basically what the entire show consists of

My Favorite Tiny Moments in DWSA

I know a lot of people have been making these posts, and some of these things have already been, but I notice new things every time I see this show and so I felt compelled to write these out :D

  • Frau Bergmann washes her hands in a Pontius Pilate-esque manner during Mama Who Bore Me
  • The hearing boys, especially Andy, are rocking out during MWBM reprise (I assume this is to help the Deaf actors keep the beat but its awesome)
  • While Hanschen is reciting his latin in the school scene, Ernst turns around and gives him the most smitten look.
  • Sean makes a confused face after the Bobby Maler line
  • When the chorus comes back in after the My Junk scene, Wendla and Martha and Thea giddily follow Melchior around in a circle on the side of the stage
  • Before the ‘climax’ in Junk, Voice of Wendla and Voice of Martha exchange a “yikes” look
  • Ok this is a moment that everyone knows but- when the tree!! reaches!!! for wendla!!!! i still get chills every time
  • During Ilse’s verse of Dark I Know Well, the boys stand menacingly in a cluster in the shadows and crack their knuckles
  • One time when I saw the show, during the “tag” scene where Moritz is blindfolded, Hanschen kept repeatedly hitting Moritz on the butt and I thought that was such a Hanschen thing to do
  • In Melchior’s journal entry (”where all that is weak must be washed away”) the children all do this signed choreography that ends in a heil hitler-esque salute and it’s chilling
  • During I Believe, all the children receive communion at the back of the stage except for Ilse
  • The signs for “so dark” in Moritz’s suicide scene and the signs for “shadow passed” during Left Behind are basically the same and I love the parallel
  • Ilse and Wendla make silly faces at eachother during Totally Fucked
  • Georg makes a “wtf” face after Hanschen mentions him during the vineyard scene

anonymous asked:

T100 is a dark show but I feel Jason is so focused on trying to shook the audience that he's forgetting the biggest strength of this show, the main characters and love. Don't you think so? What's the point to make Jasper's death so dramatic if it's not going to affect his friends at all? and Clarke wanted to save them but she hasn't connected with them since the last interactions of s2. It's a kind of mess imo. I wish they'd start writing consistent relationships and plots about fighting to live

I don’t entirely agree with this, nonny.

I don’t think that Jason has at all forgotten what the heart of the story is and if anything should be an indication of that it should be Praimfaya, of all episodes, one of the two Jason wrote this season. It focused basically exclusively on our delinquents heading to space, and then very briefly on Octavia (also a delinquent, I might add). THAT’S the heart of the show. That relationship among the delinquents, those characters we’ve grown to love? That’s always been the endgame Jason has been striving for season after season.

Which means that they can’t be together all the time. And, yes, they have to go on individual journeys, and struggle, and that’s the point. Because they are stronger together. But our characters can’t be strong all the time, they can’t always be with the people who complete them, who make them a perfect unit.

Why not, you ask? Because if they were always with those people, they would never grow. If they have everything they need, they would never learn to evolve on their own.

It’s the same idea with separating Bellarke so that Bellamy can develop his head-side without Clarke, and Clarke can develop her heart-side without Bellamy. They can’t be interdependent all the time, because the truth of the matter is that in the universe of The 100, there’s never a guarantee that they’ll have that person at their side. People die, they leave (something we’re a little too familiar with in the Bellarke fandom after 2x16 …).

Then what?

Then, our characters grow. On their own. And once they’ve gone through their individual journey, they come together and they kick even more ass than before. 

That’s kind of how it goes every season isn’t it? (With the exception of perhaps Season 1 where the sets and the budget was smaller, and they were introducing all the main characters/plot/relationships so it made sense to keep everyone so shuttered in together for the majority of the season.) Our characters work together for parts of the season, then they split up to go on their individual journeys, and then they come together again in the finale and kick ass as a team.

In Season 2, it started with all our characters separated, working to get to each other. They reunited in the first half of the season, created a battle strategy, and then separated to go through their own character journeys. Bellamy embarked into Mount Weather on his redemption arc to save his friends (simplifying the depth of his arc, obviously, but that’s not the point of this post). Clarke fell into her downward spiral as she took advice from L.exa. Jasper had to learn to become a leader in his own right. Raven struggled to come to terms with her new disability and pain. Octavia started training with Indra as a warrior. Murphy was off on his adventure with Jaha.

… See the trend?

Our heroes were all working together towards a common goal - defeat the Mountain (Murphy excluded) - but they were also struggling within themselves. It makes for interesting TV.

And then what happens in the Season 2 finale? They all end up in Mount Weather, working with and alongside each other using the lessons they’ve learned over the course of the season, in order to save their people.

What were huge themes of Season 2? Finding their family again - lots of reunions. The fight to see their friends/family again, to save them. What happens when you push away the people you love …

Because those themes: found family, love, and the things people will do to keep those things alive … THAT’S the heart of the show. And it hasn’t changed.

