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The Cosby Show: Seasons 3 and 4 Thoughts


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Tarkin The Ewok

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Posted June 26 2007 - 06:59 PM

I bought both of these sets, and I have watched them up through the first two episodes of Season 4. The first disappointment is the special features. Spanish subtitles and English closed captioning are not special features in 2007. Honestly, how hard would it be to ask Sandrich to do another episode commentary or put a few pages of production notes on one of the discs?

Season 3 had its moments, but the absence/reduced role of Phylicia Rashad really did hurt the show. It's such a joy when she gets to shine again in "The Shower." Although no episode was devoid of comedy, several episodes focused had "very special" moments on topics like divorce and pregnancy, and "Hillman" just forgot to bring the funny in the second half. The only serious scene that really worked was the one at the end of "The March."

I like the first two episodes of Season 4, but the dynamic is not as good as the first two seasons. The combo of Cliff, Clair, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy made the show great in the beginning, and that is when the show had its peak. Sondra and Alvin are okay, but they don't have as much chemistry with the others.

To end this half of a review on a positive note, I absolutely love any scene with Cliff's parents. They are so charming and engaging in even the smallest moments.

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   David Rain

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Posted June 26 2007 - 07:37 PM

Yes, this show took a huge dive in quality after the first 2 seasons yet somehow it remained a gigantic hit and it considered a classic. I love the show when it's at it's best but there are often entire episodes that play out as though they were written by complete amateurs. A talented cast is often wasted and the same bad jokes or "themes" are often repeated. Exactly how many times could Rudy refer to Kenny as "Bud" ? That was funny for one episode. I enjoyed the character of Denise early on when she was allowed to be quirky. But eventually the character became very one-dimensional. Could they not think of anything else for her to do other than be the family flake or be a plot device to introduce the character of Olivia ?

One thing to the show's credit is that Clair was always portrayed as strong and capable which I applaud. And unlike lots of other shows they were able to bring in another child (Olivia) in the later years and actually have it work.

I likely won't be getting the later sets of this show till I find them dirt cheap. The inconsistent quality of the rest of the seasons keeps this from being a priority for me.
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#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Demis G

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Posted June 27 2007 - 01:45 AM

Bought both of them and I am in the beginning of Disc3/S3
The absense of Mrs Rashad was due to her pregnancy. It was a shame it happened at that time but that's life! Fortunately she came back mid-season! I think she only left for 4-5 episodes and she was under sheets covered for 2 more.. another thing I noticed is that they removed her from the opening credits !!! why?! anyway..

question 1: is the opening theme music replaced?
question 2: I remember reading somewhere that the actress playing Bill Cosby's mother died during the show. is that true? did we have a closure for her in the show? was the death of the grandparents a "subject" for an episode/episodes in the show's progress ?
question 3: Another World was a spin-off that took place between which seasons of the show?

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   jhro

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Posted June 27 2007 - 02:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demis G

question 1: is the opening theme music replaced?
question 2: I remember reading somewhere that the actress playing Bill Cosby's mother died during the show. is that true? did we have a closure for her in the show? was the death of the grandparents a "subject" for an episode/episodes in the show's progress ?question 3: Another World was a spin-off that took place between which seasons of the show?

1)
Im not too sure someone else will need to answer that.

2)
That actress, Clarice Taylor, is still alive.

As a matter of fact both Earle Hyman (Cliffs dad) and Ethel Ayler (Clairs mom) are both still alive. Unfortunetely Joe Williams (Clairs dad) passed away in 1999.

3)
It began in 1987 so that would've been around season 3-4 of the Cosby Show and the show is called A Different World...

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   TVFan

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Posted June 27 2007 - 02:12 AM

Do You Think We Will Ever see a different world second season release?

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   AnthonyC

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Posted June 27 2007 - 05:20 AM

I'm up to disc 3 of season 3--this is definitely not up to par with the first two seasons, but it's still mostly great.

Quote:
I enjoyed the character of Denise early on when she was allowed to be quirky. But eventually the character became very one-dimensional.

I disagree, the one character who I think was a complete waste was Vanessa. All she ever did was talk about Robert and/or complain. And that goes for the first two seasons too.

Alvin's actually one of my favorite characters, so I always love seeing him around.

Re: the "special features," I totally agree, that's bull. It's not even the lack of bonuses that bothers me, but the fact that they actually promote Spanish subtitles and English closed captioning as actually being special features. Lame.

#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Demis G

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Posted June 27 2007 - 07:59 AM

It was a very "quick" release.. it was like the company saying to us "C'mon we're giving you both of them at the same time at a price you can't say no to, what do u expect? extras? just be thankful you got those seasons on dvd!!"

lol

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Rob P S

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Posted June 27 2007 - 03:32 PM

Actually I thought Kenny/Bud was funnier than any of the Huxtable kids, but Season 3 is when the show went into decline - very hit-and-miss. Entire episodes go by with boring plots and no laughs, and the jazz-singer relatives are coming out of the woodwork!

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Demis G

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Posted June 27 2007 - 06:35 PM

So, out of the 8 seasons total only the 2 first ones are worthy ?

Also another question, there's another show called "Cosby" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115144/) what is that about? is it related to this one in terms of continuation ?

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   David Rain

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Posted June 27 2007 - 07:16 PM

"Cosby" starred Bill & Phylicia as different characters later in life when his character is retired. It's based on the british sitcom "One Foot In The Grave". Despite co-starring the incredible Madeline Khan, "Cosby" is NO Cosby Show. I kept waiting for Theo to show up asking for money.

