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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You'd have to be crazy to think the Cosby Show wasn't the most dominant network show on television during the 80's. The Show focused on an upper class family living in Brooklyn. Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable creates an uncanny charm as a great father to his children but at the same time he himself is childish in behavior. Claire Huxtable portrayed by Phylicia Rashad is very assertive and has a dominant role despite the fact she is second to Bill Cosby. She gracefully commands a scene. Plus the kids of the Huxtables are all portrayed to perfection from Theo, Denise, Sondra, Rudy, etc......even the guests including Earle Hyman as Cliff's father are interesting and un-pretentious. My only beef with the show would be the last two years when the cast addition of Pam was introduced the Huxtable kids become to old. The show toward the end became a flutter of characters but still very good. Great 80's show and the finale was probably one of the best I've seen on television. Amazing.
Bill Cosby's brainchild "The Cosby Show" gave us a glimpse into the everyday existence of the Huxtables, an African American family consisting of successful obstetrician Heathcliff(Bill Cosby), law firm partner Claire(Phylicia Rashad), & five children ranging from college to elementary school age. From oldest to youngest are Princeton student Sondra(Sabrina Le Beauf), high school senior Denise(Lisa Bonet), Jr. high school student Theo(Malcolm-Jamal Warner), middle school student Vanessa(Tempest Bledsoe) & elementary school student Rudy(Keisha Knight Pulliam). Each child comes with their own set of problems & mishaps. The show centers around how Cliff & Claire handle each situation related to their family dynamic & the results. No matter in the good or bad times, both parents deal with their & their children's lives with understanding, patience, humor, & lots of love. Along the course of the show's long run, we get to meet other family members such as Cliff's parents & Claire's parents, cousin Pam Tucker(Erika Alexander) & family friend regulars like Cockroach, Peter, & Kenny. Also, new members join the cast in Elvin/Geoffrey Owens(Sandra's husband), Martin/Joseph C. Phillips(Denise's Navy husband), stepdaughter Olivia/Raven Symone'(Martin's daughter), & Dabnus Brickey(Vanessa's fiancé). All in all, a wonderful comedic/dramatic sitcom that the whole family will enjoy. The show is in syndication, so everyone can watch until taken off the air. A pleasure since its inception (1984), "The Cosby Show" broke stereotypes of African American culture & career achievements by displaying the Huxtables as "successful", not poor & struggling like "Good Times". The show won T.V. awards & achieved the accolades not reached by Black dominated sitcoms to this era. Times do ever change, & "The Cosby Show" proved that notion.
Bill Cosby brought a huge landmark in TV forever when the Cosby Show
debuted in 1984. Not only did it show African Americans in a funnier
light, it provided many values and important aspects in life that we
can all relate to. In this show, Cosby plays Dr. Cliff Huxtable, a
surgeon who lives in Brooklyn Heights with his lawyer wife, Clair
(Phylicia Rashad) and his five children, Sondra (Sabrina Le Beauf),
Denise (Lisa Bonet), Theo (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Vanessa (Tempestt
Bledsoe) and Rudy (Keisha Knight Pulliam). Throughout the show, it
discussed many themes like love, loyalty and growing up. It also
brought out parenthood tips, how to be firm and decisive for your
family and to be properly equipped with education and common sense when
you're in the real world. The humor comes in when mistakes occur as a
result and we are able to learn from all these. For example when Cliff
bought a vegetable mixture in which he could make juice out of
vegetables and when Rudy broke the machine, Cliff was forbidden never
to buy an appliance again. Another one is when Theo gets straight Ds
and tells Cliff that he should respect him for who he is and Cliff
thinks this is the dumbest thing he ever heard and tells him to try
even harder than before, because that's the only way to become
successful. Otherwise "I'll take you out of this world!" occurs.
Although Bill Cosby does take the cake with his improvisations, Clair and the kids also provide humorous, especially anytime Clair freaked out or went into a nonstop Spanish conversation. Priceless! My favorite kids would be Theo and Rudy because the hilarious episodes that occur to them. My least favorite is Vanessa, because I find her annoying and arrogant. In some episodes she was fine, but in the rest, UGGGH! There are too many episodes I find memorable, but to me the best remembered is the Stevie Wonder episode. Not only does it hilarious but it shows how much fun a family can have together, except for Cliff and his "Baby". Other episodes include Theo in the real world, Theo and Mrs. Westlake episodes, Rudy playing football- "Sweet Feet!", Cliff's day off and the track ones where Cliff is training for the 4X4 relay at the Armory and at Penn.
