Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 3/26/2021

by Juan Thomas
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The last few days, I’ve been seeing this particular promoted tweet on Twitter about “stars that we’ve recently lost”. While it’s not exactly a surprising thing that we’ve lost a number of celebrities in recent weeks and months, what was a bit unsettling was that the promoted tweet had a photo of Shemar Moore and Michelle Thomas hugging. For starters, I’m reasonably certain Shemar isn’t dead because every Black woman on social media would definitely be mourning. Furthermore, Michelle Thomas—God bless her soul—has been dead for over 22 years. That whole tweet was just off-putting. Anyway, the picture of Michelle Thomas brought her most famous character to my remembrance. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Family Matters.

How I first came across this moment? As I wrote in the TGIF Flashback, I came across Family Matters in 1991.

What it meant to me then? Although I was a much bigger fan of Perfect Strangers because of Balki Bartokomous and Step by Step because of Mark Foster, I actually liked everything Family Matters stood for. As a young Black child, seeing a Black family—especially one with a father, mother, brother, 2 sisters dynamic—was very similar to my household. I liked how there was some kind of lesson in every episode…from the meaning of friendship to bullying to the dangers of gambling to a lot of other important themes of the day. Before she was well on her way to a brief career in porn, I was actually an admirer of the young Jaimee Foxworth AKA Judy Winslow. Of course, I loved Michelle Thomas’ Myra Monkhouse. Honestly, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why Urkel didn’t just ditch Laura Winslow and roll 100% with Myra. I mean she literally told him she’d have his babies. I watched every episode from 1991 until the end of its ABC run and I caught some of the episodes on the CBS run. I wasn’t a big fan of how it ended…with Urkel being an astronaut, Stefan Urquelle being an actual character, and of course the different Harriette. The best part about Family Matters was Mother Winslow. She had so much wisdom and she was just so pleasant.

What it means to me now? I actually have the 1st season of Family Matters on DVD. And it doesn’t hurt that the series is on Hulu. I probably won’t get a chance to binge on it before I ice the Hulu account but I’ll probably fire up the DVD at some point once I’m in Colombia. I’ll need something to pass time while I’m in quarantine. It’s still a great show…all these years later.

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