Tag Archives: TV

All The Feels for Girl Meets World

Like many children who grew up in the 90s, I watched Boy Meets World. I don’t know if I’ve seen every episode or not, but I’ve seen a lot of it, some episodes multiple times. I enjoyed the show (obviously, since I watched it), but it was never a favorite. When I heard about Girl Meets World I thought it sounded cute but I never made the effort to watch it. But a while back Annie posted about her love for the show and I knew that when I got Netflix one day I would have to check it out. If you recall, the first thing I did when I did when I got Netflix was binge Anne With an E, but after that I started Girl Meets World.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical after the first couple of episodes. The characters start out in junior high school and it felt so incredibly young, and there was just a lot of silliness I didn’t “get” at first, like “Farkle Time.” But I stuck with it and it didn’t take too long for me to fall in love with the characters and appreciate the stories and lessons in the show. In fact, I really wish there were more movies/TV shows/books with the innocence and fun of Girl Meets World.

There are so many things I love about the show – the portrayal of family, the nods to Boy Meets World, watching the characters grow up and discover themselves… But my number one favorite thing about the show is its emphasis on the value of relationships – mainly friendship, and how we can affect one another for the better. I’m going to delve into my favorite relationship moments below of the show, complete with spoilers…

So unfortunately much of seasons two and three were riddled with an unfortunate love triangle with Riley-Lucas-Maya that frustrated me, but season one had some super great moments where while it was clear that Lucas and Riley liked each other, they weren’t rushing into a romantic relationship and were content with friendship. Considering they were in seventh grade, this was really a smart thing and it’s not encouraged enough in media, which often tells kids and teens to act on their feelings, irregardless of what the consequences may be (I know I sound 100 years old but it’s true). And thankfully it did resolve in a very satisfying way in season three.

A few of these moments that I appreciated in this regard in season one…

From “Girl Meets Sneak Attack”

(After a girl has spent the whole episode trying to get Lucas to go out with her)

Lucas: Back here in the seventh grade, I think we’d have more fun just hanging out together.

From “Girl Meets the Truth”

(After Farkle “kisses” Riley)

Lucas: I just can’t believe that little guy stole my moment… again.

Riley: You thought that was your moment?

Lucas: No.

Riley: Oh.

Lucas: “My moment will be my moment.”

In “Girl Meets New World,” Riley and Lucas decide to do things in their own timing instead of everyone else’s – and he asks Cory’s permission to date Riley. At the end of the episode, it’s clear they’re not ready for a relationship yet, but instead of this being a setback, it really helps their friendship thrive as they continue to mature (well, except maybe the whole love triangle thing!). 

And then it finally culminates in “Girl Meet Ski Lodge: Part Two,” when they’re high school freshmen. (I had to include this conversation because MY HEART!)

Lucas: My favorite thing in this world is when you talk to me.

Riley: It is?

Lucas: It’s OK for you to talk to whoever you want to, Riley… But the important talks, the ones that we’re going to think about and always remember… can those be just between you and me?

Riley: Well, I don’t know, Lucas. How could that happen?

Lucas: Well I was thinking that if we were together a little more, that you would only talk to other people a little bit and you would talk to me a lot.

Riley: That’s what you were thinking?

Lucas: Yeah.

Lucas takes her hand.

Lucas: I think about it all the time

Riley: So if there was some dance or something, maybe we could go together?

Lucas: Yeah, without even asking each other.

Riley: And if you went out and got a sandwich or something, maybe you would think to get me one too?

Lucas: And a drink. And cake. So you’ve been thinking about this too?

Riley: Yeah. Yeah, I think about it all the time. I always said that the most important thing is that nobody got hurt. Will Maya be OK?

Lucas: She’s the one who sent me to you.

Riley: So this is our moment.

Lucas: I promised you that my moment would be my moment. This is it… I choose you, and I really want you to choose me.

Riley: I do. I always did.

