My all-time favorite show is COMING BACK. With Cory and Topanga! Raising up their teenage DAUGHTER! Wow. My life is now complete.
It’s hard to explain the affinity I feel towards Boy Meets World to people who didn’t grow up with the show. It aired on the Disney Channel for eight years (1993-2000), and reruns continued even after the show was done. For us 90’s kids, Boy Meets World coincided with our most formative decade; I was eight years old when the show started, and 15 when it ended. Cory and Topanga were always four years older than me; they had the lives, relationships, and friendships I wanted to have when “I grew up”.
When I close my eyes and think of BMW, I see my brothers and I sprawled in our old living room in Riyadh, watching back-to-back reruns on Friday, and eating Pizza Inn. “cory & topanga 4 ever” was scribbled in my friend’s binder when we were in seventh grade. I would think about Mr. Feeney’s advice and what it meant before I went to sleep. I had the world’s biggest crush on Shawn (today’s wiser and smarter 27-year-old me congratulates kid me on such good taste in men; Rider Strong is still gorgeous).
A couple of years back, I went through this phase where I re-watched all seven seasons of BMW again, ten years later, as an adult. I watched them through the eyes of a woman who has been through death, lost love, college, the financial crisis, broken friendships, years of office jobs, and all other kinds of “real” experiences. I bought a box set from Hammoudeh for 10JDs and felt bad about spending so much money on a TV show. I expected myself to find it cheesy, stupid, and disgraceful to my childhood.
But I didn’t. I sat outside on the balcony every night for several months, watching the episodes on my iPad as I smoked cigarettes and laughed and cried and reminisced and tweeted and repeated and googled and thought and dreamed. Boy Meets World, I realized then, is a show that was created with love.
I know a spin-off today is not going to manage to wrench my heart like the BMW of my childhood did. After all, I consciously didn’t choose the life Cory and Topanga chose after the show ended; children, a white picket fence, homework assignments, blah blah blah. I chose a life that revolves around happy hour, and an intense dislike of the idea of procreation.
But whether or not our lives took separate turns in the past decade after the show ended, I can’t wait to watch Girl Meets World. Will the kids of today — with their video games, Internet, and YouTube — like it? Will it work outside the simplicity of the 90’s, when life was about rollerblades, bicycles, and the Power Rangers? Probably not. But for those of us born in the 80’s, it will be a bittersweet reminder that yesterday has passed. Somehow.