Sister, Sister Really Needs To Make A Comeback

Never knew how much we missed ya.

Tia and Tamera

by Jazmin Kopotsha |
Updated on

With the news that Sister, Sister and other classic teen comedy programmes are heading to Netflix US, we can't help but feel nostalgic. But isn't it about time we looked to the future and rebooted the classics rather than rewatch. This is what Jazmin Kopotsha wrote back in 2017...

No one longs for the 90s harder than we do. Box braids are back, it’s borderline okay to dress like Sporty Spice again and don’t pretend you haven’t spent the last two years trying to find that perfect Rachel from Friends shade of brown lipstick. The revival has also filtered to the world of television too, of course. We’ve seen reboot after reboot of the shows we’re affectionately nostalgic formake highly anticipated returns to our screens but, frustratingly, it seems the powers that be have forgotten to resurrect anything from one crucial genre: black sitcoms. We want Sister, Sister back, guys. And we want it back now.

Thankfully, the beloved comedy about teen twin sisters reunited after being separated at birth (classic 90s storyline) might actually be making a return to our screens. In an interview with Nylonmagazine, Tia Mowry revealed that she and her sister Tamera are working on bringing the TV show back but it’s proving to be more of a challenge than they anticipated. ‘We're looking, right now, for a producer and a writer, someone who can kind of be a leader of the pack in regards to running the show’, she said. ‘I thought people would kind of be jumping on it, but it’s a lot harder than my sister and I thought it would be. Everything in my career has always been a challenge’.

I’d like to think people would be jumping on it too. I’d like to think that people are as desperate to see Sister, Sister back on television as I am. Because, for all that I totally agree that awkward, less exciting reboots of once loved shows aren't always the answer and some things should be left the hell alone, I feel like we really need this one.

You see, the 90s were the glory days of black television. Even though most of the shows on offer were based in America (I dare you to try and name a black British sitcom without the very limited help of Google) there was a fair amount on offer. The New York Timesreported that in 1997 there were 15 prime-time black sitcoms to choose from and although these days a choice of 15 shows isn’t exactly much to shout about, scrolling through the TV guide is a very different story now.

You’d assume that after such a big push from people within and outside the industry to address diversity on screen in recent years, that minority groups would be at least better represented by now. However the 2016 Hollywood Diversity Report found that people of colour accounted for 8.1% of lead actors in scripted shows. The situation over on this side of the Atlantic isn’t much better. Thandie Newton painted a pretty stark picture when she spoke to The Sunday Times. ‘I love being here’, she said, ‘but I can’t work, because I can’t do Downton Abbey, can’t be in Victoria, can’t be in Call the Midwife — well, I could, but I don’t want to play someone who’s being racially abused’.

It's still relatively slim pickings for shows that don't have a 'token' ethnic minority character. I struggle to name a sitcom lead by a black cast other than Black-ish. But what was so great about shows like Sister, Sister back in the day is that it was just a sitcom in the same capacity as any other sitcom that happened to be about a black family. It was something I could turn on as a kid and see myself represented which is such a small but crucial aspect of growing up and, well, life. And just like other great successful shows like Kenan & Kel, My Wife and Kids and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, they validated the ever-existing appetite for television that reflected the lives of it’s not-just-white audience.

In the interview, Tia also explained that Sister, Sister was very much based on the real life goings on in the twins’ lives. ‘A lot of people might not know this, but every year at the beginning of the season, me and my sister would sit down with the producers and tell them what’s going on with our lives in real life, and they would turn those into stories’.

So, if the show were to make a comeback, we wonder if it would also be based on what Tia and Tamera would be doing now. And whether Roger would spend just as much unwanted time at their houses as he did in the original. Because what’s an episode of Sister, Sister without the definitive yell of ‘GO HOME, ROGER’?

It goes without saying that not much progress will be made with the show's redevelopment without someone like a producer on board, but Tia seems pretty confident that something could happen. She said: ‘We’re moving forward, we’re taking those strides. They’re slow strides, but we’re pushing as hard as we can to make people happy and make our fans happy.’

READ MORE: From Sister Sister To Moesha, Where Are Your Favourite Nineties TV Stars Now?

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