Saturday, December 3, 2016

Episode Review: "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (#3.18)

Wait, PURPLE font, whaaaaaat? I know, I know. I've been tardy. Just be glad I'm here at all, I tried to quit but Sean wouldn't let me. Also, I updated "Hollywood" quite a bit, so check that out. Oh yeah, I remember you. Name's Crimson, right? Cribbage? Crabcakes? It's one of those.

But let's not go crazy. Sean's still the lead singer these days. 
Pictured: photorealism 
I'll be singing back-up vocals from here on out, except the last episode. I'll do a real review for that, and I'll even start it off. And I get to do that because while I've bequeathed the company to Sean to run, I maintain my seat as Chairman of the Board. I may have mixed my metaphors.

But I'm going to write some errant thoughts down:

Don't get me wrong. I'm not an idiot. I knew Shawn wasn't going to be in this episode. But that's because I'm fairly plugged into the comings and goings of the cast of this show. If I was a civilian just watching this episode, I would kinda feel like they built it up that Shawn would be here to spend his first Christmas with Maya, since he was brought up as being a part of her issues here. I am an idiot, I didn't know, and now you've ruined Christmas. Or maybe Rider ruined it by not wanting to be here. 

Maya's scared that her Christmas might still suck. This is standard Michael Jacobs fare because it sort of falls under the "learn so much ... still be so stupid" umbrella. Shawn consistently proves to her that he's going to make shit awesome. She consistently learns to be excited about having Shawn around, that her life is going to be better. But now she still doubts it. So yes, the theme is consistent, but I would much rather have progress than consistency.
Ultimate boyfriend Lucas ran away from his girlfriend's Secret Santa. Okay.

Topanga finishes reading The Gift of the Magi to Ava and Auggie, only she got a rare misprinted copy where the ending is at the front.


I find it totally acceptable and okay that Zay wouldn't know Smackle well enough to know what to get her. She's only kind of in their group, she usually doesn't hang out with them, Zay wasn't there in Season 1 to be a part of how they got to know her, and she didn't even go to JQA so he probably has only spent four months of real time with her. I like Farkle explaining the theremin. Being enthusiastic about a quirky bit of knowledge is what makes the nerd archetype lovable. Like Christian explaining soap operas in the previous review. More of this, less of whatever we've been getting lately. But Farkle not knowing Zay well enough to know what to get him rings false. They've spent a lot of time together, and Lucas, Farkle, and Zay are a unit. Hell, I feel like I know Zay well enough to get him something he'd like. Dude likes cookies. Get him some cookies. Actually, call up his grandma, explain that Riley ate his cookie and try to get her to send one more.  Get your billionaire father, with his private jet, to fly her out even for a visit. That would be an amazing gift. Asshole. This was easy. Yeah that would have been an amazing gift. I do like the idea of Farkle being a hypocrite on his own self righteousness about knowing people in the group, you know, having this flaw that clearly upsets him. But like you said it just can't work with their history.

Also, while any episode without Lucas is a gift from the heavens above, this was a weird one for him to miss. Like, he could've missed last week's no problem. But the group's Secret Santa episode ought to have him in it, and as the lynchpin of the LZF trio, he's probably a good person for Farkle to talk to about his indecision about what to get Zay. 

So Riley wants Maya to go home and Ava is having a (more than likely) placebo-effect sugar rush. Please make it stop. I have no tolerance for this.

Also, can I figure out the rest of the Secret Santas based on the info I have? Probably. Riley has Farkle, Farkle has Zay, Zay has Smackle, Smackle has Maya. So, either Maya has Riley (which seems like a thing they'd have happen in this episode) or, if Riley really is making Lucas do it, then Maya has Lucas and Lucas will get Riley. But that seems unlikely. That would Lucas would be significant in this episode and not be in it. 

Riley throws some glitter and declares it's time for a miracle. Funny. She does some dramatic Riley-ness to introduce her new living room production, "A Christmas Maya." Funny. If Ava Morgenstern ever played me in a touching dramatized account of my Christmas-past, I would never be able to recover my sanity. It has to be Martin Freeman or I would never sign over the rights.
Christian says at the end that Rowan was good but not particularly good.  I didn't mean she's not particularly good, I meant, for her, this was nothing unusual. She's as good as she ever is - which has become the best of the kids, in my opinion. So, since she wins all the time, and she did nothing she doesn't normally do, I went with someone else. I think she's been amazing with this Riley weirdness. You can't really script that stuff, you know? The best you can do is write that Riley does some overly dramatic gestures and throws glitter, and then Rowan takes it from there. 

Wait, there was a Christmas when Maya was little where she didn't get a single toy? I call shenanigans. They weren't that poor. You can get some simple toys for like 8 bucks at Walgreens. Katy could scrape together 8 bucks. Shows and stuff always show poor kids getting nothing for Christmas, and always rings false. No, they can't get that new video game console or a new racing bike, but you get something. 

