After a brief hiatus, “Girl Meets World” returned to the Disney Channel on Friday night with an episode that was certainly old-school. It was self-contained, had a little humor to it, but for the most part was about a message of cultural acceptance and gratitude that you don’t often see with some other shows on the air.
Overall, “Girl Meets the Great Lady of New York” was a story of hope, though it may also require some parents to have some meaningful conversations with their children about some of what they ended up seeing. One of the bigger examples of this came following Cory’s assignment to have many of the students start to understand their past further. Farkle dug into his own family history in Denmark, and realized that one of his descendants was a Holocaust survivor who was taken in by a Christian group after many of his other Jewish family members were seemingly killed. It’s a devastating thing for anyone to hear about, and this story was about coming to accept that and learn more about the sacrifices made by family members so that you can live and be happy.
For Riley, this episode was more about her trying to figure out of there was any part of herself that existed beyond just being American. The show probably could have done more to explore her family history, but they presented an interesting angle where much of her history involved experiences other cultures, and having them influence her and her worldview in some way.
With there being so much public discussion these days when it comes to immigration and other matters, we’re certainly more than fine that “Girl Meets World” chose to tackle culture and heritage at this time. While we’re not entirely sure it is an episode we ever need to see again, for the time being it stands essential from the perspective of character development and meaningful discussions. Grade: B.
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