Thursday, September 10, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets I am Farkle" (#2.15)

About the name - I'm seeing some sources saying "Girl Meets Farkle" and some saying "Girl Meets I am Farkle." But the "I am Farkle" sources look a bit more official (including, for instance, Disney Channel itself) so I'm sticking with that for now.

There seemed to be a lot of excitement surrounding this episode and it's easy to understand why. Other than his Donnie Barnes physical transformation, Farkle's been pretty under served this season. We're halfway through and no episode has featured him as the main character and with young male additions like Zay and Charlie, plus a stronger focus on Lucas as a character than Season 1 had, it's been easy for Farkle to get lost by the wayside, particularly as he's not part of any of the show's possible romances. This episode sought to rectify that, while also tackling the serious subject of autism. Appealing things all around.

How did the episode turn out? Meh. Not terrible, but not great. There are things I liked here, Farkle seemed to be identifying his own weird behavior (particularly with regards to his fantasy relationships between Maya and Riley) and took steps to grow up and change them, to mature as much emotionally as he has physically between Donnie Barnes and, just, puberty. 

He also turned out not to have Aspergers, which is good, because I never really bought that. Farkle's odd, but he's not odd in an autism spectrum way, so that as sort of a hand-wavey 'excuse' never gelled with me. He recognizes other people's emotions, he just hasn't shown much interest in them, and while Eric may jokingly call him 'Robot', he doesn't actually act like one, he's actually a very lively young boy, without issues with eye contact, withdrawn social nature, etc. This isn't very scientific, but I took a quick "Does my child have Aspergers?" test online and found Farkle only fit 4 out of 20 criteria for warranting evaluation, mainly related to insistence on routines and things being done a certain way. But all the social stuff? Nah, he doesn't have it. I'm glad they didn't try to force the diagnosis on him. 

Also good was anything to do with Smackle, who seems to have gone through a Donnie Barnes transformation of her own (Donna Barnes if you will, and I think you will). While still as odd and abrupt and not-knowing-how-to-comport-herself-amongst-people as ever, she does seem to be taking some pride in her appearance now, which is good. Smackle's great, probably the best recurring character from Season 1 who wasn't Shawn or Katy and I'm not sure what took them so long to bring her back but I would hope we see more of her from now on. They left her at Einstein Academy (which is good, we don't need yet another JQA group addition) but it seems as if she and Farkle are a real item now, and it was all handled appropriately and even sweetly which is nice to see on Farkle's end. 
I also enjoyed Smackle and Lucas' interaction, a continuation of their dynamic in "Girl Meets Smackle" although there was some weirdness at the end there. First off, since when does Lucas walk around in a letterman jacket? Do they even have letterman jackets in middle school? We didn't. It was just so lame, looked way too big for him (for all the jokes about Lucas looking 30, he doesn't, he just looks his age, 16) and you could tell a mile away he was only wearing it so he could take it off to give it to someone else. And what the hell is that, by the way, giving it to Smackle? Is he affirming that, yes, he does have a crush on her after all? That's Farkle's girlfriend, pal. What the hell are you doing? You already have two. Back off. That was a weird moment. Maya's "Lucas. Take a hint." was pretty fun though.

But that's a small thing. So, what didn't I like? Well, the writing was pretty heavy-handed throughout, and just not all that funny or... fluid. The show occasionally has issues where the dialogue just feels choppy, as if written by committee - a bunch of different lines thrown together without the flowing nature of actual conversation. And in this case it was just speech after speech. First Cory gets up and talks, and then Farkle gets up and talks, and then Cory gets up and talks some more. Show don't tell, guys. 

It also struck me that all the important, heavy stuff was kept strangely offscreen. We never heard that school psychologist tell Farkle he may suffer from Aspergers, we heard Farkle tell us about it later. We also didn't hear her tell Farkle he didn't have Aspergers, we heard Farkle tell us about it later. There was potential for some real drama in actually seeing Farkle receive this news to begin with and struggling to understand. I don't know why they would decide not to show us this and instead to just cut to Farkle already knowing all about it and already even having accepted it. In general, though this is a situation that could definitely be mined for drama, they did a pretty poor job mining it. It struck me as a lazy episode, they didn't want to go through the bother of writing the dramatic stuff, so they wrote the simpler stuff. They didn't want to show us the lessons the characters could be learning here, so they told us instead. Cory gave a speech about accepting people even if they're different but... who wasn't accepting Farkle? Everyone was, with open arms. Again, no drama. It would have been more powerful if this had made someone uncomfortable around Farkle (maybe Zay, whose affection for Farkle is less sacred) and then we saw them learn they were wrong.

I don't want to get too into this, but I also more or less didn't think Jennifer worked. Minkus either, for that matter. In Sean's and my post about identifying Farkle's mom, we considered Jennifer, and my main thought for why it wouldn't be her is that I didn't get why. If you've thought up Farkle, and you've already decided Minkus is his father (something else I don't like) why in the world would you go "Oh, and for his mother, that chick Jennifer." She's not a particularly memorable character - she had one real episode, and then a second where she was more or less just Vengeful Ex-Girlfriend #1. 

And now, having seen the episode, I'm still not convinced it's necessary. She wasn't terrible in the episode or anything, but she wasn't great, and I certainly don't think she added all that much to it. (Neither, for that matter, did Minkus. Really, this episode didn't need Farkle's parents in an onscreen capacity, the scenes with the Matthews and Minkuses talking weren't particularly strong)
I appreciate bringing back the BMW characters who were important enough to us the viewers and to Cory and Topanga the characters, that it would be wrong not to see them: Shawn, Eric and the other Matthews, Feeny, and... that's about it. And I get the desire to bring back people like Jack, Turner, and Angela even if we don't need to see them, because they were still kind of important, and it's nice to at least give them a curtain call or, in the case of Turner, tie up some loose ends. But what I don't want, and think is detrimental to the show, is a revolving door of cheesy returns big and small. I don't want this show, or these people's lives, to be a constant stream of "Gee, I wonder which person from my teenage years is going to show up THIS week." Because of the 15 episodes of GMW this season, only 5 haven't featured a BMW guest star (and one of those is "Fish" which doesn't even count) and that's probably too much. 

I'll never begrudge them Shawn episodes or Eric episodes, because they're, in my mind, almost as important to the Meets World Cinematic Universe as Cory, and more important than Topanga. But Jennifer Bassett? Why? Who's this for? What does it accomplish? Why do it? I found it cheesy and distracting. Everytime she was onscreen I just kept thinking "Why are you here? I don't understand this." If they made up for the strangeness of Minkus and Jennifer sitting there as Farkle's parents by great story or performance or something, that'd be fine. But they didn't. They didn't give strong performances, there wasn't a great story being told by them specifically, and they didn't even really seem like themselves beyond one Jennifer-esque line and delivery: "Remember in high school when you were scared of me and called me a monster just because I was bigger than everyone and handcuffed Shawn to the boathouse?"

Well, looks like I went too into it after all. It just really rubs me the wrong way. I found it a distracting and negative part of the episode and, in a larger sense, something I find lame about the series in general. I almost feel second-hand embarrassment for Michael Jacobs that he thought this was someone people would care is back and like created a whole "Oooh, who will Farkle's mom be? You'll neeeeever believe it!" "Surprise! It's fucking Jennifer Whatsherface from that one episode!"

Anyway, all in all, a meh episode. Good stuff and bad stuff. Here's Sean to tell me I'm being ridiculous about disliking the Jennifer aspect so much.

More important than anything else, I hope everyone who voted for Lenny over Smackle feels terrible right now. I was already a fan of hers and wanted her to get past the first round of voting, but after this episode? There's no debate at all. Unless you're Christian, in which case "I just saw Willie Garson on X-Files" is enough of a reason to still choose Lenny.
The C Man and I were at each other's throats over Jennifer's presence. I'm talking savage. ...And we made no progress. He keeps asking "Who is this for?" but... well, it's for me, at least. "An Affair to Forget" is one of the best episodes of Boy Meets World. It's in my top 5. I know perfectly well who Jennifer is. She's fun and I liked seeing her again. Maybe 90% of the viewing audience doesn't know who she is, but who gives a fuck? 90% of the viewing audience thinks Riley and Lucas make a good couple. I don't want the show to cater to those people. I don't care what they think, I care what I think. 

That's all in the abstract, though. None of Jennifer's scenes really stood out, and that's entirely the writers' fault, not Jacobs's. They decided that forced callbacks and references to BMW were more important than conveying any sort of emotion between Farkle and his parents. Jen and Minkus spent more screentime with Cory and Topanga than they did with their son. How the hell did that happen?
The biggest flaw with this episode is how lightly they portray autism. It's serious shit. But both Farkle and Smackle are just barely on the side of socially-awkward. You want me to believe they're candidates for autism? It's like how Shawn was an alcoholic for an afternoon. The format of episodic television forces us to simplify these complex issues to the point where maybe we shouldn't have bothered at all. Like always, though, their intentions were good. 

But it's definitely not a bad episode. The most interesting thing I saw was Maya and Riley's immediate denial of the fact that Farkle may have Asperger's. (It's obvious to us that he doesn't, but in the show, it was supposed to be a possibility.) It's hard to know exactly what the writers' intentions were with it, but compare it to something like "Well if you do have autism then we still love you the same." You know what I mean? That would be a very Disney "best friend support system" response, but instead we got this panicked "No you don't" from both of the girls when Farkle told them. They were afraid. It was real.
I think I agree with Christian on the rest. It's BAFFLING that they kept the most dramatic and emotional events offscreen. It's almost like they're afraid to have a single scene without a member of the Matthews family. Yeah I just checked. In this episode about Farkle's personal journey, there is not one single scene without either Riley or Cory. And every scene with Farkle also has Riley. Even at the end when Smarckle are having a heart to heart outside the bakery, Riley and co. are eagerly watching them through the window. Even at the beginning, when the guidance counselor shows up! She just talks to him right there in the classroom in front of everybody. WHY DOESN'T FARKLE HAVE A SINGLE SCENE WITHOUT RILEY AND MAYA? This was extremely poor decision making from the writing staff. I'm actually mad right now, now that I've realized this.

