Girl Meets World: 101, “Girl Meets Boy”; IDK what to say for the original air date here

It was not easy finding this episode online, I tell you what.

Well actually someone just posted a link to it in the iMDB forums, but like 3 hours after I first went looking for it.

Also I like that this is coinciding with my recap of the episode where Cory and Topanga break up. WILL THEY EVER GET BACK TOGETHER??? OMG WE’LL NEVER KNOW.

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This episode starts with the cast asking if we would like to watch Girl Meets World a month before it airs. To rephrase, the Girl Meets World episode is asking if we want to watch Girl Meets World. Thanks.

Also I’d like to explain that I’m recapping as I watch. I’m not watching and then watching it again, so all of my reactions and guesses are completely 100% genuine and not me making jokes when I know how it’s going to turn out, like I do in the “Preggers” recap of Glee.

This is irreelvant, but I just said “Preggers” in my head like I was a pirate. “Arrrr, pregerrrssss, matey.” I’ve been kind of lightheaded all day, I think this cold is making me crazier than I realized.

Anyway.

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Ah. It wouldn’t be a cheesy sitcom set in New York or San Francisco if it didn’t start with an establishing shot of a house.

We dive right in to the shenanigans. Blonde girl is trying to get brunette girl to sneak out with her. Brunette girl is nervous.

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They’re taking the subway without permission even though they’re like 12. Also blonde girl has a really deep voice for being a 7th grade girl. No wonder her singing wasn’t awful. [How’s that for a really weird conclusion to make?]

Blonde girl doesn’t trust brunette to not give away what they’re doing if they leave by the front door, so they sneak out by the window. This was in the first preview clip of the show I saw so I already know what happens. EXCITING.

On cue, they run into brunette/Riley’s dad on the first escape or whatever. OMG IT’S CORY NO WAY WHAT A PLOT TWIST.

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Cory is now being played by Bob Saget as Danny Tanner.

The audience gives a mildly enthusiastic cheer. Aw man, this isn’t going to be like Boy Meets World at all where the audience would go completely insane for a 12 year old in a swimsuit, is it? That still really weirds me out. The Boy Meets World studio audience was always just super into the show, I guess.

Well anyway, Cory explains that this isn’t Riley’s world. It’s his world. This is the most abrupt introduction of dialogue. Seriously, he climbs into the room and is like “THIS ISN’T YOUR WORLD, IT’S MINE” only less caps lock-y.

He goes on to say if it were Riley’s world, then Maya – aka blonde girl – would already have Riley on the subway. But she doesn’t. So it’s his world. Riley asks how long she has to stay in her father’s world, and he says “Until you make it yours.” UGH LAME. What is it with this show? I already complained about this is a news post, but… UGH. What’s with this show and beating us over the head with “world?” Why are all the episode titles “Girl Meets [whatever]” when Boy Meets World always had puns or references as its episode titles? What’s this “it’s YOUR world” nonsense? Ugggh.

Well I’m a minute into the show and already at almost 600 words, so that’s a problem. I mean that’s like 1/3 to 1/4 of the length of a regular Boy Meets World recap and I’m only a minute in.

Riley agrees to make it her own world, and asks “If you’ll still be there for me?” The Topanga shows up and says they’ll always be there for her. When the rain starts to pour, like they’ve been there before… Wait…

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So Riley and Maya go take the subway. Okay. Also there seems to be a picture of Feeny on a soda machine. That’s weird. I couldn’t get a cap of it.

On the subway, Maya is surprised by Riley using lip gloss. Riley explains that she’s trying to reinvent herself. Seeing as she’s 12 or 13, using lip gloss is a completely logical step here. I mean that seriously. Maya – who, incidentally, is wearing an AC/DC shirt. Are there a lot of 12 year old fans of AC/DC? Hm – points out some cute guy is looking at them. Riley thinks he’s super cute, and Maya has a plan.

Cory later tells him he is a very good-looking boy, and I agree.
Cory later tells him he is a very good-looking boy, and I agree.

So she goes over, sits down next to the kid, and does the whole “relationship in 30 seconds” schtick – she introduces herself, becomes a clingy jealous girl, and breaks up with him in one sentence, comes back to Riley, and tells her he’s available. I didn’t really describe the scene well, but it was really funny, actually. Color me surprised.

Riley’s nervous, and wants to be more like Maya, so Maya tells her to stop thinking. Then the train stops and Riley stumbles backwards halfway across the train car and falls into the guy’s lap. Super realistic, yo.

Then Jackée Harry shows up and makes Riley move so she can sit down next to a kid who’s like 30 years younger than she is.

Oh holy cow the guy who plays cute guy (Lucas) is 16, or was 15 when they were filming. I was all like “Oh wow he’s so tall for a 12 year old!” but I guess he’s not twelve.

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Then Riley starts freaking out – what if that was the best thing that ever happens to her and her life is all downhill from there? Man, welcome to adulthood. Then the train stops again and she stumbles back half a car length and lands on Jackée‘s lap, but she picks Riley up and puts her on Lucas. If this show were Degrassi or a fanfiction Lucas probably would’ve gotten an erection and this would’ve been more awkward than charming.

Also I don’t get why the train kept stopping. I mean, I say it stops, but it’s more like it put on the brakes and then kept going. It didn’t actually stop anywhere. It’s weird.

OPENING CREDITS.

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The opening credits aren’t especially interesting, but the credits font and the CGI paper plane flying all over are pretty reminiscent of early Boy Meets World. Also, Topanga.

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Maya didn’t do the homework. Doesn’t even know where her textbooks are. Sort of like how Shawn had one textbook that was still in its original plastic wrap.

Riley tells Maya that she totally has to do her homework because their teacher is insane.

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Actually he sort of looks like Tony Shaloub.

A chalkboard? In 2014? Is that still a thing? Some of the classrooms in my high school still had chalkboards in 2008, but the school also had a massive mold problem and a lot of the air conditioners in the rooms smelled like rat pee when you turned them on.

Anyway Cory’s a history teacher, just like Feeny. I think that’s because history and English are the best subjects to have someone teach so the lessons can be relevant to whatever drama the students are going through, and it’s easier to write about people doing Shakespeare plays than it is to have them learning derivative calculus.

Case in point, they’re learning about the Civil War. Cory asks if anyone knows anything about it, and Riley answers that it’s a “war we fought against ourselves.” When Cory asks if that means she studied it, she answers “No, I’m living it!” Ugh shut up Riley.

But really, let’s take a break for a minute. What exactly is she talking about? What civil war is she fighting against herself or others? Does she just mean her desire to be cool versus her being a neurotic loser? Or what? What did she mean by that?

Minkus… er, Farkle says they should get back to studying or something, then randomly says that he’s been in love with Riley since the first grade, but is now also in love with Maya and hopes she’ll be the first Mrs. Farkle.

Wait, does that mean Farkle doesn’t have a mother? Every woman married to a Farkle man kept her last name?

???

There are some people saying he’s actually Minkus’s son, but if that’s the case and his name is actually Farkle Minkus, why did he just say “Mrs. Farkle”? They filmed this after they changed a lot of stuff from the pilot so I don’t think it’s just that they’re retconning him into Minkus’s son later…?

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Anyway, Cory declares this the greatest predicament of the ages – what to do if you’re in love with two very different women. Riley protests that she and Maya aren’t all that different. Oh, Riley.

Farkle explains they’re actually really different. Also Cory’s name plate on his desk has Farkle’s name on the other side. Weird.

Cory goes up and explains that bad things in history happen when people don’t know who they are. I don’t know, I’m pretty sure Hitler knew who he was and that whole World War II thing was pretty bad, eh?

