Girl Meets World: Will You Join Cory and Topanga's Daughter on Her Journey?

Girl Meets World Premiere

After a brief waiting period — 14 years, one month and 22 days to be exact — Disney Channel on Friday continued the Boy Meets World saga with Girl Meets World, an updated spin-off that invites Cory Matthews’ daughter to take her father’s world and make it her own. So, how’s she doing so far?

RELATED Girl Meets World Cast Talks Surprise Returns, the New Mr. Feeny and More

Friday’s episode begins with good-girl Riley (Rowan Blanchard) being convinced to sneak out of the house by her best friend — but probably not always best influence — Maya (Sabrina Carpenter), only to have their attempts thwarted by Papa Matthews (Ben Savage), who promises to remain one step ahead of her. Right off the bat, it’s clear Riley inherited most of her personality — particularly her endearingly awkward social skills — from Cory.

I mean, have you ever seen a more Cory face in your entire life?


…I didn’t think so.

The girls eventually follow through with their plan of riding the subway sans supervision, an adventure that lands Riley right in the lap of Lucas (Peyton Meyer), a Texas transplant who’s already destined to become the Cory to her Topanga — or would it be the other way around? girl-meets-world-riley-lucas(Side note: A+ cameo from TV legend Jackée Harry, who I will forever dream of running into on public transportation. Maybe someday…)

Riley’s life is further complicated by the fact that her father is also her teacher, but unlike Boy‘s Mr. Feeny — who ruled the halls of John Adams High School with an iron fist and a gentle mustache — Cory pretty much lets his students walk all over him. From the moment Riley and Maya arrive to his class (late), he’s hit with a barrage of wisecracks about his boring, low-paying job. He attempts to steer the conversation towards the Civil War, but after about 30 seconds of “jamming some learning” into his students’ heads, he voluntarily hands the reins over to Farkle (Girl‘s answer to Boy‘s Minkus), who delivers an impassioned soliloquy about his love for both Riley and Maya.

And just when you think Cory couldn’t possibly have any less control over his class, Maya inspires her fellow students to join her in an anti-homework walkout. (If this is giving you flashbacks to Season 2 of Boy, in which Shawn organized a similar protest inspired by The Grapes of Wrath, you’re not alone.) The rebellion eventually goes up in smoke — literally, as a stray sparkler sets off the fire alarm — resulting in a soaking wet classroom, and ultimately, the message of the pilot.

“You were so busy trying to be her, Riley, you forget the best thing you can do for her is be you,” Cory tells his daughter, before taking Maya aside for a follow-up lecture. “I have nobody at home who helps me with my homework,” Maya tells him, adding yet another Shawn comparison to the pile. Ultimately, though, Cory forgives Maya for stirring up trouble, and all’s well that ends well.

That said, I do have one question: Is Mr. Feeny dead? Cory catches a glimpse of his former mentor during the episode’s closing credits, but the angelic nature of his appearance makes me nervous.

Girl Meets World

For now, let’s just call it a vision. A happy vision of a man who is alive. Somewhere.

Now, for some closing thoughts: Was this a perfect pilot? No. Did it suffer from an alarmingly small serving of Topanga (Danielle Fishel)? You bet. But it was a solid start, and during the cast’s visit to TVLine’s New York office, we were told that Girl really comes into its own in the first couple of episodes. So if you didn’t love it right off the bat, I encourage you to stick with it.

What did you think of Girl Meets World‘s big debut? Cast your vote below, then watch our interview with the cast and drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. English says:

    It’s adorable. A little cheesy but most Disney premiers tend to be.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Agreed. I think, given the network, a small amount of cheese is to be expected/forgiven.

    • Michael says:

      That scene with Cory and Mr. Feeny really hit me. For that split second, I felt like I was 12 again. Very emotional moment. I know all the old school Boy Meets World fans know what I’m talking about. “WELL DONE, MR. MATTHEWS.”

      • Shell says:

        Yep. Inwas right there with you. I got teary eyed. I did not expect it at all. I thought that was a nice ans simple nod. It was great.

        • LADY_in_MD says:

          I thought the same made me go back to my middle school days watching the show

          Andy I thought they were hinting that Mr Feeney is dead but I hope that isn’t true

  2. MattArmando says:

    VERY SOLID. Will definitely have to give it time to grow.

