UltimateDisney.com | DVD Review Index | Disney/Buena Vista TV Shows Page | Search UltimateDisney.com

Boy Meets World on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3

"Boy Meets World" The Complete Second Season DVD Review

Buy Boy Meets World: The Complete Second Season from Amazon.com Boy Meets World: Season Two (1994-95)
Show & DVD Details

Director: David Trainer (episodes also directed by Jeff McCracken, David Kendall)

Regular Cast: Ben Savage (Cory Matthews), William Daniels (Mr. George Feeny), Betsy Randle (Amy Matthews), Will Friedle (Eric Matthews), Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), Danielle Fishel (Topanga Lawrence), Lily Nicksay (Morgan Matthews), Anthony Tyler Quinn (Mr. Jonathan Turner), William Russ (Alan Matthews)

Recurring Characters: Danny McNulty (Harley Keiner), Ethan Suplee (Frankie Stecchino), Blake Soper (Joey Epstein), Jason Marsden (Jason Marsden), Adam Scott (Griff Hawkins), Darlene Vogel (Kat Tompkins), Jonathan Charles Kaplan (Alvin Meese), Blake Clark (Chet Hunter), Sydnee Bennet (Desiree), Jessica Wesson (Wendy), Bob Larkin (Janitor Bud), Laurie Fortier (Jasmine Fontana)

Notable Guest Stars: Phyllis Diller (Madame Ouspenskaya), Micky Dolenz (Norm), Danielle Harris (Theresa "T.K." Keiner), Haylie Johnson (Linda), Kathy Kinney (Rifkin), Mena Suvari (Laura), Robin Leach (Himself), Teri Ivens (Torie Hart), Nancy Kerrigan (Herself), Robert Goulet (Himself), Yasmine Bleeth (Herself), Kelly Packard (Candy), Leon Allen White (Leon Stecchino/"Vader")

Running Time: 516 Minutes (23 episodes) / Rating: TV-PG
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Surround 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
Season 2 Airdates: September 23, 1994 - May 19, 1995
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9); Suggested Retail Price: $49.99
Six-sided fold-out Digipak with cardboard slipcover

Buy from Amazon.com


Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

A star () denotes my ten favorite episodes from the season.

Cory and Mr. Feeny show off their riskier nature in "Danger Boy." Cory and Shawn become the school's popular radio personalities in "On the Air." Eric drops by Mr. Feeny's office to talk in "By Hook or By Crook."

Disc 3

16. Danger Boy (22:24) (Originally aired February 3, 1995)
Eric's girlfriend Kim has a 13-year-old cousin (Mena Suvari) coming in from New York.
Rather than missing out on a weekend together, Eric agrees to bring along Shawn for a double date, not his brother. As a result, Cory feels bad about being labeled safe. Meanwhile, Mr. Feeny gets defensive during a teachers meeting when everyone assumes he'll be in charge of the chess club rather than something more exciting like ski club. Together, Cory and Feeny head off to the amusement park to show they're more dangerous than people think. At home, Mr. and Mrs. Matthews disagree over each other's frivolous spending.

17. On the Air (22:10) (Originally aired February 10, 1995)
Disappointed by the school radio station, Cory and Shawn take up Mr. Turner's offer to make it better. But following their boring on-air debut, they seek to find an audience with "Lunchtime Lust." The couples-matching show is a hit with students and Cory and Shawn feel important, but Feeny quickly pulls the plug. As being silenced doesn't coincide with what they're learning about the Bill of Rights, Cory and Shawn tie up Ludwig (guest Justin Thomson), host of the German hour, and get themselves a second chance their own way. At home, Eric subscribes to one magazine for each letter of the alphabet to assure he'll win Robin Leach's $10 million prize. This inspired episode gives us some great lines from Shawn and Eric, who are gradually fitting into roles of effective not-too-bright comic relief.

18. By Hook or By Crook (22:03) (Originally aired February 17, 1995)
Eric won't get to go to Europe this summer unless he gets his grades up to a "B" average. Mr. Feeny assigns a tutor to Eric and his best friend Jason for history class. The tutor, an attractive senior, wants to help Eric get his goal, even if that means giving him answers. Meanwhile, Mr. Turner goes to Shawn's uncle to get his motorcycle fixed. Sick at home, Cory (unusually reduced to a third storyline) gets a visit from Topanga. It all ends with a great Feeny speech.

19. The Wrong Side of the Tracks (22:28) (Originally aired February 24, 1995)
Shawn gets turned down by a girl for his family's status. In response, Shawn starts pulling pranks and hanging out with Harley, Joey, and Frankie instead of Cory. In the more lighthearted subplot, Jason helps Eric impress a date with a subliminal ice skating tape, and Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan shows up in a dream. This good episode is marred by the weak one-episode replacement actor playing the role of Harley Keiner.

Cory and Joey square off in "The Thrilla' in Phila'." Mr. Matthews speaks to Cory's class on "Career Day." Shawn and Mr. Turner in season finale "Home."

20. Pop Quiz (22:26) (Originally aired March 10, 1995)
Frankie and Joey, distraught over Harley being at reform school, latch onto Eric before settling on Griff Hawkins, a slick new student as their new leader in Harley's absence. Cory and Shawn turn in a late assignment at Mr. Turner's apartment and learn of an upcoming pop quiz. When they ace it, they feel bad about studying.

21. The Thrilla' in Phila' (22:20) (Originally aired May 5, 1995)
After nearly two months off the air and feared cancellation, "Boy Meets World" returned with a bang! At about the same time that he's lamenting having nothing to put in the school yearbook, Cory is taken in by the wrestling team to fulfill an open spot. All of a sudden, Cory is a jock - with a jacket, girl, and attitude to prove it. The hitch (and there's always a hitch) is that Joey (also trying to make a name for himself, apart from Griff) wants the last spot on the wrestling team too. Griff arranges an elaborate wrestling match showdown at school, inviting the likes of Robert Goulet, Yasmine Bleeth, and Frankie's dad (WWF wrestler Vader). The randomness that would become a key part of the show's comedy is well in place here.

22. Career Day (22:28) (Originally aired May 12, 1995)
Cory and Shawn are both embarrassed by their fathers' Career Day appearances at school; Cory because Alan's grocery store talk is boring, Shawn because his father merely tells tall tales. When Shawn's mother takes off in the family trailer and his dad goes off to search for her, he turns to the Matthews and Mr. Turner. Studying for the SAT's is creating pain for Eric, literally.

23. Home (21:58) (Originally aired May 19, 1995)
After three weeks of living with the Matthews, Shawn is getting a little fed up with them, as are they with he. He runs off in the night, and shows up at Mr. Turner's place...with a police officer. Eric continues to panic over the SAT's until Mr. Feeny agrees to reveal the three secrets to acing them in exchange for some gardening help. Episodes like this which deal with Shawn's troubles are compelling, but tend to falter a bit with excessive drama.

Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan shows up in Eric's dreams, in a memorable Season Two sequence. Cory doesn't want trouble with bully Harley Keiner, but he just can't help it.

VIDEO and AUDIO

The fullscreen transfer offers solid but not flawless quality. The picture appeared to be a bit too dark in some of the episodes. The video remains clean, stronger than broadcast caliber, and mostly detailed, though not to its full potential. It looks like a little less compression might have benefited things - there are some minor artifacts in the motion. The moiré effect (rainbow-like colored pattern) turns up in a few episodes, most noticeably "Fear Strikes Out."

Sound quality is about as good as you can expect for a basic sitcom. The Dolby Surround 2.0 presentation nicely conveys each of the elements - dialogue is natural and crisp sounding. Season 2's new score, with more of a rock/blues vibe, and the laughtrack make good surround speaker reinforcement.

Will Friedle, producer Michael Jacobs, and Rider Strong comment on the episode "Fear Strikes Out." Picture-in-picture video commentary.

BONUS FEATURES

Like the first season's set, the highlight of Season Two's DVD are the audio commentaries, which again are highly entertaining. There are six commentaries here, and one is of the picture-in-picture video variety!
Unlike last set's where one big group of executive producer Michael Jacobs and the cast members commented on all the episodes, there are two smaller groups this time, each commenting on three episodes.

The first commentary, on "Back 2 School", brings together Michael Jacobs, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle. This trio also comments on the season finale "Home." In the second commentary grouping (first heard on the Halloween episode "Who's Afraid of Cory Wolf?"), Jacobs is joined by Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel. These three also reflect on the episode "Wake Up, Little Cory" (on this episode, the audio commentary is a couple of seconds ahead of the video). "Fear Strikes Out" offers two commentaries, Friedle, Jacobs, and Strong appear in picture-in-picture video commentary (their 'picture' is a square in the lower right-hand corner); Jacobs, Fishel, and Savage also reunite for an audio version.

The pairing of Jacobs with Strong and Friedle proves to be the more enlightening of the two groups, but both remain very easy to listen to, as the participants recall their experiences from a decade earlier. Like last time, there is a lot of talk on the show's fashions, which are funny. The tracks get even better when the show's creator and cast members reflect on the different cast members, the show's goals for the second season and new characters.

All the commentaries tend to get off-topic and in some, there's a little bit of dead space or just watching and laughing. Occasionally, these folks get some facts about the show wrong (should I feel weird about being able to correct the people who actually made the show?). Nonetheless, these commentaries are better than any of the other Buena Vista sitcom DVD set extras. Among the more interesting topics discussed are the show's inspirations (from Michael Jacobs' own life to "Happy Days"), the most ridiculous transformations that have occurred in a 22-minute BMW episode, the show's changing sets, Will Friedle's hair color following the filming of a Lake Placid dream sequence with Nancy Kerrigan, and the cast's gym class with the kids from "Home Improvement."