By 1989, the show started wearing down with the arrival of Raven-Symone as Olivia and Erika Alexander as Pam (who was not needed at all). The show mostly concentrated on them and it lost much of the humor before. But the last episode brought everyone back together with a fantastic ending to a long lived series.
To me, the Cosby Show will always the number one sitcom. I love it so much that I can always watch every single day. 10/10.
"The Cosby Show" certainly does produce many wonderful memories for many of
us and I include myself in this category. I have wonderful memories of
watching "The Cosby Show" throughout my childhood and thoroughly enjoying
each episode that came along.
"The Cosby Show" was one of the most successful family-oriented shows I know of. You almost felt like one of their family as you watched them go through all their experiences and watched the children mature into adults. I'm sure that a lot of families could relate to the experiences that Bill and Claire went through with both their children and with themselves.
I must confess to missing "The Cosby Show" immensely. It was a big part of my childhood and growing up
In television's Golden Age, the 1950's, there was "Father Knows Best"
and "Leave it to Beaver". The 1960's had "The Danny Thomas Show". In
the 1970's there was of course "The Brady Bunch". Then in the 1980's
came another feel good family comedy called "The Cosby Show" which was
the first time this TV genre was devoted to an all African American
The patriarch of this loving, and well structured nuclear family was none other than veteran actor/comedian Bill Cosby himself. Cosby played an obstetrician named Heathcliff Huxtable, with a loving,loyal yet very independent and professional wife Claire, played by Phyllicia Rashad.
Cliff and Claire a litigation attorney by trade, had five kids ranging in age from kindergarten to college. Rudy, the youngest (Keshia Knight Pulliam), Vanessa (Tempest Bledsoe), Theo (Cliff and Clair's only son played by Malcolm Jamal Warner), Denise (Lisa Bonet) and oldest child Sandra (Sabrina Lebeauf) living away at Princeton.
"The Cosby Show" went through the trials and tribulations of all of the kids growing up and their adolescent problems. Even though the sitcom was centered around the dean of comedy, Bill Cosby, the only irreplaceable member of this show, the other actors were well cast and their characters were well drawn out. Claire was also fabulous as the 80's do it all mother, hard working and strong willed yet conscientious and nurturing to all of her children.
Of course Bill Cosby was perfectly cast as the patriarch of the Huxtable clan. He was a father who could do it all. Spend quality time with all his kids, always give them good advice, tend to all of their problems many of them being silly and trivial, and still hold down a great full time career.
There was one thing I always loved and admired about Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, the father. He never lost his temper with his kids, despite their immaturity and bad decisions.At least Heathcliff never showed it in his demeanor to his kids,whether it was Theo failing in school, or Sandra living in squalor with her husband Elvin, or Vanessa refusing to leave Cliff and Claire alone for the night because she was having nightmares of a R-Rated movie Claire forbid her to see.
Cliff never lost his temper with Denise, even with all of her contemptuous boyfriends, her weird outfits, and high strung personality. Densise never really fit well into the feel good, well structured authoritarian Huxtable household. She was always like a rebel without a cause, and when her rebellious boyfriend (Kristoff St. John) broke bread with Cliff and Claire for the first time, Denise decided to join his cause, even though she didn't really know what it was. David James was a vegetarian and not for ethical or environmental reasons, but because he had a vendetta against the medical establishment. He also had a vendetta against the legal establishment too, Claire's profession.
When David came to dinner with intentionally wearing mismatched socks, he looked like the perfect boyfriend for bandanna wearing, nose piercing, totally 80's hip Denise. But she quickly broke it off with him. HE WASN'T HER TYPE.
"The Cosby Show" drew light on many of these new teen fashion trends, which used to make parents blood boil, but today are commonplace. Remember the episode when Theo came home with an earring, and was desperately trying to hide it from his dad. Today half of all young males who weren't born when this episode originally aired in 1984 have their ears pierced.
Cliff always knew the right things to say to all kids, the good ones as well as the rebels. He was kind, considerate, sociable, yet still fatherly and authoritarian. Bill Cosby himself was always a master at relating to kids of all ages, from toddlers all the way through the oldest college students. It was fun seeing his character Heathcliff play fatherly figure to some of Denise and Theo's weird and drug using friends, yet also be able to warm up to insecure Vanessa and hers, and of course little Rudy and her little gang of rug-rats.
Cliff had so many great moments with Rudy, like when he was trying to teach her that eventually everything that lives, dies, like her poor little goldfish "Lamont", that she kept feeding even though it was floating on its back. Rudy was upset but got over it quickly, and Cliff got carried away with the goldfish's "funeral".
