Monday, August 10, 2015

TV Show Review: Boy Meets World - Season 4

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Lots of fun and some serious moments
Cons: A few inconsistencies from earlier seasons
The Bottom Line:
The characters age
As some transitions are made
Show still going strong

“Cory, You’re Missing a Really Funny One.  The Curly Head Kid Keeps Digging Himself in Deeper and Deeper.”

I’m so thankful for Girl Meets World.  Yes, the show itself is fun and I love watching it, but it is also making me go back and watch the seasons of Boy Meets World that I missed when it first aired.  I’ve now passed the half-way point with season 4, and I’m still really enjoying it.

When last seen, Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and his older brother Eric (Will Friedle) were heading out on a cross country road trip.  As the season opens, the brothers are heading home, but Eric is having a hard time with the idea.  In a thread that will continue across the season, Eric is trying to figure out what to do since he didn’t get into college.  He’s not the only one having a crisis since father Alan (William Russ) is tired of managing a grocery store.  Fortunately, they both find that next step when the family buys a sporting goods store.

Meanwhile, Cory, his girlfriend Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel), and his best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) are entering their junior year of high school.  (Wait, weren’t they in sixth grade in season one?)  Shawn is living with his father (Blake Clark), and it isn’t too long before his mother (Shareen Mitchell) moves back in as well.  Over the course of the season, the Hunters and the Matthews get together for a shared Thanksgiving meal.  Topanga cuts her hair to make a point to Cory.  Cory tries to attend Topanga’s Sweet Sixteen party and a wrestling match at the same time.  And house sitting for neighbor (and principal/teacher) Mr. Feeney (William Daniels) turns into a business opportunity.

A couple of things struck me as I watched this season.  First, it tackled more serious subjects than some of the earlier seasons.  One episode deals with an abused girl.  Topanga’s family moves to Pittsburg.  And Shawn joins a cult, meanwhile, his mentor at school, Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), gets in a serious bike accident.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of laughs, but the more serious stories are definitely there.

Speaking of Jonathan, this brings up something else.  This is his last season on the show, which isn’t a surprise considering how many episodes he missed over the course of the season.  Instead, Mr. Feeney begins to take on more teaching again and less time as the principal.

This is also the season where the characters begin to talk about Cory and Topanga being lifelong true loves.  That was definitely not the case in the first couple of seasons, but it is a change I knew was coming from the later seasons I had watched.

Oh, and the show manages to poke fun at itself and being a TV show in several episodes.  I always love it when a show winks at us like this, so I enjoyed those moments.

The actors do a great job in a season that calls for quite a range from them.  Whether the episode is pure comedy or filled with more serious moments, they always pull it off perfectly.

The season consisted of 22 episodes, and all of them are presented here in their native full frame and stereo sound.  This was the 90’s, after all, so that’s how they were originally presented.  There are no extras, although we did get an audio commentary of one of these episodes on the season 1 set.

In some ways, season 4 of Boy Meets World feels like a show in transition.  However, it is still a wonderful show filled with funny and serious moments.  Fans of the show will be thrilled to revisit these moments with their favorite characters.

Season 4 Episodes:
1. You Can Go Home Again
2. Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow
3. I Ain’t Gonna Spray Lettuce No More
4. Fishing for Virna
5. Shallow Boy
6. Janitor Dad
7. Singled Out
8. Dangerous Secret
9. Sixteen Candles and Four-Hundred-Pound Men
10. Turkey Day
11. An Affair to Forget
12. Easy Street
13. B&B’s B ‘N’ B
14. Wheels
15. Chick Like Me
16. A Long Walk to Pittsburgh (Part 1)
17. A Long Walk to Pittsburgh (Part 2)
18. Uncle Daddy
19. Quiz Show
20. Security Guy
21. Cult Fiction
22. Learning to Fly

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