I was channel surfing on Da Wire TV app on my Amazon Fire TV Stick last night and amongst the thousands of TV channels included a channel totally devoted to Family Matters. I tuned in and was instantly reconnected with the series…in particularly, the episode where Urkel teamed up with NBA legend Larry Johnson in a 2-on-2 basketball tournament. I watched a few more episodes before I called it a night. Seeing the show reminded me of how I felt in watching it and other shows surrounding it. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the TGIF programming block.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across ABC’s TGIF in 1991. My mother, sister, and I would watch the different shows, which consisted of Family Matters, Step by Step, Perfect Strangers, and Dinosaurs.
What it meant to me then? Back then, I actually liked Perfect Strangers best. I was a big fan of Balki Bartokomous and his accent. That’s not to say that the other 3 original shows I saw weren’t good. In fact, Dinosaurs is legendary and might be the subject of a future Flashback Friday post. I enjoyed the laughs from the TGIF block and the important life lessons…one of them being that time Mark got rejected after getting his first kiss in Step by Step. There were other shows that came along and captured my attention within the programming block, like Boy Meets World, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and the short-lived On Our Own. It was good TV for Friday evenings on the heels of NBC’s Must See TV the night before.
What it means to me now? Once Family Matters and Step by Step left the block for CBS, I did too for the most part. I stuck around to watch Boy Meets World but I wasn’t big into Clueless, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or The Hughleys. The programming block will remain legendary, however. A lot of great television was born out of that 2-hour period on Friday nights…television that spoke to real-life stuff people went through in a comedic way.