Then in Season 3, we spend the first half of the season with everyone isolated and struggling with their inner demons. Clarke struggling to face her people, Bellamy struggling to save them at whatever cost, Raven struggling with her pain, Jasper struggling with his PTSD, Monty struggling with stifling his own trauma while holding up his own family (Hannah and Jasper), Murphy struggling to survive on his own (like always … until Emori comes along), Octavia struggling to find her place in the world (struggling with Lincoln, with Bellamy, with Indra) and NONE of them sharing any of these things (for the most part) with each other.

And, yes, it was dark. And depressing and heavy and disheartening to watch sometimes. But that was the POINT. Season 2 was the descent into hell. 3A was hell itself, and 3B and Season 4 was our heroes rising from the ashes.

And sure enough, our main delinquents reunited in 4x11 and for the last six episodes of the season, it was all about them working together, piecing themselves back together, working towards a common goal as a team. In 3x16, we had Clarke going into the City of Light with Monty and Raven, Harper, etc working from Arkadia to help make it possible while Bellamy and Octavia kept her alive from the outside. It was a group effort. It involved all three elements for them to succeed in defeating ALIE.

What was a huge theme of Season 3? To put it simply, “together”. It was about showing our heroes and how they fall apart when they isolate themselves, and how they are stronger when they come together.

That’s always been the theme of the show, and - contrary to what many believe - the writers didn’t just drop that theme in Season 3. They took a dark approach to it, revealed an extremely grim perspective on the human condition, what happens to us when we fall down and there is no one there to pick us up, and people didn’t like that. But it doesn’t change the fact that the endpoint they were always building up to was our mains working together, stronger than before, in the end of the season.

Same thing in Season 4: they started off working together, they split up for awhile in the middle to embark on their own character arcs, and finally came together in the final few episodes to survive - together.

I think that ever since 3A, people have been stuck in this mindset that - just because they separated our favs from each other - that the writers don’t know what they’re doing. That they’re forgetting their own story, that they don’t realize what their fans want to see.

What I have to say to that is this: you listen to the anti’s too much. That is not the story the writers are telling. It never has been, and anyone who is ACTUALLY convinced that the writers are way up L.exa’s ass haven’t been paying attention. Appearing as a guest star in sixteen episodes does NOT make a show. And if it did, ADC would have been signed on as a regular before FTWD jumped.

I have no doubt Jason is well aware of where the heart of the show is and if anything is an indication of that, it is the finales he has written every single season. Each one consistently focusing on our delinquents working together to save the world. THAT’S the story he is telling. And I feel like a broken record, but I really can’t express this enough.

What’s the point to make Jasper’s death so dramatic if it’s not going to affect his friends at all?

I’m not going to argue with you about Jasper’s death because Jasper’s character arc is such a disappointment to me and I wish (oh god DO I WISH) it was handled in a way better way. I wish he had chosen to live, I wish Season 4 wasn’t just some long drawn out death sentence for him carried out from the Season 3 finale. I wish Jason could have thought of a better way for his character to continue to exist on the show, but that didn’t happen. And it sucks. And Jasper was my second favourite character (after Bellamy, loml) and I’m upset about it. And he was such good PTSD rep and they could have done amazing things with him.

I really feel like Jason had his mind set on killing Jasper in Season 3 but decided that would be too much, but never actually planned out another character arc for Jasper to have where he chooses to live instead. In his mind, Jasper’s story was over before Season 4 even began. Sometimes that happens with writers. They write themselves into a dead-end or they can’t think of another story that works for a character so instead of choosing the storyline where Jasper decides to live, he chose the alternate - darker - one where Jasper doesn’t recover from his trauma … and his story ends in tragedy.

It’s not the story I would have told, and I wish the way the characters on these shows responded to suicide was something other than saying, “you’re a coward”, but I’m not one for censoring what stories other artists choose to tell. They chose to write the dark one. Really, all that I can do is be sad and bitter and wish that the writers decided on a different character arc.

But they didn’t.

That still doesn’t mean that the writers have lost sight of what this story is about, though.

It’s still about the delinquents. It’s still about the theme of “together”. It’s still about life and hope and, yes, some of our characters die along the way or lose their path but - ultimately - in the end, this story is about family.

We don’t know for certain that Jasper has been forgotten, that he won’t be remembered. There are still those flashbacks Jason promised, and they always do callbacks to previous seasons. Yes, I wish we got more of a reaction out of characters like Clarke and Raven (grrr… still bitter over what could have been) and OCTAVIA, but I chalk that all down to being another problem to pile on top of all the other issues with Season 4 that could have been resolved with three extra episodes.

The writers took on too much in one season and they didn’t have enough episodes to tell it properly. Pacing was an issue, and a lot of things got cut or weren’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked because of it - including the response to Jasper’s death.

The writers just didn’t allocate themselves enough time for those emotional beats… and it’s annoying, but there’s really nothing that can be done about it at this point.

