Boy Meets World was a very big part of my childhood. It’s was a cornerstone series of the 90s and after watching the first few episodes of Girl Meets World, I have to admit that I’m left wanting more from the series. It does succeed at capturing the nostalgia of the series it’s proceeding, but fails to capture its essential charm.
Prior to watching the first episodes, I expected the series to be different from Boy Meets World. Even if it was attempted, I don’t think it would be possible to replicate the feelings that the original series elicited. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the series is copying the structure of the first series. Riley, the daughter of Topanga and Cory, has strong-willed, free best friend, named Maya who has many of the same qualities that defined Shawn in the original series. There is also a clear love interest present in the series between Riley and Lucas. Farkle is the eccentric, intelligent student who mirrors Stuart I’m the first series. My question is that if the series is meant to be unique than why is the structure so similar?
Aside from this, Cory’s role as the teacher in this series seems somewhat awkward. When look back at the relationship between Feeny and Eric, it would naturally make sense that Eric would eventually follow in his favorite teacher’s footsteps later in life. As to what Cory would do for a living, I couldn’t really say, but if you think back to the original series, Cory’s father’s role wasn’t very large in the first few seasons, which is to say that there wasn’t much character development. I would’ve expected the first season at least to really focus in on Riley, but instead we see a great deal of Cory and would almost expect there to be a greater focus on him.
All that being said, this series is really missing the charm of the original series. I think some of that can be attributable to the show being produced and aired on the Disney Network. It feels very “candy” and safe and more of nod to the original series, rather than an actual sequel. Sure, bringing in guest stars from the original series will keep loyal fans coming back for more, but that will likely fade away as the series continues. The worst thing that could happen is to have the series pulled still in its infancy simply because of a lackluster performance.
Boy Meets World was about emotion and the tension involved in the circumstances one faces as he/she grows up. There were so many heart-aching moments in the original series and it doesn’t feel like that’s going to be the case with this series. For example, the series is set in New York City and yet this is really more of something just said in jest, rather than a key component of the environment. You have to remember that there were still many unanswered questions in the original series and while one can say that this series is unique, it is still a series that picks up somewhere around 12-15 years after the conclusion of the first series. Naturally past viewers will be looking for some of those answers and if this series doesn’t provide at least some of those it won’t be worth viewing it just to tarnish the image of the first series.
One of the major questions will invariably center around one of the largest, unresolved romances in the first series, that being the one between Shawn and Angela. If this question is answered (which will have to be in one way or another), then we will expect to see the original series break through the facade of current, “candy” Disney series. If this doesn’t happen then, it will likely be a disappointment to past fans who have taken part in the comprehensive relationship between Shawn and Angela and ultimately Cory and Shawn.
If the series can answer some questions and recapture some of the charm of the original series, then Girl Meets World may have a chance developing itself into its own unique and captivating saga. If not, then it will just fall prey to the adage that most copies aren’t quite as good as the original. Regardless, I will be on the look out for Rider Strong’s cameo appearance and to see if this sequel will be able to stand next to the original or if it will just fade into the background.