GMW: 104, “Girl Meets Father”; July 25, 2014

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Well, anyway.

The school is having a funk-themed dance. Oh boy.

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Riley and Maya spot a “ninth grade woman” putting on makeup in the hallway, rather than in the bathroom where there’s a larger mirror and less of a chance that someone will bump into her and cause her to stab herself with an eyebrow pencil.

Riley’s freaking out because I guess she’s never seen or heard of someone putting on makeup before. The ninth grader pulls out that eyelash curler thing and Riley doesn’t know what it is. Maya tells her it’s to “bring out her eyes” and Riley, I kid you not, takes this to mean it’s some sort of torture device meant to literally remove a person’s eyes.

Apparently Riley has a second character trait now, and that trait is “incredibly stupid/naive”. I guess maybe that’s two traits, technically.

The ninth grader hears Riley and explains that it’s an eyelash curler and isn’t supposed to hurt. So Riley uses it and hurts herself. I was kind of kidding before, but seriously, wow, Riley’s dumb.

Farkle tries to ask the girls to the dance, they refuse, so he says he’ll be happy if he just gets one dance each with them. They agree to this, and Farkle says that’s actually all he wanted in the first place. Farkle wins.

Lucas comes over and Maya makes a bunch of cowboy and hoedown comments at Lucas in regards to the dance. HILARIOUS.

No, but she starts doing this hoedown dance in the hallway and the other kids in the hallway all applaud her and ask her to keep doing it. That was actually funny.

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Spoiler alert: Auggie wears like three layers of shirts throughout this episode.

Riley asks Topanga, who’s reading to Auggie, if she can ask a question. Auggie says Riley can ask him a question. OH MY GOD NO ONE LIKES YOU, AUGGIE.

Riley clarifies it’s a girl problem, and Auggie says he knows about girls. I cannot properly convey my dislike for this character. Riley’s like “Okay, well it’s about-” and then Auggie says ‘I’m out” and runs out of the room. SO GLAD HE WAS IN THIS SCENE, WOW.

Riley tries to ask about makeup but Topanga just keeps deflecting her by basically saying “you’re too young” in different ways. I know Topanga’s the mom, and I totally respect and appreciate that she’s setting boundaries and stuff, saying she doesn’t think Riley’s really ready to wear makeup. BUT it’s my feeling that, if your child comes to you to ask questions, you should answer them. If you go “Not now, honey” too often, eventually the kid’s just going to stop asking altogether and try to figure stuff out on their own. Now maybe that’s not as huge a deal as it used to be, what with Google and all, but still. I don’t think there would’ve been any harm in Topanga just explaining what the difference between daytime and nighttime makeup was, and whatever, while still remaining firm in her decision to not let Riley wear any makeup until she’s older.

But as it turns out, the point of this scene was to let us know that the dance is on Friday but that’s also when Cory and Riley have their annual trip to Coney Island to ride the roller coaster or whatever. Riley says “Maybe he won’t remember it this year” but it’s Cory, so of course he remembers. I always love on sitcoms where nobody has any idea what their plans for the week are until like two days before.

Also Auggie was eavesdropping. He tells Cory that Riley wants to wear makeup. Apparently Cory specifically hired Auggie to be a spy. I really hate the name Auggie. I wish his name was Chewbacca. Chewie is way cuter than Auggie. And I know the actor’s actual name is August, that doesn’t change the fact that the name Auggie is starting to drive me crazy.

104_0002_Layer 3Then they tell Cory that Riley doesn’t want to go to Coney Island and wants to go to the dance. Cory lays on the guilt and feigns having a heart attack. Riley’s all “I’m a grown up now, you have nothing left to teach me” because somehow they started talking about teaching even though that has literally nothing to do with a father-daughter tradition of going to a theme park.

At school the next day, Cory only refers to Riley with a scathing “You.” He hands back papers on Darwin because I have no idea what class this actually is. I mean, Darwin was obviously a historical person, but he typically figures more in science classes. But then again, Feeny was a social studies, history, English, and math teacher even though they were in 6th grade so he should’ve only been teaching one subject. By the way Feeny’s still alive on this show. Some people got confused by the end of the first episode and though Cory was seeing Feeny’s ghost rather than him just imagining Feeny or something. The writers/producers/etc say Feeny’s still alive, though.

Anyway, Maya got an F on her paper. And after that revelation, Cory immediately says that he thought it was interesting that Lucas made a point in his paper about evolution not preventing people from having a guiding light of wisdom in their life.

I just can’t. They’re in 7th grade. How freaking pretentious.

Also oh my god I’m only 7 minutes into this episode but it feels like it’s been 20.

104_0003_Layer 4Then Maya raises her hand and is all “You failed me.” She declares this means there is nothing left for Cory to teach her so she’s just going to drop out of school I guess even though she’s only 13 and too young to do that.

Also, what? Clearly if Maya failed, Cory still has a lot to teach her. For instance, that students in the U.S. are not legally allowed to drop out of school until age 16. Plus it’s pretty dumb to want to drop out of school entirely because one teacher failed you.

But I’m guessing because she keeps repeating “He failed me” to Riley as she talks to her later that it’s going to come up that like Cory is the only person who ever really believed in Maya and if he gave her an F there’s no one and nothing left for her or whatever.

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WHY is he dressed like that??

Cory sadly watches a video of him and Riley on the roller coaster. Somehow you can still clearly hear what they’re saying even though whoever was filming it was not on the coaster with them.

Auggie comes over and is like “What’s the matter, honey?” God I freaking hate this kid. I wish when they nixxed Riley’s older brother they also got rid of this kid.

I guess this is as good a point as any to bring up an interesting comment. User Jackie commented on the last episode’s post that it seems like they’ve written Auggie’s part as if he is a 3 year old, when the character is 5 and the actor was 5 or 6 when they were filming, and that’s probably what’s so irritating about him. I replied saying I guess that was better than if they’d written him as if he were older, because when they write young characters/actors as if they’re like 10 years old it gets super aggravating, and lo and behold, suddenly Auggie is sounding as if he’s a much older character than he is.

I assume at least one person on the writing and production staff has been around children before, but you wouldn’t know it from Auggie.

Anyway, Cory comments that he’s “lost the two most important girls in his life.” Topanga is understandably baffled by this comment.

Auggie tries to reassure Cory by saying he’ll always be there for his daddy. He does this while looking back and forth between Ben Savage and someone offscreen.

Auggie leaves, and Cory watches the video of the coaster again. Bizarrely, it’s a different video actually – it’s footage from inside the roller coaster car – but the audio is all the same. Oops.

Topanga says they can just go next year, but Cory tells her that’s just how traditions end. That’s actually a good point. That IS how traditions end. But Topanga still thinks Cory’s overreacting, but Cory’s still sad about losing his two girls, especially that Riley said she has nothing left to learn from Cory. Cory should’ve just said “You’re 12. I still have loads to teach you. Go to your room.”

Why are THEY dressed like that??
Why are THEY dressed like that??

Maya signed up for an online education academy to finish up her middle school degree. The totally legit academy requires $400 to register, which is pretty decent for a totally legitimate online education that isn’t a scam at all. Maya tries to basically not pay for it, and it automatically fails her.

Topanga comes in and they talk and I don’t remember what they talk about but Cory comes in and just takes Maya by the hand and leaves with her. That just reminded me of on Futurama that one time when Leela took Fry by the hand and silently pulled him into her bedroom. So basically the end of this scene on this show really weirded me out.

104_0006_Layer 7It turns out Cory’s just having Maya read her paper on Darwin out loud.

Darwin animal studies were thought to be when the travels he took on the boat with The Beatles.

Yes you read all of that correctly.

Maya says she was just trying to sound smart, by writing something that made absolutely no sense. What she meant to say, as she explains, is just that Darwin studied animals. Cory starts quizzing her on Darwin, and Maya says “I don’t know” to everything until Riley says “Yes you do.” So she talks about how Darwin studied birds, specifically finches and mockingbirds, and traveled in his boat named The Beatles, which is the only part of that which is wrong (it was The Beagle).

Topanga decides to make turkey sandwiches even though she was a vegetarian on Boy Meets World. Maybe she’s just not going to eat any of the sandwiches herself. Oh and Maya’s all “Darwin didn’t study turkeys.”

Yeah.

Cory changes the F on Maya’s paper to an H, although Maya reads it as an A, and Cory says he’s only changing the grade to a C+. I love on tv show how no one ever gets number grades on anything. College was the only time in my life where I mostly only got letter grades rather than numbers like 95% or 80% or 4/5 or whatever.

