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.


  1. In addition to the Lucas/Zay scene, shouldn't there have been some kind of transition between the scenes in the school and the "date" between Maya and Lucas. Um, who asked who out? How did they get there? Did Lucas initiate some kind of date or did Riley set the whole thing up? This is another Lucas moment that was missing. Surely, he agreed to the date, if we can even call it that. So, what did he say?

    Also, a point about Charlie -- even though I agree he came off really desperate in this episode, I will say after 2nd viewing, I really do like the scene with him and Riley by the lockers. There is an awkward quirkiness that he has that matches Riley. She goes, "So?" *nervous chuckle* and he does the same thing. And then I did like his reaction to her "You're not gonna hold my hand, right?" and says "Hey, I just found out what we were doing." And then at the end, his "yay" was totally something reminiscent of Riley's own enthusiastic and goofy-faced "yays/ "It was kind of a sad situation for them both because she's using him and he's letting her, but I also think that she's willfully ignoring the fact that he's got an endearingness to him that matches her own endearingness.

    But, besides that scene, everything else made Charlie look bad. The fact that Charlie didn't call the date off at the end is total bullshit. I still like the actor, though.

    1. Great point about the Lucaya date. They were just suddenly ON A DATE. Is the implication that Lucas likes her? Who asked who and how enthusiastically did they say yes? I would LOVE some information. Like... after all that buildup, the part where one of them actually asks the other out seems like a HUGE moment. How could they leave that out?

      And yeah, I still like the Charlie actor too, and I still like what his character was supposed to be. The part about licorice and popcorn and "I'm cute and quirky why aren't you seeing that" was definitely endearing. I really hope he comes back in a big way in Graduation.

  2. I think the relationship dynamics are better looked at through a 13 or 14 year old's eyes. In Charlie's case, he has liked a girl for probably a year at least and he has been waiting patiently to just talk to her. Of course he is going to take what he can get if they can spend time together. What 8th grader is going to tell himself "Nah, I can't convince this girl of my dreams to like me why even try?" if she has agreed to spend time with you. I get you expected answers but this season still continues for several more episodes after this and I think this was setting up potential relationship dynamics to be carried on in Girl Meets New Year and Graduation. In a way it was new because before this arc they had one episode of drama with Charlie but other than that it was pretty tame as far as relationship conflict. I believe this relationship arc will be solved by the end of Graduation.

    Maya and Lucas not being able to talk to each makes sense again if viewed from the eyes of an 8th grader. A friend you secretly like is easier to talk to when the pressure is off and you are used to interacting with them in a funny, light-hearted way. Now your feelings are out and exposed to each other and the pressure is now sky high because for the first time you admit you have feelings for someone and its the guy your best friend was with. Maya doesn't deal with her emotions all that well on that personal of a level so her not being very comfortable in that situation is understandable. Lucas just had his emotions flipped and kind of believes he likes Maya while he thinks he really likes Riley. However, Riley has him confused by suggesting its a brother/sister relationship which Maya also tells him. So now you are sitting beside the girl you like or semi-like who is the best friend of the girl you thought you really liked. He has no idea what he is feeling and is confused. Now as the guy he has to lead the conversation with someone who he knows but hasn't really interacted with in that way before. He also probably does not know her near the level that he knows Riley. As a young person these aren't things you can figure out over a campfire. You make mistakes, you say things you don't mean. These lessons on dealing with emotions and relationships develop over time with experience not on a weekend trip to Texas. This arc introduced real emotional conflict between the main characters for the first time. This will spark greater growth in their emotional capacities that will carry over through the rest of the seasons.

    I agree Auggie was lame as usual as well as Cory the "Teacher".

    1. I agree with your assessment of the dynamics of the kids at their age. This isn't easy to learn how to deal with.

      I like poor Charlie and as I said elsewhere, he is going to be collateral damage when this is all said and done. However, I think he realizes Riley isn't really into this right now, and so if he continues with this and gets hurt, it's partially his fault as well.

  3. I've been missing a lot of the stuff here because I've been covering my own blog (since we cover a lot more stuff - the Jessie series finale AND the I Didn't Do It series finale AND Girl Meets Texas) and, well, I wanted to get through my own stuff first (just glancing through here in the meantime) just to see how things would line up more or less independently. Lo and behold, it more or less does.

    But enough about address something back in Part 1, yeah, it's still multi-cam. Not every multi-cam show has to have a live audience or a laugh track (it's exceptionally rare though, though Every Witch Way/WITS Academy/Talia in the Kitchen on Nickelodeon don't have a laugh track at all despite being multi-cam). Then again, single-camera doesn't necessarily literally mean single-camera (it can, and it's still frequent, but multiple-cameras have been used in single-cam setups for, I don't know, decades?) The defining moment of whether or not something is single-cam vs. multi-cam is does it look like the cameras/viewpoints are stuck on the same pivot-point or stuck on the same wall, more or less pointed at the same general direction? If they do, then it's single-cam. If it seems like there's more free-form in the camera direction, if the camera can actually physically move location and especially if it looks like there's a good chance cameras are pointed at each other or a camera could be pointing at the "wall" of another camera, then there's a good chance it's single-cam. it weird that I don't think Sabrina is getting enough love? I don't know if she's a better actress than Rowan, but I think she's at least given better dynamics with her stuff. I like Maya as a character better than Riley, at least from how I perceive the characters to be from a storytelling standpoint. To me...and this is going to sound stupid...Rowan strikes me as more of an obviously professional actress trying to be an obviously professional actress. I guess I must be really weird because, say, I never got the buzz over Meryl Streep for example. Yes I've seen Deer Hunter, and yes she's good at it but I don't really see how it's really all that critically different from, say, how Kirsten Dunst has done Fargo so far (see I watch more than just Disney Channel).

    Then again, what do I know. I like....

    - Debby Ryan who has had bit roles or even community theater until Suite Life on Deck and is apparently an awful actress
    - Olivia Holt who was cast in her first television role (Kickin' It) at like, I don't know, age 13 or something? Specifically because she's a gymnast, not an actress, and apparently she's meh or not that great as an actual actress
    - Sabrina Carpenter who was a YouTube star before doing minor bit roles and then Girl Meets World and apparently isn't as good an actress as Rowan "acting in the womb" Blanchard
    - Amir Town-Thumbs(?), too lazy to look it up, who let's face it is an actor because of his daddy
    - hell I even like Peyton Meyer now and his pre-Disney acting history and resume can be accurately summarized as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Otherwise, yeah, you've got Meets Texas pretty well covered in my opinion. Oh and if you don't mind the self-promotion I would like for you to check this out. I even call you out on a challenge if you can't think of anything to review, now that Meets Texas means a decent dry spell for GMW:

    Enjoy One-Punch Man :)

    1. 'Series' as in regular commonwealth television definition? Or the U.S.A. definition? I Didn't Do It is over? Forever? Or just for a few months?

    2. I'm not sure where One Punch Man came from, but i DO love that series. And I do not mind the self promotion. I'll try to check it out.

    3. Oh, on my own blog I challenged my co-authors to review one series of each others' choosing during the new programming dry spell and I chose One-Punch Man, and figured why not extend the challenge out to this blog? :)

  4. Okay, maybe i'm wrong or something, but why is everyone so hung up on Charlie not calling the date off? Why didn't Riley? Yeah, Charlie knows he's being used and that Riley's still into Lucas; but as far as he knows, they have a new thing where Lucas and Maya are going out-ish now. He calls the date off and then what? He asked her in a note, he wasn't forceful. He let her pick the place and is bent on following her very un-date-like rules. Yeah, it was hella awkward in Topanga's but he's getting her away from that awkwardness and taking her to a movie. Where either they can probably watch something that can cheer her up and he can be adorable.
    Yeah, his motives are self-serving, he's not Mr. Perfect, but i didn't catch that Jerk vybe that you guys seem to have.

    Also, OF COURSE Riley's being childish, she's a child. She doesn't see it that way, and is probably.hoping beyond hope that she's doing the right thing and her feelings will go away. She's confused and working it out on her own because she can't talk it through with her best friend without possibly hurting her. So, Riley's making (admittedly stupid) decisions that she hopes will make others happy.

    Can we talk about how NOBODY listens to Lucas? Everything he says is ignored and shut down.

    1. This entire 3 episode story Lucas was used like a piece of meat that the girls fought over, and as a trophy by his grandfather to show up that other family. While I have not cared much at all for Lucas in this series, I loved him this weekend and it is amazing how neither Riley or Maya will let him express how he feels about all this. He seems smart enough that he should be able to figure out what is going on, but maybe because he is so close to the situation, and also because this is also so new to him, he just can't see it.

      Charlie is just collateral damage, but he is so desperate he doesn't seem to care. I like him.

    2. Corey, I would totally respect that viewpoint if Riley had JUST ONCE said the words "I hope my feelings go away." That would have been HUGE. But there is nothing like that.

    3. I think she did, Sean, in a "show, not tell" kind of way during that scene with Topanga.

    4. That was a very interesting point of view Anonymous. You might be right. That was the only time other than the last scene with Farkle that Riley was telling the truth about anything during part 3.

    5. Sean, I think the closest Riley got to saying it was when she was telling Topanga that she thinks she is doing the right thing but still feeling confused and feeling like life was trying to throw her to the ground. The other moment was when she was talking with Farkle and told him "This is really hard and I just need some time." I can understand your wanting a bigger declaration from her though.

  5. I look at this episode a little differently, I guess, coming from the perspective of a Lucaya shipper. I agree with a lot of the points you brought up like the unresolved cliffhanger moments, Lucas not having a perspective, and Charlie's changed characterization, but I also feel that the episode handled these kids' conflicting emotions a heck of a lot better and more realistically than fanfiction would have or could have. They've set up a pretty complex set of character dynamics that are a heck of a lot more interesting to me than where we've been prior. I also think that Lucaya's awkwardness on their "date" was pretty warranted, and it didn't so much stem from them having nothing to talk about or the writers pushing some sort of Rucas agenda so much as it did them not knowing how to respond to the awkwardness of the "almost kiss" and trying to act like Rucas instead of themselves.

    I also want to say that while Cory was pretty annoying, the scene with "Riley. Maya. Lucas" on the chalkboard had me rolling. That was comedy gold, and the kind of thing that Ben Savage does best. He was probably my MVP just for that scene alone.

    I'm going to link a huuuuuuuge "manifesto" from the perspective of a Lucaya shipper that I found pretty interesting, for anyone that feels like giving it a read. A lot of good points are brought up about the possible intent of this saga (and some things are probably read into waaaay too much, but hey). When I first finished reading it my first thought was "there's no way the writers are planning all that, it's impossible." Then I remembered that this IS a "Meets World" show and while it hasn't really lived up to BMW's legacy yet, perhaps I shouldn't underestimate the writers' long-term intent.

    1. I totally disagree. This Lucas/Maya dynamic is "a heck of a lot better and more interesting" than their flirty spontaneous banter we've had up until now? No way.

    2. I definitely wasn't referring to their banter (that's the whole reason people like Lucaya, but moreso the entire cast's dynamics with each other. "Riley likes Lucas because reasons and Lucas is an emotionless and flat waste of airtime" vs. "Riley likes Maya but is trying to subvert that with Charlie while Farkle knows the truth and possibly has feelings for Riley as well, while Maya likes Lucas yet doesn't want to destroy her best friend and Lucas is conflicted about the whole thing due to lingering feelings for Riley and his feelings for Maya that are changing and morphing into romantic whereas his feelings for Riley are fading off into the background due to her pushing him away."

      A lot of it requires extensive headcanon, admittedly, because the writers opt to not show enough of it on-screen but I'm choosing to view it like this because I don't feel like succumbing to anger, lol.

    3. lol "Riley likes Maya" GG me, meant Riley likes Lucas. No offense to Rilaya shippers. :P

  6. Dang. They deleted the thread where we discussed things over the weekend. That's where I had my Part 3 review.

    You guys raised a lot of good points, especially with regards to Lucas. But I'm not sure the show is itself treating Riley as a martyr, even if the entire fandom on IMDB and Reddit is.
    I don't really have much to say, seeing as I can't exactly remember what I wrote the first time.

    Oh well.
    *Points to Shipping Wars*
    I'm tagging you in, bro.

  7. And we are back in school and Riley keeps spouting that shit that by now everyone, including Riley but probably excluding clueless Lucas, knows she doesn’t believe. While I’m sure she has a right to do what she wants, Maya should have told her to knock it off by now. However they got back to NYC, it must have been one shitty trip to sit next to each other. Lucas seems like he is giving it one last try with Riley, telling her thanks for believing in him, but Riley continues to lie to everyone and they all seem to continue to buy it. Truthfully I thought these kids were smarter than that. I love Zay here continuing to light the fires with his gossip-mongering. And Charlie needs a haircut.

    The little parenting scene in Riley’s room was ok. It seemed a little hypocritical of Cory to tell the girl’s that their focus in high school ought to be high school. He and Shawn were pretty much crap students until the end of high school, but I guess as parents sometimes you tell children what you think they need to hear. Maya’s comment about her “façade” and Cory’s reply were gold. Glad to see that we can still drop some jokes in while trying to be parents. Cory: “I have the power” - loved that as well. ‘Trust them” – “worst idea ever”

    I absolutely loved the next classroom scene. Neurotic can’t accept change Cory is in full blown worry mode here and doesn’t care if it shows. I know a lot of folks hate his classroom scenes, but he has already told us he isn’t Feeny and as long as the kids learn, he doesn’t seem to care how bad of a teacher he is perceived as. Since this is a sitcom, and the scenes are usually funny, I don’t really care how bad of a teacher he looks like or that he is playing favorites. Feeny played favorites as well, but he did so with dignity in his classroom. Cory has a different approach.

