Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!

It's not lupus.

I'm Dr. Greg House for Halloween. Christian hasn't watched House because he sucks. He probably wouldn't like it anyway because, again, he sucks. My other costume consideration was J.D. from Scrubs. I absolutely love Scrubs, I think everyone alive today (with a Netflix subscription) should watch the first seven seasons of Scrubs. I have watched them many many times. The only series I've honestly considered doing another solo review blog for is Scrubs. Everybody loves the show, but no one really talks about why, outside of "Dr. Cox is awesome." There's so much going on, including my long standing theory that Elliot is the best character on the show, and I have so much to say about every episode of seasons 1 through 7. Season 8 is bad. Season 9 doesn't exist.

But anyway, I also adore House, but it wouldn't be that fun to review. Everyone knows why House is awesome, and its flaws don't require any real analysis to understand. On the other hand, I think I have a lot of interesting things to say about Scrubs.

Anyway, happy Halloweenday everyone. I'd love to see your costumes.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Market Research Software

Please be advised Christian has never seen "Drake and Josh" and in no way can discuss it with you. AND NO "I can't decide!" or "I don't know what this is." is not a valid answer.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Texas: Part 3" (#2.22)

Steak and Shake is really good. 

That's all I had ready. Have to ad lib from here.

Well for one thing ,"Previews and coming attractions" screams "Future" almost as loud as "I was right" screams "ha ha I was totally right." Past, Present, Future. I was also totally right about Maya and Lucas having nothing to talk about, but nobody here with the name "Christian" was willing to listen to me. 

Cory is incredibly annoying. This episode holds the record for "Making The Same Joke The Most Times Ever." Is it supposed to be endearing that he has completely forgotten his romantic nonsense at this age? Am I supposed to think "ha ha ha he is a hypocrite"? Because I've definitely got half of that. 

Arite it's Monday now and I still don't know what to write so I have to watch the episode again. Starting from the beginning, I'm ready to give words and form to one of my chief complaints. Every line out of Riley's mouth is poisoned with this demeanor of "I am just so wise and self sacrifcing." Let me be absolutely crystal ocean clear right now. Riley is not a martyr. 

Riley. IS NOT. A martyr.

You can't be a martyr unless you actually believe in what you're sacrificing yourself for. But as everyone has been so keen on pointing out, Riley knows she's talking out of her ass in this episode and in part 2. She is sacrificing herself purely because she thinks you're supposed to sacrifice yourself for your friends. That's not brave, it's childish. She doesn't want to, she just thinks you're supposed to. And don't get me wrong, there is absolutely a story to be told with that angle. But that's not the story we're being told here. The tone of this episode is that Riley is being brave and gallant, and that's also what 99% of the comments are saying. I 100% disagree with that assessment. If she were actually brave, she'd fucking sit down and fucking talk to Lucas about what he wants. Just once in two seasons she could ask him what he actually wants. But no, she has decided for him. She tops it all off with a pity rebound date with Charlie. Poor Charlie. Riley is making every wrong decision in this episode. And like I always say, I love wrong decisions, I would be happy to see that story. But the episode wants me to believe that Riley is making the right decisions. Everything is so backwards. "But it's a gray area!" you say. But it's not. The right decision is to TALK TO LUCAS (IN PRIVATE, RILEY, FOR GOD'S SAKE), find out what he wants, and move from there.
Pictured: Condescending to your best friend.
90% of the comments seem to boil down to "Rowan did a great job with it, A+," so that's worth addressing. I'm not overly concerned with the acting on this show. I had four badges on Boy Meets World Reviewed and none of them was for acting. I am infinitely more interested in the actual content. So while Rowan may have had great delivery, it's negligible compared to the fact that everything she said made me angry.

Let's take a brief break from complaining to say that I still enjoyed Zay. He's looking more like the troublemaking "WILD CARD, BITCHES" that I think we all want him to be.
I thoroughly enjoyed his outside-looking-in commentary with Farkle, but even so Zay was cripplingly underutilized in this epsiode. I'm stealing from a genius Anon commenter here. The most important thing missing from the Meets Texas series is finding out how Lucas feels. EVEN IF HE'S NOT SURE, I would want to hear him say "I'm not sure how I feel about the two of them or if I like one more than the other." And who better to pry that information loose than his best buddy Zay? A one-on-one heart to heart between Zay and Lucas would have SAVED this episode. Their friendship is overdue for a little exploration, and Zay has never been a stronger character than in these past couple episodes, IT WOULD BE PERFECT. So yes. Thank you for your glorious contribution Anon. This idea and Riley becoming the school's mascot are currently tied for Most Genius Comment Of The Season.

