“Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.” The final advice Mr. Feeny gave Cory, Shawn, Topanga, Eric and Boy Meets World fans of all ages. It’s the simplest advice, but perhaps some of the most meaningful words of wisdom that perfectly summed up all of his advice he gave for 7 years.
Boy Meets World is still to this day one of the most beloved television shows for the millennial generation. Ever in an awkward situation or can’t make conversation with someone you just met? Let out a “Feenay! Fee-hee-hee-enay!” yell and I’m willing to bet you’ll immediately be best friends for life.
I started re-watching this show recently and I gotta say, it is one goofy show. But there is still so much that is great about it. The friendship between Cory and Shawn, the love between Cory & Topanga and let’s be honest, we all wanted to be part of the Matthew’s family growing up. Heck! I even wanted to move into the house behind my principal just to have a relationship like Cory and Mr. Feeny! Stay tuned for my future article about this show, the characters and why I believed it worked, in a new blog series I’m calling “The One With Character” where I will write about some my favorite characters on different TV shows!
But this post is about Mr. Feeny (because out of all the television characters out there, he ABSOLUTELY deserves his own stand alone post, am I right?!). Mr. Feeny did not just teach Cory, Shawn and Topanga each week. He taught thousands of kids across the country how to grow to be a good genuine person.
I still remember one of the early episodes where Cory and Topanga, the weird girl, are paired up for an assignment… Everyone remember Topanga’s “Donut in the Sky” dance?! Cory did not want to be her partner because he thought she was strange. Mr. Feeny told him, “Strange is in the eye of the beholder Mr. Matthews”. The episode goes on to find Cory trying to fix his curly hair in an effort to look like his popular best friend Shawn. Of course in typical Cory Matthews fashion, it did not go well. He ended up looking like this…
All the kids at school made fun of him, except the school weirdos who accepted him for who he was on the inside. Cory decides to help his new friends the weirdos because as he says, “Life is strange, and now so am I”. And thus Cory learns right from wrong and the lesson of accepting people for who they are. Also because of this lesson, Cory gets his first kiss. So I like to credit Mr. Feeny for one of the greatest TV love stories of all time.
In another great episode, Mr. Feeny bonded with Shawn (who at the time thought Feeny hated him) when Shawn and Cory snuck away to Feeny’s cabin. They of course were caught by the man himself and as the episode progressed Shawn started to see Feeny as a caring person instead of his teacher who gave him the bad grades he probably deserved. I could go on and on because there are wonderful Feeny moments in every episode. AND THAT’S THE POINT.
Feeny shared his wisdom in a way that didn’t make the viewer feel like they were getting morals shoved down their throats every week. Our generation was learning life lessons from a TV show about average kids living their average lives. It dealt with comical situations, but also the heavy stuff like bullying, drugs and alcohol, etc. Cory was a good kid. Much of that is credit to his amazing parents, but Feeny was the true light that guided him through many life lessons. Just as he did to all of us who tuned in each week.
Growing up, our generation went from Mr. Rodgers to Mr. Feeny. They were basically an additional grandfather to every kid in the country. I can honestly say I remember many specific life lessons Mr. Feeny taught the Boy Meets World gang. I sometimes wonder who I would be now, if instead of watching Cory stumble through life and Feeny’s never failing guidance each week, I had watched something else that did not expose me to the life of a fellow simple kid having to learn right from wrong.
Then it really scares me to see what is available for the growing generations on television today. They definitely don’t have a Mr. Feeny, they’re not even close.
As some of you may know, Disney is rebooting Boy Meets World with a new show Girl Meets World that picks up 10+ years down the road with Cory and Topanga’s kids in school and Cory teaching them History (sound familiar?). At first I was NOT ok with them rebooting this show. Boy Meets World is a true treasure for our generation and the thought of them messing it up was just not going to fly.
But then I did some research. The plot is basically the exact same, which originally made me complain about the lack of originality swarming Hollywood and the TV world these days. But after reading why Michael Jacobs (BMW executive producer) wanted to bring it back, it made me think, what’s wrong with it being the same show? Our beloved show left the air 13 years ago and these new kids have not seen what we all fell in love with 13 years ago. Michael Jacobs said he wanted to reboot this series because there is nothing like it on TV right now for kids. These days the television world is made up of shows with talking dogs that blog………. I wish I were kidding. Plus there aren’t many shows kids can grow with. As soon as the characters get too old, the show gets canceled. So instead of growing with characters, kids turn to new shows with young characters sleeping with their teachers, treating the adults like they are kids and definitely not learning anything substantial each week.
So needless to say I am THRILLED that this show is coming back. Unfortunately, it won’t be the same for our generation, but we need to remember they aren’t making it for us! We got our 7 years of Feeny wisdom. He dismissed our class long ago, it’s time for this new generation to grow and love the wise old man that raised a generation to believe in themselves, dream, try and do good.