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23 December 2012 @ 01:00 am
gratuitous post in 3...2...1...  


"You know what, Shawn, I always thought that Topanga was the one person I could never live without.
But she’s gone and you’re here and I’m alive.
So it must be you."

I'm one of those people who always joins in things too late (remember how I saw BtVS and AtS last year and started freaking out with "omg analysis"? Yeah.); so while the world is losing it over the announcement of Girl Meets World, I just started watching Boy Meets World. I started from the fourth season onwards, because as much of a sucker as I am for kids' shows, I've realized that I can't now unironically watch a bunch of eleven-year-olds.


Shawn Hunter is now amongst some of my favorite characters of all times, because Rider Strong plays him like a dream. It's his acting in episodes like Family Trees that convinced me of that; his nuanced reading, and performance of drunk, heartbroken Shawn who is a massive tool to everyone and has a tendency to push his friends away whenever he's hurt is beyond gorgeous. I don't know what it is about him, but he appeals to my directorial sensibilities (...not that I particularly have any, but IF I did, see); he plays the scene exactly how I want to see it played. He's nonchalant to the point of being painful when he's feeling too much, and his 'drunk' act is so subtle, it's possible to miss it entirely the first time round, because there's only a minor sense of excess and absolutely no theatrics And the way he closes off completely into this bravado that he's obviously learnt because that's how he's learnt to handle things through the years, and then breaks down by hurting others, guh. The expressions, the manner of performance, just everything. I'm crushing hard, can you tell? /sigh

And then of course, there's Cory-and-Shawn.

Cory-and-Shawn is the most epic bromance that existed in the history of bromances (and also prior to the rabid invention and marketing of "bromances") I love that this is a show on ABC Family/Disney, and these two still have the most non-heterosexual moments and are basically the gayest bffs ever; with lines like:

Shawn: Living on the edge, babe.
Cory: I like it when you call me babe.

and how, even though Cory has practically been married to Topanga since he was two, his relationship with Shawn is the most consistent, most developed, most devastating, and yet most stable relationship on this show. I love that at Cory's wedding these two are basically just screaming at each other at the altar and have to be physically restrained from kicking and fighting each other, because they can't stand the thought that things may change between them and they can't say it out loud and basically start crying with Shawn screaming about how the have to talk about it, and Cory childishly scrunching his face and saying that he doesn't want to. I love that they have entire episodes dedicated to them being the most adorable, married couple around and that Cory's model wife is basically Shawn:


I love that they have traditionally romantic scenes and both actors play it straight. I love that if they can't meet then they basically spend their entire time planning secret rendezvous: 


and that at those secret rendezvous, they spent their time planning more secret rendezvous:


and that half the characters, including Topanga and Cory's parents have, at some point, suspected they're basically in love with each other. And also that in case you didn't get the running gag, it runs through various other means as well:


and that Angela's reaction to Cory's jealousy about a Shawn/Topanga TV kiss is:


I love that when she's angry (not playful, angry) Topanga calls him Shawn's "luvah":


and, even though it's the relationship in Cory's life that she's most jealous of, she still basically lets them stand clasping each other, even while she's speaking her vows to Cory, and finally packs Shawn's bag when they're shifting to New York, because she's amazing like that. And because she, more than any other person, knows that, really, there's no Cory-without-Shawn.


and that on discovering that his wife may be pregnant, even though they're both in college and have no monetary prospects Cory totally freaks out and on his parent's sage advice about how it'll be the best feeling in the world to be a father, his reaction is:


I love that this happens with way more frequency than you'd imagine:


I love that when he's going through the most terrible period of his life and:


and that Cory has literally been the only constant in Shawn's life:


and that when either of them breaks up with Angela or Topanga, then the other makes it his life's mission to get them back together:


but mostly, because:


