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S01.E17: Girl Meets Game Night

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Cory is excited because it's family game night, which is his favorite night of the month. However, Cory gets upset when he sees that Riley's friends are there and he wants to send them away; but he thinks that by doing so he will be pushing Riley away.

 

 

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I love Maya and Riley's relationship, loved that she was included as part of the family when Cory was asking her to pick her family or friends.

 

This episode made me laugh so I consider it a success. Cory's little brother can stay, I like him. But how old is he suppose to be?

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I do like how this episode has no replies. Ha! I basically hate this show and Riley. I just think it was so disrespectful of Riley to invite her friends to what was clearly a longstanding tradition without even asking first. God forbid that she spends one night a month playing a game with her family. Why couldn't she just ask to establish another night for family and friends?

I'm also tired of Riley being treated as The Fifth Element, sent down to save us from ourselves. She's just a dumb kid, like we all were in 7th grade. I love that Amy and Alan didn't patronize their kids and also knew how to command respect.

What was Josh doing there? Did he take the train or something?

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What was Josh doing there? Did he take the train or something?

 

That confused me a little. It seemed like he came to take Auggie to his grandparents' house, but Auggie didn't want to leave and miss game night. 

 

I was a little disappointed after the awesomeness of Home for the Holidays. And they said Riley was twelve again. Make a chart, people! I liked how they incorporated the school and home plots. The costumes were good for the school scenes, and I laughed at the lampshade hanging of Cory being Riley's teacher next year too and the difference between John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

 

I like Josh and how he looked uncomfortable with the flirting and flat out told Maya he's too old for her. 

 

Not bad, but a little boring. I feel like this one should have come earlier in the season.

Edited by bettername2come

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I do like how this episode has no replies. Ha! I basically hate this show and Riley. I just think it was so disrespectful of Riley to invite her friends to what was clearly a longstanding tradition without even asking first. God forbid that she spends one night a month playing a game with her family. Why couldn't she just ask to establish another night for family and friends?

I'm also tired of Riley being treated as The Fifth Element, sent down to save us from ourselves. She's just a dumb kid, like we all were in 7th grade. I love that Amy and Alan didn't patronize their kids and also knew how to command respect.

What was Josh doing there? Did he take the train or something?

Oh that Riley considers her friends her family so she invited her family to family game night.

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yep I'm in agreement it's clear Riley has no respect for her father and the family in general. Flouncing out of classes at school on a whim and now not even asking her father permission to bring home friends on what clearly is a special night.

I'd like to see RIley do a sleep over ep with Allan and Amy. I'm fairly certain Allan would not take any of her crap.

That Riley is setup to be the,  "be all and end all" of problem solving is completely unrealistic for a 12 or is it 13 year old? If the writers are trying to make a point it's eluding me.

You need maturity and life experience to help people problem solve their issues and Riley cleary has none of that.

Topanga doesn't even seem to exist as a mother in these episodes she just seems so fake and forced. Very much the fifth wheel.

Witholding comments until Season 2 when they hopefully fix these mess ups.

Noted we are still on season 1 and it can take some time to get group cohesiveness for the actors.

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I feel like a lot of the series' current grooves (for lack of a better word) in the writing so far were present in this episode. We had:

- Farkle saying his "Ha!" catchphrase
- Auggie screentime
- Ava
- Ava being bratty & obnoxious towards Topanga
- Maya's crush on Josh
- Riley making her not-so-subtle crush on Lucas obviously known
- Riley x Maya subtext (for those fans who ship them)
- Classroom scenes ruining the episode (and relating to the story)
- A reference to BMW (Cory recognizing that Auggie & Ava dating young are like him & Topanga)
- Lucas being boring

 

The only things that were missing were:
- The "How ya doin" catchphrase
- Maya scatting
- Maya making fun of Lucas for being from Texas
- Lucas x Maya subtext
- Riley's personal problems taking over the class lesson

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Oh that Riley considers her friends her family so she invited her family to family game night.

And yet, everyone knew that Cory would freak out because this family game night is clearly only intended for the people that live in their apartment (and Maya).

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I felt like Riley inviting her friends was pretty typical of kids her age. It's not that she lacks respect for her family, it's that she's seeking greater independence. Kids push boundaries as a way of finding themselves and separating themselves from the control of their parents. It's the natural order of things for kids to eventually leave the nest. Riley is just learning to spread her wings.

And of course Corey and Topanga don't like it. Also normal. Pretty common for the parentals to want to keep their kids safe and close by.

In the end it seemed Riley realized friends and family don't have to be mutually exclusive. She doesn't have to push her parents away in order to make room for her friends. She can make her parents proud and have them be an important part of her life while allowing her friendships to grow in importance. Sounds like an age appropriate conclusion to me.

In terms of the lesson of the week, I thought this ep was just fine. And the history lesson folded into the home lesson nicely. Plus, I just like that they're finding more ways to include Topanga and the home set. But some of the dialogue was a little too cheesy/heavy handed for me. Also, while Farkle and Lucas are well established as good friends, in this ep they were pretty uninspired as the friends Riley is gravitating towards.

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Despite not mentioning the War of 1812, I actually liked Cory's lesson a lot.  Not to mention we got a couple of John Quincy Adams references...that man doesn't get enough references.

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Not my favorite episode.  Riley should have asked her parents before inviting anyone to game night.  It's a question of showing proper respect.  I don't think Cory would have gotten away with such behavior with Alan.

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While I thought it was a good episode, frantic and funny, Maya and Riley's continuing disrespect to Cory is troublesome, even if it is "off hours."

I love the Ava/Topanga feud, and knew she was going to send Topanga back to the beginning of the game, even before she started her "One Topanga, two Topanga..." I laughed when Josh said something to the effect that he gets a kick out of Ava.

Who hasn't been there at those awkward family moments? I felt sorry for Lucas and Farkle, and a little ashamed for Cory -- these are his students and he's acting like a child. I was a little surprised to see Lucas so docile -- in the episode with the bully, we had a small glimpse of Lucas as "alpha male" when he pushes the bully. There was nothing at all like that with Josh in the room.

Also liked Lucas's statement that every week seems to be a lesson, in response to Cory's question.

I think Maya's crush on Josh is funny, and I like that she's not giving up -- given her statement that she's playing "the long game." I wonder if the writers gave her the Josh crush because the chemistry between her and Lucas was getting too strong.

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I felt like Riley inviting her friends was pretty typical of kids her age. It's not that she lacks respect for her family, it's that she's seeking greater independence. Kids push boundaries as a way of finding themselves and separating themselves from the control of their parents. It's the natural order of things for kids to eventually leave the nest. Riley is just learning to spread her wings.

And of course Corey and Topanga don't like it. Also normal. Pretty common for the parentals to want to keep their kids safe and close by.

In the end it seemed Riley realized friends and family don't have to be mutually exclusive. She doesn't have to push her parents away in order to make room for her friends. She can make her parents proud and have them be an important part of her life while allowing her friendships to grow in importance. Sounds like an age appropriate conclusion to me.

In terms of the lesson of the week, I thought this ep was just fine. And the history lesson folded into the home lesson nicely. Plus, I just like that they're finding more ways to include Topanga and the home set. But some of the dialogue was a little too cheesy/heavy handed for me. Also, while Farkle and Lucas are well established as good friends, in this ep they were pretty uninspired as the friends Riley is gravitating towards.

 

That's where I was at with this episode too. I thought they finally hit their stride with it tbh. As for Topanga, I didn't see any real forced-ness from her. She seemed alright :). As for the dialogue... since when hasn't it seemed that way lol? That's one area where they could improve.

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LOL. Yeah, you're totally right about the dialogue, antibeespray. I don't know why it just landed with a greater thud for me in this episode. As bad as the first episode with all it's forced "girl meets world" dialogue.

Edited by wagthedog

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VERY over the top episode. A few things right, a bunch more wrong.

I liked that Maya was unquestionably counted as family. It was the one subtle beat in the whole episode, since they didn't even have to SAY it was so, just show that Corey didn't object to her, but only the others later on.

The game itself was just an annoying series of awkward imagery and over the top Truth Bombs. When the classroom parallel actually seemed almost SUBTLE in comparison to the same issues discussed in the game rules/moves... that's REALLY saying it's over the top.

I liked that they continued the idea that Ava is Topanga's nemesis. I hate the kid, but... we're supposed to. And at least we finally heard a bit of Topanga's logic and feelings rather than her just being a sounding board for the problems of Corey or Riley.

