Episode 16: “Girl Meets Cory and Topanga”
As the pressure slowly pushes down on Riley, in terms of being the child of Cory and Topanga, she explores the past in order to get more comfortable about her future.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: The Impossible Task – Farkle and Lucas
The subject matter of Cory’s lesson today is about broadening your horizon and with that comes the question of what the students feel their limits are. Of which, for Farkle, is the fact that while he maybe a genius, he is not athletic. So, in order to disprove his limitation, Cory assigns Lucas to help Farkle broaden his horizon. An experience which ultimately does lead to Farkle appreciating sports, primarily basketball, and while he doesn’t end things good enough to maybe play on a professional team, it seems he may have learned that it will take practice to become better.
Topic 2: Far Beyond My Horizon – Riley
While we know Riley is naïve, and blindly optimistic, sometimes it is easy to forget that she hasn’t really found her niche yet, and she is a bit insecure about it. For while Maya has her artistic abilities, Farkle being a wiz at academics, Lucas having sports, and then her parents being accomplished in their fields, it makes her just having being nice sometimes not enough. So, to escape the idea she can never compete with her parents, she goes to a monastery, as well as the circus, until eventually she just sits at her window as Maya tries to talk her off the ledge.
Topic 3: To The Past To See The Future – Riley
In two Boy Meets World flashbacks, Riley tries to find some sort of imperfections in her parents in order to maybe calm down her expectations. After all, they couldn’t always be perfect right? Well, they sort of were. However, with time Riley realizes that as close to perfection as her parents were, and are, they still were a bit odd and goofy at one time. Meaning, while they have long seemed to have figured life out, it wasn’t without refining who they were a bit. Leading Riley to a new level of acceptance, primarily in terms of where she is in life.
Often I find myself wondering if this show could survive without its Boy Meets World connection. For while I understand that with Riley as Cory and Topanga’s kid, there will be no real cutting of the leash, at the same time I feel like this show is so defined by Boy Meets World expectations, that it can’t find its own voice.
Which isn’t to discredit what the show has done in terms of highlighting Asperger’s, and presenting something with a bit more depth than the Disney Channel has had in a few generations, but I do feel that, sooner rather than later, this show needs to step out of BMW’s shadow. Especially if there are serious plans for this show to run as long as BMW did. After all, we can’t be pulling Angela, Eric, Shawn, and etc from wherever they are forever. Eventually Maya and Riley have to go to college and, even in their high school years, they need the stories, as well as the show, to be about them. Not unresolved issues from BMW days, or new storylines for cast members who seemingly don’t even live anywhere near New York City. This show needs to become autonomous. Otherwise, all the GMW cast will be are Trojan Horses, or placeholders, as BMW storylines continue while giving that cast the freedom to come and go as they please.
That thought aside, though Riley was being her usual dramatic self, I do appreciate the show exhibiting the issues which comes from the would-be perfect people which are Cory and Topanga. We have seen this a little bit with Auggie, when it comes to being in a relationship with Ava, but not so much Riley until today. For while she has always admired her parents, I think it only really just hit her that they are what she has to live up to and she hasn’t found out how she can really make them proud. As in, proud for more than being their daughter, but someone who has her own thing, has accomplished something, and is excelling in her field. A topic I hope is explore for, as noted, we haven’t really gotten to see what Riley may wanna do with her life. It may have been mentioned, in passing, but I can’t say we have actively seen her pursue a dream, or talent, like we have with most of the cast.