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

"Boy Meets World" The Complete Third Season DVD Review

Buy Boy Meets World: The Complete Third Season from Amazon.com Boy Meets World: Season Three (1995-96)
Show & DVD Details

Directors: Jeff McCracken, David Trainer, John Tracy, 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), Alex Dιsert (Eli Williams), Anthony Tyler Quinn (Mr. Jonathan Turner), William Russ (Alan Matthews)

Recurring Characters: Lindsay Ridgeway (Morgan Matthews), Ethan Suplee (Frankie Stecchino), Blake Soper (Joey Epstein), Bob Larkin (Janitor Bud), Larisa Oleynik (Dana Pruitt), Brittany Murphy (Trini), Brandon Maggart (Pat Darby), Jim Jansen (Dr. Sorrell), Anastasia Horne (Christi/y)

Notable Guest Stars: Erin J. Dean (Veronica Watson), Amy Leland (Devon Collins), Danny McNulty (Harley Keiner), Adam Scott (Griff Hawkins), Carmen Filpi (Bum), Deborah Harmon (Connie), Richard Karn (Victor LaSalle), Mickey Dolenz (Gordy), Davy Jones (Reginald Fairfield), Peter Tork (Jedediah Lawrence), David Madden (The Manager), Elisabeth Harnois (Missy Robinson), Lindsey McKeon (Libby), Angela Visser (Rebecca-Alexa), Wesley Jonathan (T.J.), Charisma Carpenter (Caterer), Troy Evans (Ranger Mark), Julie Benz (Bianca), Aeryk Egan (Brent), Mena Suvari (Hilary), Leon Allen White (Frankie "Vader" Stecchino, Sr.), Eliza Coyle (Melanie), Adam Wylie (Robert), Anndi McAfee (Melissa), Shane West (Nick), Kimberly Scott (Sonja), Danny Strong (Arthur), Rosalind Allen (Susan Maguire), John O'Hurley (Cal Kilbride), Herschel Sparber (Uncle Mike), Maury Sterling (Eddie), Lisa Akey (Brenda Marsh), Aaron Michael Metchik (Jake Burgess), Patrick Renna (Kyle), Tom Bosley (Himself), Pat Morita (The Wise Man), Anson Williams (Himself), Blake Clark (Chet Hunter), Bobbie Phillips (Louanne), Andrew Keegan (Ronnie Waterman), Hillary Tuck (Kristen Hoffman), Staci Keanan (Dana), Debbe Dunning (Alexandra)

Running Time: 490 Minutes (22 episodes) / Rating: TV-PG
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Surround 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
Season 3 Airdates: September 22, 1995 - May 17, 1996
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9); Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Six-sided fold-out Digipak with cardboard slipcover

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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.

Eric Matthews giving the weather forecast. Cory and Shawn encounter some trailer park punks in "The Pink Flamingo Kid." Pat Morita is one of three "Happy Days" cast members to turn up in "I Was a Teenage Spy."

Disc 3

16. Stormy Weather (22:22) (Originally aired February 9, 1996)
This episode picks up where the last one left off. Eric is flourishing with his news station internship, even doing the weather report in others' absence, but this comes at the expense of his schoolwork.
Shawn and Dana seem to be getting along nicely, but when her single mother and Mr. Turner take an interest in each other, the two teens are weirded out. Eric's conflict seems to work this likable arc into a predictable and unsatisfying conclusion. As it turns out, Dana is never heard from again...until Season 5, anyway.

17. The Pink Flamingo Kid (21:45) (Originally aired February 16, 1996)
Rather than entering a student journalism competition, Cory agrees to help Shawn film a birthday greeting video for his father, which has them at the Pink Flamingo trailer park rounding up the Hunters. But when Cory catches someone on tape with what appears to be a stolen laptop, he thinks he has achieved both tasks, until Shawn objects. Even if it stumbles a bit in being serious, this is one of the better episodes of the season and underscores the Matthews as Shawn's family more than any blood relatives (which, this reveals, includes a half-brother nonchalantly introduced and consequently ignored). In hopes of uncovering valuable items like Mr. Feeny, Eric (or "Kyle", as he calls himself) cleans up the entire Matthews house top to bottom in a subplot that creates plenty of laughs.

