remember all the times the writers showed us that shawn and topanga were friends too

Michael Jacobs has one of the most authentic voices in television today. He and the entire ‘Girl Meets World’ team will not only continue to entertain families but also help kids discover who they are and who they want to be in this world.
— 

Disney Channels Worldwide EVP of Programming Adam Bonnett 

AKA “Guess we’re not moving to ABC Family any time soon.” 

I’m really looking forward to see how they will play serious high school issues on Disney. We’re all taking a risk here by letting this be pulled off on Disney, GMW being our life force and all. Don’t make this into another cliché, stereotypical, cheesy high school drama/comedy Disney. Remember, you’re about to attract more number of older audience, so don’t let let them label GMW as ‘another tween show on Disney that doesn’t know that high school isn’t a High School Musical’ from this season. 

I understand that there are boundaries, but let GMW be close as you can get to those lines. GMW is girl’s POV of BMW. There are things that could be addressed that do not cross/is close to the line such as: 

  • mind numbing stress 
  • seriousness of exams and education 
  • pressures of college selections, applications, preparations, interviews and entrance exams
  • types of teachers and how to deal with each type
  • student expectations in high school
  • volunteering
  • bullying from upper class girls 
  • realm and realism of popularity 
  • hacking
  • Driving (Lucas will turn 16 next year)
  • realistic dating 
  • dating someone due to their reputation/wealth
  • inter-racial dating
  • realism and seriousness of marriage (most girls think marriage is the culmination of an epic love story and it’s a happily ever after. Some marriages happen without a love story and for some it’s the end of their love story. Corpanga isn’t the case with everyone.)
  • body image 
  • media’s effect on young girls and young boys
  • being put in unhealthy competition against your own gender (cat fights)
  • stereotypes
  • feeling invisible and being an outsider
  • feeling too old to be beautiful (sounds like a job for Topanga and Katy. Many women lose self worth (not confidence) because we’re told that beauty is everything in a women and if you got wrinkles and saggy skin, you’re not beautiful enough and that you’re ‘time’ is over. This happened to someone I love dearly)
  • cliques 
  • high school parties
  • racism
  • feminism and equalism (doesn't this scream like a job for queen Rowan?)
  • suicide
  • murder (yes suicide should be addressed separately)
  • cheating and temptations to cheat on significant other
  • temptations as a whole
  • truth about the portrayal of life, women and men in movies and on tv
  • double standards faced by women
  • puberty and hormones 
  • love triangles (we already have this going on, so kudos. Some may not like it, but this is very natural and real.)
  • Police involvement in school

However, there are soo many other things that girls (including myself) go through in high school and I’m still highly doubtful whether you could even address them on the channel. Here are some examples of sexual/intimate realism girls face in today’s world. Yes, they cross your borders but they are real. These are serious things I’ve seen and heard happen.

  • peer pressure into sex from boys/bfs
  • peer pressure into losing your virginity, whether boy or girl
  • virginity-shaming
  • sexuality (This is here because have you heard what happened to the girl who played Charlie on Good Luck Charlie?)
  • inter-faith dating (this is hardly EVER seen on a tv show, but it does happen and is common in countries with high diversity (like the country I’m living in currently). I have plenty of real stories (plural) that has happened in my very own class itself, to my very own friends and myself.)
  • abuse (sexual or otherwise, abuse is abuse)
  • Sexual double standards faced by women
  • dressing provocatively just to keep the guy 
  • teachers hitting on student (I believe this was covered in BMW so I’ll give it a pass if it’s not addressed) 
  • alcohol and drugs
  • po*n and its addiction (this territory is mainly for the guys and some girls. This is 99.99% something that high school students go through these days with advancements in technology. This something that definitely needs to be addressed.)
  • how the above mentioned word affects guys’ expectations and mentality (such as sleep deficits/prone to anger and violence/mistrust in significant other/addiction), thereby affecting his idea of sex and girls. (Lady parts and guy parts don’t always look like that!)
  • teen pregnancy (yes this happened to a 11th grade girl)
  • Cat called continuously on streets by men (I wanna see how Cory and Shawn would react to this so badly. I think this is something that just crosses the Disney border.)
  • Harsh break-ups and threats (There was someone who had broken up with her bf and the guy constantly threatened her and even cut his hand until she gave into his requests. I’m not kidding).
  • Threats through social media (not cyber-bullying as in making derogatory and offensive remarks, but like asking for photos of certain uncovered body parts.)
  • Actually just bringing up the subject of sex (and not just in the context of reproduction)
  • Actually having the guts to go to the police to report in any case of threats, harassments and domestic/sexual violence (and be thankful that you’re not living in Rosewood where the police is useless as a gun without a trigger. PLL anyone?)

I will applause if above subjects are even lightly touched (using an innuendo for example) during their high school experience. If you could put a warning sign or some sort of content advisory, I’ll salute you. Let this be the show that changes everybody’s view of Disney.