That Lucas kid comes into the classroom. He’s a new student from Austin, Texas. Luckily there was exactly one empty desk for him that happened to be behind Riley’s seat.Ah, and for the curious, Girl Meets World has the problem Boy Meets World and many other show have – that is, there’s only like 9 seats in the classroom. I know it’s to cut down on the size of the set and the number of extras, but the only time I’ve ever been in a class that small was in college. My 1st grade class wasn’t even that small.

Cory tells the class to read pages 1-48 of their text book, and also that their homework is to write a three-page essay on anything. Ugh man, I’m not even his student and I think that’s terrible. Three whole pages?? Gross.

Maya says something about protesting homework. They’re always learnings tuff in the classroom, they deserve nights off! She gets the class to start chanting “No homework, more freedom!” Riley agrees, and Cory’s all “No, Riley! That’s not who you are!” Then most of the class leaves while chanting. Unfortunately this only ends with a lame Minkus… Farkle gag where he passes out after debating whether to pursue an education or women, and doesn’t end with Cory issuing a detention or suspension to everyone who left, or threatening to fail them so they have to repeat their year. Or you know, any authoritative thing. At least when they did the protest walk-out on Boy Meets World, they were protesting Turner taking back a promise he made, and not just objecting to having homework in general.

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Riley and Cory come home and tattle on each other. Topanga asks why Riley wants to be Maya, and Riley explains it’s because Maya’s cool and GAWD YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME AT ALL *storms off to room*

Topanga puts on a mocking voice and says “Oh let’s get married, let’s have a kid, let’s have another kid!” Cory replies “Well, you listened to me.” I chuckled at that.

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Riley monologues a bunch of questions about if she’ll ever be cool. I don’t even care anymore Riley, we’re almost 11 minutes in and I’m already sick of you.

Little brother replies with the questions “Do bears know how to smile? Why is cake so delicious? Will my drawings ever get any better?” I’m honestly more curious to know the answers to those questions than to know if Riley will ever be cool.

Riley asks if he’s making fun of her. He says no, they just think alike because they’re twins. I thought he was being sarcastic, but when Riley says they aren’t twins he runs out of the room screaming for their mom.

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Is… is that the same school? The same school as on BMW? Hm.

Establishing shot!

…I guess not. I’m disappointed.

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At lunch, Maya observes that Lucas can’t find a place to sit. So Maya scoots over to indicate there’s totally a place for him! Except Minkle sits down instead and says something about meatloaf versus pot pie or something and it’s a metaphor. Then he leaves, and Riley scoots over and starts freaking out about zzzzzzzzzzzz

Oh sorry, I mean it’s the same “oh I’m a loser but I like him blahblahIdon’tcare”. Then Lucas sits down next to them. Yay! Then Cory kneels next to them because he forgot this is America and young women are allowed to sit with boys at lunch time.

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Cory just starts babbling about Texas and asks what city of Texas is closest to Mexico. Lucas says it’s El Paso and Cory says “Great! Let’s go there right now!” and he drags Lucas in his chair out of the cafeteria. Holy crap, Cory is insane.

Maya and Riley put their lunch trays away even though they literally only just sat down and haven’t eaten anything, and Maya asks if Riley did the homework. Riley’s like “What’re you, crazy? Of course not!” Except she totally did and she also did Maya’s and liked it. That’s so dumb. Of course she did the homework for the class that her father teaches!  Geez.

Maya tells her to not do that, and to let Maya be herself. Then Farkus shows up with Angel Food cake and Devil’s Food cake and Maya’s all “Let me guess who each cake is for” – obviously since Maya is a Bad Girl she gets the Devil’s Food. Except not, because apparently he just really wanted two pieces of cake because he was hungry, and he’s not sharing. This show is really weirding me out, on the one hand there’s a lot of repetitive dullness, on the other hand there’s some decent jokes.

Also all these seventh graders are super stylish. I remember when I was in middle school, it was mostly just a small group of 8th graders who were dressed so finely, everyone else was just like polo shirts and graphic tees and hooded sweatshirts. I guess it’s not a crime to have well-dressed tv characters, though.

