Saturday, June 11, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Jexica" (#3.03)

If you missed my writeup for High School part 2, I greatly appreciated a line that no one else even mentioned at the time I'm writing this, so I'd love some feedback on that post. Let's get started.

This opening is genuinely strong. Riley recognizes that she has no interests, which is the biggest problem with the whole show, and she and Maya have enjoyable banter that ISN'T ABOUT FRIENDSHIP OR KINGS OR TEEN WISDOM. They're just talking. Oh god it's Christmas.

Farkle knows that Empire is better than A New Hope, glad to hear it, and Zay is a pretty sensitive guy. I think we knew that already. Continuity.
Maybe I'm just in a good mood this morning but Cory has my number right now. This is the most I've laughed at this show in a long time. It's all I ever really needed, it's just Cory and Topanga shitting around and making Boy Meets World references. I had actually forgotten about the original 1-2-3 trick, I'm glad they included the clip. I'm having fun with my old friends Cory and Topanga. This is the best Christmas ever.
When I'm feeling this good I have to find out who's responsible. Rider and Shiloh directed, so I have to pay more attention to the details here, but it was written by fresh blood, someone named Mackenzie Yeager. Attack on Titan references are accepted at this point. 

I love both Riley and Maya with the "Not me~" here in class. Is this... is this good? What's happening to me, is this episode GOOD? AM I HAVING A GOOD TIME RIGHT NOW????

Also hah, Marley's not in class. But neither is Smackle. 
Maya is seriously adorable today. I'm going to wager that Ms. Yeager is in her 20's and they wanted someone younger to be able to write this scene without sounding like a Luddite. Hopefully Jacobs has had a change of heart since he made Mister Feeny rant about King Koopa.

We're seeing the Bay Window and... I don't think it looks different. Wasn't that a whole thing? Didn't we have to Meet the Bay Window and we cried about it? But it's the same. 

I'll tell you something though, it's a god damn shame it always has to come back to the triangle. Were we just totally incapable of moving the plot forward without bringing that up? Can we go one time? We were having so much fun.
Yeah, see, look, the plot moves completely independent of Lucas when Riley goes to school as Jexica. The only thing the triangle served was motivating Riley to go to school as Jexica, which was seriously contrived anyway. That was poor writing. I don't know why everyone else pretends to be Jexica. If they think Jexica is a real person, how could that possibly work? It doesn't make sense. The aftermath is fun though, where everyone is totally over her but still talking about her like she's real. 

I think they really got this one right, it feels like a shenanigan. Our heroes have established shenanigans outside of their overly dramatic, philosophical lives that they've been trapped in for the last twenty episodes. It's the formula we all love. Cory gets in over his head trying to fit in and turns to Shawn for advice who was never really worried about it. 
I mean, not having one of these profiles is a very real option, one I'm surprised Maya didn't go for. Cory is making some very real observations about how we all jump on fads and pretend to care about shit for the five minutes that it's in our news feed and then move on. And he does it all without ever using the word "viral," which puts this script lightyears ahead of all major news networks.

"Friends who know who you are is the most real thing there is." I think that's our lesson today, and I'm pretty happy with that. The separation of Facebook friends who feed your ego with likes from your real friends, who you talk shit to and have probably wanted to kill a few times. 

And then the girls watch that Who's Your Best Friend video that's actually modern enough for me to be okay with it. I wonder how much they paid to use that. 

I don't know why they did the Spartacus thing in the hallway, and it sucks that The Triangle keeps creeping in for no good reason, but otherwise this was a great episode. I laughed way more than usual. Despite using a familiar formula, the story was still fresh and modern. And Maya came up with The Lesson on her own, more or less. 

That's solid stuff. Mackenzie Yeager, I hope we see you again.

Empire is not better than A New Hope. You know what else it isn't better than? Return of the Jedi. Empire is the worst of the original trilogy. There, I said it. 

I'm going to make this quick because... it's a week later. STAY TUNED for the end of this post where I share a CONTROVERSIAL opinion.

First, the review. Obviously, yeah, good episode. Funny stuff. I've heard some people proclaim it the best episode of the series and, like... let's calm down. It's got nothing on the likes of Semi-Formal, Master Plan, Pluto, and Yearbook. But it was very good. Also, it's a kind of a similar plot to Yearbook, come to think of it, but Yearbook's the stronger episode. 

 I like the story, it felt refreshingly light. So many episodes lately have been really heavy and emotional lately (or at least... like they're trying to be) that it's been nice for them to just be hanging around goofing off. Boy Meets World had some amazing heavy episode, but I'd say a good 75% episodes were just funny and had no drama attached to them at all beyond fear of getting in trouble. 

God, they're not even trying anymore with the speed in which Maya draws pictures. She was, like, done with that sketch of Jexica before Riley was even done describing her. I liked everything about Jexica, by the way. The blue hair with feathers, army jacket, and sword... that feels exactly like the kind of character a little girl would make up. My guess is Jexica (or something very similar to her) is something from Mackenzie Yeager's own past, or the past of someone she knew. That felt very real, which is a... nice change of pace for Girl Meets World. I also liked Lucas recognizing it was her. 

Successful use of Yogi: Having him have suggested a eucalyptus scrub when Maya thought he was Riley. Unsuccessful use of Yogi: The bit with him proclaiming he and Jexica went to camp, because it reminded me he's a really bad actor. He's real bad. And he's not quite as tiny anymore, so the joke's gone too. I like the actress who plays the girl who's acting like she's BFF's with Jexica though. They should use her in a more substantive role. 

"Why are you laughing? Is one of my 5 husbands Yogi? How is that possible?" "We only know fine guys." That's hilarious. Also, watch that again and look at Rowan Blanchard's facial expression after she delivers that line. It's great. She's like despondent. 

I don't know when kids get introduced to technology these days, beyond that it's young, but it seems weird that Auggie's got his own private email account and yet uses a lime green toy iPad with handles. Anyway, this whole storyline is mainly aces though. Maybe the BEST Auggie and the parents storyline? Could be! I think I had the same reaction as you did with Topanga and the "1-2-3" trick, wondering if that was indeed a thing Topanga actually did to Cory, and being delighted that they proved themselves right with the flashback. An excellent use of a flashback. I needed to see it to know it was real. Whereas, like, you don't need to show me Topanga kissing Cory against the locker...again. Either we already have that scene engraved in our minds, or it wouldn't mean anything to us and we'd be like "Why does Cory have Vegeta hair?"

But Cory and Topanga were very well written throughout this episode. Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel won't be winning "MVP" this week, but they easily could have. 

I like Cory's teaching here in this episode. It's about their situation, but it doesn't seem like an unbelievable thing for him to be teaching, and it's something that can apply to everyone, not just specifically Riley. Still, it seems like a lot of these references are dated. I didn't even know what this "Charlie bit my finger" thing was, and it turns out to have been from a decade ago when I looked it up. Probably not the best example, Mackenzie. Probably this was something that hit when she was in high school and she's remembered it. While such is the nature of internet memes that nothing that was topical when they wrote this episode would be as topical by the time it aired, they probably could have done better than something that came out in 2007. 

Come on, Farkle doesn't know the capital of Minnesota or which continent penguins are on? Bullshit. I know they had him find out for the next class, which is something, but he should have already known that. I certainly knew that at that age and he's Farkle. And where's Smackle in all this?

Yeah, meh, got less into the plot once everyone claimed to be Jexica. It's an interesting wrinkle, but they didn't really do much with it. Also, after that scene where they all abandon being Jexica because Yogi has a video of a piano playing rabbit, the music for the interlude is this jazzy piano number instead of the usual rif on the theme song. I loved it. More jazzy piano numbers for the show's score, please.

I liked Lucas' "I'm tired all the time!" when the triangle came up. But the weirdest thing happens after that, Farkle says something and Lucas goes "Yeeeeeessss?" in this weird sing-songy tone. It was probably the actor being weird and they kept it, but it's totally out of place and not like him, and strange. 

Also: I thought it was hilarious that Ava really was stranded in London with no explanation and had actually sent him that email demanding all the money he had. But they took the joke too far by making the African one with the prince who was Morgan Freeman be true too and also be involving Ava. And then they just negated the whole joke by making it a stupid dream. They should have just cut the scene after Ava asks why she didn't bail him out of London. 

Good episode. Funny stuff.

Episode Rating: B+
Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard, but Sabrina was a close second, and Ben and Danielle a close third and fourth. 

Okay, guys. Time for my controversial opinion. In watching that first scene with Riley making her profile on the staircase, it suddenly hit me... I really like Rowan and Sabrina's chemistry and I could be into them making Riley and Maya a couple. There was a quick moment there near the end of the opener that almost made their closeness seem like... it could be romantic and they just don't realize yet. While the intense closeness is meant to evoke the homoeroticism of Shawn and Cory, it feels a little different and more serious. It's sweet how close Cory and Shawn are, but it's mainly played for laughs and it only occasionally comes up, mostly they just act like two traditional dude friends. There's a little something more with Riley and Maya. Anyway, I could be into the idea if they explored it (which they won't, I realize) and it wouldn't feel out of place. That's all! Thoughts on this?


