So I promised to end my Love/Hate posts on The Cosby Show on a positive note, so let’s talk about some of my absolute favorite things about this series, counting down to number one:
5) The Kids. Despite some talk I’ve seen to the contrary, I’ve always liked how the kids are portrayed on the series. They make mistakes, pull schemes, and get upset/mad when in trouble. They pull the same silly things lots of kids do (juicer incident, anyone?) and also sneak around behind their parents’ backs from time to time. No perfect sitcom children here!
4) The cast. There must have been something in the water in the ‘80s because I can think of few shows from other decades that have casts as perfect as some of the shows put out around this time. There was a genuine connection and affection there that came across on screen. They also had perfect timing and reactions, like when Vanessa did a jump and squeal when being lectured for having “biiiiiig fun.”
3) The rich culture. While it could get a bit heavy-handed with the messages at times, this show did an awesome job of displaying all different types of culture: paintings, jazz/blues music, dance—it was all there and it introduced a lot of people to things they might not have seen before.
2) The curveballs. There were certain sitcom norms during this era and the show did conform to these at times (like when they would do anti-drug messages), but there were other times where they did what was not expected. Take the pilot, for example: Cliff has gone up to Theo’s room to lecture him on his bad grades. Theo then goes into a long, heart-felt speech where he says he might have been born to be a “regular person” with a normal job. He goes on to say that Theo wouldn’t love his parents any less if they weren’t a doctor/lawyer, so they shouldn’t love him less if he ends up working at a gas station or something—because he’s their son.
Instead of the “awww” moment where Cliff agrees and they hug and leave it at that, Cliff does the infamous “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard” speech and sends the audience into hysterics. It was a fresh dose of reality in what could have been a very cheesy, saccharine moment.
1) The creative punishments. The Huxtables are among my favorite TV parents just because of the way they choose to punish their kids. From emptying Theo’s room so he can play at living in the real world for a day to tricking Vanessa with the alphabet game at home, they always found a unique way to teach their kids a lesson and I think that’s one of the things that makes this show so entertaining. You never know what Cliff and Claire are going to do when the kids screw up.
So what do you think? Am I on target, or did I miss some of their favorite parts of the series? Comment so we can chat about it. See you next time!