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Featured TV on DVD Review: Boy Meets World: Season Four

December 6th, 2010

Boy Meets World: Season Four - Buy from Amazon

Boy Meets World ran from 1993 to 2000 and was a pretty sizeable hit on ABC, for a show that aired on Friday night, that is. The first three seasons were originally released on DVD back in 2004 - 2005, but sales were not great. Now the home market rights have been purchased by Lionsgate and they re-released those seasons in September, while season four makes its home market debut this week. More than five years between releases is a long time, but was it worth the wait?

The Show

For those that have never seen the show, it follows the adventures of three school friends, Cory Matthews, Shawn Hunter, and Topanga Lawrence. The series starts with them in middle school and by the end they are graduating college. (I believe they skipped a few years in between.) While the show is mostly about the three of them, with Cory and Shawn's life-long friendship and Cory and Topanga's growing romance, the show also focuses on the Matthews family.

In fact, this season starts with the end of a summer long road trip taken by Cory and his brother, Eric with Eric delaying their arrival home, because he figures he has nothing to return to. He spent most of his life slacking off and now that no college accepted him, he spends most of the season trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Likewise, early in the season, the patriarch of the Matthews clan, Alan, has a bit of a midlife crisis and up and quits his job. Fortunately, Feeny is there to rescue them, as he so often does. In the second episode, Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow, Topanga tries to teach Cory a lesson about looks, which backfires horribly. Dangerous Secret deals with a serious topic, and features a guest shot by Ariana Richards, and it is one of the better episodes of the season.

Sixteen Candles and 400-lb. Men is decidedly less serious, but it gives Frankie, the overly eloquent former bully, a chance to be the center of an episode. Or at least more of the center than a side character usually gets. Turkey Day has the Matthews and the Hunter's having Thanksgiving together, which causes a lot of strife, as the two families are in different economic classes, which is something that is mentioned in the show previously, but usually in passing and usually as a joke. In this episode it is treated a lot more seriously. Buddy Hackett and Soupy Sales have a guest shot as two mob bosses in Easy Street. Shawn dresses up like a girl in Chick Like Me in order to see the world from the woman's perspective.

Disc three starts with A Long Walk to Pittsburgh, a two-part episode where Topanga learns her father got a job in Pittsburgh and she will be moving away. At first she and Cory are heartbroken, but she's determined to stay. It's a good episode, but it's very obvious how it will end. Eric starts dating a woman and its going great, till he learns she has a kid. Now he has to decide if he's ready for an adult relationship. His quest to grow up gets a shove when his father finally fires him in Security Guy. The season ends with Learning to Fly, which has the guys going on a road trip to check out a college. Topanga was supposed to go with them, but when she doesn't, and lies about why she can't go, Cory is put in a tough place.

The Extras

There are no extras on this three-disc set. There are also no subtitles and the only DVD authoring are the play-all buttons.

The Verdict

I haven't seen Boy Meets World in about a decade, but there were a number of Season Four episodes I still remembered. There are individual scenes, and even some one-liners that I remembered, which is a good sign. On the other hand, it has been too long since I've seen the previous seasons so I can't compare them. That said, this is the only season in which the three main cast members all earned Young Artist Awards nominations, so in that regard it could be considered the best season of the show's run. The lack of extras does hurt its value, but the price-per-minute is low enough that it isn't a deal breaker. Also, if fans want seasons 5 through 7 to come out any time soon, they will want to buy this DVD ASAP.

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