Boy Meets World: "Back 2 School"
Season 2 Episode 1
Airdate: September 23, 1994
Boycott the Cafe name: "First Day of High School"
Issue of the Week: The 7th grade is part of high school?
Cory jumps down the stairs ready for his first day of high school. Yes, Cory Matthews is going to begin the 7th grade. I don't know how that works, either. Also, he will graduate in four years.
Cory surprises his parents by not being nervous about beginning high school. You see, Cory knows he will start out as a loser, but has a plan to work his way up the totem pole. The first step is to befriend Harley Keiner, the school bully. I guess Cory wants to be part of his gang.
Shawn enters, sporting some sweet new sideburns for high school. He looks like Wolverine. Cory's mom is kind of aroused by his sideburns and touches them. Shawn knows what the ladies like.
Eric wants to make sure his little brother will not speak to him while they are in school together. Eric has a reputation and doesn't want it sullied by letting his classmates know he has a littler brother, because every other teen in Philadelphia must be an only child or something. But I understand how associating with Cory can make you lame, that kid whines like a motherfucker about the most trivial things. I don't understand how Shawn manages to stay so cool when his only friend is Cory. Maybe it's like when an average looking girl wants to be considered hot, she'll get an ugly best friend to stand next to her.
Mr. Feeny also comes by. He will no longer be the boys' teacher, but he has to tell Eric to move his car because it is blocking the view out of Feeny's window. That doesn't sound right. Feeny just came up with some lame excuse to see Cory and Shawn. Feeny is obsessed with those two. I bet he's been coming to their house every morning over the summer with some other flimsy excuses. Dude needed to borrow a ton of sugar. At first, he'd show up around 8 a.m., but Cory sleeps in during the summer, so he learned to come by around noon.
Cory and Shawn celebrate no longer having Feeny as a teacher by doing a dance. Cory shouldn't be at bottom of the high school ladder. He has sweet dance moves. Cory just needs to bust those moves at the first dance and he will be set.
Cory and Shawn enter the school and bask in being in high school. A boy in his underwear crosses their path because--Oh no!--high school is going to be a MAD HOUSE!
Next, Cory and Shawn run into Frankie and Joey, Harley's two goons. Shawn hides in a locker, but Eric provided Cory with some notes about Frankie. There is some talk between Cory and the goons which somehow leads to Frankie asking,"Are you saying I'm gay?" and then walking away to think about some things. 1990s TV was weird like that. It was still too controversial to have a gay character on a family show, but you could at least get away with having lots of gay jokes. I suppose this counts as progress.
The boys meet Toping and give her a big hug like teen boys do when they want to touch a girl they know but don't want to make it look like they want to feel her up. They then openly marvel at her new breasts. Boy Meets World really went there back in the day. Good thing for the producers that the girl who plays Toping grew to be really hot. I mean, you can't always tell when they are 12 and it would have thrown a wrench into the show if the producers needed to replace their female lead. Lucky for her acting career, she developed well.
Lest you think I am sexist for saying that (OK, I am sexist, but for different reasons) my little sister agrees with me. She also agreed when I said that Toping was too hot for Cory. I mean Toping was a 10. Cory was a -42. Shawn and Toping should have been the couple.
Who is that cool dude in the leather jacket? Cory knows it is Harley. Turns out he is really, Jonathon Turner, their homeroom teacher. He is a laid back cat who rides a motorcycle and rests his feet on a little girl's desk while he lectures.
Turner looks at Toping's chest and then grabs the X-Men comic book Cory had with him because Cory hates learning. Cory really hates learning to the point where he will talk in class and loudly protest being taught anything. I think Cory has a learning disability. It's the kind that you wouldn't notice speaking with him, but he'd never be able to live alone independently. He's just angry that all this school work is more than he can handle. and would do better if he were placed in the slow kids classes. He could be free to do book reports on comic books, finger paint and complain endlessly about his socks. God damn it, Cory whines about his socks way more than a person with normal mental abilities would.
In a surprise move, Mr. Turner assigns the class to read The Odyssey and that issue of X-Men. What an unconventional teacher this guy is! Cory likes this. I don't think anyone else does. I tried to read comic books when I was around that age, but they bored me. I didn't like the whole having to jump in the middle of some story that has been going on for twenty years when I didn't know what was going on or who anyone was.