18. Life Lessons (22:23) (Originally aired February 23, 1996)
When Mr. Feeny's final schedule includes three exams in one day, his students balk. When Feeny refuses to answer pleas to reschedule, they take out their frustration by vandalizing his home. Eric's subplot has him briefly dating his mother's co-worker who was stood up by her intended date (Mr. Turner). While this episode has a nice, warm ending and it allows Mr. Feeny to dispense plenty of sage words, his plan to retire in response to rowdy class members seems uncharacteristically weak.

19. I Was a Teenage Spy (22:28) (Originally aired April 26, 1996)
Anytime a show resorts to a time-travel episode, they're introducing gimmicks and that's certainly the case in this episode which wavers between "fun" and "cheesy." While Cory struggles to finish a paper on Sputnik, the Matthews' faulty microwave transports him back to the 1950s. There, he learns, as Mr. Feeny described right before the temporal leap, that '50s life is not all fine and dandy, with John Adams High marked by atomic bomb drills and fear of Russians. Cory, assuming the name "Brad Pittser", is mistaken for a Soviet spy. Eventually, it devolves into "Boy Meets World" doing "Happy Days", and indeed three cast members of that classic sitcom -- Tom Bosley (Mr. Cunningham), Anson Williams (Potsie), and Pat Morita (Albert) -- drop by. The principal "BMW" characters are all given '50s counterparts, from Shawn's slick prankster "Shawnzie" to Topanga's gum-spitting loudmouth "T.L.", with Misters Feeny and Turner sporting some swell '50s 'dos.

Shawn's travelin' dad Chet makes his lone Season 3 appearance in "I Never Sang For My Legal Guardian." Topanga and Cory lock lips in front of EPCOT's Spaceship Earth and fountain. Eric and Cory share a "Brother-Brother" moment.

20. I Never Sang For My Legal Guardian (22:25) (Originally aired May 3, 1996)
Mr. Turner's hesitancy to sign papers that will make him Shawn's legal guardian put some unease into their relationship, which results in Shawn taking Turner's motorcycle to look for his father. Chet (Blake Hunter, in his lone Season 3 appearance) eventually shows up and reluctantly agrees to reunite with Shawn. Eric agrees to tutor a dim-witted jock, a task which he finds challenging.

21. The Happiest Show on Earth (22:25) (Originally aired May 10, 1996)
For her entry into an environmental essay contest, Topanga is awarded a trip to Walt Disney World. Cory, driven mad by the prospect of her being there with FastPlaya Ronnie Waterman (guest star Andrew Keegan), heads for Orlando with Shawn at his side. Naturally, this episode is the one which will be known by most as "the Disney World episode" (it aired before a "Step By Step" second parter set in the same locale) and most of the action takes place around "The Living Seas" exhibit at EPCOT. Cory's efforts to re-woo Topanga give both her and a fellow female classmate the wrong ideas, but it heads towards the inevitably happy reunion. Fulfilling the amusing B-storyline, Eric covers for his brother by making an unrealistic but highly effective stand-in.

22. Brother-Brother (22:25) (Originally aired May 17, 1996)
Despite a shaky scholastic record, Eric is actually going to graduate from John Adams High. He even expects to be college-bound, being on the waitlist at North Southwestern, which is cause for celebration. While Eric is planning a cross-country road trip, Cory is dreading the fact that both his best friend and his girlfriend will be away for the summer traveling and at a girls' camp, respectively. This vulnerable position leaves Cory to lament how he's never really gotten to know the brother who is now about ready to leave home. This excellent season finale defines "Boy Meets World" as the rare sitcom that can pull off heartfelt moments without feeling sappy.

Shawn and Mr. Turner at their apartment. Shawnzie and T.L. are there for the mysterious Bradd Pittser in the cheesy but fun '50s time-travel episode.


As with the past two seasons' releases, the video quality was completely free of problems, leaving little room for discussion. The transfer of course presents the show in its original 1.33:1 "full screen" broadcast aspect ratio and the element is completely and consistently clean.
Apple iTunes
At times, one notices limitations of the video medium and there's the slightest bit of softness to some shots. Brightness may again not be at the perfect levels, but on the whole, this is an utterly pleasing presentation. It's one of the best-looking DVDs of a ten-year-old television program that I have come across.

