Boy Meets World (1993-2000)
Maybe This Time (1995-1996)
This one was a bit of a pain. I've gotten a number of emails alerting me to. Seemed pretty clear that this was a crossover that many people read about online but that very few had actually seen. Seeing that the show it happened on, Maybe This Time, wasn't on for very long that makes sense. Every email description I'd get would never go much beyond the sparse details that can be found online. When I add a new crossover to the list I really like to verify the facts as thoroughly as I can, actually watching the episode if at all possible. The description of this crossover were so threadbare that it really made me nervous.
Just so we know what shows we're talking about, especially since only about five people ever saw Maybe This Time, let me set the shows up for ya.
Boy Meets World was a tween/teen sitcom. Ben Savage played Cory Matthews, a young kid going through the same adolescent crap every kid has to face. Rider Strong played his best friend Shawn. Cory also had a cute girlfriend named Topanga. William Daniels of St. Elsewhere and Knight Rider fame (he played a talking car!) played their teacher/principal/foible Mr. Feeny.
Maybe This Time was a family sitcom. Marie Osmond played Julia Wallace, a newly divorced single mom who was now running the family coffee shop. Betty White played Julia's smart and sassy mom Shirley. Ashley Johnson played Julia's daughter Gracie. Also working at the coffee shop? Dane Cook as Kyle. That's a pretty good cast! You know...setting aside Dane Cook (Oh settle down Dane Cook fans! Just giving him a little crap. He's a big boy, he can take it). The show could have been a hit. But...it wasn't. It got stuck on ABC's Saturday lineup. Saturday is just not a good night to build a hit. People go out on the weekends. It might have had a chance if it had been on ABC's big TGIF lineup of family friendly shows like Boy Meets World.
Like I said, very little info is available about Maybe This Time. The bare bones descriptions boil down to this. Gracie's friend Nicky quits the school play due to peer pressure from his friends when they tease him for wearing tights. Gracie figures out how to help him after learning a lesson from watching television. And, oh yeah, Ben Savage and Rider Strong appear as their characters from Boy Meets World.
That's it. That is allll the info available online. So what's the problem? Says Ben Savage and Rider Strong were on as their characters from another show. What more do you want? Well what I want is some context as to HOW the Boy Meets World guys appear. Do they walk into the shop and grab a couple cappuccinos? Because that is what I'm looking for really: crossovers that show two shows share a world. But my problem was they might also have appeared in a way that wouldn't connect the shows. The thing that itched at me was Gracie learning a lesson from TV. Seemed highly likely Gracie might have learned her lesson watching Boy Meets World which would pooch the deal. I mean, it would still be a crossover of sorts but not a REAL crossover. I didn't want to add it to the list and count it as part of the same world as Boy Meets World until I could really know what was up with this crossover.
The only way to know for sure what was what was to see the dang episode. Only...it's a failed sitcom. Not like it's going to show up in syndication. No deluxe dvd box sets are being planned. Heck, you can only find a single small clip of the show on You Tube. My options for seeing the episode were limited. I could use my ninja-like reflexes to break into the ABC vaults under cover of darkness, hurry to their vaults and steal a copy. I could invent a time machine just to go back in time and watch the episode in question. Or I could travel to the mean streets of Hong Kong where shady and nefarious gangsters will sell you bootlegged copies of failed sitcoms. But the price...oh the price. They don't want money. Paying an arm and a leg isn't just a saying in some parts of the world. Which method did I choose? Well...all I'm saying is I could have also gotten episodes of My Mother The Car but there are some bits of me I'd rather hold onto, thank you very much.
As it turns out, I was right to be nervous about this one. The plot went almost exactly as I thought it would. Gracie is worried about her friend leaving the play and running with a bad crowd when she sits down to watch Boy Meets World. Now they do take it a strange step beyond her merely watching the show. Impossibly as she watches the show, Cory and Shawn start talking directly to Gracie! But, really, they're still fictional TV characters in the world of Maybe This Time. So what was going on?!?!? Even Cody and Shawn had to wonder about thatů
Shawn: Okay, but I still got one question. Is she dreaming or is this actually on TV?
Cory: Well, essentially she's experiencing what we call a waking dream. It's the momentary blurring of the line between the conscious and the unconscious.
Shawn: I live my entire life like that.
Then at the end things get weirder. As the show is wrapping up, Cory and Shawn appear on TV again only without Gracie even being there to see them. They comment on the happy ending of the show and how they had a hand in it. Then Mr. Feeny's voice comes from off screen chastising the guys for being on the wrong show. All of this totally upends the earlier explanation as to what the hell was going on! I mean, Gracie's not around so she's not dreaming. And Cody and Shawn are not only aware that they're fictional characters on a sitcom they also are apparently aware that Gracie is on a sitcom too! Weird when you think about it.
I guess when Cory and Shawn talked to Gracie they were partly humoring the poor kid to hide the real truth from her. Imagine if when they talked to her they told her, "Don't even worry about your friend because neither of you is even real. You're fictional TV characters on a sitcom. Your life is an empty lie. You don't really exist and so have no soul." Then Gracie would go mad, her world a twisted nightmare of lies!!! Probably not what ABC was looking for but, hey, THAT would have had me tuning in.
So, bottom line, it is a crossover of sorts, enough to merit mentioning but not a true crossover that would count towards connecting shows as part of a shared world.
Click here to return to main Crossover List
Even though this is a non-cross, still, buy some Boy Meets World on DVD from Amazon and help support the site!