On Bounce, an African American-focused network, The Cosby Show was the final show to be taken off the air after a jury found Bill Cosby guilty of sexual assault. After the guilty verdict, there was no residual doubt about his guilt and The Cosby Show became practically unwatchable. It’s understandable that many people are upset by this, but they should not be. Because the Cosby Show is no longer relevant.
One of the 60 people Bill Cosby reportedly attacked needs to turn on the television and see the person who drugged, assaulted, and then threatened her with quiet, thus the price of airing one rerun of the Cosby Show is too great. For starters.” The Cosby Show, for its part, accomplished its job admirably. It’s completely free to leave.
It’s hard to overstate how groundbreaking The Cosby Show was for African-Americans of color in television when it premiered in 1984-85, and anyone who grew up watching it knows how it was a mirror, a validation, an aspirational blueprint and/or a source of pride. There have been hundreds of new black family sitcoms in the 26 years after the final season of The Jeffersons ended. On television, are there enough portrayals of African-American life? No. Is there a show that has had as a lasting impact on television as Cosby? Not at all, but it’s possible because, like Will & Grace or Netflix’s One Day at a Time, The Cosby Show arrived at the ideal time to be exactly what our culture needed at the time, and those lightning in a bottle programs happen only so many times.
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Even if the show’s old comforts are gone due of one man’s heinous crimes, fans can find consolation in the show’s numerous progeny, which updated and remixed Cosby’s message for today’s society. More significant than a single television show is the collective reckoning with sexual assault and systemic oppression that is currently taking place. If you’re a history buff, you can enjoy The Cosby Show as a time capsule from a bygone period. Hows and whys that followed were much easier to deal with.
1. Black-ish (2014-present)
ABC Obviously. Five kids and a doctor: Dre’s wife Rainbow make up ABC’s Tuesday night comedy, which returns for its fifth season this fall. The Cosby Show was about a family that happened to be black, but black-ish is different: a family that is “completely black,” a distinction made clear in its issue-oriented episodes that address sensitive themes like as police brutality and slavery. While Claire Huxtable would never have allowed one of her kids to be as sassy with her as Diane, Bo and Dre are totally modern parents with new-school morals.
2. My Wife and Kids (2001-2005)
The presence of Damon Wayans and former Martin star Tisha Campbell-Martin on My Wife and Kids was a tip and a wink to fans that this would depart from the sanitized comedy of The Cosby Show, as far as family sitcoms go. In numerous episodes, Michael (Wayans) used hilariously harsh penalties to discipline his children Jr. (George O. Gore II), Kady (Parker McKenna Posey) and Claire (Jennifer Freeman). Michael (Wayans) also frequently used stories about sex to make jokes about sex.
The Bel-Air Fresh Prince
3. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
NBC Since they’re so similar (wealthy black people in gorgeous houses!), it’s hard to believe that The Cosby Show and The Fresh Prince were on the same network at the same time. While playing Will Smith, he was able to depart his never-before-seen harsh Philly neighborhood to be with his uncle, a recognition of poverty and urban blight that The Cosby Show avoided at all costs. Since Smith was still a pop sensation and Hilary (Karyn Parsons) and Will (Michael Cera) were 90s fashion icons, Fresh Prince is a perfect example of the decade. The show’s history includes anything from Carlton Banks’ awful dancing to the cult following of the original Aunt Viv. Please don’t mess this up.
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4.vFamily Matters (1989 – 1998)
CBS and ABC There were plenty of people who didn’t like Family Matters for portraying an idealized family life, with Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) as the show’s cartoonishly mischievous man-child. It didn’t matter how silly or sappy Family Matters may have been; it was still a solid half-hour sitcom about a cop and his family.
All of Us Hate Chris
5. Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009)
TV network UPN and network The CW Chris is hated by everyone. The Huxtables’ upbringing was rebutted in several ways. Although Chris was set in Brooklyn in the 1980s, it took place on a different side of town: in Bed-Stuy, where crack and gun violence reigned supreme, not in one of the historically black colleges Heathcliff was always yelling about. Rock’s youth was a freely romanticized portrayal of working class blues, which was nearly always in service of profound insights about society, family, and race that were always amusing in the process. Tichina Arnold, on the other hand, is a gem.
6. The Carmichael Show (2015-2017)
NBC The Carmichael Show took on the Cosby mantle with a subversive and existential comedy wrapped in a working-class Southern sitcom. The Carmichael Show, on the other hand, questioned the sacrosanct beliefs of black Americans, such as the idea that black people don’t use assisted suicide, or the generational divides that exist between generations, such as the famous N-word episode that aired the slur six times during primetime. If Heathcliff Huxtable had been here, his head would’ve burst into a thousand pieces.
7. The Parkers(1999 – 2004)
UPN The Parkers was one of the few “urban” sitcoms to emerge in the early aughts that was shamelessly crude and, as a result, amusing. As a spin-off of Moesha, Mo’Nique played Nikki Parker, a loud and rough-around-the edges single mother who always craved the attention of a man who didn’t want her (Dorien Wilson). Realistic portrayal of a struggling single mother at college alongside her daughter Kim was genuine and honest, contrasting the Cosby Show’s prudishness (Countess Vaughn).
Freeform Black-Zoey ish’s (Yara Shahidi) was sent to the UCLA-facsimile Cal University, where she experimented with drugs, sex and occasionally drove her parents crazy from afar, while A Different World had Denise (Lisa Bonet) go off to the fictional HBCU Hillman. Younger sister Grown-ish is a multi-cultural and queer-inclusive reboot of an old classic that we didn’t even know we needed until we saw it.
9. Sister, Sister (1994-1999)
Tia and Tamera (Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry), long-lost identical twins, are reunited after years apart by their adventurous parents Ray (Tim Reid) and Lisa (Jackée Harry). The idea may have stretched the borders of plausibility, but whatever. With its all-American kids and pop culture obsessions like the Cosby Show’s children, Sister Sister was a charming tween dream that was reminiscent of the Cosby Show’s children in its depiction of them.
Going out with Cooper.
10. Hanging With Mr. Cooper (1992-1997)
ABC Mr. Cooper’s (Mark Curry) family was unconventional, akin to Three’s Company with a few children. Nicole — Raven-Symoné in her first TV role after playing Olivia on The Cosby Show — was, of course, one of them. Hanging wasn’t groundbreaking, but the show’s location in Oakland and Cooper’s role as a basketball coach meant that the show was able to depict a black guy in a position of leadership and mentorship with adolescents in his community.
11. Moesha (1996-2001)
As Brandy’s success grew, Moesha accentuated the cultural pride that was a subtext of The Cosby Show with an Afrocentric vitality. Moesha, who lived in the predominantly African-American Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, was friendly but unafraid to discuss difficult themes like as teen pregnancy and drug use with her audience. Aside from moving out of the “respectable black family” paradigm, Moesha’s father Frank (William Allen Young) kept Dorian (Brandy’s brother Ray J) on the DL as his oops baby, whose identity he kept a secret from Moesha.