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?