Production on the Disney Channel’s Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, begins later this month, with most of the original show’s cast offered roles in the new series. The proceedings revolve around the experiences of longtime married couple Cory and Topanga’s daughter Riley (Rowan Blanchard) as she faces the challenges of junior high school, with Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprising their career-defining roles from creator Michael Jacobs’ hits 1990s ABC sitcom.
The role of Riley’s BFF Maya – the Shawn Hunter to her Cory Matthews – has been filled, with more casting updates on the way soon. In the meantime, though, new character descriptions reveal additional details about the other young stars of Girls Meets World; not to mention, how they compare to the fan-favorite supporting players from BMW.
EW is reporting that 13-year old Pennsylvania native Sabrina Carpenter has landed the role of Maya, a character described as possessing an “acerbic wit” and “dark and edgy” personality along with unfailing loyalty to Riley (again, the Shawn Hunter of this new series).
Here are descriptions of Riley’s slightly older brother Eliott, in addition to the young girls’ noteworthy classmates:
– Elliott Matthews, 13. Cory and Topanga’s son. This guy will start the series as a “thinking man’s jock.” He’s described as “good looking, well built, funny and insightful in his observations. Good hearted except for his dedication toward using Riley (Blanchard) as his wrestling practice dummy. His parents worry that he has inherited the ‘Eric Matthews Algernon’ gene and will lose intelligence as time goes by.” That “Eric Matthews Algernon” bit is a two-part reference to a character in the original series who got dumber as seasons passed and the classic novel with a similar theme, Flowers for Algernon.
– Tristan Friar, 12-13. An Austin, Texas transplant who’s a “cowboy in the city.” His description: “He seems actually possessed of ethics, common sense and a value system making him immediately alien to everybody else except Riley, who believes it’s the value system that attracts her to want to be his friend even though he’s too good looking for her to look at.”
– Shamus Farkle, 12-13: This is the show’s resident genius. “Future world ruler. Riley’s rebellious best friend Maya is his nemesis, Riley gets between them to save his life. Farkle is wildly attached and protective of both girls and loves equally that Riley doesn’t make him miserable and Maya does.”
It’s probably for the best that writers on Girl Meets World openly acknowledge the parallels between Eliott and Eric Matthews, in terms of both personality and the function he serves in the show’s over-arching narrative (as well as the episode-to-episode proceedings). Depending on how the show evolves, Eliott could develop in an entirely different direction that Eric; or, conversely, he too may end up marrying a moose, assuming the series lasts that long.
Shamus falls into a similar archetype as Stuart Minkus on Boy Meets World, though his relationship with the main characters appears to be properly updated (to reflect changing attitudes towards nerdy-types in our modern world). Meanwhile, it seems Tristan will serve as Riley’s first romantic interest, with their interactions differing from the early days of Cory and Topanga’s relationship on BMW (where the latter started out much more eccentric).
Bear in mind, Topanga was not originally meant to be Cory’s true love; nor, for that matter, was Minkus supposed to only hang around for only 23 episodes like he did. So, we shall see whether characters like Shamus and Tristan diminish or grow in importance on Girl Meets World over time – which, of course, depends on how long the series lasts (assuming the pilot is ordered, as most everyone anticipates).
More on Girl Meets World as the story develops.