And yeah, Smackle's shtick with Lucas was a highlight for me as well. Lucas's reaction works doubly. His confusion at being misinterpreted, but also bewilderment at the fact that someone's rejecting him. The latter may not have been intentional, but I hope so.

Christian? 

Before I forget, Virna was just in this episode of the X-Files I watched last night too, so I need to go back and change my vote against Sergeant Moore. But seriously folks, meh, I still feel okay about voting for Lenny, although this is Smackle's best episode. If I were to vote now, I'd probably go Smackle, but I voted with the information I had at the time. 

First off, I certainly don't believe a whopping 90% supports Riley/Lucas. But I do understand what you're saying. While I'd certainly not put it in my top 5, I do like "An Affair to Forget" an awful lot (though, that's because of Cory and Shawn, not because of Jennifer) but I still don't think that warrants a return appearance. You don't think it feels a little cheesy? All these random faces from John Adams (a high school in Philadelphia) being part of Cory's life now, 20 years later, in New York City? Man, I sure do. And I guess Stuart Minkus and Jennifer Bassett randomly being thrown together as the parents of one of the main characters just feels particularly emblematic of that. It cheapens the returns when they're constant and everyone gets one. Next week: Corinna teaches music class and Gambling Dan turns out to be Cory's accountant.

Still, it seems you agree it was bad execution, which is good, and I also agree that it was lame they spent all their time talking to Cory and Topanga. I'd have liked to see a scene between the three of them, maybe even at Farkle's house. It never really struck me as a "Afraid to have a scene without a Matthews" thing, but you're right, I probably can't think of an example of one in the entire series. Even the Shawn/Katy or Shawn/Angela interactions always have Cory or Riley or someone popping their head in. It may simply have been a way to try to keep them involved? Since they didn't really have a story of their own? I don't know.

Also is it firmly established if Farkle is an only child? I assume he is, but it occurs to me I don't know. What about Lucas? I'd like information on that too. It's weird how many only children are in the MWCU - Topanga is (Yeah, yeah, Nebbie, I know), Angela is, Rachel is (as far as we know), Maya is, Lucas is, Farkle is. It's like you gotta be a Matthews to get a brother around here. Never met any siblings of Alan or Amy's either. Don't think Turner had any (Feeny did though.) Let's get some more siblings. 

Yeah, I agree it has the same problem a lot of episodes have of only dipping their toe in big issues rather than diving in outright. And yeah, it tends to make me think they should have just left it alone. "Girl Meets Flaws' " flawed handling (pun intended) of bullying is a similar example. Still, I could maybe buy Smackle as having mild Aspergers. She does seem to have difficulty understanding emotions in a way Farkle does not. The way we know that is that she talks about it all the time, haha. Which is great writing right there. 

Not sure I have a ton more to say on this one. Meh. 

Episode Rating: C+
Episode MVP: Cecelia Balagot

What else ya got for me, Seanie?

It was a little cheesy, yes. And it's probably bad in the long term to have the "revolving door" of BMW guests. But that doesn't automatically stop me from having fun in this single instance.

Off the top of my head, there was a scene with just Shawn and Katy when he confronts her about Maya's birthday. And another with just Topanga and Katy, but they were talking about Shawn, so there's that whole Bechdel test thing. When it comes to the kids, though, IF there is a kid in the scene, THEN there is also a Matthews. 

"You gotta be a Matthews to get a brother around here." That's hilarious. And strange. Maybe they're just playing it safe since they casually mentioned Nebbie and Shawn's sister, resulting in a lifetime of dealing with WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM? Once bitten twice shy. 

Episode Rating: B-
Episode MVP: Balalalagot.

Stop smothering me.

I thought of the Shawn and Katy thing, but lest we forget, Cory and Riley were there hiding behind menus watching. And Topanga counts as a Matthews. But I think Lucas, Zay, and that bully were by themselves, so there's that. 

I guess they could be playing it safe, but, like, they also didn't need to fuck up that bad. Topanga could mention Nebula from time to time, but we didn't have to see her. Stacy's another matter. There's no way in which Stacy existing works. Maybe she's just another half-sibling on Virna's side like Eddie?

I debated between C+ and B- for a while. I'm still not convinced I made the right call. Glad you can represent B- for us. 
 
Yeah, I dunno. As soon as Farkle, for example, mentions his sister, suddenly everyone on the internet is like IS THIS STACY 2.0??! JACOBS IS SHE GONNA BE LIKE STACY LOLOLOL DO U EVER MENTION HER AGAIN. I think it's better that we don't have to deal with that.

And hey, no problem. There's a character named Smackle in the show. Her name is Smackle. Had to be at least a B-. Let's go ahead and have a poll rematch here, why not. The result is set to display after you vote this time since it's just for fun.



Market Research Software


And while we're at it, tell us how you felt about Jennifer's return to the Meets World universe.



170 comments:

  1. Christian - not going to get into my overall comments until tomorrow, but in answering your question about Farkle being an only child -- I'll dig up the tweet later, but some time ago someone asked the writers if there is a Minkus kid in Auggie's class and the answer was - yes, there is a Minklus in every class. I assume they just meant in every class with a Matthews.

    And I'm counting on that for the next show starring Auggie, Ava, Doy, Emma Weathersbee and this unnamed Minkus kid.

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    1. Here is a link to that tweet - https://twitter.com/GMWWriters/status/566093238935633920

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    2. I suspect you may be taking that tweet too literally. I think they mean, in general, every class has someone like a Minkus.

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    3. You might be right, but I'm counting on another Minkus

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    4. My freaking brother is autistic and he is fine but thw first person said that farkle wasnt odd in an autism spectrum wtf does that mean you people are prejudice you morons

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    5. My freaking brother is autistic and he is fine but thw first person said that farkle wasnt odd in an autism spectrum wtf does that mean you people are prejudice you morons

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    6. You sound upset, and I'm not sure it's warranted. Can you honestly say that Farkle exhibits autistic characteristics? Which ones?

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    7. Well, you caught us. We hate autistic people. We hate them. They're all just so.... autistic.

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    8. Best of luck to your freaking brother though. I'm sorry he's so freaking.

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  2. I actually really enjoyed this episode. I don't think there's a single other Disney Channel kidcom right now that would dare suggest that the world isn't just a cheerful, goofy, bubbly place without real problems. Admittedly I don't watch very many DC sitcoms but from the few episodes I've watched of shows like Lab Rats or Austin and Ally, I feel a topic like this would really not belong. The very first mention of the word "autism" took me by surprise because I didn't expect that to be a word that would be used in a Disney Channel sitcom.

    By traditional BMW standards though I guess they did end up glossing over the issue like they did with bullying in "Flaws". You're right; they could have shown Farkle's interactions with the guidance counsellor instead of hearing it second-hand. But I wonder if a Matthews has to be present in every scene because it's a kind of first-person-limited type of storytelling, and we're only privy to information that a Matthews would know.

    I didn't watch BMW growing up but instead watched a lot of reruns of it on ABC about a year ago. I totally forgot who Jennifer was until she mentioned the boathouse. She did seem to be a character that came out of left field.

    And yeah, Lucas is getting more buff (I'm pretty sure the female fans have no issue with that), but he just looks like an athletic teenager. And it can still be plausible if we use up the various excuses of "he got held back a year" and "puberty hit him unusually early."

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  3. Hmmmm...I think I need to rewatch the episode to give a fairer comment of this review. This is a very touchy subject and I need some time to properly articulate my points. Having said that, I do have something to say about Jennifer.

    Although I think it worked for the most part, you two raised a few good points. Why bring back Jennifer? There has to be something more than just the gags about "Handcuffing Shawn to a boathouse." They didn't even call-back "Tried to break Cory and Shawn up."
    And why is the Minkus-Basset marriage suddenly cordial--though if it's been several months since the beginning of the season, I suppose they could have been seeing a counselor.
    More to the point, why on earth is there no scene with just the Minkus family?
    I liked the return...but something does feel a little off. Jennifer didn't really feel like herself; I hate to say it, but she seemed a little too nice and down-to-earth, though she did say that having Farkle changed her dramatically. I guess I buy that.
    I know you guys aren't exactly fond of Farkle being a Minkus, but Michael Jacobs said in an interview that he didn't even come up with it until the third or fourth episode. And Jacobs had said repeatedly that his favorite play is "Our Town." That could wind up being significant.

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    1. I had really hoped that Farkle's mother would be someone artistic and creative. It would explain some of Farkle's personality. If Minkus liked artistic/creative/slightly out there women, why wouldn't he marry one? Some people have a type they are drawn to.

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    2. Well, when the show first started--around "Sneak Attack," when Farkle mentioned his mother was an excellent cook, I thought there'd be a possibility that Wendy, Cory's first girl-friend, was Farkle's mother. Now I am glad they didn't do that.

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  4. Shipping Wars are StupidSeptember 11, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    Where to begin...well, I should say first that one of my best friends has Aspergers. And it really doesn't doesn't affect us alot. He's a little quiet and shy but that's it. His special niche is art/animation. He is also an expert of the Muppets. I was really looking forward to this episode.

    And...it's okay. Not great. I agree with you guys on a lot. Show Farkle being told about Aspergers. Show him being scared. Show him, despite the changes he's made since Yearbook, afraid that maybe he'll never be normal. Agree that he doesn't really seem like he would. Maybe early-season 1 Farkle, but now, not really. The receiving affection line doesn't make a lot of sense since we've seen Riley hug him before. (Granted, it's Riley so she probably does it every other day.)