I think it's highly possibly that I'm the only person interested in this post since I have no idea how many of you ever watched Boy Meets World, but I'm fangirling this so hard that it couldn't not be documented on my journal. I just can't with my feelings for these two. And my horrific crush on Rider Strong. Damn him for being a Columbia English grad and writing sentences with the words 'structure' and 'narrative' in them with alarming regularity and basically ruining my life. And he also has a literary podcast with a couple of friends of his. And his answer to 'What Happened to Shawn Hunter' when asked a couple of months back was so gorgeous that I'm reproducing it completely here (seriously though, there is such a marked difference of writing between his piece and the others who also talked about their iconic teen characters in the same article/compilation)

After seven years on your television screen, Shawn Hunter moved to New York City, where he became an alcoholic. No, I’m kidding. He married the love of his life, Angela Moore. That’s not true, either, but he did become a world-famous poet. Actually, last I heard he was the East Coast representative of The Center, a fundamentalist cult.

You may have picked up on the fact that I’m making all of this up. The dark truth is… Shawn has been locked in my basement for 12 years. It’s really best for both of us. I’m able to move on (well, except when people confuse me for him), and, as a fictional character, he’s much safer down there.

Let’s be honest, more Boy Meets World would only further ruin his life. Being The Dramatic Storyline in a 22-minute comedy series takes its toll. It was never easy for him to live a sitcom existence, where poverty can be a punch line, where alcoholic parents can be funny, where no matter how much you learn—no matter how much Mr. Feeny sets you straight— you come back the next week, making the same old mistakes. And the laugh track roars.

Shawn was never meant for that world. He was too dark, too self-indulgent, too whiny. He was a downer! How many times can one character experience loss? Give a heart-wrenching monologue? Go on a soul-searching road trip? Conversely, he’d never survive another genre. Despite his bad-boy posturing, perhaps summed up best by his faux-retro, pseudo-biker look, Shawn wouldn’t have lasted minutes in a drama. He may have acted out with some hijinks, but deep down, Shawn’s pretty vanilla. He never swears. He’s never done drugs. The furthest he’s been from home is Disney World. I think he’s still a virgin. None of this would fly on Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, or House. For all of his flaws, Shawn’s, well, safe.

He could potentially leave my basement for a cop show. I could see him heading back to Philadelphia to join the cold case squad. Or to become a hard-bitten-but-ultimately-good detective, solving grisly crimes armed with only his street sense and a leather jacket. Or maybe he could find a hot female with whom to partner—just like on Castle or Bones— and their witty banter could lighten the dark underbelly of the city they protect. The problem there? Shawn ain’t that smart. Or perceptive. He’s a C-minus student at best, which seems prohibitive to good detective work. So I think I’ll keep him downstairs for now.

I treat him well. He gets plenty of food and water. He even has a window, a small square that lets him see passing feet—and dogs, if they’re short enough. He tells me he loves that window. For him, it’s like a television, looking out at real people, with real-people problems.

He’s fascinated by how unstructured our lives are, how we drift from one moment to the next, free from the constraints of narrative, the pain of lurching endlessly from crisis to resolution. He covets your formless mood. Your un-episodic joys. The way you catch yourself off-guard. The way you wander, slowly, in and out of love. How you can go back, and revise the story of who you are, because there’s no DVD box set. The way no one wants to know your ending.

Sometimes, I stay down there with him, and we share memories of the good old days. The time he blew up the mailbox with a cherry bomb. The time he peed on the cop car.

But even our best times together are bittersweet: We both know it can’t last. Only one of us can return to the surface and live a semblance of a normal life. I make sure it’s me.

And also because he wrote poetry in college. And he wrote poetry like that; and just, WHY DO YOU EXIST, RIDER.)

My Town

There is a town that you can find
between the markets, dust and hicks.
Far from plastic needy souls
who can't believe in words
without a meaning from a book.
This town is old, a dusty red,
a railroad cross,
and star for boring tours.
Half on, half off,
my life is focused here,
here among the trees where it began.
Full of "pretty" shops - mostly antique.
Potted plants.
American class.
Full of falsely followed family

smoke too early here.

We have no true life-heroes,
but hey, what's new in modern lives?
We persist in making
sculptures for each other,
look upon them to feel free.
The hardest answer one can
find is "where it's at":
wherever one may be.

drink too early here.

