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Old January 24 2014, 01:39 PM   #16
2takesfrakes
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

What has NBC got to lose? When it tanks, they'll just pull it and put on something else. Bill Cosby would've been so much smarter and so much more successful, if he'd either change his image, or at least, not insist on making himself the focus of the show. Having him as the sweet old grand-dad in some edgey comedy, would seem like more of a sure-thing. But T.V. ratings do not mean what they used to, anymore. Abysmal ratings that were completely unacceptable to a network before, are now the goal they struggle to achieve. The assumption that is there that Cosby's got his own, built-in audience to justify the show isn't entirely without merit, it's simply overrated. There is no hype, here. This series will tank before it makes its 13th episode.
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Old January 24 2014, 07:50 PM   #17
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

I'd say there's a middle ground between dysfunctional and idyllic. You don't need to have the father constantly strangling his child, and you don't need to show picture perfect children doing whatever their parents say either.

Also, I've noticed that people who grow up with parents having money have a lower threshold for calling a family dysfunctional than people who don't. Upper middle class kids who grew up with a harmonious family tend to see that as the standard for everybody and everything else as a deviation.

I'd definitely like to see sitcoms move away from the 'Sarcastic 20-somethings hooking up' formula. Just because it worked with Seinfeld and Friends doesn't mean every other show has to be like that for the next 20 years.

There are far more loving, forgiving families out there now than there are wholesome ones. Show me a wholesome family and I'll show you a teenager who's really good at hiding his porn stash.
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Old January 24 2014, 08:53 PM   #18
Owain Taggart
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

Dysfunctionalism is the current trend. But not every show can pull it off successfully. I think it takes great chemistry in the actors in order for them to bounce off each other in a believable manner. Otherwise you just get a bunch of talking heads that end up being irritating. I think the Micheal J. Fox show tried to be a hybrid of a loving family drama combined with dysfunction. The problem with that show is that it played it too safe and was going nowhere as a result.
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Old January 25 2014, 01:25 AM   #19
Spot's Meow
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
The gay couples I personally know and can count as friends would be done on two hands. With kids, one hand. Those are still raising there's to respect adults and authority figures. And only one of the guys is a real flamboyant type, the others give him shit for playing into the stereotype.

I can't say the Modern Family template is one I can relate to. Again, perhaps it's our geography.

That said I always viewed Roseanne as a more white trash, not a blue collar, type template...those I knew. No shortage of that in Nashville Public Schools.

I wouldn't pretend to say I didn't know families with some inner upheaval but that would be some growing up. They would've been the exception. I didn't go to Public School, Private so there's that to help explain the dynamic of my statement. The public school examples I met though various other social outlets.

Seventh Heaven is the last successful sitcom I can recall that fit into the mold of what Cosby is wanting to return to. That ended, what, early 00's?
I wasn't even thinking in terms of gay couples or poverty level, I was thinking more along the lines of parent-child relationships. They are rarely so easy going and perfect as older sitcoms would have you believe. Real life is complicated, not solved with kind words and a hug in 30 minutes. I used to enjoy shows like 7th Heaven or Family Matters but I stopped watching because it was just too fake, too unrealistic and cheesy.


JWPlatt wrote: View Post
Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
...there's a reason that current shows have moved away from the image of the loving, forgiving, wholesome family...it doesn't exist. It's not realistic (I especially laughed at his comment that the show will have "children who respect the parenting").
I've seen this said by others in media. They often say and repeat it in the subconscious hope that if it's said often enough, even more people will believe this myth and so on... Denying the existence of families like this helps the dysfunctional boost their own self esteem at the expense of others. It's not a proud moment when we try to convince people who are happy with their lives that the world sucks by continually feeding them depressing fare until they are just as unhappy as we are. I'm tired of the dark heroes and I'd like better; optimistic. Star Trek used to be like that.
I prefer optimistic shows as well. Who says that dysfunctional families aren't also happy? I don't see the two as being at odds. I think that a sitcom, or any show, can accurately portray dysfunction as well as love and closeness. They both exist in every family (well at least I hope there is love in every family). I don't think a show like Modern Family is depressing at all, but to me it more accurately displays a family dynamic than something like The Cosby Show.

I think that we do families a disservice by presenting them with an idealistic vision of what the "perfect American family" should be, when they won't ever be able to live up to that and may feel like they've somehow failed. But really they haven't failed at all, it is okay and normal for families to have conflict within them. The real world just isn't so black and white, and I think people have come to appreciate media that reflects the gray areas.
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Old January 25 2014, 03:10 AM   #20
JWPlatt
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I think that a sitcom, or any show, can accurately portray dysfunction as well as love and closeness.
Agreed, it can. I assumed a show about a dysfunctional family would simply stay there in darkness - black and white as you say. TV can go to extremes. Perhaps I should have considered a more optimistic outcome.

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I think that we do families a disservice by presenting them with an idealistic vision of what the "perfect American family" should be, when they won't ever be able to live up to that and may feel like they've somehow failed.
You are indicting Star Trek in the macrocosmic sense. To wit: "I think that we do civilization a disservice by presenting it with an idealistic vision of what the "perfect society" could be, when it won't ever be able to live up to that and may feel like it has somehow failed." Is that what happened? Or did it inspire people on their career paths in various technologies, medicine and the space program, invent things to improve our lives, and to do better? Would you like to consider a more optimistic outcome?
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Old January 25 2014, 06:44 PM   #21
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I'd say that something like Modern Family is a more accurate representation of family dynamics. Or even The Simpsons or Roseanne, which is why we moved towards those types of shows and away from 80s-type family sitcoms in the first place. I don't think I've ever encountered a family that wasn't "dysfunctional."
Agreed. My family was dysfunctional, as are a lot of families, and I've never understood where TV got the idea that they were anything like what was on TV in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Cosby might succeed with this show on INSP, Bounce TV, or The Disney Channel, but I don't think that it will work on network TV.
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Old January 25 2014, 08:47 PM   #22
Spot's Meow
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