I guess it's time to meet the Headsman, Charlie. Let's just get this over with.
Is there any "online tutoring" for NOT BEING A TOOL
I can't believe they did it again. They dropped a bomb right before a break ("Are you free?" followed by the theme song, in this case) and then DIDN'T SHOW US HOW IT WAS RESOLVED. I WANNA KNOW WHAT RILEY'S ANSWER WAS. And did Charlie simply walk away without saying anything after she answered? YOU CAN'T DO THAT, GIRL MEETS WORLD. DAMN IT.

Charlie was awesome in Semi Formal. Here he's just... pathetic... and desperate... No talking on their date? You don't have to put up with this shit Charlie! Walk away! What conversation did Riley and Charlie have between Semi Formal and Meets Texas that turned him into this? And at the end, after Farkle confronts Riley about being a total jerk to her friends, HE TELLS HER TO GO ON THE DATE. NO FARKLE. You tell Riley to CUT THIS POOR GUY LOOSE. Then Charlie walks out to see Riley literally crying and asks her if she's ready. Come on man. Even Smackle could pick up on those social cues. All Charlie needed to do to regain my respect was cancel the date when he saw her crying. What the fuck.

This is getting long, I'm gonna let Christian take over for a little bit.

I did NOT like this episode. When I saw it yesterday I was filled with unbridled rage, but a day's gone by, and I'm in a good place right now, so I don't think I can summon the same degree of righteous verbosity with which I believe I'm identified. 

This entire episode felt like fanfiction. Like the show was hijacked with one person with a specific agenda who bent and twisted every canonical event, every bit of characterization, every relationship to fit their own specific needs. Sure, Sean, it turned out Lucas and Maya had nothing to talk about. Because the writers decided they had nothing to talk about. These two have an easy, banter-y way about them in every other episode, but suddenly they literally can't think of anything to say to one another. Why? Because the writers say so. 

Meanwhile, when Riley and Lucas went on a date and the same shit happened, that's swept under the rug as only being because they were nervous, invalidating the resolution to "Girl Meets the New World" where they decided it made more sense for them to be friends. Also invalidated? "Girl Meets Yearbook" and "Girl Meets Semi-Formal." Whereas Maya's revelations were treated in those episode as real revelations that gave these relationships stakes and complexity, nope, she was wrong. She was just wrong about that. They're not like brother and sister. Nevermind.

Also invalidated, everything about Charlie Gardner. Though he was a romantic, decisive-yet-polite charmer in his first episode, suddenly he's cloying and desperate, clearly fully aware that Riley isn't interested and willing to content himself with whatever scraps he can get. Because heaven forbid the show actually make Riley and Lucas a compelling couple, let's just make Riley's other option a total tool so Lucas can win by default.

All of this would make sense if it was fanfiction. Some Riley/Lucas fan doesn't like how the show's been going, so she decides to write a fanfic where it turns out Lucas and Maya don't work as a couple, it turns out Charlie sucks, and it turns out Riley DOESN'T see Lucas like a brother after all. It would be awful, but I'd get it. But it's a real episode of the show, which confuses me, because they're invalidating their own fucking stuff. No one foisted the established personality of Charlie and the established relationships between these characters on the writers against their will. And no one foisted the plot of the previous episodes (especially this season) that have clearly indicated a budding attraction building between Lucas and Maya on them either. THEY WERE THE ONES WHO CAME UP WITH THAT. Why do all of that if it's just leading to "Nope, they're not into each other. Nope, Charlie sucks. Nope, Riley doesn't think of Lucas as a brother."

It really seems like this episode is just setting up a return to the relationship status quo of Season 1. So, why the fuck did we just watch 20 episodes of Season 2? I mean, thanks for Eric and everything, but I was kind of hoping the girls' stories also mattered.

