In 1984 a new kind of sitcom exploded onto our tv screens. It was shocking, innovative and incredible funny. The Cosby Show ran for eight years, entertaining both kids and parents from across the globe.

I loved this show and have recently rediscovered it with its release on dvd.It’s mighty cheap too at around $10 a season. In Season One, we meet the Huxtables: Dr. Heathcliff, Clair, Sondra, Denise, Vanessa and Rudy-par-toody! It is a relatively happy home, despite the chaos a family of five inevitably brings. The good doctor works downstairs in his gynecology practice and Claire is a working mum, a lawyer. And this is why The Cosby Show was ground breaking.

In the mid eighties, it was rare to find popular programs about successful African Americans. Not to mention a mother working! Shock, horror and awe. This incredible series was able to tackle controversial issues with heart and humour. It examined family relationships with grandparents, parents and children in a much less political correct way than we do it today.

I recently lent Season One to friends (parents of three) and they reported much floor rolling and laughing in response. Parents of today were kids in the ’80s which means rewatching this series brings a new perspective. For us in our highly controlled political correct world, The Cosby Show is refreshing. Today it is a big no-no to tell our kids to “shut up” or that they are being “stupid”. Which, on reflection, is probably the right thing to do. But, as a parent, it is theraputic to see fictional parents say things you think. It is frankly hilarious without hurting any real people. Win-win! Check out a scene here…

This is also a show you can watch with your kids. Though it has a PG rating, it is quite tame. The only things that may be inappropriate are quite subtle ie cuddling in bed and talking about boyfriends/girlfriends etc.

This family-friendly sitcom was not without controversy within its own cast. Lisa Bonet, who played Denise, became a massive star out of this show but allegedly caused all kinds of trouble on set. It was reported that she would often turn up late and had “creative differences” with the show. Was it too clean for her? Just what was her problem?

Bonet aside, I’m sure all of us who grew up with this show have nothing but fond memories. It takes us back to our own childhood where things seemed a lot more simple than today’s rat of the race. I love the purity of this show, the humour and the way the family relates and works. The relationship between Cliff and Claire is particularly beautiful and functional. It’s also fun to check out the wild fashion and dance moves of the ’80s.

Check it out and let me know what you think!!

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