Even the concept of Girl Meets World, the follow up series to the popular ’90s sitcom, Boy Meets World, is a good idea. Take Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), who as a boy-teen-young man struggled with life, school, and love every Friday night on ABC between 1993 and 2000, and create a show around his family, and let his daughter, Riley (Rowan Blanchard) experience the same trials of life, school and love. Bring back the love of Cory’s life, Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and toss in a few cameos from the beloved series and the Disney Channel can sit back and let nostalgia runs its course.
The show, which is executive produced by series creator Michael Jacobs, premiered on June 27 on The Disney Channel. Girl Meets World brings back a solid core of the original show’s writers and still adds new wrinkles to the mix. In a recent interview with TIME Magazine, Ben Savage mentions why it is important to have the core of creators back for Girl Meets World.
The characters, the writing — it’s all the same. Cory’s still Cory. In the episodes we’ve shot, my character’s still the same neurotic old man that everyone came to know when Boy Meets World was on. That stuff’s all there. Michael Jacobs, who was there for every episode of Boy Meets World, is at the helm again, and a lot of our writers from Boy Meets World are back. And a lot of the people from the original series are back, not just Danielle and myself.
Arguably, Cory’s greatest nemesis in the original series was his history teacher, Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), who through the magic of television was able to follow Cory through his entire education. So now, Cory is himself a history teacher, which is an excellent nod to the past and adds to the possibilities in Girl Meets World. Cory now has to contend with a daughter that might be too much like him, and he has to play the role of foil of the teacher who works to guide his students to be something in this crazy world.
Topanga, who in the original show was akin to a natural, carefree, hippie lifestyle, and later a book smart, confident ’90s tween, before such a thing existed, is now, of course, a corporate attorney, and the clashes that can come from this could be pure comedy gold. Everything is set up for Jacobs and his writers to create and new mosaic by not only tapping into the nostalgia of viewers who grew up with Cory and Topanga, but to give those fans’ kids a show that they can call their own and fall in love with.
Girl Meets World focuses only on the Matthews’ clan–including Riley’s younger brother Augie (August Maturo), but as CNN points out, there are plans for even more cameos from beloved characters like Cory’s best friend, Shawn (Rider Strong) and his older brother Eric (Will Friedle).
Ratings for the premiere indicate that 5.2 million viewers tuned into the stroll down nostalgia lane, which makes it the largest series launch in 2014 for the coveted tween graphic. Will Girl Meets World hold its audience? We won’t know for sure until the show settles into its normal timeslot at 8:30 pm Friday nights beginning July 11th, but early indications are favorable.
Girl Meets World is a hit, at least for one night.
Image courtesy of The L.A. Times