Michael Jacobs, the creative mind behind the beloved 90′s show, Boy Meets World, and now the Disney spin-off Girl Meets World, sat down with Entertainment Weekly to give insight into the new highly talked about coming-of-age show.
Months of speculation swirled around talk of a Boy Meets World reboot, but fans hoped to hear the confirmed news that Disney would be airing the show. Once the rumors were confirmed for the Girl Meets World spin-off, casting directors went to work, finding their perfect lead: Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley.
Riley Matthews will be played by 11-year-old Rowan Blanchard. Riley’s equivalent to a “Shawn Hunter” will be played by Sabrina Carpenter, as the role of Maya. Producers have also announced the addition of two more roles, including the role of Shamus Farkle (maybe this character will be the new, know-it-all geek, Minkus).
Entertainment Weekly sat down with the creator of Boy Meets World, Michael Jacobs, now executive producer of Girl Meets World, to get the inside scoop into the coming-of-age classic.
On why Girl Meets World almost didn’t happen:
Disney first approached Jacobs with the idea of the BMW reboot, but he quickly rejected the idea. “There’s a natural reticence to want to try and attempt something that you’ve been really lucky enough to do once,” explains Jacobs. Jacobs thought about what the new show could become and about the “new generation of kids that live in a much more difficult world.” The exec producer is dead set against doing a sequel, because Jacobs thinks it would be nothing more than a reunion show, “a reunion show that’s one and done,” he stated. Jacobs then suggested that the plot should be centered on Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley. “But to actually take the children of Cory and Topanga and watch on two levels [as they] grow up and as Cory and Topanga keep growing up, I can’t resist that. I can’t resist that and I’m very hopeful the audience won’t resist it either.”
On his vision for Girl Meets World:
Like its forerunner, exec producer Jacobs says he hopes that the Girl Meets World pilot captures “the confusions about growing up and what we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to aspire to be.” Jacobs’ says he has his own personal aspirations for the show, stating, “there’s a column that I want to play in and that column contains The Wonder Years and Happy Days. That was always the column that I wanted Boy Meets World to be included in and I want Girl Meets World to be in that column as well.”
On Cory and Topanga as parents:
Cory and Topanga have two children now, but that does not mean that they have it all figured out. “Topanga has always been much more certain than Cory. Cory has always been confused. That would never stop,” says Jacobs, who explains that the long-time sweethearts will have differing views on how to parents their children. “Now he’s a father. Cory Matthews doesn’t know how to be a father.” Cory will also be wrestling with the decision to become a teacher. “He’s following in the footsteps of [Mr. Feeney], the most influential character in his life,” says Jacobs. “Should he be? Will he succeed? Can he influence children like Feeney influenced children? What is Topanga’s observation of that? How does she help? And what is Topanga’s life? And what has she become? You’ll remember we left the series and they were in Philly and they were going on an adventure to go to New York. Did they succeed? Did it work? All of that will be answered in the pilot.”
On Riley’s personality:
Will 11-year-old Riley Matthews be more like her smart, driven mother? Or more like her sweet and sensitive father? Jacobs won’t tell, but he did leave us a hint, saying, “she is going to be much more like one than the other but that second parent will pop up in ridiculously unexpected times and places and add to the confusion of who this character is.” As for who Riley isn’t, Jacobs says, Riley will not aspire to be an actress, a singer, or even a dancer, because, “that was never Boy Meets World and it’s the farthest thing that this show will be.”
On whether or not other Boy Meets World cast-members will make an appearance:
Many of the supporting characters, including Riley’s brother and her rebellious best friend will be reminiscent of BMW favorites like Shawn and Eric. Jacobs says the door is “wide open” for those original characters to make an appearance on the series if the pilot gets picked up. “I think there’s more than a chance,” says Jacobs, who explains that he’s talked with many of the former cast members and that they have all expressed interest in being apart of the project in some capacity. “I think there’s a strong chance,” he says. (Especially if you look on IMDB.com, you can see that Rider Strong is already listed as being in at least one episode of Girl Meets World.)
On reuniting with Savage and Fishel:
Jacobs has stayed in touch with both Savage and Fishel through the years, saying that reuniting with them for Girl Meets World has been “the greatest possible thing that can happen.” Jacobs, who refers to Savage and Fishel as his surrogate children, is hoping fans will feel the same. “[Hanging out with them] is gratifying and rewarding and what I’m hopeful for is that there will be a vast audience who wants to hangout with them again as well.”
Although the premiere date has not yet been revealed for the highly anticipated Girl Meets World, fans won’t be deterred. There are high hopes for Jacobs’ creative thinking and execution behind this new coming-of-age story. As a child of the 90′s, I do hope that Girl Meets World will be the equivalent, if not better, for the children of today’s fast-paced world. I hope Girl Meets World will give these children a 30-minute show free of violence and despair, but instead instill in them, wholesomeness and happiness.
So, if you’ve read this far, there must be some interest in this new Girl Meets World Disney channel show. What are your thoughts on the overall plot? Will this new show sink or swim? Do you have a favorite character you’re hoping makes an appearance? Sound off below!