Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Family Matters Season 2 - A review

I recently picked up Season 2 of the 1990's TV sitcom "Family Matters" to see if it was as good as I remembered. I was not disappointed. While many contemporary sitcoms have me yawning endlessly at the screen, Family Matters had me smiling, giggling, and yes, outright laughing at points. The characters have stood the test of time: Carl Winslow, as the dependable, moral and comical father of the house; Harriet Winslow as the strong matriarch, the sensible one in the family; Eddie Winslow as the irresponsible, girl-crazy teenager, who deep down has a good heart; Laura Winslow as the good daughter, and more importantly, the perpetual love interest of the season's (and series') most engaging character - Steve Urkel!

Urkel is the indisputable star of Family Matters. With a dress sense that seems to have been modelled on Michael Jackson, Urkel (played reliably by Jaleel White) is at the same time loveable and extremely annoying. His nasal voice, nerdy character and catch phrases "Did I do that?" and "I've fallen and I can't get up" still tickle me. Although he primarily interacts with Laura (played by Kellie Shanygne Williams), he plays best in the season when sharing the screen with Reginald VelJohnson (as Carl Winslow). The two seem to go off-script on some occasions, generating some fantastic physical-comedy moments.

Of the remaining primary characters in the season (Rachael, Mother Winslow, Richie and Judy Winslow), the only one that really does not acquit herself well is Judy (played by Jamie Foxworth). While admitting that the acting in the whole season is short of first class at points, Jamie has few if any high points. Her character is underdeveloped, she has few lines, and even these are not delivered convincingly.

Some will find Family Matters (Season 2) a little too sweet for their liking. To say it is cheesy would also not be an unfair comment. It is unashamedly optimistic and moral, so much so that at times the characters slip into a 2-dimensional straight-jacket (for example, when it's time to deliver a moral message, or to condemn some action as wrong). The mood music which cuts in towards the end of each episode and at climactic moments is somewhat dated, but it worked well at the time the show first ran.

In all, I give this season 4 out of 5. Bring on Season 3!


Ed Donnelly said...

I can't find Family Matters on any of Amazon's websites. Where did you find the DVD's?

EC said...

Hi Ed, it's not on Amazon yet. You can find the complete set on the PlanetDVDstore site:


Ed Donnelly said...

Beware of that site. You can read many reviews at this address.