When the news came that there would be a sequel series to “Boy Meets World,” following Cory and Topanga’s teenage daughter, the reaction was largely positive. Of course, there’s always that fear or whether or not it could possibly live up to the original.
Now that the premiere episode of the series has finally arrived, it’s safe to say “Girl Meets World” does its predecessor proud. It’s not perfect, but has more than enough promise to be something really special.
Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard) is very much her father’s daughter, right down to her neurotic ways and Shawn Hunter-esque best friend Maya (Sabrina Carpenter). She’s finding her place in the world, while also suffering through life as a student in her dad’s history class.
While everyone in the cast does a good job, including returning “Boy Meets World” stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, it’s important to note just how great the supporting players are. First and foremost, there’s Farkle Minkus (Corey Fogelmanis). If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the son of Stuart Minkus, the nerd that Cory and Shawn liked to make fun of in the early seasons of “Boy Meets World.” Like his dad, Farkle is smarter than everyone in the room. He’s also a showman, though. He’s the star of the class, whether everyone else realizes it or not.
Then there’s Auggie (August Maturo), the other Matthews kid. Where Cory has his village idiot brother Eric, Auggie is just weird and it’s very funny. He doesn’t get a lot of time in the pilot, but he steals one scene in particular.
Finally, Lucas Friar (Peyton Meyer) is the boy Riley has a crush on. He’s fresh out of Texas and Cory’s new worst enemy. Of course, that’s only because his daughter likes him so much. Meyer is shown throughout the pilot but doesn’t really get a chance to show off much personality. Hopefully, he will in future episodes.
Blanchard and Carpenter are no slouches either. Their best friend chemistry is even better than Cory and Shawn’s in the earliest episodes of “Boy Meets World.” Carpenter, in particular, also carries the few truly emotional moments in the episode, which will make you want to learn even more about her character.
What’s important to remember is that, while “Girl Meets World” carries on the original show’s story, it’s not made for the same group of viewers. This is a show aimed at the Disney Channel audience, which is made up of primarily young females. This is the “Boy Meets World” for them.
That all said, there’s more than enough nods to the original show to keep longtime fans happy. Now, they just need to get to the part where Shawn shows up to rekindle his bromance with Cory.
“Girl Meets World” premieres Friday, June 27, at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT on the Disney Channel.