Friday, January 22, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Money" (#2.27)

Hello everyone. I'm going to tell you a story with pictures.

I don't actually mind, I just like BUSTIN' CHOPS. Take it from me, I know a lot about chops, and Christian has some busted chops right now.

I don't think anyone is going to pretend that we did a good job with the last episode's review. But this week it's a full course meal. Eight courses. A hundred courses. Like the meals in Game of Thrones. Because you deserve it. Because I want Girl Meets World Reviewed to be spoken of in the same breath as the other great review blogs, like... like Boy Meets World Reviewed. Let's get started.

Cory is blatantly not teaching History today. He has dropped any sort of pretense in order to crank out another valuable life lesson. And you know what, I'm okay with it. Feeny taught random topics all the time. At least they're not insulting my intelligence by pretending this has something to do with history, like they usually do. One of my professors in college used to say "If you're going to sin, sin boldly." You would wonder how that came up so often in Linear Algebra, but I digress. The point is, the writers were bold and didn't try to BS me. I appreciate that.
As for the content itself, Maya doesn't like school, Riley likes shiny objects, and Cory publicly humiliates his daughter. Par for the course. 

So Minkus has lost his money investing in new technology. I have never seen Farkle base any of his decisions or his personality on his family's wealth, so we're not immediately drawn into this. All they needed was a few lines scattered through the season leading up to this to get us invested. It's so easy, but once again they've missed out on prime setup.  

Not much to say about the next scene. Farkle has an amazing room. There are a few chuckles but for the most part it's... obvious... 
Meanwhile, Cory is reliving The Provider from season 7 of Boy Meets World. I love that Cory carries a stamp around in his wallet, but I don't come to this show to watch a grown man be insecure. Hey Cory, maybe you would have had your son's allowance if you hadn't given every student in your class a dollar for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. 

Now that we're back in the room, things continue in pretty much the same way. Farkle's fears are realized as his friends forsake him for his expensive toys. *edit* JUST KIDDING, that had nothing to do with the episode and was a complete waste of time. 

Okay I'm sorry, quick aside here. This isn't specific to this episode, but it's time to say it. Farkle uses the exact same voice for literally every situation on this show. Every single line is "I am very calm and mature." When was the last time we saw Farkle's range? Back in season one? He always uses the same tone, he handles every situation the same way. There's something to be said for consistency but damn, it's getting annoying. Here he is losing everything, his father cries into his cereal, but there's no emotion. Even in STEM, he immediately figured out the hidden lesson and rose above the fray to watch the events from his throne of wisdom.

Minkus being unable to answer why they deserve nice things is truly embarrassing. How about because he is directly responsible for creating (probably) millions of jobs and promoting the advancement and research of new technology? Is that not a good reason? I feel like that's a good answer that Minkus probably should have had ready.

We're in Maya's room now, and I think I'm enjoying Maya the most in this episode. The writing continues to be fairly obvious with Farkle waxing poetic about his romanticized "the grass sure is greener over here" view of being poor. For that, Farkle, I put you in last place. Riley is, by law, needlessly saccharine about friendship, like Tea from Yu-Gi-Oh, so she is in almost-last place. Lucas has been mostly on his own this episode acting like a real human being, so he gets pretty-far-from-last place. But Maya in particular is well written. She's realistic and pragmatic about her situation without playing to the emotions of her friends or the audience. The writers aren't trying to bait our sympathy for Maya here, and I greatly appreciate that. Indeed, I suspect that Farkle is a misdirect and this episode is primarily about Maya. Halfway through the episode I have no real idea how Farkle feels about his financial situation, but there's a much clearer picture of our blonde ferret owner.
Cory continues to not teach history and everyone in the class has their best Lesson Face on. Riley goes so far as to utter an "Oh my gosh" which quickly destroys any credibility the writers built up previously. Wikipedia tells me the story was written by Aaron Jacobs and Jeff Menell, while the actual teleplay was done by just Menell. So take that for what it's worth.

Cory preaches about charity, which is fine in theory, but one of the results irks me. Maya claiming she shouldn't ever complain about her situation again. It's such a narrow minded life lesson, it's such low hanging fruit. "Some people have it worse so shut up." If I break my arm, should I not complain while another man has two broken arms? It fails at the most basic level of logic. Of course Maya can complain, she has ferrets breaking into her room. I don't care about your damn pie, Cory.

Apparently all Farkle wants is to spend time with his dad. That's about as Disney as it gets. I think Menell and Jacobs The Son were a little too ambitious, a little too eager. Do you want to do "Donate money to charity" or "family is more important than money"? Because Farkle just tried to play both of those hands with his father and it came out pretty jumbled. He claimed to be humiliated, but by what? Like Minkus says, they support plenty of good causes. And he came home right when his son called him. The writers were clearly unwilling to commit to Minkus having any real negative qualities, leaving us unable to find any justification for Farkle's complaints.
I'm starting to detest this episode now. The kids come home with "We didn't realize how lucky we are"? It took Cory's fucking pie on the chalk board for you to understand the difference between the 1st and 3rd world? What the hell was the point of looking at Maya's life? I'm so confused right now, THEY'RE COMBINING TOO MANY LIFE LESSONS! IT'S TOO MANY FORTUNE COOKIES, IT'S OVERFLOWI---
Enter, stage right, the Minkus Family Foundation. Let me see if I have this, Mark Cuban is going to decide which child's charity idea deserves Minkus's money? Did I really just type that sentence in real life? And Riley finally gets another Knicks joke that everyone except me has been waiting for, but it's by far the most interesting thing she's done this episode.

Well I like Cuban so far, quickly shutting down Riley's and Lucas's impossibly ambitious ideas. Farkle comes in with the stupidest thing I ever heard in my life, continuing to romanticize Maya's poverty, which is such utter nonsense. I hope Cuban throws something at him and makes fun of Minkus for being the father of this single voiced titan of self righteousness. And then... Cuban starts... talking to Maya...




FOR A WHAT?!!!!!!!!!



Oh and now Minkus is shedding his guilt over keeping all of his money, even though he told us five minutes ago that he was already a pretty charitable guy. So okay they've decided to give money to Maya. This is Full House level wish fulfillment. Maya's a terrible person! She doesn't care about school! That's her charm! But now she's Miss Charity just because she's poor?! In this moment, Maya, you are the exact opposite of Shawn Hunter, and for that I award you no points.
And they creepily installed a street view camera outside Maya's window to round out Farkle's nonsensical romanticizing of The Good Ol' Simple Life. Shut up, Farkle.

God, what a waste. The whole first half Maya looked so promising, talking about how she values the clothes Shawn bought her (one of the best moments in a very long time), and dealing with her living situation with a level head. But then she gets magic genie money and a free roof fix. It feels like we've trivialized her very real problems by overcoming them with the power of friendship. Disney Channel indeed.

Much like the kids' charity ideas, this episode was too ambitious. I honestly cannot tell you what the theme was. I was hoping for a "look at this mature Maya dealing with a bad situation" type thing, but apparently she learned from Cory that she has no right to complain. Except when she became the recipient of charity at the end of the episode. So what was the point of Cory's eloquent and detailed two-color pie chart? Why did Farkle complain that his father wasn't around enough if the end result was giving money to charity? That doesn't get your father around the house more. All it does is satisfy Cory's massive hard on for charity. It's six different snapple-cap life lessons thrown into the blender on that loud "puree" setting. The writers got greedy, or maybe they just had to fill a quota, I don't know. 

Sorry everyone! This totally slipped my mind, it's been a busy week. I will get this up today. 

Oh golly...

Okay, so, Sean's review was pretty thorough, and it's like half a week later, and no one probably cares anymore, and I don't have a lot of time, so I'm just going to do this real quick-like. I'm sorry for the shoddy effort, it's just really hard to make time for this when I have a show going on, and right now I have two at once and rehearsals for a third. I'm just so busy and important.

I kind of sort of liked this one. Kind of. Sort of. I liked Cory's lesson actually - because he felt like Cory talking about it. He didn't cleverly couch his lesson in a lesson about something else, he didn't pull some elaborate ruse to try to get them to come up with the lesson themselves, he just showed up and gave an earnest little talk. So, that I liked. 

I also liked the idea that all of them are part of that one tiny sliver, even Maya. I like Maya have some perspective about her situation - is she a lot poorer than the Matthews and crazy-poorer than the Minkuses? Yes. But she's still better off than 90% of the rest of the world. She has nice clothes, she lives in a decent place in what appears to be a basically safe neighborhood, she gets her meals regular, I'm sure she frequents doctors and dentists, she gets the same education that billionaire Stuart Minkus is giving his own kid. She's fine. It's easy to forget that. You can call it an easy lesson and low-hanging fruit, but it's also a lesson everyone in this country always needs to be told over and over and over again because we never remember it. It almost always takes being smacked in the face with how shitty life is for other people before we start to actually appreciate what we have - and even then, we'll forget about it two hours later and will again think we're the unluckiest people in the world because our train's running late So I don't begrudge them this one. Boy Meets World has taught worse lessons.

I liked the twist on The Provider that we saw, also. We thought we were actually get The Provider again, but nope, Cory's basically cool with his situation. It's Auggie who's got it wrong, and assumes his neurotic nut of a father would have a problem with it, but he's set straight. Which is good, Cory actually having a problem with the situation (beyond when his son actively shows him pity, which no one would like no matter how secure you are) would be absurd because, what is this, a revelation? Obviously the dude knows his wife makes way more than he does. So, that was good.

