Ah, man. I love this episode.
Before we get into the actual episode, the most recent news I’ve found out about Girl Meets World is: Riley Matthews is not an aspiring singer/actress/dancer/performer of some sort. With what seems like thousands of live action tween sitcoms featuring a main female character who’s a singer or actress, played by an actress with a record deal, I am so very pleased to find out this will be one exception.
Not that I have anything against shows that center on kids trying to make a career out of performing, it’s just… it seems like there’s a crap-ton of them these days, and all of them are mediocre at best.
Now the recap!
Topanga, with her awesome dress and hair full of quirks, finds an origami rose on her desk. She asks Minkus if it’s from him, I’m sure partly because it’s sometimes very obvious that he has a crush on her. And also he was reading a book on origami when Topanga came in.
Minkus, after denying the flower is from him, explains that it’s actually a camellia, and means “perfect loveliness”. Topanga says that whoever left the flower must be a caring soul.
Then Shawn and Cory start making fun of them.
Cory’s shirt looks like fruit-stripe gum. Remember that? There was a zebra on the package?
Anyway, Topanga gets up and tells them that people who judge others are shallow and ignorant and will have to pay for their judginess in their next life. Cory calls her an alien.
Feeny comes in and hopes they all had a good weekend. Cory had a great weekend because he got to see some monster movies. Shawn sold blood. Not gave blood, sold it. This is what’s wrong with society today – you’d never get away with saying something like that on a family sitcom. Or maybe you would, and the writers just aren’t bothering putting in cool and weird lines like that anymore.
So Feeny uses the word “behoove” and says since they’re all starting 7th grade next year, the school board decided to send over a “guest lecturer” to tell them all the crap that they will face in that weird 6 year high school they end up going to. I mean, most schools in the U.S. have grades 6-8 in one school, and then 9-12 in another. It used to be that 7-9 were in one school and then 10-12 in another, or at least 7-8 were one school, so I don’t know why this show has 7-12 being one school. But they’re never really in 7th or 8th grade anyway, they just sort of become 9th graders next season, so this paragraph is mostly moot.
The guest lecturer is Eric. Cory and Feeny are just as surprised to see him as he is to them, with Feeny quipping “I thought they were supposed to send over good students.” Eric explains that all the smart kids actually have goals to accomplish in school, while he just wants to get out of algebra, and so, here he is.
Eric talks about how he’s in the 10th grade, and when all of these dweebs are in high school, it’ll be great because the parties will be better since they can stay out later, and buy cool new clothes. Minkus asks if the work load is more rigorous and Eric’s just like “Yeah, whatever”. He also tells them to definitely find out where the parking lot is, because all the cool kids hang out there. I’m sure most of them sit out there to smoke and make out, and probably won’t want a bunch of 13 year olds who definitely did not drive themselves to school hanging out around them, but whatever, Eric.
Oh, and Mr. Feeny says “Mr. Matthews!” about something, Topanga, who is totally in love with Eric, says “Matthews??”, and Eric explains he’s Cory’s older brother. I’m pretty sure she never did run into him that time she was working with Cory on that project and put lipstick on her face, so no continuity complaints here.
Eric makes some remark about how, if you don’t want to hang out with cool kids, you’re a nerd, and Minkus makes the best unamused face.
I’m pretty sure that’s the same kid who sat behind Minkus in the last episode. I’m impressed. Usually this show has such a big rotating table of silent extras, and not only does this seem to be an extra from the last episode, but he’s sitting in the same seat? Of course it could be a different kid, though.
So the credits play, and I just noticed the desks in the pilot are different from the ones in all the other episodes.
We had those kinds of desks in my 6th grade classes. They were grade, because you could keep stuff in them and not have to bend over or anything. I’m sure you could use them to read comics or whatever while without the teacher knowing. They’d probably be pretty good for hiding phones, but no one in my 6th grade had cell phones, mainly because that was like 10 years ago when everyone still had dial-up internet and landlines. You know, that’s kind of dumb that cell phones and internet connections that don’t use dial-up came at the same time. It’s like, “Hey, we freed up your internet so you can go online and use the phone at the same time. Also we made it so phones are totally independent of phone jacks.”
I mean, I know cell phones have been around since the 1980s, but they only became really big around the time that dial-up was becoming obsolete. [Actually I just looked it up, and “mobile telephones” have existed in some form since at least 1946. What.]
I’m really tangent-y in this review.
After the credits, we find Topanga randomly at Cory’s house, bearing freshly-baked brownies. Cory wants her to leave, but Topanga insists on enjoying them with him. Shawn, who is also randomly there, says the brownies are pretty good, and Topanga says her sister Nebbie helped make them. Cory assumes she meant Debbie, but no. Topanga’s sister is named Nebula Stopthewar Lawrence. Cory asks if her parents named her that because they thought the name Linda was already taken.
Morgan comes downstairs for apparently no reason, and says she likes Topanga’s braid. Topanga offers to do a braid like hers for Morgan, and Morgan is pleased. She and Topanga go upstairs after Morgan says she’d like to see more of Topanga, and less of Shawn.
After they leave, Shawn suggests Topanga perhaps has ulterior motives, coming over with freshly baked brownies, making nice with Cory’s sister… Cory insists that Topanga is Minkus’s girl, to which Shawn says “She’s not over at Minkus’s house, unloading brownies”. To be fair, neither of them saw the goo-goo eyes Topanga was making at Eric earlier, and she DID kiss Cory a few episodes ago.
Amy comes into the kitchen, Eric comes in from outside, and Morgan and Topanga come downstairs, both with pretty braids. Cory shoos Topanga out of the house, with her protesting that she thought she could stay awhile. Cory says they’re now over the legal hair limit (and I believe it! Topanga’s hair looks twice as big as normal), and shuts the door in her face, then opens it again and takes the brownies, closing it once more in her face.
Amy remarks how that wasn’t very polite of Cory, and Shawn says he hears that a lot of men treat the women they love that way. And then Amy and Eric give each other a look.
I never noticed this before I started taking screenshots for this blog, but there’s a lot of hilarious facial expressions on this show. I think at the end of the season I’ll put some of my favorites together. Some of them are just hilarious because of the timing of the screenshot, but some of them are just pretty hilarious faces.
Eric takes out the trash and…
Feeny meets Eric at the fence and expresses his disapproval of the talk Eric gave to the class. Sure Eric talked about how great parties are and how to hang with the cool kids, but he left out a lot of stuff. Feeny says that going from 6th grade to high school is like moving from a small town into a big city, which is actually a really good comparison. Dang, why doesn’t Mr. Feeny actually exist? I think this country would be a lot better if every teacher in every school was Mr. Feeny.
Feeny asks him about stuff like how easy it is to get drugs if you wanted some, or cigarettes, or alcohol, or whatever. Eric says he didn’t want to bring everyone down, and it’s not like he’s some role model or anything, and Feeny says “The moment you stepped into that classroom, you became one.” Then Feeny goes inside and Eric is left to think about things while he continues to take the trash out. Also he notices Topanga, who quickly runs away.
Topanga goes over to Shawn and Cory – who is wearing a Mighty Ducks jersey, which I’m sure has nothing to do with Disney owning the Mighty Ducks and having a very tight partnership with ABC, which aired Boy Meets World back in the day [they didn’t officially buy ABC until 3 years after this episode aired] – and says her sister rented this videotape, and would Cory like to see it. Cory, trying to avoid the strange girl he thinks loves him, says no, until she reveals the tape is “Godzilla Goes to College”. Cory then agrees, but Topanga said she can’t let the videotape out of her sight, and also her VCR is broken, so she’ll have to watch the tape with him at his house.
This is not one of Topanga’s better outfits.
Shawn makes fun of Cory again, for Topanga liking him, and then Minkus comes over. Minkus is wearing a yellow turtleneck and a sweatervest that looks like it has an airline logo on it.
Minkus accuses Cory of using Topanga to humiliate him, and also apparently Shawn has been spreading rumors about Cory and Topanga all around the school, including that they’re planning a trip to Acapulco. Shawn sticks Minkus’s head under his armpit and Minkus leaves. And surprisingly, there seems to be an adult in the cafeteria. She’s got a clipboard and occasionally looks up. I didn’t screenshot it and it’s not important to the story, it’s just that, in all the schools I went to, we always had teachers or staff or whoever patrolling the cafeteria, making sure we weren’t doing drugs or having illegal dances or whatever, but they never have anyone besides the one fat, old, gross lunch lady in tv show cafeterias. It’s almost like the creative team behind this show actually went to a school at some point in their lives. I mean, really. I’ve pointed out a few previous instances of surprisingly accurate school things, like the fire extinguisher or the old tv, and I know later on in the show there’s a lot of examples, and then there’s how wonderful Feeny is without being some sort of magical creature like Ms. Frizzle or Mr. Rogers. There’s another show I watch that’s just completely mind-boggling when it comes to how inaccurate it is when it comes to school. I know all schools are different, but that other show seriously makes me question if anyone on the writing staff made it past 9th grade, and never even watched another show where people go to high school. So it just makes me astounded and very happy when I see small details like there being a chaperone in the cafeteria, or a fire extinguisher, or whatever.
ANYWAY, Shawn finds Topanga’s notebook that she left on the table. He decides to look through it, and finds that classic sitcom thing of a heart with names doodled in it – Mrs. Matthews, Mrs. Topanga Matthews, Mrs. Eric Matthews – Wait, what?
I know, I know. That actually wasn’t meant to be a shocker to the audience, what with Topanga’s earlier goo-goo eyes and her standing the background, watching him take the trash and all.
Later, Cory talks to Eric before Eric leaves for the video arcade, and tells him that someone loves him. Eric is interested until Cory says it’s Topanga, that “hair in the front row with the girl attached”. Eric’s not interested in 11 year old girls (thank goodness), and says they’re too young to understand what love is. Cory protests that Minkus is only 11, and he loves Topanga, but Eric still says they’re too young to really know what real love is.
Cory tells Eric to get rid of Topanga, and Eric says he thinks maybe Cory is a bit jealous. Cory says, sarcastically, that they’ll definitely get together, and name their kids Chewbacca and Plankton. That’s almost the same as Elliott and Riley, I think.
Eric agrees to get Topanga to leave both of them alone, and Alan comes in to talk to Cory about Topanga. Cory says she’s weird and he doesn’t understand her, and Alan says most girls will probably seem a little weird to him at that age. Cory tells him that he doesn’t understand – Topanga is really weird. And he explains that he thought Topanga had a crush on him, and he didn’t like that. So Alan assumes he must’ve felt relieved when it turned out she had a crush on Eric, but Cory says… no. He says he was more confused about it than anything, and Alan tells him he’ll be confused about girls for the next 60 years, until he dies.
Also, Cory was holding a bone most of this scene, and Alan picked up a boxing glove and put it on at one point. Subtext??
I don’t know.
So Topanga shows up!
She changed her outfit.
Eric tells her to take a seat, and she sits down right in the doorway. Eric of course meant a seat inside, so they go sit on the couch. Eric makes a few “hint hint”y comments about how Cory would love the movie Topanga brought over, and Cory loved the brownies she made, and Cory’s the same age as Topanga. Topanga says she did her chart and found out she actually has a very old soul. Eric tells her not a lot of guys are gonna be after her soul, and then she tells him that she noticed his aura was glowing when he came to talk to the class the other day. Eric says his aura is too old for her to be looking at, and she’s too young to understand. Topanga argues she isn’t, and leans in for a kiss.
Eric says in the future, she’ll have to smart around guys. He points out that she’s only known him for like 5 minutes and thinks she loves him just because he’s cute, but a real relationship is based on more than just good looks, and she ought to know that if she’s old enough to be feeling that way about anyone. Topanga sort of doesn’t get it and tells him he’s so wise. Eric agrees, and gets up to answer the day, saying that a relationship based on looks is “stupid and superficial”.
At the door is Topanga’s sister. Eric introduces himself as Stupid and Superficial.