IS IT?? What if it was? Poor Downton Abbey would go bankrupt.

In class, Maya reveals that she didn’t do the homework because she’s protesting, just like we found out literally like four minutes ago. SUCH DRAMA WOW. Then Riley says she also didn’t do the homework because she’s cool.

Then Maya tells everyone who did do the homework, which is everyone but her, to put their essays on their desks. She collects all of them and uses a sparkler from Farkle’s essay –

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– and is about to set the papers on fire. Now, I’m no expert, but probably a single sparkler isn’t enough to set a stack of 30 or so pieces of paper on fire? Maybe the top couple? Cory takes the papers away just in time, but then the sparkler sets the sprinklers off. Everybody but the named characters run out of the room. And Lucas covers Riley with his jacket AWWWWW.

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You know apparently real overhead sprinklers spew out more of  a black sludge than actual water? I understand why they never have it that way on tv, but it’s one of those things that because it’s never portrayed accurately in media, people sort of misunderstand it in real life.

Cory gives Maya detention. Riley says she deserves detention too, but Cory says she didn’t do anything, but Maya did. Maya has to see the principal. WHO COULD THE PRINCIPAL BE?? Haha, I hope it’s Frankie Stechino. We don’t see the principal in this episode so honestly who knows? Maybe it’s Minkus! That would be way more believable than literally anything else in this episode.

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Cory gives Maya a talk in the hallway after telling Riley that she needs to stay lame so she can reign Maya in from her crazies (I am paraphrasing, hopefully that was obvious). He tells Maya that friends are supposed to help each other out of trouble, not into it, and it’s always been “Riley and Maya” not “Maya and Maya” or something. Maya gets all sad and says “I have nobody at home who helps me with my homework” and then she leaves. Eh… I never got help with my homework, like ever, so… okay?

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On the subway, Maya says Cory is going to make Riley end their friendship. Riley doesn’t believe it because whatever. Maya’s like “I’m no good for you, you don’t go as far as I do.” A few minor changes and this could turn into a conversation about someone dumping someone else because they don’t want to have sex yet.

Jackee Harry is on the subway again, making commentary. She calls Maya and Riley cute little honeybees and asks where their hunk is. What even the heck.

The subway stops where Riley’s supposed to get off, and Maya tells her to leave, this is her stop, because she doesn’t go as far as Maya does. Haha it’s like a double-meaning or something. She shoves Riley off the train, and the door closes. But then Riley pulls the doors back open because the subway didn’t immediately start moving, and Jackee Harry says she pushed the doors open with the power of love. Is Jackee Harry’s character supposed to be this creepy in hindsight? She’s way too involved with these 12 year olds she doesn’t know.

Riley says something I can’t remember, and Maya says she’s only pushing her away because Maya’s no good for her. Some minor changes and this could turn into a scene from Twilight. Riley says only she (Riley) can decide what’s best for her (Riley) and she pulls Maya off the subway and they run off together, and because of all these shenanigans this train and all the following ones were off-schedule for the rest of the day. THANKS, RILEY.

They go to the Matthews home and Riley gives a speech about friends, and being herself or whatever, and she says her civil war is over, and she won. Okay.

The next scene, Cory gives Riley her own metro pass so she can take the subway whenever she wants, as a 12 year old in New York City. She gets on the train and it says one of the next stops is the world. I know it’s a reference to the show’s theme, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there actually was a World, New York. There are places called Egypt, Norway, Scotland, and Texas in New York state. Too bad Texas, New York will never come up in the show. Ah, well.

We don’t see the cool adventures Riley and Maya have, just the train coming back to the same place where Cory, Topanga, and the little brother are. Riley’s all “You’re still here??” and Topanga says “We said we’d always be here for you.”