I find that most of the problems with storytelling on this show have much less to do with the actual story itself, and more to do with the pacing. This particular instance is no exception.

Clarke wanted to save them but she hasn’t connected with them since the last interactions of s2.

Clarke has pretty much always been kind of distant from most of her friends, with the exception of pretty much only Bellamy. I mean, hell, she even started the show in isolation. This has always been her struggle. Valuing her head over her heart (and sometimes sacrificing her relationships in the process). I thought that the way we ended Season 4, with Clarke waiting every day to reunite with her friends, never giving up hope … that bodes very well for that long-drawn out arc of Clarke holding herself apart from her friends to finally reach some sort of resolution. I’m very excited for where her arc is going next season, and I think the writers are well aware of Clarke’s tendency to isolate herself.

It’s being addressed.

I wish they’d start writing consistent relationships and plots about fighting to live

Sorry, disagree. They’re already writing those things.

This show has consistently been about our characters’ fight for survival. Isn’t that basically the premise of the show? Fighting to live? Say what you want about everything else about the show, but I’ve always felt that part was pretty consistent.

As for consistent relationships … I think most of the relationships we’re invested in HAVE been consistent. They spend time developing the relationships that are most important to the audience. Like Bellamy and Clarke, Abby and Raven, Monty and Jasper (while it ends tragically), the Blakes (as dysfunctional as they are, I don’t feel like it’s really developed unnaturally for how their dynamic started off and evolved), Kane and Abby, Memori, etc, etc. 

I must be reading the show differently than a lot of people because I feel that many are disappointed, thinking that the writers have lost sight of the show they first set out to be, but I disagree. The show has evolved, matured, and gotten more complex. Our characters have grown, they’re older, and they’ve changed. As a result, the relationships have too. But our core relationships on the show? Those have always been front and center, and our delinquents have always been the focus of each resolution to every season. 

We haven’t lost that many of our main delinquents. Jasper and Finn - that’s basically it. Think how many Grounders we’ve lost? How many other characters who aren’t Sky People? Anya, L.exa, Roan, Ilian, Luna, Lincoln, Maya, etc … These characters - as much as we may love some of them - are supporting characters. 

The delinquents are less expendable, and when you actually start cracking down on numbers, it shows that the writers don’t view them as being unimportant in the way that many “fans” would have you believe.

This is a way longer response than I intended on ever writing, so I’m just going to wrap it up here. I think my opinion has been expanded on more than enough.

Yall mind if I rant: The Sequel Nobody Wanted

The newest comic got me to question my stance on Korra/sami yet again (the dashes here exist to keep it out of the tags, just in case that’s still a problem). The short version of this is that my stance really hasn’t changed. (Also, just a headsup, I haven’t read my old anti k/s post in a long time, but it’s probably full of logical fallacies and the lot, so…what I’m getting at here is please don’t judge me based on what I’ve written in the past). 

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anonymous asked:

Unpopular opinion: I don't like tcw, it takes away so much of anakin/padme for the sake of anakin/ashoka.

agree | agree with qualifications | disagree | disagree with qualifications

I enjoyed The Clone Wars. Was the characterization entirely consistent with the films? No. Did all the plot lines make sense? No. Was it still highly entertaining with some fun original characters and excellent world-building? Hell yeah.

Like the old EU, TCW, the new Lucasfilm material, and anything not written by George are basically fanfic by a bunch of BNFs. Like any fanon, it can effect my understanding of the original material, but it doesn’t actually change it. I wish Padmé had played a bigger role in the series, but I don’t resent the introduction of Ahsoka. The films already showed us what sort of lover Anakin was. Ahsoka was an opportunity to see what sort of father and mentor he could have been if he just left the Order instead of turning Sith. 

Compromise (Luke Hemmings Imagine)

Originally posted by 2k15luke

Summary: Badboy!Luke is aware that Y/N has feelings for him, but continuously toys with her by getting with other girls. Y/N done with taking his shit, goes out to have fun at a party to forget him but things don’t go how they were meant to when Luke gets jealous. The pair need to compromise in order for each of them to get what they want.

Requested: Yeah

Warnings: Swearing and asshole!Luke/badboy!Luke

A/N: This took so long to write omg, I’m so sorry. Inspired by this and this . (I feel so unoriginal ahah). ROWYSO Luke was so beautiful, what a blessing

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Artistic Integrity and Quality Control in Fandom Media: SU, LOK and beyond

i just don’t have the energy to analyse and argue, point-by-point why Steven Université has completely degraded since Jailbreak. The creators, professionally paid and well-accredited writers, (like a few others out there) are clearly not capable, skilled or knowledgable enough to wing it like they are, let alone maintaining the quality and consistency in character designs and plot development. 

its not asking much, especially now with how normalised the serial/continuous rather than episodic arcs for series that further protect it from cancellation now since the binge watch boom, to expect show creators to have the forethought to have a cohesive plot and visual designs that make sense

But instead they’ve fallen asleep halfway through and made excuses for what is actually a mistake not artistic licence. (Don’t even try. The Big Heads © are a mistake. Inexcusable. Illogical. Mistake.) Yet there has to be an answer, grounded in reality not excuses that bend to the internal logic of the fictional story itself to explain this JARRING flaw in SU and pop. media as a whole. 