Nebula is there because Cory called her, saying Topanga wasn’t feeling well and needed someone to pick her up. Eric insists Topanga is fine and doesn’t need to leave just yet, but Topanga says she’d like to go home. Cory jumps down to the landing on the staircase asking “Is she gone?!” He sees Topanga’s sister and says “Oh no, more hair.”
Topanga walks sadly out of the house, Nebula gives Eric an apologetic look, and walks after her. And she even has the decency to close the front door behind her! This is sort of weird, but there was one show I was watching where someone came in and left the front door open, and no one ever closed for the entire scene. Actually that might have Shawn in an earlier episode, I can’t quite remember.
The next day at school, Feeny is reading a poem out loud – “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. Cory’s actually really into the poem. And he has a dinosaur sweater!
Dinosaurs are cool.
Eric interrupts and asks if he can speak to the class, much to Cory’s displeasure – the poem was just getting to the good part! But Feeny lets him.
Eric explains that when they get to high school, there’s going to be a bunch of new people they’ve never met before, which will be kind of strange since they’ve known everyone in their class since kindergarten. There’ll be a lot of people who think differently than them. People will tell them to smoke cigarettes if they want to be cool. Eric asks Minkus if he wants to be cool. Minkus says yes, so Eric asks if he’d be willing to smoke to be cool. Minkus says no, because of the health concerns.
So Eric asks him if he’d do it if Topanga thought it was cool, and Minkus says “In a heartbeat.” Eric says that’s peer pressure.
He goes around, asking about drugs, alcohol. Cory’s all like “calm down, we’re not into that stuff! We’re into baseball and cards!” And Eric tells them sure, that’s what they like now, but that’ll change, because they’re growing up. He’s right, man. I remember when I was in 6th grade, I was totally into Pokemon and video games and The Sims and watching 90s sitcoms all the time. And now that I’m grown up, I only watch them most of the time.
And so Eric says some of them have already started growing up, with a meaningful closeup of Topanga.
Later, Minkus is pulling the petals off paper flowers, saying “She loves me, she loves me not.” Cory and Shawn, observing what a wreck Minkus is, make a deal to never fall in love. On cue, a cute girl in a big purple sweater shows up and asks if Shawn can show her the principal’s office, because she’s new here, and I know if I was new, the first place I would go to would be the cafeteria, during lunch.
Cory keeps repeating “We have a deal. We have a deal!” but Shawn’s like “nope”.
During the end credits, Minkus is helping Shawn and Cory study for their French test, and Minkus is wearing that sweater vest with the thing that looks like an airline logo on it again.
They have a back and forth about French pronunciation (this is pronounced this way, this is silent), with Cory and Shawn saying it would be easier if the French spoke English like normal people. Eric comes in and says what he really likes about French people is how they kiss. Minkus is surprised to hear that French people kiss differently. Eric tells them that “the tongue is not silent”, to which the boys all go “EWWWWWWWW”.
I’ve gotta say, that was my reaction as well. Not exactly the concept of French kissing, but just the way Eric phrased that.
SO. This episode. I liked it. It was cool to have an episode that wasn’t like “dad wants me to hang out with him more!” or “I want to make first-string on the basketball team but I’m not good enough!”, and it was really nice to have an episode that sort of focused on a girl problem. I mean, having a crush on a 15 year old when you’re 11 isn’t a girl problem, but we saw it through the eyes of a girl, so there you go. If this is what Girl Meets World is going to be like, I’ll definitely be fine with watching it.
It was really awesome how Feeny still gave out really sage advice despite only having about 2 minutes of screentime.
On a final note, this is the only time we ever see or hear about Nebula. She is never mentioned again. She’s probably hanging out with Shawn’s sister Stacy, and Chuck Cunningham from Happy Days, and Puck’s little sister from Glee, and some other people, in some big lounge somewhere.
I think this is my longest recap ever, thanks no doubt to the massive amounts of tangents I went on. I’m pretty sure this is also the highest number of screencaps I’ve ever had. There’s 28 pictures open in Photoshop right now. Usually there’s only about 12 screenshots. Man. Part of it was me wanting hilarious faces or screenshots of people’s clothes, but still. Man.