TV Meme: Day 4 - Favorite Show Of All Time.

This was, by far, the hardest to choose. Let me explain. I really don't have a "favorite show of all time." I have shows that I love, but they're all about equal. Usually what happens, especially recently, is that I watch a few shows devotedly and then move on to the next handful of shows to watch devotedly. I rarely if ever go back and re-watch shows, especially the more dramatic ones (24, LOST, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, etc.). So that can hardly mean a show is my favorite. It would mainly be a "which show did I like more at the time?" Which, again, is an impossible choice. History shows that, of course, you're going to love your most recent obsession because it's the freshest in one's mind. That's why people always say their favorite movie of all time is something they saw recently. Also, I didn't want to choose a show for this that I was gonna choose for another day's topic (for instance, the "Favorite Childhood Show").

So what did this mean for me? This meant that I wanted to choose a show that I've not only loved in the past but still love now and would watch it if given the chance. It needs to be a show of which I've seen episodes multiple times. It needs to be a show with good stories and great characters. And there were only a handful (besides the one I'm choosing) that fell into this category. And those include the following:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (actually my choice up until about 5 minutes ago)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (which I'm actually currently re-watching)
  • Heroes (Mainly just Season 1, which I own)
  • Family Guy (only falling into this category based on its rewatchability)
But I decided to change some things around. I'm going with a show I haven't watched in a long time, mostly because they don't air it anymore. But it was a show I watched religiously growing up and then again with reruns for years. It was actually going to be my "Favorite Childhood Show," but I'm going to change that answer to something else so I can use it here. And what is this show, you may ask?

Boy Meets World. That's right, the 90s sitcom starring Fred Savage's little brother (Ben). I absolutely loved this show and wish they'd still run re-runs. For those of you unacquainted (how dare you), let me introduce the show to you. The show followed sheltered Cory Matthews and his misadventures and relationships with family and friends. Really, the show had what I like to call its "3 Lives." There were 3 different overall feels to the show depending on the ages of the characters. Let me now go into the 3 different lives.

The First Life

This was its really early stuff, which is mostly the stuff I really didn't care for in the show. I was more of a fan of its second and third "lives." This first life was your basic 90s sitcom. Every episode had a different theme and ended with some moral lesson for kiddos. Luckily, the show turned away from this tone and style pretty fast, but not without its inconsistencies (which I'll get to later on). But this first life introduces us our main batch of characters. Cory's parents were pretty straight-forward parents named Alan (William Russ) and Amy (Betsy Randle), with more of the interesting stories going to Alan. Let's not forget his older brother, the ever-so-cool Eric (Will Friedle). He also had a little sister, Morgan (Lily Nicksay/Lindsay Ridgeway). Cory's best friend Shawn (Rider Strong) was a tough kid who lived in a trailer park with his dad, Chet (Blake Clark) and every-now-and-then mom, who was sometimes there and sometimes run-away. And, of course, we had everybody's favorite, Cory's Principal/teacher/next-door neighbor, Mr. George Feeny (William Daniels).

Cory also seemed to have a few random friends in these early days that we really never saw again. These early shows also introduced us to a few strange kids. The first was named Stuart Minkus (Lee Norris), who was just the smart, snooty kid that nobody liked. Then there was the vastly more important Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel), who, during these years, was just a very strange hippie child with no overall purpose except to be very strange. Oh, and Eric had a friend named Jason Marsden, who was played by Jason Marsden (is it just me, or did he essentially play a friend in almost every TGIF show?). You might not recognize Jason Marsden if you're not a child of the 90s, but you'll almost definitely recognize his voice. Check his imdb.

This "First Life" only lasted one season, thankfully. It's basically their 6th grade year. There really wasn't too much to it. It wasn't overtly interesting, and the cheesy moral lessons at the end brought it down a few notches. But, as I've said, it moves on into its "Second Life" pretty quickly.

The Second Life

This part of the show, starting second season and around 7th grade, really changed the overall tone and feel of the show.

There was an introduction of the school bullies, who were actually in the show a lot less than you might remember (all except one, anyway). These included Harvey 'Harley' Keiner/Griffin 'Griff' Hawkins, Joey the Rat, and (really, the only important one) Frankie Stechino (Ethan Suplee).

There were a few major teachers introduced during these years, too, including Eli Williams and, more importantly, Mr. Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn). Mr. Turner played a cool, motorcycling English teacher who essentially adopts Shawn. See, starting this season, Shawn's mother runs off, and his dad goes after him, leaving Shawn with nobody to raise him. This season, Shawn has also turned into quite the cool kid, but a real troublemaker at the same time. He stays with Cory's family for a while before Mr. Turner decides to take him in, thinking he can handle him. The relationship that's built between Shawn and Mr. Turner is an excellent one and ends in quite a tear-jerker where Mr. Turner has a motorcycle accident and ends up in a body cast. Shawn's in tears, thinking he's gonna die, but Mr. Turner squeezes his hand, showing he lives. Unfortunately, that's the last we ever see of Mr. Turner.

Somewhere in this transition, Eric turns from the cool ladies man into a complete goofball (to put it nicely). And, actually, I much prefer goofball Eric. He was a hilarious character and one of my overall favorite characters. In many ways, Greek's Cappie reminded me a lot of Eric, except Cappie is less goofy and stupid. During all of this, Eric gains a mentor/mentee relationship with Mr. Feeny that's both hilarious and heartwarming. There's an episode later on in the show where Feeny is retiring and moving away, and Eric--in a real puppy dog style--asks if he can go, too (though obviously Feeny doesn't stay away).

