Saturday, July 30, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Ski Lodge (Part 2)" (#3.09)

Hey folks! Been a while since you got me first, right? I'm coming to you.... from the paaaaaaast. I'm going to be on vacation in Northern California from Thursday until Tuesday, so I'll miss prime review time. So, since this is already up on Watch Disney, I'm writing this now. But you're reading this on Friday or Saturday or whatever. How's the future? How'd the Democratic Convention go? You guys getting amped about the Olympics?

This one's written by Aaron Jacobs, another son of Michael Jacobs. The one he wrote before was "Girl Meets Money" which got a B- from me, which could be worse for a Jacobs scion script. I wish I could keep MJ's sons straight. Like, I want to have instant recall of who wrote what, and I want to know how old they all are, and I want to know which one played Toddler Josh, and which one played the kid from Eric Hollywood. But there's no information out there I can see, and their generic biblical names make it hard to keep track. All in all though, their episodes tend not to be high water marks for the series. They have a habit of being really heavy handed in terms of BMW references, since I'm sure they've seen it all many times, but not being really good at getting the tone right or telling a cohesive story, probably because they are not actually qualified to be writing a TV show and are taking gross advantage of nepotism. "Girl Meets Cory and Topanga" comes to mind. 

I half wonder if MJ's just doing this show to give all his kids a first break into the industry. 

Anyway, Riley and Lauren Jr. (aka Evan) are talking and Evan thinks he wants to be a sherpa. He does not. Yes, sherpas help people climb Mount Everest. How do they do this? They do it by climbing the mountain first, without a trail established ropes or anything, and clearing and establishing a trail, and setting up all the ropes that are just sitting there waiting for Western climbers to use. They then RE-CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN with their clients while shouldering unimaginably heavy loads of equipment so the western climbers don't have to. It's an unbelievably grueling existence, that basically only natives can handle because their bodies are more naturally acclimatized to the high altitude. What Evan means is that he wants to be a mountain climbing guide. You don't have to do any of that kind of stuff, you just help your clients climb the mountain. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Ski Lodge (Part 1)" (#3.08)

WARNING: There really shouldn't be a need to say this, we all just want to have fun here, but do not post fucking spoilers in the comments. For fuck's sake, people. If you need to talk that badly about Girl Meets World, add each other on Skype, or go to a message board, or make a Discord channel, it doesn't matter. Don't post spoilers here. And don't waste a comment apologizing for doing it, just don't do it.


This episode is daunting. I've seen people who consistently forgive the sins of this show describe their displeasure with it. Will I survive? Will Christian survive? Will I have to see another terror attack on the news tomorrow? 

The answer to at least one of those questions is yes.

If memory serves, Christian and I had a conversation as soon as the title "Meets Ski Lodge" was teased. We thought, "There's just no way." We believed, "It can't be the same lodge." But it is. Who cares, though, since Cory used the word "waif." 
Farkle and Smackle are endearing, but we'll see how long it takes for "We're smarter than you, but together" to get annoying.

I love Cory in this scene though, Ben's delivery is hilarious, the pointer breaking was unexpected, and I definitely appreciate "We had our plans, we had our blueprints..." because... they actually did.
This episode was written by Teresa Kale, who had no hand in Boy Meets World, so it's anyone's guess who had the idea to throw in that line. Probably Ben. But Rider and his brother directed this episode, so who knows.

Cory Cory Cory Cory Cory, slow down brother, slow down chief! CLEARLY, Cory does not read the writers' twitter! Otherwise! He would know! That it's not a triangle. God I'm sick of making that joke, but what am I supposed to do! The writers can't say something so stupid like that and expect me not to hound them about it.

They've done a respectable job recreating the set, which is cool. Apparently Riley fell off the bus, which is a callback to Cory falling off the bus, but not the fun kind of callback. It's the annoying kind. The trying too hard kind.
It's truly, truly unfortunate that the original ski lodge had that bay window, because now we have to hear about it. The script manages to catch me off guard a second time when Farkle adds "Maya Riley Lucas enough already" to the list of events, that gave me a good laugh. Seriously though he's right. Fucking enough. First Texas was the end, then Graduation, then Triangle, then True Maya, now fuckin what. Just tell me what, Girl Meets World, tell me what the next carrot is you're gonna dangle in front of your gullible audience.

What the fuck is this? Why are we still talking about the triangle? Michael Jacobs, I know you're better than this. I appreciate that you tried your best. You have my love and appreciation for bringing me Shawn and Eric a few more times in my life, I owe you for that. Thank you. But you've lost this war. You have lost to Disney Channel. I know this isn't your show, this isn't your vision. I'm sorry that you have to attach your name to this. Lucas even asks how to resolve it, LIKE WE DIDN'T WASTE AN EPISODE ON HIM REACHING A DECISION. He chose! Just tell them! Oh my god!
Arite, they confront Lucas about his decision, and they call him a coward. Lucas Friar is not a coward. The writers are cowards. Disney Channel execs are cowards. 

We get the second instance today of Lucas being like "I don't like this about you Maya," so I feel like some seeds are being planted, but I genuinely hope it's a reversal switcheroo and he ends up choosing Maya anyway.

"We should imagine what our lives would be like together." I have a question. Where are Alan and Amy Matthews? Either one of them would put this shit in the dirt. Long Walk to Pittsburgh for Amy, A Kiss is More Than A Kiss for Alan. And look, I get it, teenagers take this stuff way too seriously, we all did it. But the parents are supposed to be a foil here. That's what set Boy Meets World apart, was wise, competent adults. All the adults did in Meets Triangle was "OMG I wonder who he picks!!"

Oh this cannot be happening. A G-rated James Bond opening to advance Sabrina's singing career. Nice water gun, Lucas. I was already exhausted at the end of the song, but that's not actually the end. The only redeemable moment of this spy movie fantasy is Riley having her hair moussed backward. It looked cool and made me think she might be capable of portraying more emotions than the two Riley knows how to feel.
Hey there.

Oh it's still not over. This second part has a redeeming moment as well, the first time in a while that Maya making fun of Lucas actually felt natural, when she's mocking his accent. If Lucas doesn't love that, he's a complete tool.

Riley's fantasy future is a parody of overly dramatic romance movies, which is refreshing. I was afraid they would try to be sincere. Zay is in the background but we can't see who he's sitting with. Oh gobstoppers, it's Sarah. Probably the most interesting thing going on here, but we have to move on. Josh and Maya arrive as doctors to diagnose Riley with Gooey Sap Disease. I actually think it's hilarious, but it doesn't really help the story.

From Maya, back in real life, "We care about each other too much to let anything like that happen." Is that a FUCKING FACT, Maya? Is that a fact?! Then WHY did you make me watch it?! I'd love to make jokes about Yogi or Zay or something but I'm just fed up. I'm sick to death of having my time wasted by this show. Oh look, it's the male Lauren, and they steal the "ambient light" conversation too, go fuck yourself, Girl Meets World. 

This is like the last Hunger Games, or Twilight, there's just no earthly reason for it to be a two parter, but HARRY POTTER did it so now EVERYBODY'S GOTTA DO IT. Two parter for... fuckin... two parts for Bunk'd, where they bunk in one episode and then... don't bunk in the other. I quit.

(Seriously though why do Rider and Shiloh always have to direct the purest shit episodes?)

I also like the Cory business. I also didn't like Riley hurting her leg falling off the bus, especially since they really half-assed it. Cory realistically hobbled around and was in pain, people were a little concerned. Riley doesn't have a bandage, she barely limps, people aren't asking how she's doing, it's just an excuse to sit down in the window.

Man, I thought Josh didn't look any older than the rest of them before. To my eyes he now looks the same age as Farkle, and much younger than Lucas. It's very weird that he's a Freshman in college and they're Freshman in high school. While some of it is obviously Peyton Meyer, who will be turning 18 in a few months, being too old for Lucas, I actually do think Uriah Shelton is a rare instance of a teen character looking too young for his role. Josh is supposed to be 19, and Uriah actually is, but he looks more like 16/17. 

On a serious note, I know Uriah went through a pretty horrific accident which kept us from seeing Josh for this long, so I'm glad he seems to be doing better.

Um. You know what Smackle? Just break up with Farkle. You're obviously into every single other guy. Somewhere it's shifted between Smackle resenting Lucas "flirting with her" when she likes Farkle, to her wanting to jump his bones, and now Josh's bones. I'm not into Farkle or Smackle as a couple. Frankly I don't need either of those characters at all. It's been three years, but I just can't get behind Farkle. I feel like I care more about Lucas and Zay than him now.

I can't even with the triangle, and you kind of covered everything, and I'm probably going to be writing the Ski Lodge 2 review today since I'll be out of town next weekend, so I'm going to save my energy. It's exhausting though, and statements Riley's making about this time being DIFFERENT and NOW they're going to settle it feel like total bullshit. Even if it turns out to be true, which I have no faith in, it's bullshit that they had to assure us in the episode "No, seriously guys, this time we're settling it." He picks Riley. We know he picks Riley. At this point he's not even portrayed as into Maya anymore. It's Riley. Just do it. And the degree to which they have no shame about everyone talking about their business and watching their private moments. God, I hate these people. 

The only resolution that would satisfy me is them all just realizing they should be friends. And I think I'd enjoy this show more if the three of them were all just meeting new people and dating new people and talking to each other about them, and girlfriends and boyfriends would come and go. They need a BMW Season 2 period.

Okay, nope. Nope at all with Huckleberry Bond. God. It's not like I can pretend BMW didn't ever do this kind of thing, but it never felt this lame. And maybe it was just a different time, where it felt like that was stuff you did and now it doesn't feel like it's something you do. 

"Haha, there's Auggie as Cupid because we had to get him in." was a great line, but undercut by them using him in the Bond fantasy.

Oh, I guess Riley is wearing a boot thing. I didn't even see that until like the last minute. Still, they're not skiing, I don't believe she can't... walk around outside a bit. Maybe not hike up any treacherous paths, but she could get some nature in her. 

I swear to God, if that's Lauren's son...

Episode Rating: C-
Episode MVP: Ben Savage (his parts were the only good parts, though shoutout to Amir, since Zay was fun too, when he spoke those... 4 times he did)

I'm not enjoying Smackle either. It's like they just had a character summary passed to this writer that says "she's bad at social boundaries and niceties." But instead of sticking with her Asperger's they went to an equal but opposite extreme, where she's OVERLY forward. Idk. The girl in this episode does not have Asperger's.

And you're right, Zay is way better than Farkle right now. Farkle is just... nobody. They tried ONE TIME to make him relatable in Meets Money and it didn't work. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets True Maya" (#3.07)

Michael Jacobs tweeted out that we should buckle up for this episode, which is just a terrible, awful sign. That's like locusts AND stubbing your toe all in the same day. 

Dark stuff.

I like that Riley sings about brushing her hair, but as always, I don't like that they had to make the audience laugh like six times with that one gag. You're all tired of hearing me say this, but I already dislike this. Riley has spent the last two weeks begging Maya to return to her old destructive self, and now that she allegedly has, Woahhhhhhhh, Riley didn't mean like that, not that kind of destructive!

Then what the hell did you mean, Riley? This is what you asked for. And you know, I'm not being fair with that question. I shouldn't be mad at Riley, this is not a poor reflection of Riley's character, and I have to stop holding this arc against her. It's just the writers having no idea what they're doing. 
At the very very least, Cory's lesson tying in with the plot appears to be incidental, and not puppet mastery. Two weeks in a row of Cory not disappointing me, this could be the start of something huge.

Oh my golly gosh it's Doy, but poor Topanga is once again relegated to babysitting. This poor woman, do you think she knew? Do you think it said in her contract that she would spend every scene trying to play off of child actors? Anyone with stage experience can tell you that your co-performers matter. Everyone loves Topanga when she can work with the energy from Ben or Rider or (especially) Will, but look at Danielle in this, she's dying out there! She's dying!
Pictured: Not living
I'm not making this up, watch this scene, literally every line of dialogue has a camera cut. Danielle directed this episode, she knew, she has to have it cut from Doy to Topanga on (I am not exaggerating) every line, because there is no way for her to naturally respond to this kid's lines in a single shot. 

Lucas does an accent here at Topanga's. It's hard to react to... Lucas isn't the "goofy" guy, why is he doing an accent? It's kind of funny though, in a "what the HELL?" kind of way, but I doubt that was their intention. Really really strange moment. There's no way that's a one off moment, it's too strange. (*EDIT* Wow, it was a one off, what the fuck?) God, come on Peyton. This guy teaches acting classes, is this what he's teaching? Are you teaching people this, Peyton?
Pictured: Not teaching
Riley comments that it's charming when he's bad at things, and that's true! I've been saying that since day one. But... maybe go for something that's not as stupid as Mortimer, the British Accent Man. Lucas just won't stop, and Rowan has to pretend it's funny. There's some acting.

It's pretty sickening that the trailer pretended this "Missing 100 Dollars" was actually important to the plot. I'm super glad it's not, but wow, that's... that's bad, dude. On the other hand, both of Riley's overreactions (the fire alarm and now this) have been extremely well delivered and genuinely funny. I think it's because she's getting her arms and posture involved, rather than just making a goofy face like usual.

On the third hand, it's pretty fucked up that Riley thought Maya would steal from her own mother. Maya is rightfully outraged and blames her friends for what's about to happen before storming off, possibly the most Shawn-esque exit of her life.
A police officer accompanies Topanga and the boys home because they couldn't afford another set. Doy yells "Doy" and I just don't care. Ugh... How did I end up here? How did I grow into this life where I sit here and tell you how I feel about a kid yelling "Doy" at a police officer? That's not who I wanted to be.

Pretty much.

Hahahah, this is the most unintentionally hilarious line in the series, it's just after the 11 minute mark. They're talking about Vesuvius in class again, Riley says "Because it's not!" and Cory just says "What?" Like what the fuck nonsense are you saying during my lesson Riley? It's a volcano, what do you mean it's not? And that supports the idea that Cory didn't manufacture this lesson to help the core four, so, yes, best line in the series.

He puts 2 and 2 together though and asks where Maya is, and we all learn she's cutting class. Cory doesn't seem to care much, which is great. The Core Four continue interrupting the lesson though, which is not great.

This Meeting of the Ruffians isn't very entertaining, but they dicked us again with the trailer. The similar outfits and fucking framing made it deliberately look like Maya smashed the statue in the trailer. That's not clever marketing, that's lying. They knew this episode was bad so they had to lie about its content in the trailer to get people to watch it. 

Okay let's not mince words. Maya threatening to absolutely destroy these girls is pretty awesome. The dialogue is still too Disney, like if there weren't the physical threat of violence, if it were just the dialogue... well that's what I expected, to be honest. I don't know how in a zillion years they got this approved but well fucking done. With the brick and the hammer, just like Marx intended. Jacobs told me to buckle up, and I didn't, and I should've.
Maya claims to know who she is now. I still don't, but there's a few minutes left in the episode, so if we find out at some point, I'm gonna call it a win.

This cop is way too involved in these people's lives. We don't need the charade, the audience is not fooled, we know Maya did something nice to the park and we're getting set up. Let's crank it down from a full 10 to like a 3, okay mister police man?

 As usual  I could do without the crying, but I'm happy to wrap up this storyline. I'm not being a shitter when I say this, I honestly don't know what progress Maya has made in this arc. Or since the beginning. She hasn't done anything super bad as long as we've known her. So... yeah, she's still not doin' it. And her clothes... might be different? There's too many zig zags and loops in her portrayal, I still don't know who the true Maya is, other than that she isn't a vandal. 

And it's certainly done nothing to change the triangle, I mean if I'm Lucas, I'm seeing this street art done by a girl who just went to bat with a hammer and a brick and I'm like damn girl, I'ma buy you a ice cream
Yeah actually Lucas does seem impressed. It's not a triangle though, seriously.

So yeah, there's some funny moments and Maya being about to murder some girls was awesome, but I've never been on board with this idea from the beginning. I never understood why the True Maya needed to be found, and now that we've allegedly found her... who is she? Is cutting class True Maya or not? Is liking Lucas True Maya or not? All I know is that breaking a statue isn't True Maya, but then, I never thought it was

First of all - no comment on the police officer's actor? Did you really not recognize him? That's Reginald VelJohnson, best known as Officer Carl Winslow from Family Matters and Officer Al Powell from Die Hards 1 and 2. This guy is is chubby black workaday beat cop extraordinaire over here. It's like getting Liam Neeson to play a grizzled ex-spy. It's what the man does. I can forgive you somehow never having seen Die Hard (although, you should, the first is fantastic) but this is a TGiF spinoff man. If TGiF were a deck of cards, Full House would be the King and Boy Meets World the Jack, with Family Matters in between as the Queen. Nevermind that it was so bad it made Full House look good. 

I guess Step by Step, maybe, is the 10. Maybe Sabrina. Teen Angel is the one the instructions are printed on.

Christian stopped writing there and will continue soon.

