Case Number 21662: Small Claims Court

BOY MEETS WORLD: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

Lionsgate // 1998 // 528 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley // June 29th, 2011

The Charge

"You brought pudding to college?"

The Case

It's funny. When I reviewed Boy Meets World: The Complete Fifth Season for DVD Verdict a couple of months ago, I made mention of the fact that after five seasons (and in under a year, no less), I was running out of things to say about Boy Meets World. Boy, did I speak too soon.

It seems like seasons of the beloved ABC sitcom from the '90s are being released every couple of weeks (it's more like every couple of months). For fans of the show -- who had to wait years before Lionsgate took over the publishing rights from Disney and finally put out seasons after number three (originally, only the first three ever saw the light of day on DVD) -- this is great news. No big gaps between seasons, no long waits. For the person charged with reviewing each of these sets, though, things get a bit trickier. Covering six seasons of any show in such a truncated period of time would be a challenge; even more so when the show in question is as slight and unchanging as Boy Meets World. Sure, the characters grow up, new actors are introduced into the ensemble, and the tone gets yanked around a bit, but we're not talking about The Wire here, in which the universe of the show expands and evolves over time. Boy Meets World is happy to remain as it once was.

Having said that, there are several changes to Season Six that proved to be controversial even with the series' biggest supporters. This is the year that young Cory Matthews (Ben Savage, Little Monsters) and his best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong, Cabin Fever) become roommates at college, all while Cory debates whether or not to marry his longtime girlfriend, Topanga (Danielle Fishel, National Lampoon's Dorm Daze). Eric (Will Friedle, Trojan War) and Jack (Matthew Lawrence, The Comebacks) get a new roommate, Rachel (Maitland Ward, White Chicks), and instantly begin competing for her affections. Cory's parents get some life-changing news. Feeny (William Daniels, The Graduate) finds romance, and Shawn and his brother suffer a loss.

Here are the episodes that make up Boy Meets World: The Complete Sixth Season:

* "His Answer Part 1"
* "His Answer Part 2"
* "Ain't College Great?"
* "Friendly Persuasion"
* "Better Than Average Cory"
* "Hogs and Kisses"
* "Everybody Loves Stuart"
* "You're Married, You're Dead"
* "Poetic License: An Ode to Holden Caulfield"
* "And In Case I Don't See Ya"
* "Santa's Little Helpers"
* "Cutting the Cord"
* "We'll Have a Good Time Then"
* "Getting Hitched"
* "Road Trip"
* "My Baby Valentine"
* "Resurrection"
* "Can I Help to Cheer You?"
* "Bee True"
* "The Truth About Honesty"
* "The Psychotic Episode"
* "State of the Unions"

Yes, Season Six is the "dark" season of Boy Meets World, in which a supporting character is killed off, leading to much tortured moping for a few episodes. That would be fine -- the show has always been pretty good about handling dramatic moments in a believable way -- but the whole arc is too sustained. The effect is one of having too many "very special episodes" butting up against one another, and after a while one starts to long for the days when the show was more silly and innocent. It's still at its best when handling the friendships and romantic exploits of its young cast, and while I'm not the world's biggest fan of the "Cory and Topanga Get Married" story (it only gets worse in the next season), it never derails the entire season. Watching Will Friedle pine after the Amazonian Maitland Ward makes up for it anyway.

At this point, it's almost not worth discussing the audio and video quality of a Boy Meets World DVD release. If you've been collecting the series to this point, you know exactly what to expect. If you haven't, I can't imagine you're going to be swayed by the show looks and sounds on DVD. Suffice it to the say that the full frame video transfer is fine but hardly great and that the stereo audio track does a fine job handling the dialogue and the ever-present laugh track. As has been the case for the last few seasons, there are zero special features. All you're getting is the shows themselves. For many, that will be enough.

It's a good thing that there's only one more season of Boy Meets World that exists to come out on DVD. Not because I'm totally burned out on the show, because it remains an entertaining (if forgettable) diversion. It's funny and likable and the ensemble cast grows tighter with each passing season (with the exception of maybe Angela, a character that has never really worked). Beyond that, though, there just isn't much to say. You've probably figured that out already.

The Verdict

Six down, one to go.

Review content copyright © 2011 Patrick Bromley; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 76

Perp Profile
Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 528 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0105958/combined