Girl Meets World premiered on the Disney Channel on June 27 to a lot of millennial audience anticipation.
The audience meets Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), a girl beginning junior high school with her best friend Maya Hart (Sabrina Carpenter).
Riley's very clearly a Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) type, but seems to be more timid instead of cutesy anxiety. Cory's clearly still holding that trait down on his own. Riley’s definitely a mix of her parents, Cory and Topanga (Danielle Fishel), looking to make her own way.
Girl meets world.
While the young audience may not know the origin, Girl Meets World is a follow up to ABC's highly successful and still in syndication Boy Meets World (1993-2000).
BMW followed the lives of Cory Matthews (Savage), Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), Topanga Lawrence (Fishel), Eric Matthews (Will Friedle), and George Feeny (William Daniels). From the beginning of 7th grade until college you saw the characters grow and evolve. You also watched Cory and Topanga fall in love over time and the heartache that comes with growing up and facing serious decisions.
In GMW, Riley and Maya's friendship is modeled after Cory and Shawn's good kid best friends with wrong side of the tracks kid. And it worked. Maya's got edge and issues, but clearly Cory is following his father’s lead. Alan Matthews (William Russ) loved Shawn as his own, suggesting adoption when Shawn’s father died. There’s a moment in the show when you see Cory turn into Alan and it’s a great moment.
TIME magazine recently interviewed Ben Savage. Eric Dodds sat down with Savage in "Girl Meets World: An Interview With Star Ben Savage."
And the actor pointed out one important difference.
For those in the Boy Meets World generation looking to see the same style and approach, Savage has a message: “I think some of our fans — at least the people that grew up with Boy Meets World — are expecting it to be Boy Meets World where Boy Meets World left off. But really, this show is aimed at younger kids and it’s on the Disney channel, and it’s hopefully going to influence a new generation of kids.”
Some rumblings on social media and in the blogosphere were annoyed at the lack of audience play. Something you see in many of the millennial generation. Be it a new Transformers cartoon series or the Jem movie remake, the expectation of maintaining for nostalgia's sake is there.
And fans are discontent when things don't match expectations.
The 33-year-old also realizes the very beginning of Boy Meets World has “20 years of experience looking back, and we’re going to need 20 years to really appreciate Girl Meets World.”
Ratings proved the show is a success, too.
According to TV Line's Mat Webb Mitovich, the premiere garnered 5.2 million viewers. To bring in a strong audience, Disney used original movie Zapped featuring Zendaya. Zapped had 5.7 million viewers, which is about a 500,000 in audience loss between movie premiere, but Girl started at 9:45 pm, too.
"Ratings: Did Girl Meets World Make the Grade? Plus: Crossbones Sinks" does point out that "GMW stands as the No. 1 series launch of 2014 among the youth demos of Kids 2-11 (drawing 2.3 million of ‘em), Kids 6-11 (1.8 mil) and Tweens 9-14 (1.7 mil)." That's a lot of numbers, but shows a clear success for the show.
Will the audience stay around? No one knows, but this fan hopes so.
The next episode of Girl Meets World will be shown Friday, July 11, at 8:30pm. Next Friday is the U.S.'s July 4th celebration. And the show's day is a TGIF throwback to Boy Meets World.
Check out the season sneak peek below.