The most remarkable thing about these kids is how utterly without shame they are. None of them have any problem discussing seriously personal and embarrassing things loudly in front of everyone they know. It's constantly.  It's every episode. We start off with one here, with everyone grilling Farkle about his home life and his family's wealth and everything just in the goddamn middle of class. Screw that a class isn't run like that and Cory shouldn't be letting this happen, I'm used to it, but how is Farkle not like "Uh, guys, can we discuss this in private after class?" It's just so ridiculous. Why are they SO bad at classroom scenes? Classroom scenes were never a problem in Boy Meets World. How did they all collectively stop remembering how to write them?

I liked seeing Minkus' house, but I wish we'd gotten a sense of his wealth before this. I mean, we'd heard he was wealthy, but it didn't come up much, it was just kind of an informed trait like Jack's wealth on BMW. So, I think before an episode where "Oh man, the Minkuses lost all their money, what a topsy-turvy turn of events!" they needed more establishment as the rich family. For comparison, it seems like the episode where Mr. Burns loses all his money on the Simpsons was in the eighth season. By that time, he was extremely well established as a rich guy, so him losing his money is an interesting idea for an episode. (P.S. I've never seen this episode of The Simpsons, I have probably only seen about a season's worth of episodes of The Simpsons in my life, I just naturally assumed that with how long The Simpsons was on, they were bound to have done an episode with this plot, and so googled "Mr. Burns loses his money" to great success) 

So, there's that.

Everything once Mark Cuban showed up was stupid, poorly thought out, and with nonsense we-want-this-to-be-deep-but-none-of-it-actually-makes-any-sense-with-even-cursory-examination dialogue, though I do buy that Minkus could be friends with him given his clout. In fact, this is maybe the one thing that GMW has on BMW - it can more believably bring on celebrity guest stars. Between Minkus being a powerful billionaire CEO and Eric being a senator, they really do know some people with a lot of clout. Which means we never need to see Evelyn Rand again, okay? We're covered. 

It was nice seeing Riley's Knicks fandom again. I don't know that it's actually been mentioned since New World, has it?

You mentioned how Maya's easy accepting of charity makes her an Anti-Shawn, and that's actually very true and something that's always been true about her. Maya steals shit, she accepts hand-outs readily and gratefully, we've seen her trick and con people into giving her stuff, she has absolutely no problem being a charity case. Considering how blatantly she was based on Shawn, I actually like this one gigantic difference between them. Not only was Shawn infamously opposed to receiving charity from anyone, or anything he even vaguely perceived to be charity, but now that I think about it... rebellious troublemaking ne'er-do-well Shawn never took anything that didn't belong to him, did he? Like there was never once a story I can think of where Shawn shoplifted or did anything like that, which would have been such an easy route to go. But Shawn wouldn't do something like that. His misdeeds were almost exclusively vandalism. Just interesting. Or is there a Shawn story I'm forgetting?

I'm probably all done.

Episode Rating B- (I may be being overly generous considering how consistently terrible this show's been lately, but there was quite a bit I enjoyed)
Episode MVP: Been a while since I saw this, but I think I'm going with Ben Savage. I liked him in the classroom scenes (a feat!) and I liked him in the Auggie allowance story. 

I like what you're saying about how Maya's different from Shawn, but how do you feel about turning her into this paragon of righteousness who is most deserving of the money? I'm assuming you think it's absurd, but you didn't say so specifically and it was the climax of the story. 

I think we interpreted the scene differently. Or maybe I just took it how I wanted to take it? I didn't think they were saying Maya's the epitome of righteousness (God, I sure as shit hope that wasn't what they were saying) I think it was just that Farkle really wanted them to use some of their money to help people. The kids all came with these gigantic ideas they were impractical pie-in-the-sky things, so Cuban rejected them. But then Farkle came up with a simple thing - his friend doesn't have as much money as he does, and she has a roof that's always leaking. He can't do world peace. But he can fix Maya's roof, and maybe that'll help Maya a little bit. And that's something. You can't do everything, but if you can do anything, no matter how small, do it. 

That's how I took it and I liked the message when I took it that way. If that's not what they were going for then nevermind. It wasn't readily apparent what they were going for. It often isn't. But I absolutely don't think she was getting a foundation's worth of money. I think she was getting her roof fixed.

Christian had a compelling perspective, so we had to pull up the episode. Unfortunately...

"We're going to give you some money. But you can't just keep it." - Minkus
"I'll do good with it." - Maya

Maybe not convincing still, but then Riley says "Can she keep a little of it to fix her roof?" So I'm pretty convinced that they're all trusting Maya with Minkus's charity money, which is absolutely insane.

So I'm gonna go with a D+ for this episode.


  1. I just want to know one thing. How exactly is the Minkus Foundation funding the Maya Hart charity fund? Isn't he broke now? Or did he get rich again so that he could work less, spend more time with his kid, have less, and give money to charity? I'm so confused

    1. Near the end, Minkus has ONE line that includes "i bet on the right thing," and that his investment hadn't actually failed. So he was fine all along. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    2. Well, that answered one of my questions. Still, boooooo, lazy writing, boooo.

    3. I'd complain about that, if it weren't for the fact that virtually every children's show that had a rich character had an episode where said rich character loses most of their money and then learns a lesson that was conveniently forgotten about. Not even "Hey Arnold!" was immune to this.

      So, the whole "Minkus is still rich and Farkle learns what it's like to be poor even though he doesn't have to" doesn't really bother me.

      More likely than not, the money scare was just Minkus being a baby. And Farkle panicked.

      Sean, your point about Farkle not having as much range as he used to is a good one--but then again, Farkle was irritating as a canker sore last season.

    4. Minkus still being rich is not really on my list of complaints. It's more that "you're not around much" wasn't addressed despite being Farkle's core complaint and "be charitable" was the big lesson even though Minkus was ALREADY charitable. Those are the big problems.

    5. Okay, that's definitely a better point. And I agree with you that it does take away from the episode that Farkle's complaint is Stuart being a workaholic, unless one reads between the lines: Farkle spending so much time with Riley at the Bakery, because his parents aren't home much.

      Then again, Topanga is in every episode, and I count the meaningful scenes she's had with her daughter on one hand.

      Come to think of it, where was Farkle's mom? Where the hell was Jennifer Basset in all this? And her gazillion dollar ring?

      The charity lesson, I'd wager has more to do with actually making a difference as opposed to just writing a check for a tax deduction and calling it a day.

      One might interpret it this way (I'm not saying that I do, mind you): Mark Cuban touched on it by saying "Bring me an idea that WORKS" and one could read that as something that would require elbow grease instead of just throwing money at the problem and hoping it goes away.

  2. Yo Sean.

    Originally, I thought this was fantastic.

    Now, I'm not as sure. I'll need to re-watch it. Great review, you raised a few good points. Riley didn't do anything for me this time. Disappointing, but Rowan was fine. Neither did Lucas. Shocker.

    When I watched this episode, I thought about the Powerball jackpot. The billion dollar one. I thought about how my friends and I all wanted to win. What we would buy. What we would do. I didn't really talk with my friends about how we'd help people. Is that bad? No. But with Farkle, I totally am fine with him feeling worried about his wealth being too much or if his dad is never around, he feels like maybe if he weren't a billionaire, things would be different. But like in other episodes, it doesn't feel earned.

    I really want to commend you on what you said about Maya. I'll be honest. I hate Maya. I hate how we're supposed to feel sorry for her when she's poor. She comes from a broken family. That's not an excuse to treat people like shit and bitch and moan about school. Shawn did too. And you know what, Shawn was fucking interesting. He was a slacker, but he wasn't stupid. Just lazy. We have been shown nothing to suggest Maya has an IQ above 85. She's good at art. She likes a pretty boo. Whoopity fucking doo.

    Sabrina does a great job with her but I don't know why I should care.

    This was definitely better than STEM and Belief though.

    I'm getting more and more bored with this show. It's not as special as it thinks it is nor as is it as good as I want it to be. And I don't want it to be "Boy Meets World" good. And I really don't fucking care about the Triangle. I'm not going to stop coming here, but we're all getting jaded.

    Stop the bullshit writers. Just stop it. You are not as clever as you think you are.

    And did Minkus lose all his money or not? Did that just go away?

    1. I'm down with what you're saying in the powerball paragraph, but the ending didn't address any of that Farkle stuff. There's nothing to even suggest that Minkus will be around more, and he's still rich. He tells Farkle near the end that his investment paid off after all. And like Minkus said, he was ALREADY charitable before the episode started. There could have been something there, but Minkus ultimately didn't change at all.

      You're right, we're all getting jaded. It sucks. I don't want this to be the big complaint supermarket, but they're not giving us much to work with.

    2. Shipping, you've echoed my sentiments so exactly about Maya and the show overall that my eyes may have watered for a minute. A minute and a half, max. Thank you, spirit sibling.

    3. Shipping, I have to completely disagree with you that this was better than STEM and Belief. At least in those the lessons being taught were clearer (at least to me) and the overall writing better.

