5 . Girl meets Texas Part 1
In this episode, Maya and Riley sign Lucas up to ride Tombstone the bull, but he might not be the only one who faces his fears in Texas.
Riley friend-zoning Lucas is just like when her mother put Cory in the friendzone so they could remain friends, multiple times. I think this episode is most closely related theme-wise to Boy Meets World Fear Strikes Out. They are both about overcoming fears and relationships.
This episode is fantastic. It covers new ground in many ways. It starts to give us more information about Lucas and his past through his friends and family from Texas. This development is important because Lucas is a pretty important character in the series, so it's essential that we get more depth from him. I am glad we got more depth to his character. For example, while it's funny that he fell off a lamb, it's also nice to see he isn't perfect and has times where he messes up or is scared. In this episode, he is scared of the bull he has come back to ride, but his fear is at war with his desire to earn respect for his family. One of my favorite moments is after the other grandchild has failed their ride; Lucas doesn't laugh at his rival family grandson. He uplifts him and encourages him. That moment just embodies who Lucas is.
I also think Girl Meets World taught a great lesson here about fear. Lucas was terrified of the bull, and he had Maya trying to rule him with fear, but he didn't back down. He didn't let his fear lead him and literally took the bull by the horns and overcame his fears. However, there is an explosive side plot taking over throughout this episode. Maya likes Lucas. Episodes ago, Maya acted like Riley, and ever since then, she had been convinced Riley only likes Lucas as a brother.
Well, Riley has sussed that out, and she has figured out that Maya likes Lucas.' Lucas has started to seem like he likes Maya. He has been paying more attention to her ever since Girl Meets Yearbook. However, it seemed like he realized once again that Riley was the one for him. She was the one who pushed him to be the best version of himself and whom he admits had done so since they met.
However, Riley hasn't accepted his feeling putting him in the friendzone. On the surface, it seems like Riley has taken Jack's advice from Girls Meets Semi-Formal and friended Lucas, so she doesn't lose him like Rachel and Eric, who never lost contact. Nevertheless, one has to wonder is Riley just stepping aside for Maya. You can't ignore the timing of Riley putting Lucas in the friend zone, and her delivery seems like she is forcing herself to say it.
This episode is a great setup episode that really gets you hooked for what happens next. Also, Girl Meets World is covering new ground. Maya and Riley are supposed to be female Cory and Shawn, but Cory and Shawn never had a problem based on liking the same girl. They never had a female version of Lucas they both really liked. Major points to Girl Meets World for expanding conflicts and also allowing the kids to go off on their own without their parents. It turns out when you just focus on them and what is going on in their world, they shine.
Homework: Fear Strikes out season 2, The Grass is Always Greener season 3
Extra Credit: Pairing off season 2
4. Girl Meets RileyTown
In this episode, Riley is cyberbullied.
The ball gun Farkle uses is a reference season Santa's Little Helper. There are two Boy Meets World themes in this episode. One of the Boy Meets World themes in this episode is where Cory and Shawn fight, and Shawn has to choose between his friendship and a bully who is also his brother, and another theme is when Shawn overcomes his flaws to get rid of a bully in season 4. This Girl Meets World episode, and its Boy Meets World counterpart are about friendship and growth and involve bullying.
I think this was an excellent episode of Girl meets World. Yes, it is basically a part two to an episode concept they already did. However, it's substantive. It adds something new. In the first bully episode, the kids know the bully and can reach him and change his heart, and that certainly is one way you could change the bully if you knew them well enough. More often, though, this Rileytown episode is the way to do it. In this episode, Riley needs to rely on her friends, not try to handle it on her own, and grow enough so that she faces her bully and, as John Cena says, "rise above hate." This is not an easy thing to do growth is challenging, and a bully would not affect you if you didn't care about their criticism, but it is critical to gain inner strength and not let the bully's words hold power over you. It is really easy to say harder to do, but it can be done.
Girl Meets World also directly addressed the online audience, and that choice definitely elevated this episode. There were a lot of haters online, and they're still are to this day. Girl meets World trended years after it ended just from people hating on the show. However, I love that while it was airing, they had Riley look directly in the camera and let it be known the bullies were in the tv audience and on social media. Also, Riley standing up to all the haters of Girl Meets World was a powerful example to young girls and anyone really about growth, taking ownership of who you are, and not letting anyone shame you for it.
Also, I think this episode uses all the characters very effectively. Lucas learned a lesson about not flying off the handle, and it was even tied back to an American History lesson about Burr. Farkle was able to use his past experience to help Riley overcome her bully. Maya and Riley had a meaningful and dramatic fight where Maya showed true friendship.
