“Hi, everybody!” Fans of ’90s sitcoms know those words mean Steve Urkel has come to call, bringing lots of geeky, goofy fun with him. A spinoff of Perfect Strangers, Family Matters began as the at-home adventures of elevator operator Harriette Winslow and her multigenerational family. But midway through the first season, Jaleel White made a one-shot appearance as neighborhood nerd Urkel. With oversized glasses, undersized body, screechy voice and indomitable self-confidence, Urkel proved irresistibly funny, turning White into an overnight sensation and a new star of the show. Join Urkel and the Winslows for the 22-episode debut season of the hit series that proclaims love matters, laughing matters, Family Matters!
I watched the first 2 seasons of Family Matters when it was one, but when the show got more Urkel-centric, I abandoned it. Not that I disliked Urkel, the show had just gone in a more absurd direction that I didn’t enjoy as much. Why did I like Family Matters? That’s a hard thing to answer. It did have a talented cast, but the writing was never what I would call sharp, although with Urkel it could be clever and surreal at times, which is interesting. I think what I liked about the show is how comforting it was. It was plain and predictable in the same way that Full House was throughout its run. It is the TV equivalent of Chicken Noodle Soup or Macaroni and Cheese on a cold winter night. The only question is, does it bring that same comfort 20 years later?
I was apprehensive at first, but after 2 episodes I settled back into my groove and watched the entire first season. When it ended, I felt cold and empty. So yes, the show still has that comforting effect that a good TV sitcom should have and I am looking forward to picking up Season 2 on DVD. I am not sure what I will do about season 3. Perhaps I will be deeply entranced enough to be pulled into the Family Matter Universe further. I won’t need to think about that for a while though (a few months?), in the meantime I will bask in the warm comforting glow of the Winslow family and their dorky neighbor.
Family Matters: The Complete First Season [@] Amazon