Boy Meets World was the sitcom darling of a generation who grew up learning everything about life from one Mr. George Feeny. It was the best part of ABC’s TGIF line-up in the late ‘90s and the show I most looked forward to. It was chock-full of important lessons without patronizing kids. It was wholesome without being too cheesy or unrealistic. And most of all, it was flat-out hilarious.
When the show went off the air in 2000, it developed a cult following of fans who could recite nearly every line of dialogue and laughed in all the right spots as though it were still the first time they were hearing the lines—myself included. Without fail, the final scene of the series finale guts me like no other TV show ever has. The uncontrollable tears start as soon as Mr. Feeny tells them to “Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.”
So when the news broke a couple years ago that creator Michael Jacobs was going to attempt a Disney Channel-hosted sequel featuring Cory and Topanga’s coming-of-age daughter, the internet exploded. It seemed way too good to be true. But when the series finally premiered on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. (same time slot as it’s TGIF predecessor!), I was more than pleasantly surprised; hell, I was delighted. The unexpected Feeny cameo at the very end put instant tears in my eyes.
Girl Meets World certainly has its critics. Many say it simply can’t hold a candle to the legend of BMW, especially given the network it airs on. And here’s what I think—if you’re a true Boy Meets World fan, you’ll give it a chance and take everything you see with a Disney spoonful of sugar. The sets are wildly colorful and the outfits are outlandish, a Disney Channel show trademark. The two young stars are also singers; in fact, they teamed up to sing the show’s own theme song. But for every corny moment, there is also one that tugs the heartstrings and it’s easy to remember that this show has the same mastermind at the helm that put Cory and Topanga together forever. (Speaking of the power couple, perhaps the best part is seeing how seamlessly Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel still fit together.)
Season 1 ended earlier this month and fans won’t have to wait long to see what happens next. With such long breaks between episodes, there’s no traditional hiatus here. Season 2 returns Friday, April 17. It promises more guest appearances (Shawn! Eric!), deeper storylines, and more of what we’ve come to expect from the Matthews clan. And I can’t wait.
Girl Meets World cast members. Top: Danielle Fishel as Topanga Matthews and Ben Savage as Cory Matthews. Bottom, L-R: Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus, Sabrina Carpenter as Maya Hart, Rowan Blanchard as Riley Matthews, August Maturo as Auggie Matthews, and Peyton Meyer as Lucas Friar.