Friday, February 12, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Commonism" (#2.28)

I know nothing about this episode except that it was filmed before Iran-Contra and it doesn't have Shawn. That leads to the following three questions, in order. Why, why not, and how many more times are we going to have to do this? 

But seriously, maybe it's good.

But probably not.
Pictured: Our lord and savior
Zay is being punished for Robin Hooding lunches. That's actually hilarious and... not-recycled. And fun. They missed the mark a little bit though. Robin Hood doesn't leave the rich with nothing. Zay isn't leveling the playing field, he's just swapping the roles of the lunch-rich and lunch-poor. If he were stealing (or "boosting", as the very very hip and in-touch writers called it) half of each meatball sub to give to the PB&J working class, then we'd be in business.

Oh. Maya must now be punished by The Student Council for cheating off of Farkle on a test. And not just any Farkle, but creepy Farkle. He's back from the past, with a turtleneck and ascended testes. 
This is an excellent showcase of Old Riley as well, with "I am in a slightly uncomfortable situation and therefore must completely lose my mind." And Lucas is on the sidelines looking handsome. Like, he's in every shot with Riley and says almost nothing. This is Danielle Fishel's directorial debut, so... Yeah... It shows...

This is the kind of shit, right, that made the ending of Money so awful, and makes this airing order all the more infuriating. You can't put that moralistic, charitable, "I trust her dreams" beacon-of-guidance Maya back to back with "I blatantly cheated on a test and don't feel bad" Maya. I don't care if you want to air Commonism out of order, just put it somewhere else! 

The fun twist though is that Maya actually does retain the information when she cheats off Farkle. So we're faced with a dilemma. If Cory's one true motive as a teacher is to make sure the kids are learning, then he shouldn't forbid a method that works. But it's still breaking the rules. And before anyone starts in with "Have her 'cheat' in a mock test environment to learn!" or something, that's not the point. It's essentially a thought experiment about balancing success against legality. While I can't stand to have the characters back in their annoying season 1-esque roles, we certainly have a compelling framework. 

The council seemingly does not reach a verdict, and we find Topanga and Auggie doing their usual shtick. Auggie makes some smart alec, faux wise-beyond-his-years comment, and Topanga makes this face:
"Pff, this kid, pff, this son of mine! Such a wit! Ohohoh, my son, and pff, and oh! What a card!"

The scene fades out with her making the exact same face and I wish I was lying about that.

As expected, we rejoin the rest of the cast in class, with no mention of how the previous scene's tension was resolved. I cannot stand that, and this show does it constantly. But it doesn't matter 'cause we got this guy in the very back like "Hey what's up I'm totally on TV."
We're learning about communism, and I'll be honest I don't have high hopes for this. Communism is complicated, and this is a 20 minute kids' show that's simultaneously trying to tell some bullshit Auggie story. I had European History first thing in the morning in high school, and as such learned nothing, so I don't honestly know the intricacies and nuance of communism, but I can't imagine a universe in which Cory's "us vs. them" explanation  is adequate. 

Zay's joke about an exorcism was genuinely really funny. The first one, anyway, but of course they squeezed out four more punchlines from it. I just... I just want the show to be good you guys. Why doesn't it want to be good?

Riley and Maya declare themselves communists, which may very well be the most interesting thing they've ever done. It's very Me and Mr. Joad, where the kids subscribe to an at-the-time appealing philosophy that they think they understand, despite being completely out of their depth. It deserves a chance. I don't like any of the dialogue, but they've got me on the hook. Frankly. I can't wait to be disappointed.
I do enjoy Riley's costume changes when she gets sucked into something. And I definitely enjoy her quoting and worshiping John Lennon instead of Vladimir Lenin, even more so because they didn't explain the joke. THEY DIDN'T EXPLAIN THE JOKE! They almost did, by saying Lennon was a Beatle, but no one mentioned Lenin, so I'm giving that joke an A+ for sure. Honestly, I would have preferred Jacobs standing in front of the camera and giving a 30 second summary of the first ten minutes, and then watching 20 minutes of this

But it doesn't matter, because now that we found somewhere that I'm actually having fun, WE HAVE TO GO TO KINDERGARTEN. Or second grade, I don't know what Auggie is in, who cares, there's a frog in the background laughin' like "uhuh uhuh uhuh."
And that kid on the left is such a boss. He's got his stuffed dog, and his juice box, and he's doing his homework not givin a single goddamn. I'm looking into my own past right now with this guy. He's not looking into the camera like some middle schoolers I know, he's not looking for his big break, he just likes his stuffed dog. I don't even care that Ava is in the shot. Between stuffed dog guy and uhuh-uhuh frog over there, this is my favorite thing in the whole show. I am not even kidding.

And who is THAT back there?!
Somebody call Van Halen. 

Auggie's a lawyer or some shit, and it starts to look like that one episode of South Park, I'm not really sure.

They call back the point-and-gasp-and-"Topanga!" at another student council trial, and maybe that's funny if you haven't watched Boy Meets World in a long time, I don't know. It's just a lazy callback, this is not the proper use of the point and gasp Topanga. Everyone knew she was coming. Whatever. 

Apparently Riley was complicit in Maya's cheating, and Maya has learned Farkle's... studying techniques... ? Which is somehow a bad thing because it's somehow turned Maya into Farkle? Which makes communism bad because it "makes everyone the same", as evidenced by Maya turning into Farkle. Okay, purely on the foundation of being an intelligent adult, my Propaganda Alarm is blaring pretty hard right now. Any amount of quick Wikipedia-ing will show you that this is not what Marx had in mind. This is why you don't do communism in a 20 minute kids' show. This is a disservice to history.

The bully at kindergarten is going to murder Auggie, so he dresses up in drag. That's the plotline to What A Drag in season 7 of Boy Meets World. THEY'RE RECYCLING WHAT A DRAG?! IN THE COMMUNISM ONE? WHA... W-!
At least that frog is still in the background I guess. The teacher just watches it all happen too. Oh man.

Back in Cory's class they're doing a Berlin Wall thing, which is awesome, especially since no one uses the words "Berlin Wall." It's not quite right since it was the communists who built the Berlin Wall and here Lucas and Zay built the wall, but that's fine. Cory explains that in a free society like ours, people are allowed to be communists without being walled off, which I respect, but the "communists" aren't very accurate depictions, which reminds me a lot of Meets Belief, where it's like "It's okay to be wrong! But look at how wrong you are!"

Cory then hands back the latest round of exams. Lucas and Zay both got 100% as free spirited red blooded bootstrap pulling Randian individualists. The Union of Soviet Socialist Rileys also got 100% for their collective "sharing" effort on the exam, but since there are three of them, they each receive a C.

That's right folks, you heard it here, loud and true.

Cory Matthews

defeated communism

with division.

I quit.

That's not even the worst thing. As communism falls all around us, we see a close up shot of the room's American flag, and then Riley does this:
She's doing the Pledge of Allegiance thing! And then Cory does it too! The Pledge of Allegiance is our country's most nationalistic, drone-like activity. We just dismantled communism over its mindless-drone-society, and to celebrate, we're going to revel in... our own... mindless... drone... society... Like, until this point, we were just serving an agenda, and I can live with that, but this Pledge of Allegiance moment is so oblivious... I can't even believe this happened.

They tear down the Berlin Wall and THE AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS OH GOD, OHHHHHHH GODDDDDDDDDDDDDD SAVE ME.

I was in probably B- territory until the Pledge of Allegiance moment. I don't even think it deserves a grade after that. Why didn't they use Zay, the only character with a legitimate redistribution Robin Hood philosophy? That was actually interesting! There was a real story hidden in Zay's opening and it was totally abandoned in favor of this propaganda movie directed by Leni Riefenstahl. I'm out.





Holy shit, son! Christian's coming at you with a LIVE BLOG. I'm gonna be blogging out my thoughts LIVE. I ain't never seen this episode before typing this. All I know about it is that it has prompted Sean to make a weirdly scrunched picture of Michael Jacobs with devil eyes and have the communist flag burning in flames, because they were impossible not to notice scrolling down.

Hey, they all have placards with their last names ("Ms. Matthews", "Mr. Friar") and Sarah's is "Ms. Carpenter" which means she's Sarah Carpenter, played by Sarah Carpenter. Now we know why Sean's so obsessed with her, she's the Jason Marsden of this show.

