Saturday, January 25, 2014

Episode 2x14 "I Am Not a Crook"

ROUUUUUUND THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Whenever I read the word "versus" I think of that voice from Epic Rap Battles of History.


If you're anything like me, you've done some Boy Meets World math over the years, and there's one thing that seemingly doesn't add up. Cory starts 7th grade in season 2 and graduates from 12th grade in season 5, so we'd be missing two years somewhere. Well, the mystery just got a little less mysterious. Cory and Shawn are trying to find a club for Cory to join, but none of the ones on Shawn's list are appealing. Cory remarks "Here I am going into my 8th year of public education, and who am I, really?" You're a little young to be having an existential crisis, Cory, but that line blatantly serves to inform the audience that we've jumped ahead to 8th grade. Neato.


Turner's class begins, and he informs the students that it's time to elect an 8th grade class president and asks for nominations. A guy named Alvin nominates himself, 


and Shawn nominates a reluctant Cory.


Why did Cory walk to the front of the class? A simple "no" would have worked. Thankfully, neither the students nor the audience cheered or clapped at the end of that, because otherwise I would have snapped my laptop in half. I hate scenes that end like this. What happens between the fade-to-black and the start of the next scene? Cory is just standing there awkwardly, how can he possibly follow that up? Does he wait until Turner's like "Hey Matyoos, put da flayg back in da holster, huh? I need ta teach a clayss heeee." 
*audience laughter* 
"Oh, right, sorry Mr. Turner, but there's never a bad time for patriotism." *Cory shrugs, grins, and raises his eyebrows*
*audience erupts*

Did you guys see Turner's handwriting on the chalkboard? How can someone write that badly?

Cory's still not happy about running for president, since he's just an average guy, but Shawn understands that that's exactly what makes him appealing to a majority of the students.


You can see The Spectre on the right of the frame there, with another new boy toy to extract the life essence from. She knows I'm on to her, and since cutting her hair in the last episode didn't work, she tried dying it here. But I'm no fool. And what the fuck was that face she made at the camera?


Seriously, who the fuck does this girl think she is? Who keeps letting her on the set? Is she blowing somebody? 

The next couple minutes are Shawn filming a campaign commercial for Cory, and it's really just the opposite of entertaining and involves Eric having terrible lines. I think we've still got a ways to go before Eric gets interesting and it's becoming painful.

Somehow Alvin has rallied like 15 students in the lunchroom to go over his campaign platform. Cory shows up and reciprocates by making the same bull shit campaign promises in every school-election episode of every show since Shakespeare. "Less homework", "shorter school week", "get rid of Feeny", blah blah blah. There's nothing inherently wrong with a school-election story, it's just that Boy Meets World isn't bringing anything new to the table here. The protagonist is compromising his integrity to try to win the election. Yippee. Will he be able to go through with it or will his conscience overpower his pride in the end. I can't even begin to try to guess. At least it's time for Feeny to throw the gauntlet at Turner's feet.


Alvin has some girl dressed like Alice in Wonderland to give a testimony. Allegedly, Shawn once said, as a child, that "all girls are icky". This shouldn't really affect Cory, but it gets the students in frenzy. It's really hard to watch this entire scene. They're constantly trying to make 10 people seem like 100. They're not loud, they're not threatening, and they're not enthusiastic. Yuck. At least Arya Stark is in this scene.


Of course it's not really her, but look at that face. 

The mob chant for Cory to fire Shawn, and he does, because these 10 votes are absolutely critical to his success. Shawn's pissed. Why aren't these kids in class?

Later that night, Alan talks with his son about all the nonsense promises being made in the course of this campaign. Alan tells Cory about running an honest campaign and not screwing over his friends and stuff. It's the exact same shit that every other character in the show has said to Cory, but for some reason it sticks this time and the sad music plays while Cory looks introspective and guilt-ridden. I guess an honest evaluation of the political process would just be too edgy for 1994. 


So now we're at the debate and boy does Alvin piss me off. His voice, his delivery... maybe that's just good acting. Shawn mosies on out of the woodwork to announce that he's running for president too.


Point Feeny.

Shawn and Cory start to argue, but as soon as Alvin slings some mud on Cory, Shawn jumps to his defense. Intimidated by his opponents, Alvin drops out of the race. Shawn and Cory get all unreasonably sentimental and shit and both ultimately drop out of the race too. Topanga walks up on stage from the audience and wins over the crowd. The King is dead, all hail the Queen.


My GOD this episode was bad. The obvious first point is protagonist privilege, an expression I just made up to describe when the entire universe bends its will to focus everyone's attention on the protagonists. Cory said at one point that there are over 400 students in their grade, but the only nominations were him and Alvin? How is that possible? Second is the inconsistency. Why did anyone think Cory could ever be a good school president? He has literally never done any work at school before. There was a scene a couple minutes long where Feeny disciplines some student and Cory's like "hey, I'll get rid of Feeny if I'm elected". Why even bother having that scene? It was never mentioned again. Third is the bull shit ending. A presidential debate in 8th grade? What the fuck could they possibly debate? The way that Shawn and Cory just start feeling sorry for themselves and completely disregard how much of everyone's time they're wasting makes this entire episode completely worthless. 

It was written by Steve Young, who didn't write any other episodes in the series, thank goodness.

