Girl Meets World

TV review by Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Girl Meets World Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Spin-off series has multigenerational appeal, OK lessons.

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 52 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 183 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 18+

A Few Good Cameos+ Fun Moments Weighed Down By Annoying Lead +Dumb Plots

On the positive side, Sabrina Carpenter (Maya), Corey Fogelmanis (Farkle) and Cecilia Balagot(Smackle) all made their characters more appealing than the scripts had them be. William Daniels (Mr. Feeny) and Rider Strong (Shawn) did good jobs in their guest appearances despite their iconic characters getting needlessly and meanly dumped on and, in Strong's case, turned into a total trainwreck. The character of Auggie (August Maturo) didn't worship his sister Riley (Rowan Blanchard) . Oh, and Tommy (J.B. Gayner) revealing himself to Eric (Will Friedle) and them being reunited at a key moment was moving and well done. Interesting to see Cory's onetime high school bully Harley Keiner (Danny McNulty) become his adult friend and mentor for the teens. These are the positive points and glimpses of 'the show that might have been'. Alas, there are many negative points. To begin with the central character of Riley was spoiled, entitled, nosy, unintelligent and even mean- yet considered herself to have been nice, smart and the best friend ever! This wouldn't have been so bad except that virtually everyone else (including her parents) treated her this way and the audience seemed to be expected to adore her- instead of her actual faults being called out. Riley considered herself/ was considered perfect therefore didn't need to attempt to change for the better and was hostile to others attempting to have positive changes. Riley constantly put down her supposed bestie Maya's intelligence to the point of sabotaging and gaslighting Maya when Maya actually started to get better grades, stay out of trouble and have a more positive attitude -going so far as to tell Maya that she'd become HER by doing so! Is telling someone who'd struggled that for them to try to do anything beside stay downtrodden is a bad move and that they could only hope to worship them a positive message or even vaguely being a friend? I think not. But Maya was too worshipful of Riley to question this and no one (not even Cory [Ben Savage] or Katy [Cheryl Texiera]- Maya's teacher and mother) tried to counter this! Yet they told each other they'd love each other forever almost every episode and told each other were the best friends who'd ever existed but this was actually a rather toxic, lopsided bond instead of one to be envied. Also, for all the 'triangle' deal, it wound up with Riley and blah Lucas (Peyton Meyer)going on one date . OK, the message that there are some teen girls and, yes, boys, not being ready to REALLY date is actually positive. However, despite the fact that Lucas and Maya did seem interested in having a non-platonic bond but instead of acting on that or going their separate ways, they put that and their individual entire lives on hold and went right back to joining everyone else in their clique to keep hovering over Riley - instead of any of them attempting to have any kind of lives even slightly independent of Riley. Did I mention that all these teens came and went into Riley's room via the fire escape into her window at all hours day and night? That's right! Yet not only did none of their parents question or object to this but neither did Cory, Topanga (Danielle Fishel) much less Riley herself ever express concern over their safety being in the NYC streets alone at night, offer to walk them home or even called/texted to make sure any of them had made it back home safely. Only Lucas being in Riley's room got Cory mad and Cory chased Lucas out for comic relief but , otherwise, did nothing to put an end to that (and Cory seemed to think Farkle and Zay entering/leaving Riley'd room was perfectly fine despite both of them also being boy teens and Farkle even clumsily flirting with Riley and Maya in front of Cory before Farkle hooked up with Smackle). Maya was actually a much better friend to Riley than vice versa but even so she did have her faults. Most notably she constantly bullied Lucas by calling him 'Hee Haw' and jumping on him even with him objecting but she (and the show) justified this by saying that she did so because she LIKED him. Is telling folks that taunting others and even striking them are valid responses as long as they claim to like them? I don't think so. Also, it's wrong to guilt trip kids (or adults) into accepting bullying merely because the bullies claim to like them.What if Lucas had been the one constantly calling her names and jumping on her over her objections? What's to stop impressionable kid viewers