Cory makes some speech about finding your place in the world, and, get this, guys:

"Well done, Mr. Matthews"
“Well done, Mr. Matthews”

Apparently that wasn’t a vending machine I saw before but a “Stay in school” poster. I guess that makes more sense. Would’ve been a weird but funny joke if Feeny’s face was just on random background decor throughout the series.

So anyway, that’s the end.

I’m not overly impressed.

Sabrina Carpenter, who plays Maya, was really entertaining, but I’m not really confident in Rowan Blanchard (Riley) so far. I’m not expecting an Emmy-winning performance from her, but I think even the kid who played the brother, in his short appearance, was a better actor, and he’s half her age. Certainly there’s still time for her to prove herself, or improve her acting. I forget which show it was, but for the whole first season all the acting was pretty bad, but then they came back for season 2 and they were suddenly all really good actors. So maybe that’s the case here.

And if you couldn’t tell, I was really bored by this storyline. Riley wants to be cool, Cory tells her to find her place in the world, then tell her to be herself, but she still wants to be cool until Maya says she’s a bad influence on Riley. It was almost the same scene just repeated like 6 times. Super boring. This episode really could’ve benefited from a subplot. Nothing too complicated, maybe something as basic as the time Morgan put her doll in the toaster oven and then didn’t like the career-girl doll Amy bought her. Something like that with Topanga and the little brother, so we could’ve gotten to know them a bit better (and maybe learned his name), and it would’ve cut a minute or two out of the really repetitive “This is who I am!” “No it isn’t!” “Find yourself! Except if you think yourself is like this” plot.

I don’t really know how to qualify this episode, either. It’s not the pilot episode, because they had to completely refilm it after they cut out the older brother character. Maybe if he’d still have been in it, the Riley plot wouldn’t have been so repetitive and boring. I still think it was dumb to have cut him out. Maybe they did it because they didn’t want to rehash the old Matthews clan with having a sporty, handsome older brother, but just because there WAS an older brother doesn’t mean he would’ve been an Eric clone. There was definitely a lot of opportunity for plotlines with there being a brother who’s one year older than the main character. Like I mentioned in a different post, they could’ve had a deal where Maya gets a crush on him, but he doesn’t like her at first, until she gets a little older, and they start dating and it freaks Riley out even though at first she was totally okay with it. And one episode could’ve been about them trying to hang out like they used to, but they realize their interests are just so different now that they can’t really be buds like they were when they were younger, and they learn to accept that or something.

I guess it’s too late now. If I had the power to rewrite and recast a television just by writing about it, Glee would be like 90% better by now.

Maybe the first season DVD release of the show will have the original pilot on it. I would very much like to watch it after seeing this.

Objectively, this was okay for a first episode. It had some issues – mostly related to pacing and character development (Farkle is bizarrely the only character who seems to be a complete person, despite appearing to be a one-trope pony) – but a couple decent jokes.

Speaking of Farkle and jokes,when Cory is giving Maya the metropass, for some reason Farkle and Lucas are there with them just for moral support. Lucas sees what he thinks is a horse in the subway tunnel, and Finklus points out it’s actually rat. Then these two supermodels show up and say “Hi, Farkle” really flirtatiously and he says “Hello, ladies” back at them. Why can’t this show be Farkle Meets World or something?

Speaking of, the title of this episode doesn’t make sense. Yes Riley meets a boy, but he was pretty irrelevant to the plot. Like he literally did not need to be in this episode. If you can take out what the title’s referring to and the plot of the episode still mostly makes sense, you have a problem.

I still say they at least did well in casting some kids who look like they could be Danielle Fishel’s and Ben Savage’s offspring.

Now for those of you who don’t have access to Disney Channel or don’t want to look for the link in the Girl Meets World iMDB messageboards that I used, the episode will be available on iTunes in mid-June, I think for free but I’m not sure. It will also premiere on tv on June 27, so it should be easier to find illegally uploaded online after that, not that you should watch pirated tv shows or anything! Hahaha. I literally just admitted that I watched a pirated version.

 

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