0 points for everything except humor which gets 0.5 I guess.

On that note, the site's readership is consistently declining and I'm losing motivation, so I need to take a break for a week. This review was bad and I apologize. These things take at least four hours, and I do have a regular 9 to 5, so putting three of these out every week is draining. As always, I really appreciate all the support, and I love that people are starting to leave comments. Hopefully I'll be back in top form in a week.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Episode 2x13 "Cyrano"

Cyrano is a play about an ugly French soldier named Cyrano who falls in love with a beautiful woman named Roxane. Convinced that she could never love him, he uses his skills as a poet to help his good looking but dim friend win Roxane's affection in his stead. Ultimately, Cyrano receives a fatal injury, and as he is dying Roxane begins to realize that he wrote all of the things that made her swoon, and she confesses her love to him. In his last moments, Cyrano concedes that he has lost all but one important thing - his panache. This play is responsible for introducing the word "panache" into the English language. All in all, it's pretty fantastic.


Mr. Turner recaps the scene where Cyrano helps his buddy get the girl, and queries the students for their opinions. The guys, led by Cory and Shawn, think Cyrano is a big dumb dummy, while the ladies, led by Topanga, think Cyrano's actions are romantic and noble.


Turner with that wisdom, right off the bat. That scene could have been a whole episode. It set the foundation for the plot, had some good jokes, and put out a little social commentary. Great start.

At the Matthews house, Alan is about to take his dear wife Amy to their anniversary dinner, but not before giving her a large gift!

Alan's little jump is adorable. But what the fuck is Amy wearing? Is she going to perform a magic show for their anniversary? Maybe do a tap number? Either way, she's not happy with the gift. She definitely wanted a trash compactor, just not as an anniversary gift. I think that Amy is being a garbage wife right now. She should go in the compactor. Alan clearly put a lot of thought into this, and he's really excited to give it to her. I mean shit, he's not made of money. 

But maybe that's the point: this scene is supposed to tie back in with what Mr. Turner said about men and women having different ideas of what's romantic, and I am a guy after all. Any women out there wanna weigh in? And secondly, where the fuck is YOUR gift to HIM, Amy Matthews? Oh did you not get him anything? Golly, you are an absolute treat. I hope you choke on the dinner your husband is about to buy you.

 At school, Harley and his Michelle-Pfeiffer-in-Grease girlfriend Gloria are having some relationship problems. Shawn and Cory come around the corner because this is the only hallway in the school. The boys compare Harley's hair to the cafeteria's macaroni and cheese, resulting in this classic gif when they realize Harley is within earshot.


Yes, that's The Spectre in the background, with ANOTHER new guy. And a slightly shorter haircut. But she can't hide from me. So Harley wants to beat the flattened collars right off of our heroes, 



but defers the violence to Frankie the Enforcer, who then escorts Shawn and Cory to the cafeteria for their executions. Having picked up on Cory's skills as a wordsmith and Shawn's natural charm and charisma, Frankie offers to let them live another day if they help him "woo" the girl he's fallen in love with. Shawn is unable to understand what "woo" means, and it's actually a lot funnier than it sounds. This all seems a little weird to me. Frankie has always been rather eloquent, and we've seen him write and read poetry. A diet would take him a lot farther than coaching from Shawn and Cory would.

Back at the Matthews house, Amy is still pissy because the writers decided to make her a bad character in this episode. Outside, Alan is trying to figure out why his wife is completely different from how she's been in every episode until now and Feeny offers some insight.



Feeny hasn't given us a whole lot of wisdom since Turner joined the cast, but we got some good stuff there. "Just a million well-intentioned men, backing up." It's a pretty fantastic metaphor.

Frankie arrives with Cory and Shawn, and Eric is frightened at the sight of The Enforcer in his home. This is stupid since Frankie came over in episode 2x10 and Eric didn't bat an eye. I don't think the writers even knew each other existed, let alone communicated.

So it's time for the Davids to coach Goliath.


If that picture doesn't tell you exactly how this scene goes, you definitely have not seen enough sitcoms. Shawn whispers instructions to Frankie, Frankie fumbles trying to follow those instructions, Cory uses a high pitched girly voice, and the audience fucking devours it. Name a show that never did this shtick. Ugh. Well, Frankie decides that after ONE MINUTE of working on this, that he's not going to be able to confess to the girl by himself. Solution? Cory and Shawn hide in Frankie's locker and feed him lines, just like Cyrano hid in the shadows and fed lines to his dumb but handsome friend, who, for some reason, I can only imagine as Zapp Brannigan. So it's not exactly like Cyrano, the good looking guys are helping the yeti here, but you've got to admire the attempt. The endeavor is surprisingly successful, but Cory recognizes the girl's voice.


So that's Frankie's locker now? It was Joey's in 2x01, and from observing the background I'm pretty sure every student at this school has owned that locker at some point. If that stupid statue wasn't there, we could at least pretend it was a different hallway each time. Maybe it's like a communist locker system, I don't know. 


Harley shows up in the only hallway in the school and wonders why Cory and Shawn are still alive. You gotta respect Harley, comin up with these quick, on the spot investigations. The boys claim to be the angels of themselves, having been killed by Frankie, and attempt to float away. It's actually hilarious.


