Family Matters

14 Oct


Family Matter was an African-American sitcom that aired on CBS from 89′ to 97. The show was a spin-off Perfect Strangers. They were a middle class family living in Chicago, IL. The cast consisted of Carl, the father and a  cop, Harriet, the mother, their two kids Laura and Edward, Carl’s mother Estelle, Harriet’s sister Rachel,  and eventually the star of the show who happened to be the annoying next door neighbor, Steve Erkel.

There were a couple of white characters here and there, but the one that stuck out to me that most was Carl’s boss Lt. Lieu Murtagh. I watch the reruns all the time and I don’t recall Murtagh ever mentioning his race. The reason he stuck out to me because in a couple of episodes he had a crush on Harriet’s sister Rachel. In one episode Carl begged Rachel to go out with him so he could get a promotion at work. Rachel was no interested at all, but she did it anyway because Carl was letting her and her son stay with him and his family. I don’t think back then interracial relationships were as popular or accepted as they are now. I also found it interesting how they made Harriet the dark-skinned sister and Rachel the light-skinned sister, and have Murtagh attracted to her.

Murtagh came off to me as cocky but he was a coward and wanted Carl to do all the work while took credit for it. In my preference he wasn’t qualified for the job because he almost came off as an idiot.Carl always had to make the better judgement and get him out of situations. So in this case Carl didn’t play the black comedic partner role all the time, there were both funny moments and serious ones as well.


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