Thursday, September 1, 2016

Girl Meets World Reviewed: Let's Play Catchup

Hello, old friend.

You may have noticed that there haven't been any reviews in a couple weeks. That problem was addressed the other day by Unknown and since he covered everything perfectly, there's no need to be redundant. With that being said, Girl Meets World. After the "Ski Lodge" episodes, I really had to take a step back and just question whether or not I still wanted to review the show. The answer is no, I don't want to. I don't think the show is good enough to receive in-depth reviews for every single episode. That's why I have all the respect in the world for Christian and Sean over at GMWReviewed, because they have no choice and have committed themselves to a project that is frustrating, but full of genuine pride in their work. This blog was meant to cover shows from Nickelodeon and Disney Channel for the most part. Lately, the reviewing diet has been very limited. There are certain reasons for that:

1. Laziness. I'm going to be honest, I could really sit there and watch episodes of all these shows, but I have to discipline myself and be patient in order to do that. I mean, I just saw a few minutes of Bizaardvark the other day. That was enough to kill my spirit and make me afraid of actually checking out these other shows. I mean, Henry Danger? The Thundermans? I can do those shows, no problem. It's just everything else that gives me no hope.

Well, actually, that's the only reason. I could hold myself to the responsibility of tackling all of these shows, but maybe I just need to set a goal for myself. You know what? That's exactly what I'm going to do.

By the end of 2016, I will review one episode of each live-action sitcom currently airing on both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. The task might just end up killing me, but I want to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment with this blog. Just one episode of my choice and that's that. If I haven't done a full review for the show yet, it's fair game. I've talked about The Thundermans a lot, but not in the same way I have with Girl Meets World so that's an example. I'm already two shows down so for the next four months, it's on.

Anyway, since I'm going to focus on school more over the next few weeks and months, my reviewing is going to get scarce. Plus, I have scripts for my adult animated series to attend to and I want to resurrect my WordPress blog before it's too late. With all that in the way, I'm going to be sporadic with the reviews until further notice. I still have my goal in the back of my head, but other than that, I have nothing else to do on the blog for now. 

So yeah, this post is about playing catchup. Ever since "Ski Lodge," three episodes of GMW have aired. The good news is, they were all pretty good on average. Well, the last two episodes anyway. So I'm just going to do some mini-reviews of these episodes and probably continue doing that for the rest of the season. Keep in mind that my "contract expires" the night of the season three finale, and if Disney Channel decides "whatever" and renews Girl Meets World for season four, I probably won't review it at all unless I absolutely have to. Enough talking. Time for some thoughts on Girl Meets World's last three episodes:

Yeah before we do that I'm just going to interject with a quick note about this blog, as this marks our 99th post! Since our 1 year anniversary is in about 20 days I figure we can combine our 100th post and 1 year anniversary posts together in some fashion. I'm thinking of some ideas, including soliciting our readership (yeah that means you) for any ideas or any words you want to see in the post. I'll also include some other things, not to take away from Mike so read through first!

"Girl Meets I Do"

Yeah, out of all three episodes, this one is definitely the weakest. I mean, you would think an episode about Shawn Hunter's wedding would be a standout, and I definitely care about this because it's Shawn getting married, but I don't know. It didn't strike a huge chord with me for one reason or another. One main problem with this episode is that it chooses to focus on Maya and how she feels about the wedding. I honestly don't care about Maya's feelings because this isn't about her. That's why I love it when Shawn flat out tells her that the wedding's not about her. I mean, he's not like "Bitch, if you don't suck it up and stop messing up the flow, I'm calling up Angela so you can be without a daddy again." He just tells her like it is and I appreciate that. That's why I wished there were more scenes with just Shawn dealing with his emotions as he begins to share his life with someone else. It was an okay episode, but nothing special. The wedding itself is fantastic, every joke kills and Mr. Feeny is in rare form as he just shuts down everything. Like when Topanga and the girls start up the Feeny Call and he tells them to stop it. Also, there are some nice bromance jokes with Cory and Shawn, but I think it's more at Cory's expense because it's like he's gay for Shawn. You know, because that's the joke, I think.

Episode Grade: B
Episode MVP: William Daniels, for just elevating this episode another notch the second he showed up.