Yes, my expectations are quite high because I’ve devoted soo much time for this show, (no wait, I mean universe) and I’m still holding on tightly because important issues are brought up and talked about as far they were allowed (example cyber-bullying). But I’m lowering the bar a little bit because I don’t want to have unrealistic expectations, with GMW still being a Disney show. That doesn’t mean that I underestimate the writers ability, I just have low-very moderate hopes on how far Disney will allow. I mean, they didn’t air certain episodes of BMW. Here’s what it says on wikipedia:

“Disney Channel edited many episodes that contained scenes with suggestive content deemed inappropriate for the channel’s target audience of 7- to 14-year-olds. All 158 episodes aired during the series’ initial run on the Disney Channel, however due to the adult subject matter and complaints from parents, Disney Channel omitted three episodes from later airings: season five’s “If You Can’t Be with the One You Love…” (due to its depictions of underage drinking) and “Prom-ises, Prom-ises” (whose main storyline involves Cory and Topanga contemplating losing their virginity on the night of their prom), and season six’s “The Truth About Honesty” (due to its sexual references).”

I still truly truly hope that GMW moves to ABC Family after the 4 season limit. Those subjects mentioned above are 100% real and cannot be ignored. Which other show will actually address those topics maturely and give Mr Feeny level lessons about it? BMW was a phenomenon because it touched real life, mostly from a boy’s perspective. Now show the girl’s perspective on real life. 

I’m giving you a big chance here Disney, so DON’T mess it up. :)

-Sincerely
 17 year old fan, in her senior year of high school, really hoping that high      school on GMW is relatable, realistic and accurately portrayed. 

PS: I’m proud of you Michael and the entire team of writers, you truly are a legend. Thank you for all your efforts.

PSS: I’m sorry for this being so long and if you have to scroll past for a mile or two. This is the most serious thing I’ve written and it took over three and a half hours to type, but it was worth it. 

Triangle Review/Theory Part 1: The Boys

DISCLAIMER: There is so much in this episode that I had to break it into two parts. This is going to be one of my more critical reviews, because I didn’t necessarily love this episode and I’m not all that fond of this arc in general (especially this Identity Crisis malarkey). Regardless, I want to learn the in’s and outs of this show and somehow keep the faith that the writer’s have ultimate goals that are admirable, so I will not stop reviewing each and every week.

First, the Boys:

I’m starting here  mostly because it incudes the jelly bean scene and I love anything that reminds me of Boy Meets World. With Ski Lodge coming up, it was only appropriate that this scene be somewhere in this arc and I’m glad they threw it back to this moment, even using some of the exact same dialogue between Cory and Shawn:

“You’re gonna let jellybeans decide my future?”

“Oh who else is supposed to decide? You?

“…Okay!”

 But one of my favorite things that the writers tend to do with GMW is throwback to a Boy Meets World scene and then alter it ever so slightly, so that the lesson/end result is still completely different that it’s predecessors. Jacobs said himself he “isn’t writing the same show twice”, so it’s good to see him sticking to his words.

Because yes, for those of you that didn’t realize it, the two scenes are similar, but they are anything but the same.

 Context. Is. Everything.

 In BMW, Cory is “deciding” between Lauren and Topanga. Does he say nice things about both girls? Sure. But how does the scene end? It ends with all of the jellybeans on Topanga’s side, Cory calling it “no contest” and figuring out (with what will end up sticking in finality through the rest of the series), that Topanga will always, and has always been the one

Scene over, cut to black, moving forward.

 Not so much when it comes to Lucas.

 “It’s always been Riley”

 Lucas originally puts all his jelly beans on Riley’s side, yeah. He even quotes Cory when it comes to her…at first. That is canon. But I’m not sure if some people fell asleep at that moment or what, but that is not where this new scene ends. Instead…

 “Except…”

 Lucas then procedes to talk about how Riley was pushed by Maya in the subway and how this sort of counteracts the whole original idea he had that the “universe had brought him and Riley together”. 

 “It was Maya who pushed her. It was Maya who did that for Riley because that’s who Maya is.”

 FINALLY! A comment about something that has to do with one of the girls CORE personality traits, not just something flippant and obscure or shallow, like:

 “Riley is so goofy she  makes me laugh 50 times a day”

“I love when Maya ‘Hurr Hurrs’ me all day long”

 Even Lucas’ comment about the library scene they had together, is something that happened two years ago at this point. And although it was obviously important to him, I still really feel there should have been some scenes in season 2 that revolved around Riley and Lucas bonding/growing closer, regardless of the Maya arc that was building. One conversation may have been enough for Lucas, but it’s not enough canon evidence for an audience to back a real connection between the two of them. Maya being selfless about the people she loves, however,  is something legitimate to adore about a person, it is a trait that makes you passionate about someone else, and I like that the writers ended this “experiment” with that realization from Lucas. For me at least, that line cut pretty deep against the backdrop of all the other sugary substance answers he was giving.

 In recognizing that Maya pushed Riley (honestly thank God someone finally did) he also acknowledges that the “Universe” didn’t REALLY put him and Riley together, because Maya was really calling the shots for her friend. That’s a little growth for Lucas and that’s refreshing to see, because honestly this kid has had relatively zero-character development this season. Because of this, he is also becoming increasingly unlikable in my eyes.

