Sunday, January 29, 2017

20 Greatest Meets World Characters: #8. Maya Hart

#8. Maya Hart

Played By: Sabrina Carpenter (2014-2017)
Episode Count: 72
Role: Riley's best friend
Signature Episodes: (Girl Meets) Father, Maya's Mother, Master Plan, Hurricane, Creativity, Texas 1&2, the Forgiveness Project, Upstate, True Maya, A Christmas Maya

Maya's backstory is basically Shawn's. That level of re-hashing is a storytelling sin (for me, this is a big part of why I don't think she should be ranked any higher, I like Maya, but she's Diet Shawn in a way that Riley isn't), but it is nevertheless a solid start for a character. And the best part of it is that it drives the narrative through all three seasons. Stories are told and characters are developed because of her history, rather than most of the other stories on this show that are told by some isolated decision on an isolated day that never matter again.

Maya had the luxury of being well written during the first season when nothing else was working very well. Cory was at his worst as a teacher, Lucas was nothing, Farkle was a predator, and Riley was basically Corinna from Shallow Boy. She's rebellious, rude, loyal, sarcastic (you know, like an actual teenager) and BY GOLLY she has a hobby right out of the gate, that is, her artistic side becomes relevant all the way back in 1.07. The series is over and I still do not know what Riley likes to do besides go shopping.  I spent the entire first season locked onto Maya because we know more about her goals and motivations and off-camera life than any of the other characters. I suppose a contributing factor is that Sabrina Carpenter was leagues ahead of the other kids in the first season, but still.

 So she was a show-saving hero in season one. In season 2 she's still a fantastic, witty sidekick for a greatly improved Riley, she's running the parent trap on Shawn, her art has continuity, and her chemistry with Lucas kept heating up. She refuses to forgive her father for leaving in Meets the Forgiveness Project, which is pretty much the best thing you're ever going to get out of Disney Channel. She's perfect in Meets Texas 1, good in Meets Texas 2, part 3 is whatever, and then soon The Triangle starts and everything is ruined. No amount of analysis or headcanon or rationalizing will ever make sense out of Maya's attraction to Lucas being nothing more than the result of her unconsciously pretending to be Riley. I'm angry just from writing that sentence. As you can deduce from this post, Riley is ranked higher than Maya, and if I had to point to a single reason, that would be it. It is so utterly insane and it turned the most (only?) compelling romance on the show into a dumpster fire. By the time the Triangle is finally over, we have no time left for a story. Meets True Maya just returns her to where she started, which is a good place to be, but it makes so much of her season 2 story feel like a waste of time. She still has the plot thread with Shawn, but he marries Katy early in the season and there's nothing left to do except adopt her in the finale. What I'm trying to say is Maya goes back to being the sidekick for Riley in season 3, and don't get me wrong, it works, she's at her best in that role in season 3, but it's still disappointing after all the work we did.

Riley was at her most grating in the first season, and Lucas was at his most pointless, but interacting with Maya made both of those characters far more palatable. And indeed it's these connections that make her so interesting, and even more so as she starts connecting with the Boy Meets World characters. Riley's relationships with Cory, Shawn, and Josh are entirely based on her being Cory's daughter. That's how she fits in to Shawn's life and Josh's life, and we could maybe speculate how she'd interact with Cory if she weren't his daughter. But Maya actually Meets those Worlds from the position of her character and her character's history. We see her forging connections with Cory and Shawn and Josh (for better or worse) and she influences their lives because of who she is as a person. That's a big deal! She's got relationships with the whole Matthews family (except maybe Eric) and Shawn, but more importantly they were shown rather than told. You can picture a scene in your head of Maya interacting with any one of them. With Riley... yeah, she calls them "Uncle Josh" and "Uncle Shawn," but I have no idea who they are to her. 

Obviously her greatest contribution was being Riley's super best friend. Forever, thunder and lightning, bay window, always, blah blah yeah, that was the entire show. You get it. You don't need me for that.


61 comments:

  1. Also Christian turned 100 years old today, happy birthday to my co writer

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is Cryptid.

