In the way it integrates family and friends, ABC's Boy Meets World
plays like a grunge-era edition of Happy Days
(creator Michael Jacobs acknowledges a debt to the 1970s sitcom in his audio commentary). Cory Matthews (Ben Savage, looking like a young Albert Brooks) lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his likable parents, Amy (Betsy Randle) and Alan (William Russ), plus younger sister Morgan (Lindsay Ridgeway) and older brother Eric (Will Friedle). In the season premiere, he finds out that neighbor Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) has followed him to John Adams High, where he becomes the principal. Cory and his best friend, Shawn (Rider Strong), also get a hip new teacher, the motorcycle-riding Mr. Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), and new schoolmates, including Griff (Adam Scott), Frankie (My Name Is Earl
's Ethan Suplee), and Joey (Rilo Kiley cofounder Blake Sennett, then known as Blake Soper). If the year begins with an emphasis on class work and dating, it ends with a focus on domestic matters when Shawn's mother splits the scene. Fortunately, Shawn has a strong support system.
Other notable episodes include "Notorious," in which Cory and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) make a documentary about the difference between love and sex, and "Cyrano," in which Cory and Shawn help the hapless Frankie to get the girl. Guest stars range from Phyllis Diller, who plays a psychic, to Peter Tork (the Monkees), who plays Topanga's father, while the bonus feature offers entertaining audio and video commentary from Jacobs and the principal cast, who seem rather mortified by all the plaid shirts, baggy jeans, and granny dresses. If Boy Meets World isn't as innovative as Fox's Parker Lewis Can't Lose, it makes a virtue out of convention by delivering useful life lessons with a minimum of preachiness. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
23 episodes on 3 DVDs. 1994-95/color/8 hrs/NR/fullscreen.