Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Melissa meets Boy: Parents, friends, and Feeney

This week, I’m going to talk about the rest of the secondary characters, of which there are a substantial amount.  Let’s start with…

Courtesy http://joloso.tumblr.com

Mr. Feeny-This was Cory, Shawn, and Topanga’s teacher through the entire series.  How does that happen, you may ask?  Well, every time the main group moved up a grade, Mr. Feeney came with them.   When they moved from elementary to middle/high school, Mr. Feeny became the principal.  When they graduated high school, Mr. Feeny first decided to audit classes at the college, and then somehow became a professor there too!  Mr. Feeny was the mentor of the group, recipient of the Feeney call, and teacher of lessons and lessons to everyone on the show.  He always had a kind word, or a slap on the head if it was necessary.  Even if someone(*cough*Shawn*cough*) straight-up takes over his house for a b&b while Mr. Feeny is on vacation, he lets that someone off with a slap on the wrist, after that someone gave Mr. Feeny the profits, of course.

Alan and Amy Matthews-These are Cory’s parents, the early foils and later plot-drivers of the show.  When Boy Meets World first started, Cory’s parents were the disciplinarians when Cory did something wrong, the celebraters when he did something right, but their characters didn’t go much beyond being stand up people, and Cory’s role models.  Sure, we got bits of personality here and there:  Alan was a grocer, a former Navy Seal, stern but not above helping his kids during a punishment.  Amy was a real estate agent, a bit sneaky when it came to snooty friend’s parents, and very interested in her kids’ well being.  But later on in the show, they began to have their own plots, and their personalities really came through.  Alan didn’t like being a grocer, so he quit his job.  Amy wanted stability, so she bought a sporting goods shop for him.  They had another kid late in the show’s run that fueled several arcs forward for all the cast.  In short, they started out cookie cutter parents of the sitcom mold, but eventually grew into fully realized characters themselves.

Morgan Matthews-Morgan was probably the least developed character on the show.  She was basically used as comic relief, singing to Eric the song an angry ex wrote, teasing Cory, disappearing for a season, and reappearing with a different actress and a funny quip.  Even the plots that revolved around her felt shoehorned in, like when a famous 12 year-old artist came to town, and wanted to hang out with her.  It seemed they only remembered her in service of the plot, and didn’t really care much otherwise.

Jack Hunter: Jack was Shawn’s half-brother who appeared in the fourth season.  When he first appeared, he was played off Shawn the majority of the time, with them learning to love each other, and whatnot, after Jack had been living with his mother, and Shawn, their father, on separate sides of the country.  They were the opposite in nearly every measure.  Shawn was poor, Jack came from money via his stepfather.  Shawn was a slacker in school, while Jack was an over-achiever.  Shawn was rather introverted, whereas Jack was terribly extroverted.  But soon the writers discovered how well Jack and Eric worked, and soon their stories inevitably intertwined.  They shared an apartment, several classes, a love interest, and several traits as well.  Jack didn’t really grow that much, but his stories, when coupled with Eric, were usually fun—who can resist a good cross-dressing story?—and his exasperation at Eric’s stupidity, but his obvious affection toward him, endured us to both of them even more.

Angela Moore:  Angela was Shawn’s main love interest for the back half of the show.  They met because he found her purse, and fell in love with the girl he though the owner was, based on the contents of said purse.  When he gave it back to her, they started their arc.  Angela also filled the ‘minority’ requirement all sitcoms seem to have.  She eventually fell into the role of Topanga’s best friend, though after that, she also didn’t grow too terribly much.  But again, like Jack, her playing the straight man to Cory and Shawn’s antics, and watching her and Shawn’s relationship blossom was enjoyable for all.  Even if she did break his heart more than once.

And that’s all the secondary characters—I used a cutoff of 60, of 158, episodes to determine secondary status, so Angela juuuuuust made it.

Next week:  all the rest!

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