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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Win A Date With Tad Hamilton: Riarkle the movie

Because The Longest Ride had so many parallels to Lucaya, I want to bring up a film that mirrors what I believe will happen in Riley and Farkle's storylines. 

Win A Date With Tad Hamlton is all about the perception of love versus what love actually is. I think the narrative of this film parallels with the relationship between Farkle and Riley quite nicely. 

Pete's character is very similar to Farkle in terms of his cynical view and his caring personality. Pete will do anything for Rosalee. 

Rosalee is very similar to Riley with her sweet personality, positive outlook on life and her tendency to not look past the surface of things. 

When Tad Hamilton enters Rosalee's life, Pete is thrown off course and he begins to see that he is losing the girl of his dreams to an idealistic concept. 

Tad Hamilton is a movie star. Good looking, with the ability to do almost anything that Pete cannot do.

This film is very clever in terms of the dialogue, the symbolism and the overall dynamic that Pete faces while Rosalee is blind to his struggle. But the audience can easily see his behavior. 

This dynamic is continuously displayed in Girl Meets World as Farkle gazes at Riley during class. 

Another obvious plot point in the film is perception versus reality. What does that remind me of?

Farkle continues to call Lucas a "face" throughout the show, and that's no accident. 
When Shawn tells the girls about Angela, Riley says, "So he fell in love with a concept. It was doomed from the start." 
When Riley and Lucas first meet, he tells her his name, and she says. "I love it." 
This event is repeated throughout the show and it has no real depth other than those lines. 

Riley does not see Lucas for who he is, and she continues to ignore his "Texas" personality. In Riley's fantasy, Lucas appears to be a cookie cutter cowboy and the picture of a "western hero." 
In the film, Pete repeatedly tells Rosalee that she has not fallen in love with who Tad Hamilton actually is. What she likes about him (his roles in romantic films) is not real. 
While Rosalee continues her relationship with Tad Hamilton, something pushes Pete to finally tell her how he feels. The moment when he realizes that he's losing Rosalee for good. 
This moment reminded me of two scenes in Girl Meets World, and both are at a moment where it appears Riley and Farkle are losing eachother. 
The first scene would be Girl Meets Texas part 3 where Farkle tries so hard to get Riley to admit she is hiding her feelings. 
Both Riley and Farkle say "I love you" here and it's a meaningful moment for the story. 
The second moment is the rooftop conversation they have in Girl Meets the New Year. Farkle clearly expresses his feelings here, but they are said in a platonic way. 
When Lucas finally chooses in Girl Meets Triangle, and the girls decide that he pickes Riley, Farkle looks crushed, and angry. From then on, Farkle's behavior changes and he drifts further from Riley. He tells her quite blatantly in Girl Meets Ski Lodge:
but she is still blind to his pain. 

This happens in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton when Rosalee chooses to go with Tad Hamilton to California, leaving everyone behind. Pete continues to get more and more angry and frustrated until he finally confronts Tad Hamilton. 
Pete basically tells Tad that he knows nothing about Rosalee, while Pete knows who she truly is. Now Farkle knows Riley more than anyone. He can tell when something's wrong, and he remembers things about her. (Pete has a great line in the film about a starfish necklace) 
The point of this scene is that Tad and Rosalee don't know eachother at all, just like Riley and Lucas don't know who they truly are. 
Lucas and Riley get together at the end of Ski Lodge part 2, but they base their relationship on a concept that they will have important talks, and they'll have a sandwhich. Lucas gives Riley a jellybean- sugar which was referenced earlier in the show to be bad and fake. 
In Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, Rosalee realizes that the concept she believed she wanted is not what she cares about at all. She also realizes that Tad fell for the concept of her, and not who she truly is. She realizes that Pete is who she truly cares for, and she hurries back to him. 
Only to find him gone. This is where I believe the Girl Meets Bear narrative comes into play for Riley and Farkle. Now that Farkle has watched Riley choose Lucas, he's heartbroken and he's lost who he is. 
As Farkle talks with Topanga about how to know who you are, he connects his previous identities to Beary the stuffed teddy bear, that Riley has lost. It is implied that Beary left because he knew it was time, and that Riley didn't need him anymore. 
Right before Rosalee finds Pete, she runs into the bartender, Angelica who had a crush on Pete. She tells Rosalee that "when great love is rejected . . . something inside a man dies." 
Farkle's lost who he is, but I'm sure he'll find that again, because this isn't the end of his story or Riley's. 

