Girl Meets World — Good Idea or Bad Idea?

pop-break’s staff weighs in on the return of boy meets world…

We had heard the rumors for a few weeks — was the beloved 90s sticom Boy Meets World coming back to the airwaves? Last night our suspicions were confirmed as it was announced that the series would be coming back, but as Girl Meets World. The show would be centered around the daughter of the original series’ sweethearts Corey Matthews (Ben Savage) and Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel), who have since got married and grown up to become the parents of the yet-to-be-named center of the series.

Pop-Break Boy Meets World diehard Joe Zorzi broke this news to us last night and he wondered what our staff thought about the decision for a “sitcom sequel.” Turns out our staff is chock full of Boy Meets World fans — here is what they had to say.

Please note that the order in which these responses appear are the order in which we received them from the staff.

Ann Hale (Horror Editor/Social Media): I never got into Boy Meets World yet I was forced to watch it by my best friend who loved it. I couldn’t stand that someone actually named their kid Topanga and that she was considered hot since I didn’t find her even remotely attractive. She wasn’t even a good actress. Rider Strong, Shawn, was the world’s worst badass with a severe case of gay face, the likes of which can only to be matched by Channing Tatum, and Ben Savage was a less cute and talented version of his brother Fred. Sure, he was adorable in Little Monsters, but his teenage years were rough and his little fro wasnt cute even then. The only good part of the entire show was Will Friedle, who played Cory’s older brother. He was cute and actually kind of funny. What ever happened to him?

I could care less about Girl Meets World. I don’t think it will be able to hold its footing against other comedies about families like Modern Family or Raising Hope. Then again, it’s the Disney channel, who we can blame for terrible shows starring Mylie Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. It’s clear that talent means nothing on that channel.

Cory and Topanga were boring then and I’m sure they will be boring now. I just can’t wait to find out what awful name they are going to give their daughter. Perhaps it will be a terrible mix of their names like Cortanga. I wonder who they will get to play her. Dear God, she will probably end up with a record contract and your children’s rooms will be splattered with her posters and you will be forced to go to her awful and overpriced concerts with thousands of screaming little girls while you think of various ways to kill them all by MacGyvering a weapon out of your car keys and drinking straw. I hate you Disney. I hate you. Verdict: BAD IDEA

Michael Dworkis (Staff Writer/Wrestling Columnist): In another attempt to relive good television programming of the 90’s, the main cast members of Boy Meets World will reunite for a new updated version of the coming-of-age program, Girl Meets World. Yes, Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga as a married couple with two children, the youngest being a 13-year-old daughter, whom the series will focus on.

Well, right away I can tell you this is a bad idea. A bad idea like trying to create a new Saved by the Bell or a new Family Matters with Urkel as the moral father. This generation of TV watchers would have found Boy Meets World has boring and lame. The show would have to live up to the extremes which youth today are mostly desensitized to. Sex would have to be a problem every-other episode, and drugs, drinking, and trouble with the law would have to be a regular issue for the “bad boy” or in this case, likely to be the “bad girl” of the show. Yes, we did have those issues in the 90’s version, but by standards today, the portrayal of said issues would be considered tip-toeing around it. This will be another case of teen-party-sex-drugs-hangover-one-night-stand, which is covered by nearly every show on the CW Network. Verdict: Bad idea, stop before it is too late.

Jason Stives (Senior Writer/Resident Whovian): As a longtime fan of the original series it seems not only unnecessary to resurrect the Boy Meets World errr world but also unsavory at best. Look, I loved the stuff I watched as a kid but Boy Meets World, much like alot of ABC related sitcoms of that era (that I still love BTW!), haven’t exactly aged well and besides reruns on ABC Family I don’t see a new generation embracing something related to this particular show.

To top it off, ABC sitcoms in the nineties were very good at mixing cheesy family comedy with real life issues which this show did on too many occassions. Through a Disney Channel filter its going to be watered down stupidity. I know, I know, I’m almost 25 so obviously I’m not the target audience but the execs at Disney would be foolish to think I’m not going to check out an update on a show I use to watch fairly often during the days of T.G.I.F. That being said I think this idea should be put to rest real quick. This would be like resurrecting Urkle for a new generation. It’s unrelatable and just a nice nudge at my generation and nothing more. Verdict: Bad Idea

Lisa Pikaard (Staff Writer/Metal & Country Writer): I am so torn about the return of Boy Meets World. I was initially quite excited about the return of the show because it would mean a favorite sitcom from my youth would return to the screen; however, my feelings changed when I began to fear that the new show would somehow tarnish the original.

The question remains, can you tarnish a sitcom from the 90s? They weren’t epic works of art to begin with, but I loved them none the less. So a remake, will it be good? Bad? I just don’t know. In the end, I have a relatively negative feeling towards the sequel, Girl Meets World. The show will have Ben Savage’s character, Cory, take over as a teacher and become the new Mr. Feeny. The episodes will follow his daughter and her friends as they grow up and learn, just like Cory did. This feels an awful lot like the shows creator, Michael Jacobs, is redoing the show with a slightly altered cast. I cannot help but flash back to the failed attempt to rework the cult classic, Saved by the Bell, as Saved by the Bell: The New Class. While this all sounds wonderful in theory and I will most definitely be watching, I am not so sure the new show is going to be as epically awesome as I thought on my first learning about it. I love that the original cast members are signing on and making known their interests to return, but sometimes it’s best to just watch the reruns. Verdict: Bad Idea.

