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Family Matters: The Complete Third Season (DVD Review)

7 Feb, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 2/12/13
$29.98 three-DVD set
Not rated.
Stars Reginald VelJohnson, Jo Marie Payton, Rosetta LeNoire, Darius McCrary, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne
Williams, Telma Hopkins.

I come from an era when the sung words “It’s a rare condition, this day and age” blaring from the TV set signaled a solid 30 minutes of quality entertainment. Not only does “Family Matters” have one of the best sitcom theme songs, it stands out as a favorite among those who grew up during the 1990s.

With great storylines and colorful characters, it’s not hard to see why. Starring Jaleel White as the pesky brainiac next door, Steve Urkel, the cast was rounded with Winslow family patriarch and policeman Carl (Reginald VelJohnson), sassy mother Harriette (Jo Marie Payton), ladies man Eddie (Darius McCrary) and good girl Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams), the object of Steve’s affections.

Other cast members included the Winslow kids’ aunt Rachel (Telma Hopkins), her son Richie (Bryton James), grandmother Estelle (Rosetta LeNoire), lesser-loved sister Judy (Jamie Foxworth) and pea-brained sidekick Waldo (Shawn Harrison).

Season three has a “greatest hits” quality to it, containing some of the most memorable episodes from the show’s nine seasons. There’s the infamous “Urkelbot” episode in which Steve creates a robot that proves to be too smart for its own good when it hits on Laura — in a most creepy way.

The season has its share of serious moments (for example, Eddie is badly injured when he tries to retaliate on the gang that destroyed Rachel’s restaurant), but more often than not “Family Matters” is lighthearted fun for all. Highlights include Steve and Laura playing Romeo and Juliet in the school play, R&B sensation Johnny Gill serenading Laura, and Eddie and Waldo appearing on faux dating show “Dudes,” among others.

Twentysomethings who want to reminisce on “T.G.I.F.” will appreciate this third-season set of “Family Matters” as much as the newbies wanting to learn a thing or two about the glory days of sitcom television.

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