Saturday, June 28, 2014

NEW SHOW: Girl Meets World: Riley is Cory

Many fans hoped that Girl Meets World would be just like its predecessor, Boy Meets World, only with females as the center of the show. In many ways, it is, and not every parallel is an easy one... having a paper plane in the theme song and a stylized Earth in the "O" of Girl Meets World come easy, as does naming Riley's school John Quincy Adams Middle (Cory attended John Adams). Having Riley and her friend sneak out a window, however, is tougher, as instead of a woody area of Philadelphia, this generation of Matthews lives in the West Village, so a treehouse becomes a fire escape.

In watching this spin-off, however, viewers might begin to wonder how much of facsimile will really work, though. At school, Riley has her best friend Maya by her side (Cory's Shawn) and deals with Farkle, the class dork crushing on her (Minkus always wanting to hang out with Cory and Shawn), while at home, she has to deal with her weird brother (Auggie as Eric). From previews, we know that there will be generational differences (mobile devices, ahoy!), but how many ways will this series really deviate from the classic 90s family comedy? Already in the pilot, we see the storyline of Cory fighting for the independence to drive a car at sixteen, but Riley sees her nearly-earned her MetroCard as that mark. It's apparent that her personality is design to be just like Cory's, with his anxious behavior, poor lying ability, nervous laugh, deep desire to be cool, and naivety. Maya mirrors BFF Shawn's relaxed demeanor, carefree attitude, and rebellious side. [her smile is a lot like the one Rider Strong always flashed, too.] We'll be here to ride out this series and continue to point out where it's keeping pace with the beloved ABC program and where it runs off the rails.
Girl Meets World "Girl Meets World" (S01E01): Riley is immediately introduced as being her father's daughter when she's skeptical of what her best friend, Maya, is suggesting. Still, Riley goes against Cory's wishes and takes the subway, where she meets Lucas, a new kid from Texas, who just happens to be in her history class at school. [that lunchroom is the spitting image of the one in BMW! also, Cory as an overprotective father is a nice shift.] She tries to further rebel by not doing her Civil War paper (on "anything you believe so strongly in that you'd fight for it"), but does not just her own three-page essay, but one for Maya as well. [please tell me I wasn't the only one seeing this as a callback to the BMW season 2 episode "Me and Mr. Joad" ?? also, think about the Season 7 episode "Singled Out" where Cory tells Feeny that he always did his homework, he just never turned it in... similar to Riley pretending she didn't complete her assignment.]

When Maya's attempt to light homework on fire results in setting off the sprinklers, Lucas tells Riley that she's better than Maya, and Corey confronts Maya about negatively affecting Riley. [yeah, the "I have nobody at home to help me with my homework" line was contrived, but let's call it an establishing character moment and move on.] Still, Riley decides that her friendship with Maya is worth fighting for, and tells her parents that. [a few too many make-my-world-your-world comments if you ask me!]

Other notable similarities to the original series: Corey's use of "here's what I'm thinking" and "for as long as I can remember," plus Feeny's line "you always do." Farkle using Minkus' line,
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