  1. I like the new writer's style already. She *gets* it. She gets that not everything needs to be a super serious, dramatic, navel-gazing thing in high school (despite Riley being the "least dramatic person in the history of the world"). She gets that this is supposed to be a comedy and that it can be light-hearted without overly relying on meta-humour.

    I laughed out loud at a lot of the jokes. I found the pacing well-done and the classroom scenes some of the best in the entire show's run. Not heavy-handed, but still makes good commentary on modern life.

    This might be our next Yearbook/Semi-Formal, guys.

    1. I wouldn't go quite so far to say this is the new Yearbook or Semi-formal. While this episode was excellent, it was clearly filler. Yearbook and Semi-formal contributed quite a bit to the plot; Yearbook kickstarted New Farkle and raised the questions of /how/ Riley likes Lucas; Semi-formal introduced Charlie and had its own little subplot with Uncle Eric and Jack.

    2. Good points. Storyline-wise those two still made huge changes to the status quo.

      Maybe I'm just excited because it's the first episode I've enjoyed to this degree in a while.

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    4. I certainly do agree that this was the best we've had in months. You have every right to be excited.

      If this is what we're getting that is going to count as a "filler" episode, then I'm ecstatic.

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  3. Excellent review Sean. I completely agree that this episode felt like a shenanigan, which put it much closer to BMW. Really, this is the type of episode I wanted from the beginning. I'm not sure it will age as well as some of the hijinks Cory and Shawn got into, but on the whole, I enjoyed it a lot.

    I wasn't particularly happy that Isadora wasn't in this episode, because I like Isadora. And she's effectively the New Girl at Abigail Adams, so I could see her being concerned at being in an environment where she's a bit more of an outsider. That said, I don't think it takes anything away from the episode in itself.

    It was great seeing Riley realize that she hasn't got much in the way of interests. Part of this, I think is most certainly because Riley defines herself far too much by what her friends think of her--as I mentioned a while back, it wouldn't surprise me if Riley stopped reading a book series or stopped watching a TV show if Maya didn't share the interest.

    That said, I would have liked to see a nod to the Knicks. As I've said before, Riley lives in New York, so she has no reason to keep that secret--it's not as if she roots for the Red Sox (And the Sox are awesome; we're winning it all this year).

    One thing I noticed when "Jexica" became popular is that it looked as if most of the high schoolers singing her praises did not look like the extras that are still in Cory's class. That was nice, it helped make it feel like it was actually a school. I also liked that Riley and Maya apparently don't share at least one, probably two or three, classes and they loathe it. I honestly don't remember Cory and Shawn not sharing any classes at all.

    The resolution at the Bay Window was a little...too on the nose. Triangle aside, I thought Lucas didn't know that much about his friends, apart from Zay. But that's a little nit-picky.

    I also didn't mind Auggie's storyline at all. It didn't feel as if it was taking away any time from Riley's storyline and it didn't feel like padding either. And then the scene I thought was ridiculous turned out to be a dream sequence. I'm fine with absurd dream sequences, especially ones that don't drag on for long.

    Grade: A- Easily the best we've had since Texas Part 1.

    MVP: Can I give it to Mackenzie Yeager, for an awesome first episode? If not, then it's a toss-up between Carpenter and Blanchard.

    Awesome Scene of Awesome: I'd say Maya moaning about Riley being too invested in liking all the nice comments on the profile. It felt very Cory-and-Shawn, both in Maya's exasperation at Riley's antics, and then Maya resorting to her own antics to get Riley away from the computer.

  4. Wow. Talk about a misleading promo. That promo was cringe worthy, but the episode was really good. Best in a long while. Riley and Maya were allowed them to interact like teenagers, and the message wasn't so heavy handed that it dragged the episode down. My favorite scenes were the one at the very beginning, and in Riley's bedroom. Simply because the dialogue, and the girls themselves, felt and seemed so natural. It was like a breath of fresh air, and it made everything just feel lighter.

    Auggie's story was funny enough, and it allowed us to have some old school Cory and Topanga. And that in itself is worth the B plot alone. It's been so long since we've seen them act like the familiar characters that we all know and love.

    The classroom scenes were both really good, as well. It felt like an actual lesson was being taught, and like Cory had command of the room. Best classroom scene we've had in a good long while, too.

    Despite the slight injection of the Triangle, I have very little to bitch about with this episode. Good job done by all.

    Episode Grade: A-/B+ I couldn't settle, but it's definitely in that range.

    Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard. This is honestly 1 and 1A situation, because I could go with either and justify it, but I gave it to Rowan. She felt, acted and talked like a normal teen, and she was really funny to top it off. What more can you ask for?

  5. I thought Riley was kind of an ass to Maya this episode. With the whole 5 marriages things (knowing how incredibly sensitive Maya is about her parents' divorce), the whole "Better than Maya?" thing TWICE, and then in effect calling her dumb when they're making their profiles. It was sort of gross. like RILEY EVERYONE LEFT YOUR ASS IN GMHS MAYA IS THE ONLY ONE THAT STUCK BY YOU, FOOL, DONT BE SUCH A DICK.

    1. I never thought Maya was particularly sensitive about her parent divorce. She's sensitive about her father leaving; but even that is only kinda. She is more angry that he did, than sensitive that her parents aren't together.

    2. ok i should rephrase *incredible sensitive about divorce. if you've watched the show you know that maya is like super anxious about people "leaving". so for riley to kind of be like "Hehe you're going to have 5 failed marriages" even as a joke, coming from a best friend that's pretty rough. maya is usually used a comedic punching bag for these sorts of things, if you look carefully you can find them, and her reactions show that she's not keen on it. maya IS sensitive about the narrative everyone pushes on her (the one shawn had, the "i'm not going to have a good life" narrative), and for riley to say that is a dick move.

    3. I'm inclined to agree with Will. Maya is resentful of her father, but she doesn't seem to resent the idea of divorce in general (which is even sadder in my opinion, but I digress).

      As it happens, Riley pokes fun at Maya in maybe one out of any ten given episodes. Maya, throughout the entire first season and the first half of the second, insulted and disrespected everyone she came in contact with, excluding Feeny but including Riley, a fair few times. "What if I made fun of how you're super clumsy and awkward?"

      And the whole "I'm not going to have a good life" narrative? I don't think that holds up.

      From the very beginning of the show, it was clear that Cory and Topanga were willing to go to hell and back for Maya. They have been in her circle from the start. She eats her meals with them, while Shawn often went hungry--which might not seem like much, but it's actually a huge difference.
      Maya gets a lot more homework help than Shawn ever did. She's part of the Core group, which means that Cory often redirects classroom attention towards her.

    4. What you said here; is where the Maya is Riley's Shawn breaks down. Shawn, once they established his poor background, has a lot more reason to tease everyone he comes into contact with than Maya. Maya got treated pretty much as part of the family from the beginning. Shawn - they got there in the end, but for the first 3 or so seasons, he really was just the best friend.

      But yet Shawn would never do anything that would make Cory feel bad, not even for a second, if he could help it; barring the times they were actually fighting. Maya has used her family background as an excuse as to why she picks on people. To be on Maya's side though, when it comes Riley and Farkle especially, she tends to fall into the "-I- can pick on them, but no-one else can" school of thought.

      And I disagree that it doesn't seem like much. Going hungry is -massive-. Just the fact that she knows that if she has problems, and her mother is working, she can go to Cory and Topanga and they'll help her deal with it. Even if she never actually does, she -knows- she can, is huge.

    5. Oh, I don't disagree that Maya getting three meals a day is a massive difference. It's merely a difference that might not seem like much, unless one stops to think about it, because it's not something one would immediately notice.

    6. Maya was abandoned by her father when she was a little girl. Divorce was a by-product. Now, if Riley had predicted that Maya would run out on her child...

    7. An excellent point Milestones. Maya's resentment is due to her father's abandonment, not necessarily the divorce in itself. While amicable divorces are rare in BMW and I'm fairly certain non-existent in GMW, it's not entirely uncommon on many children's television shows. If Kermit had maintained contact with Maya, then that's a much different story.

      And you're right, if Riley had predicted Maya would abandon her child, that would be nigh-on unforgivable.

    8. I don't really recall many divorces on BMW - just Shawn's parents, and Topanga's parents. Topanga's parents at least seemed to be sociable; but who knows how they've been in the long run.

      And yeah, what Milestones was saying is what I was trying to say, they just put it better. Also, it was clear that she was at least stating with Farkle he died, so I don't think she was at all suggesting that Maya was running out on anyone. If anyone had a right to be pissed though, it was Smackle - she really is very insecure at this point about her relationship with Farkle. Luckily only Maya heard this...

  6. I liked the episode overall, and generally agree with the review. I was a bit confused as to whether the entire ending (or almost-ending) was meant to be a dream sequence, or just from the moment Ava walked in. I kinda hope just the bit from Ava-onwards; but it is left open.

    Despite the fact it's old ground, I think it still felt -new- in regards to Riley reinventing herself. She's done it a number of times now, but this was one of the better episodes confronting it; the one where she hopefully learns. Maya was just Maya. I think her filling out a profile was meant to show Riley that Maya just wasn't afraid of being her.

    I actually really liked Cory's lesson today. Yeah, sure, it was shaped by what was happening to Riley and the rest of the year; but it didn't feel heavy-handed. He didn't feel like he was only addressing our 4, no 5 heroes. He felt like he was talking to the entire class. Shame Smackle wasn't here, but sometimes I think Smackle and Farkle are too alike. I just don't know what she would have contributed that Farkle already wasn't - he did seem uncomfortable about everyone's jumping on the internet fads the next day after he'd done his research to answer the questions.

  7. Just got off my night job. Saw this episode last night.

    I think this could be a big game changer. That is all. More thoughts at a reasonable hour.

  8. I thought this was funny. I wish they would've done a longer montage of the 1-2-3 from boy meets world! I also Thought Riley and Maya were hilarious and I just felt like this episode was more relaxed it was really nice! I also Wish they would've done a flashback to when Feeney yelled at the kids about having the best technology at their fingertips because that scene is classic boy meets world, and I don't believe would have taken away from the modern references they had, which I thought were amazing and I bet really connected to kids watching. The lesson was spot on and needed for this day and age. The Episode was great and hopefully can keep it up!
    I am curious to see how Cory tests the kids on this subject for a grade!!!?

    1. I agree with you for the most part. I don't think they needed to do a flashback of Feeny. If you get the reference, it's a bonus. if you don't get the reference, it doesn't take anything away from the episode, or make it harder or even impossible to follow and understand this episode.

    2. I don't think they needed the flashback but I think it would have been nice. I wish there was a little more back and forth for the adults and so kids can simply experience BMW.

    3. The only thing I really liked about the flashback is it wasn't season 1. It wasn't really necessary. I'd actually prefer not so many flashbacks; as I don't think it helps the show stand as it's own show. Callbacks are better, because as Kit points out, they're just a bonus if you get the reference.

  9. Let's start with the flaws:
    •In the final classroom scene, Cory dismissed the class when the class just started. Should've ended with "Figure this out in the bay window. Moving on!"
    •This is an issue that isn't usually brought up here, but--why all the white students? Those bits with the talking to the camera irritated me for that reason. It was funny the first time, eh the second time.
    •"Why did I marry you?" Enough said.
    •Sabrina's delivery of "Not me." She said it too jokingly and didn't seem in-character.
    •Maya saying "We'll be right back with the lesson!" That had absolutely no correlation with the episode or scene. What was the point of that? And returning with Maya speaking in her Southern accent? Leave this out next time, Mackenzie. Or did the other writers pressure you into adding this in?

    I didn't realize how in-depth my flaws would be, but that's probably because I watched it 2 times in a row--because it was pretty darn good.

    Let's see what, IMO, Season 3 has been doing right so far:
    •Showing the kids (especially the girls) just chilling. The girls in the bakery in the season premiere (right before the stupid seniors came in), the girls and the vending machine in Episode 2, the girls on laptops in this episode. I appreciated seeing Farkle, Lucas, and Zay alone in the beginning because we need more of that.
    •Completely random but I like that they're using more NYC stock footage in between scenes.
    •This is probably going to be the only episode, but finally a Cory/Topanga plot!
    •More Riley-centered episodes. It looks like next week's episode will be Riley-centered. Even if the plot or episode isn't the best, I appreciate the Riley focus. It looks like we'll be getting back to Maya pretty soon though (if you keep track of the episode list).

    This episode was funnier than the past 20 episodes or so (sad thing is that this isn't a huge exaggeration) and look--no crying! I think Sean said it best--it was purely a shenanigan. I loved when they first cut to commercial when Riley looked at Maya in the classroom because (1) that was a STRONG start, so applause to that (2) it's about Riley! (3) it's just a funny, lighthearted ending to the act and not overdramatic with the annoying sentimental music playing.

    I appreciated the fact that they focused on Cory and Topanga this episode. I've pretty much accepted the fact that Auggie will have to come in between--he's their kid. After it two times, I wish Topanga and Auggie especially could have more plots outside of the apartment. Don't they get tired of going to work and reciting lines in that dang apartment? Have Auggie assist Topanga [and Cory if possible] in the bakery, have Topanga hire someone at the bakery who proves to be a mess.

    Loved Yogi. I never understood why people complain about extras--they're extras--let them be in the background, they don't need to speak! But Yogi's inclusion made me think--they should include some of those extras as characters sometimes for comedic effect like Yogi was in this episode.

    Loved the classroom scenes. I did think that they were overplaying the jokes in the final scene, but hey, I'd take that anyday over a repeat of the Girl Meets Flaws classroom scene ending. Ohhhhhhh Goooodddddd.

    Next week looks to be yet another Riley-centered plot, which is really good for the show. The plot seems like it'll be heavy-handed... Riley realizes bad grades aren't acceptable in high school in 23 minutes? Yikes. I just really want Mackenzie to write more episodes herself. She gets it.

    1. Pretty good commentary, Jet.

      I see your point about Cory dismissing the class early, but it could be just super-abbreviated. And he maintained control of the classroom, which is much better than usual.

      I agree about the Riley-centric plots. We need more of them. The last episode that was really Riley-centric was....good grief, was it Rah-Rah? That was a long, long time ago.

    2. I didn't exactly mind the 'Why did I marry you?' statement, because she was clearly joking.

      Having said that, we all know that, objectively, there are many reasons for her not to have married him, and I would admittedly prefer she not refer to that too often. She married him, one would hope, because of the over-riding reason that she loved him. Which is why I want only the bits from Ava returning to be Auggie's dream; not the Cory/Topanga making up sequence.

  10. This episode was great. There should be more like this one. I liked the crazy plan and general silliness that had nothing to do with the triangle.

    The boys listing their favorite movies was fantastic. It's so perfect that Lucas's favorite movie was not only a western, but a classic buddy movie as well. Do you think he sees himself as Butch or Sundance? I wonder if Zay was listing his actual favorites, or what he thought would get him a date.

    Auggie's storyline was a wasted opportunity. He's at the age when he can understand the concept of stranger danger. I don't understand why they couldn't teach him about stranger danger online.

    1. Well, when I was in high school, my favorite movie was "A Walk to Remember." So I have little trouble believing that Zay's favorite is "The Notebook."

      Riley said she liked farm animals who saved the day. I'm guessing her favorite movie is "Babe," which is a perfectly good film in its own right.

    2. Lucas is such a cowboy that he probably relates more to Butch. Also, his favorite song is "Desperado". He's such a cliche "country boy" but it works in a way that doesn't make you completely roll your eyes.

  11. Best episode of the show by far. Easily. As much as I like some of the ones with BMW cameos and stuff this is the only episode that floored me the same way BMW used to. Everything felt fresh and funny, the characters were all likable, and damn even the lesson was rock solid. Cory and Topanga together again too? Goodness, don't get me wrong, I liked stuff like Yearbook and Semi-Formal but those still felt a bit rushed and congested, like every other GMW episode. Not this one though. Fantastic. 9/10.

  12. I liked this one because for the first time in quite awhile it didn't feel like it was supposed to be profound. It was just kids in high school getting up to shenanigans, and it had a good lesson involved as well. The jokes were funny and didn't feel forced. I didn't really understand the resolution to the Corpanga plot but I wasn't particularly invested in that part of the story anyway. :P

    I also wanted to mention I'm very happy this show is back as it means this blog is back from hiatus! After most big TV shows going on summer break, Arthur Recaps going on an indefinite hiatus and Full House Reviewed ending (for realz this time) I needed something to fill the TV discussion hole in my heart. So GMW Reviewed came back at just the right time. :)

  13. Shipping Wars Are StupidJune 12, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Review coming later. Just hoping that if any of our commenters are from Florida, that they're doing okay after the awful tragedies in Orlando.

  14. I'm wondering where this new bench came from. Can't see out of the hole with a giant bench in the way but now they got a nice new place to sit and talk about growth and feelings.

  15. Ratings are in - 1.5 - WOW, that is the worst rating this show has ever seen. And it was on one of the best episodes they have ever done. I would almost bet that shitty promo had something to do with it.

    1. Shipping Wars Are StupidJune 13, 2016 at 1:58 PM

      How was the rest of the night?

      Also, not a really big episode for ships which is why teenagers watch.

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    3. Damn. 1960, you mentioned that it was only released On Demand on what, Wednesday night? So it wouldn't be likely that pirated views had that big an effect. So, I'm willing to bet it's the promo.

      Seriously, who the hell is making these promos? It's not as if the bad promos are new for this show, but they're effectively movie trailers. And if the "trailer" is crummy, or gives away too much info, then why bother to watch the "movie"?

      But yeah, this is easily top ten, maybe even top five, episodes of the entire series. It deserved a hell of a lot more people to tune in....

      Does anybody know what the Sunday night rerun got in ratings? Maybe Word of Mouth was able to counteract Shitty Promo.

    4. Cryptid they didn't release it to us until Thursday evening, which is 6 days after they normally do. They still haven't released "Permanent Record" yet.

