Episode 9: “Girl Meets 1961”
In this week’s history lesson, we learn that while history may repeat itself, it doesn’t mean we have to make the same decisions as our ancestors.
Review (with Spoilers)
I’m not going to lie, this was probably one of the weakest episode of what the series has offered thus far. For while it did have its touching moments, including ones which may make you a little teary eyed, just something felt off. I don’t know if it was because there was a real lack of Disney moments, the fact the story focused on the great-grandparents of the cast, or just because the story didn’t feel like it moved forward? Either way, while “Girl Meets 1961” was in no ways a bad episode, it certainly doesn’t up the ante that has thus far been built. Best said, the show has taken an episode to just plateau.
Topic 1: History Repeats Itself – Maya, Lucas, Riley and Farkle
With Cory having a hard time getting the kids interested in history, much less the 1960s, he has them do a project on their grandparents, or great grandparents, in order for them to learn their personal histories. With this, we are transported back to December 14th, 1961. The day where Riley’s great grandmother Rosie McGee met May Clutterbucket, Maya’s relative; Merlin, Lucas relative; and Ginsburg, Farkle’s relative, all in great grandfather Ginsburg’s Café Hey.
And, as you may expect, the children we know are just like their great grandparents. Rosie is optimistic, friendly, and a little awkward; Ginsburg is an odd guy; May lacks self-confidence; and Merlin is a country boy.
Topic 2: Missed Opportunities – Maya & Riley
Since the show began, Maya has perhaps been the most interesting character, if just because she doesn’t fit the Riley persona we are so used to when it comes to tween TV. So with every bit of information she puts out there, or when she shows she is the pariah of the situation, it’s hard to not immediately take notice. Though for this episode, while she doesn’t have some big dramatic moment, we do get in touch once more with Maya’s insecurities. For while she has shown herself as a talented artist, and the school’s art teacher is invested in her, the teacher giving Maya a book of famous artists and their work sadly only ends up discouraging her. Leading to perhaps the sole reason why the 1961 flashback is relevant to the show. If just because it shows Maya’s family has a history of giving up or not making it.
But it seems that life could have been drastically different if grandmother Clutterbucket stuck with the plan fate had for the Clutterbucket and McGee family line. That is, instead of abandoning Rosie in that café, doing as Maya and Riley did and become friends. Something which could have possibly changed what became a life Maya’s mom refuses to talk about. Perhaps because it reminds her how sad of a life her mom had, she is having, and maybe her daughter will too. Though with Cory reminding us that you have the power to change history, and with Riley being the best friend/ fan club a girl could have, even if Maya doesn’t end up famous, she seemingly will at least end up better off than those who preceded her.
“Don’t let your history be one of missed opportunities.”
— “Girl Meets 1961.” Girl Meets World