While I would argue that Hamlet has a better plot than Romeo and Juliet, I’m grading on what we actually see of the production in each of these sitcoms. And based on that alone, Family Matters is the clear winner. (If we were judging on episode plot it would be all about Boy Meets World though. Cory squanders the lead in Hamlet because he doesn’t want to wear tights and it’s all a very good insight into gender roles and insecurities whereas FM is about Laura and Steve kissing as the leads in R&J).
But now back to the shows within the shows. We get to see most of the balcony scene uninterrupted in Family Matters. And Steve’s undying love for Laura makes him a pretty good Romeo…that is until he accidentally destroys the entire set which appears to be all interconnected by a pulley system.
Flying in set pieces is all well and good. But connecting each and every joint with string? That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! However, I have to imagine that this makes strike a lot easier.
It’s major flaws aside, the set really is beautiful. It has a lot of levels, uses the full stage, and showcases a fairly interesting lighting design. In the screenshot for this episode, you can see Laura and Steve lit from behind the curtains of Juliet’s bedroom and from the front by “the moon.”
However, if the set was built with a kill switch, then the staging should have been such that Steve Urkel was NO WHERE NEAR IT. Point to Boy Meets World for staging because they have a whole cast visible and nothing breaks.
The costumes for both productions are really strong. However, I’m going to give the point to BMW because there’s just a little more going on with them. Shawn has a prosthetic belly, Minkus is sporting a monochromatic ensemble as the replacement for Cory in the title role, and there’s more diversity in the fabrics and color palettes.
Very Special Winner: Family Matters