 If this scene was taken in the same context as the one with Shawn and Cory way back when, it probably would have been about 5 minutes shorter. Riley would have been the answer and then the next 4 episodes wouldn’t really need to happen. Cory knew Lauren for like, 2 seconds of his life, and she was up against Topanga, who he had known since he was basically a fetus. Lucas, on the other hand, has had an ongoing friendship with BOTH of these girls for a few years now, and the decision just flat out isn’t as easy for him. That  something people of all ships need to recognize.

But still, let’s quickly sum up where we are at by the end of the scene: 

*Lucas likes Riley because she was pushed into his lap on the subway.

*Lucas likes Maya because of who she is as a human being. 

YAY! DECISION MADE! THE ARC IS OVER! WE- Wait, what? That wasn’t enough for Lucas to choose?! WE STILL HAVE TO WAIT 4 MORE EPISODES? WHAT IS THIS MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

(And for those of you that are reasoning this with “because Lucas only liked Maya because she was ‘becoming Riley’”, please reference 4 paragraphs back where Lucas himself uses a reason from the first episode as to why he likes Maya so much.)

So next I would like to discuss Farkle. I know that he is “not really part of the story” right now (you will understand that joke later) but the writers slipped something in this scene that highlights some slight growth in his character and I think it’s worth pointing out. When he and Zay are trying to figure out who Lucas “really” wants, he comes to the conclusion that:

 “There may be no viable scientific way to decide this.”

 Small moment, huge breakthrough. Yes Farkle, science does not dictate love. The faster you realize this, the happier this audience will be.

 Also,

 “Lucas I know it’s impossible to choose between both of them, I mean I couldn’t. But you have too. For the good of all of us.”

 Did any other Riarkle fans get a little queasy when they heard that quote? I have to admit that this made me vomit in my mouth a little, because I don’t like the idea of Farkle or Riley saying anything that will potentially shut down the possibility of a romantic arc between them in the future. But, remember to look past the surface. Think of it this way:

 Farkle is trying to hold on to the promise of never choosing either girl because he doesn’t want to lose either one of them – we see him talk more about this in Upstate. But here’s the deal guys- Farkle will NEVER have to choose. Lucas, on the other hand, does have too, his stakes are different.

 Farkle and Maya do not have a romantic connection, this was proven in canon during “GM Cory and Topanga” with the lackluster high five Maya gave Farkle and then with her response of “Nothin.”

Boom. Right there, romantic Markle is dead (sorry, shippers of Markle, if you exist!) Farkle, unlike Lucas, does not have to worry about losing someone because he he will never lose Maya, regardless. It doesn’t matter how in love with Riley he may eventually fall, he can still love Maya the same amount, just in a slightly different way. And she will be okay with that. Maya will always be around and unlike Lucas, Farkle can ultimately keep them both.

 So keep the faith, my people! Stay strong until season 4. Stay strong until Ski Lodge 1, for that matter. But you didn’t hear that from me.

 I want to give props to the costume department for being SO careful with this scene. Zay placing Riley’s jellybeans on the scale (By the way, why was there randomly an available old school scale like that in Topanga’s anyway?) and Farkle is placing Mayas jellybeans on the scale, but they are both wearing yellow and purple in their costumes, the respective colors of each girl. Also, Lucas, of course is wearing something neutral (Blue. Shocker!).

In addition, despite what I have heard many people claim,, I don’t think the writers gave Zay or Farkle any lines that suggested either guy wanted Lucas to pick either girl. They were both completely objective in attempting to help Lucas figure this out, albeit they are unbelievably annoyed that it’s even still an issue.

 Farkle snapping “WHAT?!” in response to Lucas’ “Except…” is perfectly staged, because we feel you Farkle, the audience wants this shit show of an arc to be over as soon as humanly possible, too. In fact, most of us think this should have been over in Season 2 (you should be with Riley by now), but the actor who plays Josh was injured and the writers had to change lanes. I suppose with the circumstances, they are doing the best they can.

As usual, I need to point out how unbelievably great Zay is. He’s still kind of a stock character at this point, playing Lucas’ “funny, cute friend” (to describe him in his own words), but that doesn’t stop him from being totally entertaining. “We’ve let this go on for so long because your pain is hilarious to us, but it’s gotta end eventually” is probably one of the most underrated jokes of the episode, it deserved way more laughs than it got.

Oh Zay, why are you so damn great?

 Lastly, the final scene of the episode Lucas slides in to Riley’s house and proclaims that he has made a decision, which is met with cheering and an abundance of applause, followed by the parent’s telling Lucas to sit down and tell them, instead. What parent’s are going to mutually sit down with the prospective boyfriend of each of their daughters and make him spill his guts? Holy awkward. Sorry Lucas. But then again, I guess you kind of had it coming.

 As far as the applause goes, I can only imagine that the audience was cheering over the fact that this arc is finally going to end so we can watch the writers grow their characters and move on to more interesting, complex and fresh plot lines.

 I love you Girl Meets World, but let’s get this show on the road.

 Part 2 Review, coming soon!