    But, for a start, and a lot of pressure on it, it was great. Very nostalgic, with all the new and old characters.

    Once again, it will need time to grow and find its footing. Stick with it!

  3. SB says:

    I’ll give it another couple shots but I was largely underwhelmed. The dialogue was very cheesy/over the top, the constant laugh track got to be super obnoxious, and the entire thing was just very Disney-fied. But I want to like it for nostalgia’s sake! I think it has potential to settle in and do ok.

  4. Tran says:

    Disney Channel should have a breakout hit in Girl Meets World. I give it an A.

  5. alistaircrane says:

    Farkle is adorable. He’s going to make some guy very happy one day!

  6. yankeesrj12 says:

    The older kids that grew up with Boy Meets World, like myself, are obviously not the target audience for the series. Watch Boy Meets World – its a show we related to and fell in love with growing up. Disney Channel is doing the same with Girl Meets World. It may be cheesy, but so was Boy Meets World, and that is why we loved it.

    There is definitely potential with the series, but it’ll take time. The show shouldn’t be a carbon copy of Boy Meets World anyway, we already have that series. This has to be something new (with a few new characters) and viewers have to realize that or they will be disappointed.

    I’d give it a B.

    • Lizzie says:

      Thank You! I have been saying that since the beginning. If it was the same exact thing it wouldn’t work we would get bored. I’m convinced that Riley is young Corey all those expressions and moral dilemmas battles.She also talks a little like him from that first and second season. It’s a little heavy on the Maya having a troubled home life not as implied as Shawn was but I think kids aren’t able to pick up on this as easy. But solid pilot very different from Disney Channel shows

  7. Tom says:

    Does someone have a count on how many times they said world? I can’t imagine a time in my life when I used the word world as much as they did in Girl Meets World. In fact, they probably surpassed the entire series of Boy Meets World in “world” usage. World. World. World WORLD WORLD WORLD.

  8. Canadian says:

    For a pilot, I was impressed. Despite being Disney, it still felt real & it still felt like Boy Meets World (circa seasons 1-2). Here’s to hoping it keeps the momentum.

  9. Tara says:

    I loved it. It was well done, and the Riley, Maya and Farkle are adorable. I can’t wait for more episodes, and I hope that it does well. It should have been a back-to-back premiere (two episodes, instead of one). I don’t care that it’s cheesy, to be honest; I loved the wholesomeness of it :’)

  10. Jake says:

    Not impressed

  11. Marcus T. says:

    Both of the kids were kind of abrasive at times. Shawn and Cory even when they disobeyed their parents maintain a certain level of respect but it was like they were trying just a little to hard. Going to take a little time to find it’s legs.

  12. Carmen says:

    The only major problem is that the daughter looks like an actual little kid and the love interest guy actually looks like a teenager so it’s a little jarring

  13. john smith says:

    Disney ruined it. Canned laughter. Not realistic. Miley Cyrus revisited. Need Mr, Feeney

  14. Blake says:

    Three words: Too. Much. Farkle. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.

  15. Jared Munson says:

    Everyone who says the show is disneyfied, remember Cory and Shawn were in sixth grade in the original. It was cheesy at first. It’ll mature with the cast.

    • Yeah. The first season of the original is very simple compared to the rest of the show starting with the second season. Either this show will get better as the first season progresses, or we’ll have to wait until the second season to see an improvement in the story arc once the children start to age.

  16. KND says:

    Way too little Topanga and a little hard on the laugh track (but I get that’s Disney). Totally super cute and I’ll definitely keep watching.

    BTW GMW writers you cannot open NYC subway doors with your hands after the doors have been completely shut. Also, it’s a metrocard not a NYC subway pass. I won’t even mention the fake subway station/train. Sorry I have a huge pet peeve about NYC accuracy.

  17. Aprilcot says:

    I enjoyed it, but that Farkle was the worst. If they don’t cut the character (a la Minkus), they at least need to tone him down a lot in order to make him tolerable.

    • Darken365 says:

      In boy meets world they brought Minkus back later in the series. But I think Farkle is a far greater improvement.

  18. Ross says:

    They already confirmed Mr. Feeny isn’t dead. I never thought he was. It was just Cory’s inner Feeny.

