Welcome to episode 13 of Kids Get Acquainted with the Internet, a podcast about the TV shows Girl Meets World and Boy Meets World. In this episode Dan, Keith, and Caitlin have an in-depth discussion of the 13th episode of Girl Meets World entitled Girl Meets Flaws. We discuss the pros and cons of Girl Meets World and how it compares to the original series. Please send any feedback our way at email@example.com or review us on iTunes. The music for this week’s podcast includes “Mean” by Taylor Swift and “Cool Kids” by Echosmith. Thanks for listening! PlayPodcast
Ep 13: Girl Meets Flaws
10 19 14
Comments on: "Ep 13: Girl Meets Flaws" (4)
Hi, I just found your podcast and have been listening to the past eps over the last couple days and just felt I needed to comment on your discussion regarding this episode. Sorry for the length of the post. I still love the podcast!!!!
I feel you guys were way off base when discussing this episode. In no way did it belittle the bullying. I do work in schools regarding this specific topic, so the message of this episode hit really close for me. And while I do believe there were some “flaws” in the episode, it still strongly hit each of the themes it was trying to show.
I actually want to start at the end of the episode. I agree that the show tends to display the message in the classroom a bit too often. But for this one it was perfect. Bullying CANNOT be kept secret. That is what allows it to grow. By involving the entire class in the final message, it’s them taking a stand against it. This isn’t a lesson for Riley, it’s a lesson for everyone.
In no way was this insulting to the topic as Keith mentioned. Yes it was a simplified version that fit into a single episode, but to me that didn’t matter. Bullying can exist at many different levels from simple name calling to physical violence. Since it is season one and Disney Channel they simply opted for the name calling and exclusion aspect. What is more important is how Farkle reacted. He was hurt by the actions of Billy and that is really all that is needed when discussing this topic.
I do agree that it might have helped to see the actual bullying. But I think the show was trying to get across that anyone can be a bully even someone who could be a friend. If the first time we see Billy is as a bully, it makes us question the Lucas/Billy scene. Yes it’s an obvious reveal for adults. But the hope is that kids can connect that even their friends can become bullies.
Regarding Lucas, he was really brilliant in this episode. His flaw was that he thinks he needs to be perfect at all times. Which actually fits into how you guys have described him over the past couple of episodes. So of course, his first impulse would be to do the right thing. and then when he suddenly almost hit Billy showed people that even if you want to do the right thing, it can be hard to stick to it. Which is why having Maya jump on his back preventing him from hitting Billy was so great. He needed the strength of his friends for support.
While there may always be a time and place to defend yourself, saying that reporting bullying is a worse option is irresponsible. So in criticizing the episode, you actually may have insulted the seriousness of the topic. Violence tends to just escalate the situation. It may stop the bully from going after you personally, but then he will just move on to someone weaker that can’t defend themselves. Lucas punching Billy is the wrong thing to do. The goal of preventing bullying in schools is intervention. That is what this episode is about.
The episodes goal was how to prevent bullying. And that is why they brought in the flaws at the end. Riley saw that Billy would only get worse unless they helped him. There was something within Billy that was making him lash out at Farkle. As you pointed out, kids would be scared to do what they did at the end of the episode. So really it was an idealized moment. But the idealization of it worked for me since it was to serve a very specific real purpose.
The flaws were centered around what they are ashamed of in themselves. Farkle actually thought he was nothing. That is why he kept asking Lucas, “Why are you my friend?” You could even argue that it is such a strong feeling within him, that is why he acts out like he does. So when Billy forced him to face what he believed his biggest flaw was, Farkle shut down. This explains ALL of their flaws. They are the flaws they see in themselves that if someone were to exploit, it would really hurt. Regarding being Mr. Perfect for Lucas, that is what he feels he has to be. He feels he has to live up to this ridiculous expectation which can hurt when you don’t achieve that. So if someone points that out, it hurts like anything else.
The key to the flaws was really the friends aspect. I agree the message got a little muddled with two different meanings within the episode. By acknowledging your flaw, you can examine it and figure out how you want to change it. Billy admitted he is jealous, so he can work on it as he said in the final scene. Farkle thinks he’s nothing so he can realize that his friends like him for who he is. Each flaw needs to be tackled in a different way. For Billy his flaw led him to be a bully.
Bullying is a very important topic in schools. The goal is to understand to the best of our ability why are bullies the way they are. By getting to the root of the problem we can make an attempt to help them before things get out of hand. This episode excelled at showing this. It wasn’t just a, “stop the bully” episode. It was a “how do we help prevent bullying” episode.
Thanks for indulging my thoughts. Hope you read this. haha
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful and respectful response. We’ll discuss it at length during the next podcast.
Oh wow, thank you so much. I know some of my points are a bit scattered, sorry about that. The topic of bullying is such an important one in how to deal with them and how to prevent it as much as possible. Yes not everyone can be “fixed” but it should certainly be attempted.
I just want to repeat that I love the podcast and enjoyed your discussion regarding this episode, even though I did disagree with it.
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We love hearing different opinions and personally I think mine has shifted slightly since that podcast. There’s a lot to unpack in that ep and sometimes it’s hard to immediately jump in and analyze the episode right after watching it for the first time. You have some strong points and I think it’s great that you were able to enjoy our podcast despite disagreeing with us.