Michael Jacobs has one of the most authentic voices in television today. He and the entire ‘Girl Meets World’ team will not only continue to entertain families but also help kids discover who they are and who they want to be in this world.
Disney Channels Worldwide EVP of Programming Adam Bonnett
AKA “Guess we’re not moving to ABC Family any time soon.”
I’m really looking forward to see how they will play serious high school issues on Disney.
We’re all taking a risk here by letting this be pulled off on Disney, GMW being our life force and all. Don’t make this into another cliché, stereotypical, cheesy high school drama/comedy Disney. Remember, you’re about to attract more number of older audience, so don’t let let them label GMW as ‘another tween show on Disney that doesn’t know that high school isn’t a High School Musical’ from this season.
I understand that there are boundaries, but let GMW be close as you can get to those lines. GMW is girl’s POV of BMW. There are things that could be addressed that do not cross/is close to the line such as:
mind numbing stress
seriousness of exams and education
pressures of college selections, applications, preparations, interviews and entrance exams
types of teachers and how to deal with each type
student expectations in high school
bullying from upper class girls
realm and realism of popularity
Driving (Lucas will turn 16 next year)
dating someone due to their reputation/wealth
realism and seriousness of marriage (most girls think marriage is the culmination of an epic love story and it’s a happily ever after. Some marriages happen without a love story and for some it’s the end of their love story. Corpanga isn’t the case with everyone.)
media’s effect on young girls and young boys
put in unhealthy competition against your own gender (cat fights)
feeling invisible and being an outsider
feeling too old to be beautiful (sounds like a job for Topanga and Katy. Many women lose self worth (not confidence) because we’re told that beauty is everything in a women and if you got wrinkles and saggy skin, you’re not beautiful enough and that you’re ‘time’ is over. This happened to someone I love dearly)
high school parties
feminism and equalism (doesn't this scream like a job for queen Rowan?)
murder (yes suicide should be addressed separately)
cheating and temptations to cheat on significant other
temptations as a whole
truth about the portrayal of life, women and men in movies and on tv
double standards faced by women
puberty and hormones
love triangles (we already have this going on, so kudos. Some may not like it, but this is very natural and real.)
Police involvement in school
However, there are soo many other things that girls (including myself) go through in high school and I’m still highly doubtful whether you could even address them on the channel. Here are some examples of sexual/intimate realism girls face in today’s world. Yes, they cross your borders but they are real. These are serious things I’ve seen and heard happen.
peer pressure into sex from boys/bfs
peer pressure into losing your virginity, whether boy or girl
sexuality (This is here because have you heard what happened to the girl who played Charlie on Good Luck Charlie?)
inter-faith dating (this is hardly EVER seen on a tv show, but it does happen and is common in countries with high diversity (like the country I’m living in currently). I have plenty of real stories (plural) that has happened in my very own class itself, to my very own friends and myself.)
abuse (sexual or otherwise, abuse is abuse)
Sexual double standards faced by women
dressing provocatively just to keep the guy
teachers hitting on student (I believe this was covered in BMW so I’ll give it a pass if it’s not addressed)
alcohol and drugs
po*n and its addiction (this territory is mainly for the guys and some girls. This is 99.99% something that high school students go through these days with advancements in technology. This something that definitely needs to be addressed.)
how the above mentioned word affects guys’ expectations and mentality (such as sleep deficits/prone to anger and violence/mistrust in significant other/addiction), thereby affecting his idea of sex and girls. (Lady parts and guy parts don’t always look like that!)
teen pregnancy (yes this happened to a 11th grade girl)
Cat called continuously on streets by men (I wanna see how Cory and Shawn would react to this so badly. I think this is something that just crosses the Disney border.)
Harsh break-ups and threats (There was someone who had broken up with her bf and the guy constantly threatened her and even cut his hand until she gave into his requests. I’m not kidding).
Threats through social media (not cyber-bullying as in making
derogatory and offensive remarks, but like asking for photos of certain uncovered body parts.)
Actually just bringing up the subject of sex (and not just in the context of reproduction)
Actually having the guts to go to the police to report in any case of threats, harassments and domestic/sexual violence (and be thankful that you’re not living in Rosewood where the police is useless as a gun without a trigger. PLL anyone?)
I will applause if above subjects are even lightly touched (using an innuendo for example) during their high school experience. If you could put a warning sign or some sort of content advisory, I’ll salute you. Let this be the show that changes everybody’s view of Disney.
Yes, my expectations are quite high because I’ve devoted soo much time for this show, (no wait, I mean universe) and I’m still holding on tightly because important issues are brought up and talked about as far they were allowed (example cyber-bullying). But I’m lowering the bar a little bit because I don’t want to have unrealistic expectations, with GMW still being a Disney show. That doesn’t mean that I underestimate the writers ability, I just have low-very moderate hopes on how far Disney will allow. I mean, they didn’t air certain episodes of BMW. Here’s what it says on wikipedia:
“Disney Channel edited many episodes that contained scenes with suggestive content deemed inappropriate for the channel’s target audience of 7- to 14-year-olds. All 158 episodes aired during the series’ initial run on the Disney Channel, however due to the adult subject matter and complaints from parents, Disney Channel omitted three episodes from later airings: season five’s “If You Can’t Be with the One You Love…” (due to its depictions of underage drinking) and “Prom-ises, Prom-ises” (whose main storyline involves Cory and Topanga contemplating losing their virginity on the night of their prom), and season six’s “The Truth About Honesty” (due to its sexual references).”
I still truly truly hope that GMW moves to ABC Family after the 4 season limit. Those subjects mentioned above are 100% real and cannot be ignored. Which other show will actually address those topics maturely and give Mr Feeny level lessons about it? BMW was a phenomenon because it touched real life, mostly from a boy’s perspective. Now show the girl’s perspective on real life.
I’m giving you a big chance here Disney, so DON’T mess it up. :)
-Sincerely 17 year old fan, in her senior year of high school, really hoping that high school on GMW is relatable, realistic and accurately portrayed.
PS: I’m proud of you Michael and the entire team of writers, you truly are a legend. Thank you for all your efforts.
PSS: I’m sorry for this being so long and if you have to scroll past for a mile or two. This is the most serious thing I’ve written and it took over three and a half hours to type, but it was worth it.
Stranger’s eyes don’t see
How in my small room I open a door
And begin my nightly stroll among the graves
(How much earth – if you can call it earth – does it take to bury smoke?)
There are valleys and hills
and hidden twisted paths,
enough to last a whole night’s journey.
In the dark I see shining towards me
faces of epitaphs
wailing their song.
Graves of the whole
vanished Jewish world
blossom in my one-man tent.
And I pray:
Be a father, a mother to me,
a sister, a brother,
my own children, body-kin,
real as pain,
from my own blood and skin.
be my own dead,
let me grasp and take in
these destroyed millions.
At dawn I shut the door
to my people’s house of death.
I sit at the table and doze off,
humming a tune.
The enemy had no dominion over them.
Fathers, mothers, children from their cradles
ringed around death and overcame him.
All the children, astonished,
ran to meet the fear of death
without tears, like little Jewish bedtime stories.
And soon they flickered into flames
like small namesakes of God.
Who else, like me, has
his own nighttime
Who is destined for this, as am I?
Who has so much dead earth waiting for him, as for me?
And when I die
who shall inherit my small house of death
and that shining gift, an eternal deathday light
Jacob Glatstein, Nightsong (translated from Yiddish by Ruth Whitman)
“Girl Meets World” wants to teach that if you’re very lucky, and you understand the value of your friendships and how important these people will be to you, they can sustain you for an entire lifetime.