It’s hard to believe but Girl Meets World is coming to an end. Somewhere between last season and this season, my daughter stopped watching it with me and I had to drop the pretense that I was watching it for her. But we’ll be watching it together as the series comes to a close on January 20th.
I’m especially sad because I think it’s one of the best family shows on television, much like Boy Meets World was for a generation before. I have to admit I didn’t watch the first one, but Emma started seeing re-runs on Nickelodeon and got hooked. So when they came out with this show starring those same characters and with girls her age, she was excited! And for most of the run we would sit together in front of the television and watch expectantly each week.
As a dad, I loved the show because it was one of those that was not only entertaining and funny, but also had something to share in each episode. I knew that watching this show would influence my daughter in the way I hope every show for kids would, in a positive, life-affirming way. Sadly that isn’t always the case. But this show did and for that I’ll miss it terribly. There are rumors that the show might be picked up by another network or by a company like Netflix, and while I would hope that’s true, it doesn’t seem likely. Still as Riley and Maya have taught us, there is always hope.
Along the way, there were some pretty incredible shows:
Girl Meets Home for the Holidays – Girl Meets World has never shied away from honoring the fans of the original Boy Meets World and in this episode fan favorite Shawn Hunter makes his epic return in a way that was funny and touching as is often the case. This show in particular was crammed with a return to the past with appearances by Cory’s parents and by his youngest brother Josh (played by a different actor than in the first show). Probably most notable for emphasizing how alike Cory and Shawn’s friendship is to Riley and Maya and why Shawn’s been missing for so long. Funniest line? Cory: “How cool is this? My favorite person in the world…and my wife!”
Girl Meets The New Teacher – Loved this show! Everyone wants a cool teacher who approaches learning in a new and innovative way and this one showed how difficult it can be to buck the system. But come on! Anyone who used Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as an English assignment is my kind of teacher. This one also paid homage to Boy Meets World by featuring Cory’s teacher, Mr. Turner who came back as the Superintendent of Schools. Funniest line: Cory: “Ms. Burgess is here to teach you about great books and great ideas. Please give her the same respect you’d give me.” Riley: “Oh, we can do better than that.”
Girl Meets Yearbook – One of Emma’s favorite episodes, this one has the kids struggling with how others perceive them. Their peers vote for them in the yearbook, but not in particularly nice ways. They name Farkle “Most Likely to be Farkle” and they name Riley “Most Likely to Smile Herself to Death.” Both decide to change who they are, but in the end come to realize that the opinions of anonymous people don’t really matter AND that a yearbook doesn’t define them. It’s a great story especially for kids in jr. high and high school when peer pressure can weight down on them. Funniest line: Maya’s mom imitating Riley: “I love today! Today is even better than yesterday and yesterday was the best day EVER! I’d think about tomorrow but I am afraid I’d burst into sparkles!”
Girl Meets Crazy Hat – Although the message of this one was about doing the right thing and the importance of ethics over money, my favorite part of the episode was really about Crazy Hat – a women the girls meet in the subway. They don’t know anything about her other than she sits in the subway station, wearing crazy hats, and staring at people. She says stuff the girls think is crazy like she’s about to address the United Nations and that she has a building with her name on it. But they treat her with respect anyway and at the end discover that she is actually a famous business leader who DOES own her own building and addressed the United Nations. To me that was the core of the show – treating others with respect and dignity instead of looking out for the bottom line. No funniest line – all the funny stuff was pretty much visual. And mostly, it was a touching show.
Girl Meets Forgotten – The best show in a great series. This one taught the kids not to overlook the value of others and appreciate people for what they do which is something we don’t reinforce often. Cory has Riley and Maya work with Miss Thompson on cafeteria duty and realize she isn’t the gruff woman who dishes out bland food. Instead they learn how hard her job is and how hard she works for the kids and how much she cares about them. Just a great lesson from a great show. Funniest line: Cory: “Who here knows about the Great Depression?” Riley: “I thought it was called the Grand Canyon.”
What are your favorite episodes? What will you miss most about Girl Meets World?