Ben Savage……….Cory Matthews
Rider Strong……….Shawn Hunter
Danielle Fishel……….Topanga Lawrence
William Russ……….Alan Matthews
Betsy Randle……….Amy Matthews
Will Friedle……….Eric Matthews
William Daniels……….George Feeny
Anthony Tyler Quinn……….Jonathan Turner
The third season of ABC’s first real grown up sitcom on TGIF has hit DVD and it manages to maintain much of its original charm, Boy Meets World manages to be endearing and lovable without hitting too many of the follies of family sitcoms that were seen on most Friday nights.
The season starts out in Cory Matthews’ second year of high school with Shawn still living with Mr. Turner and Eric applying for college. This is an odd year for the show considering its still trying to become the show it will eventually be remembered for. Flashes of seriousness are littered throughout the laugh track, and the episodes dealing with issues of abandonment and high school love are much less “after school special-like” in their presentation.
The big issue that Season 3 of Boy Meets World starts to breach though is the love between Cory and Topanga. They date, they break up, and Cory falls apart in a comical fashion over it. This formula is repeated throughout a few episodes, and although it is pretty compelling, it never really amounts to anything beyond setting up the next few seasons. It turns into a gimmick and gets aggravating when things keep getting repeated over and over again.
Another problem with this season of Boy Meets World is that it still relies far too much on guest stars. Vader makes his return as the father of the thug Frankie and never manages to do much besides scream and reinforce the idea that pro wrestlers are angry muscle heads. The Monkees do a guest spot, which manages to alienate any viewer under 30 especially considering they sing a Temptations song rather then any of their hits. This could be less of an issue for another person, but it annoyed the hell out of me.
Probably my biggest issue with the third season of Boy Meets World is that the show could be so much better if it decided to completely sacrifice the zaniness of Shawn and Eric. For every legitimately touching moment the show manages, it is overwhelmed by a “hilarious” moment. For example, Mr. Feeney gives Eric a college recommendation after he gets conned by a fake college. Rather then letting the audience soak in the moment, Eric proceeds to thank Mr. Feeney and then reveals that he has already sealed 300 envelopes with college applications. It’s not that a scene like that could not fit into the show; it is just that it is in the show too much to be really funny.
Boy Meets World Season 3 can be regarded as a valiant attempt to fundamentally change the focus of a sitcom to a drama. Unfortunately, Boy Meets World is never able to balance the two as a show like the Wonder Years did so wonderfully. It is far too committed to its own wackiness. This lessens by next season a bit, but this still remains Boy Meets World’s key flaw. It’ll take you back, but the series doesn’t hit its stride until next season.
Score: 6 out of 10
The video is presented in its original 1:33:1 format. The video is pretty standard fare for a mid-90s TV show. It looks crisp and clean with little to no noticeable video errors. Video won’t play into a factor of whether or not you’ll buy this.
The third season of Boy Meets World is presented with Dolby Digital Surround Sound. As with most sitcoms though, the audio doesn’t play into effect. The laugh track sounds fine and the dialogue is intelligible. It’s what you can expect for a sitcom.
The only extra on the three-disk set is a quiz called “The World According to Boy”. Essentially, it’s ten quote identifications questions from the season. It’s nothing special and you’ll play through it once at most, but it is nice to see a moderately popular show have a little bit of effort put into it’s release.
Score: 3 out of 10