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

This review of Girl Meets World was written by

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

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Three men and three babies (er, girls).
  • Top-notch, action-packed fun for the entire family.
  • Gorgeously animated adventure has intense themes.
  • Laughs and lessons abound in whole-family sitcom.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBwaba September 30, 2014

I. Am. Disgusted.

I grew up a Disney kid- the fun anecdote-filled world of cartoons and gleeful fashionistas who created the sass I have today. I watch very little Disney in this day. I have been watching only one show in this time (Gravity Falls) and since it is on DisneyXD I rarely find myself on that channel anymore. One day I DID find myself wandering through the cannels. The only shows that were on was: I Didn't Do it + Girl meets world. I HAVE watched IDDI and I absolutely hated it from the start. (See my review on it later) So my only choice was Girl meets world. I did, once upon a time, watch Boy meets world and I did find it appealing in some way (Except I was not that fond of Topenga, she seems a bit stuck up to me.) So I decided to watch GMW. It. Was. Horrifying. I cannot believe how horrible Disney contorted this lovable show to a awful mess of things. First off: The girls are 12 years old and they are dating. IM IN HIGH SCHOOL AND I HAVE NEVER EVEN HELD HANDS WITH A BOY AND THEY ARE HAVING THEIR FIRST KISS THIS JUST SEEMS UNFAIR TO ME. This is SHOWING girls they must wear make up and change for guys, and they even have traces if sexism in it. It shows the mother always has to cook and clean and make sure the husband is happy. I grew up in a house that both of my parents made sure they were BOTH happy at the same time and that everything tha needed to be cleaned was the kids job. This is a hasty review, but im sure Walt Disney would surely agree.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism