Tuesday, January 31, 2017

20 Greatest Meets World Characters: #5. Alan Matthews

#5. Alan Matthews



Played By: William Russ (1993-2000, 2014, 2017)
Episode Count:  132 (130- BMW, 2- GMW)
Role: Matthews family patriarch
Signature Episodes: On the Fence, Father Knows Less, The Father/Son Game, Kid Gloves, Career Day, Stormy Weather, You Can Go Home Again, I Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce No More, Wheels, Security Guy, Raging Cory, Better than the Average Cory, Cutting the Cord, The Honeymoon is Over, Pickett Fences, I'm Gonna Be Like You Dad

Where to even start? Genius though my other posts undoubtedly were, I must confess I never really gave them all that much though. We gave the rankings themselves plenty of thought, and ample discussion, so I basically just kind of restated my explanations and reasonings and could crack them out in 10-15 minutes. But now we're looking at the Big Five, not just the greatest five characters in the Meets World universe, but also the five who mean the most to me. They're great for so many reasons, with so many examples I could share, that I confess I'm a little intimidated for the three it's my responsibility to write about. Especially since, as in the case of Alan, I'm also tasked with explaining why I didn't rank him higher.

Sean and I have both waxed endlessly about how Alan is the perfect TV dad. He existed in the age of '90s sitcom dads in which all fathers were some degree of oafish. Benign idiots (usually fat, but with far hotter wives) who were prone to laziness, comical pratfalls and bad, out-of-touch advice. If there's any competent help or advice to come from the parents in these shows, it generally comes from the mother. I've read articles on this phenomenon in the past, and most sources seem to point to Homer Simpson as who really popularized this trope, but from Al Bundy to Danny Tanner to Tim Taylor to Carl Winslow it really affects just about everyone. It didn't use to be the way the world worked, TV fathers of the '60s, '70s, and early '80s were often almost preternaturally wise, and it's thought that the instinct to avert that trope caused another one to come to light.

Whatever the genesis of it, Alan Matthews isn't having any of that. Alan feels like a real dad, he works hard, he gives great advice, he cares deeply for his children, and he scares the shit out of them when they're in trouble. He's not perfect, by any means. He makes mistakes and his first instinct isn't always correct. Sometimes he even mistreats his children and needs to be told by Amy or even them that he's doing so. But he always means well, and if he does screw up, he corrects it right away. Sure, he's sometimes a little oafish, and sometimes a little out-of-touch. Dads are like that sometimes. But I don't know any fathers who are defined by that. Mine certainly wasn't. My father (and I think most) chart a course like Alan does: day-to-day he's less likely to nag you about little things like picking up your room or doing your homework, but if you really get in trouble, he's who you have to deal with, and you're not going to like it. That was exactly the dynamic Alan had with Eric and Cory, and it really felt true. Sean's fond of Eric's quote from "Uncle Daddy": "You think he likes yelling at us all the time? He doesn't. He hates it." and it is a good one. But another part I like from that episode is the little B-Story he has with Cory, because it feels really real. Cory gets in trouble for Alan running out of gas because he didn't fill up the tank. Later, the reverse happens, Alan forgot to fill up the gas tank and Cory ran out of gas. When Cory complains about the hypocrisy (a valid complaint) is Alan embarrassed? Contrite? Does he resolve never to punish Cory like that again like Danny Tanner probably would have? No. He gives a mocking apology and eventually gets annoyed that Cory's even complaining about this. And that also feels like a real dad thing to do, even if it's annoying. By show of hands, how many of you ever  tried to point out how it's unfair that your parent doesn't get in trouble for something you get in trouble for? And how many ever got anywhere with that argument?

And because William Russ is a trained actor, not a stand-up comedian turned actor like most TV sitcom dads of the era, he feels that much more like a real guy. There's a salt-of-the-earth nature to his performance, where I just really believe this is a real guy, more than perhaps everyone else. For a sitcom dad (particularly on a sitcom that focused primarily on the children, as opposed to something like Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond that focused more on the adults) he has a remarkably rich backstory. He grew up poor and was in trouble a lot, much like Shawn, and given the time period never wound up going to college, instead going to the Navy where he was an amateur boxer. After he got out of the navy, he had big dreams, but wound up starting a family fairly young, taking a job at a grocery store to make ends meet, and somehow time got away from him and it took him until his 40s to figure out what those dreams were. It's a beautifully real backstory, and helps us truly feel like I know him. 

And because we know him so well, it breaks our heart in episodes where unthinkingly selfish Cory and Eric do things that make him feel like he's not good enough. When I see him watch home videos of Cory after they've fought, or when Cory tells his father he's not special because of him, or when they blow off the baseball game he's all excited for, I absolutely ache for him. Especially for him. When Cory or Eric get upset, they're going to cry and moan and tell you how upset they are. But Alan's a grown-up from a different generation, and he doesn't get to do it. Instead he suffers silently and stoically, and it's so compelling because of William Russ. Conversely, when he tells Eric and Cory that he's proud of them, it feels so real that, by God, you feel like you you did something. I feel, without a doubt, he's the best actor on this show - and this is a show with William Daniels on it. 

What I find just as compelling is the wonderful specificity of his relationships with his very different sons. Most TV fathers treat all their children the same, and treating children equally is generally seen as the "right" thing to do. But parents are human, and can't do that. And, anyway, Eric and Cory (and I know Alan has two other children, but obviously his relationships with them were far less focused on) are very different and act differently. He's more of a buddy to Eric, who like him is a bit more outdoorsy than Cory and is also, let's face it, more fun, and thus they're generally closer. But he also has trouble taking Eric seriously and can't quite shake the perception that he can't take care of himself and needs Alan to take care of things for him. His relationship with Cory is very different, maybe because he was older and more grown up when he was born. They're also close but he's Cory's father first and his buddy second. And because Cory is a bit more independent than Eric, and more introspective and questioning about things, he also feels more comfortable challenging him and fighting with him if he needs to. This naturally lead to one son who took far too long to grow up and another who grew up maybe even too fast. The complexity of this dynamic, and the way Alan comes to terms with it, is fascinating. This is in stark contrast to Amy, who's generally just.... nice, happy, wise mom to everyone and in equal measures (well, until she starts despising Eric, but let's ignore that...)

I don't know, I could go on, but I don't think I need to. Alan is a really, really great character, and an amazingly real look at your average middle-class father. So, why isn't Alan higher? The obvious reasons, I guess. I mean, if you look at the predictions everyone made for Alan in the top 5, pretty much everyone had him last too. He's just not as important as the other four. He's got a lot a wealth of great episodes that I listed as his signatures, but in most of the rest he generally isn't given all that much to do. He's amazingly impactful to Cory and Eric (and Shawn, who I realize I didn't talk as much about, but their relationship, the level of inherent understanding between them, and the fierceness with which Alan comes to Shawn's defense when need be is fantastic) but Feeny has just as much of an impact on Cory, arguably even more on Eric and Shawn, and also inspires every other character on the show too, including Alan himself. And while he grows and changes a lot more than a lot of other characters in the show (particularly among the adults) he just.... obviously doesn't as much as Cory, Eric, and Shawn do. They're who the show's about. 

And then there's Girl Meets World where he's barely seen and contributes absolutely nothing of value. So, it kind of becomes a no-brainer. But considering how poorly he's utilized in GMW (far less than randoms like Minkus and Harley, which is really pretty unconscionable) , it just goes to show you what a momentous force he is in the original series.

55 comments:

  1. Christian said - "and it's so compelling because of William Russ. I feel, without a doubt, he's the best actor on this show - and this is a show with William Daniels on it. "

    Wow, I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you, just amazed that anyone at all would write that. Some of us may think it, but putting yourself out there for some criticism by saying it, good for you.

    Other than that this was a great review. You and Sean really know what you are doing with this. I loved Alan as a character and William Russ the actor. I am disappointed that he got such short shifted on GMW, but no more so than Amy. As Riley and Auggie's grandfather he should have maybe been featured more. But at least we saw them. No mention even of the Lawrence grandparents at all on GMW.

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    1. Yeah, I'm fine with it. I mean, Daniels is second, but I think (maybe because he's more of a classically-trained theater actor) he can be just a touch theatrical at times, whereas Russ feels a little more *real*.

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    2. Yeah, I love that B-storyline too. It's also implies something that I dealt with with my own father, but most TV-dads don't do. "You were on a date with your girlfriend and you legitimately ran out of gas and you're complaining?" This lines up well with "prom-ises", in that he just wants Cory to be responsible in his dealings with Topanga. My father was the same, but most TV-dads, and TV-parents in general are all "don't you dare do anything beyond kiss".

      Though I don't like Full House now, Danny Tanner is better than most TV-dads. Not as good as Alan, but streets ahead of most.

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    3. Yeah, Danny doesn't fit all those qualifications. He's not an idiot, and his advice is usually good, but he is pretty much the archetypal "lame, corny benign Dad" and his dominant traits, cleanliness and obsession with hugs, are usually played for laughs in a "Isn't this guy a dork?" kind of way.

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    4. That said, he does have a problem of being more of a pushover than I think a real dad would be. His kids, like, back cars into the kitchen and then run away and he's still like "Aw! It's fine! I love you, let's hug."

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    5. Oh yeah, he's miles behind Alan.

      That said, Alan is also an example of why BMW is superior to many 'kids/teen' shows. As a... I think 10-year-old when Full House first reached Australia, I thought it was great. As a 38-year-old, it's horrible. BMW, and even GMW, are watchable by the adults -as well-. It's something that movies do quite well - have something for the parents as well as the kids, Disney is actually very good at this in the movieverse - but TV shows have generally struggled with.

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  2. Alan is the best sitcom dad of all time and the most underrated part of Boy Meets World. Period.

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  3. I think "Better Than the Average Cory" deserves more of a mention. The scene when Alan takes Cory to the store where his grandfather used to be a janitor... I've always aspired to be 'more' than my own father and that scene stays with me everyday. I know it's only one scene, but to me it's a scene that defined my experience of Boy Meets World.

    The weird thing is that as a 30 year old man, I am starting to appreciate Alan Matthews all over again. He's a great sitcom dad: hardworking, good relationship with his wife, pushing his kids (and not always right) but always there to support and always loving. He's a dad I could aspire to be, and that is a crazy concept within the world of sitcoms. He may be #5, but that is only because the show is Boy Meets World, not Dad Meets World.

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    1. Definitely a great moment. I do cite it briefly and it's listed as one of his signature episodes, but it was getting pretty long so I didn't cite all of his absolute best episodes (which include that along with Security Guy, Raging Cory, Wheels, and some others)

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    2. Oh, it's NOT listed as one of his signature episodes! That's an oversight! I thought it was!

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    3. I'll take the fact I caused a minor edit. ;-)

      I rewatched the episode again and the line "I'm sorry you're not proud. Of him, of me... and of yourself" cuts through me like a knife.

      Gah, this write up was fantastic. All these feels all over the place... the episode with the boxing gloves, the episode when Alan and Amy fight over letting Cory and Topanga move back, the episode when he finally lets Eric grow up... I'm starting to think maybe Alan Matthews should be higher.

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  5. This is Cryptid.

    Alan Matthews. The magnificent. This is the best write-up yet, Christian. Bravo. Just bravo.

    Alan Matthews is one of my heroes, and I think he's desperately needed.
    In a world of damnable drunks like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, saccharine saps like Danny Tanner or Mike Brady, or the fallen titans (the fathers who by no fault of their own are now impossible to enjoy due to the sins of the actors) like Rev. Camden or Cliff Huxtable, Alan Matthews stands out as one of a very, very few.

    Alan Matthews is a good man, a flawed man, a man driven to provide for and protect his family. He is the pillar of the Matthews family, and of the Meets World universe.

    I salute him.

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  6. Rewatching some of the best Alan moments has really brought home how vanilla GMW was. We all clash with our parents whilst we are trying to find our own way and the lack of that is just another plank of why kids struggled to relate to GMW. Several of the best Cory growth moments come in finding his relationship with his father, whereas Cory & Topanga turned out to be standard sitcom parents.

    I am also mad all over again that GMW didn't deem it worthwhile to explore any grandparent storylines. That would have been a great way to mix an episode centred on Riley with some powerful BMW nostalgia. Who knows, we might have even had some Riley character development when on screen with Alan/Amy.

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    1. They barely even had decent parent storylines. Sure, Topanga is the one that's usually used as an example of how she was so much more like a typical parent in GMW as compared to how she was heading in BMW, but Cory wasn't much better.