BAHAHAHA. Zay getting Smackle a book on etiquette is HILARIOUS. Yes, it's absolutely a mean gift, and kind of a dick move, but I'm sorry, Smackle is rude and obnoxious and deserves to be called on it. Also, Farkle way overreacted with Riley's gift. That actually seemed pretty thoughtful and was about him, and he totally spazzed. No one said he shouldn't be celebrating Christmas, and he knows Riley better than to accuse her of that. She just thought, during the holidays, he may want some symbol of his newfound Jewish ancestry. He's acting like she drew a swastika on his locker. Farkle is an absolute moron here. 

It's Farkle who was the worst gift-giver in my opinion. Smackle's so out-of-touch she may have genuinely believed Maya would like a broken clock she can fix for fun. I love Smackle's gift for Maya. The symbolism of "you can fix it yourself" is not at all trivial. I think that's awesome. And Zay's gift, at least, was about Smackle and is something she could use -- she acknowledges her difficulty in social interaction and has shown a desire to improve this. (Though, I acknowledge, a gift pointing out her flaws is maybe not a great choice for a Christmas gift. To quote Amy Matthews, that may be better as a gift for, like, a Tuesday.) Farkle, on the other hand, knows perfectly well Zay wouldn't like that gift and if he doesn't he should get out. It's just a gift Farkle would like. Shut up, Farkle. You haven't had anything to do all season, and let's keep it that way. It's funny that they combined Magic The Gathering, D&D, and Settlers of Catan for the game name though. That's the trifecta, baby. 
Pictured: Happiness
The gift exchange fades out with Farkle commenting that they don't really know each other at all. I maintain that Smackle knows the fuck out of Maya and gave her an awesome gift. 

Yeah, I bet you feel like a REAL dingus after Riley touchingly explained what your present meant, DON'T YOU, Farkle? You jackass. That was obviously not an insult. Does Riley go around insulting people? Shut up, Farkle. Riley's explanation is satisfying, but I don't really see what it has to do with a menorah. Get him, you know, "Learn to read Hebrew" or something. Also, your explanation to Zay about your gift sucks. The answer is, yes, that was a gift you'd want. Your idea of including Zay is to force him to do the shit you wanted to do anyway? I think a way to include Zay and not make him feel alone is to let him know you know who he is, and maybe try to do something he'd want to do. "It takes 17 years to play" is hilarious though. 

Oh, and Jesus Christ, Zay just wins the best Present of the Century award. Damn, that's a good gift, considering her situation.  Hell, I didn't mind it before I knew he'd edited it. And that's from a guy who doesn't know her very well. Besides Smackle, the rest of those assholes were struggling with gifts for people they knew. Zay rocks, you guys. ZAY IS THE MOST ROMANTIC MAN I HAVE EVER HEARD OF. OH MY GOD DUDE. I think that just got me pregnant.
There should not be an ounce of contention left over which of LFZ is the best. All you Farkle fans, I need to hear from you in the comments. Explain it to me. At this point, Farkle is my least favorite of the trio. Lucas is lame, but innocuous, and he's nowhere near as bad now that all the romance stuff is done. Farkle is actively irritating. 

Yeah, Smackle's explanation was pretty easy to figure out. It's fine. Little on the nose, but fine. My first guess about the symbolism was a bit off, but yeah, I like this too. 

You know how you prevent this from happening? You put a card on the gift. Like everyone on the planet does. "Hey Smackle, I saw this book and it was wrong in a lot of places, so I fixed it for you. Merry Christmas from Zay" and then nothing gets thrown across the room. 

Cory and Auggie doing a Chet and Shawn impression, only Shawn is portrayed like Fonzie, wins the episode. But, like, where's Shawn? Because... and hear me out on this... I actually think Shawn may do a better job of explaining what Shawn's Christmases were like than Auggie can. Still, I would have liked some direct references to Shawn's Christmases growing up. "Hey boy, lost my job again. Here's an old basketball net. Go get some charity from the Matthews." or Zay and Farkle coming in as those mobsters from "Easy Street" and trying to get Shawn to run drugs for them to buy presents. I agree, but I like to think that someone in the cast or staff has had that "cheese log" line in their pocket since season one of BMW. 

YES YOU'RE VERY MOVING, GIRLS MEETS WORLD. YOU'RE VERY EMOTIONAL, I GET IT, THANK YOU.
NEW GAME: GUESS THE STOCKINGS:
The swan is Riley's because she saw it and named it "Swany" it was her new best friend and she had to have it.
The Santa that looks like The Flash is Cory's because YOU HAVE TO HAVE SANTA ON CHRISTMAS, TOPANGA!
The owls and pears is obviously Topanga's because her weird hippie parents gave it to her as a kid.
The drummer boy/nutcracker is Auggie's because it's the dumbest and also by process of elimination.
Four points to Sean, I win.
Yeah, no, you're right. The bird one is a total "Mom" stocking, leaving the swan to Riley by default as the other "girl" stocking, and of the two "boy" stockings of Santa and nutcracker, I think Santa going to Cory (the gift-giver) and nutcracker (who looks like a Little Drummer Boy too) going to Auggie makes most sense. I think you got it. 

Oh, and right at the end there Riley turns glitter into butterflies and we discover she's a witch. On her way to Hogwarts. Sorting Hat says... Hufflepuff!