"Girl Meets the Real World"

This was a really well-done episode. I mean that. The fact that Joshua Jacobs wrote this makes me want to spit out my imaginary drink because I must be living in some parallel universe. I feel like the lesson was left a little more vague than it should have because it's not all there at the end, but this is a really good episode nonetheless. It tells its story in a way that doesn't come off as overbearing or heavy-handed. It's Riley coming to terms with the wickedness of the world, and her desire to become more evil since she doesn't see any hope for humanity. Zay got a chance to shine as well when Riley proves her newfound mean streak by eating the cookie that Zay's relative made for him. The best scene in this episode is something we pretty much never see on this show: Realism. Soul-shattering, unfiltered realism. Maya questions why Riley didn't give money to this homeless man that needed it to afford matching shoes. Riley states that for all they know, he's not really spending the money on shoes. Josh J.'s job must have been on the line unless he buckled down and delivered a quality episode, and that was a scene that felt straight out of Boy Meets World. This episode taught a very important lesson, that even with the existence of evil, it's more important to be a good person and leave a positive mark on the world. The only thing I don't like here, literally the only thing, is Smackle once again making a joke about her attraction to Lucas......while Farkle is sitting right there. Seriously, cut that bullshit out, it's not funny and makes Smackle unlikable while making Farkle look like a chump. 

They used to do Smackle/Lucas scenes correctly. Did they really forget what made their dynamic work already?

Episode Grade: B+
Episode MVP: Rowan Blanchard. Riley really shined in this episode as I was genuinely interested in her realization that the world can be a cruel, unforgiving place. I don't know if her naivete is going to come back in future episodes, but for now, I'm impressed with how the writers handled her character.

"Girl Meets Bear"

An episode about Riley losing her teddy bear and everyone pitching in to help her find out? Yup, sounds like the stupidest premise ever when you put pen to paper. However, an idea can be salvaged if you work at it enough, and who is already deserving of a raise on the writing staff for doing exactly that? That's right, Mackenzie Yeager. This is the second episode she's written since she joined the crew this season, and the last one was "Jexica" so she already came in hot. Eventually, she's going to write a dud but for now, she's really gotten a handle on these characters and how they operate so she needs to be kept on staff for as long as possible. This episode relies on comedy for the most part, but the jokes hit bullseyes most of the time and pretty much every character is likable in this thing, especially Maya and Zay. Maya is a complete ball of joy in this episode, going nuts over the taco special and that being her only motivation in this episode. She just wants to take advantage of the tacos on sale but she's bogged down by whatever Riley's doing. It works beautifully. We also get a great meta joke with Farkle and Lucas ("Why did you two switch characters?"), the return of Alan's Navy gloves, and Zay continuing to shine as a character. He just asks Maya out on a date, acts on his feelings and gets what he's looking for. Very rarely does anyone on this show handle romance like an actual person would so it's refreshing for Zay to just go get what he came for and succeed. I'm also glad they didn't find the bear in the end because I would have thrown up in my mouth had that happened. This might just be the best episode of the season. It's not saying much, but nobody should sleep on Mackenzie Yeager's writing. She's now a force to be reckoned with.

Episode Grade: A-
Episode MVP: Amir Mitchell-Townes. It's not even debatable, Zay was the freaking man in this episode. Also, I loved the callback to Riley eating his cookie. Since when does this show ever reference something that happened in the previous episode? It's stuff like this that almost makes that "Ski Lodge" garbage worth it.

Well, there you go. Girl Meets World is once again in a groove. But once again, the show will drop the ball and go through a cold streak very soon. "Jexica" and "Permanent Record" gave me a lot of hope that we would finally see this show come together......then "Triangle" aired and made me want to spit on the ground. What I'm saying is, GMW is as bipolar as they come, but at least we finally got some genuinely good episodes again. There are only four gems this season ("Jexica," "Permanent Record," "Real World," "Bear") but there could be more if we just believe hard enough. Can this show survive the pressure and turn a lump of coal into a diamond, or will it fumble once again and grind itself into dust? Find out some other time. Right now, it's time to........take care of some other things. 

2 comments:

  1. random question, how come most of your posts have 0 or 1 G+ but a few of them have thousands of G+? I'm becoming curious about how this is done.

    ReplyDelete

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