    Now faced with a crisis that might break up her group of friends, Riley decides to fall on the grenade, and that grenade is Charlie Gardner. This is a terrible decision on so many levels, but not out of line with how she thinks she needs to act here. Asking her out in a note passed through class though was weak. It’s not like he hasn’t tried already and is afraid to talk to her.

    I feel really bad for Lucas now in the next scene in Riley’s room. Riley is piling this on higher and deeper and Lucas seems like he is playing along because he is afraid that if he doesn’t, he might lose Riley as a friend as well as his girlfriend. The entire part about getting kicked out of the room and Cory asking if this is all a scheme to get him in there is great. I commented on this earlier in the season. Farkle gets to spend any amount of time in Riley’s room because the Matthews’ know Farkle and Riley actually have a brother/sister relationship but potential boyfriend Lucas doesn’t get the same treatment. This is very reminiscent of Topanga’s dad not wanting Shawn in the basement with her.

    Back to school and we get the most “I’m really just concerned about my daughter’s welfare” lesson ever. I loved it. I loved that even though he admitted it was all about Riley/Maya/Lucas he tried to make sure all the kids understood that this would apply to them at some point as well. Maya commenting on how lazy the lesson was was pretty funny as a joke and on a meta-humor level, as everyone complains about how Cory runs his classroom. The bowling joke was great. I don’t understand why so many people hate these class scenes. They aren’t trying to be serious so we should all take it as they give it to us and enjoy.

    1. Auggie and Lucas was only useful as a reminder that Lucas is being trampled by everyone. Though Auggie saying “kill me” after remarking how long he has been “married” to Ava was cute.

      As soon as I saw it was Cory changing the nameplate on his desk, I was sure it was just him and Farkle, and it was. So this is why Farkle went to Texas, to find out what was wrong and try to help fix it. Being the only member of the core 4 not affected by this, he seems like the logical choice to do so. It was also nice that they got in a line to let us know that Farkle and Smackle are a couple.

      Riley lets Charlie know that she isn’t really looking forward to their date, but he seems desperate enough not to care. That doesn't seem out of line for a young kid getting a shot with his crush.

      Zay and Farkle now ponder on the relationships of their friends. They seem to figure out what is going on. Maya and Lucas seem really uncomfortable in Topanga’s on their “date”. I’m sure Riley forced it on them.

      It was nice to see Riley and Topanga have a scene together, but truthfully since we haven’t seen them bond before it almost felt weird because we haven’t seen it before. This is something they need to do more often. Maya and Riley discussing why Lucas “needs” both of them was some of the most heartfelt dialogue we have had on this show. But it wasn’t enough to get Riley to stop her charade.

      Then we get to Topanga’s and Lucas is once again treated like his feelings don’t matter and poor Charlie is just so desperate for Riley’s affections he is pulling out all the stops to get her attention that he doesn’t even care how pathetic it makes him look. At this point Riley’s self-inflicted “martyrdom” is killing herself, 2 of her best friends and a nice guy that really seems to like her and just wants to have a chance. She is right now hurting her friends almost like Shawn does when he goes into self-destruct mode. This is such a complete departure from her normal character that I love that the writers have brought it this far. Farkle and Zay once again analyze this situation and figure it all out. Charlie’s “she ends up with Farkle, how did we not see that coming” was an awesome one liner. Riley relents when Farkle threatens to out her about what is going on, but we never see any resolution on screen. I didn’t care for that.

      Grade: A I really thought that for all the little things I may not have liked, this episode, while not resolving much of anything, showed some real growth for all of the kids. I though the writing was pretty strong and the performances were as well. I like it more than part 2 and about as much as part 1.
      MVP:RowanThis was tough, as the entire cast was pretty good here, but I thought she was really good at being the person Riley thought she should be instead of the one that she really is.

      What I liked I thought the classroom scenes were funny as Cory was in panicked father mode. I liked that Riley would go so far to try and see Maya happy, even though she doesn’t see how unhappy this is making Maya and Lucas and will probably hurt Charlie as well.

      What I didn’t like Riley told Farkle she would tell them all the truth, but there was no payoff in this episode. I also hate that the next time this storyline will continue is in “New Years”, then will skip 2 more episodes until “Bay Window” if it is touched on there at all before maybe finally resolving in “Graduation”. Holding back 4 episodes and showing them in November and January are really going to screw with continuity.

    2. I see you had the sense to save your comment.

    3. Cryptid, I only just wrote my part 3 review. I did however save part 2 because I was afraid that what happened might happen.

    4. Yes. Yes. I agree with this review.

    5. One other thing I hated but forgot to put in: All of a sudden Charlie is in Riley's class? WTF Even in part 1 of Texas Charlie was not in the classroom with them. He wasn't there in "Semi-Formal" either. That is some first class Retconning there.

    6. 1960 raises a good point--Riley cannot keep this facade up forever and when she is, inevitably, called out on her not-really-beneficial self-sacrificing behavior, then I'll be very happy. I understand where Sean and Christian are coming from, but I think the show itself is not actually saying that what Riley is doing is a good thing. She certainly thinks it's a good thing, but that's not the same thing as the World telling the Girl that what's she's doing is good.

      A lot of Season 1 and a fair few episodes in Season 2 put Riley on a pedestal in that her decisions and ideas are good--"Crazy Hat," "Demolition," and "Mr. Squirrels Goes to Washington" are probably the best examples of these.
      We're not really seeing that here. There's a lot of tension, and the fans might be going ga-ga, but I wouldn't say that Riley's actually being shown in the right.

      Take heart guys, Michael Jacobs has said repeatedly that Riley and Lucas are not endgame.

    7. Man I have got to start refreshing the page before I post my comments.

    8. Oh my god, yeah, Charlie being in Riley's class is HYSTERICAL, I don't know how I left that out. How could the showrunners POSSIBLY have the stones to do that? It's almost insulting to the intelligence of the viewers.

    9. Cryptid, while I agree that Rucas isn't the destination, I would be really surprised if they didn't really date for a while before the end of the show.

      I think I will be unhappy if this all resolves in "Graduation" though. Only because that in itself should be the focus and them realizing that they are moving on with life. All this romantic stuff should really not interfere with that.

    10. I mentioned that in my comment that was in the vanished post too--Charlie kind of poofed into Riley's class. If they were going to do a note, why not have him just put it in her locker?

      Also, apparently the friendship that Lucas and Charlie developed in "Semi-Formal" went bye-bye. Charlie seemed a little more antagonistic here--he was sharper, blunter, and a bit more direct in using Lucas's surname.

      Don't get me wrong--I like what Charlie brings. Food metaphor? He's a nice spice that can supplement a dish that is often a little plain.
      Having said that, I hope Charlie sticks around for a while. He is going to be in Graduation, after all. Same with Smackle.

      That being said...*lowers voice to a whisper*
      I mentioned this on the old post, but is it wrong for me to want Charlie to break Riley's heart?

    11. I have GOT to start refreshing the page before I post comments.

      Yeah, "Graduation" looks a little crowded, and I'd be astonished if romance isn't at the forefront. After all, Topanga proposed to Cory at their high school graduation.

      I don't really remember my eighth grade graduation--Shipping Wars and I got awards for history, which was awesome; the prize was a nice book. What I really remember was that my class was going to split--there were two major high schools in the area and well, you know how it goes.
      It's a shame that the Core Five is likely going to stick together like glue--Riley and Farkle (Farkle lives in Greenwich Village too, right?) going to a different school than Maya would have been a great story.

    12. I have to think that as this is playing out it might be Riley that breaks Charlie's heart, however unintentionally. That would be a life lesson she is unlikely to forget.

    13. I had a conversation on the Deleted Post with Tim and pwfan about the possibility of one of the Core Five (We may as well get used to calling them that, Zay is here to stay) getting their heart broken. Charlie came up mostly because he's here now.

      You raise an interesting point about Riley breaking Charlie's heart...but I don't know. Like Sean and Christian said, not much has really changed. I wrote that the can of worms has been opened, but yeah, the dynamic hasn't really changed.
      Unless a lot more stuff goes down, I think it's more likely Charlie just says "Forget it!' and storms off.

    14. Actually Cory mentioned that Charlie was in her class during Semi-formal. He said "Oh yeah, the Charlie who sits in the back? He's been pretty quiet up until now". that was the writers way of putting him in the class

    15. Oh you're right Detective, I totally forgot about that.

      As far as Riley breaking Charlie's heart, let's do it, and then he can handcuff her to a boathouse.

    16. Yeah, but Good Looking Detective, the classroom's inconsistencies have been a part of the show since the beginning--and it's something we've, actually more or less mentioned in passing at best.

      It's still jarring. I don't think Charlie was in the classroom at all in "Semi-Formal."

    17. Never mind, now that I stop to think about it, I think Charlie was in Riley's class in "Semi-Formal."

    18. No he wasn't Cryptid. We know there is more than 1 eighth grade class in this school. And when Cory was talking about Charlie in "Semi-Formal" he only said that he was quiet and that he liked him. He never said he was in her class. Total retcon, but that is what this writing staff has always done best, and they say they don't care that they do it.

    19. Well, it's not like the first series was ret-con free, so I'll let that one go.

      You know, their school is said to have, what was it, nine hundred students? Cory has sixteen kids in his class--which is actually pretty good for a tv show. So assuming all things are equal, there are three hundred kids in each grade and about nineteen classes per grade.

      In a middle school--that's not just big, that's gargantuan. That's almost the size of X Middle School from "Fillmore!" Ah..."Fillmore!" now there was a great show.

    20. Ussually, i just zone out when talk comes up about technicalities of in-universe school (except Cory's classroom scenes. Seriously, make him a counsellor). However, even my school had us split after grade 8 and my friends and i got placed in different classes. What are the chances of this happening on the show? Of the core 5 (six, if Riley and Charlie become a thing) not being in the same form room or having the same classes? Maybe pull a Minkus 1.0 and have one just disappear from the show altogether....

    21. And that classroom has kids appearing and disappearing all the time. Wasn't there an actual named black kid in Zay's seat before he arrived? That kid had lines and everything. Was he transferred? Expelled for bullying? I thought he changed his ways.
      And there was an episode before where Cory called out all the kid's names. Yeah, i don't remember charlie being among them.

    22. I figure Zay just skips class a lot. I mean, honestly, who WOULDN'T want to skip Cory's class

    23. See Sean I would think just the opposite. Cory's class would be the one you never want to skip. The work doesn't seem intense, and you all spend most of your time discussing what is going on in everyone's life. It's almost like study hall, but you get credit for it. And they probably learn more about real life there then anywhere else.

    24. Corey I think you are thinking of Billy Ross, who was a one-off kid for the "Meets Flaws" episode. We never saw him again.

      Truthfully, except for the core 4 all those extra kids have moved their seats around occasionally. They usually do sit in the same place, but it appears that they move to a seat in better camera view when they have a line in a particular episode.

  8. As a whole though, I don't think they were invalidating what occurred in "Yearbook," "Semi-Formal" and even "Texas Part 2" where Maya and Lucas had a pretty intimate moment at the campfire. Even though their feelings are murky, I think Maya does like Lucas, Riley just likes him, too. The big question is who does Lucas like. I'm inclined to believe that it's Maya but since everything all happened at once, he's a little gun shy about fully engaging with Maya and leaving Riley out in the cold.

    Things aren't resolved yet, but I still think the show is going the Maya/Lucas route. They're just making it difficult for them as they do it. They're making it difficult for Maya and Lucas to settle into this new thing they have going, and making it difficult for Riley to get over.

    1. I think you misunderstood what Christian said about invalidating. It's the "Maya realizing that Riley likes Lucas as a brother" that's being invalidated. That was developed over Semi Formal, Yearbook, and Texas Part 1. And now we learn that it was totally wrong and a waste of time.

    2. I thought we all knew that was wrong. Katy flat-out told us it's wrong (Topanga, really, but it was for us). Maya wasn't there when her mum said all this.

    3. I'm not sure what you're referring to, but no, we definitely did not all know that was wrong. Even if we did, that wouldn't change the fact that those episodes are invalidated/a waste of time

    4. He's referring to when Katy said you can't act as someone you're close to, because you a) will learn their secrets, and b) I think she also said you can get confused. I may be remembering incorrectly, tho.

    5. Am I the 'he' here? 'Cause this Corey's a 'she'

  9. First time posting here I actually liked the episode. I think the show is not done with the Riley/Lucas pairing. Not by a long shot. I think show is is taking a while to get there with them and not making it as easy as Cory and Topanga on BMW.

    I see the whole "brother/sister" revelation coming to play again..this time revealing thats how Maya sees Lucas. There has to be a reason why that came from Maya and Katy's comments from "Girl Meets Yearbook" about not being able to be someone when you're to emotionally involved or whatever will be referenced.

    I think Lucas likes Riley. He was on a date with Maya and he was more concerned about Riley than being on his date with her.

    I think all will be revealed in "The graduation" episode. Farkle will spill it all and will Maya figure how she really feels.

    If its going the way I think it is, I feel sorry for the Maya/Lucas fans. They got played.

    1. I'm with you, HPK. But i was thinking this would still play out through high school. They're going to date other people, i believe.
      Plus, i just really want to see more Charlie.