I have a hunch an episode following Zay as the Cafeteria Robin Hood giving good food to those with bad food will have wound up a better use of our time.

Riley's doing her snapping and saying she's got this thing down thing. She did that in... Episode 2, maybe? Been a while. 

So, yeah, everyone looks a lot younger here. Riley most obviously, and I know Farkle will be the same, considering he's the one who's sprouted up most this season, and I already know he's gonna be in his pre-Yearbook Amazing Technicolor Dreamfarkle clothes. Generally, if this show held onto this one so long, it means they knew it was a weak episode, and wanted to save it until the end of the season when ratings start to drag. This is another Daddy Jacobs and Baby Jacobs joint. Not a good sign.

Okay, I'll give this episode this. When Riley tried to end the episode immediately, I thought to myself "Hey, it'd be funny if she threw a paper airplane." and she did! That's not bad, Jacobs family. I'll give you that one. 

Farkle's back to being obsessive and creepy. This is sad to see.

My initial thoughts on the issue at hand: I believe that cheating did help Maya learn. But you can't cheat. Maya knew she couldn't do that. She did it anyway. So did Farkle. They both deserve detention or whatever and Maya should get an F. BUT maybe Maya should try to utilize whatever it was about this method to help her study in the future, and Cory should facilitate that. But, no, you can't cheat. 

"Very good, Farkle, I didn't even see your lips move." was pretty funny and scathing on Cory's part. I like that Cory is, so far, not taking an above-it-all-I-already-know-what's-right-I'm-just-God-watching-from-on-high role here. He has an opinion all the way on one side of the issue, he's sticking with it, and I'm *assuming* the episode will come down on some sort of middleground and Cory won't have been right all along. But I'm probably assuming sillilly. 

You know what, I know Sean's going to get bent out of shape about Cory decrying communism and defending capitalism and tying it all up in the American dream, but let's not forget this is the same kid who gave an impassioned speech about how you should say the Pledge of Allegiance because it's the Pledge of Allegiance and this is America and that's what you do. Cory's an All-American Joe. His dad was in the navy...probably. I don't agree with his political philosophy, but I like it because I think it's probably what Cory would think. And ultimately I'm not a communist either, because ultimately communism didn't and doesn't work. Mainly because no society really gave it a serious try and just devolved into totalitarianism, but nonetheless... democratic socialism is where it's at. Sanders 2016!

Anyway, I think a story where Riley and Maya decide to try to be communists is funny.

Whoa! It's Auggie's class! Auggie's world and all his friends! I'm not gonna talk about any of it! I did like his mumbling crush on his teacher though. Also, Dominick Falconi sounds like a mobster in the Nolan Batman trilogy or something.

Oh... well... now they're going down a weird.... Communism makes you lose your personality thing.... that was weird.

Oh, Auggie's dressed up like a girl. And the bully's into it. And they're all 5. Well, I don't like that.

Hmm... yeah, Cory's point has gotten into, like, Ayn Rand territory now, and he's lost me. Also, I don't buy Zay got 100%.

Ugh, yeah, this is ending bad. An emotional moment where Riley looks at the flag and puts her hand on heart and now her dad approves of her? Yowza.

So, I dunno, what do I think here? It just completely went off the rails in the last five minutes, and really made me uncomfortable. For a while in the beginning I was fine with it... so, I dunno...

Now to read Sean's take!

Holy KRISHNA, she IS the Jason Marsden! The pieces are coming together like the end of a Dan Brown novel, except with slightly higher writing quality. It all makes sense now, and I refuse to be ashamed. 

You were indeed wrong about middlegrounding. Commies bad, Mister Gorbachev. 

"That's who Cory is" doesn't make it less annoying. It's... not a defense, at all. Cory's quirks like that are great when they're fun, but he wasn't fun in this episode. He was Fox News.

But we agree on the important things. There was definitely a story to tell with the girls becoming communists, especially if they had included Zay's lunch banditry, but they failed, especially at the end. I don't know why communism makes you lose your personality. It's nonsense, we're all in agreement here that it's offensive to our intelligence.

This isn't in response to Christian, but how truly ironic that Joshua Jacobs wrote this episode with his father. Let's preach the individualist spirit as a man whose only remote success is due to the charity of his father. Joshy would not be here if daddy didn't let him get involved with the family business. Joshua Jacobs is Maya cheating off his dad's exam. But noooo he didn't need help! No sharing allowed! What a joke. That says more about society than anything in the script.

That is a good point, Sean. I had a little more to say on Friday, but meh. Gotta finish up though.

Episode Rating: C-
Episode MVP: I thought Rowan Blanchard had some good moments.

140 comments:

  1. that last gif might be my masterpiece.

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    1. Love the new profile pic, Sean.

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    2. I'm thinking about changing it to the frog. I seriously love that frog.

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    3. That is a cool frog. We didn't have a frog nearly that cool in first grade. It has to be first grade--Auggie is six, going on seven. Which begs the question of why a ten-year-old is with them.

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    4. If that's your masterpiece, then what does that make Dancing Guy?

      Also, will we ever get to see Dancing Guy again?

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    5. I didn't MAKE dancing guy though, I just facilitated his journey into our hearts.

      And you will see him in your dreams.

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    6. Dancing Guy is a part of that OTHER blog. He's not WELCOME here.

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    7. Well, what about Game Boy Kid?

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    8. I didn't MAKE game boy kid though, I just facilitated his journey into our hearts.

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    9. Sean...Sean. This right here is the BEST review you have ever written . I'm not kidding and I've read the entirety of BMWR and this as well. This is the best. The history, the comedy, all of it. I've slacked on this site as of late cause GMW has been so darn bad. But I'm back. This review did it. Well done!

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    10. Hey thanks my man. I felt pretty good about it. Your support goes a long way to getting me through this run of bad episodes.

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    11. Tim! You're home! I missed you, buddy! Man, and Jet's back too. We're getting the band back together!

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  2. Link to Girl Meets the Bay Window.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6AslQODGS4MdVVHMzhkajF2czg/view?pref=2&pli=1

    Right now, it says "Too many playbacks." But I think you just need to wait a day or so?

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    1. Hey, Jet! Haven't seen you in weeks. How you've been, buddy?

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    2. Ahh I didn't think anyone would recognize me lmao. But anyway, I've been alright, thanks. Sophomore year's been a breeze compared to freshman year, lol (yea I'm in high school)

      I don't even remember the last time I commented on the blog (but trust me, I read every single post haha--can't resist Christian's and Sean's humor). Unfortunately, that's due to my fading interest in GMW. I don't know what happened, but after Yearbook, the show went downhill. Then they started doing more serious topics--all of which had a lot of potential--but I've noticed that in all of these preachy episodes, I'll like maybe one or two scenes, but the overall episode ends up being ruined by unrealistic, philosophical dialogue or anything just cringeworthy. I did like Texas... which I know a lot of you didn't. But with the way they continue to drag this triangle (Michael Jacobs: "This isn't a triangle." B.s...) out even after New Year's... yeah I can see why.

      With my mention of New Year's, I realized another reason I've lost interest. I'm tired of this being Maya Meets World. Of course, Shawn and Eric had their share of putting the "Boy" in "Boy Meets World," but when Maya's story outweighs Riley... that's not good. Some people usually say "Oh but Sabrina is a better actress so she'll get better material." It shouldn't work that way. Might as well put her first in the opening credits. Underdeveloping Riley is the biggest mistake this show made--and it really shows in Season 2, which is HEAVILY Maya-centered compared to Season 1.

      I probably have a lot more to comment on, but the thoughts aren't coming to me. I'm just going to discuss Commonism so I'm not totally off-topic, lol.
      ...Why are they even touching this topic on a kids' show? It's probably bad for me to say, idk, but honestly, I didn't care for it. And I'm sure kids didn't understand a thing. As for preteens... they were probably disappointed at the lack of ships. I agree with Sean, I don't care if they hold this episode back, but why up to this point with all of the development... or should I say, "development" in quotes we've gotten? But yeah, it was an incredibly boring episode. Don't remember really laughing...
      I would not be surprised if this show touches upon POPULISM at one point, lmao.