The causes for this total disregard for quality art, after much thought is narrowed down to: 

(tldr: summary)

A- creator entitlement: creators undervalue importance of and outright ignore criticism. W no concept of Death to the Author they seek to enforce their original vision over their own audience’s equally valuable opinion. 

B-execitive fixation on money: higher powers i.e. producers, editors, studio CEOs cater to and perpetuate capitalist practices, sacrifice artistic integrity for profit, leaving creators trapped btwn the decision of making a living or keeping their vision intact.

c- systemic censorship that caters to those w privilege: basically pt B as it applies to other forms of oppression where there is no effort to appeal to minorities’ right to exist in mass media or challenge existing power imbalances wi production bc it threatens ratings/profit. 

A grand misunderstanding of art, how it works as a reflection of human nature and its value culturally and individually in enacting personal growth and change has left it incredibly susceptible to abuse of power and thus shallow narratives that keep people left out of the conversation of who we are as humans.

Art is culture and culture should not be enforced but created. I want creators and audiences to have more input in how our culture is shaped and thats not happening now with the way things are.

(long version w loads of examples:)

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hamburger--time  asked:


send me a character & i’ll tell you the top 3 to 5 concepts i keep in mind while writing them. [meme]

Disclaimer: this is my interpretation of the character, blah blah, he can definitely be written other ways, et cetera and so on.

  1. Accent. It feels dumb to start off a list like this with something so seemingly superficial but when a person has a unique way of speaking compared to their peers it feels like an important part of their characterization (and my old headcanons make it part of his backstory anyway so internal consistency*). Gelgar’s way of speaking is just a little rough–some words ending prematurely, abbreviations/slang, and lots of unusual contractions (doin’, kind’ve, what’re, beginin’, somethin’, ‘cause/’cuz, gotta, wanna). I actually say aloud a lot of the dialogue I write for him to make sure it sounds natural and is easy to say, which is his MO (i.e., sometimes he’ll say the word correctly and other times not; it always depends on context). He cusses and is prone to using worse words when he gets worked up or for the sake of humor.
  2. Relationships with other characters. We get just enough of this in the canon to make an educated guess for interactions that don’t take place in canon. For example, while Nanaba calls Mike “Mike” Gelgar refers to him as “Mike-san.” He’s respectful of his superior officers at least publicly (this is important because when fandom bothers to portray him they tend to make him the kind of guy that shrugs at the rules but from what canon gives us, it seems unlikely)! He treats Lynne like an equal (Ragako Village, good wordless communication between them). His communication with Lynne can extend a bit to how he treats Connie, too: he makes a conscious choice to not tell Connie about the stabled horses in his village from which you can extrapolate all kinds of things about the way he treats helpless people, traumatized coworkers, and his leadership skills. He talks to Nanaba like an equal/long-time acquaintance/friend (“You’d better count that as an assist!”) and apologizes to her when he knows he’s about to die (“Sorry…Nanaba. I hit my head…”) which shows they’re friendly–and that he’s accutely aware of how dying will affect (see: hurt) her. You can also look at the way he and Nanaba look when Henning and Lynne die and come to the conclusion that this squad is close to each other because their loss seems personal. You can also look at the fact that they recover the bodies to make sure they’re dead and decide what that means. Keep in mind that they take Henning and Lynne’s 3DMG off just to get them back to the top of the tower. I don’t think this is a tiny aside and it could mean that proof makes acceptance of their deaths easier or maybe that they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t make sure there was nothing they could do. In other words, human life in the immediate is their top priority. 
  3. Anxiety and all that comes with it. I don’t think Gelgar’s steeped in it, but I think the way he acts in canon gives enough evidence to point to the fact that he probably struggles with it more than the average veteran soldier. His special stat is “booze” and it’s pretty high; the ‘shelter from the rain’ story we got of him with Mike shows us a little about how Mike feels about it, and also gives us another instance of Gelgar’s respect of his commanding officer (his offer to throw his liquor away immediately, though it could be argued that he’s not being respectful by bringing it in the first place). Anyway, the idea presented in this story is that Gelgar drinks to, as Mike suggests, “boost his morale” but he believes Gelgar’s reasoning of it being “to escape from the cruel reality of the titans” is just an excuse. While you could assume it’s just an excuse to get drunk, I always took it as an excuse to make his own weaknesses (fear, lack of bravery facing titans) seem more palatable/less embarrassing/less obvious. So basically I interpret him as the kind of person who is afraid–or who has grown afraid over the years–and who deals with it in his own way. We know from the canon, however, that he doesn’t drink when things are sticky/dangerous (“At a time like this? Don’t be stupid…”), so perhaps the real purpose of liquor for Gelgar is to help him deal with the aftereffects of having survived a mission…not the mission itself.
  4. Self-aware. I feel that Gelgar is a person who knows himself. He can be self-deprecating (mostly as a joke-with-a-bite-of-truth) but he knows his strengths and weaknesses pretty well and readily admits to both within reason. In this regard, he’s an honest person. He’s also pretty open-minded when it comes to well-meaning criticism from others. (You don’t live a long time in that environment without learning to accept advice.)
  5. Heart and mind are always at war, especially in danger, and depending on the circumstances, they have a pretty equal chance at winning. (“We need everyone we can get! Trust Mike!” vs. him and Nanaba recovering their fallen comrades at Utgard, a clearly dangerous decision that cost them time, gas, and energy.)
  6. Bonus! He has a lot of really valuable leadership skills, and while you could view this however you want, Mike’s original plan when Rose is breached is to send himself, Nanaba, and Gelgar into the fray, or at least closer to it. (Along with Henning and Lynne, but the part of these teams that stick closest together in the end make up what we see as Mike’s personal squad: Henning, Lynne, Gelgar, Nanaba.) Personally I see this as showing us that these people are the most trusted present because they are sent the furthest south (where it’s assumed the wall is destroyed/where danger is highest). Gelgar’s leadership skills come in when he’s the one put in charge of the entire South Squad, which as you remember, is set to branch out a lot. See also: Gelgar taking point in the dark even though he feels he’s “about to go mad” from stress/fear.

