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Back in the 80's "The, Cosby Show" was the number one show in America. Some felt the show went a little to far as showing a black family being to successful. The heads of the house were both rich and successful "Cliff" a doctor and Clair a lawyer. I enjoyed this show for the funny moments it brought. The adventures of the Huxtable kids always found entertaining never a dull moment was found with Sondra, Denise, Theo, and little Rudy. Most important the character of Bill Cosby that being Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable was the one to watch. I always looked at Bill and even his character as a role model for the good advice that was given. "Cliff" and even Bill Cosby always did listen and give great advice to a person. Both made great father figures, no wonder "The, Cosby Show" was such a hit and made Bill Cosby so popular and wealthy in the entertainment business. You can still watch the reruns of this hit series on TBS so watch your friend many times again that being Bill Cosby and Dr. Heathcliff.
The first season of the Cosby Show made it one of the finest shows on television. However, I do feel that as the show wore on it became a little bit preachy. However, it still had its moments. I really enjoyed the episodes that dealt with Theo and his struggles with school. I could relate to that because I had troubles with school at times. I also could not get how people could begrudge the show because it showed African Americans that were part of the upper class and as positive images and not the negative stereotypes that were so prevalent. Also, you could see the evolution of the various characters, especially Rudy who went from a precocious five year old to a teenager throughout the course of the show. All in all though, it still was a good show.
This fabulous series, deservedly still remaining popular in re runs,
depicts family interactions in such an amusing light. Great viewing for
youngsters since the offspring on this show, despite assorted
rebellious phases, moods, and disagreements, invariably treat Mom & Dad
with the respect they both expect and deserve. Of course the series is
legendary, and quite deservedly so, for its landmark portrayal of a
well educated, affluent Afro American family. True, maybe the Huxtables
don't represent the typical American family (black or otherwise), but I
consider it a positive and uplifting depiction of a FUNCTIONAL family.
The program chronicles the amusing interactions of the Huxtable family, who live in a lovely, well appointed Brooklyn brownstone. The father, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, is an obstetrician and the mother, Claire, a lawyer. They have five children ranging from kindergarten to college age...Sondra (initially off at Princeton), Denise (a funky rebel), Theo (a charming underachiever eventually revealed as dyslexic), Vanessa (originally an insecure pre teen), and Rudy (the cute, precocious, and rather spoiled baby of the family). As the series progresses, four of the offspring go off to college, various romances come & go, Sondra marries med school student Elvin and has twins (Nelson & Winnie, after the Mandelas), and Denise weds the divorced sailor, Martin, who has an adorable little girl, Olivia. The Huxtable family is eventually also joined by Claire's teenage cousin, Pam.
The cast are all stellar in their roles...Phylicia Rashad (Claire), Sandra Le Beuf (Sondra), Lisa Bonet (Denise), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theo), Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa), Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy), and of course the incredible Bill Cosby himself as Heathcliff. Personally, my favourite character apart from Heathcliff himself, is the charismatic, cool ne'er do well, Theo. I also love his sidekick, Cockroach, as well as Rudy's hilarious little friend, Kenny!
In a sense, it's a bit of a modern Father Knows Best, albeit well laced with humour. The perpetually funny but wise Heathcliff has an amazing relationship with his children, a treasure trove of sound fatherly advice, and especially endless patience. He never loses his temper but always deals good naturedly with every challenge...whether an outrageous outfit, dead pet goldfish, poor report card, unsavoury boyfriend, dropping out of college or surprise marriage announcement. One of my favourite episodes depicts Cliff demonstrating to Theo just how rapidly his puny salary will disappear if he doesn't get a college education, especially if he has a girlfriend! Not only is Cliff a wonderful father, but also the obstetrician every female viewer wishes could deliver her babies! The chemistry and banter between him and wife, Claire, are both fabulous.
My sole complaint may not be popular, but I believe this series strengthens the myth that women can truly do it all. Claire has a successful law practice (bringing home a briefcase, presumably containing work), maintains a fairly large and spotless home, prepares lovely meals, always appears drop dead gorgeous & stylishly clad, enjoys outings with her children as well as social engagements with her husband, and invariably responds positively (never too weary) to her charming but rakish husband's bedroom advances. Above all, she's an exemplary mother to her FIVE children, always appropriately in the know regarding their homework assignments, school antics, relationships with friends, college or dating woes, and parties they shouldn't be attending. Really, she's quite a remarkable lady...and all with no sign of any maid, live in nanny, or significant involvement of her husband and youngsters with household chores.