Stop having simple birthdays
once reaching age of 12,
unless you have cool friends...
who'll get shit-faced in your honor,
by extension -
help you run this phasing town.
Boldness is your God,
and drugs can be your priest.
We've all got dreams,
but we're all trapped-
not by the town,
that's just cliche -
but by the world
that is so damn
closely wrapped around,
and kept perfectly away.
Fear's behind the lazy,
comfort's way too much
to ever want to chance.
You're supposed to have some
if your dreams will never pay.
So screw around,
and drink a lot
and fill your lungs
with staled,
coffee shop,
under-age bought
night air.

Talk about this passion
for this girl you'll never have,
and plan a band for pastime,
and draw yourself a life.
make the union -
bum a ride
as public transportation.
If you want a smile -
go buy some beer...
light, and they will come.
It's late afternoon too many times
around my town.

But what if they just fell a little sooner
and can't sing a little louder?
Maybe if I hold you rather
than shaking hands again,
maybe we'll be real just for each other
and make railroad trails
look longer in the sun.

Touch me.

I'm real.

Sensation is the key,
like we all know,
'round here.
But thought can bring you
that much farther
into me
than they'll admit
in my hometown.

Let's mark a line...
and make our town
'cause when I fall
I want to know it,
and be all the while
thorough through it.
I've got my friends to catch
me everyday.
my life to catch
me everyday.
Because we're falling
in this town.

fall too early here.

And finally, it's crazy that they still look pretty much exactly like they did in the seventh season, some twelve years ago and nowhere close to their early/mid thirties. What even.


For all of you, who had no idea what this was all about and whose internet I killed with all the gifs (stolen from here) here, have this flawlessness:

(Deleted comment)
youcallitwinter: there is such a lot of world to see.youcallitwinter on December 22nd, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
I knooooow, right? I've heard SO MUCH about it, but I literally started watching some two weeks ago when the news for Girl Meets World hit tumblr. The Actual Worst, basically D:
Thoughts= stars I can't fathom into constellationsthesicko1012 on December 22nd, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, I love this so much. I have watched Boy Meets World for years and I will admit that I still watch it regularly. And yes, Shawn has always been my favorite character. This show made so many great characters and relationships that we don't find very often anymore. I will always have so much love for this show.
youcallitwinter: all we know is distanceyoucallitwinter on December 22nd, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
It's such a cult teen classic and I can't believe I just got into it! But seriously, I completely agree; the way relationships and characters developed in this show was way beyond anything I've seen on a 'family' show as such. They also have some of the best platonic relationships; like that episode dedicated just to Cory and Angela becoming friends or episodes where they actually DEAL with the dynamic problem with new kids v. old kids with Cory&Shawn and Topanga v. Jack, Rachel and Angela, where they discuss how they're still treated like outsiders (even Topanga feels that way when it comes to Cory/Shawn.) FLAILING BASICALLY.
Ishi-chanishi_chan on December 22nd, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
I used to watch this when I was younger but I don't remember a whole lot of things. I shall rewatch, I think. (Though it will just make me feel old when Girl Meets World comes out *sigh*)

and also just because:

I'm still crying over this. Whoever decided they should have scenes together? I cannot deal with the hotness....
youcallitwinter: broadway has you in its hold right nowyoucallitwinter on December 22nd, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
You can totally start watching from the 4th season! By the time of An Affair To Forget, I was basically crying over my mad love for these two. (Also, it's just interesting when an entire generation grows up with a TV show, like Full House; you get to see the kids become adults and I don't think anything really replaced that experience, so I can understand why there's so much excitement for Girl Meets World; it's a show for an entire new generation to grow up with and if they do girls and friendships as well as they did Cory & Shawn, then it deserves to gain cult status!)

THEIR EXPRESSIONS IN THE GIF THOUGH; I LOVE how Hook is cocky all the time, but Regina basically out-'man's him with the smirk. It's terrific. As does Cora. Man, Regina and Cora would be an undefeatable team, really. And Hook would be their personal snarky wind-up toy, which is just a good idea because look at him.
(no subject) - ishi_chan on December 22nd, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 05:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on December 23rd, 2012 04:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on December 23rd, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on December 23rd, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cranmers on December 28th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on December 28th, 2012 02:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Kelsey: swars.triokwritten on December 23rd, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
This post is so wonderful I don't even know where to begin.