In “Girl Meets Ski Lodge: Part Two,” there’s also resolution between Maya and Josh. Josh tells Maya that while he might be older than her, he knows a loyal companion when he sees one (“maybe it’s because your dad left, but you have the greatest capacity for love that I’ve ever seen”), and he’s willing to play the long game with her. At the end of the episode Riley and Maya talk, and Riley asks Maya, “So, you and Josh?” and Maya responds, “Someday. Who knows?” The episode ends a conversation between them that makes it clear that despite how they feel about the guys in their lives, their friendship with each other is still what matters most to them, which at that age, before their respective relationships are going to be anywhere near marriage, is exactly as it should be.

Later, in “Girl Meets Bear,” Zay tells Josh he thinks his and Maya’s long game plan is “sophisticated,” but he has a proposal for Maya. He tells her, “You helped me not feel like an outsider… I never want you to feel like a third wheel when Lucas and Riley are gazing into each other’s stupid, stupid eyes. I want you to know that I would be happy to sit next to you, next to Riley and Lucas, at the movies, so that we can all be together.” He turns to Josh, “Is that alright with you? I don’t care. Is that alright with you?” Josh: I think that’s up to Maya. (He looks at her) Till next time? Maya: Till next time.

Again, I like the emphasis here that is placed on the friendships first and foremost. Zay doesn’t have a romantic interest in Maya, but he cares for her deeply and doesn’t want her to miss out on fun times they can have as a group because she’s waiting for Josh.

As I said before, the whole show is really about the value of friendships in our lives. Healthy, thriving friendships. Even when they disagree, Riley and Maya always work things out. No matter what’s happening in their lives, they get through every bump in the road with each other and their other friends. I absolutely loved that.

And now I really want to rewatch the show…

If you’ve seen Girl Meets World, tell me what you love about it! 

My Top 5 Episodes of Voyager Season Six

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene. See her favorite episodes of Voyager season six.

5. Fair Haven

This episode is a little silly, but it’s fun to see the Voyager crew in a new environment. The main plot follows Janeway’s romance with a holodeck character whose program she alters to better fit her needs (and to delete his wife!), which is slightly alarming for Janeway, but not outside of the realm of plausibility for her either.

4. Good Shepherd

After Seven identifies the ship’s resident misfits, Janeway takes them in for an away mission, to prove to them that they add value to the crew. What is supposed to be a simple away mission turns into a potentially life-threatening situation, and they all have to rely on each other more than ever anticipated. I really kind of liked the hypochondriac character on this episode; I would have liked to have seen more of him!

3. The Haunting of Deck Twelve

Episodes that take place entirely on the ship hardly ever catch my interest, but I love the way this episode is framed. Neelix proves to be quite the storyteller as he deflects the Borg kids’ questions about what is happening on Voyager by telling them a scary story, which may in fact be the truth of what is happening.

2. Blink of an Eye

The concept behind this one is so fascinating: Voyager is trapped in a planet’s atmosphere for what feels like days for them, but for the people below, it’s centuries. If Voyager doesn’t act quickly enough, the people on the planet will soon have technology that outpaces their own.

1. Unimatrix Zero 

I barely remembered this season finale (and part two season 7 opener) from my first watch of Voyager, but it was a stand-out episode for me this time. Though I do feel like Seven relaxes some after this episode, I would have liked to have seen her relax even more. She really seemed to thrive in the world she and some other Borg had created for themselves.

What are your favorite episodes of Voyager season six?

Fave 5: Sherlock Episodes

My husband and I have spent the past couple of months watching every episode of Sherlock for the first time ever and we greatly enjoyed it! Now we’re hoping for and waiting for Series 5 just like every Sherlockian out there!

And even though I didn’t include an episode from season 1, I really did enjoy it too. Episode 3, The Great Game, would be my number six pick. In order of airing…

(Mild spoilers below)

1. The Reichenbach Fall (Season (Season 2, Episode 3)

The standoff between Sherlock Holmes and Jim Moriarty comes to a head, and Sherlock is faced with a choice to let Moriarty go or to save those he loves. Or is there a third option? Aside from it just being a great episode, it’s also nice to see Sherlock’s more caring side.