      *** I'm sorry for all of this negative energy. It's probably not wanted. I do have some hope for Season 3... But if it's still going to be Serious topics handled the same way as in Season 2, just in a different setting, then I'll be disappointed. I'm hoping things change.

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    3. I'll always recognize my friends, Jet. I remember you used to call yourself FanofDC.

      "Butt after Yearbook, the show went downhill"

      You didn't like Semi-Formal?

      Part of this decline is that these episodes seem so...stand-alone. Really, the only ones that actively advance the plot, without touching on that damn Love Triangle, are "I Am Farkle" and "Forgiveness," though I'm willing to hear other opinions.

      On the flipside, "Yearbook" and "Semi-formal" feel more serial. I like it when a show is serial; it makes the character development feel more genuine. It's one of the reasons I like "Power Rangers Time Force" so much; you can see the development of all the sub-plots very fluidly.

      Serious topics...some handled better than others. "I Am Farkle" is probably the best of the lot, in so much that it actually advances the plot. Other episodes, like "Rileytown," insist on sticking to the status quo.

      I mentioned a while back that Riley's lack of character development is probably deliberate. Cory wants her to remain his little girl forever and Maya and Farkle lead the Riley Committee and shelter her from the world.

      That being said, you're not wrong. Riley's lack of development is painfully obvious at times. Especially since her character has been obsessed with Lucas for two damn years. If it were me, I'd have structured Season 1 around Riley being infatuated with Lucas and then slowly pushing him off the pedestal she set him up on. Or maybe not so slowly--I wouldn't mind throwing him off the entire show, truth be told.

      It's stuff like that, that makes me wonder where we'd be if they had kept Elliot. If nothing else, a brother close in age is definitely a more constant source of stress than a six-year-old.

      I liked "Texas" personally, but I wish we'd have had it so that all these episodes aired in succession with each other. "Semi-formal," "Texas" "New Year Which Really Shouldn't Be In December" "Bay Window" "Legacy" I think the Love Triangle would wash down a lot easier if we saw the episodes one after the other. There's what, six or seven episodes there, that's plenty for an arc.

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    4. Yearbook was so good imo so it was hard to top. Semi Formal wasn't bad, but it wasn't the greatest.

      Re: advancing the plot. Rileytown and Money may be good choices.

      Re: Riley. It made me so mad when Maya got a scene with Cory and Topanga in The New Year. Wtf was up with that?! We've seen that Maya is like part of the family... but we don't need to see that more than we see it with Riley. Interesting point you brought up, with Cory wanting Riley to stay a little girl... we should also mention that he's her teacher. He's really going to be her teacher in Season 3, though, which I'm not very happy with...

      Re: Elliot. You know what? I honestly wonder what Riley would be like with an older sister. I can totally picture the parallels between Riley and an older sister and Cory and Eric in the pilot--Riley wanting to be as cool as her sister.

      Re: Arc. I'm not sure if airing the arc episodes in succession with each other would please the older fans who don't care a bit about these ships. I believe even some younger fans are getting tired of it. But for us logical viewers, yeah, it would've been nicer than having them go through a significant situation and then completely forgetting about it the next episode--or, in this case, until the end of December!

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    5. i cant wait for girl meets legacy we get to meet Morgan :D wonder what shes been up to

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    6. Re: Elliot. You know what? I honestly wonder what Riley would be like with an older sister. I can totally picture the parallels between Riley and an older sister and Cory and Eric in the pilot--Riley wanting to be as cool as her sister.

      Interesting theory, but I'm not so sure it'd pan out. I mean, Riley has this awesome mother in Topanga, and you can count the number of meaningful scenes they have together, where Topanga is independent of co-parenting with Cory, on one hand.

      The scene where Topanga encourages Riley that she'll grow up to be beautiful in "Brother," that you were fond of; the dress-selecting scene in "First Date,"; the scene where Topanga advises Riley and Lucas to proceed with caution in "New World," which I'm not that fond of insomuch that I never bought the notion that Lucas and Riley were very good friends in the first place; the lap scene in "Texas 3."

      Yeah, given Riley being so intertwined with Maya, I can't see an older sister working out very well. Maybe if they had stuck with earlier ideas to add a bit of complexity to the Riley-Maya dynamic. "Pilot" established that Riley did Maya's homework and "Popular" hinted that they're actually in different social circles.

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  3. Sean, your review was funnier than the episode, which is on one hand great and on the other very sad.

    I thought the Auggie and Ava stuff was terrible, and I usually like that stuff. I was hoping that we would see the nice polite Emma Weathersbee so that when we see Ava complain about her (Rules) it would have had something behind it that we could have related to, but no, the entire thing was wasted time.

    Truthfully the only episodes from this season that I thought this was better than were "Fish" and "World of Terror 2" and that isn't saying much.

    I know "Bay Window" isn't very good so I'm hoping that "Legacy" doesn't suck. Ending the season on a long losing streak wouldn't be very good.

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  4. I'll say it: I hated this fucking episode. 1960 is right--this shit is worse than anything except for "Fish," which thank God, I still haven't seen, and "World of Terror 2."

    Also, I fucking hate communism. I hate communism with every fiber of my being. I'm a history minor. I know what those bastards have done every time they've seized power. But this episode can still go straight to hell.

    This episode fails on every level. This is the chimeric offspring of "Popular," "Friendship," and "Crazy Hat." This just really sucks.

    Ugggg...my blood pressure...

    With that out of the way, I agree with your point on "Me and Mr. Joad," Sean. The kids get behind a philosophy that is far more complicated than they realize, and then when they try to defend it, they sound like idealistic morons. Sure, the scene at the dinner table is kind of cringey, but it was no where near as awkward to watch as Cory and Shawn chanting "Look for the Union..." I don't remember the rest. But still.

    The problem here is in the /how./ Here, Cory is taking issue with the idea of communism, while Turner was more upset at the actions taken by the kids. It's a subtle difference on paper, but it's actually more noticeable on screen.

    It actually sort of makes sense that Riley and Maya would find communism appealing. Maya, as Christian noted last time, accepts hand-outs willingly and she has shown complete disregard for any rule she finds inconvenient. And Riley is too naive for her own good. "Share all the knowledge. We'll all be equal."

    What doesn't make sense is Farkle backing communism. Especially pre-Yearbook Farkle. Come on, this is the kid who in "Crazy Hat" ran an extremely successful muffin business--albeit the muffins were made entirely out of sugar, but I digress.

    Yeah, there's not much more I can say here. This is pretty propaganda-y. It doesn't do the material justice, and while I don't disagree with Cory's argument about how individualism in democracy is an important part of success, he doesn't really give any examples. More to the point, given that Riley and Maya's identities are so intertwined, to say nothing of Riley's damn infatuation with Lucas, it falls
    flat on its face.

    Auggie's storyline may have been the worst subplot in the entire franchise.

    Grade: D-

    Awesome Scene of Awesome: Nothing was even remotely awesome here. We're not even approaching adequate.

    You know what's awesome? RED DAWN! Red Dawn is awesome!

    1984:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Bx9nyw35w

    2012:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdooxAxP8-k

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    1. Why does it seem like the Strong brothers, and I think William Russ, and now Danielle always direct the trash episodes? Poor Danielle, getting stuck with this nightmare.

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    2. This show's only half an hour. Can there really be a sense of direction in a multi-camera sitcom?

      Topanga drew the short straw, I guess.

      You said there was some wasted opportunity with Zay. Don't disagree. Hell, now that I stop to think about it, there's actually quite a few good ideas here.

      Auggie getting bullied by Frankie Big-Hands. Hello, Riley the Protector.

      Riley being on the Honor Committee and actually being conflicted about having to give Maya and Farkle a punishment.

      Maya PRESSURING Riley to get her the answers to the test off Cory's desk, a la "Pop Quiz."

      Cory actually remembering that he's a history teacher--if we're going to be told communism is bad, might as well use history. Interestingly, just yesterday was the anniversary of Eisenhower refusing to appeal the convictions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

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    3. Yeah those are all solid. Riley being conflicted is exactly what I expected at the first trial, maybe like the Fugitive, but probably more like Notorious. Some sort of actual self discovery instead of I LOVE MAYAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

      And Cory is the worst teacher in the world. You can't teach a unit on communism and never once use the word proletariat.

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    4. If they wanted to teach Riley a lesson on the negatives of communism, and do it simplistically, I guess the thing to do would be to dock her allowance so that it matches Auggie's three-dollars-a-week.

      Riley: "WHAT?! I do a lot of chores! Way more than Auggie! I even some of Maya's! I should get more!"

      Cory: "I thought you wanted everyone to be equal."

      That, I'll admit, isn't great, but if Riley likes communism because EQUALITY, might as well show her that being equal is not necessarily a good thing.

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    5. Cryptid456=Frankie Big-Hands is supposed to be a shout-out to BMW, isn't it?

      Riley and Lucas disagreeing on how to punish Maya would have been fantastic. There would have been real conflict between Riley and Lucas that wasn't part of the love triangle.

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    6. Should have brought back Harper and had her teach on Animal Farm and used that to lead into an investigation of Communism.

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    7. Patrick you just blew my mind for the second time on this post.

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    8. and kit you're almost certainly right about that. That bully's name was really Frankie? Wow, I completely tune out during those Auggie scenes. I just liked the frog.

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    9. Frankie Big Hands. And the teacher calls him that.

      There is no way that kid is the son of Francis Stechino. Frankie started out as the muscle of a group of thugs, but over the course of three years underwent a surprising amount of character development. There is no way that sweet-souled giant would raise his son to be a bully.

      If Frankie Stechino ever comes back, it had better be as a guest speaker for the English class in high school.

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    10. I don't think anybody said he was his son...

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    11. Oh, I know. It was more a lament on how everyone seems to be related to everyone.

      Farkle wasn't actually meant to be the son of Stuart Minkus until Jacobs essentially had an epiphany about four episodes into filming. Until then, Farkle's name was "Shamus Farkle." Which might actually be worse than Farkle Minkus.

      And a LOT of people on IMDB thought Maya was either Shawn or Eric's secret love child.

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    12. "There is no way that sweet-souled giant would raise his son to be a bully."

      Hey man. Princess Leia gave birth to Kylo Ren. Shit happens.

      But no, it never even entered my mind that was Frankie's kid. But then I also didn't notice the kid was named Frankie. It's probably just an homage to Frankie. I don't believe that's his son.

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    13. "
      What doesn't make sense is Farkle backing communism. Especially pre-Yearbook Farkle. Come on, this is the kid who in "Crazy Hat" ran an extremely successful muffin business--albeit the muffins were made entirely out of sugar, but I digress. "

      Thing is, Farkle's an exceptionally poorly drawn character who, aside from certain traits, has a personality that can be pulled out of a grab bag like Jack. There really is very little predicting or telling how he's going to react to any given situation, and it's because they primarily just use him for any joke they can think of, and then very occasionally give him an episode of his own, and it doesn't all tie together well.

      I'm not a Farkle fan at all. I secretly suspect Farkle may be a worse character than Lucas, especially as time has gone on and Lucas had become less grating.

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    14. I have to agree with Christian. I think his suspicions were largely confirmed in Meets Money. The Farkle we saw in Money was flying pretty damn far to the left, pretty damn fast. Like, Farkle in Money is Karl Marx: Origins. I wouldn't say he's worse than Lucas though. He is inconsistent, but DOES have consistent long-term goals and, more importantly, FLAWS, which Riley and Lucas do not.

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    15. "Also, I fucking hate communism. I hate communism with every fiber of my being. I'm a history minor. I know what those bastards have done every time they've seized power."

      I mean, mainly what they did is *stop* being communists and become fascists instead. Communism is a very good idea in theory, but it lends itself to people who don't hold those ideals taking over and reshaping the society to suit themselves. Communism, at its core, is in no way an inherently wrong idea. It's just hard to make happen effectively.

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    16. But, yeah, Sean and I are liberals, you're conservative, this is a road we've been down. :)

      Delete
    17. "He is inconsistent, but DOES have consistent long-term goals and, more importantly, FLAWS, which Riley and Lucas do not."

      Oh, I think they have flaws. Lucas is regarded as kind of boring and vapid even in-universe, and Riley is frequently treated as a naive flake.

      I mean, Lucas bothers me more in that... his personality is anathema to everything I tend to value in characters. But I do believe he's an developed, consistent character and that's important to me. Farkle, it's like... they know he's smart, they know he's weird, and that's it. Sometimes he's the sweetest most sensitive guy in the world, sometimes he's on his way to becoming a world-conquering dictator. Sometimes he's a skeevy perve who is utterly lacking in social skills and unable to pick up social cues and possibly autistic, and sometimes he gets social cues better than anyone else and knows what's in everyone's heart better than they do. It's really kind of a problem.

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    18. You're probably right. P.S I'm not trynna get my personal politics involved here. The fact that this episode is Cold War era nationalism is independent of our modern political leanings.

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    19. "The fact that this episode is Cold War era nationalism is independent of our modern political leanings."

      Fair enough.

      I don't want to get too far into my own personal politics either. At least not beyond the historical context that could have been useful for this episode--Cory is their HISTORY teacher. Teach some history, Matthews! Scare them back with stories of the gulag!

      I think the thing with Farkle is, when it comes to reading people, the only person he's actually good at reading is Riley. And Isadora, to a degree. But he's not even that good at reading Maya.

      Lucas may be a developed, consistent character, but he is still a soul-sucking monster that drained almost every bit of Riley's character development.

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    20. Cryptid456-I agree that the Frankie in Auggue's class isn't Francis Stechino son. At least, I really hope he isn't. I keep waiting for Francis Stechino to show up as a guest speaker in Harper's class.

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    21. "The Farkle we saw in Money was flying pretty damn far to the left, pretty damn fast."

      Hmmmm, I could see that interpretation, Sean. It seemed to be more typical "I have more than I know what to do with" Rich Kid plot than anything overtly political. But I could be wrong. The episode did seem to advocate for helping out those at home in tangible ways rather than the ridiculous save-the-world/stop-malaria ideals of Lucas and Riley.

      Charity's pretty bipartisan. Bill Gates gives gobs of money to the poor in Africa, and he's a big-time Democrat. And Bono of U2 advocates hard for philanthropy and he tends to support Republicans.

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  5. This episode sucked ass. It feels like a Season 1 episode. Farkle was written like a major stalker, even more so than last . Sabrina was good, but they gave her garbage material.

    It didn't take its topic remotely seriously. The B-plot was absurd. How in the fuck was the bully a kindergartner or whatever the fuck grade Auggie's in? First grade? Blah, Pangers got wasted again. Spot on about the Pledge, Sean. We make kids say it without them knowing what it means. If North Korea did that, we'd call it brainwashing.

    This episode is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in its rambling, incoherent nonsense was it even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this blog is now dumber for having seen it. Girl Meets World, I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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    1. spot on. it felt a bit risky saying that about the pledge, but i'm glad we're on the same page

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    2. One of the most memorable parts of our eighth grade class was when our teacher had us read "The Children's Story."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Children's_Story

      Makes you wonder...

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    3. Shipping Wars Are Stupid-The B plot could have been fantastic. How I would have done it: You see a kid with a bruise or an injury he got from falling off a swing. When the teacher asked him who pushed him, the kid won't say. Auggie tells Ava he saw Frankie do it. Auggie makes it clear that Frankie saw him. Cut to the makeover, and do your own miniature supershort version/tribute to one of the most perfect comedies ever made, "Some Like it Hot."

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  6. I now have a legitimate fear of viewing this episode.
    Was it really that awful?

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    1. They usually aren't as awful as the blog claims but if they really an ep, it's still...not very good. Although i do kind like Girl Meets wish. I love noir type stuff.

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    2. Christian and I are certainly grumps, but if 1960, Cryptid, and Shipping ALSO all hate it (which is pretty rare) then you know we're in bad shape.

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  7. Ugh, this episode was awful. Obviously, it was anti-communist propaganda, but even accepting that as a premise, it did an awful job of debunking communism. It was like the writers had no idea why communism might be a bad thing. Maya, Farkle and Riley all get A's and everyone wins. What's the harm in that? Well the harm is, that they all will start talking the same and dressing the same, and there will be chaos, or something like that. Com'mon writers, you can do better than this. Put your thinking caps on.

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  8. Sean...agree 100%

    Can we address how lousy a lawyer Topanga is? We have 4 times where her as a lawyer is mentioned. In "Popularity", she blackmails her boss with her reputation as a killer shark lawyer. In "Cory and Topanga", she saves the nunnery/orphanage because she's a "super lawyer". In "Demolition", she loses the legal argument to a shopkeeper and her 13 year old daughter saves the day. And Now, in "Commonism", she goes into a "student court" sure that she's going to win because she's Topanga, but instead doesn't review the case beforehand and arranges a recreation that not only proves her clients' (Maya and Farkle) guilt, but incriminates her daughter in complicity.

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    1. Hahaha, you're totally right, she walks into the trial and proves her clients' guilt. I didn't even realize that, that's hysterical.

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    2. Eh, I think Riley asked Topanga to defend them, but Topanga only agreed to show up. I don't recall a line of dialogue that indicated that anybody other than Riley legitimately thought Topanga would help Maya and Farkle.

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    3. In the show's defense, I think it was in on the joke on how awful Topanga was. At the end there she seemed to realize what had just happened and was like "Uhhhh..... so.... um...."

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    4. Yeah, it didn't make any sense how she'd so confidently lead all her questions to revealing how her daughter is an accomplice. She even started it all by proclaiming that someone helped them cheat. And btw they had already confessed. What could she have changed anyway? Well ok I kinda expected some kind of philosophy (maybe communism related) and law mix of reasons showing how cheating in this case was ok, or how you can look at cheating in a completely different way, that would have been pretty fun, but I guess too complicated for this show.
      Anyway, if they needed a reenactment to show that Riley was also guilty (which as I see was the only reason to bring Topanga into this, apart from it being somewhat related to her profession) they could have just made the kids do it as part of the trial. She could have even advised it at home. But why ruin Topanga? This bit seemed very lazy.

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    5. I wouldn't say this ruined Topanga, Evi. This seemed to be that Riley expected her to help, but Topanga had her own...

      Oh, who am I kidding? This isn't the worst we've seen of Topanga, but it's pretty pointless. Sure, it exposed Riley's guilt, but all Cory had to do was threaten to give Farkle an F and he would have sang like a canary.

      Also, the re-enactment itself; Riley and Farkle sit on Maya's right-hand side, not her left. And how didn't Lucas notice what was going on if he sits right behind Maya and right next to Farkle?

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    6. Hmm... I guess I can understand and accept this if I assume her point was to expose Riley. I had assumed that she came in to help her, but maybe that's just what Riley assumed, not what Topanga intended. That would make way more sense.

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    7. I think that's being extremely generous to believe the writers put that much thought into it. If it really were "Topanga has a secret agenda to expose Riley," Cory absolutely would have commented on it. "Nice work sweetie ;^))))))))) aren't we just the darnedest parents :^D"

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    8. Yeah...looking back on it, I think I was just spit-balling.

      That being said...um...hmmm, well Maya and Farkle were already guilty. The Honor Board was little more than a sentencing chamber...why the hell was Topanga even in that scene?

      I think I can still say that Riley thought Super Topanga would help out, but Topanga only agreed to it to...I don't know, maybe she just wanted to visit Cory on her lunch break.

      That being said, it wouldn't have been a stretch for Cory the Patriotic to ask Topanga to help him see if Riley had helped Maya cheat. He may have thought that Riley might be trying too hard to defend her friends. But since we didn't actually see anything that indicated that it happened, I don't think we can say that it happened.

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    9. Well either Topanga had a secret agenda or she acted stupid. I don't see another way.

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    10. Yeah exactly, I'm betting the house on "she acted stupid"

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    11. Cryptid456-" all Cory had to do was threaten to give Farkle an F and he would have sang like a canary." I love this sentence. It's so old school, like something from an old movie or radio show.

      Delete
  9. I don't think Farkle is inconsistent, it's just that the episodes are aired out of order. When you watch the episodes in production order, you can see a progression of his character. In season 1 he wanted to be a dictator because in his own words he felt like "squeaky the mouse" but now he is more comfortable with himself and we don't see that in him as much. In season 1 and early season 2 he had a crush on the girls and often hit on them. But now he has accepted their rejection and moved on. I have my own personal opinion (no one has to agree) that he still likes Riley, but he doesn't chase after her anymore since she doesn't feel the same way. That's great character development in my opinion, it shows maturity. As for him going from capitalist to communist. I also think this is pretty normal for someone his age. Teenagers constantly change their opinions. If any of you have seen the show Black-ish their was an episode when the oldest son became a republican to impress a girl, then at the end of the episode he flipped to being a democrat(again because of a girl) But getting back on topic. I have noticed that Farkle always seemed to be easily swayed by others, but even that seems to be changing. Yearbook is a good example of him sticking to his guns. I think if you look at the full picture, mid to late season 2 Farkle has been pretty consistent in character. His personality is stabilizing.

    For the record Commonism was the last pre-yearbook episode in the vault. So turtle neck wearing Farkle is officially gone for good.

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    1. "As for him going from capitalist to communist. I also think this is pretty normal for someone his age. Teenagers constantly change their opinions. If any of you have seen the show Black-ish their was an episode when the oldest son became a republican to impress a girl, then at the end of the episode he flipped to being a democrat(again because of a girl)."

      That's actually a good point. Teenagers be teenagers, they change their minds constantly. And if Maya and Riley think it's a good idea...

      I remember that episode of "Black-ish," but I don't watch the show often--it's up against "Criminal Minds."

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  10. I miss the days on IMDb when Meets Commonism (and Meets World of Terror 2, Meets I Am Farkle etc) were victims of trolling and abuse of IMDb's open-user policy to make people think the other Lauren and Nostalgia Critic were going to guest star.

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    1. Because quite frankly those faked episode descriptions were a lot more interesting than the actual products we got.

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    2. Well I take that back. Meets I am Farkle was actually interesting, or at least not entirely stupid. Meets World of Terror 2...yeah, I miss the faked episode description of that one over the actual product we got.

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  11. This episode was worse than Fish. I did like the Wonder Twins/Power Rangers riff that "turned" them into communists. That was funny. The rest of the episode was a complete and total disaster.

    I see two ways to fix it.

    Option 1: Cut the stuff about the honor board. The episode starts after class. Riley, Maya, and Farkle are in the classroom. Cory knows based on the test score that Maya cheated off Farkle's answers. Because Corey is smarter in my version, he also knows that Riley was involved. She either saw them cheat and didn't say anything, or she helped them cheat.

    Maya and Farkle are both getting an F. If Riley confesses what she saw, her test score will stay the same. If she does not, she will get an F. It basically sets up a HUAC situation (save yourself, but at the expense of your friends. Save your friends, and you suffer consequences).

    Lucas tells her to be honest about what she saw. Farkle and Maya want her to keep silent. It would be great, because we could see the kids divided and on different sides.

    Option 2: If they really wanted to do an episode about the evils/dangers of Communism (why is beyond me, but I'm willing to roll with this crazy idea), then show it in action. Divide the class in two groups for a class project. Half the class functions as a democratic country to complete the project. The other half functions as a communist country to complete the project. I'm not sure if this would have worked, but it would have been slightly better than the actual episode.

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    1. @Kit Cosmo regarding Option 2: You mean have Cory teach an ACTUAL History lesson? Are you mad???

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    2. Pretty good ideas, Kit. I like the first one a lot, but it got me to thinking.

      Personally, I think it would have been interesting to see Cory automatically jump to the not-unreasonable conclusion that Riley was complicit to Maya's cheating and chew her out in front of her classmates.

      The twist would be...Riley DIDN'T help Maya cheat, and she's aghast that her father would think that.

      If we're going to have an episode on the evils of Communism, then we should also have McCartyism and the Red Scare.

      I despise communism, but damn it if Joseph McCarthy wasn't a tremendous bastard.

      As for Option 2...hmmmm, it's not a bad idea. But we kind of already had this in "Crazy Hat," and that episode is only one notch above this one in my book.

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    3. Cryptid456-Option 2 is basically a rip-off of "Crazy Hat," but it was the best way I could think of to do an episode on the evils of Communism. I think the idea of the episode is dated and stupid. Maybe something like this could have worked in the 1980s, but not today.

      "If we're going to have an episode on the evils of Communism, then we should also have McCartyism and the Red Scare." This where Option 1 came from. The Red Scare and the ideology behind it is far more relevant today.

      I love your alteration to option 1. I'm a huge fan of the "clear my name" trope. Your version would be a great way to bring in Topanga and have her be super-lawyer. She would be the one to defend Riley.

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    4. The tricky part is that communism and democracy are not actually opposites. Democracy is a system of government. Communism is a system of economic theory.

      The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Riley having to prove that she didn't help Maya do something bad. Could be cheating or shop lifting or, well anything really. There's definitely something to tell there.

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    5. Cryptid456-"The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Riley having to prove that she didn't help Maya do something bad. Could be cheating or shop lifting or, well anything really. There's definitely something to tell there." I really like this idea. There are two ways to go with it. One is that Maya did something wrong, but Riley didn't know about it. The other is that Maya has been wrongly accused, and Riley has to clear her name. (If they wanted to do a detective story, this would have worked so much better than "Girl Meets Fish." Maya's the client, Riley is the detective, Farkle is her partner who deals with forensic stuff, Lucas is the police officer who's a friend on the force, Zay is the connection to the criminal underworld, Eric, Josh or Sean is the bartender they go to for advice,)

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    6. I really don't know what they were thinking with "Fish." If they had to do a Whodunit in a school, make it sensible. Who pulled the fire alarm? Not only is that a Whodunit, it's actually very serious.

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    7. Cryptid456- "If they had to do a Whodunit in a school, make it sensible." I totally agree with you. Other acts that would have worked would have been theft from lockers, someone stole a copy of a test, or a teacher brought in a valuable object that was stolen.

      "Girl Meets Fish" was a good idea with poor execution. A mystery story could have worked. If they wanted the mystery to involve a fish, having it be Auggie's class pet would have worked. This is what I mean by good idea poor execution.

      "Girl Meets Commonism" was just a bad idea. They would have to totally rework the plot to make this into a good idea. Even then, I'm not sure Communism is bad is really the best of their time.

      They only have x number of episodes per season. Why waste one of your episodes on something like this? Most tweens don't care about communism. The Cold War is like ancient history to them. Very few in their target audience are politically aware. This episode isn't going to make them take a greater interest in politics.

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  12. Oh please, not another Bernie supporter.

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    1. Mark Bosco-Are you sure you meant to reply to my comment? (I've made that mistake. I thought I was replying to one comment when I was actually replying to a different one). If it was in response to my comment, I'm not a Bernie supporter. I'm still undecided. Also, I don't know how you could begin to guess which candidate I would be supporting based on my original comment.

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    2. doesn't look like he replied to any comment. he's talking to christian

      Delete
    3. Sorry about that. I really couldn't tell which message the reply was to.

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  13. I can see why they held this back. What a stinker. They didn't go far enough though. This should be an extra on a DVD with an option to see it.

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  14. So the Writers Guild of America held their annual awards last night, and as some of you may remember I had mentioned that "Girl Meets I Am Farkle" was nominated for best episode of a children's show against 4 episodes of the Amazon series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. Sadly for GMW, it didn't win. “Gortimer and the Surprise Signature” took home the honors.

    Truthfully, when it was nominated, while I was sure it wouldn't win (the other series got the other 4 nominations, that has to tell you its the favorite), I thought it showed the upward trend of season 2 GMW at that point. Well since "I Am Farkle", with the exception of the "Texas" trilogy, it really is hard to believe that the same people have been writing this show. I certainly hope that season 3 is a large step up from what we have been getting lately.

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    1. "Forgiveness" is pretty good, or at least has some very good scenes, and I personally liked "New Year," even though I respect those who didn't.

      They really should have just aired these episodes in their proper production order, or at least something closer to it.

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  15. New link to Girl Meets the Bay Window if anyone's interested:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3TbvVMpYTvMOEhfTWlVdVh6cE0/view

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    1. Hmmmm...didn't hate it. Didn't love it. Could have been a lot better, but all things considered, it isn't bad.

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    2. Well, I cried throughout the entire back half of that...

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    3. Back half was good, front half stupid. Also seemed more like a series finale than a transition to high school.

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  16. Why does it seem like in these kids shows the kids seem to never get in trouble or face a consequence for their actions. Like in this episode particular Maya and Farkle cheated, they should've at least got detention and an F on the test before they had the honor committee talk to Maya. In BMW when Cory got in trouble you felt it and in older Disney shows the parents felt like parents while now Disney makes these parents too goofy and should make them a barrier for kids to remind them to not do things they're not supposed to do.

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    1. I don't believe we've met, Darion. If you're new to these parts, let me be the first to welcome you.

      Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, all the rest, the have a "Kids Rule!" mentality. They haven't had parents as real authority figures on Disney Channel since...I can't remember. "Suite Life" and "Good Luck Charlie" saw semi-frequent groundings, but the kids rarely showed remorse for their bad behavior.

      To be fair, I'd argue that, in-universe, Cory's likely to be more reluctant to punish his daughter than he might be for a son of the same age. Also, Topanga accused him of skirting responsibility and that "he'd rather be pals with our kids" than an authority figure. So, Cory being a pushover, while a pain in the ass, is in-character.

      And Topanga's not exactly involved in her daughter's life. I don't know why; almost everyone on every site that discusses this show has been begging for Topanga/Riley since the show began. She could be an authority figure, if they bothered to use her.

      But there's no indication that Maya and Farkle didn't get detention and we just didn't see it happen on-screen.

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    2. Thanks for the welcome Cryptid, and I agree with you totally. Now that I look back at "Suite Life" and GLC the kids would cause trouble then in the end would apologize for what they've done and next episode do it all over again. At least the kids would apologize but in this past episode they didn't even say sorry for cheating. The kids showing remorse for their actions is another thing but my main problem is just the lack of punishment for their actions that concerns me.

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  17. I watched a whole bunch of BMW this weekend. More than a few references identify the writers as being of my generation (Missy Robinson, the Sparrow sisters and whatnot). Not so much of that in GMW. But as Riley and Maya were striving to become heroes of socialist labour, with their Lennon and Groucho buttons, I thought somebody must have dusted off their old Firesign Theatre records. Though I also appreciated the lack of explanation, it’s hard to dole out too high marks for a joke recycled from a 1969 album cover. I was kind of disappointed they didn’t take over and rename the place Communist Martyrs Middle School.

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    1. Ah, Milestones, I never cease to find joy in your journey to Meet the World.

      I know the joke of Lennon/Lenin is dated as anything ("And Lennon read a book on Marx, the quartet practiced in the park, and we sang dirges in the dark, the day the music died"), it still makes s lot of sense and it didn't really bother me.

      Something to ponder: A lot of pseudo-communists have taken to wearing Che Guevera t-shirts. While the irony is not lost on me, the fact remains that the shirts have become so commonplace, many people who wear them have no idea who he is.

      Guy Fawkes Masks are popular too...which baffles me. I know "V for Vendetta" is a thing, but Fawkes was a zealot who wanted to blow up Parliament and put in its place a government subservient to the Vatican.

      "I was kind of disappointed they didn't take over and rename the place Communist Martyrs Middle School."

      Did you ever read "The Wave"?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wave_%28novel%29

      Basically, a social experiment by the history teacher went amuck and fascism almost took over a high school.

      Could be something to do for Season 3--but if they do, Riley probably shouldn't be one of the New Government advocates; the point of view character should ideally be the foil.

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    2. Hey Crytpid. BMW really picked up speed for me in Season 3, and I burned through Season 4 with alacrity. Overnight it seemed to go from enjoyable to awesome.

      The Wave. Wow. I saw what I see described as a TV short when it first aired, back in 1981. I would have been about your age. I just remember the reveal at the end, and a few fragments.

      I was still in university (long story, and not entirely unlike Eric’s), and by then any electives were in Russian studies, including a course in dissident Soviet Lit. I claim no expertise, but have retained a bit of what was a more than passing knowledge of the USSR. When I caught part of a preview for Commonism, and saw the Komsomol-looking attire, I thought of Communist Martyrs High School from a classic, ancient comedy album. I wasn’t expecting anything so sublimely surreal, and didn’t get much of anything sublime, but the visual pun with the buttons seemed drawn directly from the cover of a different album by the same troupe. It’s hard to believe that someone of my general vintage, and in the comedy business, would be unfamiliar with the Firesign Theatre. But, who knows? Maybe it was an American Pie reference, or no reference at all.

