Friday, August 26, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets Bear" (#3.12)

Hey, it's Christian. 'Sup? 

Your mom.

Nobody likes you, SEAN. The real deal is back in town.

I love this opening. It's fun. It feels very Boy Meets World. Cory's love of tacos is back from "Shallow Boy", one of my personal favorite episodes. I had completely forgotten about that, and I just watched Shallow Boy now to check. Topanga even asks Cory if he's going to feed tacos to their future child, so it's actually a double whammy of a callback. Nice catch. Oh wow it actually goes further, Topanga says back in Shallow Boy "If that taco is more important than our child, this family has 'dysfunction' written all over it." Looks like that lesson stuck through the years. In general, real good world-building for this Paco's Tacos place. I really believed it was a place. We got a lot of good details and specifics about it. 25-cent tacos really are a good deal. I'd buy 40. Eat'm throughout the day.

It does feel very Boy Meets World. The girls are planning an adventure that has nothing to do with soul searching, or romance, or life lessons. If only we had had the wisdom, the foresight, to consider the appeal of such a situation. 

Cory and Maya wanting the same number of tacos was great. I can't tell if Cory's ability to express "eight and a half" as the perfect amount of tacos, but Maya was stuck between 8 and 9 was a joke referencing her inability to understand fractions. I'd like to believe it was, and if it is, it's very funny and it was nice they didn't call out. They make another joke about Maya not understanding fractions near the end, so I'm pretty sure it was. Mackenzie Yeager, man. She knows what she's doing. The Miguel Sapochnik of Girl Meets World. Except not directing. Shut up.
Riley becoming distraught over her own imagined three-legged puppy was great. "What, does he just fall over or what?"





Oof, a bad call back is Topanga's cheesy "Let's see what happens now." calling back the one dark stain on "Eric Hollywood", ANOTHER personal favorite episode of mine, the part where those kids are the writers, and the kids are all awkward and the worst. I believe one of the Jacobs boys who now write for this show is the guy who says that.

Is this bear that Riley's being obnoxious about (And Topanga makes a great point, they could run out and get tacos right now, and then look for the bear when they get back, so I think Riley's being obnoxious) the one from "Girl Meets the Forgiveness Project"? Good continuity if so. I think it is. 

Yeah this is continuing my frustration with Riley. ONCE again, AS always, Riley's nonsense is more important than everything else. And I get it, sometimes you want to put your loved ones' interests before your own, but it's EVERY TIME with Riley. I genuinely feel sorry for Maya not getting her bobblehead :(

I like Zay wanting pancakes. And I also would probably choose pancakes over tacos most of the time.

Oh, hey flashback. Yeah, same bear. We've seen these kids as Miley before, right? Where? "Bay Window"? 

WHOOOOOA. Okay. Clearly, this little boy they have playing little Auggie is August Maturo's younger brother or something, because he so resembles him. (And, I looked it up, and indeed, this kid is named *sigh* Ocean Maturo.) *Snrrrrrrkkkkkkkk* That said, this casting choice is preposterous. Riley and Auggie are about six years apart, but in this flashback they appear to be the exact same age (or maaaaaybe Miley are a year older). It's really jarring. Auggie in this flashback basically looks the same age as Season 1 Auggie, and yet Riley and Maya are like 6.
Pictured: the food chain
Wait, Zay's still pissed about the cookie?! That's excellent! That is beautiful continuity. It's the rarest kind of continuity at all - anyone can carry on storyline beats or significant character traits, but referencing casually shit that just happened in the last episode? That's very unusual. Imagine if in, "A Long Walk to Pittsburgh" it was just referenced casually how last week Cory and Shawn were dressing up like women. Wouldn't that blow your mind? Very good, GMW.

Uh, Lucas? You're just going to peace? Not even going to try to pretend you can't be bothered to help this devastated girl find her bear and instead you just want to go eat tacos? Uh.... I'm no relationship expert, but you sure that's the route you want to go? Aren't you and Riley dating? No, I'm seriously asking, there's been no clear sign of it so far. Still, "Why'd you two switch characters?" was great. Zay's on fire in this one. 

Like the brief Mrs. Svorski reference in the flashback. Continuity!

CONTINUITY CONTINUES! ALAN MATTHEWS WAS IN THE NAVY MOTHERFUCKERS! ALAN MATTHEWS WON SILVER GLOVES IN THE NAVY! OH MY GODDDDD, CONTINUITY IS EVERYWHERE. CONTINUITY IS IN MY DRINK.


Pictured: My uncompromising pessimism.
Weird continuity too. Zay and Maya talking when he first came to town on that car (which, couldn't have been much of a conversation as I only vaguely recall it) is suddenly significant? Are they setting up Zay and Maya? Little out of nowhere, but then, it's only on Zay's part right now and he's been so little-focused on he could have been harboring a crush all this time. And because she had that thing with Lucas he refrained from making his intentions known. Interesting. Random, but interesting. COULD HAVE been harboring a crush? He takes every opportunity to say he's got hot hot pants for both girls. What? Zay does? When? I can't think of a single moment. Zay always seemed to exclusively flirt with non-main girls to me. It doesn't sound correct that Zay's been pulling a Farkle allt his time.... Yeah I can't list the exact episodes, but multiple times he's said how "hot" Riley and Maya are, during the triangle if nothing else.

