‘Girl Meets World’ Premiere Review: A Worthy ‘Boy Meets World’ Successor

Published 10 months ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

girl meets world series premiere review 570x294 Girl Meets World Premiere Review: A Worthy Boy Meets World Successor

First of all: Girls Meets World is 100% a children’s show. That being said, it’s a surprisingly terrific one which not only manages to capture the essence of the much-loved Boy Meets World, but it also begins an exciting new chapter for the Matthews family – one that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on, regardless of age.

Girl Meets World is brought to life by original series creators Michael Jacobs and April Kelly, and stars Sabrina Carpenter and Rowan Blanchard, who play Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga’s (Danielle Fishel) daughter Riley and her best friend Maya – thereby (respectively) filling the Cory and Shawn (Rider Strong) roles of the original series. Maya (Carpenter) is willing to make sacrifices in her life – sneaking out onto the subway – while Riley (Blanchard) is still trying to decide if her good-natured behavior is better left in the past. Also: boys! Meanwhile, the Mathew’s youngest son, Auggie (August Maturo), is… the nephew of Eric Matthews (Will Friedle), in every way, and is one of the two surprising breakouts in the premiere. The other is Farkle Minkus (Corey Fogelmanis), the son of Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris), who takes his father’s confidence and hilariously mixes it with a bit of unrequited romance and chivalry.

Carpenter and Blanchard fill their roles as the modern Cory and Shawn quite nicely, and as the premiere episode unfolds, their performances strengthen more so, proving two things: 1) Riley is absolutely the daughter of Cory and Topanga, and 2) Maya may be a better “Shawn Hunter” than the original. Either way, it’s through them that this show exists, and it’s because of their earnest energy and charisma that this show will continue on.

Peyton Meyer cast in Girl Meets World Girl Meets World Premiere Review: A Worthy Boy Meets World Successor

For fans of the original series, there’s more than a few moments where the series seemingly separates itself from Topanga Matthews – in story and dialogue – which will likely worry some fans who were hoping to see ABC’s modern woman continue upon her path. As such, the Topanga in the pilot exists as simply a familiar face, while Cory, Riley and Maya are establishing the foundation of the entire series. Fortunately, by the end of the premiere, a solid foundation is created and the series’ future looks very much secure – so every Topanga fan should be happy to hear that subsequent episodes will likely include her much more than the pilot – an introduction tale, essentially – ever realistically could.

If anything, Girls Meets World allows its now much older audience to see things from the perspective of the adults who, like in any kids show, are now largely just fodder for the youthful cast. Obviously, such things are largely one of the main requirements for children’s shows; however,  in today’s world where children’s television is vast and often indistinguishably similar, the familiarity of Cory and Topanga – television surrogates for multiple generations – as well as having them in adult situations now helps create some distance from Riley’s story and, for once, makes you earnestly interested in what the parents have to say about all of this – even when it’s without the “cue: heartwarming music” signature.

girl meets world trailer 570x294 Girl Meets World Premiere Review: A Worthy Boy Meets World Successor

Outside of Boy Meet World fans looking to see the continuation of Cory and Topanga’s story, Girl Meet World has created a world where parents can sit down with their children and watch a life’s journey continue in many of the same ways that theirs have. Sure, the messages conveyed may not be as weighty or dramatic as the original series, but the same pure heart that was driving the original series can be felt, as this new iteration attempts to find its own way to tackle similar topics in a much more Disney-friendly way.

All in all, Girl Meets World is a surprisingly enjoyable evolution of a series not many remember the strength of. As a pilot, Boy Meets World was near-perfect, and if it were to air today, on ABC, it would instantly become a hit. Girl Meets World is its own entity, however, on the Disney Channel, and if the quality of the pilot is any example of what the original creators of Boy Meets World can present in their first attempt at tackling a Disney-version of their franchise, then there’s no reason why fans of all ages shouldn’t check in with the Matthews family from time to time.


WATCH: Girl Meets World Trailer


Girl Meets World airs Fridays on Disney Channel.

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  1. this…was a treasure. FINALLY Disney has something worth watching again. I am proud to say I lived through Corey’s life, and now I will through Riley’s.

    • The show wasn’t that great sure there were funny moments but the life lessons was too short I felt that their were a bit too much audience laughter the set was too colorful it feel fake it didn’t feel homey or realistic like boy meets world !

  2. My short review: Not the greatest episode, but for a pilot was very good, as most pilots pale in comparison to latter episodes. While it looks like a Disney show, it is better than any of the other live-action shows there. It has the potential to be the modern-day female version of BMW. Hopefully, the show will go on long enough to see the characters evolve all the way to the college levels, seeing topics covered becoming more mature, and controversial, again like BMW.

    • Ya if they try to use kiddy gloves too much I feel like they will kind of alienate the older audience who grew kind of accustomed to seeing some controversial topics depicted on BMW

  3. Hopefully they do what they did with BMW and as the characters get older transfer the show from disney to Abc so that they can go through more mature situations.

  4. Towards the end of the pilot in the subway did any one notice Rachel from the original BMW in the background I’m surprised she was simply an extra with no lines

    • I didn’t notice at all. I noticed Feeny but that’s it. I may need to watch it again since I missed that.

    • Ditto!

    • No, I didn’t, I did see a sign with Mr. Feeney that said “It’s cool to stay in school.” then that adorable little cameo form him was cute. Darn it, it was a wonderful pilot, and I Would love to see whatever happend to Cory’s younger brotehr Josh, he’s probably around the same age as Riley is.

