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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
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.
In the late 80's, the newborn second channel of Morocco provided some
of the best programs we ever saw, yet without the decoder, we could
only enjoy a few hours of non-encrypted programs, which was fine
they aired "The Cosby Show".
Indeed, there were those who enjoyed the show, and the others who knew what they missed thanks to a fantastic word-of-mouth. So we subscribed... and I'll never forget that "Hallelujah" feeling when I finally discovered the Huxtables. We enjoyed the "Physican of the Year" then the "First Day of School" episodes but the show won us with "The Juicer". There was something unique in the way Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) handled the incident with little Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam), and such a beautiful moment when Cliff (Bill Cosby) hugged her. And I still remember that glee in my Dad's eyes in the following scene where Clair, like a good lawyer, confronted Cliff to his own responsibility and he had no other choice than naughtily pleading guilty. No other show had such inspiring displays of good education and a marital chemistry that was very sexy under a family-friendly cover. The show became an instant favorite.
To make it better, my father had to record it for his sister who didn't have the decoder, which ended with an interesting collection of Cosby VHS tapes we've been borrowing from her for years and years. These are not gratuitous anecdotes, they illustrate the power of the best family sitcom: to be deeply connected with your own family memories, this is how big 'Cosby' was at that time. And I still remember my 4-year old brother answering the phone saying "Huxtable Residence", imitating Cosby's groovy moves at the end of the second season's intro or "zerbutting" on my father's cheek the show affected our life. And when I heard the "Night time" song in the film "Ray", I immediately remembered that hilarious anniversary episode, and "I Just Called" still brings me back to that magnificent episode with Stevie Wonder. "The Cosby Show" was THE wonder and we were familiar with names like Malcolm-Jamal Warner or Tempest Bledsoe before any Bruce Willis or Julia Roberts and even at 8, I understood why the show was titled by the name of his main actor.
On a sad note, this is why I've been thinking for a long time that Malcolm Jamal Warner died: because my grandma told me that 'the son of Cosby' died, it was his real-life son, Ennis, shot dead in 1997. And the fact that Cosby and Huxtable almost make one might explain why the series is being tarnished by the rape scandal, to the point it's pulled off the air almost everywhere. It was even more revealing when my favorite website made a list of the greatest TV dads and overlooked Cliff Huxtable. But should all the harm Cosby might have done cancel all the positive things the show provided? Can we just ignore a show of such historical magnitude and with so many great messages to the youth?
Remember the pilot, Theo confesses, during a heartfelt speech, that he might not be a doctor or a lawyer like his parents but that they should love him as a son anyway. The long pause, followed by the audiences applauses are instantly swept off by Cliff's iconic answer "that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard"... there's no pride in being an underachiever if you give up before trying. Cosby was the father of five children, whose names started with 'E' as in Excellency, and his hymn to efforts was not just typical 80's inspirational stuff, it was ahead of its time because it made the 'obvious' race issue look insignificant. We never cared for the Huxtables family being Black, they were a regular successful family "happening to be Black"... but it certainly encouraged many Black young people to go to college. Should such a positive model be banned from TV?
The show was also ahead of its time on another topic: feminism. Forget "Girls", "Desperate Housewives" or "Sex and the City", "The Cosby Show" was the first feminist show and with four daughters and a mother of such classy strong-mindedness as Clair Huxtable, it was unavoidable although that this "battle of the sexes" aspect annoyed me a when the "woman-always-right" became a pattern for redundant and uninspired episodes (from the "perfect parents with imperfect kids", the series became about a "perfect mother"). I also never bought the way poor Elvin (Geoffrey Owens) was branded as a macho when most of the time, he should have grown a pair and tells Sondra (Sabrina Lebeauf) how he felt, but I guess it makes it all the more ironic that the show's reputation is ruined because of a scandal involving women.
Now, I wish I could speak about the best and the worst of the show, how I could pinpoint the start of the decline with Rudy's story episode in Season 4, the attempt to replace her with Olivia not to mention the infamous Muppet nightmare (literally), but the series needs kinder words, reminding how important it was back then, when every 80's/90's sitcom, whether to copy the model ("Growing Pains") or work on a blue-collar level ("Roseanne"), was an answer to "The Cosby Show", starting with its the biggest rival, "The Simpsons", still airing today maybe because, contrarily to "The Cosby Show", kids couldn't age and time was frozen, so the appeal stayed the same. And now, every sitcom is an answer to "The Simpsons", but that doesn't diminish the legacy of its 'big brother' "The Cosby Show", on the contrary. And ignoring this legacy by pulling the show off the air is as harmful to the show as it is to the people it inspired and can inspire in the future.
