‘Sister, Sister’ did this better than any other 90’s Sitcom
The Big Picture
- Sister, Sister stood out among other shows in the 90s with an underrepresented family dynamic, bringing important morals and strong family values to the fore.
- The show features strong female characters like Tia and Tamera, who promote natural beauty and intelligence, while dealing with relatable teenage issues.
- Sister, Sister showcases the innocence and healing of the ’90s, tackling relatable themes like peer pressure, family conflict, and identity struggles without being preachy.
But, the 90s. At a time when the word “twitter” just conjured up images of cute little birds, and crop tops, baggy jeans, and plaid shirts were all the rage. But one of the best parts of this much-loved decade was the shows it spawned. sister, sister is one such show. Among other classics from the 90s like Boy meets the world, Growing painsand Sabrina the Teenage Witch, sister, sister stand out. Getting a strong dose of ’90s nostalgia doesn’t get much better than this one. It reflects so much of what was special about this era but there are many qualities that make it stand out from the crowd.
What was ‘Sister, Sister’ about?
First broadcast on ABC, sister, sister is a sitcom centered around twin sisters, Tia Landry (Tia Mowry-Hardrect) and Tamera Campbell (Tamera Mowry-Housley). Adopted by different parents as babies, they later meet as teenagers in the ubiquitous department store. After a rocky start, especially between Tia’s strange, uncaring mother, Lisa (Jack Harry), and Tamera’s traditional father, Ray (Tim Reid), things start to settle down. Tia and Lisa move into Ray and Tamera’s home and soon they become family – “odd person, but family nonetheless,” as Lisa puts it. But it’s this family dynamic that sets the show apart from the many other family sitcoms airing at the time.
Sitcoms like Home Improvement, Clarissa explains everythingand Boy meets the world they all followed the archetypal family picture – a married couple with children. There was very little representation for the meaning of “family” on TV at this time. Enter sister, sister. This show brought family dynamics underrepresented to a degree in popular programming. Okay, so maybe finding a couple you didn’t know existed at the mall and creating a new family from there is at the extreme end of the possible scenarios, but the motto of families come in all forms is still very much a central part of the show. . And in true ’90s fashion, strong family values are felt throughout every event. Whether it is found in the heart of hearts between Ray and Tamera, the twins’ protection of each other, or Ray and Lisa putting aside their differences to co-parent, there is an important moral to be seen. So, if you sometimes want a big helping of warm and fuzzy, you’ll find it here.
‘Sister, Sister’ Has Strong Female Characters
Although all the characters are special and deserve a shout out (see do not go home roger (Marques Houston), you are too funny), the representation of strong female characters is particularly evident. First, with the twins themselves. Tia and Tamera represent what was good about the decade – young girls who didn’t need to be overly concerned with looks. They promote healthy, natural beauty. Of course, put them in Instagram, today’s world of filters, and it might be a different story. That’s not to say that normal teenage appearance issues don’t come up from time to time. We can’t forget the time when Tamera gets a new look and gets access to the “popular” crowd, much to the chagrin of Tia, who is very popular. Or the time when Tia gets a pimple right before the first date, prompting her sister to take her place in one of the series’ many couple-swapping hijinks.
But apart from looks, they are both very smart and funny young women. While Tia is more knowledgeable of the two books, always taking tests and aiming to go to Harvard, Tamera has a lot of emotional and intelligent mind. Sure, she can have a goofy face at times, but when it comes down to it, she’s pretty capable of handling herself even in the most difficult situations. For example, getting snowed in at a ski lodge. While everyone else is cowering around her in worry, she is on top of the situation and is still the voice of reason – good to think she left a fall to try and get a- out of the first place.
Then there’s Tia’s mom, Lisa. This single mother is fierce, fiery, and full of strange things. But although many things may bother Tamera’s cruel father, Ray, they only make the viewer love him more. Owning Fashions by Lisa, she can often be seen working on her next outfit or running her stall at the mall. However, when she is not killing it as a businessman, she is showering her daughter with love. In Season 4, Episode 15, we see her wearing a hairnet to work as a cafeteria lady at the twins’ school. But as Tia is a normal teenager, this doesn’t sit too well with her, and her embarrassment soon gets the better of her, forcing her to come out to her mother that school is now “destroyed”. When it is revealed that Lisa took this second job just to be able to buy a necklace that her daughter loved, we see the lengths she will go out of love. Lisa is a great example of a woman who seamlessly juggles both career and motherhood.
‘Sister, Sister’ shows the wholeness of the 90s
While tangible characters form the backbone of the series, the relatable themes also play a strong role. Looking back, the 90s seem like a little slice of innocence and perfection. Most of the problems of teenagers depicted in shows were often related to family conflicts, boy trouble, and peer pressure, not the big mental health crisis and the overuse of technology. on today’s generation. What is included in the study of subjects sister, sister different to many of the other TV shows at the time but the way they are handled.
There are very few “special after school” conversations here. Instead, we see Tia and Tamera deal with their issues primarily on their own. In Season 4, Episode 17, Tamera goes to meet someone she thinks is a professional photographer for a modeling shoot. Once at his house, she is asked to change into a very revealing bathing suit. We see her go into the bathroom to do this before she comes out to reject him and give him a piece of mind. We also see both girls refuse to let boys take advantage of them, stand up to shoplifting friends, and step away from peer pressure to smoke, after they’ve gone a bit into it. And tougher issues of adoption, the class system, as well as gender equality are also tackled throughout their series run. In addition to all this, it is a great insight into the problems that arise from being a couple. Struggling with identity is a constant theme throughout, but one of the strongest episodes related to this theme comes in season 4. Tia decides that she wants to get a job of your own; however, Tamera is under the impression that they were looking to be hired together. Several conversations ensued between the two, which eventually led Tia to enter a daydream of them as old women, never going their separate ways. Although many of us will never know the twin experience, the picture of feeling suffocated while still wanting to keep the close connection is perfectly done. The show tends to use the appropriate approach to dealing with issues, rather than going down the preachy route which is often the easiest road to take.
sister, sister accurately portrays a family of unique people, who all take their own paths in life, while at the same time maintaining that strong bond between them. It is both comfort TV and high quality comedy. But above all else, it is the best time machine to visit the glorious decade that is the 90s.