    An interesting take, Sean. As usual, your writing abilities impress, and once again, I need some more time to articulate my position on Maya Hart.

    But I do have to add one thing, Maya's artistic ability was actually first revealed in 1.02, "Meets Boy," when she drew the skyline outside the New York City library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm actually not super proud of this one, so that makes me feel better. And hey even better! I'm impressed you remember that.

      Delete
    2. This is Cryptid.

      Well, it isn't as strong as your write-ups for Jack or Jonathan Turner (both of which were superb), but that's justifiable. Jonathan is instrumental to Shawn's journey and Jack is a classic example of missed opportunities.

      Maya. on the other hand, has the Triangle looming large in her story and thus is not as engaging a character, however important to the overall story of the Matthews Clan she is.

      And even if the technical points aren't as polished, you make all the right points--Maya actually Meets parts of the World. Riley is born into the World.

      Delete
  3. Like Cryptid, I (a) found this an interesting and well-written coverage of the character (b) need more time to think.

    Also, Happy Birthday, Christian. Not sure what your age is, but apparently Sean associates it with very advance decrepitude, which was just awesome to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks miles, I thought this one was bad so that helps.

      Delete
    2. This is Cryptid.

      If memory serves, Christian is a few years older than Sean, who in turn is older than Shipping and me, so I think this is his...29th birthday?

      And I can't wait for your take on this Milestones. I remember, two summers ago, you explaining WHY you were drawn to this show, and WHY you connected so much to Riley and Maya.

      Delete
    3. Wow, impressive, Cryptid. I did indeed turn 29.

      Delete
    4. .... please tell me that there's someone besides Milestones older than me here.

      But happy birthday! Enjoy.

      Delete
    5. Will, I have to believe that 1960 is near my age...don't think I would ever have posted a comment here if I hadn't seen his screen name. I think Kit Cosmo may be nearer me than Sean or Christian.

      Delete
    6. Indeed Milestones. The 1960 is my birth year.

      Delete
  4. Happy birthday, Christian!! πŸŽ‚πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽ!
    You (and Sean, but I'm focusing on you cause it's your birthday) are the best bloggers ever and you brighten my day every time you post.
    So I hope you have an awesome year, and that you'll make the best of it (I'm sure you will).

    ReplyDelete
  5. On to the Maya talk. The triangle did thoroughly kill Maya's character development. I had Maya at 7 and Riley at 8; but the way they undid all her development, and tried to claim that the only reason she was attracted to Lucas was her subconsciously trying to be Riley was crap. She had chemistry with Lucas way back in season 1; even -before- the Maya becoming Riley episode. Her rehash of the Shawn story was disappointing it's true; but I'm not as convinced Riley wasn't just Cory redone, especially with the way they claim Lucas was the 'Topanga' of the show - the writers that is, not fans/critics/etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm looking forward to Christian's writeup for Riley to see how he talks about that.

      Delete
    2. This is Cryptid.

      Actually, Michael Jacobs said from the beginning that Lucas was not "the new Topanga" and that there was only one "Cory and Topanga" and urged returning viewers not to see the new characters as mere copies of the former.

      However much Riley and Maya are Cory Junior and Shawn Step-Junior, there's little question that Lucas Friar, a potential candidate for the most boring character in the history of Western Civilization, couldn't be more different than Topanga as a character.

      Delete
    3. Jacobs said that yes, but other writers did say they saw Peyton as the 'new Topanga' and Peyton -certainly- did, claim she was the Topanga of this version. And I have to say, he may have said that, but he would have been better served not serving up episodes which seemed to prompt people to think that way. Though, this may have been other writers, or even executive meddling.

      This seems like claims of someone who only look at the surface though - Topanga did have a much firmer view of 'right and wrong' than did the boys; and season 1 Lucas was the ultimate do-gooder like ever.

      Delete
  6. Shipping Wars Are StupidJanuary 29, 2017 at 5:28 PM

    Maya...Maya...Maya..

    I was never a huge fan of Maya.

