BMW was about finding your true love young and holding on to it. Girl Meets World is about how kids today are out of touch with their feelings and cannot recognize what's real the way Cory (and later Topanga) could.
(This was originally a reblog response, but I feel like it merits its own post, so here we go.)
Boy Meets World was (in large part) a show about how Cory found his true love very young. In many ways, the ONLY thing Cory really understood was what love was. He recognized it, and, in retroactive continuity, he believed all through his life except for a very brief moment right before their wedding. And that was what made Cory and Topanga extraordinary, unique, and very rare. Jacobs won’t be repeating that story with GMW. The major romantic theme of the Boy Meets World pilot was that love is the most important thing in the world, and that it is worth every hardship and sacrifice to preserve it when you find it.
Girl Meets World, on the other hand, is about how kids live in a world where they DON’T recognize what love really is. Look at Riley and Farkle. They met very young and it’s clear they’ve had a different sort of connection than Maya and Farkle from the start. But Riley has absolutely no recognition of the extraordinary depth of she and Farkle’s connection, of what it could mean for them. Those of us who grew up with Cory and Topanga (or truly understood them, regardless of age) who remember well all those lessons about what love really is, can easily look at (and listen to) Riley and Farkle (or Maya and Lucas) and say “oh goodness look at what they have there, it’d be a shame for them to miss out on that.” (And that’s what the Corpanga parallels are for, to let us know that these kids have that foundation regardless of what they end up doing with it). But these kids? They have no idea.
The extraordinary core relationship of THIS show is not a romance, but rather the girls’ friendship. Most friendships would NOT survive liking the same boy; it’s almost as unlikely as marrying your childhood sweetheart, although it does happen. Just as Cory believed in Corpanga, the girls—Riley especially—believe in the power of their friendship.
The major romantic theme presented in the GMW pilot is “how can you possibly love two people at the same time?” And the way they explore that theme has been all about the perception of love and relationships vs the reality of that. You can’t truly LOVE two people at the same time, not in the same way. But when you’ve got a warped perspective of what love really is, of what makes a good relationship, it’s very easy to think you’re in love (or have the potential to fall in love) with one person when deep down you’re TRULY in love (or have the potential for it, if you prefer) with another.
Back in late summer of 2015, Jacobs talked about the “bi-modal” audience of the show:
“What is important to realize…the show is bi-modal; we have two audiences. And I would ask for patience from our adult audience to understand that the really, vastly important service that the show performs is an illumination of what this work is for the younger audience. And it is necessary. You’re cooked. The very young people that we are doing this for as well are still in the pot. And I think that it’s very important to influence them positively and correctly.”
The adult audience finished learning our lessons about love (et cetera) from Jacobs a long time ago, and we learned most of those lessons through the extraordinary, and extremely rare relationship of Cory and Topanga. (Jacobs often calls them an aberration.) The newer, younger audience is still boiling in the pot, and Jacobs is teaching them those same lessons…but in a very different way because he didn’t want to make the same show twice. In short, I think Jacobs knows that a large chunk of the audience (old folks especially, but really just anyone who understood and truly took the lessons of Cory and Topanga to heart) can look at these pairs of kids and recognize who has the makings of/potential for a true deep romance and who doesn’t really. (And frankly that’s why a LOT of us are going to feel like Cory did after his Ski Lodge debacle, like we’re the only ones who believe that the “true loves” of the show will happen one day. Part of me wonders if this is part of why he’s asking us for patience…)
But a LOT of the audience, especially the very young (but also a significant portion of the older audience, strangely), likely cannot recognize what’s real and what’s not. And the story being told here is not “find your true love young and hold on tight.” Jacobs already told that story. THIS story is about the way kids perceive love vs what love actually is. This is a story about how “kids these days” are so distracted by screens and shiny objects and hollow words without any true, *honest* action to back them up that they don’t recognize what’s real vs what’s just flash.
It’s very very important that Ski Lodge 1 is in large part about what these girls currently believe an “ideal romance” should be. This is their childhood/tween PERCEPTION of what love is. And you’ll see in Part 2 how the girls are given the opportunity at last to embrace those ideals and begin to try to play them out in the real world.
Many people are going to look at Ski Lodge and say: HAHA THESE ARE THE ENDGAME COUPLES THESE COUPLES ARE CORY AND TOPANGA SUCK IT HAHA. But the thing is: there is no “Corpanga” for this show. There is no romantic pairing of young kids who have found love young, recognized that and will now work to preserve it, a la Cory and Topanga. Because this is a show about the OPPOSITE of that, it’s about NOT being able to recognize what’s real when it comes to love because your ideals are so warped by the stuff that reaches you via screen. (It’s also a show about how there are different KINDS of love and that can confuse things even further, but that’s another post).
“On “Girl Meets World,” if the audience perceives that what this is about is a love triangle, then they don’t know us. There is a much bigger and broader conceptual question that we are answering with what appears to be a triangle between Riley, Maya and Lucas.”
“If we did “Girl Meets Love,” it would not be one episode. It would be a sustained series of episodes in an attempt to explain, for this generation, what the perception of love is, versus what love may actually be, versus are we ready for that at all? Something that is so important cannot be something we tell in one story. But the understanding of how to grow and what’s valuable to these kids will manifest itself over these episodes. We want to do it intelligently, and what we’re not looking to do is a love triangle.”
The romance arcs on Boy Meets World didn’t kick into high gear until S3, and the same is true for GMW. Just as with BMW though, we’ve had two seasons of set up, and in that time we’ve been able to see what the foundations of these friendships are, about the different ways these kids treat each other in different combinations (the square dance). Those of us who learned our BMW lessons well can already tell which of these pairings have the potential for a really extraordinary romance should they ever RECOGNIZE it. On BMW, Cory and Topanga’s foundation was laid in S1-S2, they got together in S3, and despite a few breakups, they were together forever after that.
That’s not what’s going to happen on GMW.
On Girl Meets World, rather than finding true love young, recognizing it, and holding on forever, these girls are going to explore what they THINK an ideal romance should be. They’re going to walk through that lesson side by side with their friendship lighting the way. They’re going to learn some major lessons about what’s wrong with those romantic ideals as well as (eventually, I think) how the good parts of those ideals can be played out in a real way with the RIGHT person (who may not be the person you would have expected). They’re going to learn about how chasing an ideal rather than truly falling for a PERSON is folly. And through it all the one extraordinary relationship that will ALWAYS prevail? Riley and Maya. They are the Corpanga of the show.
The point of the parallels to Corpanga (or other BMW pairings/friendships) is to show what the foundation of these relationships really is. Because that’s what season one and season two were all about, laying that foundation before the story (and the major theme of falling for concepts and/or how do you love two people at the same time) begins to play out in earnest, resting atop that foundation.
Just like how on BMW you got the foundation for Cory and Topanga in season one and two, but their relationship (and the major theme of how to preserve that love once you’ve recognized it) doesn’t begin in earnest until season three.
These characters are individuals and they absolutely develop on their own. The point of the parallels (to Corpanga or otherwise) is not to say that they are exactly the same as the characters they are paralleling, it’s only to show that they have experienced the same moment or the same feeling during the foundation-laying in S1-2. That’s why it’s very important that Jacobs told us that those parallels are clues to what is going to happen. But it’s gonna be a long road to Belgium 1831.