Watching this two-hour special on WGN America about The Cosby Show. What a wonderful show that was, with a stellar cast and not just great humor -- since it was billed as a comedy -- but truth.
Much has been made about it being such a breakthrough show for blacks, that it even paved the way for the current President of the United States, that it showed blacks being people. One tends to forget that it was about family and life and growing up -- for both children and adults. That the show's appeal and audience was mainstream from coast to coast. It didn't bill itself as a "black TV show." In a way, there's never been another great black show before or since. Not in the same way. It's a shame that in 2009 we can't do better. Or maybe that's the point, that lightning strikes really are so rare.
Could anyone other than Bill Cosby do such a show? I don't know, but it sure didn't hurt. The man is a genius and had on the show a genuine way with working with children. In a way, there's never been another great family show before or since. Not in the same way. And comedy is hard -- watching out-takes, I don't how they managed to work week after week.
Was it fair that the Huxtables were so "rich"? Oh come on, every other damned TV show features huge houses and fantastic penthouse apartments and great clothes and no one every thinks twice about it.
Should it have ended? Another silly statement. It's a TV show, and going out as they did after Theo's graduation -- and then Mr. & Mrs. Huxtable literally leaving the living room which was the central focus of the show and heading out of the studio -- made it certain that it was the end. A finality to the show, a graduation, even as we knew the Huxtables and friends would "live on". And yet there was a sequel of sorts with A Different World, which being academics, we enjoyed so very much.
It was fascinating seeing all of them, including the grandparents, today twenty-five years after the show began. And wild to see the kids growing up in just two hours.
The Cosby Show was great television. I usually can't stand to watch half-hour sitcoms, The Cosby Show didn't fit that mold for me. The only ones Mrs. Dr. Phil and I ever regularly watched were The Cosby Show (and A Different World), Home Improvement, Night Court and M*A*S*H. Is it a surprise that all of those featured real world serious issues? And that none of them are in production in 2009?
Yeah, I rest my case.