    I felt she was diet Shawn but maybe because of her friendship with Riley, I never felt she was as bad off. When you come from a broken home but are basically adopted by the Matthews, it's tough to sympathize. In addition, while Shawn seemed to be a lazy prankster, Maya's attitude towards education bothers me, more so now as I work in a high school.

    The way she latches on to Shawn and Josh were slightly creepy. The way Josh was treated by her in particular bugs me. It's as if she was written solely to end up as a part of Riley's family.

    I often felt they were trying too hard to make her sympathetic and ultimately failed to do so, with the exception of not forgiving her father.

    FUCK THE TRIANGLE!

    All that said, Sabrina brought her A-game week in and week out and it was appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree. Who is true Maya? What is she capable of? They never show her being rebellious except for pilot epi,she kept whining about her dad, ski lodge was bullshitπŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©, lucaya and Riarckle rules.πŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜€πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

      Delete
    2. But Sabrina was great.😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 Great actor crappy writers😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈. That true Maya epi was for max Thunderman, a prankster. Josaya sucks ass,😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

      Delete
    3. Whilst I agree they destroyed her character in season 3; I cannot say that she was never rebellious except for the pilot, or that she kept whining about her dad.Hell, I can think of maybe two episodes where her dad was even mentioned - one was in Season 1, and he's brought up by Shawn, because Maya should 'love the one who stayed', and the other in season 2 with the forgiveness project. Whilst she's clearly bitter there, I don't think it really counts as whining.

      Delete
    4. Who is fucking true Maya? They never show her being a rebellious impulsive troublemaker. Back me up Mike Campbell.😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

      Delete
  7. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of Maya. She used to be my favorite GMW character in like the first half of season because she was the only one that wasn't actively childish and ridiculous (well I guess Lucas but he was super boring)

    But afterwards? Pretty grating. I appreciate a good smartass but she felt like a very TV smartass as opposed to one that was actually witty and funny. Not without a couple good moments of growth here and there, but the two biggest ear sores on the show were her constant running jokes of "hurr hurr" and the narration voice she used at random points from Semi-Formal on. Totally preferred Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "The series is over and I still do not know what Riley likes to do besides go shopping."

    Well she is a basketball fan.

    Riley reminds me of my BFF. She has no hobbies or special interests and isn't really a fan of anything, but she loves people. She loves meeting new people, sitting in a crowded place and watching people go by, going out with friends, helping people, ect. My BFF's idea of a good time is either volunteering at a blood drive or babysitting/cleaning house for someone she knows. No joke. That's the kind of person Reily strikes me as.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saying Riley is a basketball fan is like saying Shawn can speak french. One scene doesn't count in my opinion.

      Delete
    2. It's two scenes - she also had a bit of a go at Minkus' friend in 'Girl meets Money'. I accept she's a basketball fan; but it still doesn't really say what she -does-. She likes basketball; but I don't get the impression she goes to their games.

      Disneydork - But there's not really even any evidence Riley likes meeting new people. Lucas? She was too shy to introduce herself on the train - that was Maya. Every new person she's actually successfully made friends with has been introduced via another character. A few episodes ago, she'd rather bingewatch a TV show than help out her own mother at the cafe. And this was something she was -expected- to do, as part of the privilege of being raised by two working parents.

      Oh, but that show was brought up before as well, so I guess she likes to watch TV?

      Delete
  9. Jumping into GMW at Pluto greatly affected how I reacted to and thought about the show, as did a complete lack of BMW grounding.

    I didn’t, and couldn’t, think of Riley and Maya as new Cory and new Shawn. As Cryptid hints at above, I identified them with real people in my life. Which is why, with respect to Maya, Pluto body-slammed me right near the end. This is something I might flesh out in another comment. Or not: I have probably talked about that enough.

    If I related them to other TV characters, it was often to Troy and Abed, as white teenage girls, adding in Jeff’s daddy issues and subtracting Asperger’s. But that was based on the comparable intensity of the friendship. Seeing any similarities between the shows would have been due to a then-urgent need for Community methadone. (And then GMW gave a character Asperger’s.)

    Occasionally, I thought of them as a distaff Clark Kent and Lex Luthor from the early years of Smallville, with Lex as salvageable. That was about Maya. Early new episodes for me included the one built upon her lack of a conscience and another where she went as Lord of the Flies as you are likely to see on Disney. This was resonant with the light/dark, angel/devil contrast from the pilot, then a recent memory, and with other stuff before and after.

    The pilot being the tenth or later episode I saw, I heard Maya’s comment about Riley saving her as pertaining to the series rather than the first episode. Maybe that was self-evident, but I might not have noted or quickly forgotten it, or never made it that far, if I had seen it first.

    Anyway, Maya always seemed to me to be Riley’s “thing.” I didn’t see Shawn & Katy as a Riley/Maya parent trap but as part of Riley’s master plan. The adoption had been all that remained in the fulfilment of that plan, and I was surprised it wasn’t framed that way. I had assumed that Riley fixing Maya was this show’s endgame.

    Yeah, Season 3 Maya. The Triangle didn’t help, but it started when she began saying unpromising things “I’m not angry anymore” and “I’m blessed.” Angry, deprived Maya was better for the show. She was funnier, I think, in Season 3, because Sabrina Carpenter was funnier. And she remained fiercely loyal to Riley. I was always loved this character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So fucking privileged . Not enough conflict.😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😬😬😬😬😬😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧

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

      Delete
    3. Maya was abandoned by her father when she was a little girl. When she was at her most vulnerable, and in the early and most important stages of her development, her environment was unstable and one of the two people upon whom she was wholly dependent was at first unreliable and then gone.

      I have a close friend who know less of his father than Maya knows of Kermit. He is well into adulthood, and a guy, and he doesn’t talk about this much. But it may not be a coincidence that his circle of friends includes two guys almost 25 years his senior.

      I knew a woman in exactly Katy’s circumstance: single mom, crappy apartment, low-paying job, piece-of-shit ex. She provided the necessities, but her heart broke to see other kids have what she couldn’t afford.

      Maya’s perception of privilege would be relative. Compared to a refugee? Sure. Compare to her friends? One has everything she has every wanted, and another has everything a kid could imagine to want.

      Delete
    4. Sorry. Just she had Josh and got shawn and the Matthews. One of the luckiest TV kids. πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š The kids on the other shows would be. Jealous: Henry danger and Bizaardvark.

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

      Delete
    6. Nicely said Milestones. Privileged is very relative, and sure, Maya compared to Shawn is lucky. This was actually brought up by the show - can't remember the episode, but Maya's proclamation that 'I'm an Us' was actually quite nicely done.

      But on the other hand, she still lives in a crappy apartment, where rodents crawl in through the gaps in the wall. She has a leaky roof, and a single mother struggling to make ends meet. Her hard-done by status is eroded away entirely once Shawn marries Katie, but until that point, her not being that badly-off is only if you're comparing her to other kids in similar situations. There's no doubt she's worse-off than Riley, Farkle, and even Lucas and Zay.

      Delete
    7. Who is true Maya? She's just a blonde Riley.πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺ😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲 They act the same to me. The bullshit pretending to be riley is so fucking stupid. She has really nice clothes and makeup.πŸ‘—πŸ‘—πŸ‘—πŸ‘—πŸ‘—πŸ‘—πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ And they don't seem to live in NY. Their lives were too easy.πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺ😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😧😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

      Delete
    8. This is Cryptid.

      You raise a very good point Milestones--one that I was foolish to not consider, especially considering how you've explained before why you connected to Maya in the way that you did.

      The fact that Maya does have a support system in the Matthews does not negate the fact that Maya does go home to a run-down apartment and that her world, such that it was, was shaken to its core when she was only five.

      Forget possessions. Forget material wealth. Even forget the apartment situation.

      Compared to Riley, who knew love and security from devoted parents (And in all likelihood a devoted Uncle Eric for an indeterminate amount of time), Maya knew very little. Her parents, from what we've been told, fought often and fought loud. And even if he wasn't fighting with Katy, Kermit was never a nurturer.

      The character still has problems of course, especially with regards to Season 3--and the label of "Diet Shawn" is not entirely inaccurate--but Maya helped keep the show afloat.

