Let’s be honest, the Disney Channel has been going down hill for years now. So much so that it pretty much insults the intelligence of any viewers older than the age of 12. Back in the day I used to watch shows like Even Stevens or Boy Meets World and my parents would actually sit and enjoy the shows with me. Now, the “kids on stage” vibe of Disney’s sitcoms is just too painful to experience. It’s probably because back then we still weren’t far from an era where sitcoms were actually pretty good. Where they didn’t insult our intelligence and where kid’s shows didn’t talk down to kids as much.
Back in the golden age of sitcoms, it was always the same–the kids were kinda naive and, for a lack of a better term, dumb, and the parents and adults were pretty much always there to catch the kids when they fell or to teach them a lesson. Nowadays, children’s television likes to portray kids unrealistically as the smart, clever ones, while the parents are the oblivious idiots. Not to say that it’s unimportant to show the faults and imperfections of the adults too, but it should be done only to serve the purpose of the episode. These new over-the-top and contrived archetypes are counterintuitive to what the shows should be about. Now I know that it may sound sappy of me, but let’s face it, the reason why we loved the sitcoms we grew up with was because they made us feel good and they taught us life lessons. At least that’s what it was like for me.
So with the Boy Meets World sequel on its way to our TV screens, I was nervous. Nervous that it wouldn’t live up to our expectations. Nervous that it would fall into the dumbed-down world of modern Disney sitcoms. Nervous that it would take all the characters that I had grown up loving and just ruin them. I know everyone kept saying that it would be okay because they had most of the same writers and crew that the first show had, but I know how Disney loves having creative control, and I thought that they may have wanted to keep the new Disney formula as-is.
But then a couple of weeks before watching the premiere of Girl Meets World I had a revelation. I realized that it won’t fall into the format of the last 10 years. It couldn’t. In order for that to happen they would have to change the already-existing characters from a show that was around far before this age of idiocy. So as long as Cory and Topanga’s characters were the same (not sure why they would change them) this show will serve the same purpose as the ones that I grew up with in the ’90s and before. And after watching the pilot episode I found that I was right. The parents weren’t over the top. Cory was Cory and Topanga was Topanga. As for the other characters, they had way more depth and the personalities were balanced out better. It went a different route than simply making every character in the show overly goofy and hyper. It wasn’t painful. And although there may have been one or two shreds of juvenility in the episode, the show actually taught a lesson. They are adjusting to the new world as well. It may have simply been a fluke that it followed the old format. But then again, i’m pretty sure they know what they’re doing and that it was all deliberate. As long as they don’t forget where their roots are it’s going to be a new and refreshing change of pace (although not so much new–just reestablished). And maybe they will pave the way for others and it will be the beginning of a new era of children’s television for the next generations to be nostalgic about.