In Defense of Not-So-Great TV

It’s no surprise that we all aim to find great TV to watch on a regular basis. Why waste your time with something that’s not amazing? And with so many amazing options, it’s not too hard to fill your time.

But last weekend, I found myself spending a large amount of time watching and thinking about two shows that I wouldn’t necessarily put in the “great” category: Girl Meets World and Young & Hungry. You can blame this on a three-part Girl Meets World series called “Girl Meets Texas” and, well, baseball playoff games, which meant that I needed to find a series to watch via Netflix on my iPad (hence, Young & Hungry).

GIRL MEETS WORLD -

It’s no surprise that I’ve been keeping tabs on Girl Meets World. I’m a big Boy Meets World fan, and I started to watch the series because of the surprise cameos. (Feeny’s not dead, by the way.) It does, on occasion, make me laugh, but I don’t think it meets the quality level of Boy Meets World. I just like the way they tie the two series together from time to time. But I somehow got invested in this love triangle drama that happened in Texas — but more so, I wanted to fix it. I spent the vast majority of my weekend (and let’s be honest, some of the beginning of this week) trying to figure out how the writers could have made this story line better.

I’ve been hesitant about this “love him like a brother” thing since it was first discussed — even more so after hearing that Rachel supposedly loved Eric as a brother back on Boy Meets World. (I do not recall those exact words, just that she liked Eric in a different way than she did Jack. The fact that they said this on Girl Meets World still bugs me.) The legitimacy of that statement aside, saying you love someone as a sibling is a change you can’t come back from. It’s not like feelings just go from attraction (well, crush) to brother back to crush. The writers were writing themselves into a corner. So after Part 1, when Riley told Lucas that she loved him like a brother, I was rather annoyed. It’s not like I’m a huge Riley/Lucas shipper, but that certainly doesn’t provide room for growth — or the potential for anything else to happen between them — in the future.

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Harley Keiner meets “Girl Meets World”

girl-meets-world - the forgotton

As you know, I’m a Boy Meets World fan. And I’ve been keeping tabs on Girl Meets World (meaning I’ve been watching every episode each time they pop up on my season pass TiVo recording) just to see some of our old favorites reappear. I’ve already spotted Minkus, who is character Farkle’s father (yes, his name is Farkle Minkus), and just recently I saw another BMW face: Harley Keiner.

I must confess, I didn’t immediately recognize Harley. For one, he was going by Harvey (there is one episode when Cory goes out on a date with TK, Harley’s sister, and she lets the cat out of the bag that his name was actually Harvey). Second, he’s grown up a lot, and it takes a minute for you to recognize him. I did a double-take at the dimples. Then I recognized a certain tone of voice with a familiar, “How you doin’, boys I own?” By then, I was sure I was right, only to discover that “Harley” was written on his janitor’s uniform the whole time.

It was kind-of an exciting addition. I certainly wasn’t expecting it. My eye was focused more on Ms. Thompson, the cafeteria lady, than the janitor. But I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him. According to E! Online, this won’t be Keiner’s — er, I mean, Danny McNulty’s — only appearance on the series, so I’m excited to see more (and check out his Twitter account for a few more pics). My only complaint was that we didn’t get to see more recognition or callbacks from Cory about this memorable guy. After all, he was the one who bullied him throughout his young high school years.

And while Harley himself was a callback of BMW years, the storyline was even more so. While wrapped up in a Great Depression history lesson, we were asked to remember the Forgotten, those people who do so much and you forget about. It reminded me of Cory’s own remembrance of the cafeteria lady of his youth, who passed away. That particular lunch lady got her own wake, as each student took a rose from their cafeteria tray and put it on her station. Then there was the librarian who was being forced out of the school, that they signed the petition for. Both women took a special interest in their kids, if I recall, and Cory made sure they weren’t forgotten (with the help of Topanga, of course).

There are still larger characters I’m waiting to appear — Sean, Eric, Cory’s parents, and perhaps we’ll get another appearance by Feeny. That’s all if Feeny is still alive. I maintain my theory that the iconic teacher, principal, and professor may have passed on, despite his appearance on “Stay in School” posters. But there was still something about that first appearance in the pilot that was mildly haunting and sentimental. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

*Photo by Disney Channel/Kelsey McNeal