    2. Going to such great lengths to trick the Maya/Lucas fans doesn't bother you? I'm pretty unhappy with wasting all that time and effort. Why is Lucas ON A DATE with Maya if he still likes Riley? I agree that it's probable he still likes Riley, so that's why we REALLY needed to see the moment when Lucas and Maya agree to go on a date, just to see how he actually feels about it. As it is now, we don't know anything, and that's a frustrating place to be after a three part story.

    3. (PS thanks for posting, always like to see new faces!)

    4. I am assuming that Lucas and Maya are on a date because Riley "forced" them into it, much like Cory forced Shawn and Topanga, but this time they really do have some feelings for each other and so I have to think the consequences will not be what they all want.

    5. You could absolutely be right, but I mean, think about the sentence "Riley forces Lucas and Maya to go on a date." That is something that NEEDS to be on the screen. We shouldn't have to guess about such a critical plot point.

    6. Agreed 100%. I felt like Texas Part 3 had a lot of somewhat random and disjointed scenes that broke up the flow of the whole show as they constantly went back-and-forth between the classroom, and the Bay Window, and Topanga's. It felt really bizarre, and I don't know about anyone else, but I would have gladly sacrificed Lucas and Auggie's scene for clarification on the date.

    7. I agree with you Sean, but it seemed for sure like it wasn't Lucas' idea. It could have been Maya, but she still doesn't seem comfortable enough to talk to him forget about arranging a date with him.

    8. Yeah, I'm not buying this as the "date". It's not Cory having a real date with Lauren in the rain to see how he feels. Maya doesn't want a date, she wants the status quo. Lucas's is just confused.

    9. I agree that this was Riley forcing them to go on a date. That probably also explains why it was such a flop. I agree with Christian that they should be able to talk to each other. But guess what? You could put me on a date with my freakin soulmate and I wouldn't say a damn word either if I was forced into it and the guy was also clearly reluctantly participating. OF COURSE it was a flop.

    10. Yeah it's likely Riley or forced the idea. I agree that is something that should have been seen. Whatever the case may be, they did show Lucas wanting to talk to Riley over Maya.

      I don't know how much longer they can drag out the Riley/Lucas/Maya story and have Lucas bounce between both girls throughout the series. It is going to get tiresome and this isn't Dawson's Creek or One Tree Hill. That's why I think the "Girl Meets Graduation" episode is going to be when all is out in the open and likely end whatever it is with Lucas and Maya

    11. Who knows? Maybe after "Graduation," Lucas will decide to go to a different high school--maybe one focused towards the military--and this will be settled in that Lucas is no longer there and Riley and Maya will both have to move on.

    12. I don't see it as "going to such great lengths to trick Maya/Lucas fans" as I think it's a pretty involved attempt to address the chemistry between Peyton and Sabrina. After all, isn't chemistry (or the perception of chemistry) the driving force behind a ship? Knowing that perception exists, there's no way the writer's could go ahead with Riley/Lucas without definitively clarifying the Lucas/Maya dynamic.

      As for why Lucas went out with Maya? As somebody who personally prefers Lucas/Riley, my best guess is that he's not only confused about Riley's change of heart but he's not exactly sure how to deal with Maya's confession either. So many Lucas/Maya shippers keep bashing Riley for playing the martyr card or whatever but I'm not convince Lucas wouldn't make the same kind of mistake while similarly trying to avoid hurting EITHER girl's feelings. Not only is Riley calling him her brother but she's clearly pushing him to go out with Maya. Maya's admitted to liking him. And, look, the boy's not blind. Maya's is a "blonde beauty" (which I believe is a direct quote?). And now she's being uncharacteristically vulnerable which we know speaks to Lucas' protective nature. Which likely complicates his ever-building confusion tenfold. Right now, the guy's getting nowhere with Riley but, at the same time, regardless of his feelings were before Texas, part of him is inevitably being pulled to Maya because she's opening up to him for the first time. Giving her a shot is practically the only thing that makes sense in this whole fudged up situation.

      Speaking of which, this 3 part pretzel has caused such a stir off-screen that I think people are letting their feelings cloud what they're seeing on-screen because at no point did I see anyone on the show exalt Riley's decision. In fact, I LOVED Farkle this episode for just how carefully he tried to make Riley see that she was going about this all wrong. Corey and Topanga also made multiple comments about how Riley was in over her head and even specifically advised her NOT to do anything. Nobody is claiming that Riley's a martyr in the GMW-verse; all I see is people who care about her recognizing the fact that she's trying to do the right thing for her friends and hating that she's hurting herself in the process BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THERE IS NO RIGHT THING FOR HER TO DO. And that's what's driving us all nuts about this whole arc. This trio is so busy worrying about what the other person's feeling and figuring out what to do to make that person happy that THEY'RE TRAMPLING ALL OVER EACH. AND IT'S SO FLIPPING UNNECESSARY.

    13. Again, Lucas/Riley shipper here. That said, ALL of them: Maya, Lucas, AND Riley are ALL to blame. My girl Riley's really upped the ante with this Texas/brother debacle but Maya made the mistake first by not coming clean with her feelings TO RILEY long before now. I don't care whether she believed in Lucas and Riley or not, nor whether that makes her the true martyr--she liked the same boy her best friend did and instead of confronting those feelings, she encouraged said friend to go out with him. (At least, that's what I'm being told now. I'm still wondering where all these feelings fall on the "Maya's gaga for Josh" timeline.) Anyhow, that choice set this whole train wreck into motion. Now, Riley's making the same mistake. Although, I don't think her desire to guarantee that she never loses Lucas as a friend (a la Jack and Rachel, as referenced in Semi-Formal) can be overemphasized as a dual motivation. And, to top it all off, Lucas is letting himself be tossed back and forth like a football in the middle of a basketball game. If that makes any sense at all. Which it probably shouldn't since that poor guy has no idea which way is up anymore. Whoever said him and Zay should have a heart-to-heart is probably on to something. Although, after the awesomeness that was Farkle during this arc, I'm pretty sure our young Mr. Minkus should be the Mr. Feeny of the Girl Meets World universe. That kid is a shoe-in for Underatted Hot Guy Friend Every Adolescent Girl Should've Have While Angst.

    14. Great post and I agree (and I am Lucas/Riley shipper as well). I think the whole Lucas/Maya thing could be wrapped up fairly quickly because the writers are addressing it, but not fully going there you know? That is if it is going to play out like I think it will.

      Like I said in an earlier post, the whole "brother/sister" thing that came from Maya has to be addressed and done with. They can't keep using and bringing it up. Like oh wait Maya thinks Lucas/Riley are have a brother/sister relationship and I actually like him. No wait, its actually me who thinks of Lucas like a brother and then scratch that, I have feelings for him now.

      I know feelings are complicated and can change, but sheesh. They do not need to drill it so hard lol. We get it. Let them address it and move on.

  10. I refuse to believe the moment between Lucas and Maya at the end of part 2 was all for nothing. Holding on hope that the writers know what they're doing!

  11. Ratings are in for Part 1, guys.

    Girl Meets World scored 2.939 million views; interesting the finale of Jessie pegged 2.425 million and the finale of I Didn't Do It got only 2.261.

    1. I have to think this is a disaster for Disney. They did crazy promotion for this episode and did something they never do, they held back the episode from Time-Warner on demand (which gets episodes 1 week early) in order to prevent leaked clips from effecting the ratings. I thought for sure it would be at least 3.75 million considering Rah-Rah got over 3.3 and no one was really all wound up for that.

    2. "Rah Rah" premiered after "Invisible Sister"--it had movie bump helping it.

    3. 3.75M simply isn't possible these days unless it's premiering after a movie.
      2.94M was very good but I do wish they cracked 3M.

    4. I forgot about the movie lead in, but I still thought it would do better. I assumed they would release part 2 early because no network except HBO actually shows anything new on Saturday night but I was really surprised they released part 3 early. I assumed they wanted to see how it did against new episodes of KCU and L&M without it being released early.

    5. Makes you wonder really. The ratings on Disney just kind of fell into a downward spiral one weekend and never really recovered. That said, we are doing consistently better than where we were a year ago.

    6. Wow, I just saw the ratings for Part 2 and Part 3. Sometimes I just don't understand how things like this happen. Part 1 was not spoiled and promo'ed heavily and got 2.9 million views. Part 2 on a Saturday night after being made available by Disney itself also got 2.9 million viewers and part 3 which was also spoiled pulled 3.1 million. Sunday was a good night for Disney. KCU got 2.4 and L&M got 2.56. Other than Walking Dead, GMW outperformed every other cable show on Sunday night prime time.

    7. "Other than Walking Dead, GMW outperformed every other cable show on Sunday night prime time."

      *Spit take*

  12. I hated this episode for just so many reasons. It was a huge stall in the story, it was confusing and seemed to have no sense of direction whatsoever. The writing was sloppy and the jokes were few and far between or maybe not at all I dont even remember. So I agree with a lot of what you guys had to say with a few exceptions

    I don't think it's fair to say that "90% of the comments seem to boil down to "Rowan did a great job with it, A+" ". I don't think that is what most of us were saying in the last review at all or maybe i just communicated it wrong. Besides Riley's out of place declarations of what maya was feeling, the rest of the episode was written very well. The content was actually fairly good as Riley tried to force her feelings to be platonic, Maya tried to shove her emotions back into the box that Riley just blew up, and Zay actually made for some pretty good comic relief. The development between Maya and Lucas was big. They didn't have to kiss for that to be a big scene. Now he knows how Maya feels and that's a lot. Granted, youre absolutely right that by the end of this three parter we really should have some idea where Lucas stands but I'm gonna put the blame for that on part 3. Part 2 wasn't good because the girls acted their characters well (although they did). It was good because they were written well. The interactions were built on well established traits of these characters. Maya's interaction with Lucas by the campfire, the side glances and awkward silences in Chubbies werent just well acted. They were well written stage directions and deliberate pauses. I think most of us care about a lot more than the acting when it comes to an episode. I feel like that comment belongs in the review for rileytown instead of Texas. I would definitely say that the only reason I didn't despise rileytown was on account of Rowans great acting and its fair to say that's not a basis for a good episode and I would agree with you. But texas part 2 was good in its own right.

    Anyway back to this episode, not much else to say but it sucked. The writers have at least confirmed that "what started in Yearbook ends with graduation". To me that sounds like the end of lucas and maya but either way it seems we ll certainly be getting some resolution soooo maybe something to look forward to I guess? As long as they put this to rest. Truer words have never been spoken than "There is a lot more to meet in the world than Lucas Friar" Bravo

    1. Also if youre curious for another dumbass ambiguous tweet from the writers.. "Nobody guessed the story? Biggest clue in the pilot. This continues in GMThe New Year" While this ridiculously vague tweet has thrown the shipping wars into a tailspin I'm pretty sure the point of the pilot was the friendship between Maya and Riley. This seems to be the only relationship the writers are invested in and I'm okay with that. It doesnt justify the atrocity that is part 3 but it makes it a LITTLE more forgivable if you think of it as two girls trying really hard to preserve their friendship. I feel like that is the long term story they are going for and its the reason the 30 seconds at the end were the slight exception to an otherwise awful episode. They're both a little scared but hanging on together. Maybe it makes Riley's actions a little better too. Like yes the right thing to do would have been to talk to Lucas, see how he felt, and gone from there. But Riley doesn't care about Lucas half as much as she cares about Maya so she's putting Maya first.

    2. Doesn't the pilot have a line something akin to "Hi, i'm Riley, you dated my friend?"
      No idea why that ambiguous tweet has me thinking about that.
      Yes. Riley is prioritising Maya.

  13. "We're going to have to Bay Window the shit out of this,"

    No points for the return of Sarah?

    1. I didn't see her, and for that I truly apologize

    2. She didn't do much this episode…less than usual, but I saw her in the classroom and instantly thought GMWReviewed.

      I watched all three parts in one sitting, lessened the blow I guess in weaker Parts 2 and 3. The novelty of different environments in Part 2 made it more enjoyable than Part 3 where my least favorite setting, the classroom was used three times.

  14. Hoover Dam, you writers!

    ...Jokes aside, i kind of disagree. I thought it was fine, even though the pay off was disaapointing. We sat through 3 episodes to get back to where we start? Maya and Lucas not being the best couple made...some level of sense to me.

    Every time they showed good chesmitry, they were acting as friends and when they awkward, they were trying to be more. They showed a good reason on that front, they just work better as friends.

    The not brother sister thing is...not as excusable. I get that pulling a sort of Luke and Leia would be odd, but come on. I thought most of it worked in spite of making all of thia pointless.

    Also...random clip show is random.

    1. But it didn't go back to where it started. At the beginning it was Riley and Lucas with Maya looking in. At the end we had Riley in denial and Lucas kind of with Maya with both of them uncomfortable about the entire thing.

    2. That's a good place to be at the end of part 1 or 2, but it really sucks to sit on this ending with this other stuff coming up. Are we sure the next few come before Texas chronologically? I'd hate to be Maya having to deal with this Lucas crap AND her stupid dad in the next episode.

    3. Look on the bright side Sean, at least "Forgiveness Project" is likely going to be Maya-centric. Can you imagine how much worse it'd be if Riley was furious at Maya and Lucas for Texas and the episode was about her having to forgive them?

    4. Yes Sean. Texas episodes were 225, 226 and 228. The Forgiveness and Sludge episodes are in the 21x series and Commonisum is 206. While Money is technically 227, it was filmed when it was due to the availability of Marc Cuban so it was probably meant to be done earlier.