Episode Review: B-
Episode Rating: Hmm. Rowan was good, but not particularly good, and she wins this a lot. Nothing about Sabrina struck me much. Cheryl wasn't in it much. Amir Mitchell-Townes, I think. 

Like I said I thought Rowan was great with the weird physical Riley-ness, but Amir takes it for me too. The ending is really significant for you to not have mentioned though. This idea of Maya not having to rely on the Matthews anymore is satisfying. I'm glad we got that in here before the end of the series. Nothing about Maya's storyline did anything for me. As you said, I feel like we've covered this ground so many times it barely registers to me when they do it again. 

The episode was mostly enjoyable, but they definitely could have done better with the Secret Santa. And you really need Lucas for something like that. And you really need Shawn for the other half of the episode. I mean damn, "Let's do a big friendship episode, but one of the friends isn't there. And let's talk about Maya's new life with Shawn and Shawn's old life but Shawn won't be there." It's no good. Skip having Shawn in "Meets True Maya" and put him in here. What? Shawn wasn't in "True Maya"... are you thinking of "Upstate"? He's only been in two episodes this season, "Upstate" and "I Do" both of which had to have him. So if you only get three, and one has to be the finale, they did make the right calls... the issue is just doing what it takes to get Rider to do more. Yeah, I meant Upstate. I was thinking that I'd rather have Shawn in this episode than do the whole "learning to wear the leather jacket again" crap from Upstate, but damn, he proposed in that one didn't he. I guess that does require his presence more than this one does.

79 comments:

  1. In the press pictures released by Disney, there are photos of Riley and Maya in completely different outfits reading a card. I saw fans complaining prior to the episode's premiere about a "deleted Rucas scene" that involved a card from Lucas... so yeah, Lucas was more involved even though he wasn't present (which, as you guys said, was odd for this episode...)

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    1. Jet, there was a scene that was cut in editing. In it Riley gets a note from Lucas that says he bought some toys and donated them to needy kids in her name. That would be a very Riley thing, and something she would really like.

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  2. I'm surprised you guys tolerated Riley this episode. I'm usually in the minority & can tolerate her most of the time, but she was a little too much.. a little too cartoonish for my taste here.

    Everything about Farkle irritated me during the gift exchange. Corey's angry face just makes me laugh. All he does is change his eyes.

    I've come to the conclusion that I'd watch a show about Zay. He's great.

    The constant mentions of Shawn without ever seeing Shawn is getting so unrealistic now that he and Katy are married. Can Rider just refuse to do an episode if the writers intended to include him? What's the deal?

    I liked Riley and Auggie at the end even though AUGGIE saying that stuff was off. I noticed this episode's strong variety of character interactions.

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    1. Yeah, can totally refuse. He's just a guest star, he has no contractual obligation to do anything. He doesn't have to show up at all, and likely wouldn't mind not doing so, but he appears to be willing to do a set number of episodes in a given season. It seems to be two a year, with Rider likely throwing them a bone and showing up the for the finale to.

      Honestly, it's on them for insisting on making Shawn such a big part of the plot even though they know they can't use him much.

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    2. Why did rider agree for his character to marry katy and become a big thing in mayas and katys life if he didnt want to be in the show much. whats going to happen if they get a season 4 and rider is only in 2 episodes.

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    3. Well, while Rider can choose when he appears, it's really not up to him what they have Shawn do. He has no actual ownership of that character. I suppose he coul refuse to appea at all unless they write Shawn the way he wants, but that doesn't really sound like him. And I doubt he cares too much. So, whatever they wanted to do was probably fine, but he wasn't going to appear any extra to accomoddate it.

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    4. As for what would happen in Season 4... I mean, that just so clearly seems not to be happening, I wouldn't overthink it. But if it did, I'm sure, yes, it would just be two-ish episodes for Shawn.

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    5. From memory, Rider said at one point he does any because he felt he was being selfish; because whilst he doesn't feel it, Ben, and to some extent I guess, Danielle, do. So he does it for them more than anything.

      And I think there was an understanding they'd let him direct a bit more as long as he appears in a couple of episodes.

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    6. I was under the assumption that Rider's reluctance to play Shawn so often had more to do with avoiding being type-casted.

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    7. he did write this in 2012 about how he feels about his character http://bullettmedia.com/article/character-study-boy-meets-worlds-rider-strong-reveals-where-shawn-hunter-has-been-hiding/ i think originally he didn't want to come back to girl meets world but he did it for the fans.

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  3. Yeah, that part about how Lucas just ran off to avoid Secret Santa struck me as odd. Riley's apparently his girlfriend (though we have no signs showing them as a couple after Ski Lodge), he left the state and she /didn't even know/? That's some shit.

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    1. Girl Meets Bear is the only episode I can recall that explicitly acknowledges them as a couple. Other than that, they're barely friends.

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    2. What happened in Bear again to show that? The exchange where they talked about sitting next to each other at the movies, right? I remember Zay mentioned them "going on dates" in his little spiel at the end.

      I'm pretty sure I've said this before on one of these posts, but I'm still confused as hell why they would hype up this triangle for all of those episodes this season for them to just drop it like it never happened (for the most part, anyway). You could at least show a little bit of Riley and Lucas holding hands, or the other subtle love stuff that Disney is willing to dip into, instead of blowing it off entirely.

