Skip to main content

The baby wasn't cute anymore

Will Harris posted a clip on Facebook the other day that touches on something I've been thinking a lot about lately: The Cosby Show.

I, like many people between the ages of 30 and 42, enjoyed the first handful of seasons, but were charmed away by a show called The Simpsons. I didn't run away when the Olivia character was introduced on The Cosby Show, but as I look back now and watch various episodes (something I've done quite a bit lately), the more I realize how insignificant she was to the show. Aside from being the cute kid, of course.

I enjoy how the topics (if you will, the A-stories) remained serious, like Theo dealing with his dyslexia and Elvin and Sondra having marital issues. But there were so many episodes where Olivia came on as a sideshow, like when she'd sing "Twist and Shout" -- randomly -- at the end of one. Pure time filler, just so a certain portion of the audience could say, "Awwww."

The cynic in me thinks this was network notes ("Have the kid do something!") trying to stay in competition with similar shows, like Full House. That was a show I watched almost every week when I was in middle school. Now I find the show unwatchable: unfunny, lame, and corny.

When it came to Rudy Huxtable, she was essential to the show's storylines. Yes, there was the cute kid factor, but she actually did useful things, plot-wise, and had great comedic timing. She was no sideshow.

This all ties in with a show's stamina. And no show can go on forever.

You don't see many shows go way past their prime these days. Chalk that up to learning lessons from the hit shows from the 70s and 80s. The prized syndication pot of gold isn't really there anymore. Shows don't have to reach that episode mark of 100 to get syndicated. And when you can't go much further with something, it stops. Usually.

As much as I enjoyed seeing Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy grow up (especially Theo graduating college in the final episode), the cynic in me fast-forwards through the fluffy stuff in between with Olivia. (But I'm not a total cold-hearted snake: I'm glad Raven-Symone has gone onto a successful acting career as an adult.)

Still, I'll always have the first four seasons of The Cosby Show to cherish on DVD.


Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American air

Hello, Control

I'm still a big fan of iTunes . I haven't tried Napster , Urge or eMusic as I've been perfectly happy with Apple's program ever since I downloaded it two years ago. However, an annoying new feature has come up with its latest version, 7.0. Whenever you pull up your music library, a sidebar taking up 3/4ths of the screen appears plugging the iTunes Music Store. Why is this an annoyance? Well, first and foremost, since you can't close the sidebar, you can't escape it. I believe a music library is a private collection, a spot away from the music store. So what's the need for constant advertisements and plugs? To provide a better visual, let me describe what I see whenever I pull up a song in my iTunes library. When I listen to "This is a Fire Door Never Leave Open" by the Weakerthans, I see a graphic for Left and Leaving , the album that it comes from (and available in the iTunes Music Store), along with a list of the Weakerthans' other albums,

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J