Also, like, you can't trick us into liking a couple we don't like. Sabrina and Peyton have a lot of chemistry. Rowan and Peyton don't really. So telling us "Yeah, but Maya and Lucas would have nothing to talk about! and Riley and Lucas have so much to talk about!" isn't going to make us... change our mind on that. If Maya and Lucas have nothing to talk about, it's because you gave them nothing to talk about. You purposefully had them sit there, not talking. I don't believe they'd have nothing to talk about. And you just did that with Lucas and Riley. Can a couple not work out for any other reason? Is having nothing to say to Lucas just the default for any girl going on a first date with him? As I said earlier, Maya and Lucas' chemistry and banter is too effortless for me to be able to buy that, even thrust into the awkwardness of the first date, it would be this painfully quiet. It just doesn't make sense for them. I can buy Riley and Charlie because they don't know each other (although it doesn't seem like Riley and Charlie actually can't talk, it just seems like Riley assigned them that rule) but Maya and Lucas? Why? Why? Why have them flirt for this whole show if it was for no reason? I don't get it. 

Yeah, fuck Cory. I don't even know what to say about that. Cory was a total joke. God, all of this was a joke. It was all just such trite, pedantic melodrama. It was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We were told ad nauseum that this was DRAMATIC and IMPORTANT and the STAKES WERE HUGE and OH MY GOD THIS IS SUCH A SITUATION WE'RE IN, but it didn't feel like it was. Riley sucked, Lucas sucked, Maya sucked, Cory sucked, Topanga sucked, everyone sucked. This episode is just awful and almost mean-spirited. Yeah, I guess Rowan did a good job, but like... that doesn't save an episode for me. Like Sean, I'm not overly impressed when the actors do a good job. They're actors. That's their profession. They're supposed to do a good job. If I'm really impressed by something, okay, that's worth some consideration, but I suppose, here, I was not.

I guess I'm done for now. This episode wasn't, like, an unmitigated 'F' disaster like "Fish" or "World of Terror: 2" It had characters and story and wasn't, just, inexplicable nonsense. But it was realllll bad.

Episode Rating: D+
Episode MVP: Amir Mitchell-Townes. Credit where credit's due for the good job he's done in this trilogy.

We both managed to write our first segments without using the word "Auggie." The most debilitating cringefest I have seen in all my days, it was like an episode of Full House in there, like Michelle trying to lecture an adult or something. I'M HER BROTHER. YOU'RE BLAH BLAH. I was ready to light myself on fire

You're totally right, this episode is just "Oops! Guess Maya was wrong and everyone was wrong! Oops! Shucks."  I think this is the giant red flag for me, is that I walked away from this episode knowing nothing. I don't know anything about how anybody feels. After a three part climax-of-the-season, I KNOW NOTHING. I am MORE CONFUSED. I like the characters LESS. Yes, middle school emotions are inherently confusing, but that's your setup! You go to Texas to figure out that stuff, not to make it worse

That's my final word. We learned nothing. 

Grade: C
MVP: Amir

Yeah, Auggie was awful. Also, they tried to really make some sort of weird "But how can Lucas be like her brother. I've seen how she looks at Auggie and how she looks at Lucas. It's different!" Yeah, no shit. Brilliant discovery, Farkle. Because Auggie's a six-year-old boy and her actual biological brother. I have an actual sister, and I have female friends whom I consider to be like sisters to me. Yeah, it's not exactly the same. Hell, some of those "sister" friends are people I once briefly dated and am still attracted to. But you know what I fucking mean if I say one of them is like my sister. 

I agree, it's weird that it was left so unresolved. I felt sure it was just going to end with Riley and Lucas deciding they liked each other after all, Maya feeling okay with it, and Charlie being erased from existence. But instead they, like, didn't pull the trigger on anything. Bad episode. I find your 'C' extremely generous.

It's so ridiculous. She doesn't think Lucas is literally her biological brother. Ugh.

I wanted to give a D+ but I didn't want to agree with you again. People would start to talk. What's even more disappointing is that the next few episodes are apparently before Texas in continuity, which is to say that we won't hear about any of this stuff for a while. I swear, if none of this is decisively resolved in Meets Graduation, I will throw a hissy fit. I am not on board to ride this Lucas relationship train for another season. There is a lot more to Meet in the World than Lucas Friar.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Texas: Part 2" (#2.21)

I've just finished part 2 and the most constructive thing I have to say is that my "Past, Present, Future" thing still works because of this line from Lucas, "But you two are nothing compared to Riley and Maya," when he's talking to the sheep and Tombstone. He's setting has past aside in favor of his present. The symbolism is still consistent.

