Change is a big word. Some people enjoy the excitement of the changes coming into their lives, and others prefer to stay in their current comfort zone. However, everything changes when you enter high school. You have a few of the same friends, see tons of new faces, new teachers, and of course have new experiences. Boy Meets World comes back with a lot of changes in season two, but it’s the same heartfelt show. Season two aired from September 23, 2994 through May 19, 1995 once again on the ABC network with the same returning show creators, Michael Jacobs and April Kelly.
In the first season we saw Cory’s life in middle school; season two instantly kicks off with Cory, Shawn, and Topanga starting high school as 7th graders at John Adams High with Mr. Feeny doing double duty as their returning history teacher and principal. While a few lessons repeat in season two, the storylines are different and more high school related. From dating to break ups, dealing with love, sex and gossip, puberty, bullies, trying to be cool, trying to fit in, and the one we saw all throughout the season, finding who you are.
The writers did an incredible job with not only the dialogue but with the storylines as well. They kept it realistic and relevant, which made the viewers come back each week to see and learn more. With Mr. Turner on board, I noticed how the writers included classic literature as part of the storyline. (Sneaky, sneaky.) Like Cory, I never thought old books — that made no sense to me — would and could be related to something I’m experiencing. Recognizable books such as The Scarlett Letter, The Grapes of Wrath and Cyrano (just to name a few) were not only mentioned in an episode but were a part of the storyline and resembled to the book plot. As I applaud I must say ‘well done writers.’
Although we saw most of the familiar faces from season one, and no return of Minkus, the show added a few new faces at John Adams High. Mr. Turner the cool and hip English teacher, Eric’s best friend Jason Marsden, and the hilarious trio of bullies Harvey “Harley” Keiner, Joey “The Rat” Epstein and Frankie “The Enforcer” Stechino.
Anthony Tyler Quinn is a talented actor with a lot of credits under his belt before he took the role of Mr. Turner and did a great job. He was hilarious, and was the hip and cool teacher everyone loved, and cared about his students like Mr. Feeny. As Cory said, he”s just“Feeny with an earring.” Mr. Turner was very sarcastic and made witty comments towards everyone, even Mr. Feeny. While I liked Quinn as Mr. Turner the teacher, I loved him more as a great role model to Shawn (which you see more in season three). Check out Mr. Turner’s introduction on his first day of school with Cory and Shawn who already started trouble in his classroom in episode 1 “Back to School”
Jason Marsden played Friedle’s comical best friend Jason Marsden. Marsden had many previous projects before Boy Meets World, so it’s no surprise his acting on the show was solid. I was glad to finally see Eric interact with someone instead of just family, girlfriends, or random extras who we only saw once. Their chemistry together was in perfect harmony. They were best friends, not unlike like Cory and Shawn, but their characters together showed each friendship is different and incomparable. Which surprised me because Marsden only appeared in season two. He truly was hilarious. Like Norris (Minkus) I only wish they gave him more appearances. What saddens me is we don’t see Eric interact with a friend until he moves in with Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence) in season five.
Although the famous trio of bullies at John Adams High didn’t appear in a lot of episodes in season two, they were definitely my favorite secondary characters in this season. I’m sure you’re wondering how when Mr. Turner is so much cooler, or Jason was the funniest of them all? I don’t what to tell you, but these three characters were great. The leader of the pack was Harvey “Harley” Keiner (Danny McNulty), and he had his two lackies, Joey “The Rat” Epstein (Blake Soper) and Frankie “The Enforcer” Stechino (Ethan Suplee). Compared to today’s bullies they are possibly the worst bullies in TV creation (they didn’t do anything but steal lunch money, thank goodness), but that’s what made it work. They were the funniest and stupidest bullies on TV, which is why I love them. They never showed their emotion but always expressed their feelings and it always came out funny. Their acting was great and it’s hard to believe Soper was the only one who had acting experience before Boy Meets World. McNulty had one role the year before (and Boy Meets World was his last role) and Suplee’s first role ever! It’s amazing to see great actors start off in a great show like this one.
Harley got replaced by a different actor for an episode (not sure exactly what happened there) but the writers wrote the character to reform school and replaced Harley with a new leader, Griffin Hawkins played by Adam Scott. After the one episode, however, Harley returns.
Although the show is focused on Cory’s life, his family was a huge part of his life and the writers continue to include the family problems and moments. Actors who played the Matthews continued to amaze me with their collaborations. If anything it’s increased along with more realistic and real life dilemmas within a family. We got to see more of Alan and Amy with great storylines, such as who blew their money on nonsense items. As well, Eric’s big brother role grew, as he gave advice about girls to Cory, but still teased and tried to make Cory’s life miserable in his first year of high school. However, it’s no surprise the adorable Morgan’s role didn’t expand in season two. She still had her funny and adorable remarks, but she didn’t appear as much as the first season.
Even though the show was about Cory, my favorite was Lilly Nicksay as the younger sister, Morgan. I absolutely loved and adored Nicksay. She was hilarious, smart, and a well talented young actress. However those who have seen this season, it’s no surprise when I say season two was the last we saw of her on the show. There was never a specific reason why Nicksay left the show, but my presumption would be in the next season it jumps a few years and the characters got little older and in order to keep up with the pace, the casting had to get an older looking Morgan. Here’s a YouTube video of Nicksay’s best scenes as Morgan.
After seeing a series multiple times, people start to pay attention to the little things in the scenes that others may not notice so quickly. With this show there are a couple of goofs in this season, and more in other seasons. I’ve always known about the slipups but never actually paid attention until I rewatched it for a review. The first error I picked up was on Amy Matthews’ career. In season one she was a real estate agent, and in this season she worked at an art gallery. Later on she’s a housewife, and then works at the outdoor store Alan owns later in the series. Amy isn’t the only who had different careers in the series; Topanga’s father Jude did as well. In season one in the father and son’s baseball game episode, we find out he owned a book store, but in season two during career day we learn he makes guitars for rock stars as a living.
(Willie Garson in season one and season seven)
Characters with multiple careers isn’t the only goof in season one, another one is an actor playing multiple characters throughout the series, which annoyed me the most. If a show is going to have a series with guest stars casting directors should know and remember who’ve they casted and what previous role they had on the show. In season two, Herschel Sparber played the deliver guy Tony and Shawn’s uncle Mike. Another actor who plays multiple roles is Willie Garson as Alan’s Store assistant manager Leonard Spinelli in season one, Mervyn in season four and the mister who marries Cory and Topanga in season seven.In season five, Julius Carry plays a college professor but we see him later in season seven as Shawn’s girlfriend Angela’s father, Sergeant Moore. Actress Hillary Tuck played Sarah this season, then played Samantha, and Kristen in season three. If I can catch this many, how did the casting directors not notice? Even though it annoys me, maybe the writers wanted the actors to stick around so they made up different roles for them as a nod to those paying attention at home.
Although this season was great, it’s not my favorite season. I think the older the kids got, the better the show and storylines became. Next week I’ll cover my favorite episodes in this season and next month I’ll cover Cory and Topanga growing relationship, Shawn’s lady magnet life, Eric’s senior year, the new Morgan, and Mr. Feeny’s words of wisdom in season three.
Boy Meets World season two DVD including five amazing episode commentaries with the cast, and one picture-in-picture commentary is available in stores at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, also online at eBay and Amazon.com.
[Photos and .gifs credit: Tumblr]