There are two things I want to push back on, though. When Riley expresses to Maya that she does not like Rileytown, Maya should stop saying it. It does not matter how Maya feels about it when Riley has expressed that she does not like it, and you keep saying it that is not okay. Maya especially should realize this because of her short pancakes episode where she made a big stink about not wanting to be called short and got mad at Riley for not defending her. Also, Maya tells Riley it is okay that Riley took out her frustration on her and says it is okay for her to do that in the future, but it isn't. Riley should be able to vent and confide in Maya, but Riley should not be able to lash out at Maya and take things out on her that is not fair to Maya.
Overall all though, I really like this episode. This episode had riveting stakes and conflict. It used the kids and parents effectively. I love when Maya tells Cory not to interfere because she is right; in order to learn, they need to make mistakes on their own and learn, but they can't learn if their parents don't let them experience anything. I also like that this episode did not get rid of Cory. He still offered guidance in the classroom, and that is what the parents should be doing, offering guidance, not just solving everything.
This episode also showcased Rileys best performance yet. She showed more emotional range. She was scared and depressed when she was being bullied. Also, she was able to keep it from all her friends, which is very un-Riley-like. Also, when she broke down, I think she delivered the most dramatic scene of the series. We saw another side of Riley that is not bubbly perfect, and happy all time. We also got to see the character's inner strength when she looked her bully in the face and stood up for herself, and reclaimed her power.
Homework Janitor Dad season 4, the Pink Flamingo Kid
Extra credit Santa's Little Helper season 1
3. Girl Meets Christmas Maya
In this episode, the kids do secret Santa, and Maya worries that her family with scare Shawn.
There actually weren't any direct references. One indirect reference would be Cory referencing Shawn's general history. Also, the episode theme of friendship and family around the holidays is closest to Santa's Little Helpers.
I am crazy about this episode. Boy Meets World and especially Girl Meets World have mixed results when it comes to Halloween, but they do not play when it comes to Christmas. First, I loved how Riley was handled this episode. She is a goofball, and sometimes that can be written poorly and make her seem like a sheltered, naive fool. However, here she was written very well. Her goofball antics came off as a girl with a flair for dramatics which is hilarious and historically accurate. I loved how she threw glitter in the air and overacted to show how dramatic Riley is. I personally think that is when Riley is at her funniest.Also, the writer made sure to show that Riley is not just goofy she actually really smart. She is the one who makes her friends do secret Santa and helps them get closer as friends. She is the one who convinced Maya she needed to go back home.
However, Riley is not the only one who was used well in this episode. Everyone was. Auggie and Ava were hilarious asides that actually helped move the story along while also being comic relief. I always love watching Ava spar with Topanga, and we got that in the reading of the gift of the Magi. Also, even though Ava frustrated Topanga by poking holes in the story at the end of the episode, Ava shows that she understood the story and applies it to Maya's life. This was actually more infuriating for Topanga because it means she understood the story the entire time. Also, the Ava sugar craze was a funny way to show people get crazy around Christmas. Also, Ava as Maya and Auggie as Shawn was hilarious. Equally hilarious was Cory as Chet and Topanga as Katy. The entire play was hilarious, but it was not just a joke. It was progressing the story and providing incite to the characters.
The Maya being afraid things won't work out storyline can definitely feel played out. This episode avoided that pitfall by exploring this in a compelling dynamic way. I love that in this episode, instead of Maya's usual woe is me, they actually show Maya that her mom has done her best and she actually needs to get her more Credit. I loved that because Maya kind of dogs her mom, and her mom doesn't deserve it. I am glad they finally reflected the mirror on Maya. I am glad we got to how Maya got to go to school with Riley because if she is so poor, it seems like they would not go to the same school, but Maya transferred in. All thanks to Katy Hart, who gave her daughter a better life. I also loved that they roped in Shawn; all Shawn ever wanted was for the people who loved him to be there. This was the perfect way to get Maya to go home and have her first Christmas with Shawn.
The secret Santa storyline was great as well. They keep talking about how great of friends they are, but they learn in this episode that they don't really know each other that well. I also appreciated how at first, everyone thought the gifts they got were awful. However, when they find out why their friends got them for them, they realize everyone put careful thought into the gifts, and they are appreciated, and they all grow closer.This episode was excellent, utilized all the characters well, had multiple compelling storylines, and was genuinely funny. There is only one possible grade.
Homework Santa's Little Helpers season 6
Extra credit Career Day season 2
2. Girl Meets Creativity
In this episode, the arts are being cut, and they try to figure out a way to save the arts.