      Delete
    9. Of course, Cryptid, coming at it from the other side, I would be inclined to see Shawn as "Heavy Maya," if you will.

      There are inarguable similarities, but there are differences too. She wasn't Shawn + water.

      Season 3 wasn't as involving for me, for a lot of reasons.

      Delete
    10. I've mentioned it before, but there are times that Maya seems to be closer to Harley than Shawn. Shawn was always a good kid, for the most part. Except for that one episode where Shawn wanted to join Harley's gang, it was never implied he was anything but a good kid at heart.

      Maya though... well, "Rules" is the stand-out example, but there are a few times when it's implied that not only is Maya a kid with a poor background; but that she's actually, or was anyway, a bully or the potential to be one, but Riley makes her 'better'.

      Delete
    11. This is Cryptid.

      Riley actually called Maya a bully in "Rileytown," and I remember Christian saying that yes, with her attitude--the sharp sarcasm and harsh humor--Maya could be seen as one.

      I hesitate to call Maya a bully because I don't believe she uses fear as a tool, but she can definitely be a jerk.

      Your mileage may vary on World of Terror 3's legitimacy, but Alternate!Maya is definitely a bully.

      I'll elaborate a bit more when I get a chance.

      Delete
    12. World of Terror 3 is my point actually; though I hadn't thought of that particular episode. Maya isn't a bully, now, but that's because she found a very good friend in Riley who keeps her on the straight and narrow as it were. World of Terror 3 suggests that without Riley, Maya would have been a bully. My issue with World of Terror 3 is the implication that without them being friends Cory and Topanga broke up.

      Shawn though - I don't think at heart he was a bully, or had the capability to be one. He has never been anywhere near as jerkish as Maya. Even his bullying turn with Harley was linked more to 'we're going to stop being friends at some point anyway; so why not have it now?'. Which seemed so much more real than all of Maya and Riley's "What, how could people not be friends? Will that happen to us?"

      Delete
    13. I mean, Shawn was a straight up bully to Minkus in Season 1. And before you give him a pass for being young, he was basically the same age as Maya in Season 1.

      Delete
    14. Shawn was no worse than Cory was; and Minkus gave as good as he took.

      But okay; so maybe he would have gone down the same path, but I think it's a bit more up in the air.

      Delete
    15. My thinking on this aligns pretty well with Will's. Maya and Shawn have comparable backstories, and have similarities in their narrative functions, but are very different characters, shared wanderlust notwithstanding.

      I'm on less comfortable ground opining about BMW Shawn, but I agree he always seemed to have a good heart, with rough edges and angst attributable to his history and circumstance.

      Maya is a bad influence/bad seed, the dark contrast to Riley's light, and I have always taken that as innate. Her upbringing is, on the other hand, responsible for her vulnerability, fragility, need, everything else that makes her give herself over to Riley.

      It's responsible for her anger and resentment too. But, when she turns bad in Rules, she does so happily. WOT2 is an more iffy source than WOT3, but the stop-motion bit where Maya, free of the Rileys in her head, waxes enthusiastic about robbing a bank, might fit here as well.

      As far as being a bully, WOT3 seemed only to show the fulfilment of what otherwise had stayed as potential only.

      Delete
    16. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh shawn was not a "straight up bully" to minkus. come onnnnn. minkus instigated half the time, and when shawn instigated minkus gave it right back. And they team up often enough, as early as the water wars in 1.02. I can't think of an instance where there are REAL negative feelings between them.

      Delete
    17. I always waver on this one. Some of what he did to Minkus -would- constitute bullying, except then Minkus gets him back, which makes it almost seem part of a little game they're having. "Future plumber" etc.

      I know that what is said, is not actually as important as to the reaction. Me and my friends teased each other all the time. But someone else saying the same thing, would be a lot worse; because it wasn't part of the banter.

      Delete
    18. Yeah if there were a single instance of Minkus honestly having his feelings hurt or feeling threatened it would be different.

      Delete
    19. This is Cryptid.