*Internal consistency is basically the best advice I can give anyone on writing a character who doesn’t do or say much in the canon source material. There’s only so much you can extrapolate from a small canon appearance, but you can write an amazing character if they just stay consistent. And I mean, yeah, there’s a learning curve where you’re just starting out, but after a certain point you have to move toward intentional consistency (instead of plot-convenient actions or ‘haha wouldn’t it be funny if’ reactions).

To use Gelgar as an example, here: we don’t really know what his sense of humor is, or if he’s the type to really joke around. The canon material doesn’t allow for it due to plot: we only see him after Wall Rose is breached (rather, he thinks it is), and so we only see him stressed out and afraid–and in charge of a team he wasn’t supposed to be put in charge of. Nanaba is much the same, though we get a small view of her during the Female Titan Arc, where she seems pretty calm and collected (which makes sense; she knows she’s safe where she is; see also, her later comment about not wanting the newbies to see her distressed). Anyway, canon makes it hard to imagine a lot of SnK characters outside of the context we see them in, but if the character complies with canon and remains consistent…the portrayal usually works.

The only thing that has always messed me up about EK's interviews

is how blatantly she’s calling out the writers, every interview she gets. She even did it on TTD. She doesn’t defend them, doesn’t defend their choices like most actors WOULD do even if they didn’t approve of their death. But instead she talks about how she doesn’t understand the meaning behind her characters death. She even told the audience on TTD- she was shafted because they didn’t tell her until 5.7 she would be *dying* in 5.8, or let the cast know until they read scripts for the MSF.

I just think it’s odd when she’s consistently being ALLOWED to talk about things like this, but AMC won’t make a statement ? It’s not just our fandom calling this shitty writing, it’s basically the entire entertainment community in one way or another calling the writing, rushed, contrived, meaningless, uneventful, lackluster, reusing the same plot lines every season. 

Like, AMC refusing to at least make a general statement about it– even though there is all this outrage about not just Beth Greene, but where the show is going and if the writing is going to improve– is what is making me take a step back and think. What is the end game here?

Was there end game really for us to make all these connections and clues and run down all of these easter eggs we find, is this Gimple & TPTB’s way of revamping the show and possibly showing they’re deserving of the Emmy? Idk man. Idk if it’s all supposed to be this hard.

Beth Greene IS alive. 

I just get thrown off by this all. Idk what this means, but it just feels like something is off. Everything outside of the show is pointing to this. 

Girl Meets She Don’t Like Me Review.

I want to start off by saying I really enjoyed this episode and I think it had everything. The subject matter was lighter than that of GLONY, but the (multiple) life lessons were still placed well within the episode, with the addition of seriously great Riley character growth and some of the best comedic moments we have seen this season and possibly on this series (with the exception of Eric Matthews centered episodes). The acting delivery was spot on by all actors, I enjoyed the direction choices and overall the dialogue was clean (with a few mishaps here and there). I’m going to do this review in a bullet point style format, because my thoughts are scattered and there are many of them. 

*The opening scene. First of all, as Riley said “it’s great to have you back, Maya.” Say what you want about her growth arc and that she didn’t lose part of herself during the triangle, but her one liners suffered substantially for me during that time. She’s back to being her quick witted, sarcastic, dubious self and unlike in Bear (where they had her doing more physical comedy, something I think she struggles with), Sabrina seriously shines with this form of comedy. 

