Hello, Spongey here.
It’s TV Review time again, and this one is…interesting. It’s another Tame Dud, but it’s an odd to tackle because …well…it’s hard to explain. You’ll see.
With these TV Reviews, some of them exist to talk about a problem the show itself, as well as riffing on the episode itself. This is one of those kind. So, let’s talk a bit about Girl Meets World.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I’ve only seen a bit of the original show, I only know enough to get by, and see where the series generally succeeds or fails in comparison. But from what I have seen, I do wanna watch more.
This spin off is certainly episode with it’s quality and reception. In general, I do think it’s good on it’s own. Mostly because of how it compares to most everything else on Disney. I mean, it’s rarely insulting, tries to actually have more three dimensional characters, tries to tackle serious subjects, and has SEVERAL scenes with no laugh track.
Yes, this show knows when to slow down and have a moment. Crazy, right?
Even with all the flaws I am about to get into, I’ll take it’s worst over the best of Bunk’d any day. The fact that it can be so good…is why it frustrates me so much. Early on, the quirks I disliked could be forgiven, but after 2 seasons, it seems to refuse to fully improve.
In some ways, it has with the more mature episodes. In other ways, not so much. I don’t have time to go into everything about this show, so I’ll boil it down to one problem: It tries too hard. Seriously.
This show often tries way too hard to be great, to the point where it seems to think it’s better than it really is. For one, Season 2 alone tackled all these serious topics, but mostly just to bring them up and that’s it. It didn’t exactly screw them up, but a lot of the times it felt a bit obligatory.
Boy Meets World was lauded for tackling serious subjects, but the thing is, it grew into that. It just started off slowly and earned the right to be more serious. This show wants to do it right off the bat, and can’t quite the balance right.
A lot of the times it works, but sometimes it doesn’t and becomes way too cheesy. Of course, they always seem to be trying their hardest, with their heart in the right place, which is why I am way easier on the show most of the time.
But the writing still needs work. I am a tad worried about Season 3, if it will improve or be the same. Hopefully it can, but for now time we’ll be focusing on a dud. I haven’t studied every episode, so there may be worse ones, but I wanted to do this one because it sums up the larger problem with the show.
It tries and has heart, but ends up trying too hard and has other problems. This will be a hard to do one for that reason, but I had to review it. Oh, and it was the next to last episode of the Season, airing back in February.
Yes, our 2nd TV Review in a row to be of something that aired this year. …Not the best sign for 2016, but whatever.
So let’s see exactly how this episode fails.
This, is Girl Meets The Bay Window
Writer: Joshua Jacobs
The episode starts with Riley and Maya at the Bay Window. Well, the title isn’t lying at least. They talk in a quirky confusing way until Riley reveals that she wants to tear down the bay window.
I’m with you. I mean, every sitcom has that iconic location but usually it becomes iconic on it’s own this show. This show has been trying to force the bay window on us like it’s Jesus or something.
It gets old, and it’s another example of the show trying too hard. Thankfully, there isn’t too much of that here despite the title.
More specifically, she wants to change it since they are changing as they grow up.
“Some things are too important to ever change.
Says every Nostalgia-Tard ever. Also ,we just started on your already starting to go deep with your subject? Can’t we at least wait til after the theme song?
Speaking of which, the theme happens a bit after that, and after that Maya goes on about how change sucks. Man, this is already getting boring. Thankfully, Farkle shows up to inject a bit of humor into this.
“Do you know that ever 7 years your body grows a whole new set of cells? Every seven years it’s like your a whole new person?’
I’m too lazy to look into that, but I can pretty much tell that’s bullshit. Then because reasons, they reminiscence about how they meet Farkle, which means a flashback. With young kid actors.
Oh boy. Those rarely turn out well. And these are…not horrible but not that great either. Which means at points they make some of their mediocre jokes even worse. Farkle basically “saved her life” when she is having trouble at a bobble for apples thing at what I assume is a Halloween party.
“I promise to love you both the same”
You just met them, isn’t a bit early to play that card? Doesn’t matter because they seem totally okay with this declaration. Then the flashback ends. The point was to show how much Farkle has changed, even if it doesnt’ seem like it. Fair enough, I guess.
Then Lucas shows up, with Maya commenting on how out of nowhere it is. Heh.
“You both are special to me…in whatever way you’ll eventually tell me”
Hopefully that’s soon, because I am not fan of that love triangle stuff. That’s another story, though. Lucas says he wishes he would have grown up with them.
“I say we’ve known you ever since you were a little kid”
‘How do we do that?”
“A Musical number!”
I agree. Just….what? I thought was a Disney Sitcom, not a Disney movie! Then it fades to a fake flashback with the young versions of them with Lucas…the grown up Lucas. Okay, that visual is funny but the decision to have the kids do this random song was not a good one.
Mostly because it has no real point. It’s almost a BLAM, in a way. They say they had Lucas as a teenager because that’s how they’ve known him. He pulls out a picture from he was young to prove he was different…but he’s still a teen while his friends were kids.
Now that’s pretty funny. Especially his reaction.
They get to the big Bay Window debate. Riley wins and start taking it down. Well, okay Episode over!