  5. I found this to be a enlightening experience as I watched this with my 10 year old daughter. While it has a similar feel to the show I grew up on, GMW allowed her to get a real life lesson and while it was not as deep as BMW I feel it was a great start much like the way my childhood prime time favorite exibited in the begining. My hope is the characters will grow and the life lessons will be shared in the same way becoming more complex and will deliver something my children will carry with them into adulthood just as the BMW generation has done. So in my opinion this is a great start with all the potential of its predecessor.

  6. Growing up with BMW, I was existed to see this. That being said, I do have some issues. I sat down with my cousin charley, she is 11. We watched the show and laughed at the jokes, but I found my self frustrated. The kids on the show had a lot of cheesy dialogue, the surroundings felt very stage like. I felt at moments they wanted me not to think to hard, and at other moments they were beating me over the head with the message. I was not expecting the same show from the 90′s, but was expecting the old feel. Where it was relatable and the people felt real. There was a moment that struck the BMW nerve in me, was when maya teared up and said that she had no one to help her with her homework. That was something I was hoping for, a little realism thrown in with the wackiness. All in all it was a cute show, I just hope they find a groove that can capture what made us fall in love with the original.

  7. The series definitely has potential, and I hope Disney allows it to reach that potential. I’ve had to sit through quite a few of their shows before, due to my little cousins and the kids I babysit for watching things like Hannah Montana and Jessie, so I know they’ve dealt with realistic issues before. Both Shake It Up and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody have dealt with dyslexia as a learning disability, Hannah Montana went into diabetes and included several moments dealing with the loss of Miley’s mother. So Disney has done more serious and complicated story lines in the past. And Maya’s having a difficult family life could be the opening that GMW needs to open the door to teaching kids about tolerance (which, if I recall, was more than BMW did in their pilot – I don’t remember exactly but it took them a while to bring Shawn’s background into the story). So, yeah, I’m willing to give it more time and pray for the best. I hope other viewers will, as well.

  8. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve watched (and still watch Boy Meets World) and hoping for the same kind of feel, but I was quite disappointed by the series. Am I the only one to feel this way? I just spent most of my time watching the pilot going “huh?” and wondering what in the world was happening. I thought everything was just random. The dialogue, the events—all of it was random and didn’t flow together.

  9. I was a late fan of BMW since I was in preschool when the show was on the air. It wasn’t until I saw reruns on the Disney Channel that I became a fan of the series, especially with Shawn Hunter’s character development. When I heard school was back in session and GMW was announced, my expectations for the spinoff was low because sequel TV series usually screw up.

    When I saw the pilot, my mind literally blew away. It exceeded beyond expectations and it’s a good foundation for the future of the series. Comparing the episode to the pilot of the original series, I think GMW is better. The series is in superb hands.

    The writers also need to pace the character development. The mature areas teens face should be addressed, but how Riley, Maya, Lucas, Farkle, and even Cory evolve is vital to make GMW live up (or maybe exceed) its predecessor. If a serious relationship between Riley and Lucas does develop, it should happen later in the series. Cory and Topanga’s started to surface late Season 2. Although I think the writers used Riley’s interest in Lucas to introduce the characters better, they should put all romantic plans aside and let their “friendship” evolve and maybe have them see other people before things start to warm up.

    Fans of the original series who plan to follow GMW will see this in the perspective of Cory because all of us are adults or in their late-teens. With him becoming the new Mr. Feeny with a fatherly touch, he’s going to make mistakes that’ll generate some humor. Riley, Maya, Lucas, and Farkle are his first batch of the many young adults he’s going to mentor in his teaching career. My hope for Cory is to grow into a mentor greater than Mr. Feeny. However, due to his age and lack of experience, I don’t think he’ll reach that point once the gang are off to college.

    GMW is better than the other live action Disney shows since Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens went off the air. The series has plenty of potential, probably even more than its predecessor. As a diehard fan of BMW, my wish for Riley is to evolve into an individual greater than her parents. She might not be aware of this, but Rowan has big shoes to fill due to the bar set by her character’s parents. If she exceeds expectations, the series will become an TV icon like her predecessor.

  10. I watched the first two episodes with my two princess’s Lizzie Isabel 9 and Emma 7 and liked it thought it had a good message to it . I work with kids a lot teaching karate , assistant coaching soccer ,and assisting children’s liturgy at my catholic church .I’m even a teachers assistant at Lizzie Isabel’s school once I got a degree in education early childhood development from a local comity college recently. Both of my princess’s are tomboy’s and part of what I started doing Gymnastics , karate and playing soccer , and even though i’m not there birth dad they love me calling me dad and respecting what I started working with kids and joking around I even play special songs dancing with them singing it to them a lot . Then there my niece Isabel another tomboy who respect what I started and part of it but a little wilder than emma or Lizzie Isabel ,but still Lizzie’s best friend for life and partner . I wouldn’t want it any other way Isabel bring’s excitement and adventure in Lizzie’s life and Lizzie keeps them on the right path if things look like they’re getting turned upside down and wouldn’t want it any other way .

  11. I love the show “Boy Meets World”, and I still watch the reruns to this day, I’m 54 years old. I was really looking forward to “Girl Meets World”, but I have been sadly disappointed. It is a great show for young children, but if you are wanting to reach a wider audience, it is really going to have to do better on the story lines. The characters need to act like real people,not just like they are speaking the lines. The show is just silly, adults don’t act like that, they act like adults.