    4. You're welcome, spirit Anonymous.

      I might need to do a rewatch, 1960. But I'm lazy, so we'll see. STEM may actually be closer to Money but I still hate Belief, which is fine. If we all agreed on every episode, this site would be BMWSequel, which would be boring. (They're nice though).

      Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. The Knicks jokes were great. And they actually aren't that bad this year.

    5. Shipping Wars...I agree with you that the show thinks it is better than it actually is, and part of the reason for that is Jacobs and the rest of the writer's don't know how to write teenage girls. They fall into the same trap that almost every girl-centric show falls into...oh, cute boy, who ends up with him.

      Best thing about this episode, there was no reference to the "triangle"...I'm sick of it.

      March 30, the Mavericks are playing the Knicks...wouldn't it be great to have Riley be able to call up Cuban to rub his nose in the Knicks beating the Mavs.

    6. "Shipping Wars...I agree with you that the show thinks it is better than it actually is, and part of the reason for that is Jacobs and the rest of the writer's don't know how to write teenage girls. They fall into the same trap that almost every girl-centric show falls into...oh, cute boy, who ends up with him."

      As I recall, Patrick, Jacobs has repeatedly said that Riley will not end up with Lucas, and that the overall point of this part of the story is to repeat the lessons of Shawn and Angela.

      From what I can tell, these lessons are that one should not base a relationship on concepts, rather than people, and one should not let a relationship that ends on amicable terms dissolve the original friendship.

      Those are good lessons, but the thing is that they're the most important plot point in this show. Far too much of Riley's identity is tied into Lucas. And that is definitely a huge problem. Topanga wasn't the most important person in Cory's story until Season 5.

    7. What he said was they weren't going to be Cory and Topanga which is different from them not getting together. Personally, it should be the least important part of the show and its the "fans" who make it the most important part. It also may be a Disney issue with them wanting the show to be more like the rest of Disney Channel shows rather than a true sequel to Boy Meets World, but I find the writing to be lazy far too often. The line that Topanga gives about teachers is the exact same line Cory gave at the end of the Forgotten. Riley and Maya repeat each others lines often. The characters learn a lesson 1 episode that is completely forgotten in later episodes (which is in part because of the lousy airing order). The writers have said they don't care about Continuity and Time, and while Boy Meets World had issues with it as well, it was no where near as bad as Girl is.

    8. Disney might be pulling some strings--Riley and Maya almost never do anything wrong, but that may be more because Disney doesn't want their starlets to be seen as "bad."

      There's also a "Kids Rule!" mentality--this is most prevalent in "Creativity." Heaven forbid the kids get a well-deserved lecture for their display, which they admitted was intended to be disrespectful!

      The repeated lessons are annoying, but hey, Cory and Shawn learned a lot every week and still were stupid.

      Would we be this jaded if they hadn't drawn out the damned Triangle? If they had held off on Semi-formal until later and then gone straight to Texas and then New Year (Never mind that it shouldn't be December, as Cory explicitly stated that it almost graduation in Texas 3) instead of all this filler intermingled?

    9. What's weird is one of DC's most successful series, the Suite Life franchise, had a couple of most irreverent and sometimes downright awful lead characters. Of course, I'm talking about Zack and Cody. Both those boys during the show's entire run did some pretty hurtful things to those around them. And it never affected anybodies view of them. So, I don't get why they insist on having the girls be these pictures of relative perfection.

    10. In response to pwfan, Disney is using their leads as merchandise. There are actually "clothing lines" based on Hannah Montana and Shake It Up! and I think the trend continued here as well.

      In addition, Disney grooms their stars for more than just the tv shows. A lot of stars are in their tv movies as well, something that didn't happen until only a few years ago.

      Simply put, Riley and Maya need to be good because they, or to be more precise their actresses, need to be marketable.

      I think what I said back in "Rah Rah," about how there may be an industry standard to avoid too much slapstick with the actresses might also apply. There may be unspoken rules about the leads not doing anything too bad.

      And yes, I said a bad word. So what?

  3. I liked this episode, but I found some glaring things that I had problems with.

    One of the first things I had issue with is the clear problem they have with the presentation of Riley as a character. To be blunt, they don't know what the fuck they're doing. In the most recent episode before this, they presented her as a strong feminist with an interest in science and wanting to learn. In this episode, she was immediately presented as vapid, and easily distracted by labels. Which is it? Who is Riley? We are almost 2 full seasons in, and I can't pin this person down. That's dreadful writing. They then flip her around into the caring friend and person that we mostly see. She’s even crying in the pie scene. (If you missed it, go back and look. It’s there) I repeat, who is Riley? Tell us!

    Totally ok with tailoring the episode to fit the lesson, and not trying to shove history down our throats for the millionth time. Much rather the blatant dropping of Cory’s “job title” and have a smooth episode, than a disjointed mess. And to be honest, I liked the opening classroom scene, despite the Riley stuff. It basically set everything up in a good manner, and that’s really all you can ask for in an opening scene.

    Will stop here and say that I liked the B plot. Was very direct, and hit the lesson it wanted to. Great. Fine. We can move on.

    Back to something I didn’t like, the initial café scene with the Core Four. Did they just pool their money to give to Farkle because he didn’t have money anymore? That basically screams “Hey, heard you’re poor now and we feel bad. Here’s some money”. And did Farkle just ask Maya to be his “poor tutor”, and after that did Maya just make him give her the money they pulled? That is actually one of the most distasteful, and poorly presented scenes in the history of DC. All of that is six kinds of fucked up. I mean….wow.

    Farkle’s room is typical “TV rich kids room” and so not a lot to go through in there. Was really happy to see Maya’s room, though. Never really thought we’d go back, so that’s great by me. Although, the cliché conversation was predictable, but whatever. Starting to notice this “real girl” worship Farkle has for Maya. He paints her as this folk hero of the real world, and its kinda weird. It almost shows how sheltered Farkle really is. It’s nice he loves his friends for who they are and such, but at what point does that trait become condescending? As contrast, Maya was really good almost the entire episode. Sadly, I don’t think it finished as strongly as it began, but great job for the most part.

    That ending scene, though. It started so promising, and ended in flames. Happy that Mark Cuban wasn’t a focal point in the episode. He was in it a grand total of maybe 4 minutes, if not less. Perfect use of a guest spot. And he was doing really good too. Yet, that “your roof leaks for a reason” bit was such BS. Holy crap, was that dripped in cheese. Yes, Maya, your roof leaks in order for you to learn a lesson about how to go through adversity and come out better for it. And because of your leaky roof, you get an unknown amount of money. Money that we have no idea how you spent, or even if you spent it. Nice wrapping up of this one, boys. Horrible writing. Just plain bad. Oh, and if they used that money to build a replica of Maya’s room in Farkle’s so he can learn how to appreciate what he has, or some crap like that, I will lose it. It’s not like Farkle was unappreciative in this episode, or any other. So why does he have a replica of Maya’s bedroom in his? WHY?!

    Episode Grade: C+ There was enough well-acted parts, and good scenes that I don’t think this was an unmitigated disaster. But this definitely wasn’t good. Bay Window better bring it, or we have a serious situation on our hands.

    Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter. She was really, really good for the most part. Sure, she’s whiney for no reason, but Sabrina hits this character out of the park to the point where I can live with the obvious character flaws.

    1. While I do agree that I wish Riley should have more consistency, or at least more interesting traits, and that she has had her character stalled due to her infatuation with Lucas, I wouldn't describe her as "vapid."

      According to, "Vapid" is defined as "without liveliness or spirit; dull or tedious." Riley's character development might be flat at best, but I don't think vapid is the right word.

      Lucas, on the other hand, is the physical manifestation of vapid whenever he doesn't have Zay to play with.

    2. PWfan you are 100% on point about Riley, imo. Vapid probably isn't the right word, that's true, but the writers have no idea who they want her to be.

    3. "PWfan you are 100% on point about Riley, imo. Vapid probably isn't the right word, that's true, but the writers have no idea who they want her to be."

      The thing of it is Sean, I think her lack of development may be deliberate on behalf of the writers. Or at least I hope.

      Cory hates change and doesn't want his daughter to change. Maya relies on Riley, and wants things to remain as they are too.

      But although it makes sense--and there have been a few episodes that revolved around this plot--it still makes for weak writing, since Riley doesn't actually confront Cory or Maya for babying her.

      We've had episodes that could have built on Riley's character--"Popular" could have made Riley develop an appreciation for science fiction or magna, but instead we didn't....I didn't like that episode much when it first aired, and to be honest, I've actually grown to actively hate it.

      Cory tried reinventing himself a half dozen times in the early years of Boy Meets World: "I'm on the Wrestling Team!" "I'm in a band!" "I am the leader of the Student Union!" "I'm running for Class President!"

      Considering each and every one of those reinventions blew up in his face, it actually makes sense that Cory doesn't like change very much.

    4. I'm not really talking about her lack of development, I'm talking about the fact that she is written very differently from week to week.

    5. Oh, yeah, looking more closely at your comment, that does appear to be what you meant. Sorry about that.

      I do agree though, with you and Pwfan. Riley's character is all-over-the-place at best.

      I really hope things change for the better in Season 3.

    6. pwfan-"Farkle’s room is typical “TV rich kids room.” Yes. Once I saw the train I thought, someone in the writers' room watched "Silver Spoons" growing up.

