Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Girl Meets World Reviewed: Girl Meets Hollyworld (S3E17)

I will not be handcuffed to a radiator!

What is it blah blah blah It's Girl Meets World, but I still feel self-obligated to put something here

So I held off on this episode for a while - a few months, in fact, after it had originally aired and now coming up on about a month and a half on the series finale itself. Maybe it's precisely because the series finale has come and gone and I've vented my frustrations I feel like I can return to these episodes at a piecemeal pace of my own choosing without any pressure to either keep up with the series itself or Christian and Sean and, well, just do my own thing. Of course the very premise of the episode (or at least how it was promoted) didn't help either as it presented it as a very throw-back "the cast inexplicitly goes to Hollywood because high-concept sitcom plot" kind of thing, and hey it almost went that direction. In fact the actual directions it went was...kind of weird.

This Arkansas woman can seriously get away with being French, and people buy it? Riley and Maya just up and decide to handcuff her to a radiator? That literal last part of that last sentence is the actual title of the movie she's being cast in?

Yeah this episode is pretty fucking weird, but at least it does something with that weirdness.

For starters Sarah becomes a real character! In this case she's a budding scriptwriter and Hollywood producer/director just like her dad, who's trying to cast Frenchie McFakeFench in I Will Not Be Handcuffed to a Radiator! And all that jazz. And Katy Hart just happens to be a frontrunner for the lead with Frenchie's disappearance, blah blah blah spoiler alert: this episode is about friendship. Like literally every. Single. Episode. Of. Girl. Meets. World. Ever. Made.

And like a lot of those other episodes too, it goes off in some fucking bonkers directions (though not the greatest offender by a longshot - yeah I'm looking at you Tell-Tale Tot and a few others too). What really makes the episode stand out is, well, what ended up making a lot of Seaon 3 and even Season 2 episodes stand out - yup, forget the Love Triangle, we're talking the Power Triangle of Lucas, Zay and Farkle. They just completely nail it with their would-be Hollywood dopplegangers and their genre-savviness. And yeah, asking Topanga about her lawyer skills were funny scenes too.

And, um....The Power of Friendship.

Episode Grade: B-
Episode MVP: Amir Mitchell-Townes in a rare "I don't feel like multiple MPV ties" moment.

Extra Thoughts

- Yeah you probably noticed a lot of reviews suddenly going up at once, that's because I had a few back-logged while trying to live up to my promise and find an episode of Drake ad Josh to review.

 - Also, I totally get Sean's thing with Sarah. I mean...without sounding too misogynistic and objectifying about it (because Lord Knows I push it a lot on this blog as it is, especially as someone who identifies as an SJW)...yeah.

 - And speaking of Sarah...wow, she really does not like the Core 5 cast at all. Dukas? She doesn't even disguise her contempt with Farkle; her Farkle character is literally named "Farkle Poopypants."

 - Come to think of it, I haven't gotten to Christian and Sean's review of this episode. Maybe I should get to that.

Yeah, this episode was a......little disappointing. 

I was expecting more of a parody of the show when this first aired. You know, like a modern-day "Eric Hollywood" where they make fun of themselves for 22 minutes. You know what? Considering this show's track record with referencing the original series, maybe it's for the best that it didn't happen. Besides, nothing in an episode like that could ever come close to "How could I learn so much every week...AND STILL BE SO STUPID?!"

Oh, cool, it's one of those episodes where Riley and Maya don't believe that two best friends can stop being best friends. You know, because friends forever and bay windows and all that junk. I already talked about why this line of thinking irritates me so I'll just say that yeah, best friends can stop being best friends at some point. People grow apart, lives take different twists and turns, you know the signs. It is pretty hilarious how Maya kidnapped a big-time actress with Riley as an accessory and nothing happened to them. Nothing at all. I mean, of course, they joked about it in the beginning, but to have Riley and Maya get in trouble would be like acknowledging that they did something wrong. And we can't have that. Also, that actress sucks. Her fake French accent was driving me up the wall. I don't know if this is just a foreign thing, but have you ever noticed that a fake American accent can be done very well by foreign actors? Like, it's downright creepy how Hayley Atwell can slip into an American accent and then go back to her British one like it's absolutely nothing. These Americans need to step their game up.

The most disappointing thing about this episode is that Mackenzie Yeager wrote it. She had two really good scripts to her name before ("Jexica" and "Bear") and the fact that this one wasn't up to par was a shame. So she ended up going 2-1, which really isn't that bad considering the fact that she was a new writer for season three and she made a big impact so quickly. 

