O’Hare: Successful ‘Boy Meets World’ spinoff dependent upon returning characters
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this column, the name of the producer of “Boy Meets World” was misstated. The producer is Michael Jacobs. The Daily Orange regrets this error.
If there is one reason why God stopped the Mayan apocalypse from happening, it was so plans for a “Boy Meets World”spinoff could come to fruition. I’m convinced.
Last November, Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel officially signed on to reprise their roles as Corey Matthews and Topanga Lawrence on the new series “Girl Meets World,” effectively countering the Mayan curse and making my dreams come true.
Producer Michael Jacobs is also returning, and casting began last week for the roles of Corey and Topanga’s daughter Riley, her best friend Maya and other classmates.
To have a successful spinoff, there needs to be a solid link to the original show, which is why I’m psyched Savage and Fishel are coming back. But I’m worried about who might not be returning.
“Girl Meets World”should be based on “Boy Meets World,” but it shouldn’t be the exact same show. That said, I hope Rider Strong and Will Friedle return as Uncle Shawn and Uncle Eric, respectively, but I think the show could still work in their absences.
Mr. Feeny, however, is one character from the original show that needs to come back.
Unfortunately, William Daniels is 85 years old, so I doubt he’ll return as Feeny. Though I’m heartbroken that Riley may never walk next door and yell “FEEENNNYYYY!!!” whenever she needs guidance, I can understand Daniels’ absence. His goodbye to “Boy Meets World,”in which he stands in the original classroom and says to the empty desks, “I love you all. Class dismissed,” was good enough for me.
But he was such a pivotal character to the original show that someone needs to fill the void of the wise, Feeny-esque character. Without it, the show could be a disaster.
Who better than Mr. Turner to fill this role? Mr. Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn) joined the show in season two as the cool new English teacher at John Adams High School and like Feeny, took on a much deeper and more significant role than just a teacher.
When Shawn’s mom abandoned his family, his father decided to chase after her – leaving Shawn alone. Mr. Turner gave Shawn a place to live and provided guidance and discipline as if he were Shawn’s real father. He teamed up with Corey to ensure that Shawn’s troubled past wouldn’t ruin his future.
Then, out of nowhere in season four, Turner crashed his motorcycle and Shawn risked losing the only real father figure he ever had. Turner survived the accident, and Shawn realized he needed to go to college – but after this episode, we never heard from Mr. Turner again. It’s like they killed him off in a soap opera or something. It was an absolute crime.
In “Girl Meets World,” Corey is going to be Riley’s middle school teacher. Mr. Turner needs to succeed Feeny as the school principal. It would re-establish his old relationship with Corey from “Boy Meets World,” and establish a new relationship with Riley in the reboot. Mr. Turner could effectively bridge the two generations of fans who are going to watch the show. Am I the only one who thinks this is perfect?
My plan B is to bring back Minkus. He was a main character in the first season as the geek in class who clashed with Corey and Shawn. If he were to return as the principal, and Corey’s boss, it would recreate the hilarious power struggle of the earliest “Boy Meets World”episodes between the average guy and the nerd in charge – much like Jim and Dwight on “The Office.”
I’m glad we didn’t all die last December so we can see one of the best shows from our childhoods recreated for a new generation. But without a Feeny character, it will be the end of the world for “Girl Meets World.” You can mark that on your calendars.
James O’Hare is a senior history and political science major. His column appears weekly. He loves cheeseburgers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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