Girl Meets World is the most hotly anticipated Disney Channel shows to be released in years. The show has been developed as a sequel series to the hit 90s show, Boy Meets World, which starred Ben Savage as the young Cory Matthews finding his way through the world. Girl Meets World will see the return of several original Boy Meets World cast members as main cast members in the new show, including Ben Savage as Cory Matthews and Danielle Fishel as Topanga; in addition to this, several former cast members have been confirmed to have guest appearances or smaller roles on the show.
One of the primary concerns of the original shows fans has been the tone of the new series.
Boy Meets World was developed for ABC Family, where more mature topics and less idealized characters and lives were the norm. The Disney Channel, however, especially in recent years, has become the poster child for shows with bright, fun and somewhat fake characters and storylines that seem more bent on making the next “big star” than producing quality, meaningful television for younger audiences. For many fans, the tone of the old series was set by its ability to tackle some pretty serious life issues—including alcoholism, racism, cults, classism, and even the implications of sexual assault.
Will Girl Meets World, being developed exclusively for the Disney Channel, be able to match those same issues?
One of the top creative producers on the show recently indicated in an interview that they would like to approach “similar issues” to those which were covered on Boy Meets World, But, he added, they would have to be “very clever about it.” Although he did not indicate if this was because of Disney Channel standards or a shift in programs for younger audiences needing to be less serious than was acceptable in the 90s is unclear.
Critics of the criticism against the show—which has yet to air—point out that while Boy Meets World did cover some serious issues, these serious episodes were in the later seasons when the cast was in their teens at least. The first two or three seasons rarely covered anything other than what would be appropriate for young audiences, with most of the episodes dealing with typical childhood issues, like friendship, school and family. Girl Meets World, if it is successful, will likely follow the same course.