Unlike Season 1's set, there are no bonus episodes from a future season included here. That's entirely okay, since with the speedy way Disney is doing them, they will probably be more than halfway done releasing with the show's seven year run by next year at this time. There's also neither of the features that were announced for but missing from Season 1; outtakes and something called "Yesterday and Today" are both absent. Hopefully, they'll show up in a future season. At the very least, outtakes must exist.

Another potential source for video-oriented bonus materials on future season sets could be some of the festive Friday night programming, hosted by cast members and such. With TGIF, ABC turned Friday nights into an inspired 2-hour block of programming rather than just a "one show and go" viewing experience. It'd be nice to see some of this content all these years later.

Sneak Peeks at the start of Disc 1 are for "Home Improvement" Season One, "The Golden Girls" Season One, Around the World in 80 Days, and The Princess Diaries 2. The Sneak Peeks menu offers a "Play All" option, which includes second page trailers for The Young Black Stallion, Where the Red Fern Grows, That's So Raven: Supernaturally Stylish, and Kim Possible: The Villain Files.

Disc One's Main Menu Season Two's opening title logo.

MENUS, DESIGN, and PACKAGING

The 16x9 menus gladly stay close to the First Season's selection screens, retaining the Season One opening theme and the animated paper airplane intro, and replacing last set's red theme with a blue one (like the packaging). Video clips from Season Two are featured in the two O's in the title logo.
Top 10 Christmas Gifts!
Each disc has a "Play All" option which obviously enables the 7 or 8 episodes on that disc to play in succession. Each episode is broken down into four chapters, where commercial breaks would go.

Season Two got rid of the elaborate opening credits sequence the show used for the first season. This year, there would be just a 5-second animated title screen and the credits overlaid on the opening scenes. This brief opening is intact here, unlike the syndicated airings of these episodes.

The packaging for Season Two matches the new "Home Improvement" and "Golden Girls" DVDs that were released the same week: it's a cardboard slipcover housing a six-sided Digipak. This means the box is not as wide as Season 1 (which was eight-sided) and two discs share one side of the inner case. Other than this, the design pretty much matches the first Season's release, including a new letter from Michael Jacobs. The front of the Digipak duplicates the slipcover artwork; the back features a photo of the Matthews family on their staircase.

Inside is a mail-in rebate form which gets you $10 back if you send in proofs of purchases from this and any one of the following Buena Vista DVD releases: "Home Improvement" Season One, "The Golden Girls" Season One, "Lizzie McGuire" Volume One. There's also an entry for a Sweepstakes to win a library of ten Buena Vista TV DVDs, which is probably worth returning even if not for the prize; it asks for TV series you would like to see on DVD. Lastly, there's a double-sided ad which promotes the currently-available Season 1 "Boy Meets World" DVD as well as ABC Family's weekday reruns of the show.

The Matthews Family gathers around to watch some television, the way some families watched them on Friday nights in the 1990s. Topanga and Cory: Definitely friends...maybe more? Stay tuned.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

"Boy Meets World" is an excellent sitcom. Its second season offered growth and change, with results that were usually even more entertaining than its enjoyable debut year. The comedy flows not just from Cory's seventh grade dilemmas, but from the stories involving his brother, his parents, his teachers, and his friends. Ten years may have passed since these episodes first aired, but they remain sharp, funny, and better than just about any sitcom being made today.

Bonus features, while a notch above the other Buena Vista television releases, still offer room for improvement. But there will be more season sets (the 3rd one is due next April), and more opportunities to provide supplements as good as here and even better. Packaging and design is first-rate and the solid effort that went into The Complete First Season has been carried over and even expanded here.

The Complete Second Season of "Boy Meets World" is wholeheartedly recommended, as is its predecessor released last August, if you haven't already picked it up. A crowd-pleasing family comedy, with a worthy DVD presentation to match.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
Boy Meets World: The Complete First Season • Boy Meets World: The Complete Third Season
Home Improvement: The Complete First Season • Home Improvement: The Complete Second Season
Lizzie McGuire: Box Set Volume 1 | Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons
The Muppet Show: Season One | The Tick vs. Season One | Sweet Valley High: The Complete First Season
Scrubs: The Complete First Season • Scrubs: The Complete Second Season • Scrubs: The Complete Third Season

Boy Meets World on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3

UltimateDisney.com | DVD Review Index | Disney/Buena Vista TV Shows Page | Search UltimateDisney.com

Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Reviewed November 27, 2004.