      ... I might have actually been annoyed if we'd had a decent grandparent storyline given how they've treated Cory and Topanga's relationship. When I watch how that panned out, I actually recall an early season Alan quote, though this is likely paraphrased. It's when Alan's discussing with Eric that just because they've been around for a while, doesn't mean they've turned the romance part of their brain off.

      As opposed to GMW, when I can recall twice in three seasons when you saw Cory and Topanga being romantic - and once was interrupted by Ava.

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    2. Yeah, I really missed some actual grown-up relationship moments/stories. In any direction - married relationships, relationships to children, self-growth... There were a few good stories/moments (like Topanga Riley fight), but mostly it was very superficial if it was there at all. And I hate how even when there were some potential serious conversations/ moments they were usually interrupted by comic relief and unneeded goofiness (Cory shouting, kids, etc.)

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  7. This is Cryptid.

    It saddens me that Alan was not used more often in GMW--though not entirely surprising. Grandparents have rarely played more than one episode on Disney Channel shows, and several didn't have any. But I find it especially irritating since William Russ was on set constantly and directed quite a few episodes.

    I also think there were several potential ideas for storylines for Grandpa Alan that were sadly put on the shelf.

    One idea I loved was for Alan's Navy service to get called back. Shipping and I did the math once, and determined that Alan is just a bit too young to have served active duty in Vietnam, but it wouldn't have been the first time the writers played fast and loose with ages. An episode for Veterans' Day, with special focus on Alan, could have been great.

    Alan is rough and rugged and weathered. Seeing him interact with Riley, after her smiley people-pleasing personality was established, could have been a lot of fun.

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    1. My father's also a slight too young to have fought during Vietnam, but he's still a veteran. There were other conflicts since then, just not full on wars.

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    2. William Russ is slightly older than my father who had to register for the draft for Vietnam (although he wasn't drafted himself) so it's possible. But then I think Alan the character is a bit younger than William Russ.

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    3. Hrm. I think I seem to recall Eric was born in 1978. I don't think they actually changed his age. Alan and Amy were said to be 19 I think when they were married? So that probably makes Alan born around 1957-1958. So yeah, slightly too young for Vietnam, but there have a fair amount of conflicts since. Though the question with him being labelled a veteran is not so much were there conflicts he's old enough for, but are there conflicts that he's old enough for, and Eric's young enough so that wouldn't have been an issue.

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    4. "An episode for Veterans' Day, with special focus on Alan, could have been great."
      Even if Alan was too young to have served active duty in Vietnam, he would have known plenty of people who did. This episode totally could have worked and been wonderful.

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    5. Was Alan only 19 when Eric was born? He always seemed a little older--though that may be just William Russ for you. (As I recall, Anthony Taylor Quinn tried out for Alan, so who knows how old Alan is actually supposed to be).

      I know that Amy had said she was 19 when she was first married, in the Creative Writing class (which may or may not be a ret-con) but I was never sure about Alan.

      I just used Vietnam as an example; there have been other conflicts--heck, there don't even have to be active conflicts for someone to be stationed overseas.

      As it happens, I can think of only one other children's show that had a specific episode for Veteran's Day, and that was "Hey Arnold!" (One of the best Very Special Episodes of all time).

      The kids in the Meets World universe often live in a bubble--this was true of the original show just as often as it is for Riley and friends--and I'm not sure I can think of a better way to burst that bubble than for Grandpa Alan to bring up some of the things he's seen.

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  8. Guys, I should tell you. I just sent links to your top 10 write-ups to the actors's Twitters. So far, Anthony Tyler Quinn and Cheryl Texiera liked theirs. 😉

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    1. That's pretty cool, but I gotta ask you not to do that with Rider. He will 100% ignore it and I don't want that.

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    2. Yeah, I guess he would. All right, Sean. 👍
      BTW, I can't get enough of your write-ups. You guys are doing really really great.

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  9. Great write-up for a great character!

    To me, this top five kinda feels like they're all in their own league compared to the rest of the cast. Not to downplay the other characters, but each of these top dogs would believably be hands-down the best character on many lesser shows.

    While GMW's handling of Alan was a bit disappointing, I was actually more let-down by GMW not showing more of Alan within CORY. The parent/kid storylines sometimes hit their marks in the sequel show, but often got too flowery or twee for their own good. As noted in this review, Alan had a great working man realness to his parenting style, and I missed seeing that relatable "dad-ness" in Cory.

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  10. Uncle Phil is a candidate for best TV dad in my eyes, but this was an excellent write-up and one of the reasons I'm going to miss this blog.

    "Raging Cory" is one of my favorite episodes because of Alan. Some might see him as a dick because he doesn't seem to want to play sports with Cory or take Eric seriously, but we're still on his side because we can understand where he's coming from. Alan wants to relate to both of them and found a simple way to do it. But he doesn't realize that Cory and Eric are unsatisfied with it until someone gets hurt, that being himself.

    And the best thing about Alan is he was almost always living in reality. Cory saw the world in a different way, an idealistic way almost. But Alan was quick to shut down that perspective due to what he went through and his desire to see his kids work for something. "This is your life. DEAL with your life."

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    1. Oh, I'd disagree on Uncle Phil. I love Phil, and that iconic moment with him and Will is beautiful, but Phil way too frequently responds with fury and threats of violence when his kids screw up. He spends just a bit too much time glowering and walking toward people menacingly when they get into trouble.

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    2. There are other great TV dads, though. As much as we hate it with everything that's happened, Cliff Huxtable *was* pretty much considered the iconic sitcom dad before everything came to light. Andy Taylor and Stephen Keaton are pretty great ones too.

      And a lot of dramas have really great dads. I loved Sandy Cohen on The O.C., Ben Cartwright from Bonanza is still pretty much the gold standard, and, of course, Ned Stark!

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    3. This is Cryptid.

      What about Big Julius from "Everybody Hates Chris"? He seems pretty good from what I remember. I never saw much of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" so I can't comment on it one way or the other.

      "As much as we hate it with everything that's happened, Cliff Huxtable *was* pretty much considered the iconic sitcom dad before everything came to light."

      Do you find that it makes it hard to watch "The Cosby Show" nowadays? I never watched it myself, but a similar scandal happened with Stephen Collins of "7th Heaven" a couple years back and I haven't been able to watch more than a few minutes of an episode since.

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    4. Oh, Phil definitely had an issue with his temper but I feel like that was part of his charm. I mean, does he look like a white guy named Ward?

      When I think of moments where Uncle Phil shines as a character, I think of a really underrated one from "All Guts, No Glory" where he gives Will a reality check after he finds out he dropped out of his Western philosophy class. He sees so much potential in Will and admits that he has gifts that other people would kill to have, but he wastes them by taking the easy way out and demanding respect that he chooses not to earn. Uncle Phil commanded respect because of how he carried himself. He made sure Will had a future and a good education, taking in him like his own son. He worked for years to provide his children with a better life, having survived years of racism and bigotry and continuing that fight in the office as a lawyer. Phil had so many great moments during the series where he showed how great of a father/uncle he was:

      -Not backing down at the precinct when Will and Carlton were arrested

      -The pool hall hustle

      -Letting Will know that he's no less of a man for walking through doors that people open for him

      -Reminding Will that sometimes, you have to cut less fortunate people a break

      -Trying to go camping with Will and Carlton and teach them the same things his own dad taught him

      -Not wanting Carlton to feel like he has to act like someone else when he blows his Princeton interview and threatens to kill the dean of admissions

      -Telling Ashley that he refuses to fail in his job of protecting her as her father

      There are a lot of moments I'm most likely forgetting, but Uncle Phil was a father that genuinely cared about his children and only wanted what was best for them. He had a huge effect on Will in helping him become a man. He admired Carlton's ambition and Ashley's down to earth nature. Even when Will admitted that the speed pills that Carlton overdosed on came from his locker, Phil didn't yell his head off or ground him. He was rightfully pissed, but once Will broke down over what he did, he was the first person to comfort him and tell him it was okay. Uncle Phil always made mistakes as a parent, but he presented himself as someone you could take notes on. He was strong, wise, hardworking, dignified, and always remembered where he came from.

      I agree on Cliff, but I don't think we should hold the allegations of Cosby against his character. After all, Cliff was still a character, and he set the blueprint for other television dads to follow.

