Okay, so I’ve been spooling out this whole Riley/Maya + Dorothy/Alice thing all week, and it’s been met with an interesting combination of “holy moly you just blew my mind!” and “NUH UH you’re delusional!” or “why would such a great writer copy another story?!”
Well, I think I explained a few posts back about the purpose of an allusion vs “copying,” and so now I want to address the people who doubt that Jacobs & Co would deploy allusions on a grand scale at all.
Here’s the thing: Jacobs & Co did this with BMW too. Cory and Shawn were very much so a modern day Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Not only is this evident when you compare the characters in the general sense, but MULTIPLE allusions to Tom & Huck were made over the course of the series (especially early on). In the SECOND episode of BMW ever, we get Cory’s “whitewashing the fence” moment in a BLATANT nod to Tom Sawyer. (Although Minkus thwarts him. More on that next post because Minkus is me in that scene. 😂)
So what I’m saying is this: the Dorothy/Alice + Riley/Maya stuff isn’t new. Comparing the girls and linking them to classic coming-of-age-type characters via visual/verbal allusions & references isn’t some bizarre new idea on GMW that didn’t happen on BMW. The Dorothy/Alice connections on GMW are just a more complex spin on the Cory/Shawn + Tom/Huck connections on Boy Meets World.
“But Tom’s energy did not last. He began to think of the fun he had planned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. Soon the free boys would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make a world of fun of him for having to work—the very thought of it burnt him like fire. He got out his worldly wealth and examined it—bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of WORK, maybe, but not half enough to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom. So he returned his straitened means to his pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.” –The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
INT. IMPORTANT-LOOKING GOVERNMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
An important-looking GOVERNMENT MAN sits at his desk as an EXPERT enters the room. The GOVERNMENT MAN stands up.
GOVERNMENT MAN (anxiously): What’s happening? What’s the news?
EXPERT (grimly): It’s not good. When you decided to have the United States construct a massive picket fence around the entire Middle East, did you have any idea what the cost what be?
GOVERNMENT MAN: We—we thought we could handle it.
EXPERT: Yeah? Well now you’re in the red, you’ve got thousands of miles of fencepost running around the Middle East, and you haven’t even painted the damn thing yet! If you don’t find a way to get that fence white washed, you’re going down.
GOVERNMENT MAN (stammering): But… what can we do?
EXPERT: Oh, this is far beyond my expertise. There’s only one person who can help you now. The greatest work-dodger this country has ever known.
EXT. THE MIDDLE EAST – DAY
TOM SAWYER, a sexy ginger wearing a white button down with the sleeves rolled up, brown suspenders holding up brown trousers, and no shoes leans against a white picket fence in the middle of the desert. He takes a great bite from an apple and it’s sexy as hell.
A group of United Nations peacekeepers drive up in a jeep.
GERMAN: Vhat are you doing, American boy?
SAWYER: Oh, you know, just painting this ol’ fence.
He gestures a thumb at several million cans of paint.
GERMAN: Oh yah? Vell ve vere going to ask you to come to ze swimming hole, but it looks like you’re too busy!
All the peacekeepers laugh. SAWYER takes another bite of his apple.
SAWYER: Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll just keep painting this here fence. It’s a big top secret project for America. Trust me, you wouldn’t care about it at all.
ITALIAN (suspiciously): A big top secret project?
BRITISH MAN: And America wants to keep it all to themselves?!
The peacekeepers all jump out of the jeep and start fighting each other.
FRENCHMAN: France will give you 10 million Euros to paint the fence!
BRITISH MAN: Poppycock! Britain will give you the Tower of London!
ITALIAN: Italy will give you the Pope!
SAWYER: Gentlemen, gentlemen! Settle down! There’s plenty of fence for everyone!
to be continued….
[Ben Baker is a writer living in Arlington, Virginia. Like everyone else, he is on Twitter.]
This is Tom Sawyer from his first day outside the Vault. So far he’s been Bitten, Shot at, Poisoned, and even Aggressively Frowned at within his first two days outside. He’s not a Lucky Duck. (I don’t expect this submission to get through, :P)