Hello & welcome back to A Look at Disney and the Christmas celebration here. This season, Disney Channel has been airing the Boy Meets World spin-off, Girl Meets World and I have been watching it since the pilot, which was released a couples weeks ahead of the show airing on TV. And I’ll freely admit that while I’ve grown to like the show on it’s own but I’ll freely admit that the only reason I started watching the show was for this…
One of the biggest draws for this series for old fans was that we knew characters from the original show were set to appear with the first being Shawn Hunter, Alan and Amy Matthews. And Disney Channel knew this and played Boy Meets World fans’ love of Shawn by making him the focus of the promotion for this episode and even using a hashtag #shawnisback.
However, this does bring me to an issue that I’ve seen from the BMW fans that saw this episode had a nitpick that two certain characters were never mentioned. For you see as I mentioned, Alan and Amy were also (barely) in this episode but yet, there was no mention of Eric or Morgan at all. Weird but I do know that it has been confirmed that Eric and Feeny will appear in a season 2 episode title Girl Meets Mr. Squirrels. I wonder how the relationship with the moose is going. I kinda get that considering the only sibling of Cory’s that we saw was Joshua. Which I have to admit that it was a little strange that the audience did the big applause of excitement for his character as the last time we saw him, we was just a toddler.
And now, he looks like this.
And FYI, that isn’t the same actor.
Girl Meets Home For The Holidays
This is something that bugs me about the show with the titles, they have to insert Girl Meets into every episode title and it’s a bit annoying as it doesn’t need to be in every episode title and it just sounds so generic but this is a Disney Channel thing that I’ve noticed lately that a few of their sitcoms have to have titles with something from their show in them. At best, this is a minor nitpick as this episode was rather good.
It’s Christmastime at the Matthews and Cory and Topanga are hosting the holidays in their New York apartment and Cory is all aflutter about his best friend coming to the house for Christmas and to me, that was one of my favorite aspects of the show as to me, it seemed like the show was using Cory’s anticipation to reflect the audiences’ excitement for the return of Shawn and thankfully, they didn’t waste Shawn’s time on the show as it appears the show seems to be setting him up to be the Mr. Turner of this show. We learn that Shawn left New York in 2001, the day after Cory’s daughter, Riley was born because he no longer felt like he had a place in Cory’s life and that Cory became preoccupied with his family. Something I found interesting and a bit disappointing here is that throughout all of this, I was surprised that there was no mention of Angela. This ties into Morgan and Eric not being mentioned either but to me, this is almost more important as the episode focused on Shawn and not having a mention of her felt odd, the first time that I watched this episode.
It’s interesting to note that Shawn taking himself out of Cory’s life led Riley to believe that her”uncle” didn’t like her, when in reality, when Shawn looked at her, he was reminded of what he didn’t have in his life. I found this interesting because this does feel like Shawn and how he never had an easy time showing his emotions. Also along with this, we also get some parallels between the two friends pairs, Cory & Shawn, and Riley & Maya. I get what the show was trying to do and they’ve been trying to do this all throughout the series, painting Riley and her best friend, as the new Cory and Shawn but I gotta say that I’m in agreement with the two pairs of friends in that I don’t see it. Both friendships feel real and genuine but they are two different types of friends. Though I did like the moments with Shawn and the girls as Riley kept on hounding her Uncle Shawn about when her birthday was and when he finally took him to the local bakery (which I think is going to be this show’s Chubbie’s) , he revealed that not only did he know her birthday but that he knew what time, she was, what she weighed and that he was the third person to hold her after her parents and this is where we find out why Shawn left and again I really liked this. (Also interesting to note, the year he left was one year after Boy Meets World ended it’s run). Riley, then takes Shawn back to the apartment and has him and Cory sit down and talk about how much they meant to each other and Cory learns from Shawn why he left and I love how Shawn tries to sneak out but Riley’s best friend, Maya stops him and then we get the moment that had been teased all throughout early promotion of the series.
