Episode 2: "Girl Meets Boy"
With Riley and Lucas being setup to be end game, and Disney’s influence still visible, it makes for a lackluster episode.
Review (with Spoilers)
With the later seasons of Boy Meets World in high rotation, though .gifs and other means, it has sadly created this high expectation of Girl Meets World. Though I feel we should take notice that there is a reason only later seasons of Boy Meets World are really put out there, and that is because when Boy Meets World first started, it wasn’t even really on the level Girl Meets World is now. Earlier seasons of Boy Meets World weren’t masterpieces which spoke on bullying, and other serious subjects. If anything, it started off like many 90s shows which had a group of middle-class kids, with the exception of Shawn, who were solely dealing with how awkward they were. Girl Meets World, on the other hand, just with Maya alone is doing more than not only what Boy Meets World did in its first, possibly few, seasons, but even surpasses some of the golden age of Disney shows like That’s So Raven. For while That’s So Raven, and others, had special episodes speaking on racism, body issues, and etc., there were, at max, two – three episodes within their entire series on such topics. Meanwhile, Girl Meets World, just within the 3 available episodes, especially with Maya, has laid so much ground work. Something which is talked about a little below, and surely will be talked about much more in future reviews of the series.
Topic 1: Never Grow Up – Topanga and Auggie
Even after three episodes, if you count the one on the Disney Channel App, Topanga remains solely seen as a mother, despite being touted as a successful lawyer in her character description. Perhaps showing her success has led to an ideal life where work doesn’t interfere with family. Which is lucky for her for as Riley grows up and starts developing mature feelings, she at least can still have her little Auggie who still is just a kid who likes to color. Though with him growing up you can see her adjustment Auggie becoming older might be as hard for her as it is hard for Cory with Riley.
Topic 2: Life without a Cellphone – Lucas and Riley
The main focus of the episode deals with Cory critiquing how kids don’t communicate without cellphones. A real issue for Riley who finds her anxiety making it hard to directly speak with Lucas. So, in an effort to make his students learn how to speak with one another, Cory assigns them to do an assignment in which they are to take things old-school. No computers, only library books, and to make things harder he has the kids give up their phones. But with him not having time to make pairs, he ends up creating opportune alone time between Riley and Lucas.
Which, at first, leads to many awkward moments which have Riley seemingly incapable of saying anything to Lucas as they study at the library. And with Maya paired with Farkle, she isn’t really able to help foster any type of dialog. But the librarian, who seems to be reading some version of 50 Shades of Grey, tries to help Riley for it seems she is so disappointed in how Riley and Lucas are wasting their youth in awkward silence. So with the advice of taking a conversation with Lucas like reading the lines of a book, Riley starts to get to know the former Texas boy named Lucas. She learns about the horses he used to have, and how helping to birth one made him want to be a veterinarian, and with this she perhaps learned something beyond the original assignments goal of communicating: She learned to feel.
With this, you can see Cory’s assignment backfired on him, in a big way, and likely he will soon regret this assignment for with how much Lucas and Riley are being setup to be endgame, I think before the end of this season, or the next, the topic of loving someone will come up. Making Riley’s story seem sort of bland and predictable to be honest. For while as a dude I can’t comment how girls feel about their crushes, there is something about Riley that just feels far too exaggerated, in a Disney way, to be taken seriously. And while I liked the fact Lucas got some development, I increasingly feel like him and Riley are far too forced for them to be written as a likeable couple. Especially when you look at how Topanga and Cory came to be.
Topic 3: You’re one of the family – Cory and Maya
Shifting to Maya, with her being partnered with Farkle we are forced to deal with his comic relief antics that make me wish so much he had Minkus’ maturity. But seeing as how morose and sarcastic Maya can be, you can see why they have Farkle the way he is. For in the episode there are more hints that Maya isn’t as privileged as everyone else, if just because she seems to be the only one who has a flip phone. Indicating that not only is Maya not as privileged, but possibly poor as well.
But, as a silver lining, while she may not be privileged with modern technology, she does have the talent of drawing; and while her own parents may not be doting, you can see Riley and her parents do give her some sense of belonging. Especially Cory who who gives her a smart phone, under the guise it is to be used to report on Riley. But, his gifts don’t end there for he also gives Maya colored pencils. Showing that while he may not be able to be her dad, he will show her the love and encouragement she deserves.
Things To Note
Fun Fact: Ben Savage was in a movie, you likely never heard of, called Girl Meets Boy.