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    3. .... wait till Cryptid has a response to this; but it will go something along the lines of 'he stated what he wanted for them as a couple, and it was for them to have all the important talks with each other, but he never stated at any point doing anything actually romantic'. Which, scarily enough, is true. He stated assumed dates to dances, and important talks. Nothing he stated was every anything about romance. He's the worst BF ever.

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    4. Har har, I love you too Will.

      But yes, that is exactly what Friar said--and that, after a completely inappropriate reaction to Riley spending time with....was it Evan?

      Friar shouts at Riley and then turns around and asks her to be his girlfriend and then makes zero effort to be a boyfriend.

      I despise Friar, and it is my sincerest wish for him to meet an angry cassowary.

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    5. Did I say I disagreed with the summation? I agree; that's just the sad part. You just say it better than I do.

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    6. Sorry if I sounded short-tempered, Will. I had a bit of a cold yesterday.

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    7. You didn't. Or if you did; it passed over my head as Australians notoriously love banter and teasing people they respect and/or like.

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  4. Honestly, I thought this was a very solid episode as far as holiday eps go. Don't really have much to say that you guys didn't cover, but some brief thoughts:

    - I very much enjoyed Zay in this episode - he really is getting better. Remember how hammy he was in the first few seasons? The dynamic between him and Smackle is something we rarely see (if at all) and I'm glad we got to see them interact. It was very nice, much like his brief moment(s) with Maya in Bear.

    - Again, I thought the bit about Lucas escaping without Riley's knowledge was very strange (I already explained that above). And, like you said, this was a very strange episode for him to miss since Christmas is supposed to be about spending time with your friends and family. For us to have the whole gang minus one feels off. Obviously this episode sans Shawn was weird too.

    Well, we have three more episodes to go! I'll be catching some of the Hannah Montana re-runs this month for nostalgia purposes, so I'll see y'all in January. I'm really interested to see what they're doing in the next episode, "World Meets Girl", as the GMWWriters Twitter account tweeted this about it a while back: "An interactive episode. The audience is the show. But then, it always was." Not sure what the heck that could mean...

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    1. i just keep imagining a dora the explorer style episode where riley points at the camera dramatically, smiles and says, "which one do *you* think is the artificial life lesson for this episode?"

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    2. I'm thinking another Eric Hollywood meta-ish episode, probably with a show called "Woman Encounters Galaxy" that Maya and Riley both watch, where there's some sort of comment section that pulls actual comments that the audience has made.

      I don't really know, though; it's pretty vague.

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  5. Due to a new job, I will be working over fifty hours a week until January so I may not be around as much.

    But very funny review, gentlemen. I'll be sure to get to the episode soon.

    As a semi-Farkle fan...eh, I got nothing. The actor's really nice and came to my town to do some event for kids so that's cool and all but Zay is by far of that trio.

    Hell, Zay might be the best character on the show.

    How the fuck did that happen?

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  6. Well I like Zay and Farkle equally and I strongly dislike Lucas. As to why I Farkle?? Well I just do. You guys don't like him and that's fine. I just do not agree with your assessment of him. We all have different opinions. I listen to a podcast and they had the totally opposite reaction to Riley's gift. They thought Riley was the one in the wrong. It's funny how people react to the same situation in different ways. And everybody believes they are 100% right. I personally didn't have a problem with Riley's gift or Farkle's reaction. As always the two of them came an understanding and had another heartfelt moment, which is always lovely to see.

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  7. literally will friedleDecember 4, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    "Owls and pears"

    That a partridge and some pears from a pear tree, you dingus.

    Anyway, Farkle's a moron.

    "Here, Farkle, I got you a menorah".

    "What the fuck. So I can't celebrate Christmas?"

    "...did you space-jump to that conclusion, Samus?"

    I kind of buy it as a reaction from some dumb kid, but a. Farkle isn't supposed to be a dumb kid and b. Farkle is supposed to know Riley well enough to know that she wouldn't be a jerk or whatever.

    and anyway sabrina's face in that pic with ava was basically my reaction to every scene with ava in this episode. please no more ava.

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    1. holy fuck, im suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch a scrooge, how did i not get partridge in a pear tree

      im so glad you're here now, at the end of things. we're lost without you, neither of us got it.

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    2. literally will friedleDecember 11, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      You're a dingus, but you're my dingus <3

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  8. I have a lot of things to say. But first. Did you guys not catch the joke Maya made after she got her secret santa? "I won't even tell you if it's a him or hahurr." That was funny. Also, I read there was a deleted scene where Lucas sent Riley a letter. Apparently he got a little girl a toy on her behalf. Meh. (Also, I think the reason Lucas wasn't there was because Peyton couldn't make it.)

    So, yeah, Zay's the best. But did you see Farkle's face during his scene with Riley? That was... different. I don't know, I think there's a chance - and hear me out - that they could be building something there. Which I think might be brilliant. The missed opportunities of Boy Meets World. The Stuart and the Topanga. I mean at this point, Riley and Farkle have had like, what, seven hugs? And Riley and Lucas have had zip. We've been getting a lot of perception v. reality lessons, about how what's wrapped up all pretty isn't all it's cracked up to be, etc.

