Topic: Girl Meets World

Since I don't want to take over another thread with talk of this show, I started a new topic.

Okay, I watched the show for the sake of nostalgia. I watched Boy Meets World growing up, so I wanted to see where Cory and Topanga were now. Then... I got addicted to this silly little kid show. It is sappy, optimistic and joyful, so it is a nice show to turn on after a long day of being dark, gloomy old me (still don't know where I got that reputation).

That said, some of the lessons on the show are pretty horrible. Explaining elections is fine, but arguing for lowering the voting age without teaching kids why voting is for adults is just sloppy.

Then I just watched an episode where arts programs are being cut and the kids face off against the evil adults who want to cut them. They win in the end, but I still don't like the lesson. In the real world, money has to come from somewhere. Hard decisions have to be made, whether we like them or not. Keeping arts programs might mean taking money from books, school suppies or even food for less privileged kids.

I know it is a kid show, but why tell these stories dishonestly? It is a bad lesson at that point.


On another note, Will Friedle is still funny as heck. This is hard to accomplish with such an over the top character.

Re: Girl Meets World

Informant wrote:

That said, some of the lessons on the show are pretty horrible. Explaining elections is fine, but arguing for lowering the voting age without teaching kids why voting is for adults is just sloppy.

This criticism is complete and total horseshit. Shame on GIRL MEETS WORLD for having characters who do not share your values and political perspectives! My God, it's so uncharacteristic for children to feel they should have the right to vote. How dare any TV show not reflect Informant's views! You god-damn egomaniac.

But upon sedate contemplation, I must concede that there's a fair point in this. Senator Davis Graham, whom Eric is running against, is shown to have the political skills of a cabbage and given all the depth of a junk mail pamphlet. By reducing him to a complete villain (guy who stole government funds to give to his country club pals, wants to charge children for using public parks), the episode missed out on a chance to examine pragmatic realism versus Eric Matthews being an idealistic nutjob.

A more nuanced, Dan Harmon-esque approach to this episode might have been to have Graham portrayed as a completely reasonable, even mostly ethical politician who has settled for doing some good in exchange for doing some bad while Eric is portrayed as a pie-in-the-sky ineffectual whose campaign team of children wins the election based on the cutesy novelty of a public image where the kids are fighting a corrupt old man when the truth is this is as cynical a media manipulation as any political campaign.

Informant wrote:

I just watched an episode where arts programs are being cut and the kids face off against the evil adults who want to cut them. They win in the end, but I still don't like the lesson. In the real world, money has to come from somewhere. Hard decisions have to be made, whether we like them or not. Keeping arts programs might mean taking money from books, school suppies or even food for less privileged kids. I know it is a kid show, but why tell these stories dishonestly? It is a bad lesson at that point.

This criticism is complete and total horseshit. Oh, so a show isn't being honest if it doesn't represent YOUR pet themes and YOUR particular ideals. Shame on a show for having characters who aren't mouthpieces for you and your belief that arts aren't worth money.

But upon sedate contemplation, I must concede that there's a fair point in this. The episode never actually offers a financial solution to a financial problem, only the sentiment that arts education is WORTH IT and that SOMETHING has to be done.

A more nuanced, Dan Harmon-esque solution would have been to have the school administrators raise all of Informant's points -- that keeping art means losing lunch -- and for the kids to come up with examples of how the art projects actually require a grasp of math, science, history, politics, engineering and social studies in order to be meaningful -- in which case, an art component is built into each of the hard academic sections of their education, taking a small portion from each of those budgets to keep the art classes going, albeit with the grade requirements necessitating the participation of the language, history, math and science teachers.

Re: Girl Meets World

Ha! For a second there, I thought this was going to go a whole different direction.

I do get that it is a kid show, and you can't really dig into politics. But there is a strong lesson to be learned about responsibility and consequences. Money doesn't grow on trees. If you give here, you take from there. I don't think that is too complicated for this aidience. And a lot of kids around the world would be thrilled to "just" have basic education.

The same lessons could be applied to the senatorial campaign. The kids were saying that if they could vote, they would feed everyone, clothe everyone and shelter everyone. They get to believe that because they are kids. They don't get that sometimes, adults have to make hard choices, not because they want to, but because they don't have a choice. Sometimes war is needed, but only the insane would want it to happen. Sometimes we can't provide for everyone. We just can't.

Which goes perfectly with the episode where Shawn buys Maya the new clothes, because they made a point of saying that her mother couldn't always do the fun stuff, because she had to keep the lights on. That same lesson could be applied to the other episodes... but it wasn't. Instead, they went in the opposite direction. Want, take, have (as Faith the vampire slayer would say).

Putting aside political beliefs, I think these are just basic facts of life. If Cory had run through a mock election, letting the kids vote and then explained how those votes could have dire consequences, it would have been a stronger lesson about the responsibility that we have as citizens.

Re: Girl Meets World

Informant wrote:

Explaining elections is fine, but arguing for lowering the voting age without teaching kids why voting is for adults is just sloppy.

The West Wing did a nice job of presenting a balanced argument regarding children's suffrage.

Re: Girl Meets World

Girl Meets Texas... wow. That had to be racist or Texaphobic or some other really offensive thing. But I'm from New Jersey, so I don't mind  smile