Sabrina Carpenter, the best actor there INCLUDING the adults, mined the comedy in her crush on Josh quite expertly. Yes, it's over the top, but that's okay for comedy vs. Truth Bombing. And in the serious part, she was effective as the one who basically told Riley she was being an ass about all of this. Riley is pretty annoying at times, but while the Long Game stuff was pretty damn cheesy, we at least got the sense that Riley was only "right" this time, because she pulled back from her original point of view thanks to Maya. So we could argue that Maya was the one "right" in this episode... not Riley (Maya was even the one who objected back at the end of the school part of the episode).

Edited by Kromm
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Interesting how Rider/Shawn and Sabrina/Maya are standouts with their respective series.

 

Both shows have done a nice job of allowing the rough and tumble friend to have their set of troubles, but also have some wisdom to impart. When you consider Riley, she's had a pretty idyllic life with Corey and Topanga. A lot of times, the best learning in life comes from failure and hardship. Riley hasn't really experienced hardship or significant failure. She lacks the perspective of someone who has had to rise above their circumstances.

 

When you've had a sunshine and lollipops life it's not too surprising that you'd have a naive take on the world around you. And for Riley, the problem might be more acute than it was for Corey. At least Corey had Eric to bring some "big brother beat down" into his life. As first born, Riley has never been anything but the apple of mom and dad's eye.

 

Which also makes the Corey and Topanga freak out over family time more realistic (for a truth bomb show). When kid #1 starts spreading their wings the parental world gets turned upside down.

Edited by wagthedog
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When you consider Riley, she's had a pretty idyllic life with Corey and Topanga. A lot of times, the best learning in life comes from failure and hardship. Riley hasn't really experienced hardship or significant failure. She lacks the perspective of someone who has had to rise above their circumstances.

 

"The growing soul is watered best by tears of adversity." -- Charlie Brown, "Peanuts"

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I do like how this episode has no replies. Ha! I basically hate this show and Riley. I just think it was so disrespectful of Riley to invite her friends to what was clearly a longstanding tradition without even asking first. God forbid that she spends one night a month playing a game with her family. Why couldn't she just ask to establish another night for family and friends?

I'm also tired of Riley being treated as The Fifth Element, sent down to save us from ourselves. She's just a dumb kid, like we all were in 7th grade. I love that Amy and Alan didn't patronize their kids and also knew how to command respect.

What was Josh doing there? Did he take the train or something?

I think you really hit the nail on the coffin. In boy meets world cory had no idea what the world was about and was learning from the people around him. Hence the title of the show. But Riley arleady knowing everything doesn't fit with the premise of the last show and current show mission to show a girl growning and learning in this day of age when she knows everything and acts like a grown up.

 

Maybe its a classic kids show having the kids know everything and the grown ups don't. But boy meets world didn't fit that mode like other children tv shows having the grown ups acting dumb while children know everything.

I have so many questions about the costumes they used in the history class. How much did those cost!? I cosplay and having a huge trouble wrapping my mind around this. Such a nip pick here but have those costume made!? Or buying the fabric alone...Just oy!

 

Also those poor students I'm going to start calling Riley and her friends the golden 4 from now on.

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I felt like Riley inviting her friends was pretty typical of kids her age. It's not that she lacks respect for her family, it's that she's seeking greater independence. Kids push boundaries as a way of finding themselves and separating themselves from the control of their parents. It's the natural order of things for kids to eventually leave the nest. Riley is just learning to spread her wings.

And of course Corey and Topanga don't like it. Also normal. Pretty common for the parentals to want to keep their kids safe and close by.

In the end it seemed Riley realized friends and family don't have to be mutually exclusive. She doesn't have to push her parents away in order to make room for her friends. She can make her parents proud and have them be an important part of her life while allowing her friendships to grow in importance. Sounds like an age appropriate conclusion to me.

 

I didn't see that she was pushing boundaries.  At the end of the episode, Maya was concerned that she invited everyone without asking her parents first and Riley was painfully obtuse to any kind of ramifications.  Maybe if her parents were Alan and Amy, that would make sense because they had a way of displaying quiet hurt and kind of expecting that their kids would pick up on certain things (Alan with that boxing necklace or whatever).  There is no way that she shouldn't have known that Cory was going to lose his mind.

 

I just don't like the execution of the lesson.  No matter how anyone spins it, it still screams "disrespectful" to me.  Ask your parents if it's okay to invite people over, period.  It baffles me because this is not how Cory was raised at all.  Maybe this is Topanga's hippie upbringing influencing it.

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Mmmm the phrase I've been avoiding for Riley is "Spoiled brat." But it does seem to apply.

Topanga's hippie influence has been supressed until they bought the cake shop.