At the end of Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, Rosalee and Pete create their own movie. And Pete takes the place of Tad Hamilton in the movie they watched at the beginning of the film. It's a wonderful scene that expresses what real love is versus the concept of it. 

Riley and Lucas are in a relationship based on a concept, but Riley's relationship with Farkle is real. Riley doesn't see that yet, because she is blinded by the idea that she has to be Cory and Topanga. 

Farkle is blinded by the idea that he is not part of Riley's story, but that will change once Riley sees the reality and stops falling for the concept. 
Once Farkle and Riley see who they truly are, then their real story begins. :) 
We already know how it ends: 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

This movie was beautiful in all aspects of the word. From the art to the story to the soundtrack, Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic tale with a heartfelt theme for all ages and generations. 
Kubo is a storyteller with one eye who knows very little of his father and the events that led to his birth. 

His mother tells him stories, but she also gives him rules: don't stay out past sundown, and always take the monkey charm with you. 

Kubo entertains the crowd at the local village with exciting and entertaining stories of Hanzo the samurai and his battle against the Moon King, but his stories never end. Each day the crowd listens to the tales eagerly as Kubo's magic origami figures perform. 
Longing to know more of his father, Kubo seeks answers. One night, in an attempt to speak with his father, he stays out past sundown. 
This one act sends Kubo on a quest of his own: his own story, to protect himself from the Moon King. 
With Monkey, Beetle and his own origami companions, Kubo writes his own story, and he learns about what truly matters.
I recommend this film to anyone and everyone, especially fans of The Little Prince. 

I give it five out of five origami birds.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Empathy: A Girl Meets World Theory

In Girl Meets 1961, a very important episode according to the writers, Rosie McGee (Riley's ancestor) and Ginsburg (Farkle's ancestor) wear outfits that allude to the movie Funny Face. 

Funny Face itself has an allusion that I think relates to Farkle's narrative in the show: Pygmalion. 

In Funny face, the photographer Dick, tells the model to look at the statute. 
"Now, I want you to look at the statue as if you understand it. As if it understands you."  

Pygmalion is a Greek play about an artist who falls in love with his own creation. Aphrodite brings the statue to life due to his love. Some common stories related to this dynamic are Pinocchio and My Fair Lady. 
Now Farkle created the dynamic of Riley as Day and Maya as night, but he loves Riley. It's obvious from his actions and dialogue. He's fallen in love with his own creation, similar to Pygmalion. 

Pygmallion is played out in Funny Face, but there is a twist: empathy. 

Jo, a bookworm that is labeled as a "funny" woman and not "beautiful" is very interested in empathy. But throughout the film, she doesn't actually use empathy until it appears to be too late. She wants to discuss Empathicalism,  but she only practices it when she realizes that she has hurt Dick, the photographer of Quality magazine. 

Dick wants a girl who thinks, and he says this fairly often in the movie, but he falls for Jo while taking the pictures. He creates each story for her to roleplay as she models, until she takes over, creating stories and ideas of her own. This reminds me of Farkle's defense of the Riley Commitee, and him wanting to keep Riley's hope and happiness alive through fantasy ideas. 

He admires this and falls for her before he realizes what has happened. 

The conflict in Funny Face involves the professor that Jo wants to see, and the real reason she agrees to the project to go to France and meet her idol. He turns out to be very different from what he appears to be. 
Although the she falls for Dick, Jo still believes that the professor is an amazing philosopher and she is surprised when he reveals that he wants more than a philosophical conversation. 
It's nearly too late as the misunderstanding between Jo and Dick interferes with the runway demonstration, but it all works out in the end. 

The outfits that Rosie and Ginsburg have are identical to the outfits in the misunderstanding scene of Funny Face and Ginsburg takes a picture of Rosie. 
The major lesson of this episode is "Don't let your history be made of missed opportunities. Learn from the past." 
According to the dynamic of the 1961 scenes in this episode, Rosie and Ginsburg almost connected, but Rosie got distracted by Merlin (Lucas's ancestor). 

This is similar to the plot line of Funny Face. 
I found a connection between Riley's lack of empathy toward Farkle, and Jo's lack of Empathy towards Dick. 

In Girl Meets World, Farkle is often considered to be "not part of the story". This is proven when Farkle says that his grandfather was never "in the pictures, because he took them." Then we get a visual of both generations: 

In both pictures, Ginsburg and Farkle are seperate, but still in the picture. 

Due to this "not part of the story" expectation, Farkle's remarks and actions are ignored, or made into a joke. But he is an extremely important character in the story, and once Riley understands that, we see a glimpse of who she truly is, without the influence of Maya. 

In Girl Meets Flaws, Riley was there for Farkle when he needed her most. She finally understands that he needs her. 
This is echoed in Girl Meets I Am Farkle, when Riley lets Farkle go so he "can understand love." And, she has never forgotten what he said. 

In Girl Meets Rileytown, Farkle was the first out of Riley's friends to understand that Riley was going through a hard time. He also says something very interesting: 

Farkle understands empathy when it comes to Riley, but he doesn't pick up on Maya's feelings, or understand them. (interesting since he claims to love them both the same)
In Funny face, Dick has empathy for Jo, and that leads to a kiss. What does that remind me of? Girl Meets Truth! 

Girl Meets STEM echoes a scene in Funny Face where Jo explains that women can make decisions for themselves. Riley proves this in her science experiment with Farkle, because she does pay attention to what is going on around her. 

Riley's awareness determines her ability to empathize with Farkle, but I also think she is distracted by the influence of Maya. In Girl Meets First Date, Riley joins Farkle by "walking in slow motion" until Maya tells her to stop. 

Then, in Girl Meets SemiFormal, she almost dances with Farkle until Maya says no. 

Until Riley stops allowing herself to be influenced by Maya, she won't grow as a person. Since the pilot episode, Riley made it clear that she wanted to be Maya, and in Girl Meets Popular she changes her appearance to fit in with Farkle's friends. In Girl Meets Jexica, Riley creates a new identity online and takes it too far. 

At the end of Girl Meets Jexica, Riley says something very important: 
"I'm still figuring out who I am, and everything could change tomorrow."
She is still learning who she is, and she is more aware of Farkle than she appears to be, but she has yet to empathize with him and realise who she truly cares for. Unless she does know that she cares for him, but she is afraid of those feelings. 

Now, because Riley believes that her world needs to be just like her father's she is blinded to what is actually happening in her own story. Part of the reason for that is her lack of empathy for Farkle. 
I also believe that at this point, Riley has been hiding her feelings for Farkle, possibly since the beginning, but obviously since Girl Meets New Years. 

Riley became aware of these feelings in Girl Meets New Year, because Cory writes three things on the board, one for each theme of the season. 

Riley's the main character of this show. She's the "Girl" in Girl Meets World. 
Riley has always shown that she cares for Farkle, since they first met. Farkle saves her life, (because she won't lift her head- very symbolic) and Riley asks how she can repay him. 
Then when Farkle promises to love both girls the same, she asks, "but what if you love one of us more? What if you marry one of us?" 

Riley would do anything for Farkle. This is proven in Girl Meets Maya's Mother when she goes along with Farkle's lie to his father. Girl Meets Truth made it very obvious that Riley could never hurt Farkle. In Girl Meets Yearbook, Riley follows Farkle down the rabbit hole and changes who she is. 
Riley's had these feelings from the beginning, but her perception that she needs to be like Maya, and that her father's world holds all the answers prevents her from seeing her own story. 

Once she empathizes with Farkle, and sees things from his point of view, she is able to grow and learn. 
I also think this was visually implied in the most recent episode Girl Meets the Real World, when Riley finally acknowledges Farkle's point of view.