Class is back in session.
Class is back in session.
Sometimes, every once in a while, if you’re really lucky, something comes around that totally shocks you, that stops you dead in your tracks, that is so surprising and wonderful and unexpected that it can’t possibly be true. For us, that was the news that The Disney Channel is developing a Boy Meets World spin-off. It’s so exciting and bizarre and unlikely that it’s still hard to believe.
Earlier in the week we were treated to a similar experience, the breaking of news that would change the state of the world of which we know. That development, of course, was the announcement that not only had Disney purchased Lucasfilm, but they were planning to produce Episodes Seven, Eight and Nine. We still recall vividly when, at eight-year-old, our brother’s friend told us that not only had George Lucas created the greatest movie franchise and fictional universe known to man, but he was planning to expand the galaxy far, far away with three prequels and three sequels, making the Star Wars we knew just middle chapter of the grand epic. This changed everything, altering our view of what the future would be like. And for years we held onto the idea, this promise of the sequels, even when the prequels failed to live up to their predecessors, especially since the prequels failed to live up to their predecessors. But, at some point, you have to let go, and we chalked up the talk of sequels to the same gossip that had us believing for years in the eventual existence of Spaceballs 3: the Search for Part 2. So when out of the blue, out of the literal darkness in post-Sandy New York, came the news that, after all these years my brother’s friend was right, the future we envisioned will finally come to pass, we were absolutely astounded.
And even that revelation paled in comparison to the announcement of new life for Boy Meets World.
We don’t talk enough on this blog about Childrens Hospital. In fact, we’re not sure we talk about it at all. But we’re not sure there’s a more enjoyable, twisted, irreverent 11-minutes anywhere else on television. It’s the show that we’d want to make if a) we were that brilliant and b) that demented. However, we are neither of those things, so we have to settle for staring slack-jawed at this show each week, shocked and incredibly impressed at what they’re able to pull off, both in terms of over-the-line comedy and playing with and then defying television conventions. What they also do a superb job of is pulling in amazing guest stars. And not just the big-time, drop-dead handsome Jon Hamm types, but the more obscure actors who seem hand-picked specifically to appeal to our very particular sense of humor, almost as if they’ve read our Diary of Things and People We Love (if such a book existed. And it doesn’t! So don’t even look under our pillow). Perfect case in point, Mr. Carl Winslow himself, Reginald VelJohnson, and, as usual, in uniform. But this time he trades the police blue for judges’ black.
This would have been another absolutely hilarious dumb-smart/smart-dumb episode even without Reggie. But his presence just makes it that much better, and really makes us wonder if the writers of Childrens Hospital are invading our dreams, Freddy Krueger style. Which, by the way, we’re totally cool with, if it means a cameo by Mr. Feeny (hey, he’s got hospital experience).
A rather odd search term today, part of which we understand, part of which we’re not so sure about, as one of today’s top phrases was “jason feeny.” Certainly, we could see why someone would end up on this site by searching for Feeny, as Boy Meets World’s Mr. Feeny (as portrayed by the esteemed William Daniels) is one of our all-time favorites, someone whom we should write about more. We’re thrilled if this is where searching for “feeny” takes you. And we cite the name “Jason’ at least once a week, thanks to our preferred SNL cast member, Mr. Jason Sudeikis. But “Jason Feeny?” We don’t know who that is. So since you get enough Sudeikis on this site (for example, earlier today, for no reason at all), we’re going to devote this post to the distinguished, debonair, George Hamilton Feeny.
In a post we hope to craft soon we’re going to argue that the shows that comprised TGIF (Family Matters, Full House, Perfect Strangers) weren’t entirely terrible. They certainly had their deficiencies, and no one would confuse them with truly smart, groundbreaking television. But they had their time and their place, and we’re important shows of their era. However, the cream of the crop from that block was Boy Meets World, which joined the TGIF line-up in 1993. In fact, it’s probably the only real quality show from that group by most criteria, and while we would accept a case that Full House and Family Matters were lackluster sitcoms, we’ll go to our graves defending Boy Meets World.
Lasting seven seasons, just barely making it to the new millennium, the show (through a few time jumps) followed Cory Matthews from elementary school to college, often reinventing itself in the process. Over its run the show featured new characters and locations, and even a change in comic sensibilities and personalities, but the one constant was Mr. Feeny. He started as school teacher to Corey, his brother Eric, his longtime love Topanga and best friend Shawn, then became their principal and finally their professor. But through it all he was their mentor, their guide, dispensing equal parts wisdom and tough love. So it was fitting then that the series ended with those children, now grown, thanking Mr. Feeny for teaching them, for caring about them, and for shaping them into who they are.
Did you cry? A little bit? That’s okay. Us too.
Yes, I like. I like a lot.