Lucy Speaks!

Imagine my surprise at seeing the face of Lucy from Degrassi: TNG in my Firefox window!

She’s contributed an article to a Canadian publication, a memoir about her parents, grandparents, struggling with poverty, finding common ground, joining Degrassi, and what she’s up to now. It’s a really nice read, no longer than some of the blog posts here. And I chuckled at seeing her dad’s bar mitzvah photo – you can tell she’s related to him just from that one photo.

Anyway, visit the link here! https://torontolife.com/city/life/mom-welfare-dad-hippie-grandparents-two-richest-people-toronto/

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I’m not dead!

Boy I don’t have to tell you long-time followers that’s it’s been a while, huh? It’s so weird to think back to when the last post went up, how different the world was then.

Girl Meets World got renewed for a third season, and then canceled.

Degrassi got canceled and then picked up by Netflix.

Glee got super uncomfortable to watch with Puck actor Mark Salling admitting to possession of something I won’t mention so it doesn’t mess up my SEO or whatever, and then his subsequent in-prison suicide.

My plans to one finish up rewatching these teens shows and move on to 3 varied family shows – Home Improvement, Roseanne, and The Cosby Show sure got complicated!

Roseanne got a surprise renewal/sequel for a 10th season, which revealed everything was fake (they didn’t win the lottery, so most of season 9 didn’t happen, but also Dan didn’t actually die and Becky was never pregnant, but neither Bev nor Jackie are lesbians, so… eh?? Maybe we’ll get to that some day).

Thanks to an outpouring of fan support (which I am proud to say I was a part of), Hey Arnold finally got the conclusion it always deserved with “The Jungle Movie.”

The Magic Schoolbus got a Netflix revival. I haven’t watched it yet.

Phineas and Ferb ended its long and successful run, with a crossover event planned for later this year.

Nothing interesting happened regarding the other shows I’ve reviewed or mentioned on here. But lots of interesting things happened regarding other tv shows.

And then of course there was the US presidential election and all the deaths and terrible things that have happened since that Christmas Town review went up. I know we’re all sick to death of politics, and this is a tv blog. But man, that whole election season was ROUGH. And it still is. Some people are just garbage, right? Not a political comment, I just mean how terrible people treat other people just because they disagree about things. I’d never pretend like I’m a 100% nice person or anything, but I just hope I’ve never treated anyone as poorly as I’ve seen people treat others just because of political or opinionary differences.

BUT this is a tv blog. Politics have been all over the tv, but, let’s not talk about that.

I’m still intending to continue my tv reviews. I’ve gotta get back in the swing of things first. And I’d like to have a really nice backlog of posts. I’m actually in a College Years spinoff myself right now, so while I do certainly have free time, it’s just, I’m working on college things, so I’m not confident I’d be able to stick to that crazy 4 posts a week schedule I was doing without a significant backlog. I was actually in college when I started this blog, I think. And now I’m in college again! I worked hard to get here, and even though I’m constantly anxious about this being a huge waste of time too, I’m trying not to let it get to me too much. I’ve sure wasted a lot of time on other stuff.

I still secretly aspire to be one of those really cool bloggers who makes a really good living just from making fun of tv shows. Man, if I could make a ton of money just watching tv and talking about it, that’d be so great. I’m not delusional, I know blogging and reviewing tv shows are both really saturated and competitive fields, and obviously right now since I haven’t put anything out in a year and a half I’m not so crazy as to expect to make a ton of money from this blog. I mean I wouldn’t complain if someone wanted to pay me $1000 a month for nothing, but I’m not expecting it.

Anyway, lots of changes to tv and the world since that last post. I can’t say I’m excited to see what changes will happen next. No changes are better than bad changes, and bad changes always come. Also I wish I could get some anti-anxiety meds! But that’s beside the point. Like, right beside it.

But I hope some good changes come. And I’ll start plugging away at new posts. Hopefully there’ll be some by Christmas!

Movie Review: Christmas Town

The plot:

Nicole de Boer plays Liz, a single mother who’s a real estate agent who’s SO dedicated to her job and so good at it that she’s managed to sell several homes in December. Apparently it’s unusual to sell a home to closer it gets to Christmas, but Liz can handle it!

After successfully selling a home, she heads to her own home to find her son and his friends having a “snowball fight” with laundry soap suds, as the nanny has disappeared and the son figured out he can make tons of soap bubbles by filling the washing machine with soap, or something. Remarkably, Liz basically just gives him a warning, and does not do literally anything to punish him. She’s a bit stressed out because it’s winter break, so her son, Mason, has no school for two weeks. But she’s a busy single mother! And he does stupid, irresponsible stuff like that despite being old enough to know better!

Liz gets a call from her father, who says he’s moved to some place called Hollyville, where it’s Christmas all year round, and he invites Liz and Mason to visit him over the holidays. Liz isn’t so sure – they don’t really celebrate Christmas in her household, and she says they didn’t really celebrate Christmas when she was a kid either. But Mason was really pitiful when he asked if they could at least get a Christmas tree this year, and he also suggests they check on Grandpa just to make sure he’s not crazy or anything, because moving to a Christmas town is really out of character for him. So Liz agrees, although it’s more than a day’s drive from wherever they are in California to wherever Hollyville is.

On the way, Mason suggests they sing Christmas songs, since it’s around December 21 at that time. Liz doesn’t want to, but apparently owns no CDs or a car radio, so she sings along to Jingle Bells rather than riding in silence for a whole day.

They reach the general area of Hollyville, but can’t find it, and then the car breaks down so they walk, and actually enter Hollyville.

The plot after this is excruciating.

Long story short, Liz and her father make up after they come to terms with how they put Christmas out of their hearts after her mom died, and Mason discovers the local town’s oddly located big factory – N.P. Enterprises – is actually THE North Pole, with Santa, and elves, and reindeer, and everything. I’m not sure if Patrick Muldoon’s creepy character and Liz fall for each other. Nobody in this movie really develops or changes as a character. The end.

The verdict:

This movie is terrible. I’ve seen worse Christmas movies, but this one is just… It gets incredibly boring after they finally arrive at the titular Christmas town. The acting isn’t bad, so I’ll give the movie that much credit. But they never explain why the North Pole is located in a small Pacific town rather than somewhere closer to the real North Pole.

Also, this movie could not feel any less like Christmas. At the beginning, it was fine. They’re somewhere in California, and Liz doesn’t bother doing anything for Christmas, so the lack of decorations and people wearing spring clothing, I understood. But then they drive “more than a day’s drive” north of wherever they are in California, and there’s still people walking around in shorts and t-shirts even though it’s nearly Christmas. I know they can’t do anything about the quality of the lighting and the appearance of the trees making it obvious they filmed the movie in May.

But the “Christmas town” itself doesn’t even look Christmas-y. We barely see any buildings for the place so it looks like rather than a “Christmas town”, it’s just a row of themed buildings on a disused street in a larger town. Several reviews have said the “town” looks like it was put up in a parking lot outside of a Costco, and well, they’re not wrong. There’s barely any Christmas decorations anywhere, too! If I’m going to a place called Hollyville that claims to celebrate Christmas all year round, I’m expecting a place that looks a bit more festive than the local Christmas shop someone runs out of their own house. They don’t even have fake snow! Maybe it doesn’t snow in that town at all, but it just seems like they’d have fake snow to make it more festive, right? There’s also no Christmas music in this movie. The iMDB page claims there is, but I only remember hearing Jingle Bells and the original song at the end, but a lot of generic tv movie music.

The “elves” employed at the North Pole don’t look anything like elves. Mason asserts the one grumpy guy they keep running into is an elf, even though he’s a full-grown man of average height, who looks middle-aged, has no pointy ears, and isn’t even jolly or anything. There is no reason to assume this guy is an elf.

However you feel about Christmas movies, don’t you think it’s ridiculous that a movie set at Christmas time in a Christmas town doesn’t look or feel remotely like Christmas?

Of course that’s just icing on the cake. The movie is just boring and stupid. I enjoyed it a lot before they got to the Christmas town, which is weird.

BUT this movie is super family-friendly. It’s rated G, after all. I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it, but if you have young ones or sensitive older ones who want something new to watch while you hang out drinking wine or wrapping presents or something, this movie is very appropriate. I don’t think kids will especially like it more than, say, The Santa Clause, but it’s absolutely appropriate for people of all ages to watch. So just for that and Nicole de Boer – who I keep wanting to call Patrice – I give this 2 out of 5 stars.

Where to Watch:

As of September 20, 2016, this movie is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu, and you can rent or buy from Amazon Instant Video. Since it’s a direct-to-video movie about Christmas that isn’t very popular, the DVD will be harder to find.

Worst Scene:

At the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, or at least I think this is when it happens, the Mistletoe Guy makes Liz and Patrick Muldoon’s character kiss. He’s all “It’s mistletoe you HAVE to kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” Liz protests that they don’t even know each other, but mistletoe guy just keeps going “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” for a really uncomfortably long amount of time. Liz is clearly not into it, but Mistletoe Guy continues to insist. What would’ve been neat is if Patrick Muldoon’s weird “I look like I’m 45 but I’m acting like a California surfer dude from Saved By the Bell” character did the noble thing and refused to kiss Liz since she clearly did not want to kiss a man she’s known for a day. Mistletoe Guy is without a doubt the creepiest character in the movie, though.

Well hello, people of the internet!

I get curious about where some of you readers come from sometimes, so I was looking through the “link referrals” thing, which tells me where some of you came from. And wow! Buzzfeed! I feel so famous for no good reason.

Check it out, they used one of my screenshots for this quiz.

10_0005_Layer 6They actually even linked back to this blog! Yay! ūüėÄ

 

And somebody pinned one of my other recaps! I didn’t know you could pin any of these recaps. Should I be ashamed of myself? (Yes!)

 

Smosh used a really early screencap for their article on coolest fictional character bedrooms

 

There’s also some StumbleUpon link in the referrals that doesn’t go anywhere and has “addicting salad” in the url so I don’t know what that’s about.

 

Someone on the Glee subreddit also used one of my posts to explain one of the weird Sectional rules. Too bad I only just now found out about it, I could’ve reaped some sweet karma by saying that was my blog they linked to.

 

Well, that’s it. I guess it was bound to happen eventually that people would start using some of the INCREDIBLY NUMEROUS screenshots I have on this blog.

 

Someday I’ll actually start writing recaps again!

 

And if you’re visiting me from Buzzfeed, Smosh, Reddit, or some other website, welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay here, however brief it may be.

The Axe: Work It, 101- “Pilot”; Jan 3, 2012

Yes, hello, it’s been a while! I’m working on getting back on-track here. I apologize for the long absence.

Anyway, I had the idea to add yet another show feature to this blog. This one will be focusing on shows that got cancelled really quickly. Now, frankly, I hate when they cancel shows that have only aired an episode or two. Some shows take a while for people to be convinced to watch them. Of course, it’s a good point that a show that takes half a season to get good isn’t a great show to begin with. But it’s hard to bother trying to get into these shows if they’re just going to cancel them after a week, before anyone’s had a chance to get into the show at all.

That said, there must be SOMETHING wrong with these shows that the network, who has already paid for 13 episodes, decides it’s not worth letting the show continue to air for more than a week or two – and in one notorious case, not letting the show continue to air for the remainder of the timeslot it’s currently in. Yes, a show once got cancelled midway through its first airing. The show went to commercial and did not come back. I’ll see if I can find that, seems like it’d be fun to review.

So anyway, we’re starting off this feature with a show called “Work It.” If you don’t remember this show, well, I don’t blame you. I remember seeing ads for it all the time, and it looked stupid. The premise, as presented by the commercials, was two guys who can’t get a job in their field, so they pretend to be women so they can get a job, since I guess whichever company it is won’t hire men.

It’s not a bad premise for the 1980s (see: Bosom Buddies, Tootsie), but this show came out in 2012. I haven’t seen any part of it before today, but I’m not surprised it got cancelled. I can see how a premise like that can edge towards “offensive, but not in a funny way” really easily, and on top of that, the commercials just didn’t seem that funny. But, well, we’ll see for ourselves, I guess.

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ABC: Already Been Cancelled. That’s a better joke than most of the ones in the show.

So we start off with some guy, just back from an interview. It didn’t go well – the company actually went out of business during the interview. But the guy stole a bunch of sugar packets, salt and pepper packets, those little disposable coffee creamer cups, and ketchup packets from the company. What the heck company was this? We don’t know.

We quickly establish that this guy has been unemployed for a year – he got his last unemployment check today – and that he doesn’t like going to physicals. But his wife – who I think is a nurse, it looks like she’s wearing scrubs – has made him an appointment, and says “As a woman, I’m going to have to ask you to stop comparing prostate exams to that pinball scene in ‘The Accused’.” I don’t know what the heck reference that is. Is that a tv show, or a movie? Pinball scene?? 53 seconds into the show and I’m already lost.

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The couple also has a teenage daughter. Her phone isn’t working. Dad says it’s because he ended her cell service until he can find a job. Being a teenager from 2012, she’s all “What am I supposed to do without my phone????” Dad says they still have a landline she can use. She replies, “Don’t those give you brain cancer?” See, it’s funny, because it’s supposed to be cell phones that give you brain cancer. So funny in fact that I forgot to laugh. Daughter says she’ll just find herself a rich boyfriend, and both mom and dad say they will also resort to that as well. Now THAT’S a premise for a tv show.

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Guy and Friend meet in local Sitcom Food-Serving Location to discuss their unemployment. Some hick guy with a hat comes in and also adds to their discussion, but says the all-time unemployment is the fault of the women of the world – they’re coming in from Mexico, taking jobs from hard-working Americans men. You see what I did there? That was funnier than the joke in the show. And it still wasn’t that funny. Friend – who, incidentally, I think is Hispanic – basically says Hat is crazy.

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We cut immediately to after Guy’s physical – seriously it’s 3 minutes in, what is his name? As he’s putting his coat on, he overhears a conversation between the receptionist and an obnoxious-voiced blonde woman. Receptionist is admiring the bracelet worn by Blondie, who bought it for herself. She says she HAD to buy it, because if she waited for a man to buy it for her, she’d be waiting forever, because none of the men have any money. Haha, unemployment is so funny. Some of those men are probably homeless by now.

We find out that Blondie works in “drugs”, and her workplace is hiring right now. Guy is intrigued by this newly presented situation. Guy speaks up, saying he’s a salesman. Blondie says they’re only looking to hire women, because the doctors (the drug doctors?) aren’t into having sex with men. Guy then finds out that his insurance lapsed last week and he owes $900 for this routine physical.

Guy goes home and initially decides to pawn some of his wife’s jewelry to pay for the physical, because I guess the doctor’s office doesn’t accept credit cards and won’t set up a payment plan. Incidentally, this exact sort of thing is also why so many Americans just don’t go to the doctor even if they really need to – I could go, and then be further in debt, or I could not go, and just hope there’s nothing wrong. I’m going to die eventually either way, right?

But anyway, Guy sees his wife’s dress hanging on the mirror, and…

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Hmm…

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Either of these faces are appropriate reactions to this show in general.

Well, okay then. He answers when the receptionist at the drug company calls for Lee Standish, so I’m going to assume that’s his name. When he stands to go up to the interview, he tells the girl he was sitting next to to wish him luck, and he thanks her for giving him a tampon earlier. This is the first joke that I actually laughed out – it was a quick chuckle, but still. What an absurd and unexpected joke.

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The interviewer introduces herself. Lee awkwardly introducing himself, stands for a couple seconds, and attempts to curtsy in his little pencil skirt. That also got a chuckle out of me. I feel conflicted that so far the only parts of this show I’ve laughed at are the ones where he’s pretending to be a woman.

Also, let me say, this is obviously a man dressed as a woman, but to the interviewer’s credit, she just takes “her” for being a really odd-looking, unattractive woman. So it’s still weird that nobody is suspicious that this may be a biological man in a skirt, but at least the interviewer doesn’t think he’s a totally normal-looking woman.

The interviewer is impressed with Lee’s resume, particularly that “she” was a sales”woman” for Pontiac. She’s impressed that Lee sold Pontiacs at all, but also that “she” was so successful int he male-dominated world of car dealers. Lee gets the job, hooray!

He tells his wife about it, and wants to take her out to celebrate. She’s obviously displeased when he means he wants to go eat at the bar with his friends, Angel and Brian. I assume Angel is the Hispanic guy. And it’s not pronounced like it is in Spanish, it’s pronounced like in English – ain-jel. Anyway, Lee doesn’t understand why she’s so miffed about going out to eat at the bar with his two friends. I understand she maybe doesn’t want to eat with his loser friends, but the guy’s been on unemployment for a year and hasn’t even started working at his job yet, I wouldn’t be expecting to go out somewhere fancy with him unless I was paying.

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Brian – who IS Hat, and therefore Angel IS the Hispanic guy – asks if Lee can get him and Angel some job interviews. Angel sticks up for a reluctant Lee, saying they can’t expect a guy who just got hired to do anything like that for them. Brian, who lives with his ex-wife, much to her new husband’s chagrin, is just like “fine” and gets up from the table.

Now that it’s just Lee and Angel, Angel asks if Lee can maybe work something out for him. Lee doesn’t bring up the point Angel literally just made himself – that he was JUST HIRED, has no sway in the company, and can’t ask them to hire his friends like that – and just says Angel won’t really “fit in” there. Angel’s all, “Oh, I get it. It’s because I’m a mechanic, right? Now I know what you really think of me.” And he gets up and leaves.

I know Angel is desperate for a job, but what’s a mechanic going to do at a drug company? I assume he doesn’t have much of a background in sales.

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So Lee starts “her” first day of work. There’s Blondie, who I think said her name is Kelly; a mean British lady; and an excitable brunette. They all ask about Lee’s family status. They observe he has no wedding ring, but DOES have a tan-line. I don’t know why Lee took off his wedding right for this. Excitable brunette is excited to hear that Lee also has a teenage daughter; she herself has an 8 year old son and is also a single mother, like she assumes Lee is.

Lee’s Wife calls and says she doesn’t like how they left things last night, and that they should talk. Lee’s like “Yeah, I’m about to have lunch with the guys” or something, and Kelly calls him. Wife is all “Who’s that woman?!” Apparently she’s surprised that there’s a woman also working at this company? Is this some sort of crazy alternate universe where typically men ONLY work with other men and women ONLY work with other women? Why is Wife surprised and suspicious to hear a woman’s voice at her husband’s place of work? Also, why is she calling him in the middle of his workday?

The three ladies and Lee sit down to eat lunch, them with dainty lady snacks, and him with a giant sub sandwich.

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Left to right: Kelly, Excitable Brunette, Mean British Lady, Lee

See, it’s funny, because men like to eat big sandwiches. Lee feels self-conscious, and pulls off the piece of lettuce and tosses the sandwich into the trash.

Later, Lee goes out for some tacos, because I assume he was still hungry. He encounters Angel at the taco place. Somehow, Angel doesn’t recognize him until Lee comes out and says it’s him, and that he had to dress up as a woman to get a job.

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Angel asks how he managed it, and we have a montage of Lee trying on his wife’s clothes and struggling with makeup, set to Fergie’s “My Humps”.

It’s still questionable how Lee managed to find any of his wife’s clothes that actually fit him, but we do see at least that not ALL the clothes fit him.

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Does he look a little like Sylvester Stallone to anyone else?

Also

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Lee encourages Angel to try the same thing. But Angel’s unsure – that kind of thing is frowned upon in his culture. Lee rebuts sarcastically that his culture just loves this sort of thing.

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So Angel goes in for his interview, but he is immediately smitten with the Interviewer.

Meanwhile, Excitable Brunette has a gift bag for Lee! It includes their next Book Club book, and a new purse, because I guess Lee’s was ugly.

Angel comes out of the interview, sure that he blew it. Interviewer comes out, and needs to leave for something, but her car won’t start. Luckily, Angel, who’s a car mechanic, is still there!

So Angel gets a job, and Kelly, mean Brit, Excitable Brunette, Lee, and Angel all go out for drinks!

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Lee’s wife – who probably has a name? – keeps calling, since they’re supposed to talk. Lee tries to leave, since “she” has a teenage daughter and all, but the women insist he can’t leave yet. He should’ve just left – what’re they gonna do, pin him down? He has a CHILD. And who’s watching Brunette’s 8 year old, I wonder?

So they go out dancing, and the wrap Lee has on for something starts falling out of his skirt. I can’t tell what that wrap is actually for – if it’s holding down his beer belly, or keeping a smooth line around his junk, or what. But nobody notices, so… oh well.

Wife is waiting angrily for dad to come home. Lee calls daughter’s cell phone, as a surprise – he’s restored service to her phone because has a job! Yay! And then Lee gives Wife the purse Brunette gave him earlier. He apologizes to Wife, saying he realized he’s the only one who’s had a rough time this past year, and he’s sorry for neglecting her. And they’re going out, not to the bar, and not with Brian and Angel, yay!

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During the credits, Lee encourages Angel to go up to some hot chick at the bar. She says she’s been hoping he’d come over, and he says in that case, he’ll just cut right to the chase. He then asks her what she does to get such smooth panty-lines. She says she isn’t wearing underwear. Angel says that doesn’t work for him, and he goes back to his table. Real talk: Gross! I know lady-parts need to breathe and everything, but, no underwear? Under your clothes?? Bluurgh. Especially when people do that when they’re wearing jeans. Ow!

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Okay, anyway, this show. It wasn’t as stupid and offensive as I thought it would be. It certainly wasn’t good, and I only laughed about twice, at weird jokes. The characters aren’t particularly interesting, the acting isn’t great, the premise is still stupid. But just from my own judgment, I feel like this show would’ve done okay airing its 13 episodes on ABC’s Friday night slot. Friday night seems to be when ABC airs their unfunny sitcoms that are successful despite nobody liking them, so I think Work It would’ve fit fine there until it fizzled out and wasn’t renewed.

This show has left me with one burning question, though – can they not sue this company? That is BLATANT discrimination. They don’t hire men because the doctors don’t like having sex with men? This is a pharmaceutical rep company! That’s a straight-up discrimination lawsuit. Granted, Lee has no money to hire a lawyer, but that seems like something he could bring to the attention of the news.

Oh, but, the controversy: Yeah, so. The main premise is that there’s two guys who are dressed as women. They don’t appear to making fun of any group of people at all. I think the argument that “it’s 2012, we should be past thinking men dressed as women is funny” is perhaps a good one, but I think that’s the only argument that applies here.

Not to defend this tripe, but it seemed like maybe the intention of this show was supposed to be that Lee, at least, learns more about women, and especially learns how to better related to his wife, thanks to pretending to be a woman and hanging around other women who think he IS one all day. Again, it’s 2012 (I mean, when the show came out, it was)… I think this would’ve worked out better as the plot to a movie, ultimately. With much better writers, directors, and actors. Perhaps starring Dustin Hoffman

 

Okay, so, my conclusion here is a bit of a mess, let me try to conclude: I don’t think this show is as offensive as people have made it out to be, but it certainly was a poor choice to make this show in 2012. It could’ve worked, maybe, with a different production team. And if the point of the show was ultimately that Lee learns to better understand women after dressing like one, I don’t think that’s TERRIBLE. But ultimately, this show isn’t funny – not because it is or is not offensive, but because the jokes are lame and the acting isn’t great.

But three episodes of this thing apparently aired on ABC, so I intend to review them all unless they make my head explode.

By the way, I’m calling this set of reviews “the axe” because people say the show “got the axe” when it gets cancelled. Not often, but people do say that.

Roseanne: 817 and 818 – Disney Episodes

Title too long for header!

817, “We’re Going to Disney World!” (Feb 20, 1996), and 818, “Disney World War II” (Feb 27, 1996).

A billion years ago I was going to do a Disney Week because we’d reached the BMW Disney episode, then… blah. I decided to try to revive this goal because I’m going to Disney World. I thought it’d be fun if I took all my screenshots from here and reenacted them in real life and posted them, but I’m not walking around Disney World with a handful of screenshots and being like “Okay so I gotta position it this way…” If I had more than three days, or friends, then I might try that.

But anyway! As a short recap, ABC back in the 90s decided all its sitcoms had to do an episode in Disney World to increase sales or something. This fine tradition of having episodes of shows in a Disney park still goes on today, with Wheel of Fortune having a Disney week (although Wheel of Fortune does air on NBC in some regions), America’s Funniest Videos having grand prize shows in Disney, and shows like Modern Family and, oddly, Once Upon a Time having episodes there (although Modern Family was in Disneyland, unlike pretty much all the other shows)

Now to recap Roseanne: Roseanne was a really popular sitcom in the late 80s and in the 90s, partly due to it having a more down-to-earth, often sarcastic kind of humor than other “Gee whiz!” family sitcoms of the era (also why Married With Children was popular around the same time). Roseanne also featured two lead characters who were overweight. While having a fat husband/patriarch was definitely not unheard of for a sitcom at the time, the wife/matriarch also being fat was definitely unusual. So maybe that also helped it be popular.