So, I like that this episode will explore the downside to Riley's deciding she doesn't like that Maya exhibited character growth in the last year and wants to revert her to how she was when she was in middle school - namely, that, Maya was a delinquent in middle school and there's a reason she changed in the first place. But, since this all ties into this weird Maya-was-Riley nonsense plot that I despise, I'm using "like"  very loosely. 

Rowan's pretty funny in this fire alarm exchange. Too bad Riley is on my ENEMY list.

Aw, hey Doy. I like Doy. He's a cutie pie! More Doy, less Ava. Although Ava's been bugging me less too. That said, I don't need to see any of them. 

Oh, yeah, Lucas' voice sucks. That whole part sucked. What was that? That was a British accent? It sounded German....ish. 

You know who might as well not even be on this show sometimes now? Farkle. Has he had a storyline this entire season?

Okay, so is it just me, or did Katy go at those kids WAY too suspicious? Given the circumstances, and Maya's constant taunting that she's about to commit some mayhem, I don't necessarily blame Riley for jumping to the conclusion Maya stole the money - it's not like Maya's never stole shit - but Katy just waltzed up to them like "Who stole my money?" Why would you assume it's one of them? When she clearly hasn't even looked hard enough yet to determine it's not just misplaced. It's New York City. Anybody could have robbed you. It doesn't have to be an inside job. No offense, Katy, but you're a bit of a numbskull, as evidenced by the fact that you just lost the money yourself. I would not be surprised if you were robbed when manning the shop alone.

Yeah, dumb Doy story. Nice to see REGINALD VELJOHNSON though. Eh, Sean? REGINALD VELJOHNSON.

So, this whole business with Maya is bizarre. Most people who get up to the sort of mischief that Maya's doing... don't go about it this way. They do it because they're not really thinking, they do it because they're egged on by friends, and, above all, they do it because they think it's fun. This scene of Maya slinking off to an abandoned part of town in the dead of night and solemnly and contemplatively taking out a firecracker and a brick and a hammer and spraypaint one by one is just.... absurd. She's acting as if she's taken some sacred vow to commit vandalism even though she hates it. No one's asking her to do this. She doesn't seem to want to. She's taking it uncomfortably seriously. The writers just feel increasingly tone deaf on how kids act and why they do anything. 

Commercial-time. Are we really at the point where Ice Age movies are taking place in space? How the hell many of these are there now? I think I was in middle school when I saw the first one in theaters (the only one I've seen), and I loved it. Because it was about the fucking Ice Age. I just looked it up, and the Ray Romano mammoth, who was widowed in the first movie, has now gotten remarried to Queen Latifah, had a kid, and the kid is now an adult and gets married in this one. So.... maybe it's time to put the Ice Age franchise to rest.

Oh, and then she runs into her old crew. Because she had an old crew when she was 11, I guess. And they always hang out in this one shitty park that includes a repair shop. Ugh. This kind of stuff worked better on Boy Meets World which took place in a suburb. None of these kids feel like they live in Manhattan, and it's frequently seemed like this taking place in Manhattan gets in their way. 

Ugh, and this "Oh YEAH? Well, if you're so evil, eat this kitten!" shit is just the lamest. No one acts like this. They're so fucking serious and quiet and whispery about this. 

Oh, great she painted "Hope" instead. Can I go home now? P.S. Still can't do that, Maya.

Episode Rating: D (Just excessively overwrought and boring and not funny and tone-deaf to how people act and has to do with a plot I hate anyway)
Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard (Sorry Sabrina, you were too maudlin and killed your scenes, Rowan at least brought some sparkle to hers)

I don't think I like this show.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Upstate" (#3.06)

I have some leftover pizza, so this is going to be enjoyable no matter what. It's all about hedging your bets, people. 

We've managed a direct pickup after last episode's cliffhanger, which is extremely rare in television. I appreciate this, Girl Meets World. Unfortunately, we're picking up somewhere I didn't want to be in the first place. Riley is still being the most condescending friend in the universe. Yes, even more condescending than Xarak'nar on planet Alpha 6-3e. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

As always, you are instructed to watch William Daniels play John Adams in 1776 this weekend!

Also, it's been so long you may miss it, but I posted in "Girl Meets Triangle" Spoiler alert: I despised it!

Since we're all here, I just want to say how much I love Boy Meets World again. God, it's such a good show. Looking at Torn Between Two Lovers to compare to Meets Triangle made me all tingly.

It's so good, man.