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IceDragon
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:50 pm    Post subject: Girl Meets World! Reply with quote

First posted here: http://icedragonnet.blogspot.com.ar/



I'm going to start this off by saying that I have never seen the classic series "Boy Meets World", but I'm well-aware of its reputation among the people and I understand that it has been one of ABC's most beloved sitcoms. And probably because of that lack of information regarding the show I shouldn't be making this statement but... I have seen more than enough comments destroying "Girl Meets World" based on the fact that it "seems" to be damaging its predecessor's hard-earned reputation and that it just seems like a dull and cheap knock-off made to leech on the previous show's fame while coming out as an effortless piece of comedy. Guys, I understand your points but this is really easy to dismiss... do you really think that they would have gone thru all the hassle of hiring the two leads of the other show if they were planning to make this one as cheap and easy-to-make as possible? I seriously doubt it.

Besides, many characters from the original series have made cameos here (even if only for a few frames)... that alone goes to show that real care and effort went into the making of this thing. The event wasn't rare either, making it an experience to look for who was going to pop up on screen next (and this is coming from someone who hasn't even seen that other show, so I think that that says a lot). I could be listing facts all day, but I don't wanna lost my impartial input on this... I just wanted to point out the obvious -even though it seemed to have flown over everyone's head. And that's the problem with nostalgia as a whole, it becomes a blindfold tied tightly in front of everyone's eyes to prevent them to "damage" their memories of nicer and simpler times. Old videos and pictures are always shown on either black and white or sepia, and that's precisely because those tones don't allow you to put shades on your understanding of the whole picture-.



Fans of the original show might be glad to hear that Topanga and Cory are often the limelight, providing a large part of the show's comedic factor.

Now -and back on topic for once- I would like to say that the first thing that I absolutely liked about "Girl Meets World" was the nature of its ensemble... look, I'm a BIG fan of Disney and their sitcoms but... haven't you ever felt like if most of those guys weren't actually "comfortable" with the thing? Some things -from dialogue to characters- seemed out of place at times and that used to hurt those shows. Many characters from newer and older jewels of that channel simply didn't register enough chemistry to sell the moments as a group -though, succeeding as individuals- and that's why series like "Dog with a Blog" (really nice despite the obviously not very inspired title), "Wizards of Waverly Place" and even "Good Luck, Charlie!" felt so shallow at times. Luckily, "Girl Meets World" largely doesn't have that problem.

Not only there's actual chemistry between the main part of the ensemble, but even those weird match-ups (like Topanga and Farkle -which we know aren't going to have much screentime devoted to them-) come off as natural because of strong writing and good acting... all of that being powered by which I'm going to swear is an actual friendship shared by all the members of the cast. This is a show where dialogue plays an even bigger part than in most other programs of its own type and NONE of those verbal exchanges has ever felt out of place to my ears. I will say more, even the comedy seems to have been upgraded for this particular show... and there are so many examples of this scattered throughout the whole series that it would be pointless to list them all. BUT what I will say is that some of the best jokes occur when there's no eye-contact -and not even proximity sometimes- between the two involved parts, and the precision of those reactions -happening exactly when they are required to happen- are a delight to watch as they serve as a showcase for the rest of this program's fine humor.

All of that is truly great, but no program can be entirely perfect and neither is the case with "Girl Meets World". The shows does indeed have flaws and I think that the bigger one comes directly from one of its strongest parts. This show loves to teach valuable lessons to the viewer and I appreciate the effort but, sometimes, it just feels too eager to force the moral down everyone's throat and the result is quite uncomfortable in its good intention. Most of the time one finds himself trying to enjoy an episode that has suddenly gone "too melancholic" and the effect lasts its good couple of minutes before being left behind until it is time to bring it up again for the final wrap-up. None of the morals has ever crossed the line of disgusts due to excellent writing and passionate acting, though, but some of them have landed dangerously close to that imaginary borderline.

The good thing is that most of those scenes are placed at the beginning-to-middle part of the episodes, when we are still establishing characters and situation, but there's been at least two entries of the series where the WHOLE thing was about that awkward moment of sadness... and that bothers me because the writers obviously know how to get their message across without having to resort to being "too gray" to accomplish the goal; so, when they do something like that, it feels like a waste of time (looking at you, 60's-themed episode).