The show was also pretty notable as having early writing credits for people such as Joss Whedon, who yo may know as the Buffy/Doctor Horrible/Firefly/Avengers guy (and who also did some work on the first Toy Story movie); Chuck Lorre, who you best know as that guy who produces all those sitcoms on CBS that nobody seems to actually like yet they keep getting picked up for more seasons; and Amy Sherman, who you may know as Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of Gilmore Girls. The show also featured a lot of people who would go on to be famous, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt as DJ’s recurring weird friend; Tobey Maguire was in one episode; and Leonardo Dicaprio was in one episode in an uncredited, non-speaking role as an extra in exactly one scene. WOW.

We’re getting close to the start of the screenshotrecap, I promise. Okay, Roseanne was also pretty interesting because she refused to bow to the whims of the Network Guys. This was HER show, darnit, and she wasn’t going to let those stuffy Network Guys tell her what to do with it! One notable exception to this was the whole “you’re required to film an episode in Disney World” bit, which obviously happened, but… more on that later.

Finally we begin the screenrecap!

The first of two parts, “We’re Going to Disney World!” doesn’t take place in Disney World at all! Yay! ūüėÄ

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Dan’s packing up his office. He worked for the government, supervising people who repaired school buses and stuff. I don’t remember why it is he and everyone else lost their job. Maybe the government’s outsourcing the repairs, who knows? (The answer is: Someone who remembers what happened in previous episodes!)

Oh, Dan’s the big guy in the plaid shirt. John Goodman, you know.

Dan’s packing up his personal items, anyway, which consisted of one thing, until he starts shoving other office supplies into his box. “Memories, memories,” he says about his stapler. He calls Roseanne to tell her he’s about done packing up the office, and he wanted his last call from there to be to her. He tells her he loves her, the audience “awwws”, then he rips the phone off the jack and put it in the box as well. He, the black-haired guy, and Mark… who also has black hair… leave, and turn out the lights. The audience applauds like they would do if this was the series finale. After a few seconds, the three guys come back in and take the desk as well. Heh.

Credits roll, and Dan’s back at the house. He calls Roseanne into the kitchen to discuss something with her. She’s miffed because the episode of Full House where “they think one of those twins is dying” is one. The one where Michelle falls off the horse?

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Dan’s discussing finances. He got pension pay, AND got paid for his unused vacation days. He says they ought to split his pay between paying the bills and investments. Then he and Roseanne laugh raucously at the idea. Roseanne then (jokingly?) says they ought to hide half the money in the mattress and half in a tomato can. Dan says whatever they do, they need to be smart. Then Roseanne says she wants to go to Paris, or London, or China, then has the great idea that there’s one place they could go where they could see all that stuff. Three guesses as to where, and the first two don’t count!

Dan doesn’t think it’s a good idea to spend all that money on a vacation, until Roseanne tells him there’s a beer garden (biergarten!) and that really excites Dan. He gets disappointed when Roseanne says they’ll bring the whole family, though. He begins to say they ought to discuss it and really consider it in a smart manner while Roseanne goes into the living room to yell that they’re going to Disney World. The opinion of a mere man means NOTHING in this household, darling.

After commercial, Roseanne, Dan, daughter Darlene, and son D.J. are gathered in the living room with David, Darlene’s boyfriend and brother of the man (Mark) who’s married to other daughter Becky.

Darlene’s tired of waiting and wants to just carry on the meeting without Becky, and suggests they just start doing everything without Becky. Becky, though, arrives just after that. She asks if she heard right that they’re all going to Disney World, and she and everyone else freezes.

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An announcer like in a stage play says that the role of Becky, “originally played by Lecy Goranson, then by Sarah Chalke, then by Lecy Goranson again, will tonight be played by Sarah Chalke” and advises the audience to take no flash photography. The two Beckys were great. I mean, this isn’t the first show to have two actors portray the same character (Becky’s not even the first character on THIS show – D.J. was played by someone else in the first episode), but the first episode with Sarah Chalke as Becky has a line like “Our daughter comes back and we barely recognize her!” Later when Lecy Goranson returns to the role, people keep asking her “Where have YOU been?” One Halloween episode, with Lecy as Becky, features Sarah Chalke herding some trick-or-treaters and she says that she’d always wanted to grow up in a house like the Conners’. One part of the clip show features “future D.J.” who keeps sayin “They say she’s the same but she isn’t the same”, followed by a montage of clips of both Beckys. One episode stinger even had a parody of the Patty Duke show (which had one actress playing identical cousins, who were daughters of identical brothers; one was Irish I think) featuring both girls as “Nearly Identical Beckys.”

Lecy was actually back to being Becky in all the episodes at this point, hence the joke here that Sarah Chalke would tonight be performing as Becky. Also I liked that there was no camera or editing trick here, the actors just sat or stood really still while the announcer was talking. You can see David’s arm moving a bit at one point.

Continuing the joke, though, Becky says she’s always wanted to go to Disney World. Roseanne replies, “Aren’t you glad you’re here this week?”

So the main Conner clan, Becky and Mark, and David, and Roseanne’s sister Jackie and her son Andy are invited. When Dan points out they’d need to do something about baby Jerry (and Andy who’s only a toddler), Roseanne then adds her mother to the list of people going.

David’s in charge of getting flight reservations, and unfortunately couldn’t get quite enough. Roseanne has a plan, though. She calls the airport and says she’ll need to cancel the reservations for some random name she pulls out of her hat. It works on the third try! That would never work today. Probably.

Jackie comes in and says they have a problem with the restaurant. (Roseanne, Jackie, and their friend Nancy started a loose meat diner a few seasons ago. Their mother helped pay for it and eventually Roseanne’s old boss Leon bought part of the restaurant from their mother. So Rosie, Jackie, Nancy, Leon, and sometimes a waitress work there). Jackie can’t find ANYONE to cover the shifts they’d be missing on this vacation. Nancy’s going to an erotic cartoon festival, and no former employees or friends can make it to cover the shifts either. Roseanne basically blows this off and says it’s Leon’s problem now. That’s a bit mean, sure, but Leon’s kind of a jerk. And anyway, with more than half the employees gone on vacation, I don’t know, I’d just close the place for a few days.

Believe it or not, the next EIGHT minutes of the episode take place entirely on the plane to Orlando. I don’t feel like recapping it all, but I’ll sum it up like this: Trashy midwestern people who have never been on a plane before are excited about their vacation, mindless of other passengers, and sitting scattered across the plane. Shenanigans ensue that would be very irritating to real people, and indeed are irritating to the passengers as well. Roseanne, while trying to calm down baby Jerry Garcia, stumbles in First Class which is bizarrely, completely empty.

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The rest of the family is intrigued that she made it past the closed curtains without getting in trouble, and they all join her, one by one. The one, uh… I’m honestly totally blanking on the word so I’ll steal this one from 3rd Rock From the Sun; The one sky waiter serves them even though they clearly don’t have first class tickets, and tells them the other passengers would actually prefer if they stayed up there the whole flight.

OKAY. GEEZ. Onto Part 2.

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Everyone’s super stoked to be in such a nice room that has robes, and even a phone in the bathroom! And the tv’s in the dresser! And a minifridge!

I like this because they’re gushing over how nice the hotel room is, which in another show would be a shameless shill over how great Disney World hotel resorts are. But the room looks just like any other regular hotel and the features they’re gushing about are pretty standard in your not-dirt-cheap hotel.

Eventually everyone ends up in Roseanne and Dan’s room, but Roseanne says she spotted Mickey Mouse in the hallway. Everybody excitedly runs out to meet him, and Roseanne slams the door shut after them, so she can be alone in the room.

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Also their bellhop is played by the guy who would play McSteamy on Grey’s Anatomy in 10 years!

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You really can’t tell from the picture, though.

So the next day, everyone eats breakfast, fully enjoying the room service. Then it’s time to head out. They march out to a typical Roseanne music-sting, but I could’ve sworn they originally went out singing the Mickey Mouse Club theme song in a military training style. Music rights issues even though it wasn’t even featuring the show’s original music?

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They’re at the park! For rope drop! You have to get up pretty early to be in the front of the line for Rope Drop, and that seems… out of character. Finally the park officially opens, and the rope drops, and everybody runs out onto Main Street. The music playing is the 1812 Overture, which fits, but once again I could SWEAR that originally the music here was a slower-tempo version of “When You Wish Upon a Star”, because the juxtaposition of such a slow, sweet tune to people running crazily in slow-mo in Disney World was funny. I don’t get it, ABC OWNS Roseanne and Disney owns ABC, why would an ABC show be having trouble getting rights to a Disney song? One that’s used for like 30 seconds?

Well anyway, that mad dash didn’t actually take them that far. Jackie asks Rose and Dan what they want to do first. Dan doesn’t care, he just wants beer. It’d be like 9 am at this point, so… yeah. But Jackie correctly points out they only have alcohol in Epcot, so Dan runs back up the street to go to Epcot. Hope he got a Parkhopper! Incidentally, it’s still true about “no alcohol in Magic Kingdom.” The Be Our Guest restaurant is the only place in MK that serves alcohol now. The menu in the place is like more French than the restaurants in the France pavilion in Epcot, man. Also the breakfast is pretty pricey, and you pay a flat $20 no matter what you order, but apparently you get a ridiculously amount of food for breakfast, and the $20 includes drink, so that’s cool. Also they don’t care if you order off the children’s menu, which is cheaper. :3

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Darlene’s being totally blah about Disney. All this happiness is too much for her. D.J.’s bummed, he really wants to go on a ride, and David agrees to go with him, even though he and Darlene had planned to hang out and people-watch all day.

No mention is ever made, by the way, of the fact that Darlene and D.J. have both been to Disneyland. Roseanne convinced a neighbor to take a family trip to California instead of to Branson, Missouri, and then suggested she, Dan, and Jackie go when he said he couldn’t drive all that way by himself. Dan mentions later in the episode that Darlene, D.J., the guy’s two daughters, and he went to Disneyland.

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Dan runs up to this people standing in front of the fountain and asks if this is the beer line. A lady wearing gloves says no, they’re all just looking at Spaceship Earth, and gives some spiel about how amazing it is. It IS a cool structure – it’s a geodesic dome that has a special system that funnels water into the lake so guests walking under it don’t get drenched when it rains – but Dan doesn’t care. He runs off to find the beer. That’s really sad when you think of him in terms of a real person and not a sitcom character.

Meanwhile, Roseanne thinks all the pigeons in the parks are robots. She also thinks some old guy on a bench is a robot. Jackie tells her she’s being ridiculous, and besides, nobody’s used the term “robot” since the 50s. Roseanne apologizes and then refers to the guy as an “Audio-Anamatronic American.” She drops some popcorn, and a janitorial Cast Member immediately sweeps it up. She and Jackie think that’s funny and start intentionally throwing popcorn onto the ground to see how fast the guy will clean it up. A manager-type Cast Member shows up and politely tells them there’s trashcans for them to use. He says it in such a chipper, polite way that Roseanne can’t quite figure out what he means, responds, then pretends to look up the”Roseanne-to-Disney” translation in her guidebook and politely apologizes and says she won’t do it again.

Meanwhiler, Dan finally found beer. He’s at the Rose and Crown in the England pavilion, which is where I had my first bangers and mash long, long ago. Also this is interesting because this probably means Dan entered the World Showcase from the right rather than the left, as most people do.

He asks for beer, and the waiter asks him if he’d like half-pint, pint, or yard. Dan has never heard of yard in terms of being a measurement of an alcoholic beverage, but luckily some other guy who’s drinking at 10 am ordered one.

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How do you even drink out of that? Like with just a crazy long straw? Also the way the water said “Rose and Crown” it sounded like “Rosencrantz”, like that guy from Hamlet. You know, that one guy who died in Hamlet.

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David and D.J. come back to Darlene. The boys are surprised to find they’ve been gone for more than an hour. While coming back from “the rockets”, they stopped at the Hall of Presidents and then ending up at Pirates of the Caribbean! I can’t figure out what “the rockets” are. The Astro-orbiter thing? Or Space Mountain? Whatever it is, it’s obviously in Tomorrowland, so they somehow went from one ride in Tomorrowland to Liberty Square, then to Adventureland before ending up where Darlene is sitting with her view of Splash Mountain and the Tom Sawyer Island rafts. Darlene’s still being all Darlene about Disney but David and D.J.’s spirits are… insatiable? I guess.

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Becky’s taking pictures of Tom Sawyer Island when Goofy comes over to say hi. Mark gets really jealous for some reason, and gets even more upset when Dopey shows up. He tells Dopey to lay off his woman.

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Dan’s in Morocco!

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The next day, I think, David and D.J. are on the Dumbo ride because seriously that seems to be a requirement for everything taking place at Disney. GIVE US A SHOT OF SOMEONE ON DUMBO. PERFECT. THAT’S A WRAP.

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I mean, you can’t tell, but he’s on the Dumbo ride here.

Darlene, still unimpressed, is waiting for them, until Pooh shows up. Darlene at first says, “Shoo, Pooh,” but then gets really excited. The first book she ever read all the way through by herself was a Winnie-the-Pooh book, and Pooh’s just her¬† favorite. She gets super excited and hugs him and jumps and then they leave together, utterly baffling and impressing David and D.J.

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Grandma, meanwhile, is hanging out in Toontown with Jerry and Andy. She got them all ear hats and says they’re now Mouseketeers, asserting she’s the only one with the stuff to be Annette Funicello. She starts singing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah and a crowd gathers and applauds her, rather than getting upset that she’s sitting down and blocking the entrance to one of the house attractions.

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Dan’s finally at the Biergarten in Germany. He asks for “Ein bier por favor” which is of course, German and Spanish.

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Roseanne shows up and pretends to be a French spy. They have a cute back-and-forth about silly fake spy things. The Cast Member behind them thought it was funny (as did the audience).

Dan apparently joins the family back at Magic Kingdom, and they ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad together. Dan has heard the ride is so fast it peels the skin off your face and your skull flies out your mouth hole. I’m not kidding. He actually says this. I just love this stuff, instead of being like “Oh this ride is great, it’s fast and fun and blahblahblah” it’s like “This ride is so fast YOUR SKIN FALLS OFF YOUR FACE.”

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The ride hydraulics or whatever squirt and everyone starts yelling like they do on rollercoasters but the thing only moves an inch before stopping. But then it starts up again and we get a ride video.

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The trip appears to have reached its final night, and the family are all at Epcot. Darlene is giving her home number and the number of her dorm room to Winnie-the-Pooh.

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Mark and Becky are enjoying the scenery on the bridge, and Goofy stands next to them. Mark eyes him and protectively pulls Becky closer to him.

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Grandma tells Mickey he needs to consider branching out into drama now that he’s proven so well that he can do comedy.

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Roseanne comments on what a great trip this has been, and says next year they oughtta cash in Dan’s life insurance so they can go on a cruise. Dan feels this is a bad decision. It’s a little, hrm, not exactly funny, but considering Dan later this season will have a heart attack, which Roseanne reveals in the series finale actually killed him, that life insurance line sure is something.

Fireworks go off, and once again the 1812 Overture plays. I am 100% certain it was not playing in the original broadcast at this point in the episode.

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We conclude on a photo of the cast and several costumed characters.

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The credits gag is the family, chilling at home, and it’s quiet. Until… Room service!

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The guy flew all the way from Orlando with that cart. Roseanne ordered something else, though, so the room service guy goes back to Orlando to get it. We conclude on a comment from Roseanne: “You know, that whole Disney operation is tops with me.”

Or is it?

The episode after this is about David, bummed about leaving Disney World, finding a job in a local theme park, as costumed mascot Hans the Hare. It becomes apparent that the organization is dubious to say the least – they have an extremely rigid schedule, aren’t allowed to have items from home, and seem to be brainwashing their employees. Being so happy all the time just isn’t natural! This episode was written as a response to the mandated Disney episodes. A bit of tongue-in-cheek, biting-the-hand humor if ever I saw some.

Well now, I give this episode a “Gawrsh!” out of 10. This is maybe the only one of the mandated Disney episodes that has no real plot. It’s just everyone hanging out at Disney World and being their regular selves in several unrelated vignettes. A lot of the Disney episodes seem to have decided to have a completely, utterly ridiculous plot to do while in the parks. Roseanne really didn’t have any plot at all. And it works! Actually, you know, a lot of the early episodes of the show were like that, too. It was mostly characters doing and saying things without there being an overall plot to the episode. And as I said in the recap, there wasn’t as much blatant park schilling is there is in other Disney World episodes.

But I think this one gets bonus points for doing a feature on the ridiculously efficient janitorial staff. It’s actually scary how efficient the Cast Members are sometimes. Standing in line for tickets once, some kid in the line behind us threw up, and it was like the CMs appeared out thin air, got the kid and his family out of line (probably to take them backstage or to the bathroom or something), and cleaned up the vomit in no time flat. You couldn’t even tell anything had happened after we left when we finally got our tickets.

DWTS; s.21, week 1 – Gary Busey Surprisingly Decent

Well, despite the caliber of celebrities this season being… not great, the episode itself was pretty good. Lots of 7s and 8s in the scores, despite it being week 1.

Kim, the Real Housewife, was undoubtedly the worst performer of the night. She basically just stood there as her partner kind of danced around her – and he didn’t even dance that much. It was like he didn’t think they’d make it far anyway so he put together a really boring, easy routine to take the stress off. I’m fairly confident she’ll be the first elimination of the season.

My Bottom 2 predictions, Paula Deen and Gary Busey… Well, they both did pretty okay, considering their age, actually. Paula made a joke about how she hoped she hadn’t pooped herself that the audience either didn’t like or just didn’t know what to make of; the audience just went dead silent, is what I’m saying. So I’m sure that won’t help her much.

Gary Busey was… Gary Busey. But he did his routine pretty well and was clearly having fun with it. It might just turn out that his crazy ramblings will endear him to the audience and he might just make it farther in the competition than anyone predicted.

Chaka Khan, on the other hand, was surprisingly bad. She just wasn’t very rhythmic. Honestly she danced more the way I would’ve expected Gary Busey to dance. I think she might last a while in the show just by virtue of being Chaka Khan, but unless she gets better on the other dances, she won’t make it as long as Patti Labelle did last season.

Nick Carter, Bindi Irwin, and Alexa and Carlos Penavega did very well, just as expected. Totally unexpected was that Alek guy, one of the guys who thwarted that terrorism attempt a month ago, was a FABULOUS dancer. He said he has no dancing background, so I think maybe his military training and athleticism is helping out tremendously here. But he was just great, really.

Andy Grammer and the internet guy I didn’t expect much either way from them – I actually do not appear to have even mentioned them in my pre-season predictions – and… yeah. They did all right for first dance of the season. Only, that internet guy (Hayes?) was kind of unlikeable. He kept talking about how he hoped he could meet some ladies on DWTS (he said that at least three times, seriously), and he told his partner she had a big butt. It was in a complementary tone, but she’s also 26 while he’s 15, so…¬† He’s got enough internet fans I’m sure he’ll last a couple weeks, but unless he turns out to be a dancing prodigy and loses the attitude, he won’t make top 5.

Oh I totally forgot the jockey guy, too. I also had no expectations for him either way. He’s got a lot of energy and a fun spirit which should keep him in for a bit, but he can’t follow the dance routines all that well so he might be fourth eliminated.

So as it stands now, my predictions:

First two eliminated (since they’re eliminated two people next week): Kim and Paula.

Top 5: Bindi, Nick, Alek, Carlos, and Andy in a surprise elimination over Alexa (who will be 6th, obviously, in this case).

Dancing With the Stars: Pre-Season 21 Predictions

Yeah, yeah, I know. I actually have the most recent Boy Meets World review all typed up, but my computer crashed, taking the Photoshop document with all the screenshots with it. That sort of sucked out my motivation to do more for the time being.

Anyway I thought it’d be fun/silly this season of Dancing With the Stars to predict the eliminations each week, offer up a bit of my own commentary? I won’t be doing full-on reviewcaps (I think doing reviewcaps of reality tv competition shows is weird), though.

So here’s the initial celeb/pro lineup, courtesy of EW, from whom I just copy+pasted the list:

Actress Alexa PenaVega (Spy Kids), partnered with Mark Ballas

‚ÄĘSinger-songwriter Andy Grammer, with¬†Allison Holker

‚ÄĘBindi Irwin, daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, with Derek Hough

‚ÄĘSinger/actor Carlos PenaVega, husband of Alexa, with Witney Carson

‚ÄĘSinger Chaka Khan, with¬†Keo Motsepe

‚ÄĘActor Gary Busey,¬†with Anna Trebunskaya

‚ÄĘVine personality¬†Hayes Grier,¬†with Emma Slater

‚ÄĘKim Zolciak Biermann (The Real Housewives of Atlanta)¬†partnered with Tony Dovolani

‚ÄĘBackstreet Boys‚Äô Nick Carter,¬†with Sharna Burgess

‚ÄĘFormer Food Network star¬†Paula Deen, with Louis van Amstel

‚ÄĘSinger Tamar Braxton,¬†with¬†Valentin Chmerkovskiy

‚ÄĘJockey Victor Espinoza,¬†with Karina Smirnoff

‚ÄĘAlek Skarlatos, one of the Americans who¬†helped stop a gunman on a Paris-bound train last week,¬†partnered with Lindsay Arnold

Pretty reasonable to assume Gary Busey and Paula Deen will be bottom 2, unless they turn out to be dance prodigies. People don’t really like either of them for the most part, and old people on DWTS tend to not do well regardless.

I’m also predicting an early elimination for Kim Zolciak Biermann, although she could very well turn out to be a surprisingly good dancer. It’s just, it seems like she probably wouldn’t be.

Everyone else is a bit up in the air at the moment, without being able to see them dance. But I predict Chaka Khan will be a mid-late elimination, because despite her being an older lady, she’s also a singer so presumably has some rhythm, and I’d wager she has a larger fanbase than Paula Deen or Gary Busey, and a less polarizing personality.

Top 5 I predict will include Bindi Irwin, Nick Carter, and Alexa PenaVega – Bindi because young, cute girls with nice personalities do well on this show and also Derek is her partner, Nick because he already has a dance background even if IT boy band dancing, and Alexa PenaVega because???

I don’t know about that Alek Skarlatos guy. I don’t know anything about his background, but I think him presumably having less time to do pre-show rehearsals will hamper him at least at the beginning of the show – since the thing that made him famous happened 2 weeks ago (I don’t know why EW said it happened last week. August 21 was more than one week ago; although the linked article IS from last week) and the show premieres in a week and a half. The celebrities are supposed to have like 6 weeks to rehearse before the start of the season.

The search for a not-horrible theme

Geez, I’ve spent literally hours today trying to pick out a blog theme that doesn’t suck. I just want one where the categories and archive are easily visible, one that doesn’t post the ENTIRETY of every blog entry right on the front page, one that has an “older posts” thing instead of endless scrolling (even if you turn off endless scrolling, you still technically get it with most themes, you just have to click “load more posts” or something”), AND something that shows the featured image of the posts.

Gaaah. I’ve settled on this one for now, but sheesh.

GMW: 112, “Girl Meets the Forgotten”; Oct 10, 2014

Aw man the imdb credits say August Maturo is “credits only” in this episode. Please let that be true. I just don’t understand how there are people who AREN’T annoyed by his character. I know he’s young, and little kids aren’t the best actors, except for all the ones that actually were like Elijah Wood and Haley Joel Osment and Anna Paquin and Tatum O’Neal, for instance, but the character is just so awful.

Also this entry might be a little short on screencaps. The last Windows update seriously screwed up everything on my computer – I mean, literally everything runs really slowly now, so taking a screencap, pausing the video, pasting the screencap in, and then writing is taking longer than normal. I should do another system restore. I did one yesterday, so of course when I went to turn my computer off it just installed all the windows updates that made me do the system restore to get rid of them in the first place.

Anyway!

Riley’s upset with Topanga for not waking Riley up earlier. Today is “electives day”, and the earlier they get to school, the better chance they’ll have of getting a good elective.

She specifies that they’re service electives, and that in addition to going to school, now they’re meant to have jobs. Riley thinks the idea of working AND going to school is preposterous. I think the idea of a 7th grader doing so is a little ridiculous, definitely.

