Saturday, October 17, 2015

Jessie and I Didn't Do It Finales and Girl Meets Texas Review

What is it? Yeah as you're going to tell when reading this I wasn't exactly sober when doing this, so it's not exactly organized, so screw all that.

Here we go.

Let me start off by saying I just realized the stupid title (Ooray for Ollywood) gives away the ending. Also I can't believe I'm actually enjoying Meets Texas so far (I'm watching on Watch Disney Channel early) - Unknown

So, how are we going to do this anyway? Eh, I'm going to start typing. Also, because I anticipated both Jessie and Girl Meets World being complete and total and unconditional shitfests, uh, I'm drunk. Kind of shitfaced. You thought I was kidding when I posted that Wikipedia-sourced image of random bottles of alcohol?

Holy Crap Debby Ryan is pretty.

Holy Crap Piper Curda is pretty. Olivia Holt is a real looker too. Even Sarah Gilman, who's actually pretty damn hot. Everybody I mentioned is 18 or over, I checked.

Does being drunk give me protection from embarrassment or creepiness from saying that? No? It doesn't?

Holy Crap the guy who plays Zay is...actually pretty good. I seriously don't get why people hate him so much. He's Girl Meets World's Betty LeBow - I. Just. Like him? I mean, he has comedic timing down pat. On the other hand I'm going to admit that it's quite possible I'm the only one in the world who thinks this. On the gripping hand I'll also admit it might be because I'm drunk.

But seriously, Zay...adds stuff. At least in Meets Texas. I'm hoping Mike and Nick can chime in, because it's hard to convince people without having a conversation to bounce off of.

Actually, you know what? Screw it. I'm drawing a line in the sand. Zay is a good character. He's actually justified his addition here. I can still use the excuse of being drunk, right? No? Damnit. 

Sabrina Carpenter acted circles around everybody else on the show, or the night, or the network, just by sitting silently on a stone fence. Rowan Blanchard...isn't really making me change my review of Invisible SIster. She's not a bad actress, but she's just that much outshined by Sabs. The GMW crew really lucked out by having Rowan...but as much as they did, they freakin' hit the lottery with Sabs. Sabs was born to be in this show as much as, I don't know, Debby was born to be in Jessie or Piper was born to be in IDDI I really should use some better examples. Martin Freeman was born to be in Fargo? The Hobbit? I don't know. 

Today's episode of WITS Academy was really good.

Ooray for Ollywood was actually really good. See I even used the title!

Meets Texas Part 1 was...really good. I'm watching Part 2 right as I'm typing this. Part 2 is...more, how shall I say, obligatory. You know what I mean. It's that episode that exists strictly to fill the holes in the story arc. It's the most awkward type of episode imaginable. Part 2 isn't bad. But it feels very...obligatory. You know, sometimes AP tests aren't horrible.

Ugh, the conversation Lindy, Jasmine and Delia were having about boyfriends in IDDI reminded me of the conversation I not only kept having with myself but my ex had with me right when we broke up. That is not the beer talking. 

Just some first impression grades here while Adolf Coors is still talking on my behalf: Ooray for Ollywood: A. Debby has a ton of input into her own show and I think it really is an effective message to her charges towards wishing them success in Bunk'd. If you pay attention to social media and peripheral media and interviews, I mean, Debby took the whole nanny role pretty seriously. Maybe it wasn't a love letter to the series itself but I think it was a love letter from her to the cast. Meets Texas: B+ and I think I'm still short-changing it. Sabrina just about blew me away. And you know what? The rest of the cast wasn't bad either. Ah, the hell with it, I'll give it an A too. Ummm...confession time. IDDI isn't even on yet.

WITS Academy gets an A, maybe a B+ minimum. It's the best episode of the series so far.

I think I better just continue this when I'm sober and quit while I'm ahead before I start using the words "Debby Ryan", "Piper Curda", "Olivia Holt" and especially "Sabrina Carpenter" and "Peyton List" in ways I'm sure I'm going to regret. It might also be possible that I just love this night so much just because of the alcohol. What say you, Mike and Nick? BTW if any of this is a disaster you better tell me so I can go back and edit it when I'm actually sober. 

Yeah, your bender last night has affected your writing, man. But as long as we get this up before Part 2 tonight.

I ended up missing Jessie and some of Girl Meets World last night, but I went back and watched all of Part 1. This morning, I even went to Christian and Sean Land because my review of this episode probably would have suffered quality-wise if I did not get their two cents on it. What a difference a couple hours can make because yesterday, I thought this episode was just decent. Watching all of it over again with no distractions, it is far and away the best episode Girl Meets World has done since "Yearbook." You know how "Yearbook" changed the game as we know it, and let us know that we are in for a wild ride? Well, Part 1 of "Girl Meets the Texas Movie" took the baton from there and just kept on running until it set a new international record, won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics and became the talk of the town stateside for the rest of the year. This episode was phenomenal. It was funny when it needed to be, but I notice that the best episodes of this show tend to be more character-driven and story-driven than joke-driven. I think "Pluto" and "Mr. Squirrels" are episodes that not only have a decent or great story, but are hilarious non-stop. I guess those are the exceptions to this rule of thumb, but whatever. Part 1 was simply magical. Whenever you have an episode like this, it puts a little twinkle in your belly because you cannot praise it enough. Whenever you have an awful episode like "Gravity" or "Cory and Topanga," it puts a little twinkle in your belly because you want nothing more than to rip it apart. Part 1 of "Girl Meets the Texas Movie" let me know that no matter what, GMW always gives people something to write about.

This was the episode that sold me on Lucas. This was the episode that made me see how great of a character he can be when he has actual material to work with. So far, season two has been a coming-out party for Peyton Meyer because his acting has really gotten better. No, he's not Sabrina, but very few cast members are. Lucas' story was simple: He competed in mutton busting when he was little until he fell off of Judy the Sheep. He then became a disgrace to his community for several years until Riley and Maya decided to fix his reputation by signing him up to ride Tombstone the Bull. Lucas was obviously not keen on doing this, but even if he had relented, something or someone would have kept him from backing out. That's where Pappy Joe comes in. I loved this man. He literally told Lucas he was a disgrace to his community in front of the whole class, with no sense of irony or mocking whatsoever. It was just dead-on seriousness. The scene where Riley and Maya give their two cents on Tombstone was powerful. These scenes are powerful, people. They give the show an additional weight of drama and make you feel like you are really watching something more important than the average kids show. Pappy Joe wasn't going to hate Lucas if he didn't go through with riding Tombstone. He was going to be disappointed in him because Lucas was choosing to take the easy way out and not face his fears. It would have been easy for Pappy Joe to say that he would support Lucas no matter what, but that's not what the show goes for. It subverts your expectations and gives you a lesson that anybody can apply to themselves: Take control of your life. Don't let life take control of you. 

Of course, Lucas doesn't get hurt and ends up setting a new record for riding Tombstone. But here's the thing: The ending was earned. Lucas spent the whole episode having to battle against himself and show everybody in Austin that he was not a failure or a disgrace. We saw it in his facial expressions, his talks with Pappy Joe and his friends, him sizing up Tombstone while the rival family's kid was sizing up Judy. This was Lucas' story and we saw everything we needed to. There was no telling, just showing. Even when Lucas talks to Timmy at the end about not giving up, it feels earned. It's not like an obligatory Cory speech or hamfisted, unnatural dialogue about the things we already know. It came naturally from Lucas' experiences and what he went through. Everything had stakes and wrapped itself up in a satisfying way, while giving us something to chew on for tonight.

I really, really enjoyed Riley's characterization in this episode. She never once believed Lucas would fail or that he just shouldn't try. Her idealism and optimism were on full display here and all of it was endearing. It contrasted Maya's fears and anger very well, but that fear and anger came from an actual place. We know why Maya felt the need to walk out on Lucas before his big showdown. She couldn't bear to see the guy she had a crush on get hurt, based off of something she was partly responsible for. It almost broke her heart. Riley has been putting two and two together for a while now. Her facial expressions when she was around Lucas and Maya were proof of that. She knew Maya thought of Riley and Lucas as brother and sister. She knew Maya liked him and she knew why Maya acts the way she does around Lucas. No one had to beat it over her head or break through her dense skull to get it. Riley knew what was up the whole time. She just didn't understand why Maya never talked to her about any of it, while the viewer understands why. To add to that, Riley's talk with Lucas at the end about their current relationship felt like a swan song. It almost feels like Riley understands exactly where things are headed and she wants Maya to step out of her comfort zone. She wants her to tell Lucas how she really feels and take control of the situation. And if she doesn't plan on it, then it will be up to Riley herself to pull the trigger whether Maya likes it or not. Everything relating to Riley and her story last night with Lucas and Maya was tremendous. We saw a more fleshed out, mature Riley that still had her goofy traits but took the bull by the horns and did what she needed to to put things where they belonged. Absolutely perfect, and I hope more of that Riley shows up in Part 2 tonight.

I'm afraid that Part 2 will be a huge step down from what the writers gave us last night, and Part 3 might just end up being filler. I don't know, let me be optimistic about this. If Girl Meets World can give me two more episodes that just come close to Part 1, it will be worth it. Michael Jacobs and crew need to break out the champagne and commemorative T-shirts (I like to watch a lot of sports, by the way) because they won the night last night. I don't know what the rest of this weekend holds, but let's just hope GMW continues riding this wave of momentum. I kept believing that this show was just spinning its wheels until the Texas Movie, and it looks like it might be true. Now I'm even more excited for Part 2. Us, the show, Earth. Let's do this thing.

Episode Grade: A-
Episode MVP: Peyton Meyer. He really took the opportunity this episode gave him to shine and he did not waste it. Lucas is slowly turning into a character this show needs to have around. By the end of season three, he will be more fleshed out than Topanga which is......something. Rowan and Sabrina aren't that far off either.

EXTRA THOUGHTS
-I could have given this episode an A or an A+, but there are some things that bothered me. The way this episode starts is really weird. I know that Riley and Maya want to help Lucas redeem himself, but there was no prompting for that. It's just they come in and say, "Lucas, here you go, your plot for the next three days." Also, I would expect Riley to be so blissfully unaware of the fact that it said "bull" on the paper and not "sheep," but Maya? Not buying it.

-There was also no reason given as to why Riley, Maya, and Farkle decided to go to Texas. I mean, we know why they would go for moral support, but them coming there just screams, "Hey! We need all the kids here for conflict! You thought this episode would be about Lucas and Zay?! Yeah, right." Actually, them going with Lucas and Zay is one of the things I was wondering about before the episode aired.

-I said this before, but seriously. Stop. The bay. Window jokes. I don't even know if they're trying to be funny or just cute, but they keep forcing the bay window to the point where it's only relevant to Riley and Maya. I get that it's their thing and all, but if you want us to care, you shouldn't treat it like this godly, all-knowing presence that can do anything. It would be like Homer Simpson constantly going to other towns and asking where he can find Moe's, because apparently, he thinks there are other Moe's besides Springfield.

-A lot of people have been questioning Zay's inclusion on the show as they are starting to see five kids as too much. I don't agree necessarily. An ensemble cast is great because you don't always have to focus on the same one or two people for stories and you can get different perspectives on different topics every episode. It all depends on whether or not Person A adds to the group dynamic. I have my own show called Thank You, Heavenly on FanFiction. In the first season, there were four boys as main characters. At the beginning of season two, I added a girl to the four-man group and it has been that way ever since. In fact, the show works even better with five kids now instead of four because that means more stories from another point of view and more people to play off of, because this girl has her own friends and her own interests. Also, when you have five kids, someone will inevitably spend an episode or two on the bench. It happens. Part 1 was Lucas', Riley's, and Maya's show so I'm not too disappointed that Zay and Farkle barely factored into the episode. Besides, I know Farkle will at least get the subplot in Part 2 about experiencing Texas life so it's not like some characters will always get pushed aside. A five-person group can be used effectively. It all depends on the characters involved and what they add to the episode.

Well, I'm done here. Unknown, Nick, you guys want the mic?

Effected my writings or my opinions you mean? ;)

Now that I've sobered up I've...going to generally stick to my guns here. Girl Meets Texas Part 1 was pretty good, though I wonder how much of that is influenced by the fact that I went into it fully expecting it to be little more but a self-congratulatory circle-jerk. The first three-quarters was just a simple but satisfying story. Cletus makes me wonder what decade Micheal Jacobs is writing in but that's by far the only legitimate complaint to make here. The Bay Window is...the Bay Window. By this point it's become a character in of itself. In Meets World of Terror 2 it literally was a character.
But probably the most effective moment of the episode - perhaps of the whole series so far - is just watching Sabrina sit silently on a stone wall. That was about as effective as anything else in this episode or the whole night, including two rather emotional series finales. 

I think I'll give it the benefit of the doubt regarding any flaws and just give it an A already. If you've been paying attention to what I've been writing you already know Sabs is my MVP, no question to it. There isn't really anything else that needs to be said. It's exactly the thing Meets Texas needed to kick off.

There's so much going on with Jessie that it really needs its own review at this point. We'll talk about MVP and grades in there.

IDDI was...IDDI. It's pretty obvious that lest of anything else they wanted to wrap up all the relationship threads and either formalize pairing the ships together or tear down to build anew had there been a Season 3. IDDI ends out on Jogan through and through. Delia decided she hates her boyfriend out of the blue though I'm not sure what this accomplishes other than 1.) to set up the joke about Garrett breaking up with him on her behalf and 2.) some sort of season 3 plans we'll never know now. But that's not necessarily bad or unrealistic - see the very next paragraph (or my Jessie retrospective).

The conversation about relationships hit too close to home regarding some of the things in my own previous relationships as mentioned when I was less sober, but hey, that's the nature of relationships. As I said in Jessie, high school relationships don't last. This stuff happens. 

Anyway, IDDI's finale was very much just a wrap-up, a pretty tight and clean one so there isn't much to go over, I feel. Especially since we're moving on now: Final Grade: A flat B. Episode MVP: I think I'll actually give it to Peyton Clark because I do feel his role as the, uh, breaker-upper I guess did hinge more critically on his performance than any other scene for anybody else. Even though it's mostly a star vehicle for Olivia Holt it's not as singularly focused on her character as, say, Alex was on Wizards of Waverly Place. It's much more a total ensemble cast.

The only thing I can really add overall about the night from here is that I'm really wondering if it was appropriate to air two series finales in the middle of Monstober (so we have to put up with all the Monstober-related promotion which I feel diminishes the finale aspect and makes it secondary to trying to milk whatever little aspects can be milked for "horror"). It's clear that the network doesn't care about IDDI (otherwise it'd be getting a Season 3) but Jessie? C'mon! You couldn't hold the finale off until November at least?

Unknown, I think Disney Channel was originally scheduling it in November according to the IDDI writers. But of course, Disney would make stupid scheduling decisions. It would have made more sense if BUNK'D premiered with Invisible Sister which could've aired after the Jessie finale.

The Jessie finale had a very emotional ending and overall great acting. It wrapped up the show very well. However, I was disappointed by some things that weren't finale worthy.

The plot wasn't good. Jessie's Aloha Holidays was good. Both episodes got Jessie an acting role, but this episode was so bland. I wish there was more INTERESTING plot with Hollywood despite half of the episode taking place there. And also, Jessie and Tony didn't act like a couple like at all. She didn't even think about him when leaving or act like she truly LOVED him when seeing him in Hollywood.

Moving on from the negative, the finale did its job for giving the sad goodbye every Disney series finale needs. The references from the first season were great especially the pilot. In the goodbye scene, everyone mocking Bertram as he said "But it's too far," for the last time was priceless. Debby Ryan kept a good job not crying during the scene although you could see her tears. CHRISTINA ROSS LOOKS SO AWKWARD JUST STANDING THERE WHILE PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIVED TOGETHER FOR 4 YEARS ARE CRYING GOODBYE HAHAHAHA.

Episode Grade: B+
SERIES MVP: Kevin Chamberlin; I couldn't think of anyone better to say is the series MVP. Bertram was delivered in such an incredible and hilarious way for four years. His dialogue and his actions were the highlight of the series.

Girl Meets Texas was wow. I just watched part 3: the best episodes ever. The plot was pretty creative and Sabrina's acting was wow. I agree with Unknown. Sab outshows Rowan with her acting. But wait until you see part 3 where Rowan does her best at acting with a Riarkle scene. There is something about Girl Meets World. They do more than just have recurring characters get in the way of main character's relationships. ITS BETWEEN THE TWO LEADS. 

Episode Grade: A
Episode MVP: Sabrina Carpenter; Wow.

Not much to say about the I Didn't Do It finale. It was sorta...boring. I found all the Jogan spoilers and the scenes online. So did many fans and that's what everyone cares about from the show. The finale was boring, however. I didn't like the scenes they planned the fundraiser. It all seemed bland for a finale. But I must say, Olivia Holt did a GREAT job with "Count On Me". Perfect series closure song. And it made me want a third season. Larrett was also unfinished. That would've been a big season 3 plot line. Their band in the last scene also intrigued me. It's a shame Disney canceled it. But hey, we get the new series, Bizaardvark.

Episode Grade: C
Episode MVP: Karen Malina White; Betty may have been my favorite character. She's just so lovable and sassy. Honestly she's who I'm going to miss the most from the series.

Side Note: If I were Disney, I would send the cast away and keep Piper Curda. I would give Curda a comedy about a Korean family.

3 comments:

  1. Repost from GMW Reviewed. You guys deserve some love too. Didn't watch much of Jessie but I really liked the ending. Bertram was always great when I saw the show.

    Now on to GMW...Loved this episode. I loved this episode so much. Easily one of the best of the season, if not the best.

    Let's see,

    I think the Riley/Maya scene was their best scene of the series. Up until now, it was always "We're BFFs. We love each other." But it seemed so much more real this time. Riley giving up on Lucas so Maya could have a chance with him? Wonderful. Rowan and Sabrina brought their A game. Now, I don't believe for a second that Riley's completely over Lucas. It's a precarious situation where she wants to her make her best friend happy. Sabrina did a great job of being mad. We've talked about being mad works well to show character and it did here.

    Amir was great again. Kid's just funny. I loved how they're starting to mention how tall Corey's gotten. Seriously, what did that kid eat? He's grown like eight inches since the show started. I also don't know if it was the writers or Corey himself who fought for a wardrobe change but it worked. And he doesn't have a Coconut Head haircut which also works great for him.

    I would have liked Zay and Farkle to do stuff together but that bit at the end seemed very natural. I do believe Farkle's gets some sort of B-Plot for tomorrow's episode and I saw an image on Ben Savage's Instagram that suggest he's a big piece for Part 3, so we'll see how this goes.

    My one nitpick has to do with Austin. Yeah, Austin's a way bigger city than that but whatever. The only time I've been there was to the airport when I was 6. Cletus was odd, but I'm guessing he's "Uncle Cletus" and was a big part of Lucas' childhood.

    Grade: A
    MVP: Peyton Meyer, you son of a gun, you finally got one out of me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! That's the best compliment anybody has told us so far!

      It seems like just about everybody's on the same page and in universal agreement with this one. There just seems to be some argument over whether or not Sabs or Row is a better actress, or what grade this episode deserves, but it seems to be just minor variations, nothing to really cause a wide rift. As for Austin...yeah. Disney Channel (including this show) seems primarily staffed by writers who are only personally familiar with LA, maybe NYC or mostly commercials narrated by Sam Elliot. If you watch, say, Good Luck Charlie and are familiar with the locales that show actually takes place in it's pretty obvious the writers have never been anywhere north or east of the 210 through Pasadena.

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  2. Don't have a lot to add since i mostly agree. While Jessie was flawed, the very last scene was great enough to get me to like it. IDDI was decent, but it's obvious they were setting up for a Season 3 that will never happen. Everyone is hoping for Piper to move on and get big, but i'm rooting for Sarah Gilman right now, mostyl cuz she's never really been in anything else people care about it.

    ReplyDelete

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