Screen: Disney Channel

Girl Meets Politics

Uncle Eric's out to change the world, one Quayle-esque antic at a time.

Wacky ol' Eric's been tapped to run for a Senate seat, prompting the entire crew to get civic-minded (read: tap their pens to their chins while gazing off into the middle distance, ostensibly pondering the future of society). A David & Goliath political battle ensues, and the children prove they are, indeed, our future.

Cory's Lesson Plan


What kind of teacher worth his certificate just writes "Current Events" on the chalkboard, shrugs his shoulders, and asks the kids "So what's the deal?!," Seinfeld-style? The Cory kind, that's who. He's talking to kids about voting and they turn out to be cynical and pessimistic about the whole electoral process, chiefly because -- as they point out -- they can't vote yet. Just then, Eric runs in and announces he's running for senate. "Everybody, close your books! It's the end of the world," Cory snarks.

Dirty Tricks


So, it turns out the flying pigs scenario that landed Eric in this situation was a chance meeting with a mysterious "bow-tie man with big glasses" who thought Eric would be the perfect fit (despite his not even knowing what a primary is). Eric decides to double down on ridiculousness by picking Riley and her friends to run his campaign. "I'm gonna do my best, Moesha!" he promises to Maya. (As a former Moesha watcher, I'm tickled.)

The fledgling campaign is further egged on by its very on Deep Throat, an out-of-the-woodworks blogger who just happens to be sitting the corner of the cafe. He's been exposing the competition -- an established politician named Jefferson Davis Graham -- who's been draining the education budget for his personal gain, or some such evil. (Kids who've paid attention in history class will have already known that his name is code for "bad guy.")

America Loves An Underdog


Well, if Eric's got anybody on his side, it's former bully-turned-janitor (with a heart of gold) Harley. He sits in on Cory's next civics lesson and is moved by Eric's passion to help the some way that is never quite specified. This scene gets a huge boost from Eric's signature buffoonery: mistaking kissing babies for kissing any random potential voters, Harley included; name-dropping fictional politicians like F. Dr. Whosevelt; deferring dimly to Farkle (a.k.a. "Robot") for any and all facts. What's a Disney sitcom without a dumb-as-dirt, oafish adult?

My Honorable Opponent


The money-grubbing bad guy saunters into Topanga's cafe because, sure, that would happen. He's really just there to gloat, not to get a scone, a cup of coffee, or even seek out a clean NYC public restroom. It's revealed that the aforementioned "bow-tie man" is actually his own campaign mastermind, who picked Eric because his stupidity would distract the public from the senator's own PR woes. For kids on the fence about the notion, this scene's meant to remind them that anyone older than however old they think Cory and Topanga are must be inherently evil.

Riley and the gang try to motivate a now-crestfallen Eric by reminding him of what they learned in school that day -- that Kennedy wasn't expected to beat Nixon either. "Yeah, but those weren't real people!" he pouts.

PSAs For Days


Preach on, Cory. Preach on. After hearing the kids blather their newly-acquired concerns about clean air, food, shelter, etc., Cory implores the kids to teach adults to "care." He's so passionate, you guys. "It's your world, too!" he reminds them. He wants the kids to speak up to their parents about the things in the world that they think need changing. (Parents out there viewing will know that such a conversation in the real world would pertain chiefly to whatever is the latest model iPhone.) "We'll listen to you," he lies to them. "You know why?" "Because you love us," Riley intones. Hurl.

Chocolate-y Pep Talk


Eric's still bummed about being hoodwinked by The Man. But all it takes is copious amounts of choco-flavored products supplied by "mind witches" Riley and Maya and he's back in the saddle. "We believe you can change the world!" Mm-hmm. Okay.

A Blockhead's Redemption


This election got fast-tracked, big-time. It's already debate time, and the first is hosted at, natch, the kids' school, and moderated by, duh, Cory. "You're too young to understand what's important in this world," the out-of-touch old dude snidely remarks to the kids in the audience. (Where are their parents, teachers, or any other voting-age adults besides the janitor?) The senator puts Eric down for never having raised kids, drawing some kind of weird corollary between that and holding office. Oh, but Eric has, sorta. See, that political blogger who just randomly popped up is none other than the grown-up incarnation of Tommy, a kid Eric helped out in the past -- read: on Boy Meets World. For the benefit of those who didn't watch that show, there's an overly long, plinky piano-filled flashback explaining Eric's inherent goodness vis-à-vis helping this orphaned kid find a good home.

After this big "Awww!" of a reveal, there are sentimental hugs, and it's presumed that that's all it took for Eric to win this now-finished debate. All that's left is for the white-haired devil slinks off the stage in defeat. That's right, kids: that's how politics works!

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