Parents' Guide to

The Cosby Show

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Classic family sitcom offers fun with its lessons.

The Cosby Show Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 13 parent reviews

age 7+

A classic

Many knows this show so no intro. Watch this with your family, and mind some out of context. But this show also got overshadowed by the Bill Cosby incident few years ago. In consumerism Little Bill toys as Defunctland said, and Little Bill.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much consumerism
age 10+

Solid comedy with some unfortunate views on sex

This is a high-quality sitcom, but the father's attitude towards young women's sexuality is dated, to put it mildly. I would wait till kids are old enough to have a healthier attitude already in place and to discuss the dated views expressed on the show.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (13 ):
Kids say (26 ):

When it premiered in 1984, THE COSBY SHOW broke down racial barriers in TV by portraying an African-American family comfortably assimilated in upper-middle-class white America. Now showing in syndication (and on DVD), it continues to educate and entertain its audience. The show steers clear of any topics that might raise eyebrows, focusing mainly on the daily childrearing issues of a large family. With so many teens and preteens in Huxtable house, many of the issues they face relate to boy/girl relations, and it's refreshing to see a household in which kids willingly bring their worries and frustrations to their parents' attention.

Much of the subject matter, including Theo's battles to overcome dyslexia, is based on Cosby's own experiences as a father, and lessons reiterate the themes of self-respect and appreciation of others and emphasize healthy romantic relationships. The Cosby Show also offers the audience subtly placed tidbits of African-American history, music appreciation, and environmental awareness. Cliff's parents reminisce about marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cliff and Clair often share their love of jazz and the blues with their kids.

TV Details

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