15 February 2016

TV DVD Review: "Boy Meets World": The Complete Second Season

Rated: TV-PG for off-color dialogue
Starring: Ben Savage, Rider Strong, and Danielle Fishel
Released: 1994 - 1995 (ABC premieres) / 2004 (DVD)
Synopsis: In this second season of the beloved '90's sitcom, Cory (Ben Savage) and his friends Shawn (Rider Strong) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) make the big leap into high school...and are immediately over their heads.  With their new young homeroom teacher Mr. Turner's (Anthony Tyler Quinn) unconventional teaching style, and their previous year's teacher Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) as their new principal, things are bound to get crazy.  Between Cory leading a student protest, Shawn's mother driving off with their mobile home, and Eric going crazy over the SATs, hilarity and teen drama abound!

The Good: This is one of the best-loved shows from the time in which I grew up, and was successful enough to launch a sequel series that currently airs on the Disney Channel.  It alternates between humor and heartbreak, but does a good job of it.  There's little profanity, which is kind of surprising for a major network sitcom of its time.  All in all, this was enjoyable, except...

The Bad: There was one major problem that ruined it for me: the off-color dialogue, as the TV rating mentioned.  While I expected a little, I didn't think it would be present in almost every episode, and from pretty much every character.  From playful banter between Cory's parents, to teens discussing sexual matters, to even an implied affair between Mr. Turner and another instructor...well, it was just too much.  If this entire set were rated by the MPAA, I can't help but think it would get a "PG-13".

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: As the rating says, off-color dialogue is present...in pretty much every episode, as mentioned above, and some of it comes from teens.  One episode features an implied affair between Cory and Topanga. 1/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guys; girl in bare-midriff outfit. 4/5
  • Language: Other than about five or six misuses of God's name, no actual profanity. 4/5
  • Violence: Comedic pratfalls, as typical for the "situation comedy" genre. 4/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Emotional intensity throughout, especially in the last two episodes; the Halloween episode is slightly dark. 4/5
Conclusion: Back in the late '90's, I used to watch reruns of Growing Pains on the Disney Channel every day, provided I was at home when it was on and wasn't grounded from it.  Some episodes I saw more than once, and I gave up on it when I thought I'd seen every single episode...but, even if I hadn't jumped ship, I still would not have seen all of the adventures of the Seavers, because the Mouse network never showed some episodes because they weren't appropriate for the intended audience.  I was shocked after reading an online episode guide years later and seeing the synopses of some of the episodes; they were definitely not for children.  I mention this because Boy Meets World also ended up in reruns on the same cable channel...though I can't see how.  While the first season was fabulous, I found this mess hard to get through right from the get-go.  Discerning viewers should definitely take note.

Score: 2/5

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