JERK OF THE WEEK: Girl Meets World, Sushi and Soccer
I had been looking forward to June 27 for quite some time. For those of you who don't know why June 27 was extremely important, shame on you. In fact, I don't even want you reading this Jerks of the Week column. Just close this window now. Do it. Get out of here. You don't deserve to read this.
For the rest of you, as you well know, June 27 was the series premiere of Girl Meets World, which of course is the sequel to Boy Meets World. I grew up with Boy Meets World; in fact, it was my favorite show as a teenager. I actually would stay home on Friday nights rather than go out with my friends, just so I could watch Boy Meets World in the pre-DVR days. If you think this is lame, I'm going to ask you again to please leave this Web site. Be gone. I don't want you here.
Is anyone still left? OK good, because you undoubtedly could relate to Boy Meets World like I was able to. Sure, I didn't have a super-hot girlfriend in high school - I did for a couple of weeks as a senior, but she turned out to be a skank - but I was a normal kid from Philly and happened to be Cory Matthews' age. I also had a best friend who always got him into trouble. I didn't have a goofy older brother who misspelled his own name on the SAT practice test and thus wasn't awarded the standard 200-point bonus, but I did enjoy Eric Matthews' antics. He was the star of the show in some episodes because of his sheer stupidity.
When Boy Meets World went off the air, I was extremely upset. I cried for days. OK, that's a lie; I cried for months. How could they take Cory, Topanga, Shawn, Eric, Jack, and most of all, Mr. Feeny, away from me? I felt like I was part of the gang, and when the show concluded, they left me behind to go on and do bigger and better things.
As you can imagine, when they announced that Girl Meets World would be premiering on Disney Channel on Friday, June 27 at 9:45 p.m., I was ecstatic. I'm not kidding when I say that I set the DVR two weeks in advance. There was no way in hell I was missing the premiere. However, my plans to watch the show live were derailed when my cousin invited me to her birthday dinner at Ninja, a Japanese sushi place that recently opened up a block away from my house...
I was pessimistic while walking with my girlfriend to Ninja. I told her I probably wouldn't like anything there. "I'm sure we'll find something," she assured me. That made me feel a bit better, but I warned her that we might have to stop and get a meatball and cheese sandwich from Wawa on the way back home.
Why the pessimism? I don't trust Asian food, Japanese in particular. I tried sushi once, and I spit it out instantly. Asian cuisine tends to have these strange mystery sauces, which is not my style. I hate sauces, save for barbeque sauce, cheese sauce, cocktail sauce and ketchup. I order all of my cheeseburgers and sandwiches plain. No mustard, no mayonnaise, and certainly no shady Asian sauce.
Asian food also tends to have crap with stuff inside it. I refuse to eat anything I can't see. I need to see things to trust them. After all, what if all the Asians decide to one day attack Americans by poisoning all of their food? It sounds a little far-fetched, maybe, but why else would they hide what's actually in their food?
Anyway, I perused the menu right after we sat down. There were three pages of sushi, so I instantly crossed them off. There was another page of crap I didn't understand, so I ignored that as well. I finally got to the hibachi page, which contained food that I deemed acceptable. I ordered chicken and shrimp hibachi, which sounded edible. However, I knew better; there was bound to be something afoot, so I kept my guard up - and I was absolutely right.
First of all, they brought out a salad with strange yellow dressing on it. Some people said it was ginger. One girl called it mustard. Either way, I wasn't having it. I instantly regretted not sneaking in my emergency bottle of Ranch dressing into the restaurant. How could I be so stupid and forget it at home?
They also gave us Miso soup. The broth itself smelled good, so I had a few sips. However, I was careful to avoid the stuff in the actual soup. There were white cubes I thought were chicken, but I was quickly informed that they were tofu. There were also greenish-black things floating around. I asked what they were, and someone said they were leaches. How disgusting! Why the hell would anyone put leaches and tofu into soup? Why don't the Japanese just add diarrhea and vomit while they're at it?
The main course was also disappointing. The rice, chicken and shrimp weren't bad, but there just wasn't enough. In fact, they gave me vegetables as well, which I thought was complete and utter bulls*** because I could have just ordered vegetable hibachi. No. I wanted chicken and shrimp hibachi. I didn't want vegetables, and I certainly didn't want the vegetables they gave me. If they put pickles and ketchup on my plate, I would've been fine with it because those are acceptable vegetables. Instead, they gave me zucchini, broccoli and some other bulls*** I didn't recognize. My girlfriend, who ordered spider sushi(**), picked the vegetables off my plate while I sat there completely miserable.
(**) I checked for spider eggs in her spider sushi, and luckily, there weren't any.