I expect that Riley knew inviting friends back to special family time would raise a ruckas with Daddy but didn't care about his response. So yes agree with "Screams disrespectful" comment.

Even Maya said something like "maybe you should ask?"

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Mmmm the phrase I've been avoiding for Riley is "Spoiled brat." But it does seem to apply.

Topanga's hippie influence has been supressed until they bought the cake shop.

I expect that Riley knew inviting friends back to special family time would raise a ruckas with Daddy but didn't care about his response. So yes agree with "Screams disrespectful" comment.

Even Maya said something like "maybe you should ask?"

 

Exactly. My mom wouldn't have been happy about it either. Worst she could have gotten was a NO. 

 

I figure that they just used the set up as a way for the episode to work. But they didn't do it in the best way possible.

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I think you really hit the nail on the coffin. In boy meets world cory had no idea what the world was about and was learning from the people around him. Hence the title of the show. But Riley arleady knowing everything doesn't fit with the premise of the last show and current show mission to show a girl growning and learning in this day of age when she knows everything and acts like a grown up.

 

Actually, I don't think Riley knows everything. I think Riley thinks she knows everything. In fact, the point of a lot of the episodes I've seen is that Riley goes into a situation thinking she knows the deal only to be thrown when she realizes she doesn't. Or thinking she can fix or control things (like Maya's relationship with her mother) only to realize she can't.

 

So I think the show is going for a "she thinks she knows but she doesn't" type thing. Whether they are selling that as well as they could is another story.

Edited by Bitterswete
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This was a weird episode to me.  I've felt the show has been on an uptick recently, but this one felt like a step back.  I liked the way the episode was set up with the flashback to Cory's lesson in the classroom, but my biggest issue with this this show is how hard they try to hit you over the head with the messages at times.  I feel like they could have done their game night without playing what seemed to be the lamest board game in the history of lame.  The only purpose was so the show could be as literal as possible with their lesson.  Of course the board game must echo the family/friends situation exactly. 

 

The other issue, and I feel incredibly lame for pointing out bad line delivery on a Disney show, was the acting.  I don't know if the writing was more stilted than usual so much as I thought some of the line deliveries were just off and therefore the dialogue didn't flow.  I don't know what is up with Danielle.  Sometimes she works for me and sometimes she doesn't, but she had some odd readings here.  I expect it of the children, but she should be beyond that by now.

 

I also can't deal with the Ava character, which is less the character and more the really bad child acting that pulls me out of every freaking scene she's in.  Again, I get this is a small child, but why cast somebody that just basically screams her lines?

 

What I will echo is that Sabrina Carpenter is the real star here.  I think Rowan is adorable, but on some level I think she's playing an exaggerated version of herself.  Sabrina definitely should have a career outside of Disney when GMW ends.

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I also can't deal with the Ava character, which is less the character and more the really bad child acting that pulls me out of every freaking scene she's in.  Again, I get this is a small child, but why cast somebody that just basically screams her lines?

Like the kid who plays Auggie (7 playing 5), the kid who plays Ava is actually several years older than her character (8 playing 6).

Not that 8 isn't still a small child, but there's a definite difference in maturity between 6 and 8.  It seems to argue that the producers and directors maybe want this character to be over the top. They're at such a loss for what to do with Topanga I guess they wanted her "nemesis" to pop, rather than just be another cute kid in the cast.

Even worse,

the synopsis for the next few episodes says we're going to be seeing a LOT more of Ava.

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Like the kid who plays Auggie (7 playing 5), the kid who plays Ava is actually several years older than her character (8 playing 6).

Not that 8 isn't still a small child, but there's a definite difference in maturity between 6 and 8.  It seems to argue that the producers and directors maybe want this character to be over the top. They're at such a loss for what to do with Topanga I guess they wanted her "nemesis" to pop, rather than just be another cute kid in the cast.

Even worse,

the synopsis for the next few episodes says we're going to be seeing a LOT more of Ava.

Anyone have a GIANT bottle of aspirin handy? I CAN'T stand her.

 

I'm glad that she was tempered somewhat in this episode though. 

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Like the kid who plays Auggie (7 playing 5), the kid who plays Ava is actually several years older than her character (8 playing 6).

Not that 8 isn't still a small child, but there's a definite difference in maturity between 6 and 8.  It seems to argue that the producers and directors maybe want this character to be over the top. They're at such a loss for what to do with Topanga I guess they wanted her "nemesis" to pop, rather than just be another cute kid in the cast.