    And I'm saying this in part because I finally looked up Belgium 1831 because I was tired of waiting, and it's a revolution. So what if it's Girl Meets World rebelling against Boy Meets World and proving that Riley does not equal Cory, Maya is not Shawn, Farkle is not Minkus and Lucas is not Topanga? I'd be a big time fan of that, to be honest. As things are, don't Riley and Farkle have more depth than Riley and Lucas. And then there's all that dramatic irony with Maya and Lucas with all the things he said about who she is behind her back while she was having an identity crisis.

    Then, Zay and Smackle have just had quite the moment. I don't know. I think that I could totally be reading too far into it. But that Riley/Farkle scene was pretty intense. So was the one in Girl Meets High School 1. And Girl Meets New Years. And Girl Meets Texas 3.

    Riley really doesn't seem to care about Lucas anymore. And the Girl Meets World writers said that they intentionally paralleled Farkle's kiss with Riley in Girl Meets the Truth to Cory and Topanga's first kiss. I don't know. Could be imagining all this, but wouldn't it be great? Plus, Lucas and Maya aren't talking, like, at all. Silence typically means something in fiction as well as big moments.

    If we get renewed (which I know you don't particularly care about) then we'll see. I don't know, I think that could be kinda cool.

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    1. I still think Farkle and Riley are better friends. And yeah, I see a lot of people talking about Farkle/Riley being the kids of Minkus and Topanga.

      But... I don't think Topanga ever saw Minkus as anything but a friend. Even ignoring the stupid retcon that apparently Cory/Topanga had been in love their entire lives. (I can accept the somewhat unrealism of Cory/Topanga being childhood sweethearts that actually work. That though is a line I can't cross), I just think Topanga saw Minkus as a very good friend.

      And besides, taking out the times Isadora does this insane flirting with Lucas, I like Isadora too much, and she's trying to actually be friends, and one of the first real friends she has steals her boyfriend? That could send her so far back that she'd never have real friends again.

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    2. "And besides, taking out the times Isadora does this insane flirting with Lucas, I like Isadora too much, and she's trying to actually be friends, and one of the first real friends she has steals her boyfriend? That could send her so far back that she'd never have real friends again."

      Agreed. However frustrated I am with Isadora's insane flirting, I'm too fond of her to allow anything to happen.

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    3. I ship Riley and Farkle too. Couples can break up. Isadora's family could move and the couple decides they're too young to do a long distance relationship. While Topanga and Stewart may have been better as friends, I think Riley and Farkle work better as a couple, but when they're older and have dated other people.

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  9. I... didn't really like Riley in this. Sure, Farkle over-reacted to her gift and stating that it was a snub at him on not being able to celebrate Christmas was stupid; but it actually was not a nice gift. And any gift that needs to be explained is just sad. Farkle's gift to Zay was ridiculous, and I -play- Dungeons and Dragons. Smackle's.. I'll give her a pass on, because she's trying.

    I do think, given Riley didn't get a gift, that Maya was meant to have Lucas as her secret santa, and Lucas, Riley. That that didn't get shown makes it bad.

    I agree though; there have been lots of episodes where Lucas being missing could have been fine; hell, pretty much any one since the end of the Triangle; except maybe 'Girl meets Bear'.

    On the bright side, this is the first time in a while that Farkle/Isadora seem like a genuine couple. Clearly, we need to get rid of Lucas as much for Farkle as for Riley.

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    1. In fairness to Riley, this year Christmas and Hanukkah are on the same day. That might have explained her gift.

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    2. Maybe; but that could have been explained. Most people probably aren't aware when it is.

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    3. They did show that Maya got Lucas. When she says "Im not even going to say if its a him or hahur" she was telling Zay that she got Lucas without Riley noticing.

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    4. I absolutely love how proud of herself she looks when Riley doesn't notice that line.

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  10. Is this the first time ever on this show that it was acknowledged that Shawn used to live in a trailer park?

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    1. I'm not sure it is; but even if it is, it's not exactly something you'd bring up very often.

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  11. Hi everyone, sorry I'm late.

    For the most part I enjoyed this one, but I do agree that Secret Santa was a little rushed. That could have easily been A-plot. Maya's issues aren't even a dead horse at this point; they're the fossilized bones of Dinohippus. Not that I thought it bad necessarily, but it isn't new. I want new: Let Maya be stuck on what to get her new step-dad for Christmas--parents can be hard to shop for.

    I know most everyone here seemed to like it, but I honestly thought it was a little...inappropriate for Zay to get Isadora that gift. He tells Farkle he doesn't know anything about her (which is completely reasonable). And their interactions have been few--Isadora asked in "High School" if anyone wanted a hug, and she flirted with him in "Permanent Record," though not to the extent she does with Friar. It just seems too personal...but then again, my hatred for Friar often carries over to Zay, so I'm probably not being fair.

    Oh, and about Ava...I didn't mind her quite as much as usual, but I think a better C-plot would be for her to tell Auggie there's no such thing as Santa.

    On a final note, Friar is a cotton-headed ninny-mungus.

