Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) is your average guy. He has a best friend named Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) from the other side of the tracks, a teacher that constantly keeps him on his toes (William Daniels), and a friend named Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel) whom he has trouble understanding. With the support of his parents and his brother Eric (Will Friedle), Cory learns to cope with the roller coaster called growing up. Join Cory and the gang as they weather the ups and downs of junior high, high school, college, and the scary transition into adulthood.
Michael Jacobs and April Kelly’s sitcom Boy Meets World was a show that I had heard plenty about over the course of a few years. So many people were saying how funny, emotional, and impactful the series was as a whole, but I never watched it for the longest time. Once I saw that it was on Disney+, I figured that meant the show would be ridiculously corny and kid-friendly with a poor sense of humor and annoying gags. But when I finally caved in and decided to watch it, I found out relatively quickly that I was dead, dead wrong.
The first season was really worrying me on my first watch of this show back in January. It seemed like it was going in the exact same direction that I feared it would go in. It had some really corny moments, some genuinely weak humor that seemed to pander towards infants and toddlers, and virtually nothing about it felt authentic or down-to-earth.
There were some moments in the first season that left me smiling and entertained, but something just felt off. The showrunners and writers just didn’t know what to do with the show yet. A lot of shows have this problem where they struggle to find their footing and their style in the first season, but maybe a season or two later, they iron out these kinks and it finally becomes its own show with a great story and developing characters. Gratefully, I can say that Boy Meets World is exactly that type of show.
As soon as I clicked play on the second season’s first episode, I could instantly feel a difference in the show’s feel and style. The humor improved tremendously, the characters became infinitely more likable, and the show was finally unafraid to show its emotional and important side. You see, Boy Meets World does something remarkable in nearly every single episode. Each episode is jam-packed with tons of hilarious and unforgettable moments, but each episode also comes equipped with a new moral of the story and an important life lesson to take away from it. So not only is our protagonist Cory Matthews learning new lessons about the world, but the viewer is too.
I honestly really wish I grew up with this show. I feel as though if I watched this show starting in middle school, I would’ve learned things about the world that I needed to know even sooner. And the beautiful thing about this series is that it never comes across as too preachy either. Cory makes some really bad mistakes throughout the course of the series, but with each passing episode, he slowly but surely starts to understand how the world works. He starts to understand the values of family, friendship, and love.
All of the relationships established throughout Boy Meets World are amazing. Cory and Shawn are two of the most realistic best friends I have ever seen depicted in fiction. Watching their friendship blossom over the course of seven seasons reminded me of the friendship I have with my best friend. We have been best friends ever since grade two and watching Cory and Shawn felt like looking into a mirror with the reflections of me and my friend staring back at me.
And Cory and Topanga also have one of the most believable and most beautiful relationships in any series, too. Before I watched Boy Meets World, my favorite fictional couple was Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly from NBC’s The Office. But now, it’s changed to Cory and Topanga. They go through so many realistic hardships throughout the course of the show to the point where, after a short while, I truly never for a second believed that these were actors portraying fictional people.
Plus who doesn’t wish they had Mr. George Feeny as their teacher when they were growing up? He is such a wholesome and caring teacher that wants nothing more than to make sure his students are prepared for the real world. He wants to do everything he can for them, and his character is one of the most well-developed in the whole series. He could have been just a boring comedic relief character, but the writers were smart enough to recognize that Mr. Feeny could be a great character with excellent growth.
It’s amazing that nearly thirty years later, Boy Meets World still manages to be a relevant, heartfelt, and absolutely hilarious journey. It also has some of the most memorable and beautiful quotes I’ve stumbled across. But the best has to be from Mr. Feeny – “Dream. Try. Do good.”
Overall Grade: A+
Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Rider Strong, Lee Norris, Lily Nicksay, William Russ, Danielle Fishel, Anthony Tyler Quinn, Alex Désert, Lindsay Ridgeway, Matthew Lawrence, Trina McGee-Davis, Maitland Ward