Now that that's a gif I'm seeing how strangely it was shot. Why does it cut twice? The second cut gives us the positioning for their next lines, but the first one just shows us Harley walking. Huh. Harley asks if they've seen Gloria. I really wish he'd followed that up with "I was supposed to meet her here." That would explain what she was doing here in the first place, and it would make Harley's appearance much less of a "pffff, uh huh." Can someone hire me please? 

Shawn accidentally lets on that they have seen Gloria, and Harley intends to learn the details. Back when Shawn and Cory were in the locker, all they heard was Frankie asking Gloria if she wanted to get a burger. Fortunately for our heroes, there's only one burger place in Philadelphia, so they know exactly where to take Harley. Again, this could have been made completely reasonable with a very slight tweaking of one line. 


Maybe they already ate the burgers, and then Frankie ate the plates, too. I mean, who hasn't been there before? Sometimes you just, you go into a frenzy, you know. You just gotta eat, and nothin's gonna stop you. So you eat the plates.

Well Harley's pissed. And he should be! He and Gloria start to fight (verbally). Harley brings up the time he got her tires as a gift, but she says the tires were a stupid gift. This parallels Alan's trash compactor from earlier, prompting Cory to explain that all couples deal with that kind of shit, including his parents. I don't see how this addresses the issue of Gloria being on a date with her boyfriend's lackey, but fine. This gives Harley the idea to do something so ridiculous and absurd that it's actually funny. He goes to Cory's mother for advice.



Amy Matthews has once again demonstrated that she does not understand how clothes work. She explains to Harley that women just want to be appreciated, and meaningful gifts are a way of showing them that they are appreciated. I think that's fucking stupid, but it's just the tip of the bull shit iceberg. 



What what what the WHAT THE FUCK?
Are you FUCKING ME right now Boy Meets World?

JEWELRY?!

FUCKING JEWELRY????

WHATTTTTTTT????!!!!!!!!!!!


I quit.

That was literally the worst ending I've ever seen on this show. No summary, no points. I'm done.

I just... I can't. I'm out. I quit.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Episode 2x12 "Turnaround"

From the time of its posting to this afternoon, my review of episode 2x11 included the words "basic tenants" instead of "basic tenets". For this I am truly, humbly sorry. I have dishonored my legacy. If none of you ever read my reviews again, I will understand.


"Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... For when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Nietzsche

It's time for a Turnaround Dance at John Adams High, where the girls ask the guys. There are some politically-correct types out there that don't like the idea of a turnaround dance, as it suggests that guys have to ask girls any other time. I'm all for gender equality, and I agree in principle that girls are fully capable of being the askers whenever they want. 

But if we're being honest for five seconds, that's not how it works.


I dunno the context of that comic, but I don't need a fucking reason to post Dilbert, okay? 

Anyway, yeah, turnaround dance. Turner is hanging up some posters and Kat Tompkins, that blonde Alice Cooper from a few episodes ago, is playing maybe-I'll-ask-you-maybe-I-won't with him. It's enjoyable to watch.

Also, I've mentioned this platinum haired female extra a few times, and she's already shown up in the first minute of this episode, so let's do something with it. I have named her "The Spectre", and I'll keep track of her appearances, but they won't necessarily be in the pictures.

Spectre sightings: 1

Blocking our view of The Spectre is Eric advising Cory on how to get asked the dance. His advice? Positioning. 


Eric is pulling a Reverse-Cholo by buttoning only the bottom button of his shirt. Do not ever do this.

If we've learned anything from the girl-centric episodes so far, it's that Shawn doesn't give any fucks and Cory gets way too worked up. This one is no exception. 


Shawn gets asked to the dance by a girl named Becky Scholz, pictured above. I know I talked about how all girls on tv hold their books like that, and that shit's the fuckin truth. And I don't understand her style. It's like she couldn't decide if she wanted to be a rebel or a librarian this morning, so she just said fuck it.


Cory commends Shawn on his date, since Becky is "like the third coolest girl in our grade". Now Cory needs a date. "How bout Topanga?" you ask. Well for once the writers actually decided to address their history. Topanga expresses her revulsion toward the "destructive gender biased thinking" responsible for turnaround dances, and adds that she's going to New York for Christmas shopping at the time of the dance anyway. That's a five hour drive from Philly to NY, but whatever. With Topanga out of the picture, Cory sets his sights even higher than Becky Scholz.. He wants Allison Cheever, the coolest girl in our grade. Now, her style, I understand. (And also look how she holds her books)


Spectre sightings: 2 (not in clip)

Woo, plot synthesis catalyzed. Cory's stuck going to the dance with an "ugly" girl (her name is Ingrid). I wrote "ugly" because, despite their best efforts, she's really not that bad looking. At home, Cory gets advice from Eric, like always. Cory's worried that being seen at the dance with Ingrid with ruin his social status forever, but in a rare moment of sage clarity, Eric points out that Cory bailing on his date would look even worse. Further, Eric kicks off one of the best gags of the entire series.


In class the next day, Mr. Turner is actively trying to engage his students in a discussion of Shaw's play Pygmalion. Check out the bulletin board in the back.


"Christmas ...... the world". Poetry.

If you've ever seen that episode of Family Guy where Stewie teaches a Cockney girl to be sophisticated, that's basically Pygmalion. Turner is explaining the themes of class prejudice, which have already started to pop up in this episode. Allison was high class, Cory middle, and Ingrid the callous-handed proletariat, comrade. The Shawn/Becky pairing doesn't really mesh with that, but Becky is more of a plot device than anything. 


The Spectre is risen. 3 sightings. And she's holding her textbook the way I keep talking about.

Awesome, some more literary inspiration. Granted, this scheme is predicated on the notion that Shawn actually read "the pig play", but fine, maybe he read it on accident. At the Matthews house, the boys mock up a collage-woman for Becky to reference while she gives Ingrid a makeover upstairs.


WOOAHHAHHOOO was that a vibrator joke?! That is bold, Boy Meets World. Morgan actually did a halfway decent job of saying that line, so that's cool too. Anyway, Becky manages to complete the makeover in about ten seconds, and Ingrid looks pretty good! But she uses her neck to deliver her lines.


Cory is having second thoughts about this whole transforming Ingrid thing, but she insists, screaming "I want to be popular!" We're at lunch the next day and Ingrid necks out some disappointing news to Cory.


The Spectre must feed. 4 sightings.

Well Ingrid's kind of a bitch! Or is she? How many of you wouldn't do the exact same thing? Emma Watson comes bangin down your door tellin you to dump your girlfriend-of-a-few-days for her? Tell me you wouldn't. You're full of shit. It's Cory's fault anyway, and that turtleneck sure as shit didn't help him. I bet Rick Lawler ain't wearin no Christmas turtleneck. Did Mrs. Weasley make that for you, Cory? 

Shawn got to use that Girls' Network joke that Eric set up for us earlier, and it was hysterical. I love that line so much, and his nonchalant way of saying it is just perfect. That's Allison Cheever again at the end of the clip, in case you didn't recognize her. Jump ahead to the night of the dance, and it turns out that Allison only wanted a ride to the dance from Cory, since she's dating someone else and wanted to hide that fact from her parents. Well Allison's kind of a bitch! Or is she? 

Yeah, no, she's a bitch.


Another Girls' Network bit, and pretty funny stuff from Feeny and Turner. This entire scene at the dance is pure gold. Did you see that girl dancing behind Shawn while he talked to Cory? She is feelin the grooooove.

Ingrid shows up, soaking wet. All the popular kids were talking about how cool it would be to jump in the pool, but in practice it didn't quite work out for Ingrid. Moreover, the guy she brought to the dance finds a dry person he would rather be with. Mutually ashamed of their actions, Cory and Ingrid are about to reconcile when some other "cool" guy comes along and whisks Ingrid away. Alright, now she's a bitch. This brings us back to our pal Nietzsche. Ingrid has become a monster. The abyss has gazed into her. 


I know, I know, a lot of clips, but they're so good! They just had to go for that lame Christmas card ending, though, didn't they. To my great surprise, The Spectre isn't in any of the shots at the dance. She's probably lurking below the stage.


No you're shitty editing.

Anybody watch Shameless? That girl looks like Fiona... (brb) 
I'll be damned, it's her. P.S. you should be watching Shameless.

I seriously love this episode, you guys. I think this is the episode I've watched the most times out of the whole series. If you even slightly care about Boy Meets World, go watch this episode. It's a fun story to begin with and the parallels to Pygmalion are on point. The humor is fucking FANTASTIC from every actor, and the Girls' Network is hilarious. Eric, Turner, and Feeny all provide great support. And at the end we're left thinking "Huh, I'm actually not sure who I feel sorry for." This. Episode. Rocks. I couldn't help including all those clips, there's just so much I wanted to show you. 

I made a compilation of all the Girls' Network bits. Show your friends, your estranged relatives, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v0jdwp_GwE

Plot: 1.0 - Engaging, moderately unpredictable, based on a cool play. No complaints from me.

Character Development: 1.0 - Cory definitely learned his lesson in this one, and was having doubts about the whole thing pretty early on. Good for him. Feeny ended up being a little less crotchety. 

Humor: 1.0 - Easiest Humor Badge ever. It's difficult writing so many of these reviews since my arsenal consists of "funny", "hilarious", and "hysterical". I try to cycle through them, but sometimes there's no way to avoid repeating myself. I'll start using "humorous" and "comical". 

Life Lesson: 1.0 - "It's all right there, in the pig play." The struggles of class prejudice juxtaposed with the change in attitude that comes from an increase in social status is the heart Pygmalion, and comes through vividly in this episode.

4.0 out of 4.0. Definitely one of my favorites. 


Thanks for reading, see you Wednesday.

Clips and images used under Fair Use.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Episode 2x11 "The Beard"

Sorry this is a little late. I wrote most of it but then I was pretty tired so I napped until 4 a.m and now I'm finishing it.

"Beard is a slang term describing a person who is used, knowingly or unknowingly, as a date, romantic partner (boyfriend or girlfriend), or spouse either to conceal infidelity or to conceal one's sexual orientation." - Wikipedia


Mrs. Amy Matthews is trying to pick out a new car, but they don't really establish why. Her selfless sons suggest a Ferrari Testarossa, which looks like the exact car you imagine when someonesays "Hot Wheels." Amy ultimately settles on a boring van because it will help with taking kids to soccer, and with paintings for a gallery. She is quite obviously senile, since no one on this show plays soccer and she works in real estate.



WOAHOAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Did Boy Meets World just assume it has a mature audience? 