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  12. "Wait, PURPLE font, whaaaaaat? I know, I know. I've been tardy. Just be glad I'm here at all,"

    Yeah I know that feel. I haven't blogged on my own friggin' blog in weeks. Would this be the first I've come here in months?

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  13. Oh, guys I forgot. The reason that Friar was not in this episode was because at the time it was being filmed, Peyton was in Australia, helping out on some sort of acting seminar headed by Disney.

    Doesn't change my opinion on Friar one iota, but it does help to give context.

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    1. Except; didn't they know he'd be away for one episode; and they decided the Christmas episode was the best one for him to miss; thus why it was filmed quite a bit out of sequence?

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    2. That is exactly correct Will. It was Jacobs decision as to which episode he would miss. They could have written him out of any episode they hadn't yet filmed, but they chose this one.

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    3. Yeah, that's what I thought. And though I don't really like Lucas, this is the absolute worst one, post-triangle at least, for him to skip.

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  14. I liked this episode for what it was. For me, Riley and Zay saved this episode from really being an unmitigated clusterfuck of epic proportions. I like Maya, I really do and I think Sabrina has been fantastic in this role. That said, I don't need another "my life sucked" storyline in the same way I don't need a bullet in my skull. It's tired, and its a safety blanket. Can we please tell another story with her? Please? It was nice to see Katy again, though.

    But let's get to the heart of this episode, the Secret Santa. First off, I'm sure glad we payed off on that Triangle, because Lucas has been shittastic in the aftermath. Don't invoke romance if there will be no romance after the fact. So, for him to fly off to Texas during Christmas w/o his girlfriends knowledge is dumb. But that really isn't the worst thing about the present exchange. Farkle was. Farkle was nearly the worst thing about the whole damn episode. It's a damn shame he also had Ava to contend with, or he would have won it all on his own. He was an ass from nearly the second he was on screen. He had no cause to jump down Riley's throat like that. He's known her his whole life, and he thought she'd do that to him? Fuck that all day long! Zay, on the other hand, played it exactly right. Got her a gift that we'd all agree she needs, even if it were a little mean, but then shows that he customized it for her. That's really sweet, and he commanded the entire scene save for Riley.

    I liked the Dickens' style play in the living room, even with Auggie doing a Fonzie impression. I think that was a callback to Shawn's initial portrayal being as a 2nd tier Fonzie. Which I found funny. I also chuckled at Topanga almost killing Ava on Christmas. Please do it! I won't turn you in Topanga I promise. How she continues to let her sit on her lap and do this mother gimmick with Ava is beyond me.

    The post tag w/ Auggie was cute, but I will say that them having Riley end up being the altruistic manipulator that Auggie described is a bit much. But whatever.

    Episode Grade: B- Good, but not great.

    Episode MVP: Amir Michael-Townes. He was just the best the whole way through.

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    1. Truthfully, I think the entire group of six could use that Book of Etiquette, considering how often they talk out of turn in class, half the time shouting at the tops of their lungs.

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    2. What's ridiculous and unrealistic about that is, in most episodes, Cory just pauses his lessons while they commence their nonsense. Remember in Sneak Attack when there was all that nonsense with Missy, and Cory just resumes teaching when it's all done as if nothing happened? He seriously has no control over his class. I'm preaching to the choir though since Sean and Christian have said this many, many times.

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    3. pwfan-"Auggie doing a Fonzie impression. I think that was a callback to Shawn's initial portrayal being as a 2nd tier Fonzie."

      This was a call back (and my absolute favorite "Boy Meets World" call back so far) to the episode where Cory and Shawn go to a party at another school and Cory pretends to be Shawn (with Shawn's permission).

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    4. Could be either; or both. It could also be a reference to the season 3 time travel episode where Shawn really was Fonzie for all intents and purposes.

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    5. literally will friedleDecember 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      Shawnzie*

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  15. Saw the episode.

    Ehhhhhhhhhh.

    Zay was fantastic. He is one smooth motherfucker.

    Riley was great.

    Smackle was good.

    Ava sucked.

    Maya REALLY sucked.

    Farkle was atrocious.

    I wish we could have gotten a montage of past Secret Santas because it's Season fucking 3 and this is when we get one?

    Oh well.

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  16. Excuse me but my inner kid is speaking. no disrespect to GMW . I admire and respect the actors esp Sabrina and Rowan. FUCK Riley and Maya. Miley and Lily Rock!!! They didn't have a stupid triangle that went too long. They had bullies and Miley didn't always it easy.

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  17. Miley didn't have it easy all the time. Lily accidentally told everyone her crush.She had to go out with Rico and let Amber, the mean girl not be humiliated on TV and end up walking through the green arch and end up green all over.

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  18. I disagree and think it makes sense Farkle doesn't really know Zay that well. I don't really see them spending much time together without the others or having deep and meaningful conversations. I totally agree that while the gesture from Farkle was nice, the present still sucks. He could have found a way to bond with Zay that was more Zay's speed. Those types of games are excruciating if you're not into them :s

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    1. While I do agree with you that Farkle rarely interacts with Zay on a one-on-one basis (as it happens, one-on-one interactions that aren't Riley and Maya are fairly rare on this show in the first place), the fact remains that the boys do interact together as a group frequently enough that he would be able to get a Secret Santa gift.

