Life and love lessons learned from the popular family sitcom, Boy Meets World
By Kimberly James, MatchMaster, FindYourPlusOne.com
Growing up, I will admit, I was a very big Boy Meets World fan. I am excited and giddy about the announcement of a reboot on the series. I remember camping out in front of the tv with a bowl of popcorn and eagerly waiting for that week’s adventures of Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence. When the show first aired, it was the typical feel good sitcom where every situation or crisis neatly wrapped up in the thirty minutes it was allotted. However, as the show progressed season by season, so did the storylines and so did the realization that a mere thirty minutes was not enough to fix what was broken.
Cory and Topanga’s love story begins when they are young children and concludes as two married young adults embarking on the next chapter of their lives in a new city. Through trials and tribulations, heartbreak and humor, Cory and Topanga succeed in friendship, family and most importantly, in their relationship.
Sure, the storylines were silly. Of course, this is fiction. And by all means, there were no Academy Award winning performances seeping through the screen. But there was sincerity and a dynamic in the friendship that Cory and Topanga shared and extended with Shawn Hunter, their best friend, Eric, Cory’s brother, Cory’s parents and everyone’s mentor, Mr. Feeny.
Each week, each character’s roles changed. One week Cory could be in trouble and Shawn served as his conscious, Topanga as his cheerleader and Eric as his support. The next week, with a different storyline, the same characters exchanged roles and how they reacted to situations varied by who was in what predicament at that time.
Without knowing it then, I do know it now. Those stories, those interchangeable roles, are very true to life and relationships, no matter the age, no matter the predicament. If I am having a craptastic day, I have my own Eric that I can depend on to make me laugh, bring levity to the situation and make it all seem not so serious. If I need some best friend time, I turn to my version of Shawn for sisterhood, comfort and advice. If I am longing for a sense of family, I turn to my parental units. When I am in need of time with the person who completes me, who tries their absolute best to make it better – I turn to my love, my Cory. And when life has thrown me fast curve balls that I can no longer hit out of the park, I turn to my Mr. Feeney for guidance, coaching and wisdom.
There are more times when my life feels like a nice family show, leaning more towards sitcom than drama. But when the drama does hit, it can really shake me up, very much like the occasional emotional Boy Meets World that took you by surprise and put tears in your eyes. As the show progressed, Cory and Topanga’s relationship developed layers of love, trust, hurt and betrayal. The father son relationships intensified and Shawn faced more problems and troubles as he navigated his way into becoming a young adult.
I have faced changes and challenges in friendship, family and of course, love. And I have not always had thirty minutes to solve my problems or embrace my rewards. A few stories in my life have been neat “wrap it up in one episode” situations, others are an arc, many have lasted a full season and some remain to-be-continued. What I have learned through all of this though is that the people you have casted as main supporting characters in your life have a powerful effect on your story. The parts they play can better you, strengthen you and even give your character more depth.
My life did not come with a script and I am improvising much of as I go along. I do not always know the ending of one episode or the beginning of a new season. But I do know that my core people are key players and have expanded my dialogue of love.
It was inevitable that Cory and Topanga would end up together. It was written to be so. But their story is dotted with happiness, heartbreak and hope – much like life is for all of us. The best way to meet this world every day is to follow Mr. Feeny’s advice he offered in the final series episode “Believe in yourself. Dream. Try. Do good.”