Cory butts in to be all sarcastic, because he works and goes to school. It’s not really the same thing when your job is as a teacher, though. Like, not even remotely the same thing. Also I still don’t understand why Riley leaves for school before Cory does. Teachers generally have to be at school earlier than the students.

Uh also Topanga worked two part-time jobs while she was going to law school.

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Cory asks who in the class knows about the Great Depression. Riley replies, “I thought it was called the Grand Canyon.” Oh boy I missed ridiculously stupid Riley. And yet, Maya’s the one who’s not confident in her own intelligence.

Cory asks Maya if she can tell him about the Depression, and she references Riley’s reply, saying “Nothing’s gonna top that, sir.” Farkle, the only person on the show who seems to care about the core curriculum, tells about it instead. He ends on mentioning The Forgotten, which Cory expands on. The Forgotten were people who were basically really screwed over by the Great Depression, and got thrown aside and forgotten after they were used. Also Farkle has a really sweet dinosaur sweater on.

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Lucas asks “How could that happen, sir?” Cory doesn’t know. Riley then asks, “But that kind of thing doesn’t happen in the Grand Canyon today, does it?” That was actually funny, good job.

Cory asks Riley if there’s anyone in her own life that she’s taken for granted. Riley’s like ‘Of course! Maya, I’m sorry for taking you for granted. Thanks, dad. For once I actually understand one of your lessons.’

I think Cory probably was referencing Topanga, but he, like me, can no longer stand Riley’s stupidity and begs the bell to ring. It doesn’t, even though it always seems to ring even though the class has only been about two minutes long, so Cory mimics the bell ringing and he leaves the classroom in the middle of class for once.

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At lunch, Riley and Maya discuss electives. Maya doesn’t know why they’re called electives if they’re required, and Riley also dislikes this misleading naming. Shop class was not what she was expecting, she says.

They get into the lunch line, and the lunch lady heaps something onto Riley’s tray. Maya says she doesn’t want the blob, but she gets some anyway, even though she says it’s flavorless and textureless. I mean, it looks and sounds like it’s mashed potatoes, probably some of the powdered mix stuff. You have to put in a lot of butter, pepper, and garlic powder for it to taste like anything.

The lunch lady says she made the blog herself. She calls it “Tuesday.” “But it’s Thursday,” says Riley. Do cafeteria workers at public schools actually make the food themselves? I was under the impression that there’s actually a company that ships them the stuff, and the cafeteria workers are just in charge of heating it up and evenly distributing it. That’s why school lunches are usually so gross – because the food is really cheap to make and for the schools to buy, and it’s basically just like reheated leftovers most of the time.

Anyway I’m sure we’re all betting that Riley and Maya will get lunch duty as an elective now. And I don’t say that just because it says so in the episode description.

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Cory is in line, buying the school lunch as well. He gets some blob/Tuesday, which is turns out IS mashed potatoes. Man I’m really good at guessing sometimes.

Farkle and Lucas are building a mashed potato volcano. Maya makes it erupt gravy.

112_0004_Layer 5I mean it had gravy in it alreayd, Maya just caused it to erupt.

Then the bell rings, signaling the end of lunch. Riley, Maya, and Cory literally JUST got their lunches. I know sometimes in my high school we’d have problems where kids would only get like 5 minutes to eat because the lines were so long, but there’s like 15 kids in this cafeteria. Did they only give these kids 10 minutes for lunch?

The four get up to leave, so Cory runs over. He makes a very good point that it’s not right for them to just leave that huge mess. He calls over Jerrilyn, the lunchlady, and Janitor Harley. He asks Jerrilyn if she feels bad when the kids don’t eat all the food, and she says, angrily, “Bad!” He then asks Janitor Harley if he feels bad when the kids leave this huge mess for him to clean up. Harley responds that he actually feels like he deserves it, because he’s got a lot of different issues.

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So, uh, that’s actually Harley Keiner, the school bully from Boy Meets World. It feels more than a little contrived that he and Cory are both working at the same school, in the same city where another classmate from an entirely different state also lives. What’s worse is I’m pretty sure there’s another BMW character also working in the school (not Feeny, maybe) but they’re in season 2 and I want to be surprised.

Anyway this is Harley’s actor’s first acting role since Boy Meets World.

Cory tells the kids they’re disrespectful for leaving a mess like that. Maya protests that it’s not just them who does it, and Cory says he knows, but they’re the good ones. Cory decides to just go ahead and assign them their electives – the girls are on cafeteria duty, the boys on janitorial. *sad trombone noise*

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Riley and Maya say the other one is the cutest ever in their uniforms. Jerrilyn asks “What about me?” Riley slowly reaches over to adjust her hairnet, and Riley’s actress you can tell is just barely keeping from laughing. She finally reaches the hairnet, and says “Actually these are being worn farther up the head this season.”

Jerrilyn gives them their assignment – peeling potatoes and putting them in the pot. They are not to do anything else. WE also find out that they don’t know Jerrilyn’s last name, but Jerrilyn knows their names, and that Riley loves fish stick Fridays, and Jerrilyn always gives Maya extra food to take home. Oh, snap.

She leaves, and Riley starts dutifully peeling potatoes. Maya decides to add spices into the pot, even though they aren’t supposed to do so. Riley then knocks over some potato sacks by accident. *sad trombone noise*

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Meanwhile, with the boys – Lucas mentions that he’s never thought of the hallway being anything other than clean, and he wonders how one school can be full of so much vomit. He has a point. It’s not very usual for a middle school to be full of vomit. Elementary school, yes. (Because younger kids aren’t quite as good as figuring out if they’re feeling ill or not, and they seem to get sick more often. I know the only time I ever threw up in school was in kindergarten, myself. I had carrots and Cheetos for lunch. So the vomit was orange. Which, according to my mom, was of huge concern to me. Not that I barfed, but that it was orange. TMI? Yes.)

Some kid offscreen vomits, and Harley can tell who it is just from the sound. He also knows the vomiting kid has a speech in English today, and he sounds unprepared. Then some other kid walks by and tries to put his trash in the garbage can, but it falls out and he just keeps walking. Farkle asks if that happens a lot. Harley confirms it does, but says he doesn’t mind. It’s his job. To be fair to that kid, that was one of those stupid trashcans where the lid swings in and out. He probably didn’t do it on purpose, and it’s not his fault he didn’t notice something behind him.

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Riley and Maya are taking a snooze on the couch. Topanga comes in and asks them to help with the groceries. They can’t, though, because they’re exhausted because they worked a whole 45 minutes. Topanga’s not pleased with this, and also because Riley still hasn’t cleared the table that Topanga told her to clear off that morning. But they worked a whole 45 minutes! Riley’s upset that Topanga’s not being sympathetic. Haha. Oh boy.

Topanga asks the girls nicely if they’ll help with the groceries, because other people had a hard day too. Riley tells her yes, Lucas and Farkle had to clean the school. Horrible. Topanga just grits her teeth and says all right, she’ll just take care of the groceries herself. Topanga’s too nice. She should’ve told Riley that she had to help with the groceries if she was planning on actually eating at home ever again.

Riley has an epiphany about Cory’s lesson The Forgotten from earlier – she and Maya are The Forgotten! Of course! Then they go back to sleep.

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Jerrilyn announces that the potatoes from yesterday are today’s lunch. Maya asks when they’ll get paid. Riley nervously says that the smiling faces of hungry students are payment enough.

Jerrilyn tells them today is the hard part. They have to scoop out lunch to the kids, and the really hard part is when the dishes come back, they have to quickly take them off the conveyor belt, scrape the food off, and wash the dishes, and then put them on another conveyor belt. I’m afraid I hear an I Love Lucy-esque scene coming up.

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Well color me shocked, we cut right from the wall of dishes to after they’ve cleaned the dishes. Jerrilyn says they’ve done a good job, and tells them to go the locker room and take a shower and freshen up. Riley doesn’t want anyone to see them like this, all covered in food, so she and Maya hop on the conveyor belt to the dish washing area, which means there’s a sink for washing dishes AND a dish washer.

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Farkle, Lucas, and Harley arrive. They did such a good job cleaning the school yesterday, that today was really easy. But Harley senses “a storm brewing”, and someone off-camera starts puking. More people start puking as well, I guess, and Harley freaks out and lowers the screen thing to close off the kitchen from the vomitous mess that’s being created in the empty cafeteria.

Jerrilyn tastes the mashed potatoes, for some reason, and yells at the girls. All they had to do was peel the potatoes and put them in a pot!

Later at home, Riley and Maya say Jerrilyn is really good at her job. And they aren’t good at her job. That’s the scene.

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Riley and Maya give a report on their lunchroom job. It’s your guess if this is supposed to be Saturday or Monday, since the first part of the episode was Thursday and the second part was the next day.

The four characters with names have come to respect their school staff people and the work they do. And hope everyone else will, too. Cory says that people who do things for you and pour their heart and souls into their work should be valued and embraced, and you should look them in the eye and say “thank you.” So they look Harley and Jerrilyn in the eye and say thank you.

At home, Riley has somehow realized that Topanga does a lot of work, and she thanks Topanga for all she does. Yay!

During the credits, Riley and Maya ask how Jerrilyn is doing while they’re in line; a kid throw his banana peel at the garbage and misses, so Lucas tells him to try again; Cory says that society’s greatest Forgotten asset is the teacher, only to find that all the kids have vacated the lunchroom. Harley calls him Baboon like in the old days and tells him to leave so he can clean the cafeteria.

I give this episode a Not Bad out of 10. For once the lesson of the episode actually had something to do with the history class lesson, but in this case it was more of an added bonus – I mean, Cory seemed to be trying to teach this lesson independently of the history class, it just happened that the two lessons were similar. And it was a good lesson on its own – lots of people get completely ignored by others because their jobs are dirty, or “beneath others”, or whatever, even though the jobs take a lot of effort, sometimes expertise. And of course, the people doing those jobs are also human, so they don’t deserve to be ignored or treated rudely regardless of what the job is. It’s really easy to overlook how important someone actually is in your life, to take them for granted. So… don’t.

News: Girl Meets World Season 1 is coming to Netflix (at least, in the U.S.) on August 23! Cool beans, I know I won’t be done with the season by then, so we can finally have some screencaps that don’t say “Premium” or “Vodlocker” on them.

More importantly they’re also adding Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein and a collection of Reading Rainbow episodes on August 1. BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY, I CAN GO TWICE AS HIGH~

Some podcast interview with Michale Jacobs revealed some upcoming tidbits for a season 2 episode that’s set in the future, among which are “There will be some fascinating stuff coming up for Ava/Auggie” and “He described Riley as Eric and Ava/Auggie as the Cory/Topanga of the show”

Excuse me while I play sad trombone music and vomit orange all over the cafeteria floor. I mean Michelle Tanner would be embarrassed at what an annoying, entitled little thing Ava is, and Auggie just… ugh. Also somebody somewhere pointed out that at this point the actors who play Auggie and Ava are like 4 years older than their characters, and as someone pointed out in another review, their characters act younger than they are, so I’m sure that won’t help make them less annoying.

 

BMW: 402, “Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow”; Sept 27, 1996

We have a special treat today! This episode is on the season 1 DVD set, for no apparent reason (actually I think it’s because this episode is about hair and personal image, just like a season 1 episode), so the screencaps for this episode should be less awful than normal!

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Eric is talking in his sleep. Unusually, he’s speaking Spanish as a baseball announcer. Weird.

The alarm goes off and both boys get up. Eric is being rather noble by waking up early despite him not having anything to do that day, as an unemployed high school graduate who doesn’t attend college.

Boy boys head to the bathroom, which has some trippy art on the wall, and Cory brushes his teeth. Eric observes that Cory’s not looking at himself in the mirror again.

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Eric goads Cory into actually looking, and when Cory finally does, he says, disappointed, “Aw man, it’s me.” Eric tells him not to worry, because all teenagers go through that awkward phase – except Eric, obviously. Eric assures Cory he’ll grow into his looks in about three years or so.

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So then Morgan comes into the bathroom and holds up a Mr. Potatohead, and says “Hi I’m Cory and for the next three years, I’m gonna look like a potato!” Aw, that’s mean.

At school, we’re treated to a sweeping shot of high schoolers using their small locker mirrors to fix their hair and/or makeup.

We end on Shawn

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and Cory

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Cory pulls out a pipe and holds up his arms stiffly, to better imitate Mr. Potatohead, although he doesn’t have a pipe in that picture, and then Feeny walks by and just takes Cory’s pipe from him. He wasn’t smoking it, Mr. Feeny, come on!

Cory laments the fact that he’s surrounded by people with perfect hair, and he’s stuck with that brillo pad of his.

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I’m observing that there’s an egregious lack of plaid shirts in this scene. We’ve switched to the boring mid-to-late 90s style of clothing, unfortunately. Cory’s wearing a polo shirt, for pete’s sake. A SALMON-COLORED polo shirt.

Anyway, some guy walks by and hits on Topanga, and says he figured she and Cory would’ve broken up during the summer. Cory and Topanga have a conversation that basically amounts to “How did I ever get a girl like you?” with Topanga saying she loves him no matter what he looks like. He should know that already, since their first kiss happened when he had that crazy Don King hairdo going on in the first season.

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Cory replies that if he looked the way Topanga did, he’d be pretty confident too. Topanga asks if he really thinks she’s that shallow, and pulls out a pair of scissors and chops part of her hair off.

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She begins to walk away, still quite confident, until she sees herself in Shawn’s locker mirror and screams.

She tries to reassure herself that her outward appearance has no affect on herself or what the people closest to her think about her. Cue Feeny.

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He says, “Eugh, what the heck happened to you?” Topanga, nearly frantic, explains that she was trying to teach Cory a lesson about outer vs inner beauty. Feeny says that in that case, he applauds her efforts, but starts cracking a smile as he continues to talk about how the teenage years can be such trying times. Topanga yells “You think I’m ugly!” and runs off.

She apparently ran to the bathroom, which as we all know by¬† this point, is also the boy’s bathroom, the media room, the newspaper office, and the principal’s office. But they didn’t show the door to it this time.

Cory opens the door, covering his eyes and makes a big show of saying “Look out, everyone! Boy coming in! I’ve got my eyes covered!” None of the three girls react, so he uncovers his eyes and he’s like “What’s the matter with you? I’m a boy, in the girl’s bathroom. Scream! Do something!” The three girls just turn and give him this look before going back to primping.

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Cory then spots the couch. He’s upset that there’s a couch in the girl’s room and not in the boy’s bathroom. Topanga explains that “Sometimes we need to lie down,” hence the couch. I remember when I was in third grade, the boys all wanted to know why every single girl would go in to use the bathroom when we came back from recess or lunch or a different class that we had to go outside to get to a different building for, and we told the boys that we had a couch in there. And a television.

In reality it was because the bathroom was heated, and most of us would just go and stand in there around the vents in the walls to warm up. (This was in North Carolina – COLD winters).

I think there’s a quotein an episode of The Drew Carey show where a character is also lamenting that the ladies’ room has a couch but the men’s room does not, and another character asks, “If the men’s’ room did have a couch, would you want to sit down on it?”

Back to the show, Topanga tells Cory she’d like to be alone now. Cory says he’ll be alone with her. Cory tries to assure Topanga that, like she said, appearances don’t matter. But Topanga’s freaking out because she though she was always someone who believed that, but it turns out she isn’t. She thinks she’s really shallow.

And right here my computer’s DVD drive just popped open for no reason. Maybe my DVD drive just thought Topanga was being ridiculous, who knows?

Cory asks how long it took Topanga to grow her hair that long. Topanga says it was six or seven years. Cory thinks this is perfect – in six or seven years, her hair will be back to normal, and he’ll be out of his awkward potato phase by then, so then they’ll be a perfect couple. Topanga is cheered by this point of view, and says she’ll head to a beauty parlor after school. She exits the restroom.

So then Shawn comes out of one of the stalls to congratulate Cory on a job well done.

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Cory doesn’t even question why Shawn was i the stall in the girl’s bathroom this whole time, he’s just pleased that Topanga’s feeling better and going to the beauty parlor later. When Shawn asks what they should do now, Cory suggests they sit on the couch.

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Meanwhile, Eric has been sitting on the couch all day, eating coca puffs in a huge bowl, with a gallon of milk and a bottle of chocolate syrup, and watching crime shows. Amy comes home with Morgan, and scolds Eric for sitting in the same spot all day when he was supposed to be looking for a job. But Eric says he found a job –¬† he’s going to be a detective. He even wrote a theme song for himself.

When a crime breaks out,

all the cute girls shout:

“Get the

good-looking guy!”

When there’s a crime out there

he’s gonna comb his hair

’cause he’s the

good-looking guy!

Book him, good-lookin’!

Eric also says that, with no college diploma, the most he can expect to get from a job is minimum wage, and with what gets taken out for taxes, he’s really better off just being a detective. Nowadays even with a college diploma the most you can expect is minimum wage. Heck, even people with many years of experience still get pretty shafted in the salary department.

Anyway, Amy asks why he doesn’t at least go out. He hasn’t been out with a girl in a long time. Eric is appalled at the thought of dating “townies” – he can just picture them, sitting at home in their ratty bathrobes, watching daytime tv and eating bon-bons. Amy gives him a look, and he says, “These are cocoa puffs, and I’m a detective.”

Fun fact: Will Friedle says on the audio commentary for this episode that the cereal concoction he had in this scene got really gross. He talks about struggling with his weight and then having to eat a huge bowl of chocolate cereal with chocolate syrup, but then it was basically turning into goo at the end, which is why towards the end of this scene he just keeps moving his spoon around in the bowl and not actually eating anything. The other actors talk about doing that kind of thing also. If you look for it, you can see that happens in a lot of shows – a character will just take one bite of something, or they’ll have food that they just pick out while delivering lines, because the food starts to get cold and gross, and on some of these show they do so many takes that you’d get sick of eating the same food over and over again for like an hour anyway.

Meanwhile… again, Cory and Shawn are waiting on Topanga. Cory’s pretty chill, but, bizarrely, Shawn’s freaking out. He says, Topanga’s never worn makeup or cared about her looks before and she still looked great. So now that she has a professional beautifying her up, she’ll look about 10 times more gorgeous. She’ll dump Cory in a minute to start dating more beautiful people. Cory is a bit concerned over Shawn’s assumption at first, but then sticks by his earlier belief that this is just the universe’s way of making sure Cory and Topanga are so at the same time, they’ll be together forever. (I mean, he didn’t say ugly, neither of them are ugly, of course).

Shawn says “You know she’s coming out great-looking, don’t you.” Cory sobs, “Yes!” Cue Topanga.

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Shawn starts repeating, “She’s my best friend’s girl, she’s my best friend’s girl…” but then decides to screw that and hits on her. Cory sprays him with a nearby squirt bottle, and then demands Topanga tell him who did this to her. Topanga, upset, asks if Cory doesn’t like it. Cory’s concern is that, the girl he was with was never concerned with her appearance, but now she’s got makeup, and nail polish, and fancy hair,s o I guess he wants to fight her stylist.

Topanga gives him her stylist’s name, and then goes to leave, because with that hair and outfit she is “SO at the mall.”

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Cory confronts the stylist, Mr. Chaleeny or something. He’s upset with how he “messed” with Topanga. Mr. Chaleeny is offended by the accusation that he made Topanga “messy”. He did a good job, he says! Cory has to agree, it WAS a good job, and Topanga looks great.

…Okay.

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Eric’s on a date with a townie – and I can’t ever hear that word without thinking of the Sims 2 and its ridiculously weird-looking Townies. I can’t find any good pictures of any of them, but trust me. There’s a reason there are so many game mods that are variations of “de-uglify Townies.”

Anyway, Eric talks about not getting into college, and how he did have an internship at a news station, but they let him go due to not having enough life experience. Actually they let him go because he dropped out of school to pursue working as a weatherman full time, but the internship was only for students, and since he was no longer a student, he couldn’t keep the internship. It’s also stupid that they brought up that episode, because the whole lesson in it was “go to college now, you’ll have the job later!” and now he’s unemployed and was rejected by every college he applied to. If he’d just stuck with that job, he’d probably still have the job now, instead of the nothing he has instead.

To be fair, they did also make a point of telling him to come back when he has a college education, so I can sort of see how that would be related to having more “life experience,” but Eric was still totally wrong about why he was let go from that internship.

The girl he’s on a date with can related to having life experiences. She’s only 18, but has a 2 year old son, so between getting the son in daycare and working a job, she wishes she had less experiences to deal with. Eric asks about her parents, how they’re involved. She’s like “Your parents help you out??” She tells him he’s really lucky that his parents help him out. He says “I guess I am.”

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Cory tells Shawn he’s feeling better, he knows he comes from a good-looking family and is just in his awkward stage, and he’ll grow out of it. But in English class, they’re going to read The Elephant Man, and Turner says that John Merrick (the Elephant Man), was interesting because he came from a good-looking family, but was so hideous he had to wear¬† burlap sack over his head, and then he died eventually due to an oversized head.

I was just thinking of how if this was Girl Meets World and this was Riley thinking she was ugly, Cory would just stop his class on the Fall of Rome to tell everyone – and by that obviously, Riley, Maya, Lucas, and Farkle – that they have to wear bags on their heads or intentionally do themselves up to look really ugly or wear hideous clothes all week so they can learn the true meaning of friendship. What’s WITH that show, anyway?

Feeny interrupts class to announce that this Friday is picture day. Okay. Cory has an image spot:

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Cory heads to the salon to see Mr. Chaleeney for a makeover.

Meanwhile… I guess… Eric’s back to sitting on the couch eating cereal. Alan pushes him out the door with a newspaper – while Eric’s still in his pajamas and bathrobe – and tells him to get a job. Eric says “Thank you, daddy,” and Alan closes the door on him.

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Shawn’s in the girl’s room again to talk to Topanga. Basically he’s disappointed that she’s become shallow. Even though all other teenagers are, she never was, and that stinks. Topanga agrees and then turns on the sink faucet, soaking her hair, and flipping it so it looks messed up.

She rushes to the salon with her horrible wet hair, which doesn’t look bad, really, and tells Chaleeney to stop, don’t do it! But it’s too late, what’s done is done. Chaleeney reveals his masterpiece.

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Oh it’s spelled Cellini, oops. Oh well, I’m not fixing it.

Cellini scolds Topanga for ruining the work he did on her hair. But Cory thinks she looks great, and Topanga says Cory also looks great, “Just like he always did.” Awwwwww.

During the credits, Eric arrives home, in a tux, saying he finally got a job! He puts a tape in the VCR, and we’re treated to what I think would be the opening credits of “Good-Looking Guy”.

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Unfortunately, this was all a dream, as Alan and Amy wake him up. Alan tells him to stop sleeping and get a job. Alan doesn’t care that Eric’s in a bathrobe, and that it’s nighttime. I know this is meant to be funny but I’m really starting to hate Alan. How about you let Eric stay in, since it’s NIGHT, and have him work on a resume or something. Even if he by same chance finds a place that’s hiring at night, nobody’s going to hire him if he comes in wearing his old pajamas, ratty bathrobe, and slippers.

I give this episode a “Hey, all right!” out of 10. The A plot was pretty similar in theme to one we had before, but it was still pretty different – Cory struggling to not be an uggo, but Topanga realizing that she cares more about what people think than she thought she did, and trying to reconcile her new self with her old one. I think it worked pretty successfully. The Eric B-plot was pretty good too, even if I hate Alan more than I did before.

Bonus: This episode on the DVD is complete with a commentary from Will (Eric), Rider (Shawn), Ben (Cory), Danielle (Topanga), and Michael Jacobs (creator/producer). Danielle talks about how there was multiple days of shooting, so she had to go home with her hair half-hacked off, but she was going to dinner with family or friends or something, and had to go with her hair like that since they still had scenes to shoot with her hair cut off like that.

Everyone appreciates Shawn’s dinosaur shirts, although he didn’t actually have a dinosaur shirt in this episode.

Most of the actors only barely remember stuff from this episode (including which episode it was and which season, oddly), but Michael Jacobs distinctly remembered the gag with Cory with the bag on his head. The actors have a confusing conversation where they’re trying to figure out if this was the point where they’d started slipping in the little lizard, but one of them (Rider?) remembers it being a lobster, not a lizard. I have no idea what they’re talking about.

