Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TV Show Review: Boy Meets World - Season 2

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Plenty of laughs as Cory grows a bit more
Cons: The boy/girl episodes often don’t work for me.
The Bottom Line:
Moving to new school
Expands cast but still gives laughs
Delightful and fun

Enter the High School Years

Inspired by how much I am loving Girl Meets World, I’m trying to watch all of Boy Meets World this year.  I’ve made it to season 2, which I didn’t find quite as much fun as the first season even though I still enjoyed it.

This season finds Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) nervous and excited about starting his new school, John Adams High covers grades seventh through twelfth.  (Do they even have schools like that, especially in a big city?)  That means he is going to be attending the same school as his older brother Eric (Will Friedle), much to Eric’s dismay.  Cory and best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) think they’ve left behind their 6th grade teacher Mr. Feeny (William Daniels).  However, it turns out he is not only their new principal, but still teaching their History class.  They lucked out with English as their teacher is the new teacher Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn).

Over the course of the season, Cory finds himself at a make out party with Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel who is now a series regular although she doesn’t appear in every episode), Cory’s dad Alan (William Russ) makes the mistake of buying Amy (Betsy Randle) a garbage compactor for their anniversary.  Cory and Shawn try to start a fake band to meet chicks but wind up with a gig where they have to play.  Cory and Mr. Feeny get tired of their reputations as safe.  And the duo also get a show on the school’s radio station.

I didn’t enjoy this season quite as much as I did the first season.  For one thing, I found the emphasis on boy/girl relationships a bit too much.  Yes, I know that is something that is an issue for seventh graders, but the episodes were more uncomfortable instead of funny.  And don’t get me started on Amy wanting all the details after Cory gets back from a make out party.  Really?  What parent would be okay with it, much less encouraging it?  That seemed out of character.  Plus there was a repeat plot about hormones hitting for the first time.  They’d already done that (and done it much better) in season one.

Despite that complaint, there are still quite a few fun episodes here, like the ones I highlighted above.  I was laughing along with the studio audience most of the time.  The situations are great and the reactions are funny.  This even includes the school bully, Harley Keiner (Danny McNulty) and his henchmen, who recur this season.

Toward the end of the season, they start to really explore Shawn’s character.  This includes an episode about his family being from the wrong side of the tracks before, in the next to last episode, his mother takes off with the trailer they lived in.  Since I’d watched the later few seasons of the show, this is something I knew they’d introduce at some point, and it was interesting to see it happening here.  Also, they tone down Topanga, who is not nearly the hippy character she was in season one.  It was interesting seeing Cory dating other girls over the course of the season since I’m so used to seeing the two of them together.  And I must say many of my favorite moments in this season are the ones hinting at their relationship.

The acting continues to be good here.  The cast is doing a great job of bring their characters to life each week.  The only week point for me is Lily Nicksay who is a little too cute and over the top as the first version of Cory’s younger sister Morgan.

The season consisted of 23 episodes, and they are all included in this three disc set.  The full frame picture and stereo sound are good.  This isn’t something that will challenge your system, but it is how the show originally aired.  There are a handful of commentaries by creator Michael Jacobs and either Ben and Danielle or Will and Shawn.  I do wish they’d been together like the previous season, but the commentaries are still fun.

While not quite as funny as the first season, there is still much to enjoy about season 2 of Boy Meets World.  I am looking forward to moving on to season three soon.

Season Two Episodes:
1. Back 2 School
2. Pairing Off
3. Notorious
4. Me and Mr. Joad
5. The Uninvited
6. Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?
7. Wake Up, Little Cory
 8. Band on the Run
9. Fear Strikes Out
10. Sister Theresa
11. The Beard
12. The Turnaround
13. Cyrano
14. I Am Not a Crook
15. Breaking Up is Really, Really, Really Hard to do
16. Danger Boy
17. On the Air
18. By Hook or by Crook
19. The Wrong Side of the Tracks
20. Pop Quiz
21. The Thrilla’ in Phila’
22. Career Day
23. Home

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