It's certainly not a clever joke, but it's reassuring whenever they tell us "hey, I know you're not some stupid kid." Also, nice poop colored sweater + pants combo there, Mrs. Matthews. I could make a store called Clothes To Die In, for senior-as-hell citizens, and that outfit would for damn sure be a hot item.

At school, Turner is passionately detailing the awesomeness of Hamlet. This is lazy writing since we already had an episode about Hamlet back in season one, but I'm okay with it because, again, Hamlet is fucking awesome. It doesn't seem critical to the story, however, as the scene ends as soon as a girl passes a note to Shawn via Cory. She manages to knock her backpack strap off her chair with what must be telekinesis since I can't see how else it could have happened.



Oh shit, no I see it now. It's Cory's telekinesis. He twitches his index finger to the left at the beginning of the gif.


Now we're in Feeny's class and he's lecturing on the Cold War. The Cory Express delivers yet another note to Shawn from a different girl. Understandably, Cory doesn't enjoy being The Cory Express.




At lunch, Shawn can't decide which girl he wants to go out with. Their names are Linda and Stacy, but we don't know which one is which yet. Cory points out that Shawn was able to make the equally impossible decision of meatloaf versus chicken in the lunch line. BUT HOW? Well, Cory got the chicken, so if Shawn didn't like his meatloaf he could have had some of Cory's chicken. Food = women, so this gives Shawn a solution to his girl problem. If you can even call it a problem. He wants Cory to date one of the girls, thus keeping her off the market while he dates the other until he gets bored. This is perhaps the most narcissistic thing Shawn does in the entire series. 




I love that bit. "Oh obviously!" It's their entire early-season friendship in one joke. Looking back on the series as a whole, that's one of the lines that always sticks out.


It has nothing to do with the story, but Frankie and Joey get to do a few lines here.




Quality over quantity with these two. Again, I'm not saying it's particularly clever, but this is a great example of what I said in 2x01 about these two actors really pushing the limits of their characters. That little pat on the head? Joey's delivery is general is just fantastic, "aaaand I'll see ya on Monday." Holy shit, I just realized that I say that all the time on this blog. Hmmmmm...


Okay, so Linda's the blonde and Stacy is the not-blonde. Some future frat-guy named Roy is trying to hit on Linda, but Cory fights him off with his skills as a master wordsmith. His wordsmithery...ization...ness... then woos Linda by way of a few sincere compliments.




I actually came up with that one. That's not canon. 

Cory takes Linda on a date to Chubbie's because that's what they do on this show. He teaches her the secret to ordering, and it's pretty sweet. 


Cory freaks out a little bit when Shawn arrives with Stacy, but he shouldn't be surprised, since no date has ever occurred elsewhere. The best laid plan of Mice and Shawn is going awry, now that Linda and Cory actually like each other. 




THAT'S WHAT SHE SAYS! THAT ONE IS CANON. I DON'T UNDERSTANDDDDDDDDDDD!


Cory goes to Alan for advice, but before Alan can help he wants to show his wife that he bought her the van she wanted. She's pissed because men always rush into things or whatever that shit was that Alan was talking about before. Okay, so Alan's gotta go get lectured by his wife and can't help his son. Cory then turns to Eric for advice, but since this is season 2, Eric is only capable of giving bad advice and making jokes at his brother's expense. 




That's probably Eric's best line so far in season 2, and is followed quickly by Mr. Feeny's best line in season 2.




It's neat that we're drawing a parallel between the plot and history this time, rather than literature. And that line is just hysterical.


Shawn and Stacy break up because they have different tastes in movies, but who even gives a shit? I mean she was wearing a camouflage skirt for Christ's sake. Who let that happen? Do her parents not love her? 





Well I guess Cory cares, since now Shawn is going to come looking to date Linda. Cory finds Stacy at Chubbie's because you should know this by now, and accidentally woos her too. As we now know, Chubbie's is the only location in Philadelphia, so we are not surprised when Linda shows up. She thinks Cory is running the same gambit on Stacy that he ran on her, leading both women to the conclusion that Shawn is the victim here, having been betrayed by his best friend. Excuse me, Linda, but you might want to look at that gif from earlier. Cory didn't run shit. You moved your torso like 3 miles to kiss him while he did not move.   


Now Shawn arrives and I'm out of sarcastic things to say. 





Linda and Stacy unravel Shawn's heartless scheme and chew out the two boys for treating women like objects and all that, and they leave. Which is pointless because they'll surely come back in like 15 minutes, where else are they gonna go. And then.... the most confusing resolution we've seen so far.




What in the name of Safekh-Aubi the Egyptian goddess of writing just happened? What the hell was the point of this episode? Cory and Shawn have both blatantly learned nothing, but somehow it's okay because Shawn respects Cory a little more? I thought we were done with this after "You're Cory, I'm Shawn, just like it's always been. What else do you need to know?" in episode 2x05. I think one of the basic tenets of lifelong-best-friendery is that you're supposed to respect each other. From where I'm standing, Cory didn't even do anything wrong. He got screwed over by Linda making shit up and by Shawn being a sociopath. Maybe Cory should respect Shawn a little less. It's a really bizarre ending. I honestly stopped and said "What wait?" out loud. 


