“Once in Love with Amy” – Boy Meets World S1E12

I can never find enough time to complete everything I want to accomplish in my life. I’m not necessarily talking about the big picture, long-term goals or desires, but the small, rather mundane tasks you set for yourself. Adult life is fucking jam packed with constant shit to do, and constant requirements, because that’s what happens when you’re a grown ass man (or woman) who has adulting to take care of. No one is going to do the things I need to do for me– nor should they– and sometimes, you need to zip your lip and just buckle down.

In this particular instance, I’m mostly talking about my completing polished, postable reviews for Boy Meets World episodes, and getting them up on this here blog site. Frankly, as I alluded during the last episode review, these are more time consuming than I had imagined they would be initially. And the time/effort/reward spectrum is way out of proportion for what makes my writing worth it, since hours of effort– into these, admittedly, silly little reviews about a silly little TGIF sitcom– for singular reads is a silly little endeavor.

But when I consulted with my girlfriend about the possibility of writing reviews two episodes at a time (so each review contains two episodes instead of one), she confirmed what I already knew: it was a cheat. A cop-out to avoid doing one of the only things I set out to do with this website, which was review Boy Meets World, from the beginning to end, episode BY episode. I can’t skip the earlier, crappier episodes, and I can’t skip a review of every. Single. Episode, just because it’s more mentally draining than I’d prefer they be.

And, frankly, if Amy and Alan Matthews can find time to set up an elaborate ruse– to trick their children and enjoy a secretive date night– when they’ve got full-time jobs and three children to raise? Well, I can find time to write these reviews, and the 12th episode of the first season, “Once in Love with Amy,” is a great showcase for the insane level of effort and commitment it takes to keep a long-term relationship from fizzling out.

Relationships are hard fucking work, and deciding to cohabitate with another human being is something you have to be fully, 1000% committed to. It won’t work otherwise, because the unrelenting stressors of adult life will force you to quit trying, and either: reside yourself to a lifetime of miserable drudgery until the sweet release of death; or pick up your shit and run for the hills (literally or metaphorically).

Amy and Alan– who in real life would almost certainly be far too physically and mentally drained to pull off their elaborate ruse– have a standing, secretive date night for dinner and dancing, but lie to Cory and Eric about their whereabouts. Amy pretends to be attending a weekly bowling league, while Alan is ostensibly tied up those evenings with a mandatory manager’s meeting at the supermarket where he’s employed. All seems on the level, because why would anyone assume anything otherwise? 

Amy’s cover of bowling is blown when the kids discover her surprisingly light bag contains no ball, but the necessary garments for a night on the town. Since their father has his late meeting that night, Cory and Eric are understandably baffled, and assume their mother is a two-timing hussy. No other possible explanation could exist as far as they are concerned, and they set about on a half-assed plan to catch their mother in the act.

Naturally, Amy is sneaking around and meeting up with Alan (not with another man behind his back), and their sons’ confusion is only amplified by this revelation. Why wouldn’t their parents just be direct and honest about their plans? What possible purpose did it serve to concoct these scenarios when they weren’t doing anything wrong?

The show’s conclusion, and one that seems fairly reasonable all things considered, is that the deviant nature of their actions is the point of their endeavor. That violation of the social norm– where they tell everyone the truth and then always follow through on their word– drives their course of actions within this episode as much as the act itself. Sure, they enjoy being with one another and having their romantic night out, but the way they arrive at that social outing matters just as much as the actual outing itself.

This dovetails nicely with the B story, wherein Mr. Feeny poses a seemingly impossible mathematical query (even Minkus can’t solve it!). Cory is irritated that his logic for the potential solution is flawed, as well as with Topanga’s “cheating” by channeling an ancient Egyptian mathematician to solve the problem, and is obsessed exclusively with solving the riddle. But Mr. Feeny isn’t interested in the answer; he wants to know how you arrive at the answer more than just the answer (always gotta show your work with math, kids).

As Amy reminds Cory when she’s explaining her side of the deceit story– by bringing up times he has skipped school to go to the mall– the feeling of getting away with something is sort of invigorating, because the nature of being a normal, responsible human being can be incredibly mundane. That journey into deviant behavior can be thrilling to visit, and that journey, whether following societal expectations or not, is what ultimately matters much more than the final destination.

These reviews are a pain in the ass, mostly because I can’t stop myself from putting an inordinate amount of time into revisions before I finally post them. But now we’re 12 episodes in, and since Hulu pulled all the show’s episodes from its streaming availability, I’ve got to find other outlets to view these episodes. Perhaps doing so outside the purview of Disney’s authorized viewing avenues will add an extra thrill, and I’ll enjoy these more going forward. Only 146 more to go!

One comment

  1. I was too far into adulthood when this show aired, married 2 years but no children at the time who would watch it. I checked in once in a while and enjoyed the story lines and characters. What caught my eye about this post was the title. My mom’s name was Amy and my dad would sing this song to her…but your review is beautiful.


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