Farkle, don't say lines, don't act like you're a character on this show anymore. But anyway, while this journey of continuity... continues with a photo album featuring hippie Topanga, it's a little ridiculous that they act like there was someone there in the Matthews kitchen to take a photo when she did "Doughnut in the Sky." Yeah that's dumb. Right next to the picture of, what, Cory and Shawn doing their handshake?
This is a weird episode. There's no, like, story. Scenes just kinda happen. There's a kinda nice scene with Lucas and Riley. Now Josh has showed up. Everyone's just kinda cool with this 19 year old flirting with this 15 year old. It is weird. Peyton gives a... surprisingly convincing short monologue that makes Lucas a bit more real, which is always good. They saved up all the character and world building and continuity for one single episode, so whenever we complain about it in the future they can say "Uhp! Wait! Remember Meets Bear?"
Still don't know if Riley and Lucas are dating.

Am I crazy or did Uriah totally phone this in? I'm not getting any of his usual charm, especially since everyone else is doing so well. Sounds to me like Josh should have brought some pudding to college. 

We're citing Mr. Googly? Man, this is clearly a concentrated continuity effort. 

I want that bobblehead.

Whoa, Zay. Doin' a big public and yet totally casual and non-committal ask out of Maya at the end of the episode. Totally felt out of nowhere, but, whatever, not every couple begins with years of unacted-upon feelings. Sometimes a dude just asks a girl to the movies. Smooth moves Zay. Yeah he's a beast this episode. It's definitely not out of nowhere though, he's been attracted to Maya since forever. I really don't feel like I remember this. If so, I don't think it's been talked about in Season 3 at all, has it? Maybe early Zay I don't really recall? Try Girl Meets Triangle, he definitely mentions it. It's great, to be honest. We started out with creeper ass stalker Farkle. Stalkerkle. And Disney Prince Lucas who needs two years of friendship buildup and an entire arc to fucking date someone. But now we have Zay, whose actions actually resemble real life. That's good stuff.

Episode Review: B. There were a lot of really fun moments and I loooooved the continuity, but there wasn't much in the way of a story here. It felt like a bunch of isolated moments of continuity loosely strung together by Riley's missing bear. So, I gave it a B. 
Episode MVP: Amir Mitchell-Townes, just because Zay was so boss in this episode. But Sabrina Carpenter also gave a really good performance. 

So yeah.
Fun homework assignment: Compare the bottle episode strategies of that Community episode with this episode. Hint: They're all the same.

It's a bottle episode. But they use it to their advantage, delving into the characters and continuity when we've got no real story to tell. I can dig it. I... can't really think of any bottle episodes from Boy Meets World to compare it to. That's interesting. I mean.... And Then There Was Shawn was kiiiiind of a bottle episode? It did just use the school set. I feel like it's probably 15 minutes into the episode before we even leave Feeny's classroom. For all the hooplah, that was probably a dirt cheap episode to film. But yeah, obviously, with the horror movie spoof it didn't function as a bottle episode. But I'm a big bottle episode fan. My favorite episodes of Friends, "The One Where No One's Ready", is, I feel, the greatest example of a bottle episode I've ever seen. 

Did Farkle really need to be in this? Not at all. He hasn't needed to be in, like, any episode this season. It's getting ridiculous. Did Josh? He was a little more relevant to the plot, but it was a little more random he'd show up, and he didn't show up until almost the end.  I don't know, but Mackenzie Yeager has absolutely cemented herself as the best writer of this season. She has the two best scripts, this and Jexica (I feel like Permanent Record's still maybe the best episode this season. Still, yes, Yeager is great), which to be honest, both sound like garbage from their descriptions, but she still pumps out laugh out loud dialogue, and the casual light hearted interactions that this show lacks most of the time. What's she even competing with in the overall series, for dialogue and humor? Pluto, Semi Formal, Texas Part 1, Jexica, and Upstate? Maybe I Do? Jexica is obviously one of hers too, but the others are all Matthew Nelson and Mark Blutman, two long time BMW writers. Yeager is the real deal, she gets it, and the biggest reason I would want a fourth season of this show is to see more of her work. I know it's only a sample size of 2, but two excellent scripts tacked on to stupid ideas like this and Jexica is pretty damn impressive. 

I agree that a B grade is about right because there's no story and I don't care about Riley's bear, but the script is an absolute home run, it's just fun. It's fun! And Jexica was fun, I vividly remember having fun. Yeager is the bomb. I am motivated to keep watching the show on the offchance she wrote another episode. Hot damn. 


90 comments:

  1. I noticed Yeager writes Maya to be dumb. Did you notice? She's not Season 7 Eric dumb, but definitely not smart at all. I still appreciate her use of COMEDY. Though in both of her scripts, it's Maya who figures out the lesson.

    I thought the Family Emergency drill was very fitting for Topanga, specifically her keeping track of the time. Funny moment.

    It took me 2 watches to like this episode. I got Game Night vibes for some reason but this one didn't tie the classroom in (thank GOD).

    Some of the typical cringey GMW dialogue still came up. *Josh walks to Maya* "Long game?" "Long game." What? I refuse to believe Zeager wrote that. And the ending with the lesson reminded me of Game Night, just way less cheesy. And those stupid girls that keep coming to the present, gah.

    Ahhhh that Friends bottle episode is also one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought they said "Long day" to each other. Though I admit, I doubt Shakespeare himself could write emotional dialogue between Josh and Maya.

