Girl Meets World: Pilot

“Riley, I’ve already met the world. It’s your turn.”

Children of the nineties, cry with me.

Boy Meets World, the seminal sitcom of my childhood, is back, after a fashion. Cory and Topanga are all grown up and have a tweenaged daughter of their very own (I’m told the math works out. I still have my doubts). Once I got over a brief “ohmygod I’m soooooo old” crisis, Girl Meets World was as enjoyable as I could expect. The writers made a concerted effort not to do something new or edgy with the show. Thus far, it’s basically a genderbent Boy Meets World. Starring as Cory Matthews is Riley, who is just as awkward and uncertain as her father was at that age. The role of Shawn Hunter is taken by Riley’s official BFF Maya, a rebellious troublemaker with a heart of gold. Minkus, BMW’s famous nerd character who was surprisingly only in the first season has been replaced by Farkle.

Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga. For the pilot at least, Topanga didn’t have too much to do. Cory, on the other hand, was clearly inspired by Mr. Feeny and has become a teacher. Although I’m happy they figured out a way for Cory to be more involved in the story, his presence in the classroom felt a little intrusive. I just kept thinking about how they never would have put his daughter in his class. And then there was a whole scene where Farkle is climbing on top of Mr. Matthews which was hilarious, but again, it occurred to me that that would never, ever be allowed in public schools today.

Unlike Cory, Riley has no older sibling, but she does have a Morgan Matthews-esque little brother, Auggie, who didn’t have much to do in this first episode. But hey, Morgan never had a lot to do either, at least in the beginning. All the parallels might make GMW seem lazy, but there’s really no harm in repurposing a formula that works for another generation. Boy Meets World ran for seven years and had a long life of reruns on cable after that. Why mess with something that you know works?

Hopefully Girl Meets World will fill the niche Boy Meets World made its home: the family sitcom. Not a show for ten year olds full of fart jokes and ridiculousness, but a show adults can watch with their children and enjoy just as much, if in a different way.

Bits and Pieces

Mr. Feeny is not a ghost. Do not worry. I repeat: Mr. Feeny is not a ghost. Why they included him only to make him seem like a ghost is questionable.

In addition to Savage and Fishel, a lot of the writing staff and some of the crew of Girl Meets World are veterans of Boy Meets World. I’m sorry, but that’s adorable.

Look forward to lots of BMW guest stars coming up this season, including Rider Strong (Shawn) and Lee Norris (Minkus).

If you are going to keep watching, be sure to watch for the changing height difference between Sabrina Carpenter (Maya) and Rowan Blanchard (Riley). In the original, unaired pilot, Blanchard was quite a bit shorter then Carpenter. Here they are about the same height. By the end of the season, Riley will tower over her friend, wait and see.

Speaking of the girls, they sang the show’s theme song.


ChrisB said...

ohmygod I’m soooooo old

I was too old the first time around. This one made me feel ancient. As I never watched the original, I'm sure that much of this one was lost on me. I thought it was all a bit saccharine.

Enjoyed the review, as always.

Heather1 said...

Oh no. I couldn't believe this site was reviewing this show. I thought maybe I was just being mean in my own mind... I went and checked the "About us" section of the site... Indeed, Doux Reviews is about reviewing what you guys believe is the best on TV (and elsewhere). Sunbunny, you believed this is part of the best? Many times I will think to write in, asking why Doux Reviews doesn't review one show or another. But I don't because I know there's only so much time in the world. But this over Penny Dreadful? This alongside Hannibal? Sorry, I don't mean any disrespect. I enjoy the site and appreciate the choices. But I had to write about this. Again, sorry.

Billie Doux said...

Heather1, we're not planning to cover Girl Meets World, but we do review a lot of pilot episodes here. It doesn't mean we consider them to be "the best" or our favorites. There is also the fact that everyone's mileage varies. We have fifteen writers now and there are some shows my fellow writers love that I don't -- and vice versa, I'm sure. It doesn't make them inappropriate for us to cover.

I'm also not quite sure how you want us to address this, or why you felt you had to write this comment. Do you want us to just review pilots of shows that you think are good? I'm fairly certain (I hope!) you didn't plan to diss sunbunny, although that is sort of how it came across.

Heather1 said...

No disrespect or diss intended, I assure you. If it came across that way, I apologize. I guess I felt the need to comment because I've been seeing this show all over the internet for months, as if it's the "second coming", while other shows don't get their due. I was simply voicing an opinion, which is what I assume the comments section is about. You ask me if I think the site should only review what I think is good? Must comments only be good? But, I am going down the negative road again. Negative comments should, I suppose, be in the form of debate about the merits of the show. And I am entirely aware that it is up to you guys what you write about. It's not for me to decide.

Billie Doux said...

Heather1, you write intelligent, well-thought-out comments here on DR and we enjoy them. Your comment this time included a complaint about quality on the site and our choice of content, so I addressed it.

To answer your question, no, comments don't have to be uniformly positive. There are a mountain of negative comments on this site, and we don't delete them. Sometimes we even write them ourselves. But they're about the shows, the actors, performances, dialogue, etc., not about the taste of our writers. We delete negative comments about our writers, though we don't get them often. I'll admit that what you said got me bristling a bit because Sunbunny is one of my favorite people, and she's an exceptional writer.

NinetiesMom said...

I was pleased to see "Girl Meets World" reviewed. I watched "Boy Meets World" with my daughter in the 90s and found it enjoyable for both of us. Not the usual joke for the sake of a forced laugh. A coming of age story that touched on every day decisions. I believe it has been in reruns since the end of its run (1993-2000). Clearly, it has staying power. Pilot episodes are by nature not the best episode of a series. The situation and characters have to be clearly set up as well as the telling of a story. Interested to see where they go from here. I think it is a worthy inclusion as an iconic piece of television.