Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Laughs and great character moments
Cons: Sliding toward wacky and absurd at times
The Bottom Line:
These senior year laughs
Are growing toward the absurd
Still fun overall
“I Thought Once the Kids Started Getting Older, It Would Get Quieter. It Just Gets Weirder.”
I’ve been saying all along that I started Boy Meets World late in its run. Well, that was almost all of the way through season 5. It’s so much fun to see the episodes I remember again and even get a few jokes in context I missed the first time around. And the fun is definitely continuing overall even if the show is beginning to get weirder.
Season 5 finds us at the senior year of the main trio of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), and Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel). And what a senior year it turns out to be. Shawn is reunited with his long lost half-brother Jack (new cast member Matthew Lawrence) and the brothers plus Cory’s older brother Eric (Will Friedle) get an apartment together. Meanwhile, Shawn finally gets a steady girlfriend in Angelia (regular guest star Trina McGee).
And on the Cory and Topanga front, the two hit a major rough patch when Cory meets Lauren (guest star Linda Cardellini) while on the senior ski trip. This is the major storyline of the back half of the season as the two try to figure out what it might mean for their relationship.
And the rest of the cast? Little sister Morgan (Lindsay Ridgeway) usually just pops in for a few jokes. Cory’s parents Amy (Betsy Randle) and Alan (William Russ) make a huge discovery late in the season. And Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), the only teacher the gang has this season, also has an announcement before the season is over.
Honestly, there are lots of good laughs this season. The writers are sharp and the cast is in fine form, and they get laughs out of just about any material. However, as I mentioned earlier, the stories can get a little crazy this year. Take, for example, the Halloween episode, which finds Jack dating their very possessive new neighbor (guest star Candace Cameron Bure) who may or may not be a witch. Just about any episode that focuses on Eric gets crazy, like his reaction to Feeny’s big news at the end of the episode. On the other hand, his discovery of his Shakespeare acting ability and the resulting trip to Hollywood is very funny. His word a day calendar episode is a hoot as well.
Then comes the episode that introduced me to the show. Yes, I have a dark side, and it is for slasher films. In a spoof on the Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer craze, we get “And Then There was Shawn,” which finds the gang locked in school with a killer on the loose. It’s actually a very funny episode and still one of my favorites of the series.
And that’s just it. While the show may be a bit over the top, the characters are still great and the laughs are still strong. That’s all I’m truly looking for in a sitcom. About the only episode that truly doesn’t work for me is the one that flashes back to the 40’s, but I’ll forgive the writers for that since it was pretty much forced on them by the time travel cross promotion idea for TGIF.
And yes, the show can also pin point real emotion, like in “Torn Between Two Lovers (Feeling Like a Fool).” Even though I knew the outcome of the arc, I still teared up watching it. And listen for the audience reaction. It actually adds to the power of the episode.
On the other hand, the show is still willing to mock itself at times. This is never more obvious than in the season finale. I enjoyed that episode much more this time around than I did previously because I got all of the jokes.
Like last season, we just get the episodes themselves in this three disc set. However, all 24 episodes are here in their original full frame and stereo sound.
While the show may be sliding more toward the absurd, Boy Meets World still packs the laughs into season 5. Whether new to the show or a longtime fan, you’re sure to enjoy the episodes presented here.
Season 5 episodes:
2. Boy Meets Real World
3. It’s Not You, It’s Me
4. Fraternity Row
5. Witches of Pennbrook
6. No Guts, No Cory
7. I Love You, Donna Karan
8. Chasing Angela
9. How to Succeed in Business
10. Last Tango in Philly
11. A Very Topanga Christmas
12. Raging Cory
13. The Eskimo
14. Heartbreak Cory
15. First Girlfriends’ Club
16. Torn Between Two Lovers (Feeling Like a Fool)
17. And Then There was Shawn
18. If You Can’t Be with the One You Love
19. Eric Hollywood
20. Starry Night
21. Honesty Night
22. Prom-ises, Prom-ises
23. Things Change