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Nostalgia Tour: The Cosby Show

Updated on July 21, 2012

Opening credits, Season 3

(This Hub is part of a series of nostalgic tours of shows from NBC's mid-season 1986-1987 "Must See TV" line-up, probably the greatest three-hour television time bloc ever. The rest of the series includes Family Ties, Cheers, Night Court and L.A. Law.)

Though a traditional sitcom, The Cosby Show redefined the genre. Bill Cosby starred as Dr. Heathcliff (Cliff) Huxtable alongside Phlycia Rashad as attorney Claire Huxtable. Together, they raised their five children in Manhattan. Most of the joy and tension in traditional sitcoms came from the diversity of the main characters and their polarities. While each main character in the Huxtable family was unique, their family values and priorities were overall identical. Thus, The Cosby Show's joy derived not from the family dynamic and tension but rather the binding love and commitment. This is also reflected in the show's deliberate, methodical pace. Scenes are long and well-constructed, with significant time dedicated to depicting the love within and among the family members.

Another groundbreaking element of The Cosby Show was its portrayal of social mores. Claire and Heathcliff were genuine equals and partners -- in the the home and in the workplace. They shared the earning, home-making and child-rearing. In addition, The Cosby Show painted the portrait of an African American family that has realized the mythological American dream, challenging the viewers' racial stereotypes as you will see, in part, in the clip below, Vanessa's Rich.

Enjoy your nostalgic tour of The Cosby Show!

Economics Lesson (from the pilot!!)

Vanessa's Rich

Independence Day (Theo tries to hide his earring from Cliff)

Happy Anniversary (possibly the most memorable scene ever of the show)

Do you have any favorite Cosby Show memories? List them below and/or link the clip!

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