Search This Blog

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"life is strange and now, so am I" aka Alternative Friends

Yes, two posts in one day! I'm at the tail end of a killer migraine so I'm spending the day in bed. Good thing too, because this is one of my favorite episodes of the season.

In class, Cory and Shawn are doing a report on pollution. It's pretty much a sloppily researched treatise on Philadelphia baseball and why it's awful. Mr. Feeny offers to let them try again with different parters. He assigns Shawn to work with Minkus and Cory to work with Topanga. Welcome, Topanga! Cory complains about working with Topanga, but she's cool with it because she finds Cory "vibrationally acceptable."

At lunch, Cory is behind two popular girls talking about who to invite to a party. He overhears one of them call him a brillo head and gets self-conscious about his hair. He asks Shawn what to do about it but before he can answer, Topanga interrupts him. She asks them both to sign a petition to keep Mrs. Rosemead, the school's librarian. She's being forced out of a job because of her age. Cory and Shawn blow her off and Shawn says if Cory really wants to straighten his hair he'll ask his sister for advice.

Topanga comes over to work on the project. Cory wants to do something generic, but Topanga wants to do "performance art." She hands him a ridiculous poem to read while she acts it out and puts lipstick all over her face. Cory says there's no way he can do that in front of everyone because they'll make fun of them both. Topanga says Cory cares too much about when people think and she'd rather be unique. Cory just wants to blend in an be normal. Topanga says he does a good job except for his red Phillies cap. She doesn't get the cap, but knows it means a lot to Cory and that's what gives it it's meaning and makes it beautiful.

Shawn comes in and hustles a still-lipsticked Topanga out the door. The boys go upstairs and try to straighten Cory's hair but they leave the solution on too long and the results are quite unfortunate. He wears a hat to school the next day but Mr. Feeny makes him take it off and everyone except Topanga laughs at him. At lunch that day Cory goes to sit with his friends. Squints and Kid N Play (this is my new name for Ellis. That Fade was serious) have been replaced yet again. Someone mentioned in the comments Yeah-Yeah from The Sandlot also shows up, and indeed he does. Shawn and Yeah-Yeah make fun of Cory so he goes to sit with Minkus, Topanga, a kid in a cape, and a kid with a keyboard.

The "weird kid" table is still trying to get people to sign the Mrs. Rosemead petition. Cory lets them know they aren't going to get anyone to sign because everyone thinks they're too weird. They ask for help and he says he'll think about it and figure out a way to help. Later, Cory tries t recurl his hair with curlers and ends up looking even worse. He gives himself quite the afro and even Topanga can't help but laugh. Cory and the rest of the strange kids handcuff themselves together and then to the lockers to form a blockade.

When the other kids get pissed that they can't get past, Cory reminds them that Mrs. Rosemead is old and easy to get one over on, and that a new librarian won't let them get away with nearly as much stuff. The kids go to sign, and the others unhandcuff themselves, leaving just Cory and Topanga. She thanks him for his help and they sort of stand there awkwardly before Cory gets the point and asks if Topanga is about to kiss him. She says she should because it would mean a lot if his first kiss happened when he didn't look "normal", but she would need to like the guy a lot to kiss him. Cory breathes a sigh of relief but she pins him against the lockers and kisses him.

When his hair is back to normal, Cory confronts the popular girls and says they shouldn't talk about people. They say they weren't even talking about him. The weirdos ask Cory to sit with him, but they understand when he says he's going to sit with his friends. He sits back to back with Topanga and she smiles at him and pulls out a Phillies cap to wear.


*This episode is referenced much later. Topanga mentions she thinks the dance around the kitchen is when Cory first fell in love with her. I'm not so sure.

* Mr. Feeny is awful eager to let the boys try the project again after being so stodgy about the makeup test last episode.

*Topanga says the one thing he has that makes him stand out is the Phillies hat. Really? They live in suburban Philadelphia. No other boy (or girl) in school has a Phillies hat? I grew up in Delaware, a good hour away from Philly, and I have a Phillies hat.

*Yeah-Yeah's name is Larry. Not in this blog it's not.

*It's pretty apparent that the director instructed the kids to unhook themselves and get out of the shot ASAP after the other kids go to sign the petition. They're all still handcuffed together and are sort of dragging each other off screen.

*We have our first character who disappears after one episode. RIP, Shawn's non-existent for six more seasons sister Stacey.

*Does this mean Cory had his first kiss before Shawn did? That doesn't seem right.

Girl Tally
Eric -1
Shawn- 0
Cory -1

Character Graveyard
Stacey, Shawn's sister.


  1. Vibrationally acceptabe? Kinky.

  2. "*Does this mean Cory had his first kiss before Shawn did? That doesn't seem right. "

    That *is* weird.

    I always thought it was annoying how they tried to retcon it in later seasons so that Cory and Topanga were best friends from babyhood on and then something about Eric convincing Cory it wasn't cool to have a best friend who was a girl. In season one, they clearly knew nothing about each other, though, and were slowly getting to like each other.

  3. I agree with you, Sadako. It would have been just as cute to have them start falling in love when they were 11 and 12. No need to pretend they have been together since they were in diapers!

    I'm loving this blog by the way - thanks!

  4. I wonder how long it took Topanga to crimp her hair to that extent.