TV Talk: GMW 3×01 – Girl Meets High School Part 1

If you haven’t seen Girl Meets World 3×01 on the Watch Disney App/website yet, do not continue reading.

I love Girl Meets World, and I am constantly having in depth discussions about it with my 9 year old client (we’ve even used Girl Meets New Year as a focus during one session to talk about my client facing her own fears). It pains me to say that I was not too impressed with this episode. A lot of the jokes/acting reminded me of Season 1, and not in a good way.

For instance, I like realistic comedy. Farkle ending up on top of a light fixture and then falling without getting hurt is not realistic. It is 100% over the top Disney humor that has many parents gauging their eyes out. Season 1 had a lot of unrealistic humor, while Season 2 went more realistic. In my opinion, Season 2 was the better season. I had high hopes that Season 3 would continue the Season 2 awesomeness.

The love triangle, where do I even begin. On twitter, the writers have said numerous times that it’s not a love triangle, but this episode stated it several times. Smackle even directly said “I wanna be in the triangle!”. The way the triangle was handled/talked about in this episode was just painful. It was very immature and the only saving grace to how many times it was brought up was Zay. Zay has consistently been the best addition to the show, and his well timed outsider looking in humor is spot on.

Lucas and Riley fought like an old married couple throughout the whole episode, but Lucas and Maya barely interacted. When they did, it felt stilted/forced/off, like Lucas was only talking to her because he knew that he was supposed to in order to make it ‘even’ between Riley and Maya.

I am also not a fan of the Seniors making Freshman lives miserable trope. It does not happen in real life. Maybe in smaller high schools where the entire class size is 10 people, but the size of High School normally portrayed on television realistically does not have these kinds of issues. In a school of 2,000 people, there is way too much going on for Seniors to actually care about Freshman.

I was really confused as to why the Seniors were doing what they were doing, as well as their comment that Topanga’s was their place. Do they realize that Topanga is Riley’s mother? Why exactly did neither Riley nor Maya say that? Cory’s question still has not been answered; why are the Seniors singling them out specifically?

Highlights of the episode are Cory/Topanga talking about doubts and Maya/Ava talking about parents divorcing. The first was just way too adorable for words. Cory being clueless that Topanga ever had doubts, and Topanga trying to downplay it but her inability to lie wins out. The truly heart wrenching scene came when Maya comforts Ava about her dad leaving and how it’s not her fault, as well as telling her how to handle it all.

That scene is what makes Girl Meets World worth watching. We can have the kitschy humor, but at the end of it we have very real life lessons being shown.

I hope that Part 2 fills in the missing pieces as well as showing the direction Season 3 will be going in. The writers have stated that it’s their best season yet, but we shall see.

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