    I think Farkle has gotten the short end of the stick for a while. We've seen Maya and Riley do stuff together. Same with Riley and Lucas and Maya and Lucas. We've seen a little of Lucas and Farkle but very little Riley and Farkle and even less Maya and Farkle.

    I would have liked to seen the friends being scared and confused and researching it on their own to be there for Farkle. I would have liked one-on-one time with Farkle and each of his friends.

    The stuff with Farkle and Smackle was great. But it felt a little underdeveloped. I would have liked this to have been an arc. Have it two episodes-but not a two parter. Show one episode with Farkle and his friends struggling with it but not getting an answer.

    As far as Jennifer goes, it could have been worse. She clearly cares about her child. It destroyed my theory that she and Stuart are on the brink of divorce, so there's that. I also LOVED seeing Corpanga talking to actual adults, other than Katy or Shawn. That made a nice change.

    Grade: B/B-
    MVP: Corey Fogelmanis or Cecilia Balagot

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  5. Uh, guys, were we supposed to be able to see the percentages in the polls?

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    1. Sure. This isn't for a tournament or anything.

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    2. I wrote just before the polls that you would be able to see the results

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  6. I'm on lunch and will have to keep this brief. This one has a provisional spot in my GMW Mt. Rushmore, representing the widest gap between your grades and my own experience of an episode.

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    1. Now your response was one I was looking forward to. God knows I love Christian and Sean, but a man needs a little debate and divergence in opinion.

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    2. Thanks, Cryptid. Might be several hours before I can re-enter the fray, though.

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  7. I take it the google drive account is where yall are watching these episodes early, when I clicked on the link a while back it said I needed permission to access the drive. I clicked on the ask for permission link and I still don't have access to it. Is there a way someone here can grant me that access?

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  8. This is one where when I watched it, I was actually pretty floored. I was shocked that they went as far as they did, which really wasn't all that far in the grand scheme of things. I think the appropriate amount of drama was there, even if I would have liked to have seen what you both suggested more than what was given. At least a scene with the school psychologist with Farkle at the beginning or end would have done wonders to deal with the gravity of the situation. That being said, I give high marks to Rowan and Sabrina for the job they did w/ their scenes in the living room and bay window. They both sounded scared out of their minds for their friend. Really well done.

    But let's turn to the reals stars of this episode, Farkle and Smackle. My only nitpick w/ Farkle was he didn't seem as scared as I thought he would be. Hell, I'd be freaking the hell out, but he just seemed to accept his fate. But, I guess that's how they wanted it played. He handled it like a mature young man, which is commendable. I also like how in this episode, they ended his creepy infatuation w/ the girls. First, by having his mother take back her wedding ring that he used on Maya, and was in the process of using on Riley. Then, obviously, at the end when he asked for a divorce. I thought that was cute in its own way, especially w/ Riley's overacting. They've completely retooled and rewritten aspects of the Farkle character, which I am completely for. He's growing up, and they are reflecting that in his persona. I'm cool with that. As for Smackle, I think she stole the show. Her back and forth w/ Lucas is fun, the awkwardness with Riley is fun, the scene on the patio at Topanga's was really well done, in my opinion. They showed a new side to her, and Cecilia handled it all amazingly. And it was the small stuff too. Her hope during the patio scene where she heard that the boy she has a crush on may, in fact, be exactly like her. Then all of a sudden, its taken away, and her dejection is written all over her face. Finally, at the well received bay window, the reveal of her Asperger's, and Farkle's commitment to helping her, she was on her A+ game throughout. I guess I just gave away my MVP.

    And just to tie things up on some other things. I would have loved to see a scene w/ the Minkus', but the writers are absolutely making the point that the Core 4 are the focus of the show. No ifs, and's or buts about it. I didn't mind Jennifer's return, and I now associate her more as being Farkle's mom than I do w/ her small role on BMW. And I agree that it was nice to see the Matthew's interact with another couple besides Shawn and Katy. Also, getting to see Stewart the proud father was really cool too.

    Episode Grade: B+
    As far as I'm concerned, there were only minor nitpicks in this episode, but definitely some things they should have done better.

    Episode MVP: Cecilia Balgot. Runner up for Corey Foglemanis.

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    1. I agree with a lot of what you said. The Core Four in particular. They're the stars of the show. I wonder if that weakened the episode at all. Was it just me, or did Lucas not really contribute anything to how Farkle was dealing with the situation? He read some information on a laptop, but I don't think he actually said anything to try to comfort Farkle.

      Not to sound like a shipper--I am very happy that "laaaaaadies" has been put to bed--but with as much as Stuart and Jennifer spoke to Cory and Topanga, would it have made more sense if Farkle was confiding in Riley, and only Riley, as opposed to the Core Four? Might have made the generational contrasts a bit more overt--Cory and Stuart didn't like each other in grammar school and Basset tried to break up his friendship with Shawn, but here are their children, devoted platonic friends.

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    2. pwfan-"My only nitpick w/ Farkle was he didn't seem as scared as I thought he would be."
      If he thought the diagnoses made sense and fit him, then it wouldn't be scary. It would be almost comforting-"Oh, this why I'm like that." It's not like it's cancer or some sort of deadly illness.

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    3. That's definitely a reasonable explanation. Still, that idea of having something, anything, can definitely shake a person a little bit. But since Farkle had a handle on the disease itself, I can see why he reacted like he did.

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    4. pwfan-Different people would react to that news in many different ways. I think there's a wide variety of reactions that would all be normal and expected. I can see some people being afraid and worried about what it means for the future.

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  9. Okay, seeing this episode again was a necessity. It isn't bad, in my opinion. It is certainly a much better episode than "Flaws," which had a sub-par message to handle the real life issue of bullying, or "Creativity," for that matter, which had a painful-to-watch final act. The message here seems to be, there are people who are not "normal" but they are still people and should be treated with respect. This episode is by no means perfect. A lot of what Christian and Sean criticized is very fair--Farkle is going through a lot, but we're really just told it, not shown it. And his parents don't actually talk to him about any of this, they talk to Cory and Topanga. While those scenes were fine in and of themselves, I'm inclined to agree, there could have been more. I'm inclined to agree with Shipping Wars, this could have been stretched out over the course of two or three episodes

    This does bear mentioning: three experts on autism were consulted for this episode and worked very closely with the writers
    .
    And there were things to like here outside of the plot: the humor was good--Smackle rejecting Lucas was funnier than the entirety of Zay's jokes put together. And there did seem that this episode was honestly trying.

    Grade: B+
    MVP: Hmmm...Cecilia Balagot

    Fun fact: Willie Garson, our very own Lennie, directed this episode.

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    1. Oh, yes, I knew I forgot something. The tag scene (After Riley throws the paper airplane) was fantastic. It felt like a Michael Jacobs Moment in that they didn't try to hit us over the head with anything. Riley and her friends know they're not normal, but because they have each other, they don't particularly mind.

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    2. "It felt like a Michael Jacobs Moment in that they didn't try to hit us over the head with anything." Was that when she was like "Who here is normal?" Because I found that very cheesy and a, yes, a little hammer-in-the-head-y actually.

      Sorry, I really just thought none of the serious stuff in this episode worked.

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    3. Okay, maybe it was a little hammer-in-the-head-y, but at least it wasn't in the classroom. It seemed to be a conclusion the kids drew for themselves.

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    4. I think you're right in that the serious stuff could have been better--Show, Don't Tell and all that--but I don't think it was mishandled nearly as badly here as it was in "Flaws."

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    5. While I agree with most of what you wrote, I believe the serious stuff was good, but could have been better. Also, while the Lucas/Smackle stuff had me laughing, bashing on Zay's comedy seems out of line. His stuff is different in tone that that of the core 4, but not, at least to me, unfunny or out of place.

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    6. Eh, I'm not trying to bash. Zay's comedy just never struck me as funny. Really, half the time all he does is shout what he's thinking. Bear in mind, Zay's last episode was "Creativity" and that wasn't very good.

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  10. I voted for Lenny for the same reasons Christian did and I stand by it. That said I did vote "legitimately" for, uh , most of thy rest.

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  11. So we open in Cory’s class and Farkle is going off the deep end. The girls even mention they don’t even pick him up off the floor after these episodes anymore. That’s sad, but I guess expected by now. So the guidance counselor walks in and sees Farkle on the floor and doesn’t say anything? Even for a TV classroom, that seems to stretch believability. Then she starts talking to him out in public? Come on now is everyone who is employed at JQA that unprofessional? You could lose your job for doing what she is doing there. And his aptitude test says he should look for a career in “Ruling the world”, really. So if Farkle is The Brain, which one of the group gets to be Pinky?

    Now the Minkus/Minki? are having a “Genius Party” at Topangas. Wow, nothing like making his friends and classmates feel insignificant, though I guess considering who his parents are, Stuart probably doesn’t think anything of it and the monster (his mom) probably gets off on it (based on what little we know of her character up to this point). Now mom answers the question we all have been waiting for: robot, clone or real boy. Real boy it is – Look right there and see Maya giving Lucas some cash, apparently she bet on clone or robot, and Riley is collecting from Yogi as well. I liked that touch and good for Lucas and Riley betting on their friend. Cory berating Stuart for marrying Jennifer was cute. Then Farkle uses Lucas to try to fake marry Riley as well, not bad. The complementary penguin was so far out of left field I couldn’t help but laugh. Maybe that’s what Minkus International does, they cornered the penguin market. Nice to see Smackle show up and be her usual awkward self. The running joke of Smackle saying Lucas is hitting on her starts now and it is pretty funny.

    Back to class and Cory tries to give them all a life lesson. Farkle then goes to talk to the counselor again. Then we are in the Matthews living room and Farkle tells the gang the news, he might have Asperger’s Syndrome. While it was expected to see Lucas and Riley showing concern for their friend, it was a little unexpected to see how much Maya was concerned. She isn’t as tough as she wants us to believe she is. The four go to the bay window and do some research (while Riley tells Farkle, “hey at least you aren’t Maya”) and it’s a few serious moments here discussing Asperger’s. Maya’s concern for Farkle here is heartwarming.
    (On a side note, other than in Master Plan, this is the first time Lucas is in Riley’s room and not getting chased out, while Farkle gets to be there all the time. Is this like Jed not liking Shawn because he thought Shawn would end up in the basement with Topanga and in the end it was Cory, who they let come over that ended up with their daughter? Is this a repeat of the past that Cory should realize? Who knows)

    Replying to my own post to continue

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    1. The core four now go to Topangas where Farkle talks of going to Einstein Academy and Smackle returns. She seems really pleased to see him, but is pretty uncomfortable expressing it to him. While it might seem like a comedy moment, it was clear here that they were letting us know that Smackle and not Farkle, is suffering from Asperger’s. Farkle telling Isadora that the fact that he might have Asperger’s and that it frightens him might have been the most real moment in the show. That was done well.

      Back to school and while Smackle has come to observe the Cory’s class, the guidance counselor has come to talk to Farkle again and takes him away. Then he comes back and its Farkle Time. Farkle explaining to the class about Asperger’s was also well done. They don’t do a lot of serious in this show, but these few moments were done well. Cory then hits us with another lesson and Smackle realizes that Farkle belongs in JQA and she was incorrect. It was nice to be taught another lesson that wasn’t coming from the teacher.

      Another adult talk at the Matthews table again seems phony, at least to me. No one there has any chemistry with Jennifer.

      At the bay window, Smackle admits her issues and the girls try to let her know that it doesn’t matter, and they all care for her. Farkle asks Riley and Maya for a fake divorce, and Riley responds with the “longest relationship” line that she used in “Meets the New World”. Nice to be consistent. Farkle then actually tells Smackle he cares for her, and it is all quite cute. They go to Topangas and try to convince Smackle to transfer to JQA, where she would have friends. It really is nice. Then the whole “normal” thing at the end seems very forced for TV, and that is too bad.

      GRADE: B - There was no glaring weakness here, excepting the epilogue, but some things could have been handled in a more serious manner than they were.
      MVP: Cecillia Balagot – she handled everything with great ease, especially the parts where she was intentionally uneasy. Terrific performance. Corey was a close second.

      My issues – while the handling of a serious issue wasn’t mishandled, it could have been done better. As our reviewers have said, spending a little less time with the adults and in class and some more time with the guidance counselor and Farkle would have been much better. When BMW handled the issue of child abuse, they managed to do it in a more serious manner, get the point across in a more adult way, and still have Cory make a complete fool of himself with Topanga and give a real PSA at the end of the episode. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that these are mostly the same writers. I would have to guess that being on Disney has something to do with how these things are presented. The target demographic is younger for GMW than it was for BMW. I guess there are some sacrifices that will be made to keep this show on Disney.

      Then – Jennifer. Did we need to meet Farkle’s mom here, well sure. Did it have to be someone we knew (and didn’t like to boot), no. Unless Jennifer has an upcoming plot line that involves Shawn, her being Farkle’s mom is just a really poor decision by the writers. Their insistence on bringing back BMW characters almost every week just weakens this show in my opinion. Guest appearances that make story sense are fine, but so far this seems to be a stretch.

      I know some folks made comments about the title of this episode continually changing. I’m guessing that “Meets Genius” might have seemed to Disney to be looking down on kids who are average, which is the vast majority of viewers. Then it went to “Meets Normal” and that might have been seen as an insult to those who have some of these ASD. The final name gives us a sort of “safe” title, while still conveying the thrust of the episode.

      As an aside – today is the birthday of the actor that plays Yogi – happy 13 son.

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    2. You made a good point in bringing up one of Boy Meets World's very special episodes to compare to this.
      This subject matter is serious and frankly, I think the writers did the best they could have done given that it's Disney Channel. It probably helps that Smackle is a recurring character--if we count four episodes to be recurring. A character we know and most of us are fond of admitting she has Asperger's Syndrome certainly reads better than a character introduced for the episode and then is never seen nor heard from again.
      I don't know what to think of the tag scene...it's seems like I was the only one who liked it.

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    3. Shipping Wars are StupidSeptember 11, 2015 at 6:41 PM

      Agreed. I wonder if this episode was drawn out more, if it would have worked better. The tag was pretty bad. Riley's pretty normal, let's be honest.

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    4. 1960poster-I didn't think she was talking to him in public (unless a empty classroom with a teacher counts as public.) It seemed like all the other students had left through one of the classroom's two doors.

      "if Farkle is The Brain, which one of the group gets to be Pinky?"
      Riley, no question about it. She's a good person who gets easily distracted by shiny things, and her odd daydreams.

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    5. Kit, it seemed that Riley, Maya and Lucas were right outside the classroom door and everyone knew it as they were interjecting into the conversation. Regardless if no one was nearby, she should not have been talking to him except behind a closed door.

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    6. 1960poster- excellent write up. A couple of belated points.

      GMW has given us white horses in bedrooms and giant Tater Tot conscience puppets and Senator Eric. Non-reality is part of the show’s grammar, with the classroom maybe the furthest removed. To me, the characters being blasé about Farkle on the floor just meant the characters were blasé about Farkle being Farkle. I didn’t take too much amiss the non-private exchange with the guidance counsellor, either. They needed to set up the bunny farmer and “who’s a good genius” stuff.

      Agree wholeheartedly about Maya’s reactions. Maybe it wasn’t entirely out of concern for him, though. She has been dependent upon friends as much as if not more than family apparently her whole life and would be much worse off without them. She seemed similarly, if not as intensely, freaked the two episodes Riley decided she didn’t want to be Riley anymore. I am happier thinking it was just out of concern for him. It was a highlight in an episode I would put in the A range.

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    7. "GMW has given us white horses in bedrooms and giant Tater Tot conscience puppets and Senator Eric. Non-reality is part of the show’s grammar, with the classroom maybe the furthest removed."

      The thing was, for the most part, for the majority of its run, Boy Meets World was fairly grounded. You said you were about halfway done with Season One. If so, you've either watched or will soon be watching "Teacher's Bet."
      The white horse called back to "Girl Meets Friendship." Do yourself a favor Milestones, and skip that one if you haven't already seen it.

      I like what you had to say about Maya here. As much as Cory hates change, Maya seems far more dependent on homeostasis, for want of a better word, in her life as far as her friends are concerned.

      The test results surprised me in a way--more than a few coming-of-age shows have had a "Does Not Like Career They've Been Told They'd Be Good At" episode and it would certainly have fit this season's theme of Change.

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    8. I didn’t take too much amiss the non-private exchange with the guidance counselor either. They needed to set up the bunny farmer and “who’s a good genius” stuff.

      Milestones - I have no issues usually when Cory and the kids are being silly on a sitcom. It is kind of expected. But this episode they were trying to deal with a topic that was much more serious than those they usually do. With that in mind I thought that they should have been more serious when actually dealing with it. That includes the guidance counselor being serious and performing her job professionally. That was my issue there. The entire bunny farmer/armpit sniffer thing could have and should have been left out IMO.

      Thanks for the kind review of what I had to say. I hadn't considered what you had to say about Maya's concern though. You might be correct that she is more concerned out of fear of her life taking a hit without her friends there for her than out of genuine concern for Farkle, but like you, now that I think about it, I will keep my belief that concern for her friend is driving her here.

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  12. You know what? I agree about Jennifer being pretty pointless and that we should've seen more from Farkle's POV, but this was one of my favorite episodes of the show.

    I don't know, I just thought all of it worked really well. The characters all seemed to really work well together in both the comedic scenes and the more serious ones (even Lucas made me laugh), and I though the issue of the week was pretty well handled. It wasn't a mind-blowing twist but I didn't see Smackle's diagnosis coming until partway through the episode, and I thought that was a great writing compromise between actually putting Farkle on the spectrum and completely dropping the topic after this episode. The Farkle/Smackle scenes were really sweet.

    This one really worked for me. Next week looks like a total disaster though.

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    1. This one is on my short list too. If anything, I had fewer reservations with it.

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    2. What's wrong about next week? I heard that the plot revolves around Riley trying to find a way to make a mark on the world. Even if it's silly, it's been a long, long time since Riley had a focal episode that was not tied to a love interest.

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    3. Cryptid, find the clips. I don't know if you'll hate it as much as I do, but I utterly DESPISE what I've seen.

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    4. Cryptid, I love what I've seen of Meets Cory and Topanga. I assume that Christian and I have different tastes.

      Clips here https://instagram.com/makeluck/

      There are a lot, so scroll down and start from the bottom.

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    5. Sorry about the spoilers. That was my bad. Okay...I saw some clips. I understand Christian's concern. I can see how 1960 would find it appealing. I'm worried more about the classroom than anything else. Really, it just comes down to the classroom.

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    6. Christian, I thought you'd hate those clips. Cause I damn sure am uneasy about them.

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    7. Girl Meets Cory and Topanga is going to be the Chernobyl Disaster of the Meets World universe. Quote me on that.

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    8. Sean...what I saw was cheesy, but c'mon Chernobyl would indicate "Fish" levels.

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    9. Cryptid, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of what "Meets C&T" might be.

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    10. Having now seen "Meets C&T" - without spoiling anything, I can say it didn't suck, but wasn't at the top of my list either.

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    11. Oh wow. Those clips are just... so much worse than we could have anticipated. Game faces on, people. The only way we're going to make it through next week is if we watch that episode with a sense of humor. It's not gonna be quality stuff but the review and comments should be downright hilarious.

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    12. Oh wow. Those clips are just... so much worse than we could have anticipated. Game faces on, people. The only way we're going to make it through next week is if we watch that episode with a sense of humor. It's not gonna be quality stuff but the review and comments should be downright hilarious.

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    13. Meets C&T was written by Josh Jacobs. I'm pretty sure Sean and Christian didn't give his last effort a positive review.

      But as I said, it wasn't "Fish" or "1961", at least for me.

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    14. 1960 would you please send the link for the episode!!

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    15. Just checked Wikipedia. "Meets C & T" was written by Josh Jacobs. He also wrote "Commonism." And "Commonism" was meant to air first, so I don't think we should count "C&T" as Josh's debut since it technically isn't his first episode.

      Now David Jacobs, his brother, wrote "Fish."

      Well...there are worse sins in this world than nepotism.

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    16. I won't get too into C&T because of spoilers and the fact that we're quite a while away from the review at this point. But I will say it's not quite as bad as I feared. It helps that the flashbacks, which are handled terribly, don't even show up until well over halfway through the episode. Before that happens it's kind of okay.

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    17. Okay...just watched it. You're absolutely right Christian. Up until the flashbacks, I enjoyed it.

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  13. GMW episodes have variable mixtures of active ingredients and other stuff to swallow. I loved this episode because there was more of what worked. The shock was that a Farkle-centric episode had so much stuff that worked.

    The remainder was, at worst, flavourless. There was nothing like an Auggie/Ava/Topanga scene to be endured.

    Surprise probably added to the impact. While I usually read all the comments, I scroll past discussions of upcoming episodes. I saw the word Autism but didn’t link it with this show. I didn’t see any previews. If, before going out to watch a baseball game and setting my PVR out of mild curiosity to see what “hosted by Sabrina Carpenter” meant, I hadn’t noticed the “NEW” in the last episode of a marathon, I still might be waiting the see it.

    I won’t try to refute all of the issues Sean and Christian identify. Some I don’t care about. Some I just don’t share.

    The one I did share, at least on first viewing, was the off-screen nature of key developments. Upon reflection, and a subsequent viewing, I decided I was better off seeing Farkle give the news and seeing Riley and Maya react than watching Farkle interact with a random guest star. I have never felt the series needed fewer scenes with Riley and/or Maya.

    I doubt I will ever defend to my death a classroom scene. I will say that in these ones I didn’t feel the need to entertain myself by trying to find the extra having the hardest time not looking at the camera. Cory rejects both the genius label and the disorder label given and almost given to Farkle. I don’t know that Farkle’s level of acceptance among his peers had anything to do with it.

    As far as Mr. & Mrs. Minkus were concerned, they were proud of their child, were worried about their child, remarked upon and were grateful for the friendship and love given to their child, and reminisced a bit with old friends. I had zero problem with them. If they weren’t the best scenes, they were economical and made sense in the context of the episode. Didn’t get the penguins though.

    At hearing the word “Autism,” and recalling the “down with science” sentiment from Creativity, I was relieved this one didn’t contain some sort of anti-vaccination message.

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    1. Hi Milestones, good to hear from you. I've been looking forward to this all evening.

      That's a good way to sum up the classroom scenes.

      "At hearing the word “Autism,” and recalling the “down with science” sentiment from Creativity, I was relieved this one didn’t contain some sort of anti-vaccination message."

      Amen to that, Milestones. I researched vaccinations when I was in college for a BIO 100 course. I was ready to pull my hair out when I learned just how prominent the anti-vaccination community is.

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    2. Cryptid,my young friend, thanks. If what I read in another comment is accurate, a belated happy birthday. For what it is worth, I liked the tag too. Maya's "we are" landed a bit better for me than Riley's "normal" riff...but I was fine with it as way to end the episode.

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    3. I don't know that I would say Creativity had an ANTI-science message, it just copped to the fact that other countries in the world are routinely better with math and science than we are, are perhaps cultures where that sort of thing is valued and can thus be better utilized than our own, where individuality and creativity rule the day. There was never an implication science wasn't important.... that would be an absurd argument I would never expect they'd make. And I certainly wouldn't expect this show to espouse any sort of lunatic anti-vaccination message.

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    4. I think the reason I liked the tag as much as I did, as silly as it sounded, was that a big part of Riley's character in Season One was conforming to her peers' expectations. Here, we see an embrace of individuality.

      Oh, and thank you. Shipping Wars and I had a wonderful birthday.

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    6. Man I wish we could edit our own comments:

      That's a fair point Christian about what "Creativity" was trying to say. But the kids did sort of disregard their core classes in favor of what really are electives. While that certainly wasn't the message being made, kids will be kids. Having said that, my seventh grade science teacher was one of the most popular in the school. So, I guess I'm not sure actually. Middle school students can be strange.

      There is an upcoming episode called "Sludge" and I think I heard science may play a role there. Could be a way to bring back Smackle.

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    7. Grade 8 (Junior High for me) was an awfully long time ago, and all I remember is angst...and music teacher who wore mini-shirts and played Beatles' records, which was incredibly cool in 1972.

      The "down with science" characterization was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But, as someone who spent part of his day looking at recent pictures of Pluto, you guys rock at science at too, so Creativity was somewhat disingenuous on that score.. I'm also mindful that GMW is a Hollywood product. Medical shows always have episodes wherein a patient isn't cured until "close-minded" doctors become "open" to non-traditional (that is, unsupported or already falsified by science) treatments. Cop shows, even those supposedly about the criminal science, give us cases solved by psychics.

      But, I digress. Don't want to make this into a NeuroLogica thread, or even re-open Creativity.

      I still did like the Riley's contribution to the tag, and disagree that she is exceedingly "normal" herself.

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    8. milestones1958-I don't think Creativity had a down with science message. I thought the message of Creativity was balance. The students weren't demanding that the money for art classes come from the science budget. The students wanted both.

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    9. Weird the things that stick in the brain...when above I said "I don't care" about Sean and Christian's reservations, I meant in the sense that they may well be valid but didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the ep.

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    10. Kit Cosmo-yeah, and I don't want to assume provocative words put in the mouth of a 14-year-old character necessarily reflect the show's principles.
      I hate bad arguments, and comparing the achievements of Hollywood and the American music industry with middle school test scores as opposed to, say, the achievements of Silicon Valley and NASA, was a bad argument. I am skittish about denials of science, and the show has already, early on doffed its cap in the direct of Intelligent Design. But I'm pro-art and in favour of it's funding.

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    11. "I am skittish about denials of science, and the show has already, early on doffed its cap in the direct of Intelligent Design."

      In fairness, what Lucas said (and Cory agreed with) is just that evolution being true doesn't mean Intelligent Design can't be. The two are not diametrically opposed. Though I happen to not believe in Intelligent Design myself, I do agree with him that nothing about evolution means Intelligent Design can't be true.

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    12. Christian- we might be thinking of different Intelligent Designs. In any event, I am more than happy to pretend the Father episode never happened. On an unrelated note, I typed "direction" but the comment section reproduced it as "direct." To whom should I complain?

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    13. It's been a while since "Creativity" aired, but I found this article today and it caught my attention. It does seem to place an inordinate amount on the STEMs:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/09/12/an-eighth-grade-boys-outrageous-class-schedule/
      Any thoughts Milestones? How does the Canadian school system compare to ours here in the States?

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    14. Cryptid, sorry I missed your question. I had to step away from the blog and take break for a day or two.

      I don’t know that there is even such a thing as a Canadian system, as, outside a few odds & sods, everything to do with education is in the purview of the provinces and territories. (Though I had graduated university by then, the first time I lived in Ontario I was alarmed to hear they had a Grade 13.) Even when they are doing things the same, Quebec would probably do something different on principle.

      I can check with a few friends who have school-age kids and see what they are doing.

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    15. I honestly was just spit-balling. It made more sense to mention the article here than in a month-old blog post that odds are, nobody other than Christian or Sean would have noticed an extra comment.

      I'm willing to bet that in Season 3, we may see an episode that is an outright indictment on the over-saturization of tests in the public school system.

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    16. Too late, I already looked into it a bit, as it beat work. In my province, arts education is mandatory through to Grade 8 and available through to Grade 12. My friend with a daughter in Grade 7 said she had to pick two classes of the three components available in her school. He had never heard of STEM, and indicated her workload was fine and that she actually had less homework than when she was in Grade 6.

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    17. Do they have study halls? Periods where there is no curriculum and meant for the doing of already assigned homework. I did a lot of my secondary school homework during study hall, so there wasn't usually much work to do at home.

      Interesting stuff.

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    18. As far as I know, they don't have study hall. High school students get free periods.

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    19. Hmmm...well, learn something new every day. I found study hall very valuable. It was nice to have time to do my homework. Freed me up to work on creative projects at home.

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  14. It's hard for me to care about characters who aren't around much. While I could sympathize with Smackle's situation, I have to be honest and say I wasn't moved. That's not to say I haven't ever been moved by a guest character on any show - but the writing has to be great. And while Farkle & Smackle look cute together, I don't feel any chemistry there.

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    1. I'm inclined to agree. Their scenes were sweet, but I don't find any chemistry between Farkle/Smackle. I haven't really felt chemistry between Farkle and any of the girls. To be perfectly frank, I am one of those who subscribes to the theory that Corey Fogelmanis is most likely gay, based on his demeanor (yell at me if you want, but there's a reason it's a stereotype) and he's probably too young/inexperienced an actor to be able to foist chemistry onto a relationship with someone of a gender he's not interested in.

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    2. It hasn't crossed my mind tbh. There hasn't been a ton of chemistry, although I can't say I haven't felt any. I did pick up on some in Farkle's Choice with both Riley & Maya. I do have to say Farkle makes Lucas more enjoyable. Their scenes have worked for me as I think they play off each other's personalities well.

