Anyone who follows me on Twitter will probably know that I’ve renewed my love affair with the 90s ABC family sitcom Boy Meets World (it’s one of the few watchable things on at 7AM, which is when the little darling gets up these days). If you’re unfamiliar, the series followed the adventures of Cory Matthews starting in grade school and, since the show lasted seven season, into college. While he spent earlier seasons as a slacker trying to game the system when it came to school, he eventually turned into, well, an old Jewish guy (watch the show and you’ll know what I mean). A huge part of the show revolved around his longtime relationship with Topanga which lead to them getting married in college.
But this post isn’t about Cory, it’s about his dad Alan, played by William Russ for the series’ run. You might think that, because the show was on Disney-owned ABC and part of the TGIF line-up that it would be completely bland and dull with nothing real happening. However, between goofy moments (most of which involved Cory’s dumb brother Eric) there are some legitimately honest moments between all the characters.
What I like about Alan and the way he was portrayed on the series is that he wasn’t perfect. He realized in one episode that he treated all of his kids differently, splitting interests among them, something the kids eventually realized and had a problem with. He didn’t have a good explanation for this, it was just something that happened and he tried to fix it moving forward. You get to see Alan go through a lot in the series, from dealing with the shockingly stupid Eric to Cory’s very early nuptials (even I didn’t get married that young) and he handles them like any person would, unevenly. He gets mad, he yells and he eventually feels bad about it.
He’s not a total dunce like many husbands/fathers are portrayed to be on TV and on the other end of the spectrum he didn’t set up elaborate scenarios to teach his kids a lesson like Mr. Huxtable. He’s a real guy dealing with things the best he can and as they come up. Sometimes he’s ready and sometimes he’s blindsided, but he does his best and that’s all we can really do as dads.