TV Review: Girl Meets World (3×16-17) “Girl Meets Her Monster” & “Girl Meets Hollywood”

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“Girl Meets Her Monster”

Bay Window: Riley and Maya are binge-watching The Red Planet Diaries, which they have been doing for about fifty hours straight. Topanga gives them an intervention, which seems necessary because it’s Monday morning and they’re convinced it’s Friday. The girls aren’t ready to hear this; when they demand to know what Topanga likes, she responds “I love working hard to achieve positive change in the human condition.” Topanga says they can finish the show after they help her at the cafe, but Riley says no. Everyone’s shocked.

Cory’s class: Maya argues against disobeying Topanga while Cory rocks back and forth on his desk. The rest of the gang advises Riley to apologize and do what Topanga wants. The board reads “CRUSHING DEFEATS” to really drive the message home. Riley ignores everyone and chooses to disregard Topanga’s request that she help at the cafe.

Bay Window: The Red Planet Diaries binge-watch continues. When Topanga comes home, Maya jumps ship and Auggie gives her a card with a dollar in it to cement himself as the favorite. Riley thinks she’s entitled to disregard Topanga’s request in order to watch her show, so Topanga grounds her for three weeks. She takes away Riley’s phone and computer, then takes away Maya’s phone for good measure.

Cory’s class: Farkle accidentally spoils the end of The Red Planet Diaries for Riley and Maya. Cory argues the importance of recognizing a lost cause. “Sometimes a battle isn’t worth fighting. Sometimes a diplomatic solution might be preferable to the horrible cost of war.” he says.

The Apartment Matthews: Riley confronts her parents to discuss. Riley claims that Topanga doesn’t care about what’s important to Riley, she only cares about herself. Cory tries to warn her away, but Riley continues on, asking for a reward when she does something good. Topanga is livid; she explains that it’s disrespectful to disregard her parents’ wishes and that she doesn’t want to see her right now. Riley claims that maybe she shouldn’t live there anymore, taking seventeen dollars and her boundless spirit over to Maya’s.

Maya’s Room: “I need to prepare for my new life. I need to read Oliver Twist, get gloves with no fingers, and see Annie,” Riley says. She decides that her first job will be editor of Vogue, but hesitates when she realizes her gut instinct was to call Topanga so she would be proud of her. Over at the Apartment Matthews, Topanga is lamenting Riley’s departure because, “Riley is my entire reason for being.” Can I tell you, Cory and Auggie really appreciate that one.

The Apartment Matthews: mother and daughter reunite in apology. Riley admits that she’s not entitled and she never wants to hurt her mother again. Topanga admits that she should have listened to what was important to Riley–but also confirms that she’s still grounded. Riley serves out her sentence with grace.

While I don’t think it was truly necessary to have another episode strictly about Riley disobeying her parents, this episode had some good moments–specifically showing the respect Maya has for Topanga. This is the more important teenage rebellion episode, since it showed us a darker side to Riley, which could cause conflicts in the future. I only wish it had relevance in the greater storyline rather than being a one-off filler episode.

Episode Rating; 6/10.

“Girl Meets Hollywood”

Maya’s Room: Maya asks Riley to prove her best friendship and brings her to see that she’s tied up some woman in her room. “I stole a lady. What now?” Maya asks. That woman is Anastasia Belajerie, famous movie star. The girls pamper their captive while wondering if Topanga can get them out of kidnapping charges. Turns out Maya kidnapped Anastasia so that her mother had a chance at a great movie role.

Katie comes in to find Riley, Maya, and their kidnapping victim. “Bobbie Jo?” She asks, upon seeing Anastasia. Turns out that Anastasia was the Riley to Katie’s Maya and when Bobbie Jo went off to become Anastasia, Katie promised to keep her secret.

Cory’s Class: random student Sara’s father makes an appearance for career day. He’s a movie director asking if anyone knows where Anastasia is since someone is challenging her role. When he doesn’t get any answers, he offers the kids the chance to audition for the roles that are based on them. After all, “What could be more Hollywood authentic than holding out false hope?”

Apartment Matthews: Maya, Riley, Katie, Bobbie Jo, and the radiator Bobbie Jo is attached to arrive at the Matthews’ Apartment since the FBI was getting close to finding her. Riley and Maya don’t believe the story, because real best friends don’t fall apart. Bobbie Jo admits that she’s only sticking around so she can bond with Katie again–after all, she could have gotten away a long time ago if she wanted. She’s kept an eye on Katie and Maya since they separated. Katie is touched, but vows to beat her in the auditions.

Casting Office: the boys all arrive to audition for the roles they inspired. We hear Sara’s dad’s philosophy on casting: “No, I said authenticity is important to the audience. I like pretty people saying stuff.” Katie kills her audition monologue and Anastasia argues in favor of her casting.

Cory’s Class: Riley vows that nothing will change her friendship with Maya, even Hollywood. Apparently the boys didn’t get the memo after the audition, because Farkle walks in dressed as Elvis, Zay walks in dressed as a hotshot actor in a 90s drama, and Lucas walks in dressed as James Dean. None of them were cast. Maya confirms that she wants to be Riley’s friend and Katie’s daughter.

This was an especially lackluster episode of Girl Meets World. Not only did it not advance the overall plot, it wasn’t even entertaining. Some of the dialogue was funny, but the characters fell flat all over the place.

Episode Rating: 3/10.

Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at bri@theyoungfolks.com. Twitter: @bri_lockhart