A Study in Sequels…Girl Meets World Edition.
Claire loves Disney programming, especially the Disney Junior Channel. All summer the Disney Channel and Disney Junior Channel have been running commercials for upcoming series. One of these new shows is “Girl Meets World,” a sequel to the popular program “Boy Meets World.”
For me a sequel, any sequel, needs to have certain components in order to be considered good. One of the first things is if roles are being repeated the sequel must have the original actors in those roles. Next a sequel has to have its own original story but stay true to the original themes and elements of the original.
“Girl Meets World” presented all the elements of a great sequel during its premier. Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel returned as Corey and Topanga Matthews, now grown with 2 kids of their own. SPOILER ALERT: The end of the episode also saw a cameo of William Daniels as Mr. Feeny. The thing that I liked was that the writers kept the essence of these characters alive in their writing of them.
I grew up with Corey, Shawn, and Topenga
They kept the essence of the original show by using the humor of the time to be comedic but also had some serious moments. In a world of Disney Channel original shows that are just cheesy one liners strung together into a pseudo-story and an obnoxious laugh track that plays every minute, “Girl Meets World” brought some serious moments with it. The show certainly had silly jokes, but one of the most serious moments was when Maya (the friend main character much like Shawn) looks at Corey (now Mr. Matthews) and says, seriously, “I have no one at home who helps me with homework.” I grew up with Corey, Shawn, and Topanga, and when they experienced real life situations was when I felt the most connected with these characters. I still cry during the episode where Shawn deals with one of his teachers is in a motorcycle accident. I hope in my heart of hearts that this show will continue to deal with serious issues and not simply become a silly Disney Channel comedy.
The writers also gave little nods to the original series. The new kids attend John Quincy Adams High School. John Quincy Adams is the son of John Adams (for the non-history buffs out there); and in the original series they attended John Adams High School. They also made some references to different original story lines. The biggest reference that I did not care for was the repeated reference to both show’s titles. Riley (the new title character) was repeatedly told to make it “her world.”
I enjoyed this show and will probably tune in for the new episodes. The thing to remember is that this is not “Boy Meets World,” and that this show is geared to a new generation of kids to grow up with a new set of characters.