When I was growing up, I loved sitting around the television with my family and watching certain shows. Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, and Family Ties were a few that I remember really enjoying. Today, you can’t find these kind of shows on network TV any longer. Relegated to cable stations, today’s primetime network TV is populated by shows that used to be considered too adult for the family and certainly contains content either too violent or sexual for most younger kids. A quick look at primetime this week has us seeing The Big Bang Theory, Arrow, The Bachelor, Gotham, and Jane the Virgin. Now, don’t get me wrong, many of those are really good shows, but they would never have enjoyed an 8pm time slot back in the days before the proliferation of cable TV. But even on cable, it’s difficult to find the kind of innocent, fun, funny, and witty television shows that used to be a staple for families across the nation.
That is unless you watch Girl Meets World. Girl Meets World is the best family show on television. It has lovable characters, witty dialogue, heartwarming themes, a great lesson each episode about life, and is able to be both funny and cute. Exactly what family television used to specialize in on network TV. A spin-off of the immensely popular Boy Meets World, the show features the original characters of Cory and Topanga (played by their original actors now all grown up, Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel) and it centers on their wise and charming 12-year old daughter Riley. Although similar in theme to the original, Girl Meets World has its own unique approach to sharing life lessons and is a joy to watch. I end up smiling at every episode and watch it dutifully with my own 10-year old daughter who loves it as well.
For fans of the original, there are many appearances by Boy Meets World alum – Cory’s best friend Shawn comes by in the holiday episode played by cast original Rider Strong. Mr. Feeney, Cory and Topanga’s mentor and teacher makes a cameo appearance in the pilot by cast original William Daniels. And there are many others, almost all of them played by the original actors – Cory’s parents, Stuart Minkus (who we find out is Farkle’s dad), Harley, the former school bully, and Cory’s little brother Joshua (the only one not portrayed by the original actor). Overall, it is its own show with engaging characters and plot lines as well as wonderful stories to tell. One of my favorite episodes features Harley called “Girl Meets the Forgotten” where the kids learn how easy it is to take people for granted and how we should remember each person for the unique contributions they make. Riley and her best friend Maya end up working in food services and discover how difficult the job really is. They have a scene very reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory from I Love Lucy. Truly hilarious.
If you haven’t done so already, give Girl Meets World a try. You’ll walk away with a smile on your face.