I'm so glad Girl Meets World is bringing old fans out of the woodwork - and that it is creating new fans. I also am super glad that I had Topanga as a BAMF heroine to idolize while I was growing up. Shawn and Corey have a magical friendship and it drives the show. But Topanga always mattered so so so much to me - she was a girl who was weird and liked school... and she came before Hermione, she was the only girl in pop culture like me when I was young. Totally important to my existence.

Also. You have rekindled my love for Rider Strong.

Bless you. And this post. Squee away, girlfriend!

youcallitwinter: btvs - spike - rockstaryoucallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
It's so sad that I'm much too old to have this as a formative childhood experience now, especially since I didn't even see all of it and saw the rest in some two weeks; but seriously, looking at Topanga's character, I can see what an absolutely wonderful influence she must've been on an entire generation of girls, guh. I love that she's quirky and weird and still insanely smart and competitive and insecure to boot but also stable and loving in the extreme. And I love that Cory lives in this magical world with woods and Disney animals, but she's really the one navigating the Real World and trying to deal with Real World Problems, and I LOVE that the shift at the end was because of her; that she hadn't gone to Yale because she was terrified of not being good enough and masked that with the proposal, and that it was Topanga who had to stop playing safe and face the possibility of failure, because that's the only way she could ever find out how much she was actually capable of. THE BEST BASICALLY, I ADORE HER SO MUCH.

Rider Strong is making me want to eat chocolate ice-cream and cry because I will never have him #teenage angst

Haha, thank you! I've never discussed this with anyone in my flist, so I have no idea if anyone I know watched this and I'm so glad I have people to squee over it with now :D
(no subject) - kwritten on December 23rd, 2012 09:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kwritten on December 23rd, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ambassador of kwan: Actors→ [jessica chastain]abvj on December 23rd, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)

I would marry this post if it were possible. I grew up with these characters, and still love them, and now I have a massive, MASSIVE crush on Ryder because of those lovely words he wrote.

ETA: can we also talk about Feeny????

Edited at 2012-12-23 03:20 am (UTC)
youcallitwinter: hell yeah.youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
I AM LITERALLY SITTING HERE AND WISHING THAT I'D GROWN UP WITH THESE CHARACTERS. I mean, they're all so wonderfully developed and nuanced and basically deal with everything that you're dealing with while growing up, without talking down to their target audience, that I have stars in my eyes right now.

AND RIDER STRONG IS RUINING LIFE FOR ME: He’s fascinated by how unstructured our lives are, how we drift from one moment to the next, free from the constraints of narrative, the pain of lurching endlessly from crisis to resolution. He covets your formless mood. Your un-episodic joys.



ETA: I'm sorry about all the edits, LJ is making me cry tears of blood right now D:

Edited at 2012-12-23 06:10 am (UTC)
♕: parks and rec ✈ productive |youremyqueen on December 23rd, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
youcallitwinter: stranger than your sympathy.youcallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 06:12 am (UTC)
Amyshineyma on December 23rd, 2012 07:29 am (UTC)

Cory/Topanga was one of my very first OTPs, and--much more relevant to your post--Cory/Shawn was literally how bromance was described to me. Literally. My friend Ghost was trying to explain it to me, couldn't find the words, and finally said, "You know Cory and Shawn on Boy Meets World? That's a bromance."

And I said, "Oh!" with perfect understanding.

Boy Meets World was such a huge part of my childhood! Honestly, I can barely remember most of the plots now, but it still fills me with a warm wave of nostalgia. I should rewatch it! I bet there are all sorts of jokes hidden in there that I didn't understand as a little girl.
youcallitwinter: but I keep them in a box under my bedyoucallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
I AM ALSO GLAD FOR ME. My god, I literally live under a rock D:

Cory/Topanga is flawless; I LOVE that they somehow make love work, considering that usually I'm so cynical about fictional couples being together for a long time usually; but these two went through so many real emotions and times that I just could NOT help falling in love with them.

AND CORY/SHAWN IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE, NEGL. You friend is very accurate. I'm used to bromances selling and they're everywhere all of a sudden; but this, I think, was the original and they are how you do it right; where throughout the show they were basically that one person who was always there; and especially because you could tell that upto very late in the show (as the drinking episode showcased) Shawn was The Bad Influence for all of the other people related to Cory; and Cory is literally ALL Shawn has. It's heartbreaking that it took him about two seconds to decide to leave his life and move to NY because he has nobody else. aww D:

I bet there are all sorts of jokes hidden in there that I didn't understand as a little girl.

There are! I spend about half the time going-- wait, this is a kids' show on a family channel?! HOW DID THEY GET THAT STUFF PAST THE RADAR?
fluffyfrolicker: james and moneypenny.fluffyfrolicker on December 23rd, 2012 11:21 am (UTC)

bless you for this post ♥
youcallitwinter: things we now knowyoucallitwinter on December 23rd, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
YOUR CAPS ARE MAKING ME HAPPY BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW-- ALL CAPSLOCKY AND FILLED WITH SQUEE ABOUT HOW ADORABLE EVERYTHING IS. The first thing I did after Friendly Persuasion was write fic, because HOW does a show do platonic relationships that well, guh? And of course then I had to make it non-platonic, because who am I.

AND SHAWN OMG. I AM CRUSHING ON HIM SO HARD AND IT'S JUST SAD. FINE, WHATEVER, I'LL BE MRS. ROBINSON HERE. (Also, the funniest is how those kids never ONCE looked older than fifteen through the course of the show; they're just a ridiculously young looking bunch D:)
(no subject) - fluffyfrolicker on December 23rd, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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gemma: ttss; guillamcranmers on December 28th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC)

I love you. And I love your analysis of this show that I have never seen. And I would respond if only I knew how.

I ALSO HOPE YOU HAD AN AWESOME CHRISTMAS. (Even if it is Christmas, ughhhhhh)

And, and I demand (heh) you make more 'Suits' posts. You introduced me to it and I am drowning by myself rn. Droooowning D:

Otherwise, hope all is well! Woot. Woot. :D
youcallitwinter: welcome to the hotel californiayoucallitwinter on December 29th, 2012 10:30 am (UTC)

Hahaha, I am obsessive about this show atm, so much so that the guy who used to play Shawn Hunter got engaged a couple of days back and I actually felt like my life was OVER because I'll never be able to work my seduction plan now. Why am I this.


I hope you've been good and fangirly <33
(no subject) - cranmers on December 29th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Ishi-chanishi_chan on December 28th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Is it weird that Eric is my favourite?

(I'm also still traumatized by how Topanga suddenly chopped off her hair. I miss it extra long, even though I think that girl could do anything and still look gorgeous)

shallow post is shallow. I have no energy.

(Also I just started Season 5)
youcallitwinter: here to get it back from youyoucallitwinter on December 29th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)

YOU STARTED WATCHING Boy Meets World?! YOU'RE ON SEASON 5? (That's when they get adult-ish and it's so much fun omg). YOUR ARE THE BEST EVER.

But yes, Topanga's hair my god, it was so insanely gorgeous, guh, she had the prettiest princess locks and apparently the actress wanted to cut off her hair, but the show didn't want her to do it unless they were allowed to make an entire episode out of it, which they did!

Also, haha, no, Eric was everyone's favorite apparently; although he gets, er, crazy in the later seasons, like inexplicably dumb and adorable. <3
(no subject) - ishi_chan on December 29th, 2012 11:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(Deleted comment)
youcallitwinter: all you touch and all you see.youcallitwinter on January 23rd, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
I AM SO SCARED ABOUT GMW. Because, like, they're going to have to explain why Shawn's not around ALL the time and basically being the cool uncle that all of Riley's friends giggle around and I'm afraid they're going to ruin my Cory/Shawn life-partners headcanon D: