Let's make this quick. Let's do bullet points.
- Shut the fuck up about the Bay Window. We're not worked up about the bay window. We don't find it iconic. It means nothing to us. It's a fucking window. Relax about it. The Ghost of the Bay Window? Charged with making sure someone appreciates this bay window. And now she's off to appreciate another bay window? Fuck right off.
- Hey, Doy's back! Hey, Doy's cute joke about his name is back too and has now been beaten to death, and then dropped off a cliff, and then a train ran over it, and then a lion ate it. And then a whale ate that lion. And then the world blew up. And then it turned out the world was just inside a marble that an alien was playing with. And then THAT alien's planet blew up. And then a train ran over that. The kid's still cute as can be, but if he's a one-trick pony with his name then I don't want to see him anymore. And I like Doy! And I like that he's a cute lil lion! Let's just move off the name thing. His name is Dewey, but he goes by Doy. Let's move on.
- Same goes for Ava. All done with Ava. We get it - she sucks. Poor Auggie has been severely underutilized this season, and then in an episode where he should have been the star he gets sidelined by his two dumb friends. Don't get me wrong - Auggie shouldn't be the star of episodes. But a bigger focus on his friends isn't the solution.
- Wow, they, uh, sure felt like they had something with that "Hot Feet" song, didn't they? What'd we hear it, like six times? Never got any better. I'm a big fan of the 1920s, way to ruin them.
- Austin & Ally might as well have not even been there, but I did like their costumes. I like Ally. And I like how these two, like, 18-year-old superstars are just like "Yeah, sure, we'll babysit these two random preteen girls. No problem." If I'm going to have to watch a fucking episode of Best Friends Whenever, and Riley and Lucas add no more to the proceedings than Austin & Ally did, I'm going to be pissed.
- No Farkle or Lucas in this one. Usually no Lucas means a good episode. What happened here?
- Man, Ben and Danielle sure are good sports. It had to have been, like, Danielle bursting into Ben's dressing room holding the script going "Have you read this shit?" and Ben's like "Yeah. I know. I don't know what to say." Still, at least they gave Topanga stuff to do, I guess.
- I'm sorry, is "It STARTS at 10?" a catchphrase of Riley's now? It was really funny and perfectly utilized in Tell-Tale Tot, why would they think they have to call it back? Same with Doy. It was good in its episode, why go back to that well? Imagine if Boy Meets World was always doing that - "Hey! They liked 'Good Looking Guy'! Let's bring him back next week!"
- Anything else? I can't think of anything else. Maybe I'm done. I hope so. Oh, god, the cartoon thing, right. I don't have anything to say about it beyond that it was dumb and they didn't do anything interesting with it considering how high-concept it was. I guess that's all there is to say about this episode in general.
Episode MVP: Fuck if I know. Danielle Fishel? I guess? God, I don't know.
I'm going the traditional route this time, where I'll be writing while I watch-and-pause. I don't have a reason. In the immortal words of Cory Matthews, "I don't like to be predictable."
Regarding The Bay Window, there is one good thing to come out of it all. ...I learned what a bay window is. I had never heard that term before, but now I can comfortably use it in conversation. For example, "Oh. A bay window. How unremarkable." That's about the extent of how it should ever be used.
They did the thing with the kids' reaction to Austin and Ally. Like "It's famous person x! I am passionately and of-my-own-free-will a fan of them!" Both guest characters are surprisingly endearing though. And their costumes can't be underappreciated. You would expect something that screams "We're good looking Disney stars, buy our albums!" like, I don't know, Elvis and Marilyn. But they're sandwich toppings. It feels good, but maybe in the same way that the guy who punches you in the stomach every day not punching you feels good.
Ding Dong the Doy is Dead. The joke is, anyway. Dead and buried. Except they put the wrong body in the coffin. They put Ben's dignity in the coffin. They put their own shame in the coffin. They put THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in the coffin.
Here's Sarah in the background at least.
Sarah is my new favorite character on the show by merit of having never annoyed me. No one else can claim that title.
DON'T LOOK AT THE CAMERA, SARAH, JESUS CHRIST. YOU WANNA WORK IN THIS TOWN OR NOT?
Oh of course, now Ally and Austin look stylish. Nice job, The Ghost. The actress's name is Brittany Ross, and I feel like I recognize her, but I can't find anything on imdb. She's got big eyes and a tiny lisp that make her cute, but that and any amount of skill as an actor are totally undercut by how boring this is.
Why are they dancing again? I would kill for a ham fisted Cory lesson right about now. Anything but this. Especially since it's so sloppy. It's not their fault, Riley and Sabrina aren't dancers, but... then why did they do this? It's like your six your old kid comes up to you, "Mom/dad, I learned a new dance!" and they show you, and you're like "wowww that's goooood" because, you know, it's your kid. So Jacobs had to be like "wowww that's goooood" because it's his show and he has to work with these people for a long time. Rowan looks so uncomfortable, and I don't blame her at all.
THEY'RE DANCING AGAIN?! They're, what, trying to draw out this house's ghost with dancing? But it doesn't work? I don't know, they blatantly just wanted to do dance numbers... with... the same song every time...
I have to imagine that the people at Disney don't know actually know what flappers are, aside from their iconic appearance. The movement was partly a sexual revolution for women, which is great, I'm just saying that it clashes with the channel's apparent set of values. There's nothing else to write about, shut up.
They're clay now, and my neutral reaction is proof that this episode has numbed my emotions. I should be furious, but as Evey Hammond explained after a similarly torturous experience, "I can't feel anything anymore."
Clay Maya looks like Clay Britta from that Community Christmas special.
You know what? I think I know what happened here. I think I solved your puzzle, Riddler... Jigsaw... Guy from Die Hard 3... There was probably a contractual obligation to do claymation at some point in the series, and Jacobs already knew this episode was hot garbage, so he just went all in and made this one as terrible as possible to get it all over with.
The ending is as Christian described. If any of you are insane enough to watch this episode again, count how many times Maya and Riley silently make eye contact like this:
The over-under is about fifty.
The tag scene is... hoo boy. I'm exhausted. Poor Ben Savage, having to put up with this. I'm so sorry Ben.
I am so very sorry. I hope that one day you can forgive us.
Grade: D- since the claymation was actually really smoothly animated and I care about that sort of thing.
MVP: The claymation animators.
I actually forgive the celebrity thing with Austin and Ally for two (conflicting) reasons.
#1) Ava was really the only one who got excited. I never necessarily got the sense any of the rest of them (besides Auggie, who I think corrected Ava about Ally?) cared about whatever celebrity they may possess. and #2) We have no idea how famous Austin and Ally are in-universe. There are celebrities so famous that they would likely engender that kind of reaction, they just never tend to be the sort of celebrities that guest star on sitcoms. If Austin & Ally are the, like, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift of their world, then everyone knowing them would make sense. And, even if they didn't like them, teenagers (and many adults) would likely be so starstruck they'd fawn anyway. Much different than everyone being so excited because two supporting cast members from the fucking Love Boat showed up. Because we know no one cares about the Love Boat.
But, obviously those two reasons conflict. Either only Ava happens to be a fan and the rest maybe don't even know them, or they're so big that it's okay everyone knows them.
Ha, didn't even catch Sarah in the background there.
I feel like I had one more thing to say, but I can't think of what that may be. Oh well. I will say, that this is really a distressing shitty streak we're on. There hasn't been a decent episode since Semi-Formal (which, admittedly, is THE best episode) But Creativity, I am Farkle, Cory and Topanga, Rileytown, and now World: of Terror 2. Dud after dud. And this is the worst of the bunch. God, is there even any episodes coming up I'm excited about? Forgiveness, I guess. But it's disheartening to have no confirmed Shawn or Eric episodes on the horizon or confirmation of any other vet returns this season beyond another Minkus appearance or two. Season 2's been pretty good on the whole, but I think if trends continue we're looking at an extremely weak bottom half in contrary to the relatively strong first half.
I think I'm done. You?
One and done. Hit and quit.
I found something more to say. I figured that Austin and Ally being enjoyable in these guest spots, in contrast to their own show, was due to the power of good direction. True enough, this episode was directed by Joel Zwick, who also directed Pluto and Semi Formal. He's the man.
What's odd though, is that this script was written by Jeff Menell. The man responsible for And Then There Was Shawn and The Eskimo, among others. How the hell did this happen?