Where ‘Girl Meets World’ Went Wrong

In the past two weeks, I’ve seen more talk about Girl Meets World than I ever did during the series’ run. The “sudden” cancellation sparked the angry beast of the Internet and led to multiple campaigns to save the beloved show. Don’t get me wrong. Girl Meets World spread light on many issues that children’s television hasn’t covered in this era. From autism to feminism, it taught young girls and boys each week a different lesson from the classroom of Mr. Matthews.

But no one is talking about the real reason the show declined in viewers and why after a certain set of episodes, a majority of their audience resented the show.

Since the show’s second season, the writers began to formulate a love triangle between Riley, Lucas, and Maya. This storyline could have been easily squashed into a small episode arc and then resurfaced in a later season. Instead, this plot rollercoaster through several episodes and even two seasons.  Throughout the entire affair, episodes that were meant to teach young audiences the ways of the world turned into “ship” (short term for relationships) wars. It had gotten to the point where multiple members of the cast have asked for the hype to be drawn down.

As someone with younger sisters who heavily watch the show, I don’t want them to believe middle school is just full of relationship troubles and boy problems.

Now like I said before, I don’t want to throw away all the positive things that the show had to offer. But maybe if this little storyline was shown differently or even not at all, fans wouldn’t have rallied on Twitter with #cancelgirlmeetsworld and maybe viewership wouldn’t have dropped. Even if this triangle was ended, the mess that each character’s development went through to resolve it wouldn’t be worth it in the end. Riley and Maya deserved better than to fight for a guy that couldn’t make up his mind for 2 seasons. Females deserve better than to witness a lifetime friendship crumble because of their feelings for a guy. The cast deserved better than having to deal with the outfall of their “ships” instead of their characters.

So we can talk about all the positive things, but we can’t sweep under the rug the wrongdoings that the writers and producers of this show pushed viewers through.

Comments

comments

  1. I did not see much of Girl Meets World , but from what I saw I can identify a few issues. Some quick thoughts.

    The show being on Disney Channel was a major issue for it. While Boy Meets World started out very young and entirely inoffensive (a very similar tone to star Dan Savage’s older brother Fred’s show), it matured significantly throughout its run. For most of its run it had content that was teen and young-adult oriented.

    The fact that BMW matured throughout its run meant that it was at its most mature point by the end of its run. Brining it back as a Disney Channel-style show infantilized the show in a manner that is particularly infuriating when contrasted with the later run of BMW.

    The show also relied on a significant amount of “Disney Channel humor” (see the Disney Channel School of Acting sketch Miley Cyrus did on SNL, pretty much summarizes what that is). There was a large amount of intentional cringe. I remember seeing a particularly frustrating example of this. The return of Mr. Feeney, a moment that excited the BMW fan in me, was broken by a cringeworthy interruption from Riley and and Maya.

    Additionally, Corey and Topanga (the characters that we had been so invested in) were made very secondary characters in this spin-off. There had to have been a way they could have found a better use for them.

    From what I

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