5 Things I Learned from Danielle Fishel’s Memoir

Danielle Fishel’s memoir is super funny and a very quick read! You could probably knock this book out in a day or two, but it took me about a week because I do most of my reading at 11 pm right until my eyelids give out on me. Nevertheless, I did finish this book! And here are some of my favorite moments:

  1. She played Skipper in a live-action commercial for Mattel. I totally remembered seeing this as soon as I read about it. But when I turned to the internet to confirm my memories, I could not find the commercial. But in retrospect, I feel like they probably cast Danielle because of her really great hair.
  2. Justin Timberlake called her pretending to be Lance Bass because Lance was too nervous to call her himself. Also, Lance took her to a taping of Celine Dion’s Christmas Special on their first official date. And after prom, he gave her a set of gifts: a Barbie nightgown (referencing the commercial above), a Prada makeup bag, and a book on Taurus Birthdays (they’re both born in early May). And at no point in their relationship did it ever once crossed her mind that he might be gay.
  3. The BMW cast regularly goes over to Will Friedle’s house to catch up with each other. This was how she and Rider Strong learned that they were most likely getting married on the same weekend. And then Rider leaked that to the media and Danielle’s low-key wedding in downtown LA turned into an paparazzi event so whoops…
  4. She’s incredibly dedicated to her dogs. Like the phrase “animal lover” would not even being to cover it. This included adopting an aggressive rescue who had to have regular insulin shots (among other serious health problems). For obvious reasons, it’s kind of hard to give an angry dog a shot. And Danielle accidentally gave herself the shot when she pulled away quickly as he tried to bit her hand. I feel like any normal person would have called 911, but she drove herself to class and asked her professor to make sure she didn’t die. And she still takes care of that dog to this day. So I kind of want to be her best friend.
  5. She really wants people to follow her on Twitter and also has some really great food suggestions if you’re traveling to Maui. So if you have Twitter and are going to Maui, you should reach out to her. I think she’d have some great ideas.

Girl Meets Mr. Turner

Those rascally kids at John Quincy Adams Middle School have scared off their English teacher! And so they get a lady version of Mr. Turner. She walks into the room wearing leather of the motorcycle variety. Her first English lesson involves handing them all band new copies of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. So. I would like to sign up for this 8th grade English class please.

Riley, little disrespectful brat, says to the cool new teacher, “Um. Aren’t you supposed to be teaching us the important books?” RUDE. The cool teacher tells her it is important. She also tells the class to call her by her first name, Harper. And that they will “figure out” her namesake.

Alas, this revolutionary teaching is short-lived. The principal sees “comic books” out on the desks and shames Harper into teaching To Kill a Mockingbird instead. I guess those kids will be figuring out that namesake sooner rather than later. But maybe not. Harper defies the principal’s orders and proceeds with teaching The Dark Knight Returns. 

At dinner, the girls are so psyched about their homework that they’re rushing through everything. Topanga asks them what’s up and they talk about how cool the new teacher is. Recognizing that they are describing a lady version of Mr. Turner, Topanga asks Cory if he was on the search committee for the new teacher, and he replies that he was. And then they tell their children how they had one teacher other than Mr. Feeny and that Mr. Feeny was that teacher’s principal.And the kids are like No, way would one teacher teach you forever AND be your principal in today’s world. And Cory is all like, “we’ll see.”

The next day the principal fires Harper and won’t even let her explain her lesson plan. To be fair, as a new teacher she probably should have explained her lesson plan as soon as he asked her to teach a different book. But no, she’s a rebel and she decide to just ignore him and continue doing what she was doing. Maya and Riley get Cory to intervene and he’s all like, “how can you possible fire someone like her?” And then he does that whole if she goes, I go thing. So they both get fired.

But Topanga’s all lawyer-y and she’s all like NOPE. A principal can’t fire a tenured public school teacher. Duh. So now the principal will have to take this up with the superintendent, and he can fire both of them. Except, no. He cannot. An independent hearing officer is responsible for dismissing tenured teachers in New York City and it is basically impossible to dismiss a tenured teacher. But fine, since this is the freaking twilight zone of Boy Meets World, let’s just take it up with the superintendent–who happens to be Mr. Turner.

This should be no surprise at all as it seems that literally everyone from John Adams High has made the 90 minute trek up I-95 and relocated to the village. Even those people that we haven’t seen in a freaking decade. So Mr. Turner is all like, “I taught the X-Men on my first day.” And the principal is all devastated that he has clearly screwed up here, but who gives a crap? We’re finally getting the answers we need about Mr. Turner’s post-accident days!