      If I were Farkle, I'd have given Zay a copy of "The Notebook."

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  19. People are not seeming to notice our new post!

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    1. I'll get to it! I'm off tonight.

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    2. Hey, I work a full-time job, Christian. I only just got told half an hour ago.

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  20. This is my first time reading your post and I only found one thing offensive which is that you think Rowan is the most talented of the group. I call foul on that. We've seen two things from Riley: happy and sad. Whereas, due to the depths of her character, we've seen much more from Sabrina and we've seen it done well.

    I personally don't care for Riley but I appreciate good acting regardless of rather or not I like the character. Rowan is okay. Amir is better. She's toward the middle of the pack as far as their group is concerned.

    That being said, as annoying and skin crawlingly jolly as she is, I enjoyed her glitter throwing this episode. Then again, that's probably because Christmas warrants that type of behavior. I loved her emotion while explaining to Farkle why she bought him the Menorah. Rarely do we get anything besides happy from her. And that's my main beef with her. She's one dimensional most of the time. I need her to be a real teenager which is hormonal and emotionally unstable.

    I found Ava pretty funny too and she annoys me about as much as Riley does. Lucus not being there was VASTLY upsetting but I feel like there's a plan concerning his absence and Maya pulling his name. I mean, he ran away from his gf almost paving the way for a gift so amazingly thoughtful from Maya that he returns with a change of Hart (<<<you see it). Or maybe we have to wait until he's back to see the exchange. Either way, I have high hopes. I hope that storyline carries over into a possibly nonexistent season 4.

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  21. A funny thing: I actually have never watched BMW and I still care more about Shawn and Katy's romance than any of the kids storylines. Right now, the only kids I like is Zay, Maya and Isadora. I did like Lucas before when he interacted with Maya. I can't stand Riley and especially Farkle anymore. I wish we got more Eric. You all seem to love him but I didn't see the appeal to him in GMW. Was he portrayed well on this show? Im planning to watch some episodes of BMW,I just don't know which ones I should watch. And it was indeed stated that Maya got Lucas, she told Zay with "Im not even going to say if its a him or hahur". I thought it was cute, this little interaction between them.

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  22. 1.2 million viewers for Friday.

    I'd say yikes, but Disney's viewers have been in the shithole for a while.

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    1. I believe this 1.2 and change was fewer than the last 1.2 and so this is another series all-time low.

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  23. Girl Meets World has been nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for the third time in 3 years. I'm actually laughing in disbelief at this one though - here it is: “Girl Meets Commonism” (Girl Meets World), Written by Joshua Jacobs & Michael Jacobs; Disney Channel

    Of all the season 2 episodes, that was among the weakest.

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    1. Hang on, what? Not only was it generally not written that well, (I don't know it's the worst though); it also has this failure that's come up since as well, of giving people half the idea of something from history. They ignored one of the biggest issues of Communism.

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    2. God in Heaven, what have they done?!

      That's probably the second-worst episode of the season (the worst being WoT 2).

      I despise and detest Communism and I was disgusted. It gave a weak representation of the issue (How do you not bring up the redistribution of wealth?), did a bad job showing why it was bad (94 million dead), and then did a poor job showing why the alternative was good (For a severe want for ideas, have Cory and Topanga dock Riley's allowance to match Auggie's).

      Bad Writers' Guild. Bad, bad, bad Writers' Guild.

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    3. Joshua and Michael Jacobs co-wrote that episode which is probably why it was nominated. The episodes had to be between Dec 2015 and Nov 2016 to be nominated. If they put it in for contention early, New Year, STEM and Money were before Commonism and in the time frame and while they had their weak points, all three were much better in terms of story, structure and performance.

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    4. This feels like a Jabobs kiss ass nomination.

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    5. That is kind of insulting. To the nomination committee. Because I'm pretty sure nobody will ever take any of their nominations seriously anymore.

      They seriously couldn't have picked ANY other episode that season? Pretty much every single one of them would have been better than that trainwreck of an episode.

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    6. I heard about the nomination but didn't realize it was for Commonism. Wow. If they were handed award-worthy writing, everyone else associated with making that episode really fucked up.

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  24. so the writers tweeted world meets girl is going to be a one hour episode.

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  25. Starting in January, Disney is going back to its mid-2000 time slots for Friday and Sunday night shows. GMW will be showing at 6PM Eastern in the US.

    Here is the article - http://www.nickandmore.com/post/154289181419/disney-channel-returns-to-mid-2000s-premiere-style

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  26. I liked this one a ton. It probably helped that it aired up here two weeks closer to Christmas, a few days before I go home for the holidays, on a night made extra wintry by extreme-cold-warning weather.

    Of course, I’m strongly pro-Riley too, and would always find watching Rowan Blanchard being funny to be at least an agreeable way to spend time.

    This wasn’t a bad outing for Farkle. I have known some people for decades longer than he has known Zay and would shit the bed if I had to come up with a gift that demonstrated deep personal insight. When I was 15, I bought my younger brother a Deep Purple record for Christmas. He looked at it kind of how Zay looked at Farkle’s gift.