  19. Monique says:

    We’ll I found the first episode a typical Disney pilot SAFE. It wasn’t terrible but I was not blown away either. In my years of watching disney I have found that I make a decision on one of
    it’s shows after the 3rd episode. I definitely love that they stayed true to the Cory Topanga relationship. And I will be watching next week!

  20. Aleana says:

    I thought it was good it was nice to see Cory and
    Topanga again loved the cameo of Mr. Feeny I’ll continue to watch

  21. mujahidali says:

    yesssss yesssssss weee werr

  22. nate says:

    just started but already love Maya

  23. I really wanted to like this but I can only manage an ‘okay.’ I dunno, maybe the first episode’s plot just didn’t grab me. Gonna give it time of course, this was not never watch again bad.

  24. Darken365 says:

    It was a nice start; however, they brought her love interest way too soon in the series.
    I would like it to be slightly more realistic as well, boy meets world did a good job of balancing this aspect.

    Don’t Let Feeny die!!!

  25. Gary says:

    Exactly what I expect. Solid b+ adorable and cheesy at time. Over did it with Farkle at time but funny twist with him being Minkus son. Needs a lot more topanga but really great to see Cory and her back together

  26. Tom Charles says:

    Overall I thought it was a good spiritual successor to the original, would have preferred it stayed in Philly but meh can live with it as is. One thing though, Farkle needs to be toned down about 20 nothces at least. Very , very annoying. Show would be a lot better without him, or if he weren’t so over the top.

  27. Michael says:

    The opening scene would have made a good ending to an episode but it was a horrible choice for a beginning and Farkle needs to be reigned in. They did a great job casting Riley. Her “Cory” face is spot on. I do like that Cory sees a bit of Shawn in Maya and hopefully he will be there to protect her like he did with Shawn. The Mr. Feeney cameo was a great caper on the episode.

  28. Liz says:

    Laugh track used way too much. Lucas kid good looking, but too old for part, Farkle is going to become annoying too quickly, Mya is too mature and her outfits make her look like a mini Taylor Momson. If Mya and Riley have been friends for so long, why doesn’t the Matthews know about her home life and she has no one to help her with her homework?
    And finally….Not enough Topanga.

  29. Meg says:

    So cute for a show geared towards a younger audience. I loved the few Cory and Topanga moments we got. Will keep watching for them.

  30. Feeny’s not dead. He’s in his home which is in another state. He wouldn’t have followed Cory all the way to New York. It would have been weird to try to justify his being there in the flesh. They probably came up with the idea of the poster and the vision to justify having the cameo without diluting the narrative.

  31. Nick says:

    It met my expectations. My aforementioned expectations were not being quite as good as Boy Meets World but still lighthearted, a little cheesy, and a lot of fun. They did the perfect job casting Rowan Blanchard, she is the perfect daughter of Cory and Topanga.

    Also, I don’t think Feeny is dead, it’s simply a reference to “you’ll always be with us”.

  32. Bl says:

    Why is their John Quincy Adams Middle School in NYC?

  33. Joey Padron says:

    Like first episode. it was good and funny. Good to see Cory and Topgana on TV. Kids did good in episode. Good cameo from Mr. Feeny at end. I’ll keep watching and looking forward to see some more Boy Meets World characters on show.

  34. Matt says:

    I loved the few Cory and Topanga moments we did get though. Especially the lets get married and have a kid and another kid one!

  35. angel says:

    I love Riley she’s cute smart funny and awesome and she’s my type

  36. Barry R oss says:

    Boy meets world was a show that my dayghter now 23 and I had enjoyed and watched together while she was growing up
    Last night she cancelled her plans abd her and we watched Girl together as a family
    What a great feeling we enjoyed every second of it and it brings us back to simpler tines

  37. Whiteafroguy says:

    Is feeney dead?!!!??!!! I’m bummed. Not watching another episode until I know wether he’s dead or alive. Damn Disney is do tragic nowadays. I watch TV to escape reality and the disappointments of life. Not to lutn the ways of life. I WANT HAPPY ENDINGS!!!!

  38. animegirl31 says:

    I’m excited for the show, it wasn’t the best pilot EVER but it was solid and I’m hopeful that the series comes into its own.