A review of the very popular 1980's hit "The Cosby Show"
|Scooped by Chiquita Evans|
TV Show Review: "The Cosby Show" A Family Favorite
TV Show Review
“The Cosby Show”
The Cosby Show was one of the biggest hits in American TV History. The show ran from September 1982 to April 1992. This show has had some of the biggest influences on race issues, family life and how the African American upper-middle class family is portrayed. The director Jay Sandrich, has directed over 100 episodes of The Cosby Show. Bill Cosby is one of the main stars on the show. He wrote the scripts along with writer Michael Leeson and Ed Weinberger. Starring alongside Bill Cosby were actors Phylicia Rashad who play Bill’s wife on the show, Malcolm-Jamal Warner who play his son, and Keshia Knight Pulliam who plays one of his daughters just to name a few.
Director Jay Sandrich has worked on a host of sitcoms. From I Love Lucy to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, these shows in a way prepared him for the production of The Cosby Show. Although I Love Lucy and The Mary Tyler Moore Show focused on women being in a dominant role, Sandrich was not afraid to branch out and appeal to a much different audience. The Cosby Show attracted more viewers than any series in television history, reaching more than sixty-three million Americans in the 1986-1987 seasons and netting over $1 billion in domestic syndication sales and close to $1 Billion in as revenues for NBC during its eight year run. The Cosby Show turned NBC from a third place network into a powerhouse that raked in millions more viewers than its main competitors every night. Critics can all agree that this show is one of the best sitcoms of all time.
The theme was to show African Americans in a positive light, as opposed to the violent, lethargic and poverty stricken images often portrayed to the American public through mass media. The Cosby Show focused on the everyday adventures of an African American upper-middle-class family. This show was different at the time because there were no shows out that focused just primarily on an upper-middle-class African American family. Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable played by Bill Cosby, was a well-known gynecologist and his wife Clair Huxtable played by Phylicia Rashad was a successful lawyer. The two are happily married and are raising their children in a Flatbush Brownstone in New York. The show follows Cliff Huxtable as he interacts with his family and teaches his kids valuable life lessons while supplying us with good humor and comedy.
While watching this particular episode a “Shirt Story” a few things instantly stood out. First off you can tell that the show is filmed in front of a live audience. It is said that having an audience there keeps shows honest and prevents them from sliding by with merely good-enough jokes. The actors feed off the energy from the audience and if a joke is not funny enough and no one laughs, the actors have to try their hardest to come up with a way to make the audience laugh. One of the next things you notice is the way that Mr. Huxtable interacts with his children. Right off the back you can tell that Theo (his son) and Mr. Huxtable have a good relationship. They joke about the type of shirt it is and why he wanted it. A serious father moment comes into play when Mr. Huxtable finds out just how much the shirt cost and concludes that no fourteen year old needs at ninety-five dollar shirt.
You can tell by the setting that the show was filmed in the 1980’s or 1990’s. The clothing that the actors are wearing look old and out dated. Bill Cosby does a good job by managing to stand out wearing funny looking sweaters with lots of colors. Although the furniture on set looks nice and is well arranged, it looks like something from an old antique store. The hairstyles of the actresses resemble something of a 1980’s super model. The lighting on set seems appropriate for each scene. If the scene was shot in the kitchen or family room the lighting would be much brighter than as oppose to the bedroom scene where it looks like natural lighting is used. All of these things are important to the look and feel of the show. From watching the show you can tell it is filmed using multi-cameras. It’s obvious that they use more than one camera to cover several angles as scenes play out.
The Cosby Show overall does a great job at portraying an African American family that was not common with stereo types. The Huxtables were an African American family whose race and upper-middle-class socio-economic position weren't factors in the comedy or the drama, but just facts of the narrative. No one on the show is overly loud, there was no fighting and it really just showed that an African American family can be successful and get along great. From just watching one episode you one might wonder what type of doctor Mr. Huxtable is and what type of lawyer is his wife Ms. Huxtable. Theses things are a little unclear. The show doesn’t mention too much about Ms. Huxtable being an attorney but we definitely are aware that Mr. Huxtable is a doctor.
Overall The Cosby Show is a great TV show. In essence it creates a fictional realism. It has the real life family situations infused with comedy and love at the same time. The actors seem to have a genuine bond that’s visible on screen. You can tell that they work well together. One might even think that they were a family off camera. Bill Cosby is a great asset to the show. His comedy is seriously funny and you can’t help not to laugh while watching the show. This show is an all around family show for everyone making it excellent for families to tune in together and watch the show. I definitely recommend this show to others.