The Halloween episode might not be the best one in terms of content, but the setting gets a maximum grade just for the level of commitment that went into making it (look at the guys playing softball still on their costumes!).

Another thing that just feels kinda weird is the first episode of the starter season. The premise of Riley wanting to show that she's ready for the world by taking the subway all by herself is good enough and there's definitely some charm behind the idea, but... is that really it? I get it that travel alone must be a huge step towards maturity and the like but it still doesn't convince me in any favorable way. In fact, the only two parts that I can even remember of that first episode are the cameo by Crazy Hat (who we won't get to meet in detail until several episodes later) and the introduction to the character of Lucas, that also includes the first pure taste of Maya's wicked sense of humor. But what I'm listing there is pretty much all there is to that FIRST episode (you know, the one that's supposed to convince us to keep watching) and, honestly, episodes two and three would DESTROY this one in terms of entertainment value. I don't know what they were thinking when they made it, but the dialogue in that episode is all great so I guess that it pass.

The last thing that I'm going to say regarding this show is that it has one of the catchiest theme songs ever. I kid you not when I said that I have been listening to it for the whole afternoon and that I don't have any plans of stopping in the near future. How couldn't you love it? It's energetic, the lyrics match the show's feel perfectly and it just makes the intro all the more enjoyable by having it. Still, it might be way too sugary for the average listener, so... proceed at your own risk Razz





These two shots from the opening come literally one after another in the space of a few seconds... and I like the mood they set. Just like the show itself, they go from cheerful to miserable in the blink of an eye -and the song being played over the transition thankfully doesn't break the immersion-.

Also, kudos to the writers for more than one joke that found its way into the show itself.

In conclusion: "Girl Meets World" is a surprisingly nice show which -somehow- makes up for pretty much every flaw that's been on the genre in recent years, but that also suffers from its own mistakes in ways that are frankly avoidable -or at least, that's how it feels-. The program as a whole features enough laughs to make its serious moments go away easily and enough seriousness to prevent itself from falling into mindless comedy, but what makes it unique before my eyes is its heart. Right down from its cast (with Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter nailing every episode) to its message it is clear that a lot of love went into making the show as good as possible -things like the supreme attention to detail present in almost every shot support this- and it just shines as a result. Definitely something that I would recommend.



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Last edited by IceDragon on Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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MacGyver
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I have some more time, I may try to comment in more detail, but I will briefly say for now- IceDragon nailed it with this review!!!
Excellent work, friend. Very Happy Cool

I LOVE "Girl Meets World"- honestly, I might even say I love it more than "Boy Meets World"- and this is from someone who grew up watching the first series in its original run. "Girl Meets World" is honestly the only program on TV today that I actually make an effort to catch every new episode as it airs. It is that good!
(I was a bit skeptical at first, as these sequel ideas often never live up to the original, but this one has truly been an exception.)

And yes- I know people will say it is heavy-handed in bringing across morals and values in the show, but I don't mind at all. For the huge dearth that seems to be out there for such shows- particularly ones that do it as well as "Girl Meets World" does- I happily welcome and cherish this show.

Love the conclusion, ID- you said it very well there. The show has a ton of heart- and it speaks a lot to me as a follower of Christ as I can pick up on many very Biblical principles it conveys- chief among them being the love Christians are called to have for all people.

And yes- that theme song ROCKS! Very Happy Cool I could listen to it all day too.



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"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver

"Thunder...Thunder....Thunder...ThunderCats...HOOOO!!!!!!"- Lion-O
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IceDragon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Mac! I'm very glad you liked it Smile

I would like to hear your opinion on both the first episode and the 60's-themed episode if possible, since those are the only ones that I couldn't honestly say that I liked.

I also had medium-sized complains about the episode featuring Maya's mother.