“I don’t want to learn any new names, I’m still learning Zay…It is Zay, right?”

“We’ll get lice, that’s what we’ll get, my hairs too long for new friends.”

It was also really great to have the true Riley and Maya dichotemy back, with Riley’s head in the (relative) clouds and Maya being the realistic (and funny) counterpart. 

“Don’t you want to introduce someone into our wonderfully special friendship?”

“I wouldn’t force that on anybody!”

*As Riley approaches the girl who doesn’t like her, this is probably the scene where I felt like the dialogue got a little bumpy. Riley introduces herself and asks to be her friend- great. The girls response “Yeah, I don’t like her at all” to Maya was just…awkward to me. Wouldn’t it have hit home better if she were to look Riley in the eyes and say “No I don’t want to be your friend. I don’t like you.” A small change, but I feel like that direction/dialogue shift would have flowed a lot better in the moment. The rest of the scene however, with Rowan “rewinding” and trying again, is hilarious. 

*Here we are introduced to the first of multiple lessons. The surface lesson of it all is of course that some people just straight up aren’t going to like you. This is a hard reality for anyone. As the saying goes “you can be the juiciest peach in the world, but there’s still going to be someone out there who doesn’t like peaches”. It’s vastly different from Rileytown, because when there’s a bully in the picture, you easily don’t blame yourself. You can characterize that bully as the villain and yourself as the victim, therefore negotiating the idea that the bully is obviously wrong in their opinions of you. But when someone isn’t necessarily mean or hateful, they just don’t really like your vibe, that sometimes is an even harder reality to swallow. Especially someone like Riley who for the most part, is consistently around people who are constantly reassuring her and letting her know how wonderful and great her uniqueness and personality are. 

*Maya saying “You’re being ridiculous” and Riley responding “Oh gee, thanks you’ve fixed me forever” was an AWESOME line for me. It just basically symbolizes the entire show in one short swift moment of dialogue and breaks the fourth wall just enough so that the writers can say “Yeap, we see Rileys main character flaw, we know it annoys you but guess what, we’re sticking with it anyway!”

*Just a completely unimportant side note…Mayas outfit is so on point in this scene.*

*Just want to point out how great Corey Fogelmanis, Ceci Balagot and Rowan Blanchard are at physical comedy (just like Will Friedle). Honestly, I feel like this type of comedy is the hardest to pull off because it can fall flat so easily and come across and cory and awkward rather than actually funny. But in this episode we see how much it can shine. Farkle falling on Smackle, Smackle dragging Farkle across the school (with a GREAT direction decision to give us an arial view), Farkle fainting multiple times in class (with perfect timing), Riley cringing and crying in Mayas arms or her reversing backwards to try and “start the conversation over again”. And of course, what is probably the best moment of physical comedy perhaps in the entire show- Smackle teaching the class about their bodies. 

*The gym teacher is so underappriciated. His jokes got laughs but honestly so much of what he said slipped under the radar and was actually comedic gold. 

“All right you little creepy child adults”

“You’re all gonna pass. Cause if you don’t pass I gotta meet your parent’s. I don’t wanna meet your parents, I don’t wanna meet you!”

“He’s the only on in here who knows what he’s doing.”

I mean, just awesome.

*I’ve seen a lot of commentary on this episode but no one has pointed out the incredible  irony of Riley judging the gym teacher so harshly when she, at the exact same moment, is struggling over the fact that some random girl doesn’t like her. The teacher even says “why don’t you give me a chance”, just like Riley wants to be given a chance by the girl at the lockers, yet Riley fails to make that connection or to even realize she’s doing exactly the same thing she’s claiming to not understand. A great, subtle moment to show the importance of Rileys character finding growth here. 

*It was really nice to see some Topanga/Riley parallels in this episode. It really breaks the “Riley is Cory” stereotype that we see so often and reminds the audience that Riley is, in fact, a meshing of BOTH her parents, even though the writers don’t give us that much Topanga and Riley interaction (but we get a lot more in Monster, which I can’t wait to see). We even see Maya comfort Topanga in the same way she does Riley and see it work. I thought that was a really nice small touch yet again, highlighting their similarities. 

*Speaking of Topanga in this episode, that scene is GOLDEN. It is first and foremost, wonderful to see Danielle Fishel using her acting chops to her fullest ability and she absolutely delivers the dialogue to perfection. The first time I watched this scene I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. It reminds me of the complex Topanga we had in Boy Meets World, who was consistently funny but also the voice of reason. It also brought back serious BMW feels of “The Eskimo”, where Cory and Shawn have an assignment and Topanga has to do her best to stay out of it, sans Mr. Feenys request. 