      And Shipping I don't have all the ratings (I didn't bother to look) but I actually think you are correct that the teenage demographic only tunes in for the ships at this point. So this Friday will probably be poor as well since it has nothing to do with the triangle.

    5. Okay, I just checked.

      Apparently, GMW still won the night for the tween-shows. Nothing else is even on the board. But seriously, only 1.5 million? That really sucks.

      I suppose it's too much to hope that graduation season drew away many viewers because they all went out to dinner with their families.

    6. Worth thinking about that promo aside; it might also be affected by the previous episode. As in, if people don't like the previous episode, they're less likely to watch. A bad episode effects the following week's ratings more than that weeks, and the same goes for a good episode.

      Having said that, there have certainly been worse episode's than last weeks.

    7. It's possible, Will. We'll have to wait another day or two to get ratings for the Sunday rerun, but you have a point. A good episode could draw more people back.

    8. Cryptid - there was no rerun on Sunday. It was all High School Musical (1,2 and 3) all night long.

      However the normal Sunday night shows are suffering as well. Liv & Maddie is far and away the best show on the channel right now and their ratings are in line with GMW's for the first 3 episodes. And it isn't just for bad episodes. L&M's last episode was the best thing they have done in all 3 seasons, yet the ratings were in the tank. It seems like the Disney ratings spiral is an ongoing thing for the last 3 years on all their shows and might continue for a while.

    9. Can't overlook Netflix/Hulu/Prime taking over the market. People are dumping cable so their kids can't watch the show...and seriously, that promo was one of the worst things I've ever seen.

    10. Oh yeah, I forgot all about the High School Musical trilogy.

      But this ratings downward spiral...could it really be due to Netflix and Hulu?

      This is really starting to concern me, and it's making me wonder more and more what's going on at Disney Channel.

    11. I'm not as sure about American ratings, but I know both British and Australian ratings have been going down for a while due to the various stations allowing you to watch it on their website (after the fact mostly), and it's acknowledged they can't take those into account in ratings.

    12. Regardless of the cause, does Jexica help or hurt the situation going forward? If it wasn’t one of the best episodes—it wasn’t impactful enough for that—it was the best-made episode. It held up start to finish as no other has done before.

      The episode was so good that I don’t have much to say about it. There’s nothing to rail against and no need to make a case for it in the face of a negative, if amusing and well-written, review.

      But, as I have said many times, in the exact same way, they don’t make this show for me. How did the Dream Big, Princess crowd respond to Jexica?

    13. If I could guess Milestones, I would say that the Dream Big, Princess crowd didn't respond very well to this episode...I've poked around a bit and the reaction does seem to be rather mixed.

      Setting aside that, yes, this episode didn't really move the storyline forward (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since this was a lot of fun, but it's a better complaint than "There wasn't enough romance"), I'm thinking that there may have been some resentment among the "Dream Big, Princess crowd" to this episode's message.

      Sean interpreted the message being that real friends you interact with in person mean more than the friends on Facebook that stroke your ego.

      From what I recall about high school, social media-addicted teenagers do not like being told they're wrong.

      That being said, unless there is a noticeable drop in ratings that is specific to GMW, rather than the entire channel, I think the show is rather safe.

    14. Thanks, Cryptid. I should hasten to add I don't mean to disparage any fans of the show. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here, and I like being here.

    15. Oh, I certainly didn't read your comment as disparaging at all Milestones. Disney Channel has been pushing their "Princess" label harder than ever the last couple of years, and "Dreams Come True" might as well be the Walt Disney Company's motto.

      And the question does remain, what did the target audience think of this episode?

      I like that you're here too, Milestones. You bring a unique perspective to this blog and I look forward to our correspondence.

    16. As always, Cryptid, the feeling is mutual. I have been especially appreciative of you and the rest of the gang here the last few days when I have been reminded that I have some terrible Facebook friends and most comment sections are toxic waste dumps.

  16. I guess I'm the only one who doesn't have a problem with the triangle. Even though I don't like their treatment of it, if it's going to exist, you can't just pretend it doesn't exist. That's what kind of annoyed me about last season. They would have a big reveal and then not bring it up again for episodes on end.

    1. I will agree that as much as I don't like the triangle, acknowledging its existence is far better than saying "YOLO, we don't need to talk about this."

    2. I don't absolutely hate the very idea of it; I just don't like that it involves three of our regulars. Maya and Riley shouldn't be fighting over a guy. Wasn't there something about how friendship was the most important thing or something?

      To me it can only be redeemed by either them, or Lucas stating this isn't worth losing a friendship. And them -both- backing off, and Lucas accepting.

    3. I agree. I dislike triangles in general, but the real problem with THIS Triangle is that it involves three of our leads.

      Christian said in the review of "Legacy," that if Lucas hasn't made a decision yet, then he doesn't like either of them enough. And I agree.

      This needs to end, but the hard part is making sure everyone stays sympathetic. And they're going to have to keep everyone sympathetic, because I'm fairly certain everyone is locked into the main cast.

      The last thing I want is to see is Friar breaking Riley's (or Maya's) heart, only to win her back. Or even worse, if the Triangle ends with Riley doing something that makes her unsympathetic to the audience.

    4. I dunno. How long did it take Cory to know he was willing to risk his friendship with Topanga for the chance of something more? Then again, how quickly he made up his mind between Lauren and Topanga is probably a better example, so never mind.

      I can't help but wonder if he has already made up his mind; but he doesn't want to be the cause of the rift in their friendship. Which does of course still make him the biggest coward out there; as well as stupid, as that rift is even more likely to happen the longer this plays out, but eh.

    5. On the contrary Will, I think it is better to think when did Cory first start to commit to Topanga as a romantic interest rather than his weirdo friend who actually gave good advice.

      It took Cory roughly two years, but the situation was a bit different--Topanga was introduced fairly early in Season One and although she was technically a main cast member in Season Two, she was not really part of Cory's circle. BMW Season One and Two might as well be subtitled "How Cory and Shawn Get Detention and/or Grounded."

      And Cory had a couple of girlfriends before he decided he wanted something a bit more...let's say "committed." There was Wendy and T.K. and to a lesser extent, Ingrid.

      Wendy in particular is noteworthy, since she head-over-heels for Cory and Cory recognized after only a couple episodes that he didn't fully return her feelings.

      So Cory knew, as far a fourteen-year-old boy can know, what he wanted and what he was getting into when he wanted to start dating Topanga.

    6. I hope you're right; as I see that is the best way for the triangle to be resolved without breaking apart of friendships, which I seriously don't want.

      I'm just not sure; because of the way TV shows tend to be written these days. And the fact that supposedly Riley, Lucas and Maya are all getting relationships this year. I really hope that's not a return to Josh/Maya.

    7. Will van Roekel-"To me it can only be redeemed by either them, or Lucas stating this isn't worth losing a friendship. And them -both- backing off, and Lucas accepting."

      This is what I want to happen. I want Lucas to say they both mean too much to him to risk their friendship on a romance. I wonder if Riley and Maya would be mature enough to be okay with that.

    8. I don't want the whole preservation of friendship resolution to happen. In that case, the past year or however long it had been, would have been a complete waste. I sort of saw it the way Will (may i call you 'Will'?)mentioned, where he may have already decided. I want someone to be disappointed or heartbroken...rejected. I want all these months of triangle or not-a-triangle to have MEANT SOMETHING, dangit! Or i want Lucas to bloody well choose Maya only to have sexy uncle Josh arrive on the scene and steal away her focus- leaving Riley hurt about not being chosen and Lucas hurt AND embarrassed about choosing wrongly and being alone. SOMETHING!

    9. YOu can call me Will. It's my name.

      I... really don't want Josh/Maya. Maya's been virtually raised as Cory and Topanga's. I know technically there's nothing wrong with it, but it feels icky.

      The problem is, they keep stating this show is about friendship more than anything. How can you claim that, if their friendship breaks apart? And how can it be resolved with him choosing, without it breaking apart? The only way I could maybe see it, is Lucas chooses someone, and for them to say no. But I don't know if that follows the narrative we've been shown.

    10. Josh/Maya is borderline illegal. Lucas needs to grow a spine and make a choice so we can move on already.

    11. I think there should be consequences, but I don't want Riley and Maya's friendship to break over this. A stressed friendship is fine, because that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

      There were plenty of times when Cory and Shawn's friendship was put to the test, usually because Cory, rightly or wrongly, believed that his actions, which Shawn disapproved of, were in Shawn's best interests.

      If anybody has to go, then kick Friar off. It's hardly a loss, as far as the development of Riley and Maya's character arcs are concerned.

      That spineless, vapid, yellow-bellied coward has avoided addressing uncomfortable situations since the show began. He's the "point" or the "head" or whatever you want to call it, of the triangle. He's the one in the best position to put an end to this and he's refused to.

      And Josh/Maya is a terrible idea. When Josh is on the show, I want him interacting with Riley and Auggie. Let him "baby-sit" them and realize that he's not good at handling the stress for more than a couple hours--suppose Auggie wanders off or there's a medical emergency he wasn't anticipating.