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    3. It's the 21st century and there will be someone on the show at some point who will be gay. Farkle might be too obvious. Lucas? There was that "I don't do that" bit from Semi-Formal when he briefly found himself dancing with Charlie. Might have been protesting too much.

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    4. Shipping Wars are StupidSeptember 11, 2015 at 8:20 PM

      If there isn't any chemistry, it could have more to do with the writers. And early on, Corey wasn't exactly the best actor. The kids from what people have said are all super close in real life.

      I'd like to see a gay character if they don't make it a big deal. Good Luck Charlie did it well. But it concerns me that if they'd have one of the kids come out, it'd come as really preachy.

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    5. "I'd like to see a gay character if they don't make it a big deal. Good Luck Charlie did it well. But it concerns me that if they'd have one of the kids come out, it'd come as really preachy."

      Agreed. Ideally they would introduce a character who happens to be gay but have pretty much no reaction whatsoever from the main characters aside from maybe the initial "oh, he has a boyfriend" thing.

      Anything further will just anger either the LGBT or the anti-LGBT communities because of what will obviously become a preachy message.

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    6. "It's the 21st century and there will be someone on the show at some point who will be gay. Farkle might be too obvious."

      Too obvious? Why is the element of surprise an issue here? I don't need anyone to turn out to be gay as, like, a plot twist. Farkle kind of comes off gay, and his thing with Riley and Maya makes perfect sense if he's gay, so maybe they make him gay. It's not a "Someone's gotta be gay, might as well be Farkle." thing.

      "Lucas? There was that "I don't do that" bit from Semi-Formal when he briefly found himself dancing with Charlie. Might have been protesting too much."

      Eh. Say what you will about Lucas, but he and Maya have genuine romantic chemistry, and he's even mustered it with Riley on occasion. At this point, as established as he is, I'd have trouble buying Lucas all of a sudden coming off gay. I can believe, with his Texas background though, Lucas may be a little homophobic.

      "Anything further will just anger either the LGBT or the anti-LGBT communities because of what will obviously become a preachy message."

      It's *this show*. Of course, it will be preachy. And, I don't know, I'm okay with that. This is still an issue that kids today need to be preached to a little bit. And, I couldn't give less of a shit how the anti-LGBT community feels about it. They deserve to be preached to, too.

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  15. Anonymous-"Ideally they would introduce a character who happens to be gay but have pretty much no reaction whatsoever from the main characters." I love this idea. What would be great is if one of the main characters kept flirting with the new character, only be to told by the new character that there was already a significant other at another school. At the end of the episode, you find out that the character is gay/lesbian, and it's not a big deal.

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  16. you guys mentioned not wantng to see a BMW character every ep, so how do you guys feel about them bringng Angela back for another ep?

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    1. I find it very unnecessary. They wrapped her up tight with "Hurricane", what more do they have to accomplish there? She's moved on. Shawn's moving on. Let's move on too.

      The only reason she should show up at this point is if they do some sort of high school reunion episode. Or, like, if Mr. Feeny dies and they want to bring back all the old cast members for a memorial episode.

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    2. I agree with Christian here. They say she will come back and teach a lesson. What lesson could only Angela teach that some other character coming back couldn't teach? Her story was connected to Shawn, and now that's done. She was Topanga's best friend for like 3 years before she left and then apparently they lost touch as well. Any lesson she could teach could probably be taught by Morgan or Sergio or Nunzio (Of this I am sure). Only a lesson about losing a father might be in Angela's wheelhouse.

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    3. Personally, the only way I'd be happy to see Angela again if it's in a clip/flashback (which is not at all unlikely all things considered).

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  17. I definitely disagree about the no chemistry comment. I think Farkle and Riley have great chemistry together and the 2 actors have great chemistry in real life too.
    We need to remember that Corey Fogelmanis has only just now hit puberty in recent months. In season one we were watching a pre-pubescent boy try to flirt.

    Also I have watched several interviews with Corey Fogelmanis and I don't get a gay vibe from him at all. If anything he seems to be painfully shy and awkward. He often has trouble speaking and answering questions in interviews. I've also noticed he doesn't like being touched. I actually wonder if he has Asperger's syndrome in real life and perhaps that why the writers made this episode.

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    1. Eh, it's not an issue of prepubescence. Auggie's even pre-er pubescent and he doesn't ping my gaydar at all. Has nothing to do with Farkle trying to flirt, that's just his character. Just comes off gay. He could very well not be, but from Corey's very first scene I immediately thought he came off gay and that hasn't really changed for me. Has nothing to do with shyness or awkwardness, as I don't think those traits factor into coming off gay one way or the other. If he's a little nervous answering questions in interviews, it's probably just because he's like 14 years old. To presume he may have Aspergers sounds like a stretch.

      Really, for a while I'd been hoping they'd make Farkle gay too, with his "love" for Riley and Maya a way of loudly and firmly proclaiming his "heterosexuality" without the danger of actually having to date a girl since he knows they'd never feel that way about him. Meanwhile, when someone like Smackle does express genuine interest, he has none in return. As time goes on, this is looking unlikely (particularly with episodes like this) but a guy can dream.

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    2. "I'd been hoping they'd make Farkle gay too, with his "love" for Riley and Maya a way of loudly and firmly proclaiming his "heterosexuality" without the danger of actually having to date a girl since he knows they'd never feel that way about him. Meanwhile, when someone like Smackle does express genuine interest, he has none in return"

      The problem with this is that Farkle would date Riley and Maya if they felt the same about him. It's not like he shied away the few times they did seem interested in him. He went on "dates" with them in Farkle's choice and First date. He kissed Riley and tried to kiss Maya. So its not like he's afraid of actually dating a girl or being romantic with a girl. And now he does have an interest with Smackle, because they had a legitimate connection and you can't say its fake because he wasn't trying to like her, it just happened.

      Regarding the actor, it just really bugs me when people are stereotyped and put into boxes. Just because a boy "seems" gay doesn't mean that he is.(especially if he grew up in a city like LA)
      As I said, I personally don't see it with Fogelmanis. And I've never heard anyone else with your same opinion, so I thought it as interesting. To each his own I guess.

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    3. "The problem with this is that Farkle would date Riley and Maya if they felt the same about him." Would he? I'm not sure I agree with that. I think he recognized any time they made advances, like when they wanted to go to that award show, it wasn't really genuine romantic interest. Same with First Date, he knew that date with Maya was nonsense. And that kiss he planted on Riley was hardly romantic, she was squirming to get away from him, an it was little more than an extended peck.

      That was even confirmed in this episode, he gets it was never real, and so there was no genuine threat. But it all gets him officially on the books as "straight guy."

      "Regarding the actor, it just really bugs me when people are stereotyped and put into boxes. Just because a boy "seems" gay doesn't mean that he is.(especially if he grew up in a city like LA)"

      I've acknowledged he may not necessarily be gay. I don't know the guy. He could be attracted solely to snails for all I know. But he comes off gay, and, to be honest, I've lived in this world long enough to know that the vast majority of people who come off gay? Are. They just are. That manner of speaking, those mannerisms, whatever the reason, generally *are* a sign you're gay. In elementary and middle school, all the kids who came off gay and got (wrongly, and horribly, I recognize now) teased for acting gay... they all vehemently denied being gay up and down, and they all turned out to be gay. All of 'em.

      I get that stereotyping, on the whole, is a dangerous thing. But sometimes what can be referred to as stereotyping is simply... describing generally true attributes of something. I have nothing but love and respect for the gay community, I've cheered their triumphs, and mourned their setbacks over my entire adult life. But I don't find any use, or any benefit, of denying simple truisms.

      "As I said, I personally don't see it with Fogelmanis. And I've never heard anyone else with your same opinion, so I thought it as interesting. To each his own I guess." Really? We're hanging out at different GMW spots, I guess. It's a common opinion on IMDb, for instance. But fine, to each their own.

      To be honest, it just sort of seems like you don't want him to be gay...

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    4. Christian-"Really, for a while I'd been hoping they'd make Farkle gay too, with his "love" for Riley and Maya a way of loudly and firmly proclaiming his "heterosexuality" without the danger of actually having to date a girl since he knows they'd never feel that way about him."

      I had the same thought. Riley and Maya are his beards. Now, I think there's a chance Farkle might be heterosexual.

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    6. It's true that where there's smoke there's fire. Those who come off gay usually are. But on the other hand, whether he is or he isn't, I'm sure he's seen many comments like this online and I'm sure it only makes a very confusing time that much worse. That's the main reason I choose not to speculate on the sexuality of young actors. It's a hard time in your life to be in the public eye.

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  18. Also, you know what was nice about this episode? No Auggie.

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    1. The next time there is a gap between episodes to fill, Sean or Christian should plot a graph comparing average grade of an episode versus Auggie screen time.

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    2. Damn it. Thats a fun idea. Fun ideas usually take work. I could re-learn how to use MATLAB...

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    3. Honestly, I don't know if there will be a strong correlation. We loved Pluto, Yearbook, Semi-Formal, and Master Plan (actually... yeah, those are the four best episodes of the show) all of which he missed, but then he missed this one and 1961 and Flaws too.

      Really, the key factor here is that Auggie is a nonentity. He can be in an episode or he can not be in an episode and it doesn't really matter. Unless he brings Ava with him, in which case he's a detriment.

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    4. So then instead of graphing Auggie screentime, the graph would be Auggie/Ava screentime, if you made the graph. It might be something to do between seasons, or if there's a large gap between episodes.

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    5. That's a fair point, Kit. Most everyone here agrees that Auggie's tolerable when he's just with his family, especially with Riley. Little kid actors be little kid actors and whatnot.