I was miserable because the vegetables took up half the plate. They gave me tiny specks of chicken and six shrimp. That's it - six shrimp! If you order Walt's Favorite Fried Shrimp at Red Lobster, it comes with 18 fried shrimp. That's THREE times the amount Ninja gave me, and they weren't even fried! Furthermore, they didn't even include mashed potatoes and cheddar biscuits! I complained about this later, and people said, "It's a Japanese restaurant; they don't have mashed potatoes."
Well, that's their problem; not mine. The Japanese need to stop spending time flying planes into buildings and start growing potatoes in their country so they can serve them in their shady restaurants. Having some farms dedicated to cheddar biscuits would also improve Japan tremendously.
At any rate, I was still starving after I finished my meal. I announced that I would be heading to Wawa on the way back to my house - until my girlfriend saved the day by ordering chocolate fried ice cream. Combine that with the giant slice of Oreo cake my cousin had for her birthday, and I no longer required extra food after I walked out of Ninja.
While at Ninja, I was asked by one of the girls there if I cover soccer on my site.
Me: No, why would I do that?
Girl: You're WalterSports!
Me: No, I'm WalterFootball.
Girl: But soccer is football in other countries!
I hate this argument. Did you know the word "kiss" means "pee" in Swedish? So, just because the Swedes use it differently, does it mean that if you say, "I want to kiss you," someone should insinuate that you want to urinate in their mouth?
Here's the thing about the football/soccer debate: This is America, and in America, we steal things from other countries and make them better. For example, we nabbed land from Native Americans, and we improved it by constructing buildings. The hamburger, meanwhile, was invented in Germany, but we took it from them and created fast-food burger joints that sold different types of burgers, ranging from the bacon double cheeseburger to the pizza burger. Why is it our fault that the Germans failed to capitalize on their own fantastic invention?
The same thing can be said of football-soccer. The rest of the world had this boring sport where a bunch of sissies kicked a ball back and forth and did nothing else, so we needed a national pastime of our own that did not involve fat slobs scratching their nuts while someone else hit a ball with a stick. Thus, we stole some of the ideas from rugby football and dropped the "rugby" word from the sport name. Thus, the great sport of football was reborn and improved in our own image.
The reason why I don't cover soccer is precisely what I said in the previous paragraph. It's boring. And everyone knows it's boring. Yes, you know it's boring. I'm talking to you. You may not think so, but you're sadly mistaken. The only reason you don't believe you think it's boring is something called the Diffusion of Innovations Theory.
I'll spare you the boring details - you can Google to fully read up on it - but how it works is that a few people (the innovators) pick up something and popularize it. Most normal people are afraid of missing out on the latest fad, so they hop on the bandwagon the innovators created until everyone grows tired of it and jumps all over the new innovation.
The innovation in this case is soccer fandom in America. Sure, the foreigners always liked it because they grew up with it and don't know any better, but those in the U.S. started to watch it after some artsy-fartsy douche bags made it "cool" because they wanted to be "cultured" like the rest of the world. Artsy-fartsy douche bags tend to be the trend-setters in most cases, unfortunately, so they're the ones responsible for creating the abomination known as soccer fandom in this country. They've made it "cool," and now everyone wants to be part of the cool crowd. Thus, they're watching a horrific sport with absolutely no scoring and girly-men flopping at the slightest graze.
Some claim to watch soccer because they're rooting for their country. I think that's stupid. I love America, save for its ridiculous tax code, and I'm proud to be an American, but let me ask you this: What does the U.S. winning the World Cup do for America? How does it improve our country? What do you and I as Americans gain from a victory? Pride? Well, we already know we're better than everyone else, so it's not like we need approval.
I would actually argue that a World Cup championship would be damaging to America. Think about it: Every single country in the world hates us, except for Israel, Australia and Canada (we took Justin Bieber off the latter's hands, after all). If we were nuked tomorrow by a terrorist organization, every other nation in the world would rejoice. They'd gleefully burn American flags like they did on Sept. 11.
If we were to become the best at soccer - a sport in which the rest of the world knows we truly despise - they would hate us even more. What if soccer-fanatic terrorist dedicates his life to blowing up America because we triumphed in the World Cup? Is it truly worth getting nuked to win at a boring sport in which sissies kick the ball back and forth?
Girl Meets World:
I endured a night of discussing a boring sport and eating crappy Japanese food (I honestly almost wrote "Crappanese"), but I didn't care because Girl Meets World was making its debut. I could hardly contain myself as my girlfriend and I plopped down on the couch to watch the premiere.
Five minutes into the show, I was crying on the inside. I'm not kidding. It was the worst, corniest, piece of crap I had ever seen. It's difficult to come up with the appropriate words for it. Disney added its cheesiness and completely ruined it.
Here are some bullet points about why it sucked, outside of the corny jokes:
The child actors are terrible. The main character, a 12-year-old chick named Riley, has an annoying lisp. Her younger brother, a 5-year-old douche named Auggie, thinks he's Riley's twin. In his one and only scene in the premiere, which had absolutely nothing to do with the overall plot, Auggie cried "mommy" when Riley told him that they weren't twins. That's some major character development. Granted, Morgan didn't have anything important to say in Boy Meets World, but she had some funny one-liners.
Riley and her best friend Maya tried sneaking out of their New York apartment in the opening scene. Cory stopped them, but told his daughter that "the world is yours," or some crap - clearly something Alan Matthews would have disapproved of in the Philly suburbs. Cory, instead, allowed his daughter to ride the New York subway. I'm 31, and I'd be terrified to be on the New York subway because it's bound to be crawling with gangsters and cannibalistic bums. How can a father let his 12-year-old girl go on it without any adult supervision?
Speaking of New York, Cory is living in the slums. All that hard work that Alan and Amy Matthews put in, so Cory can live in some row home? That made me sad.
Cory is a teacher now, and he's the worst teacher of all time. Trying to teach his students about the Civil War, he assigned a three-page paper about anything they believed in strongly. Doing her best Shawn Hunter impression, Maya refused to do the homework. Instead, she gathered all of the homework papers during class and attempted to light them with a sparkler she stole from Farkle Minkus' diorama (yes, Minkus' son, who happens to be a giant creeper when he hits on both Riley and Maya repeatedly throughout the episode). The sparkler set off the fire alarm and sprinkler system, and the entire classroom was flooded as a consequence.
Now, you might be thinking that this Maya chick got into trouble. But no - Cory scolded her lightly, which prompted her to begin crying because she has no one to help her do homework at home. Cory then allowed Riley to remain friends with Maya after Riley told him that Maya is the thing she feels strongly enough to fight for. That's great and all, but where's the three-page paper about being friends with an arsonist? How did she get out of composing an essay?
Riley is obsessed with this kid named Lucas, whom she initially spotted on the subway. She tried to talk to Lucas, but a fat black woman interrupted her because she wanted to sit next to Lucas herself despite being 40 years his senior. Disney was clearly being sexist here. If a fat black man sat next to a 12-year-old chick and flirted with her, he'd be deemed a pedophile. So, it's funny if some fat black woman did it to a 12-year-old boy?
Lucas then made his way to Cory's class as a new student, given that he just moved from Texas. Even though he looks like he's 16, he's apparently just as old as Maya - and yet he was allowed to ride the subway by himself even though he almost certainly had no idea where he was going because he had just moved there.
For some strange reason, Lucas and Farkle joined Cory, Topanga, Riley and Maya in the closing scene. It seemed like it was supposed to be a family outing of some sort, so I have no idea why Lucas and Farkle were invited. Meanwhile, Maya, despite being 12, somehow knew every bum and hippie in the subway. She and Riley then proceeded to do a weird dance number before boarding the train. The only thing that saved this scene was actually the best part of the episode - Mr. Feeny appeared as perhaps a ghost and told Cory that he was doing well as a parent. They didn't address whether Mr. Feeny was dead or not; Cory just smiled, and the credits rolled.
You don't know how depressed I am that this show turned out to be a steaming pile of s***. It could have been so much better. If I were running things at Disney, I would have made it a show about Cory's struggles in parenthood and marriage life, as well as his issues trying to be his daughter's teacher while also being her dad. I'd have Mr. Feeny appear as a ghost once or twice per episode to give Cory guidance and also deliver a funny one-liner or two. Also, why not bring back Mr. Turner to be Cory's boss? Principal Turner has a nice ring to it.
I feel like my show would be a billion times better than the actual product. Having Riley as the main character is a huge mistake because she can't act. She's not interesting at all either. I don't care whether she tricks Lucas into committing statutory rape. I don't give a damn about her friendship with the arsonist. And I certainly am not looking forward to these plot lines, per Wikipedia:
Riley tries to impress the new boy Lucas.
Riley sees Lucas with another girl named Missy at school. Riley wants Lucas for herself. So Farkle flirts with Missy. Meanwhile, Auggie wants to grow up while impressing a girl.
Ugh. Who gives a flying f*** about Riley, Lucas, Missy and Auggie? I want more Cory, Topanga, Shawn, Eric, Jack and Mr. Feeny. They're the ones who made Boy Meets World great in the first place. Riley, Maya, Lucas and Auggie are not going to do that with Girl Meets World.
I'm going to keep watching this show. Pilots are often bad, so perhaps it'll improve, plus I just loved the original too much. And maybe my spirits will be better going into the next episode because I won't be coming home from a Crappanese dinner.