Boy Meets World ran successfully on ABC for seven seasons, following the teenage childhood and young adulthood of Cory Matthews, Shawn Hunter, and Topanga Lawrence. The show proved that the storylines could evolve and age with the characters as Boy Meets World transitioned from a story about middle schoolers to more adult storylines as the main characters reached their mid and late teens. While the themes of the show are based on Mr. Feeny, who connects the story with the main characters, remains the same, Boy Meets World is no longer the same show in its last season as at the beginning. But did the audience determine whether this was a good or a bad thing? Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score shows how viewers felt about how the series handled growing up.
Boy Meets World made a number of adjustments over the course of the show, from Eric’s drastic personality change to suit a more comical tone of the show, to Cory’s proclivity for a more chaotic young man than the anxious teenager he had been. Shawn’s character was struck by family problems, poverty and constant relationship problems. Over time, new characters helped to round out and expand the growing cast.
Season 3 – 86%
Although the seeds for Cory and Topanga’s growing romance were already put on the show in the first season, things are really taking off this year. The beginnings of Topanga and Cory’s romance begin here, in a season that highlights the beginning of growing up. Season three understands that everyone is growing up and starting to figure things out. While they are not quite there yet, the third season takes its time to prepare a slightly older foundation for what is to come.
Season 2 – 87%
Starting high school is a big step for Cory and Shawn, but it’s also the beginning of a slightly different take on the show and some of its characters. Mr. Feeny is promoted to high school along with his students and sets the bar for Mr. Feeny to be their teacher and headmaster every year of the show. Topanga’s return portrays a still intelligent student, but without the hippie elements that she had portrayed in the first season. Although Stuart Minkus has disappeared, the show offers space to examine Topanga’s growth in more detail
Seasons 1 – 89%
The first season offers a more youthful approach to the show, as it focuses on Cory and Shawn finding their way in the world, while the series itself strives to gain a foothold. Cory and Shawn have more than one other friend who never shows up again. Topanga is portrayed as a hippie, which allows her to feel different from the obnoxious genius of the class, Stuart Minkus. Mr. Feeny’s dual role as a teacher and Cory’s neighbor offers a more complicated view of their relationship. The first season spends a lot of time on the setup, and while a lot of it pays off, other parts are pushed aside as the series finds a consistent way forward.