Girl Meets World…

So after watching Boy Meets World, many moons ago, and remembering that it was a very sweet sitcom of the 90’s, I was excited about Disney’s spin-off for my daughter, Girl Meets World, which premiered on the Disney Channel, June 27th.  Although I was not as disappointed as I have been with other Disney shows in the past (click here for my tween TV post), I wasn’t completely impressed either.

Cast of Girl Meets World Photo Courtesy of People.com

Cast of Girl Meets World
Photo Courtesy of People.com

While I love the concept of seeing Cory and Topanga still together as married adults (well, very young adults, they haven’t aged a bit), with their own family, Girl Meets World, is not as innocent.  Cory is now a history teacher at his daughter Riley’s school, so of course he will be dishing out advice just as his mentor Mr. Feeny did on BMW.  But as with Feeny, boundaries are crossed. The conversations and antics that take place in Cory’s classroom, would never occur in the real world. And 12-year-old daughter Riley, is very sassy and a bit disrespectful, however, deep down she likes to do the right thing.

The plot lines are silly (what parent today allows their 12-year-old to ride a NYC subway alone?) and the parents clueless. I had my fingers crossed with this pilot, hoping that it would mimic its predecessor, however, this just felt like yet another new Disney show, with Cory and Topanga as part of the cast.  Having said all this, my daughter thought it was cute, and I’m sure she’ll be watching it again.

Shawn & Cory ; Maya & Riley

Something that Disney will have to work on a bit is the mischievous BFF. While Shawn was the kid from a broken home, with a heart of gold, and an eye for mischief, Maya isn’t a troublemaker from a blue-collar background. Maya pushes Riley in similar ways as Shawn pushed Cory, but Maya is no Shawn! Everyone loved Shawn, while Maya right now just seems to be a very bad influence for what appears to be a kind-hearted Riley. But I’m sure they will develop that storyline some more, and show us why Maya acts the way she does (probably neglected and/or misunderstood by her parents somehow).

Good old Mr. Feeny

My favorite part of the pilot was at the end, when we see Feeny walk out of a stay-in-school poster to offer reassurances to Cory. This made me wonder if Feeny had died at the end of the BMW series, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t. I can only assume that he will be making guest appearances, or maybe even joining the cast later on.  This might actually be a good thing.

I’ll have to give this show a chance and see if Disney redeems itself.  Did you watch the pilot, and if you did, what were your thoughts/impressions?

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Tween TV Anyone?

Should an 11 year old be watching Pretty Little Liars?  I don’t think so. I find there is a huge gap in television shows for children between the ages of 5-11.  When our daughter was a tiny tot, she of course used to love to watch Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, and Dora the Explorer, as all toddlers do. But how do you go from Barney to Hannah Montana?  By the age of 5 she liked watching Hannah Montana and the Suite Life of Zach & Cody. However, I didn’t feel comfortable with my 5 year old watching some of the things the kids on these “Disney Channel” shows were talking about, and much less, the way they spoke to their parents.  I found myself constantly telling her that these kids only spoke to their parents this way because it’s a TV show, and that no one does that in real life (sure). My husband would repeatedly tell me that these shows were really inappropriate for such a little girl to watch, but it was a very difficult choice to make.   Anytime we went to Target, Toys R Us or even Macys, there were tons of toys, clothing and DVDs of these programs that she had become familiar with, and that as usual, most of the kids in her school were also watching.  And honestly, she had outgrown Blue’s Clues, and there were no other shows for her to watch.

When I was growing up, I used to watch The Brady Bunch, The Flying Nun, I Love Lucy and The Partridge Family.  These were all very innocent shows, where children acted like children and were not so incredibly disrespectful.  I realize that in today’s world these programs might appear “corny” and very old-fashioned, but at least they were wholesome, and my mother didn’t have to worry about any inappropriate topics coming up.  That’s when I realized that my daughter and her generation were growing up too quickly.  By the time she was nine, she was watching iCarly and The Wizards of Waverly Place.  These were OK; however, Alex Russo is no Jan Brady.

By the age of 11, she started telling me that her classmates were watching Pretty Little Liars, The Secret Life of an American Teenager and Switched at Birth.  These shows all have ratings of TV-14, clearly not appropriate for 11 and 12 year olds.  And don’t even get me started on Gossip Girl!  Once again, I was facing the issue of, “Everyone else’s parents are allowing them to watch”.  Of course I used the old line, “I don’t care what anyone else is doing, only what you’re doing”, and I forbid her to watch these shows.  Luckily, she was content with still watching the Disney channel and its new programs, such as Good Luck Charlie (which is my favorite of all these Disney shows), Shake it Up, and Jessie.  She also loves watching Full House (which she has the entire DVD collection) and old episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World.

Jump 2 years ahead and now at the age of 13, she’s really into Dance Academy and House of Anubis on Teen Nick.  I’ve recently allowed her to watch The Fosters on ABC Family, but because it’s rated TV-14, I watch it with her (against hubby’s better judgement).  I’m not thrilled about some of the topics on this show, but at least now I believe she is old enough to understand that life is not perfect, and that these are some real topics that others kids her age face. By watching it with her, she can also ask me questions on topics that may sometimes still be over her head.  I know some of the parents reading this will disagree about The Fosters, and that’s OK.  Only you know what your child can handle, and only you should be making those decisions.

I am not trying to raise my child in a plastic bubble (although I have been accused of that in the past), but I’m also not interested in rushing her childhood.  There is a place and time for everything, and she will soon find this out on her own.  I wish I could tell some of these parents to allow their kids to be kids.  Everyone seems in such a rush these days for their children to grow up.  Maybe it’s different for me, as I only have one, but it puts a smile on my face whenever I catch my daughter truly acting her age.

Now, if we could only bring back shoes like 7th Heaven and The Facts of Life!

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Photo Courtesy of ABC Family