2. The Empty Hearse (Season 3, Episode 1)

Two years after his supposed death, Sherlock returns for a new investigation, and Watson is less than pleased for being kept in the dark. I enjoyed Watson’s reaction to Sherlock in this one, as well as their moment in the train at the end. It was also fun to see a variety of theories as to how Sherlock may have faked his death scattered through the episode (I have to imagine some of these came from fans).

3. The Sign of Three (Season 3, Episode 2)

John and Mary are getting married, and as best man, Sherlock takes his duty to give a speech very seriously. In possibly the worst and most long-winded best man speech in the history of weddings, however, Sherlock, of course, manages to solve another mystery. This was another one where I really enjoyed seeing Sherlock outside of his usual element.

4. The Abominable Bride (Season 4, Episode 0)

Most of this episode takes place in the past, as Sherlock imagines himself solving a case in the vein of the original Sherlock Holmes we know. Such a fun tribute, while still managing to move the present-day story forward.

5. The Lying Detective (Season 4, Episode 2)

Season 4 overall is both really good and really messed-up. In this particular episode, Sherlock is determined to uncover the truth of business mogul Culverton Smith. The case in itself is really interesting, but then at the end of the episode a total bombshell is dropped that changes what Sherlock thought he knew about his family.

Overall, I loved so much about this show, particularly the intricate plots filled with surprising twists that left me aching for more episode after episode. And it’s really hard to go wrong with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman side by side. They truly nail the characters. If you haven’t seen Sherlock yet and have any interest in the original Sherlock Holmes, or just love great storytelling, I’d highly recommend it!

Have you been Sherlocked? Which episodes are your favorite? 

Monthly Recap: May

Books I Read

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

I also listened to two non-fiction books on audio in May. I decided to try adding audiobooks in with my podcast routine to switch things up. I don’t like audiobooks quite as much as podcasts because it’s not conversational, but it’s still working out pretty well for me. It’s a good way to absorb information while doing something else. Right now I’m “re-reading” To Kill A Mockingbird on audio, though I’ve thought about abandoning the audiobook to finish reading it for myself since the narrator’s attempt at a Southern accent has grated on me a little. We’ll see.

 

Netflix

As you may have seen on my post about Anne with an E, I got a Netflix free trial after never having it before, and watched that entire series. Since then, I’ve watched a little of Girl Meets World (thanks to Annie) and my husband and I have started Sherlock. We’re planning to keep the service through the summer, until our shows come back on TV. If you have any other recs, send them my way!

#Bookstagram Image of the Month

Life Things

A few days before our anniversary, my husband and I made a somewhat last-minute decision to take a quick, one night trip to a nearby city, Chattanooga, a few days after our anniversary. It was a really great little trip! I have a future post planned where I will share a little more about it.

We also ordered our first set of living room furniture! For our first 8 years of marriage we have been using hand-me-down furniture, which has been great and we have been thankful for, but since we’ve gotten into our new house last year we have been ready to sort of really make it our own. It will be several weeks before we get the new furniture, but when we do we’ll move the old couch upstairs to our bonus room and probably get rid of our old chairs. It’s kind of crazy to think about as it’s just another thing that feels so “adult”!

Looking Forward to in June

I don’t really have big plans, which is nice. Just some family stuff, and hopefully just enjoy the beginning of summer. I’m also rooting for the Preds for the Stanley Cup; GO PREDS! I’ve been to one Preds game before (a couple of years ago) and I honestly didn’t love it (getting shut-out probably didn’t help…), but watching them advance through each round of the playoffs has been so exciting! They’re down in the series right now, but it’s been a year of comebacks so I haven’t lost faith yet!

Potential June TBR 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Duels and Deceptions by Cindy Anstey

I’m still undecided on what else I want to read, but I’ll figure it out. 🙂 I also finished Better Off Friends already and really enjoyed it.