*The second day of health class. Again, GREAT direction move to  have Riley and Maya enter the class with everyone standing there smiling, and then break away to reveal Cory. Worked so well, and even though you KNEW he was going to be there, it still landed impeccably and got great laughs. Then of course, we have Smackle teaching the class about their bodies, which I already touched on as one of the funniest highlights of this series to date. But I also want to point out the reaction shots. Notice everyone horrified BESIDES Lucas and Maya (hormonal telegrams, everyone!) And also HOW IMPORTANT REACTION SHOTS ARE TO THIS SHOW. They feed off of them more than almost any other show I have ever watched. They are imperative, they say so much without saying anything at all (and guess what, that is a sign of GOOD SCRIPT WRITING). 

*Topangas comment that “sometimes you are just a leaf blowing in the wind, and where you land is meant to teach something” should probably bring everyone back to Rileys strange obsession with the dying leaf from Ski Lodge. This entire episode is CHOCK FULL of foreshadowing (ill get to that at the end) but this is an interesting moment that should probably make a viewer raise their eyebrow as what Topanga says is almost identical to what Riley says to Lucas about the leaf a few episodes before. If Riley and Lucas are leaves blowing in the wind, and you are “meant to learn something even if you don’t like what’s happening to you” it begs the question, what is the Rucas relationship meant to teach the characters? What is it meant to teach the audience? I’d really like to expand on this point, but I don’t want to spoil the rest of the season. 

*The scene at Topanga’s. I can’t gloss over the direction decision to put Lucas not only in between both Riley and Maya, but to have him SIGNIFICANTLY closer to Maya, almost sitting on her, in the exact same way that Riley was sitting with Farkle in Bear, while she was a foot away from Lucas. Two different directors for these episodes (one of which I hated), so it’s very hard to believe that this is not one, but TWO instances of lazy direction notes, especially knowing how delicate the dichotomy between Rucaya is. 

*I think this scene was great because it blatantly showed that the Riley Committee has in fact, disbanded. Instead of tying to comfort her in an infantile kind of way (which yes, Maya kind of did but cuddling her and singing to her in the beginning but if you listen to what Maya says in her song, she calls Riley a nut job who has to get over it so…) and being realistic with her, telling her not to care so much what one person thinks and to move on and let go. I think that this shows how imperative disbanding this committee was in order to continue with Rileys growth, especially because we see that she really LEARNS her lesson in this episode, opposed to other times where it seems to have slipped through her fingers. 

*There was a lot of cute Smarkle in SDLM (Him falling and her dragging him, her calling him ‘Beloved’ and blowing him a kiss) but the scene in Topangas, for me personally, WAS NOT one of them. Smackle giggling at Lucas’ smile is one thing, but having Farkle do the same smile and having her react poorly too it, crosses the line for me. If their entire basis of the Lucadora dynamic is that she wants to make Farkle jealous, they basically just discredited that with this moment. If that were true, Smackles innate reaction to Farkle would still be one of adoration, as he’s still the one she supposedly really loves, right? And another poor direction choice to have hers straight up smack his face away and whisper to Lucas “he’s right here!”. I know that there is the autistic situation to deal with, and I am respectful of that, but I still think that this was unnecessary and basically just dug them into  a huge plot hole for later episodes. 

*Speaking of Lucas…what the actual fuck, dude. First of all, if you don’t want Smackle flirting with you, why are you turning to her in order to get a flirty reaction? One, that’s a crappy thing to do your “best friend” Farkle, her boyfriend, who is sitting right there. Secondly, it’s a crappy thing to do to your girlfriend, who is also sitting right there. 

*Speaking of Lucas and his girlfriend…very interesting (and nice) direction choice to have Lucas smile at Riley first, and have her NOT be affected by his gaze, as opposed to Smackle, who fawns all over him. Very different reaction by Riley then that of the pilot, where he does the same smile, and she absolutely drools over him…actually, she giggles almost identically to the way SMACKLE does in THIS scene. If people do not think that these things are significant, that character development and evolution is not apparent through the actions they take, then they’re crazy. TELEVISION IS A VISUAL MEDIUM, PEOPLE. 

*Speaking more about Rucas, still confusion on why the writers constantly write Lucas to not give an actual shit about Riley. Yes, the “anyone who knows you would like you” line was sweet, but unbelievably unhelpful and throughout the rest of the episode…where even is this guy? He has like, 5 lines at most this episode and does nothing to try and be there for her. I grow tired. 

*Can’t move past Cory drawing the human foot on the board. Really nothing else to say because that moment of comedic beauty speaks all for itself. 

*When the gym teacher returns, I think it’s great that they throw in a third and quick lesson about your body, taking health class to be more than something just played for laughs. That we all have one body, one mind, and it’s essential that we take care of it. We can control what happens to our bodies and minds (physically, spiritually and sexually) and we need to leave the rest up to the universe. Also, a nice subtle line about waiting until you are ready to have sex. Probably flew right over most of the younger viewers heads but, I’m glad they decided to put it in the dialogue, none the less. Also, side note, I think that adding the sweet moment between the gym teacher and Riley, where he calls her sunshine in an actual endearing way, and they come to an understanding, mixed with his surprising ability to actually teach difficult and delicate topics with finesse, was a nice touch to keep him from falling into the hardcore “stock character” category. 