Vanessa unlike Rudy always had a problem with insecurity and lack of perseverance. She would always try a new activity, but would lack the motivation to excel at what she did. This reminds me of myself. This just brought out some of the immaturity of the Huxtable kids.
The only major problem I had with "The Cosby Show" is that it did not accurately and truthfully portray the average middle class American family, and certainly did not portray the average, urban African American family. How many average black families, all right, how many white families live in a beautiful Brooklyn townhouse where the father is a successful medical doctor, and the mother is a successful lawyer? And of course both still have more than enough time to devote to their kids without a live in nanny. I think that two lesser known but above average sitcoms from the 1970's "What's Happening!!" and "Good Times" were a more realistic portrayal of urban African American life.
"The Cosby Show" was written more in the style of feel good family sitcoms from the 1950's and 1960's like "The Brady Bunch", "My Three Sons" and "Leave it to Beaver", than a realistic portrayal of the mainstream African American family. Nevertheless "The Cosby Show" is among the fifty greatest sitcoms in television history. This show was a Thursday night 1980's classic.
"THE COSBY SHOW," in my opinion, is a pure definition of must-see TV! I'm not sure if I've never seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. One of my favorite episodes is where Vanessa (Tempestt Bledsoe) disobeys Clair (Phylicia Rashad) and goes to Baltimore for a concert. If you want to know why, you'll have to have seen it for yourself. Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say that everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, even though it can be seen in syndication now, I strongly recommend you catch it just in case it goes off the air for good.
This was one great show starring Bill Cosby as Dr. Husktable who is a doctor that delivers babies. They live in the suburbs of Chicago and are raising 4 children at home and one married. The family includes little Rudy, Vanessa, Theo, Denise, Sondra(who is married), the wife Claire and Elvin(who is married to Sondra). This was one big family but was very caring when coming to their kid's education. All the children's life was different from each other, little Rudy being the youngest had friends that always were involved with young things, Vanessa being a teenager always trying to things that her friend Maxcine was trying, Theo was always getting in trouble about school with his parents, Denise was off at college studies but then tries to experiment with life without going to college, and Sondra who is married to Elvin and they own a Wilderness Store. This is a very interesting family but things do get as the girls get older and they move on start their own lives. The family does encounter problems but nothing that can't stop fun and happiness. I enjoyed the show and still do to this day.
Need I say more about a show that depicted a successful
African-American family that had its ups and downs but still made us
laugh out loud each and every Thursday evening during its spectacular
eight year run on NBC during the 1980's? Yes,The Cosby Show was all
that and so much more. This gentle yet hip family comedy was the number
one program on television for much of the mid-1980's(it was the Number
One show at the top of the Nielsen for the five consecutive seasons
that it was on the air)and a striking reminder that TV shows don't have
to built on gimmicks to succeed. The series was the first and foremost
to be based on a successful standup comedian's act. Bill Cosby had full
creative control of this series as well as being the executive
producer. Although the main focus was on the immediate family,a number
of other characters were seen occasionally,Cliff's parents Anna and
Russell and Clair folks Carrie and Al Hanks turned up once in a while
as well as a host of other characters during its entire eight year-run.
The series produced 201 episodes and it was on NBC's biggest hits of the 1980's and well into the early 1990's. Premiering on September 20,1984 until May 17,1992 the series was one of its biggest hits on the Thursday night lineup in cohort with "Cheers" and "Hill Street Blues" as it winning combination. No wonder it became one of the biggest sitcoms of the 80's and for good reason it still holds the title.
This show believably portrays how amazing and fun a family can be when they love and respect each other. This is phenomenon that might be lost on younger generations. As child rearing and marriage is taken much less seriously. Claire Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) will will always be the love of my life. I doubt I will find a woman as confident and sensual as this woman. She is lucid and feminine and seems to have no trace of any insecurities. She could be THE role model for woman. Arguably it could be said this is a show based around role models. How to be a good brother, or sister, or husband and wife. I cant think of a good role model on TV today.....
The Cosby show had it all; comedy, drama and a little romance to boot.
Heathcliff Huxtable and the lovely Claire ran a tight household while
maintaining busy careers.
They were held in check by Cliff's parents and their children, most notably the irrepressible Theo and the idealist Denise. Malcom Jamal-Warner as Theo re-invited Hip-Hop with his friend Coackroach, jamming memorably:
"This is the name of a game called life, we like deluxe burgers and not small fries."
The show peaked in the late 80s, when the children lost their 'cuteness' and Theo bore more and more responsibility toward the household. The show eventually lost most of its charm as it descended into cameos from various African American musicians and endless card games between Cliff's family members. Still, it did provide positive role models for African Americans when they were largely being ignored by prime time television.
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