one of the best shows ever made
Bill Cosby knew exactly what he was doing. Although it's more common to see black people in professional jobs on tv now than it used to be, when this show premiered in 1984 this was rare. As for family shows about black families, this was one of the first such shows, and probably the first, to show the parents in upper-middle class jobs. While there are occasional episodes about the civil rights movement and other issues of importance to blacks, as well as occasional displays of African art and the like- all of which provide great insight and a potential springboard for viewers to find out more- most episodes are about things that can happen to any kid or family of any race, ensuring the show's extremely broad appeal. Cliff and Clair are calm with their children- most of the time anyway- and instill in them such values as hard work and honesty. There even were a few episodes where Bill Cosby's creative approach to education was seen. And, while Cliff and Clair introduce their children to jazz, they also let them listen to "their own" music. In other words, they know where to draw the line. The only honest criticism that can be made- if indeed any can be made- is the parents' attitude toward working class jobs. On one hand, whenever such characters appear on the show, they're portrayed in a positive light. On the other hand, the parents talk their children out of such jobs. This inconsistency makes it hard to tell what the parents- and Bill Cosby and the show's producers- think about such people and such jobs. A bit of inconsistency here. Still, that's just one small problem in a great show. Children ought to discover this show.