What are you looking forward to this month?

Thoughts on Netflix’s Anne with an E

My husband and I have made it a good long while without caving to the pressure of Netflix. But when I heard that an original Anne of Green Gables adaptation was coming, I knew resistance was futile. So on the day of its premiere, when I also happened to have a free evening to myself, I started a Netflix free month trial and started watching Anne with an E – the first five episodes in that first evening, and then the remaining two the next day.

As some of you know, I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time last year and fell in love with it. Mostly GILBERT, but I adore Anne too and all of Avonlea. I still haven’t seen the 1980s Anne of Green Gables mini-series everyone seems to love, but I definitely want to one day when I can get a hold of it (I did check Netflix, and it wasn’t there, sadly). As a newer fan, I felt it was easy for me to go into this series with an open mind, though there are definitely certain things that are important to me when looking at an Anne adaptation, which I think will become apparent as you read my thoughts on this series.

My quick overall thoughts (in case you don’t feel like getting into my lengthy analysis below)… The show definitely has a darker tone and more modern sensibility than the wild-eye innocence feel of the books. There are a lot of deviations and for the first five episodes I was OK with this, but the last two episodes really left me disappointed.

What I liked…

The show is beautifully shot. Like ridiculously beautifully shot. The media production major in me definitely admires the aesthetic of the show.

For the first five episodes, the characters feel true to their original selves. Even though there are a lot of story deviations, the characters still feel the same. For the most part, you can believe these are sort of lost tales of Anne’s life that Montgomery did not share with us. This changes somewhat by episode six and a lot by episode seven. I’ll get into this more later.

The acting is A++++++++. I don’t think I’ve seen any of these actors/actresses in anything else but they are all so crazy good. They feel just like the characters.

And GILBERT. OH MY GOODNESS. So until we meet Gilbert in episode 3, Matthew was my favorite, because he is so fantastic, but GILBERT. For episodes 3-5, this Gilbert is so stinking wonderful and kind and adorable and everything you want Gilbert Blythe to be. Below I will get into spoilers of how a story arc changes his character in episode 6. I still like him a lot, but he does feel different at that point.

What was mostly OK…

Anne is definitely not the only character who gets a focus on her tragic backstory. We delve into the psyches of Marilla, Matthew, and others. This would sometimes add some nice depth, but sometimes it felt a bit unnecessary and detracted from the strength of the original source.

What I didn’t particularly love…

This show is a lot darker, and some of that is OK. We get flashbacks into Anne’s past and see how it actually affects her day by day, which makes it seem like real trauma. In the books she alludes to the bad stuff she had to go through in the past, but it just mostly rolls off her like water on a duck’s back. In this adaptation we see how this impacts her conversations with others, as well as just the very painful memories she relives in her mind.

But then as if that’s not enough, there’s more. There’s attempted kidnapping, possible attempted assault, actual physical assault and thievery, and then everyone in Avonlea is so much more openly hostile to Anne in this adaptation than they were in the book. Billy Andrews is especially quite the villain who repeatedly calls Anne a dog (thankfully just a dog, not another word associated with dogs, but still very terrible). And while I remember her first teacher in Avonlea not being all that great, this one is just downright horrible. He treats Anne, really most of the class, like trash, in addition to just being a bad teacher. And then the minister, ugh! He’s portrayed all wrong for no real reason. Sometimes, I feel there’s just a little too much of the bad, when the books focused so much more on the good.

Which leads me to my next point, that there’s a little too much modern sensibility thrown in, in my opinion. It’s one thing to talk about Anne’s first period (which was really funny but also pretty poignant and well-done), and it’s one thing for the mothers to talk about educational rights for women, but when a character literally said, “Feminism. What a wonderful word,” it’s actually kind of eye-rolling instead of empowering like I think was the intent. Way to be super on-the-nose. Just like the aforementioned dark aspects of the show, the attempt to bring in a little more progressive thinking in Avonlea is taken just slightly farther than I felt it needed to be.

