Mooselicker Says: The following was written by Josef over at Kul World. He has a newborn kid so he probably knows what he’s talking about in this piece. I’m only actually say that because parents of newborns are like invincible. We’re supposed to tell them they’re doing everything right even when they’re not just because that’s they way it works. I have no idea if you’re supposed to swing a baby by the head or the feet. Whichever way he does it, I’m going to tell him he’s doing a good job. But this is a post about family, something he knows a lot more about than me.
Modern sitcoms seem to revolve around the formula of poorly matched dead beat dad with an attractive wife, two kids, one animal and enough dysfunction to keep you watching season after season. The Simpsons perfected this formula, but Family Guy continues to refine it for the modern generation by increasing dysfunction with a homicidal infant hell bent on world domination. Still, there was a period during the eighties and nineties when sitcoms revolved around what was considered the perfect family, but which of these beloved childhood make believe families would you actually want to be a part of. For me it was the Cosby family and I will encourage each of you to join team Huxtable by systematically destroying some of your favorite sitcoms. We’ll start with Full House.
To the untrained eye the tragic tale of widowed father figure Danny Tanner draws anyone in, but beware. First, imagine the bathroom chaos of three young women fighting for precious early morning bathroom time. Then imagine this fight escalate as the monthly cycles of all four women line up to create even more early morning chaos. There is probably more blood dribbling down the walls and toilets of their house each month than all the blood stained walls of the Stanley Hotel featured in the Shining movie. Now imagine having to suffer through all these hormonal problems only to sit through fifteen minutes worth of awkward family life lessons before getting sent to bed each night. No thank you Danny Tanner.
I already grew up in a family with one angry parent. Why on earth would I then want to live in a family with two angry parents where one of them was constantly armed. The fact that they directed most of their anger towards Urkel, the socially awkward neighbor next door only further solidifies this in my mind. It’s like crapping on the autistic kid next door for his biologically ingrained social inequities because you find them intolerable. Clearly, the Winslows were assholes.
Step By Step
Your parents include the Thighmaster chick Suzanne Summers who runs a beauty salon in your garage and failed actor Patrick Duffy. I’m done here.
Do you remember that condescendingly sarcastic friend everyone hates to be around. Now imagine that friend is your mother.
Not a bad family to be in if you are okay with misogyny and antiquated gender roles coupled with the ever present possibility of dying from some random exploding object. The fact that your hyper intelligent well spoken neighbor has never reported any of this to child protective services is even more troublesome than his constant desire for privacy. Throughout the series we never get to see his face let alone his basement full of dead bodies. Face it Tim Allen, your neighbor is either a mass murdering psychopath or a sociopathic pedophile. Either way, I would move soon.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
As an incredibly uncool white kid with no real talent it would be nice to live in any family that includes Will Smith. This family is also really warm and welcoming with no majorly irritating traits that I could find in all of its seasons. Unfortunately, I hate rich people.
The Cosby Family
The Cosby family resembles everything you could ever want in a family. The entire show was written around Bill Cosby’s comedy act and actual life as a parent and this is felt throughout the series. Both parents get along well in a way that just feels natural. In fact, I’ve never watched an episode where I didn’t think any of the characters did not belong. Unlike so many other sitcoms this one is firmly planted in reality.
There are no cheap shots dribbling out of the mouths of condescending parents and most of the mischief surrounding the kids are things we can all relate to. The show was fantastic and under the guidance of Bill Cosby every measure was taken to ensure that the family unit was emphasized without becoming too preachy and being easily relatable to everyone. Later, the eldest daughter Sondra was written directly into the story, because Bill Cosby wanted to be sure the importance of seeing your child successfully graduate from college to become a well adjusted adult was portrayed along with his younger children.
Bill Cosby himself is a proud advocate for higher education and the advancement of African American individuals and I feel his show was one of the first to do this in a way that was not disrespectful or stereotypical. This is reflected in his work later in life through frequent appearances as a commencement speaker and several books including Congratulations! Now What?: A Book For Graduates. Anyone interested in discovering more should check out his biography @ http://www.biography.com/people/bill-cosby-9258468?page=1
Think about every sitcom family you have ever watched and then compare that family to the Huxtables. That family will lose. Considering the overabundance of shows destroying the family unit in favor of dysfunction over cleverly written and relatable story lines and you can see how fantastic this show really was. Long live Cosby!
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Thanks Josef for writing this up. Or can I call you Joe? Who cares?
I actually didn’t read this over at all before posting it because I knew I could trust you and now that I read it this was great. The Huxtables are the family you mentioned here I am least familiar with, but I know the stereotype of them. There’s a comedian Geno Bisconate (I think he’s Italian) who did a joke about the show that went something like “It’s a show about a black family where the father is a doctor and the mother is a lawyer and every night they sit down for dinner and solve their problems with kind words.” He then went on to say how the show should be on the SyFy channel.
How could so many of these families have such bad fashion? The 90s man, nobody cared.
Haha… Awesome! That Geno Bisconate guy has some great insights, but I still think the Cosby family interaction is just real enough to escape becoming another creepy sitcom remake of the Stepford Wives.
Nice piece Josef! I was never a fan of Full House mostly because I can’t stand Dave Coullier. I wouldn’t mind being a part of the other families (besides Roseanne’s because ew poor).
The only person I didn’t like on the Cosby Show was the mom. She didn’t seem fun or easy going. But besides her, I loved that show. Nice choices!
I agree, Dave Coullier was horrible. He is probably the worst comedian on the planet. Even as a child performer his ranger woodchuck was the worst possible choice. Of all the cuddly animals to choose as your anthropomorphic side kick puppet, they had to choose a woodchuck (better choices include: adorable teddy bear, Koala, Tiger Cubs, and talking parrots). Ranger Joe is the worst guy I know!
OMG this is the blog of my dreams!!!!
It’s all we ever set out to do. Thanks for enjoying!