Here’s what he’s been up to:
-He married his nurse
-He hired Cory to his teaching position
-He frequently visits Cory at his home (except Auggie apparently has never met him until he comes over for dinner at the end of the episode)

Omg. Wtf. That’s all we get to know???

Then Maya and Riley lurk outside the window because all they care about is spying on the adults in their lives.

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Oh well, Mr. Turner does immediately recognize Farkle as Stuart Minkus’s son–no introduction needed–so maybe he was over on the “other part of the school” teaching honors classes.

Boy Meets Worlds: Wheels

It’s Cory’s sixteenth birthday and he’s got big plans to drive from Philly to Atlantic City to see an R-rated movie with Topanga and Shawn. But his dad wants to carry out the family tradition of going to the DMV and then having a big heart-attack-inducing, greasy meal.

Only, Cory doesn’t know about these plans, so he gets his license alone with his friends. Then his dad says he can have the car after her runs a few errands, which will take two hours tops. But he comes back five hours later to an extremely pissed off Cory. Alan offers Cory the keys to his car provided that Cory be back in time for his birthday dinner in 45 minutes. Cory is livid because he hadn’t agreed to a birthday dinner and now he has no time for his road trip. But they’ve been having a birthday dinner every year of Cory’s life so Alan doesn’t understand  what the fuss is about. Eric tries to tell Cory that his dad is just upset because Cory is his last son. But Cory is an insensitive teenager, so he tries to ditch his own birthday party.

When Shawn tells Alan that they’re trying to make a movie and need to leave the party, Alan informs them all that they have to be seventeen to see an R-Rated movie. And when he finds out they were trying to go to Atlantic City, he freaks out. And Cory freaks out too and is all like meh I just turned sixteen and that makes me an adult, and I want to leave my party and hang out with my friends. And Alan is all like really? “That’s the first ‘adult’ decision you want to make?” Hint: It’s not very “adult” to ditch the party your entire family is throwing for you.

So Cory, Shawn, and Topanga head to Atlantic City. But Cory gets pulled over for going 26 mph in a 25 mph zone. Were they driving through residential neighborhoods the entire way to New Jersey? Refusing to call his father to help him pay the $200 fine, Cory ends up in the traffic version of night court–where he is immediately seen by a domineering judge.

Meanwhile, Alan is feeling pretty bad about how everything unfolded. Ever the level headed mother, Amy tells him that Cory is just growing up and isn’t doing anything wrong. Alan says that he’s growing up too, and Amy reminds him that he hasn’t done anything wrong either. They’re both just figuring out how to shift into a new part of their relationship. And that’s why this show is so awesome! Mr. Feeney tells Alan about Cory (who has called him instead of his father), and Alan drives down to the courtroom.

The judge (who must have a sixth sense about father’s who are having  a hard time) sees Alan come in and tells Cory that he will drop the charges if Cory calls his father and says he was wrong. But Cory refuses to do so. The judge then sentences Cory to “two years” (of being a kid, thank God!) and tells him to chill out on the being an “adult” thing.

Very Special Lesson: You’ll probably think you’re all done growing up at least a dozen times before you’re actually a grown up.

Girl Meets Mr. Feeny

“I both hate and love this show,” said my boyfriend as we sat down to watch THE MR. FEENY EPISODE! “I hate myself for watching it but would be totally crushed if it were canceled.” I don’t feel that strongly about it. I’d feel a sick satisfaction if it were canceled, but I also like getting to see the adult characters I love and bitch about the children.

In this episode, Corey plots to dig up the time capsule he and his friends buried fifteen years earlier in Mr. Feeny’s yard. He wears a miner’s headlight and makes a t-shirts that say “shovel,” which led the bf and I to discuss one day how we will have the disposable income to make ridiculous t-shirts and wear them around like people wear those shirts you get from a 5-k or a fundraiser but it will just be like some arbitrary thing that only four of our friends participated in and received a commemorative shirt for.

Corey also has a set of shovels (one for him and Topanga, duh). We soon realize that a third shovel is for Shawn, who rushes in thinking Corey is ill from the urgency of his phone call. When he sees all of the shovels on the wall (thinking it’s a matter of “life and death”) he assumes that Corey wants their help in digging his own grave. I laughed out loud. Anyway, someone mentions Angela while Shawn is talking to Corey’s daughter’s bff’s mom (apparently there’s some romance there). And the kids say that they must come on the trip as well.

Mr. Feeny finds them all digging up his yard, and then Maya and Riley attempt to do “the Feeny call.” HAVE THEY NO SHAME! You don’t irreverently yell in the face of an old man whom you have never met in a mockery of his name. You need to know someone and love someone forever before you get to yell in that person’s face in a mockery of that person’s name! Then they also oddly swat and/or hiss at him.