      I wouldn't call what Shawn did to Minkus "bullying," though in the world of zero-tolerance policies, he likely would have been written up--but then, so too would Minkus.

      However, there was that one time when Feeny had Frankie the Enforcer turn to Cory and Shawn for friendship and they used him to intimidate smaller students.

      Delete
    20. Meh. The problem with those zero-tolerance policies is they're not. They would look at Shawn, they would look at Minkus, and unless they have a -very- discipline system, would let Minkus off with a verbal warning, not even going into his record; whilst Shawn would get the written note to his parents.

      And with Frankie... again, Cory was just as much, if actually not more so, to blame. This is less an example of Shawn's bullying nature, and more an example that despite appearances, Shawn was constantly trying to be Cory to an extent. Sure, we all know how he looks to Cory for romantic advice (and where you stand on the Cory and Topanga being soulmates graph; this is a bad idea because Cory never really had to 'romance' Topanga); but this also shows that he looked up to him for just being a good kid as well - which is why when Cory did misbehave; it went really badly.

      Delete
  10. lol "Diet Shawn" that was a good one

    they tried to make her out to be a female Shawn with the broken home, absent mom in the beginning, but scrapped all of that once they got Rider signed on and had to make the mother lovable so people would approve lol




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and Corey even bought homegirl a phone in like the 2nd episode. I wasn't sure Alan liked Shawn until he pushed that cult guy into the wall haha

      Delete
    2. I enjoyed how nuanced Alan's feelings for Shawn were. I think he did like Shawn, but his priority was always Cory. He would cut Shawn a lot of slack, especially since he saw some of himself in him, but he's a father first, and the moment he thought Shawn was leading Cory astray, like in "If You Can't Be With The One You Love" he swung the hammer. It's always hard to see Alan lash out at Shawn like that, especially since we the audience know it's not Shawn's fault, but it's hard to blame Alan. Shawn's great as long as he remains a positive influence in his son's life, but the second he's not, Alan wants him gone. That's how a father should act.

      Delete
    3. Yeah that's an incredibly compelling and complex dynamic, between Alan and Shawn. God, Boy Meets World is such a good show.

      Delete
    4. Whilst it is a compelling dynamic; usually, with that one exception that Christian did note; he didn't want him out of Cory's life, he wanted him to be -better-.Take the Fugitive, for example. Yeah sure, it's season 1, which is kinda weird in relation to the rest of the series, but if ever there was a time I thought he would want Cory and Shawn to stop being friends, that was it. But he didn't. Sure, Cory's handling of the Homework Rebellion was heavy-handed; but it was a similar message of 'we do what is right for our friends, even when they don't see it.'

      Delete
    5. I think it's a case of if it's just Shawn messing up vs. if he thinks he's bringing Cory down with him. After Shawn's antics with the mailbox (which, yeah, you'd think Alan would be particularly pissed about seeing as how it was in front of *his* store) Cory in no way started acting like he'd ever want to do the same. Cory's just not that wild, and his instincts were responsible ones - he let Shawn stay there when pressed, but what he wanted to do was fess up to his mom and dad. So I think Alan's more forgiving in those scenarios.

      Delete
  11. This is Cryptid.

    Maya's often a hard-to-like character. Her actions frequently make me angry. But the fact remains, they're actions. She actually does things that make me respond. Neither Lucas Friar nor Farkle Minkus have done much of anything all season--or all series in Lucas's case.

    It's difficult to talk about Maya without bringing up Riley, but then, I suppose it'd be difficult to talk about Shawn without also bringing up Cory. Or for that matter, it's hard to talk about Maya without also bringing up Shawn.

    On that note, the friendship between Maya and Riley is, at times, strikingly different from the friendship of Cory and Shawn. However similar the devotion, there are some important distinctions.

    One early episode, that in my view, does a perfect job explaining Cory and Shawn's friendship was "Santa's Little Helper." Cory learns that Shawn isn't going to be having much of a Christmas and gives his friend his basketball. Shenanigans ensue, but what you take away is that what Shawn values most in his friendship with Cory is that Cory doesn't judge him for what he, Shawn, does or does not have.

