REVIEW: Girl Meets World Pilot – “Until you make it your own.”


[image from digitalspy.com]

While the spin-off isn’t set to premiere for at least another month, users of the Disney app, WATCH Disney Channel, got a headstart on Girl Meets World, myself included. (Score!)

If you were expecting GMW to be directed towards you, nostalgic millennial, you are sadly mistaken.

However, I recently binge-watched all of Boy Meets World, and after watching the GMW pilot, I can easily say that while the show is very formulaic – come on, it’s Disney Channel – it has the potential to live up to the reputation left behind by its predecessor. But that might just be me being an optimist.

And if you don’t agree, you have to at least concede that the theme song is adorable.

Warning: spoilers for the episode below.

Girl, meet world.

The Girl Meets World pilot isn’t so much an ‘episode’ as it is an exercise in world building. The pilot, aptly titled ‘Girl Meets World’, allows for viewers to meet the world of Riley Matthews. And that world is New York City. Well, the Matthews’ home, the school, and a subway. Viewers meet her friends, Maya Hart and Farkle (spoiler: last name Minkus), and the cute new boy Lucas, who may or may not be the Topanga to her Cory. Viewers re-meet her parents, Topanga and Cory, and her adorable little brother Auggie, and get a feel for her home life through cute interactions between her parents and her sibling. Then we meet Cory-the-teacher, watch Cory fly into Cory-the-overprotective-father, and Cory-the-mentor. (Not really, but he tried, and that’s what matters.)

The only person you don’t really meet is Riley. Not really.

The episode essentially sets the stage for the show and what’s to come, stressing the importance of friendship, and self-identity. In a roundabout way, these things are resolved and established, but ‘message’-wise? Made me wish the episode was longer than the standard 30-minute Disney Channel show because bombs were dropped! (Maya reveals that she doesn’t have anyone at home to help her with her homework after leading a class rebellion against homework.) Lessons were to be had from the events that took place! Instead, we got half-baked resolutions, wrapped in a cute little Disney bow.

While it’s obvious the writers are trying to set Riley up to be similar to her father, she’s a complete pushover compared to Cory’s childhood good faith and optimism. And when the lesson is learned, the message kind of falls flat on its face. It may just be due to the show’s time limitations, but the episode ended in a way that made feel unsatisfied by the results. Feeny appearing to congratulate Cory on a job well done in teaching a lesson didn’t feel right to me. (Though that cameo was awesome.)

Because it was only the pilot, and this show’s theme is a coming-of-age story, I believe that we’ll get to know Riley better as the season progresses. Right now, she’s just a blank slate, and Cory is still stealing the show. Maybe I’m foolish for it, but I really believe in this show and have faith in the actors and writers. Just please stop stressing the word “world”. I get it. Really.

Aside from the serious moments, the show was just as goofy as the original sitcom, but more up to speed with modern Disney shows. Moments like Farkle having his own name plate, Topanga’s quip about Riley being “half” raised right (and Cory’s face as he tries to figure out what she means), Riley falling into Lucas’s lap on the train, and my personal favorite, Maya forging Cory’s signature to write an excuse for Riley’s tardiness. (“You wrote her a note.” “I did?”)

However, the moment that took the cake was Riley and Maya sharing a dramatic moment on a train a la Cory and Shawn. Complete with the “don’t save me” and everything.

All in all, the characters are likable. The show is adorable! The episode made me optimistic for what’s to come in the future. However, don’t watch this show looking for that Boy Meets World message, at least not just yet.

I’m excited to see how the new characters interact with the old favorites, and to see how everyone has turned out, though hopefully, they don’t stress the old and let the new talent grow.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. .5 for the potential that I see in the show and some spoilers I may or may not have read for the upcoming season.

Girl Meets World will premiere on Disney Channel in June.

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Comments

  1. Carina Browder says:

    Reblogged this on Progression. and commented:
    I reviewed Girl Meets World’s adorable pilot episode!

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  1. […] REVIEW: Girl Meets World Pilot – “Until you make it your own.” […]

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