I am definitely one of the Millennials who was super stoked about the Boy Meets World sequel series when I heard about it. I even called it. Back when the Dallas sequel series started I was all, “If they ever make one for my generation it’ll be Boy Meets World.” And I was right. Sort of.
I’m not sure you can really consider Girl Meets World a true “sequel series” so much as a new show with the same formula and a couple of the same characters who stay mostly in the background. GMW is intended to be BMW for a new generation. I wouldn’t have a problem with it if they weren’t taking something I hold dear and turning it into another Disney Channel also ran.
There are many problems with the GMW model. The whole reason they did it as a so-called sequel series was to cash in on the name recognition of BMW. However, most of their target audience has never heard of the original show much less watched it and developed an attachment to it. The point of bringing back Corey and Topanga was to hook Millennials like me. They stated firmly that this would be for the new generation so what on earth made them think twenty and thirty somethings would want to watch an insipid Disney Channel show? So why include BMW characters at all? All the hype was caused by and paid attention to by us. Not tweens.
A glaring problem is the way the world has changed since 1993. When BMW premiered I was almost 8-years-old. The perfect audience for a sitcom about an 11-year-old boy and his friends. That’s right. It was about the kids. That was pretty revolutionary for the time. There were other family programs on but mostly they focused on the parents and the kids were there for comic relief and to cause conflict. This was a show for us and about us. I think that’s the main reason it lasted so long and is still revered by our generation. Others came after but it was pretty much the first. Today, TV is flooded with all kinds of shows aimed at the tween market ranging from goofy BMW-type sitcoms to creepy vampire soap operas. With that much market saturation, GMW needs us to pick up some slack but I don’t see it happening. I, for one, am too old to listen to a little girl whine about how she wants to be like her best friend and teachers give too much homework.
Another problem is this is now a “girl” show. Back in my day, girls watched all the stuff boys did but boys wouldn’t watch something they considered girly. I’m not a parent and I haven’t spent a lot of time around little boys lately but I’m guessing that hasn’t changed much. So let’s do the math here. Audience – Millennials – Tween Boys = Tween Girls. I know girls this age can be obsessive. Trust me. But with so many options and overstimulation on and off the screen, can something this generic capture enough hearts? Time will tell.
I think it’s great that they want to make a BMW for today’s tweens. I really do. I loved it. Hell, I still love it and will watch it at every opportunity. That’s why it rankles that we’ve been deprived of a real sequel series. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have liked a show about Corey and Topanga (and Shawn!) struggling with adulthood, marriage, parenthood, jobs. The things we’re now struggling with. BMW was unique because it featured the kids. A well-done sequel series could have stood out again by bringing back the family sitcom. To me, GMW is a missed opportunity.