104_0007_Layer 8Maya suddenly starts talking about how her dad doesn’t live with her. He has a new family now. And I guess because of this, if Cory gives her an F that means he doesn’t think she’s worth working on anymore, which is coincidentally exactly what I thought the explanation would be. Well, except for the father part.

Um so Cory is like “How could you think I could think that about you?” Maya says she just didn’t want to fail.

Riley says something about Cory being a great teacher and she really does want to go to Coney Island after all. Cory says “No, you want to go to the dance.” She does. Cory says that’s great because he’s a chaperone even though he thought he’d have other plans that night. Riley raises her hand and asks “What’s a chaperone?”

Okay, seriously?? What’s a chaperone?? That’s it. Riley’s two defining characteristics on this show are “Likes Lucas” and “Is surprisingly dumb.” Let’s look at Maya’s characteristics so far:

  • worldly and street-smart
  • general sense of humor about the world
  • low self-worth despite having an outwardly confident demeanor

There’s a few others that I can’t quite put into words as well. But, um, yeah. It’s great we finally had an episode that wasn’t all about Riley crushing on Lucas, but it’s the fourth episode and Riley is still barely a character. Why are Cory and Maya the most developed characters on the show? And why are Topanga and Riley the least developed?

But I mean seriously, she doesn’t know what a chaperone is??

Well they go to the dance. Everyone makes room for Jesus.

104_0008_Layer 9The one middle school dance I went to, everyone just stood around except for a group of like 10 8th grade girls who were really breaking it down. I spent most of the night eating Starburst in the hallway outside the cafeteria.

Anyway, bizarrely, Riley compliments Lucas, telling him he’s a great dancer even though all they’re doing is swaying slightly and not moving from their spot on the floor. Meanwhile, Farkle has Maya doing a very quick tango back and forth. At one point they stop and Maya asks Lucas if they wore that hat just because Maya was poking fun at him earlier. He says that is indeed what he was doing, he pulls a flower out of his hat, and gives it to Maya, who then loses it to Farkle.

104_0009_Layer 10Cory announces it’s the end of the dance, but he’s noticed some fathers have arrived to pick up their daughters, so he suggests they have a father-daughter dance.

How mortifying. Are there really a lot of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls who would be like “Oh yeah let me just do a slow dance with my dad in front of THE WHOLE SCHOOL”?

No. No there’s not. No one would be okay with that.

Also why are there dads there at all? Up to this point they’ve been totally okay with letting their 12 year olds take the subway alone at night. Why the issue now? And why aren’t there any moms there? That’s weird.

Um but anyway Cory dances with Maya and then flags Riley over and says he’ll always be a guiding hand or whatever Lucas said earlier that I thought was pretentious.

104_0010_Layer 11Over the credits, Auggie suggests that since Riley’s too big for dad-daughter traditions, maybe he and Cory could start one for themselves. Cory’s touched by this, until Auggie suggests they take an annual singles cruise to Alaska.

That line could potentially have been cute, it’s just something with the way August Maturo delivers his lines, possibly combined with his age, that just makes it obnoxious.

Thoughts: So what exactly did the thing with makeup have to do with anything? I was thinking Riley was going to defy Topanga and put on makeup herself and look like a sad clown hooker and get made fun of and then Cory reassures her or something and Cory learns that Riley’s growing up and Riley learns that she still has stuff to learn from Cory.

Instead the episode was about Maya realizing that her friend’s dad is there for her even when it seems like he isn’t, and that she should have more confidence about how much stuff she knows or whatever.

I think Maya and Lucas have more chemistry than Riley and Lucas at this point, by the way.

Despite my criticisms, this show really isn’t awful. It’s got tons of flaws, but I’ve seen worse. I’m hoping future episodes will not include scenes with kids just getting up and leaving class and/or detention with absolutely no repercussions because that has happened in three of the four episodes that have aired so far. That is ridiculous.

The acting from everyone except August Maturo is pretty good, though. Granted, August is only like 6, but I’ve seen plenty of young actors who didn’t overact so obnoxiously – like Elijah Wood or Lily Nicksay. Of course, not everyone could be Elijah Wood, although I certainly wouldn’t mind if everyone were.

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