      Between the episode not airing up here until last night, and today being a provincial holiday, I’m getting to do my usual morning after re-watch and reflection. I just wish it had been a better episode.

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    3. "Hey Crytpid. BMW really picked up speed for me in Season 3, and I burned through Season 4 with alacrity. Overnight it seemed to go from enjoyable to awesome."

      This is my new favorite comment.

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    4. Cryptid, thanks. Might have been better still if I had spelled your username right.

      The exam Maya cheated on was Corey’s, wasn’t? I’m wondering if the reverse seat placements for that silly re-enactment meant anything beyond indifference to continuity.

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    5. Yeah, it had to be Cory's test.

      Maya lists all the answers she remembers and railroads, the Louisiana Purchase, and Manifest Destiny were all mentioned.

      And what's a few spelling errors between friends.

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  18. Wait, so is Cory officially a racist now? I know people throw the word around a lot, but Cory didn't even have to teach them about Communism. They learnt that cheating was bad because communism was bad? And Maya [b]has[/b] to act dumb or else she'll be another Farkle?

    I mean I'd say it's still better than the religion episode (if you don't believe in God you're a bad person, I may be paraphrasing), but still...

    And I guess according to this episode's logic, being average is bad, but being bad is good... I guess all poor people just didn't follow the American dream well enough and that's why. You know, like how some people used to say that if you're poor, it's because you're a bad person.

    Sorry, the few times I've been here I don't usually rant, but full-on preachy episodes like this?

    ...

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    1. Also, I'm not saying I support or am against Communism. From what I know, didn't Communism mess up because of the corruption?... I don't know.

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    2. I'm not sure what race has to do with it, but I'm with you otherwise.

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    3. Yeah, I would like to officially make it known that I do not consider Cory Matthews to be a racist. I'm not sure where that's coming from? Communism isn't a race, it's a political theory.

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    4. The only possible way I think someone could view Cory Matthews as racist is if they view his opposition to cultural appropriation in "Girl Meets Popular" as such.

      I'm with Christian. However over the top Cory was in this episode (And he was very over the top), it isn't the least bit racist to oppose communism.

      Cory Matthews is not, by any stretch of the imagination, racist.

      Communism isn't a race, it's an ideology. Not all ideologies are equal.

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  19. Sean, I'm rather surprised you pointed out the joke about John Lennon/Vladimir Lenin, yet completely skipped over the joke of Groucho Marx/Karl Marx. IIRC Maya wears a Lennon pin on her shirt and Maya wears a Groucho Marx pin, but at the end they switch them for the actual people the jokes represent (Lenin and Karl Marx), I guess because they learned something about communism or something? I don't know.

    Also, I noticed when Riley was trying to quote the lyrics from John Lennon's "Imagine", she didn't get the lyrics 100% correct (there are no "hey hey"s in the song, and she says "Hey hey, they say I'm a dreamer" or something like that). I was a bit confused why she stops quoting the song at "But I'm not the only-" and just stops there like she can't get any more words out.

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    1. meant to say *Riley wears a Lennon pin, oops

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    2. I skipped the groucho/lenin buttons part because they DID explain the joke. The first time was only remarkable because they didn't insult us by explaining it. But Cory explained it the second time so it was stupid.

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    3. There's something to be said for me now explaining my own jokes, but

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  20. So, Girl Meets World only had 1.75 million viewers Friday, even less than the awful lead in show Bunk'd.

    However, Disney did NOT have a promotion for this episode. It was spread through word of mouth and if you're like 95% of the regulars here, On Demand/leaked.

    Not bad, I'd say.

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    1. It's still the second lowest ratings for any episode in the series ever. Having said that you are correct that it had no promo and it had been several weeks since the last new episode.

      I predict "Bay Window" gets over 2.5 million views. Sickly sweet writing and unrealistic dialogue that is directly targeted to the shipping-centric 13 year old girls that are all over the social media they covert.

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    2. Disney usually promotes new episodes of their shows through two promos: (1) a separate promo solely for the show (2) a compilation of all of the new Disney episodes airing in one [Friday] night.

      As you said, Disney did not have a promotion for this episode. They did, however, include this episode in the compilation. Interestingly, the only footage they showed from this episode was Riley, Farkle, and Maya going "YAY!!!!" (or something, I barely watched the episode).

      Geez, you can tell Disney REALLY didn't want to air this episode.

      "Not bad, I'd say." IMO, it's bad. I know this episode was produced early in the season but I hope this teaches the writers a lesson. They can't keep writing this crap or the show will keep dipping below 2 million viewers. They need to get better at writing filler epiodes because at this point the diehard tween fans only care about the triangle episodes, which is a shame.

      Lol it is embarrassing that Bunk'd did better. AWFUL show filled with unfunny/jarring stereotypes/jokes. It did have, I guess you could say, special, guest star and it WAS heavily promoted. I'd say it's still embarrassing on Bunk'd's part because, like I said, it was HEAVILY promoted (whereas GMW had 0 promo) and it only managed to pull in 1.88 million viewers, I believe.

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    3. @1960poster: The lowest is actually Girl Meets STEM with 1.62 million viewers. Look at that, another episode with a Groundbreaking Moral with a record breaking low rating.

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    4. @1960poster: Ouch, I didn't even see "second" in "second lowest." My bad.

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    5. Curious that "STEM" is lowest. I wasn't fond of the episode at first, but I've come around to it--it's a lot better if you watch it with the interpretation that Maya and the other girls' antics are /meant/ to be over-the-top and taking things too far. If Riley maintains an interest in science in Season 3, I'll retroactively raise my grade for the episode to a 'B.'

      Groundbreaking Moral, eh Jet? Boy Meets World could be moralistic at times, quite often even (Baby-back Ribs anyone?), but there was just something about it that was different. The obvious answer is Bill Daniels. I could listen to him read the phonebook and I wouldn't turn the channel.

      1.75 million...I really hope things pick up. For however much we complain about them dragging things out (And they haven't really dragged things out in terms of production order. "Texas" aired radically early), this is still probably the best show on Disney Channel. When it's good, it's network-good.

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    6. Re: STEM

      I just don't like how the science teacher MEANT for the lesson to be about gender equality and all that (vaguely remember the episode, sorry if I'm wrong). Everything has to be connected nicely on this show. I agree with what you said about Riley, I hope she develops an interest in something. I don't think kids shows focus too much on the "What do I want to be when I grow up?" aspect.

      Re: BMW vs. GMW

      "There was just something about it that was different. The obvious answer is Bill Daniels." Not only that, they let the kids learn things by themselves. The lessons weren't always dictated by the classroom. And if they were, they were usually just introduced in the classroom, rather than switching back and forth to the classroom every other scene (I'm looking at you, GMW).

      Re: Future

      I do hope things pick up as well. I have to say I'm disappointed that Cory is still teaching in Season 3. Hey fans who watched BMW while it was running on ABC: when you saw that Feeny was constantly the teacher, were you annoyed or excited?

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    7. Well, we have to remember that Feeny had a foil in Alan and Turner. Cory's balancing three roles all by himself.

      "Girl Meets the Forgotten" did a pretty good job in the kids learning the lesson for themselves. Even with the super cheesy presentations scenes, I think it holds up well. Besides, Harley gets to call Cory "Baboon."

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    8. Cryptid - right now, at least in my opinion, Liv & Maddie has surpassed GMW as Disney's best show. Having said that L&M is in the middle of its third season and has been going up in quality since it's premiere. GMW certainly got better in season 2, but after "Yearbook" it has been a rollercoaster of quality.

      Also speaking of network quality - Stuck in the Middle's pilot premiered on Sunday night. While it wasn't GMW good yet, it was markedly better than the last 2 new shows that Disney made. One of the biggest things I approved of was that is specifically DID NOT look like a Disney show. It reminded me of a network sitcom. Give it a watch it you get a chance.

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    9. I saw the promo. It reminded me of a gender swapped version of Malcolm in the Middle.

