Case Number 22453: Small Claims Court

BOY MEETS WORLD: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON

Lionsgate // 1999 // 552 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Bromley // October 6th, 2011

The Charge

"Class dismissed."

The Case

Well, here we are. After seven seasons (in just over a year), we've finally arrived at the end of Boy Meets World. The characters who started out as wide-eyed junior high school kids are now leaving college, getting married and starting their lives in a totally new city. Everyone is all grown up.

Here are the episodes that make up Boy Meets World: The Complete Seventh and Final Season:
* "Show Me the Love"
* "For Love and Apartments"
* "Angela's Man"
* "No Such Thing as a Sure Thing"
* "You Light Up My Union"
* "They're Killing Us"
* "It's About Time"
* "The Honeymooners"
* "The Honeymoon is Over"
* "Pickett Fences"
* "What a Drag"
* "Family Trees"
* "The Provider"
* "I'm Gonna Be Like You, Dad
* "The War"
* "Seven the Hard Way"
* "She's Having my Baby Back Ribs"
* "How Cory and Topanga Got Their Groove Back"
* "Brotherly Shove"
* "As Time Goes By"
* "Angela's Ashes"
* "Brave New World, Part 1"
* "Brave New World, Part 2"

I've made mention of the steady decline in quality of Boy Meets World in just about every one of my season-length reviews since around Season Three, and the theory holds. That makes Season Seven the weakest in the show's run, and there's a very specific reason for that. As the show progressed, it began to embrace a sillier, less realistic vibe. That's fine; it wasn't the show I wanted, necessarily (I like it better when it was about the fears and accomplishments of believable young people), but shows have a way of finding a voice and evolving. Season Seven, though, finds Boy Meets World as a show divided: on the one hand, it's still embracing goofiness and flights of fancy (like Eric Matthews' psychic abilities, or the terrible episode in which Topanga time travels back to the black and white past), but it also has to serve the fact that the show was coming to a close. That means a lot of tying up of relationships and looking back in a way that's both overly sentimental and which flies in the face of sillier aspects. Some shows may be able to navigate these two disparate tones more adeptly, but not Boy Meets World.

The Cory and Topanga romance, long the focus of Boy Meets World, reaches its logical conclusion in Season Seven as the pair finally marries (for many people, it was at this point that the series jumped the shark). Again, I don't really have a problem with that -- it's what the show has been building to for a number of seasons -- but the way it's handled is so drawn out and frustrating that it becomes hard to enjoy. That's been an issue for several seasons, actually; once Cory and Topanga actually got together, the writers didn't seem to know how to create conflict without having to split them up for reasons both superficial and convenient. A lot of sitcoms fall victim to this: the couple we've been wanting to see get together finally gets together, and everyone collectively throws up their hands and asks "Now what?" The answer, I'm afraid more often than not, is to continue splitting the couple up until they can be reunited at the last possible moment (see the final episode of Friends...or pretty much all of Friends). Season Seven of Boy Meets World doesn't take matters quite so far, but there is way too much conflict and drama between two people who are prepared to get married than there ought to be. Just let the kids be happy already.

It's funny; after Buena Vista released the first three seasons of Boy Meets World several years ago and stopped putting out the show altogether, fans sat in wait of the remaining seasons to be released despite it looking like that wasn't going to happen. Then Lionsgate took over the title, and all seven seasons have been rushed out in the span of just over a year. Like every release prior to this one, all of the episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 full frame broadcast aspect ratio, and while they look a little soft and dated (the show was shot on video and is over a decade old), everything looks fine. The 2.0 audio track is totally straightforward, a little tinny and thin but otherwise handles the dialogue capably. Fans hoping that Lionsgate was going to pull out the stops for the final season -- perhaps a season-length retrospective or collection of commentary tracks -- are totally out of luck. There's not a single bonus feature to be found.

So, with that, we close the book on Boy Meets World. What started as a show for young kids with a lot of personality and smarts eventually evolved into a more traditional teen romance, though one that certainly had its own sense of humor. Season Seven has the series ending more with a whimper than with a bang, if only because the majority of the season is wasted on throwaway episodes or shows that just repeat stories we've already seen. The two-part finale does a good job of tying everything together, though, bringing the relationship between the kids and their former teacher, Mr. Feeny, to a satisfying conclusion. Most importantly, though, the show is over, meaning that after seven seasons, I've had my final say on Boy Meets World. It's about time.

The Verdict

Free at last.

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

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 75

Perp Profile
Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 552 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

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