Does anyone else in his class have any interest in X-Men? This was well before the movie trilogy, or any non-Batman comic book movies. I think the X-Men cartoon was on at this point and high school ers certainly watched that show. I watched some of that cartoon. I don't know what you can learn from that. I really only learned that Jean Gray turns into the Phoenix when she dies. That's why Jean Gray has to die in every incarnation of X-Men.
I went to see the third X-Men movie with two people, one of whom had previously viewed it. We entered the theater during the closing credits of an earlier showing. The person who had already seen it warned that there was going to be a spoiler at the end (the clip where Professor X inhabited the coma guy). When the next showing began and we saw the scene where Professor X "died" my other friend and I were not spoiled. It's not like you can ever expect a main character's death in a comic book movie to be permanent (OK, unless it's someone like Peter Parker's Uncle Ben or Bruce Wayne's parents). The final scene of the previous X-Men movie hinted that the important person who tragically died wasn't really dead. The entire movie we were watching right now was about that person coming back to life. "On no, Professor X is dead! Unless they make another sequel, in which case he'll be brought back to life because the studio will want Patrick Stewart back."
Cory introduces himself to Harley and his gang of hoodlums. "Look," Joey says to Frankie, "it's the kid from when you was gay" which makes Frankie go into the boy's room because he needs to look at some penises to see how he feels about them. Gay porn wasn't easy to come by before the web took off. Cory wants Harley's protection, but Harley says Cory has a poof name. Harley renames Cory "Johnny Baboon" which he will call the little chap throughout the series.
Cory and Harley are loitering in the halls, so the dick head assistant principal sends them to the principal's office. Like most TV shows about high school ers, the kids spend more time hanging out in the halls than in class. This show is still better than Degassing: the Next Generation, with their two hour lunch breaks and basketball games that are played during the school day.
Cory is shocked to learn that the acting principal is Mr. Feeny! Oh my! You know he only took this assignment because this was the school Cory goes to. "Yes, Mr. Matthews, I am the principal for the time being. It seems the previous principal had an unfortunate accident. I was speaking with him privately to inquire if there were any job openings in this school--teacher, lunch room attendant, it didn't matter. He said there were not and then he 'accidentally' tripped and fell down a flight of stairs. Tragic. Tragic he was so clumsy. Hahaha."
Feeny will stalk Cory for the next six years. Have any of you ever suspected that Feeny bought the house next to Cory's family just so he'd get to be Cory's neighbor? Because I do.
Cory then finds that Mr. Fee ny is the teacher for his next class. This was written on the schedule Cory has been carrying around and looking at all morning, but he did not notice until now. Told you Cory has a learning disability.
Cory got off with a warning. However, Harley got three weeks of detention because Feeny likes Cory and hates people who aren't Cory. Harley wants to beat Cory up over this. 3 p.m. The bathroom. It's on!
At lunch, Mr. Feeny questions Mr. Turner about the wisdom of assigning the kids a comic book. "I realize that you're the new groovy teacher and I'm the high bound traditionalist," Feeny tells Turner, laying out the the dynamic that will continue for the next three years and explaining it for the dumber viewers. Feeny walks away after saying, "I think, Mr. Turner, it shall be an interesting school year." This will also be true!
Cory asks Eric for help with Harley. Eric's advice is to go to the nurse's office, fake being sick and go home. Cory does just that and meets two nerds in the nurse's office who are using that same excuse to get out of ever going to school. Those two don't look like nerds, they look like boys who belong to some fundamentalist church. Sex ed class is underway so these boys have to sit it out. Cory doesn't want to be like them so he decides to take his licking from Harley.
Cory is ready to be killed. Harley was waiting in bathroom. That's a smelly place to wait. If Cory didn't show up on time, how long was Harley going to sit in the bathroom? Harley gets ready to beat Cory to a pulp, but Eric does a cool jump over the brick divider to come to his little brother's rescue. Alright!
But that's not all. Mr. Turner is there to save the day. He uses smooth talking to get Harley to go away. Cory thanks his teacher and Mr. Turner tells him to read The Odyssey. Cory will not fulfil his part of the deal.
Now that everything is alright, Cory opens the locker that Shawn has been hiding in. Shawn does not want to get out because he is making out with girl in locker. Cory comments that they have big lockers in high school so I don't have to when I review this episode 16 years later. That's forward thinking from the Boy Meets World writers.
This was a pretty average episode. They had to introduce all the new characters and set up the relationships that would run for most of the rest of the series, so that limited how much time they could spend on a plot. Not that Boy Meets World spent that much more time on their plots in most other episodes.