When they unpack the time capsule, Corey finds a love note that Topanga buried. At first, he thinks it’s a teenage confession of her love…but it turns out to be a note that she found from “Lauren” a.k.a. Linda Cardellini (who Corey cheated on Topanga with at a ski lodge). It turns out Topanga put the note in the capsule because she was immature and threatened, and hoped to one day be able to open the time capsule and tear up the note (which she does).

Maya gets all upset when Shawn reminisces about the items he and Angela put in the time capsule. Riley calls him a jerk. And Corey is all like Shawn she wants you to be her father figure! So then Shawn is all like Maya I’ll be your father figure either way! It’s a little forced, I think, but I also cherry-pick the episodes I view, so it could make more sense to a regular viewer.

We only got to see Mr. Feeny for like 12 seconds, but it looks like they’re finally giving Topanga more screen time. Eric will be in tomorrow’s episode! Yay!

Boy Meets World: If You Can’t Be with the One You Love

Remember the original Boy Meets World before it was co-opted into a Disney tween show that makes me feel unnecessarily old? It was a great show about growing up with your friends and your teacher who taught you every grade ever. For most of the show’s seven year run, the story lines realistically dealt with the issues kids face while they are becoming young adults. But no sitcom of the late twentieth century was totally immune to the very special episode formula. Every episode of Boy Meets World had a great life lesson, but only some episodes have the magic and schmaltz to be very special episodes. Boy Meets World Once upon a time, Boy Meets World taught us all a valuable lesson about alcohol. The “boy” of BMW,Corey, and his long-time girlfriend, Topanga, have broken up. I can’t remember why they went their separate ways, but Corey is so devastated by his inability to non-awkwardly interact with Topanga at a party that he ends up drinking alone. He spends an hour and a half in the bathroom with a pint of whiskey and consumes a surprisingly small amount of it. After his best friend, Shawn, discovers him drunk and alone in a stranger’s bathroom, they decide to finish the bottle together.

Classic Very Special Episode Material

Now to even the casual sitcom viewer, it is obvious that the boys are swiftly descending down the slippery slope that is teenage drinking. Corey and Shawn leave the party and pay a random man to buy them alcohol. Then, with cavalier disregard for open container laws,  they enjoy a couple of beers on the sidewalk right in front of the corner store where they just bribed that dude…I don’t think they’ve had enough alcohol to be behaving this stupidly, especially since Shawn had the dexterity to walk around on his hands acrobat style like 90 seconds prior. They get arrested, of course, and Corey’s dad bails them both out of jail. Corey’s dad totally blames Shawn for everything because he’s from the wrong side of the tracks. This is super terrible on his part since he’s known Shawn for at least five years and Shawn has pretty much never done anything to warrant this “bad boy” treatment. Corey does not let Shawn take the blame, and instead confesses that he’s lost his heart and has no life. This is probably the point where you should connect your kid with a mental health professional (“the more you know”), but instead his dad just apologizes to Shawn for being such a dick.

Corey: "I just broke up with someone I spent my entire life with. I dont have a heart anymore. Ive lost my life."
Corey: “I just broke up with someone I spent my entire life with. I dont have a heart anymore. Ive lost my life.” …Uhh, maybe the main problem here is NOT the drinking.

Having learned the error of their ways, Shawn and Corey promise each other that they will never drink again, but Shawn quickly breaks that promise. Shawn, who is now apparently an alcoholic, learns from his half-brother, Jack, that their father was an alcoholic and was abusive. Shawn literally lunges at Jack for saying this, which maybe proves his brother’s point. Then Topanga and Shawn’s girlfriend, Angela, arrive and that’s where Shawn’s behavior hits a fever pitch. Shawn aggressively pushes Angela into the door when she tries to get him to stop drinking which definitely proves his brother’s point. Even though everyone just called Shawn an alcoholic, he decides to never drink again. He is totally without any signs of withdrawal and manages to quit cold turkey! This is especially impressive because Shawn also has not obtained any new coping skills since the beginning of this thirty minute episode. But you know, all it really tacks to break a habit is a stern talking to from your friends.

Very Special Lesson: If you get drunk once and you’re from a broken home, you will become an aggressive alcoholic like your dad. If you come form a middle class two parent family, you’ll have one drunken night in high school and never drink again even if you did give an entire speech full of red flags about your inability to handle a breakup.

Further Reading on the new Boy Meets World spin off Girl Meets World:

http://thehudsucker.com/2014/06/24/is-the-world-ready-for-girl-meets-world-pilot-review/ http://geekalabama.com/2014/06/24/tv-review-girl-meets-world/