“[Bill] Cosby got that the privilege of childhood is bumbling your way through bad ideas until your brain starts to straighten things out for you. But unless you got really unlucky in the gene department, your parents are three steps ahead of what you’re thinking, because they’ve already been there. The Cosby Show didn’t have the nerdy genius child character because kids are almost never smarter than their parents. They didn’t have the stock dumb kid character because real people are more interesting and complicated than what they get on their report cards. After eight seasons, none of the Huxtable children lived up to the expectations and hopes that their hardworking middle-class parents had for them. In fact, it was a running joke that every one of them would end up back in their parents’ home as moochers for the rest of their lives. … That’s the lesson of The Cosby Show: No one gets to micromanage their kids toward success. In other words, Bill Cosby nailed the central millennial problem even as millennials were getting born.”
(via The 5 Most Realistic TV Show Families of All Time)
I don’t agree with that at all actually.
I think the kids fumbled around and made their mistakes. But it ended with Theo graduating from NYU (an amazing feat seeing as he didn’t do well in school for most of his life & was diagnosed with dyslexia). Something he was only able to get under control because of the assistance of his middle class parents.
Sondra was a lawyer and Elvin was a doctor (exactly replicating the parents). And they had bought their first house. This is after they wanted to open a camping store and Clair almost killed them (one of the funniest scenes in the entire show). Classic middle class parent policing (you need to be a doctor/ lawyer! i didn’t pay for your education for nothing!) And they ended up heeding their parents’ advice.
The family even took in a cousin from a low income family (Pam) and helped her get “straight” in the classic middle class folks help out those less fortunate kind of way. Pam ditches her low income boyfriend and falls in love with the decent, genius middle class Black boy who she would have never met had she not been taken in by Cliff and Clair.
This show was in so many ways a testament to how much of a privilege growing up middle class is. And wasn’t at all about how middle class kids grow up to be shiftless moochers.
I got the vibe that all of the kids were going to be successful in their own time although not necessarily within the time of the show. Because that is how the real world works. Middle class parents raise kids that will grow up to be middle class adults. Rarely, do people drastically change socioeconomic classes within 1 generation.