Saturday, July 30, 2016

Girl Meets World Reviewed: Girl Meets Ski Lodge (Part II)

It's over.

I think the GMW reviews might end up being a solo-act for Mike for a few reasons, chief among them because honestly at this point it's getting hard for me to keep up (yes, even with them being shown only every other week) and quite frankly I've just lost interest. I honestly don't see much of a point in slogging through a bunch of C and even D episodes just for a smattering of B (or even A episodes in the case of Meets Report Card) and punching out reviews days or even weeks late when someone here is already covering them diligently (again, it's really nice to have someone else co-write your blog, thanks Mike!) and you have another entire blog covering just this one show. Again, Mike's been covering GMW more than very nicely and better than I can say it, and the only true disagreement we've had this season so far is Meets Jexica where I thought the B-plot was so crappy it drags down the entire episode a grade demerit but the core sentiment is still there (and maybe Meets Report Card which I thought might be the strongest episode of the entire show so far, and the way things are looking right now, strongest episode of the show period but Mike still gave it a very good grade).I also want to do reviews of other shows to help us differentiate ourselves from GMWReviewed, so that's where I'm concentrating. So I'll be working on reviews of the original Adventures in Babysitting starring Elizabeth Shue, the Nickelodeon one-time special Lost in the West and mini-reviews of School of Rock, Legendary Dudas and Bizaardvark (spoiler alert: of those last three shows exactly one of them is actually good so far). Probably (hopefully) mini-reviews of Bella and the Bulldogs and Stuck in the Middle as well. And of course Mike is invited (actually, highly encouraged) to participate in those reviews as well.   

With all the rumors circulating that this might be Girl Meets World's last season, it's only fitting that I review this episode because it almost makes me wish the rumors are true. You can talk about this show moving to Freeform or ABC all you want, that's not going to change anything. A network switch isn't going to make the show more compelling or give it more depth. Sure, they will be able to address heavier subjects on another network, but bad writing is bad writing no matter what. I have seen good and bad episodes of this show. Taking it somewhere else isn't going to do anything to Michael Jacobs' creative vision. He wanted Girl Meets World like this, and it's only going to stay like this. I just don't understand why people want this show to be more like Pretty Little Liars or The Fosters when it can just be the spiritual successor to Boy Meets World like it should have been. But enough of that, time to review.

I'm just going to come right out and say it, this might be the worst episode this show has ever done. Wait, that's not going far enough. This might be the worst episode of any kids live-action show of the last five years. Okay, that's going too far. Bottom line, this is an awful episode because it literally destroys nine months of buildup and hype for a predictable ending we all saw coming along with a dirty, underhanded, nonsensical way to get to that ending. It's a terrible ripoff of one of the best episodes of the original show, and it is hardly entertaining or intriguing or does anything but make me wonder why I don't just stop reviewing this show now. I still have the rest of season three to renew my GMW contract, but with episodes like this, the job is not being made any easier.

So Riley is talking to the mountain boy named Evan. Add him to the list of creepy one-off characters this season, which just grows larger and larger. He acts as some kind of guru to help the kids sort out their feelings for each other, but his role is absolutely unnecessary and the episode could have cut him out completely. Plus, there's an unbelievably shocking twist ending that no one ever saw coming involving Evan, but I'll leave that for the extra thoughts. Anyway, Riley was talking to Evan and they got caught. Hey, it's just like that BMW episode where Cory and Lauren were talking all night. What a coincidence!

The remainder of the episode is just a bunch of talking and not a whole lot of action. It's just a long-winded way of telling us that Lucas and Riley were made for each other. I don't have a problem with Lucas choosing Riley because it finally puts an end to the triangle, and it was the choice everybody expected anyway. As much as the fans see the chemistry between Lucas and Maya, the writers have made it perfectly clear that they will never be together. What really gets my blood boiling, what really puts this episode on my list, is that they try to justify why Lucas and Riley should be together with absolute bullshit. Maya realizes that when she became Riley, she was trying to protect her and see what kind of guy Lucas was. She never liked him, she only liked him because Riley did and she felt the need to feel what Riley felt.

Okay, all bets are off now.

1. Maya only started going through this identity crisis crap in "Triangle." Literally nothing she did before that episode even indicated that she was starting to become Riley. That's how I know the writers were just really scrambling for a way to end this triangle.

2. What kind of stupidity is this? The guys who were responsible for Boy Meets World, a show that often handled romance and relationships with maturity and insight, are really overseeing this garbage? The triangle started all the way in "Texas," which means Maya has been like Riley for that long. Everything we have seen since last October has been for absolutely nothing. They waited this long to give us a horrible ending, and they tied it into a story that should have never been told in the first place. This goes beyond inept storytelling, this is almost pure contempt for the audience. When you continue coming up with episodes like this, that completely shit on a story you created yourself, it's almost like you really do hate your fans. I don't care if you want Lucas and Riley together, don't justify it with this bullshit.

You guys know the Family Guy episode "Seahorse Seashell Party" where Meg finally strikes back at the family for years of abuse, and then near the end, she realizes that her abuse is a lightning rod for the family's dysfunction? That's probably one of the worst excuses to keep a story running that I have ever heard. They tried addressing the Meg abuse seriously, and then at the drop of a dime, came up with that reason to justify the abuse. And Meg was portrayed as noble for doing this. This episode is the G-rated version of that. Maya was praised by Josh for becoming Riley and protecting her until she knew Lucas was right for her. This is so unrealistic, I can't even get that angry. This story is so just terribly written, so tone deaf with what teenagers think, so messy that when I first watched this episode, I almost didn't want to watch GMW again. I just felt so insulted after everything was over. What kind of person does this in the real world? I can't buy Maya's motivations because there was no buildup or development at all. They just told this story because they wanted to, without any regards to whether or not it would even work or have some sense of logic. 

Oh yeah, apparently, Josh likes Maya now, because nothing bad can ever happen to these characters at all. Everything is a utopian society where everything is perfect and they never have to run into any real problems. Screw reality, am I right? While the thought of Riley's uncle dating his niece's best friend is awful to think about out of context, this really won't affect the show at all, especially considering the rumors. They won't even go out until many years down the line. I don't know, I'm numb to this overall. Wait, but didn't Maya say that Josh was just a fantasy in the last episode? Whatever. Out of sight, out of mind.

So at the end of the day, everybody's happy and everything this show tried to do with the triangle was torn apart in a matter of seconds. The sad part is that I gave these writers so much praise during "Texas," for trying to tell a realistic story that actually put the characters in an awkward, uncertain position. Then the New Year's episode came, and then the graduation episode came, and nine months later, after a bunch of pointless filler and cliffhangers, this is how they choose to end it all. This doesn't make for interesting television when everything is wrapped up in a little bow. It's not interesting television when I can't understand why these characters do certain things and act certain ways. And it's not interesting television when you tell these stories because they don't make sense and they completely destroy your own work. 

Watching this episode was an exercise in my patience. There's really nothing redeemable about this one. It's boring, frustrating, annoying, soulless, and ends a dragged out story with terrible, terrible justification. Watching more Boy Meets World episodes and reading Sean's blog has given me a deeper appreciation for what the original show did. It really is worth the hype, and is living proof that at one point, these writers were able to tell wonderful stories that made sense and didn't talk down to the audience. But that was a long time ago, and I feel like BMW has been put on a pedestal like it was classic Simpsons or Seinfeld, to the point where the writers felt like they had to live up to a serious legacy. It could have been so simple. I saw potential in that pilot, and season one was just testing the waters. Season two showed improvement, but it still wasn't there yet. And with season three in full swing, the same problems they had two years ago are still here. 

I don't know. Maybe it's for the best that they don't get a fourth season, and I'm not really looking forward to the rest of season three either. I think episodes like this just......break me.

Episode Grade: D-
Episode MVP: Ben Savage. Cory gave me the only enjoyment I could find in this episode. And again I wonder, why isn't this show a self-parody?

EXTRA THOUGHTS
-This episode was written by Aaron Jacobs. You know, if you see "Jacobs" in the writing credits at this point, that should probably be a sign to stay away. 

-There are some small jokes that really aren't enough to elevate this episode at all, but I like when Riley tells the sun to go back down after she realizes she's been up all night talking to Evan. I don't think their connection matters at all because Evan isn't even a character, just a plot device. Not a very good plot device at that.

-I'm still not crazy about them reusing the BMW opening sequence, but I noticed in the last episode that there's a joke in there I really like: Farkle has the football and it looks like he's telling Lucas to go long, then he just drops the football and walks away. That's really funny.

-Speaking of Farkle, I really like his dynamic with Smackle in this episode. It's like the writers were apologizing for what they did in part one because they have the level of closeness and teamwork I expect from them. You know, at some point, the writers should really expand their horizons and have episodes focused on other characters besides Riley, Maya, and Lucas. Imagine if most of Boy Meets World's episodes were all about Cory and/or Topanga. That would have really sucked. It pays to have a main cast that you can explore in various ways. They have done a couple Farkle episodes before, but very few of them have really stood out. 

-Am I the only one who thinks Josh always sounds like he's just about done chewing his cereal? I don't know, small things here. 

-To try and get them to explore their feelings, I guess, Evan plays the same relationship game that Cory and the gang played in the original episode. See, in "Heartbreak Cory," it made sense because Lauren was interested in Cory and for the most part was just doing this for herself. Her motivations made sense because she was attracted to Cory. Evan is just doing this to help the kids and it's never even hinted that he likes Riley. You can't just reference things without understanding why they worked the first time. It's also annoying because any time Evan asks them a question, he says a potential answer and they keep interrupting him, even though it's multiple choice and you're supposed to hear all the options first. And apparently, he lied about these questions being new because he wanted to help Riley and her friends. Sherpas, they get you where you need to be going.

-Seriously, these conversations just go on and on and on. I was waiting for Lucas and Riley to kiss, but that didn't even happen. 

-Twist ending: Evan is Lauren's son. Yeah, this show lives in bizarro world. I called it, but it still doesn't make any sense. Could you imagine the conversation Lauren must have had with her son over this? "Hey, Evan, do you want to hear about the time I almost broke up a relationship?" "I want to be a sherpa when I grow up, Mom!" "No. Don't do that."

 - Spoiler Alert #2: The one good show isn't the incredibly crappy, terminally boring dumbed-down remake of a now-ancient Jack Black movie in pre-tween television form mostly coasting on the fact that Pete Wentz and Kendall Schmidt occasionally make guest appearances on. Breanna Yde and Jade Pettyjohn desperately need better agents.

 - I think Jessie Prescott's actual, full name might be just Jessie Prescott. No middle name, and not "Jessica Prescott" just "Jessie." That's what I'm getting from this random rerun of There Goes the Bride.

Yeah I'll get out of here now.

4 comments:

  1. GMW frustrates me cuz it does some amazing stuff, but also bad stuff yet when it's bad, i don't hate. Even the worst episodes are sort of tolerable. I mean, every single episode actually shows some actually effort, and it's really hard for me to call any of this garbage with all the actual garbage Disney Channel has shown over the years.

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  2. Bizzardvark is on the underwhelming side for me so it can't be that. Although it could get more footing later. As I sai,d I'm neutral on most disney sitcoms until they do something especially good or bad.

    Which is why the latest show like stuck in the middle or whatever won't get any extreme reactions of me in general. Even my least favorite shows have good episodes, and my favorite have some bad ones, after all

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  3. Girl Meets World is terrible. Pretentious smug show that thinks it's so clever and smart, when it's just poorly written bland rehash of the original show.

    ReplyDelete

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