    12. Yup. I think Lucas has chosen, which is even worse than not being able to choose; because the sooner he actually -says- something, the sooner the girls can move on past it. They were seriously stating he was the 'Topanga' of this generation?

    13. I'm not suggesting their friendship break...just bend a little. For a while.

    14. Isn't Maya nearing sixteen? She was 14 in season 1, no? Am i wrong? How are they illegal? Wait. What's the age of consent in the U.S.A.? Is it not 16, as well? Has MTV misled me?

    15. Age of consent in New York is 17. And while Maya should be turning 16 this year, she would still be 15 at this point. That said, it's a little moot since I think, even if Maya and Josh were to start dating, they wouldn't necessarily immediately jump to having sex.

    16. My issue with it isn't the age thing. I mean yeah, she's below the age of consent, but that's not really the big issue. It's only been recently that her mother has been taking active part in her life again. For about 10 years before that, Maya had pretty much been raised as Riley's sister. It doesn't matter, to me, that there's no blood or even marriage link between her and Josh. It just feels icky; from Josh at the very least - if Josh and Cory are as close as has been hinted at, he'd know exactly how much of a role his brother and his brother's wife had in raising Maya; and just so couldn't even look at her in that way.

    17. Will, I'd agree with that, except we know from Josh and Maya's interactions with each other in the Christmas episode, that this was the first time he'd even seen her since she was a little kid. They almost didn't recognize each other and were both blown away by how physically attractive they'd come.

      Despite Maya's role as a de-facto Matthews, it really doesn't seem they were, at any point, raised as anything resembling family. Somehow they hadn't crossed paths in years. And I mean, it makes sense, he lives in a different city. He probably only got to visit his brother every so often, probably a lot of those times were trips the Matthews took back home to Philly which likely didn't include Maya, so they just never really interacted as much.

      So, yeah, if it seemed like they had an unofficial quasi-family relationship, I'd be against it too, and the lack of blood relationship wouldn't matter. But the family vibe Maya feels with the New York Matthews just doesn't seem to extend to the Philadelphia Matthews. Amy and Alan didn't seem that close with her either. I don't think she thinks of them like that.

      All of that said, I'm not on board with Josh and Maya either. My concern's the age though. He's a freshman in college. He doesn't need to be sniffing after a freshman in high school.

    18. I agree that Maya wouldn't not do it purely for that. But I think Josh would.

      Put it this way, my brother is 12 and a half years older than me, and lives on the other side of the world. But if there was someone he was raising as a daughter, no matter how often I saw her, I just... would not. And Josh and Cory are written a lot closer than me and my brother are.

      Having said that, I know my views on this aren't widely shared, so I'm not really going to flog it. The age thing is also a concern for right now.

  17. Sorry for the delay guys. Been busy.

    First of all, excellent review Sean. It's a treat to read your positive thoughts. After the past eight episodes or so stunk, it's a delight to read some happier words.

    I really liked this episode...I really, really thought this was great. Sean, you said it best. I imagine Christian will too. We saw the kids being kids. Riley and Maya, just playing on their computer. Holy shit. That's normal...that's what I want to see.

    Oh my Lordy, the classrooms scenes didn't make we want to die..just wow. I will admit the "I am Jexica" scene was dumb but I think there's probably a deleted scene that could build it up better. I'm going with the other kids figured out really quick that Jexica wasn't real, but they (apart from Farkle and Lucas) didn't know who it was...look at it as a way to jump on the popularity bandwagon.

    Auggie scenes never do much for me but this was okay. Kid's gotten better but he still needs a haircut. Why does an 8-year-old have an email account? Who's he going to write to? The Pokemon kids?

    Some complaints: No Smackle, but neither her or Zay are main cast members so while they'll be in a lot, it won't be every one. (I think Zay's only not in two if I recall correctly).

    Also, Farkle and Zay both seemed underused but the next episode should remedy that nicely. The show is seeming to work better when the kids are in small groups than trying to be a larger group of 5 or 6.

    Grade: B+
    MVP: Rowan Blanchard.

  18. So guys, we're only a few days away from "Girl Meets Permanent Record."

    The promo doesn't give much, but it does look to me like they're going for more of a "I failed one test. My life is over. I'm an idiot" storyline rather than a "I failed one test. I must devote my entire life to studying so that I never fail anything ever again" storyline.

    It also looks like there's a bit more Topanga in this one. That could be great, if Riley in a fit of frustration calls herself stupid, and Topanga goes full-on Mommy Mode, I will be very happy.

    1. Actually, compared to the first two seasons, there's been a steady growing of Topanga this year I think.

      However, given the brief promo seems to show both Cory and Topanga verging on teasing Riley about her grade, I wouldn't bet on full-on Mommy Mode. Though looks can be deceiving.

    2. I think I can read this episode from a mile away. How do you honestly expect All Time A Student Topanga Matthews to react to her flesh and blood getting a D? She's not going to take it well. At all. And top it off Maya, who's like her daughter, likely getting her first ever A, Topanga is going to shower her with some extra affection. Which will cause Riley to totally overreact to her mom's attention over Maya. Yeah, I think I've got this one right.

    3. Maybe Will, but at the tail end of the promo, there's a split-second shot of Topanga, in her lawyer suit, standing over Riley, who appears to have stayed up all night studying her Spanish notebook.

      Maybe I was wrong, and we'll get a bit of "I failed a test. I must devote my entire life to studying so I will never fail ever again" after all.

  19. So, here is someone else's review of Jexica. Warning, this person is heavily involved in the ship stuff. So, it skews his review, just a little bit.

    1. Um....that was...that was something.

    2. Pwfan, let's take a moment to look up the definition of "LITTLE BIT."

    3. Yeah, that was a wee bit of sarcasm. What's sad is, a lot of people agree with his view point of this episode.

    4. I'll say it. Guy came off an asshole and he's more likely than not a Maya-apologist.

      Now, enough with that. On to Permanent Record!

      And Pwfan, you bet that they'd reference Spartacus last episode. They didn't. You owe us 20 bucks. :)

    5. Hey, no one agreed to take the action. Therefore, no bet.

      I actually like his style, even if I disagree with his opinion.

  20. If anyone wasn't aware - Disney announced the schedule for July: Disney Channel Promo ‏@disney_promo · Jun 11

    Girl Meets World: July 2016
    • 7/08 - Girl Meets Upstate
    • 7/15 - Girl Meets True Maya
    • 7/22 - Girl Meets Ski Lodge: Part 1
    • 7/29 - Girl Meets Ski Lodge: Part 2

    So we will have seen 9 of 30 episodes in the first 2 months.

    1. Buckle up folks. We are in for a wild ride. Not a bad list. Not a bad list at all.

      I imagine we'll get a month break or something after this.

    2. If Jexica is any indication, then I'm not sure I'll mind a break. If we have some solid episodes that have good rewatch value, which really hasn't been the case in quite a while, then that's fine.

      That being said, one third of the episodes in only two months is no small potatoes, especially since these episodes are about a story closely tied to a school year, airing in summer.

    3. This worries me, simply because the last time they ran though episodes like that, we had to deal with a lot of filler. Now, if the filler is more like Jexica, then its fine. If not..I shudder to think.

    4. Did boy meets world have any filler episodes? if so what ones were the filler episodes?

    5. I suppose it depends on what you consider filler. For me, it's an episode that doesn't advance the storyline of the main characters in a significant enough way you are required to watch it in accordance with its place in the timeline. Take "Brother," from GMW Season One--while it is set in November for Cory and Topanga's anniversary, the A-plot, Riley babysitting Auggie, could take place virtually anywhere in Season One and watched accordingly. So, I consider it filler.

      Boy Meets World had plenty of filler episodes. The distinction is that the rewatch value was much better--due in no small part to having Alan Matthews and George Feeny.

      One of the most popular episodes is "Bee True," which is about as filler as you can get as far as Cory and Topanga are concerned. They don't grow or advance their own storyline whatsoever. But I still love that episode.

    6. i love that episode bee true. i love all boy meets world episodes iv seen every episode lots of times. i think season 3 of girl meets world is alright so far. i love the episodes were topanga and cory gets more stuff to do.

      i did like girl meets jexica, rider strong and Shiloh are amazing talented directors, the new writer is great and cory and topanga felt more like their old boy meets world self's

  21. But is Cory and Topanga the main storyline of the show? I guess in the long run it could be argued they were; but for at least the first five seasons, Cory and Shawn was a bigger story.

    And that episode not only is arguably the last real shenanigans Cory and Shawn get up to before they need to think about how Topanga will react; it also sets up Feeny with his wife (then again, she seems to vanished sooo....)

    I dunno. I don't really have as many issues with filler episodes in shows like this, than I occasionally do in more serious shows. As in actual plot-episodes, how good it is is more important; whilst in shows with heavy story arcs, I'll sit through a bad plot episode because it's important.

  22. I hated Riley even more in this episode. She was a real b**** to Maya. The five husbands joke, the "why are you suddenly smart around me" comment, when she asked their friends (Lucas) if they like her more than than Maya, etx. And if I didn't hate her enough already. But other than that the episode was fine.

    1. I don't get it. All you referred to sounded like a normal relationship between close friends. If I'm only nice to you, then believe me, lovey, we're not close. And that's what i got from the five husbands comment. It's also a form of compliment as those of higher economic status are more likely to have those multiple divorces- i mean, she even apparently married Farkle- who died (think of all she inherited!) Also, the Lucas liking her more comment is a warranted response. They're in a triangle (that's not a triangle, if we are to believe the tweets). Yeah, sure, she loves Maya- but when it comes to Lucas' affection, it's every gal for herself. Maya did it in High School 1, when she said "How am i in a triangle with that/her/this?"

    2. I just don't get it. Maya can shit on anyone she wants but Riley makes a joke and it's "Fuck Riley. She's a bitch."

      And for what it's worth, Rowan Blanchard tweeted out that Riley loves Maya more than anything in the world.

    3. All is fair in love and war.

      Besides, I'd argue what Maya said was worse. "How am I in a triangle with that" sounds a lot more like an not-so-veiled insult and a pretty mean one.

      Riley's "prediction" that Maya would marry five guys; she never said it was the result of multiple divorces--it could well mean four widowed marriages, and even then you can take the fifth marriage as a long awaited "Happily Ever After."

      And really? Nobody's ever made an off-color joke at their friend's expense without actually meaning it to be offensive?

    4. Yeah, I didn't come close to hearing anything other than good-natured banter between friends. Not sure why Maya's suggested marital history and not Farkle's suggested death would be the thing commented as mean.

    5. Suggested death? Didn't she blatantly say he was going to die?

      Besides, the moment she throws in Yogi as a future husband, you know she's not being serious about it. Maya's mock outrage was just that - mock. I like Maya, but she's said a lot worse to Riley, and not been called on it.

    6. Will, certainly the exchange wasn’t intended to be take seriously. It’s puzzling that it is being taken seriously in some quarters. And certainly Riley’s riff had Farkle dead as clearly as it had Maya serially married. I meant “suggest” in the sense of putting an idea out for consideration, a somewhat unsettling cognitive failure preventing a better word choice.

    7. Specifically, Riley said that Maya married Farkle and the marriage lasted two weeks and "may he [Farkle] rest in peace."

      So if anything, guys, that just tells me that Riley thinks that Farkle and Maya can't be married without them "killing" each other. probably true.

      And Milestones, in regards to a better word choice, what Riley did was "make castles in the air" a verb phrase that means "make up fantasy."

      Thank you, Online Thesaurus.

    8. I'm really starting to get annoyed with the "Riley is a bad friend" crowd. Look, you don't have to like her, but lets be honest. These two have been breaking each others balls quite frequently actually. Its a part of their relationship at this point.

      Honestly, I think the digs at each other is on purpose. I think they are building to a blow up between the girls, yes involving the triangle. I just think some of the subtle stuff they've done is just planting seeds for the audience. Maybe I'm being too optimistic.

    9. I don't particularly like Riley as a character; that's because I don't find her particularly interesting. She's one of the best friends anyone could hope for.

      The only reason I can explain for the antagonism towards Riley (not that I agree with it), is she's held to a higher standard as she's so rarely ever said something even remotely mean.

    10. I'm fond of Riley, myself, but I definitely see how people find her uninteresting.

      The biggest problem with Riley, is that she's made far too much of her arc concerned with Friar. Even if I was fond of Friar, I'd feel that way.

      But I think that's more the writers' fault--the writers put Friar in the same classroom as Riley, Maya and Farkle. So, the romantic undertones were so omnipresent, Riley didn't get a chance to get to do much else.

      Had it been me, I'd put Friar in the year above Riley and friends, leaving her pining for a slightly older student who interacts with her infrequently enough that a lack of conversation about the issue is a lot more forgivable.

      Also, it would allow Riley, Maya and Farkle to act as a Power Trio.
      Trios are more interesting than foursomes--there's always a tie-breaker, rather than splitting down the middle in regards to issues for one.

      In regards to Riley's rare bouts of meanness, I found her far meaner in "STEM" than anything we've seen in the Triangle, and even then, it was heavily implied that Riley is incapable of actually holding a grudge.

    11. My problem with Riley as a character, is she doesn't seem to have any personality traits distinct of either Cory or Topanga. Sure, I have personality traits in common with either one or other of my parents, but I have ones unique of either of them. Same with my kid. Riley doesn't seem to have anything uniquely -her-.

      The thing is, the power trio worked in BMW because there was the question of which way people would fall in a tie vote situation. But here, Maya and Riley are always going to side together, in everything -except- this triangle. I don't actually believe the same could be said of Shawn and Cory, or Cory and Topanga. The power trio doesn't work when 2 of that trio are stated to be inseperable. Unless you wanted to hook up Farkle with one of the girls I guess, but I don't see it.

      But I do acknowledge the point about Riley being all about Lucas.

  23. Christian where you at :(

    1. Same. I keep checking in to see if he's been by. Christian?!!! You okay, man?

  24. They filmed "Girl Meets Bear" last night. Apparently about what happens to you when something important to your childhood goes missing. I'm guessing that Beary the Bear Bear (or the part of him that's left) has disappeared.

    Uncle Josh is in this episode.

    1. As an additional note to something I wrote a few weeks ago. They filmed "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" and we wondered why they filmed it so early.

      Apparently Peyton was in Australia for 2 weeks doing some things for Disney Australia and being a guest instructor at an acting camp (the last cast member I would expect for that) and so since he had to miss a taping, they had to decide which episode to write him out of. So they picked the holiday episode and wrote and filmed it and supposedly they say he went to Texas to see his family.

      So it wasn't about guest star availability as I guessed, but about a cast member's unavailability.

    2. I'm just going to say "Girl Meets Bear" sounds like a super, super cheesy episode.

    3. "Bear" sounds kind of bad, but then again, "Jexica" blew our socks off.

      "Important thing from childhood goes missing..." I don't suppose it's too much hope that the important thing is actually how Uncle Josh and Riley were really close when they were little and then grew apart?

    4. Cryptid, why are you setting yourself up for heartbreak. We all know its about Auggie's stuffed animal.

    5. Cryptid456-I'm not sure how close Riley and Josh could have been. Josh was in Philadelphia, and Riley was in New York when they were little kids growing up. They probably saw each other at major family events/gatherings, and spent time playing together, because they were close in age, but I don't see them having this super strong bond and then growing apart for some reason.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Pwfan, remember when "Jexica" aired its horrendous promo, and I tried to remind everyone that "Yearbook" was a fantastic episode with a less-than-appealing promo?

      And who turned out to be right? :D

      The way I figure, someone has to be the optimist around here.

      Also, Kit. Shippping and I have cousins who we saw on a semi-frequent basis in high school, and at the height of our relationship, we were as close as siblings. So, I can certainly see Riley and Uncle Josh being close.

    8. I would buy the closeness more if there was any evidence of it. I mean, if Cory and Josh can be as close as they are, with not only the distance but also a substantial age gap, there's no reason Riley and Josh couldn't be. They'd interact more like cousins than uncle and niece though.

      So if they want to say they were close once, and dig in to why they're not anymore, I'm all for it. Maybe Auggie's bear was originally Josh's, and that's why it's Girl Meets Bear...

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    10. Auggie's got a stuffed panda that was on his shelf after the dream sequence, but his favorite stuffed toy is his "Mr. Googly." Which I think is a cloud...person...thing.

      Riley's favorite stuffed animal is "Beary the Bear Bear" with "Hazel the Hippo" being a close second, if her reaction in "Farkle's Choice" is anything to go by.

      Now, if Beary the Bear Bear was originally Josh's, and he gave it to Riley at some point (we know she's had the bear since before she met Maya--you can see Beary in the corner of her room in the flashbacks of "Bay Window"), then that would be very sweet.

      And I am totally on-board with Josh and Riley exploring what they mean to each other. One of my favorite episodes is "Girl Meets Brother." So, if we see something similar with Riley and Josh, even if it's sappy, I'd expect I'd enjoy it.

    11. Cryptid, for some reason, i found absolute joy in your uncertainty in what exactly Mr. Googly is meant to be.

    12. Well, in truth, I think Mr. Googly is meant to be a toy for much younger children. Unlike Beary, Mr. Googly appears to be meant to be picked up with both hands, almost as if by a toddler just learning how to hold things.

      On the note of stuffed animals, it could be that Beary the Bear Bear gets placed into a donation box accidentally.

  25. Hi guys! I found this on Twitter from William Daniels

    I'm told my next appearance on Girl Meets World will be sometime in August. I'll have to ask Bonnie for the exact date. -Bill

    1. Oh, do you think Bonnie will be on there too? That would be absolutely lovely.

    2. I don't think so, Bonnie just seems to run his life lol. He mentions her in nearly every tweet. It's cute

  26. In before 1960 (sorry, bro):

    From the Writers:

    Tmw: Permanent Record. What we do counts now. Next Friday: Triangle. At 7:30 before Sabrina's movie, begins a run of 6 incredible episodes.

