that. It was kind of ... cruel? lol I don't know the word. If this happened to one of my major ships on other shows, I'd be mad.

    As far as Lucas and Maya. I agree with Sean. I don't want it anymore. The whole yearbook concept felt like the writers were pandering to the fans. They're so different, they're more fun... but let that be another lesson. The novelty of opposites bickering wears off. In all honesty, I think that's why I don't find this new possibility exciting. It's funny how a year ago I might have been thrilled. The writers pay attention to what people are saying. I've noticed lots of things they've done in response to fan opinion. You would think it'd be a good thing, but it bothers me. I want a separate vision from that of outspoken fanbases.

    This could have been all the writers' doing, but it surely wasn't the vision from s1 imo. I'm just still kind of annoyed, and I'm not even sure why cause I'm not a huge shipper either way. I just know I don't really want Lucaya to be endgame. I don't see it. I like both Lucas and Maya, but as a pairing, I'm less and less interested.

    Once again, though, wow. I didn't expect that scene to play out the way it did.

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    1. I too was fairly indifferent to a Lucas maya pairing and content with rucas before this episode, but I ended up with the opposite reaction. I still don't care at all if lucaya is end game but I got butterflies when she had the realization if only because it was one of the few times this show surprised me. The last time the show did that was the Knicks rant (granted the rucas surprise is much more important to the show). And like you said, this doesn't mean the end of rucas forever. The show might just be making riley and Lucas fans work for it. Besides this is a reflection of real life relationships. You don't always know how it's going to end. It's also a great way to differentiate itself from boy meets world once and for all.

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    2. Michael Jacobs actually said from before the first episode aired to not make assumptions based on BMW and Riley and Lucas are not Cory and Topanga. Maybe they got everyone in a lull because of the first kiss stuff and him riding on a horse, but this seemed planned from the beginning.

      http://bmwsequel.com/2014/06/28/michael-jacobs-and-corey-marshs-interview-with-afterbuzz-tv/

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    3. Going off what Ben Sandwich said, I knew from the beginning that Riley and Lucas are not Cory and Topanga. To which I say, thank goodness.

      With all due respect to the actor, I dislike Lucas as a character. Lucas was introduced as a love interest, and solely as a love interest. He was never meant to be anything more than a love interest for Riley. He has, I think, one plot line where this is not an issue in some way, and that was "Girl Meets Smackle." And I dislike that a lot. It's cheap and does not make for good writing.

      Oh, and Ben, I was wondering. Tim Allen said the newest season of Last Man Standing will be more overtly political. Any thoughts on that, and whether Girl Meets World would have been a suitable time-slot partner in that scenario?

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    4. I think I've thawed to both Lucas the character and actor. He's still probably the weakest of the Main 4 actors. I think him standing up for Farkle in that episode with Billy. I kinda feel like Jacobs and co. are playing with the Disney/Nickelodeon tropes when it comes to tween romance while still making a Disney show. Riley and Lucas decide to wait instead of just becoming boyfriend/girlfriend and now it seems to steer that first sight doesn't equal true love or however you can describe Riley/Lucas relationship arc.

      It makes sense for LMS to go even more political since next season is leading into an election year. Lots of opinions and debate over Hilary and the Republican candidates between Mike and Kristen. I also see some common ground as they both reject Trump.

      I'm not sure GMW would've been a good partner with LMS. Even at its most adult, BMW was very apolitical. I think a less Disney Channel version GMW would work with Goldbergs/Middle on Wednesday or Fresh Off the Boat on Tuesday, more family related shows.

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    5. Fair enough.
      It's rather amusing how many comments have been left here. There have been very insightful conversations here; here's hoping one of the writers finally checks this site out.

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    6. Cryptid, there have been a lot of comments, indeed! Though, in fairness, approximately 30 have been from you. ;)

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    7. What can I say, I have a lot to say. Though if you guys think I am commenting too much, I'll try and dial it back. And hey, we cracked a hundred comments on an episode with No Shawn, No Eric, and No Feeny.
      *Blows Party Noise Maker*

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    8. Nah, you're okay, go wild. That's what the comments are for.

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    9. Cryptid456-I think a huge chunk of those comments are the two of us disscussing my idea for a GMW fan-fic. I found it useful, and I hope the other readers found it entertaining.

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    10. This I don't doubt Kit, we gotta do what we gotta do to keep the blog healthy.
      Jack returns in three days and I found out a couple of spoilers for him that are going to leave us with a lot to talk about.

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  14. Since this was aired out of order, we'll eventually get episodes where Farkle is mysterious back to his old turtleneck wearing self. We know at the very least they skipped "Girl meets Commonism." Maybe that one is the 4th Zay episode and explains his absence.

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    1. Looks like Zay's back in "Girl Meets Creativity", week from Friday. I don't imagine we'll get an explanation.

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    2. Airing episodes out of order is probably "Girl Meets World"'s Achilles Heel. Not only does it mess up character development, but the kids are aging as the show is filmed.

      As an aside, I actually went back and checked. There is no way for "Girl Meets Fish" to be canon. "Farkle's Choice" is set near the beginning of the show, even predating "Popular," and it mentions that Farkle had a pet fish named Chelsea that died after four days. This had to be where they got the idea for "Fish."
      But in "Fish," Farkle is the second-to-last kid in the class to take the fish home so it's at least the sixteenth week in the school year. If nothing else, that puts it well after "Home For the Holidays." Seeing as "Farkle's Choice" was clearly written and filmed first and at that a long time before many of the other Season One episodes, I think we can safely consider "Fish" non-canonical.

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  15. Congratulations to Sean and Christian! This site has clearly become extremely popular considering this episode has over 100 comments and still going and the blog has come a long way from the early stages. You guys do a great job, keep it up!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, while the popularity of the site definitely increased starting with Season 2, and the new format of Sean and I doing it together, this episode's review in particular has just gotten a crazy amount of attention.

      I'll be interested to see if this continues or if this episode's an anomaly. But, this site is definitely on the rise - if you Google recent episode titles, we're on the first page!

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    2. Wow! that's impressive, and I wouldn't say it's an anomaly if only because I remember girl meets pluto being one of the better and more popular episodes of the show and it only had around 40 comments and I think that was the most comments any episode review had at the time. The blog's certainly gained even more attention since then and become somewhat of a gathering place for all the hardcore boy meets world fans looking to follow the show.

      I know the Office Tally did a very similar thing for the show the Office and the showrunners would give the woman who ran the blog exclusive interviews and opportunites to meet the cast and even a chance to be an extra in the show come season 5, so you never know what perks might come! congrats on the success

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    3. The blog is definitely on its way up; the only thing I can think to improve it is to incorporate Sean's old grading system he used for "Boy Meets World" in addition to Christian's letter grades. Sean's four-star tier, while not unique in itself, allows for a nice contrast to Christian's more traditional grading system.

      Take "Girl Meets Smackle" for example. A little heavy-handed in its message on inner beauty and not judging by appearances? Sure, but sometimes anvils need to be dropped. And I laughed harder at the Humor (gotta love meta) in that episode than I did in any episode other than "Pluto." The Plot is straightforward, but Smackle staying true to herself was a nice twist. The only thing we didn't really get was Character Development.

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    4. I admit, I would prefer it if Sean graded episodes too - in whatever way suits him best. I just sometimes feel uncomfortable about the fact that I'm giving the only official grade when sometimes our takes vary wildly - like in the case of "New Teacher." It seems unfair for that to have gotten a "C" when 50% of us actually liked it.

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    5. This is why communication is important in a committed relationship. I didn't want to steal your thunder. But sure, I'll dust off my Monocle of Judgement and get back in the grading game.

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    6. Well, then for completionists sake, I'm-a need you to assign a letter grade to every episode this season! KTHNXBYE

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    7. *Grabs Uncle Eric's Bucket of Popcorn*

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  16. Well, I had to go away unexpectedly, so I didn't get my comments in in a timely manner this week. I'll just say that this was in my opinion the best episode of the series so far. And Peyton finally showed he may be an actor after all.

    And now for my penance for being late - a link to watch Semi-Formal: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8gssBoUr6-XbXR1MHgzTG9UWW8/view

    Not mine, but I just watched it and enjoyed. Left a lot of questions. Look forward to discussing it this weekend (or sooner).

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    1. Thanks so much for the link! The episode was a great follow up to yearbook

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    2. Do make sure not to discuss this episode here in the comments for Yearbook as some may not have seen it.

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    3. I did catch this yesterday though and Sean just finished it, so do expect the review started presumably at some point today? Sean'll be starting us off.

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    4. Ooooooooh boy, fellas. I have quite a bit to say about this one.

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