Watch Family Matters
- 9 Seasons
Family Matters was a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1989 to 1998. The show followed the lives of the middle-class Winslow family, primarily through the eyes of Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson), a Chicago police officer, and his wife Harriette (Jo Marie Payton), who worked at a department store.
The Winslow family consisted of three children: Eddie (Darius McCrary), the oldest son, who was often seen hanging out with his best friend, Waldo (Shawn Harrison); Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams), the middle child and only daughter, who struggled with popularity and schoolwork; and Judy (Jaimee Foxworth), the youngest child and often forgotten member of the family.
Carl's mother, Estelle (Rosetta LeNoire), lived with the family and provided support and occasional comic relief. Additionally, Harriette's sister Rachel (Telma Hopkins) and her son Richie (Bryton James) became recurring characters in later seasons.
However, the breakout star of the show was Jaleel White, who played the Winslows' nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel. In the second season, Urkel was introduced as a one-time character, but his popularity with audiences led to him becoming a series regular. Urkel had a crush on Laura and often caused unintentional chaos in the Winslows' home with his quirky inventions and catchphrase "Did I do that?".
The show tackled a variety of issues that were relevant to families in the 1990s, such as peer pressure, teenage sexuality, racism, and gun violence. The show also featured a predominantly African-American cast, which was rare for sitcoms at the time.
Despite its popularity, the show faced some behind-the-scenes drama. Jo Marie Payton left the show to star in her own sitcom, and was replaced by Judyann Elder as Harriette's sister Rachel. Jaimee Foxworth was written off the show after the fourth season due to her character's limited storyline, and the show's focus shifted more towards Urkel and his wacky antics.
In its final season, the show was briefly re-branded as "Family Matters: The New Generation" and introduced two new characters: 3J (Orlando Brown), a troubled youth who the Winslows take in, and Myra (Michelle Thomas), Steve Urkel's girlfriend. However, the changes were not well-received, and the show was cancelled after nine seasons.
Overall, Family Matters was a classic sitcom that blended family drama and comedy in a way that resonated with audiences. Its characters, especially Steve Urkel, have become iconic in popular culture and continue to be referenced and parodied in media today.
In conclusion, Family Matters was a beloved sitcom that followed the Winslow family and their nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel. It tackled important issues that were relevant to families in the 1990s and featured a predominantly African-American cast. Despite facing some behind-the-scenes drama and later changes that were not well-received, the show remains a pop culture staple and a nostalgic favorite for many.
Family Matters is a series that is currently running and has 9 seasons (215 episodes). The series first aired on September 20, 1989.