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Boy Meets World on DVD: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3

"Boy Meets World" The Complete First Season DVD Review

Buy Boy Meets World: The Complete First Season from Amazon.com Boy Meets World: Season One (1993-94)
Show & DVD Details

Director: David Trainer (Pilot directed by John Tracy)

Regular Cast: Ben Savage (Cory Matthews), William Daniels (Mr. George Feeny), Betsy Randle (Amy Matthews), Will Friedle (Eric Matthews), Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), Lee Norris (Stuart Minkus), Lily Nicksay (Morgan Matthews), William Russ (Alan Matthews)

Recurring Characters: Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence), Jason Marsden (Jason), Willie Garson (Leonard Spinelli), Marty York (Larry), Kelly Packard (Tracy)

Notable Guest Stars: Chauncey Leopardi (Nicholas, "Pilot"), Marla Sokoloff (Paige, "Cory's Alternative Friends"), Nikki Cox (Heather, "Killer Bees"), Rue McClanahan (Bernice Matthews, "Grandma Was a Rolling Stone"), Keri Russell (Jessica Feeny, "Grandma Was a Rolling Stone"), Jim Abbott (Himself, "Class Pre-Union"), Kathy Ireland (Alexis, "Model Family"), Don Gibb (Tony, "It's a Wonderful Night")

Running Time: 506 Minutes (22 episodes) / Rating: TV-G
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Surround 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned

DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
Season 1 Airdates: September 24, 1993 - May 13, 1994
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9); Suggested Retail Price: $49.99
Eight-sided fold-out Digipak with cardboard slipcover

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Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Growing up is something we all do.
Disney Movie Club (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
So while today's sitcoms may focus on twenty-something singles and workplace environments, "Boy Meets World" managed to be immensely more relevant by centering around a boy growing up.

That boy is Cory Matthews, the middle child of a middle class American family. When the show launched in September of 1993, Cory was just eleven years old and starting sixth grade.

Cory (Ben Savage) is a mediocre student, often confused by the lessons of his 6th grade teacher, Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), who also happens to live next door to the Matthews. At school, Cory is accompanied by his mischievous, but well-meaning best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong). His other classmates include brainy teacher's pet Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris) and the otherworldly flower child Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel).

At home, Cory's older brother Eric (Will Friedle) is lately more concerned with girls and his appearance than his younger brother. While Eric would evolve into a truly funny airhead/oddball, his character here in Season One is equally compelling and inherently likeable, even if he's quick to tease his younger brother.

One of Cory and Topanga's earliest moments together. Mr. Feeny gets to baby-sit Morgan.

Cory's parents aren't always around, and they don't always see eye-to-eye with their children, but their genuine parental love comes through in conversations and punishments. Dad (William "Rusty" Russ) is the manager of a supermarket, who enjoys sports and spending time with his children. He's not perfect, but he is a role model to his son, and their relationship makes for some of the more poignant episodes. Mom (Betsy Randle) is a homemaker who also inspires Cory, and she apparently deals real estate on the side.
There's also Cory's younger sister Morgan (Lily Nicksay), who provides a great number of laughs by being more than simply young and cute like other sitcoms, though she is both.

With "Boy Meets World", there's no absurd twist or silly gimmick to rely on. Instead, the show entertains with its strong writing and well-developed characters. Cory is just an ordinary boy living in an ordinary suburban world like most American children. The viewer quickly embraces him as an everyman protagonist. We care for him and those around him that we come to know.

The young leads of the cast feel real and believable, and not like polished actors in a glossy television universal, even if several would become icons in the world of teen magazines. In the early episodes here, they are carried by their charisma and charm.

The first season spent a lot of time in the classroom and Mr. Feeny's lessons always were appropriately significant to what was going on in Cory's life. As the firm sixth grade teacher, William Daniels imparts much wisdom and is the moral center of the show. But rather than feeling like forced provider of values, Daniels sparks laughs and awe with his wry delivery and behavior.

The family dynamics also ring of an authenticity, without the painless harmony of early television sitcoms and without the brooding overdramatization that marks less believable shows from the past decade or so, and would even negatively affect "Boy Meets World" in its last couple of seasons.

Lessons come from in and out of the classroom. Here, Shawn and Cory try to understand Mr. Feeny's latest topic. At home, big brother Eric provides some lessons of his own.

At its heart, though, the show is a situation comedy, and in its premiere season, it never wavers from this format. The show manages to be sweet, but not sappy and ponderous but not overdramatic. Not with gimmicks, but with characters you care for, stories that involve, and genuinely funny comedy, "Boy Meets World" lasted seven seasons in primetime. In the years since, it's built an even greater following with those who are only now catching the show in reruns on Disney Channel and most recently, ABC Family.

The show simply excels at being an earnest family sitcom, and in its premiere season, it succeeds with mostly realistic situations that spurn comedy and genuinely interesting stories. No matter what elements connect most with the viewer (comedy or characters, school life or family), there's something about "Boy Meets World" that works and works very well.

And now, something that I never thought would come. The first season of Boy Meets World on DVD, in its entirety. This three-disc set from Disney provides all twenty-two episodes from the 1993-94 season in high quality, with care and a few enjoyable bonus features.

A star () denotes my ten favorite episodes from the season.

Cory spends detention with Mr. Feeny in the show's Pilot. Water guns are at the center of "On the Fence." Cory and Mr. Feeny share a drink in "Father Knows Less."

Disc 1

1. Pilot (23:09) (Originally aired September 24, 1993)
In the pilot episode, Cory feels abandoned when his brother decides to take a girl instead of him to the most important Phillies game of the year and his parents are okay with that. Cory moves to the treehouse and instead of being at the game, he winds up in detention, being lectured by Mr. Feeny on love, and its unrivaled importance in Romeo and Juliet and in life.

2. On the Fence (22:16) (Originally aired October 1, 1993)
Everyone at school has a water gun except Cory, but when his parents won't buy him one, he looks for a job to raise the money. Cory learns the working world isn't all it's cut out to be, after agreeing to paint Mr. Feeny's shutters.

3. Father Knows Less (23:12) (Originally aired October 8, 1993)
Cory's father wakes him up to watch a momentous late-night no-hitter on television. The next morning, Cory falls asleep and fails a test, and both father and son are quick to blame Mr. Feeny for not being more understanding.

A new 'do and a new crowd in "Cory's Alternative Friends." All alone in "Killer Bees." Rue McClanahan guest-stars in "Grandma Was a Rolling Stone."

4. Cory's Alternative Friends (23:10) (Originally aired October 15, 1993)
Mr. Feeny assigns partners for a class project, and Cory gets stuck with the "strange" Topanga. After he hears a couple of classmates making fun of him, Cory develops a sudden interest in straightening his hair. Unfortunately, the treatment recommended by Shawn's sister doesn't work as planned, and Cory finds himself with Topanga and company at the weird table in the lunchroom.

5. Killer Bees (22:42) (Originally aired October 22, 1993)
When Cory hears that the winner of the geography bee will get to be bat boy at the World Series, he makes every effort to represent the school. The first step is getting Minkus to try to be normal, and the next is to convince Mr. Feeny that he is willing to learn. Meanwhile, Eric's mind is boggled at the prospect of having his parents go to the same Aerosmith concert as he and his date.

6. Boys II Mensa (23:06) (Originally aired October 29, 1993)
Cory and Shawn find the answers to an IQ test in the garbage, and Cory decides to memorize them. After acing the test, Cory feels guilty, and is faced with the prospect of switching to a school for gifted children.

7. Grandma Was a Rolling Stone (23:09) (Originally aired November 12, 1993)
Cory's eccentric grandmother (guest star Rue McClanhan) visits, bearing gifts and stories from her travels around the country. Next door, Mr. Feeny gets a visit from his niece (played by Keri Russell) and needs Eric's help in entertaining her.

Mr. Feeny is just one of Cory's students in "Teacher's Bet." Cory shows up as a professional baseball star in "Class Pre-Union." Cory and Shawn in "Santa's Little Helper."

Disc 2

8. Teacher's Bet (23:08) (Originally aired November 19, 1993)
Since Cory thinks that being a teacher is easy, Mr. Feeny agrees to switch places for the remainder of the week. Cory will teach Feeny's Social Studies class, and if more students pass than usual, he'll get Feeny's weekly salary for that class. This more outrageous setup leads to Cory trying to enlighten his classmates on prejudices.

9. Class Pre-Union (23:11) (Originally aired November 26, 1993)
When Cory complains that history is uninteresting, Mr. Feeny cleverly assigns that they consider the future instead. The 6th graders are to imagine where they will be when they return for the Class of 2000's 20-year reunion. Cory comes as the star centerfielder for the Phillies, but he flounders when questioned by Mr. Feeny, and his project is deemed incomplete. Cory feels like his dreams and future are squashed. Major league baseball star pitcher Jim Abbott makes an inspiring guest appearance.

10. Santa's Little Helper (23:13) (Originally aired December 10, 1993)
Cory's plans to buy a nylon net for his top Christmas gift (a real leather NBA basketball) change when he finds out that Shawn's dad has lost his job. Meanwhile, Morgan thinks she's killed Santa after her photo opporunity at the mall goes all wrong.

It's time again for "The Father/Son Game"! Mom has a confession to make in "Once in Love with Amy" Eric fends off the advances of Topanga in "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not."

11. The Father/Son Game (23:10) (Originally aired December 17, 1993)
It's time again for the annual Father/Son softball game, and Dad's as excited as ever. Cory and Eric are less enthusiastic. Each tries to come up with an excuse to get out of going, until Dad tells them the game is cancelled. Cory and Eric get to enjoy the weekend as they wish, but they feel awful when they discover the game really went on. Cory learns a lesson which helps him in class as he debates in favor of saying the pledge of allegiance.

12. Once in Love with Amy (22:45) (Originally aired January 7, 1994)
A math problem from Mr. Feeny stumps most of the class, even the infallible Minkus.
Cory and Eric find out that their Mom hasn't been going bowling Wednesday nights like she said. They fear the worst, that she's out for dinner with another man.

13. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not (22:48) (Originally aired January 14, 1994)
Eric comes in to talk with Cory's class about what high school is like. Cory then finds himself fending off what he thinks are advances from Topanga, who comes to the Matthews house bearing brownies and monster movies. But Topanga actually has her eyes set on Eric.

14. The B-Team of Life (22:54) (Originally aired January 28, 1994)
Cory is devastated to learn he has been named to the second string of the basketball team. What's worse is everyone's busy with something else at home when Cory tries to tell them what's going on.

15. Model Family (23:09) (Originally aired February 4, 1994)
For an assignment, Mr. Feeny divides the class into "families" to explore dynamics and consider problems that may arise. Meanwhile, Eric gets discovered at the mall and decides that he wants to be a model, quitting his job at the supermarket.

The Matthews Family house. Eric and Cory share a brotherly moment.

Continue to Page 2 >>

Buy Boy Meets World: Season One DVD from Amazon.com

Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Boy Meets World on DVD: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3

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Reviewed August 13, 2004.