      Delete
    2. Eh, the chibi-Miley visiting the present wasn't so bad this time. They only interacted with Maya, which is good. Like shoulder angels, sort of. And it was actually pretty funny.

      And nobody even noticed them in the tag scene, so there you go.

      Delete
  2. You'll be happy to know that Yeager has one more episode coming out this season. "Girl Meets Hollywood" I believe. It should air around November, if I remember correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This episode was actually pretty solid. The last time we had an episode this...tight and plotless was probably "Demolition."

    So that's good, I think. Little stories can world-build.

    I actually liked Josh in this one--and would have liked to see a mentioning of how Little Josh and Little Riley used to be close, but that's me. They also brought up something I would have loved--if Josh stayed with Cory and Topanga while going to college, and actually in the main cast.

    The only thing that bothers me is that Beary actually stays lost...which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Sure Riley realizes she doesn't need him anymore, but usually in episodes that have these plots, we see the child with the stuffed animal pass the stuffed animal on to another, younger child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cryptid456-From a story/narrative perspective, I like the idea of the bear staying lost. It's a way of saying once childhood is over and gone, it's done and finished. It's almost poetic.

      Delete
    2. The problem with him staying lost is.. that apartment isn't -that- big. Someone had to take him. It's the only thing that makes sense. But no-one would have.

      Delete
    3. Passing on a stuffed bear with no face doesn't seem logical. I agree that this way the symbolism works well.

      I live in a small apartment and things often get lost. Maybe there's some place she didn't think to look. Maybe some squirel dragged it out :D Maybe it accidentally fell in a garbage can and Topanga cleaned it out without paying much attention.

      Delete
    4. Except we saw her put the bear right next to her, just before she went to sleep.

      Delete
    5. And there's no rhyme or reason for how Beary could have gotten lost. Riley kept him right next to her at bedtime (something that has to have been a recent development, given Beary was supposed to be in storage with Friar's Stupid Sneaker, likely out of the fallout of the Real World being a mean and scary place). It's not like she dragged him everywhere and then couldn't remember where she last had him.

      Who knows, maybe Toy Story had it right, and toys are secretly sentient and Beary just got up and walked away.

      Delete
    6. That's true. It would have made more sense if there was more time and action in between. I kinda kept expecting that someone would admit taking it. I guess that only leaves the squirrel option =P Or... someone is lying.

      Delete
    7. Speaking of Friar's Stupid Sneaker, can't he get that back now they're officially dating? (Or kind-of dating, or whatever they're actually doing?) I know I've been growing disillusioned with his story, but he still deserves that back.

      Delete
    8. They're officially dating, but remember the rules Friar set up?

      That they go to dances together, without fanfare: no formal asking or anything like that, they just go together.

      Also, Friar's condition that Riley only talk about "important" things with him.

      What was conspicuously absent was anything regarding regular, day-to-day romantic interaction, holding hands and the like.

      In regards to getting his Stupid Sneaker back, I wouldn't put it past Topanga to have already sneaked it back to him.

      I swear I didn't intend the pun.

      Delete
    9. I'm trying to forget those rules. I swear, if this isn't leading to a message about looks not being everything moment, I'll be annoyed. This is just leading back to the semi-formal issue isn't it? He shouldn't have to ask, just for everyone to accept it. He should still -ask-.

      Delete
    10. I despise Friar and his ridiculous conditions, and I agree that I would love to see this confronted, and IF we get a Season 4, God willing, I think we'll see it happen then.

      I tend to amuse myself by pretending Friar is turned into a cartoon character, and then suffers from the various horrifically painful, but not lethal, pratfalls therein.

      Delete
  4. There's a lot to like here.

    Let's set aside the fucking absurd main plot. It makes it hard to watch your show when Riley's acts like a fucking baby Girl Meets World.

    Actually, I really liked everything besides Riley's story in this one, not counting baby Miley. I liked Cory and Auggie finding the Navy gloves of Alan Fucking Matthew. I liked Farkle's little chat with Topanga-it was glorious to see Topanga interact with someone other than Auggie. Maya was great. Zay was awesome.

    Lucas didn't do anything for me but he never does. Riley was awful-but Rowan was good. She's definitely doing her best to try and churn something out of whatever garbage they give her.

    Baby Riley and Maya didn't happen.

    I want to take a minute to say that I didn't watch this episode live. I rarely do. Instead, some buddies and I went out to see Kubo and the Two Strings. Best animated movie of the year. Maybe of all time. Go see this movie!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Promo for the next episode, Girl Meets the Great Lady of New York:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfPKv4iFBVQ

    The announcer is the same douche who voices the Kidz Bop commercials.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So, upfront, I gotta admit to absolutely loving bottle episodes. I geek out for good conversational dialogue and simple character interaction -- nothing gives you a greater chance of that than the bottle episode.

    So, naturally, I loved this. Like, legitimately loved it.

    It was funny -- every taco joke hit (Ben and Sabrina's moments were gold), fractions, "pancakes," all of it -- pound for pound it could rival "Upstate" as maybe the funniest episode the series has produced.

    The characters shined -- God bless, Mackenzie Yeager. She has now twice written Topanga perfectly. I "get" why Topanga has largely been used the way she has during this show's run, but in two Yeager episodes (neither of which had the A-plot center around her), Topanga's quirks and traits were present. The Matthews' family drill reaction? Perfect. Silently threatening Cory with death at the mere thought of her doing the laundry? Perfect. The conversation with Farkle -- yeah, perfect. If the show carries on past a season three, the goal should be to have Topanga act and feel like this.