  4. Shawn, good review. I have to admit you hit most of you points out of the park.

    To answer a question you raised as for the last time Farkle showed real emotion in his delivery, I would have to say it was in Rileytown when he was getting ready to restrain Lucas.

    Sorry for my absence, just got into the new apartment, and the furniture is being delivered today so I haven't been able to be online much. Time Warner Cable showed up yesterday though, so its almost like being in the real world now.

  5. Things I liked:

    - For the second straight week, Rider and Shiloh set the tone incredibly well, especially in the first half of the episode. Despite some of the more ridiculous moments and set-pieces that popped up as the episode progressed, there have been several scenes in the last two weeks that feel distinctly more mature and focused than one-off efforts we have gotten in the past.

    - Any of Farkle's plights individually. So to say, I could've really gotten behind Farkle's journey here revolving around either how he hasn't put his wealth to good use OR that Minkus is always super busy and he feels neglected — but not both.

    - The Shawn mention. It was well done and beyond necessary. One of the bigger overarching misses of season two is there not being any type of follow-up on the Shawn/Katy date. This + the reference in first Turner episode at least somewhat make up for that. By the way, Sabrina, as always, was great here from start to finish ... the material did her dirty at the end, but that is out of her control.

    - The B-plot. It was solid, told a good lesson, well-delivered and wasn't overwhelmingly preachy.

    - Both classroom scenes, or at the very least, the two classroom scenes I remember (there may have been a third). The first set the tone nicely and the second was incredibly well performed. Ben sounded and felt like a passionate teacher in that moment. He changed up his inflection and just really seemed like someone who had a fire in him.

    And for me personally, I can look back minor inconsistencies and melodramatic-jumps like Riley starting to tear up on the spot just because a pie chart has been drawn on the board if the performances are strong ... and, for me, these were. Also, I actually quite like that Maya says "I'll never complain about my roof again," as that is a very teenage thing to say. I can assure everyone, she will complain about her living situation again, most likely several times, before this series wraps. But to utter a line like that is a very humanistic thing in that moment. It's akin to having a bad stomach bug and the only thought racing through your brain the whole way through is that you will never take day-to-day life when healthy for granted again ... but then you recover and go back to taking chiz for granted almost instantly.

    - Big ups for a lot of the small elements. Maya taking the money from Farkle without blinking, the Knicks references - there was a nice groundswell of elements like those in this one.

    - The closing scene, although overwhelmingly creepy, was a nice closing moment for Farkle. The structure of the episode didn't really allow the audience to feel like he got resolution on almost anything that he brought to the table as a concern, so the coat moment at least helps put somewhat of a ribbon around all of it.

    1. Ryan Pappolla-"I could've really gotten behind Farkle's journey here revolving around either how he hasn't put his wealth to good use OR that Minkus is always super busy and he feels neglected — but not both."

      I totally agree with you. That was one of my biggest problems with the episode. It felt like the writers were trying to do too much at once, and it didn't work. I like the idea of father-son tension in the Minkus family, but they should have saved it for a different episode.

    2. Yeah, just too jumbled. Feels like father/son tension could have been a strong, appropriate high school episode for Farkle.

    3. You know, there's nothing saying this won't be picked up again. Stuart loves Farkle, but he's still uber-busy at Minkus International (What does Minkus International even do business in? Computers? Virtual reality? Iron Man suits?).

      I think it's very likely that Minkus and maybe Topanga might be called out on having very little to do with their children.

      They probably can't do this due to licensing but I would laugh myself into a coma if they did a Cat's In The Cradle-ing bit. Modern Family did it and it was hilarious:

  6. Things I didn’t like:

    - Tried to do way too much. As I said, any of those Farkle plots individually are episodes that intrigue me. All of it together was just messy.

    - Farkle’s room. I just hate a set-piece like that. Wouldn’t see something like that in BMW. Not a huge deal, but I don’t like when I feel we are drifting from the BMW universe to more the Dog with a Blog universe.

    - They kinda son Stuart Minkus. Lee Norris is a good actor and I wish they would have given him a little more fleshing out this go round. His characterization drifted between heartless father, heartless person and dopey guy for the most part.

    - The Shark Tank idea was cute in theory and Cuban actually exceeded my expectations in relation to his performance, but I just didn't "get" the end. Very Disney Channel. It's one of those moments that I will just pretend is not canon (as, that is probably what the show will do as well) or hope that one day when they inject it into a S3 or S4 plot-line that it somehow helps elevate how it came across here. Wasn't for me.

    I will say this though, especially with these episodes that were filmed on the back-half of the production order, there is more and more you can point to and say, "Oh, with a little twisting and re-figuring, X and Y can be really strong in season three." I think the show is close, probably much closer than literally almost anyone here, to really hitting its stride next season. Hopefully cast and crew watched this one and realized that the biggest thing they need to do is less.

    Episode grade: C+ ... it was saved by its performances.

    MVP: Sabrina. Also, strictly based off presentation, do you think the argument can be made that Maya is the main character of this show?

    Stay safe this weekend, east coasters.

    1. I agree with your summary that if the show just aimed to cram a little less content into each episode, the messages would be conveyed much more clearly and effectively. The writers overreach in terms of messages, I think, and though ideally some of these themes do go together (such as feminism and STEM during the last episode), others such as the father/son bonding and commentary on economic status of this episode just seem incongruous and overwrought.

      On your last observation about Maya, I also agree with you 110%. I feel that more often than not, Maya is becoming a more central character than Riley because I feel a majority of the episodes revolve around her. I don't know if this is purposefully just to set up some of the plot devices in the future, or just because Maya is the most dynamic character to the writers and seems to have a consistent personality through out the show, whereas Riley, bless her sunshine and rainbows heart, seems to change week to week, either by being her bubbly, innocent, and naive self or by switching to serious, activist, take-charge Riley. I feel we need more definition of Riley because she seems to change on a whim to fit the writers' agenda, and I really like sunshine Riley. I want more of Riley meeting the world as opposed to Adventures in Love Triangles, Preteen Angst, and Other Utterly Pointless Problems.

    2. Yeah, whereas earlier this season the biggest issue (in my opinion) was the actual pacing of episodes, with scenes that would run too long and dialogue that would drag, the problem with many in the back half of the order (specifically STEM and Money) is the writers' room not being able to pace these plots properly. It hasn't been every episode in the 15 through 30 (if anything, Texas 2/3 + New Year could be seen as too focused), but it's something that needs to be addressed in season three.

      And yeah, I agree. I personally have zero issue with Riley's ever-changing personas, as, like others have said in relation to this episode, it feels very Cory in nature ... but, I think it does lead to Maya feeling much more like the center of the show. Plus, I think you hit on the head when you say the room may just really dig the Maya character. Rowan and Sabrina both are great talents, but Carpenter's range is so deep and delivery is so convincing that I can absolutely see why, even if just subconsciously, the staff would lean towards giving Maya the hero moment in an episode like this. Granted, the plot as it was conceived fit the Maya character better (insert Cory and Shawn into this and Shawn would have gotten the nod as well), but it seems to happen far more frequently than one would expect. Either way, just an interesting theme to note.

    3. I don't think the show focuses more on Maya necessarily--I think it's more that Maya has had considerably more character development, so it just seems that way. Sure, this episode was more Maya-centric, but with the set-up it had to be.

      Pwfan said that it seems like the writers don't know what to do with Riley. Patrick mentioned that too much of Riley's identity is tied up into Lucas--which is certainly true. Two seasons into this show, and we probably know more about Lucas the Boring than we do about Riley.

      I think it boils down to Riley not changing very much. It's been two seasons, and there have been several episodes where the characters, mostly Cory and Maya, go out of their way to make sure Riley stays the same. I already mentioned "Popular," but this actually goes all the way back to the pilot.

      Cory would try to change himself, and it would blow up in his face by hijinks. Riley tries to change herself, and the people she loves tell her to change back because they don't like it.

    4. With Riley, it comes down to her insecurity. It is often mentioned that she cares more about what other people think of her. In "Yearbook", they didn't care who played Riley, so long as there was a Riley. Everyone else wants her to be the always happy, naive wide eyed do-gooder, so that is the persona she displays. When we see the more assertive side of her, I think that is her true self peeking through. Then she drops back to the rainbows and unicorns personality because that's what everyone else wants.

      We know she's smart...she and Topanga have 1 less A then Farkle and Stuart as of Maya's mom, but she portrays herself as stupid...I thought it was the Grand Canyon (re: Great Depression in the Forgotten). We know she's perceptive...she picked up on Farkle's being bullied even if she wasn't sure what...but she portrays herself as not. We know she's not naive...she figured out how to take down the salesgirl in Demolition...but she portrays herself as naive...Look at the bird. There is a theory that they are gearing up Riley to dealing with emotional depression, and the act she puts on wearing her down...I'm tired...would be a good way to lead into it.

      As for Maya being the focus, while there are Maya-centric episodes, they are all designed (whether they succeed or not) to be a lesson that Riley learns. Just like Boy Meets World had Shawn and Eric-centric episodes that Cory learned lessons from.

    5. Ah, yes. The whole "Great Depression"-"Grand Canyon" thing. That was actually a pun--great depression and grand canyon both mean "Really big hole." I tend to think that Riley was actually trolling Cory in that scene.

      "More assertive self." Well, there was "STEM." Riley was pretty assertive in that.

      I've heard about the depression theory, and I'm...apprehensive about it. It's a tough issue to cover, and with the way the kids who watch this show look up to Riley as a role model...the writers would have to be exceptionally careful to make Riley sympathetic but not so much so as to be imitated.

      The problem here is, I think, the whole Lucas thing--too much of Riley's identity is tied up into Lucas.

      "Do-gooder." Not that I disagree, but I would like to see Riley go out of her way to help classmates who are not actually in the Core Four. "Hey Arnold!" had the titular do-gooder help almost every one of his classmates, and most of the adults in his neighborhood.
      The stress of trying to do good for more people than the Core Four could allow for, possibly a smoother transition with the "I'm tired" bit.

    6. All great points here. The biggest thing I agree with is that so much, too much, of Riley's characteristics and even quirks are damn-near directly tied up in Lucas. Honestly, one of the bigger reasons to roll with Lucas/Maya from a creative standpoint is to open Riley more up to all the elements you guys are suggesting.

  7. Okay, I'm going mostly off memory from the leaked episode. Bear with me, guys.

    I actually liked the opening history scene. Broadly speaking, economics can fairly be considered Social Studies, which is not out-of-the-question to be in Cory's curriculum. At least it's better than that lesson in "New Year." And Riley embarrassing herself didn't bother me that much either--she made a fool of herself trying to prove her teacher wrong and failing. Though it does raise a question: Riley has owned the Bleh! shirt for over a year. She wears it so infrequently, it hasn't been broken in yet? Then again, with "Demolition," and the two loads of clothing that were taller than Maya, this actually makes sense.

    Farkle's family losing their wealth and he looking to Maya for advice. In retrospect, yeah, this isn't executed that well. Pwfan is right--something feels off. On the other hand, we very rarely see the Core Four interact as a group of friends with unique dynamics between each other. Usually, when romance isn't on the forefront, the kids are damn near a unit joined at the hip. So, I actually like that we're actually getting dynamics here quite a bit.

    They spelled it out that Farkle's room was too big and had too many toys and everyone was in different corners. They probably didn't need to do that. That said, it was pretty funny to see Riley act all high-and-mighty, believing herself and Farkle to be above mindless first-person shooter monster video games, only to be completely wrapped up in actually playing. She felt more like Cory Jr. in that scene than she has in quite a while.

    The scene in Maya's room was interesting. Maya pretty much brought Farkle back down to earth saying that yeah, for all the confidence she puts out, at the end of the day, she comes home to a run-down apartment.

    Second classroom scene. Some anvils need to be dropped, I suppose. Was it preachy? Sure, but I wouldn't have been surprised to have seen it in the middle school Shipping and I went to. Long story.

    This scene provides some interesting context though--Maya has complained about her lot in life the whole series. She disregards rules because she feels like they further inconvenience her. That said, compare her to Shawn. There's no question that Maya got dealt a shitty hand, but she has a support system: Cory and Topanga have bent over backwards for her, providing her with at least one meal a day and a smartphone; the lunch ladies provide her with larger helpings; Shawn bought her several nice outfits. It took YEARS before Alan and Amy were nearly as welcoming to Shawn. Maya essentially realized that although she doesn't have much, she still has plenty.

    1. Mark Cuban. I didn't mind him to be honest. It makes sense that the absurdly rich Minkus would have absurdly rich friends. And Cuban pretty much broke the fourth wall and said the main reason he was here was his daughters begged him. At least he admits it.

      Better the eccentric billionaire who owns a basketball team as a guest star than a tabloid paparazzi.

      I actually found Cuban's lesson almost anti-Disney Channel. He tore into Lucas and Riley's too ambitious ideas. Finally, someone doesn't think Lucas is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And for years, Disney has been promoting "Friends for Change," which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like--a preachy, "Care Bears" mentality that is more about the spectacle than fixing the issue.

      And Cuban torpedoed that idealistic naivety. Cuban just became my second favorite Shark.

      So, yeah. The ending, with them in the Maya's Alcove in Farkle's room. It feels very Disney-ish. Why not just go multi-player on the Zombies game?

      There's a couple of big issues with this episode. Sean made a lot of good points, that this episode lacks direction, even if I can appreciate what they were trying to do. But where the heck was Katy? We definitely should have seen her reaction. Shawn's too proud to accept charity, and while Katy's head-strong, she also has a daughter to care for.

      This is miles ahead of "Crazy Hat," in any case--that was my least favorite episode last season.

      Grade: B

      Awesome Scene of Awesome: DIE ZOMBIES!

      One last note: Could have sworn that Shawn was in this episode. Did the writers mean that the reunion was between Rider and Lee? That doesn't seem likely. Or is the reunion in Legacy?

    2. yeah i wonder when they are gonna do that reunion they also said a couple months back that their was gonna be a shawn and mr turner reunion also would love to see a eric and feeny reunion cause feeny was erics mentor. iw onder if their are gonna be any bmw guest starts in the season finale i would love to see more amy and alan too

  8. I agree with your review absolutely! Minkus worked hard for his money and to support his family and farkle feels bad because he has a lot of money and his dad is providing for him? Is this him getting to realization that he has Orville and is lucky to have smart dad? I have so many questions about the morals of the writers on this episode, considering maya and her mom living in mud and going to the school she goes to they still are pretty well off. What the hell? This is Disney trying to teach on privilege and they did a shitty job. The episode with the umbrellas and crazy hat did a better job at this lesson. All I did trough this episode was. 'How will this be on the history test!?'

    1. Wasn't the Parent working so not around so much already dealt with when Auggie (ugh) didn't want to go to bed without both his parents there to tuck him in? Or maybe when Maya's mom wasn't there for her birthday because she was working to afford the locket for her birthday? Or that we haven't met Lucas' parents yet?

      As for the "privilege" aspect, there has been nothing that shows any of the Minkus family holding their wealth over anyone...when Stuart was re-introduced, he said I have my own helicopter, you have is that fair? (or something like that) showing that wealth didn't mean that much. Had Stuart been portrayed as a Koch brothers type who changed his way, the message would have been better. Instead, he's a rich guy who does good in the world whose son thinks he doesn't do enough good. Instead it came off as poor little spoiled rich boy whose friends are poor so he's going to show how much good he can do to impress them.

    2. I agree, they never felt they were above anyone but it doesn't make them any less privileged. I didn't get the spoiled little rich boy vibe, I more got, he didn't understand the money he had, I felt they made the family look like they shouldn't be proud of the work Minkus did to get them to that point.
      You are right about the parent not being around storyline starting with author, so, why did they do it again?
      I also very much agree, the storyline struggled because Minkus is a good guy and a good dad, if it refracted the storyline of jack with his money in me, it maybe would have had more leverage.

    3. I didn't mean that quite as harsh as it came out. It was more along the lines of we have all this money, what are we doing with it. Why didn't Stuart explain about the charities he gives to, the amount of people who work for him, etc. Everything about him makes it sound like Stuart pays his workers a fair wage. It makes it sound like being rich is a bad thing. When they gave Maya some money and told her she couldn't keep it, Riley asked if she can keep a little of it. If Farkle had been coming in with a fancy new toy everyday or even seemed to show off his money a little...even the ring he "gave" Maya was his mom's ring (and where was she in this episode?)...then he would have reason to be "humiliated" about them having wealth. It sometimes feels as though they have these lessons they want to show and showhorn their characters to fit the role instead of looking at their characters and saying this doesn't really fit what we've said before about them. In season 1, they introduced Billy because the role he played didn't fit the regulars...they could have done the same with this...had a spoiled rich kid "guest star" and then having Farkle question his dad about what thy do with their money.

      I don't know if this makes seems like I'm rambling a bit.

    4. No, I agree, like what they do with smacklenor Charlie or when Eric is in an episode, having a guest star being he complete opposite of the characters to help with the lesson and still have the characters true to who they are which I agree, they didn't really do with Minkus and farkle. And yes! Where was mom? She may have been a good story plot for this too, maybe she is the more spoiled type...

    5. I think the simplest thing to say is that this episode is that the lesson is "You can't take it with you." A little broad, but this can apply to both lessons the Core Four learned.

    6. Patrick Logan-"Why didn't Stuart explain about the charities he gives to?" Yes! I had the same thought. It would have been great if part of the reason Stuart wasn't home much was because of charity work (serving on boards, planning/attending fundraisers,). There could have been a scene where Stuart realized maybe he should spend more time with his son, and still be involved in charities. Stuart could still be involved, but not the one planning every fundraiser.

      Farkle is an odd position when it comes to wealth, and I totally understand where he's coming from. He knows he has more than his friends, and he's uncomfortable with that. He doesn't want them to know how much more, which is understandable. It's a tough subject, so I can totally understand why he'd want to avoid it/downplay it as much as possible.

    7. Was just thinking....the lead in to Belief when Maya picked up the money in the hall would have been a much better lead in for Money. Farkle could have seen/heard Maya and Riley arguing about the money and that leads to his "crisis" about how his family makes their money and what they do with it.

    8. That's a pretty good idea PatLo

  9. Not really about this episode, but I wish Disney Channel would spend half as much time promoting Girl Meets World as they did with the High School Musical Reunion. Even without promotion, GMW is their top rated show...could you imagine what it could do with decent promotion.