Logan J. Fowler (Senior Writer/Trailer Tuesday Columnist): Just keep kicking nostalgia while it’s down. Personally, I am a massive fan of Boy Meets World. It’s one of the few sitcoms from my childhood that I hold in high regard, not only because of its valuable life lessons and some really good chuckles, but it’s an older program that actually stands the test of time for me, as I don’t find it over the top cheesy. Yeah, it got super ridiculous in later seasons, but still, that series finale just gets me every time. And now, they wanna go and create a spin off, so many years later, about Corey and Topanga’s daughter. Even if Corey and Topanga themselves are returning, I won’t be; this idea is dumb and you best leave one of my favorite shows alone. That’s all I have to say. Verdict: Bad Idea

Lauren Stern (Senior Writer): Many of the fellow 90s kids on my Facebook and Twitter feeds posted their excitement about the Boy Meets World re-boot recently and I really hate to say that I’m not joining them just yet. I’ve been a fan of the show for a long time and I’d love to have Corey and Topanga back in my life outside of the daily 2 hour marathons on MTV2. But something about this doesn’t feel right. Something about this just screams “I am going to be so disappointing.”

Granted, chances are really high that I’m going to be wrong about this and I’m just afraid to be let down. Ben Savage (Corey), Danielle Fischel (Topanga), and producer Michael Jacobs are all on board so that has to be good right? I sure hope so. In the meantime, I’ll hold on to my skepticism until the pilot airs sometime within the next few years. Verdict: On the fence.

Daniel Cohen (Film Editor): I cannot imagine someone hating Boy Meets World. Come on…it’s Boy Meets World! Cory. Topanga. Eric. Shawn Hunter. Mr. Feeny! Mr. Feeny was like Jason Seaver, Wilson Wilson, and Danny Tanner all rolled into one super television mentor. And how many of us didn’t shed a tear when Cory thought Topanga was going to move to Pittsburgh, or in Season 5 when they broke up after Cory kissed Lauren, the ski lodge girl. I know I still feel that pain.

Look…I’m well aware of the flaws of Boy Meets World. It suffers all the problems that any teenage sitcom suffers, but dammit, I loved it anyway. Who cares if Cory’s 7th, 8th, and 9th grade years lasted the entire second season. Who cares if Shawn Hunter mentioned he had a sister in season 1, yet we never see or hear from her again. Maybe these questions will be answered in the newly announced Disney Channel series sequel, Girl Meets World. Now I’m not going to get too excited here…it’s a Disney show, and it will be very Disney-fied. But what the hell…why not? I’ll tune in for the first few episodes just to see what Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) are up to, as both actors have been confirmed. And I would imagine cameos from other Boy Meets World alums will pop up every now and then. Bottom-line…I’m just excited to say hi to my old chums, even if they are a little bit older.
Verdict: Good idea.

John Elliott (Marketing Coordinator/Staff Writer): I always saw Boy Meets World as the flip side to The Wonder Years. Bear with me on this one.

The Wonder Years was a seminal sort-of sitcom about growing up in the late sixties and early seventies, starring Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold. The key element of the show, however, was Kevin’s relationship with the girl next door, Winnie Cooper, played by the luminous Danica McKellar. As Kevin and Winnie grew up and transistioned from middle school to high school and finally college, we grew to root for them and hoped, desperately, that these kids would get a happy ending. And that’s not what happened. In the final episodes of the final season, we learned that, while they remained friends for life, they went their separate ways, with different spouses, kids, and parallel lives. It was the denial of one of the truest tropes of television; here are two people we love, who love each other, who don’t get a happy ending together.

And then, we have Boy Meets World. Fred Savage’s younger brother Ben Savage, in the leading role of Cory, has a will-they-won’t-they relationship with the girl next door, artsy-brainy Topanga, portrayed by Danielle Fishel. It was a lighter show, with a goofier set of characters, and a much less subtle relationship between Cory and Topanga. As these kids grew up from middle school to high school and then college, it was clear that they were the “one true love” couple of the show, even getting married late in the show’s run.

So, here we have two shows, both coming-of-age half-hour weekly stories, about a guy in love with the girl of his dreams, with a pair of siblings in the lead roles. It’s hard not to draw connections between the two. The differences come clear in the endings of the stories—The Wonder Years teaches us that, while we might be able to end up happy, we don’t always get what we want or the rewards the story shows us we deserve. And Boy Meets World, in turn, teaches us that everything might just end up like it should, in the end. The girl next store might just shed her geeky exterior and turn into a lovely, sexy, perfect match for us. And we all can, in fact, live Happily Ever After.

And this is why I am geeking out over the new Disney Channel project Girl Meets World; the news yesterday that Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel would be reprising their roles as Cory and Topanga, as the parents of a teenage kid, gives me a weird degree of hope and validation. Here we are, almost a generation later, and these two crazy kids are still together, with a kid ushering in the next chapter of the story. Yes, I know it’s fictional. And maybe it’s me responding to the craziness and sadness and denials in my own life, but I’m given a great degree of happiness by the fact that there’s a world out there where the puppy love between these beloved characters grew into something more, and next year, we’re all going to get a chance to visit that world.

The nineties made a bunch of promises to me, and all of them ended up broken over the last ten years. It’s nice to know that, unlike most things, Cory and Topanga are, in fact, forever. Verdict: Good Idea.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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