…Of course not. Corey and Topanga show up and are surprised by Riley’s decision to do this. Wait, why didn’t’ she run it by her parents first? It’s technically their property after all.
They kind of see Riley’s point but think that the old memories should be kept in some way. But for some reason that decided this reminds them of a flashback. Joy. This one is a bit more important is it deals with how Riley reacted to getting a younger brother back before Auggie was born.
The kids actually aren’t that bad here, which is good since this bit is a bit more dramatic. Especially when Maya says this:
‘We don’t know where my Daddy is’
Yeah, this show kind of dealt with that kind of thing. Infact, that’s mostly why Maya isn’t a fan of change and by extension the whole bay window thing. That’s fine, but uh…we’ve dealt with that before in a few episodes. Do we need to go through it again?
This bit almost works, but really do the acting more than anything. I honestly think this show has become an acting exercise due to how many Oscar Clips they do. I can’t exactly blame them because Sabrina Cartenter is like…really good, but sometimes it gets to be a bit too much.
This is the best part of the episode because it more directly deals with the theme of change and how it can be good ,even if it is sometimes bad. Granted, it amounts to cheesy speeches but it’s not too bad.
Even if it is over dramatic, going on for a bit too long as they get to go through a bunch of speeches. But eventually Maya gets the point that change is good and yada yada yada. Okay, so we’ve learned our big lesson, so we have like one more bit and we’re done,right?
…Nope. We’re 14 minutes in to a 22 minute episode. And only the last few really need to exist. That’s right, they make their point halfway through the episode…and it still goes on.
This is where the episode really start to dive, as before it just problematic, but now it just drags. We get a flashback to how the girls meet, which is about as riveting as it sounds. Maya just…climbed in through the window out of nowhere.
Yep, they met through Maya just….invading someone’s home for no reason. Which barely phases Riley as she only screams a bit after she comes in. Young Maya is running away because her Mommy and Daddy are “yelling”. Yikes.
“Are we friends forever?’
…Jumping the gun a bit, aren’t we?
It should end there but goes on a bit and doesn’t add much beyond some cheesy crap. Kind of sums up the whole episode, really.
Then…it cuts to the kids versions of them with the teen version. …Yeah, this isn’t actually happening but it’s put in the story like it is, which is really confusing. I think they do this sometimes but here it’s just…odd.
It also adds NOTHING to the story, beyond a bit of symbolism showing how they changed. We get it, they changed. Change is good. Can we just end this?!
The kid actors just add to the cheesy-ness of it, and not in a good way. This part eventually ends….but the filler isn’t over yet, as we randomly meet the adult Riley and Maya! They share a cheesy moment that I don’t feel like 100 percent describing because meh.
The teen and kid versions see this, I guess.
“Well, I’m disgusted”
I do feel a bit jerkish picking on these moments, as there is plenty of heart. But there is such thing as too much and sadly this is too much.
Then, as if it couldn’t get any cheesier, they actually start playing the Full House music. I am not kidding, we get incredibly manipulative music as the adult versions leave and the kid ones follow. This show usually avoids this kind of thing in favor of very little noise of any kind. So it’s especially lame when they pull it here.
Eventually this all ends, as we cut to when they have changed the bay window. Yeah, she just decided to fix it up a bit. That’s…kind of lame given how Maya reacted. Maybe Riley did it like that after what they learned, but it’s still weak.
“Ready for this change, Maya?”
Then after an actually nice moment, the episode ends. Yes, that felt like barely anything actually happened despite dragging on, didn’t it? More on that in the final thoughts.
This episode is certainly bearable, as it has plenty of heart and I almost want to like it. But when I look at it crtically, it doesn’t work. The big problem I have is that it’s…BORING. How so?
Well, it’s a Bottle Episode, taking place entirely in one location. Bottle Episodes are hard to do, because if the writing fails, it becomes boring. This is boring. Because I simply do not care about this subject.
I like the idea of exploring change, but it does it in such a boring and over dramatic fashion. It goes on and on but doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know. It says something very simple but acts like it’s so complex and deep.
At least in the other weak episodes, they tend to explore themes deep enough to warrant the treatment they get. But this is a simple theme and still gets over complicated. Especially with the pointless flashbacks with the mediocre kid actors.
And like I said, it makes it’s point about half way through, yet still goes on. It just drags and becomes pointless. It’s pretty much filler, and not very good filler. The dramatic scenes feel like they try too hard.
Yet they almost work because of the acting, for the most part. I almost feel something but then they it just either goes on too long, or other writing problems come in. It almost works early on but the 2nd half drags so much that it becomes a bore.
But at least it has a good message, and has some “Cute’ moments. It’s ultimately harmless fluff, but it acts like it’s a lot more. Which is my problem. This has all the problems with the show without a lot of what saves most episodes.
It’s very much the tamest live action dud I’ve seen, and doesn’t seem too bad at first glance, but for all these reasons, it still doesn’t work. It’s just mediocre, is what I’m saying. I felt this all needed to be said, because I do hope this show grows out of this kind of thing and becomes the great show it can sometimes be…and clearly thinks it is.
It was nice to watch something…bearable for a TV Review, at least.