You can see that blond girl with her hair slicked back in the background. I pointed her out a few reviews ago, and I swear she's in almost every scene. And usually with a guy, but it's always a different guy. She honestly gets more screen time than Topanga.

Plot: 0.75 - I was thoroughly enjoying this episode until the end, despite how ridiculous the premise is. From what wikipedia had to say, the title doesn't quite fit, but who cares. The Cory + Linda scenes were really sweet, up until she jumped to conclusions and flipped out.

Character Development: 0 - They obviously learned nothing. They might have even un-developed a little.

Humor: 1.0 - Everybody got funny lines in this one. Cory is usually at his funniest when paired with Shawn, but he was funny with the girls and his family in this one. That's reassuring.

Life Lesson: 0.5 - Don't treat women like objects. Even if Cory and Shawn didn't learn it, the audience still can. It's weird though. We're supposed to identify with the boys, so if they don't give a shit why should we?

2.25 out of 4. It's funny and entertaining. Worth watching, but turn your brain off first.




Thanks for reading,


Clips and images used under Fair Use.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Episode 2x10 "Sister Theresa"





Cory dates a stalker, but it's okay because she's good looking and eventually she lightens up.

Thanks for reading, see you Friday.





As you can see in the gif, Cory is being impolite to his mother today. She comments that if he were polite for an entire day, people would notice. So now we're at school, and Mr. Feeny gives us a poorly written, delivered, and timed joke.


Really? "Bless you"? Get this man a sainthood. And why the fuck did Mr. Feeny walk that kid out into the  middle of this hallway and then give him back the fire extinguisher? "Oh you just stabbed me with a knife? Well here's your knife back." Seriously, are you even thinking today Mr. Feeny?

And Eric looks like the guy from Dark Cloud with that sweater.


So Cory bumps into a pretty girl and knocks her books to the floor, but his plot-driven politeness compels him to pick them up for her. Did we really need the fuckin "be polite" background for this? Are you telling me Cory wouldn't have picked up her books otherwise? She's so impressed too! She falls in love with Cory on the spot because he helped her pick up the books that he knocked down. Talk about low standards. Any remotely empathetic human being would do the same thing. 


The girl introduces herself as Theresa, but her friends call her T.K. and she gives Cory her number. She's played by Danielle Harris, who continues to have consistent guest spots on various TV shows and a few B horror movies, which is understandable since she's a pretty good actress here on Boy Meets World. She was born in June 1977 and so must have been 17 when she was on this show. Add that to her checkered mini skirt and I, as a 21 year old, have absolutely no problem saying that she is FIIIIIIIIIINE 

AAAAAAAAAS 

HEEEEEELLLLLLLL.


as HELL. She is still ridiculously good looking today. But I'm sure you already checked.

That wink is hypnotic. Theresa manages to get herself transferred into Cory's homeroom to spend more time with him, so we're starting to see some red flags here.


The red flags continue.

This episode was written by Jeff Sherman, whose only other episode is 2x03, the one where we first met Desiree. I guess he's just the guy who writes the crazy girls on the show. Michael Jacobs is just like "we need some crazy, better call The Sherm. The Sure Man." And then Jeff Sherman pretends to laugh at "The Sure Man", even though he's heard that joke every day of his life.

T.K. also sent Cory a child-sized clown made out of candy, and a box of frozen steaks. Candy and meat are pretty awesome, but they haven't even gone on a date yet. Amy and Alan try to explain to their son that this girl is coming on too strong and too fast. But Cory's just like "fuck that noise I got a candy clown." 

At school the next day, Frankie the Enforcer, Joey the Rat, and Harley Keiner all have a new respect for our fuzzy haired protagonist. He naively chalks it up to his politeness streak because he's a moron. It's hard to know what kind of humor Cory's going to be doing in a given episode. Sometimes he's a sharp witted smart aleck , and sometimes he eats glue. Obviously I prefer the former, but in this episode Cory's dining on the not-macaroni half of macaroni art. It's not just this scene, all of his jokes have been pretty bad.

At least we can count on Shawn to know how to deal with women.


                                  

"Stop overreacting and relax" is the essence of Shawn's advice so far this season, and it's definitely good advice, but Cory ain't learnin. He does a poor job of cancelling his date with T.K. and she gets upset and makes Cory look like the bad guy. It's weird, ya know? She's genuinely just trying to be nice and to show her affection, but that affection is completely baseless. What's the right way to tell someone to stop being so affectionate? To tell someone that they shouldn't feel so strongly? I'm not trying to legitimize what she's doing, it's definitely obsessive, but this is a very real situation (usually with the genders switched), so it's interesting to think about.

Joey the Rat interrupts Turner's class, and tricks Turner into going to check on his motorcycle. Then shit gets real.




Battle of the red shirts over here. 
"Do you happen to know why?" At least we got some smart aleck Cory back in there. 

And suddenly the title of the episode makes sense. Except in syndication they never show the names of the episodes so what's the point.

Threatened with agonizing death,


Cory agrees to go out with T.K. as planned, and if he's not a perfect gentleman, Harley is going to send Cory down to Davy Jones's Locker. I don't think that expression works here. 


AHHAHAHAHAHHA-

NO.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

God, I'm so sorry Will Friedle. I'm so sorry you have to endure this. Some day, some day you'll get good lines, I promise. Stay strong.