The quality of the Dolby Surround soundtrack is also praiseworthy. From the rock-tageous guitar chords of the brief "opening theme" to the punctuating "bing" of the end Touchstone Television logo, all sounds register at proper levels with the right inflections. Like any '90s sitcom, the audio mix is not particularly demanding of a home theater system, but dialogue comes in clear, as does the intermittent instrumentation which does not stray far from Season 2's musical stylings. In this section, one should also mention the active laughtrack, which makes up the brunt of rear channel sound.

Fill-in-the-blank quotes are among what's offered in the interactive trivia game "The World According to Boy." If you know your "BMW", then you too can make the Honor Roll and bring a smile to George Feeny's face.


The one department in which this DVD release fails "Boy Meets World" fans is bonus features. As stated earlier, this set is missing episode audio commentaries altogether, and anyone who recalls the retrospective merriment those provided on the first two seasons will be disappointed by their absence.
All we get here is "The World According to Boy", a set-top game which poses eight trivia questions on various Season 3 happenings. It's easy to ignore the low-budget graphics and narrator who seemingly struggles to sound like Shawn, because the questions are fun, appropriately challenging, and not repeated the same way on return visits. The end result is fun, too. That's where it tells you which character you most performed like on the quiz, whether you made the honor roll like Mr. Feeny surely would or got by with a "D" the Eric Matthews way. The questions tend to pertain to quotes or actions taken by various characters throughout the set's episodes and naturally, I got an A+ every time I took it in earnest.

It's unfortunate that this is all we get in the way of bonus features. Part of the thrill of owning a television show on DVD is having the power to instantly view any episode on a high quality, non-degrading format with no commercial interruptions or syndicated edits. Another significant part is having supplemental material, which can pique the interest of a non-picky, otherwise content-to-watch-in-reruns viewer and heighten the collectability of a series by allowing the creators and fans to simultaneously look back at something that was clearly special to both. By and large, Disney has yet to embrace bonus features for their sitcoms, with "Scrubs" being the studio's only half-hour series endowed with a multitude of original video supplements.

While clearly some thought and effort went into what amounts to be a short but fun game, there is plenty of archival material that should be easy to deliver on DVD. Things like ABC's TGIF promos from the season, nights of programming which featured the cast as host, and the yearly gag reel or episode bloopers would certainly appeal to the fans of the show. Newly-produced material with the cast and crew worked wonderfully on the past sets, and one can only hope that Disney puts greater effort into including this (more commentaries or something like a featurette) plus older TV content on the last four seasons' worth of releases.

As usual, Sneak Peeks play at the beginning of Disc 1. These are an unrevealing title teaser for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, a general "TV on DVD" promo which highlights the season set route taken for Buena Vista's six most popular television properties ("Alias", "Scrubs", "Desperate Housewives", "The Golden Girls", "Home Improvement", and "Lost"), and a brief promo for the concurrently-released "Life As We Know It" Complete Series DVD. The Sneak Peeks menu holds additional previews for The Complete First Season of "Lost", Herbie: Fully Loaded, The Complete Second Season of "Boy Meets World", "According to Jim" on ABC, and "Gilmore Girls" on ABC Family.

Disc One's Main Menu - animated in a tiny but nice way. The inside of the Digipak and outer slipcover.


The menus and packaging match the first two season sets. Whereas Season One had a dark red motif and Season Two had blue, Season Three opts for orange. That applies to the slipcover, six-sided Digipak and discs inside.
It also applies to the animated 16x9 menus which again play a slightly abbreviated version of the Season One theme tune for the Main screen (as opposed to the forgettable 10-second bit which opens this season's episodes) - that may or may not change for next season, when the show returned to a slightly longer opening. Again, a montage of visuals fill the title's two "O"s (which are normally represented by a baseball and globe. Submenus offer no music (probably a wise choice) and no animation, only character artwork and odd-colored backgrounds on some.