    1. Perhaps realize their need to hire more proficient writers?

  10. The 2 issues that they were trying to show did not go with each other at all. I understand Farkle's issue: Ya dad, you make a ton of money and that's great. but I never get to see you. But this doesn't work because the comparison is to maya's life. The problem with that is they don't have money and she still doesn't get to see her mom a ton which they showed in the earlier episodes. If Maya had a great relationship with her mom then I could understand Farkle wanting Maya's life in a way, but instead the best they could come up with is that there are people walking outside her window. It feels like the writers just tried to force this and it didn't work. And they also tried to squeeze in the charity lesson which didn't work either.

  11. Anyone know if there was a promo for the next episode? Also, has the air date for the finale been revealed?

    1. There is no promo yet for Commonisum. Show was taped in 2014 and will be first shown in 2016.

      Also "Legacy" will almost assuredly premiere March 11th as a lead in to Stuck in the Middle's first episode in its regular time slot at 9 PM, right after GMW. There has been no official announcement about "Legacy", but I'm sure they want as big a lead in as they can get for a new show and having GMW show their season finale right before it is about as big as they are going to get.

  12. This episode was dealing with two issues that didn't go well together. They could have done a great episode about money issues, wealth, and poverty.

    They could have done an equally good episode about upper class workaholic parents who give their kids plenty of shiny toys and everything material thing they could ever want, when really what the kid wants most is to spend time with their parents and have a real relationship with them.

    The writers needed to pick one and stick with it, but they didn't. As a result, the episode suffered.

    Also, someone mentioned how they have never seen Farkle's room before. Have we seen Lucas's room and I just don't remember the episode? Did the visit(s) to the Lucas's room happen off-screen, which is also totally possible and something I will accept.

  13. I'm really starting to dislike this show. Recent episodes with a preachy, lecturing tone really turn me off. I had the same problem with the final years of BMW. It was trying to be a "dramedy", when it should have trying harder to be a great sitcom. GMW has reached that same stage in a fraction of the time. Perhaps that is Jacobs' style. Start a show as a comedy, then evolve it into a drama. Since GMW has a limited lifespan of 100 episodes, he's going thru the evolution quicker. Pity, because in both shows, the purely comedy phase is so much better than the pretentious and often shrill drama phase.

  14. I absolutely agree that this show has tried to fit too many different lessons in each episode. They need to just pick one per episode and stick with it.

    One another note - The Maya in poverty story line is just horribly handled. Even before Shawn bought her clothes she had no shortage of flashy, unique, well accessorized outfits. Girls who don't have money to spend don't end up with 100 different pairs of heels and flashy jackets that match with one outfit at the most- They get one or two versions of something and make sure they are simple enough to match everything. They tell us that Maya is broke, but I have never actually seen her struggle with buying something or going somewhere. And that girl's room is pretty big (Although now that there's a leaky roof and a pet rat it fits the profile of a run down unit a bit better). I'm just not buying the 'Maya's in poverty' storyline because she has never looked or acted like she has financial troubles no matter how many times they tell us otherwise. Given my long term annoyance with this story line, I appreciate Maya realizing that despite her familial circumstances she is still in a place of privilege compared to most people in this world and that even she has the power to change it. She has a very real struggle in dealing with her father abandoning her and I'd appreciate it if we stick to that and drop this poverty story line for her unless they start having her look the part.

    1. I always saw Maya as someone who pulls together fantastic outfits from thrift stores/second hand clothing stores. Maya's financial situation isn't horrible, but it's not fantastic either. We know her mother used to work as many shifts as she could at the diner. She probably works equally hard at Topanga's now.

      I remember reading an article about how many children from poor families in New York City look better off than they are, because they can buy somewhat upscale clothing at significant discounts through second hand stores.

    2. Wasn't that point explicitly stated in this episode, Kit? The two "Bleh!" shirts, one of them was from Demolition, the other was from a discount store--so that probably means a T.J. Maxx or Wal-mart expy, since I don't think Cory said the shirt was second-hand.

    3. I would try to tell myself that too Kit, but it would be nice if the show would even bother mentioning it. I still don't think she would own quite as many unique and flashy outfits (Never mind that many different pairs of heals). I'm not saying she has to look run down, but the sheer number of different outfits with multiple unique/not easily matchable components that girl has is quite up there. That said I think both Maya and Riley's fashion choices are a bit out there and I don't think anyone dresses like them never mind someone with financial trouble. I mean the girl went to Texas and spent her finances on an outfit without a second thought - She just doesn't behave like a girl who counts her dollars.

  15. Late to the party. Mediocre episode, outstanding review, interesting comments.

    Regarding a comparison to Belief: I think they both covered their respective subject matters in weak and sometimes dishonest ways, and not just to simplify for kids. But Belief did so coherently. Not Money.

    Regarding a disparity between the show’s quality and the creative team’s assessment of same: GMW is better than what this episode presents. I have to believe that. Is January some sort of Disney programming gulag? There has been nothing but a couple of episodes of lower quality, seemingly delayed episodes. They might understand perfectly well how substandard this one was.

    A non-kid and non-BMWer, they of course don’t make this show for me, and it always seems churlish to gripe when I have no real business watching it. I did find Money intermittently enjoyable, more so at the beginning, certainly not at the end. My expectations going in were rock bottom. And I don’t demand a lot from GMW anyway—some nice character moments (like the one Sean cited), and nothing too annoying otherwise. I don’t think my initial enjoyment would survive a re-watch.

    The end notwithstanding, I liked Maya and thought Riley was funny. I know some of us have issues with one or both of them because the show hasn’t presented a well-established character/beats us over the head with her well-established character. I would find GMW ridiculously unwatchable if I didn’t like them both.

    I knew Mark Cuban owned the Dallas Mavericks. I don’t recall how I came to know the name of the owner of an NBA team. I did piece together that he is now on a reality show which apparently was mimicked at the end of the episode. That didn’t help, and I’m still not sure quite what that was. I will happily follow Ryan’s example and pretend it didn’t happen. But it might not be necessary. I doubt Maya’s character will be informed by this episode anymore than, say, being the niece of a senator informs Riley’s.

    I liked that they brought back the ferret. Too bad they didn’t also bring back its incontinence.

    1. heh, "But Belief did so coherently. Not Money." That's hilarious, and a good point. I at least know what they were trying to do in Belief.

    2. Hi Milestones, good to hear from you.

      While I came to different conclusions about this episode than you, I can respect your interpretation.

      Also, thought you'd like to know. Mark Cuban is on a show called "shark Tank," where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to prominent multi-millionaires. It actually has a sister show in Canada; "Dragon's Den."

    3. Thanks, Sean. Probably should have stopped there and ended on a high note.

      Hey Cryptid, yeah, I think if we all responded the same way to these episodes, this blog would be less interesting. Among the great things about it is that, though there are exceptions, the discussions are civil and thoughtful. (I’m not sure I know what you were apologizing for a post or two back.I always enjoy reading your comments.)

      I did want to mention that I am completely with you about the improvements with Farkle, despite the character blowing at midnight on New Year. If nothing else, losing some of the stuff from Season 1 has been addition by subtraction.

      I spent ages 15-18 in a two-channel universe, both channels subject to the then relatively new Canadian Content regulations. I don’t think I’ve watched one of our TV shows since then. I have heard of Dragon’s Den, but don’t know much about it.

  16. "I'm used to it, but how is Farkle not like "Uh, guys, can we discuss this in private after class?" It's just so ridiculous. Why are they SO bad at classroom scenes? Classroom scenes were never a problem in Boy Meets World. How did they all collectively stop remembering how to write them?"

    Spot on Christian. Spot on. Every time in BMW, Shawn and Cory would talk, and Feeny would say "Zip it, children. Talk after class."

    1. If it makes you feel better, they didn't forget how to write them. It's a new team who didn't carefully study the "Boy Meets World" classroom scenes to learn how to write them.

    2. But it's not really a new team. The vast majority of the writers are the same. Jeff Menell wrote this. Jeff Menell was hugely prolific in BMW.

    3. It seems like instead of doing a sit-com that has lessons through good storytelling, they are doing a lessons show with comedy based on character quirks.

    4. "But it's not really a new team. The vast majority of the writers are the same. Jeff Menell wrote this. Jeff Menell was hugely prolific in BMW."

      I went and checked Wikipedia. For GMW, Menell wrote "Popular," "Forgotten," "Home for the Holidays," "Demolition," "World of Terror 2," "Belief," and now "Money."

      Christian's right. That's a pretty mixed list, especially considering this is the man who wrote "The Eskimo."

      I liked "Forgotten" a lot, but I've grown to hate "Popular."

  17. Hot off the presses from the writers:

    Girl Meets Writers ‏@GMWWriters ·48 minutes ago
    Season Three. First table today. Girl Meets High School Part One. Welcome back everybody. We're ready.

    So they go back to work on season 3 today -- and it looks like the season opener is at least 2 parts if that tweet is correct. They did make a point to say part one.

    1. Glad to see you didn't freeze solid in that blizzard, 1960.

    2. I actually didn't get much Cryptid, I moved to Charlotte. We got almost no snow, but the folks living in my new city are more dangerous on the road during the snow than the weather itself. I understand my old neighborhood in New Jersey got about 2 feet of snow. I got out of town just in time.

