A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
While not explicitly educational, kids might pick up on a few things about jazz or the civil rights era, plus great social lessons.
Strong families, the importance of positive communication, the value of quality time spent with kids, taking responsibility for your actions, being proud of who you are, treating people fairly, etc.
Positive Role Models
The Huxtables are exemplary role models in family life and the professional world.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing between teenagers and their significant others, but nothing more.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Cosby Show is a classic family-friendly show that centers on an African-American family whose parents are educated professionals. Their parenting methods are gentle and trusting, and the kids respond with respect and a clear realization of what's expected of them. Nearly all of the comedy in the show relates to the family and childrearing. Very little of the subject matter will concern parents, which makes it an excellent choice for families.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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