And yes, it's the first 2 seasons of TCS that are the best and most consistent. The subsequent seasons are a mixed bag at best. Approach with caution.
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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   jhro

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Posted June 27 2007 - 10:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demis G
So, out of the 8 seasons total only the 2 first ones are worthy?

Absolutely not, looking at the ratings the Cosby Show was number 1 for the first 7 seasons.

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   WhitneyG

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Posted June 28 2007 - 12:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rain
"Cosby" starred Bill & Phylicia as different characters later in life when his character is retired. It's based on the british sitcom "One Foot In The Grave". Despite co-starring the incredible Madeline Khan, "Cosby" is NO Cosby Show. I kept waiting for Theo to show up asking for money.
It is quite true that Cosby is no Cosby Show. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Cosby Show was very much a family sitcom involving the children, while Cosby focused entirely on a retired and somewhat eccentric man. In my opinion, both shows were (and still are) hilarious in their own way. I would note, however, that Cosby was in its prime for the first two years. The latter two years tried too much to move beyond the simple plot of a man being frustrated with his family, his friends and the world in general.

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Mark Talmadge

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Posted June 28 2007 - 07:45 AM

I was all amped up to buy both sets but for some strange, odd, moronic, imbecile reason all of the stores (hahahahahahahahahaha) in my area received Season 4 but didn't receive Season 3. I thought maybe the DVD set was banned in Michigan or something.

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Allen_Kir

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Posted June 28 2007 - 10:30 AM

I got both fromAMAZON for $16.99.

I'm fine with NO EXTRAS but why couldn't they have different disc art or even include the SYNOPSIS of each episode like FULL HOUSE or FRESH PRINCE.

#15 of 29 OFFLINE   mraw

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Posted June 28 2007 - 10:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Talmadge
I was all amped up to buy both sets but for some strange, odd, moronic, imbecile reason all of the stores (hahahahahahahahahaha) in my area received Season 4 but didn't receive Season 3. I thought maybe the DVD set was banned in Michigan or something.

I got them both from DeepDiscount.com for $12.00 during their 20% off sale a few weeks ago. They are $15 now with free shipping Posted Image

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Jay_B!

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Posted June 28 2007 - 02:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demis G
So, out of the 8 seasons total only the 2 first ones are worthy ?

3-6 all have their moments, but not quite as good the first two seasons, but the last two seasons are terrible. Seasons 7 and 8 use the actual Huxtable characters way too little while overemphasising Olivia and Cousin Pam. While a lot of people cite Olivia (who comes in season 6) as the show killer, I think Pam is really when the show dives to an unwatchable mess. Vanessa is barely in these seasons and Denise's exit was very unceremonious (one episode you see her, the next week you don't).

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   AnthonyC

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Posted June 28 2007 - 04:22 PM

I hated when they brought Pam in. Completely different show, they focused almost entirely on her and her group of friends/acquaintances and nearly every week was "very special episode"-esque.

I'm not gonna go so far as to say I won't buy the seasons with Pam, since I'm a completist, but I can't imagine watching most of those episodes more than once.

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Tarkin The Ewok

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Posted July 04 2007 - 03:59 PM

I've finished with Season 4. Clair's presence made it better than Season 3, but it was still short of the high marks set by the first two seasons. My chief gripe is that they already played out the chauvinist arc with Alvin, so they shouldn't have done the same thing with Kenny (Bud).

They did have some fantastic guest stars in Season 4, and it is amusing to see Adam Sandler as a dorky high school boy before he made it big.

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   David Rain

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Posted July 04 2007 - 04:37 PM

Even though Phylicia's absence hurt season three the show should still have been good had it been written in a way that was even remotely funny. Even had Ms. Rashad been on regularly, season three would likely still have sucked. It was just written so badly and constantly relied on boring and/or tired jokes. And this was the number one comedy on television. They really couldn't find any better writers ? I don't think I've seen any show take such a sharp dip in quality as TCS did between seasons 2 & 3. It arguably went from it's best era to it's worst in record time. I always questioned Bill Cosby's quality standards knowing he could have had a better show but seemed more interested in coasting.

As for later years, it was entertaining when the "perfect" Cosby Kids started getting into trouble. Vanessa & her friends taking a trip on The Loco-Motion was cute, especially Clair's reaction. And of course her trip (with different friends) to have "big fun" in Baltimore. They were off to see The Wretched and singing the Wretched songs. And I was singing Ms. Rashad's praises for the fierce performance she gave upon finding out.

I loved Olivia and thought she added a good quality to the show that was missing after Rudy got older. But eventually Olivia was trotted out like a one-trick pony. Funny how she got to stay when both her parents left the show.

I thought Pam was OK but that was clearly a desperate attempt to bring on yet another young character. However, I loved Pam's friend Charmaine played by Karen Malina White. She was hysterical and stole every scene that wasn't nailed down. It seems as though the characters changed friends faster than they changed designer clothing. Like Denise's pregnant friend, Theo's friend with cancer, etc. Sometimes this was good since we did eventually stop seeing Cockroach whose appeal escaped me.
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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Krister_

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Posted July 05 2007 - 11:20 PM

Hi guys,

I am going to buy Cosby Show Season 2 and 3 but I wonder if those Seasons are good and if Ms. Rashad is alot in those Seasons since she is my favorite character in the series Posted Image
Sincerely/Krister


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