However, though many aspects may not be realistic, it's a wonderful series overall. The Cosby Show presents uplifting programming for Afro Americans (and everyone else), frequently bringing into discussion Martin Luther King Jr. and other such inspiring personages. A tip of my hat to this series and all the entertainment contributions of Bill Cosby, who must surely be one of the funniest human beings alive. The show provides a humorous take on many everyday family challenges and generally speaking, bears a wealth of positive family messages, all conveyed in a way that induces a chuckle.
I rarely go to DVDs of old TeeVee shows. The edge that could have made
many of then work when new has long dulled. Nostalgia is a bad way to
motivate a life. But this was a reminder of a day, shortly after the US
almost lost itself forever. The great national tragedy was slavery
not that it happened, because nations do many dishonorable things. But
because we clung to it so tightly, reinventing it in subtle ways.
In my memory, three things changed that. There was the civil rights movement of course and its nobility in peaceful stands for justice. There was the profound decision by Coca-Cola to fashion ads that portrayed a nation of many colors. Many people overlook the significance of this and its powerful effect, cinematic equality.
And then there was Cosby. Here was a man with practices affability. No joke was demeaning. All jokes had to do with family, kinship, a world with no disharmony and only small everyday events. He did not invent domestic humor. TeeVee had it cooking long before he arrived. But he did it better than anyone then and since. His warmth made it. And he had a black face.
That face is the device on which all episodes of the show rely. A setup, a comment and then Bill's face reacting. A simple formula. Simple jokes; powerful face. I wouldn't want to overemphasize his intent or impact. He happened to be a good man at the right time, but no less obsessed and commercial than Opra, who inherited and demeaned the role.
Revisiting these shows is revisiting history, a noble history of a noble time before the US found another way to marginalize: let kids do it by themselves.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
Bill Cosby was one of the first major African-American celebrities,
starting in the 1960's when they were still a rarity. But while Cosby
to his credit eschewed the obvious "black" stereotypes, the show that
resulted was never anything greater than the average sitcom. You could
find the same jokes and situations in many other television sitcoms of
that era and before.
I did see a comic book cartoon parody of the show I found hilarious. The point was that it showed a too-clean view of a family of five. For example, a house with five children would be far messier than shown on a television show. Also, when a family doctor comes home from his office at the end of the day, he would be typically exhausted from all the screaming kids and other headaches that a family doctor goes through.
If you removed the Cosbys and substituted a white family instead, the show would hardly be different.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most of the shows during the '80s often have an unfair nostalgic bias.
As they were considered so well done then, the memory cheats and
realizes that they couldn't have been that well made. Sadly, this is an
unfair conceit. Most of the shows that were well-liked do have an
unmistakable charm to them. The Cosby Show, however, is not one of
While this could be mistakenly attributed to the last seasons of the show where the wheels fell of the premise and it started relying on its laurels, the real truth is that the Cosby Show had no real bite to it. As TV, it seemed to work because it was on every week and in the same spot so you could set your watch by it. But if one catches a few reruns in which the show is aired twice or more, the holes start showing. The Cosby Show doesn't have humor as much as it's a kickback to the pseudo-moralistic 1950s bland television in which something happens, someone finds out, and a moral is shot out. While a common criticism of this show is that it does not accurate represent race, the real truth is that the show doesn't represent human beings in any way, shape, or form. There are no real issues handled in a realistic manner. There are no real characterization outside of archetypes that date back to "Leave It To Beaver." Theo could be interchanged with Wally Cleaver or Eddie Haskell at various points in the show's run. Bill Cosby's character could be Gomez Addams mixed with the ghost of Dick Van Dyke. The lack of true characterization is what dooms this show. If anything, the Cosby Show was able to be a classic because it was right on the precipice of the old sitcom mold and what was to come but not yet formed style of television making. It did what it did well, but what it did wasn't anything groundbreaking. The Cosby Show could have been about homosexual Martian plumbers who collected Spawn figures, and the archetypes would have been exactly the same from every sitcom that came before it. Race wasn't a factor outside of publicity. Anybody could have inhabited those roles and made a classic. They did: it was a mold used for various sitcoms since the rise of popular television.
That said, the show just isn't interesting anymore. Now that Cosby's best-known show has faded into the ether for fifteen-plus years, its lack of characterization really plays against it. While most people alive and watching then could easily recognize the plot of the show, the fun is just no longer there. Outside of the new and the generally accepted opinion that the show was funny at parts, the show just has nothing to it. Most of the actors on it have faded into the ether along with the show or have done nothing of real consequence since then. They're not untalented, but the show gave them nothing to stand out with. With archetypes for characters, nobody stands out unless the plot directs them to.
