Welcome back to the Family Matters rewind. I hope you all have been catching up on Family Matters on Hulu in the meantime, in preparation for some good old Winslow 90’s nostalgia with the second episode of Family Matters season one.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to unpack in the second official episode of the series, which gave me little in the way of good material; what with the lack of any good jokes, interesting set pieces or character development, it’s lucky I found anything to write about at all. I mean, I could complain about Carl, but no one’s interested perusing two straight pages of pure irrational disgust. Actually, my disgust for Carl has actually diminished a nibble. More on that below. Note, this is the last episode of the series where any reference to our beloved predecessor Perfect Strangers is made.
Hey! Look who it is! Well hey, Jaimee Foxworth! Our permanent Judy for the rest of her ill-fated series run. If you are unfamiliar with sad ballad of Jaimee Foxworth, well…here’s a primer. Still, she got to say a couple of things this episode. In fact, up until a certain point in this series, the focus is primarily on the adults. For the time being Eddie, Laura and Judy more or less have equal screen time…so far (evil Urkel laughing in the distance).
Our plot: Since the Winslows are effectively coded as the middle-class Huxtables, we have some grousing about the bills and since Carl is the MAN of the house he takes care of the bills. Except the general rule is to never bother Carl while he’s doing them. Lord knows Carl’s not aggressive enough to blow his top or anything, so I don’t get all the pussyfooting around. He doesn’t even seem annoyed. That might be the point (eruption of bottled up emotions later) but it never gets that payoff.
Apparently, Rachel and the kids are eating him out of house and home and Eddie is being his typical simple, spoiled self and asking for expensive-ass shoes. Carl being Carl comes up with a wonderful solution to their money problems: pester his beleaguered working housewife Harriette about getting a raise, as if he can’t get off his tuckus and do the same thing. So Harriette agrees and the next day back from work we find out she asked for the raise only for it to become the catalyst for her being fired. Wuh-oh. Apparently being an elevator operator isn’t a sustainable job in Reagan’s economy and the robots are already taking over. So, onto sitcom plot #847554: one of the ‘rents is out of a job and the family needs to pull it together until they get a new one. Of course, Harriette goes through a few rejections, gets dejected, and eventually wins a new job, by using the good old adage of motherhood being the most demanding job there is — but a few more things…
The following criticisms may come off as more than a little nitpicky as we are dealing with a sitcom plot where we are given no sense of time or the progression thereof. From the perspective of a 22-minute show, it may seem like Harriette was out of work for 2 weeks, but it could’ve been for two months for all we know.
I prefer to believe the former, simply because it’s funnier: the complete financial degeneration of the Winslow household coming about simply because one parent is out of work for several days (but of course Harriette would be the one holding that home together).
It’s also apparent that Carl should probably stop doing the bills because in a home with both parents working, they had nothing set aside in case of emergencies?
Question: What the hell does Rachel do again besides wear artsy hats?
I may derive more pleasure than is justifiable from dogging Carl and his meek, whiny, Droopy dog demeanor, but he actually came off pretty well this episode — dare I say, sweet and supportive? Despite it being his fault for them being in their predicament in the first place, he was consistently optimistic and refused to let his wife give up or wallow in misery. We get a bit of backstory about them meeting at the police academy and you can actually see clearly the first time why on earth Harriette would ever choose this man. Carl is truly the Nice Guy that got The Girl.
That being said, Carl and Harriette give us our first woohoo kiss of the series, generating as much electricity together as two pieces of paper.
Speaking of the police, it’s the second episode, and thus far we have been told Carl works for the police but have not yet seen him go to work or wear a uniform. Turns out, he’s freaking SERGEANT!? They must be paying him jack squat at that department, if one parent being out of work is enough to reduce them to cornbread and turnips.
Judy Winslow screen time recorded (approximately): 3 min 21 sec.
In addendum: What kind of ridiculousness is this? You can’t get a reboot of your own show (that Netflix is handing out candy) but they’ll stick you on the milquetoast reboot of show you guested on for a ridiculous continuity-bending crossover episode? Fuller House, I rebuke you!
Ashley is a lifelong Blerd that is happy to finally have a name to place to her nerdy tendencies. She enjoys, video games, K-pop, reading everything that can be read. She believes there are never enough hours in the day to write.