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Episode 14: “Girl Meets Creativity”
In this, sort of, Maya focused episode, we learn that the budget for the arts programs are threatened and it is up to the kids to try to convince the powers that be to think creatively.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: The Dark Ages – Maya and Riley
As we are reminded that Maya is a talented artist, we come to learn that funding for the art program is being cut from the school’s budget. Which of course upsets Maya since, alongside Shawn, her artistic abilities are one of the few things she has faith in. But, as Riley points out, being that Maya is used to having an awful life, she begins the 5 stages of grief.
Though, upon reaching the bargaining stage, initiated by Riley, it seems there may just be hope yet. For with the genius of Farkle, naïve positivity of Riley, and the help of Isiah, and Lucas, it seems the kids have a plan to show what will happen when the arts are taken from them.
Topic 2: “Our Hands Are Tied” – Maya
With almost every adult in power, the words “My Hands Are Tied” or “Our Hands Are Tied” are uttered. Making it so that logic cannot be used when trying to convince the New York City School Board, who sees decreasing revenue, to save the arts which don’t equal funding. So, to show what happens when the arts are taken away, everything from guilt, showing how art is required to help kids think creatively, and of course guilt, are used in order to try to sway the members of the board, but especially Chairperson Sanchez (Diana Maria Riva). Someone who Maya perhaps breaks through to more than anyone. If only because, arguably Maya and Chairperson Sanchez are connected.
You see, what Maya paints during the episode is a cracked open door. One which she doen’t know what is on the other side of. Yet, Chairperson Sanchez does. The reason being? Chairperson Sanchez is a lover of the arts. She is someone who went to Princeton and was an Arts major, cites Pablo Picasso as one of her favorite artist, and the painting “Guernica” as her favorite. A painting in which there is death and chaos, and yet there is one horse who stands alone shocked and unwilling to participate. Someone who refused to go to war. A being Chairperson Sanchez identified with and made her believe, if she must go to war, she mustn’t forget that paining, and the horse which knew better.
Leading to her ultimately believing, after the performances of all the kids, though especially due to her connection with Maya, that there has to be a way to save what would make these kids passionate about something. For, like Maya, Chairperson Sanchez drew a stoop with a door in the center. However, in her painting the door is open and there were her hopes and dreams. One which had a horse in the background and the type of living room which is warm and inviting. Which isn’t to say Chairperson Sanchez has the same background as Maya, down to having a single parent, but I do feel that she was reminded of more than what was verbally said by the time the episode ends.
It was nice to see Isaiah back in the fold, but even with him playing a decent role in the big picture of things, I must admit my feelings are mixed. For while he did push the whole Lucaya thing further with noting that Lucas found Maya beautiful, and teasing as Lucas was being supportive of Maya, it remains to be seen if he may ever get his own moment, much less seem like more than Lucas’ old friend/ the Angela of this series.
Isiah criticism aside, as with any episode in which the focus is Maya meeting a new world, one in which her hopes aren’t silly but possible, it is hard not to like what was given. For while we still get your usual Riley nonsense, which sadly included another moment of her jabbing how awful Maya’s life is, there is so much which could get you emotional.
The main thing being, Maya hoping for something and it not being something like Shawn being with her mom, which she has little control over, but having access. Access to art supplies, to a teacher who can cultivate her talent, and it all being free. Since, in the real world, that is the issue. Art being stripped from kids like Maya, who may have clothes on their back, and a roof over their head, but don’t have parents which can afford to provide their children with extracurriculars like a painting class. And between the writers, and Sabrina Carpenter, it hits you hard seeing the perhaps one real character on this whole program even get a vague threat to one of the few things which genuinely make her happy.
Making it so, even with the board not necessarily saying the arts are saved, it continues to push the idea that as much as Riley and the Boy Meets World alumni are touted as the leads, if anything they are the Trojan horses. The true girl meeting the world is Maya. A world which isn’t some dystopian future in which she lives in misery and with dreams which seem unrealistic, but a world similar to the one Riley lives in. One in which if she puts her mind to it, likely her efforts will lead to what she desires. So that, despite how the past might have seen or been, she ultimately knows past events don’t dictate the course of her future.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
— “Girl Meets Creativity.” Girl Meets World
‘My hands are tied’ It’s so funny that everyone keeps saying that, but they’re not. Look at them, your hands are free but you think they’re tied
— “Girl Meets Creativity” Girl Meets World