HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Family Matters - Season 4
HTS Overall Score:60
“Hi Everybody!” brings back memories of a distant childhood where Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) popping into the Winslow household was about as common as Kramer sliding into Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. “Family Matters” (a spin-off of “Perfect Strangers”) was one of the longer running sitcoms of the decade with a full 9 seasons of mayhem and fun. Suspenders and hiked up khakis have never been hotter and the constant smoozing of Steve Urkel on Laura Winslow was the romance of the television world. Every nerd wants the hot girl and that’s what Steve was determined to get. The show revolves mainly around Steve Urkel and Carol Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson) with Steve trying Carl’s patience harder than the terrorists of Nakatomi Plaza could ever do to a cop. Steve’s inventions either end up breaking the Winslow house, or get him further and further away from ever dating Laura, EVER.
In this season Carl is getting even more fed up with Steve’s antics and his health is starting to show it. A cop’s life is always rough, but when you add the pressure of having to deal with Urkel day in and day out, it starts to wear on you. Now Carl has high blood pressure due to stress and its taking every last ounce of strength to keep from blowing a gasket (and some blood veins) in the process. Carl’s son, Eddie, is also starting to pull away as he’s coming to the end of his High school career and looking out for basketball scholarships, leaving Carl in that standard parental mode of feeling left out of his son’s life. So what to do? Buy a used police car and hope that restoring the old lug will help bond the two again. Now we still can’t forget that Steve is CONSTANTLY trying to win Laura’s affection, no matter how many times the girl shuns him, and if trying to get on her good side doesn’t work, than a good old fashioned “starve myself until you say yes” stint is in order as Steve goes up on the Winslow’s roof and refuses to get down.
The 90s were great for a lot of things, some of the best action movies ever made were filmed and we got to view Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe and crew duke it out for our nightly TV slots every week. Now while there is some seriously good shows I always go back to family matters (along with “Step by Step”) for some of my favorite shows of all time. Urkel was the nerd that everyone hated to love, and no matter HOW ridiculous the pairing was, you always rooted for Steve to get Laura in the end. Cute and funny, heartwarming and ridiculous, “Family Matters still is relevant in today’s world as a lesson that family real DOES matter, and family is not just relegated to your blood relatives, or those you even like sometimes.
The Episode Rundown is as follows
Surely You Joust
Dance to the Music
Driving Carl Crazy
Rumor Has It
Number One With the Bullet
Whose Kid Is it Anyways
An Officer and a Waldo
Just One Date
The Oddest Couple
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Urkel
The Way The Ball Bounces
A Thought In the Dark
It's a Mad, Mad House
Walk On The Wild Side
Buds and Roses
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14342[/img]“Family Matters” is presented in its original 1.33:1 broadcast ratio, and suffers from the same malady that most of these old 90’s sitcoms suffer from. Poor sources and a not a lot of restoration if ANY done to the negatives. The image shows poor detail, even for DVD standards, and there’s some print damage, showing lines and a few speckles as well. Now the video isn’t HORRIBLE, but you can tell that no one went back to the original negatives and re-scanned them in. Black levels are mediocre and even colors look rather faded with that washed out “70’s” feel to the prints. Overall I’d say the video is rather disappointing, but not unexpected since the restoration of an old 90’s sitcom isn’t exactly high priority.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14343[/img]As with the video, you can expect a standard 2.0 stereo Dolby Digital track that is representative of the times for a sitcom. Unlike the video, the audio itself isn’t that bad at all. The stereo track is fairly clean of any noises, minus a few hisses and hiccups and the dialogue is clean and clear for us. Some small panning in the front sound stage, but since this is really a dialogue driven show there’s not much else to fill out any of the other channels. Satisfactory is the worst that I can say about the track. It is what it is and it does the job very well. This isn’t a 7.1 action track and the 2.0 stereo track is very representative of the source material and style of show presented.
Nothing, Zip , Nada
Now you’re probably asking me WHY am I giving a solid recommended rating to a release that has mediocre video and audio, along with ZERO extras. My reasoning is that this release very well may be the ONLY release this classic show will ever see. Warner was this close to NOT releasing the show and refused to for several decades due to the high cost to really upgrade this to a hi-def release and the low demand for 90s sitcoms in comparison to other more action oriented shows. The series is a staple for anyone growing up in the 90s and it reminds us just what sort of clean fun we had back then. Urkel will always be a comedy icon of my formative years and even in today’s society the humor holds up extremely well (albeit with a few 90s references that some people may not fully pick up on).
Starring: Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne
Created by: William Bickley, Michael Warren
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 524 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: February 4th, 2013
Buy Family Matters - Season 4 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It
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