Cory and Topanga are still happily married and dreamily in love. They are in New York City now — though the subway ticket machines say otherwise — with two children: the aforementioned Riley and her younger brother Auggie (August Maturo). Riley and Maya are the stars of the series, two seventh graders trying to navigate an awkward adolescent (OK, that’s definitely familiar) while forging their own way — Riley, in particular. Cory repeatedly tells her to find her own path, make her own world, and other silly platitudes. It’s all so obviously a metaphor for Girl Meets World‘s attempts to get out of the shadow of Boy Meets World.
It doesn’t need to fight so hard. Taken out of the context of its predecessor and viewed from the perspective kids who have never seen it, Girl Meets World isn’t actually a bad show. It is, without a doubt, a Disney show, with all the basic elements of one: jarringly bright sets, wild laugh tracks, tweens in too-stylish outfits, and a helpful lesson to learn. It’s sweet and charming, with some chuckle-worthy moments and the expected Disney antics. It’s a show that the whole family can watch; the kids tune in for Girl Meets World while the parents tune in for their own nostalgic purposes.
As a children’s Disney TV show, Girl Meets World is perfectly adequate. If you’re looking for a throwback to your favorite childhood show, you won’t find it here. There are cute references, but it’s not the reboot that you wanted. And that’s OK: Girl Meets World is a show for a different generation. Let them have it.