 

 

Girl Meets World… OF TERROR, 111; Oct 2, 2014

If that wasn’t totally obvious, the actual episode title is “Girl Meets World: of Terror.” Yes, with the colon. This episode it sounds like is supposed to have three segments focusing on one character each, and one of those is Auggie. We’ve established that I hate that kid so please forgive me if his segment just say “asdfhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” or something. I mean, it’s not just that I hate him, but it’s just… If you haven’t seen the show yourself, you can’t know, but he’s just SO ANNOYING. It’s pretty obvious he and his plotlines were engineered to be cute, but they failed miserably because it’s like, I don’t know, it’s really smug about it. And the kid who plays Auggie isn’t turning out to be such a great actor when he’s got more than 2 lines to deliver. And as mentioned in a previous post, long ago, the way he acts and talks doesn’t really mesh with how old he’s supposed to be, and that’s really annoying and off-putting.

Speak of the devil:

It's too bad he's wearing a vampire costume and not a devil.
It’s too bad he’s wearing a vampire costume and not a devil.

Auggie is introducing us to an evening of fear and terror, and asks what we’re afraid of, “Mmmm?” The audience keeps laughing at everything even though it isn’t remotely funny. Also Auggie’s trying to put on some sort of accent that makes him accentuate his letter T’s, even in words that don’t even have a T in them – like he said “laties and gentlemen”.

Topanga comes in the room and turns the lights on, and asks what Auggie’s doing. He explains he was talking to “the people” and tells Topanga to say hello to them.

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Topanga asks Auggie where he got the coffin-shaped toybox. He’s just whatever about it and then tells Topanga to say goodbye to the people, and to mean it this time. She tells him to come to dinner, and she means it! She leaves and Auggie says “That was scary!” No. No it wasn’t.

Auggie then asks if we know what scares Farkle. He says Farkle’s fears are only the size of a softball, and says “And you know what goes with a softball?A bat!” He then explodes into a cloud of bats, which I actually thought was a little funny, and then a baseball (or softball, I guess) bat falls to the floor. But that silly prankster Auggie was just messing with us, he was hiding behind the bed and didn’t really become a bunch of flying mammals and a piece of sports equipment! Oh, you!

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Farkle doesn’t want to go to gym class, which I’m surprised to find is not also taught by Cory in that classroom. Farkle’s afraid of getting things thrown at him and getting yelled at. Got no complaints there, that’s pretty reasonable. Also I just realized since this segment is about Farkle’s fears we probably won’t get some extremely irrelevant lesson for Riley out of it.

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So we cut to gym class. Maya is the pitcher, and she’s mean. Normally it’s usually the tallest or beefiest guy in the class who’s really mean about gym, not the pale blonde girl. But Lucas, the tallest and obviously oldest guy in the class, is still pretty rude about gym. Also I don’t know why Maya, Riley, and Lucas are wearing Steam Punk costumes. I mean, I know it’s because it’s Halloween, probably – Farkle’s wearing an aviator-ish costume – but why specifically Steam Punk? Riley seems like the type who’d wear a cupcake costume and not understand when people laugh at her for it.

Riley also asks which hand her mitt goes on, which isn’t that hard to figure out – it has a thumb spot, duh – and Maya tells her “You know which hand it goes on.” I thought this was just another example of Riley being extremely, unbelievably stupid, but it seems she was just playing at being dumb this time, knowing Lucas would come over and help put her glove on for her. Then as he walks away she smacks him playfully. Not on the butt, I don’t think, since these are 7th graders.

Anyway, Farkle strikes out twice, and the power goes out before he has to hit the ball again. He starts taunting Maya but the power comes back on really quickly. Then Lucas calls a time-out and says he’s taking Maya out of the game, making her switch to shortstop. Because apparently she hadn’t thrown a strike, I guess maybe because the catcher caught the ball? I don’t understand sports.

So Lucas becomes the pitcher, and throws the ball really hard and hits Farkle with it. Then Lucas is like “See, it’s not the end of the world?” And Farkle agrees. And now he’s not afraid of softballs. And wants Maya to throw the ball for real. From the sound effects it sounds like he actually hit the ball.

That was lame. I’m one of those people who always hated gym, and never wanted to do anything because I was bad at it. It’s really hard to keep track of everything you’re supposed to keep track of in a lot of games – where the ball or puck is, what you’re supposed to do with it, who to pass it to or how to hit it or whatever, what’s a foul, where does it go, whatever. That’s why I liked 7th grade gym because they’d make us play whatever game for like 10 minutes and then let us do whatever, so you could just spend the whole period walking around the track if you were nervous about getting hit with balls or ruining someone’s game or something. And during rainy days we stays inside and sometimes they’d have people play “crevolley”, and they’d let you just sit on the bleachers instead of playing if you wanted. It was boring to sit there and watch for 45 minutes, but better than getting hit in the face with a ball…

…I got hit in the eye with a basketball in 3rd grade, once.

Next segment:

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Are we expected to believe that a 5 year old knows about Alfred Hitchcock Presents? I’d bet most of the people watching the show didn’t get that reference either. Not just because it’s an old show, but because it’s not like other old shows that are rerun a lot or just naturally part of people’s Collective Conscious, like The Addams Family or The Munsters or I Love Lucy. I know Alfred Hitchcock Presents airs in reruns on I think it’s Antenna TV, but I don’t know if a 5 year old would be watching it.

Hitchsilhouette
“Good evening.”

Auggie tells us that Riley’s afraid of sleeping over at Maya’s house on Halloween. I wonder if that has anything to do with Maya being poor and her mother never being around since she has to work all the time. Probably not.

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Presented without context.

Riley wants a post-trick-or-treat sleeopover so they can trade candy, and Maya suggests they have it at her house this time. Cory agrees, and they talk about how Riley never stays the whole night when she sleeps over at Maya’s. They don’t expand on why.

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So we cut to Maya’s house, or at least, just her bedroom, which is super nice. Maya introduces Riley to her ferret, Ginger, who was actually mentioned in a previous episode. Riley’s afraid of Ginger, and Ginger doesn’t like Riley. So that works out.

Riley’s nervous because of the traffic sounds outside. And also when Maya turns off the lights, there’s this weird silhouette that shines on the wall of a bunny, that flashes to a bigger bunny, then flashes to this:

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The Oogie Boogie Bunny?

Maya explains that it’s just a weird shadow from the new “Bunny Mart” that opened nearby, but does not explain she doesn’t own curtains.

Maya goes to sleep and Riley freaks out because now there’s a second silhouette. It turns out it’s an old lady

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Who is Maya’s grandma. Who was just there for some reason. Riley says she might get to sleep if she couldn’t see the shadows. Maya relents and it turns out she does have a curtain. Some kind of weird set-up where she’s got hooks and a piece of fabric that covers the bottom part of the window.

The girls settle back into bed, and then Maya takes a glance at the window.

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This time she screams, which gets Riley up, and Riley screams, and they go over and take the curtain down, and both scream at what they find.

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This oddly does not rouse the grandmother who just left like a minute ago.

The creature on the right says “Ladies” and they realize it’s Farkle. And Lucas.

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The kid who plays Farkle is super adorable, I think.

Riley asks what they’re doing there in the middle of the night, and Lucas says it’s only 7:15. They were passing by on their way home (from trick or treating) which is weird. What neighborhood do they live in? What neighborhood is this? Where do they live that they finished trick or treating by 7 pm?

Riley’s puzzled as to why Maya made her to go sleep so early, and Maya said she was just trying to put herself out of misery earlier. Truly a friendship for the ages.

Maya’s grandma comes in because she heard boys. So the screaming wasn’t an issue, I guess. Maya points out the boys are outside, and grandma’s cool with that. Farkle asks Lucas if he wants to learn how to pick up “older women.” Oh, Farkle. Never change.

Uhh Lucas at some point asks Riley what she’s so scared of, because it’s really nice outside.

So Riley then tells Maya not to put the curtain back up, because she was scared of Farkle until he took his mask off, and now that’s how she feels about Maya’s neighborhood – it’s not so scary after all. How in all hell did she make this epiphany is beyond me.

The girls stick their head out the window and Maya says she never noticed how pretty her neighborhood was. We’ll take her word for it, I guess. She asks Riley if she’s ready to go to sleep yet, but Riley wants to stay up a bit longer. Not because she’s scared, but because she “wants to see what happens next.”

And not because this is a sleepover and it’s only 7 pm and they’re 12 or 13 years old.

This segment was also lame. Seriously, Riley’s just like “Oh I’m magically not afraid of your neighborhood anymore because Farkle was wearing a mask the whole time!”

But now we come to the lamest segment of all. The saved the worst for last – Auggie’s fear, which is of a monster under his bed. And it turns out the true monster was inside him all along.

Oh I guess I should watch it before I decide what the moral was.

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Nice pajamas. Your guess is as good as mine for why he’s somehow still wearing multiple layers of shirts for pajamas, though.

Cory and Topanga have decided they aren’t letting Auggie sleep with them anymore. But Auggie’s afraid of the monster under his bed. But there’s no monster, only toys!

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Cory gives him Mr. Googly, and Auggie tells Mr. Googly to keep a look out for monsters. Then he drops Googly on the floor and someone under the bed takes him. But then a big foam foot comes out. Auggie picks it up and says “What the??”

The thing under the bed tells him to give back Mr. Bobbly, and they arrange a trade. They then accuse each other of being the monster under/over the bed, and say the other one is the scary one.

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The under the bed monster crawls out, and they introduce themselves. Monster’s name is Simon P. Littleboyeater. Auggie doesn’t like this and screams. Topanga and Cory are actually concerned about screaming children, and come in to see what the matter is. Topanga gives him a “monster-proof tuck job.” Doesn’t work.

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Auggie tells Mr. Littleboyeater that he can’t just go around living under people’s beds. But that’s Simon’s home. Auggie asks if Simon’s always been under his bed, and Simon confirms he has. The reason Auggie’s never seen Simon before is because Simon’s saying goodbye. Since Auggie’s not scared of him anymore, he has to leave. Auggie’s not scared because they’re friends now. I guess.

Simon gives Auggie a box of stuff that he thought he’d lost, but it turns out Simon just played with the stuff during the day while Auggie was at school. Auggie tells him he can keep the stuff.

Topanga and Cory come in and ask if Auggie’s okay, because he’s been quiet for all of a minute, I guess. Auggie confirms he’s fine, and Simon tells Auggie not to forget him. Oh Simon also said something about how he can only be under the bed of little boys, and little boys “grow up”. I guess that was significant.

Eh… Lame.

During the credits, Auggie says goodbye to us, but it turns out he was Simon P. Littleboyeater the whole time?

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Seriously those pajamas are really cute.

I guess I can’t really expect the wonderful life lesson about facing your fears to make a lot of sense when they come at the end of 7 minute segments, but, still. Yeesh. This episode was lame. As I’ve said repeatedly.

Bonus: Apparently Maya’s grandmother is Ms. Garret from Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. I could’ve sworn she had died a couple years ago, though, but I guess didn’t.

OR DID SHE?! AAH SPOOKY.

You know, so far we really know way more about Farkle than about supposed love interest Lucas. Lucas is nice and helpful, and that’s about it. He’s still pretty bland, honestly. And not interesting – Mr. Perfect, Nice, Kind, and Sensitive is pretty boring. He has to also own horses or run a dog shelter, at least.

Oh, uh, I give this episode a bat out of 10.

I hope nobody minds that my episode ratings are nonsensical, by the way.

BMW: 401, “You Can Go Home Again”; September 20, 1996

When we last left our heroes, Eric and Cory were going on a two-month long cross-country roadtrip. I forgot to bring this up in the last review, but that’s a heck of a lot of driving for one person to do. It takes about a week to get from one coast to the other, and that’s if you’re not planning on stopping anywhere to sleep or eat. Which is a lot to ask of ONE person, since Cory’s not old enough to drive. I guess you could conceivably visit the entire lower 48 in two months, though, if you didn’t really stop anywhere for that long.

But whatever. Their trip is over. And we start season 4 with yet another new opening. So far, every season has had a different opening, with different music, and a different opening montage. This one’s footage of Eric, Cory, Shawn, and Topanga riding in a car, with random clips of past episodes playing in the mirrors and the sky.

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Eric and Cory are nearing the end of their road trip. Cory’s using tape recorders to have updates for Topanga. Eric’s fed up with Cory’s constantly being reminded of Topanga during the whole trip. Cory’s fed up with the road trip. They’re only 3 hours from home, and said they’d be home that night , but Eric’s stalling.

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Alan has one grocery store manager of the year, so he and Amy are going to some gala event. Topanga and Shawn arrive, and ask if they can wait at the Matthews home for Cory. Amy’s cool with it, even though Cory’s not supposed to be back until late. Shawn declares he’ll take a bath upstairs while Amy and Alan are out, and Alan does not like that. Because it’s weird. Shawn comments that Alan’s been in quite a bad mood lately.

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Meanwhile, Eric’s made a stop in Pottstown, home of the world’s largest yogurt cup. Cory’s still miffed, he really wants to go back home already, but Eric’s too busy flirting with a local yogurt diner waitress to care what Cory says. Cory leaves in a huff to watch the sprinkle parade outside, and a rain of sprinkles temporarily blinds him.

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Amy and Alan come back, with Alan’s award in hand. Amy puts it on the mantle, and Alan’s all sad. He’s reached the peak of his career. “I’m Alan Matthews, I am 42 years old, and I am a grocer.” No, you’re a manager, but whatever. Amy’s shocked to find Alan maybe wants to get another job.

Shawn comes downstairs, fresh from his bath, wearing Alan’s robe. Alan’s understandably upset that Shawn is wearing his robe, and wants him to take it off. Shawn says he can’t, because he’s naked under the robe, and the audience all cheers. He’s 15 audience, calm down.

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Of course Cory and Eric are still in yogurt land. Cory still says he wants to go back home already, and Eric says he only got them a hotel room so he could get ready for his date. He also says he doesn’t want to go back home because there’s nothing there for him. All his friends got into college and he didn’t, but I guess in Pottstown he can make something of himself? Also, what friends? His friend Jason stopped showing up a while ago and he wasn’t really friends with anyone else.

Cory basically says that enough is enough, and if Eric wants to stay that’s fine, but he’s going home, and he takes Eric’s car keys. Eric chases after Cory, since it’s Eric’s car, and Cory can’t drive.

The diner girl Eric had a date with is surprised to find Eric’s still around, she thought he’d find someone more interesting to talk to and leave, but he thinks she’s super interesting.

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He says something about staying again, and decides to relent and let Cory go home on his own. But first he asks Cory to give him the keys, just to make sure he actually had the car keys. So Cory tosses him the keys and Eric says, “I can’t believe you fell for that,” and puts the keys in his own pocket.

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Cory, his plans now foiled, says he’ll just go out and hitchhike. An obvious solution would just be to call home and explain the situation, have one of his parents picks him up, but whatever. Diner girl says there’s no chance that anyone will actually pick up Cory anyway, because everyone in town is currently in the diner.

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Alan talks some more about grocery store zzzzzzzz, erm, okay. Anyway Feeny comes out, and Alan asks Feeny if he hates his job. Feeny says in that deadpan joking manner that the only job he ever hated was his job as a bagboy at the grocery store. He goes on to say that he actually loves teaching, and if he didn’t love teaching anymore, he’d find some other job to do.

Mm, tough spot. Feeny’s got a point, that it’s stupid to work if you really hate your job. Find something else to do, in that case. On the other hand, Alan’s got 3 kids and a wife to support, and I assume being a grocery store manager, when you’ve been working at the same store for about 20 years, you probably get paid pretty well, especially since this is the 90s and the economy wasn’t as bad as it is now (“Oh boy I got a 5 cent raise with this promotion!”). The other thing is, Alan just sounds like he’s bored and is embarrassed. He mostly sounds like he doesn’t feel like he’s accomplished anything with his job, and that’s a disappointment to him, not that he HATES his job.

And then on the… other hand, if Alan’s going to be miserable, there’s no reason for him to stay in that job even if it pays well. And Amy’s got… well, it depends on the episode whether she’s an unemployed housewife, works as a realtor, or works in an art gallery. So nevermind. And they seem well-off enough that they’d probably be okay if Alan was out of work for a while, while he was looking for a new job.

But on the… fourth? hand, what job is he going to get? He’s been working at the same store for like 20 years. If it were me, I think I’d be unsure of whether or not he could adapt to a new work environment after working at the same place for so long.

But I already know he just buys a wilderness equipment store anyway so all of that discussion is a moot point.

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Cory’s outside in the dark, nervously waiting for someone to pick him up. A guy on a horse-drawn carriage stops by. He’s only going as far as “that farm house, over there,” but Cory’s going to Philadelphia. The guy offers to take him as far as, “that farm house, over there.” Cory appreciates the offer but wants to wait for a vehicle with some actual combustion. The man tells Cory if he changes his mind, he’ll be over at “that farm house, over there.” Cory points out that’ll do him no good since he’s trying to get past that farm house over, and the man replies that while that may be true, his intentions were just, and his heart is true. He leaves, and Cory points out that also does him no good.

Back at the diner, Eric’s sampling some pea soup and pie. The diner patrons and the waitress talk about how they’re probably going to have to close the diner, not enough business. Eric basically tells them to put up signs along the highway to encourage people to stop by. Everyone loves the idea and wants Eric to stay forever.

Cory returns, and enjoys some pie with that one old guy who’s in a lot of these 90s sitcoms and you don’t know his name. Then Alan shows up.

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Cory actually called him, I guess. Or else Alan’s true calling is as a psychic detective who can just tell when people need him, or something.

Alan of course wants Eric to come home with him, but Eric doesn’t want to go. Eric wonders what all those years of schooling were for, if he was just going to go home for nothing. Whatever he says, Alan relates to it, and then Alan gives Eric good advice that I already forgot what he said. Something about “settling”. Eric’s afraid to go home, and Alan tells him not to be, it’ll all be all right or something. Eric asks him how he knows it’ll be okay, and Cory appears, saying “Because he’s dad.” Alan affirms, “Yeah, that’s mostly what I am.” So then I guess they go home.

Well I guess we all learned a very valuable lesson about Alan’s sense of self-worth.

During the credits, it’s the next day. Amy, Shawn, and Topanga are waiting int he kitchen for Cory and Eric. Morgan bounds downstairs, saying she finally got them up by telling them they were having blueberry pancakes for breakfast – which was a lie.

Shawn haughtily tells Topanga to be prepared, because as soon as Cory sees him he’ll forget all about Topanga ever existing. Cory comes downstairs right then, says “Shawn!” and opens his arms for a big hug…

…goes straight past Shawn to go kiss Topanga a billion times.

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Shawn stands around lamely while he and Cory have a conversation in-between the kisses, with Shawn concluding the episode by saying something like “See, Topanga?” lamely.

Eh. I just don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for Alan. I get that it sucks, he got stuck in this job that was only supposed to be temporary while he found a real job, but we’ve got all this focus on a father of 3 who just got an award for doing his job really well, and honestly not a whole lot of focus on Eric who’s afraid to go home because he can’t do anything well and has nothing waiting for him. And Cory, who’s not involved in any of this, having to be stuck in some dinky little town 3 hours from Philadelphia with no way to get home.

I give this episode a dismissive shrug out of 10.

Next episode should be exciting, I’ve actually got it on DVD so the screencaps might not be as terrible.

 

 

 

 

GMW: 110, “Girl Meets Crazy Hat”; Sept 26, 2014

Man I really gotta catch up on all these shows. Girl Meets World season 2 is already airing (actually it looks like it’s half-over already?? the season one finale was like 3 months ago, though) and apparently “laying on the feels”, and Degrassi AND Glee are both ended. (Okay, Degrassi got picked up by Netflix for at least one more season, sure, but still. That’s like the end of an era. That show’s been on since 2001. It’s going to take me SO LONG to finish reviewing that show, especially since I haven’t even started yet).

Also my “If I ever finish these shows and decide to keep reviewing” plan of recapping Home Improvement, Roseanne, and The Cosby Show sure might have a wrench thrown in it now, what with all the news about Bill Cosby and such. I mean, I think I’ll recap it anyway, because it’s still a good show and all. I may be adding A Different World to the roster too just because I watched that show recently and it’s pretty good too. It’s also the only show I’ve ever seen with a pre-episode content warning that actually encouraged people to have their kids watch the episode instead of just “viewer discretion advised”.

Anyway the title for this episode is stupid. Sure I’ve established that I think all the episode titles are stupid, but this one is like the 5th-dumbest one. “Girl Meets World” “Girl Meets Boy” and “Girl Meets The Truth” are the least dumb. I think this episode title would’ve made more sense for the episode where she decides to be a Harajuku girl, even though I don’t think she wore a hat in that episode. “Crazy hat” just makes me think of Harajuku fashion. (I still really hate the lesson that episode taught. Riley’s problem was that she was trying to be someone she wasn’t, not that she didn’t know the history and significance of Harajuku fashion. And she wasn’t even really dressed in a Harajuku style in the first place, and in the second place Harajuku fashion is based on American/European fashion so… what?? ugh.)

Okay long intro. Moving on.

It’s raining. Riley is wearing a poncho.

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I’ve never seen anyone outside of Disney World wear a poncho. But I guess Disney does own this show.

Riley and Maya are in the subway and see Jackee (JacKAY) Harry, who was in the pilot episode. Maya calls her “Crazy Hat.” Ah, episode title explained even though she already met this woman before. The girls sit next to Crazy Hat on a bench, and a subway cop(?) chats with them. And it turns out Riley’s poncho is a trashbag with holes cut in it. She gives one to Crazy Hat.

Crazy Hat is homeless – or at least, that’s what they assume – and Riley’s all “How does that happen to someone?” She holds her hand out and some guy in a suit walking by puts money in her hand. Riley’s like “What??” and then some guy pushing a trashcart picks her up and puts her in it.

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That’s what you get for wearing a darn trashbag, Riley. Your mother is (was?) a lawyer, you couldn’t afford a raincoat??

Anyway I suppose it figures that New York’s cleanest subway station has a guy actively collecting trashbags during the day… and a police officer. And a single homeless person who is clean, and not crazy.

At school, Cory is trying to talk about “1831, in Belgium”. I know it’s really been said to death by me, but the units in this class make no sense. They were just talking about the 1960s, now they’re talking about Belgium in the 1830s? Don’t history classes typically go in chronological order? Also I googled it and it looks like Cory was probably talking about the Belgian Revolution, which ended in 1831.

But every time Cory says “1831, in Belgium”, Riley says “No!” Cory’s finally like “Riley?” and Riley freaks out about how she doesn’t know what she’ll be when she grows up, and how can she be sure she’ll be safe? I’m glad she only thinks of this stuff during class and not at home.

Cory’s like “Riley, I want you to listen to me very carefully. In 1831, Belgium declared its independence from The Netherlands” (which was a result of the Belgian Revolution! :D) Riley pauses and then just continues to freak out about how she doesn’t want to live in a subway. Maya then also freaks out because nothing can happen to Riley, since she’s Maya’s meal ticket. Cory surprises me by saying “What the -, I just saw you at breakfast!” Then Farkle surprises me by depending Cory go back to teaching instead of focusing on Riley’s problems in class again.

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Good old Disney Channel, blocking the darn subtitles. Farkle was saying, in what I think was Dutch, “What happened to Belgium?” Cory confirms my suspicion that he was indeed speaking Dutch, and implies this happens a lot, that Farkle just randomly speaks Dutch. Farkle says, in Dutch, “Oh really?”, slaps himself, and begins speaking Spanish.

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Cory points this out, so Farkle slaps himself again and says, in English this time, “My education should not be based on your daughter’s moods!” Amen, Farkle! I knew there was a reason he was my favorite. At least when Mr. Feeny had some lesson for Cory or whatever, the lesson was outside of classtime, or actually involved the whole class (like during the “Grapes of Wrath” protest episode), or it was just a normal school lesson that paralleled what Cory was coincidentally going through right at that time.

I think this is also why, in bigger schools at least, with older students, they don’t put kids in classes being taught by their parents if they can help it.

Cory tells Farkle, “Neither should [my education], but it is!” Cory says this kind of of problem is one that always affects parents and whatever, and gives a speech about how it’s important to be confident in where you’re going or whatever, and decides, instead of learning history, the class is going to do an economics project now.

Well this was ALMOST going in the right direction. And I’m sure by “class” Cory just mean Riley, Maya, Farkle, and Lucas, anyway.

Cory says Riley and Farkle are teamed up for the week, and their business will be about muffins. Maya says her business will be sponging off Riley until she gets sick of her. Riley assures Maya she would never get sick of her, to which Maya replies, “All right, I’m set for life!”

Farkle’s excited about the prospect of making money with his business. Cory’s all, “Is that all that’s important to you? Money?” Farkle understandably asks, “What else should a business value besides profits?” So Lucas, in his folksy southern wisdom, says if he ran a business, it would all be about making sure customers are happy. I mean, you can’t run a business just on happy customers alone Lucas, but you’re not entirely on the wrong path there. Coincidentally I was just watching an episode of Scrubs, where the Chief of Medicine (Kelso) and one of the doctors who’d been there a while (Cox) were having a disagreement about giving treatment to a woman who didn’t have the insurance to cover the treatment. Cox thinks it’s despicable to just not treat someone just because she can’t pay for it, if she really needs the help. Kelso makes the point that the hospital is still a business, and if they don’t make enough money, they can’t keep the hospital open and continue to help people who need it.

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Farkle says Lucas is everything that’s wrong with this country, and Cory nominates Lucas and Maya to be heads of the “Heart and Frier Muffin company.” So now there’s two competing muffin companies in the school.¬† Cory vaguely remembers he has other students and says they’ll all just be employees of the only four students with names, and the other students in school will be their customers. There’s so many stupid things wrong with this project that I can’t even wrap my head around them all. I mean, for one, they should be selling cupcakes to middle schoolers instead of muffins.

The bell rings so everybody leaves, having learned that Riley is once again more important than their history education, except Farkle stays behind to learn about Belgium. Farkle will be the only kid who graduates high school.

But seriously if I was in that class, I would be SO PISSED. All they ever do is learn about Riley.

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Auggie depends payment from Topanga. Topanga asks what he’s expecting to be paid for, and Auggie just says “I don’t know, you pay Riley.” Riley does chores, and that’s why she gets an allowance, but “What do you do?” Topanga asks. Auggie just stands there and says “You’re looking at it.” God but I hate this kid. Topanga gives him a nickel. He gets upset, and she for some reason assumes he’s actually trying to get money to buy her a birthday present, so she gives him $10. And that’s the scene.

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Riley and Farkle’s muffin business is booming which is dumb. Do middle school students REALLY like muffins that much? I sold candy in high school to fundraise, and that was pretty popular, because high schoolers love to have candy in class, but… muffins? I do buy that there would be people buying muffins, but not THAT many.

Farkle and Riley end up with just one muffin left, and Farkle decides to auction it off, since supply and demand and all. Lucas and Maya, who are selling muffins in the same hallway, still have a huge tray of muffins, and are like “Um, we have muffins over here?” but nobody wants their gross muffins. Probably don’t even have chocolate chips in them. Maya also wonders why FarLey’s muffins are all white. My guess was that they have cocaine in them, which would explain the popularity, but I know that’s unlikely given this is the Disney Channel. They’re probably white chocolate cupcakes or something.

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Maya and Lucas gives a progress report on their stupid muffin business. Their muffins are organic and sustainable or something, so that makes them “the right thing to do”. They’ve sold 14 muffins, at $1 each. Cory first asks Maya if she really believes that the organic muffins are “right”, and then asks how much the muffins cost to make. Lucas says they didn’t cost anything, because his mother bought them.

Farkle asks what the profits are, and Cory scolds Farkle for trying to teach his class for him. So far Farkle seems to be the only person who has any real desire to actually learn anything in this class – this HISTORY class – so, shut up, Cory.

Cory then asks Lucas what his profits were. Lucas says they had no profit. Which is interesting since they didn’t spend any money to buy the muffins, and have made $14. But he did say he was planning on paying his mother back at the end of the week, and she already bought like 20 boxes of muffins, so it seems like they have a pretty significant net loss there.

Can you believe there’s 18 minutes left in this episode?

Farkle and Riley go up to do their report. Their profits are through the roof, and “so are [their] employees!” Cut to a group of students in the classroom fidgeting and twitching.

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I guess I was wrong about the muffins have cocaine in them. They have METH baked into them!

Oh okay Farkle says the muffins are 100% sugar. Hey, maybe I was right the first time, sugar is a euphemism for cocaine, after all. Riley’s all “wtf you said the muffins were all-natural and organic!” Farkle in response just says “Sugah!” Sugar IS a natural and organic product, that’s true. But there’s no way those muffins could be 100% sugar. Pretty sure they would’ve melted in the oven if that were true. Or at least, they wouldn’t still be pure white. And if they AREN’T baked, then… how are they being held together? I still say they’re just normal muffins with cocaine and/or meth inside them. That’s part of how Farkle’s family is so rich. They’re high-class drug dealers.

Riley says it’s wrong for a company to mislead its customers. She’s not wrong.

Riley’s just disgusted with the whole company now, and wants no more part of it. Farkle doesn’t care and offers to buy Lucas and Maya’s muffin company. Maya’s all on board, but Lucas isn’t sure – he has integrity, right? Maya reminds him that they owe his mother $100 so Lucas changes his mind and takes Farkle up on his offer. Farkle decides the name of this new muffin company will be… “Farkle.” He’s dropped Riley’s name from the company, because he’s dropped HER. Cory explains how the first thing that happens after a merger is downsizing, as viewers of Mad Men may well know.

Farkle tells Lucas his first step is to fire Riley and Maya. When Lucas asks why he has to be the one to do it, Farkle points out he’s got that down-to-earth, folksy, friendly thing going on, so he should be the face of the company while Farkle is the behind-the-scenes guy. So Lucas fires Riley, and she storms out. Maya’s all “If she’s going, I’m going!” which would be a noble thing to say if she wasn’t going to be fired anyway.

Also I love that they both just left during class again. Also, in this case, if they wanted to downsize, they should’ve started with the underlevel employees and not the CEOs, so to speak. But whatever. Farkle’s the only person who knows anything on this show.

Speaking of, Farkle declares they’ll be raising the price of the muffins up to $3 now. When Lucas argues that people won’t be pleased with that, Farkle points out that everyone’s hooked on the muffins so they have no choice. Don’t some drug dealers give you a free one to get you hooked? I’m still not convinced there ISN’T cocaine in those muffins.

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Auggie asks Topanga what she’s doing. Topanga explains that she’s going over some details for a case, and is really touched that Auggie’s genuinely interested. She goes on to say that one company is in trouble for underreporting its earnings and Auggie interrupts after 2 seconds to say “When will it end?!”

Have I mentioned how much I hate Auggie? Because I cannot stand this kid. I would take a hundred Michelle Tanners over this kid, seriously.

The doorbell rings, interrupting Auggie being a huge brat, and he says whatever’s at the door is what he spent his allowance on. Topanga’s surprised, her birthday’s not for a little while yet, and is also curious as to how Auggie managed to order something despite being so young. “Are you a genius and we don’t know it?” she wonders. Haha. No.

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He spent all his money on crappy plastic jewelry for his “girlfriend”, Ava. Ava’s all, “Auggie bought me ALL THIS STUFF because he loves me. What did he buy you?” Topanga explains that her love cannot be bought, and Ava’s just like “Get real, Topanga. Auggie needs a raise in his allowance!” Auggie doesn’t actually get an allowance, but whatever.

Topanga announces they’re going to play hide and seek, and tells Auggie to go hide and count. He does so, and Ava is confused – the person counting doesn’t usually hide. Topanga says this is just a new way of playing, and she’s also got a really great place for Ava to hide – her own house. She picks up Ava and puts her in the hallway.

Auggie finishes counting and comes back into the living room, and stage whispers to ask where Ava is. Topanga just remarks that he sure bought her a lot of shiny stuff. Auggie confirms, explaining that it’s because he loves her. Topanga explains that just because something’s shiny doesn’t mean it’s good, and you shouldn’t have to buy shiny stuff to get someone to love you. Auggiea says all that stuff was expensive, and he has no money left. He wonders who’s going to love him now, and the audience “aaawwwwwwwwww”s at this. Blegh. That scene was a muffin made entirely of sugar. Gross.

Topanga tells Auggie that people don’t always know what’s good for them, and hops he’ll always know what’s good for him. Auggie thinks this hug is nice, and then figures Topanga just threw Ava out again.

What Topanga said is good, but I think Auggie could also have really used a talking to about 1) actually doing things to earn his money, and 2) Topanga gave him that money because she thought he was going to buy her a birthday present. He bought costume jewelry for a 6 year old. He really needs a talking-to about THAT, not about “You don’t have to buy someone’s love!” and “People don’t always know what’s right for them!” I don’t know how this subplot turned into Auggie being sad about how no one’s ever going to love him.

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Riley has a box of stuff and is sad about being fired. …so stupid…

Crazy Hat is on the subway bench, and asks what’s wrong. Maya explains “Class project, fake business.” Crazy Hat’s been fired a lot, and Riley’s all “Not from fake businesses, though.” Crazy Hat says she’s worked at a lot of fake businesses, and she sees people going to and from fake businesses all the time. She excuses herself, because she has a meeting. Maya guesses the meeting is with some squirrels, because I guess Crazy Hat is crazy.

After a commercial break, I guess, Crazy Hat comes back, and talks about her meeting. And I guess she has a building named after her. Maya says, “The Crazy Hat building?” Crazy Hat ignores her and tells Maya and Riley how she just likes to sit and observe people, and tells them to do the same.¬† There are some people running to catch a train or something, because SOME people actually have things they need to do, but this is apparently shameful or something. Some guy walks into the station, soaking wet, and pulls a donut out of his jacket pocket, and Maya’s all “Some people won’t protect themselves from the storm, but they will protect their morning donut.” OOOH, FACED. Sure showed THAT guy who maybe just forgot his umbrella or something. I can tell from observing this conversation that Maya is judgmental and a bit pretentious, personally.

Crazy Hat asks if Maya will bring that observation to class next time, but Maya and Riley aren’t going back. They don’t want to be humiliated again. Okay, I understand that, but you guys are like 12. You HAVE to go back to class. Although I guess it’s not like they’ll be missing anything important, since they apparently only have History and Art class, and never learn any history in history class anyway.

But then Crazy Hat tells them to do a crazy yell and they do and then they decide to go back to class after all.

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Is Maya wearing a Rolling Stones shirt? I know this isn’t the first time she’s worn some sort of classic rock t-shirt. I think Maya’s too cool to hang out with Riley. (Not that not wearing classic rock t-shirts means you aren’t cool, or that liking rock makes you cool).

Maya and Riley came up with a business – what if every subway station in New York were stocked with umbrellas? And it’s a non-profit organization. Farkle is disgusted with a business that can’t make money. “And what good does YOUR business do?” Riley and Maya spit. (They don’t really spit). So right off the bat I can think of at least 3 things wrong with having a non-profit business that provides umbrellas in subway stations, the first being that you’d already be wet by the time you got into the subway station anyway. Also, EVERY subway station in New York? There’s apparently either 421 or 468 subway stations in New York. Good luck stocking ALL of those with non-profit umbrellas.

I mean, I could see this working as an umbrella exchange – like, if you’re expected to bring the umbrellas back when it’s not raining, or if people can just donate umbrellas whenever, but all around, I don’t think this business could work, on that scale, in New York.

I have been in shopping areas that provide umbrellas for free, but they’re clearly marked and you aren’t supposed to leave the premises with them. But obviously not being able to leave the subway with a subway umbrella wouldn’t make sense, since most of the stations are underground anyway.

…ANYWAY, Crazy Hat unexpectedly walks into the classroom. She’s going to invest in the umbrella business. She’s apparently Charmain of the Board of Rand Industries, a building the girls walk by every day. So she gives them a check, tells them to buy some umbrellas and go put them in some subway stations, and “the people will do the rest.”

Riiiiiiiiight.

Then Crazy Hat gives Farkle a dollar, because Maya and Riley previously complained about how crazy he is, and tells Farkle not to keep the dollar, but to pass it on, because that’s the only way that’ll fix him. Riiiiiiiiiight.

Then Crazy Hat goes to leave, and asks Cory if he’s really sure he can really change all these kids’ lives. Cory’s all, “Of course. I’m their teacher.” He’s done exactly zero teaching in this episode, and has barely done any in any of the other episodes, but okay. Or should I say, riiiiiiiiiight.

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Lucas wants to help with the umbrella company, Maya tells him he’s fired, and then she and Riley leave. AGAIN.

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The umbrella business is doing wonders for these obviously not wet, middle class people. I’m sure there’s some real homeless people who could use those umbrellas but whatever.

This episode was UGH. I’ve said enough already. I guess I’ll just add that, once again, the moral for this episode seemed to have nothing to do with anything. Nobody really learned a lesson about the issue of homelessness, despite Riley freaking out about possibly having to live in a subway station; nobody learned about not judging a book by its cover, with them assuming someone was homeless but it turns out she owns a company; I already complained about the Auggie subplot being stupid; And I think worst of all, we didn’t really learn that there can be a compromise between having a business that helps people and a business that makes a profit. Farkle’s business was really profitable,¬† as a result of feeding children pure sugar. Lucas’s muffins were really healthy and good for you, and made no profit, and at the end we have a business that¬† helps people but is entirely a non-profit. It IS possible to make money while not being an awful company.

And also, which I think is ACTUALLY the worst of all, we learned that Riley learning a life lesson is indeed more important than all these other kids learning history. Thanks, Mr. Matthews!

I give his a “gnag gnag gnag fuhTIIIIING” out of 10.

 

BMW: 322 – Brother Brother; May 17, 1996

Well I come back after a really long hiatus to bring you… the season finale!

When we last left Boy Meets World, Cory stalked Topanga in Disney World, and they got back together after learning about a lonely dolphin.

So now it’s the end of the school year. Eric’s cleaning out his locker, when Turner and Eli show up. As a sort of graduation present, they’re giving Eric back all of his confiscated items.

Like his giant underpants:

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And his Mr. Feeny puppet.

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That thing is adorable.

Feeny, the real Feeny, shows up and asks “What are you doing with this ridiculous thing?” Eric explains it’s just a puppet, but Feeny clarifies he was actually talking to the puppet.

Feeny asks Eric about his summer/college plans. Eric’s still waiting to hear from his last school, and is planning on driving to all 50 states over the summer. When Feeny asks how he’s planning on driving to Hawaii, Eric explains he’ll keep going straight til people start talking Chinese, then make a u-turn. You wanna know something weird, I’ve seen more Hawaii license plates than I’ve seen of most other states, despite never having been in Hawaii. I understand they have car ferries that go to and from Hawaii, but I’ve seen Hawaii plates on the EAST coast. Weird.

We pan over to Cory and Topanga. They’re excited to be back together, but Topanga’s leaving soon to go to an all-girl summer camp, and so the two of them won’t be together for much longer. Cory pretends to be happy for Topanga, but after she leaves, he reveals that he is sad.

So Mr. Feeny offers to give him some history homework to cheer him up.

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Puppet-Feeny.

Eric’s sorry that Topanga’s going to be gone for a long time, but it has nothing to do with him. Eric’s only got one week left at home, and wants the two of them to make it count, “just like old times.” He walks off, and Cory is left to wonder to himself, “What old times?”

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It turns out Shawn is also going to be gone for 2 months, traveling with his dad to find his mom.

Cory announces to his family that his plan for the summer is to get a job selling American flags outside the Olympic village in Atlanta. His parents say no to this, of course, so Cory says he now has no plans for the summer.

Eric’s about to map out his cross-country journey for the family, so they invite Cory to sit and listen, but Cory’s not interested. Cory and Eric get into an argument, Eric basically calling Cory boring, and Cory saying that Eric always leaves whenever something or someone good comes along, too busy to give Cory a ride to school or whatever.

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His parents, feasting on popcorn made of Styrofoam, tell Cory to cheer up, the summer won’t be that bad! Thanks, parents.

Cory goes upstairs,w here Eric’s packing up. Cory complains about the mess that’s been left on his bed.

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Eric tells Cory he’s lucky, he’ll have the whole room to himself in just a week, and Cory’s all “I already had the room all to myself!” The gist is, Cory feels like they’ve never bonded as brothers. I just saved you like 2 minutes of dialogue.

Then they start wrestling. Alan and Amy are just in time to break up the fight. Amy tries to have them get along, saying it’s their last week together! Eric says he’s sick of this, and is going to leave tomorrow.

Where’s he gonna go? He has no job. He hasn’t been accepted to college yet, and even if he was, the dorms wouldn’t be open to him yet. Which brings me to another complaint: He’s packing up ALL his stuff. I hate when fictional characters do that. I definitely didn’t have enough room in my dorm for even half of my stuff from home. And I still had to come home for winter and summer break, so it didn’t make sense to pack up EVERYTHING. Even for the kids who get apartments while they’re in college, why wouldn’t you leave some of your stuff at your parents’ house? Until you have a real job and a more comfortable living arrangement? Why pack up EVERYTHING from your childhood home, the week you graduate from high school?

I mean, luckily for Eric, all that’s in his part of the room is some CDs and a jersey or something.

Anyway, Amy tries to encourage Eric to stay by revealing they had this big going-away dinner planned for him. He says he’ll stay an extra day if they can move the dinner to tomorrow. Alan says they’ll think about it, and in the meantime Eric can figure out what’s bothering Cory. Eric says he’s shared a room with Cory for 15 years and he has no idea. Alan says that’s probably part of the problem. OOOOOH.

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They have Eric’s going away dinner at Chubbie’s. They invited Feeny, Eli, Turner, Shawn, and Topanga. Why, is anyone’s guess.

But Feeny has some words of wisdom for Eric, as well as his framed high school diploma. Alan asks Cory if he has anything to say, but Cory doesn’t.

Eric holds his diploma proudly, saying that it’s a symbol of his intelligence, and belongs just as much to everyone else in the room, as it “belongs to I.” “Me,” Feeny corrects him. “I included you,” replies Eric.

Then Cory gets up to give a speech. “To my brother Eric, who’s moving out. And not just for four years, but probably forever. And I don’t even know him. And now I never will. 15 years, Eric. 15 years. Goodbye. I hope you have a nice life, I really do. Sorry, everyone,” and he leaves.

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Eric’s preparing to leave. Alan tells him that Cory slept on the couch last night, out of embarrassment. Despite the awkwardness, Eric goes to find him to say goodbye. But he’s not there. Amy figures he went to the park to say goodbye to Topanga.

Eric and the parents talk about how it’s always been kind of weird – Eric’s the older brother, always with the girlfriends and whatnot. Eric says that’s not his fault that he was older, and they point out that it’s not Cory’s fault that he was the younger one. The 3 year age difference was a lot when they were in school, but maybe now they can try to be friendlier, especially since Cory’s two friends will be gone for the whole summer… and they didn’t mention it, but Eric doesn’t appear to have friends at all.

Morgan comes downstairs to give Eric her old teddy bear. Aww. Then there’s a tearful goodbye between all four of them, and Eric finally leaves.

Out the front door. Even though the garage is on the side of the house.

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Topanga’s not sure she wants to go to camp. She wonders if she’s maybe getting too old for camp, since last year, she couldn’t wait to go, and now she just wants to stay with Cory. Shawn shows up to say goodbye, and Topanga’s bus to camp arrives. So she and Shawn say goodbye, before they leave on their respective adventures. Cory’s left alone and sad with a basketball and a lady feeding pigeons.

Cory plays basketball by himself, throwing the ball, only for Eric to catch it.

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Cory apologizes for the way he’s been acting. He was just starting to get to know Eric, as a friend, so he’s pretty bummed, and he says that’s why he’s been acting out weird. He also reveals that he took Eric’s letter from his last school out of the mail. It’s a thin envelope, which doesn’t usually mean anything on tv shows, but in real life, means it was a rejection – because an acceptance letter comes with a school catalogue.

So now Eric’s bummed, since every school has no rejected him. He admits he was at fault, though, having slacked off for almost all of his time in high school. Cory tries to reassure, tell him to just apply to more schools. Eric’s all “sure, whatever” and then… invites Cory to go on his road trip with him!

Yay!

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During the credits, Eric talks about their road trip schedule some. Feeny tells them to be sure to stay a while in Boston. Cory assumes he means visiting the bar from Cheers, but Feeny of course means all the historical sites. Alan reminds Eric that they’re supposed to be looking at colleges, and as Eric heads out the door he says, “yeah, sure, Memphis State, Ball State, Uhhh State…”

In the back yard, Cory’s a little miffed. He doesn’t want to spend his whole summer looking at colleges. He’s only 15, he wants fun stuff to do. Eric tells him not to worry, and shows him his REAL list of landmarks to visit – it’s all a list of famous beach locations, such as those typical visited by Spring Breakers. The boys celebrate, and head off into next season.

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This episode was… okay. Of course we’ve seen before that Eric and Cory aren’t best friends, that’s reasonable. And I liked that, even though Cory’s reactions in the first part of the episode seemed uncharacteristically over the top, it got toned down as the episode went on, with him explaining why he was upset. Because, that kind of stuff happens! You just suddenly ramp up to being WAY upset about something you didn’t even realize was bothering you that much.

I think this episode could’ve been better, like maybe if there’d been more of a build-up to it.¬† But, still, it works. After all, in the last episode, we had Eric going out of his way to cover for Cory while he was in Florida. I think that kind of stuff is what Cory meant when he said he was just getting to like Eric as a friend and not just a brother.

Anyway, that was season 3. Season 4’s got a whole host of really wacky episodes, and like four serious ones. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take me 8 months to start season 4! *sob*

GMW: 109, “Girl Meets 1961”; September 19, 2014

(Note: I originally started writing this a few days after the episode originally aired, but the video player I was using kept crashing, and I just gave up for that day. And didn’t feel like going back to reviewing for a really long time after that.)

I have a feeling this episode is going to be stupid yet vaguely heartwarming.

That’s actually a pretty decent description of the series so far, although “stupid” might be too harsh a word.

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Now they’re doing a unit on the 1960s even though they were just talking about Ancient Greece in the last episode. Even if the airing order is different from the writing/filming order, it’s still so… stupid.

Everyone is class is totes bored by the 60s, and also they think Cory is like 50 years old. Maya says Cory should teach a unit on the future because history has nothing to do with them. Gawd, shut up, Maya. I so hate these “But what does the PAST have to do with ME?” plotlines and then everyone learns a very valuable lesson in the end and blahblahblah. I mean first of all, Maya, you have to learn this stuff because it’s in the curriculum, and if you don’t learn it, you’ll be stuck in 7th grade forever.

Cory snaps his chalk in rage, because they don’t have a markerboard in this class for some reason. Cory says that history is important because every decision they’ve made in the past affects their futures, and he wants all of them to travel to the 60s to learn about it themselves. Farkle, awed, says, “Time travel,” because he doesn’t know about that time his dad discovered how to Quantum Leap.

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Riley’s all “Dad we can’t go back to the 60s, we weren’t there!” Cory says they were there, because they all had grandparents or great-grandparents who were alive then, and they have to discover what life was like for one of them back in the 60s. Although I think the whole reasoning for this being an assignment is stupid (the 60s were actually really interesting! Tell them about it, Cory!), I have to say, the assignment itself is pretty cool. I imagine it’d be pretty difficult for some of the kids to do completely – for instance, if I was in that class, I’d be in big trouble because all my grandparents and great-grandparents are dead, but my mom was alive in the 60s so I guess I could use her for a resource.

The scene immediately changes to Greenwich Village, 1961.

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That looks like Chubbie’s. Hm.

Riley and Farkle appear, as beatniks. Because that’s all there was in the 60s. Just beatniks and snapping.

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From what I’ve seen of Leave It to Beaver, I think that drink menu is still absurdly cheap even for the 1960s.

To the show’s credit, Riley’s hair does actually look decently accurate. Riley and Farkle say a lot of stupid Beatnik-y things I’m sure nobody ever actually said back then. Riley orders a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream because she’s dangerous, and says her name is Rosie McGee. Farkle, who introduces himself as Ginsberg – although unfortunately not Ruth Bader Ginsberg – takes her photo. Rosie asks Ginsberg if they’d met before, and Ginsberg replies “Haven’t we all?”

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This is so stupid. And not funny-stupid like when Cory went back to the 50s because of a faulty microwave.

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Farkle/Ginsberg reads a poem which is not great, but better than 80% of the poetry I’ve seen on deviantart and tumblr, so that’s okay.

After his poem, Rosie shows her some of what she’s written. He thinks it’s good stuff, and then asks what she’s doing there. She’s there ot make new friends, apparently. Ginsberg points out two groups – a table with Bob and Joan, or a blonde girl sitting all by herself, because she’s also new in town. Ginsberg says –

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WAIT, WHAT? SHAWN DIRECTED THIS EPISODE??

???

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Well anyway, blonde girl. Rosie says she has a very interesting look, and asks if she’s as interesting as she looks. What a weird, vaguely offensive thing to say. Blonde girl is Maya in a wig, and she looks like a combination of Emily Browning and a gelfling.

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I mean that in a nice way, but seriously that wig looks like they took it from a gelfling.

I’ll bet you my Jamaican timeshare that blonde girl turns out to be Topanga’s mom, whose name was Chloe for two episodes and then changed to Rhiannon later on.

I think Rosie/Riley is supposed to be Audrey Hepburn, also.

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We cut to present day Greenwich Village. The kids are eating in the Blakery, which is my new name for it since the real name is too long and I thought that was a funny mistake I made a few reviews ago. Riley has a guitar and a crazy journal that belonged to her great-grandmother, Rosie. All right, so, it’s not clear how old Rosie was supposed to be in the 1961 setting, since she was being played by a 12 year old girl. But let’s see: Cory was 11 or 12 in 1993. So he was born around 1981. Eric is maybe three years older than him, depending on which season it is, so he would’ve been born around 1979. Their parents, therefore, would have to have been just born in 1961 AT THE LATEST. From what Amy and Alan have said in various BMW episodes, though, it’s more likely that they were probably at least around 6 years old in 1961, and certainly Topanga’s parents would be fitting the same timeline. So obviously Rosie, being the mother of Amy, Jedediah, or Chloe/Rhiannon (Alan’s mom is named Bernice so Rosie can’t be his mom), would have to have been in her 20s in 1961. In her mid-20s and going to a beatnik hangout to order hot chocolate and make friends and pretend to be cool.

Also I see I was probably wrong about Maya’s Blonde Girl character being Topanga’s mom, if she knew Riley’s great-grandmother, so I guess I owe you all a Jamaican timeshare. Joke’s on you because I never had one to begin with.

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Lucas explains that his father is sending something that belonged to his great-grandfather. They don’t talk about the great-grandfather much, because his name was Merlin. Farkle thinks that’s funny, and Lucas says, “Okay, Farkle Minkus, what was your great-grandfather’s name?” Do these characters know that they ought to have more than one great-grandparent? I understand it would be tedious if they kept explaining “My great-grandfather, my mother’s father’s father”, but still. It’s weird. Most people in larger countries these days have four great-grandfathers. Also it’s really weird because I’m not much older than these characters, but all of my great-grandparents were born in the late 1800s/early 1900s, but it seems like these character’s great-grandparents were only born in the 40s or so.

So basically, there’s an entire generation between my great-grandparents and theirs, even though there’s not a generation between me and these characters.

Long story short, Farkus’s one and only great-grandfather was named Ginsberg. ZOMG JUST LIKE IN THE FANTASY FLASHBACK.

Maya’s looking at an art book. She’s impressed and depressed because she’ll never do anything that great. Ah hey here’s a great moment where Cory should pop up out of nowhere and be like “THAT ART BOOK. IT’S HISTORY. YOU SAID HISTORY WASN’T IMPORTANT. LOOK AT IT.”

Maya’s so saddened by the art book that she leaves it in the cafe. Yo okay Maya, I took 6 quarters of art history classes, and while I certainly understand you feeling like you have nothing interesting to “say” through your art, you really shouldn’t feel bad about not having the art skillz like all those old dead guys. Painters during the Renaissance didn’t seem to understand where breasts were actually located on the body. I totally get the monks and stuff getting it a little off, but it’s like some of these painters literally never a saw a woman in their entire lives. Also, babies. Nobody apparently knew what babies looked like.

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Also what does Maya’s lack of confidence have to do with anything?

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We go back to 1961. Blonde girl, whose name is May, was on her way to California until her bus broke down. She’s trying to get to some hippie paradise where people make art and write music and probably smoke a lot of dope. She’s traveling to Topanga Canyon, and Rosie writes this down, remarking that it’s a lovely name for something you want to love, which is a weird statement but we all know why it’s in there. Also, fun fact – Topanga Canyon is a real place, and our Topanga was named for it. But May better hurry because there’s a really bad fire that’s going to burn down a chunk of Topanga Canyon in November 1961.

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May is announced onto the stage, and she sings what might be an original song. It’s a pretty good song, and Sabrina Carpenter has a good voice. All right. Also the Bob that was mentioned earlier as being in the cafe is Bob Dylan.

Then a man all outfitted in black, carrying a guitar, goes on stage. It turns out to be Merlin Scoggins, Lucas’s great-grandfather. Talk about your coincidences. Back in the present day, Lucas is doing his presentation and apparently Merlin sold a hit record back in the day. All of the civil rights and political turmoil that was going on in the 60s, but I’m sure glad we get to know that Lucas’s great-grandfather lived through selling a hit record.

Lucas explains that he kept this information from Maya to avoid getting more stupid nicknames. Maya says she’s so impressed with Lucas’s cool background, that she’s throwing out those nicknames forever, and is now going to call him Bucky McBoingBoing instead. Calling people stupid and mean nicknames against their wishes is hilarious!

Riley then does her presentation, because she and Lucas are presenting at the same time for some reason. As near as Riley can tell, her great-grandmother Rosie was a wide-eyed optimist who only saw the good in everyone. Yeah, okay, but I thought Cory said you were supposed to examine the 60s through the eyes of your great-grandparents, not that you were just supposed to talk about the kinds of people they were. Think if Lucas’s great-granddad had been a real person, how cool would it have been to learn how he struggled with breaking into the music business as an old-timey Texan in New York? Not just “Oh he had a record deal, that was cool.”

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Oh.

Lucas then plays Merlin’s old record because Riley’s presentation was only that 5 second sentence. We flash back to 1961 again. Rosie flirts with Merlin, and I was hoping it would turn out they actually got married and Lucas and Riley were actually second cousins. Merlin’s a little weirded out by Rosie, though, and goes to hit the road, but not before wishing Rosie and May luck. May echoes Maya’s earlier out of nowhere attitude by saying she’ll title her new song “I”m Nowhere Near As Good as You Two”. That’s stupid because Rosie didn’t even sing anyway, and Merlin’s song was terrible.¬† May – oh hey, May and Maya! I just got that –¬† tells Merlin that at least he had something to say when he sung. Merlin replies “Yeah, but you only know that because I got up there and said it.” He tips his hat and leaves. That was actually a really good line. What’s with this show?

[Note: This is where the video crashed before, so everything after this point was written 6 months after the previous part.]

May leaves the cafe forever after assuring Rosie she’ll be “right back.” Back in present-day, Riley says that Rosie never saw May again. Then Lucas says that people thought his grandfather was going to change the world after that one hit record, but he “made some bad choices, and went to jail for a little while.” Lucas decides he went bad because he needed better friends.

Riley then reads a poem Rosie wrote. It’s about “the girl with the long blonde hair” who needs to believe in herself. Maya astutely guesses that Riley actually wrote the poem, but Riley says she just continued it. She’s a continuation of Rosie, after all. Then Riley drops the bombshell that Rosie was her maternal great-grandmother – Rosie gave birth to Chloe/Rhiannon, who had Topanga, who had Riley. Trippy. This actually works a little better than her being Amy’s mother, as I was complaining about earlier – since Amy would’ve had to have been born in 1961 to give birth to Eric in 1979, which would make her 18 even though she didn’t get together with Alan until she was older so she would’ve been born in the 1950s. I don’t remember if they ever say when Chloe/Rhiannon and Jedediah got together, but also since Topanga is their only child (I mean, since Nebula was only mentioned the one time, I think she doesn’t really exist) it’s easier to accept Rosie would’ve been single and childless in 1961.

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Riley gives Maya a guitar. The guitar’s been in the family for 50 years, and is giving it to Maya so she learns to never give up. Maya sings a song full of the stupid nicknames she’s given Lucas.

Later, Maya heads back to the Blakery to pick up her art book, because she decides it’s important after all.

Later-er, Riley brings Topanga into her room to sit on her window seat, which really excites Topanga. Apparently she rarely if ever gets to sit on the special window seat. Riley called her in to have her look at one of Rosie’s journal entries. “Topanga – what a beautiful name for something you want to love.” D’awww.

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At class the next day, the bell rings and Farkle bolts in. He’s giving his presentation. He found a photo of his great-grandfather working at his cafe, and then asks Lucas and Riley if they know the year and month they were in New York, and what cafe they preformed in. They’re both stunned when they give the same answers to each question – 1961, December, and Cafe Hey. So, a couple points. 1, 2e already knew all this. 2, as I pointed out earlier, a good chunk of Topanga Canyon burned down in November 1961, so May’s gonna have a hard time visiting it if she left in December 1961. 3, Cafe Hey is a reference to an actual cafe that was founded in 1961, Cafe Wha.

Farkle asks Maya what she found out about her own great-grandmother. Maya replies that her mother told her to just forget doing any research. Farkle figures she did some snooping behind her mother’s back, Maya denies this, Farkle says “Come on, what was her name?” Maya pauses and then says “May Clutterbucket.”

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Lucas is thrilled that now he has a stupid name he can call Maya. Farkle’s excited because all of their great-grandparents met on the exact same night. I mean, again, they should actually all have eight great-grandparents each, it would be cool if they weren’t acting like Ginsberg, Rosie, May, and Merlin were their only great-grandparents.

Riley figures out that Maya’s great-grandmother May is the same one who was friends with Rosie, but Maya points out that they weren’t friends. May left. Maya comes from a long line of people who give up on on things, she says. Cory tells her that this is her chance to change history – learn from the past.

Farkle rolls in a tv stand.

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Schools are getting flat screen tvs now?? Sheesh. But they still have a chalkboard.

Farkle says it was hard to research his great-grandfather because he wasn’t in any of the photos from Cafe Hey, because he was the one taking the photos. That is the dumbest sentence in this whole episode. You know what’s even dumber? If these people were in the late teens/early 20s in 1961, they could very well still be alive right now! You know, it’s hard for me to research my great-grandparents, because they were born 100 years ago, and are long-dead. All these people were alive in the 1960s but it’s super hard to get any research on them? Did any of them just ask their grandparents?? Oy, sheesh. Anyway, it doesn’t make sense that Farkle had a hard time doing research because there weren’t many photos of Ginsberg. There aren’t many photos of Ancient Greece, and yet we can still research Ancient Greece.

Anyway he has a photo of Merlin, Rosie, and May sitting together. It transitions to be one of Lucas, Riley, and Maya.

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The next day, Riley, Lucas, Maya, and Farkle are all in class early because they’ve decided that history is interesting. I’m not sure why. I mean, learning that they each had a great-grandparent who were all in the same place at the same time and were even photographed together is pretty cool, but knowing that, I wouldn’t be like “Oh yeah! The 1960s were so cool!” They didn’t actually learn anything about the 1960s at all, for one thing.

But they ask where they’re “going next” and Cory recites the beginning of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, which is a good speech but totally irrelevant to anything that happened in the episode. Then Cory’s just like “The ’60s, man!” and that’s the end of the episode.

They should’ve made this take place in the last 60s and sneak in some Wonder Years homages, since Fred Savage was in that show, and Fred is Ben Savage (Cory)’s brother. Ben Savage was actually in an episode of The Wonder Years, actually. ben and fred 1

This review only took 10 months to write and post.

Step By Step: 522 and 523, “We’re Going to Disney World, parts 1 and 2”; May 3 and May 10, 1996

Apparently I never actually posted this! Remember when I said there was going to be a Disney Week? Ha. I wrote this 7 months ago, wow.

Now, I explained in the BMW Disney episode about how Disney basically forced all of ABC’s shows to visit Disney World, after Disney bought ABC, specifically to advertise for the parks, and this is something that is still happening, although not as often (and Modern Family still seems to be the only show to go to Disneyland, although I might be wrong.). I also mentioned in the BMW review that one character from THIS show showed up and talked to Cory, so that’s why I’m doing Step By Step right now. And also as i may have mentioned, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen this show before, and if I have, I haven’t seen it since it was originally airing 20 years ago.

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The show immediately begins with a visit from grandma [not pictured]. She’s decided to give everyone and advance on their inheritance. One of the sons is super excited to get all that money from grandma, but she says they’re not getting squat until she dies. But she IS treating everyone to a trip during the first week of summer vacation. I WONDER WHERE THE TRIP WILL BE TO??

Sidebar: I’m assuming, based on the title and the fact that there’s like 6 kids all the same age, that this show is like The Brady Bunch in that there’s a man and his family living all alone, and a lovely lady with a hair of gold and whatever, and they remarried. So they’re all a step-family. I’m not being bothered to look it up.

Dad and Mom don’t want to go because Dad is treating Mom to a romantic bed-and-breakfast weekend to celebrate their anniversary. So apparently none of the kids can go on the trip even though most of them are like 16. BOO. They’re especially upset when Grandma reveals the trip is to Walt Disney World. SHOCKER.

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The one boy who was excited for grandma to croak tells the parents they’re too old to have sex anyway. Grandma says it’s only fair, if the parents have other plans, for them to decide, so either EVERYONE goes on the trip, or the parents can go on their anniversary thing. Boy, if only the kids were old enough to travel on their own, or if only Disney World wasn’t open just that one week every year.

StepByStepDisney_0002_Layer 3Surprise, they go to Disney World! Look at that Mickey Mouse hot air balloon.

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So they start unpacking, and then Eric Matthews’s best friend shows up.

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Apparently he’s a different character on this show, which is confusing since apparently Boy Meets World and Step By Step exist in the same universe. Or maybe they ARE the same character and this explains Jason’s disappearance from BMW.

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Some other kid shows up to return a hammer he borrowed to Dad. Apparently he drove 500 miles. To return the hammer. Mom and Dad – whose name is Frank – agree to let Jason and Hammerkid stay with them in the resort room even though they’re already over-crowded with like 9 people in there already. That was kind of a dickish move on Grandma’s part to give them this trip but not get at least two hotel rooms for them. I mean they have a decent-sized suite, but there’s ONE bedroom in it. And there’s like 9 people. And Grandma’s staying in a condo, away from them. WTF Grandma.

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Well, points to this show for featuring the boats. Hey, fun fact – there’s actually several docks in Epcot’s World Showcase where you can get on a boat and go to a different park or lodging area. They’re sort of tucked back so a lot of people don’t know about them.

Anyway, plaid-shirt girl is gushing about the Disney rides, including “the haunted house” and how it’s so “so funny when you sit there.” She then continues to say something about a different ride, I think, but I’m too angry at the “haunted house” thing. It’s the Haunted Mansion. Get it right.

Dark-haired girl cuts her¬† off to gush about how Prince Charming is such a hunk. And she wants to “party in his castle.” Plaid girl thinks that’s ridiculous, because he’s only a cartoon character, and she’d rather go for a real man – like “the guy who runs the jungle ride.” Right. That ONE guy on “the jungle ride.” I can’t tell if she’s just ridiculous or if the show writers have never been to Disney World before. Or were afraid they’d be breaking copyright by actually referring to things correctly on the show??

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I’ve just realized there was no picture of plaidgirl or dark-haired girl. OOPS.

One of the two geeky sons tells hammer guy about how some guy from the Russian Republic of Uzbekistan broke records for visiting “every attraction in the park in just under four days.”I was going to say how referring to it as the “Russian Republic of Uzbekistan” dates the show, but this was in 1996, several years after Uzbekistan gained independence from Russia. Hammer kid is outraged by this (the record-breaking, not the factual error), and wants to win back the record for America. All right, so, a few questions: What do they mean by “the park”? Just Magic Kingdom? Or all of Disney World? And of course, what does “attraction” refer to? Just the rides and shows? Do parades and fireworks count? Because, I mean, if it’s JUST Magic Kingdom, that would be super easy to accomplish. If you’re really dedicated and the lines are short enough, you can visit everything in one day. If it’s the ENTIRETY of Disney World, well…

Mom tells Frank that Grandma agreed to watch the baby, so the two of them can ride Peter Pan’s Flight together. Frank correctly points out that’s a kiddie ride, but Mom tells him it’s a ride in the dark, so they’re going to get frisky or something. So, like, first of all, ew. Second, they heavily monitor these rides specifically to make sure stuff like that doesn’t happen. Third, EW. Fourth, okay, the thing with Peter Pan’s Flight is that for most of the ride, you’re being suspended in mid-air, so I imagine it would be obvious, if not DANGEROUS, if you were doing anything inappropriate in the car. FIFTH, the Haunted Mansion is also a dark ride, but it’s a much longer one, so seems like it would be the more appropriate place to get it on.

SIXTH, if all the kids are in the park, and grandma’s watching the baby, why don’t they just go back to the hotel to do it?

Well, anyway, grandma can’t watch the baby, because she has a date. WHA-WHA. Now, I don’t know if they had this service back in 1996, but today in Disney World you can actually hire a babysitter who will either watch the kid in your room, or travel with you throughout the parks. Easy solution. I mean it wouldn’t work for them right then because you have to give 24 hour notice, but… why didn’t they just leave the baby at home with a sitter? Ehn. Oh well.

Frank is displeased by this turn of events, and is even more unhappy when all the kids give all their bags to him to hold. Oddly, one of them gives him his camera and another gives him his poncho, which are both things you should carry with you in the parks.

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Now, again, I don’t know if they had this in 1996, but today you can actually rent lockers at each park to store your stuff in so you don’t have to carry around all this stuff with you all day. This is a great solution if you’re there during cooler parts of the year, so you can stuff your coats in the locker later in the day, or you can keep a backpack of food in there so you don’t have to buy any from Disney (for real, Disney’s actually totally cool with people bringing food in, as long as it’s in an appropriate container – like I forget if you can use coolers, or if there’s a size limit, but I’ve definitely been in the parks with granola bars before. You could definitely get away with bring a sandwich. I know someone brought in a whole loaf of bread once).

I don’t know how this recap turned into an ad for Disney Parks services. Oh well.

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Jason and… other kid are walking around Adventureland, Jason singing “Yo-ho, a Pirate’s Life For Me,” confusing the words with “we something and pillage and pieces of eight”. I laughed, that was actually quite funny. Jason tells kid who wanted grandma to croak that the dog with the keys on the ride is totally real. Kid, who obviously shops at the same store as Shawn Hunter, gets distracted by some bodacious babes.

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Well hello JoAnna Garcia-Swisher! She and her friend are lost and don’t know where to eat. Jason and 3 Shirts kid tell them that there’s seafood, Italian, and Chinese. I’m almost positive there are none of those things in Magic Kingdom, and there weren’t in 1996 either. They also mention Pinetta’s, and the girls get under the impression that either 3 Shirts owns Pinetta’s. He goes on to say his family owns it, in fact they own everything, and he introduces himself as J.T. Disney. Jason is confounded by this display of audacity.

3 Shirts is actually Eric, and Jason is Jason. (Okay it’s J.T. and Rich, but I prefer 3 Shirts and Jason).

3 Shirts introduces Jason as his business associate, and Jason pulls him aside to talk to him. They don’t have the money to treat anyone to an expensive restaurant! But 3 Shirts reminds him that you have to spend money to make money.

After a commercial break, the four kids leave the restaurant, with JoAnna Garcia asking why that waiter laughed when they called 3 Shirts “Mr. Disney.” Apparently all of the waiters in Disney World are able to completely identify every member of the extended Disney family. Because it’s not like Walt and Roy are the ONLY people with the last name of Disney. Really.

Anyway, 3 Shirts asks the girls where they want to go next, and the one who isn’t JoAnna Garcia says they’d like to go to Epcot. I sure hope they have a parkhopper pass, then. She thinks they can catch the bus from where they are, but 3 Shirts has a limo arranged.

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Why don’t they just take the monorail? It would be WAY faster, and it dumps you right outside the entrance of Epcot. Unless Pinetta’s isn’t actually in the Magic Kingdom?? I guess it would have to be outside Magic Kingdom since they generally don’t let limousines drive around inside the park. And according to my research, there never was such a restaurant on Disney property. There IS a Pinetta’s in Baton Rouge, though. Maybe they just took a REALLY LONG drive.

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The kid on the bench is named Flash. The two geeky sons find Flash and tell him off for slacking, but Flash has already got on 23 rides and it’s only 2 o’clock! But some other, foreign guy did an absurd amount of stuff in the park, has the record or whatever, so I guess Flash is determined to be like him or break his record or something, and is concerned about how he can accomplish so much in only four days. He declares this to¬† be the worst thing that’s happened to America since Roseanne sang the national anthem. Man, 1996 really was a simpler, happier time. Also boy did that reference not age well.

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Glasses kid says they’ll hold Flash’s place in all the lines, and tells Flash to “activate his cell phone” and they’ll keep in contact with him from “ride central.”

There’s a montage of him going on rides and meeting characters and doing stuff, and not ONE person was Cory in disguise.

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Is it actually the law that every Disney episode of anything has to feature a shot of someone riding the Dumbo ride?

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This show is weird.

Also the black-haired geek kid is saving Flash’s place in line, and by that I mean he actually just lets Flash cut in line because black-haired geek ALSO gets on the ride rather than switching out with Flash.

Flash heads over to Epcot at the end of the day.

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Where’s Cory and Topanga??

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So later on, the parents are making out in the bedroom, and 3 Shirts asks if he can crash in their room because the sofa bed is too small for all the people on it. The geeky sons come in because Jason snores too loud. Then Jason comes in because he was lonely. That’s the whole scene.

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The girls are walking around Pleasure Island. They spot some cute guys and the shorter girl is like “oooh I see why they call it Pleasure Island.” Haha she’s horny, that’s hilarious.

Some guy in a sandwich board hands them a flier. There’s a Country Music Contest the next day. Back-up band provided. The winner receives a $500 college scholarship! Dark-haired girl thinks this could be her big break!

What a weird thing to be hosted in Disney World with like no information given on it beforehand.

Dana doesn’t want to participate, until some cowboys tip their hats to her.

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No fault there, I’d agree to anything if there were cowboys around.

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3 Shirts gives their lady-friends some stuffed animals and asks them out that night. They agree, and leave for somewhere. The Dumbo one asks JoAnna Garcia if she thinks that guy is REALLY J.T. Disney. JoAnna Garcia doesn’t care, she’s just happy this trip isn’t costing them any money.

Meanwhile, Jason asks 3 Shirts how much he’s been spending. See, he’s using money out of their apartment fund, and Jason is worried they might not have anything left. And indeed, they’ve only got $11 left. The episode ends with Jason being angry.

So I wonder if in Part 2, if the parents having to take care of the baby will actually come up at all?

Part 2

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Flash is waiting in line for the Indiana Jones stunt spectacular, and some little kid is also waiting, and has been waiting ALL WEEK for this. But this guy comes out and says the show is postponed until 2 pm. The little kid asks his dad if they can come back, but apparently by then his family will be on a plane back home. The little kid’s super upset, because he wanted to save Indy for his very last attraction, and now he can’t see it at all! Man, kid, that’s your fault. You can complain to me when you go to Disney on your birthday only to find your favorite ride is closed for renovations. Or when you move away from the Southeast, and end up too poor to visit Disney often, only to then find out that they’re turning the Maelstrom into a Frozen ride, completely redoing Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride, and replacing some other stuff with you not having a chance to visit the rides one last time before they get changed. *sigh~*

Flash won’t stand for this injustice, and asks to talk to the suit guy.¬† Apparently he convinces suit guy to let him take place of Indiana Jones, since the regular guy is… out.

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Oh boy, THERE’S something that would NEVER HAPPEN. I mean, Disney’s not going to just let some kid off the street participate in a stunt show as the lead with no training whatsoever. Also I’m sure they have understudies or something for these kinds of incidents.

There’s an extended sequence that’s just Flash going through the stunt show. It’s pretty obvious by now, if it wasn’t during the ride montage from Part 1, that Flash’s subplot is pretty much entirely to serve as an advertising showcase for the park. Pretty much every scene is like “Look how cool this is! Come here!”

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The girls are practicing in the condo. Luckily someone thought to bring their guitar on vacation with them! The shorter, horny girl wants to take a break, but the dark-haired girl wants them to keep practicing for the next 6 hours until the contest starts. Shorter girl doesn’t want to spend her whole vacation there in the condo, she wants to at least eat some lunch, but dark-haired girl is like “I’m the leader of this band, I say when we eat.” Dana and shorter girl look at each other as seen in the above screenshot, and basically tell her that they aren’t going to participate if she’s going to be like this.

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Dark-haired girl tells them that they’re just back-up singers anyway, and shorter girl tells her she can just “take this job and shove it” then. I don’t blame them, I mean she’s being rude for one thing, but for another, the prize was only ONE $500 scholarship. You can’t split a scholarship three ways.

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The immediate next scene is the talent search. Dark-haired girl is conveniently the first contestant. The back-up band starts, and she just looks around nervously. The host asks her if she’s okay, and she runs off the stage. The other girls feel bad and chase after her. She says she’s not cut out to be a singer after all, but the other girls convince her to perform, and says they’ll be her back-up singers even though she treated them like dirt. That’s really great that they literally just brought up that problem in the last scene and it’s resolved already.