What I hated…

While I didn’t love everything in episodes 1-5, I was still really enjoying everything overall. This started to change with episode 6, and then 7 crashed and burned it.

—SPOILERS BELOW—

In episode 6, Gilbert’s father dies. We learn earlier in the series that his father is ill and his mother is apparently already dead. This bothered me because it was so different from the books, but what made it turn from something annoying to something I absolutely hated was when it changed Gilbert as a character. It makes him much moodier, which he has every right to be under the circumstances, but the circumstances shouldn’t exist to completely change his character. It’s obviously added for drama or tension or whatever. Heaven forbid Gilbert just have a wholesome family life. I guess it’s a shortcut way to get Anne to relate with him better, but that feels really cheap to me. It also forces him to have to quit school to work which is just like WHAAAAAAT EVEN. I don’t even know how to explain in coherent words how that makes me feel. Mostly, it just feels wrong.

In episode 7, Matthew has his heart attack but doesn’t die (I wouldn’t be surprised if he does in season two though). But he bemoans how, because of their financial woes, it would be better for Anne and Marilla if he was dead so they can get his life insurance, and at one point HE GETS OUT HIS GUN AND IS READY TO COMMIT SUICIDE. People, this is not Matthew Cuthbert. He would NEVER do that. Thankfully, his lady friend from the dress shop/his former love interest from school? shows up and stops him. But seriously, WHY. The show was dark enough without going that far.

And then the way episode 7 ends is truly bizarre, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen anyone else on the Internet talk about this yet. So earlier in the episode, Anne and their hired farmhand Jerry go into town to sell some things. Jerry, separate from Anne, sells one of the horses. As soon as the buyer walks away and Jerry puts the money in his pocket, these two ruffians beat him up and take the money. Later, we see them noticing an ad for a room available to rent at Green Gables, and at the end of the episode, they both arrive there, separately, to live. This already seems like a weird subplot to have, but it got weirder when the second one who arrives acts like he is attracted to Anne, and she acts the same towards him, BUT HE IS GROWN AND AT LEAST TWICE HER AGE. Maybe I COMPLETELY misread the looks but all the acting had been so consistently great throughout the series that I have a hard time believing that I suddenly misinterpreted what was being shown to me. And then after their exchange, it just ends. It makes ZERO sense for an ending, even for one that is suppose to leave room for more because it makes me sick to my stomach rather than eager for more.

If you’ve watched the entire show, PLEASE let me know how you interpreted the end and how it makes you feel. I need to know if I either completely misunderstood or that I’m alone or crazy in my feelings about it.

— SPOILERS OVER—

A breakdown of my thoughts in star ratings…

Episodes 1: 4 stars

Episode 2: 3.5 stars

Episodes 3 & 4: 4 stars

Episode 5: 3 stars

Episode 6: 2.5 stars

Episode 7: 2 stars

Acting: 5 stars

Cinematography: 5 stars

Characterization: 3.5 stars

Story: 2.5 stars

Series overall: 3 stars

A few parting thoughts…

As you can see, I have very mixed feelings about the series. It started off promising, even with the deviations, but at the end, the changes did more harm than good in my mind. I wish I could better understand the intent of the series writers, and if they truly interpret Montgomery’s work this way or just felt like being edgy. Because personally, I feel Montgomery’s intent was misunderstood.

On Twitter I saw where someone described this series as a dystopia version of Anne of Green Gables. That’s actually a pretty good way to describe it. Every aspect of the story is cranked up to an 11 in terms of harsh realities. I think a little bit could have been sprinkled in without going to such an extreme. The original story is a coming-of-age tale I can’t wait to share with my future children, but this version I wouldn’t share with anyone under 12, with so much of the wonder taken away and replaced with grit.

Have you seen Anne with an E? What are your thoughts on the series, and what’s your previous Anne history?