‘Boy Meets World Review’
Boy Meets World is an American family sitcom that chronicles the life of 13 year-old Cory Matthews, who is trying to figure out life with the help of his family and best friend Shawn Hunter. The show aired from 1993 to 2000, and is set in suburban Philadelphia, following Cory from middle school to his college years. Throughout those years you watch him experience life’s challenges, and try to gain a better understanding of those around him. He has a push-and-pull relationship with his neighbor Mr. Feeny, who also happens to be his teacher, and he finds himself in sticky situations protecting his best friend, and with the school thugs Harley, Joey and Frankie.
The younger viewers watching the show will feel a personal connection to the characters because they are so relatable. For the adults watching, you will find humor in remembering that time in your own life, but also find that this show can carry on for future generations.
The story lines and topics talked about in this young adult series are uncommon. Things like poverty, bullying, stereotypes, sex, adoption, domestic abuse and unhappiness at a job are just some of the topics explored that make this show special. These elements are all relevant in society now and the impact cannot go unnoticed. Among other things that make this show special are the people giving the characters life.
Ben Savage, who plays Cory, is able to capture the audience through his humor and awkwardness. He finds himself struggling with wanting to be more fun and dangerous like his best friend Shawn, played by Rider Strong. One point in the show Cory sees Shawn is the most popular guy in their class, and confronts him about it at their favorite diner Chubbie’s. Cory, in one of his awkward moments yells “I’m a geek!” Shawn says, “Why are you telling all of Chubbie’s?” Cory looks at everyone and says “Oh, like you didn’t know.” Shawn then sits down with Cory and asks what’s going on. Cory asks “Do you think I’m a geek?” Shawn replies, “Of course not.” Cory then asks “Do you think I’m cool?” Shawn responds “Of course not.” Cory asks again “Then what am I?” With one of the best lines of the show Shawn responds “You’re Cory, I’m Shawn, just like it’s always been. What more do you need to know?” The friendship and loyalty these characters have with each other is one of the main focus points of the show.
Strong’s character is the most diverse. He is the rebel who struggles with his identity and his place in life. He shows vulnerability, has no solid family foundation, and the only thing that remains constant for him is his friendship with Cory, who often gets him out of trouble. Cory’s love interest, Topanga Lawrence, played by Danielle Fishel, is a big part of Cory’s development throughout the show, but he is a part of hers as well. She challenges him and his beliefs and is very passionate. He gives her balance, and helps her understand that nobody is perfect even though she tries to be.
Cory’s unlikely bond with his neighbor and teacher is one the best character relationships in the show. William Daniels, who plays Mr. Feeny, has a strict demeanor but has a soft spot for the student. He is sarcastic, but does it in a humorous way, much to the chagrin of Cory and others. Feeny is the person who often gives lessons about life to Cory even when he doesn’t understand his methods at times. Feeny, also plays a mentor role to Cory’s older brother, Eric who provides the non-stop laughs. Will Friedel, portrays the popular guy in high school, a ladies man, struggles in school, but had the biggest heart which always provided a different element to his character.
The success of this show never went unnoticed. People still talk about it when bringing up favorite TV shows in the 1990s and early 2000s, so it made sense when Disney Channel announced they were doing a remake of the show in 2014 called Girl Meets World. Original cast members Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel would return to reprise their roles, and the show would follow Cory and Topanga’s 13-year-old daughter Riley in her journey of understanding life.
The show follows the same premise as its predecessor, as Riley embarks on life with her rebel best friend Maya, and love interest Lucas who join her in her journey. The show is a step up from what is playing on TV now, with shows like Dog with a Blog and Shake it Up really having no purpose, but it still lacks the emotional content that was depicted in Boy Meets World. The creators of the series are the same from the original, but have fallen in to the new trend of young adult TV shows. Bland and have no real emotion behind them.
Some episodes have shown real meaning in the storytelling with valuable life lessons, and others lack focus. One of the stronger episodes of the series is when Riley is being bullied. The creators were able to capture the emotions of how this ongoing issue effects the person it is happening to, and how the people around them react to the news. On the other hand there has been episodes where the focus dropped and the storyline wasn’t as strong as it could have been. Girls Meets World, aired its final episode in January 2017, but fans of the show will appreciate the lessons they learned along the way.
With many of the shows that are out now for young adults, you can appreciate how well-done Boy Meets World is. The family aspect of the show, the emphasis on surrounding yourself with good people, and values taught are all reasons why you should watch this series. This show will make you laugh, its tender moments will make you cry, and it will teach your young ones and even adults’ important life lessons. Boy Meets World is a must watch.