    To that point, quickly to Cory -- he has pretty much been spot-on all season and I hope the trend continues throughout the back-half of the order. I think one of the great questions after this show finishes its run will be if Cory should have ever actually been a teacher. Granted, I think by-and-large they have hit the classroom notes better this season, but man, Ben is at his best when he can just be Cory. That's another topic for another time though. He was great here.

    The silver gloves was great. An awesome callback that will not even remotely confuse a new audience who has no knowledge of it. All the callbacks were great and added to the episode without being intrusive.

    The younger versions of Riley and Maya were fine this time. A big miss to have young Auggie be the same age as them, but whatever. Stuff like that usually really irks me as a viewer, but it didn't hear for whatever reason.

    Josh was a welcome addition here. What I liked most about it was that it made the world feel lived in. He just stopped by. I think too often episodes of this show often end up feeling very boxed in, even "I Do" had some of that last week. Ironic that a bottle episode would be the one to break us of that trend (more kudos to Yeager there), but yeah, Josh lives nearby -- the fact that he he could (and should) just stop in totally works.

    I was all good with the Josh and Maya interactions. "Long day" as opposed to "long game" actually would have been MUCH better, but what are ya gonna do. I just like that it's all being followed up on with a slow burn in an organic fashion. The quick hand hold is all this episode needed. It's also perfect for the age-range. Well done.

    As for the Zay of it all, well, Zay's the man. The only true miss of the episode is that there was not one scene between the Ski Lodge episodes and tonight where Zay and Lucas chat about how he (Zay) is feeling a tad ditched + hints at some attraction for Maya. Didn't need to be more than that one scene, and for all I know it was shot at some point and cut, but yeah, I think that could have helped those who are saying all of this seemed a bit out of left field.

    Left field or not though, I dug it. Amir and Sabrina played it perfectly and it is very authentic for a 15 year old dude to just wake up one morning and decide he likes an attractive 15 year old girl that he often hangs with it. The interaction was written well, performed well and actually leaves me curious to see where everything goes from here.

    Like somebody mentioned, "Tonight we grow up" was the tweet for this week. What if the show just suddenly shifted more towards what we've all been yearning for from here? That's probably a pipe dream, but damn, this, much like Jexica, was just so encouraging.

    Mackenzie Yeager, salute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting that you mention Ben's terrible teaching scenes and ask if he should have ever been the teacher. I think we can all agree the Ben does a terrible job there, but I remember when the show 1st announced that Cory would be the teacher that I thought that that was an odd choice, even if slightly poetic. Cory just didn't seem like the teacher type. I thought if any one of the original cast would/should follow in Feeny's footsteps it would have been Eric, the one from Torn Between Two Lovers (Feeling Like a Fool), not Plays With Squirrels.

      I understand obviously that Will couldn't have done that for several reasons, but I can't ignore how much better the show would have been if they could have pulled it off.

      Delete
    2. Agree with everything you said here. This was a fantastic episode. I'm glad Amir is finally being given material that allows people to recognize him for the standout that he's been ever since he came on the show

      Delete
    3. If Cory was being written as a man who was a strict, serious teacher, and after school is over, was a silly, Dorky Dad, I'd have no problems

      But going with what we have...I don't think he should have been the teacher. At least not the History Teacher. If he were the English Teacher and would say "You have a Problem of the Week? Read this book, it has the answers," I'd feel better about it.

      But if it'd been me, I would have made Cory the guy who runs the Teen Hangout. I really like the idea of Cory essentially running a Chubbie's of his own.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous-"As for the Zay of it all, well, Zay's the man. The only true miss of the episode is that there was not one scene between the Ski Lodge episodes and tonight where Zay and Lucas chat about how he (Zay) is feeling a tad ditched + hints at some attraction for Maya. Didn't need to be more than that one scene, and for all I know it was shot at some point and cut, but yeah, I think that could have helped those who are saying all of this seemed a bit out of left field."

      I agree with this 100%. I really wish the writers had done something like this. It would have made "Girl Meets Bear" a much stronger episode.

      Cryptid456- "If he were the English Teacher and would say "You have a Problem of the Week? Read this book, it has the answers,"

      That would have worked so much better, and it would have solved some of the problems in the classroom scenes. I'm okay with giving up the running joke about Belgian, which I never found that funny (and I normally like running gags).

      I still love your idea to make Cory the guy who runs the Teen Hangout. It would allow him to give good advice and be involved in their lives. It would also have allowed Harper or someone else to fill the wise teacher role.

      Delete
    5. There's a part of me that thinks the only reason they made Cory the history teacher instead of the English teacher is so they could make meta "history repeats itself" jokes for BMW viewers.

      Delete
    6. That...is actually an excellent point, OUAT15.

      It's just, that if Cory has to be the teacher, I think there's more...individual episode ideas that work well for an English class.

      Remember Missy Bradford? The mean girl who disliked Riley for no good reason?
      About a month ago, I came up with an episode idea for an English class because I have way too much free time on my hands:
      Missy Bradford steals Riley's diary, but rather than use it for blackmail, Bradford uses Riley's diary for a book report, telling the entire class all of Riley's secrets.

      Delete
  7. Aside from the ridiculousness of Auggie looking the same age in the flashbacks whereas the girls are a lot younger, was I the only one frustrated that lil Auggie has blond hair? Like, how does that happen? Blond hair doesn't just magically become brown hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I mean.... yes, it does. Kids are born with blonde hair that turns brown as they get a little older all the time. It's actually extremely common.

      That said, it was just because they cast August Maturo's younger brother. Ocean Maturo does look like his brother, physically, but he's got lighter hair. And they kind of figured that would be enough. Could be worse - l'il Shawn from the BMW flashback was a freckle-faced redhead I think.

      Delete
    2. Whuh? That's news to me, neat. I guess I was just used to seeing the other lil characters have the same hair color, so it threw me off (lil Riley's brunette, lil Maya's blonde, and lil Farkle from Meets Bay Window was brown-haired)

      Delete
    3. Oh yeah, very common. Lots of friends of mine who are brown-haired now were blond as kids, and Sean just mentioned to me the same is true of him. He was born blond. It's only going to happen with light to medium brown-haired people though. Riley, for instance, is too dark-haired to have ever been blond. I am as well. But some like Farkle for instance? Could have had hair as golden as the sun when he was a wee one.

      Delete
    4. Speaking from experience, Christian hit the nail on the head.

      Shipping and I, and also our father, were all blonde-haired when we were very young. Our dad was practically a towhead. Now, our hair is considerably darker, though still blonde. I totally buy a blonde-haired Auggie turning brunette.

      Better question is the ages, as Christian and Sean pointed out--"Forgiveness Project" stated firmly that Riley was TEN years old when Auggie chewed the face of Beary the Bear Bear, so why not find a slightly older actress than Little Riley? Rowan Blanchard's got a younger sister.

      Delete
    5. The trouble is, Riley was like 11 or 12 when we met her. And she looked... like Riley. So, it'd be a little weird to see a Riley only slightly younger who's clearly a different person.

      It'd be like if we saw a flashback to Cory, Shawn, and Topanga in high school and they recast them with new actors.... but we saw Cory, Shawn and Topanga in high school.... it was Cory, Shawn, and Topanga.

      Delete
    6. But yeah, if Rowan Blanchard has a sister that looks like her, I may have tried to do the flashback with her and Ocean Maturo, and just exclude Maya (who doesn't really need to be there) from it.

      Delete
    7. That's a fair point, Christian. It would be a little weird, since it wasn't actually that long ago.

      How old was Riley supposed to be when she got Beary, anyhow? It's before she and Maya met--you can see Beary in a corner when Maya crawls through the Bay Window in "Bay Window." So she can't be more than five.

      I actually kind of like that idea--having Blanchard's sister and Maturo's brother do the parts.

      Delete
    8. trying to sort out ages on a Meets World show is a thorough waste of time

      Delete
    9. Even Feeny's age doesn't make any sense. Dude has been 80 for like 30 years

      Delete
    10. Feeny's age is easy. He says he was young enough to have to ask to stay up to hear President Truman announce the end of the war. So that puts him at about ten or twelve. Let's say twelve. He was born circa 1933. That puts Feeny at around eighty-three now.

      Delete
  8. I liked almost everything about this episode, but I agree that the two younger versions of Maya and Riley are annoying and unnecessary.

    Anyone kind of hate how almost every episode has to come back to Maya and Riley and their enduring friendship? I know "Bear" has more to do with Riley coming to terms with the end of her childhood, but there always has to be some moment at the end where we need to reiterate the fact that Maya and Riley would do anything for each other (see, tacos). Like, yes, we get it.

    As central as Shawn and Cory's friendship was one BMW, I don't think every episode had to verbalize how they'd do anything for each other. Not every episode was even about that. There were a lot of Cory/Eric, Cory/Topanga, Cory/Feeny and Cory/Alan centered episodes, too. Almost every GMW episode is about testing the girls' friendship and it's annoying because we know what will end up happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is likely due to a number of factors.

      The first is that, annoyingly, this actually is quite a bit like younger teenagers speak to one another these days. Check out any social media site, and you'll see posts along the lines of "Shoutout to So-and-so. No matter what happens, you're always going to be my BFF!"

      Another part of it may be that Sabrina is one of Disney's more notable stars, with her own albums. So it's possible Disney may be including Maya more often as a sort of cross-promotion. The fact that Sabrina is the best actress of the younger cast may also be a factor.

      There's also the fact that we spent a VERY long time on this blasted Triangle, possibly due to Uriah's injury, but also because the Writers were at a loss to keep all three characters involved likable to the audience. While the Triangle may be mostly resolved, the writers might be trying to emphasize "NO MATTER WHAT, Riley and Maya are always going to be best friends."

      Delete
    2. I think it's also due to dynamics between the cast. You can't really have the equivalent of Cory/Feeny because Cory is, supposedly, the Cory in this show but he's already acting as a father-figure to both Maya and Riley already. There have been a couple of Riley/Cory centred episodes, though not lately admittedly. The one about 'Hurricane Day' for example, (not sure on the name), was really Riley/Cory more than anyone. And, Cory/Topanga was always a much stronger relationship than Riley/Lucas has been. Even -before- they were dating. I mean, we'll see where it goes from here, but at this point it's not even close.