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    10. I haven't seen enough of Live & Maddie to form an opinion, truth be told.

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    11. Liv* & Maddie. My brain is tired.

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    12. As one who watched BMW when it aired, Feeny being the teacher was never a problem. As Cryptid said, Alan and Turner were there as other grownups they could turn to. Also, while Feeny did care about Cory, Shawn and Topanga, he was able to put up a detached front applicable for a teacher. Cory can't do that handling it all on his own...he is Riley's father and a father-figure to Maya so those 2 will always get preferential treatment from him. They tried to show it in Rah Rah...the father not wanting his daughter to get hurt, the teacher wanting her to try...but that's the only time I remember seeing two different hats. From what I've seen of Spoilers for the 1st episode of Season 3, there is a new character, at least for that episode, who questions his "teaching" style of making everything a personal lesson for his daughter. Like many others, I think the classroom scenes are one of the worst parts of GMW

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    13. The thing of it is, Patrick, much as I hate the classroom scenes, I don't want any student telling Cory off.

      I want Cory changing on his terms.

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  21. Maybe the writing and the plotlines have been less than stellar lately, but I'm grateful for a community such as this one that supports other viewers who find interest and entertainment in GMW and other like shows. I'm just getting really sick or real life individuals trying to tell me there is something wrong with me for watching a show geared toward preteens and teenagers. So thank you all for giving me a safe place to air my opinions without fear of judgment.

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    1. Adding on to this, Christian and Sean have done an excellent job allowing dissident opinions to be aired. Most of the sites surrounding this show are a bit...let's say they're a bit more narrow-minded, praising the show endlessly.

      One other thing I've noticed is that this site is far more concerned with the effectiveness of the lesson episodes. Almost everyone else is geared towards shipping.

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    2. If you call Facebook or IMDB other sites, then yes.

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    3. I was referring to Tumblr, actually.

      Stay the fuck away from Tumblr, Milestones. Run. Run as far and as fast as you can. Tumblr is a hive of the worst vermin imaginable.

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  22. So, I gave this one another try.

    First, full disclosure: I was a teenage communist. It started in Grade 8, too. For many reasons, a contrarian streak included.

    You would think this would give me some sympathy with the episode’s choice of material. Except, when I was 14, there actually was a fucking Soviet Union, and communism was a going concern.

    While, as Sean says, communism is a complicated term, it seems clear, from the kids’ Pravda photoshoot garb to that Berlin Wall bit at the end, that the show means the system of government practiced in the Soviet Union—which is complicated too, but not the part about it dying in 1991, 25 years ago. For GMW’s target audience, they may as well have done an episode about the Holy Roman Empire. Why?

    You guys already kicked the shit out of Cory’s response. I got angry at Belief the more I thought about it. The same might happen here, but this argument doesn’t seem worth thinking about.

    The Pledge of Allegiance/American Flag thing does seem worth thinking about, at least far as terrible TV-making goes. I have never gone back to Money but, during the pie chart scene, I thought they cut to Riley with a single tear rolling down her cheek. I didn’t see it remarked upon so, not wanting to go back and confirm, I assumed I remembered it wrong. Not so sure anymore. I now known they are capable of it.

    Directed by Topanga. Well it’s not as if any other episode was making me think of Goddard or Kubrick. You could argue that the near-traumatizing image of Auggie dressed as his mother was Hitchcockian.

    The best moments, such as they were, did belong to Riley. I liked that “no lesson” bit. I just didn’t know whether to laugh or shout, “for the love of God, yes!”

    Her Beatle/beetle confusion. I made that same mistake once, but I had just turned six, and traded a degraded memory of the Ed Sullivan performance for a degraded memory of walking away in annoyance at not seeing giant insects with guitars. I also didn’t have a best friend who spent half the time in Beatles’ paraphernalia. But I can see how, between Pluto and Texas, she may have lost the ability to distinguish between bulls and sheep.


    How long have people been saying “PB&J?” I stumbled on that.

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    1. Shipping Wars here. Great commentary, milestones. I've said pbj for years.

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    2. Good to hear from you Milestones. I also toyed with communism as an ideology when I was about fourteen. Sort of. A bit of communism and communal economics, but mostly self-righteous pacifism.

      Great, now I'm craving a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.

      Agreed with my brother once again. The thing it is, I actually agree with the most very, very, VERY basic notion of Cory's argument defending the merits of individualism.

      But just because I agree with something being argued, does not mean I won't get pissed off when that argument is poorly delivered.

      And boy howdy, was this episode poorly delivered.

      If I am challenged, then I want to be challenged as a thinking, reasoning adult.

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    3. Hey, my favourite twin brothers. Thanks. I always love talking to you.

      This was a weird one for me. While it didn’t go as deep or have anything like the same emotional impact (it had none) as the best of GMW, it, for mostly fluke reasons, barrelled very far down memory lane. That’s probably why I still feel some need to talk about it, even when there isn’t much left to talk about.

      Except I keep forgetting to laud the review itself, and that should have been the first point of order: these guys were at the top of their game for this one. I’m really looking forward to reading Sean’s other blog, once I finish my initial survey of BMW.

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    4. Oh, and Cryptid, I agree with/approve your comments.

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    5. milestones1958- "While, as Sean says, communism is a complicated term, it seems clear, from the kids’ Pravda photoshoot garb to that Berlin Wall bit at the end, that the show means the system of government practiced in the Soviet Union—which is complicated too, but not the part about it dying in 1991, 25 years ago. For GMW’s target audience, they may as well have done an episode about the Holy Roman Empire. Why?" That's exactly my question. I don't understand why they thought this episode was in any way, shape or from relevant and a good idea. They needed to somehow tie it to something happening in the real world. If it's an election year in the GMW universe, tie to campaign ads/rhetoric.

      I'm not sure if this is a case of good idea poor execution. I think this is just a case of a bad idea.

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    6. To answer your question Kit, 11% of Americans in a 2011 Rasmussen poll said that they viewed communism as a more suitable system that what we currently have.

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/march_2011/11_say_communism_better_than_u_s_system_of_politics_and_economics

      So, communism isn't dead and buried yet. And when you factor in the undercurrent of communism that was present with the Occupy Wall Street protests a few years back, it's not inconceivable that this could come up again.

      That being said, if anything, it makes this issue all the more complicated and thus should not have been the topic of a half-hour program. Kid's show or no, there just wasn't time to give this subject the thorough coverage it deserves.

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    7. Cryptid, my young friend, if there was ever a time for a history class to have broken out in Cory's history class, this would have been it. But, that's crazy talk.

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  23. Kinda off-topic, but 30 episodes were ordered for Season 3:
    http://www.filmtelevisionauditions.com/2016/02/casting-calls-underway-for-disney-channel-series-girl-meets-world-season-3/

    That will bring the total episodes to 81 by the end of Season 3. I think they should do a time jump this season because 8th grade was far too long.

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    1. Eight grade felt like two seasons, largely because Fogelmanis grew a foot. And the damned timeline. Even without the asinine airing order, "New Year" is a pain; Shipping and I pretend it was a end-of-year party.

      Michael Jacobs has hinted that there may be time jumps but I don't know if I want that or not.

      30 episodes...that's pretty many. There's apparently a plot twist in the seventh episode. For this season, episode seven was either Tell-Tale Tot or Rules, depending on where you land on Demolition. And a hell of a lot has happened since then.

      I'm happy for a long season, since I want this to feel like a journey. But I want growth, damn it. I want things to feel genuinely different.

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  24. I know I'm over a week late with this, but I started a new job and I'm retooling my schedule and such. So, today was the first time I had any free time to sit down and watch this. I won't talk much, since you guys tackled this from every angle possible. So, I'll be brief.

    They should have never attempted this episode. Ever. The intellectual battle, and actual battles, fought over communism vs. capitalism were the basis of every American foreign policy decision from 1945-1989. And they tried to tackle it on a 30 minute kid's sitcom. You can't do it. It's too much. The kids this episode were fine, but you could tell how old this episode really was. They've all grown a lot, and it made this episode look really dated.

    Episode Grade: C- Too much, too muddled, too bad. Should have been shelved.

    Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard. She had enough to do, and some cute dialogue, to stand out.

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  25. So....when are we doing Bay Window?

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