These two sitting together and talking about their lives and how they are similar. BMW fans may recall that Shawn didn’t exactly have the best parents as his mother left him and his dad at a young age and his dad was barely there for him. Maya is in a somewhat similar situation as she told Shawn that she only had half a mom and her dad left her family for a new one and Shawn told her that he would never let anyone grow up like that. (I hope that puts the fan conspiracies of him being Maya’s dad to rest) and it was just nice seeing these two bond over having these troubled backgrounds as Shawn can understand what Maya is going through and be there for her and this ties back into my original theory for this show that Girl Meets World is setting up Shawn to take on a role similar to that of Mr. Turner from the original series. Now as much as I enjoyed this episode for Shawn, there was one thing that bugged me. For some reason, the writers decided that it’d be “funny”, if Topanga was worried about screwing up Christmas and have Amy criticize her a bit. I mean, the first thing that Amy says when they enter the apartment to Topanga is
“Let’s see, what your’e doing wrong”.
This comes after Â our cold open, where we overhear Amy on the speaker outside, Â Cory’s apartment saying that she wants the holiday to be perfect but it still felt out of character for Amy to say that. Here’s the thing, if this show weren’t tied into Boy Meets World and just it’s own sitcom airing on Disney Channel, I would let this slide because so many sitcoms do this cliche. It’s annoying yes, but it is a common trope. I take issue here because as someone that watched Boy Meets World, that didn’t feel like Amy’s character at all. Mrs. Matthews on many occasions showed that she cared for Topanga and the Amy Matthews of Boy Meets World wouldn’t say something like that to her daughter-in-law. Now, I know people have mentioned that she acted that way before but at points , it felt like the show was making her the sitcom Mother-in-law. Â I must mention before we move Â on that, Â Amy Â did come around when she tasted Topanga’s cooking as Topanga was using all of Amy’sÂ recipes, so that Amy would still be a part of the holiday. Â Â Thankfully, this subplot was dropped and didn’t have much focus in the episode. Other than that, I enjoyed this episode.
Shawn Hunter played by Rider Strong
No doubt about it, this episode was focused on Shawn a lot and I was happy for that and Rider Strong slipped right back into the role of Shawn Hunter and it felt like that he hadn’t stopped playing the role and on top of this, the chemistry between Cory and Shawn felt the same as it did in the original series.
Riley Matthews played by Rowan Blanchard
If I had to pinpoint a weak spot in this show, it has to be the lead character, Riley. Riley isn’t a bad character and I do like her but even though I admit that I do not see the parallel between the two friends, it does feel in certain episodes that the show is pushing too hard to be the new Cory and not be her own character. Which is a bit troublesome but I did like how we get into her past and learn why Shawn had a hard time looking at her.
Maya Hart played by Sabrina Carpenter
Out of the new characters, Maya is the more interesting character and had perhaps some of the better moments of the episode especially her interaction with Shawn, which was quite enjoyable and I hope they further explore the Turner-esque relationship between these two.
Cory Matthews played by Ben Savage
I’ve felt torn on Cory’s portrayal in the show as he seems too weak letting his kids and students walk over him but here, this was the Cory that I remember from the friendship of Shawn and Cory and that was the highlight of the show because Cory and Shawn were back and it was just so wonderful seeing the two of them together again. There were quite a few great moments between the two such as a callback to the old show with the snore/yip thing they did, while sleeping.
Topanga Matthews played by Danielle Fishell
Topanga seemed to get a short end of the stick as we really didn’t get much focus on her other than the ridiculous storyline between her and Amy that went nowhere.
Amy Matthews played by Betsy Randle
I already went over my issues with Amy in this episode as the show didn’t feel like the same character from Boy Meets World and could’ve been handled better. Real shame too as otherwise, this episode was alright.
Alan Matthews played by William Russ
Alan didn’t really do anything at all in this episode. It almost seemed like the show couldn’t figure out a way to work him into the story.
Joshua Matthews played by Uriah Shelton
Josh is for all intents and purposes a new character because while yes, he was in the original series, he was just a toddler. Girl Meets World gives him the opportunity to grow as a character and explore who he actually is and this episode set him up as the cool uncle that Cory’s young son, Auggie loves to death and Riley’s best friend, Maya has a crush on. And it has been confirmed that Josh will appear in more episodes in the future and that will give the show a chance to explore him more as a character. Which I am interested in because while they were off to a decent start with him, he is still a bit of blank slate.
My Final Thoughts
While I do have my criticisms of this episode, I did enjoy for what it was. For Boy Meets World fans such as myself, we got to tune in and see a Cory and Shawn reunion and that was great but I will be the first to admit that this episode was a bit uneven but even then, I found the episode quite enjoyable. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at Disney’s various take on a Christmas classic as we look at Disney’s Various Takes On…
A Christmas Carol