    As far as Maya and Riley are concerned...while Maya may be technically the sidekick, it often seems like she's the boss.

    Maya can be very demanding at times--she darn near threw a tantrum in "Bay Window" when Riley wanted to redecorate her room. And the impress I get is that it isn't the first time she's demanded things remain the same.
    I can't shake the notion that one of the reasons Riley doesn't have many hobbies is that Maya didn't share them and then pressured her to quit.

    I have some other thoughts, but I'll need time to articulate them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is fucking true Maya?!!!!!!!!! She is just a blonde Riley . I just think they are too white and privileged.πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺπŸ˜ͺ.

      Delete
    2. Hey Cryptid, my first time watching GMW, while Maya was acerbic and a more forceful personality, Riley did more of the leading. And Maya consented, allowing Riley to put flowers on her head and pull Shawn toward her. Whatever else I saw on the series, that was the first impression, and it stuck.

      Other than her mother, always working and struggling to make ends meet, everything good in Maya’s life came though the Riley pipeline. Alterations to that relationship would be an existential threat. Her distress in Bay Window is identifiable with her distress in Yearbook, though reupholstery was symbolic while non-Riley wasn’t.

      Delete
  12. Maya at #8 feels right, and I really enjoyed this write up Sean. Very articulate and well done.

    The thing with Maya was even though he was one of the better written characters throughout the series, she was also one of the more needlessly flexible characters. They had an archetype for her, but then she'd buck that archetype and it'd sometime confuse the character. At points, she was borderline obnoxious and really hard to root for. Which is something the show wants us to do at all times. Root for Maya. Then the whole "I am Riley" thing happened, and I wanted to throw myself out of a window.

    The Triangle single-handedly torpedoed this show, and the characters involved. No one moreso than Maya. She then just became a one-note character, and her only defining trait was her devotion to Riley, which really became a handicap for the show. It's great to see two people devoted to each other, but it often killed any creativity the show could have had.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think I had Maya higher than Riley because I've been trying to forget some of season 3. Maya became much more of a tool for developing Riley than a character in her own right during season 3.

    One of the most frustrating parts of Maya in season 3 is that some of the writing/acting in Upstate was good. The scene in the art room where Maya is telling Riley how she wanted Riley's normal life had some great potential and Sabrina's acting was very good. Sadly I feel the scene also threw some harsh light onto how privileged Riley is, rather than emphasising how a friendship is two ways (Riley got a wayward side, Maya a secure side).

    The writing on GMW could feel very heavy handed at times and at no time was it more obvious than during the Triangle.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've already left some thoughts on Maya, but it seems unfair not talk about her just a little more.

    Season 3 does not do Maya justice. The "pretending to be Riley" thing was ridiculously handled. And the thing of it is--it didn't have to happen like this.

    To have an identity crisis is to be a teenager, and it isn't even that far a stretch to say that Maya might try to subconsciously mimic Riley. Maya had repeatedly stated that she wanted to be a Matthews and wanted what Riley had.

    It wouldn't be without precedent: Cory and Shawn were envious of the role each other played--Cory often tried to act cool (mimicking Shawn and Eric to some degree) and Shawn often tried to use Cory as an outline of how to act when he wanted to get a real girlfriend.

    But they went too far with this--and to pretend that all of Maya's character development was just because of trying to imitate Riley is unfair.

    Damn the Triangle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Cryptid, interesting stuff, and I really did intend to respond to it sooner.

      I took it that Maya wasn’t just pretending or mimicking but that she was subsumed. For someone with a taste for content others might find crazy, and inaccessible, and maybe too dark, that had some appeal, and the bit with the painting was effective and kind of eerie. Aside from using this as a Triangle emergency exit, the most ridiculous thing may have been when they had characters talk about it in a matter-of-fact, everyday manner.

      Delete
    2. Milestones!

      Yeah, it wasn't so much the content of "Maya has become too much like Riley," I took umbrage with but the way it was used.

      Maya had flirted with Lucasa since very near the beginning. To try to explain that away was a cheap move.

      Delete