The packaging resembles Season Two exactly, so that two discs are overlapped on one side of the Digipak. It also means the box is not quite as wide as Season 1's, but Disney has been widely employing such a packaging design for their half-hour series' season sets, so expect consistency to follow. The Digipak slips out from the slipcover and reveals a silly picture of Mr. Turner and Williams, Mr. pulling Cory and Shawn out of their lockers. It opens up to reveal a thankfully personal and mostly relevant note from executive producer Michael Jacobs as a well as an episode listing with titles, writers and directors. Inside the slipcover, you'll find a sweepstakes entry form to win a Buena Vista TV DVD library, a catalogue of various available and forthcoming Buena Vista TV DVDs, and a double-sided ad for "Gilmore Girls" on ABC Family which begs to be discarded.

Most of the episodes in this set run a little over 22 minutes long. Two stand out as being slightly shorter than the rest: "The Grass is Always Greener" is just over 21 minutes, and "Train of Fools" is about 40 second shorter than most. While some may immediately suspect that these episodes have been trimmed, I can't remember anything from these shows not presented here. It's quite possible that the week they originally aired, there was TGIF programming which required slightly shorter episodes. Seeing as how Disney has been good about not providing incomplete episodes of "Boy Meets World" or other shows in the past (with recently-issued "The Muppet Show" being a lone exception) and that running time of this show fluctuates far more than most, I'm willing to shrug it off rather than question it more deeply. It should be pointed out that, these Season Three episodes have their original opening title sequence restored, unlike syndicated airings of years past which substituted Season Four's. The third season intro is not much, simply featuring single color-tinted images of Cory, Shawn, and Eric hanging out at Chubby's. It tries to pass off the show as some kind of hip mid-'90s program (which I suppose it is) and the short instrumental music undergoes a change somewhere before the season's midway point.

Unfortunately, the chapter stops within episodes previously tied to commercial breaks have been abandoned. This is one area in the TV season set department where Disney seems to be regressing and there's no reason for it. Sure, DVD's fast forward option is much speedier than the VHS equivalent, and these episodes run no longer than 23 minutes, so we're not talking about great inconvenience. But the lack of something present and useful on past seasons' releases is mildly frustrating and baffling nonetheless.

Cory thinks he's in with Mr. Williams... and Eric thinks he just got into Boris College.


In its third season, "Boy Meets World" did not need to tinker greatly with the format that provided unwavering success in its first two years. Nonetheless, as the show's protagonist grew, the show did too, and its high school scenarios here mature beyond Season One's classroom-centered lessons and Season Two's "girls and dances" phase. Season Three may soften the imparting of values in favor of amplifying comedy and developing characters through various experiences, but the results are wholly enjoyable and not significantly different in feel from the previous season.

In bonus features and design, this Third Season set is the weakest DVD release "Boy Meets World" has yet to receive, due to a lack of commentaries and chapter stops. The lone extra -- a brief but fun trivia game -- diverts, but the set is otherwise disappointingly marked by missed opportunities for supplements new and old that fans are clamoring for.

Nonetheless, the show is strong enough to still merit a sturdy recommendation. Buena Vista's box set does right where an increasing number of other television DVDs err; picture and sound quality are more than satisfactory, all the episodes appear to be entirely intact and properly arranged, packaging and design is consistent with previous releases and sufficiently-themed. With a now-lower price tag, this 3-disc set delivers more than eight hours of widely-pleasing comedy for just a bit more than a single new film. If the studio could make greater ripples in the special features department, future "BMW" releases could reach a level of perfection. As is, this DVD provides a solid presentation of a season marked by sharp writing, abundant laughs, an impressive roster of guest stars, and lead characters who remain easy to care about. Altogether, that's a winning combination you should not hesitate to check out.

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

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Related Reviews - Other Box Sets of Buena Vista TV on DVD:
Boy Meets World: The Complete Second Season • Boy Meets World: The Complete First Season
Sweet Valley High: The Complete First Season • Home Improvement: The Complete Second Season
The Golden Girls: The Complete Second Season • Scrubs: The Complete First Season
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The Muppet Show: Season One • Lizzie McGuire: Box Set Volume 1
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Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Reviewed August 23, 2005.