      Before The Simpsons declined, Homer was a way better father than one might give him credit for. Whenever he did something wrong to Bart or Lisa, he always tried his best to fix it in his own way. I mean, he quit his dream job when Maggie was born so the family could make ends meet. After he failed to get Lisa her saxophone reed in time, he did all he could to get back in her favor like buying her the pony she always wanted, and took an extra job at the Kwik-E-Mary just so he could pay for the pony's expenses. Also the time where he had to quit his new job with a boss that appreciated him because Marge and the kids were unhappy. In the show's early years, Homer was a finely written character and fiercely devoted to his family.

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    5. Cryptid - I was just watching Everybody Hates Chris earlier today. Julius was a really good father. Not one of the all-time greats, but definitely respectable. I think everyone will be able to admire his work ethic, to the point where he had to hide the fact that he was working a side job during his vacation just to get extra money.

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    6. I'm actually gonna throw some support for Julius. He's fantastic. I was raised with that sort of "why don't they just work harder and stop being poor" and then I saw that show and I was like ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

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    7. This is Cryptid.

      One of the best things I can say about Julius came directly from the show.

      "My father wasn’t the type to say ‘I love you.’ He was one of four fathers on the block. ‘I’ll see you in the morning’ meant he was coming home. Coming home was his way of saying ‘I love you.’”

      As it happens, Julius was also funny as hell. I still laugh when I recall how he got around telephone costs by shrinking a two minute conversation into ten seconds.

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  11. Alan Matthews is easily one of the top 5 TV dads of all time. And it wasn't even the realism of the character that makes me feel like that. It's how such a realistic character existed in a world that had streaks of unrealistic expectations. His youngest son's borderline idyllic relationship with his girlfriend. Not only that, but this same son's brotherhood with his best friend, that superseded even his own brother. A hero in his MS/HS/college teacher, that was a constant throughout his life. Who also, that a rhetorical flair for the dramatic, as showcased by Daniels thespian background.

    Alan was just Dad. And he was so good at it, that it made him stand out among all the noise. It allowed him to be the disciplinarian in his family, and his sometimes firm hand made him even more lovable. He's just a fantastic character.

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    1. Al bundy wasn't that bad. He said men would do stupid things for women. I loved married with children. It was messed up but in a good way. The siblings were there for each other. Al loved his family.😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😁😁😁

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    2. IMO, that sitcom is one of the few that even now, I still dislike more than Full House. Horrible parents, nasty kids. It is also largely responsible for the perpetuating (though not the beginning of it) of the stereotype that marriage+kids= a non-existent sex life. It has taken -years- to get past this stereotype, and despite frequent examples dating back to the '90s, a lot of people's first reaction when a married couple on TV defies this stereotype is still "Wow, a married couple who are actually intimate".

      Al Bundy is the best example of what too many TV dads were like. Christian listed a whole slew that suffered from it; but any of the others do have redeeming features. Al is the best example of the lot of them; and though I don't deny he cared for his family, he was even worse than Homer, or anyone you want to mention, in how he actually showed he cared for them.

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  12. I think a lot of these dads are very good. Early-Homer is very good; but he has flaws. I still think Danny Tanner for the most part is quite respectable, though he does have problems in exerting his authority when the kids misbehave. Cliff Huxtable is superb; and I can sympathise with people who have issues with watching him now. Here in Australia there was a similar issue with a show called Hey Dad!; who's lead actor, was charged and convicted 2 years ago. It's pretty much ruled out the show being on repeats here any time soon.

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  13. I never did put in my picks for the remaining order, though I too would have picked Alan 5th. My choices for the remaining order:

    4) Cory - I would have him #3 but I think Sean and Christian will have him at 4, Not that they don't like him, but I think they like the other 3 more.

    Cory might have been the least interesting of the 3 kids. His life was pretty prefect from any point of view. He had 2 siblings, was an average white middle class American kid with great parents and 2 great friends. He married his high school sweetheart and was bound to have a great life. Not much chance his life turned out poorly.

    GMW teacher Cory however was not what most of us wanted to see. I believe he was unfairly compared to Turner and Feeney and as the series went on, his class was a much better place to learn,

    3) Eric - I would have Eric and Cory swapped, but Sean and Christian like Eric a lot more than I do. Will Friedle is great, but Eric Matthews really doesn't do it for me.