    Looks like the ratings should be much stronger than last week. Lead into a movie the channel has been promoting for the last six months? Should be good.

    1. Ha no problem man. I saw that early this morning, but didn't bother to post it because it's just more of the same PR, rather than them giving us clues.

    2. Speaking of Sabrina's movie.... I'd been somewhat stalking (is that appropriate, maybe not) Disney channel to get a glimpse of my favourite DComs, but had only managed to catch three. Why was there no discernible order to the releases? They mixed the old with the new

  27. Just saw Permanent Record. While it was kind of a dumb plot to stretch in 22 minutes, I actually enjoyed it--doesn't that say something? I'm enjoying the jokes and the characters more. We actually see some good teacher-to-teacher and teacher-to-lawyer (heh) conversations.

    Overall, not cringey like Season 2 episodes, the only thing cringey tbh was the repetition of "Permanent record."

    I said this about Jexica, but really appreciating the Riley-centric episodes. We'll be shifting to Maya for like another 5 episodes soon. Ugh.

    1. Just realized how lengthy this is. Feel free to delete this if so, Christian or Sean. Just wanted to hype the episode up a bit.

    2. I haven't seen it yet, but I anticipated "permanent record" being stated a lot. But to be fair, it's not as if "college transcript" sounds the least bit scary to anybody who isn't old enough for high school.

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  29. Re: episode 4. They really are sounding like actual teenagers these new episodes. I didn't hate this one. I think.... i think i liked it as well. Wow. Is this what GMW needed? To focus on Roberta? Or are there wholly new writers? What's happening?!

  30. To answer your question, Christian, yeah if they wanted to go there I could totally buy Maya and Riley as a couple. Sabrina and Rowan have the best chemistry on the show, and its not close. They are so good together that if you wanted to sell them to me as literal sisters, I could buy it. Now, like you said, it isn't going to happen. Yet, if they wanted to do it, I really don't think it'd be a stretch.

  31. Christian, welcome to the party.

    First of all, are you for real? Empire is better than a New Hope. By a lot. I actually like Revenge of the Sith better than a New Hope. How's that for controversial!

    Regrading, Riley and Maya? It's not a super controversial opinion. I agree with you on several points. If I were to rank chemistry between the show's actors it'd be:

    1) Ben and Danielle
    2) Rowan and Sabrina
    3) Rowan and Corey
    4) Peyton and Sabrina
    21) Rowan and Peyton

    I'd put Ben and Rider as 1 if I could but Rider's not in the show enough.

    I also agree that it seems a lot more serious than the Cory/Shawn bromance, but I also think that's heavy handed writing from the staff.

    All of that said, I wouldn't object to Riley/Maya being endgame. I know Rowan would do it in a heartbeat and I wager Sabrina would be on board.

    It has a negative 40 percent chance of happening but in another dimension, why not?

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  34. Hi Christian. Liked your review.

    Well, that's certainly a controversial opinion.

    Eh, I have a soft spot for "Return of the Jedi," but I'm actually more curious as to WHY you think "Empire Strikes Back" is weakest--is it because of its length? I fell asleep the first time I watched "Empire" and the first time I watched "Attack of the Clones." I've always thought that it was "New Hope," but that's me.

    Personally, I like "Force Awakens" a lot, and Shipping's right, "Revenge of the Sith" has some great moments too.

    Of course, our having a relative who works for Lucasfilms from "Phantom Meance" might have something to do with it.

    In regards to your review itself,

    That was a good point about the Ava-London-Dream joke going on for too long, but I prefer it as a dream, since I can only suspend my disbelief so much.

    And I completely agree with you about Farkle not knowing which continent penguins live on. The kid had penguins in the goody bags at his Genius Party.

    Fun fact! There are species of penguin native to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America, as far north as the Galapagos Islands.

    But, in all seriousness, you're right, Farkle should know that information. Though I suppose one could argue that in our modern world, that sort of information isn't held onto very tightly. Remember what Feeny said in "Quiz Bowl" about how Cory and Shawn had memorized all sorts of tv and video game trivia, but nothing practical? This seems to be an updated scenario.

    And the point about some more instrumental music was a good too. I liked the piano a lot.

    With regard to your "controversial idea," with all due respect, I don't think I see it.

    Part of it may be that when I was in high school, I knew a fair few extremely close female-female friendships, like Maya and Riley, that were just that, platonic friendships.

    The extremely close, platonic male-male friendship, in the vein of Cory and Shawn, isn't something I saw in real life until I was in college.

    1. "Part of it may be that when I was in high school, I knew a fair few extremely close female-female friendships, like Maya and Riley, that were just that, platonic friendships."

      Sure, so did I. I dunno, just feels like there could be more there. That said, it's largely a chemistry thing. If they decided Maya and Riley were lesbians next week, that wouldn't work for me.

    2. Hey Cryptid, I’ve only seen the first three Star Wars movies, and a long time ago at that. Even if one or both of the follow-ups might arguably have been better movies, nothing was going to match the freshness and excitement of the original. I walked out of the theatre stunned.

      Yeah, the Ava/Auggie dream sequence might have overstayed its welcome. But an Ava/Auggie scene being welcome for any length of time is an achievement. This was a problem with the series into which they seem to have put some work.

      I also agree about Farkle’s non-answering. As contrivances go, it was fairly minor and over quick. If some wizard-did-it explanation is needed, maybe he never considered state capitals worth remembering and was confused by Cory’s placement of the animals at the actual poles. Maybe he caught on that Cory was going somewhere with the questions and didn’t want to sidetrack or undercut him.

      Did you guys have to learn/memorize the state capitals at any point in your education?

      Did you notice that bit in the bedroom where Maya dove from the Bay Window on to Riley on the bed? That’s the third or fourth time I have seen the kids on this show do something that, while probably not that dangerous, didn’t look entirely safe either.

      About Christian’s topic for discussion.

      For someone not here chasing the BMW dragon, though now having a much better understanding of those who are, the relationship between Riley and Maya has always seemed not just the central love affair of the show, platonic or otherwise, but the show’s bedrock. (Reflecting on this has annoyed me all over again that Fish wasn’t just a straight-up homage to Double Indemnity.) Christian is absolutely correct that it feels different than Cory and Shawn. I agree with you Cryptid that it is unlikely that they would “go there,” as a commenter here, la texana perhaps, once put it. But no objections if they do.

      High school was too long ago for me, but earlier this year I worked with at least two sets of university girls who seemed almost as tightly bonded as Riley and Maya.

      Last summer, when Maya ratted out Riley at the end of Tot, I figured that this was going to come up again. It didn’t come up again. In Yearbook, when we were told you couldn’t pretend to be someone you had strong feelings for, then almost immediately were shown Maya pretending to be Riley, I thought it meant something. It didn’t mean anything. So this year, I’m just going to let GMW come to me.

  35. Glad someone mentioned the Riley/Maya "could work as more than just friends" chemistry. Watching BMW I always say Cory and Shawn should have been a couple and I was half-kidding. But when I think about Riley and Maya as a couple I've realized I'm more seriously into that idea. I'd buy that as a romantic relationship more than any other combo of the kids on this show tbh. Plus they've said time and time again Riley and Maya are and supposedly will always be the closest with each other. Disney won't allow it but it seems like it'd make the most sense.

  36. Christian - what are you smoking? Empire is the best Star Wars movie of the 7 we have so far.

    As for the Riley/Maya thing - I would have no issues if that was what they arrive at by the end, but being on Disney and not ABC means that it just isn't happening. Also remember that Rowan is still just 14 and while she talks a big game, I would be curious if her parents might not have an issue with their child in an onscreen non-hetero relationship, unless Rowan is really gay/Bi.

    Also while this wasn't the best episode of the series, it was better than Pluto/Master Plan/Semi-Formal in my opinion. Out of the 54 episodes to show when this aired I'd say Yearbook/Texas 1/New Teacher were the only episodes better. We can all agree to disagree on this point as we will never have a 100% consensus.

    1. Disagree. I like Empire, but it's an incomplete story that doesn't have a great narrative arc. It just kind of... ends, without offering much closure or wrapping much up. And I know they were setting up a sequel, but I think movies in a series should still stand on their own. A New Hope and Return of the Jedi both function on their own as stories while also informing a larger arc, Empire doesn't work without the movies on either side, in my opinion. Also it's where Han Solo goes from being the best character to being largely whiny and ineffectual. Also, I posit that the climax with Luke and Vader isn't actually as good on screen as it is in everyone's head, and it's really lame that they negate the one really cool part of that scene, Vader cutting off Luke's hand, by him getting an identical robo hand, like, later that same afternoon.

      I do like the movie, and I hate that my always arguing with people that it's the worst of the trilogy gets misconstrued into my not thinking it's good, because I do. I think it's got some great moments, and do think it did a great job of establishing the larger lore of the universe, but I feel rather strongly that both of the original Star Wars movies are better movies. Return of the Jedi has some faults, but the Jabba's palace sequence is better than anything in Empire, and I find Luke an extremely compelling character in this one, and the Luke/Vader stuff at the end is the most emotional moment in all of Star Wars for me.