  15. By the way, now you know how i felt after Dog with a blog's "Love Ty-angle" where they pulled an even worse fanfic-y trick. At least the characters still kind of act like themselves in this instead of making a dumb decision for the sake of a ship that had been proven in previous episodes to not work.

    1. That's true. Even if we're sort of stagnated here, it isn't as if this is out-of-character for anybody. Something new in terms of development would be nice, but it's not as bad as it could be.

  16. Riley will end up Farkle. I saw it coming from the first episode. And they literally confirmed in Part 3 when Charlie said it. That was no coincidence.

    Remember this post people, because when those two do end up together I will be back here to gloat and say I told you so.

    1. I meant "with" Farkle.

    2. I just do not see it happening. Though there are similarities between Farkle/Riley and Cory/Topanga I believe they are only there to tease. The writers have gone out of their way to say over and over again that we will not see a Cory and Topanga in this show, and Farkle more so than Lucas would be just that.

    3. Given that Michael Jacobs's favorite play is "Our Town," and his vocal disappointment in not using Stuart Minkus as much as he wanted the first time round, I wouldn't consider it impossible.

      Yeah...while it'd one of the most hilarious things in the world to see Cory throw the world's biggest tantrum over Riley developing romantic feelings for the one boy he never thought she'd fall for--and a Minkus no less--I'm not sure I see it happening.
      What I would love to see, is Farkle and Riley develop a stronger platonic friendship. To borrow from TV Tropes, I kind of like the idea of them being Platonic Life Partners.

      If nothing else, at least we can say that Farkle has gotten significantly more development than most other comic relief characters in quite some time. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the writers to keep "laaaaadies" around for much longer than they did.

    4. "I just do not see it happening."

      well when it happens I will be back to see what you think then.

    5. For what it's worth, the writers said something that happened in Yearbook concludes with Graduation...

  17. Riley stepping aside thing is a gambit.

  18. Long time reader, first time commenter. I enjoy your guys' takes because your sensibilities and lens in which you view this show is much similar to mine, however ... I nearly completely disagree with y'all on parts two and three. First though, things we see eye-to-eye on:

    - Lucas dropping a "I still don't know how I feel" to Zay. A one-on-one scene between the two of them (even throw in Farkle if need be) would have been clutch and I'll say the one true thing the weekend was missing.

    - The taming of Charlie Gardner. He worked as a foil and an injection into the plot, but the writing probably did take it a step or two too far. To be fair though (and statements like these will become a theme) - Charlie is just excess for Riley. Even if he should or could be more, she will probably never see him in that light. It's a shame, but that's a very real thing. It also is totally believable that with some time to stew and just a slither of attention from her, his feelings could go stronger and thus causing him to lose some of his edge. To THIS degree? No, probably not ... but I can believe it in the overall sense.

    - Not picking right up on either bomb after the break. Neither bothered me that much individually (the Charlie one didn't bother me at all quite honestly), but in conjunction with one another they are a bad look.

    - The Auggie scene. I didn't HATE it, but that one line was very odd, and again, could have been put to far better use for Lucas to make some headway on his feelings.

    Alright, as for what I disagree on:

    - This idea of "Because the writers say so." I know you are a sophisticated enough viewer of television that you are aware that the writers ALWAYS say so and I understand the point that you are trying to convey here, BUT ... this is what the writers are saying here with Lucas/Maya and although I think I would have plotted it slightly different (just slightly), I get where this is going, and more so, I think it was done rather effectively.

    My large theme among these critiques of the review will be that they are teenagers. This exact type of confusion is real and authentic. Over-dramatized, especially on this network? Sure, but still, for me, very real and familiar for that time period of my life. I never once thought the writers flat-out telling me it was Riley/Lucas time. There were of course moments where I thought it was leaning that way (more of those were in part three due to where the story was taking us), but there was just as many moments where I thought they were going to pull the trigger on the two with actual chemistry. This reverts us back to what I (and you both) said earlier - we NEEDED a "Lucas, where's your head at scene?" That was a big misstep, no doubt.

  19. However, past that, I bought it. All of it. Also, agreed - Riley is 100 percent not a martyr. She certainly thinks she is, but I don't believe in terms of how this episode was structured and how Blanchard delivered her performance did the show want you for one second to believe that she somehow is being heroic. Maybe a little brave? Yeah, I'll give you that, but hell, I can argue that a 14 year old kid "sacrificing" her feelings (even if it's selfishly for her friends) is brave on at least a few levels. If the majority of viewers are actually seeing her/the arc as one of bravery, I respectfully disagree, just as I do that the show is also trying to convey that. Riley is just as selfish as Cory was in his prime. They may demonstrate those traits in a different way, but it's an inherent trait within her and I thought the clear frustration, anger and disappointment that was visible within her while playing the martyr really added quite a bit to the episode. Also, this was a classic case of a show letting their audience decide. If you think the 14 year old girl is brave for backing off even though she doesn't want to, then she is. If you think she is selfish, well, then she is. Both viewpoints are feasible to obtain from the footage we have been presented with and I think that is a really well delivered bit of writing to accomplish.

    I also think it is way too soon to make claims of invalidation on the writers' parts. Even if Lucas/Maya are a full-fledged couple next week and it's clear that it is a long-term decision and not just an advancement of the triangle, I personally don't believe that you can take that assertion away from part three. Again, confusion is my overreaching theme here. Nothing on Lucas' end is clear other than he is unsure of what he wants (even if we didn't get to hear that from his mouth), Riley is torn between her feelings and her best friend's and the vice-versa applies for Maya on several large degrees. That is the story that part three told. As I believe I said, I would have written Maya and Lucas' dates differently. In fact, I'm not sure I would have had them go on a "date" at all, but I dug the irony of having them be in silence and it does make sense. These two are being essentially forced into this situation by Riley, but while in it feel terrible for her and have no idea how to respond to that. On top of that, they have no real clue of how they feel for each other. Again, that's real stuff, at least how I see it.

  20. I guess to sum it up, my point is there is just no way that the claim can be made that the show is even close to done with Lucas and Maya. I mean, part two just happened two days ago - I think that is all the evidence we need that this is all still very much in play. I cannot change your mind that you did not like how the show presented itself in parts two and three (nor would I ever try to change your mind, that's not what this is), but, in the context of this show's universe, I, again, believe EVERYTHING this three-parter presented.

    As for Cory, this is just a straight up difference of opinion, but he made me laugh. It was classic Season 7 stuff and although it was only one note, I thoroughly enjoyed (and will always enjoy) that note.

    Also, just as an aside (if anyone is still reading), I am not an apologist for the writers. As I said, more often than not I am in total agreement with both your views on what the issues are that plague this show. Honestly, the only reason I am finally bothering to chime in is because I am so surprised that you guys saw those latter two parts so differently than I did. For me, this was the first time they (the writers) almost got it completely right. There were the few beats missed that I mentioned (plus small things that just bother me on a weekly basis - the poor pacing/structure in part one, the fact that there are still far too many intimate conversations happening with large groups of people right behind them), but all-in-all, this was a fleshed out, well-structured and well-executed story ... at least for my dollars it was. Teen indecision when it comes to love is baffling, ever-changing and rapid fire. That combined with some really nice locations, well written comedy and terrific acting (which, by the way, I think is a fair thing to disregard in relation to your assessment of an episode, but you have to account for the fact it is a big selling point for a majority of most audiences) really combined to create what I thought was something special that resonated with me, but more importantly, something that will resonate with current audiences like "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh" did with me when I was 14.

    Again, you guys do really good work, look forward to reading your thoughts and the goal here is not to change your minds. Curious though, do you see where I am coming from with the idea that this was as believable as the show could get and now with even a little more time to stew, do you still believe the show is closing the book on Lucas/Maya?

    Lastly, I forgot, there should have been more going on during the musical performance in part two ... however, I did find that song to be incredibly catchy.

    1. Glad to see a new poster and glad more people mostly agree with how I saw things.

      I also commented on the musical interlude in my comments in the Part 2 review. They could have used that 2 and a half minutes to advance the story in another way while still having Maya/Lucas/Riley stealing glances at each other.

  21. Off topic as to Part 3 but an observation of the show in general.

    These kids are supposed to be in the top grade in this school. The kids in their class all tend to look the appropriate age (some through the use of makeup, hairstyling or wardrobe) but look at the kids standing around the hallways as student extras. They all look to be high school juniors or seniors. Do you think their middle school shares a building with a high school or can they just not get extras that look age-appropriate? The kids in the hallways on BMW all looked like they belonged in that school, but John Adams was grades 7-12. Or am I totally crazy here?

    1. I think there are labor laws even for extras that factor into who gets cast as extras.
      But I don't know--the classroom itself is a toss-up. Yogi looks much younger, even though I believe the actor just turned thirteen. Farkle looks quite a bit older now than he did at the start of the season, but then he's growing up--he just hit his growth spurt extra hard.
      The girl extras look much older, I think--Sarah's two years older than Sabrina if I recall correctly, and looks older than Riley or Maya, and then the tall blonde girl, Darby, looks even older than her.
      Lucas looks older than most of the kids, in part because he is, and in part because Cory's not exactly a very tall man, which in turn makes Lucas look even older.

      And the school itself is a 6-8 school. There's going to be a new school next season--and they're probably just going to recycle the set of another show again rather than build a new one.

    2. I'm referring to the kids in the hallways, not the kids in Cory's class. I know their ages, but they "look" like they belong in the 8th grade. The kids milling around the halls in the last 5 or 6 episodes look much older.

    3. Labor laws still apply I think, as they tend to be rather strict.

      Either that, or teenagers are hitting their growth spurts much harder than they did even ten years ago.

      Or, there's forty college students desperate for credit working as interns.

  22. Off topic to everything but, what the heck? Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

  23. Wow. Things got interesting in here.

    Now, let's talk. Christian and Sean, I completely see why you guys hated this episode. The plot isn't there. Nothing was resolved. And since you two were expecting it to be resolved and heard us all rave on and on about it, that could be why you disliked it. And that's fine. If we all agreed, it'd be BMW or the IMDB board AKA The Rowan Blanchard Hate Circlejerk with constant insults towards each other.

    That said,

    Here is what I thought about the episode. I am going to be changing my grade from an A-.

    Now, I know you guys didn't like Topanga but I just have to say...Finally. We were so overdue for Topanga being a mom and we got two great scenes with her. While I do feel this episode was the weakest of the three, it was much more character driven and I feel it worked out very well. Nothing was really resolved BUT that's the point. This is gonna take some time.

    So, Charlie's back. And guess what? I still like him. I think Riley wants to like him more than she does right now. We'll see what goes from there. I liked seeing them interact. They have chemistry. But, dude, come on. You ask her out in a note? Weak. He's not as good as he was in Semi-Formal but I still like him better than Lucas, who was just plain atrocious is this episode.

    The Lucas/Maya "date" was even more awkward than Riley/Lucas earlier this season. That shows just how confusing eighth grade can be. Well done. This isn't over. The scene with the three of them at the Bay Window was solid. Fans on other sites have pointed out Lucas and Maya are trying to hard to be "Riley and Lucas" and aren't being themselves.

    I didn't like Auggie in this episode much but yeah, come on. Lucas is not and will never be a "brother" to Riley.

    Cory was much more obsessive than usual in his class scenes. I didn't really like that much at all. If he's their teacher again next year, I'm gonna scream.

    I did enjoy the scene with just him and Farkle though. Farkle's interested in Smackle right now and this gives him very fresh eyes to see this situation.

    Now, I know you guys aren't the biggest Farkle fans so you saw this differently than I did. And that's okay. The last scene at the bakery was one of my favorites of the show. Riley and Farkle's talk was incredible. Farkle wasn't buying it that Riley didn't like Lucas. He was the one to put the pieces together. I really liked him saying that he wasn't going to let Riley just pretend she was fine.

    This was the first time in ages that I felt Riley and Farkle showed they loved each other. Maybe since Flaws...Their emotions were real and the hug was very sweet. I thought Corey and Rowan did a fantastic job. Corey's never been better. Part of me thinks that it wasn't so much acting, since the two of them are best friends in real life. The Riley/Farkle fans are going nuts over this but I'm not seeing them together...yet. Give it some time. And I was Rucas dead, cremated and buried before Riley goes out with anyone, let alone Farkle. I do agree that Farkle should have told Riley to call off the date.

    The tag was also great. Things are heating up. Now I'm not entirely sure if the next four episodes are going to be filler and pre-Texas. I originally thought they were but maybe Meets the New Year is right around graduation? I've given up on figuring out the timeline of this season.

    Grade: B
    MVP: Rowan Blanchard
    Runner Ups: Corey Fogelmanis and Danielle Fishel

    Oh, and to anyone who missed the last thread, Cryptid and I are brothers.

    1. Farkle was definitely good. The only person on the show to call Riley out on her BS. And yes, Topanga was an excellent mother.

      The biggest place we disagree is that you keep saying "it'll take time." It's been twenty two episodes! And the next four+ episodes won't even address this. Even on Twitter the actors were like "IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS!" Are you not upset by how heavily we've been misled by everything?

    2. Eh, not really, mostly because...when did Maya being to like Lucas? Season 1? After Riley and Lucas decided to break up? We've known she's teased him for two years but she's done that to Farkle too. If Maya's feelings are more recent, then, I'm not too upset. If they've been around for a while, then hell yeah, I'm pissed.