    As a gift recipient, Farkle not having yet fully or properly processed information about his heritage doesn’t seem like too big of a stretch. And that Farkle would suspect that Riley would try to force a change in her friend was eminently believable. I liked the interaction between them, and between him and Isadora, though it took a second viewing for me to notice that they were using their theremin imitations as pretend horror-movie music cues.

    I liked Isadora, especially when she hurled that book at Zay. The discussion attending Zay’s gift to her is likely to be the only time her odd behaviour is placed in its original, disorder-based context.

    I would welcome Katy even if all she did was sit there, and that was what we got here. I liked Topanga as Katy, and the self-aware joke about switching personalities.

    As contrivances go, Maya’s fleeing Christmas with Shawn lest it go wrong wasn’t too big to swallow. And as an exercise in having to hear about her problems again, this one was rather muted. It wasn’t like she was busting up her best friend’s wedding so as better to express her angst. She had a few nice touches. Her name was in the episode title, but she didn’t make a comparable impression.

    I agree this episode could have used Shawn. Couldn’t they all?

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    1. Interesting points Milestones, and I'm pleased to see you haven't frozen solid in the polar vortex that is stretching across our continent.

      You raise a point about Farkle, but it's something I'd rather have seen elaborated a bit. He seemed a bit confrontational from my perspective and it's a scene I wished could have been one-on-one rather than among the entire group.

      And while Riley is certainly pushy, she does seem to be a bit more...respectful of Farkle's differences than Maya's differences.

      I liked the interactions between them, mind you, I just think they could have done a bit more.

      An entire episode could have been sculpted around just the kids and the Secret Santa with Riley feeling very guilty that she got something for Farkle that he didn't end up liking.

      And Isadora was better than she's been in a long time in this--though some of the writing was a little off. I noticed that she said that it was her first time playing Secret Santa, but she also agreed with Maya, Farkle and Zay that she didn't like playing the game.

      Fair point about Maya, and now I think I might have been a little too harsh. That said, I think I'd prefer seeing Maya stress over what to get Shawn for "his first Christmas as my dad."

      This is Cryptid by the way.

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    2. Yeah, sure, Maya makes sense. Doesn't mean it's very happy watching though. Just like seeing Riley continue to go through identity crisises (...or however you say it) makes sense; but it doesn't mean it's something I want to watch continually. Even the strength of "Jexica" doesn't entirely erase that, because it just makes me wish they hadn't done one of the earlier ones.

      And yes, this may be something that happens, that even stretching back to BMW they don't seem to learn from their mistakes; but it -is- one of the more aggravating things about the franchise.

      As for Farkle... I dunno. I didn't hate him as much as some here, and I think Riley -was- kind of outta line to be honest, but it didn't come across he thought Riley wanted to force a change, not entirely. It seemed like he thought Riley was making fun of him.

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    3. Hi Cyrptid, Will. I've traded the bitter cold for rain for the holidays. A seemingly spiteful dump of snow, even as the cold moderated, added delays and stress to the travel.

      Cryptid, no doubt this could all have been done better, and I'm making the most modest of claims for both Maya and Farkle in this one. I'm predisposed to be affected by Maya's circumstance, but this wasn't affecting at all. But I wasn't really off put by it either.

      To employ yet another Community reference, GMW is like the Nicholas Cage of TV. I'm determined to enjoy the good, shrug off as best as I can the bad, and not drive myself mad trying to make cohesive sense of it all.

      Those are interesting takes on Isadora and Riley/Farkle, guys, stuff I didn't catch or saw differently. I'd probably want to give it another spin when I get back, but watching holiday stuff right after the holidays would be hard.

      Speaking of Christmas, Will, I wanted to follow up on how it goes in Australia. Are songs like White Christmas and Winter Wonderland part of the tradition? Do your cards have summer rather than winter imagery?

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    4. Yeah, you'd think it would, wouldn't you? But ultimately, we still fall back on European traditions for the most part. Winter Wonderland is an especially big one.

      The problem also is that so many Christmas movies are clearly set during winter.

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  27. Putting this here instead of in the character sections. Disney's website has put up their synopsis of January's episodes as well as pictures. Interesting by it's absence is Girl Meets Goodbye, which isn't listed.

    January 6th - World Meets Girl - Fans peek behind the scenes of “Girl Meets World.”
    http://www.disneyabcpress.com/disneychannel/shows/girl-meets-world/episodes/world-meets-girl/

    January 13th Girl Meets Sweet 16 - With Riley’s 16th birthday approaching, the kids contemplate the future and how rapidly their relationships will change in a few short years.
    http://www.disneyabcpress.com/disneychannel/shows/girl-meets-world/episodes/girl-meets-sweet-sixteen/

    Even if we believe that this episode takes place in late spring, Riley's 16th birthday is still more than 6 months away.

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    1. Could the promos be wrong and it's actually Maya's birthday that's coming up? Wouldn't be the first time that there were mistakes.

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    2. Based upon accounts I have read by people at the live tapings, no, the description seems correct.

      As with a lot of TV shows that don't have a very well defined timeline, the word "soon", which Cory uses in class, should be taken as some undefined time in the future.

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