      As for A New Hope, it's just, like, a perfect movie.

      I rank them:

      1. A New Hope
      2. Return of the Jedi
      3. The Empire Strikes Back
      4. The Force Awakens
      5. Revenge of the Sith
      6. Attack of the Clones
      7. The Phantom Menace

    2. Christian, while I can't argue with your reasoning, I still think that the whole "villians end up the winners in a movie" vibe that Empire has makes up for its shortcomings because movies almost always have that "Hollywood ending".

      Having said that I agree with your rankings of 4 through 7, but for me Empire is #1 followed closely by "Star Wars" (when I first saw it, it wasn't titled "A New Hope" yet. That came years later - another change Lucas made along the way.

    3. literally will friedle IS ACTUALLY CORY MATTHEWS OH NONovember 16, 2016 at 12:19 PM

      "but the Jabba's palace sequence is better than anything in Empire"

      How can anyone possibly believe this?

      And I'd say Empire isn't where Han becomes "whiny and ineffectual," it's where he becomes a real person. The predominant aspects of his character in ANH are that he's cocky, brash and selfish (and maybe a little dumb <_<). We see a lot of who he is on the surface, but he doesn't really struggle at all in the movie. Empire is when things actually get tough for him. I think a struggling character is infinitely more compelling, even if he's less...awesome, or whatever.

      In ANH we end with: "We defeated the Empire!" In Empire we see IMMEDIATELY how powerful the Empire really is, and just how horribly the odds are stacked against the Rebels. The entire theme of the movie is struggling against near impossible odds, and THEY DON'T WIN. Obviously they were going to take out the Empire in Jedi, but we get a much better sense of just how huge the opponent is.

      And just a couple points (and a question or two) about your take on the Luke/Vader climax:

      What exactly do you mean when you say it "isn't actually as good on screen as it is in everyone's head?" I'm assuming you're talking about the slightly awkward choreography? If so, I have an answer for that, but I'll wait and see if you answer.

      What do you think the significance of Luke having his hand cut off is? I ask because there's a couple interpretations I've seen on it:

      1. Vader disarms his son because he can't kill him and wants him to join the Dark Side (pretty literal, but the focus is on Vader's struggle to connect with his son, I guess)

      2. Vader was toying with Luke during the entire duel and cut off Luke's hand to let him know (focus is on Luke learning that he is incredibly overmatched and made a grievous error in leaving his training early. Also kind of assumes that Vader's not killing Luke was less "HE'S MY SON I CAN'T" and more "Eh, I could but WHERE'S THE CHALLENGE?!")

      3. Lightsabers are dicks. Luke was using his dad's dick. Vader emasculates Luke (symbolic of children feeling inferior to their parents ["I'm not a real man like my dad, the superhero or whatever"] which is JUST LIKE WHAT RILEY WAS FEELING ABOUT CORY AND TOPANGA. LET'S BRING THIS AROUND AND TEACH YOU KIDS A LESSON!)

      but basically the significance wasn't "oh shit luke's hand got cut off now he won't ever be able to be a jedi knight because NO LIGHTSABER" but rather "dude literally can't even compete with this unstoppable machine"

      Also Luke in Jedi wasn't compelling, in my opinion (for the most part). He spent most of the movie as this unemotional weird monk guy. I guess if you look at the second Vader duel as evidence of emotions boiling under the surface (especially when he just WAILS on Vader) then you could see him as a guy who is trying to cut off all emotion unsuccessfully, but we never actually see that. He goes from one extreme to the other. I'd accept his explosion against Vader if he at least got a little angry or something earlier in the movie.

  37. AirbendingBookworm123June 17, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    Okay I know this is off-topic but THAT WATERTRIBE GIF THOUGH.

    Sorry, fangirling moment.

  38. Hi. I watched Empire for the first time at 24 in 2015. Yeah. It's lame! It feels like a bunch of disjointed stories that are all just killing time until Luke can fight Vader. None of the stuff on Hoth really matters, especially the beginning with the Wampa. The Millenium Falcon being attacked by a big moon monster doesn't matter. The stuff with Lando is cool, the stuff with Luke and Yoda is cool and the ending is great, but it all just feels like it's coming up with random shit to do until we can get to the end.

    1. literally will friedleNovember 16, 2016 at 12:34 PM

      I disagree entirely.

      The Wampa stuff is the first evidence of Luke being clearly overmatched by an opponent. It's not really a hubris moment, as he gets surprise attacked rather than jumping into it or whatever, but he learns that he's incredibly unskilled with the Lightsaber (remember that in ANH his story was basically: rescue Princess incredibly easily [although that was a trap], become a fighter pilot, be the BEST FIGHTER PILOT IN THE SQUADRON, blow up the Death Star no problem). Luke has done amazing things, but the Wampa nearly kills him. It's the first in a series of encounters that lay out just how unprepared he and his crew really are. and it's in that moment that he decides to seek out training i think or whatever

      The asteroid-snake-worm thing isn't the most critical thing in terms of plot, but I think it serves at least some purpose. First, it helps to show Han's ignorance (he comes off as a guy who knows a lot of the seedier/darker stuff about the universe, but there's a hell of a lot of stuff in space that he doesn't know anything about). it's also just another threat after escaping the empire (who were chasing them down until they blew up in the asteroid field). I'd argue that it could have had more significance if they were attacked or whatever sooner and had to flee right back into another chase, but it's simpler (and probably better, actually) the way they did it. it's also a reason for them to get going instead of hiding out longer

      Apparently I forgot to talk about Hoth before the Wampa <_< Hoth is probably the single most important part of the movie in-universe (yes, more important than HAN BEING FROZEN IN CARBONITE D: and more important than Luke being utterly REKT by Vader). By losing the Battle of Hoth, the Rebels don't just lose the men/women/whatever who died on Hoth that day, they lost their primary base and a hell of a lot of morale. They picked Hoth specifically because it was a mostly uninhabited planet that the Empire likely would have paid no attention to, but oh wait the Empire found them because the Empire's power is incredible. The defeat scattered the Rebels all across the galaxy, which basically would have ended the Rebellion had Luke not managed to redeem Anakin.

      basically hoth went from the rebels down 6-2 in the third inning to the rebels down 20-0 in the bottom of the ninth

  39. I don't -not- see Maya and Riley, but I don't really see it either. I don't really see it as any more serious than Cory/Shawn and I never really saw them as a potential couple; and don't think I would even if they were airing for the first time now. Granted, some of that may be that Shawn and Cory were both very clearly interested in girls.

    The thing I hated most about the dream thing at the end, was the uncertainty as to whether the Cory/Topanga making up was meant to just be the dream as well. So yeah, I would have preferred she really had been stranded in London; and cut out the bit about the prince.

  40. Funny look from Riley after Maya said she would like Jexica/foreshadowing?

  41. "But the weirdest thing happens after that, Farkle says something and Lucas goes "Yeeeeeessss?" in this weird sing-songy tone"

    Didn't remember that so looked back, and it was actually Zay who said that, not Lucas. So, not that weird.

    1. Yeah I just watched it again because it didn't stick out to me before: it's definitely Zay who said "Yeeeeees?"

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  42. Female friends really are super close and codependent. No one is more important to me than my BFF and it's not uncommon for us to be mistaken for a couple. And quite frankly its a little annoying.
    Cory and Shawn were one of the few life long friendships on television that I could connect to and now I finally have a female bromance that is reflective of my own. And it's frustrating to see people automatically go "they're gay!" all because of our hyper sexualized society.

    Why can't close friendship be valued as much as romantic relationships?

    1. And this is exactly why I hesitated to say anything. I never felt a romantic vibe between Shawn and Cory, and until very very recently I wouldn't have been able to see it with Riley and Maya either. But I saw a spark of something in this episode that *did* feel romantic. Not that romantic relationships are "more valuable", but... that's just the vibe I suddenly noticed.

      It doesn't disregard female friendship if one were to possibly blossom into more.

    2. Whilst I don't really see the Maya and Riley spark described, I do agree that it doesn't mean that -all- close female friendships would be that way. It's no different than when close friends of different genders become more. It doesn't mean you -can't- have strictly platonic boy-girl friends.

    3. No and I do understand why friendships that become more are appealing, but there are so few female broships in popular media that I would hate to see this one erased.

      I have nothing against the idea of one or both of the girls turning out to be bi/gay but I would prefer it if they interned into a relationship ship with another girl instead of with one another.

  43. literally will friedleNovember 16, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    I forgot to mention: I was really hoping that Farkle's favorite song would be something by Rush.

    "Favorite song...Cygnus X-1 from A Farewell to Kings"


    "It's a Rush song. It's about a man who flies his spaceship into a black hole because of his compulsion to discover and voyage"

    "Oh, cool! So he learns more about his situation and himself by voyaging into the unknown?"

    "No. He's instantaneously torn apart at an atomic level. It's called 'spaghettification'"

    and then lucas, farkle and zay look at each other somewhat awkwardly, because LOLOL this whole triangle thing is going to tear them all apart

    "Uhh, I meant to say my favorite song was anything by Celine Dion"