      Have we been misled? Sure, probably. Does it suck? Yeah. But I'm not too worked up about it. Unless the show doesn't get renewed (and if you listen to the IMDB assholes, they'd blame it on Rowan's Twitter) and we don't get resolution.

      I did hear a rumor (The Tumblrs I stalk or Twitter maybe) that the next few episode actually will have the group be less that could mean that we could have development sooner than January/February.

      I'm definitely upset that the Cubs are down two games to nothing in the NLCS but that's for another time.

      That said, what I liked, I really liked but what I didn't like-Cory and Auggie, I hated.

      Question for you Sean, or anyone else, what do we do if this isn't resolved and have to wait for Season 3?

    3. Farkle was definitely an important of this episode and it was about time. He basically sat for 2 episodes so that Cory could question him about what happened and then ask him to find out what is wrong and try to fix it.

      I do not understand the dislike that the classroom scenes get though, especially here. Cory hates change, and he is very scared for his daughter. Both of those things played into his class here and he made no bones about it doing so. Protective, caring daddy Cory will be with us for as long as this show goes on, so I would bet that school will be like this forever. And I personally find almost all of them funny.

      Also, not sure if Cory will be their teacher next year, but Jacobs pretty much confirmed that Cory will be in school with them for as long as the show goes on.

    4. Shipping, there is no way this doesn't get renewed. Here are my reasons:

      1. It is the highest rated show on the channel - I realize that since Disney doesn't have real commercial sponsors that might not mean as much as it does on another channel, I still think it carries some weight.

      2. In July there were 8 current live-action shows on Disney. As of yesterday there are 5 and Austin & Ally ends in January. Disney only has 1 new show picked up for production. They can't afford to cancel any of the last 4 for at least another season.

      3. They seem to be pushing Sabrina hard, so cancelling the show would be bad for that.

      As for when Maya started having feeling for Lucas - Riley implied that it was from the beginning and maybe that was correct. However she only overtly showed it (outside of teasing him) starting this season, specifically in "Secret of Life" She has only been seen fawning over him when he goes into friend protector mode. The other times that happened were Creativity and Rileytown. It could be that her feelings started this season, or Riley could be right, but Maya hasn't really told us yet.

      I myself believe that it has to do with her daddy issues, and she sees Lucas as sort of a daddy protector figure. I could be completely wrong on that though.

    5. Maya has major daddy episode, she meets her father for the first time in nine years..

      Hopefully the next few episodes step it up. If they don't address Texas, I at least want them to be good. I've heard rumors about Sludge and a few of them sound way out of character.

    6. Forgiveness, Sludge, Belief, Commonism, and Money were written before Texas and will pretty much not touch on this current romantic situation. They said it will pick up in New Years, maybe Bay Window and it should wrap up in Graduation.

      The writers have said they are all great, but if the old episodes were I'm not sure they would have been held for so long, especially Commonism. That was filmed before Demolition.

    7. "Forgiveness" looks interesting in that a major storyline that is not romance will be touched on. It's been ages since we've mentioned Maya's family. And this is probably going to be the best of the lot.

      "Sludge" and "Belief" are...well, the fairest, most non-partisan way I think I can describe them is that they sound like Author Filibuster, much in the way "New Teacher" was. So of course, the writers would say they're great. I heard some rumors and...put simply, they don't mesh well for airing after Texas, since they're almost certainly set before.

      "Money" guest stars Mark Cuban of "Shark Tank," and I have no idea what's going on. I heard one rumor, which seems likely from a story-telling standpoint, but makes no sense from a character standpoint.

      "Commonism" was written by Joshua Jacobs, the same one who wrote "Cory & Topanga." Well...there are far worse sins in this world than Hollywood nepotism.

      "New Year" brings Josh back and it's a toss-up. I'm happy to see Uncle Josh return, but I'd like to see him interact more with his family than just be there to put "Joshaya" to bed. Not that I won't be delighted to see that ship sink.

      "Bay Window" is supposedly an origin story for Riley and Maya's friendship, and likely Farkle as well. Flashbacks that are actually new material are nice.

      "Graduation" is Graduation.

  24. The only thing I would argue with from this review is your anger that this seemingly invalidates Mayas realization of how Riley saw Lucas as a brother. So in that episode that's what she came to believe. It wasn't voiced, it wasn't written in stone. I see what you're saying and hate stories that contradict each other as much as anyone but Maya having that interpretation and then later this episode showing that it was not, in fact, the case, is fine. Zay said it in the episode when Farkle asks. Not brother sister, they're just a lot alike. So maybe to Maya that's how it came off as brother sister. But who the hell knows. They're all just silly kids with melodramatic lives. Great review though. Part 3 was the worst, aside from the acting.

  25. I'm the total opposite. There's a newfound chemistry between Riley & Lucas that I now want to see explored, and I haven't been a huge shipper. On the flip side, I've been getting off the Lucaya train. The teasing can't go on if they're in a relationship. Why? Cause it's annoying. I'm very much over that kind of romantic coupling.

    If Lucas really doesn't know who he wants and this triangle continues, I will be further annoyed. Why would either girl want to be with him? Go be with someone who knows he wants you. Someone who won't one day look at your best friend again, while you two are dating, and get all confuzzled.

    1. YAY!! I LOVE when people jump ship (pun intended) and find themselves seeing what I've seen all along. It's its own kind of validation.

      Welcome to the light, friends!

  26. There are a lot of different opinions on this episode...all I know is that I didn't feel at all satisfied when part 3 ended. Is Lucas such a nonentity that no one thought that maybe they should see how he feels?

    I didn't need a complete resolution but I don't feel like there was as much progression in part 3 as was advertised so it's really disappointing that the next 4 episodes are pre-Texas. I don't know...maybe if I go to Steak and Shake I'll feel better too.

    1. Oh, that's a place! *laughing* I thought it was a thing that people ate. Sounded odd

    2. it is a magical, wonderful place

  27. I've been following this blog for a while (great job guys!) and I agree with most of the comments
    - When Lucas and Maya were on the disastrous date, I realised that no matter how much chemistry they have, they also need to sit down and talk properly (something that we've rarely seen these two do to each other). they have been shown teasing each other, but never in a really deep conversation and I would really like that to happen.
    -Riley's sacrifice: stupid, yes; unfounded, no. I liked Rowan's portrayal of Riley's frustration that her good intentions were not working out the way she planned. Almost everyone called her on her BS although it looked like Maya may still believe the whole brother/sister shtick. I just hope this teen angst does not go on for long.
    - Teacher Corey was actually funny for me. I liked his rant and exit. It was unrealistic but fun for me to watch.
    - Poor Lucas. Two beautiful girls interested in him, but none of them even bothered to ask what he wants. I personally think he likes Riley more even though Peyton has more chemistry with Sabrina. Like someone here previously mentioned a talk with Zay would be awesome. Their friendship has not been explored properly at all.
    -I was happy that they finally (after like 40-what episodes) showed Topanga as a mother. It was not a long scene but after seeing Corey act very involved as a teacher and father, she seemed very detached. That scene made me very happy.
    - Charlie Gardner got my sympathy. He knew what he got was not ideal but he took it anyway just so he could be with Riley. it was sad that he knew she was stringing him along, but compared to semi-formal he wasn't going to give up. I wouldn't lie though; I have been in Riley's shoes and later on I realised I was being cruel so I broke it off but at her age she think she's doing what's right.
    - Finally, Farkle Minkus. The scene with Zay was cool, because they are watching from the sidelines while Lucas-Maya-Riley debacle was going on, so they see things a bit clearer. Farkle has evolved from the indecisive boy hanging on to them to being a true friend. He's with Smackle, but he still cares about his friends very deeply so I'm cool with that.

    Once again, I really like this blog, we may not see exactly eye to eye about some issues, but I enjoy reading what you all have to say

  28. Didn't you guys say at one point you liked it when things weren't resolved at the end because that's not how life always works? Okay, SOMEONE said that before... can't remember who, though.

    Anyway, I enjoyed Part 3. The flashbacks seemed a little off when they started but I love how they showed all the sprinkled Rucas/Lucaya (can't believe I just said that) moments in one because as a non-serious shipper, I never really looked into those.

    Episode Grades:
    Part 1: B+ (grade dragged down by classroom & boring start)
    Part 2: A
    Part 3: A- (grade dragged down by classroom; god I hate that)

    Episode MVP's:
    Part 1: Peyton Meyer
    Part 2: Sabrina Carpenter
    Part 3: Rowan Blanchard

    1. Pretty sure that was me in my comments on "Semi-Formal"

    2. In any case guys, this certainly seems a lot more dragged out than it is, due to the episode's airing out of order from a story perspective. Not only are the immediate upcoming episodes earlier than "Texas," I am convinced most of the filler we just got was before "Semi-formal" but after "Yearbook."

  29. This episode disappoint me to say the least because of the fact of how disorganized it was and how it was just focused towards poor Riley. When I actuality its is because of Riley that they are in this mess. She is forcing this way too much but on the other hand, everyone on the show is acting like maya doesn't have feelings and for that fact it is wrong of her to like Lucas. She stepped back because she didn't want what is happening now to happen. Zay was the only logical person in these episodes. Also who does farkle think he is? Who is he to tell Riley what she's feeling and that she's the one lying but then you don't know what maya is feeling. how do you know maya's feelings aren't sincere or even more sincere than Riley's. Riley can't get everything she wants and the way she is treating Charlie is not ok she was being spiteful and childish. Maya was disturbingly quiet this last episode and for that reason Lucas had no excuse as to say that he didn't have a chance to say his real feelings because maya wouldn't of stopped him. matter of fact Maya didn't even let her feelings known out loud she only said she liked him once and That was at the campfire so he had a chance to break it to her easily or say "will you let me figure out what I want to do". you know none of that they just randomly end up on a date and he just randomly let's Riley push him around. Riley doesn't have all the power and she needs to learn that. She can't fix everything just like Farkle can't fix everything and Corey can't fix and everything they have to learn on their own. But I don't want this to be biased because I'm a Lucaya shipper no that's the furthest thing I want but I do want maya to have some kind of happiness it's not fair that everyone just automatically likes Riley. no matter how much Farkle likes both Riley and Maya. Riley still has that one person up on Maya. It's like no one in that school has a crush on her and I find that hard to believe.

  30. You know what I realized too? Maya tells Riley "He needs me to take him down a peg sometimes". But he doesn't! He is disney channel perfect prince who is great in every way but also humble. It's funny that they should say that though because that is what we WANT. A big ego would be the perfect flaw for Lucas! Why can't they just make him a little cocky so it makes sense when Maya has to take him down sometimes.

  31. So the writers tweeted a lot of stuff this afternoon. For those of you that don't follow:

    Nice weekend numbers. Thank you all for coming. What is coming will surprise you. The story continues in New Year and Legacy (The finale)

    But first: Forgiveness, Belief, Sludge. Three important subjects and we are proud of these episodes. And wait until you see Bay Window.

    Three Riley's. Three Mayas. Two Farkles. One Lucas. One decision.

    And then, Girl Meets The New Year. Who will be together at Midnight?

    Girl Meets World: November and December. Season 1: Friendship. Season 2: Growth. Next: Feelings. And lots of 'em. Including yours.

    So it appears that "Graduation" might have been renamed to "Legacy"

    If you didn't know in "Bay Window" we have first grade Riley/Maya/Farkle, the current 4 kids and then future Riley and Maya

    They didn't talk about Commonism at all - I wonder if that is one of those if you don't have anything good to say type of things.

    The theme for season 3 is Feelings - that could lead to some awkward episodes.

    1. "So it appears that "Graduation" might have been renamed to "Legacy""

      Beats changing Forgiveness to "The Forgiveness Project." Legacy is pretty good. And from what I've heard, we may shed a few tears.

      Commonism, as you've mentioned, was filmed pre-Yearbook. As was Belief. We'll have to deal with pre-Yearbook Farkle...oi vei. Just release Commonism online guys.

      I also take back my worries about not getting a Season 3. At this point, Disney would have a PR nightmare if they do.

      My one hope for New Year is that even if the Maya/Lucas/Riley triangle isn't solved or moved along, is that they'll kill Joshaya. Preferably with fire.

    2. Yes season 3 is assured. Disney will not even have a 6th current live action show until summer 2016 if they keep all 4 current shows going. No chance it gets the axe.

      I have to think that Josh will see what a mess Riley/Maya/Lucas is and point out to Maya that she clearly isn't ready for a relationship on the level he is ready for. That should kill that pretty hard.

      Commonism was filmed pre-Demolition it's so old. So not only old Farkle, we get old pre-hopeful Maya as well. Though I am looking forward to seeing Auggie, Ava and Emma Weathersbee. I just hope that story line doesn't suck too hard.

    3. Yeah, if I was Josh, I'd nope the hell out of dodge. Good for him.

      That said, I've also heard a ton of fan speculation that Farkle and Riley are going to get together at the end of the season. That's a stretch...

      I can definitely see the writers are foreshadowing it big time and while it's the pairing I'm most fond of (mostly because I don't like Lucas), I'm not seeing it until Season 4 at the earliest.

    4. "Belief" and "Sludge" don't excite me. It's hard to articulate without hurting feelings, so I'll just say I think they'll be Author Filibuster, and I'm not sure Disney is the best venue for that--especially after this romance-heavy trilogy.

    5. Shipping wars where did you hear we might shed a few tears from legacy?

    6. I think the writers said it's their most emotional episode yet. Given "Rileytown," and likely "Forgiveness Project," that's a pretty darn high bar. It's also a two-parter, which could allow for some experimentation.

      Not only that, it's a graduation. It's saying good-bye to the first school we saw them in...though Cory's classroom left so much to be desired, I'm actually delighted we're leaving the middle school.

      When Shipping Wars and I graduated from eighth grade, our class was essentially split into the kids who went to the prep school and those who went to the public school. Our classmates were distraught over leaving one another. Curiously, high school graduation was nowhere near as sad--it was much more cathartic.

    7. It's not a 2-parter:

      2.23 the Forgiveness Project
      2.24 Sludge
      2.25 Belief
      2.26 the New Year
      2.27 Money
      2.28 Commonism
      2.29 the Bay Window
      2.30 Legacy

    8. Oh. Well, "Legacy" sounds like a far more compelling title than "Graduation."

    9. It sounds like a /series/ finale title tbh. I wonder what the GMW series finale title would be...

      Knowing Disney Channel, they'd probably advertise it as "Girl Meets Goodbye" or something.

    10. haha, yeah, somethin like that. Girl Meets The End.

    11. That sounds apocalyptic

    12. Gosh, I hope it isn't "Girl Meets Goodbye." That's terrible grammar. What about "Girl Meets Endgame"? "Girl Meets Finale"? "Girl Meets Universe"?'s kind of a nitpick, but I don't like the whole "Girl Meets..." as an episode title concept.
      Sure there's plenty of other, more important things to bring up in the name of constructive criticism (Cory's classroom, Pacing, Screen-time of allegedly main cast members, Cory's classroom, Episode airing order in regards to storyline, Cory's classroom, The Core Five as a mostly cohesive unit compared to the original show's Power Trio Plus Eric) but it still sort of bugs me.

      There's just not much creativity in "Girl Meets ...." and I wonder if it makes episodes less memorable. And it feels a bit too direct--much like the classroom scenes. Show, don't tell and all. "I Never Sang For My Legal Guardian" or "Wake-up Little Cory" are infinitely better than what would likely be "Boy Meets Foster Parent?" or "Boy Meets Rumors."

  32. Do you remember that episode of BMW where Shawn and Angela had an awkward first date because they were trying too hard to be Cory and topanga? I think that's what happened with Lucaya. They were trying too hard to be Lucas and Riley. The whole "I saw a horse give birth" (I don't think thats verbatim) line that Lucas tells Maya is the exact same story he told Riley and I think that's partly why he got smoothied. The best chemistry in part 3, was when Maya said to Lucas "me now" or when they were both very happy about Lucas being smoothied

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    1. Re-watched Texas as a whole — my third watch on Part One and my second on Parts Two and Three. Some technical difficulties while posting this, but upon further (probably unnecessary) review:

      Biggest issue plaguing Part One is the same deal that plagues the show at large — pacing. The first two scenes (including the opening credits) equal ten minutes in air time. That is borderline inexcusable, and I only say borderline because the first scene was really quite good and advanced the plot in a sensible, neat, but still too Girl Meets World-ish way. The Cletus scene is too long, and if for no other reason than flavor, the material there should really be broken down into two and shot on different set pieces. I didn’t dislike Cletus (stereotyping aside); he had a role to serve here and even made me chuckle once or twice, but that scene ends up being so long it doesn’t matter that there are several elements I like about it (Maya’s bit making Cletus and Lucas look eye-to-eye was enjoyable), it just gets me out-of-sorts and beginning to look at the clock wondering how they are going to tidy everything up with the now only 12 minutes they have left. Granted, in this case they had three episodes-worth of time to work with and, surprisingly, nothing in Part One does feel shortchanged, but this at its core is one of the show’s biggest issues and something I really hope to see resolved in Season Three.

      Even just in watching Part One, and knowing what I know now from Part Three, yes, Maya (and Lucas’) change of behavior is a stark contrast, but, I don’t know, I still feel like it works. Will not beat the “they’re teenagers” horse again, but definitely remain in the camp of it being authentic and true-to-life. A possible reason for why it feels SO jarring? This Sabrina Carpenter can just flat out act, man. Her delivery on the “I’m never speaking to you again” stuff is just great. Her (and Maya’s) poise in that moment, and then several more in Part Two, are so well beyond her years that I think it can make it tough for an audience to believe that she can revert to a mute shell of herself in Part Three.

      Quick aside, Lucas really does have some really nice comedic moments in this three-parter. He’s made great strides since Season One.

      Also, I agree with all giving the Zay character props for his inclusion here. The writers no longer seem determined to write him as if he was on another sitcom in a different television-universe, which is darn swell. He was pretty much spot on all weekend and I think that will only become a trend in Season Three. The argument can actually be made that Farkle was far more the fifth-wheel during the course of these three episodes than Zay was. Five may ultimately be too many cooks, but for right now it’s progress.

      “I think you have a fine grasp of the general situation, yes” MAY be the line of the weekend. Mr. Friendly is dope sauce.

      To quickly go back to my earlier point about pacing, just Lucas, Riley and Maya starting a conversation outside of the tent and then walking into its air-conditioned glory made what was another lengthy scene feel all the fresher (no pun). It’s the small things.

      The end of Part One (from Lucas getting on the bull on) really is tremendous. All masters are served well — Lucas and family, Riley and Maya, even Lucas and Timmy — feels very Boy Meets World and is a several minute stretch the show should aim to aspire to more often, no matter what the subject matter be.

      Maya somehow shows no emotion and all emotions ever during the Riley-puts-the-pieces together scene in Part One. She pretty much does it again when Riley asks the question right before the TBC pops up in the bumper. It’s an impressive skill and perfect for the moments at hand. Also, Zay’s facials during the bumper are Emmy worthy.

      “Yeah, from now on, it’s always been the three of us” is another line-of-the-weekend contender. It’s both a funny line and also a really nice (and time-efficient) way to show that these three guys are a tight unit.

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    1. Super small detail, but when Riley says “the rest of our lives” during the porch scene in Part Two, I truly heard Cory (this happens again during the campfire scene). Who knows if this is an instance of it, but I genuinely believe that Rowan has taken the time to study up on both Ben and Danielle’s mannerisms, inflection, etc. She is money in this scene.

      Maya’s “I just don’t want anything to change” line in response to Riley grilling her to say something to Lucas about her feelings at Chubbie’s is a double-edged sword for me. On the one hand, I think it is too forward choice of line since up until this moment she has not given even a slight facial cue to how she actually feels about him or the situation at large. But, on the other hand, it’s such a Shawn Hunter moment I think I’m gonna allow it with no hesitation.

      Quick aside, my favorite moment of the weekend is Maya asking Farkle for help, pulling him in and putting her head on his shoulder. I love this for two reasons. For one, it is such an earned moment. You can’t do this in Season One with these two characters and expect the audience to buy it as authentic. It is a testament that, even through all its flaws, this show has done a strong job developing not only its characters, but its relationships and getting us to a place where we are invested enough to really feel a small moment like this. Secondly, it’s such a picture-perfect fourteen-year-old-in-love moment. “Help me,” resting her head on the shoulder of the dude in the friend zone … it’s just real.

      Could have had a stronger act out than Riley just reiterating that she wants to be brother and sister with Luke. Only even mentioning it because I am not sure how many other critiques I am gonna have on this one.

      All the Vanessa stuff was cute, a nice B-story and sets Zay up well for Season Three.

      I still really dig this Maddie and Tay song, along with the glances that the three leads share during the course of it … but yeah, there probably should have been a conversation inserted here between some combination of the three of them or, even Zay and Angela. Probably the only other slight misstep of the episode, but still advances plot, just not in the most effective way possible.

      Another super small detail, but holy mackerel, when Lucas stands up and says “What if that’s not what I think we are” to Riley in reference to the brother/sister thing at the campfire, that quick cut to Maya’s reaction is just heartbreaking.

      “Because I didn’t want you to win and get all conceded” — not the line of the weekend, but the delivery was phenomenal.

      The Lucas/Maya exchange is perfectly written and performed. Was gonna single specific elements out, but it was really the sum of its parts. The argument can be made that the campfire scene is the best of the series thus far.

      Lucas talking to the farm animals is the closest we get to his thoughts on the matter at hand … it shouldn’t be this way, it just shouldn’t. “Good luck in the world, boy” was really nice though — I hope Pappy Joe is not two-and-done.

      Part Two is the best episode of the series for me and it honestly may not even be close.

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    1. Riley playing the martyr was done better than I gave it credit for during my first write-up. Blanchard toggles perfectly between sincerity and falsifying on the matter.

      The “Hi,” exchange between the three leads in the cold open was a perfect note to start on.

      Still dig the crap out of Riley/Maya/Cory/Topanga scene. Also still think “That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard” is Ben’s best moment of the season, if not the series so far. Perfect.

      Rowan knocked “Yes, Charlie, I will go out with you” out of the park. The exact right blend of excitement and sorrow.

      The Lucas/Riley Bay Window scene early on was enjoyable (for me), but was possibly a missed opportunity to have Riley audibly set-up the Lucas/Maya “date.”

      “You don’t think everybody in this room is going bowling with everybody else at some point?” I am fine with Cory is an awful teacher critiques, but, I mean … this was knowledge being dropped in its finest form.

      The Cory/Farkle scene is a very important element to the episode. Shows Cory as truly caring and concerned and establishes Farkle’s role (at least in the short-term) going forward.

      Had begun writing that smoothie-gate wasn’t actually supposed to be seen as a date … and then Riley confirms that they are “going out” in the next scene with Topanga. Clearly, a scene vital to the episode was cut or never written, either way it’s inexcusable. Riley does later say to Maya “How did your TIME with Lucas go?” which leads me to believe that the writers may have just been trying to play fast-and-loose because they wanted to work the juxtaposition between the two pairings in.

      To reiterate from my first post, I still do buy this Lucas and Maya exchange. A heavy emotional moment like that (even sans a kiss) is still a toll on people that young. They have enough cute moments in the midst of this part that shows the feelings are still there, but just don’t know how to function with them on a large scale. That’s good writing.

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    1. Love the subtext on Riley saying “I’m gonna be here a long time” while with Topanga. Quality line.

      They did take Charlie a step too pathetic during the Topanga’s scene, but past that, I actually love everything about this exchange. It was the perfect illustration of all three leads’ confusion.

      I support the mini-clip show. I think the ultimate difference of opinion on whether or not this episode worked was what you were expecting from it. Those who thought that some headway would be made on it in some form or fashion are unquestionably disappointed. On the flip side, those who assumed that this would be where the triangle finally spoke its own name and became a true staple of the season and not just subtext on the wall probably like where it wound up. I certainly am the latter. Was nervous I was going to re-watch Part Three and realize I overrated it, but it’s still hitting all the same spots it did for me on first viewing. I feel almost dirty saying I enjoy a clip show of any length, by the way … Brave New World is excluded.

      And I don’t know, I still like what they did here. I still don’t believe the show is telling me anything other than to stay tuned. And, to clarify, if that is someone’s major gripe after watching these three episodes, I will absolutely listen to that and understand it. However, now with a full re-watch behind me, I personally don’t see any basis or clear proof that the show is painting the picture that any of the Lucas/Maya subtleties were a waste of time, but just fuel for future fires.

      Also, I don’t see the writers invalidating themselves with Maya thinking she was wrong on Lucas/Riley being brother and sister. Just because Maya is street smart doesn’t make her all-knowing. Her small glimpses of seeing those two in that light are what allow the character to explore her feelings for Lucas in the first place and still mean something to the audience and the overall story … even if the two parties in question don’t necessarily agree or see it all in the same light that she does. Hell, those moments would have probably been in the mini-clip show if Farkle could conjure up other people’s memories like he was Peter Petrelli from Heroes Not Reborn.

      Part Three gets my vote as the second best episode of the series. I truly believe the target audience will get something out of watching it. And although that is not necessarily my benchmark for what makes a quality episode of this show, the fact that I can tangibly feel that means something. Add that with my laughing a ton and having virtually none of the usual issues that I often do with the program and I am hard-pressed to say this was anything other than really quite the accomplishment.

      I have written more words on these three episodes in the past two days than I have on the rest of either this or the original series combined — if nothing else it means they are striking chords, which is what “Boy” did best. I’ll take it.

      Part One grade: B+

      Part Two grade: A (best episode of the series)

      Part Three grade: A- (second best episode of the series)

      Girl Meets Texas MVP: Sabrina Carpenter. She’s a star.

    2. It was a treat to read this Ryan. Great job.

      I agree. While the plot isn't moving as quickly as we might like, the personal interactions have never been better. In this weekend, we got the best Topanga scene by a mile, the best Riley/Farkle scene (more of that is coming, I'd be willing to bet) and I'm looking forward to what comes next.

      Taking a couple weeks off guys. No new episodes until November leaves me time to work on some side projects.

    3. This analysis is brilliant. Once again, I say welcome to the family.

    4. Good stuff man, excellent write up.

      One note on those clips - the clip from the original "World of Terror" with Maya giving Lucas the hur-hurrr - was not actually in that episode. It was filmed but cut from the final product. Interesting that they used a scene we had never been shown during those flashbacks.

    5. That's pretty interesting 1960. It makes me wonder whether other things have been cut--say a scene where Riley actually initiates the 'date' between Maya and Lucas--and whether any of those cuts were actually substantial.

    6. This was a very interesting post. While I didn't love part 3 I think this does do a good job of explaining why there is such a wide range of opinions on Texas as a whole. I was on the same page as you in that I did not expect anything to be resolved at the end of this. In fact we made more progress than I thought we would. I knew there would be nothing definitive deciding if it was Maya and Lucas or Lucas and Riley because then they would HAVE to address it or at least include it in the next episode and we all knew the next three episodes were filmed before this. If Lucas had said how he felt about both girls they couldn't really ignore that for the next month so it wasn't really a possibility. I think part 3 has even grown on me a little since my initial reaction. And I agree that the Maya Lucas subtleties were not a waste of time and will not be swept under the rug. Although I do find it EXTREMELY concerning that the theme of the next season is feelings. I would prefer this be pretty resolved by the end of the season but I'll trust the writers. They really don't seem to be pandering to anyone, and are instead trying to make this as realistic as possible.

      As for the brother and sister thing, I agree that this doesn't discount that, I actually think Texas made the brother-sister thing make a lot more sense. Of course Lucas is not Just like a brother to her. You hit the nail on the head when you said "Her small glimpses of seeing those two in that light are what allow the character to explore her feelings for Lucas in the first place". I totally agree with this. The purpose was not to put Riley-Lucas to rest. It was to give Maya a chance to consider what a relationship with her and Lucas might look like. Riley had heard her say it and just decided to go with it if it meant Maya could explore her feelings. I still think the episode is far from an A- but I liked your analysis a lot.

    7. This was a very interesting post. While I didn't love part 3 I think this does do a good job of explaining why there is such a wide range of opinions on Texas as a whole. I was on the same page as you in that I did not expect anything to be resolved at the end of this. In fact we made more progress than I thought we would. I knew there would be nothing definitive deciding if it was Maya and Lucas or Lucas and Riley because then they would HAVE to address it or at least include it in the next episode and we all knew the next three episodes were filmed before this. If Lucas had said how he felt about both girls they couldn't really ignore that for the next month so it wasn't really a possibility. I think part 3 has even grown on me a little since my initial reaction. And I agree that the Maya Lucas subtleties were not a waste of time and will not be swept under the rug. Although I do find it EXTREMELY concerning that the theme of the next season is feelings. I would prefer this be pretty resolved by the end of the season but I'll trust the writers. They really don't seem to be pandering to anyone, and are instead trying to make this as realistic as possible.

      As for the brother and sister thing, I agree that this doesn't discount that, I actually think Texas made the brother-sister thing make a lot more sense. Of course Lucas is not Just like a brother to her. You hit the nail on the head when you said "Her small glimpses of seeing those two in that light are what allow the character to explore her feelings for Lucas in the first place". I totally agree with this. The purpose was not to put Riley-Lucas to rest. It was to give Maya a chance to consider what a relationship with her and Lucas might look like. Riley had heard her say it and just decided to go with it if it meant Maya could explore her feelings. I still think the episode is far from an A- but I liked your analysis a lot.

    8. Cryptid, they cut lots of stuff. Look at the year 1 opening credits. Riley sitting on Cory's desk with the globe - that would have been cut from "Meets Smackle", as it was filmed but not shown there. I have to assume they, like lots of other shows and films, cut stuff all the time for time considerations.

    9. The globe scene is from "Meets Smackle"? Huh, I thought it was just promo-material, not to mention "Smackle" is not quite the most...meta episode in terms of actual plot--though I loved Topanga saying "Oh no, I married Feeny."

      Christian mentioned a while back that there was bits in the pilot and "Boy" that were on Netflix that he didn't notice. Could those cuts be back on?

    10. And there's one more thing I'd like to add. I'm not sure the pacing itself is as slow as it appears, what with upcoming episodes being set before "Texas." Shipping Wars and I discussed this and we came to the conclusion that based on the lighting, costume hinting at warmer weather, and Charlie's presence that the "Texas" episodes are set very shortly after "Semi-formal" while the last few episodes of filler were not.

    11. I would find it hard to believe that the Netflix cuts are any different than what is on Amazon Prime, and they are the exact same as I can see on Watch Disney.

      If the conveyor belt clip from the season 2 intro isn't from Commonism then I guess that they do film some stuff just for promos. I do know that they cut the kids dancing in class from "Meets Boy" I believe but have used that scene in promotional stuff.

    12. There was a scene of kids dancing in the classroom from "Meets Boy" and it got cut???

      *Slam head against wall*

      I do not know whether I am happier that was cut, or aghast that such a scene was written in the first place.

      That said, a conveyor belt scene once a season could be a good running gag.

    13. Cryptid - about 10 seconds into this early promo for GMW the kids are dancing in the classroom and dressed as they are in "Meets Boy";_Promo_3

    14. First, the dance scene looked awful.

      Second, the kids, especially Rowan and Corey, were /tiny/ in the pilot.

    15. Thanks, everybody. Clearly, something in these episodes really sparked a fire under me and it's been cool to have an outlet for like-minded conversation and especially cool to get a variety of different opinions. Really digging it here, happy to be on board.

  37. This is the only GMW site I can stand anymore. IMDB is a zoo. A negative, negative zoo. Thanks for the reviews Sean and Christian. Also thanks for the reader reviews and discussion.

    1. Thanks for saying that! :D I'm very happy with the atmosphere of this place.

    2. Yes, IMDB is a complete disaster, I'm very glad I found this site.

    3. This site is probably one of the most respectful discussion areas I've ever seen on the internet. You guys have fun, don't let your bias affect too much, engage in discussions with us, and don't critique us for tone (only when we get on tangents haha).

    4. Thanks, Julia. It probably helps that I more or less can't keep up with the comments anymore, and thus you guys are free to roam like the wild west.

    5. When did the comments really get going? Around "Yearbook" wasn't it?

    6. Hahaha I think I spend more time on this site than Christian and Sean I've read just about all the comments

  38. The writers are getting chatty again today. we got 4 new tweets. Here they are:

    We will return to the adventures of Rucas and Lucaya.

    But first, Maya makes a decision about her father and herself.

    And then Riley asks Maya to believe in God

    The simple stories portion of our program is officially over. You have asked us to take on real issues. We are listening.

    The first three are stuff we already knew about. I hope the last one is true and not them blowing smoke up our butts.

    1. The question in taking on "Real Issues" is in the execution.
      So far, I would say that Girl Meets World has done a pretty good, if rushed, job in handling divorced families with Maya's home life. There's been a lot of grace and actual recognition that divorce does hurt. That said, I doubt any kid show will ever be able to repeat what "As Told By Ginger" was able to do.

      If Maya is hostile to the idea of God and Riley encourages her to believe, then the episode sounds preachy, but frankly, not out-of-character.
      I'm very cautious, but that's more due to a very heavy topic being covered in only half an hour. But at least it sounds better than "Vague Paragraph Each About Five Different Holiday Traditions."

      "Forgiveness Project" was going to happen in some shape since the beginning--I had a confrontation scene pegged the moment I learned Maya's father didn't live with her.

      "Sludge" I am not looking forward to, due to the near-certainty it is going to be not only preachy but inaccurately so.

      The writers say they're listening?
      Make Cory a better teacher. We're not asking for Feeny, heck we're not even asking for Turner. We're asking that Cory show some backbone and be given respect.

    2. "Riley asks Maya to believe in God"

      This one has the potential to be amazing or make me never watch the show again.

      Is Forgivness airing tomorrow night or next week?

    3. Yeah that's about where I am too Julia.

      And we are on a much needed break until Nov 6th.


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    6. Yeah, this breather sounds like just what we needed. Say, why does November 6th sound familiar? Oh yeah! That's the day the new Peanuts movie opens.

      I don't know how "Belief" is going to turn out, but Disney did say "this episode will make our company better." I don't know whether or not that actually makes me feel better.

    7. "The simple stories portion of our program is officially over. You have asked us to take on real issues. We are listening."


      I'm interested to see how these next few episodes are going to tackle these subjects, especially 'Belief' -- Girl Meets World has done a flawed but decent job with their more serious subjects so far, some just flaws in the structure/writing/character department that could use improvement, which happens, and some that -- I don't usually point this out, for fear of sounding overly negative -- can be traced to the fact that this is a show on Disney Channel and there are a lot of rules/restrictions that the writers seem to have been tackling decently albeit with glaring bits-and-pieces so far but as the show has been going since... I'd say 'Creativity' onward are having a bit more trouble with.

      I wasn't one of the people lamenting this show on Disney Channel, I think that Gravity Falls (as well as some of the older shows on the Channel back in the day and the attempt at lesbian mothers in Good Luck Charlie recently,) kind of made me forget that this network is probably the most restrictive and kid/tween-friendly of the Big Three. Not to say it hasn't done tougher subjects before but not to the level of Boy Meets World and really, not to the level of Girl Meets World which is why seeing some of the messages they spread are shocking to some people -- it hasn't been done in a while and Disney (Channel) never did that much of it to begin with, even with the best shows they had. 'I Am Farkle' and 'Rileytown' suffered partially because they couldn't go as deep as was required given the topics (of course they had other flaws that didn't help) and they are among the most 'real issue' episodes the show has done. I am hoping that, starting with Season Three, Disney Channel either begins a teen block or the show actually does make the move to ABC Family or Netflix-- while I would rather Disney Channel just makes a teen block already (Cartoon Network has Adult Swim (and fewer restrictions on their content in general but the stuff that doesn't fit those is shown there), Canada's Disney equivalent Family Channel just made one for the coming Degrassi Season 15 and Nickelodeon has Nick @ Nite and TeenNick -- Girl Meets World starting off a block of more mature teen shows on their main network would be good for both the show and the channel as a whole.) I'd take the move if the content improves because of it, which I think it would. Anyway, I'm hoping these episodes, and this direction, work and I hope they really are listening.

    8. I also hope that, if they don't give Cory a bit of a backbone and keep him as he is, that they at least then expand the classroom characters -- not even all of them, just a few. So that it doesn't feel like he only cares about Daughter n' Friends, one thing that always baffled me was that there are only two other recurring peers and only one is in their class -- I'm not asking for that entire class to have stories with them all the time but if you have a teacher like Cory who is so 'life-lesson' and 'sharing and caring' it feels like he should at least give a damn about all of them instead of just his daughter and her friends. I heard that maybe Sarah will become a supporting character which makes sense given that she's one of the few who talks, has a name (even before Rileytown she actually did have a name), was mentioned by Cory before and her actress is the sister to one of the leads. I also want a few more.

      One of my top wants for a plot/episode is that Daughter n' Friends all get the Flu or something and that leaves Cory to actually learn about the others in the class for real for a few days (maybe let this be Sarah's first real episode if she is gonna have an expanded role) without the distraction of Daughter n' Friends and their problems/relationships and he starts getting attached to them as a group (and we learn about why, besides the obvious, he puts so much emphasis on The Four + One and what he was like before they were there and if something made him such a bad teacher maybe he doesn't like that he didn't seem to change any kid like he was changed by his teachers made him want to focus on the kids he could actually try and influence in and out of school...) and when Daughter n' Friends return to school they find that the dynamic has changed and other kids get focus in the class sometimes and it bothers them at first but Cory teaches them and himself that those other kids have just as much going on and that their lessons can help teach them too -- just like he hopes that even his lessons for them taught others and helped them. Or something. Also maybe at some point each of the group gets assigned to someone else in the class for a project and they learn more about that kid and help them with a life problem too or bond with them over common interests or grow to not like one another. I don't even know which kids should become actual supporting cast and which should stay extras but I would like to see more of a few of them, if only just to justify the claim that Cory is supposedly a good teacher.

    9. I've actually thought that Sarah the Extra had potential for a really compelling storyline. Sarah the Extra is played by Sarah Carpenter, Sabrina Carpenter's real-life sister. It's actually fairly obvious--if you look closely, Sarah looks a lot like Maya, but more or less has Riley's hair.

      If Sarah is connected to Maya, maybe a cousin, and they haven't been friends since Maya's father split, then there's an entire story to tell there. Cory could assign a project on family trees, and Sarah actually reveals that she's Maya's relative. Maya could react with hostility, and Sarah could be desperate to reach out and reconcile.

      Family relations were a subplot on "Boy Meets World," with Shawn and Cory realizing that you didn't have to be blood to be family, and that being blood did not necessarily require familial loyalty. And then there was Jack, Shawn's estranged half-brother, who frankly was not used to his full potential in that storyline. I could definitely see a similar scenario coming up here.

      Thank you Miranda; I've been wanting to articulate my thoughts on that for weeks.

    10. I think, out of all of the kids, she's my favorite to become a supporting cast member -- admittedly not saying a lot because most of them don't have characters yet and she's kinda not an exception but she's adorable, has funny background moments and she's most likely to stick around for the long haul.

      Also, I've never thought about it but it would be really interesting to see Sarah and Maya as estranged cousins! I could see a compelling storyline coming out of those two being estranged cousins who used to be friends until her dad left -- it wouldn't be too out of left field, maybe require a bit of suspension of disbelief that either no one made the connection until now or no one tried to help Sarah repair her relationship with Maya but given that her lines and background moments mostly happen with something related to Maya, it would be too much of a stretch to see her as a cousin looking for an entry point into Maya's life again and Maya just isn't having it.

      You're welcome! :)

    11. Truthfully, I doubt I'd have ever come up with Sarah the Extra having any ties to Maya beyond a not-always-silent classmate if it weren't for the fact they look very much alike.

      Maya is supposed to have younger half-siblings that, even if we don't meet them, will be mentioned in "Forgiveness Project."

    12. Well, it wouldn't be too out of place but yeah, even though it would be interesting I'm not sure if the writers would do it because they've been in class together and it would probably raise some eyebrows if that never came up until now but I kinda like it in spite of that, they do look a lot alike and it would be interesting.