  18. Disney's official announcement for new episodes in February is here:

    Commonisum - Maya and Farkle are caught cheating on a test and have to face the school honor board! Meanwhile Auggie tries to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

    The Bay Window - Riley upsets Maya when she decides to redecorate their sacred space: her bay window.

    Go to the pages to see pictures from the episodes.

    1. *Looks at pictures.*

      Kill me. Kill me, now.

    2. What the hell is going on with the small children in Bay Window

      I don't want small children

    3. Sean, we are getting first grade Riley, Maya and Farkle in the episode. Part of the story is how they met.

    4. I knew the whole Origin Story thing, but how are there small children that are not Auggie, Ava or Doy there? Oh...this is going to be "Cory and Topanga" all over again, isn't it?

      Also, what the hell are Present Day Farkle and Present Day Lucas doing in this episode? I could have sworn I read that it was only going to be Riley and Maya.

    5. Yeah! We are getting the GMW answer to the llama pen! I like backstory, when it's done well. When it isn't done well, it tends to inspire fan-fics, so it's a win-win either way.

    6. Not gonna lie. There's actually a couple of fanfics (THAT I ONLY SKIM! NEVER READ!) for this show that are actually pretty good for fanfic standards.

    7. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus, we get to play our favorite game, Spot That Continuity Error! Also known as, The GMW Creators Play Eeny Meeny Miny Moe With The Production Order!

    8. I actually think "Commonism" was held back deliberately to air next to "Money," and the reason it's so late is that Mark Cuban's schedule was so packed.

      Compared to "Belief," where it didn't make much sense to hold back on airing, "Commonism" at least makes sense.

      That said, how early is this? Farkle looks like he's shorter than Riley!

    9. Cryptid, Commonism was filmed before Demolition back in 2014. I'm sure it was not held back to air near Money. When they wrote and filmed this Money might not have even been thought of.

      And Kara, a lot of the problems with the airing order is because of Disney not the show staff. If Semi-Formal didn't have to air in August for the Sounds-of-Summer event, then that and Yearbook and Texas could have been pushed further back and a lot of the filler we have gotten since then that is clearly out of order would have aired in the proper order.

    10. I'm sure they have their reasons, but my way is more fun. :) It also helps relieve the anger at the "Time Traveling" we often have to do to watch these episodes.

  19. Why would Farkle be cheating on a test? Or is Farkle helping Maya by allowing her to cheat off him?

    Also, sorry I haven't commented on this discussion yet. I'm still trying to find the motivation to watch Money.

    From IHeartGriff ;)

    1. Sorry that was supposed to be a reply to the previous thread

  20. For those interested - pictures of the Matthews home and a shot of school from the original unaired pilot:

    Though the school looks the same as it did in the pilot we saw, it clearly has changed since. There was a lot of change in the Matthews apartment though.

    Also the property master of the show has started posting on social media. I believe he has said that season 3 will start airing in June. If that is true we are going to have 2 months of no new episodes. While that is not good, perhaps the show year and the real school year will wind up being closer because of that.

    1. That's a very nice looking set for the Matthews' home. Not quite Disney bright. But still shiny. It actually looks unique--what we have now looks like the "Shake It Up" (One of Disney's worst) with a fresh coat of paint.

      I have to say, I didn't know Meyer had originally tried out for Elliot Matthews.

      Also, considering the first episode is "High School" and the seventh is "Ski Lodge," I wouldn't put much hope in having a closer timeline.

    2. Cryptid, we know the first episode is "High School", but we also now know that it is at least 2 parts. We have no firm information that the names they threw out in that tweet a few weeks ago are 1) real episode names (though they probably are AND 2) that they are in the order they will write and film and show them in. We are about to get an episode that was filmed in 2014 shown to us. Hopefully while they may film things in whatever order they do, they will write things in the proper order and then show them in that order.

      I know its unlikely, but I sang along with Jiminy Cricket and Wished Upon a Star that it happens this season.

    3. I certainly hope you're right, 1960.

      We can't overlook actor availability either. If Bill Daniels has more than one appearance in Season 3, they may decide it's more practical at least film those scenes as close together as possible.

      And it's also possible they may film any episodes with Eric or Josh close together too, regardless of story order. Shawn is a toss-up, since Rider's directed half the episodes this season.

      What did you think of the Matthews' home set, anyhow? It looks much more like a house--and if they were still living in Greenwich Village, I don't even want to think about how much that would cost in mortgage.

    4. I thought the school set was more like a real school and not the neon-Disney school we have now. Other than a few specialized technical/engineering high schools I don't believe any school in NYC looks anything like the JQA we now have. The NYC Public School System is the largest in the country by far (1.1 million students) and they just don't have the money to keep any school looking like JQA does.

      As to the Matthews apartment, I have the following thoughts. Riley's room looked fine for a 12 year old girl, though there may have been a few too many stuffed toys there for a 7th grade girl. I assume that between the original pilot and the one we actually saw that the decision was made to give the 4 kids their signature colors and so they redid Riley's room in her purple. What we have looks fine as well. For me that is a toss-up.

      I think the original kitchen/dining room looks more like how a well off professional family that has had kids for a while would look more so than what we ended up with. The current kitchen looks more like what 2 people without kids and that do no entertaining would have. Conversely, the living room we have now fits in with Cory and Topanga's situation in life (well-off), while the stuff from the original looks more like stuff thrown together that would be replaced as a new couple gets the time and money for it. It didn't represent the success that C&T have when the show started.


    5. "I thought the school set was more like a real school and not the neon-Disney school we have now. Other than a few specialized technical/engineering high schools I don't believe any school in NYC looks anything like the JQA we now have. The NYC Public School System is the largest in the country by far (1.1 million students) and they just don't have the money to keep any school looking like JQA does."

      Maybe it's just the color scheme--the actual layout of the lockers and classrooms and such doesn't look that bad if you imagine them painted gray or pale green.

      "As to the Matthews apartment, I have the following thoughts. Riley's room looked fine for a 12 year old girl, though there may have been a few too many stuffed toys there for a 7th grade girl. I assume that between the original pilot and the one we actually saw that the decision was made to give the 4 kids their signature colors and so they redid Riley's room in her purple. What we have looks fine as well. For me that is a toss-up."

      Instagram isn't working for me right now, but I can definitely imagine the signature colors being added in as a re-do.

      Ironically, I would think that Riley is definitely the type to have a million stuffed animals, and love each one as an individual. That's actually something I didn't like much about Riley's bit in "Forgiveness." We had never actually met Beary the Bear Bear.

      "I think the original kitchen/dining room looks more like how a well off professional family that has had kids for a while would look more so than what we ended up with. The current kitchen looks more like what 2 people without kids and that do no entertaining would have. Conversely, the living room we have now fits in with Cory and Topanga's situation in life (well-off), while the stuff from the original looks more like stuff thrown together that would be replaced as a new couple gets the time and money for it. It didn't represent the success that C&T have when the show started."

      Eh, I don't know enough about furniture. I'll take your word for it.


      Oh, saints preserve us. 1960 is a TV Troper.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. shawn hunter did technically still mr turners bike in season 2 and he also did take mr feenys key to his cabin up in the mountains

  23. I believed Maya didn't necessarily get the money for herself, rather for her community. For example, that lady with the now warmer coat at the end...

    1. They gave the money to Maya to do charitable things with. Maya chose to use some of it to buy that woman a coat.

      They entrusted Maya with this money. That is nonsense

    2. True. But if they were giving it to one of the children (which, yeah, beyond crazy), it'd be either her or Farkle as their responses were the least insane

  24. "Like there was never once a story I can think of where Shawn shoplifted or did anything like that, which would have been such an easy route to go. But Shawn wouldn't do something like that. His misdeeds were almost exclusively vandalism. Just interesting. Or is there a Shawn story I'm forgetting?"

    This has been at the back of my mind all week, Christian and to answer your question, I don't think so. There may have been suggestions, but nothing actually aired.

    Come to think of it, not only did Shawn never shoplift, he wasn't much of a vandal. The Cherry Bomb Incident occurred because Shawn was too dopey to realize that it wasn't a good idea to play with fire. He didn't have the nerve to follow through and bust Mr. Turner's motorcycle with Faux-Harley. He didn't go along with egging Feeny's house or trashing the school's parking lot.

    Heck, the only time Shawn actually destroyed property was in "Bee True," when he and Cory wrecked all the artifacts. And even then, they had gone in with the intent to swipe something. It all started when they broke the "Phoenician piece of crap" trying to get the "World's First Brain."

    Really, Shawn's problem wasn't that he was bad. Everyone else just thought he was bad, so that's how he saw himself.

    1. Shawn's real problem early on (other than his parental situation) was that HE thought he was just white trash, and acted accordingly. It took some for him to realize that even though his domestic situation wasn't as good as Cory or Topanga, he was just as good of a person as they were, and then started acting like it.

    2. shawn did steal mr turners bike to go see his dad even though mr turner said if shawn had of came to him first he would of taken shawn to see his dad. i also love that episode of boy meets world bee true

    3. Shawn didn't steal Mr. Turner's bike so much as "borrow without permission." I'm pretty sure he would have returned it eventually.

    4. yep that is true i still think it was a pretty stupid thing for him to do though

  25. Ratings are in guys:

    Apparently, "Girl Meets Money" had 2.2 million viewers. Not bad for a filler episode.