The host guy lets dark-haired girl sing even though she ran off the stage and that’s got to screw up the scheduling. She’s not a particularly good singer – she’s not awful, but the girl who was singing after she ran off the stage was way better. Also I could swear I had a Barbie outfit just like the one dark-haired girl is wearing.

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Jason bumps into 3 Shirts at MGM Studios, they argue, and Flash runs by 3 Shirts. They head to the Tower of Terror together.

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You sure don’t see MGM Studios very often on these shows. The guys talk while on the ride, and it’s great how they have footage of it. Because the ride is basically an elevator, there’s no way to tell that it’s moving at all, so it looks like they’re sitting absolutely still while talking. THRILLING.

But Flash thinks 3 Shirts is being a jerk, and 3 Shirts admits that Jason is his only friend, so he decides to make up with Jason. 3 Shirts catches up with Jason, and reveals that he cashed in his plane ticket and is going to take the bus back home with Jason.

  1. 3 Shirts somehow cashed in the plane ticket that he didn’t purchase himself in between riding Tower of Terror and finding Jason at what appears to be Epcot
  2. Jason took the bus to Orlando from Wisconsin despite likely leaving just after the family did, and the family took a plane. It takes about 3 hours to fly from Wisconsin to Orlando, and 25 hours to go by bus – but you also have to take a train in addition to the buses
  3. The Wisconsin-Florida plane ticket was only $200. I thought that was ridiculously cheap, but apparently that’s actually what it costs about now. The bus and train tickets com out to $85, though.

3 Shirts is sorry for being a jerk, and says the $200 he got for the plane ticket is going towards their new apartment fund. And he’s going to get a job when they get back home. So he was saving up for an apartment but didn’t have a job already? They do generally like people to have jobs when they rent apartments. Also, where did all the money that was already in the fund come from if he didn’t already have a job? [This is possibly explained in other episodes of this show.]

They go off to watch the fireworks and it turns out I was right Рthey WERE in Epcot. I thought I  recognized the bridge.

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Frank and Mom wonder when they’re going to be able to spend any time as a married couple again. They’ve got all these kids, after all. But Grandma shows up and says she’ll watch the baby and they can stay in her condo that night.

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Flash is disappointed he won’t be able to beat the record after all, but Glasses kid says that the Uzbekistani guy made the record during a holiday weekend when the park was open an extra hour each night, so Flash actually has an extra three hours to break the record. They ask if he can visit some souvenir stands, food carts, and a couple other attractions during the three hours they have the next morning before they leave. So the food carts count as attractions??

Well anyway, he does it, while the theme from Rocky plays in the background – the musical theme, not the Eye of the Tiger.

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Aaand that’s the end of the episode.

I don’t know if maybe some scenes were cut because this was syndicated for ABC Family, but they never said who won the country music contest, or what happened to JoAnna Garcia and her friend, and I’m super sad that there was never a scene with Dana running into Cory Matthews.

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There wasn’t even a scene with her wearing this dress.

I don’t know a lot about Step By Step – or, anything, really. I don’t even know half of the characters names after watching two episodes of it. But these weren’t great episodes. They sort of weren’t even pretending this wasn’t just a big advertisement for the parks. A subplot about a guy visiting everything in the parks?? Really?? Subtle. 3 Shirts is the only character who had a convincing story arc in these episodes. The girls and the parents barely had a story arc at all. Especially the girls, their whole storyline literally took up three scenes. It’s like the writers remembered at the end that they needed a subplot for the girls and just jammed the country music thing in at the end.

Ferris Bueller: 101, “Pilot”; August 23, 1990

Hey, it’s been a while! Sorry about that! I just got fed-up with the episode of Girl Meets World I was reviewing crashing over and over again, and then, well…

Anyhow, here’s a brand-new old show! You know the classic John Hughes film starring a young Matthew Broderick, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”? Probably you know that. Did you know there was a tv show based on the movie? If you didn’t know that, there’s a good reason for it, and it probably has nothing to do with you being young.

Incidentally, there’s also a long-forgotten tv adaptation of Back To the Future, Little Shop of Horrors, and Teen Wolf. Not the current MTV Teen Wolf. A different one. All three of those shows were cartoons, incidentally. Along the perhaps more memorable tv show versions of Jumanji, Beetlejuice, Men In Black, Ghostbusters, and The Mummy (okay, probably I’m the only one who remember The Mummy cartoon).

The Ferris Bueller tv show is live action, though! And reportedly terrible. I’ll be recapping it here as I watch it for the very first time because someone, somehow, had a copy of the show lying around and uploaded it to Youtube.

We start out with a click look at Ferris’s room with a spectacularly 80s synth tune playing in the background.

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Finally we find Ferris, who sits up in bed and recites some Mark Twin quote about names. 20 seconds in and I’m already beyond baffled. The room is pretty accurate to the movie, but the guy who plays Ferris not only looks nothing like Matthew Broderick, but also sounds like Phoebe’s brother from Friends, but with a higher voice.

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Ferris says he’s never changed his name, especially now that he’s been on the big screen.

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Well now I’m even more baffled. Apparently Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was based on a true story, the true story of this kid from Long Island, New York.

He says Matthew Broderick was too white bread, and pulls a chainsaw out of his closet, and takes Broderick’s head off. Okay.

His sister Jeannie yells at him to keep the noise down while she’s curling her lashes.

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Jeannie is played by pre-Friends and pre-Leprechaun Jennifer Aniston. Ferris gives us the spiel that Jeannie thinks he gets away with murder, but she’s the one with the car and nose job. Totally the same thing.

Incidentally, the role of Jeannie was played by Jennifer Grey in the movie. Jennifer would go on to guest-star as Rachel’s friend Mindy on Friends, and of course, Rachel was played by Jennifer Aniston. Also, coincidentally, Jennifer Grey and Jennifer Aniston both had nose-jobs… and I think Aniston’s sporting her original nose on the show. (It’s not nearly as large as Rachel’s original nose in the flashbacks on Friends, by the way). Anyway, as terrible as this show is so far (I’m exactly 1 minute and 23 seconds in), at least we can say it predicted the future, in a way!

Ferris talks about his parents and the dad likes oatmeal or something. Ferris goes on to talk about how being a teenager sucks and whatever, and school is only good for keeping track of friends. There’s Cameron:

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Look at that horrible, clunky old thing. The computer’s pretty bad too. Hey-oh!

And Sloan, the newest transfer to his high school. They’re about to fall in love, he says, all they have to do is meet.

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Is this Sloan or Kelly Kapowski?

Okay so now I’m REALLY confused because apparently there’s a movie based on this kid, and in that movie, he had a girlfriend named Sloane, but on the show, he has never even met Sloane? The heck??

Ferris tells the camera to stay as long as it likes, just to be careful about not wasting electricity or touching the stereo. Then he invents the camera to just come to school with him. I think Ferris should be more worried about wasting the audience’s time, rather than electricity.

Then we get the credits and theme song and by God, is it the worst/most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen.

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They literally green-screened the actor leaving a building. And the theme song is just variations of “Ferris Ferris! Bue-bue-bue-bueller!” But they literally green-screened the actor leaving and later entering a building.

Ferris heads downstairs for breakfast, where we find out it’s the first day of school. Mrs. Bueller asks Mr. Bueller if he has any advice for Ferris. He replies “Never invade Russia in the winter.” Wow. Hilarious. Also, Ferris called Matthew Broderick whitebread. Meanwhile he’s wearing khaki pants and a light-blue button-down collared shirt.

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Jeannie gives Ferris the standard “leave me alone while we’re at school because I’m older and you’re embarrassing” talk. Ferris is like “Yeah, whatever” and then hops into a waiting limo.

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Inside it is Cameron. Of course. They drive to school together, but first stop at the Santa Monica pier for hot dogs. Cameron complains about high school and how gross and disease-ridden it is, and especially that gym is awful. Luckily Ferris shares his computer hacking skills with his movie counterpart, and he changed the schedule so Cameron doesn’t have to talk gym, and also he put himself and Sloane in all of the same classes.

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Principal Rooney is going to start the school’s morning address because they don’t have in-school tv morning announcements in 1990. They start with the Pledge of Allegiance, as is standard, then Rooney continues.

Rooney: Good morning, students. I’m Edward Rooney, principal of Ocean Park High School.
Some kid with a Brooklyn accent: Loudah!
Rooney: A new year. New beginnings, a chance to learn. An opportunity to excel.
Some kid: Up yours!

Rooney begins reading from the student handbook, just basic rules about no smoking on campus, you can’t leave the school without permission during the school day. The kids grumble and one kid asks “What is this, a school or a prison?” Rooney demands to know who said that, and the kid actually waves, but Rooney calls up a student who looks less threatening.

This student, who can best be described as “standards 80s tv/movie nerd”, protests. He says that Ferris says everyone deserves a right to freedom of expression. Rooney says he won’t tolerate Ferris or any of his disciples this year, and begins to expel Standard 80s Nerd. Luckily, Ferris has a remote-controlled trap door built into the outdoor stage, and presses the button before Rooney can finish his sentence.

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So that kid doesn’t get expelled, I guess, because Rooney was interrupted partway through. Also, odd that the idea of expelling Bueller apparently never came up.

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We jump to Ferris and Cameron discussing their first classes of the day. I was going to say that the background music sounds like the intro to the song “She Drives Me Crazy,” but it turns out that’s actually the song that’s playing. If Name That Tune was still on I could totally win. I’m predicting Sloan will enter the scene shortly.

A bunch of random people come over to talk to Ferris, with problems and stuff. One kid wants to park closer to the school, and Ferris happens to have some stickers that the school staff uses to legally park in the faculty lot. Two girls come over to complain about the lunch menu being mac and cheese again. This is the first day of school, though… Ferris says he’ll take care of it, anyway, and pulls out his enormous 80s cell phone to call the food services people.

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Then Sloan enters the scene.

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Can I call it, or what? I swear, I didn’t know ahead of time she’d actually show up while “She Drives Me Crazy” is playing in the background. It was just obvious to me, as a person who’s seen television and movies before.

Sloan and her group of friends glance over and giggle. Even though Sloan is a new student…? When exactly did she transfer to the school?

By the way, Sloan is played by Ami Dolenz, daughter of Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees! It’s sad, this is basically her only starring role.

Oh, she’s the blonde, one, by the way.

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The bells rings, and Jeannie runs down the hall, bumping into Principal Rooney. He writes up some slip, probably a detention slip. Then this happens.

Ronney: You’re late. You know what that means?
Jeannie: Yeah. I won’t go to heaven.

Jeannie is the best character on this show.

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In class, Ferris talks about how great Latin is. He conjugates the verb meaning “to love” at Sloan (she doesn’t acknowledge him at all so I say he’s talking at her instead of to her). He doesn’t know why Latin is considered a dead language, and claims that just last night, his mother told him to be home any later than V. 5 pm? That’s a ridiculous curfew for 16 year old on the last night of summer.

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Ferris is playing volleyball with the girls. I don’t know if it’s just because he wanted to spend time with Sloan, or, when he said he put himself in all of Sloan’s classes, he put himself in a girl’s gym class. I’m thinking it’s the latter because I didn’t see any other boys in that scene. Ferris finally introduces himself to Sloan.

Then, science class, where they’re dissecting frogs on the first day of school. Ferris introduces himself again and asks for Sloan’s name. She just looks up at him and looks back at her work. Ferris gives us this look.

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He kind of looks like 90s Ellen Degeneres here.

In driving class, Ferris drives his virtual car into Sloan’s virtual car. He tells her that they now need to exchange phone numbers, for insurance purposes, and asks her to lunch. She asks if he has the car, or if the driver’s test dummy does, because she’ll go out with whichever one has the car. Ferris says he has the car… even though he doesn’t. But his sister does!

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In the principal’s office, Rooney complains that he asked for a No. 2 pencil, not two pencils. The secretary lady is looking out the window and comments that they make a nice couple. Rooney replies, “And if they’d only breed I’d have a full box,” referring to his pencils. The secretary clarifies that she meant Ferris and Sloan, who are climbing into a Toyota in the parking lot. This makes Rooney ecstatic – he’s caught Ferris red-handed! He’ll be expelled for sure this time!

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A boring history teacher says something about a battle or something about a general. He asks if anybody knows the general’s last words. Jeannie, looking out the window, sees Ferris driving off with her car, so she stands abruptly, exclaims “I’ll be right back!” and leaves. The teacher says her answer was close and asks the rest of the class if they know.

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Jeannie runs out into the parking lot to find Rooney. She tells him to call the cops because her car’s being stolen. Rooney’s just happy that Ferris is definitely guilty of breaking the rules. He also issues Jeannie a citation for unauthorized absence from class.

Ferris and Sloan hang out on the beach. Ferris flirts. Sloan is nervous because she used to go to Catholic school, and has never cut class before. Ferris says the first time he cut class was in kindergarten. She tells him he’s brave and cute, and she kisses him and tells him she wants to be a ballerina. She runs off and trips in the sand.

Then they come back to the parking lot, where Rooney is weaving through the cars and hiding, in order to surprise them.

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Ferris claims that Sloan’s tonsillitis flared up and he was merely driving her to the hospital. It was a false alarm, though. Rooney doesn’t really care and talks about detention, and how that’ll be on her permanent record, and eventually that will make her a homeless college dropout. Ferris quips that a lot of homeless people are actually college graduates. Mm-hmm.

But Sloan confesses the truth to Rooney, and excuses Sloan because she’s new. But he leads Ferris to the principal’s office to work out his expulsion. Ferris demands the right to call his attorney.

After a jumpcut, the attorney leaves Rooney’s office, and asks Ferris to walk him out, so they can talk. The secretary asks Rooney what happened.

Rooney: He held a gun to my head.
Secretary: Well you didn’t stand a chance against a man of his caliber.
Soundtrack: *Makes most 80s/90s-music riff ever.*

 

Seriously, what IS this show? What WAS that?

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The lawyer says he threatened Rooney with lawsuits and stuff, and managed to get Ferris detention instead of expulsion. Ferris is upset – he doesn’t do detention. And it turns out the guy’s not a real lawyer, and Ferris paid him with Billy Joel tickets. Wow, Billy Joel plus that rad synth riff. The 80s levels are off the charts here 3/4 of the way through 1990!

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Jeannie attends detention in a foul mood. She perks up when she finds out that Ferris got detention too. Her mood sours again when she discovers an imposter has taken Ferris’s place in detention.

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This reveal comes immediately after Rooney says “Who do these kids think they’re dealing with, some kind of dummy?”

Cameron and Ferris leave school, and it turns out the limo from earlier was hired by Ferris and not Cameron’s wealthy dad. It was a one-time only thing, though, and Cameron is not pleased to have to take the bus home. Cameron is my second-favorite character despite only being in three scenes and having two lines.

Ferris finds Sloan waiting for him outside. She apologizes for freaking out and confessing earlier, and reveals that she’s decided to take Ferris’s advice: she’s going to transfer to the performing arts school across town. Ferris is just as confused as you, don’t worry. He offers to walk Sloan home, but says she has to carry her own bags – he has a bad back. She then offers to carry his bags.

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Then Jeannie gets pulled over for driving a stolen car, even though it’s her car and she reported it stolen. She can’t find her registration, and assumes this whole thing was some joke put up by Ferris. She drives off.

Ferris arrives home, gives his mother a big bouquet of flowers, takes an apple, and declares he’s going upstairs to get a start on his homework. Then Jeannie calls. We don’t know what she says, but Mrs. Bueller says “Your daughter has done it again” to Mr. Bueller. It sounded like Jeannie was probably in jail.

It turns out this is true, and her bail is set to $250. Except Ferris hacks the police computer to change it to $250,000.

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Wow, what a jerk. Jeannie did literally nothing to Ferris this whole episode except tell him to leave her alone in school. So he steals her car, takes her registration papers, then ups her bail. Who knows if their parents can even afford that much? They’re clearly well-off, but that’s still a lot of money.

Mr. and Mrs. Bueller leave for jail, telling Ferris his dinner is warming up for him. Ferris leaves, but not before telling us/the camera that we need to dress up better next week, because “You have to have style if you want to hang with Ferris Bueller.”

So all I can say is “What in the heck is this??” There are a lot of words I could use to describe this show, but I try to keep this place PG. It was just awful. Jennifer Aniston as Jeannie and Richard Riehle as Rooney were great, and the little we saw of Cameron was pretty great. But Sloan was really bland, and the “I’m transferring to performing arts school” thing came completely out of nowhere. We didn’t even see her dance at all, she just said she wants to be a ballerina and then… yeah. Ferris was really unlikeable, too. I already mentioned how needlessly awful he was to Jeannie. But he’s just too smug and too all-powerful in this show. In the movie, Ferris comes off more as a guy who wants to live life to the fullest, and is maybe putting on a strong mask to hide his insecurities. TV Ferris just comes off like a guy who wants everyone to think he’s really cool. Jeannie in the movie is a girl who’s exasperated by her brother constantly getting away with stuff and being seen as so cool by everybody. Jeannie in the tv show is pretty much the same only Ferris is also more awful to her. Movie Jeannie and Ferris seem to have just a normal sibling rivalry.

I don’t know if I even want to watch the rest of this show.

Honestly, Saved By the Bell is a much better “Ferris Bueller the TV Series” than this. Many people in the comments also suggested “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” as a better Ferris Bueller tv show, but I haven’t seen it.

 

Girl Meets World: 108, “Girl Meets Smackle”; September 12, 2014

“Girl Meets Smackle” sounds like either a codename for a cereal commercial or a video of an adult, explicit nature.

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I certainly don’t watch illegally uploaded episodes of this show on VodLocker if that’s what you were thinking. Where would you even get such an idea?

This episode’s history unit is on Ancient Greece. Probably would’ve made sense for the Sword of Damocles lesson to be during this unit but oh well.

Cory has a box, and asks who wants it. He gives it to Riley because of course, and inside the box is neither a severed head nor a piece of male anatomy, but a slate with the words “The Trojan Horse” on it. Riley, surprisingly, is immediately upset about this not being a real present, but being a life lesson wrapped up in a school assignment.

Cory reveals the present is a metaphor – Riley assumed there was something good in the box because it was pretty, just like the Trojans assumed the big wooden horse was something good when in fact it was full of Greek soldiers. I’m so glad they’re covering something that may or may not have actually happened in this class rather than talking about the huge influenced the ancient Greeks had on the entire world, like the guy who invented geometry or the father of western medicine.

I wasn’t paying attention, but Lucas somehow ends up with a “get out of detention free” card, and Maya asks for it in exchange for not calling him Ranger Rick the rest of the week. Lucas agrees, she gets the card, and immediately calls him Ranger Roy. She goes and dances on Cory’s desk, and Cory then asks her to read the card. It turns out it says “Give card to Maya and watch her dance on my desk” or something. The lesson is “never assume”.

That’s kind of stupid. In the context of… everything, Cory is basically saying the Trojans shouldn’t have assumed there WEREN’T Greeks in the wooden horse. Okay, imagine you really loved cashews. One day someone gives you a can of Planter’s cashews. You would assume either that there were cashews in the can, or else that it was spring-loaded with fake snakes. You open it and it turns out it’s full of erasers. Cory shows up out of nowhere and tells you to never assume. How does this make sense? Why was it out of line for Maya to assume the “get out of detention free” card only said “get out of detention free” on it? The lesson here should’ve been “Read the fine print” rather than “never assume.” Cory is a terrible teacher.

I mean, “never assume” isn’t a terrible lesson. For instance, I assumed this show would make a lot of sense and be very well-paced, and thus I was very let down when it came time to actually watching it week after week.

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The class is attending an interscholastic debate, as hosted by Cory because who else? The debate’s about school uniforms because of course. Riley doesn’t like debates, Maya says Riley does, Riley agrees, and Lucas says he likes debates because… who cares? Nobody likes you, Lucas.

Farkle’s for uniforms, because the conformity is useful training for when everyone goes to work for him in the future. Then Smackle literally bursts through a paper sign into the room, says she’s against uniforms because everyone should be what they want. Her whole argument is 10 seconds long, and Farkle doesn’t enter a rebuttal. This school has no idea how debates work.

Okay this doesn’t have anything to do with the episodes beyond this one scene, but here goes: Uniforms can be really restricting, and don’t allow people to express themselves individually, they’re embarrassing, and can be unflattering, and in some cases forces people to buy all new clothes in addition to the ones they have. BUT uniforms can be really great for families who aren’t as wealthy, because then you only need like one pair of pants and two shirts and nobody can tell you’re wearing the same outfit everyday unless it gets stained or really stinky, and that’s easy enough to take care of. Uniforms also make it really hard for kids to break the dress code, or get unfairly busted for breaking dress code, and because it severely limits the choice of clothing you can wear to school every day, getting ready for school every morning is easier and faster so you have more time to sleep in. This paragraph was longer than that “debate” was.

Cory then announces that the city debate finals are conveniently being held in the school they’re already in, and the debate topic is “Is beauty really only skin deep?” What a terrible debate topic. How are you supposed to come up with actual facts to back up your position with a topic like that? The topics ought to be like “Should the voting age remain the same, or be lowered/raised?” or “Should schools completely abolish homework?”

UGGGH.

Also Cory doesn’t announce which school is on which side of that debate, which is important information they’d need to know in order to develop their arguments. Assuming anyone on the schoolboard/the show actually cares how a real debate works.

It turns out that Isadora Smackle – and I breathe a huge sigh of relief to find out her last name is Smackle – won today’s debate. Her entire argument was literally less than 10 seconds long, but okay. Whatever. It seems that Smackle always beats Farkle at all of these kinds of things and ugggh who thought these names were a good idea??

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Farkle lays down on the floor in defeat, and Maya and Riley go to cheer him up until they notice food, which is something I both respect completely, and relate to on a deep, personal level.

Smackle asks Farkle to a movie, he says yes, and now I’m confused because Smackle’s mad at herself because Farkle took her request literally. It turns out she asked him if he wanted a smoothie. Everyone sounds like they have a stuffy nose on this show. Farkle doesn’t want to go with Smackle because arch-nemesis or whatever. I’m starting to mix up Farkle’s and Smackle’s names. I should call them Glasses (Smackle) and Bowlcut (Farkle).

Glasses is sad, and Riley invites her to her house for some reason that even Riley doesn’t know.

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Auggie comes home, yells, and rips his shirt off. He and his girlfriend Ava split up because she said they might not be together forever. I cannot properly express how little I care. Auggie’s performance in this scene is awful. You’d think fake crying would come naturally to a child actor, but not to him.

Auggie is upset, anyway, because he believes in true love and being together forever. Topanga asks him where he got such a stupid idea, and he says he learned it from her, okay?! He learned it by watching her!! Moving steadily past that PSA reference, Topanga comments “Huh. I wonder how many people the idea of ‘Cory and Topanga’ has ruined.” I don’t know if that was supposed to be a meta joke or what, because I don’t know if I’ve really heard anyone saying Cory and Topanga gave them an unrealistic expectation of love.

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Sparkle… er, Smackle wants to know the formula to becoming pretty. Farkle likes… for crap’s sake I can’t keep anyone’s names right, I just called them Smarly and Faya. Anyway Farkle likes them because they’re “aesthetically pleasing”, says Smackems, but he doesn’t like her because she’s not. Errrm from what I gathered, Farkle doesn’t like Smackle because she beats him at everything, not because she’s ugly. But I guess I shouldn’t assume something that was incredibly obvious.

Smackle’s not even ugly. At all. They did an awful job making her look like the Ugly Nerd Girl because she looks like a really cute 12 year old girl. THE HORROR.

Ribeye and Miley give Smackle a makeover anyway, and I honestly think she looks worse now.

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She doesn’t look terrible now or anything, but I think the glasses actually suited her face really well.¬† And having loose, wavy hair is not flattering on everyone, children, remember that. Don’t assume. Also sure is lucky that Riley happened to have contact lenses of the correct prescription for Smackle’s particular eyes.

Smackle also realizes that her speech patterns are a problem. Basically think Sheldon or Mayim Bialik’s character from Big Bang Theory, but worse. But she’s figured out she just has to enter “like, awesome, OMG, totally” into all her sentences, or giggle or phrase everything as a question, and she’ll fit in fine. She gives the example of first saying “E equals M C squared” (I can’t write it properly here), then says “Like, E totally equals M C squared! *giggles* Oh my gosh, awesome!” This show veers into weirdly stupid again as Maya and Riley apparently understand the entire universe now after learning that E=MC2. Without knowing what the E, M, or C stand for that formula is entirely useless, but whatever.

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Lucas enters the room, asking if this is the debate team. Farkle tells him no, it’s the after-school male model club. Farkle is the best character. For real, that line was actually really funny, as delivered on the show. Lucas wants to join the debate team, but the other nerds are like “what are you gonna debate about, baseball?” Farkle tells them not to assume anything, don’t just a book by a cover, etc. What they should actually mention is that the finals are in less than a week so he’d be really dragging them down by joining so late in the season.

Miley and Raya enter the classroom. Maya is wearing Smackle’s glasses, as an experiment to see if people treat Maya differently because she looks smarter, and as an attempt to ruin Maya’s eyesight by making her wear prescription glasses when she doesn’t need them. The two non-Farkle nerds immediately say “HELLO approachable woman.” BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO WEAR GLASSES ARE GEEKS HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA NO COOL PERSON WOULD BE CAUGHT DEAD IN GLASSES HAHAAHAHAHAAAA.

Farkle tells Maya she looks good either way, and Maya asks him if he wants to go out with her and Riley. Farkle passes out, and they ask him if he wants to go out with someone else. He agrees.

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In Cloris Leachman’s bakery, Farkle is at first impressed with his mystery date, but not so much when he realizes it’s just Smackle, who I referred to as Farkle before catching it just now. I have never had so much trouble remembering people’s names on a show before. I was just going to write something about Smarley and I don’t even know which character Smarley is supposed to be referring to. What is WITH this show and my brain??

Anyway, Farkle believes this to just be a ploy on Smackle’s end to do research for the upcoming debate. She confirms this. Farkle asks her if she considered she might change on the inside as well, but Smackle replies simply that she is Smackle. She doesn’t believe any outward change could affect how she feels on the inside. Then Lucas shows up and says hey to her, and she gets all giggly. Hmm, so let’s review – Smackle, who was already really confident, gets a makeover that makes her more confident, and now the makeover is getting her attention from a really cute boy who already knows she’s really smart and doesn’t mind. Oh the horror, oh. The horror.

To be fair, she’s so distracted by a cute boy actually paying attention to her that she unintentionally stops being smart, but it’s not like that’s a thing that would last forever anyway. But Farkle decides to use this to his advantage, since Lucas is on the debate team now.

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Farkle climbs up to Riley’s room to talk even though they were literally just all together in a cafe just now. Riley’s not there, but Auggie is. He was hoping sitting on the bay window would give him some wisdom, but it’s not working. Topanga walks in and asks Farkle if he’s aware that they do have a front door. You know, if it were me, I’d be a little concerned about teenaged boys climbing into my teenaged daughter’s room all the time. Or, since this is New York, ANYONE climbing into my home just whenever the heck they feel like it. It was one thing when Zack Morris did that kind of stuff, or when Shawn climbed into Cory’s and Eric’s window, but are the Matthews really not worried about burglars?

Riley and Maya show up, and tell Farkle to wait while Riley talks to Auggie. Auggie is sad about his girlfriend like I care, but apparently they aren’t even broken up after all. Topanga just assumed they were, and I thought Auggie had actually said as much, but no. Maya tells Topanga not to assume anything, and wonders why she doesn’t know that already because she’s married to Cory and should be getting like the home version of these “lessons.” Topanga says there’s just so many different life lessons, and has a realization that she married Feeny. Cory only WISHES his life lessons were as good as Feeny’s.

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Auggie’s upset because his girlfriend Ava is “messing with him,” because she says they might be together forever, but they might not be. Riley’s like “So… you’re still together now.” And Topanga, slightly annoyed, points out that she also let Auggie eat cake and whipped cream earlier. Auggie remembers this, and decides today was a good day after all, and leaves.

Oh boy I was on the edge of my seat worrying how Auggie’s thrilling girlfriend subplot would turn out. Honestly I’d be happier if they just made this whole show 3 minutes shorter and cut out Auggie completely.

Sheesh.

So now it’s Farkle’s turn to get advice. He’s not looking forward to facing Smackle – who I almost called Farkle again – in the debate, because ever since her makeover, she hasn’t been the same, and winning against her will be meaningless if she’s not up to her best. I like how this contradicts everything that just happened on this show. Let’s look at the facts, quickly:

  1. Smackle still appeared to have all of her incredible intelligence even with her loose hair and lack of glasses.
  2. She only turned into an idiot when Lucas was nice to her.
  3. Farkle, ONE SCENE AGO, was plotting to use Lucas to distract Smackle and win the debate.

So, it would seem to me that if Farkle wants to beat regular, smart Smackle, he just needs to make sure Lucas isn’t at the debate. Also there were other members of Smackle’s debate team.

At the debate, Smackle still looks all pretty because she refused the makeunder that Farkle told the girls to give her. Farkle tells her he hopes she enjoys being beautiful.

Farkle starts his debate by talking about how the Trojans were charmed by a pretty horse, and failed to consider what was inside, and cautions everyone not to be fooled by a pretty wrapper. THIS IS SO STUPID. It’s NOT ridiculous to assume that a wooden icon left on your doorstep to appease a goddess would be hollow and not full of Greek soldiers, especially since at that point, it looked like all of the Greeks had left. None of their camp stuff was there, all of their boats were gone. It is NOT ridiculous of the Trojans to have assumed the horse was just like a surrender gift left by the Greeks who had fled in the night.

Look, you DO have to assume some things, or else you spend your whole life suspicious of everything and carefully reading into everything you see.

Farkle calls up Lucas to give their concluding statement. Lucas – whom I just called Farkle, apparently I like Farkle so much I just think everyone is named Farkle now – says something about how people assume he’s a jock and a cowboy, but he also likes school, and he works hard so he can go to a good college, because he knows good looks don’t meant a good life, and so he knows beauty is not just skin deep. Ah yes, attractive actor, tell me more about how looks don’t help you have a good life. Also, this episode is the first time I’ve heard of someone using “beauty isn’t skin deep” to talk about intelligence being important. Every other time, it’s usually along the lines of “she may be pretty, but she’s really cruel and heartless” or “she’s ugly, but she’s a really nice person.” Not “I’m cute AND smart!! Therefore beauty is not just skin deep!!!11!!”

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Smackle starts her argument with “Like ohmygosh I’m so totally unprepared right now!” But she goes on to say that’s probably what people expect her to say based on the effort she put into her appearance. Yes that’s what I’d assume from her unstyled hair and absolutely hideous dress (the costumer for this show is insane). Smackle – who I swear to God I just called Farkle for like the 5th time – talks about beauty being only skin deep, and, like with the Trojan Horse, what’s really important is the army inside. I don’t really understand it completely, but I like how it sounds, so that’s all right.

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See?! She looks WAY better with glasses on.

She puts her glasses back on and tells everyone that they’re really deeply beautiful, adding “Especially you, Farkle.” The audience “awwwwwwwwwwwww”s about that. I’m not sure why.

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Later the kids are in Cloris Leachman’s bakery – which, to show I’ve gone totally crazy, I almost called a “blakery.” Smackle – who, as you might have guessed, I called Farkle AGAIN – asks Lucas out for a smoothie. Riley tells her to back off, and Maya concludes that Smackle was using Lucas to try to make Farkle jealous. The number of times I paused while writing that sentence to remember everyone’s names… I almost said “Farley” and “Samantha”, and at least for the latter that’s the actress’s name.

Smackle asks Farkle if he’d still like Maya and Riley if they weren’t beautiful. Farkle says “They’re beautiful? I never noticed.” It’s another “awwww” moment and the show ends.

All right, so… No “they’re beautiful on the inside, that’s what counts”? Also SUUURRREEE you never noticed they were pretty. I mean Farkle does obviously like them for their personalities, but come on.

 

I’m glad Farkle didn’t suddenly develop a huge love for Smackle, but I think my earlier point of “I thought he didn’t like her because she beats him at everything, not because she’s unattractive” should’ve come up at some point. Then Smackle would feel better about her appearance, and while she wouldn’t try to dumb herself down, perhaps start trying to be less over-the-top obnoxious about it or something. Instead it was just like… eh.

That said, this wasn’t a terrible episode. Obviously this show still has some major pacing and theme issues, but it’s not as bad as it was earlier in the season. I think Cory only being in two scenes helped. Also, Lucas actually existed in this episode. He’s starting to feel like a real person rather than a charming cardboard cutout that Riley’s attracted to.

But Farkle remains my favorite thing about this show. Rename it Farkle Meets World and I’m on board.

Major issues in this episode: As stated earlier, “OH SHE HAS GLASSES THAT MEANS SHE’S A NERD AND IN OUR LEAGUE”. It’s 2014, writers, shut up. And Auggie. Auggie’s subplot was so stupid. “I WANT TO BE WITH MY GIRLFRIEND FOREVER AND SHE DOESN’T THINK WE’LL BE TOGETHER FOREVER ALSO I’M 5 YEARS OLD.”

Honestly I don’t understand how people can like Auggie. They’re trying way too hard to make him the adorable young kid on the show, and it’s just not working. Also, stop trying to make “I’m only THIS many!” a catchphrase. It’s the dumbest catchphrase ever. Worse than any of the 30 or so catchphrases on Full House. I’ve said it before, but never have I so badly wanted a role to be completely removed or recast before. Or just completely rewritten. I mean, it’s like the writers have never seen, spoken to, or even heard of a real 5 year old before. Or maybe the actor is just an alien and has never seen, spoken to, or even heard of a real 5 year old before.

Also, the costumes on this show are the most ridiculous things. I just can’t even.

And finally, as always: Dear Girl Meets World viewers,

Girl Meets World is never going to hit extremely deep topics like suicide, rape, and drug abuse. Although Boy Meets World did very occasionally cover physical abuse, alcoholism, and cults, those were Very Special Episodes, and also Boy Meets World aired on ABC. Girl Meets World is on the Disney Channel. And anyway BMW never covered anything as deep as self harm and suicide. I know kids today do struggle with these things, but this show comes on the Disney Channel. I have Degrassi if I want to see a teen drama that covers that kind of stuff. I just don’t understand all of these people who are demanding that Girl Meets World be so dark. I’m totally okay with the show handling more deeper storylines along the way – like how That’s So Raven had a racism episode, and even though this isn’t a SUPER deep topic, Lizzie McGuire had that episode where Lizzie was embarrassed about wanting to buy a bra – but I think it’s ridiculous that people are already demanding Girl Meets World have an episode about suicide or self-harm, especially since the show’s only been on for two months.

Well, that’s it for today.

 

GMW: 107, “Girl Meets Maya’s Mother”; August 15, 2014

Well at least THIS episode title actually makes sense.

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Farkle wants to be the model for art class. Fortunately he’s wearing a 1920s-style swimsuit under that robe.

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Riley wants to draw Lucas. Riley has drawn bowls of fruit where all the fruit has Lucas’s face on it.

Also the art class is being held in an art classroom with a teacher who isn’t Cory, which is weird.

Weirder still, is the teacher wants to look at everyone’s work literally 30 seconds after they’ve started working.

Riley wants to be a famous artist in France. Maya pokes fun of this dream.

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That actually did make me giggle. Also it reminds me of the opening animation for The Nanny tv show for some reason.

Um and it turns out Lucas can speak French. Just fyi. Probably that won’t come up again.

The teacher walks around and compliments Maya’s real drawing of Farkle.

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She invites Maya to submit her work to the school’s upcoming art show, but Maya says she doesn’t draw things for other people to look at. The teacher wishes she’d think about it, but doesn’t press the issue. Also, just by the way, all the artwork looks like it was actually done by middle school students, so that’s neat.

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Riley, disappointed that her artwork is terrible, tells Auggie that his artwork is terrible as well. And apparently Auggie ALSO speaks French. So first Shawn is an idiot savant who is fluent in French, then Topanga pretends to be a French girl at a party for a change of pace, and now THIS.

Cory talks about how great mashed potatoes are (seriously), and Riley complains that she didn’t inherit any great talents from her parents. But it turns out Cory DOES have a talent – he’s great at close-up magic. I guess he learned how to do that between the Boy Meets World series finale and now. And somehow Riley didn’t know about that.

Riley doesn’t think close-up magic is much of a talent and asks if Topanga has anything she’s good at. According to Cory, Topanga’s talent is that her hips don’t lie.

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This scene is oddly stupid and hilarious at the same time. I think this is the first scene where they’ve all really felt like a regular family, with the parents acting totally ridiculous over dinner but not in a stupid “WHAT DID YOU DO TO THIS CHICKEN?!” way, while the teenage daughter is full of embarrassment and exasperation.

This scene also brought up a good point – DO Cory and Topanga have any talents? Topanga’s very hard-working and studios over on BMW, and Cory’s good at things when he sets his mind to them, but neither of those are really talents. Oh, Topanga can do that hair-flip thing, that’s something.

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It’s Career Day! Topanga is there, but Maya’s mom isn’t there even though she said she’d be there. Gee, maybe she had to work.

Topanga talks about being an attorney even though I thought she quit last episode. Also, forgive me because my law knowledge is a bit hazy in this area, but if she were an attorney, that’s a whole separate part of law than writing over leases and running old ladies out of business anyway.

Okay Topanga doesn’t really talk about being an attorney anyway, but she says she got to where she was by working hard. WOW TOPANGA, AWESOME STORY. She also mentions that by the time she was their age, she already had 350 A’s. She should talk to Farkle, he got his 700th A a couple episodes ago, which I believe I did not mention.

Then there’s a knock on the other door because this classroom has two doors for some reason. Riley figures it’s Maya’s mom. I’m going to wager that it is in fact someone else.

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Oh I was right. It’s Minkus.

MINKUS?!

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It turns out Minkus is Farkle’s dad, which I actually mentioned a while ago when I said I thought it was stupid to have a character named Farkle Minkus. Bizarrely enough, Lucas also thinks that’s a stupid name. I say “bizarrely” because I find these characters and I so often disagree on just about everything. Farkle’s name was originally Shamus Farkle, which is considerably less stupid. (Oh also, it’s actually Stuart Minkus, not like his name is Minkus Minkus – which actually sounds less dumb than Farkle Minkus). Also for some reason I guess Cory never even thought that Farkle Minkus might be related to Stuart Minkus, but then it’s not like Minkus is an extremely uncommon surname or anything (by the way, it IS a real surname here in real life).

Minkus, it turns out, has a helicopter and runs some business called Minkus International.  Minkus is actually Seto Kaiba. Points for you if you got that not exactly obscure reference.

Cory’s like “Well sure you have a helicopter, but I got Topanga.” Then they decide to stop competing with each other but then immediately Minkus and Topanga start competing with each other.

Topanga says that between Riley and her, they have 1260 A’s. But between Farkle and Minkus, they have 1261 A’s, even though Minkus had 699 A’s in one episode of season 5 of BMW and Farkle just got his 700th A several episodes ago, so they should have upwards of 1400 A’s by now.

But Minkus says the most important thing is that he has Farkle. Topanga’s like “Oh yeah, Riley’s important too”.

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FARKLE’S SHIRT HAS DINOSAURS ON IT. I WANT THAT SHIRT.

What a freaking awful Career Day this is so far. I’ve said it before, but I would be SO pissed if I was in this class. Like I want to freaking learn something, not have Riley go off on shenanigans and have Maya feel sorry for herself for the billionth time.

Speaking of which, Maya is sad because her mom didn’t show up, just like always. So they have a Career Day EVERY year? I don’t think I ever had ONE in my entire school life. We’d just sometimes have like one person come in to talk about their job, but that was usually just in elementary school.

Also, like I said, gee maybe Maya’s mother is AT WORK. She’s a single parent, right? Like God forbid her mother might be earning a living during the day.

Later, Riley asks Maya why she won’t put her art in the show. Maya doesn’t want to set herself up to hope anything good will ever happen to her, so she’s cool not doing anything about it. You know the teacher didn’t say it was a juried art show, Maya. No one ever said anything would actually come out of showing art at that art show. Most middle school art shows are just like “Look at what our kids have made! Be proud!” What does Maya expect is supposed to happen that she’s worried about setting herself up for disappointment?

Eh.

At class the next day, Cory announces the topic – the Korean War. Farkle says “Genghis Khan!” and admits he just did it to see what would happen. Also I call shenanigans on this topic – I never, EVER learned ANYTHING about the Korean War in school. Because what always happens you end up spending half the year on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and then World Wars I and II take up the rest of the half, and you’re lucky if you learn about anything that happens after 1946. Plus the whole “order and length of teaching units makes absolutely no sense on this show” problem.

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This is Maya’s mom. She couldn’t attend the “job fair” because… well…

Yesterday I was trapped, in my vehicle, in the rushin’ flood waters of the mighty Colorado River! To make matters worse, I just found out I was about to have a baby any second. So, I crawled myself through the sunroof, and I said ‘Let’s do this thang!’ Then, I commenced to deliver my own baby until finally I heard that wonderful, magical sound. *makes popping sound* ‘Waaaaah! Waaaaaaaaah! Mama?! Are you my mama?!

It turns out Maya’s mom, Katy, is an actress and that was all an audition for a soap opera that films in New York for some reason. I’m glad because she was doing the whole thing with a Southern Belle-type accent and that was weird, but it turns out that was just for the audition.

Farkle and Lucas both ask why she’s wearing a waitress outfit. Also, Maya seems SUPER embarrassed and upset that her mom is there talking about her career even though she was obviously really let-down that her mom didn’t show up the day before or at any other career day. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, MAYA!

Some bespectacled girl says that her dad says that actors are people who just never grew up. Bespectacled girl’s dad, it turns out, is a director.

…As you may have guessed, Katy is a waitress because she’s having a tough time getting any acting jobs. Maybe because she’s auditioning for soap operas in New York instead of going for roles in plays. But, hey, it’s not like New York is known for its big theatre scene or anything.

Everybody’s all sad that Katy’s a waitress because apparently none of their parents have blue collar jobs. Katy is embarrassed and leaves, so of course Riley gets up and leaves. She tries to comfort Katy, but Katy feels bad that she couldn’t even remember what day career day was. But Maya also leaves class and insists that she doesn’t care that her mom has the audacity to have big dreams and a menial job that keeps her on her feet all the time because her scumbag ex-husband won’t support his daughter. GOSH.

Maya then leaves the hallway, not going back to class. Why do they even have class at this school, seriously? At least Boy Meets World usually had this stuff happen right at the end of class, or after it had already ended. Riley tells Katy to go to the art show at the school tomorrow, and if she doesn’t go, Riley will be disappointed. Katy’s like “yeah, sure, whatever, best friend of my daughter, who I possibly have never met before”.

The next day(!), in art class, Riley is the model, and while she’s modeling she’s trying to convince Maya to participate in the art show. 1) Do these kids not have a lunch period they can use to talk about this stuff? Why do they keep interrupting class?, and 2) If the art show is THAT DAY, then whoever’s in charge would’ve already planned everything around all the art that was already submitted, and wouldn’t let someone just squeeze their stuff in at the last minute.

The art teacher tells Riley to stop talking because when someone’s talking, the artwork is affected.

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Well. Those are terrifying.

Riley, it turns out, put a note in their teacher’s teacher box that morning that was written like it was from Maya, saying she wanted to be in the art show after all. I’m amazed that this show somehow acknowledged the existence of teacher boxes despite everything else being weird and inaccurate.

Maya is displeased, and splatters green paint on Riley because their teacher conveniently left for literally no reason.

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They get in a full-on paint fight, and the teacher comes back. She compliments Riley on producing her most authentic piece yet. Then she leaves. Riley then tells Maya that she invited Maya’s mom to the show. Maya hands Riley a bowl of paint.

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Why did they even have out paint in the first place? They were doing pencil sketches.

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Maya’s mom didn’t show up to the art show. Even though the show is clearly not even remotely over yet, this saddens Riley. And Maya’s painting is of a diner and you can only see half of the waitress, which is symbolism or something.

Riley goes on her own to the diner that Maya’s mom works in. It’s called the Nighthawk Diner which I can only assume is a reference to Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks.”

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Riley tells Katy there’s somewhere she should be. Katy says all she ever does is disappoint Maya so she doesn’t want to go. Riley tells her that Maya’s fine, but she’s disappointing her (Riley).

…And? That’s a terrible point. “Oh your daughter’s actually totally cool, but I’M upset.”

Katy loves Maya, but says that people tend to stay at the same [employment] level as their parents, and she wants more for Maya than to be a waitress.

…And? That means she can’t ever talk to her daughter or encourage her anything? I guess she means that being a waitress is just such a disappointment she’d rather just not see her daughter at all than bother trying to encourage her to be more than a waitress.

Also, just a second – how DARE Maya’s mom be EARNING A LIVING so the two of them don’t starve to death.

I mean, believe me, I know it’s hard when you’re a single parent – basically you can be around for your kid all the time and go to all of their events, or you can earn money to eat food.

But despite this, I do actually sympathize with Maya AND Katy. I think maybe they got stuck in a vicious cycle here – like Maya was maybe embarrassed that her mom’s just a waitress when everyone else’s parents are lawyers or businessmen, and Katy felt bad that she was embarrassed so picked up more hours so she wouldn’t have to go to Maya’s school things and embarrass her, and then Maya was always disappointed because her mom never came to any of her school things, so then Katy continued to not show up because she was such a disappointment.

I still stick by my “she needs to earn money so they can live” point, though. I mean I was always sad that my mom never showed up during the schoolday for me for anything, but I understand that, well, she was a single parent who needed to earn money so we could live.

Katy gives Riley a tuna melt as an apology, because for some reason this is still all about Riley’s feelings.

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Maya’s not super disappointed about her mom, because the art show gave her confidence in herself. Riley offers half a tuna melt. It turns out that’s Maya’s favorite food at the diner, and she knows her mom forced it on Riley because she knew she’d share it with Maya.

…I, um… I don’t understand the lesson here. I guess it’s “Who needs parents, when you have wealthy friends.” I actually think that’s a good theme. Good job.

Also great job because I don’t feel like the resolution to the episode’s problem was nonsensical and came out of nowhere for once. It’s still not great, but I’ll take it.

At dinner… the next night? Cory tells Riley he’s giving her an A for her great work in… not making Maya sad. Minkus, who is there for some reason (as are Farkle, Lucas, and Maya), is outraged. Now they’re TIED.

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Apparently they’ve determined that Riley’s talent is… meddling or something. Auggie wonders what his talent is. Topanga assures him he’ll find it some day. He doesn’t know it, but his talent is being so annoying that for the first time in my life I find myself wishing someone would actually write a character (him) off the show.

He walks away from the dinner table and sings opera, specifically something from The Barber of Seville.

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That is Alfalfa’s territory you little dirt clod, how dare you?!

This is, in my opinion, actually the best episode so far. I know the bar’s pretty low, but it wasn’t as painfully stupid as the other ones sometimes were. It still wasn’t perfect, and boy it sure would be nice if Girl Meets World had anything to do with Riley once in a while, but at least she did something besides waffle back and forth while Maya talked sarcastically.

It was cool to actually see another teacher for once, and she wasn’t a total pushover like Cory is – she still let Maya and Riley talk in class but did tell them that it’s a good idea to stop talking.

Weird. I’m afraid most of this season’s airing order is different from production order (although I can’t say for sure), so we’ll probably keep having episodes that vary wildly in quality for some time.

I’m still not convinced this is the show the creators and actors have been saying it is – that it’s “surprising” and “holds up the integrity of the original show” or whatever. It’s been pretty run-of-the-mill so far.

Also, GMW is taking a short hiatus and will allegedly return September 12. There’s nothing to be worried about, Disney Channel is just weird and makes shows randomly take hiatus all the time. Phineas and Ferb has been airing season 4 since 2012 because of all their hiatuses. It sounds like they’ve got a Halloween episode and they definitely have a Christmas episode, so there’s definitely some more hiatuses coming.

Bonus: A thread in the imdb boards has a post commenting that it would’ve been interesting if Boy Meets World had never been canceled, but if after season 7 of the original show, it transitioned into Girl Meets World starring Morgan going through middle and high school in 2001 and beyond, then changed back to Boy Meets World to focus on Joshua (for those of you playing at home, we haven’t met him yet over at the BMW recaps) for a few years, then switching over to the show we have now. If that were the case, I think the show would feel a bit less… dumb, since there wouldn’t have been a 14 year gap between it and the old show, and probably would’ve inspired some new plots or the characters to handle…

Anyway, how would you feel about that? Do you think it would’ve become tedious, like they’d run out of storylines pretty easily? Or do you think they would’ve figured out a way to keep the show(s) fresh?