 

Thanks for that.  I didn't realize they were playing (somewhat) significantly younger than their characters.  Maybe that's another reason that Ava doesn't work for me.  I could deal with the character with another actress and I'm sure they could have found a small 8 year old that is more natural in her line deliveries.   It's just such a head scratcher of a casting choice for me when I feel like most of the other casting is pretty decent.  

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Actually, I don't think Riley knows everything. I think Riley thinks she knows everything. In fact, the point of a lot of the episodes I've seen is that Riley goes into a situation thinking she knows the deal only to be thrown when she realizes she doesn't. Or thinking she can fix or control things (like Maya's relationship with her mother) only to realize she can't.

So I think the show is going for a "she thinks she knows but she doesn't" type thing. Whether they are selling that as well as they could is another story.

 

 

I was going to say the same thing.  It seems that nearly every episode is Riley learning something.  Sometimes that lesson comes from her parents, sometimes it comes from her friends or other people at school, and, at least once, it came from her brother.  She often thinks she knows best, but she usually ends up finding out how off the mark she was.  I seem to remember Cory being similar at various times over the BMW run.   I think that Cory, as a kid, had a kind of earnest "everything is going to be fine" kind of quality that kids can have when they grow up in a happy, healthy, relatively comfortable home.  I think Riley has a dose of that, too.  For example, I feel like it took time, over the course of the show, for Cory to fully get how messed up Shawn's home life was.  I mean, he knew that they did not come from the same kind of family/household, but it took time for him to get that not every kid has the kind of loving, supportive, present parents that he had.  I think that Riley has that same quality with Maya.  She understands on some level that Maya comes from a different kind of household, but she doesn't really "get" it.  She got a glimpse of it in that episode where she tried to get Maya's mother to come to the art show.  

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I didn't see that she was pushing boundaries.  At the end of the episode, Maya was concerned that she invited everyone without asking her parents first and Riley was painfully obtuse to any kind of ramifications.  Maybe if her parents were Alan and Amy, that would make sense because they had a way of displaying quiet hurt and kind of expecting that their kids would pick up on certain things (Alan with that boxing necklace or whatever).  There is no way that she shouldn't have known that Cory was going to lose his mind.

 

I just don't like the execution of the lesson.  No matter how anyone spins it, it still screams "disrespectful" to me.  Ask your parents if it's okay to invite people over, period.  It baffles me because this is not how Cory was raised at all.  Maybe this is Topanga's hippie upbringing influencing it.

I'm not sure which part of this doesn't strike you as boundary pushing. Parents set the boundary that their kid must tell them before they invite friends over. Kid invites a friend without asking strikes me as the definition of boundary pushing. If Riley were acting exactly as she was raised to act she wouldn't be pushing boundaries.

 

I think there was a bit of an inconsistency in the story because it seemed like at the beginning of the ep Riley DID know Corey would flip out and then by the end she was clueless. Somewhat lazy in the writing department, but yeah,

 

As far as whether it's disrespectful or not, I'd say there are multiple forms, some more serious than others. Among them, there's malicious disrespect where the kid is acting in a manner that is meant to be harmful, hurtful, something of that nature. Then there's this situation with Riley where the kid is basically naive. Riley hasn't even reached the point where she sneaks out the window at night to get drunk at a party and then gets ditched where she's at and in need of a ride so she calls mom and dad at 3am. She's still pillow fights and popcorn. Not alcohol and attitude.

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It seems Lucas' mom is pretty trusting of the Matthews clan.  (I don't say "mom and dad" because I am not sure his parents are living together at the moment - it would explain a lot.)  When it turned out that the "long game" would be played, he had to have called his mom.  So Mom's okay with him staying (up) all night with a girl that she must know he's smitten with?  Even chaperoned by his teacher, I see this as a big stretch.  (I don't include Farkle in this because his dad has known the Matthews most of his life, and probably realizes that the girls - despite what they told Stuart in a previous episode - just see Farkle as a friend.)

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This episode was terrible

 

I was looking forward to Game Night because everybody was having fun outside of school, and then the flashbacks came in. I wanted a straight forward game show, the flashbacks were forced and unnecessary. The school lessons in general are becoming repetitive, fake, and redundant. Riley and her friends aren't anything like their history lessons, and Cory's use of them are a waste. He needs to cool off on the teaching, and just focus on fatherhood for a little while.

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