  26. AirbendingBookworm123February 1, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    Hey. AirbendingBookworm123 here. I know I haven't commented since Rileytown (and what I'm about to post isn't related to Money at all), but apparently there are three new guest starts for season three, all around Josh/Uriah's age, and I'm having mixed feelings about it.

    One of my problems with this is either that they're most likely having these three act as high schoolers or college aged and interact with the leads. The former would be terrible (because the main cast does appear younger than these three do & it's noticeable, at least in my opinion) and if they went with the latter, that would mean Uncle Boing would be having a larger plot for his character.

    I mean, they may not be doing either of these options, but it may still be bad because to those who are in the demographic that Disney is aimed at, two of the three have appeared in other Disney shows and movies before (Aratoga in A&A and How to Build a Better Boy, Benward in GLC and Cloud 9).

    We're in for a lot of trouble. Thoughts?

    SOURCE: & Ashely Argota's Instagram.

    1. I believe those kids are meant to be high school seniors who have had love triangle issues for a while. I believe they are meant to slap some sense into Riley/Maya/Lucas by being an example of what happens when this stuff is allowed to fester.

      I'm sure I read that somewhere else previously.

    2. I believe that 1960 is right.

      I heard about the Older Triangle a while ago--and I ain't happy to see them because it means Lucas the Really *Insert Swear Word of Your Choice Here* Boring has yet to make a decision on whether he should date Riley or Maya. Damn it all to hell, I have seriously begun to hate Lucas.

      I also heard some other spoilers, but since I want people to be surprised, I'll keep them to myself. In any event, those spoilers were from an early draft of High School and these episodes can change quite a bit from outline to filming, so they may be scrapped anyhow.

  27. Was catching up with the last episode of The Fosters when I spotted our very own Charlie Gardener playing fellow foster kid Jack Downey.

    1. Nice. I saw Cheryl Texiera on Always Sunny in Philadelphia the other day.

    2. "I love seeing teachers outside of school. It's like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs."

    3. "I love seeing teachers outside of school. It's like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs."

      hahaha mean girls

  28. So, pictures from the first taping of season 3:

    New high school hallway:

    High School Classroom:

    There may be more later as this Instagram poster is actually at the taping today and posting as she can.

    1. So far the colors are more in line with BMW and less Disney. No complaints from me.

    2. You're not kidding, 1960. If I didn't know better, I'd swear that was the infamous Other Side Of The School. It looks quite a bit like BMW, and actually, I think the classroom might be bigger than Feeny's. I counted fifteen desks.

    3. Cory's classroom usually has 15 desks in it. Feeny's varied between 9 and 11 - they made a joke about it in Eric Hollywood.

    4. I thought Cory's classroom had sixteen desks at JQA. While small, especially for a school with eleven hundred students, it's not unbelievable. What is unbelievable is how those students all seem to be in the same classes together.

  29. Not to usurp 1960, but here's a promo pic of sorts for Season 3. A shot of Cory's classroom.

    It's from Tumblr and I kind of just stumbled onto it.

    1. I like how Cory's incorporated Feeny's final piece of advice above the chalkboard.

      The desks looks smaller and more uncomfortable than the ones at the middle school.

      The board reads "Mr. Matthews--World History" "We were kings. Now we're here."

      Oh boy...

      Aesthetically, I have no complaints. But they really need to tighten down Cory as an actual authority figure. And that means no more Super Physic Cory who curtails his classroom for his daughter.

    2. I was kind of disappointed to see that picture myself. With Cory as History teacher yet again, they are sure to try to shoehorn in more lessons in his class that would be better served in an English or Social Studies class just for the sake of involving Cory in the story line. I think the entire show would benefit more from Cory taking on a more supervisory role such as principal or guidance counselor and not forcing the action to always require him.

      Another shot of the desk: The poster who was at the live taping talks about MJ talking to the audience before the taping began.

    3. It's not that I disagree with you 1960--hell, I've said "Cory should have been the English teacher" since "Girl Meets Father," what with Maya bombing the essay. I was an English major--the amount of gobbley-gook I read...ugh.

      And you're definitely right that the show would benefit more from Cory taking a backseat. A guidance counselor would work nicely; there was a guidance counselor in "Life With Derek," who the lead looked to for advice, and it worked really well.

      I'd also like to see Cory step back in favor of Topanga actually remembering she has a daughter in addition to a son that she can spend time with. It's hard for me not to think that Topanga, up until "Long Walk to Pittsburgh" never actually pined for Cory and would have nipped Rucas in the bud a long time ago if she were more involved.

      Also, apparently, I'm blind as a bat even with my glasses. "We Were Kings. Now We're Patriots." Patriots as a mascot...Hmmm...there may actually be something to that. "Feelings," God willing, doesn't have to mean romance necessarily. High school is definitely the time when kids start developing their ideas about the World, so we may get a few bigger picture episodes.

    4. Patriots is part of the name of the school as I seen a picture of a cheerleader with Patriots on her uniform

  30. Just watched "Meets Commonism" and while I will not give any spoilers, I'm pretty sure I can predict that our reviewers will not look kindly on it.

    While Maya and Lucas didn't look too strange, seeing Farkle being his old self was disappointing and Riley seemed very much more like her season 1 self.

    1. 1960-how does the length in the delay of the airing of this episode compare with that for Fish? That might tell me something too.

    2. Fish was shown about 10 months after it had been filmed while Commonism will be shown after almost 14 months. However, the kids growth (physically) was more noticeable in Fish because they were younger when it was filmed. Here it is more about the maturity levels of the characters, at least to me. Physically only Riley looks really younger than she does in say New Year, which was the episode we have seen that was filmed last.

    3. I'm just going to pretend it premiered six months ago, and then was so terrible Disney went out of its way to avoid using it for reruns but then it slipped through for next Friday when nobody noticed.

    4. I was thinking that time on shelf would be an indicator of terribleness, and that the info 1960 provided would place Commonism somewhere between Fish and a theoretical Girl Meets Leprosy. Nothing I've read above or below, but without watching the episode or clips, undercuts this.

    5. Milestones, I thought it was bad, but not Fish levels of bad. And truthfully, at least to me, I don't think it was shelved because of how terrible it is. It just wasn't important enough to the overall narrative to force in early, and then they just had no spot for it later.

      They just should have shown in in the proper order right after "Mr. Squirrels" aired.

    6. Yeah, I agree with 1960. This looks like it wasn't that important to the overall narrative--it was pretty filler and not even filler where something new is added.

      Sometimes there's a reason to hold an episode--"STEM" was supposed to air in November (right around the time the film "Suffragette" was released, as a matter of fact). They held it to after "New Year," for some reason--maybe to have an episode where Riley and Farkle are argumentative with each other--but more likely to pad the gaps between episodes that continue the story.

      But there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to delaying "Commonism" as long as they did. I get that they need to pad the space, but it's been nearly nine months since the season premiered.

      Oh, and 1960, I thought you said that although you found "Fish" bad, you also said that "!961" was worse.

    7. I don't remember if I said that or not, but looking back on it, I do feel that way. Fish had it's heart in the right place, but was executed badly. Too much Auggie and Ava (and this is coming from someone that likes Auggie and Ava). 1961 was a terrible story overall. I hate the "small world" deal where everyone either knows or is related to everyone else even though there are 7 billion people floating around. Might make for convenient TV, but it is lazy story telling.

    8. I still like 1961. If it turns out I like Commonism too, I might keep it to myself. Looks like it isn't airing up here until next Sunday night, so you guys may say all that needs to said about it before then.

    9. I still haven't seen "Fish," and am in no hurry to do so, so I'll take your word on it having its heart in the right place.

      I've had my share of "small world" encounters, but I do agree--it doesn't make for the best story-telling unless the world itself is self-contained, or if there are logical reasons for it.

      With respect to the Feeny-verse, the only great-grandparents that had any business knowing each other existed, would have been Riley and Farkle's great-grandparents, and even that's a stretch, given the timeline.

      If there had to be a Butterfly Effect to this show at all, I'd have had Grandpa Alan saving the life of Grandpa Minkus while they were in the Navy together.

  31. And for those who can't see Commonism yet - here are some clips -

    If I find a link for the entire episode, I'll post it.

    1. Wow. That was bad. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    2. The clips made my brain hurt. I'm going to need medicine for high blood pressure for this one.

      On the other hand, I've already come up with a half dozen Alternative Plots from those clips alone, so kudos, 1960, this was helpful.

  32. Link to Commonism. Saints preserve.

    1. You're awesome, but sadly it says its been played to many times. Any chance you can reupload?

    2. It's not mine, Anonymous. I tracked it down through Tumblr--which I don't actually have an account for. I don't think I can upload it again.


    3. iv seen it not sure if i agree with riley.

  33. Christian, Sean! You guys made it to TV Tropes! You're in the summary of "Girl Meets World"!

    "Has a dedicated review blog called (naturally) Girl Meets World Reviewed that's co-hosted by the creator of Boy Meets World Reviewed (which the original founder cited as inspiration)."


  34. It appears the guy that wrote the theme for GMW as well as BMW (not sure which one or if all of them) just passed away.

    1. Just checked Wikipedia. Ray Colcord composed the themes for "Boy Meets World," "Dinosaur," "My Two Dads," among a long list of other shows.

      So basically, this guy has been with Michael Jacobs since the beginning.

      Rest in peace, Mr. Colcord.