If you grew up in the 1990’s you probably watched TV on Friday nights instead of going out, which is what is “normal” now, but “abnormal” then because everyone was home watching TGIF on ABC instead of hanging out at the mall or seeing movies. Right? That wasn’t a universal experience? People did things on Friday nights? Okay.
Well if you were a kid then or parent then, you remember Boy Meets World.
If you are a kid now, or a parent now, or a grown man who writes about TV, then you watch Girl Meets World.
To save you a lot of time if you don’t want to read it all Boy Meets World is the better show.
But if you want my analysis on why, please continue.
Okay. still with me? Good. I’ve seen three episodes of Girl Meets World from season 1. I think the the first three, or maybe I skipped some and went to number six or something, but the point is that after seeing only three episodes I can declare it not as strong a show as Boy Meets World. I have a three step argument as to why.
- There’s not enough separation between school and home on Girl Meets World. Because Cory teaches his daughters history class, we see him all the time, often having to cary jokes and situations for laughs, and it makes the moments at home where there should be some weight seem less dramatic. Even when Cory is getting fatherly he’s still Cory and I don’t think they’ve done a good enough job of making him that stern father figure that they had in Boy Meets World with his dad. I know that Cory and Topanga have different parenting styles than their parents, but it still seems like they could’ve brought the show down to a more grounded level if Cory had a job that took him away from Riley during her time at school. As it is now, he knows most of what goes on there, and it doesn’t leave room for conversations that lend themselves to genuine surprise.
- Topanga needs a story outside of the home. I thought when the show was announced that we would see her doing something really cool, and I believe she’s a lawyer? but from what I’ve seen (3 episodes) she doesn’t appear to get out of the apartment. Which is another issue in and of it self. On Boy Meets World they lived in a house with neighbors (Mr. Feeny) where they could escape to if things inside the home got too heated, as they often did. Just that small location change from the kitchen to the area dividing the two homes where they could talk to Feeny made the episodes feel less confined to one space. Girl Meets World (3 episodes) feels very small. Even for living in New York, they seem to be stuck in a few places: Apartment, School, Subway Trains/Stations. Boy Meets World had them going all over Philly late at night with no parental supervision.
- It feels like a Disney show. I know that is the network where it airs, and it’s a show for kids, but if I remember correctly Boy Meets World played well to kids and adults. It had strong adult characters that even parents could relate to, and when Mr. Matthews got serious with one of his kids or Shawn, you felt those moments. Everything I’ve seen (3 episodes) feels too simplistic. I watched one the other night where there was no rising action, they went from the show started to here’s the abandonment issue crisis with Riley’s friend Maya. And we get it, Riley is Cory and Maya is Shawn, but it undercuts the dynamic they should have by having Cory so close to them when all of their issues are happening.
I told you this would be long, and if you wish now that you had skipped it all, there’s always next time, Monday. But if you did read it and have opinions please share in the comments.