      Personally, I'm more curious about what a graph concerning class time, and more specifically, a graph that highlights the class time when one of the Core Four speaks longer than just answering a question, would say. "Crazy Hat" is probably my least favorite episode and the kids were probably at their worst in taking-over-the-class then.

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  19. Lifelong homo here. Corey pings my gaydar HARD. And when you consider one of his first roles was as a young Michael Urie, yeah...casting saw something.

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    1. This is what I've been waiting to hear before I weigh in. I'm on board now. Christian seemed pretty sure, but at the end of the day he still likes da boobies. Can't trust his.

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    2. Well, I think for a straight guy my gaydar's pretty on point, but I'll certainly agree there's more weight behind JC's say-so. Nice to hear I'm not way off.

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    3. He COULD be straight, but everything about it, including his well-documented love of theater, seems like he's in the club. Must be torture for him being friends with Peyton.

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    4. Way, way out of my depth here. I know how I would react if this blog featured comments about the sexuality of Rowan Blanchard or Sabrina Carpenter. Does the gay factor make it okay? Not sure I'm okay. How old is he?

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    5. I have to agree with Milestones here. It's one thing to discuss the Farkle character and how he interacts with the rest of the characters, but it's pretty sad to comment on the possible sexuality of a kid who just turned 16. Regardless of his preferences, if he wanted us to know, I'm sure his publicist would have made it public by now.

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    6. Personally, I wasn't sure whether I should sleep on it before posting this comment but here goes:
      The comments speculating on whether Corey Fogelmanis is gay are, frankly, disturbing, even more so considering he is a minor. Nobody would tolerate this if the speculation was directed at any of the girls. And nobody should tolerate this even though it's directed at a boy. It is wrong; it is beyond wrong.
      It is one thing to question the writing of a character or to ponder on what may lie beneath the acting of a character. Reading between the lines and offering interpretation is an important part of actually enjoying a movie or a tv show or a book. Wondering what they may do in the future is fine. More than a few fans have wondered what is in store for Farkle Minkus--the writers have said that his transformation was meant to mirror Topanga's. But it is not okay to direct that at real people. It is not okay.
      I watched with growing discomfort all day. People trying to apply what they know to fit their view of a stranger. We wouldn't do it to our neighbors and we shouldn't do it here. And we certainly wouldn't like it if people did it to us.

      What should we do, then? Discuss what this episode did. How did it treat Asperger's Syndrome? The writers consulted three experts--even if the execution of the episode wasn't great, their hearts were in the right place. Better than most "Diagnosis Episodes," which often bring up an illness or disorder and then never mention it again.

      But we should not speculate on whether a sixteen-year-old boy is gay, when all we know of him is what he does for his job. That is not okay. This is gossip and we were all told in elementary school that is wrong to gossip and spread rumors about people.

      Writers of Girl Meets World, if you are reading this, or if Corey Fogelmanis is reading this, I would like to apologize. You don't deserve this. Nobody does. Please forgive us.

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    7. You stated it much more forcefully than I could muster, Cryptid. Alarm bells went off in my head and wouldn't stop. But the fix is easy. A "no gossip about the cast" rule would be as sensible as their rule about spoilers.

      They could, with advantage, delete the offending posts as well.

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    8. Uh, let's settle down, guys. I don't feel this sort of stern high horse talking to is warranted. We're not getting into graphic depictions of their theoretical sex lives, it was commented that Farkle has no chemistry with his female costars, a discussion took place on if it's because he or Corey comes off a little gay. It's gossipy, I guess, sure, but so what? I'm more displeased that people feel comfortable coming in here, lecturing other posters and calling them out, apologizing on their behalf, and telling them to delete their posts

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    9. Christian- don't think there is anything self-righteous or unsettled about concluding that a discussion of the sexual identity of a teenage boy is offside.

      Didn't tell you to delete the comments, I suggested it.

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    10. Guys- before I crash, let me assure you that I have neither a pitchfork nor a torch in my hands. You are producing an excellent blog about a TV show. Please continue to talk about the TV show. The next time someone posts sexual comments about one of the cast members, please tell them we don't do that here.

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    11. I guess I don't consider this a "sexual comment." Certainly we wouldn't tolerate any lascivious comments about any of the cast members, but I just don't think an absent-minded discussion of whether or not Farkle comes off gay qualifies. While maybe Corey shouldn't have come into it, was more for the purposes of discussing Farkle than anyone else. And it's not as if it's a negative thing. We've ripped into the likes of Peyton Meyer and Amir Mitchell-Townes for being shitty actors, there've been discussions about the physical attractiveness of just about everyone probably, I just don't know why this suddenly gets everyone's goat. They're public figures at this point. I don't know. I don't see the big deal. But I also don't want to offend anyone so, I mean, it's not a big deal, we can tone it down.

      Either way, Cryptid in particular, as he was way more over-the-top about it than Milestones, please don't lecture me or the commenters in that way. I understand the high humans get from asserting their moral superiority over others, but we're not going to do that here. You don't like a certain line of discussion, don't participate in it, or calmly explain your opinion. But the maudlin, heavy-handed approach you took here was preposterous and insulting. You want us to change our line of dialogue? Okay. But your goal should not be to shame us like errant puppies and that's what you did.

      We're gossiping about an actor, which everybody does all the time - we didn't commit some sort of hate crime. So I'd appreciate if me and my fellow commenters were not treated as if we did.

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    12. Here, Christian, you forgot to drop this. -hands mic-

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    13. Would anyone be upset if I suggested that Corey might be, for example, Swedish? That he has Swedish qualities? I don't see how this is different. Being gay is not bad. We're not insulting him.

      Answer me honestly, would you be upset if I said "Peyton Meyer seems like a heterosexual"? I really doubt it. So the problem can't really be "speculating on sexuality of a minor." If we speculated that any of them seemed straight, there would be no outrage. Think about that.

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    14. I lost my temper last night. I definitely could have phrased my points more respectfully. If I offended you, I'm sorry. It certainly wasn't my intention.

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    15. You couldn't offend me even if you did intend to.

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    16. I don't know Sean, the next episode looks offensive to our intelligence.

      Let's all just call a truce and focus on what really matters.

      How are we going to survive the next episode? I don't drink so...Dr. Peppers anyone?

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    17. It really is different from calling him Swedish or calling Peyton heterosexual. I get that it would be no different in an ideal world but this is the real world and real kids have been suicidal over the amount of hate they get for being perceived as gay. No body has ever been severely bullied for being Swedish. (Maybe very few people have been bullied for being Swedish? idk). While I think the execution was poor, probably due to it being late at night, Cryptid's heart was in the right place. I totally understand where everyone else was coming from and I don't mean to criticize you guys for having the discussion because of course it's a common thing for people to speculate about, and more importantly you all did it with an open mind and no hint of homophobia. But sometimes it's easy to forget that this public figure's just a kid who is very likely going through a confusing time and it's probably best not to add fuel to the fire surrounding this discussion. Maybe it would be better if we only speculated on the possibility of Farkle as a character being gay

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    18. Ok Anon, from the first episode, I thought... "So...Farkle's gonna come out and be their GBF (Gay Best Friend, fyi) in Season 3, right?"

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    19. Farkle may fake flirt with Riley and Maya, but I think he has real romantic feelings for Smackle, which would rule out Farkle being gay.

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    20. Shipping Wars Are Stupid-The next episode looks like a clipshow. Clip shows, while poorly written (it's just filler to get to the next clip), tend to be pretty harmless. I don't think we're looking at another "Girl Meets Fish." Clipshows are just usually a lot of, "remember when that happened?" Not great, not horrible, but almost every sitcom does one eventually.

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    21. Kit Cosmo-Actually, I totally agree. Just wanted to lighten the mood a bit. The episode, to me anyway, just looks really really bad even for a clip show's standard.

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    22. Aside from "M*A*SH," I can't come up with another sitcom that had a half decent clip show. The standard for a clip show is pretty low, so I'm not sure how this could be as bad as everyone is saying it will be.

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    23. Kit, you mean aside of BMW and "Brave New World"? That was half clips and half sendoff for the crew.

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    24. Hmmm...maybe we'll be able to have a discussion on the merits of a clip show in general. There could be a bit to talk about--clip shows can offer more than just "Remember when?" It could actually be very interesting. We don't usually discuss mechanics of story-telling here, but it may be more natural for "Cory and Topanga."

      But let's wait until Friday, shall we?

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    25. Not a sitcom, but I've been Netflix-binging Xena and their clips shows are pretty inventive and not shitty.

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    26. Wasn't "They're Killing Us" more or less a clip show as well?

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    27. A clip show is mostly old clips repackaged. "They're Killing Us" was new material shown in several scenes in between Cory and Topanga pleading to their friends and family to stop "helping" them with their wedding plans.

      Not really the same thing.

      At least that's how I remember it.

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    28. Just came back to this issue, very much not wanting to and resisting it for days, to clean up a loose end. Sean’s question about a hypothetical similar heterosexual discussion deserved thought, and the honest answer he requested. I didn’t want silence to confirm its implications.

      I also wanted belatedly to approve Anonymous’ reply.

      If the comments in this hypothetical discussion included the combination of hard-binging internal radar, boobies or similar vocabulary, and the torture of working with a particular opposite-sex teenaged cast member, then yes, I do believe I would have been disquieted as well. If the original comment had been “I think he might be gay,” and the follow ups of the same nature, I likely still would have expressed reservations, but on different, less incendiary grounds.

      I wasn’t looking to start a witch craze or see anyone hauled off to stand trial at The Hague. I just thought you guys were offside and said so. I probably failed to achieve the measured tone to which I generally aspire.

      Anyway, everyone has moved on from this, discreetly changing the subject along the way, and I’m probably just talking to myself. I will move on too, with the hope we never speak of this again.

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    29. I'm just amazed you were offput by "da boobies." That was obviously tongue in cheek. You know that women have boobs right? That's not like a secret, I don't think. We say "fuck" all the time, but "boobies" is what got you?

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    30. I guess what I mean to say is if you guys were trying to keep the "sexual" out of sexual identity, you went about it wrong.

      I am use to all kinds of language. If I haven't said "fuck" before in these parts, well I am saying it now. Context matters, though. As a standalone utterance, I would have been indifferent.

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    31. I don't honestly understand what you're trying to say. I agree that context matters, and in context I was saying that Christian's gaydar isn't trustworthy since he's straight. But instead of "straight" I said that he likes boobs. I get that you guys didn't want to talk about Fogelmanis that way, but I can say whatever immature shit I want about my friend and co writer Christian.

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    32. Everyone, just calm yo tits (or "boobies" if you prefer, Sean :P)

      I didn't want to be the one to start this convo but I do get some vibes from Corey that may suggest homosexuality but it's not like it's a big deal nor does it change my opinion of him or his acting. Though I understand others not feeling comfortable talking about it. For me the line is crossed once people start "shipping" real people together. That's the big no-no in my eyes.

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    33. I agree, it's not a big deal and it changes nothing. I think Christian mostly brought it up because he wants to be like "I called it" if it comes out.

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    34. Crap, I guess I will be living that one down the rest of my doubtless numbered GMWR days.

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    35. Well, I also brought it up just because, like, that's also what I *want* to see happen with Farkle. I think that's actually a good option story-wise, too.

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    36. Hey milestones1958!

      Shipping Wars here. Couple things I wanted to say. I'm not sure whether or not your last comment was sarcastic or tongue in cheek or not. While normally I can pin sarcasm out well, it can be particularly difficult to discern on the Internet. I just want you to know that I think you have been a great addition to this community. If there's one thing I've loved about this blog is how the community consistently held thoughtful discussions. It's clear to me that everyone here wants to get along and enjoy this show. If there's one thing Girl Meets World has done incredibly well is that the show can give things that people of all ages (I just graduated college in May). I know there are things that everyone is going to disagree with at some point or we may not like the way a particular topic is being handled. That happens. And that's okay. We can't all agree on everything. Otherwise, it'd be boring. And boring sucks. It would be a shame to see you, and anyone else for that matter, leave this blog for any reason other than the show getting substantially worse. (That's not a challenge, writers)

      That being said,
      If you do decide to leave the blog, and if you choose to continue watching Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World, feel free to e-mail me and I would love to continue discussing the shows with you.
      shippingwarswarestupid@gmail.com

      Hope everyone who's around is having a great week. I'm looking forward to the next episode discussion!!

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    37. Things got a little heated here, but I think we're all okay. To be PERFECTLY clear, nobody even comes close to making me as angry as Christian does. And I'm sure it's vice versa for him. But I still love'm. So I hope nobody ever thinks that, like, we don't want them here.

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    38. Actually, I usually have an intern participate in our debates, Sean.

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    39. I've been impressed. They actually ghostwrote the "Girl Meets Fish" review too, I've actually not seen it.

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    40. Hey Shipping Wars Are Stupid,

      Thanks for the kind words. I enjoy being here and wasn’t really intending to quit in a huff or anything like that. I can picture fading away, though.

      This kerfuffle did cause me to remember that the things I am doing here I, well, don’t do. I don’t seek out blogs about TV shows. I don’t pour over posts about a TV show like they are lost editions of the original Cahiers du cinéma. I don’t post comments on the internet. I don’t argue with people on the internet. Yesterday, I had a “what the fuck am I doing” moment. Probably won’t be the last.

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    41. Please don't leave Milestones.
      Personally, I love hearing your opinions and reading your posts. And you're going through the original series for the first time. I always love it when I convince people to try the series I love and seeing you start one of the greatest coming-of-age sitcom of all time brings me joy.

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    42. No worries, Cryptid. Not going away, may pick my spots a bit more. If they keep producing episodes as good as some of the recent ones have been, I probably couldn't stay away anyway. I like you guys, too. There's that.

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  20. I'm not a big fan of the speculation and labeling based on stereotypes either. He's definitely a minor too, like the girls.

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  21. To run the risk of going off topic, I never actually did comment on the episode. I thought it could have been done better, but if I compare it to the other episodes in the show rather than compare it to what it could have been I'd have to say it was pretty damn good. It handled a topic that many other shows wouldn't touch with grace, respect, and thoughtfulness. I really appreciate them bringing in experts to make sure they got the portrayal right and I thought it was fairly spot on.

    I do wonder if they planned on making Farkle autistic but the experts told them it wouldn't fit so that is why they brought in Smackle, or if this was always the plan since the inception of the episode.

    I disagree with you Sean that they portrayed autism "too lightly". Of course you're right that it is some serious shit and there are far more serious cases. I have worked with children with autism all over the spectrum and of course there are kids who are completely mute and/or cannot engage in normal interactions with people and many who will likely never be able to live on their own. And then there are kids somewhere between Smackle and that. While that is totally serious, and scary, and real, well.. what would be the point of bringing in a kid like that on this show? What's the lesson? Maybe in the future they could find a good reason to bring in someone with slightly more severe autism but I don't feel there was any reason to cram it into this episode.

    I actually feel that Aspergers is the far less recognized and publicized side of autism, and I appreciate that they chose to focus on that. People feel uncomfortable drawing the line between what is just socially awkward and what merits a diagnosis. So good for Girl Meets World for taking the bull by the horns. I ranted on that slightly longer than I intended but you get the idea. I do think you're right in that it's a good idea to portray the more severe cases of autism in the future, perhaps even bringing in an autistic actor, but I think for now this was a really good starting point. But that's just my opinion and is likely why I rated this particular episode much higher than you and Christian.

    As for Jennifer I'm fairly indifferent. I don't think she was neccessary by any means but I also didn't find her nearly as distracting as you did, Christian. If she made the Sean's of the world happy to see her again then I have no problem with them bringing her back. I was however dissapointed at just how happy her and Minkus seemed. Haha that sounds mean but I love Minkus! I just think the potential for a divorce story was wasted, and it seemed like the writers very intentionally put that theory to rest by saying just how happy they were to be married. Up till now they had done a good job of foreshadowing a potentially very relatable story. Ah well, missed opportunities.

    I do agree with you guys though on the complaint of them giving dramatic speech after dramatic speech. Show don't tell is always an issue on this show and it knocked the episode down just a bit. Same goes for them leaving the dramatic scenes out but for me these were kind of just minor complaints. My biggest problem was probably what Christian said about the episode not being very fluid. Again, it's something that the show struggles with a lot.

    I did actually find the episode pretty funny considering the serious subject matter. I liked Maya paying Lucas when they confirmed that he was in fact human. I also really loved the running joke of Lucas hitting on Smackle, made better by Maya's, "Lucas. Take a hint." Whoever came up with that was brilliant.

    Overall I liked the episode a lot. I give it a solid B, maybe a B+, I'll have to rewatch it.

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    1. I think a rewatch is valuable. Shipping Wars and I agreed that it took a rewatch for us to form better opinions on. And Milestones said it took three watches before he came to his conclusions.

      And certainly, given that it's Disney Channel, this is probably the best we're ever going to get in regards to autism. Disney doesn't exactly have a good record on "Diagnosis Episodes." As far as I can recall, they've done Diabetes Type I and dyslexia.
      The Diabetes Episode of "Hannah Montana" was so bad, they had to pull it for a year and I think they had to do the whole thing over again. And then to my knowledge it was never referenced again--and considering Type One Diabetes is /extremely/ serious and the character in question very well may die from it, that's far, far worse than anything we saw here.

      Dyslexia was done twice; once on "Zack and Cody," Zack faked having dyslexia in order to get into the 'easier' remedial courses. I don't think the episode would hold up to repeated viewings. The second time, I believe it was on "Shake It Up," where a dyslexic character revealed how hard school was for her; the problem was that the character was written as very lazy in school matters for the entirety of the show. Only one other time was she shown to make an effort in her classes and that was two seasons later and dyslexia was never mentioned again.

      To my knowledge, only one other show meant for school-aged children has had an Asperger's Episode. Or at least only one other show meant for children did a half-way decent job. Naturally, it was Arthur. The link is here if you're curious:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsmjwHW40ps

      And while I too was expecting a divorce storyline for Farkle's parents, I can't say I'm upset they don't seem to be doing it. In any case, this isn't the last time we'll see Minkus. He and Shawn are due to reunite...and it'll probably happen during "Graduation" now that I stop to think about it.

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    2. I always watch the current episode at least 3 times before writing my commentary. I like to make sure I actually saw and heard what I think I saw and heard, and it lets me try to see all angles of any situation.

      Doesn't always work though.

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    3. That sounds like sage advice.

      Any thoughts on the "Arthur" episode? I only bring it up for the sake of comparison to "I Am Farkle."

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    4. The Arthur episode is awesome and encompasses the "show, don't tell" mentality really well, especially compared to "I am Farkle"

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    5. Well, with the Arthur episode, they had only eleven minutes and it was meant to be educational. Carl was a new character, though he has returned a handful of times, which takes the edge off "Very Special Episode." "I am Farkle" was more "He's Farkle, and that's all that matters" while still acknowledging the serious nature of autism.

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  22. link to girl meets cory and Topanga! it was such a filler episode..... https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8gssBoUr6-XUW5WMEFCcFRKWW8/view

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    1. Thank you very much!

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    2. Definitely filler. But that was way better than I was expecting.

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    3. Not bad. Not bad. Could have been better. Could have been much worse.

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    4. Thanks for sharing the link! You are a valuable asset to this blog.

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    5. Oh dear, where are my manners? Yes, thank you very much for sharing that link!

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  23. an interesting video review I found by someone who has ASD. https://youtu.be/hxzkDKCKOu4

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