Monday, January 27, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE TURNING
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)

PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY OF DISNEY PLUS

GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)


Where is it playing?: Disney Plus

What's it rated?: TV-G

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

I have to confess that this show is one of the main reasons I opted to fulfill my daughters’ biggest wish to get Disney Plus as a Christmas gift.  

My girls—ages 10 and 13—and I got hooked on Girl Meets World while Netflix ran it, between 2015 and early 2019. Then Disney put the show, which had been canceled in 2017, on its own streaming service. I’d never seen Boy Meets World when it aired in the late ’90s, so I came to this spinoff with fresh eyes. It takes place in Manhattan where the main characters of the original show, Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel), are now married and in the midst of their careers and raising their two children, 12-year-old daughter Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and 5-year-old son Auggie (August Maturo). 

Girl Meets World strikes a balance between delightfully sweet and thoughtfully poignant. It’s a Disney show, so it’s got that energetic, slightly plastic aura of smily intentionality and morality—Cory is a teacher as well as a parent to Riley, so there’s a lesson in each show. But the lessons take on issues that actually resonate with me as a parent and with my girls as tweens: divorce, friendships, money, careers, loyalty, integrity, abandonment, remarriage. We see characters cry and look deep inside themselves as they rally around each other in some truly difficult situations.  

Riley is at first glance all sweetness and bubbly optimism, while her best friend, Maya Hart (Sabrina Carpenter), is darker and more damaged from her dad’s walking out on the family when she was young. The two friends balance out each other, illustrating one of the show’s main themes: The secret of life is that people change people.  

In one of my favorite episodes, the two best friends travel back in time to Cory and Topanga’s past to figure out whether Riley can ever live up to her amazing parents (of course she learns that she’s her own person and is also a combination of her parents’ attributes). The girls are transported into a scene from Boy Meets World, the episode where Cory and Topanga hang out at Cory’s house on a non-date. It’s adorable, and since I hadn’t seen the original show, it was a treat to see the middle-school-aged versions of Riley’s parents. 

I’ve since watched several episodes of Boy Meets World, also on Disney Plus, and I now understand why the studio audience cheered when certain characters showed up in Girl Meets World—characters including Cory’s best friend, Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), who appears up often; Cory’s brother Eric (Will Friedle); former teacher Mr. Feeny (William Daniels); and Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris)—fun fact: Minkus’ son, Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis), is one of Riley’s best friends. Even Cory’s parents make an appearance or two. All the teenybopper fans—and this new, not-so-teenaged fan—of the original show will get the thrill of seeing many familiar faces all grown up and as quirky as ever. 

Girl Meets World is a delight, and I recommend it to anyone with tweens (especially daughters) and any fans of the original show who might still be curious about their favorite characters. (72 episodes, 24 min. each) 

—Andrea Rooks




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