This episode was aight. Not really all that meaningful or especially good/bad about it. It was just there.

Maybe the Christmas episode could be next on the list. I haven't even seen that one yet. 


  1. I seem to be alone in my complete contempt for this episode. (I believe Christian and Sean gave it a C-something.) This was the moment when I became fine with the show going away. (It's also worth noting that I watched this episode on DVR after coming home from seeing Sabrina in concert, which was amazing, making the episode look even worse in comparison.)

    Here's the thing: you can't just minimize "decid[ing] to handcuff her to a radiator" to one sentence. Riley and Maya committed at least second-degree kidnapping, which in the state of New York is a class B violent felony, punished by a term of 5 to 25 years in prison. You could argue that it's actually first-degree kidnapping depending on how much you want to stretch " intent to compel a third person to ... engage in other particular conduct," which would bump it up to class A-1 and result in a sentence of 15 years to life. This is beyond normal TV hijinks, especially for a kids' show. Or in the words of the famous philosopher Oscar Santana, "That's not OK".

    Beyond the seriousness of the charge, they managed to commit this crime without anybody noticing, despite having no experience in crimes of this magnitude, no explained plan, and not a whole lot of muscle nor any vehicle to actually move her. The subject of this kidnapping was a famous movie star, and yet almost nobody noticed she had been missing for a number of days. In reality, there's this thing called the "New York Post", which would have had the beautiful missing famous actress on the cover every day until she was found. And then Topanga brushes it all away by saying she really could have left whenever but wanted to stay. Somehow I don't think Jack McCoy would agree. (There's also some biological issues with would have arisen.)

    I don't really remember the specifics of the rest of the episode. That Katy happened to be best friends once upon a time with the famous actress is a typical silly TV coincidence, whatever. The auditions were fine, I guess. It's all buried under the handcuffs in my mind though.

    It *was* nice to see Sarah get some good lines. I really want to like Sarah. She's quite adorable, and seems pretty nice on Twitter. But it's very odd to have seen her on TV so much and have no idea if she can act, and see her perform with Sabrina so much and have no idea if she can sing.

    1. Oh but of course I can minimize first degree felony kidnapping to one sentence! But I think it speaks more to what I've come to expect from this series, especially now that it's "expired" and, quite frankly, a lot of the pressure (including review pressure) has just evaporated. Perhaps I should elaborate in a dedicated blog post, but a big reason why there was such a massive drought of GMW reviews (and why for a good while they were supplied by Mike exclusively) is because giving the show a professional courtesy just became so damn tiring. I already covered this at least in part in other GMW reviews and in my big damn post about why and how GMW is ultimately a failure, and at a certain point it was more a professional courtesy to Christian and Sean than the show itself (because they deserve it far, far more as bloggers and Girl/Boy Meets World fans) but I really got sick and tired of giving this show special treatment because of the Boy Meets World legacy and that it was automatically better than all the other shows on Disney Channel even though in reality if anything it was far, far worse and because the nostalgia fandom was holding out hope that it *might* get better even though it clearly didn't. For someone doing a review blog across two networks plus miscellaneous, that's a very tiring mindset and attitude. But anyway, after having talking tater tots that taught quite flatly the fucking wrong life lessons, after the nonsense of Meets Fish that was apparently such a brilliant fucking idea it caused a whole reshuffle of the whole goddamn network (fuck Meets Fish and fuck the pathetic useless super-stupid morons behind it), and especially Meets Demolition (if you pay attention to her Twitter Debby is just about as flighty as Riley would be and perhaps as Rowan is in actuality so I wouldn't be surprised if they disagree with me) I've just come to expect the show to do whatever it feels like in the service of plot, and that 100% of the time without exception the plot in turn is going to be in the service if beating the same dead horse of friendship over and over again. So, yeah, I've just tempered my expectations enough to let it slide.

      As for the point where I was fine with the show going away...I think it was more a point of "ugh we have to put up with this for at least three seasons" which would've been very, very early in Season 1 (around the time of the first episodes that actually show up on Christian's blog). Right when this show was first announced (actually when it was first scheduled to originally premiere) in late '13 I was extremely wary of the potential of the show when everyone else was of the mindset that it would be a Fuller House-like automatic slam dunk and the one shining beacon in a network kept afloat by crap, and I don't necessary want to say that I feel vindicated by history (although I certainly feel that too) as so much as I feel like the only goddamn sane adult who actually bothers to review the show.

      So yeah, who knows maybe there will be a Jimquisition-style Disney Channel/Nick review blog in the future.


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