In short, the show that represented the best years NBC has ever had is now just a forgotten relic without any punch in a world full of more interesting programming. While it is a piece of the past, there's nothing to recommend it outside of nostalgia. While this is unfortunate, it was the same fate that befell most of the shows that it based off of. Considering the fate of that sitcom mold, perhaps the Cosby Show can claim some sort of victory. At least it used the mold when it was somewhat respectable, and not tarnished by has-beens with the last names of Belushi and Sheen.
Not a good ending, but not as bad as it could have been. Too bad the DVDs haven't been given any respect.
I grew up with a crush on Clair, Sandra and Denise (who didn't like
Denise?) and most of all I grew up watching him on TV, (it was still
running live telecasts when I was born). I really loved the ways that
Cliff Huxtable dealt with the kids and I am sure that many parents
across America ventured to be more like him and deal with their kids as
he did (although it would be nice if we could). The best thing about
the show was that while it did show a well-off black family, it was not
preachy about the plight of blacks and was woven gently into the plots
with humor, with humor you can remember it a lot easier than if someone
just preached it at you. It was a vehicle that did in fact continue the
"movin' on up" legacy that shows like The Jeffersons and Good Times
started but most of all making it about family life and how parents and
children relate to each other thus, making it timeless.
Some shows are for a time, but this show most of all, will be on as long as time exists.
For the critics of the show, it was a little ideal and a bit unrealistic for the people who say that I say this: THis is TV but TV is based on real life, and if you sit for 30 minutes in any household, it will be boring as all crap, and more importantly a lot of work goes into creating & writing sitcoms, critics should be writers themselves before they criticize a show, because is too easy to criticize but not to rework it to be accessible as you see it Thank you
Actor Bill Cosby was a fixture on television throughout the 1960's and
1970's. His success had been adequate,but far from impressive. By
1984,the network NBC wanted a show that would endeared not only by
minority groups,but also by white America. NBC-TV by 1984 was the third
most watched network in America,mostly in competition with CBS and ABC
for the title of ratings supremacy. On September 20,1984,NBC introduced
to audiences "The Cosby Show",which was the very definition of a
Neilsen ratings monster as it devoured the competition along with
"Cheers" and "Hill Street Blues" for the better part of the mid-1980's
and early 1990's in which made NBC a huge winner and the most watched
network during its powerhouse Thursday night line-up. The series was a
masterpiece for the astounding eight seasons that it was on the air,and
even after some 25 years later "The Cosby Show" still holds the title
as one of the greatest sitcoms ever produced.
According to TV Guide,the show "was TV's biggest hit in the 1980's,and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC's ratings fortunes". The series also made history as well. "The Cosby Show" was one of the first successful sitcoms based on the subject matter of a standup comedian's act,blazing a trail for other programs in its wake. During its eight year-run was one of three television programs that have been #1 in the Nielsen Ratings for five consecutive seasons(the others being "All In The Family"). Having aired for 201 episodes,"The Cosby Show" is the third-longest running sitcom with a predominantly African-American cast,which was surpassed only by "The Jeffersons",and "Family Matters",and is close to "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" for continuous run. This was a grand series that was basically focus on the life of Bill Cosby,with a few creative twists which gave Cosby full creative control of his own television sitcom. The series focused on the Huxtables family....Cliff(Bill Cosby)an obstetrician who was the head of the family. The matriarch was his wife,attorney Clair(Phylicia Rashad),along with his five children,eldest daughter Sondra(Sabrina LeBeauf),Denise(Lisa Bonet),Vanessa(Tempestt Bledsoe),and the youngest of the clan,Rudy(Keisha Knight-Pulliam). The only son was Theo(Malcolm Jamal-Warner). Lisa Bonet's character of Denise left the series in 1987 for the spin off "A Different World",which Bonet lasted one season,but came back to "The Cosby Show" in previous episodes.
The show in its day,despite its comedic tone,dealt with serious subjects including various themes such as civil rights and in one episode Theo experiences dealing with dyslexia. The series was a milestone in television history frequently promoting African-American and African cultures which were represented by artists and musicians such as Jacob Lawrence,Miles Davis,James Brown,Stevie Wonder,Lena Horne,Quincy Jones,Ray Charles,and Miriam Makeba not to mention others including special guest appearances by Maya Angelou,Alex Haley,Aretha Franklin,B.B. King,and Joe Williams. And it shows in the number of awards "The Cosby Show" received..including various Emmy and Golden Globe awards,NAACP image awards,and People's Choice Awards.
From September 20,1984 until its astounding run on September 17,1992. Producing 201 episodes,that was the golden child of sitcoms and even after 25 years later..it still reigns supreme.
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.
"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
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