There are not many references in this episode. Maya is a great artist, is a reference to Shawn having had an aptitude for the arts. Riley's reference to the art teacher favoring her is a reference to Minkus and Cory. Cory once complained that Feeny favored Minkus, and Feeny gave a similar answer to the art teacher.
This episode really covers new ground. Boy Meets World has an episode with a similar theme but not a similar topic. I thought this episode was excellent from start to finish. This episode had three very strong points. First, it presented a problem that mattered and presented real-life dramatic stakes to the characters—that problem being cutting the art program.
Second, it developed the characters. Lucas showed he had an interest in Maya, a romantic interest. From this episode, we learn that he thinks she is beautiful and that he knows she is a great artist and wants to make sure she can still do her arts because he knows it makes her happy. We also get hints that Zay also likes Maya. Zay asks Maya to dance and is the first to point out all the attention Lucas is giving Maya, and we learn Zay does ballet.
We learn that Riley has matured. She recognized the fire inside of Maya and got out of her way and allowed it to burn. She did not try to rescue Maya. She helped Maya rescue herself, showing that Riley is still an excellent friend. We get very, very small hints that Maya likes Lucas back by her reactions to all his attention. We all see how far Maya has come that she came up with this whole plan to get back the arts, and she has abandoned her whole hope is for suckers mindset. Maya shows clear growth. So has Farkle, in season one, Farkle did not even care about art. He thought technology was king in season two. Now Farkle is arguing to save the arts and tap dancing. He has grown as well.
Lastly, the adults were used perfectly here. They did not come in and solve the problem. They guided the kids the whole way, but they did not provide them with answers. They went to every adult who had previously helped them, but it was above Cory's pay grade. Topanga could not lawyer it away. Turner did not even have any power, although I did love Cory's gag of blaming Turner.
Being turned away led the kids to perform their resistance, and the adults cheered them on in the crowd where they should be. The kids figured this problem out for themselves, and that is what both Girl Meets World and Boy Meets World are all about.
Homework Turkey Day season 4
Extra Credit Boy 11 mensa season 1, an Ode to Mr. Caufield season 6
1. Girl Meets New Teacher
In this episode, Girl Meets World gets a new teacher, and the class loves her, but the administration doesn't.
This episode contains some good references. Firstly the whole leather jacket young teacher idealist who rides a motorcycle and teaches comics references Mr. Turner in Boy Meets World and his first day in season 2. Also, the new teacher gets in trouble, just like Turner got in trouble with Feeny in season 2, episode two, for his teaching methods.
Maya liking the new teacher, is also a reference. This is a reference to Shawn and Turner and their relationship. Maya even plays more into that when she asks Turner more about Shawn at dinner. When Turner talks about his bike being totaled, that is a reference to season 4 of Boy Meets World. Also, when Riley has Auggie read Archie, they are actually Foreshadowing the love triangle between Lucas, Maya, and Riley.
In regards to this episode, Drake said it best "You want a classic that's just ten of these." This episode was exactly what I wanted from Girl Meets World. This episode teaches a powerful lesson about right and wrong. That being right and wrong is not about policy; it is about actions, and sometimes you have to break the rules to do the right thing. Harper broke the rules, but she was the hero. The principal stuck to the rules and was the undoubted villain.
I loved how their new teacher Harper tried to teach them about good and evil through heroes and villains in comic books. Also, they were able to reference what they learned in class to help them deal with real-life villain their principle. They were also able to look at what would tear superheroes like Superman and Batman apart as a parallel to what would tear their real-life guardians, the principal, and their new teacher apart.
Harper taught the children to speak truth to power and fight for what is right. I wonder if someone did not love Harper's lessons either because she totally disappeared from the series when it seemed like she was here to stay in this episode.
This episode made tasteful use of the past, but the story was clearly most weighted in the present. Most importantly, this episode does more showing than telling. It establishes a real villain and large stakes. Harper gets fired, and Cory gets fired. It is a big deal, and their fate ends up in Riley and Maya's hands. This episode has a real-life situation and stakes.
In the end, the principal is fired, showing the plot had definite consequences, and it gave a phenomenal introduction to Harper. You can not debut a character any better. I love this episode. I feel like this stands up to the quality of the Boy Meets World Series. This episode captures the magic of Boy meets World with powerful lessons about the world learned through a mix of school and real-life in exciting, dramatic, consequential plotlines and introduces unforgettable characters that impact the viewers and characters.
Homework Back two school season 2, Me and MR Joad season 2
Extra credit Cult fiction season 4, Home season 2
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