Look we can't all be TALENTED WRITERS okay
Topanga's talking to a character other than Auggie, which is just super neato. It's nice of her to make this Cuban food for Auggie's new friend who we'll never see again, but it's not much of a plot.
Riley and Maya have awful presentations about their heritage and I really enjoy how unhappy Cory is about it. He's not just making some weird Cory face in the background while the audience laughs, he's actually mad. Way to go.
Yeah I love Cory in this scene. The plot hasn't really taken off yet, so I don't know what to write about, but I'm having fun.
It's... it's difficult to write about. Here's the problem with this, I think. This cultural heritage lineage ancestry stuff is supposed to be important to the individual. On a cosmic scale, it's cool that Zay learned about his family's history, but how is that supposed to be entertaining? That doesn't tell us anything about him as a person or as a character, I'm not suddenly more invested in the show. If he were my friend in real life it might be some fun trivia to know, but... Otherwise... It's hard to care.
OOOOOOH OKAY, I don't need this little Elian Gonzalez stroking America's ego here, okay, come on. "Nice country you got here" with the touching guitar music? Bad show. Bad bad show.
If this Cambodian woman's story takes longer than a minute, I'm going to riot. Yes, very sad story. I SUPPOSE this is a girl meeting the world, you have technically satisfied the criteria with this episode, fine. And Maya is consistently funny to keep the overall tone from getting too depressing. We're clearly building up to something with Farkle, so let's keep moving.
|Pictured: Very mysterious|
There's a half assed attempt at closing out Maya's branch of the story. Now she knows like two more things about Ireland, it's whatever. Riley steals the class to make a really obvious point about the whole "melting pot" thing, I don't care, let's just get to Farkle already. Yeah, very sad holocaust related background for Farkle, but that doesn't tell me anything about Farkle. If he were my friend in real life he would have all of my sympathy, but what does this do for the show? I don't know why shows do this, they tell us about something bad happened so we can be like "Boy you're right, bad things do happen." Like Dangerous Secret in Boy Meets World, but even then we saw this compassionate/vigilante side of Shawn, so we actually did get something out of that. Maybe this is more comparable to Teacher's Bet in season one of BMW, where it's like yeah, ethnic cleansing is bad, America is not so bad, woo hoo.
What on earth is this running gag about Elian Gonzalez having a friend like Ava? They really couldn't think of anything else to talk about? Like, gee, President Obama re establishing ties with Cuba? No you're right, Cuban Ava is way more important.
That's the entire ending gag, is that both boys are stuck with this awful girl. How did this happen? We were just talking about the god damn HOLOCAUST. What an absolute disaster ending. This is nightmare fuel.
What can I even say, the Auggie story was a huge waste of time, like always. I guess we're supposed to feel inspired by the main story to find out our own backgrounds, but that just doesn't appeal to me. I mostly use my German background as an excuse to drink too much, that's about it. The biggest problem is that we didn't learn anything new about the characters themselves. I challenge any of you to give one reason you would ever watch this episode again.
My favorite part of the episode was at the end when Danielle Fishel broke character and asked God to kill her. She really is a trooper for putting up with this nonsense. That whole ending sequence was literally the worst thing I've seen in the Meets World franchise. I was fucking mortified. Still, not so mortified that I can't call the Cuban boy by his name Raffi, rather than Elian Gonzales. *I* don't assume everyone of Latin heritage is an illegal immigrant like Sean-ald Trump over here!
I also wasn't into the Farkle's great-grandfather was in the holocaust business. Definitely felt like cheap, unearned drama. If we had an established Jewish character whose Jewishness was a part of his identity, it would mean something to me. To suddenly reveal one of the characters is secretly Jewish only to IMMEDIATELY drop the Holocaust card is bad, lazy writing.
Oh. Speaking of which....
|One of these boys is Jewish. The other is a WASP and his ancestors probably came over on the Mayflower. Can you guess which is which? The answer may surprise you!|
There's only one Jewish boy adopted by a Christian family on this show, a'ight, and his name ain't Minkus.
It was obvious where they were going, but you know what I was hoping? Minkus is a German name. Stuart Minkus is as Aryan as they come. Both Minkii are highly organized, direct, ambitious people. One of them has ambitions to rule the world. See where I'm going with this? I thought it would be cool if Farkle discovered his great-grandfather was a Nazi, who was allowed to come over to America through Project Paperclip and be a scientist here. The devastation there I would buy. Farkle would be horrified to discover that about his family, and it could even frighten him as he recognized qualities within himself that are not entirely un-Nazi-esque. And, so, like, you'd get the dark side of learning your family's story. Your family's story could suck.
But, no. Instead we got this.
On another note, I figured Zay was Creole and would have gotten to Texas by way of Louisiana. I mean, "Babineaux"? I think that would have been a better history. Although, yeah, obviously, it all comes back to Africa.
This episode did have plenty of funny parts. Sean touched on some of them. It's been a while now since I watched it, so I can't remember any others offhand, but I do remember being struck by that. I also really enjoyed Cory in this episode, for the reasons Sean touched on. But some portions of this episode are rather epically bad. Still, nice to see Cory in a Phillies hat again.
Episode Rating: C (And I'm being fucking kind after that last scene)
Episode MVP: Ben Savage
Elian was a brave ass kid, it's a compliment. (And I genuinely couldn't remember Raffi's real name.) You're a super genius though with that Nazi idea. Holy fuck, that's so perfect man. Grow a pair, Disney!