It looks like "Boy Meets World" spin-off "Girl Meets World" is going to be one man short.
Actor Rider Strong, who for seven seasons played Cory Matthews' bad-boy best friend Shawn Hunter, took to his website today to let fans know that he has no "official involvement" with the Disney Channel show, which will feature original stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel.
"I am extremely happy for Ben and Danielle to be able to continue the story. At this point, I have no official involvement in 'Girl Meets World,'" Rider wrote. "There might be a chance to see some of the 'BMW' cast in a guest spot, and I think it would be nice to find out where our characters have been all these years. But 'Girl Meets World' will be, and I think it should be, its own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters. It’s the next generation."
Fair enough, but we can't help but wonder if there can be a Cory without a Shawn—and if it will be a Cory worth caring about. After all, Topanga may be his soul mate, but Shawn's rebellious yet laid-back attitude always seemed a better foil for Cory's high-strung neuroticism.
As you'll recall, at series end, Cory, Topanga and Shawn, along with Cory's brother Eric (Will Friedle), moved to New York together—just one of many milestones the best friends shared throughout their formative years. Yet, we're to believe that Shawn cut and ran when Cory faced his biggest challenge: fatherhood? Nope, I can't do it.
Also, can we talk about how the addition of daughter Riley Matthews opens a host of narrative possibilities for Shawn? He could be the cool "uncle" who lets her eat ice cream for dinner and stay up way past her bedtime to watch "Scream 10." Or maybe he has a son or daughter of his own who will be Riley's confidante. We're always a sucker for symmetry.
Ultimately, the interest in a "Boy Meets World" spin-off wouldn't be what it is without the reprisal of Ben and Danielle's roles, and the series' case would only be bolstered by including not only Rider, but Will and William Daniels (Mr. Feeny). As not just fans but kids who grew up with Cory, Shawn and Topanga, we want to believe that the role these characters played in each others' lives weren't temporal or situational, that they were impactful enough to stick through adulthood. Because goodness knows we haven't forgot about the boy who met the world, even though he became a man.
Are you disappointed to hear that Rider Strong won't likely be involved with "Girl Meets World"? Do you want to Save Shawn Hunter? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!