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. 




I've been playing Mass Effect 3 so I like outer space right now.

I do like the girls' reaction to this cute boy on the train. Female sexuality deserves fair and equal representation, good for you Girl Meets World. Lucas doesn't want to talk, and that's great, because I don't want to listen. We've got more important things to do.
We've got some things to sort out.
S03E19, but I'm sure you knew that.
Rider's delivery of "Swedish butter cookies~" is delightful. I've missed you so much. I'll be honest, I'm nervous right now. Shawn claims to have "evolved," and is pretending to be happy about it. I don't want them to do to my darling Shawn what they're doing to Maya. Alright, his delivery of "That's Topanganese" is also delightful. See the problem with this show is that they'd try to give that joke to Farkle or Maya most of the time, but with Shawn, who actually deserves to make that joke, it's hilarious.

They call back one of the best moments in season 2 of Boy Meets World, "You're Cory, I'm Shawn, just like it's always been." And that really was a satisfying moment. It settled the issue for Cory. But we've got twenty minutes left in this episode, as well as Girl Meets True Maya, so clearly we're going to get a lot more complicated.

Somehow it's all Shawn's fault though, because he bought Maya clothes.
Riley... shut the hell up, please... There's nothing worse than forced emotion. But not only is it forced in the writing, it's being actually forced in the scene by a character. Angler Riley Matthews, fishing for drama. 
Well, this episode succeeds simply by having Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter wrestling on the floor. I dislike it otherwise, though. Like Shawn said, the paradigm example of him trying to be like Cory was the Angela Adventure. But he learned from it and it made him a better person because he found his way through it on his own. His best friend didn't shove it down his throat, Riley. This really does exemplify one of the core problems with this show. The lessons, the humor, the plot, and now even the character development are all forced. That's all four categories that I used to grade Boy Meets World. This show refuses to let them happen naturally.
Back on Shawn though, yes, Cory influenced him, he hasn't put a bomb in a mailbox in a while. But Cory became more like Shawn too, more confident and comfortable and brave. People fucking change people, I thought that was the point! Why is that suddenly a bad thing? 

"I don't know maybe I just let myself change too much." Wow, great writing, round of applause. Is anyone buying this? When we first checked in with Shawn on this show, it really didn't sound like he'd been wasting his time trying to be Cory. The Angela thing happened, yeah, but that was what, three years? Not "Most of my life" like he's claiming now. 

THEY'RE FUCKING DOING IT AGAIN. Why does Topanga have to force Katy to have this realization about love? Why does the god damn Matthews family have to dictate the entire show? Why are they constantly forcing people to feel and do and think certain things? Yeah, it's nice that Katy feels loved, but why God didn't she get to figure it out on her own? OR, GEE, HAVE SHAWN TELL HER? WHY IS IT TOPANGA????

Don't do the handshake when I'm mad at you, Girl Meets World. You think you can win me back that easy? You think I'll just come RUNNING BACK, after WHAT YOU DID, because Shawn and Cory did the handshake? YOU THINK I'M THAT WEAK?!

Yeah I'm back.
I don't know man, Shawn didn't seem "destroyed" the last few times we saw him. I guess he's fixed now? Not like we can rely on it, I'm sure we'll throw him under the bus again next time Maya needs character development. 

Oh look, it's Riley forcing Maya to paint and stuff. Riley has inherited her father's puppetmaster abilities. The similarity is undeniable. Comparing Feeny's lessons to Cory's forced puppetmaster lessons is the same as comparing Shawn's development to Riley's forced puppetmaster development of Maya. And I don't have something to compare to Topanga forcing emotions onto Katy, but I don't want you guys to forget about that one. 

The girls fight with paint but I'm going to have to read other people's opinions on this, it just sounds like spaghetti noise to me. I honest to goodness can't pick out which lines are important. Does Riley feel responsible or doesn't she? Is it actually her fault or not? Does Maya want to change or not? How much? Do people change people or not? 
The Triangle is not resolved. Shocker. And no, Maya, if he chose you he in fact did not choose Riley. Maya and Lucas have always had very different interactions than Riley and Lucas, that was the reason this all started. I don't understand why we're just erasing that.

Shawn loves Katy and that's real sweet but the audience needs to calm down. We've never even seen these two on a date, you are not invested in this relationship, this is not a payoff.  Oh they're getting engaged, well, let's talk about that. I have to admit that it's something teenage Shawn Hunter would do, it does satisfy reckless spontaneity. Hah, I spelled that right on the first try. I want to care, Shawn has been my homie for over a decade, but I don't think this moment is for the Boy Meets World fans. We don't really know anything about this relationship, so we can't feel anything for Shawn or Katy here. Instead, it's a moment for Maya, and she's really happy, so that makes me reluctantly happy as well.

This episode has a lot of funny bits, for sure, and it's a treat to see Shawn Hunter in action. I would have enjoyed it a lot more without all the forcing. And I get it, sometimes you need a helpful push from a friend to get going, but find me one scene, one moment, where Riley isn't forcing Maya. None of this felt natural. I guess the biggest problem is the scale of the drama. In "The Uninvited", the one that ends with "You're Cory, I'm Shawn," the drama was Cory trying to be like Shawn. Relatively low stakes. But here in Meets Triangle and Upstate, we scaled that bitch up, Maya has full-on BECOME Riley, and that's what makes it so hard to swallow, it's so much more dramatic and taking itself way more seriously.

But that's not exactly new, is it.

If you're going to comment that you enjoyed this episode, please address the fact that the entire thing was people forcing other people to feel and do and say things. That ruined it for me.

Like Sean, I think, I recognize there's a lot of good about this episode but it suffers by being the "To Be Continued" of one of the shittiest episodes ever. Still, I think this is mostly a positive experience. Ultimately, even when Boy Meets World did dumb narrative moves, fun character moves could keep an episode from being a nightmare. There's never not going to be something to appreciate when Shawn is in an episode. 'Master Plan' and 'Pluto' number among the best in the series, and while 'Home for the Holidays' and 'Hurricane' are not without flaws, Shawn always served to mitigate them.

I do like the return of the subway set, which it seems like we haven't seen in a while - because subway station is an odd standing set, there's only going to be occasional episodes where scenes ought to be set there. But everything Riley is saying is still made up nonsense. 

I don't like any of this Topanga and Katy being weird and demanding about which of their daughters Lucas wants to hook up with. 

I get what they're going for putting Shawn in this sweater, but it's still bizarre. And, like with Riley, it's made up for this episode. We saw Shawn, he wasn't rocking his leather jacket anymore, but he also didn't dress like Feeny. He dressed like a regular thirtysomething dude. Also, Shawn's house is AMAZING? How can he afford to live in that house? I get that he's upstate and not in the city, but still, that's like a really nice cabin. You know who usually don't make a lot of money? Guys who take pictures for a blog. Wasn't he not able to afford lodging in New York when he was in town and had to crash at Copanga's?

I was going to complain about the fact that the girls hopped on the NYC subway and rode it to upstate New York but I guess it is technically possible that they transferred to an Amtrak or something at Grand Central.  But that would... theoretically take some time. That they get there, hang out there for what is easily an hour or two, buy a wardrobe, come back, have a paint fight? That's all night. It should be dawn at the end of this episode.

The whole thesis here is stupid. Shawn really hit it on the head, this show has pushed "People change people" a lot, and now they think that's bad? It's so weird. I get that you shouldn't abandon all of yourself to take on the traits of someone else, but, Jesus Christ, Maya and Shawn just obviously didn't do that. 

I like that Riley tried to bring Pluto into it and Shawn shut it down. Also, "I didn't meet you until I was 32." Nooooope. Shawn graduated high school in 1998, so he was 34 in 2014 when he met Maya. Close though. But, seriously, if I can do that math, why can't they? The trio were born in a nice even 0 year, it's not hard. Hell, why even get that specific about the age? Just say "in my 30s."

I get the beef with what they did with clothes - not the least of which, for me, is the sheer ungratefulness for Shawn treating Maya to a whole new wardrobe which couldn't have been cheap. But, it was a random move for Shawn to have criticized Maya's clothes in the first place, and I remember we disliked it at the time. And she did seem to be dressed less like herself after that. No more band t-shirts and torn leggings and the like. So, what, is this yet another attempt to backpeddle by pretending it was all a plan like the triangle itself?

And then she changes and it makes her feel worse? Oh, great, Maya. Good thing Shawn just help you sell all of these hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise he wasted on your ungrateful ass to a thrift store for what was likely forty-seven cents. Glad it only served to exacerbate the issue. Well, at least you got a brand new set of clothes from this generous guy. I hope you don't get lots of paint on them later.

The scenes at the cabin REALLY pick up when Cory arrive. They were already fun, but they desperately needed someone who wasn't taking this situation very seriously. "What am I doing here? Do you know what kind of a schlep this is? Is this even a place?" "Y'aint me. I would never wear that." "I'm Feeny. You're Feeny's father. Captain Feeny!" are all golden lines. And I just enjoy how blithely Cory is taking everyone's freakouts. 

Shawn seems like he's trying too hard in that leather jacket. I do think Shawn has outgrown that look. I like the Cory cites the mailbox after I made a reference to that as the iconic rebellious Shawn antic, and the B&B too, and ran away to find himself 72 times is great. As for the handshake - I loved it, and it was great - but it's weird how much of a staple people seem to imagine this is in their relationship. To my knowledge, this is only the third time they've ever done it, right? Once in Season 1, the reprise in the Season 2 opener when they decided to never do it again, and now? Were there more in Season 1? It is a great handshake though. I rewatched it a lot just now.

The whole art scene is dumb. It's dumb they go to the school in the middle of the night alone with Cory's tacit permission. It's dumb they have a paint fight. This franchise really seems to enjoy food fight/paint fight type humor. Oh god, and lame art teacher thinks her art is brilliant now. Her art that she literally just randomly created by throwing paint on paper in a fit of rage. I suspect none of the writers of this show have so much as held a crayon in their life. Ugh, MAKE HER CLEAN UP THIS MESS AT LEAST, ART TEACHER. Maya has purple hair for the rest of the episode, it'd be cool if she keeps it. 

What was with Farkle's little giggle face when he said "I Am Farkle"? What was that bit even about? Was it like a "Ha, you thought I wasn't going to be in this one!" type joke? Anyway, I'm glad we found out who Lucas was going to meet in Riley's room, it was really weird that he went off, and then hours passed, and no one met him in there. Anyway, I hate the scene because I hate this story arc and it's all bullshit. I'll say no more about it, I've made my point.

Like everyone else I have issue with Shawn getting engaged to someone who, last time we saw them together, he just asked out on a first date. But it has been over a year. What bugs me is that I just don't have a good sense what they've been up to since then? I'd been assuming they'd been dating, which would kind of justify the engagement, but Shawn and Katy feel a little estranged when he sees her and like he's trying to win her back with this move. And, really, how well were they making this relationship work when he lives in a cabin in the woods way outside the city AND travels a lot? That's more what bugs me. I get with Rider we can't see him much and we have to assume some stuff. Just be more clear on what we're supposed to assume.

Still, Rider sold the shit out of it, as did Cheryl. 

Anyway, good work Shawn, see you at the end of the season when it's the wedding, and then once more next season (if there is one) when your son George Jonathan Chet Hunter is born, and then one last time at Riley and Maya's high school graduation.

Episode Rating: B- (There was enough here I loved, fanservicey or no, for me to have given it an A, but because of all the mess of wrapping up the attrocious storyline of last week, it knocks it down to a B-)
Episode Rating: I can't choose and I won't choose. Ben Savage and Rider Strong tie. Ben was the best thing about the cabin scenes, but Rider had a powerful moment at the end. 

"Captain Feeny" is a golden nugget of a line. Mark Blutman penned this episode. He wrote a TON of episodes of Boy Meets World as a dynamic duo with "Howard Busgang," who we've not seen on GMW yet. And he actually wrote B & B's B 'n B, so it's really satisfying that he got to call back his own masterpiece of an episode here in Upstate. What's interesting about Blutman is that he's the filler guy. He wrote a ton of forgettable BMW episodes, and a ton of forgettable GMW episodes, but he finally caught his break at the end of season 3 with the Brother Brother/You Can Go Home Again sequence, followed up by Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce and B 'n B. He's definitely capable and has a feel for the Meets World humor that appeals to Christian and me, like "Captain Feeny." 

It's weird, we both have a lot to complain about, but I think I enjoyed it as well. Like, it's stupid, there is some stupid stuff, but B- still feels right. 

Defining a "staple" is difficult. I mean, is "undahpants" a staple? We all know it, despite only happening once. I'm okay with calling the handshake a staple. It's an act of love between the greatest friendship on television. 

And I'm also totally down with permanent purple hair on Maya.

Eh, no, I don't consider "undahpants" a staple of a series. It's definitely a famous moment. I don't know, I've just frequently interacted with people who had somehow tricked themselves into believing the handshake was something Cory and Shawn did throughout the show, like... dozens of times during the course of the series. Like it was the equivalent of their catchphrase. 

Yeah, Blutman's good. He's got some stinkers like "Who's Afraid Cory Wolf?" although, in fairness, the problem with that one is primarily just... the plot, and he likely was assigned that. But "Brother Brother", "You Can't Go Home Again", "Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce...", "B&B's..." are all top notch. "Brother Brother" and "B&B" both made those top 10 list of ours (9 and 6 for me, 7 and 10 for you) and "You Can Go Home Again" made mine too at number 5. That's a good record for Mr. Blutman.

141 comments:

  1. All the stuff involving Cory and Shawn together ruled and everything else sucked. Hard. For all the positive stuff I was reading about this episode the past few days I sure was underwhelmed by it. Glad to see we're on mostly the same page Sean and Christian.

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    1. positive stuff is not at all surprising. that paint scene is like, pure fake-profound bait for the standard fan of the show. if one person comes in here praising the paint scene they are going to have to defend the fuck out of it.

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    2. I will give the paint thing one positive remark... In the beginning of the scene there is some genuine pain in her delivery regarding her dad's neglect that I hadn't heard in her in like the whole series. It quickly went to shit though after that.

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    3. I meant to specify Sabrina's delivery oops

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  2. U guys are right cory/shawn moments were obviously the highlights. the entire paint scene felt stupid to me, although i thought that "you went to bed with a smile on your face while i went to bed wondering if my dad was going to be there in the morning" pretty powerful, but of course riley totally freaking ignored all of that and started talking about herself but whatever. also omg purple hair maya would be GREAT, i wish they had the balls to do that. also that one line from topanga that was like "i've never seen shawn's eyes light up like that" was kind of ... :// because like ... we literally HAVE seen shawn's eyes light up like that before but whatever clearly the writers room has been pumped with amnesia gas or something

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    1. Maybe it would have been better if Topanga had said something like, "It's been awhile since I Shawn's eyes light up like that"

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  3. Loved the episode, but mostly for the fan service, the storyline itself feels forced, as it has for the last... 20 episodes or so.

    I can't wait for Josh to return to the show, I'm kind of clinging to hope that he will be the one to put an end to this stupid triangle storyline once and for all

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    1. The cynic in me says that Josh is just going to worsen it.

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  4. I agree with you both--the scenes at the cabin were hilarious, the best we've seen since "Pluto," and everything Cory and Shawn did felt organic. Reportedly, they did the handshake in one take, which is quite impressive.

    But Sean's right, there is definitely an undercurrent of forcing people to do things. I do prefer to let things flow along a bit more naturally--like you said, a push is nice, but this is a little much.

    Of course, considering Cory pretty much held the hands of his main students throughout the first two seasons, so in that regard, it sort of makes sense that Riley would try to force Maya to change.

    As for the Friar scenes...

    They're terrible. And Friar is a terrible love interest and a lousy friend and the worst character whom I am meant to root for I have ever seen. I despise Friar. I hate him so much I am no longer going to call him by his first name.

    Ugh. Now that that's out of the way, if I may say something about the scenes with the mothers, and Friar. These scenes show the disparity this show has.

    The scenes at the cabin, even acknowledging the slightly absurd premise, still feel like Boy Meets World to some degree.

    The ones at the apartment do not feel like the Feeny-verse. They felt a lot more like just banal Disney Channel mumbo jumbo.

    Friar hasn't spoken to either Topanga nor Katy directly in ages. I don't even remember the last time Friar spoke to Topanga directly--or at least not when he was speaking to just her rather than both of Riley's parents, and the last time he spoke to Katy had to be "Pluto" with the time capsule.

    This was a tremendously missed opportunity. The mothers were in a perfect position to destroy the Triangle once and for all. Why didn't Topanga tell Friar to get the hell out of her apartment and stay away from her daughter, whom he pretty much strung along for two years? Riley's identity is tied almost entirely into Friar, and even if this whole "Maya became Riley" thing is a pain, too much of her identity is tied into that damned piece of plastic too.

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    1. To be fair, I don't think we can complain about characters forcing development; then complain that Topanga could have ended the triangle once and for all. I think Lucas -has- to be the one to finish it off; or the girls do. I think anyone else doing it is cheap.

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    2. Perhaps it isn't fair, but I feel like there's a difference in friends pressuring one another, for better or worse, and a parent forbidding contact from a lousy love interest.

      Maybe my hatred of Friar is clouding my judgment...

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    3. I agree that Lucas is one of the worst love interests I've seen on any show. Ever. But I feel Riley has to figure that out for herself.

      And well, from an in-universe perspective, what's a teenager going to do if their parents are trying to drive a love interest away? Topanga even has -some- personal experience to draw on there; with how she acted when her parents moved to Pittsburgh. If she really does think Lucas isn't a good match, that's the last thing she wants to inspire.

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    4. Will van Roekel-Agreed. Also, I don't think Topanga is opposed to Lucas as a love interest, she just wants the triangle to be over. She wants her daughter to be able to explore new relationships if that's what is in store for her, or learn how to be in a relationship if that's the next step. I think Topanga just wants her to get to the next step, whatever that is.

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    5. Cryptid, the Friar-centric sequences under-delivered on the big bag of nothing they promised. I did like Zay’s “Where are the girls?” That’s the exact question I would have asked.

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    6. Milestones...yes. Zayed said all the right things. I never would have friends crawl into my window. He is the voice of reason and not being creepy

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    7. Kit - Topanga -should- object to Lucas as a love interest for one reason - he's been basically stringing Riley, and lately Maya, along for 2 years. He is either a good-for-nothing coward who's too afraid to fight for what he wants, or he's just not that into either girl. The jury is out on which it is.

      No matter what you think about either Shawn/Angela or Cory/Topanga, those couples fought for what they wanted. Lucas has done nothing, despite Riley's very overt pushing for it on occasion. I don't object to Lucas, as a character exactly. But he is a horrible love interest; despite the fact he seems to only be there as a love interest.

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    8. It's not the first time Zay has been the voice of reason as far as crawling into her bedroom window. And meeting a couple of guys, in your possible girlfriend's bedroom, when she's not even there? Umm, can't you meet like, at your house? Or the park?

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    9. I agree the show is forcing people. Is it me, or does every episode somehow made to feel like its a friendship, life ending kind of ordeal? Like this Maya finding herself storyline. They're freshmen in High School. Of course they're finding themselves.

      And if Maya was so upset about losing herself, why did it never pop up before? One comment from an art teacher, and suddenly she can't stand the way she's become? I think there was potential in the story idea if they set it up better, and spread it out. The art teacher could have said something, and then over half a dozen episodes we could have had Maya acting out, doing things she would have done before, trying to return to being Maya. It could have built up over time, giving hints, and having a few people catch on to the problem. Instead we got an apparently huge and intolerable problem coming out of nowhere. Not only did a lot of it not make sense, the entire Maya becoming Riley thing was stupid, Maya admiring Riley is as much a part of her character as her acting out, but it was so filled with false drama. I wanted someone to just say, 'stop freaking out. You're in high school. Wondering what kind of person you are turning into is natural. Stop trying to solve a large problem in a few conversations. Take a few weeks, and actually take the time to think about it in depth.'

      I think what GMW is missing that BMW didn't was some levity and normality. I haven't watched BMW in a while, but I remember there being irrelevant episodes. I think there was an episode where Corey felt short or not as handsome as Eric. There were numerous episodes of Corey dealing with Francis and that group of bullies. Episodes that were entertaining, but really didn't have a sense of drama or even contribute to the overall story significantly besides being things most kids have to deal with at some point. I think GMW has forgotten lately that a slice-of-life show needs both big AND small problems.

      Like when Zay was introduced. Not only did it introduce an important character, it also revealed that Lucas had been expelled from his previous school for fighting. It showed both that Lucas wasn't a merely placid nice guy, and that he had a serious protective streak. That protective streak was briefly touched up on when they entered high school 'I can't protect them here' or 'Not so easy to protect them anymore, is it?' I would have preferred Lucas leaving the hole because he didn't want seniors pushing around his friend than the selfish 'I don't want to spend my first day of high school in a whole. I want to try out for football.' thing that was played upon. When was the last time Farkle got any real development, or any time alone. Lately he's either with the genius girl or part of the group. Having him say 'I am Farkle' isn't enough to give him character when he seems to merely be part of the group now.

      Have an episode where Farkle is a tutor or something. An episode of Lucas and Zay trying out for football, and maybe Zay becoming hung up on not being as good as Lucas. Riley trying to start a 'Happy Club'. Maybe have Maya and Riley's brother bond in a chapter. We've had a lot of Maya saying she wished to be a part of Riley's family, but little to no interaction between her and them without Riley present. Fun, but irrelevant chapters with character development.

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    10. Continued.

      As for the triangle. I don't mind the weirdness of the situation, and wouldn't if it continued for a while. What I hate is how utterly consuming it is. When was the last time Lucas hung out with Riley or Maya without it quickly becoming awkward or coming back to the triangle? People are saying that Lucas is a bad love interest, but this is just a bad relationship entirely. Lucas isn't the first teenager to like two girls and be confused about it. Maya isn't the first girl who started crushing on her best friends crush. Instead of showing them as regular kids struggling, every scene of them quickly goes awkward with 'Do you still like him...Yes, do you...Yes.'

      I really wanted Lucas to just say this episode 'I choose neither of you. Clearly I'm uncertain, and I don't want my first serious relationship to start like this. I want to be friends again. I want to be with you guys without it being awkward. I want to have fun again, and good god, I don't want to hear about the stupid triangle again.' I even thought it might happen when Farkle said he chose both, just to have Lucas do the opposite. Instead we got...nothing. Not actually as bad as it could be. As long as they drop the stupid triangle awkwardness and obsession they've got going the last few episodes and get back to character development of a group of friends hanging out.

      Serious, can Lucas even be considered friends with either Riley or Maya by this point? They hang out, but it seems totally awkward...all the time. Are they even comfortable around each other? If the writers want a love triangle, fine. It happens when a group of friends like each other sometimes. But right now it seems based on Lucas being the 'face'. Go back to friends hanging out, and show why they the triangle exists. Have Maya hang out with Lucas for an episode, without Riley around. Show why the two like each other. Then do the same with Riley and Lucas. By now it feels like they like each other because the triangle exists, instead of the triangle exists because they like each other. I don't care if Lucas is confused and indecisive. He's a teenager with two great girls liking him. Most would be. The triangle is fine as long as it exists because of character development, and not merely a plot point.

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  5. I kinda disagree about Shawn becoming too much like Cory. I mean, yeah, they exaggerated it in this episode in that he was becoming -exactly- like Cory; which clearly isn't the case. But at least in GMW canon, it seems linked to why he left New York - he was jealous of what Cory had. For me, -that- part added up.

    But no, Maya has never been like Riley. That was way too sudden.

    And my big problem is that this episode emphasizes how Cory-the-father is okay; but Cory-the-teacher isn't.

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    1. "Cory-the-father is okay; but Cory-the-teacher isn't."

      I agree. Cory can't fill the Feeny role, even though he is desperately trying to. It would have been great if someone else could have filled the Feeny advice-giver role.

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  6. George Jonathan Chet Jack Eli Harley Harley #2 Janitor Bud Gamblin' Dan Hunter.

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    1. literally will friedleNovember 18, 2016 at 12:05 PM

      HOW DARE YOU FORGET OUR LORD AND SAVIOR GRIFFIN HAWKINS

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  7. Shipping Wars Are StupidJuly 10, 2016 at 6:55 AM

    First things first,

    Was it cold pizza Sean? Cold pizza is way better than microwaved pizza.

    Great reviews, Sean and Christian. Once again, better than the episode.

    Shawn and Cory are delights.

    This love bullshit is far from over. Right now, of the kids, I can't stand Lucas and I think Rileys naivete bullshit has finally worn out his welcome. Those two deserve each other.

    Paint fight didn't work for me. Maya has never had a life like Shawn and I'm so done with them forcing it.

    You said it best,if people change people, LET THEM FUCKING CHANGE RILEY, GOD DAMMITI!

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    1. "Was it cold pizza Sean? Cold pizza is way better than microwaved pizza." Agreed, but it's not better than pizza reheated in the oven.

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    2. Shipping Wars Are StupidJuly 11, 2016 at 1:49 PM

      ^Agreed, but I usually bring my leftovers to work and there isn't an oven.

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  8. There's some drama between the cast and Uriah (Josh). Uriah posted himself supporting "All Lives Matter" and Amir (Zay) and Carmen Blanchard shut him down in favor of "Black Lives Matter"

    Rowan and Sabrina apparently unfollowed Uriah on Twitter and Rowan posted a pre-premiere picture of Upstate, cropping out Peyton (who liked an "All Lives Matter" tweet), who, earlier, posted an uncropped version of the same picture.

    Annnd everyone hates Uriah now (and Peyton to a lesser extent). Kind of funny.

    Ok onto the episode/your thoughts (a lot of em!)...

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    1. I hadn't even heard of Carmen Blanchard, and had to look her up. Does she have any relevance besides being Rowan's sister? Like, is she famous for something? What is she, like 10? Why does she even have Twitter?

      Anyway, very disheartening revelation about Uriah and Peyton."All Lives Matter" people need to shuuuuuuuush, in my opinion.

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    2. Oh my golly gosh. That is some spicy drama.

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    3. Have you been on tumblr, Christian? Yeah, "Black Live Matter" may have started as a good cause/message but there have been plenty of people using it further their own racial prejudices and to spread misinformation about certain crimes.

      Even trying to call what was clearly a white on white crime a white cop vs black man. There are literally people trying to erase the race of a victim of police brutality in order to make all blacks the victims.

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    4. I'm not going to comment on the specifics of this one way or the other, but if the Blanchard sisters and Amir have the right to advocate for issues they care about, then Uriah and Peyton should also have that right.

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    5. I'm with Christian. I checked out what happened. Considering Uriah reposted a "Instagram picture" that made a rape joke about people who don't support the police, and threw a hissy fit when people called him out, I can't bring myself to feel sorry for him.

      Liking a tweet that has an"#AllLivesMatter" is one thing. I have on my Twitter feed that just because I 'like' something doesn't mean I support it.

      That said, I don't really give a fuck about what these people do in their personal lives.

      Delete
    6. Lol Cryptid, where is anyone saying Uriah and Payton don't have that right? No one is saying they shouldn't be allowed to speak their minds. Doesn't mean the others have to sit around and listen to it.

      Delete
    7. And just because people have the right to say something, doesn't mean that they ought to. Most people who are trumpeting 'All Lives Matter' are deliberately being obtuse. Like someone objecting to someone freaking out about their house being on fire because allllll houses matter, not just theirs. Great, I agree, but your house isn't the problem right now.

      Delete
    8. I'm not talking about the specifics of this issue here. I too could care less about the personal lives of the casts.

      I'm just saying that the BLM community isn't faultless either.

      Delete
  9. Great review, as usual. Sean, you hit the nail on the head when you said that everything feels forced, from the lessons to the character developments. Why can't these kids behave like normal people instead of walking mouthpieces for Jacob's faux-inspirational crap? We never had this problem on BMW ...

    And the art room fight made me SO angry. It felt so stupid and forced, and I was so annoyed that they just snuck in to the art room in the middle of the night and had the random-est fight and then art teacher didn't even care?? UGH.

    Despite all my complaints, I liked this episode solely because of Cory and Shawn, whom we all know is the real couple we care about on this show.

    Also, I find it hilarious that Shawn's wearing a leather jacket, because on his podcast, Rider mentioned that he refused to wear a leather jacket on GMW when they asked him back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Re: Flashback--really necessary? :/ Of course I loved the moment, but I.. didn't need to.. see it.. especially here. Like 90% of the time, it felt out of place and just unnecessary. And I certainly didn't like Riley/Maya repeating it at the end.

    Re: Riley--Sean, I see you're shitting on Riley a lot. It's been a while since I've seen this episode, so I'm not sure if I agree. I do remember finding her irritating in the art scenes in "Girl Meets Triangle."

    I'm crying at the zoomed in picture of Maya's face. Brb.

    Re: Katy & Topanga--Completely agree, I don't like that all of their scenes together involve freakin' Shawn (Topanga trying to be a waitress in "Forgiveness Project" is the only exception I can recall). It's like all there is to Katy's existence is Shawn, same with Riley with Lucas.

    Re: Paint Fight--I mentioned this in the last post, but I didn't like that they recreated a moment that happened just 2 seasons ago, or within the same show. Rewatch the first paint scene and it's so good compared to this one, where they're blurting important(?) things out. This was just a sad take on it.

    Re: Proposal--I get why we didn't see a date between these two. They would've needed to tie the girls into it (it is Girl Meets World after all, not Shawn Meets World). The perfect solution would've been a double date subplot between them and Corpanga. Corpanga would realize they suck at dates now and Shawn and Katy would probably ditch them. Dang I could see that happening. Considering I don't like Maya, I didn't really feel anything in this proposal. Also--"You don't know the real me. Will you marry me?" ???

    Oh, one last thing, screw the art teacher. WHAT is he even saying??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, I take back one thing I said:

      "Re: Katy & Topanga--Completely agree, I don't like that all of their scenes together involve freakin' Shawn (Topanga trying to be a waitress in "Forgiveness Project" is the only exception I can recall). It's like all there is to Katy's existence is Shawn, same with Riley with Lucas."

      The other time Katy and Topanga talked about Shawn was in "Girl Meets Yearbook," which aired just a little while after Shawn asked her out on a first date. That gave us the update we needed. But we needed more of that--especially onscreen.

      Delete
    2. Jet- "The perfect solution would've been a double date subplot between them and Corpanga. Corpanga would realize they suck at dates now and Shawn and Katy would probably ditch them."

      I would have loved to see that. We still may get to see that now that Shawn and Katy are engaged.

      Delete
    3. The only issue I have is that Corpanga were -never- good at actual dating. The only time they really 'dated' and weren't 'in a relationship' was the first half of season 3. Don't get me wrong, I like them as a couple but - they weren't good at dating. I seriously think that's part of the reason the Lauren-arc could happen - because they didn't date well; they were just 'together' as it were.

      Delete
  11. My wife and I were shouting "FORCED! FORCED!" at the screen, so thank you for validating our feelings. I think you're being much too generous with the B-, but I also admit that it was quite amusing to see Cory getting his lower half beaten on while wearing a beatific expression of delight over his simultaneously scarfing the butter cookies, so I can understand the classic fan service clouding one's judgment.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved this episode. I wish more of the show was like this. I want the adults to have more screen time. BMW had Feeny/Turner/Eli subplots. Give the trio/tweens a plot, and the grownups a plot. If the tweens only care about the ships, then they will not be heartbroken by more time with the adults, and less time on Auggie.

    I liked Topanga and Katy. I wish we had more of that. Topanga was helping Katy realize her feelings, not setting up some scheme/situation to force her to realize them. They were just having an honest discussion. Sometimes you need a push. I've been in Katy's position, and I'm glad my friends pushed me to get to know a guy better. We never became romantic, but we're still very good friends, and without encouragement from friends, it probably wouldn't have happened.

    This episode was about helping people to realize who they are, and who they want to be. No one was locked in a room, no one was tortured, so I don't see it as forced the way you do. I would say it felt more rushed than forced.

    People change people is the message, not people become other people. The idea is to become a better version of you, not another person who already exists. I like where they were going with Maya becoming Riley, and Shawn becoming Corey or Mr. Feeny, but they could have done a better job of showing that instead of telling it. I would chalk it up to good idea, poor execution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the question is when did this whole thing start? We've all cursed the Triangle, but Maya's been very involved with the Matthews for a long, long time.

      And Maya hasn't pulled any of her classroom antics of rebellion, rather than Triangle-related moping, in ages.

      Maya tried to be Riley in "Yearbook," but I actually remember "Rileytown" as the last real episode where Maya acted rebellious. But then Riley called her a bully, and we haven't seen Maya act out (apart from "STEM") since.

      I don't know...like I said before, I have to try to be optimistic.

      Delete
    2. My partner has this theory that Maya never really returned from being 'Riley' in Yearbook. She also stated she doesn't actually recall Maya going 'Hurr-hurr' and actually -meaning- it, since Texas.

      I think this episode could have worked a lot better if it was simply a case of 'I've changed too much', as Shawn suggested, rather than trying to sell the idea that she actually -became- Riley.

      Delete
    3. There's still a few episodes in this arc, Will, so there's still time for them to come to that conclusion, that Maya's changed too much, rather than actually becoming Riley.

      As it happens, Maya spends so much time with the Matthews, that I can believe that this basic premise could have come up without the Triangle being a factor.

      Delete
    4. The idea that Riley and Maya have become the same person wouldn’t hold up under even a casual viewing of any episode. Think of her date with Friar in Texas P.3: bored shitless, wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt, pouring a drink over his head. If not rebellious, it still seemed pretty Original Maya to me.

      But they have never worried too much over keeping their universe internally consistent. So who knows? Will's partner had the same thought I did.

      Delete
    5. I don't think they've become the same person. But it's pretty undeniable that Maya has acted more Riley-like. And Riley has not acted more Maya-like.

      Yeah, but if you remember that bit with the date in Texas Part 3; it did draw a rather direct comparison with the 'date' Riley and Charlie Gardner went on; and it also struck as similar to the date Riley and Lucas went on. Of course, the common factor there might be Lucas...

      Delete
  13. Can someone help me out with “Xarak’nar on planet Alpha 6-3e?”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just a followup to "most condescending friend in the universe." Rather than "on the planet" or "on earth" I used "in the universe," and highlighted the difference with an absurd made up example.

      Delete
    2. Sean made one of his funny funny jokes.

      Delete
    3. It's from a video game called Mass Effect...which is kind of like "What if the Star Trek Enterprise hired a Han Solo-type to do their dirty work?"

      Delete
    4. it's definitely not from mass effect

      Delete
    5. Oops. Never actually played that game. Just heard a lot of good things.

      Delete
  14. It just annoyed me that Shawn had to become like Corey for this episode. We all know he never turned into Corey, but now he's Corey, and it's Corey's fault.

    This episode would have been sooo much better if they treated Shawn as a source of wisdom and experience here. What if instead they got to Shawn's place and he said, "Of course your friends are going to influence you. That's a good thing. Just make sure you don't drown yourself becoming them." [Quick reprise of how he made that mistake with Angela once and learned from it]. And then Maya says her art teacher was a big meanie, and called her "incomplete". Then Shawn says something back like, "You are incomplete, you are still discovering who you are." Then Maya admits that maybe she has been trying a little too hard to be like Riley (since yesterday), but there are parts of her that she really likes, and wants to embrace those things. Inevitably the message being that Maya never had to choose between herself and Riley, because she could in a sense, be both.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Shipping Wars Are StupidJuly 10, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Two more things:

    Did the cabin give anyone else a City Slackers vibe?

    There was a horseshoe from Shawn's trailer hanging up in the cabin. Pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally yes. For a second I thought Shawn had Feeny's cabin, but then I realized that cabin was in another state.

      Delete
  16. About the character's ages. I think the producers are acting like BMW ended when Cory, Topanga, and Shawn graduated high school. Because in a season 1 episode of GMW, Topanga said she was 30. Riley was 12 then, which means Topanga would've had Riley when she was 18. Pretty much right after high school graduation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But then why do they remember "Undapants"?!

      Delete
    2. Will Friedle wrote that episode, so hm.

      Delete
    3. Not to mention Eric and Jack mention Rachel. And Jexica had a flashback to season 6

      Delete
    4. Aaaaand if you wanna get real techinical, in Hurricane Angela mentions her dad (who... I mean still obviously would exist without the college years of BMW but we wouldn't know him) and Chet is a ghost in it.

      Delete
    5. With regard to Topanga, I think she was just rounding down to 30, to make herself feel younger.

      Delete
    6. It's been a long time since I watched season 1; but wasn't her 'saying' she was 30, was when she was putting Ava in her place by saying how old she was with her hands? When you're 6; doing it exactly is fine. But if you're just trying to point out to a bratty kid how much older you are, just flashing your hand 6 times, works a lot better than doing it 6 times, and then once with only 2 fingers...

      Delete
    7. Did Shawn ask the girls if they "remembered" the stuff from the BMW clip?

      Delete
    8. I don't think so... did he?

      I'm actually thinking they're best off leaving the clips out. Have the references for those who recognise it, but the clips will make it harder for the GMW-only fans to continue to enjoy the show.

      Which is another reason why the should ease back on the 'Riley is the new Cory' and 'Maya is the new Shawn' angle.

      Delete
    9. I thought he used the word "remember" before the clip, but my ears aren't what they used to be.

      Yeah, I don't think the clips do much for GMW-first or GMW-only fans. They were effective, and probably necessary, in the Washington episode, though.

      Delete
    10. I'm not saying they changed the events of BMW. I'm saying they're acting like the events happened when Cory and Topanga were in high school.
      Also, the timeline of this show has really never made sense (just look at Girl Meets 1961). Topanga having Riley at 20 really doesn't make much more sense than Topanga having Riley at 18.

      Delete
  17. who accepts a proposal marketed as being reckless?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm going to change up my review style, as to better interact on the blog and with Sean, Christian and the rest of you guys.

    “Oh look, it's Riley forcing Maya to paint and stuff. Riley has inherited her father's puppetmaster abilities. The similarity is undeniable. Comparing Feeny's lessons to Cory's forced puppetmaster lessons is the same as comparing Shawn's development to Riley's forced puppetmaster development of Maya.”

    Sean, you hit one of the issues I have here in terms of character. They're making Riley into the worst aspects of her parents. She's pushy, naive and worst of all just plain disregards Maya's feelings. It's hard to like Riley sometimes. Ok, more than just sometimes. And I don't blame any of it on the acting, its all the writing and the direction they take her. It's maddening.

    “Somehow it's all Shawn's fault though, because he bought Maya clothes.”

    THIS!! MY GOD THIS!! Why then did we go through the whole touching scene with Shawn buying Maya clothes, for it to be such a big problem later on. Why did you just waste my time, writers?!!

    "“I don't understand why we're just erasing that.”

    Because it's become increasingly clear that the writers have made all this up on the fly.

    “Ugh, MAKE HER CLEAN UP THIS MESS AT LEAST, ART TEACHER.”

    BMW always did consequences very well. Consequences are supposed make shows like this tick. However, because DC has never really done consequences well, is why the art teacher is a spineless joke, and not some great teacher.

    All in all, I liked it, despite some of its obvious flaws. Shawn and Cory can heal a lot of ills in an episode. They were the right amounts of fun, serious and actual adults. All things this show lacks most of the time.

    Episode Grade: B- You're right Sean, B- feels right.

    Episode MVP: Ben Savage and Rider Strong. Yeah, no one else was getting it.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We still have a few episodes left in this arc, so it's entirely possible this stuff could turn around and Riley could be called out on her actions, that while well-intentioned, are not helping as much as she thinks.

      Delete
    2. Riley's not getting called out, because she would have by now. No one has really challenged her. At all. She's allowed to be who she is, because she's supposed to be the representation of her parents. And Jacobs isn't messing with that.

      Delete
    3. Which is fine; except she's as bad as Cory ever was; without his redeeming qualities, and she's got the perfectionist of Topanga; who's meddling in other people's lives was a lot more subtle.

      Delete
  19. In case anyone is interested, the scene on the subway was meant to go on for a bit. After they see the boy, Riley actually goes up to him and starts doing the Maya thing from the pilot.

    Apparently Ben Savage said on his tumbler feed that the rest of the scene got cut because of technical issues and not due to time. That is a shame as it would have shown us some actual growth by Riley. The girl from the pilot and "Meets Boy" could never have done that.

    Here is a link to what I found: https://www.instagram.com/p/BHbY58CAgoL/

    The dialogue is really hard to hear as it is someone filming the editing computer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben Savage has a tumblr? did not know that.

      Delete
    2. I saw that clip on Youtube. It's a shame it fell through. Riley approaching a strange, good-looking boy to say hello is actually tremendous growth, considering with Frair, she's waited for him to make the first move.

      If memory serves, Riley actually asked Charlie Gardner out in "Texas 3," so this isn't as surprising as I thought.

      Delete
    3. No, Charlie asked Riley out in Texas 3 Cryptid and she said yes. She didn't make the first move.

      Delete
    4. IIRC, Charlie asked her out with a note. What a wheenie.

      Delete
  20. I don't get why Maya didn't pick clothes that suit her personality when she first went shopping. It's not like Shawn bought them without consulting her or pushed her to dress like something she's not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the point they are saying is that's the problem. She was becoming more like Riley, and so she -did- choose those clothes. And to be fair, I believe Shawn did either suggest, either verbally or in body language, that he didn't think much of her current clothes.

      Which of course makes this episode slap that episode in the face even more; but that's another issue.

      Delete
    2. Ehh, maybe, I don't remember the episode that well I guess.

      Delete
  21. New tweet from the Writers!

    True Maya. Ski Lodge One. Ski Lodge Two. I Do. You're invited to a wedding. Oh, and we've also invited a very special guest.

    So it looks like this Maya-drama is all coming to a head for the Shawn-Katy wedding. Glad to see they're not going to drag out wedding plans for a year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spontaneous proposal - spontaneous wedding I guess.

      Delete
    2. It's a second marriage for Katy, so she's probably already done the first big traditional wedding, and may not want to do it again. Shawn doesn't have much family at this point. He'd want Cory, Topanga, Feeny, maybe Amy, Allen, Eric and Jack, but I think that would probably be it for his side of the guest list. I don't see Shawn caring about having a big fancy wedding.

      Delete
    3. The big question is who that special guest star is.

      I'd love to see Jon Turner again, but the smart money is on Feeny since that's the first week of August, and that's around the time Bill Daniels said he was coming back.

      Delete
    4. Feeny's coming back near the time the wedding's supposed to air? Oh joy, more Shawn/Katy pimping from him a la Chet in Hurricane.

      Delete
  22. There are several things I like about this show and several that annoy me. Yet, they somehow all made it into a couple episodes, like this one and Triangle.
    I really like the ideal of Shawn and Katy and wish we could invest more in them. Even one episode between the date and proposal would have been fantastic!
    I also like when the adults have scenes that aren't about their kids.
    I'm also glad I wasn't the only one that thought Maya should have purple hair for a wild. It would really make her "not Riley"

    Overall I did enjoy the episode, but more so adults. I usually really enjoy Riley and farkle and they barely shared screen time!

    ReplyDelete
  23. If this was never supposed to be a triangle, why the heck don't they just end it already? Put Riley and Lucas together and that would be the last of it. Why ruin Maya's character this way by saying her growing and developing this past year was utter bullshit because, what the fuck? Maya can't wear nice clothes, get good grades, and just be a more mature and grounded person!

    UghHhhhHhh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the question of the century.

      Delete
    2. Because for the primary audience the show is aimed at; relationship drama is what sells; because they're just old enough to start noticing girls/boys, and -wanting- that; but too young to want just something steady.

      Delete
    3. The romantic relationship seems like a contractual obligation that the show is in no hurry to fulfil. It’s hard to blame them. Lucas and Riley or Maya perforce means more Lucas, and probably less Riley-Maya. As they must understand, that is a losing proposition.

      For me, the identity issue was intrinsically interesting, and the cat in Maya’s Triangle painting gave it a sense of the uncanny. As a triangle stall, it’s preposterous. But I’m on board with whatever they need to do to delay this thing.

      Delete
    4. Lucas and Riley doesn't -have- to mean less Riley-Maya. I mean, maybe it does if it's handled badly, and maybe the network might insist on it, but Cory-Topanga certainly didn't damage Shawn-Cory.

      Personally, I'd rather the Triangle was finished once and for all; rather than the continual delays.

      Delete
    5. It must late in Australia, Will. Maybe the probably should be downgraded to possibly, though, even as a fan of the show, I believe them fully capable of handling something badly.

      But, if they handled Lucas and Riley or Maya the same way they handled Shawn and Katy dating, something never seen and rarely spoken of, I would be okay with it.

      Delete
    6. You're right; it's insanely late. But I function better at night; and I'm currently unemployed. Once I solve that issue I'll slip back to more normal hours. And yes, I think they will handle it badly; but they can't get out of that with a 'we're contractually obligated', because they -have- handled relationships well.

      Delete
    7. With regards to contracts, it's likely that Meyer is signed on to be a main cast member for the entire duration of the show.

      Maybe the writers are struggling to find a way to have him date either of the girls, and then have the relationship end amicably, and then have him maintain his status as a main cast member without the fans wondering when they'll get back together.

      Also, glad to see you two have made friends.

      Delete
    8. Hey, his opinion mirrors that of my partner. How could I not like him? In seriousness, only people I really don't like are people who like to attack people purely for the opinion they hold; which is all too common in some of fandoms.

      I thought people usually only had contracts year to year; but I could see that as an issue yeah. The problem is that they were sold earlier on as the 'Cory and Topaganga'; which they're now backtracking on it seems. Anyway, I'm going to wait and see what happens now.

      Delete
    9. Yeah, I like the way Will’s partner thinks.

      Delete
  24. Ratings are in for Upstate - 1.726 million views . That's a pretty bad total for an episode that was coming off a season high rating in Triangle.

    Not sure why the ratings tumbled like this. I guess the week off may have had something to do with it. It certainly seemed like the kind of episode the target audience would be drawn to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect because the target audience is also the age-group most likely to prefer binge-watching via netflix. Or at least that has something to do with it.

      That rating doesn't seem very bad for today's TV-watching climate.

      Delete
    2. Netflix doesn't have the current season, only past seasons, so that isn't an issue. Binge-watching also would seem to appeal to viewers who really aren't into the show or if the target audience has another alternative show in the same time slot. Nothing that competes with GMW runs against it.

      It is possible that the Disney-On-Demand channel is an issue. I, like many folks around the country get this channel, and we had access to "Upstate" 7 days early, which is why people pay for this channel. The issue then becomes all those kids that film it and post it to YouTube or Google Drives. Those viewers then don't have to tune in on Friday night and neither do all those that illegally viewed it early. Disney-On-Demand has not released "True Maya" yet, so if the ratings go up again maybe that is an issue.

      Delete
    3. Permanent Record (or was it Jexica?) was held off from DoD and Watch Disney Channel before it premiered and it still brought a [near?]series low. My conclusion is: kids just don't watch TV like that anymore. 1.7 isn't bad compared to other shows.

      Delete
    4. You'd be surprised. I know people of about the age-group the show is aimed at, who will gladly skip watching an entire series only to binge-watch it at the end; when they can get it on DVD, or whatever, and absolutely love the show. What kids don't like, from what I can tell, is only watching one half-hour episode at a time.

      Also, I don't know what it's like in America, but Friday night is a killer night to show stuff here.

      Delete
  25. The filmed Girl Meets Hollyworld today. Written by MacKenzie Yeager. Directed by Ben Savage.

    Hollywood is full of fake people. The audience want authenticity. What happens when Maya's mother and Riley and her friends audition to play themselves in a movie? And what happens when look alikes audition to play them? Who gets the part? The originals (authenticity) or the fakes (Hollywood)?

    Yeager's one episode so far (Jexica) was excellent. I have high hopes for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look alikes? Huh, on the TV Tropes page, it was suggested under "Wild Mass Guessing" that if there ever an "Eric Hollywood" episode, they could bring in the clone-class from "Gravity" to play the look alikes.

      Delete
    2. Michael Jacobs passed this along to the audience at the taping:

      "Don't listen to what online has to say. This was never about who is going to end up with who. That's not what this is about. Next week's episode, True Maya will tell all of you what this was really about. Then we come to two episodes, Girl Meets Ski Lodge. We had a Ski Lodge episode on Boy Meets World that altered the relationship between Cory and Topanga. On Girl Meets World, these Ski Lodge episodes will define these relationships. The question here is, not who Lucas will choose, but the friendship between Riley and Maya. In life, if you have one good friend, then you're lucky. If you have two, you're blessed. If you have three, then you're lying. Watch what happens."

      That doesn't sound good for Lucas. We know friend #1 for Riley is Maya and #2 has to be Farkle. If Lucas is #3 what does that mean? Or os this just Jacobs blowing more smoke up our asses?

      Delete
    3. I don't know if referring to the BMW Ski Lodge episode is a distraction; but how it -immediately- changed the relationship is not even close to how it changed it in the long run.

      As for the bit about good friends? It's either going to mean that Farkle is dumped as a good friend, or in the long run, why Lucas and Riley can't work. Because he's -only- a romantic interest; nothing more.

      Delete
    4. I know Farkle isn't the most popular character around here but if Riley were to ever drop him as a friend to keep Lucas around, I will throw a hissy fit.

      Delete
    5. Oh God...when Shipping gets angry, it's legitimately scary. When he gets angry, if he fought the Hulk, I'd advise Gambling Dan to put money on Shipping.

      But this harkens back to "Legacy," in a way. Riley said she was torn and terrified of hurting two of the people she cared about most.

      Maya's a given. Even in the impossibility of the girls having a fall-out, there is no way, come hell or high water, that Cory and Topanga wouldn't move heaven and earth to get them back together.

      Bye Friar.

      But that's interesting...the notion that if you have three good friends, then you're lying.

      I don't think that's something I ever would have heard coming from Jacobs.

      This is the man who said "Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself."

      Delete
    6. I'm guessing he sees a difference between 'friends' and 'good friends'. But if he really is saying that, it does lean towards a Riley/Farkle romance being end-game, as you can't have a romantic partner that you're not even a close friend of.

      For all Topanga's bitterness about Shawn at times; there's no doubt she is very close to Cory. So if you can only be close to two people then... hmm. Not sure I like what that's saying.

      Delete
    7. It's entirely possible that the "you" in Jacobs' quote refers to Riley and her feelings, rather than the "you" meaning the general audience.

      I suppose it boils down to how one defines "good friend."

      Shipping and I are part of a close-knit group of five and despite how often we disagree (Believe it or not, it happens A LOT), there are things I'll tell Shipping that I would never tell the the other three. But that's twins for you.

      Delete
    8. "That's not what this was about" Then what in the blue hell was this all for, Jacobs?! To entertain who? Yourself? Cause it's been grating for the rest of us. Get to the point so we can move on, please!

      As far as the whole quote goes, it's interesting. He's not handing that out to the audience for shits and giggles. It means something. And if it means they're not going to use Lucas as a romantic cog, then, what else is there for him to do? He's does have some good comedic timing, so slotting him into a comedic role might work, but they've not built him up into anything accept a Relationship Sue (Thanks TV Tropes).

      They've botched Lucas so bad, that it's damn near impossible to salvage the character.

      Delete
    9. Well, if it were me, if I was working on this show, I'd have Riley on her third or fourth legitimate love interest by now. Let her learn something important about relationships from each love interest.

      I think the intent, pwfan, was to deconstruct Cory and Topanga. To show that it's not always a fairy tale romance. Everything that supposedly supports Friar as a potential romance for Riley is shallow at best.

      But it's taken far too much time to deconstruct this. Hindsight's twenty-twenty, but it could have been done in Season One.

      Imagine, if you will, that Friar was Farkle's bully in "Flaws." Take out the stupid awards-subplot. Let Riley see that her so-called prince is not as charming as we were led to believe.

      Farkle is being bullied by someone he genuinely thought was his friend.

      Friar could defend himself as "I was just joking. Farkle's a crybaby." This in turn would allow Maya to learn that her constant insults, even if she doesn't mean them to be malicious, often are so. It actually is something Maya appears to have learned, but the difference between good-natured ribbing, and taunts that are cruel is something that really could have worked in an episode about bullying.

      We could have knocked Friar off his pedestal and kicked him out of the group of friends. And then we could move on from all this.

      I don't hate this show. But I am prepared to do the same thing I did for "Legend of Korra." Pretend it's one of multiple timelines, and there are other, better timelines for the characters I love.

      Delete
    10. Crptid; you're my hero.

      I don't hate Lucas quite the same way you do; but I do think you're right in the deconstruction of Cory and Topanga. (Backed up by the now getting old "There is only one Cory and Topanga" statement); and I also think you're right this could have been knocked on the head in season 1. Which also, to be honest, let's this show stand on its own more.

      And I get it might just be for Riley. But if Riley can only have two 'good' friends, then it's suggesting Farkle is her endgame. I've said before it's not what I really want, but if we're going with she can only have two good friends, it has to be. If your love interest is not amongst your good friends, there's something wrong. (Yes, I am acknowledging there may be occasions when they're not your absolute best friend, but they should be right up there).

      Delete
    11. Cryptid, I'm of the belief they've already deconstructed Cory and Topanga. They did it with Shawn and Angela. That love is messy, and sometimes unkind. And at the end of the day, sometimes it just isn't meant to be. So, why are they deconstructing it again? What's the payoff?

      Delete
    12. I don't think I'd call "Shawn and Angela" a deconstruction of Cory and Topanga. I'd call that a foil. I don't disagree though. Love can be messy and unkind, and sometimes it isn't meant to be.

      But I think there's a difference with Cory and Topanga having a counterpoint when the second couple is in their peer group and when there's a significant age difference.

      I used deconstruction in the vein that Riley has a highly idealized view of love that is based largely on what she sees from her parents.

      And even outside of Cory and Topanga, most of the Disney romances are pretty one-dimensional. I don't think I really remember ever seeing a decent one on a Disney show.

      And even then, there are more lessons to learn about romance than just "First love isn't always what happens."

      Delete
    13. Cryptid, Friar and nobody would be perfect world for me. Like Will, I don’t hate the character, and he has been good in spots. Regardless of the show’s overarching plan, and deconstructing Cory and Topanga is an astute observation my friend, I fear boyfriend Friar would be the Fish of characters, and Friar and somebody would be the Commonism of subplots.

      I had hoped Friar abandoning the girls in High School would be a deal breaker for both them. I was disappointed when Maya, at least, after calling out the seniors, didn’t tear Friar to shreds.

      I was probably going somewhere with this, but the 1776 disc I had ordered just showed up.

      Delete
    14. But maybe that's the point? Maybe Riley needs to see that what Lucas offers her, is not even close to what her parents offered each other? And if she has to go through the pain of dating him to reach that conclusion, so be it.

      Lucas is at his best with Zay, or even with Farkle, as opposed to furthering this romantic subplot.

      Delete
    15. Shipping and I have discussed this somewhat, and came to the conclusion that Friar needs to break Riley's heart.

      Riley needs to remain sympathetic to the audience, and it needs to be concrete that she won't take him back, ever.

      Delete
  26. August schedule from the Disney Promo Twitter feed:

    Disney Channel Promo ‏@disney_promo · 5 hours ago

    Girl Meets World: August 2016
    • 8/12 - Girl Meets I Do
    • 8/19 - Girl Meets Sassy Haltertop
    • 8/26 - Girl Meets Bear


    This is not the order they were filmed in. I hope this isn't going to be a repeat of last season's messed up story situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, why Shipping and I heard was that these are set after "Ski Lodge." It just took them a long time to build the Ski Lodge sets, so they filmed these episodes earlier.

      In any case, it won't be anywhere near as egregious as last season.

      Delete
    2. Not what I meant - I Do was filmed after Sassy Haltertop and Bear.

      Delete
    3. Is it wrong to be worried about the quality of an episode called "Sassy Haltertop"?

      Delete
    4. We were all scared to death of "Jexica" and look how that turned out.

      Delete
  27. I feel like Lucas was totally gonna pick Maya. This isn't because I like them better, it just genuinely seemed that way, but whatever. Also, they sorta butchered my second favorite Cory and Shawn moment. (Shory?) They just wanted to repeat the moment with Riley and Maya. But it felt forced, not like reassurance. Also, I don't understand why Maya had to sell her clothes. In Money, she was talking about appreciating them and now, she's lost them again? That's seriously sad.

    I feel like Maya's emotionally regressed to season 1, which is sad, but I also feel like Riley put her there because she needs that version of Maya to feel comfortable. Partly because they stunted her growth severely with the Riley Committee. I don't know. This arc is hard.

    Katy crying though was very emotional. Because it was a long time since she had felt loved and cared for and you could see it. Seriously, hat tip to Cheryl Texiera, she's majorly talented.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Another new Tweet from the Writers. Well, two new ones actually, but one was just a "Thank you for the Emmy nomination."

    New Tweet--

    True Maya: We wanted People Change People to be more than a catchphrase. We wanted to show the value of good influence. Hope you enjoy it.

    Buckle up.

    ReplyDelete
  29. With the next episode tomorrow, I should get around to saying that I really liked this one.

    I wasn’t put off by Riley’s wilful behaviour. Riley wants to fix people. That’s her thing, fixing Maya far and way her biggest thing, turning Shawn into Maya’s dad the centrepiece of that. So she pushed and pulled and tried to force things. It didn’t even occur to me to find this annoying. It helps that I like the Riley character, which seems to be a minority opinion here.

    Given the level and openness of her effort, and their inertia, she didn’t seem much like a puppetmaster, and I puzzled over that label, but that’s probably just semantics.

    It didn’t see anything objectionable in the Topanga/Katy scene, either. It seemed quite natural, given her history, that Katy would be guarded and would need to be drawn out.

    Shawn and Katy is the only romantic relationship in which I have any real investment. (Though, as a long-shot variant of Christian’s proposal from a few posts back, I would get behind Riley and Isadora in a heartbeat.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if memory serves, the first time Christian and Sean used "puppet master" was in regards to Mr. Norton, the science teacher in "STEM."

      Norton specifically set up his classroom to allow the conflict to arise. He made sure the class was divided into two-person teams, one boy and one girl. He set up the experiment so that one person would do the vast majority of the work. And the experiment in itself was designed to make a point.

      That's a fair few variables, so I agree that "puppet master" doesn't quite fit Riley's efforts to "fix" Maya. I'm more inclined to call her a nosy do-gooder.

      I'm still rather cautious--Riley's efforts aren't helping Maya this time, and it needs to be addressed.

      I think I'd feel better about all this if we didn't have the Triangle looming over our heads.

      One final note, my friend, while I do not personally find a relationship between them feasible, I am happy to see that you've taken to calling Isadora by her first name.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, they have used the term before, usually in reference to Cory. If what Norton and Cory did was pulling strings, Riley was moving heavy furniture.

      I don't think that relationship is remotely likely. Smackle aired a couple of days ago and, without really watching it, I was reminded how affectionate Riley has always been to Isadora, if as part of a fix-it project.

      Delete
    3. Riley's not really manipulative enough to be a puppet-master; but I still don't like what she does there. Or in general a lot of the time.

      I think the Katy/Topanga scene suffered because we'd had a very Riley/Maya intensive episode. That, and it was slipped in just earlier in the episode where Shawn proposes. If we're talking about romances still in development, then yes, Shawn/Katy is the only one I care about but... I would have preferred more a build-up. Have the Katy/Topanga talk in one episode, maybe even an episode Shawn wasn't in, then have him propose in a later episode. I also don't like the fact the proposal got shoved into an episode which was all about Maya and Riley. Shawn deserves to have his moment not be swallowed by the Matthews clan.

      Delete
    4. I would be the first to sign up for more Shawn/Katy, and, yeah, a build-up would have been nice.

      Delete
    5. It says something I think, that I have more time than Cory/Topanga, who in GMW don't need to develop anything, than for any of the teen romances.

      Though I don't mind Farkle/Isadora.

      Delete
    6. On the contrary, I actually prefer Shawn's spontaneous behavior in relationships. It shows a sense of...earnestness that I miss.

      One early Shawn-relationship I liked was Dana. Shawn decided to actually commit and in an attempt to impress Dana, planned a picnic. In the dead of winter.

      I like Shawn diving into his relationship with Katy, and I look forward to more.

      Delete
  30. I noticed a lot of consequences this week, as well. There should've at least been a fine

    ReplyDelete
  31. Link to True Maya

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDVVIcbwwA8

    Voices are distorted a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link. I won't be home when it airs tonight and while it's out on the app already, as a Time-Warner Cable customer, I don't get to use it, and they haven't released True Maya to the Disney-On-Demand channel yet.

      Delete
  32. This is pwfan, with a new tweet from the writers presented without comment:

    Girl Meets Writers ‏@GMWWriters

    This week: Lucaya. Rucas. The movie.
    Next week: Lucaya. Rucas. The decision.
    Then: A wedding.
    Then: What's important.
    Then: Belgium 1831.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shipping Wars Are StupidJuly 17, 2016 at 12:50 PM

      But first, Shipping Wars projectile vomits all over his computer

      Delete
    2. It makes me just want to throw things at the wall. I think they enjoy trolling us. I think they get off on it.

      Delete
  33. Totally agree with you about the forced nature of this show. I think that's what's holding it back from being great, aside from the new Disney acting

    Honestly, nothing that has happened to these kids yet has felt earned. This whole triangle is ridiculous. I feel like I've barely known these kids and yet they're trying to say this is some monumental decision that will change everything.

    It would have been better if Lucas started going out with Riley in season 1 and then Maya comes in and starts to have feelings for him now. That would feel more natural.

    Also, all these recycled BMW moments are pissing me off. Not the old cast doing them, but the same lines being said by the new cast. It just feels forced and doesn't seem to fit.

    I feel like the upcoming ski lodge scene is going to be awful. The promos make it sound like the same setup as the BMW plot, but with no history behind it and trying to stir up the same drama. It's not going to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The promos make it sound like the same setup as the BMW plot"
      How the heck can it? Admittedly, I haven't seen the promos; but Cory/Topanga had been constantly dating for over a year at that point. That's why that whole arc kinda worked - if they hadn't been, there is no way they have the history to move past it.

      If they are seriously going to try to sell that Riley can have the same depths of feelings, after one, single, -bad- date with Lucas, and the same feeling of hurt, and the same history to move past it? I just give up.

      Delete
    2. I'm almost over it myself. The promos show Riley alone in the ski lodge with a boy who works there. Very similar to the BMW setup. I feel like they're going to have Lucas all ready to pick Riley and run into the ski lodge to tell her and the Lucas catches her and the ski lodge kid together.

      All these relationships feel so rushed and pointless. There is no history there. I feel like the writers are trying to push in all the good plots from BMW before the show gets cancelled. The reason those plots were so good in BMW was not necessarily the plots themselves, but that the characters had time to develop and the audience was emotionally invested. I think the writers forget that.

      Delete