      I actually didn't know that she would have half-siblings but I hope we do meet them in 'Forgiveness Project' or they would be revisited at a later time...

    13. Maya's half-siblings are meant to be much younger than she is. Shipping Wars and I discussed it and he believes that it's possible that at one of them may be in Auggie's class.

      Of course, it coming out of nowhere could, in theory, increase the tension. Sarah could say something along the lines of "You can't ignore me forever." Maya could say that "I can try."

      Of course, "Rules" pretty much threw this potential storyline out the window since Sarah the Extra asked Maya to teach the Good Kids of Rileytown how to be Bad Kids of Mayaville. There's a sense of...just, classmates. Man..."Rules" does not hold up to scrutiny.

  39. (Part 1 of 2 of my comment) Honestly, you gotta evaluate the Writers' claim that this is stuff you can see in the pilot with an enormous grain of salt.

    You really have to wonder to what extent this entire mess is a function of showrunners dealing with a variety of issues they never remotely considered when they cast and initially storyboarded the show (to the extent they did at all).

    Now, we can look at this issue in a bunch of ways.

    In the light most favorable to the Writers, they realized certain uncomfortable truths when they cast all the way back years ago: Cory and Topanga were the product of networks that allowed significantly more adult topics, like sex and, hell, making out on screen, which Disney just won't do; and that they cast a gender-bent Cory and Shawn *who are two and a half years apart* and a plausible gender-bent love interest who is only about six months older than GirlShawn but three years minus a month older than GirlCory. Consequently, it's almost impossible to imagine, given that they knew there was a built-in audience that would push this show to three or four seasons, that the Writers did not consider the physical ramifications of casting the show in this way. At a certain point, you're running into the serious issue of wildly divergent puberty...and I gotta say, I think they cast Fogelmanis *precisely because* he wasn't developed as fast.

    When you cast Meyer, you have to realize you're casting a guy who's on the way out of puberty before you even start filming, and by the time the show wraps filming on a fourth season in 2017, guy's gonna be over 18. Now, the glorious aspect of casting Carpenter from the perspective of the Writers is that you build in this potential to match Meyer up with her in an age appropriate manner, and avoid a scenario where Meyer, his family, and his agent are incredibly skeeved out by the prospective of doing even the Disney-level physical scenes with a girl who may be obviously prepubescent into the final season. Meanwhile, by making her the love interest of the hunk dude, you get plaudits from the Mouse's talent evaluation side for pushing an actress that the Mouse is trying to make into a star by driving her in front and center.

    Fogelmanis and Blanchard can then not only replicate the Cory Topanga relationship, they will less obviously skeeve out people because it's highly likely Fogelmanis will be this shrimpy geek kid as long as you need him, since he's younger than Meyer or Carpenter...except that didn't work because Fogelmanis ran into puberty *hard* in the period between wrapping Season 1 and beginning Season 2.

    And that's why I don't think you can really look at this as anything but opportunism from the Writers, in ways that probably reflect what the two jackasses running HIMYM pulled after Season 2 of that show. Namely, I really don't buy that the Writers *are* invested in a Maya-Lucas connection, but they're trying to harness the unbelievable UST between Meyer and Carpenter that's practically dripping off the screen - and apparently if you throw this into Google, Carpenter's relationship IRL got canned in no small part because of this. The Writers aren't blind, so they're going to milk this, and on some level, hope that Blanchard is an early bloomer, although all signs to point to something very different, where she might be tall and gangly, but she's going to end up looking, because of the distorting aspects of puberty, about 6 or 7 years younger than Meyer by the end of the show and god forbid if Carpenter starts, y'know, developing, she's going to look almost as young along side her, although by casting a very short girl they avoid some of that.

    1. (Part 2 of 2 of my comment)

      In other words, run out the clock by playing up Maya Lucas sexual tension until Blanchard matures or ends up clicking in some organically romantic way with either of the male leads.

      My guess is, if Blanchard develops fast enough, the Writers would be more than happy to push her towards Meyer no matter what the chemistry aspect is, but not do something that's going to look visibly uncomfortable onscreen. Unfortunately for the Writers, now that Fogelmanis has finally left prepubescence, they no longer have an easy out.

      But the way things are going, this is going to be something of a disaster if they don't link up Maya and Lucas as long as Blanchard's body stubbornly insists on looking, well, exactly as old as she is, because otherwise you're going to have relationship onscreen that's going to look and feel visibly discomfiting to both the viewers, especially those older ones who make up a ton of the built in audience, and to the Mouse execs.

      However, you have to be out of your mind to believe the Writers truly intended this path from the beginning, because that would require, like, advanced physiological analytics and biometric analysis of their main actors that I sincerely doubt the Writers used when they cast the show.

      Honestly, when they cast the *original* Boy Meets World, they lucked out immensely on the maturing rates of their actors and actresses.

      And to Sean & Christian as an aside? Come on bros, we know exactly why Maya and Lucas don't do anything on their date. Their chemistry is wrapped up in their complementary personalities, but also in physicality - theirs is the most physically charged relationship on the show and has been all season - that the Writers *cannot show onscreen* barring immense changes in the Disney Channel's policies regarding sexuality. Both Meyer and Carpenter *look their ages* which are Sophomore/Junior in High School, which is precisely when people start dating *for real* which means at the very least some sort of making out. And you'll notice, Boy Meets World kept Topanga and Cory - and more implausibly Shawn - virgins until they were married, but still had them spend dates where they were making out on camera. That's pretty much what all of Shawn's relationships consisted of, and was used in cutaways to humorous effect.

      You wanna know why Maya and Lucas had an awkward date? Because we know from Part 2 of this very three parter that what Maya *wants* to do is for Lucas to sweep her off her feet and at least make out with her. That's totally unacceptable for Disney, and so to a certain extent, the entirety of the awkward date is a metacommentary by the Writers on the restrictions under which they're working as a consequence of this being a Mouse show instead of an ABC or even, hell, ABC Family show

    2. Oh, and as an aside to my aside; in the *very first episode* of BMW Season 3 we basically are dealing with kids who are around where they're *right now* which is to say sort of indeterminately in 7th to 9th grade

      That episode ended with Cory and Topanga making out and becoming boyfriend and girlfriend

      I doubt we see anything like this in the last episodes left in this season or the first of next which are supposed to be the exact same time in their lives, since Cory and Shawn's position in school bounced around a ton in the early years where they still relied on the anachronism of "Junior High" where 7th, 8th, and 9th graders could flow around, and even be joined with the rest of High School, a concept which has been a dead letter in American education for decades, although it was still extant if dying off in droves when BMW was in first run broadcast

    3. The beginning of the 3rd season of BMW had the kids in 8th grade. Time for them didn't get sketchy until the 4th season when in "I Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce No More" Cory suddenly says he is in 11th grade.

      But as to your other point, yes I agree. These kids will not ever be going to a make out party like the BMW kids did in the 7th grade in "Fear Strikes Out". While I don't really see the need for extensive makeout scenes in a kids show, Disney does seem to have a limit on the number of lip kisses on each show per season. Hell, On Liv & Maddie, Maddie and Diggie haven't kissed yet even though they are currently high school seniors. Even parents in these Disney sitcoms seem to have a kissing limit on them. Cory and Topanga haven't kissed much in the 43 episodes we have seen so far, and that is certainly not what long time viewers would expect. At some point I would guess that Jacobs and the staff will begin to push the envelope for the sake of their art and the fans. It will be interesting to see what Disney lets them get away with.

    4. Right, but Graduation/Legacy/WTHtheWritersNameIt will be moving them to High School

      Which in NYC, starts in 9th Grade

      But don't get me wrong, 1960, I'm not trying to say we *need* these things, I'm trying to explain why all these dates end up fizzling out.

      This is absolutely a case of Executive Meddling, or rather preemptive response to Executive Meddling, and that's why Maya and Lucas have an "awkward date"

      Well, no shit, brah, what do you *think* two 16 year olds on a date want to be doing?

      It ain't talkin'!

    5. Man, I hadn't even really considered Cory and Topanga virtually bereft of physical affection beyond an arm around the shoulder, but you're, of course, correct

      And, again, I'm not saying "man, I feel such a lack" - but this is supposed to be at its heart a coming of age story, and coming of age involves burgeoning sexuality

      Boy Meets World, frankly, was unique and fondly remembered by its audience *because it did not treat the audience with contempt* and dealt with these topics in ways that were amazingly even for a show directed at kids. They weren't even "Very Special Episode" style crap, they organically dealt with the prospect of physical maturation in a lighthearted but serious manner

      I can't see the Mouse letting any of that shit fly on the Disney Channel

    6. Another thing about the age stuff. Shelton - Josh - is a bit less than two years old than Carpenter in reality, but in the show, we're expected to buy that a 7th/8th grader barely into puberty is digging a guy who's in in his senior year of high school and that this guy and his friends thinks this is something like a surmountable age difference.

      The entire Josh-Maya subplot only makes sense from the perspective of the Writers considering options for Carpenter as she clearly out ages Blanchard, but the whole thing is incredible creepy, and I'm really sort of shocked that *that* of all things got past Disney's radar

    7. Sadly, I agree. But Disney wasn't always like this. Up till about 10 years ago kissing wasn't on their no fly list. It is possible that restriction will change again at some point. For the sake of this show, I hope that changes sooner rather than later. I do agree that some level of intimacy is required to show a "real" coming of age show.

      Oh, and that was a really interesting writeup.

    8. I'm glad you appreciated it.

      All I could hear in my head during the entirety of this episode was:

      "Writers, based, among other things, on the penultimate scene of Part 2, we know Maya is incredibly physically attracted to Lucas, so either shit or get off the pot on this, because right now you're just taking a steamer on the BMW legacy"

      Oh, and by the way, how come no one, including Sean & Christian, has yet mentioned how incredibly badly from pacing and even cinematographic perspectives this episode was cut?

      I'm not sure how much to blame him, but Ben Savage is an *atrocious* director if he didn't look at the script and say, Jacobs and Nelson, there are twice as many scenes in this episode as you can fit into a 19-22 minute show.

      They were transitioning like every 90 seconds. Considering Ben Savage's other episodes include three of the most craptacular in the series, you gotta wonder why the hell he's allowed to direct

      I say this in particular because I don't think you spent enough time noting that Parts 1&2 *which you loved* were directed by Rider Strong. You want to know why there's a huge, jarring shift in tone?

      Well, honestly? I bet Rider Strong and his brother *went back to Jacobs and Nelson* and said "we are not filming this horseshit as currently written"

      And that might explain why the episode got taken to three parts, ie. the Strongs refused either to mash the first two episodes into a disjointed and terribly edited first parter or to film the script as originally planned.

      Or worse, Savage muscled in and insisted his own episode, which ruined the two first episodes by its very unnecessary existence

    9. Your comment piqued my curious nature, so I decided to check. Ben Savage directed "Smackle," "Cory and Topanga," "Tell-Tale Tot" and "Texas 3." Yeah, not the best track record, I'll admit, but I don't think there's anything to see here in terms of Savage muscling his way into getting an episode.

      Rider Strong directed "Texas 1" and "Texas 2" but he also directed "1961" and "Gravity" and "Rules." So...I'm not going to judge either of them as directors.

      I'm just not sure there's really much to say about a director of a twenty-two minute program.

    10. Dan'l-I like where your head is at, but I think you've jumped the gun a bit. If this show gets to S4, here are the ages of the Core 4.

      Peyton Meyer-18/19
      Sabrina Carpenter-18/19
      Cory Foglemanis-17/18
      Rowan Blanchard-15/16

      And that's obviously not counting Uriah Shelton and Tanner Buchanan (Charlie Gardner) and their respective ages. I bring that up simply because we don't know what the plan is as it stands. While I agree that DC needs to allow a bit more freedom on the romance front if only to make things feel realistic, I don't think the actors/actress ages will keep them from doing what they need to do on the relationship front. I did say earlier in the show's run that the romantic stuff does come easier to Peyton/Sabrina because they're older, yet I don't think that Peyton/Rowan aren't w/out chemistry of their own. They work best when they are allowed to be themselves. When they are allowed to just talk, there's chemistry there. I think if the writers were to change the dynamic of Lucas/Riley to a more laid back relationship, they would have something to go on.

      And since you added it to the end of your post, I'll chime in on it again. This show is a DC show. DC wanted it, they pursued it, and they made it happen. This show is not going to be moved to ABC Family/Freeform. The only way that does happen is if someone above the execs at DC make that call.

    11. Funnily enough, Disney originally intended to reboot Boy Meets World. Michael Jacobs said "No, there's no need. The show's in syndication and reasonably popular." and then later called them back to say "What if we did it with Cory's daughter"?

    12. I get that, but I think its interesting that no one has ever really noted that as large of a conglomerate that Disney is, they very rarely cross streams with their properties. The recent debut of the Star Wars trailer on ESPN is a rare example of two Disney properties coming together to make something happen on that scale. I guess my underlying point is that Disney doesn't mix entities. Its not something they do often.

    13. That is an interesting point Pwfan. Perhaps Disney is changing that. They just recently started showing a commercial on Disney channel promoting the College Football Championship Game in Janurary that they broadcast on ABC. The commercial stars Peyton Meyer and Bradley Steven Perry so it seems like it is targeted at the Disney channel demographic, tween girls that would probably never watch a college football game at all.

  40. you guys are awesome. The last 3 reviews were absolutely fantastic.