Pod Meets World is the podcast we didn’t know we needed. Boy Meets World alums Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong are reuniting to reminisce over all 158 episodes of Boy Meets World, which ran for 7 seasons from 1993 to 2000. The show has been off the air for over 20 years, and the trio opened up in our EXCLUSIVE interview about why now was the right time to look back at the show in a closer way.
“I think the distance is just about right. I think if you’d asked me 10 years ago to do any interview related to Boy Meets World, anything, I would have just said no out of hand because I was so just at a place in my life where I wanted to move on to other things,” Rider told HollywoodLife. “I wanted to change careers. I think now I’m much more comfortable, much more stable, and comfortable in my own skin. It feels far enough away that I can look back on it and really see it for what it was, both the good and the bad. So I don’t know, it just feels like the right time. We started doing conventions about five years ago and I was terrified. It turned out to be one of the most positive, really exciting experiences. It’s a feedback loop. The fans love the show so much and their appreciation for it has made me reevaluate my feelings about the show and appreciate it.”
Danielle added, “We were so lucky during the conventions to be able to have fans come up to us and tell us their personal stories about what the show meant in their life. Some of them are very deep and very heavy and very personal. It was kind of those conversations that made us turn and look at each other and think, what are ours? What are our experiences with it? What are our memories of it? What did it mean to our lives as well? I think hearing how much it meant to other people was kind of like, we’ve never really sat and talked about what it’s meant to us.”
Will pointed out that 2023 will mark the 30th anniversary of the show’s premiere. “I think the timing just kind of worked out well to get together. Danielle and I also live 30 seconds from each other, so logistically, that’s great,” he quipped.
Boy Meets World chronicled the lives of Cory, Shawn, Topanga, Eric, and more as they went from adolescents to adults. Given that the show filmed 158 episodes, it’s not surprising that the cast doesn’t remember every single episode.
“I’m mostly looking forward to [revisiting] the ones that I’ve completely forgotten because I never watched the show,” Rider admitted. “I am already just been blown away by the quality of the pilot. I was genuinely like, ‘Oh, I can see why this show was a hit.'” He added, “I’m excited to look at it as a kind of critic.”
Will feels “exactly” the same way as Rider about looking back at the episodes he doesn’t remember all that well. “There are seasons worth in the middle that are so muddled… My memory when it’s triggered, I will remember things from the week, but I absolutely do not remember entire chunks of the show,” Will said. “Going and kind of unpacking, which is a word we use a lot, those episodes and seeing some of the guest stars we forgot that we’re on. I mean, we had so many amazing guest stars. We’re gonna be like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe she was on. I forgot he was on.’ So stuff like that is what I’m looking forward to the most.”
Throughout the show’s 7 seasons, Boy Meets World explored relevant issues like abuse, loss, classism, and more. “That’s what’s going be interesting is to see where those things land now because, for me, Boy Meets World was always tonally very unusual,” Rider told HollywoodLife. “It had that drama. It had really intense drama, and then really goofy, funny stuff. I’m curious, does the cult episode still land? Or does that seem ridiculous? I know we do a lot of Shawn very special episodes. I would say the cult episode probably seems ridiculous now, but like the father dying episode, I get emotional thinking about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that one still feels pretty on the nose…”
In the years since the show aired, the Boy Meets World fandom has grown because of reruns and the availability of episodes on Disney+. While Boy Meets World’s popularity remains, the cast was able to have a pretty normal childhood while the show was filming.
“It wasn’t big for us. It wasn’t until like the seventh year that TV Guide even came out to interview us,” Will revealed. “We were just kind of the show that just kept on going. We weren’t getting a ton of publicity. We would watch other shows like when Melissa Joan Hart came in and did Sabrina, and like by halfway through the first season, she’s on the cover of TV Guide. We’re looking at each other in like our fourth season going like, ‘Man, what’s going on?'”
He added, “It was the best of both worlds actually because we just keep going under the radar. We loved each other, loved being with each other, loved doing the work, but we could still go places where you weren’t mobbed everywhere you went. You could just kind of enjoy your life. It was great.”
The show existed entirely in a world before Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. “I’m actually really happy it took place [before social media] for multiple reasons, even just for my personal life. I’m happy that we existed and were wrapped up in a time right before the internet exploded and changed everything. There was a real safe feeling about our show, and it felt that way personally, too,” Danielle said. New episodes of Pod Meets World are available wherever you can listen to podcasts.