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I can see your points on the pilot episode. You might could call it more of a "soft opening", as businesses sometimes use the term. However, pilot episodes can be kinda simple to a degree by nature, as they are setting up the framework for the rest of the series. I think the episode did that pretty well, particularly with reminding people about the comparisons between Maya's homework rebellion and Cory's own test rebellion on "Boy Meets World". (And of course, we continue to have those inevitable comparisons as the series goes along. I think the writers knew that was going to happen anyway and tried to throw in things like that to excite fans of the original series and hopefully draw in younger viewers too.)
With the pilot episode, I just mainly liked the introduction of the characters and Mr. Feeny's appearance at the end. Sure- it could have been more complex and made things more inviting- but it worked fine for me.
(Of course, I'm pretty easy going with such things and generally don't get too critical with things- or at least try not to do so. Others may have a more focused eye and that's okay.)
As to the 1960's-themed episode- well, I LOVE history, so I'm pretty much already sold on that one. I've seen that episode repeated quite a few times and rather enjoyed it. I get that maybe the episode seemed a bit too down in the dumps at times, but I think some of that can be healthy at times (but as you said, you don't want to go overboard with it.)
Everyone has their own tastes though and that's okay. We don't all have to agree on everything or like all the same things to like each other and respect each other. Smile (This is something I try to keep reminding people of, including myself, all the time. Different is not necessarily wrong; it's just different.) Cool



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"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." - Jesus (John 14:6)

"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver

"Thunder...Thunder....Thunder...ThunderCats...HOOOO!!!!!!"- Lion-O
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IceDragon
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think the episode did that pretty well, particularly with reminding people about the comparisons between Maya's homework rebellion and Cory's own test rebellion on "Boy Meets World". (And of course, we continue to have those inevitable comparisons as the series goes along. I think the writers knew that was going to happen anyway and tried to throw in things like that to excite fans of the original series and hopefully draw in younger viewers too.)


You know? That was one of the first things I thought after I was done writing the review... how much am I really missing by coming "blindly" to the show? I get most of the jokes because they are really funny -and the comparisons, callbacks, throwbacks and nods to the original show are thankfully very well underlined by the use of actual clips from it... it is like what they say "a picture is worth a thousand words" -besides, how couldn't you feel something on the inside by watching the quality of the videos? Those are pretty much screaming the name of the decade!-- but something's still off. I mean, the writing staff obviously did a great job writing the episodes to be as clear as possible for both of their targeted audiences, but I'm still feeling like something was lost in translation (so to speak).

Maybe I would have loved the first episode if I knew most of the background for it (like Cory's test rebellion, which was portrayed but not exactly developed as a whole concept).

Quote:
With the pilot episode, I just mainly liked the introduction of the characters and Mr. Feeny's appearance at the end. Sure- it could have been more complex and made things more inviting- but it worked fine for me.
(Of course, I'm pretty easy going with such things and generally don't get too critical with things- or at least try not to do so. Others may have a more focused eye and that's okay.)


I actually think that the only two characters to land on their feet during this episode are Cory and Maya. Everyone else was just a little too downplayed for their own good (Farkle also did phenomenally great, though). Still, it was a really good episode, just not as good as the rest of the series would prove to be... making it the dissonant note (but every note is part of the symphony Wink)!

In fact, I will just go ahead and say it -even if it is already very obvious-: the first episode really did sell me into the idea of watching the series as a whole, I just liked it less than most of the other entries... but that's pretty much it.

Quote:
As to the 1960's-themed episode- well, I LOVE history, so I'm pretty much already sold on that one. I've seen that episode repeated quite a few times and rather enjoyed it. I get that maybe the episode seemed a bit too down in the dumps at times, but I think some of that can be healthy at times (but as you said, you don't want to go overboard with it.)


Oh yeah, it works marvelously well as a history lesson, but the problem -for me at least- is that constant feeling of sadness and nostalgia turned into pain. The fact that most of their relatives didn't have a happy ending was a courageous and unexpected thing to do (kudos to the writes for that!) but it just felt terribly out of place in some form. Still -because everything has to be said- the ending is tremendously powerful and I love it just because of it. I think that both Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter hit their best bullseye during that particular entry.

Quote:
Everyone has their own tastes though and that's okay. We don't all have to agree on everything or like all the same things to like each other and respect each other. Smile (This is something I try to keep reminding people of, including myself, all the time. Different is not necessarily wrong; it's just different.) Cool


Very wise conclusion, my friend Smile

Now, there's something else I would like to ask you: how do you feel about the whole Shawn deal? Those episodes just recently aired in here and I still don't know what to make out of them. Maybe because I don't know Shawn's backstory either. But Maya's just weaker and weaker on those (which is not cool... and oh! I laughed SO hard at Farkle's watch... Very Happy).