    2)Feeney - Excellent character and William Daniels is an excellent actor. Feeney dished out the sage advice to all and lived as a sort of surrogate parent to his favorite students.

    1) Shawn - The down on his luck kid that had farther to go than anyone on either series. No money, no real home, (almost) no parents, yet he persevered to have a great life. The only drawback is that Rider didn't want to be on camera in GMW as much as we all wanted him to be.

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  14. IMDb is shutting down their message boards. This blog has become more necessary than ever. Without those boards, I never would have found out about BMWReviewed all those years ago, or become acquainted with the insightful posts of Glozone on the BMW board long before GMWReviewed was a thing, or found the time capsule that is Christian's posts on the Weekenders board over a decade ago. We need to pour one out for the fallen, boys

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    1. Yeah, Sean actually told me about that yesterday. It's quite a shock - I checked, and I've been a member of that board since February 2002. That's 15 years! I don't frequent it very much to be honest (there was a time when you'd click my profile and it would show my 20 or so most recent posts, dating back no more than a couple hours, and now it dates back a couple months), and it has become a bit of a mess, but I kind of figured it would always be there. And I liked that it was an easy way to comment on everything all on one website.

      The day will obviously come when Sean and I aren't really updating this blog anymore, but obviously the comment threads will remain open so feel free to carry on, and I'm sure we'll chime in.

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    2. I don't know if signing well help, but here are two petitions trying to save the imdb.com message boards. Sean and Christian-if this feels like spam/violates a rule of the blog, I will totally understand if you remove the comment.
      https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-to-keep-the-imdb-messageboards-going#

      https://www.change.org/p/imdb-stop-imdb-from-disabling-the-message-boards

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  15. Shipping Wars Are StupidFebruary 10, 2017 at 3:35 AM

    So, how 'bout that super Soul or Bowl?

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    1. at the beginning of the fourth quarter, i saw Belichick holding up a sign that said "hey feeny, nothin's impossible"

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  16. Hey all,

    Jacobs gave a bit more detail in an interview recently.

    http://deadline.com/2017/01/girl-meets-world-finale-creator-topanga-danielle-fishel-new-network-search-season-4-1201890788/

    Apparently, loss and change were supposed to be major themes of a potential season four.

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    Replies
    1. That's a relatively old interview; I'd read it before.

      Though it does make me think that maybe Riley and Lucas weren't going to last the season.

      I actually kinda wish he'd stop bleating about a 'possible network to pick up a fourth season'; because it's sort of putting pressure on the cast to not take new long-term jobs. I was okay with it in the immediate wake of the cancellation; but it's been a while now. Maybe just accept it's over?

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  17. Sterling writeup, Christian. Your passion for these characters clearly comes out in your (and Sean's!) writing and it's a beautiful thing to see. Anxiously awaiting Number Four!!!

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    Replies
    1. We are being lazy lazy dumb dumbs with these last four, unfortunately. And honestly, like... When I sit down to try to write about these last two, it's just overwhelming. How do I even start. But it'll happen.

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    2. Yeah, I'm a little overwhelmed by some things in my personal life right now, which is making it hard to find the time/motivation, but we'll get there. 4th, specifically, is on me.

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    3. There shouldn't be any rush to get through them. These writeups have been great and you guys can take all the time you need to do it properly. You both have done a tremendous job with these blogs

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    4. Yeah, it's all cool Christian and Sean, take all the time you need. Sometimes, life just catches up with you.

      We patiently await your return with open arms.

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  18. Don't mean to make anyone feel rushed, take your time, but am looking forward to the rest!! :)

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    Replies
    1. In the meantime RedSoxFan274, why not go a bit deeper into Alan? How would you have used him in Girl Meets World?

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  19. Well, as I believe somebody else mentioned they probably could have found a way to have worked him into Bear when his boxing gloves reapppeared... an Alan-Cory-Auggie three-way heart-to-heart could have been very nice... and he (and Amy, and even Feeny too in my opinion) was TOTALLY under-utilzed in Goodbye. Not enough screen time, plain and simple. What was it, thirty seconds? (If that? Seemed like maybe as little as twenty. =S)They could have easily sacrificed some of those dragged-out Auggie-Ava scenes for a little more Alan-and-Amy.

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