Now Cory and T.K. are at a drive in movie, with Frankie the Enforcer as their chaperon. Theresa gives Frankie money to go buy snacks, leaving her to jump Cory's bones. However, Cory rebuffs her advances. But why? Is he actually trying to slow things down and get to know her? Or is he just scared of being drawn and quartered by Harley? If Harley's threat is the only thing keeping Cory from catching Chlamydia in the back of this car, then what's the point? "Don't fuck a girl if her brother will murder you"? Is that the lesson?

 Anyway, in an effort to pacify Theresa, Cory starts talking about baseball. That's sort of meta-funny, since there's that saying that you should think about baseball to lose an erection, but that's probably unintentional. T.K. gets this sad look and tells a story about a time her shitty dad ditched her at a baseball game and Harley had to come help her. It's sweet, but Harley (T.K reveals that his name is actually Harvey) can't really be redeemed at this point.



Cory escapes through the sunroof with the help of Shawn, who's been lying in wait for just such an emergency. Pretty sure that scene was directed by Michael Bay. At school the next day, Harley's pissed and wants to murder the little Matthews boy, so Cory tries desperately to convince Harley that Theresa was the one making moves, and not him. Harley naturally doesn't want to believe it, but some conveniently located upstanding gentlemen corroborate Cory's story. That's fun to say. Corroborate Cory's Story. 


The guy second to the left has the same shirt as Cory. Once again, they clearly need me on the set of this show to make sure that shit doesn't happen.

Cory and Harley have a sort of heart-to-heart and neither one murders the other.

During the credits, Theresa is having dinner at Cory's house and tries her hardest to be polite and stuff.


And she's still the best looking girl on this show. Is there a word for those thin side bangs the arrow is pointing to? I love those.

Okay so this wasn't as bad as I remembered. Jeff Sherman has succeeded in bringing us another insane female character who I really like. Shit, my entire romantic history suddenly makes sense. Regardless, I don't think I'm a fan of how this one ended. It seems like they're telling us that something was fundamentally wrong with Theresa, and with this change at the end she is closer to being "correct". Yeah she came on too strong, but at the end here she's completely changed the way she dresses, speaks, and behaves, and I just don't like that message. 

Either way, her family is clearly wealthy, she's very good looking, she's fun, she likes Cory for who he is, and dating her prevents bullying from Harley. ...Topanga who?

Plot: 1.0 - It was fun and interesting, even if I didn't like the ending. 

Character Development: 0 - The only person who changed at all was Theresa, and she changed for the worse. It's honestly a little depressing. 

Humor: 0.75 - It was funny, but also anti-funny. Eric got shafted again. Cory is funniest when he's with Shawn, and Shawn was mostly absent. Frankie and Joey made up for it, though.

Life Lesson: 0 - I don't even know what they were going for. 

1.75 out of 4. I really genuinely wish we got to see Theresa again in the future. She's just compelling. I feel like I know more about her than about Topanga. And it shouldn't be that way. 

Thanks for reading, see you Friday. 

Clips and images used under Fair Use.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Episode 2x09 "Fear Strikes Out"



Cory and Shawn are going to be attending some party where they'll be playing 7 Minutes in Heaven. Ah, high school... Overt sexual expression weakly disguised as a game... I'm sure we all remember a few where we were thinking "this, this is just not even close to a game, at all." But that's for a very different sort of blog. Cory wants to really rock out at this party, so hopefully his practice pays off.


Concurrently Mr. Turner spies the new social studies teacher, Kat Tompkins. Feeny (lightheartedly) gives him a hard time about it, and it's hilarious. Their chemistry is ridiculously good. As good as Cory and Shawn. As good as Amy and Alan.


                                     

Cory sits with Eric to ask for some party advice, but it has the opposite effect. Eric describes all the things that can go wrong, and Cory loses his nerve. Dammit Eric, we spent a whole episode building that confidence. All Eric ever does is sabotage his little brother in the guise of experienced advice. I honestly can't tell if he's ever actually trying to help. That makes him interesting.

We're not wasting any time as we jump right to the makeout party. This is almost certainly the same set as that chin-girl's party. Cory's still very nervous, and Shawn is very not. We've seen a lot of episodes recently where Shawn has some quality Cory wants, or can thrive in some situation that Cory can't. This just occurred to me now, and it's kind of blowing my mind, but "the world" that Cory was "meeting" back in season one was Mr. Feeny, but now it's Shawn. Shawn shows us how Cory can grow during this season. Sometimes, at least. 

Either way, what Cory needs to worry about isn't his breath or where to put his hands. It's his god damn collar. 


Am I the only person in the universe who pays attention to the clothes on this show? There should be someone like me on every set whose job is to say "woah, what the fuck" when something like that happens. And then the director will yell "Cut! What the fuck, guys."

                                    

Cory's got mad performance anxiety in the closet. I guess this is that fear striking out from the title. Topanga's totally understanding. I wouldn't expect any less. Topanga is a paragon of rationality and age-appropriate maturity. Whoever made the call to leave her paranormal weirdness by the wayside deserves a medal. In principle, this is a totally legitimate situation to build an episode on. But in practice, it... doesn't make a lot of sense. Cory and Topanga have kissed plenty of times already. There's no reason in the world for him to be nervous about this. At the end of the day, Boy Meets World is notorious for forgetting and rewriting history (ironic, since Feeny teaches history), so we better get used to it. Anyway she manages to calm Cory down, and just as they're about to kiss, time's up! 