from thinking that they can scream in others faces and/or jump on them without any problems? Not every boy (or girl) will just tolerate it like Lucas. The re are wrong folks out there who will do serious physical harm rather than just verbally object . Bullying is bullying regardless of the genders involved. Also, Cory should have put a stop to Maya calling him 'Matthews' instead of'Mr. Matthews' in class. Is teaching teens that one is to treat teachers as flunkies instead of showing them a minimum amount of respect via calling them by their title and name a good lesson? I don't think so. Speaking of bullying, one of the worst moments of the show had to be when Cory suddenly decided he HAD to dig up a time capsule he, Topanga and Shawn had buried years before- in Mr. Feeny's garden along with Riley and Maya.None of the three adults nor Riley or Maya so much as tried to notify Mr. Feeny of their intent before they trespassed then vandalized his garden by digging up all the hard work he'd put in for years! Mr. Feeny caught them which got Cory and Shawn to gasp (with a loop of them doing so as preteens try to compel the audience to think this was supposed to be funny). Then, despite the fact that Mr. Feeny had done nothing whatsoever to them but be their victim, Riley and Maya made weird cat sounds , WAVED THEIR HANDS IN HIS FACE(!!), then did a taunting and very lame Feeny Call while Topanga smiled at her daughter+ pal's hateful rudeness to her onetime mentor - and none of those five apologized for any of the above to Mr. Feeny EVER. So is telling teens that they can trespass +vandalize someone's property, then can taunt them when caught and one's parents will do nothing but SMILE a positive lesson? I most certainly think not! Also, Topanga constantly put down Cory's intelligence, salary insecurity and personality to their children and adult friends as went into a jealous rants whenever anyone brought up Lauren as though Cory was instantly going to step out on her despite Lauren having had no contact with Cory whatsoever after their teen flirtation and Cory evidently been a faithful husband to Topanga. Oh, and Topanga didn't even ask her spouse and co-parent Cory's input about whether she should have taken the London job offer and moved their family overseas (while she did ask all her in-laws and adult pals- that she termed 'the people I love' for advice). Would anyone think this was a healthy union much less an ideal one if Cory had been the one who treated Topanga that way? Yet, as in the case of Riley's so-called wonderfulfness, this was also treated as the most ideal union instead of the sad and dysfunctional one it had become. Cory blatantly favored Riley even going so far as to have had her call him 'Dad' instead of 'Mr. Matthews' in class and just had the entire class spend as much time talking about Riley's, Maya's, Farkle's and sometimes Lucas's problems instead of actually teaching! And, he caved to Riley's rants and tantrums both in class and at home instead of attempting actual discipline much less consequences (and nearly sabotaged Topanga's attempt to mete consequences for Riley blowing off bakery duty to watch a TV show). Sorry but, in addition to them being a fail couple they were also fails as parents. And the show had a rather annoying laugh track that spat out machine-gun laughs two seconds each after nearly every sentence (except for 'serious, very special moments'). I can only recommend it for adult 'Boy Meets World' completists who are willing to sift through huge piles of annoying slag to seek out a few tiny nuggets mostly from those talented and determined performers who made the best of the obstacles thrown at them via the scripts . If any parents in that group are considering having their minor kids to watch, I can only recommend that they do so if the parents watch WITH the kids and discuss the actions, themes, characters,etc. with their kids instead of just plopping the kids in front the screens and have them be passive sponges to this stuff.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much consumerism
age 18+

Don’t bother

I can’t stand this show because it’s just of the immaturity because of Rowan in this show and this made Disney Channel go downhill!

This title has:

Too much violence

TV Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Full House Poster Image

    Full House

    Three men and three babies (er, girls).

    age 7+
  • The Incredibles Poster Image

    The Incredibles

    Top-notch, action-packed fun for the entire family.

    age 7+
  • The Croods Poster Image

    The Croods

    Gorgeously animated adventure has intense themes.

    age 8+
  • Home Improvement Poster Image

    Home Improvement

    Laughs and lessons abound in whole-family sitcom.

    age 7+

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    Friendship
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate