Almost everyone today between the ages of 20 and 30 can attribute their moral compass to one source – Boy Meets World. The TGIF ABC sitcom that ran between the years 1993-2000 followed the life of young Cory Matthews (played by Ben Savage), an average boy trying to find his own way through the world, along with best friends Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fischel) and Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong). In the seven years during the shows run, the world was able to see Cory grow up before its eyes and learn the same life lessons Cory found so valuable toward his growth and development. In some ways, one could say that Cory Matthews is the Jiminy Cricket of Generation Y. Fortunately for those who fall just outside that generation, there is a new, yet familiar, moral compass currently airing on the Disney Channel.
This past Friday, Girl Meets World made its world debut. And while the show definitely isn’t the same as the original, show creator Michael Jacobs has created a world familiar enough to draw in millions of viewers – 5.2 million, to be exact.
Girl Meets World drew 5.2 million viewers to Disney Channel last night. Wow.
— Girl Meets World (@Girl_MeetsWorld) June 28, 2014
Girl Meets World follows the same premise as Boy Meets World , except with a few twists. Riley Matthews (Rowen Blanchard), Cory and Topanga’s oldest child, attempts to navigate the huge world of New York City on her own, escaping her parents’ shadows and learning her own life lessons. She gets help along the way from her own version of Shawn Hunter – Maya Hart (Sabrina Carpenter), and even already has a love interest in Peyton Meyer (Lucas Friar).
“We’re dealing with a lot of the same issues that we dealt with on the original series: themes of freedom from your parents and individuality and family support and relying on your friends,” stated Ben Savage.
That being said, there are some significant differences in the new iteration: “But it’s in a lot more complicated framework because the world’s a lot more complicated. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Internet — these are issues we didn’t have to deal with in the ’90s, which is shocking, but it was a totally different world.”
Creator and writer Michael Jacobs recognizes and respects the differences between the two time periods in which the respective shows take place; hence, his decision to bring on four younger female writers.
While the debut was successful in terms of numbers, the reviews were mixed. Many people are still basking in the aura of nostalgia, refusing to believe anything touched by Michael Jacobs and the original Boy Meets World cast could go wrong (such as this guy). Others, however, feel as if Jacobs and company have sold out to the new version of Disney Channel shows, replacing the humbleness of the original series with the glitz and glam appeal typically broadcast in current Disney Channel shows.
And while there were some forced moments of nostalgia, cuteness, and moral prescription in the pilot, most fans would agree that the show has an upside that ensures millions more viewers for week to come.
Thanks for tuning in to #girlmeetsworld. We're excited for you to see what we have in store this season. See you again July 11th
— Ben Savage (@BenSavage) June 28, 2014
Image via YouTube