The week before the 4/10/14 taping of Girl Meets World, I was a complete & nervous wreck. I anticipated receiving an email saying that the 4/10/14 taping had been cancelled. Who could blame me? This is my third attempt at trying to catch a taping. I had tickets for the pilot taping; that was cancelled. I lost out on money for flight, hotel and car rental. Since I had the flights, I had to go to LA anyway and I was actually staying less than a block away from where they were filming. My pain went beyond agony the day after the alleged taping when I found out that Will Friedle had visited the set. “I WAS LESS THAN A BLOCK AWAY!!” says the biggest Will Friedle fan in my world. That was the worst LA trip I had ever taken.
The second time I tried was for 2/11/14. Four days before the taping, I received an email telling me the taping was cancelled. Again. Flight, hotel and car rental lost. Again. I started to think it just wasn’t meant to be. I went to LA and hung around doing nothing. Little did I know, while doing nothing, I would end up at a closed taping of “Girl Meets Friendship”(?) as Ben’s guest(!) but it still wasn’t the same as a live taping. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but I’ve never been to any sitcom taping before and wanted to experience it full on.
So this third try, imagine my anxiety levels as it builds up through my shaky fingers every time I checked my email. Although this time, I did not buy a flight, nor a hotel. I decided to drive. No loss in case of emergency. Again, who could blame me? 3rd time was the charm. No cancellation emails, no postponements, no schedule changes. It was a go! YES!!
When we got inside and the event began, they showed us what they called a “bonus episode” which was the pilot episode they taped. Yes, the one I had tickets for but couldn’t attend because it was cancelled. I didnt understand why they called it the bonus episode and not the pilot episode until I saw Teo Halm in it. He was the actor that was also supposed to be Riley’s big brother but his character got cut. They said the pilot has since been reshot(and includes Mr. Feeny I believe) and I realized that this version of the pilot episode will never be seen on television. I felt so honored that they allowed us to watch it. Hence, BONUS!
The episode was called “Girl Meets Flaws.” It’s an episode about bullying. Danny McNulty even came back all the way from Queens New York to film this episode. If you remember, he played Cory’s bully, Harvey Keiner, in Season 2 and I think a little of Season 3 in Boy Meets World. The only thing I didn’t understand was why no one seems to have a New York accent. Oh well, maybe they are all transplants.
So, they basically go back and forth between playbacks and live taping segments and it’s almost like we’re watching the whole episode in order. There was an MC and a DJ who was entertaining us during the whole taping. His name was Robert Koch and he was hilarious. If you’re curious what the MC looks like, you can see him in this Friends clip at about 1:18. He made the taping so fun to be at.
I’m not going to completely spoil it for anyone but I’ll tell you this: Girls Meets World is definitely this generation’s Boy Meets World. I don’t know how to express to you how beautiful and refreshing it was to see this show come to life. A little over a year ago, when GMW was first announced, I read every article there was to read about the upcoming project. Along with the articles came the inevitable criticism, criticism on a show that didn’t even exist yet! People were judging the show, saying they should just leave Boy Meets World alone. Umm, WHAT?
I admit, I wasn’t really sure how to feel about what the show would be like but I was still excited. Mainly because I was interested in seeing Boy Meets World faces back on the show, at least as a guest star, perhaps, if not as a regular cast member. It made no sense for the older generation who grew up with Boy Meets World and treasuring the show to treat Girl Meets World with such fierce hostility. If you had something so wonderful as a child, why not be happy for your child to possibly have something just as wonderful as yours?
Anyway, the bottom line is, I got to go to the taping finally and it was ingratiating. It reminded me of Boy Meets World in its existential being and I am really excited to see it premiere. I don’t care if Disney is the one who owns it, Michael Jacobs is the one producing it and I trust he will do a great job. In fact, I KNOW he is doing a great job, I saw it with my very own eyes. And I watched and heard him make changes to actions and some of the lines at the last minute to make the message come across stronger and it works.
I’m so thankful to have been able to catch a full on taping of Girl Meets World as my first sitcom taping. It’s definitely an unforgettable experience and I plan on catching another one in the future. I didn’t bother trying to take pictures or trying to get an autograph as the bars don’t make a nice photo and I don’t collect autographs anyway. At the end of the bonus episode playback, we saw and heard that familiar Michael Jacobs logo/jingle and everyone in the audience released a nostalgic awwww. I believe this release goes hand in hand with the mindset of “Thank you for coming back. Thank you for Girl Meets World.”