It was a chilly night roughly a month ago at an after party for Austin City Limits when I laid eyes on one of Disney’s iconic 1990s dreamboats, the ever so adorable actor who played ‘Boy Meets World’ charmer Cory Matthews. I vaguely remember sashaying up to him in my eager stride. In all reality, the hour was late and the party atmosphere got the best of me, as I ever so stupidly proclaimed, “Fred Savage! I love you! You are, like, my childhood!”
A little melodramatic to say the least, but what was even worse was that this was not Fred. No, no…this was his younger brother Ben, star of the incredibly popular Disney series. Ben looked at me curiously and politely corrected my embarrassing word vomit. He was happy to take a picture with me, complimenting my leather shorts in the process and exclaiming, “You’re quite tall, aren’t you?!”
He was the epitome of a down to earth lad, merrily drinking and enjoying the night. Little did I know that Ben Savage, the hunky Corey Matthews of my childhood, would soon be announcing that he will be gracing the screens of America once again in the Disney remake of “Boy Meets World,” now transitioning to “Girl Meets World.”
When I think of this extremely successful show, I think of meaningful chats with Mr. Feeny over the fence in his backyard, Topanga’s incredible way of showing us that being a smart girl is a powerful and attractive tool, and bad boy Sean battling through life’s twists and turns, teaching Disney’s young audience that the past does not define who you are but instead can be used to strengthen and mold you into the person you wish to become.
This was the old Disney…the Disney I grew up watching. When I turn on this famous channel nowadays, I see shows that are simply unrealistic and less relatable. I know there are positive life messages tangled in with Selena Gomez’s wizarding drama, but the scenarios are so far-fetched they distract from important teachings. It’s almost as if Disney Channel became too afraid of being real and slightly controversial and instead reached for a safe zone of G rated comedy.
I can only hope that with this remake, they do not fluff the dialogue or minimize the conflicts that will undoubtedly arise in any ordinary girl’s life. If done correctly, the show will inspire a new generation of tweens and teens to act wisely in the real world, using the lessons learned from the show to face life’s conflicts with diplomacy and an open mind. Increasing adversity in a Disney program in this decade can be seen as slightly provocative and controversial. But in my mind, the payoff would not only amount to stronger ratings but an ongoing legacy of a show that teaches millions of kids to not be afraid to live, love, and learn.