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Pop Culture Mystery of the Week – Is it Possible to Still Be a Fan of the Cosby Show?

INTERNAL MEMO

FOR BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER’S 3.5 READERS ONLY

TO: Bookshelf Q. Battler, PCM Webmaster

FROM: Delilah K. Donnelly, Lead Counsel for the Bookshelf Battle and Pop Culture Mysteries Blogs

POP CULTURE MYSTERY: Is it Possible to Still be a Fan of The Cosby Show?

Mr. Battler,

As 2015 wanes to a close, the latest news reports are that legendary comedian Bill Cosby has been criminally charged with sexual assault.

Your 3.5 readers want to know whether or not it is ok to still be a fan of Mr. Cosby’s show.

What will you tell them?

Regards,

Delilah K. Donnelly, Esq.

Hello 3.5 Pop Culture Mysteries Readers.

The Cosby Show.  Growing up, my fellow Generation Xers and I were captivated by this show.

Why? Three reasons off the top of my head:

  • It was the first TV show that portrayed a successful, accomplished black family. Cliff (Bill Cosby) was the neighborhood ObGYN, familes of all different backgrounds trusting him to deliver their babies. Clare (Phylicia Rashad) was a high level attorney. They had five kids, ranging from Sandra, the eldest who was in college when the show began to baby Rudy, thus young viewers from 4-22 had someone just like them to connect with on the show.
  • In the 1950’s, white viewers tuned in to get fatherly advice from Ward Cleaver, father of Beaver Cleaver. In the 1980’s, white people tuned in to get fatherly advice from Cliff, father of Theo.  It was a sign of progress that in the lexicon of 1980s’pop culture, a black man was looked to as “America’s Dad.”
  • It was a really good show! Everyone has their favorite episode. Mine is the one in which Cliff and Theo argue over whether or not Theo should go to college. Cliff teaches Theo how tough life is by doling out some monopoly money to his son, only to take it all away as he lists off one expense after another. Theo, like most kids, was used to being taken care of by his parents so the hard knocks of life had never dawned on him.

But now, our happy memories of a TV show that made us happy when we were kids are tarnished, aren’t they, 3.5 readers?

Is it necessary to get into the details of the allegations?  You’ve all heard about it by now. Women with claims about drugs and Cosby doing…well…ok just go ahead and crack a joke already.

“So you see, you’ve got to put the pills in the New Coke and then you take out your pudding pop and…

Pudding pops. Damn it, those were delicious. Do they still make those? Someone find out and tell me. I need me one of those.

No seriously, they were frozen hunks of pudding on a stick.  Pure bliss.

Kodak film, frozen pudding, I’ll tell you New Coke was the only product the Coz steered us wrong on.

Anyway. Yes. This is certainly a sad situation. He brought us all a lot of happiness and now its like our pop cultural dad had this whole other side to him.

But is it possible to still be a fan of the Cosby Show?

Well, let me put it this way.

You liked the show when you were kid. If you think about your favorite episodes and still laugh, there’s nothing wrong with you.

But at the same time, it is understandable that various media outlets, from television to streaming media, are removing The Cosby Show from their offerings.

No one wants to be associated with…well…you know.

Its unfortunate because there were a lot of good lessons for young people on that show but at the same time, its impossible to separate the show from Bill’s “other side.”

So the short answer to this “Pop Culture Mystery” is:

  • If you still like the show, there’s nothing wrong with you. It was a major pop cultural phenomenon that touched the hearts of a lot of people. Also, the rest of the cast, i.e. those kids we grew up with who are adults now, never did anything wrong so its unfortunate for them that the show they worked on has been so badly damaged.
  • But, if you want to still be a fan, you’ll have to do so inside your head because understandably, no one wants to carry the show anymore and it’ll become more and more difficult to find.
  • If you loved the show but now you can’t watch it without thinking about all the bad stuff…you’re normal. I liked that Cliff and Theo exchanging the Monopoly money scene, but I can’t watch it now without thinking about everything that’s been in the news lately.

In summation, if you still like the show, it’s ok. If you can’t stomach it now, it’s ok too.

And either way, it’ll be harder and harder to find an outlet to watch the show on.

Thanks for reading, 3.5 readers and if you have a Pop Culture Mystery, be sure to share it in the comments.

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