The most destructive thing I have to say is that I despise the way they split parts 1 and 2. If you are going to drop a NUCLEAR WARHEAD like they did at the end of part 1, YOU HAVE TO PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF, you can't just dive in some ambiguous-many minutes later. How the fuck did they resolve that tension from the end of part 1? If you're not going to resolve it, then don't do it in the first place. YOU CAN'T BAIT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH A CLIFFHANGER AND THEN PRETEND THE CLIFFHANGER DIDN'T HAPPEN. DAMN.

You know what else didn't happen? Anything. For the first nineteen minutes, anyway. This episode is vanilla pudding. I'm not gonna yell in your face if you try to hand me vanilla pudding, but I'm not gonna fall in love with you either. 
Pictured: Super Interesting.
I'll start with Zay. He wailed about Vanessa in Meets Rah Rah, which I fully appreciate, but what the hell is the story? She didn't like him, so they tricked her into liking him. The word of some strange girls has swayed Vanessa's opinion of Zay. It's hard to be invested in a side story about killing ants while our main story is about slaying a dragon. Zay was excellent in part 1 as he contributed to and played off of the main story. but here... just more vanilla pudding. Why would I want to stop eating baked Alaska for a few minutes of vanilla pudding? It's distracting. Zay as a character, though, was still enjoyable, but the writing choices there felt like filler.

Then again, everything felt like filler. Can I get a count on Lucas saying "I don't know what's going on"? There were only two things on our checklist. Riley has to explain her "brother and sister love" to Lucas, which by the very end Lucas still claims he does not understand, and Maya's confession. So we got half of what we wanted. And that half was wonderful. The campfire was pretty close to perfect, but I'm just dead tired of Lucas saying "I don't understand." Maya's delivery of "Of course I like you" was perfect, though. The exact right mix of casual and emotional.
It sounds like I'm coming down hard on it, but it's still in B territory. It's just that coming off of Part 1's shining, magnificent glory, I expected a lot more, and I'm really pissed about the trick box vanishing act they pulled on part 1's cliffhanger. There was no depth here. It was as straightforward and predictable as possible. Point A to point A-and-a-half. I have nothing to analyze! I feel so empty without my analysis! There was a COUNTRY MUSIC PERFORMANCE for crying out loud! At least during Meets Semi-Formal the characters interacted during the song, so the story kept moving.

So that's the technical reviewer stuff. There remain two matters of personal opinion to weigh in on. Is Riley doing the right thing/does she actually mean what she's saying, and should Lucas have kissed Maya? 

The answer to the first comes from Rowan, I think. She's a good enough actress at this point that her delivery would be completely different if Riley actually believed what she's saying. You've all seen part 3 by the time I'm writing this, while I still haven't, so maybe I'm completely wrong and you're laughing at me. Well hahaha I can laugh at you too. Is it the right thing to do though? Maybe in spirit, her heart is in the right place, but the whole mystique with Lucas "not understanding" isn't fun for me. For the second matter, hell yeah he shoulda. But what do I know. I'm single as fuck.

Christian will be here eventually and I have no idea what he's going to say. I hope he can make me feel better about this. I'm going to get some Steak and Shake and watch part 3.
I was disappointed in this part too, and it seems to be for the same reasons as you are. In general this three-parter seems to be suffering from the fact that it in no way needed to be a three-parter. This is two episodes worth of material (and I believe when we first heard of "Girl Meets Texas" it was a two-parter, but then Disney would appear to have made them make it a three-parter and do a weekend event out of it) and while you can (without too much difficulty) stretch two episodes into three, you have to spread it out better than they did here. You stretch Episode 1 into 1.5 episodes, and then you stretch episode 2 into 1.5 episodes and you're good. 

What they did instead, it would seem, was not fuck with Episode 1 at all, and then stretch episode 2 into two distinct episodes. And there wasn't enough material there to justify it. So it was all just people negotiating over their feelings, with the only drama coming from the fact that people kept needlessly laying down emotionally-charged statements in public for no reason. And, then, yes, stalling in the form of country music performances and shit. While I lauded the music performance in "Semi-Formal" for being handled as well as those things could, this was not as good an example of it (although, thankfully, they didn't become characters in the story)

Also, I'm sorry, do mine ears deceive me? Is that rib joint they went to actually called Chubbie's? I... don't know how I feel about that. Good, I guess. I guess I feel good about it. 

