Episode 19: “Girl Meets Rah Rah”
For perhaps the first time ever, Riley has to work for something. And while she does end up getting her way, as usual, there is something about seeing her optimism met with actual effort and struggle. Leading to the idea that “Girl Meets World” is not solely about the girl meeting the real world, but perhaps the world meeting the girl who might just be unstoppable.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
As we saw in the college episode, Riley loves being surrounded by people with a zest for life. So, naturally, since 3rd grade, she has tried to become a cheerleader. Issue is, she is uncoordinated, can’t really do any sort of gymnastic move, and she isn’t the best at memorizing dance routines. Because of this, most of her friends, and family, find this time of the school year to be unfortunate. For, with each year, Riley tries out and Coach Kelly (Jennifer Hasty) rejects her.
However, this year is different. For after failing so many times, Coach Kelly breaks down. Now because of Riley mind you, nor Cory, or Riley’s friends, but because her fellow cheerleaders recognize that they only became great because Coach Kelly invested time in them. And while, yes, maybe they are more naturally talented, they all seem to admire Riley’s spirit and believe, with time, she can learn how to become as talented as Coach Kelly has made the rest of them.
I honestly think this was the first episode I ever really wanted to praise Riley for. If only because, while she did end up getting her way in the end, she had to fight for it. She had to go through 3 days of try outs, deal with the constant possibility of rejection, and deal with damn near every one of her friends and family half-heartedly believing in her. This is a first to me. For usually it is Maya who seemingly has the world against her, as well as her personal and family history, so to see Riley actually standing on her own, with only her optimism to keep her going forward, I honestly think is an evolution of the character.
I’m glad Zay is becoming, slowly but surely, a consistent force on the show. Especially since he, like Maya in a way, seems to sort of break the Disney mold. For with him noting the stupidity, and oddness, of the show and its characters, it is hard to not enjoy him. Though, even with him noting a girl named Vanessa from back in Texas, who hopefully we see, I do hope he gets some sort of storyline. Not only because he is the only consistent person of color on this show, but because it would solidify his position.
I have no idea why they brought Perez Hilton on the show. Granted, he likely isn’t the same person, or persona, like he was years ago, but it seemed so random for him to appear.
On The Fence
While it is always good when something remains consistent, especially on Disney Channel, I must admit that I’m unsure if I really want to see Riley become a good cheerleader. For with Riley’s friends, and then her family, I just don’t know if between Jenkins, Samantha, as well as Coach Kelly, could this show juggle all those characters within a less than 25 minute time span? Even if they only appear every few episodes.
Things To Note
Coach Kelly reminded me so much of Sue Sylvester, if she wasn’t meant to be comedic.