Girl Meets World TV Poster Image

Girl Meets World

(i)

 

Spin-off series has multigenerational appeal, OK lessons.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than educate.   

Positive messages

Riley's coming of age isn't without its stumbles, but she's fortunate to have loving parents who try to balance their concern for her safety with the space she needs to "make the world her own." She rebels in little ways (sneaking out of the house, not doing her homework), which the show justifies as part of the growing-up process, but she also shows that she has a good head on her shoulders and is a loyal friend. The fact that Riley is so influenced by bad-girl Maya (she tells her, "I think too much, and you don't think at all. Let's not think.") smacks of negative peer pressure, but there are some instances in which Riley has a positive effect on Maya. 

Positive role models

Cory and Topanga are devoted to each other and their kids, and, when they err, they do so on the side of caution for Riley's safety in particular. Maya can be a negative influence on Riley, encouraging her to test the limits of her parents' rules, rebuke authority, and disregard rules. On the other hand, Riley often proves that, given some freedom, she can make responsible decisions for herself. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language

Rarely "stupid."

Consumerism

The show is inspired by the '90s hit sitcom Boy Meets World

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Girl Meets World revisits the main characters from the '90s sitcom Boy Meets World. Here Cory and Topanga are the parents of Riley, a tween who's trying to learn life lessons alongside her bad-girl bestie (sound familiar?) and under the caring guidance of her teacher, who just happens to be her dad. As such, she makes some questionable decisions in the spirit of mild rebellion -- mostly led by the aforementioned BFF -- in her quest to make the world her own. Instances of negative peer pressure usually exist to teach a positive lesson of some sort, but younger kids may not make the connection between cause and effect. Expect some flirting between teens and plenty of scenarios that wouldn't fly in your kids' reality, but there also are some heartwarming moments between friends as well as parents and kids. 

What's the story?

GIRL MEETS WORLD chronicles the coming of age of 11-year-old Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), a studious girl who's discovering boys and her own limits under the watchful eyes of her parents, Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel). Riley's best friend, Maya (Sabrina Carpenter), is always by her side to guide (or misguide, as is often the case) her way through the ups and downs and to add some spice to Riley's life. Then there's Lucas (Peyton Meyer), the new class cutie who seems smitten with Riley, and Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis), a know-it-all classmate with dueling crushes on both Maya and Riley. Riley's desperate to spread her wings, find herself, and conquer the world, but that's no easy task when your parents have high expectations for you and your dad isn't only your dad, he's also your teacher.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Disney revisits familiar sitcom territory in this spin-off of the wildly popular '90s series Boy Meets World, which followed Cory's teen years and eventual marriage to Topanga. Now, more than a decade later, they're the role models for young Riley as she learns the same kinds of life lessons they muddled through in the original. The show clearly hopes to appeal to two demographics: now-grown Boy Meets World fans who can relate to some of Cory's parenting uncertainties, and the younger crowd who will want to follow Riley's ups and downs. Of course, in some cases, these could be parents and kids who can watch together.

For a project attempting to woo such different groups of viewers, Girl Meets World manages pretty well. Cory and Topanga aren't the only familiar faces you'll see as the series evolves, but these reunions never overshadow the modern-day story of Riley, which is predictably pristine fare that doesn't tackle anything really serious. What it does instead is present a loving family structure whose members value honesty and communication, even when their views differ. What's more, it makes an effort to show development in many of the characters, including Cory; who loosens the reins on his young daughter as she proves her maturity; and Maya, who sometimes allows herself to be influenced by Riley rather than the other way around. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Riley's reality compares to yours. Does hers seem to be an average lifestyle? Can you relate to her problems? How might you solve them differently than she does?

  • Kids: Have you ever felt pressured by a friend to do something you didn't want to do? Is it hard to say "no" in situations like those? How do other people's expectations affect yours? To what degree is it important to feel accepted by your peers?

  • Communication is important to Riley's relationship with her parents. Kids: Is honesty always the best policy? How does it feel when you get what you want by being dishonest?

TV details

Premiere date:June 27, 2014
Cast:Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter
Network:Disney Channel
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
TV rating:TV-G

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Teen, 17 years old Written byImani88 February 1, 2015

Honestly, it's not good...

While I understand that the show is trying to follow the loved "Boy Meets World" series which explains its storyline, this show is really boring. While it is different from all the other Disney shows, its originality doesn't make the show better, in fact, it seems to make it worse. Both the girls are very pretty on the show, however that is all they seem to have going for them because the acting isn't believable. The messages that the show has seem to be too cheesy, plus the messages are usually dumb and only seem to teach youth to make everything overly dramatic. The show's comedy is non-existent, and the script is unrealistic which makes the characters interactions with each other seem forced. Now I've read a lot of other reviews, and everyone seems to think that there is too much flirting. I actually disagree with this. When I was in middle school I was that awkward skinny girl that rarely spoke. With that being said, even I flirted with boys in the seventh grade. It's not wrong to show flirting between boys and girls, it's actually the most realistic thing about the show. Kids in the seventh grade should be able to watch some flirting on tv and it be fine. I was never allowed to watch Disney shows till high school because my mom wanted to shelter me from the shows, but I wish she hadn't because I could have learned a little bit about interaction with peers that is acceptable. Instead, like i said, I was awkward. Now the clothing...yes the clothing is very unrealistic. Kids wore jeans and tees in the seventh grade....when girls dressed up it would be jeans and a nice shirt. Same for guys. There are middle school dances, however no one was brave enough to actually dance... But that was only at my school. People that attended schools around my hometown actually had formal dances, just because my school only had dances where people only wore school clothes and stared at each other, doesn't mean the Dances on GMW are unrealistic. The show has potential, but it seems like between the casting and script, it was a job lazily done by the producers. The show never makes any sense every time i turn it on. I actually looked up "what is the idea of Girl Meets World" For some explainations but I ran across this page instead. I wouldn't recommend this show simply because it seems terribly put together and none of the episodes make sense. The acting is forced, and the characters are unrealistic. The overall lesson of each episode is always cheesy. The show itself if truly terrible.
Teen, 15 years old Written byilikepie367 December 30, 2014

Disney Failure

I don't know where to begin with this, there are so many things wrong with it.... 1) I think Disney is trying to make this show like iCarly with the sweet brunette as the main character, the bad blonde who doesn't really have much family, and the quirky, strange, lovesick boy (Freddie/Farkle). 2) Farkle's name... what's up with that? 3) No one talks like these kids in real life. I saw one episode where they were sitting together, and one of them said "I'm glad you're my friends. We can always depend on each other. I want you to be happy." And then they smiled like creepy aliens at each other. NO FRIENDS TALK LIKE THAT! It's like Disney has given up on subtly slipping their positive messages in and has decided to just bluntly state them. 4) They're in middle school and they are obsessed with flirting. They spend way too much time focused on boys, are constantly rude to their teacher (which is the main character's father, which isn't allowed in schools), and don't bother with schoolwork. In the first episode there is a "homework rebellion." And the main character always wants to learn how to flirt and is obsessed with flirting, while the Farkle character is always flirting with the girls. And also, there is an girl with big glasses in the back who waves to them, and the main character teases Farkle and says he should be with her, and he says (right in front of her) "yuck!" which sends a horrible message to kids. 5) They wear way too much makeup, fishnet leggings, and high heels to be middle schoolers. Plus in one episode the main character said "Damucles!" Which was clearly supposed to mean the curse word. Overall it sends a bad message to kids and the jokes are terrible and it is unrealistic in many ways. Failure for Disney.
Teen, 13 years old Written bysupereader December 21, 2014

Bad

I love Boy Meets World, its a funny and thoughtful show for kids to adults. However, Girl Meets World is terrible. I was greatly disappointed on how unrealistic this show is. Riley (main character) just raises her hand and asks to leave the classroom at any time, they once brought a horse in the school, and just the way they make all the kids act and talk doesn't happen in real life. And not to mention how they feel the need to stick in a very obvious lesson in the end makes the show cheesy. Watch an episode if you want to, but you will get what I mean by this.