      Delete
    3. But also, Riley and Maya's friendship is always going to be the most important. They are each other's "extraordinary relationships," if you will. Also, for all of Ski Lodge's (numerous) faults, in the end, this wasn't an arc about Lucas discovering his true feelings. Maya wasn't a test for Riley and Lucas, Riley wasn't a test for Lucas and Maya, Lucas was a test for Riley and Maya. They passed.

      Delete
  9. Good episode. Even Auggie asking Farkle to the movies was good.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok but the whole point of this episode was for Riley to learn that growing up is inevitable, and she shouldn't be afraid to let go of her important childhood memento. That bear obviously means a lot to Riley, and I was kinda mad at Maya for not caring at all. The whole episode she barely lifted a finger for Riley, which annoyed me a lot. OK yeah, maybe they could've waited for finding the bear after the tacos but she acted like a baby the whole episode about tacos and didn't bother to even comfort Riley at all. If anything, she always puts her needs over everyone else's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mmm I still think Riley was in the wrong. She didn't have to cancel everyone's fun adventure, they could have just looked for the bear afterward

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I say Riley was in the wrong--though she wasn't unsympathetic.
      And as I recall, they were halfway out the door to go get tacos and then come back when Cory made that offhand comment about how Beary was just a stupid bear.

      And this was originally just going to be a Matthews Day, and Maya invited the boys "because I wanted them to what it was like to want tacos and then not get any."

      Having said that, there have been instances where Riley and Maya have behaved far worse than this, and got away with it, so I'm not mad at Maya at all.

      Delete
    3. I have no issues with Maya. I also agree with Maya in that I think that mostly (no, not always, but mostly), she is the one who gives up everything for Riley. Why does the bear have to be found -right now-?

      Delete
  11. I like the idea of Zay and Maya as a couple, but I agree it felt rushed and came out of nowhere. It would be been great if Maya had dated some other guys who weren't right for her, then realized the right guy had been there for her the whole time.

    I love bottle episodes too! Not only is "The One Where No One's Ready" one of my favorite episodes of "Friends," it's also one of my favorite half hour episodes of all time.

    I wish more episodes of the series were like this. Little slices of life about growing up. Not every episode has to be a major life lesson or relationship drama. Some of the episodes can just be about teens being teens.

    ReplyDelete
  12. am I the only one that sees Topanga's convo with farkle is sort of a way of the writers hinting that Farkle is the actual Topanga of the show? Maybe I'm reading to much into it tho

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brianna Jones-You're not alone. I totally agree with you. I don't consider myself a serious shipper, but I am hoping for the ultimate endgame of the series to be Riley and Farkle, after they've had multiple relationships with other people.

      That being said, I see Riley as being a real blend of both of her parents, with a large dollop of Uncle Eric. My favorite fan theory is that Eric was one of her main babysitters when she was very young, and that he had a major influence on her.

      Delete
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QPNXbugZQI yep she defantly has some of Eric and Cory in her. I did a video showing parallels lol also in girl meets the real world when Riley when was singing to zay it remind me of when Eric sang ooh child to Angela in Angela's ashes.

      Delete
  13. Yeah, I liked this episode. And there have been strong hints in the past about Zay liking both girls, during the triangle arc admittedly. It didn't come -totally- out of the blue, though some more lead-up would be good. But then, I'm totally against Josh/Maya so maybe I'm biased.

    I also agree that the callbacks were done well here. The more callbacks they do as references, rather than clips, and where it doesn't matter if you saw the original the better.

    ReplyDelete
  14. No bottle episodes on Boy Meets World? You guys don't remember Train of Fools? Granted that one was pretty weak but it was a pretty classic example of a bottle episode

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my understanding is that a bottle episode is financially constrained, so they limit to one-ish set that they already have, like the apartment in friends or the matthews' apartment. it's a limited set in Train of Fools but they DID make a new set.

      Delete
    2. Sean-You are correct. The technical definition of a bottle episode is an episode that uses only existing sets, and relies almost entirely on the main cast, with possibly a few recurring characters.

      Delete
  15. First thing, Maya and Josh are acting like more of a couple than Riley and Lucas and it's making me uncomfortable. That said, the Zay and Maya seeds have definitely been planted. The little fake girlfriend scene in Texas 2, "Ms. Hart, shall we dance?" in Creativity, handshake in Permanent Record and the "I love them both" in Upstate thing.

    I like this. I'm hoping their relationship takes off, platonically or romantically. I like this loads more than Maya and Josh. Also, Maya seemed pretty unenthusiastic when Josh said, "'Til next time?" She seems genuinely unhappy with the whole relationship, really.

    I liked the Maya and Riley friendship here, oddly enough. I think it's nice to see them want different things. They're always characterized as so self-sacrificing and codependent on each other. I like that they want what they want and they didn't want to sacrifice that for the sake of the other.

    Peyton's line delivery in this episode was nice. The "I don't know" when he was talking about the science fair thing was funny. Same with Corey. Farkle wasn't necessary but I think he did a good acting job. Also, that bit at the end with Farkle and Auggie was funny, too. Ben's line delivery on the "I messed up," was gold. Really enjoying the comedic timing on these actors.

    Did anybody else notice that this was Riley and Lucas' first alone scene with nobody else around? I mean, that's a lot different than Lucas and Maya's first alone scene (campfire) or even Riley and Farkle's (Texas 3).

    Josh, though. He is such a wimp in this episode, honestly. Maybe college is too hard on him so he decides to try and become a part of his fifteen year old niece's friend group and pseudo-date her best friend. And, obviously, college is hard, but usually for better reason than the fact that his roommate says schnoop-a-loop, therefore everything's gone to pot. My dislike for Josh is growing, which is too bad. I liked him loads in season one.

    Great episode, though! Lots of fun, nice moments! Good lesson, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl Meets the New World (or whichever it was from that Season 2 premiere week) had a Riley/Lucas-only scene.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. That scene was in Topanga's though, so there were still extras behind them. This was the first completely alone scene.

      Delete
  16. Except Josh didn't want to date Maya. He was the one who said they should wait during the Ski Trip. Josh knew they were at different stages in life, and that dating now was a bad idea. He let her down easy and gently, but made it clear dating each other was a someday off in the future type of thing. Josh went to see his brother and sister-in-law. He was seeking the comfort of home and family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It.. seems unclear. It's what he said, though he really could have done it better. But his "who's here?" seemed a bit off. If he was just there to see Cory and his family, why ask? He could already see Cory and Topanga.

      Josh is not handling Maya's crush at all well.

      Delete
  17. I genuinely thought Josh showing up when Maya and Riley were to be out buying tacos was purposeful on his part, before being dragged into all the Beary nonsense.
    Solid episode, for me.
    Are you kidding? Zay's been talking about his attraction for both leads since forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only problem with that being why, is I don't think he would know they would be out. And, I got the impression the whole family would be going, and if he was there to get them to do his laundry that would defeat the purpose.

      That, and if he wanted to avoid being dragged in, all he had to do is just let Riley move on. He dragged them back in as they were about to go for tacos...

      Delete
    2. As I recall, Zay flirted with Riley literally thirty seconds after being introduced. He waltzed in late for class, said hello to Friar, and then called Riley adorable.

      Delete
    3. My impression from the scene was that he snuck over there to do his laundry when everyone was out - like, he had been there before and they didn't know about it.

      Delete
  18. New Tweet: Girl Meets Writers ‏@GMWWriters · 9 hours ago

    Next: The Great Lady of New York. Who are we really? A love song to all cultures, all people, and individually wrapped American cheese.


    Seems kind of early for a tweet about an episode 3 weeks away, but whatever. I have heard that this is an excellent episode.

    After September there will only be 7 new episodes left this season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind the break. Except that it means there won't be a new episode to watch on the weekend leading in to my birthday.

      Delete
    2. I have high hopes for this episode. I heard that Farkle has a larger role to play. Nice to know they remember he's a main character.

      Delete
    3. and rider and Shiloh are directing the episode. so looking forward to seeing it. :)

      Delete
  19. Well that was fun. I really liked this episode. Sure, it was filler, but Mackenzie Yeager made it feel like filler with purpose. This almost flows with "Real World" as its the beginning of Riley's growing up. While it shouldn't have taken this long to do something with that kind of story, I like how it was handled. Was Riley a bit over...Riley this episode. Yes. But, I like how she basically came to the conclusion to let it go relatively on her own.

    The Mini Miley stuff was throwaway, at best, but I did laugh at them basically coming back to tell Maya that she signed up for this when she agreed to be Riley's friend. And I laughed when Riley's story got everyone on her side. Very funny.

    Alan Matthews is a Navy Boxing Champion. All is right with the world. GMW has healed this wound. The continuity was amazing this episode, and I really thank Ms. Yeager for that. She's got this universe, and show, down pat.

    I'm willing to see where they take this thing with Zay. He's always slightly hinted at his attraction to both girls. So, I think those nuggets are enough to warrant him taking this next step to ask Maya out like that. I just hope this has some direction to it, unlike the Triangle.

    Episode Grade: B+ Mackenzie Yeager should write more. She just gets it. She's written the best episodes of this season.

    Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter. She was awesome this episode. Just awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If memory serves, pwfan, you were convinced this episode was going to be terrible.

      It's always nice to be surprised like this, isn't it.

      Delete
    2. When you're right, you're right. I did have severe misgivings about his episode centering around Beary the Bear Bear. Yet, in the end, Beary didn't really feel important at all. They actually took the focus off the physical stuffed animal, and put it on the idea of Riley's childhood. Which I think was really smart.

      And yes, I like being surprised like this.

      Delete
    3. We even got a teeny glimpse of what I hoped for--Riley was ready to give up looking for Beary before Josh objected.

      However rare it is, I always enjoy seeing Uncle Josh act as an Uncle/Cousin/Playmate. I wish he was around more often.

      Delete
  20. Fantastic episode, I actually remembered you guys discussing how great a job Mackenzie Yeager had done in Jexica, which I also found to be awesome, so when I saw she wrote this one, I was hopeful for another episode that sounded awful but turned out to be good.

    I'm not sure how I feel about Zay and Maya. I guess I need to see more of them interacting, I also thought he was supposed to be with Vanessa, I don't know. I think there's potential there, they're 2 of the 3 funniest characters on the show, and she obviously can't date Cory, so it could be fun, but I do need to see more of them. Full disclosure, I'm a Josh and Maya fan, so I'm biased there; didn't like Josh in this one though, first thing he says to her is long game? that's just weird. Plus, I keep waiting for him to be in more than just a couple of episodes every season, maybe it's time to move on to someone she actually interacts with.

    Anyway, on to the important part, TACOS!!! I absolutely loved every single Taco joke from Cory and Maya. It was hilarious, even more with the taco bobblehead. It was so funny, you can tell the cast had a hard time not laughing when Cory and Maya throw a tantrum when the bobbleheads are gone. I loved it so much that I'm willing to forgive that the Taco bobblehead is an american taco, which as a mexican, I consider America's greatest insult to mexican culture since Speedy Gonzalez.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ratings are in: 1.86 million views

    Truthfully that's more than I assumed for an episode that didn't really involve the ships. Up 300k from last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was impressed at first, but then I remembered the writers' tweet "Zay confronts Joshaya."

      Delete
  22. It was nice to see Farkle's small scene with Topanga.

    He's been mostly window dressing this season (a couple of really good, but short scenes throughout, but nothing major).

    While the character has changed a lot from early Farkle, I really think he's had a very realistic portrayal of a kid "growing up." He was a goofy tween, that recognized his eccentricities was more harm than help as a teen, and changed. Its a very real, relatable plot line to many viewers who've seen friends do the same, or have been through it themselves. And I love the constant questioning of by him of the growing up process and knowing what to do. The conversation with Topanga was just the continuation of Farkle trying to grow and change since Girl Meets Yearbook, but being self-aware enough to question if he (and the group) are doing it right.

    I just hope that all of this is leading somewhere and he gets a plot with some meat on it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I do think it's a little weird that they didn't find the bear though. Riley constantly leaves her window open. Does it bother anyone else that somebody could have snuck in and took it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. It's not like you lost track of where you kept the bear, or you left it at school, or it's been weeks since you've seen it and who knows? You had it last night. If no one's been in or out of the apartment, it literally HAS to be there somewhere. And not just anywhere in the apartment. In your room. By where you had it. Did you check your room, Riley? It's in your room.

      Delete
    2. I guess they should not have shown or even mentioned Beary before going to sleep; instead, Riley feels the sudden urge (make up your own reason) to look to Beary for comfort, but has no idea where he is.

      OR the sudden loss was supposed to show how easily these things disappear.

      Delete
    3. Yeah. Not showing the bear just before going to sleep would have made it make more sense. But it's really just a minor quibble.

      Delete
  24. September programming highlights have been released by DisneyABC Press:

    Friday, September 16
    Original Series - Episode Premiere
    "Girl Meets The Great Lady of New York"
    (8:30 - 9:00 P.M. EDT)
    Some of the students are surprised to learn about their diverse heritage during Cultural Week.

    Friday, September 23
    "Girl Meets She Don't Like Me"
    (8:30 - 9:00 P.M. EDT)
    Riley is ready to make new friends in high school, but everyone is not as friendly as she expects. The students learn a new lesson in health class.


    Pictures for Great Lady of New York: http://www.disneyabcpress.com/disneychannel/shows/girl-meets-world/episodes/girl-meets-the-great-lady-of-new-york/

    Good to see Auggie is a Mets fan. Sadly Cory is still wearing a Phillies cap.

    Pictures for She Doesn't Like Me: http://www.disneyabcpress.com/disneychannel/shows/girl-meets-world/episodes/girl-meets-she-dont-like-me/

    Nice to see Smackle is back for this one.

    On September 23rd, Liv & Maddie is the lead in at 8PM. The season premiere should provide good ratings for it, hopefully the viewers stay for GMW.

    ReplyDelete
  25. New Tweet hot off the presses (so to speak): Girl Meets Writers ‏@GMWWriters · 22 minutes ago

    World Meets Girl. This one's for you.


    I know that World Meets Girl is the name of a late season episode, and that it was made with input from their audience, but it seems a little strange to just put this tweet out here and now. It probably won't air until next year as it was the last episode filmed.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sean if GMW does end after this season, any chance you'd review Scrubs?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Peyton Meyer said in an interview that he kept the Matthews' couch after Season 3 wrapped...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That certainly sounds dire...

      But then again, "Hannah Montana" got a whole new set of sets for its fourth season...though it was a real money-spinner so it may be an exception.

      Let's not count our chickens before they hatch.

      Delete
    2. Haha, this show's not exactly Hannah Montana. Think it's over, folks.

      Delete
    3. Liv & Maddie got entirely new sets for their 4th season as well.

      If the rumors about the season finale are true, its possible that they could make it so the Matthews' apartment isn't needed while still keeping the school and the bakery.

      Delete
  28. I'm hearing a lot of movement from various press that it may be moving networks. I also think that's actually a really bad call by Peyton to reveal that in an interview.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This highly enjoyable, very funny episode finally aired up here, three weeks after the fact. Yeah, it was really well written.

    Glad you brought up Community. A couple of bits of business in the episode made me believe the resemblance to Cooperative Calligraphy was not just a coincidence based on a similar plot. The annoyance with Riley’s taco-overriding obsession is interesting. I wasn’t troubled by that any more than I was troubled by Annie putting the issue of her missing pen over the rest of the gang’s plans, mostly involving attending a puppy parade.

    I thought it was obvious what happened to the bear. A ghost took it, the ghost of the younger Miley.

    One of the reasons I was okay with the persistence of the dreaded Triangle was fear of having to spend time with Lucas and Riley as a couple. But if this is what that looks like, I had nothing to worry about. There may be a touch of Community about that too.

    I remember Zay all-but asking Maya out in a Season 2 scene that took place in art class. Creativity?

    ReplyDelete