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. 


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.


  1. I swear this one and Sister Theresa had to have been filmed in the opposite order they were aired, why does Cory constantly bring up the fact that Linda is his first girlfriend when TK was clearly his girlfriend in the previous episode? It made no sense.

    1. Ah, crap, yeah, I definitely meant to say something about that. It's par for the course though, only a matter of time before he claims Topanga was his first girlfriend.