Also, starting around the third season, Cory and Topanga start dating. Apparently, they had known each other since they were toddlers and were soul mates. To get around the major plot hole that would have been the first season, they explain that Eric told Cory girls had cooties, which broke up their friendship for just long enough to get around the fact that Cory once thought Topanga was too weird to even be near, much less like. But this relationship will last the remainder of the show, eventually resulting in marriage. Of course, there are break-ups and make-ups (like the whole Lauren plot or the moving to Pittsburgh plot), but everybody always knew they'd end up together.

There's also a "lost" episode during this time. After one of their break-ups, Cory goes into a depression and gets drunk and arrested with Shawn. Shawn turns into a bit of an alcoholic for a little while, but gets yelled at by Cory's dad and a couple friends and stops drinking. It's a powerful episode, but it was actually deemed--at the time--as too adult and heavy, so there was a time when they actually refused to air the episode.

Then comes the very end of the "Second Life" (parts of which I included in the previous summaries, but still...). These include the latter years of high school and some new characters are introduced. We're given Angela Moore (Trina McGee) who becomes Shawn's major on-and-off-again love interest for the rest of the show. We're also given Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence), Shawn's half-brother. Eventually, Eric moves out of his parents' house to go to college and needs a roommate. They stumble upon Jack, who is also looking for a roommate. And, needless to say, they begin rooming together. And for a while, Chet forces Shawn to live with them to get to know his half-brother better. That is... until Rachel shows up. But that's in the "Third Life."

This "life" ends with high school graduation and Topanga asking Cory to marry her. Of course, the season ends without him giving an answer (which is yes, of course).

The Third Life

These are the college years. Season 5 (which was the last season of Second Life) throughout the rest of the show were my favorite parts, honestly. They were some of the best the show had to offer. The sixth season picks up as Shawn is kicked out of the apartment/dorm when Eric and Jack decide to help Rachel (Maitland Ward), a tall redhead who just left her boyfriend. Most of the comedy between these three for the rest of the show is fighting over Rachel, as they both have a crush on her.

Of course, everybody ends up at the same University (Pennbrook), including Mr. Feeny, who eventually becomes a professor there and gains a love interest of his own (the Dean). Shawn moves in with Cory, while Topanga rooms with Angela. That is, until Cory and Topanga get married, then Cory and Topanga get their own place. And Cory's parents end up having another baby, Joshua, who is born prematurely and nearly dies, but makes it. There's also a little subplot in here where Eric takes care of this orphan kid and thinks about adopting him, but decides it would be in the kid's best interest if he has a real, regular family. And also, Shawn and Jack's father (Chet) dies during this time, though makes a couple appearances as a spirit figure throughout the show.

In the end, Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric move to New York as Topanga gets a huge internship at a major law firm. Angela ends up moving to Europe with her father to a military/R.O.T.C. thing. And Jack and Rachel join the Peace Corps to go to Guatemala. While the series finale is essentially just a flashback episode where they're remember everything over the course of the show, it does have one hell of a tearjerker ending. They all go back to their high school classroom and find Mr. Feeny. They all give him a hug, crying, and leave. Eric keeps asking Feeny to tell them he loves them, but Feeny refuses. The show ends when everybody leaves the room and Feeny looks around, sad. He declares "I love you all" then turns off the light and leaves. It was a great way to end the show.


I said earlier that there were inconsistencies in the show, and there are quite a few, mostly to the fault of the early years and the major turn of the show's direction. There are tons more than I'm gonna even mention here. For instance, early on in the show, Shawn has a step-brother (or something like that) that's in one episode. There's also an episode where Shawn says they can call his sister for advice, which they do. Later, it declares Shawn as an only child, not even a step-brother. And then, of course, Jack negates this again later (though this one is a bit more forgivable considering Shawn wasn't supposed to know about him). There's an episode or two where Topanga has an older sister, but later has no sister.

Then there's the whole "Morgan" issue, though that's handled hilariously. The the first half of the show, Morgan is played by one young actress. But the character disappears from the show for quite a while. Then, randomly one episode, Morgan walks down the stairs, older and played by another young actress, and declares something along the lines of "Wow, that's the longest I've ever stayed in my room."

Similarly, a lot of characters disappeared from the show, which they handle in very funny ways. Around high school graduation (the end of the 5th season), Stuart Minkus shows up and brings back the rivalry against Topanga for Valedictorian (that's another inconsistency in and of itself. At the start of the show, Topanga was not a brainiac. That came in later). But they have an interaction along the lines of "Minkus! Wow, it's been a while." And his answer is something similar to "Yeah, I've been at the other end of the hall." And then he calls down the hall "Hey Mr. Turner! Mr. Williams!" Of course, you never see them, but it was a really funny way to try and tie up those loose ends.

Then there's the "bully" debacle. There was an issue with the actor who played Harley, so they decided to replace him with another actor. However, that just confused viewers, so they changed his name to Griff and said Harley went to jail or something like that. Though there is a great episode where Harley and Griff meet.

I know there are even more, but this article is already going on long enough, so I'll wrap it up.


I used to quote this show constantly, and I used to be able to relate any current issue or situation to an episode of Boy Meets World (now I do that with Harry Potter). It had great characters, great episodes, great comedy, and sometimes, great drama. All in all, it was just a great show. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but no show is. As I said, the latter half of the show was my favorite, though seasons 2-4 had some really good moments, as well. I'm just not an overall fan of the first season (but I wouldn't be able to tell you any fan of this show that is). And that's my favorite show of all time. I shall leave you with this:


  1. I hope the new shows begin portraying bullies like the low-lifes they are.

  2. I watched this show from the beginning until the college years, then I outgrew it. I always found it to be a goofier version of The Wonder Years, just with a different Savage and in sitcome format.


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