*Again, reaction shot moments being crucial. As the gym teacher is talking about “things being out of your control” notice that the reaction shots go DIRECTLY to Farkle and Lucas (then to Riley and Maya). This is foreshadowing what is to come, how there are obstacles these characters will face, and the direct difference in how each person will choose to handle things (spot the difference). 

*Okay..the big scene with the balloons. If one or two were orange, I would let it slide. But every single damn balloon is orange…why Jacobs, why? I SEE YOU. We also once again in this scene, have Lucas NOT UNDERSTANDING HIS GIRLFRIEND and wondering why the hell they are standing there with balloons, not grasping the concept that Riley, the person he should “know better than anyone” has just learned an invaluable lesson about life and has grown and obviously wants to do something beautifully symbolic about it because thats who she is and anyone that has ever met her for 5 seconds would know that about her I mean GOD LUCAS GIVE ME A BREAK. 

*To add to that sentiment…who does actually understand what she’s doing? I’m not even going to let you guess on this one, guys. IT’S FARKLE. Big shocker at this point, I’m sure. 

Zay: “I’m not doing this: 

Farkle: “You don’t control that”

Riley: “We never let go of each other” :Riley gives balloon back to Zay: 

Farkle: “See?”

I mean, it makes me want to cry when people don’t understand how intentional this is on the writers part. Zay is Lucas’ best friend and Rileys girlfriend, Lucas could have delivered Farkles dialogue there. Maya is Riley’s best friends and close to Zay, she could have delivered it. But no, Farkle did. Please, please PLEASE take a step back and look at it from a contextual perspective. It’s not about ship goggles, it’s about the evolution of characters and their dynamics together, both subtle and blatant. This is what makes good TV, this is why you SHOULD want to watch this show. For moments like that, the moments that make you say “Wow they put so much in to every single moment they present to their audience”. 

*STEM Riley officially has returned by the end of this episode. The balloon scene was totally beautiful, but what really hit home and touches the audiences hearts is her last scene with the locker girl. 

“Yeah, I still don’t like you.”

“Well I like you.”

Confident, cool, collected, and completely at peace with the idea that someone doesn’t like her. Riley Matthews, accepting the fact that someone doesn’t enjoy who she is or want to be her friend. Riley Matthews, still being kind and understanding towards someone who has no interest in her. Riley Matthews walking away and letting it go. In some ways, this scene is one of the best growth moments she has had in the entire series. All her friends standing behind her, watching her become a better version of herself, her walking away with her head held high, the smile the girl gives after receiving Riley’s compliment. It was all just really moving and well placed. Jeff Menell, you really know what the hell you are doing. 

*Lastly. I just want to point out that this entire episode was foreshadowing the rest of the season. The entire concept of not being able to “control things that happen to you” and how you “the world is trying to teach you something when it puts you in situations where you don’t like what’s happening to you” and that “you learn things about yourselves when you are forced to deal with something extremely difficult that is out of control”. All of these moments are letting you know that there is a storm brewing and these characters have to brace themselves. It’s why this episode had to be written, it’s why Riley had to grow so much in 25 minutes. Because if she didn’t learn this lesson now, things would have been an even bigger mess in about 4 more episodes. It was a great stepping stone in whats to come. 

Overall, I rate this episode probably a 9.5. It really had just about everything. Subtext, multiple life lessons, foreshadowing, character development, consistent comedy. It would be harder to get much better than this for GMW. 

I'm just gonna put this out there because I'm getting a little fed up...
  • All food is good food.
  • No food is detrimental to your health. Unless you are eating cyanide. That’s not good. That will in fact kill you.
  • When your hunger cues have normalised, intuitive eating will keep you healthy. That means that responding to whatever your body is craving; whether it be cheerios, bread, doughnuts, peas, mango, fish, ketchup, ice cream, nuts, avocado, berries, yoghurt, cheese, milk, broccoli, pasta, baked beans, peanut butter, nutella, bacon, cookies, WHATEVER. 
  • Sugar is not detrimental to your health. Fats are not detrimental to your health. Carbs are not detrimental to your health. Ignoring your hunger cues IS detrimental to your health. Why would you listen to society but ignore your naturally created body?
  • Stop listening to diet culture. Stop listening to our fatphobic society. Stop reading studies about certain foods being bad and recognise that these studies are funded by companies that have ties to the weightloss industry. 
  • The weightloss industry will consistently try to twist scientific research to suit its own means. It’s goal is to make you feel unhealthy and unhappy with your weight, size, and shape, so that you will continuously buy their products in a bid to change yourself.
  • Research that suggests the opposite of what these companies want to hear is generally funded by them, and if they cannot twist it to show what they want, it is then swept under the carpet because the results will not sell their products.
  • Basically, stop listening to everything around you which is entirely constructed to make money. Stop listening to the money-making industry and start listening to your body.