And speaking for myself, I can't ignore the show just as I can't ignore my best family memories, which the show is part of.
I've always loved this show, it's somehow comforting especially the earlier episodes. Who doesn't want to grow up with parents like Cliff and Claire? Phylicia Rashad is just a stunning woman I really enjoyed her character as a young female it was always inspiring that she towed the line of professional and mother so well especially during a time that was just getting used the to concept of professional working mothers. I didn't love all the children characters, Sondra and Vanessa were not at the top of my list but all in all it's always my go to show to cheer up. The mother/father chemistry between Rashad and Cosby was just fantastic and I rarely see that nowadays, you really believed they were Claire and Cliff.
The Cosby Show is one of my favourite sitcoms and I feel that it should
be mandatory viewing for people who think that life is all about
dope-smoking and wearing saggy-pants that show your underwear.
It's a fantastic situation comedy featuring an African American family that is financially well off and trying to raise their children. Bill Cosby plays a doctor and father (I think the father part being more important).
Wouldn't it be nice if more families were like this? This show gave people something to aim for, and that's why I rate it so high.
I've got my own favourite episodes and I bet you do to, so grab some popcorn and enjoy the Cosby Show.
The mother of all family sit-coms was aptly named after Bill Cosby, the
"TV Dad of All Time" (according to "TV Guide" among others), who stars
in the role of Cliff Huxtable, an upper middle-class African-American
obstetrician living in Brooklyn, New York. Upper middle-class
African-American? Not that such a constellation is a very common sight.
However, by presenting a working family life of blacks in this milieu,
Cosby makes the difference, breaks traditional stereotypes, constitutes
a positive example, raises awareness by portraying normalcy where you
wouldn't expect it. It is the same Bill Cosby who wrote TV history by
playing a secret agent back then in the Sixties in "I Spy" at the side
of his white partner, portrayed by Robert Culp. Showcasing an
African-American in a leading role? In 1965 such outrageousness even
led to bans of the programme by a couple of stations in the American
south. Well, in other circles Cosby was rewarded with three consecutive
Emmys. For exactly that show: "I Spy".
Later on Bill Cosby wouldn't submit his name anymore for Emmy consideration as competition between actors wasn't what "The Cosby Show" was all about. Five consecutive seasons ranking as #1 American TV programme however made clear that Cosby was on to something with his new sit-com. The show hit like a bomb and worked for African-Americans, Americans, and, well, eventually the rest of the world. Especially because entertainment and education have never been as indiscernibly close together as in a programme like this, where style, intent and themes succeed on multiple levels. "The Cosby Show" has become legendary as it works not only across the racial, but also across the generational divide with ease, and a comedic powerhouse and role model like Cosby never dates - it was funny in the Eighties, for kids, parents, grandparents, and still is. Cosby ad-libs, Phylicia Rashad as his wife complements him beautifully and with verve, the kids are adorable and grow to own personalities in front of your eyes. "The Cosby Show" tackles a wide range of issues you might expect from a family programme - coming of age problems, social ones, right down to dyslexia, teenage pregnancy and divorce. Never preaching, but realistic, always with humor. Cosby, father of five, has seen and lived through it all, including the death of his own son who was shot by an armed robber. He knows how to spell family values. In other words: Need advice on parenting? Then do yourself a favor and watch "The Cosby Show". Your kids will thank you. No joke.
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.
This show is probably the best show that has ever been on TV. My mom
loves it, and so does my brother and my friends that have seen it. This
is one of those rare shows that kids and adults can sit down and watch
together and both really enjoy.
Bill Cosby was always funny and always kept the show fresh. Raven Symone in the later seasons did a better job at acting than she did in "That's So Raven." Rudy was just the cutest little girl! This show was extraordinary, and so many people watch it, even still to this very day. Whether you're watching your first or one hundredth episode, it is just as entertaining. What made this show so entertaining and memorable was that they portrayed things that would happen in every day life. Many times when I watch this show I laugh just thinking that that sounds just like my life.
Whenever I'm sick or depressed I watch one episode of "Cosby" and I already feel better. I would definitely recommend this show.
*** 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.
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