The Cosby Show
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The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show is a fun loving sitcom that all Americans can enjoy and relate to. Bill Cosby (creator) provides the audience with his never ending humor creating smiles in more than just the living room on set but our homes as well.
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"The Cosby Show" An American Family Model

"The Cosby Show" An American Family Model | The Cosby Show | Scoop.it

“The Cosby Show” is a wonderful and comedic NBC American family sitcom which aired form 1984 up until 1992. The Cosby Show was centered around African American Family headed by Heathcliff (Cliff) Huxtable who is played by Bill Cosby, hence the name “Cosby Show”, and his lovely wife Clair Huxtable played by the actress Phylicia Rashad.   Cliff is the head of the family. He works as an obstetrician/gynecologist and offers his wide aid in creating a peaceful quiet home. Clair is mother of 5 amazing and talented children and Cliff's wife. She works as an attorney and is an extremely strong-willed woman. Clair and Cliff both are very much respected in their careers and community of New York Brownstone. Throughout many episodes they are the lesson teachers of life, even going as far as to reach out and provide structure, useful advice, and resources for not only their children but to friends and family.

Mr. and Mrs. Huxtable have 5 children together each unique and equally interesting. The oldest of the five is Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux married to Elvin Tibideaux together they have a set of twins. Sondra was away at Princeton the first season and isn’t seen much her character is played by Sabrina Lebeauf. Denise Huxtable Kendall performed by Lisa Bonet is the second oldest and is also married. Denise is married to Lt. Martin Kendall. The Huxtables third child and only son is Theodore Aloysius “Theo” Huxtable who is obsessed with cars, clothes, and girls and just wants to be cool. Theo is portrayed by Malcolm Jamal Warner. Tempestt Bledsoe character Vanessa Huxtable is the fourth child; she tries to keep up with her older sisters while simultaneously hanging onto her position as second youngest. Rudith Lillian “Rudy” Huxtable played by Keisha Knight Pulliam is the youngest of all her siblings on the show and is Cliff’s baby girl. Over the six flourishing seasons these characters learn from each other and develop individually and as a family.

“The Cosby Show” was a great sitcom and had an awesome cast; this was obvious through its 29 Emmy nominations and 6 wins, one of which was for Outstanding Comedy Series. The Cosby Show earned the #1 Nielsen rating for five consecutive years (1985-1990), and in its eight seasons it never dropped out of the Top 20. The Huxtables brought television something new fresh and clean. Most television shows in that era displayed dysfunctional families with sometimes questionable morals whereas most if not all episodes of the Cosby Show provide a lesson learned in the end; their gift to the audience. The Cosby Show provided TV with a place of love and understanding. It was the epidemy of what family meant a nice family model for all Americans to strive to be. The Cosby Show aired in a period not too far from the Civil Rights Movement where racial tensions were high. This African American family represented none of the stereotypes that other black shows or TV shows in general were displaying. Safe to say “The Cosby Show” changed the views and perceptions of blacks and whites.

The episode under review is titled “A Shirt Story” in this episode Theo purchases a ninety-five dollar shirt by some famous designer that his father Cliff finds ridiculously expensive. Bill Cosby (Cliff Huxtable) tells Theo that he is returning the shirt because of the price and then offers him 30 dollars to go and buy another less expensive shirt. Cliff lectures to Theo about how he himself does not own a 95 dollar silk shirt and goes on to say that “No 14 year old boy should have a ninety-five dollar shirt unless he is on stage with his four brothers”. (A comical reference to the Jackson 5) Theo is very resistant to giving up his 95 dollar shirt especially because he told a girl Christine who he is desperately trying to impress that he was going to wear that designer shirt on their date the coming Saturday. His father his very stern and expresses to Theo that he either takes his offer or leaves it. Clair Huxtable Theo’s mother also insists this being totally behind her husband’s decision. Theo takes his worries to his sister who then offers to make Theo a shirt that looks just like the one he purchased. Although hesitant at first Theo allows his sister Denise to make him the shirt after she assures him that it will turn out perfectly. Denise begins intently working on her younger brother’s designer replica shirt and soon grows worrisome of whether or not she has the capabilities to finish the shirt. Eventually the shirt does get done and Theo is devastatingly disappointed. Clair and Cliff had a backup plan for him just in case the things did not go as plan but surprisingly when Theo stubbles upon his friends waiting for him in the living room still wearing his disappointing shirt his date Christine is in awe. Theo goes out with his friends wearing the home made shirt head up and chest out.

The director of “A Shirt Story” is Jay Sandrich and written by John Markus other writing credits go to Bill Cosby as creator as well as Michael Leeson and Ed. Weinberger. The regular cast featured in the episode includes Cliff, Clair, Theo, Denise, Vanessa and Rudy Huxtable. Other cast includes Christine, Phillip and Melissa in order played by Sonia Bailey, Kadeem Hardison, and Cassandra Murray. To incorporate mise en scene and cinematography the set, lighting, actors, space, and costume all helps to compose the central theme of the show. The set is the home of Cliff and Claire Huxtable which includes a living room where the family gathers have discussion, laughs, and the children learn valuable life lessons and morals from their parents. This homey set provides the audience with a since of familiarity welcoming in families to watch because they can relate to such a place. The costumes and hair fit the characters and their roles in family and society as well as are very age appropriate. Again establishing the theme of a well together American family.  The lighting technique for the show was natural along with the use of on camera flash.

Personally, I am a fan of the Huxtables and appreciate the good clean humor which is hard to find on good television sitcoms. “The Cosby Show” was and still is a show I look forward to watching whenever I am able to catch a re-run or marathon. Which is saying a great deal because I am not a fan re-runs in the least bit. “The Cosby Show” brings smiles to faces and warmth to hearts. A show full of joy, entertainment, and love as well as advice on the everyday family struggles, “The Cosby Show” deserves all of its glory.

Jalesha Roberson's insight:

A nice review of "The Cosby Show" as a African American family as well as some insight on mise en scene and cinematography.

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The Cosby Show: A Shirt Story

The Cosby Show: A Shirt Story | The Cosby Show | Scoop.it
Read the The Cosby Show: A Shirt Story plot summary and movie synopsis.
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Plot and Summary information of the episode

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The Cosby Show (Season 1) DVD Review ← Musics Summary

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This source provides a review of the Cosby Show Season 1 DVD

 

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The Cosby Show (TV Series 1984–1992)

The Cosby Show (TV Series 1984–1992) | The Cosby Show | Scoop.it
With Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Keshia Knight Pulliam. The goings-on in the life of a successful African American family.
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This source provides information and statistics on "The Cosby Show" and brief summary.

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The Cosby Show: A Shirt Story

The Cosby Show: A Shirt Story | The Cosby Show | Scoop.it
Find The Cosby Show: A Shirt Story cast and crew information, cast photos, movie interviews, and more on Fandango.com.
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"Cosby Show" A Shirt Story (TV episode 1984)

"Cosby Show" A Shirt Story (TV episode 1984) | The Cosby Show | Scoop.it
Directed by Jay Sandrich. With Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Bonet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Theo gets a shirt that cost too much, so Denise makes him an "Exact" replica.
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This source added information specific to the episode under review. The cast featured in the episode and director information.

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Cosby Show Season 1 "A Shirt Story" (Part 3)

The Cosby Show Season 1 Episode 7 "A Shirt Story" (Part 3)
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