Stephen Speicher

The Cosby Show (1984)

Rate this TV show   10 votes

  1. 1. Rate this TV show

    • 10
      1
    • 9
      4
    • 8
      3
    • 7
      2
    • 6
      0
    • 5
      0
    • 4
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      0
    • 0
      0

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

8 posts in this topic

I will say more about this show when I watch some more episodes. I remember watching this show religiously when it was on air, from the early days, and often when it came on syndication. For a while, in the more recent years I felt a blurred shame, for liking the show so much when I was a kid. But now that I've watched some more re-runs, and after already, loving Cosby's later show, COSBY, I love THE COSBY SHOW. The best thing about it is Bill Cosby. I like to watch and try to guess when he is veering off the script and adding his own line, and when Phylisia is genuinely laughing and not acting. The married love that their characters express is amazing. It's so good that one cannot help but wonder whether they are married in real life, even though Phylisia is married to Amad. I wonder, if Bill was married during the running of the show, whether his wife was jealous at seeing their chemistry on the tube. One of the funniest things is the way Cliff and Claire rant aloud, when someone upsets them. One of the best instance of this is when Sandra and Elvin come back from College and declare that they will not be a lawyer and doctor but will open up a wilderness store .... Or once when Vanessa is ashamed of an old painting in their living room because it cost $10, 000 and because her friends believe she is a spoiled rich girl, and Cliff sets the record straight, "Your mother and I are rich--not you, you have NOTHING!"

Jose Gainza.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I watch more and more episodes I realize there is so much to say about this show. (Weekdays on TBS at 1300 hours; Weedays on Prime (Canada) at 1400 hours).

However, one moment I can't get out of my head is from the male pregnancy episode. The show begins with Cliff dreaming and then we are faced with the monstrosity of Cliff pregnant; it's not a pretty picture and one almost wants to not watch it. One just knows that he's going to mimick female's pregant and that might just be hard to stomach. No, it's actually quite funny. But the funniest thing is when we catch Cliff, along with the othe pregnant men--Theo, Elvin, and Denise's husband (?)--jazzercizing with their big bellies and varying degrees of co-ordination. The ending is just silly but funny.

But one thing I want to say before I go about this show is the wonderful characters that have been gradually added to the cast over the years. They all manage to fuse well with the primary cast. My favorites are Charmaine (Pam's friend [Claire's cousin]) whose blunt honesty with her whiney Brooklyn accent and he almost pompous elegance is precious. She actually expresses some obviously moral and agreeable values.

And then there is Bud who starts off as LITTLE Rudy's "slave", whose opinion's are his older brother's (who walks around with a bathrobe and give the worst advise on women). His actual name is Kenny but Rudy changed it in the first episode.

And then there's Olivia ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will say more about this show when I watch some more episodes. I remember watching this show religiously when it was on air, from the early days, and often when it came on syndication. For a while, in the more recent years I felt a blurred shame, for liking the show so much when I was a kid. But now that I've watched some more re-runs, and after already, loving Cosby's later show, COSBY, I love THE COSBY SHOW. The best thing about it is Bill Cosby. I like to watch and try to guess when he is veering off the script and adding his own line, and when Phylisia is genuinely laughing and not acting. The married love that their characters express is amazing. It's so good that one cannot help but wonder whether they are married in real life, even though Phylisia is married to Amad. I wonder, if Bill was married during the running of the show, whether his wife was jealous at seeing their chemistry on the tube. One of the funniest things is the way Cliff and Claire rant aloud, when someone upsets them. One of the best instance of this is when Sandra and Elvin come back from College and declare that they will not be a lawyer and doctor but will open up a wilderness store .... Or once when Vanessa is ashamed of an old painting in their living room because it cost $10, 000 and because her friends believe she is a spoiled rich girl, and Cliff sets the record straight, "Your mother and I are rich--not you, you have NOTHING!"

Jose Gainza.

I am in a grad class at the University of Michigan on television in American Culture. We jst read Enlightened Racism by Sut Jhally, a study paid for by Bill and Camille Cosby. Jhally concludes that the Cosby show was one of the worst things that ever happened to African Americans and to American TV. Casting them as it did, the show gave a wholly unrealistic portrayal of African Americans and let White America off the hook for racism. Oh by the way, the American Dream is a bill of goods sold by crass captitalists and most Americans are mindless consumers. Quite a piece of work! If the old Horror File were still around, this book would be in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of those timeless tv families people will always remember growing up with. I think what made it so funny for me was that my own family would sit and watch it, and the show was like caricatures of ourselves. The characters were funny and real, and the dialogue was very smart. I completely agree with bignosedcopperking, I think it was a great show. And as he said, it did look like the actors had a blast shooting it, which only added to their charisma onscreen.

I am in a grad class at the University of Michigan on television in American Culture. We jst read Enlightened Racism by Sut Jhally, a study paid for by Bill and Camille Cosby. Jhally concludes that the Cosby show was one of the worst things that ever happened to African Americans and to American TV. Casting them as it did, the show gave a wholly unrealistic portrayal of African Americans and let White America off the hook for racism. Oh by the way, the American Dream is a bill of goods sold by crass captitalists and most Americans are mindless consumers. Quite a piece of work! If the old Horror File were still around, this book would be in it.

Yup, what made the show so "unrealistic" was it was color-blind and appealed to raceless values. What could be worse for people who make racial indoctrination their careers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am in a grad class at the University of Michigan on television in American Culture. We jst read Enlightened Racism by Sut Jhally, a study paid for by Bill and Camille Cosby. Jhally concludes that the Cosby show was one of the worst things that ever happened to African Americans and to American TV. Casting them as it did, the show gave a wholly unrealistic portrayal of African Americans and let White America off the hook for racism. Oh by the way, the American Dream is a bill of goods sold by crass captitalists and most Americans are mindless consumers. Quite a piece of work! If the old Horror File were still around, this book would be in it.

Yes . . . I remember well these kinds of "critiques" of the Cosby Show when in originally aired in the 1980s. I dismissed them then, and I dismiss them now. In the case of my family, it resembled the Cosby's in almost every respect and had done so since at least the late 19th Century. Furthermore, although some members of our extended family were of the "Jack and Jill" or Dorothy West set (read, loaded), my immediate family was neither particularly "wealthy" nor "exceptional" in any other way: our neighborhood was made up of other families who shared most of the same values and approaches to life.

The suggestion that the Cosby's did not reflect the reality of some if not most Black Americans (I detest the expression "African American" incidentally) is patently false. On the contrary. The Cosby family reflected the aspirations, achievements, dignity, refinement and grace that was a part of the daily fabric of our lives; that, in fact, made them possible in the years preceding the 1960s Civil Rights movement. It is impossible to support the notion that the portrayal of these attributes could ever be "the worst things that ever happened to [African] Americans" unless, of course, one is opposed to the very idea of aspiration, achievement, dignity, refinement and grace for Black Americans. Unfortunately, it is precisely such opposition that has become the litmus test for anyone who would aspire to the position of "Black Leader" (read, grievance hustler) today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am in a grad class at the University of Michigan on television in American Culture. We jst read Enlightened Racism by Sut Jhally, a study paid for by Bill and Camille Cosby. Jhally concludes that the Cosby show was one of the worst things that ever happened to African Americans and to American TV. Casting them as it did, the show gave a wholly unrealistic portrayal of African Americans and let White America off the hook for racism. Oh by the way, the American Dream is a bill of goods sold by crass captitalists and most Americans are mindless consumers. Quite a piece of work! If the old Horror File were still around, this book would be in it.

Yes . . . I remember well these kinds of "critiques" of the Cosby Show when in originally aired in the 1980s. I dismissed them then, and I dismiss them now. In the case of my family, it resembled the Cosby's in almost every respect and had done so since at least the late 19th Century. Furthermore, although some members of our extended family were of the "Jack and Jill" or Dorothy West set (read, loaded), my immediate family was neither particularly "wealthy" nor "exceptional" in any other way: our neighborhood was made up of other families who shared most of the same values and approaches to life.

The suggestion that the Cosby's did not reflect the reality of some if not most Black Americans (I detest the expression "African American" incidentally) is patently false. On the contrary. The Cosby family reflected the aspirations, achievements, dignity, refinement and grace that was a part of the daily fabric of our lives; that, in fact, made them possible in the years preceding the 1960s Civil Rights movement. It is impossible to support the notion that the portrayal of these attributes could ever be "the worst things that ever happened to [African] Americans" unless, of course, one is opposed to the very idea of aspiration, achievement, dignity, refinement and grace for Black Americans. Unfortunately, it is precisely such opposition that has become the litmus test for anyone who would aspire to the position of "Black Leader" (read, grievance hustler) today.

I was happy to see you address A N Other's post, which is as fine an example of education at "Indoctrination U" as I've seen. The position taught is thoroughly racist, assuming that there are no Black Americans but those who indulge themselves in the lowest gangsta culture. We can see the same thing happening in the ridiculous statements by some Black "leaders" who say that Obama isn't "black enough," an assertion made against Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, and every other Black American who doesn't march in lockstep with the rest of a group defined by minority status and victimhood. These people are accused of "acting white," which statement damns young Black Americans to the collectivized mindset of the Left, with its attendant dependency on ... the Left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am in a grad class at the University of Michigan on television in American Culture. We jst read Enlightened Racism by Sut Jhally, a study paid for by Bill and Camille Cosby. Jhally concludes that the Cosby show was one of the worst things that ever happened to African Americans and to American TV. Casting them as it did, the show gave a wholly unrealistic portrayal of African Americans and let White America off the hook for racism. Oh by the way, the American Dream is a bill of goods sold by crass captitalists and most Americans are mindless consumers. Quite a piece of work! If the old Horror File were still around, this book would be in it.

Yes . . . I remember well these kinds of "critiques" of the Cosby Show when in originally aired in the 1980s. I dismissed them then, and I dismiss them now. In the case of my family, it resembled the Cosby's in almost every respect and had done so since at least the late 19th Century. Furthermore, although some members of our extended family were of the "Jack and Jill" or Dorothy West set (read, loaded), my immediate family was neither particularly "wealthy" nor "exceptional" in any other way: our neighborhood was made up of other families who shared most of the same values and approaches to life.

The suggestion that the Cosby's did not reflect the reality of some if not most Black Americans (I detest the expression "African American" incidentally) is patently false. On the contrary. The Cosby family reflected the aspirations, achievements, dignity, refinement and grace that was a part of the daily fabric of our lives; that, in fact, made them possible in the years preceding the 1960s Civil Rights movement. It is impossible to support the notion that the portrayal of these attributes could ever be "the worst things that ever happened to [African] Americans" unless, of course, one is opposed to the very idea of aspiration, achievement, dignity, refinement and grace for Black Americans. Unfortunately, it is precisely such opposition that has become the litmus test for anyone who would aspire to the position of "Black Leader" (read, grievance hustler) today.

I was happy to see you address A N Other's post, which is as fine an example of education at "Indoctrination U" as I've seen. The position taught is thoroughly racist, assuming that there are no Black Americans but those who indulge themselves in the lowest gangsta culture. We can see the same thing happening in the ridiculous statements by some Black "leaders" who say that Obama isn't "black enough," an assertion made against Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, and every other Black American who doesn't march in lockstep with the rest of a group defined by minority status and victimhood. These people are accused of "acting white," which statement damns young Black Americans to the collectivized mindset of the Left, with its attendant dependency on ... the Left.

Have I been away? I should know...but...we had newer books in this class than Jhally's and the resurgance of Marxism is surprising and strange. Jhally and Lewis go on to argue that the real trap in Cosby has to do with class and not race. Race, Class and Gender are the only ways to think about social/cultural issues; but class is the hot issue. My paper on this course is due next week and I am using Schumpeter to attack this general position. In a brilliant essay published in Forbes a long time ago, Peter Drucker discussed Schumpeter and Keynes and highlighted that Keynes was trying to patch up an old model that couldn't account for innovation...for the entrepreneur...the Marxist model now in vogue (all over again) in cultural theory can't account for the individual...for the real Bill Cosby, for example...for individuals, even if a few who don't fit...the new darwinism, so sure there are no prime movers, can't account for them either...the future belonged to the "mutatnts", didn't it?...for those who beat the probablity models...well, as you can see, ideas are spinning faster than I can keep up. Anyway, THX for your thoughts. To paraphrase a really great movie..."It's the model that needs killing...."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites