• Tue, Nov 27 2012

I’m Not Excited For Girl Meets World And You Shouldn’t Be Either

Yesterday the Internet simultaneous orgasmed over the news that Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel would reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga in the Boy Meets World  spin-off Girl Meets World. But unlike everyone else who grew up on TGIF, I’m not excited. And it’s not because I didn’t like the show. I loved the show. I may have been in love with the show.

I can honestly say that Boy Meets World changed my life. At least during the middle school years when I would refuse to go on sleepovers at houses where the person couldn’t guarantee we’d be able to watch the newest episode. It’s the first show I obsessed over and it’s the first show I watched religiously.

After years of watching adults plan their lives around season premieres and season finales, I got it. I finally understood how someone could give over their entire life for a show. Because in exchange for planning your days around new episodes, you got to experience love and friendship and fights. You got to see first kisses, first dates and first times. Ish, you got to see first times-ish. But as an eleven-year-old who thought sex immediately followed french-kissing, ish was enough.

I believed in Cory and Topanga’s love and I believed in Mr. Feeny’s wisdom. I laughed when Eric said something stupid and I cried when Shawn’s dad died. I literally rolled on the floor laughing when Eric got the Mr. Feeny doll. And I told my parents my life was over, OVER I TELL YOU, when the show ended. I’m not telling you all this to win some kind of Boy Meets World trivia contest. I’m telling you this so you can understand why I’m not going to watch Girl Meets World.

So let’s back up and get away from Boy Meets World for a hot sec. Did you have a favorite movie as a child? I did. In fact, I had several. I rewatched them years later in hopes they would make me feel just as warm and fuzzy inside. But instead all I could think was how bad they were. Turns out the technology is Homeward Bound wasn’t actually that good. It borders on obnoxiously awful. The movie consists of three animals walking around while someone narrates their thoughts. I wish I remembered it fondly, but now all I can think about is how cheesy it is.

That’s going to be Girl Meets World. Because guys, here’s the horrible truth. Boy Meets World wasn’t good because it was good, it was good because we were 11. We’re not 11 anymore. We’re probably not as accepting of the fact that Topanga gave up Yale for Cory. And that she and Cory got married in college. IN COLLEGE!? That’s insane and unnecessary. If you’re in love, wait until after graduation. Also Mr. Feeny had an immoral lack of boundaries. He followed a specific group of students from middle school to college. And he lived next door to two of them. Weren’t the morning “hey there neighbors!” enough for him.

And Eric. OMG Eric. He probably needed help. At least a little after school tutoring. How in the world did he attend the same school as Topanga? Did she completely drop her standards or did Eric get smart during Pembrooke entrance exam time. There are problems with the show that I let slide at 11. But I can’t let them slide at 25.

While you might read this and get angry with me at dredging up trivial issues from the show, I’m telling you this all for your own good. Do not get excited for Girl Meets World. It will not meet your standards. Especially not the incredibly high nostalgia standards you set in your head. It’s just impossible. Remember it for what it was and don’t Homeward Bound yourself into believing that Girl Meets World will be your new Homeland. You’ve changed, TV’s changed and your Friday nights have (hopefully) changed.

I’m not saying that they should cancel the show. I’m just saying that we should let another generation of tweens enjoy it. And while they spend their nights watching the show and falling in love with the characters, we can spend our nights watching videos like this.

It’s better this way, I promise.

(GIFS: madderz26, space cadet)

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  • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

    Well yeah if you go into it expecting the same magic it held for you at 11, you’re going to be disappointed Also, I think the fact that Topanga dropped her college standards to be with Corey was a well established plot point. It’s not about obsessing over it the same way we obsess over HIMYM. It’s about nostalgia. Remembering a simpler time when we believed that love conquered all, that Mr. Feeny always had the answer and that your best friends would always be with you.
    Also, there are plenty of people that get married during college. (Sorry, it bugs me that people think this is unusual. It’s really not)

    • Jenni

      That’s the lesson I keep learning. Things I liked at 11, I don’t always like now.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      What were your dreams at 11? Do you have different ones now?

  • http://twitter.com/jesstravaganza Jess Goodwin

    I watched a ton of Boy Meets World earlier this year, and I enjoyed it as much as I did when I watched it the first time. Obviously it’s not a brilliant show, but like Not a Parent said, it’s about nostalgia.

    (Also, I normally wouldn’t complain about a typo, but in a sentence that chides a character for being dumb, maybe watch out for things like “did Eric got smart”.)

    • Jenni

      I’m scared to rewatch anything except youtube tribute videos for fear of ruining it for myself. (And fixed, thanks!)

  • Lauren

    Personally, I still watch Boy Meets World and love it for all the reasons you mentioned how dumb it is as you get older. It’s about nostalgia. It’s fun to watch them over again and remember what it meant for you when you were younger, and how you can laugh at it now. It wasn’t supposed to be realistic. Now, I’ll totally watch Girl Meets World with a grain of salt, knowing it won’t be the same for me, but I kind of hope Cory and Topanga can get me through my late 20s/early 30s just like they go me through the tween and teen years.

    • Jenni

      At 11 I thought it was totally realistic. I wanted to meet my Cory, fall in love and marry him in college.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      That’s because at 11 you were ruled by the Tristan and Iseult legend which was predominant for 800 years since the 12th century.

    • Jenni

      No that’s definitely not it. Definitely, definitely not it.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Methinks jenni doth protest too much. Tell me how you think you escaped it since it has permeated western (not asian) culture for 800 years. The template of every romance novel, opera, music, etc. I saw Chicken and Plum by Jarjane Satrapi an Iranian educated in Paris, and it was Dante with his Beatrice, Tristan with his Iseult all over again. Are you discounting Dante and Orpheus and Eurydice?

    • Jenni

      Methinks you haven’t ever seen Boy Meets World

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      You’re right. Should I?

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      I see. It was a family sit com. My TV is unplugged. Permanently it seems. For decades.

    • LaLa

      Methinks abbeysbooks forgot she is on a pop culture website and that nobody gives a shit how many CliffsNotes she’s read.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      What are Cliff Notes? Does Pop = stupid? that’s what I’ve been thinking lately. Am I right?

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      That’s not realistic. That’s wanting Tristan to be your true love!

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Ah, but if you don’t know it’s fantasy and think it’s realistic, what then?

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  • M

    I watched it was younger and i still watch it now! I mean sure, it is a tad cheesy, just like it was when i was younger, but that magic of the show is still there. That show wasn’t good because we were 11, it was a good show because it was a damn good show! Whether or not the show was completely realistic is another issue entirely. The characters still evolve and grow and you fall more in love with them everytime you watch it. Will Girl Meets World be cheesy? Absolutely. But Disney has no seriously strong show right now (there is not a child/tween/teenager i know that loves any of the shows as much as people loved Wizards, Hannah Montanna, That’s So Raven, Lizzie McGuire, and others) and everybody has extremely high expectations for this so i have no doubt they will follow through!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/johannakrause Johanna Krause

    Not to mention that Boy Meets World covered a lot of serious issues. Death, love, sex, divorce, etc. No Disney Channel show nowadays is ever going to attempt to get anywhere near issues like that, issues that are actually relevant to real, live adolescents. Disney Channel shows now only cover dog-eaten homework, crushes, and how to have supernatural powers/be famous/be a terrible singer. I guess Hannah Montana dealt with Multiple Personality Disorder, but that’s besides the point. While Boy Meets World may have been “bad”, the issues were at least real.

  • skye

    I’m 24 I still like it and still watch it.

  • Nate Stout

    Okay, first of all, I’m with Lauren. I still watch that show. Still is my favorite show. It may not be realistic, but what show is? I watch it because it’s entertaining and it has heart. That’s more than I can say about most shows nowadays.
    And let’s look at “unrealistic” for a second.
    And getting married in college is realistic. I know loads of people that got married or will get married in college. Cory and Topanga did wait until after graduation, high school graduation. So while you didn’t marry in college, other people do (I didn’t, but some do). THey were dating forever, it actually makes a lot of sense.
    Eric, is not the stupidest person in the show, nor is he the stupidest person in the world that has been accepted into a good school. Many people I know go to great colleges and can barely spell their own names. Not unlike you can barely spell Pennbrook. Also, were you a true fan, you’d remember the earlier episodes – prior to the Eric as a gag seasons – when Eric brought wisdom into Cory’s life. And where Eric even fought with his dad over intellectual discussion instead of mindless activities.
    And Feeny. The dude’s a mythological creature. Teachers as smart as him do advance from middle/high school to colleges. I’ve seen that happen too. He retired, and unretired. Not only does character development necessitate the continuation of a character, his progression throughout the show actually makes real world sense.
    You break down some points that are naive at best, for the show and for ANY show in general. Is it realistic that CS investigators narrate their work daily? No. Is it realistic that a dead person posthumously narrates the lives of housewives? Of course not. Characters in a show stay on that show if they are well developed. Minkus and Mr. Turner notwithstanding. Viewers have to wait a week for the story to progress. Is it realistic that someone lives in half hour segments spread out over weeks of time? Nahhhht.
    All TV shows and movies require a suspension of disbelief to get the art and story to the viewer. This show wove all of that perfectly, and even included fourth wall breaks at times, because it’s funny.
    Bottom line is, for all the reasons you will boycott this new development, I’ll give it a shot. Odds are it won’t be my show, but it doesn’t need to be, nor would I want it to be. I have my show already. But if this show is anything like its predecessor, I’m sure I’ll get from it a satisfaction, knowing the story I followed for years now has a place to continue.

  • kait

    I think the most important point of this is that Homeward Bound was the best movie ever :) I must have watched it 500 times…and now I know not to go ruining my childhood by watching it as an adult.

    • Jenni

      Seriously, if you take ONE thing from this article, let it be that.

  • melissa green

    I definitely agree that we should have low expectations for the new rendition of this old classic! I was just gabbing about it with a few ladies from my office at DISH, and we agree that nothing can be as great as the original. But you’ve also got me thinking about whether BMW was great because we were young, or because it was legitimately awesome. I’m confident that it’s the latter, but now I’m going to have to re-watch BMW and see for myself!
    Luckily, this little trip down memory lane won’t be hard to pull off at all, since every season is available to rent from the Blockbuster@Home service through DISH. I’ll let you know what I think!

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  • Miah

    Boy Meets World is still awesome now when I’m 18. The life lessons are still there and the joke are still funny. Boy Meets World could never be cheesy, although I’m not so sure about Girl Meets World.

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  • Danny

    I totally disagree! I re-watched the entire penultimate season of Boy Meets World hungover with my roommates this weekend, and it was still hilarious. And you know what? My roommates—who hadn’t watched the show as kids—were laughing at all the same moments I was. “Okay Danny, I can totally see why you love this show,” they’d say after a clever joke. BMW was never a “kids show,” it was a family sitcom, and it was written in such a way as to be entertaining for all viewers, not just the little ones. Given that Michael Jacobs is coming back as showrunner, I don’t see any reason to expect different this time around.

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