Picks and Pans Review: Family Matters

updated 07/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Fri., July 10 and 17, 9 p.m. ET)

Why it's enough to make you picket your CBS affiliate with an "Unfair to Urkel" sign. After his network lured Family Matters away from ABC last year, CBS Television president Leslie Moonves called it "one of the great television shows in history." But its ratings suffered on CBS, and the canceled series ends its nine-season run with a two-part episode dumped in the summer dog days. Doesn't Jaleel White's supernerd character Steve Urkel deserve as much farewell fanfare as that smug Seinfeld guy and his friends? Before you get carried away, know that the finale is not very funny. Urkel is chosen to be the first student in space—which makes sense, since his geekiness is out of this world. But the spacecraft collides with a satellite, and our oddball hero—who says he's so upset he's "about to blow chunks"—must save the day. Urkel's fiancée, Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams), prays hard for his safe return, while her family busies itself with a boring subplot. "I can't watch this," Laura moans as TV covers the space crisis. Fear not; the end is near.

Bottom Line: Goodbye already

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