It’s been 13 years since TGIF staple and quintessential show of my childhood, Boy Meets World, went off the air, but Friday Morning, the dreams of many fans were fulfilled when much of the cast gathered for a reunion panel to kick off the second annual Austin Television Festival in Austin, TX.
Following a screening of the finale episode, “Brave New World, Pt.2” and a special welcome message from Topanga (Danielle Fishel) herself, who could not attend the event, Ben Savage (Cory), Rider Strong, (Shawn), Matthew Lawrence (Jack), Besty Randle (Amy), Lily Nicksay (Morgan #1), Maitland Ward (Rachel) and Trina McGee (Angela) and series creator Michael Jacobs chatted about the new show, Girl Meets World, favorite moments on set, of course Cory and Topanga.
Here are our top 6 moments from the reunion you wish you went to:
Girl Meets World.To say fans were excited upon hearing about the possibility of Cory, Topanga and the gang returning to their TV screens on Girl Meets World is an understatement. So why does Jacobs think now is the right time?
“I don’t see anything on television right now that is speaking to the audience that I have always spoken to and that I care very much about,” he said. “The reason to do Girl Meets World now is because I think that television and this world is — if we can do it and we can honor this show and make it unique — because it’s a different world, that’s the reason to do it.”
Death chair. Remember way back in the early days of BMW when there was another friend always hanging around Shawn and Cory? Strong told the audience, “In the original draft of the pilot, I had like two lines and I think the original concept was that there was always going to be two guy best friends for Cory so we kept trying that for about three or four episodes. We go back, there’s always this other kid sitting with us and next week there’s another kid sitting with us. It’s insider and awful but we used to have a chair called the death chair in the cafeteria because whoever sat in it wouldn’t be back next week.” Things of course changed when Topanga entered the picture.
Ben and Danielle’s special bond. The relationship of Cory and Topanga was always going to be an integral part of Boy Meets World and in going back to those characters for the new series, both Fishel and Savage say it’s like time hasn’t passed. While Fishel admitted she was nervous, she told the audience via a video Q&A that, “The minute we walked into rehearsals, Ben was Cory and I was Topanga and we were together. There is something so special about the bond we share. He really does feel like my husband. He will always be my first husband.”
Savage echoed her statements saying that while he “was a little scared” to play Cory again, “it was a pretty smooth transition.”
“That’s my guy.” Jacobs divulged that there really was no one better that Strong for the role of Cory’s BFF. In fact, Strong was the first person to show up at casting. “There were 30 to 40 guys on that day and there were hundreds scheduled and so the casting director brought Rider in. Rider auditioned and I turned to the casting director and said ‘OK, that’s fine,’ and she said ‘What do you mean? I have 40 people out here’… I said ‘That’s fine. That’s my guy.’”
The “Scream” episode. Much of the cast agreed that one of their favorite episodes was “And Then There Was Shawn.”
“That scream episode was by far the most fun episode we’ve ever had, probably in our lives. It was a disaster for Michael and everybody that actually had to get through that night but for us we were laughing so hard. It was one of the first episodes were we really went surreal,” said Strong. “That episode really took it too the extreme.”
McGee particularly enjoyed saying, “I’m the screamer up in here.”
That final scene. While fans of the show got a bit misty-eyed during the final scene of the series, Savage admitted, “It’s hard for me to even watch that scene, that was kind of the end of the end of our childhood. It wasn’t just the end of our show. For us personally, it really meant a lot.”
Strong recalled, “It was like high school and college all rolled into one and we were all saying goodbye to each other. We were exactly in the position our characters were in to the extent that I was going to New York — I was moving to New York to go to college. There was no filter between Shawn and Rider at that point — it was the same person just freaking out.”
[Lead photo courtesy of Jack Plunkett]