Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Say Hello to the World, Again


How about a quick stroll through Tube Day Tuesday this evening?  Really quick, though, because it’s been insinuated that I might have to give up my grown-up card if I speak too loudly about enjoying this particular program.

And what kind of a program might bring such shaming?  One of the latest offerings on the Disney Channel, Girl Meets World.  It’s only aired two episodes to date, and I can certainly admit that it skews pretty young, and there are some definite over-the-top characterizations.  But, its predecessor, Boy Meets World, started out pretty young, too.  And even though it aired during the 90s—otherwise known as the decade of my 30s—I really enjoyed watching it grow up.

Following the story of young Cory Matthews and his friends, it was definitely a “family” show—meaning that it was truly geared toward the younger members of the family—but it was funny, endearing, touching, and very often, real.  I liked Cory and his gang, and I liked seeing them grow up together, particularly Cory and his girlfriend, Topanga.  They had the sort of honest and committed relationship that many adults can’t manage, much less high school kids (or younger).

But Boy went off the air back in 2000, having seen the kids live and love, laugh and cry, and ultimately grow up, move from grade school all the way to college, get married, and move away to start their adult lives.  The show really did mature as it moved along, tackling some tougher subjects and letting the characters be real people, even as it stayed primarily a light-hearted comedy.  It seems I’m not the only one who misses it.

Now, more than ten years later, the new show picks up with Cory and Topanga still happily married and raising a family of their own.  The focus this time around is their daughter, Riley, and her best friend, Maya.  As in Boy, the Matthews child is the more grounded of the two, with the best friend around to pull Riley out of her comfort zone and into trouble.  But it’s all in good fun. 

As I mentioned, I think the first couple of episodes are not indicative of where I hope the show ends up.  It’s been a little uneven, and sometimes it feels forced—both the laughs and the emotions.  But I’m pretty sure if I went back and watched the first few episodes of Cory and Co., I’d find pretty much the same sort of thing, and look how well that turned out.

So, even if it is a Disney show that people poke fun of me for watching, and even if it does seem a little too cutesy and childish right now, I’m still going to keep watching.  Maybe it will grow up as well as its parent show, and maybe it won’t, but either way, I think there are worse things than to try to create a show that focuses on the importance of having family and friends around as you learn to navigate the world around you.  Regardless of age, we should all be so lucky.