As you can see, I really like this series Razz



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, friend. Smile

To address your question about Shawn and also address some of the other things you raised, I just have to say this- Yes, I think it's possible to watch the "Girl Meets World" show without having seen "Boy Meets World" and still generally understand it and get into it- but it definitely will make a huge difference if you are a fan of "Boy Meets World", fully versed in that show, going into watching this sequel series.
(And this goes beyond just getting the little references back to the original series.) This really goes to talk about the relationships. Cory and Shawn was one of the biggest parts of the entire "Boy Meets World" series. Yes, the series' focus was initially and primarily on a young boy meeting the world and finding out about life as he grows up (a theme which I think the original show did quite well, by the way)- but one of the biggest parts of that was Cory's friendship with Shawn. This friendship became one of the biggest comraderies on television. (They truly seemed to show a "David and Jonathan" kind of friendship- [i.e. See 1 Samuel 18:1-5 and chapter 20 for that reference.] They had a genuine love for each other like brothers and they looked out for each other always.
For fans of the original BMW series, this is hugely exciting to see this team back in action again. But the writers have to be careful not to let the main cast of GMW (Riley and her friends) lose the focus, while indulging the audience that primarily is tuning in to see the BMW connections. This is perhaps where you are coming in about your note about Maya seeming weaker in these episodes.
Personally, I love seeing Cory and Shawn back together and enjoying that friendship, but while the BMW cameos are fun for me as a fan of BMW- I honestly enjoy GMW so much in its own right that I am happy to see episodes just focusing on the main GMW cast. I am definitely at the point where I am attached enough to the main characters that I miss them if they do not get enough focus.
So yeah- with Shawn there, you're definitely going to have a bit of that imbalance, I think. But I think it's also going to work itself out soon enough, as it feels like the writers have a plan in mind for Shawn's character to work out- we'll see. (And as I'm sure you've picked up on by now- as the show practically spells this out in some episodes- Maya is essentially like a female version of Shawn whereas Riley is the female counterpart for Cory. Their friendship is certainly the same kind of friendship. Farkle is very much like Stuart Minkus on Boy Meets World (who is his father, of course)- and Lucas is like a male version of Topanga. And Auggie, for that matter, is basically a male version of Morgan from Boy Meets World.
Let me also say quickly that as a BMW fan, I definitely have enjoyed the writers' efforts to include as many original cast members as possible. (Since you mentioned you haven't seen all of them yet, I don't want to list them here as I don't want to put any potential spoilers. Though since you also mentioned you haven't seen BMW, it may not make a difference either. But still... Smile )
By the way, the creator of both shows has stated somewhere that they're going to try to get as many people as possible from the original show on to this new show. And so far, they have done a great job of it. There are still a few key characters yet to show up- and I hope they are able to incorporate them, as I would love to see them appear too.
Overall, while I can certainly acknowledge the show's flaws, there are so many overwhelming positives (the main one being that it is a clean, funny show with many positive morals, including very Biblical ones- something I find to be a real rarity on TV today)- I can easily forgive the show any flaws. I LOVE "Girl Meets World"! Very Happy Cool



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"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." - Jesus (John 14:6)

"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver

"Thunder...Thunder....Thunder...ThunderCats...HOOOO!!!!!!"- Lion-O
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IceDragon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe this got cancelled.

Come on, Disney...



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes.....it is really a shame. "Girl Meets World" is by far the BEST show that was running on TV in recent years, as far as I'm concerned. It's sad to see it go so soon.... (And by the way- I have really fallen behind in watching the show- I still need to see Season 3- so please warn about any spoilers. Wink )



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"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." - Jesus (John 14:6)

"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver

"Thunder...Thunder....Thunder...ThunderCats...HOOOO!!!!!!"- Lion-O
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IceDragon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same boat, mate. I still have to catch up with it.

But how bitter a feeling it is to know that the end of my catching up will, effectively, be the end.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah- unfortunate. That's how revival shows go a lot of times, it seems. The new Hawaii Five-O series seems to be a rare exception.



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"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." - Jesus (John 14:6)

"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver

"Thunder...Thunder....Thunder...ThunderCats...HOOOO!!!!!!"- Lion-O
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