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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Boy Meets World: Season One
Boy Meets World: Season One
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // G // August 24, 2004
List Price: $49.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 30, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The First Season

The television series Boy Meets World depicts the life of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage). In the first season, twenty-two episodes are provided to tell various life stories from the point of view of a sixth grader. All the stories revolve around the two biggest settings of a growing boy, the home and school. Each episode is filled with different experiences for Cory, which in turn depicts some of life's most important morals. The morals touch upon lying, cheating, racism, the importance of education, family values, and doing the right thing.

For the general audience, watching the entire first season of Boy Meets World isn't the best way to nine hours. The reason is simple; Boy Meets World just doesn't work well for a general audience. The fact of the matter is that it's geared towards a younger audience. Because of this, some of the show's content, whether dialogue or plot, just seems a bit too corny and far too childish. However, for some like me, it's not all that bad. Individuals who enjoy corny humor from a series like Saved by the Bell or one of its spin-off shows, Boy Meets World will be entertaining. There are several elements of this show that make it an entertaining: the cast and their interactions, the writing and dialogue, and the tone of the show.

While I can't really imagine any of the cast members taking on Oscar winning roles, their performances are very good. The younger cast members seem to fit their respective roles well. Eric Matthews (Will Friedle) plays the cool older brother who has just found a big interest in girls. Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) is Cory's best friend, a good loyal friend with that young bad boy image. Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel) is a trip, she's one of the most bizarre characters of the show and Cory's love interest. Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris) plays the class brain, a total nerd who didn't make it into the later seasons. Lastly, Morgan Matthews (Lily Nicksay) plays Cory's younger sister. She has her moments in the show, a few good one-liners, but really, the weakest cast member, which was due to her limited role in the show.

The adults in the first season also fit into the show well. Alan Matthews (William Russ) is Cory's father, a hardworking man who loves his family. Amy Matthews (Betsy Randle) is the mother of the Matthew's family. Similar to the role of Morgan, Amy is a fairly limited character and doesn't really get a lot of chances to really shine in the first season. However, she does execute her role well, playing a mother with an answer for everything. The last adult role is Principal George Feeny (William Daniels), which is my favorite character of the series. The role of Feeny is fairly exceptional. This is because Daniels has a really strong authoritative demeanor. He is also given some fairly good dialogue, which makes the interaction between him and his students a great laugh. Furthermore, the cast seems to work well together, which makes some very corny dialogue pretty funny.

Another factor that really makes this show stand out is its writing. Like many other television series targeted at a young audience, it's pretty corny, whether considering dialogue or plot. In this case, it's not necessarily a bad thing. The tone set by the earlier seasons of this series allows the show to get away with it. Since the cast mainly consists of young individuals and is presented in their aspect of life, it really fits well. Kids are corny, sometimes they say and do some odd really indifferent things. The reason that I mention this is because it is important. In the later seasons of the series, Cory and company hit college and take on roles as "adults". They continue the show with the same corny mannerism, which leaves the show feeling a bit too dry. For instance, Eric Matthews in the later seasons becomes an utter moron who can't seem to tell his foot from his hand. Imagine Joey from Friends about a hundred times dumber and not funny. It's ridiculous extremes like this that make it difficult to enjoy the later seasons. Fortunately, the earlier seasons are spared of this awful tone set by skyrocketing corniness factors and the corny tone set in the first season works very well.

Overall, I found that watching the entire first season of Boy Meets World an exhilarating experience. While the show is definitely not on my list of favorites, there was plenty of good old fashion corny humor that made it fun. I look forward to seeing the next few seasons on DVD, as the earlier seasons of Boy Meets World work very well and present some outright entertaining content.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this DVD release is presented in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. While I would like to say something really positive about the clarity of the picture, I can't really. In general, the picture seemed to be a bit too rough on detail. The cause of the rough detail came from video compression. While it isn't any worse than most television on DVD releases, those with an eye for detail will notice and be slightly disappointed. In addition, there are some really rough spots, where compression artifacts are very distinct and color distortion occurs.

Sound:
This DVD release includes a single audio track, English Dolby digital surround sound. The sound quality is fairly standard for television on DVD release. The audio consists mostly of dialogue, which remains flat throughout the entire season. It comes off fairly clear and easy to understand. Subtitles are include in this release and are presented in the English language. There is also the dreaded "laugh track" sprinkled throughout each episode, denoting punch lines, but it is fairly subtle and does not interfere with the show.

Extras:
The extras included in this DVD release are a bonus episode and four audio commentaries. The bonus episode from season four, "Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow", which is pretty entertaining. In general, I do not enjoy bonus features that include content that is going to be sold later. However, it's good that this episode was included, as it marks a fairly big transition for the series, which is discussed in more detail in the audio commentaries. The other set of extras are four audio commentaries for season one episodes "Cory's Alternative Friends", "Class Pre-Union", and "Boy Meets Girls", and season four episode "Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow". I really enjoyed these audio commentaries, because it included a good portion of the cast, Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Will Friedle, and Danielle Fishel, as well as producer Michael Jacobs. What really makes the commentaries interesting is that we get to hear the comments of the cast from an adult perspective. Overall, I enjoyed the extras, but like many other television on DVD releases, disappointed that more wasn't included.

Final Thoughts:
I was excited to sit down and watch all of the first season episodes of Boy Meets World. I've always enjoyed the earlier seasons. The reason is that when the cast is younger, they can easily pull off some of the cliched things they do. In the later seasons, the show just felt a little too corny because the cast seemed a bit too old for some of the things they did. Still, the earlier seasons aren't without their vegetable moments, as the corniness factor is pretty big. However, it just isn't as apparent and really, doesn't seem to bring the show down one bit. The first season of Boy Meets World definitely has enough comical content to keep fans happy and newcomers entertained.

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