Cory was using that lacrosse stick to explain how men want to be tough, rather than "nice guys". You gotta wonder what everyone else is thinking when they see him with that.

It's certainly not obvious just from what they saw, but for the sake of the plot, the other kids glean that Cory and Topanga did not kiss. At school, the other guys taunt Cory by calling him "the amazing lip-less". 

...Really? Might as well be "Closet No Topanga Kiss Man". Same level of quality. 

And Topanga's not making his life any easier.


                                     

The writers remembered that they gave Mr. Turner a subplot earlier, so now we've got that female teacher, Miss Tompkins, asking Mr. Feeny for the insider scoop on our favorite English teacher.



Nice bolo tie, blonde-Alice-Cooper. Think I've seen it somewhere before.


I agree, Stan. 

We all agree.

We're at the Matthews house and Cory invents the word "agoobwah" to describe how awful the party was. Morgan has some lines and I'll let you take a little quiz here.

It was ________________

a) Richard Nixon
b) Buy More Ovaltine
c) A Jar of Almonds
d) so bad that it made ConfidenceKBM want to join a monastery
e) Both a and d


Amy and Alan pick up on the fact that this is all Eric's fault and dole out some punishment. He's not allowed to go on another date until Cory feels ready to go on a date again. This destroys the only thing Eric has to live for, so he gives his little brother a pep talk. Cory agrees to go on a double date with Eric, since Eric promises it will be totally unromantic and there won't be any pressure for Cory to kiss his date. The only girl in the school who will speak to Cory right now is Topanga, so there we go.

We jump ahead to the date, located at some coffee place with an open mic for poetry readings. The set is blatantly just Chubbie's with a bunch of drapes everywhere, but that's showbiz. This clip is delightfully reminiscent of the first time I had a date at a coffee shop.


                                     

One unintentional thing to take away from this episode is that you should know enough about coffee to be able to go on a coffee date. "Let's get coffee" is the easiest date in the world. First coffee date I had, I got a bottle of fuckin Perrier. I didn't know what that was either, but I knew it was at least mostly water, and thus a safe choice. Except it was gross. The point is, learn your shit.

Cory leaves her to order her mocha frappa dappa wappa while he finds a place to sit. Now we get a fun look at one of the more intricate bromances in the series, but a bromance nonetheless.


                                    

One thing that Boy Meets World definitely did right with its bullies is that they're not just bullies. Normally shows will say "okay, these are the bad guys, hate them". But I don't hate Frankie and Joey. They're fun, they're interesting. Maybe not realistic, but realistic bullies are just depressing, so that's fine. 

You can see Cory standing around at the end of that clip, and then Topanga walks up and says "Cory, over here," motioning to the nearby couch. His ONE JOB was to find a place to sit. "I'll find us a place to sit." That's a direct quote. COME ON CORY. 

I know I'm goin crazy with the clips today, but a lot of this is just better for you to hear than to read. 


                                      



I wish every guy saw this when they were in middle/high school. It doesn't get any realer than that, folks. This show is awesome. 

Another poet takes the stage while the girl from The Fifth Element is hangin out nearby.


I haven't actually seen the movie, or I'd make a better joke. 

This guy does a slow, sensual poem, and all the couples start locking lips, including Corpanga. The audience goes wooOOOoooOOoo, making me roll my eyes. The laughter is justifiable. I get it. I do. I don't like it, but I get it. Fine. But the wooing? Why? Especially in this situation. They're kissing to sensual romantic poetry, not porn-jazz. Ugh.

At school the next day, Feeny is very interested in how Turner's date with Miss Tompkins unfolded, which is hilarious. Cory shares his new secret to kissing with all the other men on the show, and the episode ends with all of them on one big group date at another poetry reading. Including Feeny and Turner and Cory's parents. Because that makes sense.



...So.... wait...

Did we actually solve anything here? Cory is once again able to kiss Topanga, but that doesn't address the original problem. Maybe he can go forward with a new confidence in the knowledge that the girls are just as uncertain and nervous. And the "nice guy" problem didn't come up again after that clip in the hallway. I feel like that could be left to its own episode, it didn't serve any purpose being crammed in here.

Plot: 0.75 - It was fun, but largely unnecessary. Lots of convenience-for-plot-advancement, like Cory getting paired with Topanga in the first place. I think this episode would have functioned better if it wasn't Topanga, since her close friendship with Cory is what made this so easy to resolve. 

Character Development: 0.25 - I'll give a little for the growing friendship between Turner and Feeny, but Cory completely struck out here. I'm just not sold on it. If he went to another makeout party the next day, and got paired with someone other than Topanga, I'd wager he wouldn't fare any better than the first time.

Humor: 0.5 - It was funny, but also kinda not. Feeny and Turner did a lot of the work here again, and Eric got SHAFTED with his lines in this episode. He is absolutely not being used to his full potential yet.

Life Lesson: 1.0 - Refer back to the mind-being-blown gif.

2.5 out of 4. Remember the blonde girl with slicked back hair from 2x08? If you do watch this episode, count how many times she shows up in the background. Spoiler, it's a lot.


Thanks for reading, see you Wednesday!

Clips and images used under Fair Use.