Anyway, yeah, the good will I was feeling towards Riley and Lucas in the last episode are gone now. Lucas reverted back to his "Girl Meets Sneak Attack" behavior of being an vacuous empty shell for people to barter over. No attention at all was paid toward how Lucas was actually feeling and who he liked, which is just as well, because he seems content to like whomever he's told to like. At first he seemed like he liked Riley in this episode, and then he was assigned Maya, so, okay, he likes Maya. I don't know why they wussed out on the kiss, except that it's Disney Channel. But it was lame. Just kiss. God.

And Riley was just obnoxious. You don't need to be doing this in front of Farkle and Zay and everyone. What the hell is the matter with you? They all keep doing shit like that throughout this episode and the next one and I hate it. It's a fake attempt to create drama by just having people act in unbelievable histrionic fashion. 

Like Sean, I'm probably being too harsh here. There's still some good drama here, and this is a B episode. My loathing of Episode 3 is probably leaking in. But it was a let down considering Part 1 was so good.

R.I.P. Ben Savage in every episode. Come on, he couldn't have called to deliver that advice himself?

Episode Rating: B-
Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter (She played her part in all this well)

Oh yeah, Chubbie's. I felt good about it too. I think the secret is that nobody commented on it. Nothing like "WAIT RILES DIDN'T YOUR DAD ALWAYS TALK ABOUT A CHUBBIE'S, IT'S LIKE HOW OUR BAY WINDOW IS EVERYWHERE." It was just one line for the people who managed to catch it. Finally.

I really liked this, "So it was all just people negotiating over their feelings, with the only drama coming from the fact that people kept needlessly laying down emotionally-charged statements in public for no reason." That is the cliffnotes version of the review. That is precisely how I feel about it.

Rating: B-
MVP: Sabri-bri.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Texas: Part 1" (#2.20)

Man, you guys, I fucking hated when Riley and Maya were all upset because there was no bay window in Texas, and so Riley felt she had to make a bay window, and Pappy Joe was like "What's a Bay Window?" and they were like "It's the most magical special place in the whole wide world. Bay windows are hope. Bay windows are all light in this world. Bay windows are Jesus. I will sacrifice this goat to the altar of the Bay Window."  (That's how that scene went, right?) 

OH! And I also thought some of the business with Cletus arriving at the house and hearing about Lucas and the bull were really awkward and weird and slow and just... off. 

OH! You know what else in this episode sucked? 

Nothing at all. This was a great episode. We've complained about this show telling rather than showing, but they showed everything here. Both in terms of the bull-riding and in everyone's feelings.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Rah Rah" (#2.19)

Completely secondary to my opinions about this episode are my opinions about Star vs The Forces of Evil. For no particular reason, Christian and I both wound up watching it after Girl Meets World, in particular the episode "Blood Moon Ball" starring our very own Rider Strong as Star's demon ex boyfriend. It was outstanding. Gorgeous. An absolute feast for the eyes and the ears. The style and colors were beautiful, I could watch it all day. The writing was clever, the jokes caught me off guard, and Rider in particular had a stand out performance. You cannot miss that episode.

On to Girl Meets World. The opening scene shows us exactly what's going on and we learn through dialogue, rather than explicit statements, how everybody feels about it. That's... a new record. 

I've got a Pavlovian response to cheerleaders spelling things out where I go fetal and start to dry heave, but other than that we're in strong shape right from the start.

The weakest element of this episode is obvious pretty early. The coach. I think her community learning center acting class had its first lesson on "How To Be Angry" the day before they filmed this. Eyebrows down! Nostrils flared! Show your teeth! Easy as 1, 2, 3, you're an angry coach on TV.
And, like, of course she's Russian. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Best Friends Whenever Episode Review: "Cyd and Shelby's Haunted Escape" (#1.09)

Yeah, okay, here's a brief review for the crossover episode. I suppose, if I had to choose, then this was a better episode than GMW's Halloween one. It seems like a dumb show, but nothing about this episode really bothered me. I actually liked the subplot of the annoying guy (whose name I forget) trying to trick Barry into being scared to get him into Halloween. That's the kind of Halloween plot I'd like them to do (I mean, if they even absolutely have to do a Halloween episode) something just about the holiday itself, and not about introducing magic and spookiness. Halloween's a big holiday for kids - parties, trick-or-treating, costumes, there's a lot of material there. Is that not enough for you?