JWPlatt wrote: View Post
Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I think that we do families a disservice by presenting them with an idealistic vision of what the "perfect American family" should be, when they won't ever be able to live up to that and may feel like they've somehow failed.
You are indicting Star Trek in the macrocosmic sense. To wit: "I think that we do civilization a disservice by presenting it with an idealistic vision of what the "perfect society" could be, when it won't ever be able to live up to that and may feel like it has somehow failed." Is that what happened? Or did it inspire people on their career paths in various technologies, medicine and the space program, invent things to improve our lives, and to do better? Would you like to consider a more optimistic outcome?
I think that you have a good point, especially when it comes to dramas. I do think that sitcoms are a little different, since it seems like most people watch them to have something to relate to, rather than to be inspired. But I could be off about that of course.
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Old January 26 2014, 06:30 AM   #23
the G-man
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

Everyone thinks of the Cosby show as this clichéd idealized family. However from the first episode it was actually somewhat groundbreaking in that the dad could be cranky and the kids could be screw ups.

I remember watching the first episode of the Cosby show. And when Theo made the speech about failing in school and how he hoped his father would still love him, everybody in the audience was waiting for the then Cliched sitcom hug.

Instead, when Cosby said 'son that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard,' both the studio audience and everybody at home went nuts. Because that was exactly what a real dad, not a television dad, would say.
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Old January 29 2014, 01:25 AM   #24
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

JustAFriend wrote: View Post
I like Bill's comedy and have watched him since the '60s.

But he's getting to the point where they have to help him out on stage.
Don't think he'll be able to take the grind of production.

Sometimes it's just time to retire....
Cosby worked out a lot in the past, and most likely is (like George Takei) quite fit for a older man, so that might not be a problem (unless you're talking about his mental facilities.)

Last edited by Shaka Zulu; January 29 2014 at 08:42 PM.
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Old January 29 2014, 01:32 AM   #25
BillJ
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

the G-man wrote: View Post
Everyone thinks of the Cosby show as this clichéd idealized family. However from the first episode it was actually somewhat groundbreaking in that the dad could be cranky and the kids could be screw ups.

I remember watching the first episode of the Cosby show. And when Theo made the speech about failing in school and how he hoped his father would still love him, everybody in the audience was waiting for the then Cliched sitcom hug.

Instead, when Cosby said 'son that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard,' both the studio audience and everybody at home went nuts. Because that was exactly what a real dad, not a television dad, would say.
That first episode was classic, but the show quickly fell into sitcom cliche's.
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Old January 29 2014, 06:43 PM   #26
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

The problem with sitcoms to me isn't that they're too idyllic, so much that they tend to have very low writing standards. Gag-driven writing, formula-driven stories, overuse of character gimmicks, leaning on well known standup comedy cliches which are hilarious when a guy says them into a mic for five minutes but tedious and stupid when characters act that way for half an hour.

I would also disagree with the notion that children doing whatever authority figures say should be called 'idyllic'. Children are supposed to establish their independence when they're teenagers. I've heard stories from one of my old bosses about a 26 year old employee who had his mother call him and say that he's been too hard on him. That's what happens if children never rebel against their parents. That's probably how the Full House kids ended up, completely relying on authority figures for all direction in life.

The period from about 12 to about 18 is the time period when children are supposed to transition from being dependent on their parents to being fully independent adults. Instead we force them to stay dependent until they're 18 then say "Well, you're an adult now! Time to be independent!" Then we wonder why so many college grads have trouble leaving the nest, or they immediately become drug addicted sex junkies the moment they arrive at college.

So, I'm totally in favor of having idyllic families. But let's base the ideal on how humans are really designed to behave, not some 50's-Protestant painting of it that denies that basic human desires even exist.
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Old January 29 2014, 09:06 PM   #27
Argus Skyhawk
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

the G-man wrote: View Post
Everyone thinks of the Cosby show as this clichéd idealized family. However from the first episode it was actually somewhat groundbreaking in that the dad could be cranky and the kids could be screw ups.
Exactly. The show was awesome because it was in fact a realistic portrayal of family life. Or at least families like the one I grew up in.
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Old January 29 2014, 10:22 PM   #28
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

JWPlatt wrote: View Post
[ I'm tired of the dark heroes and I'd like better; optimistic. Star Trek used to be like that.
When has Star Trek been 'dark' according to you? The two new movies aren't dark, TNG wasn't dark, DS9 was dark a little bit, Voyager was TNG lite and so in a way was Enterprise-there hasn't been a dark or completely dark Star Trek by my reckoning in 30 years.

If Star Trek has to deal with the darkness of humanity or alien races-be it a novel, movie, comic book, TV episode or video game-so what if it does, and is? The best literature and movies do this, and are better for it.
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Old January 30 2014, 12:00 AM   #29
JWPlatt
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Re: Bill Cosby returning to NBC in new family comedy

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
JWPlatt wrote: View Post
[ I'm tired of the dark heroes and I'd like better; optimistic. Star Trek used to be like that.
When has Star Trek been 'dark' according to you?
It is self-admitted in the last movies's title, for goodness sake. Maybe it's a bad and completely inaccurate title? Blame Marketing if the movie doesn't in fact promise Star Trek moving into darkness.

But I really wasn't thinking of the title until you asked. And it's really not about what has come before in the movies you mention. It's not even about Star Trek. It's about trends. The most recent example is the grittier, more "realistic" Batman. Like the Tealization of Hollywood, there's also the Darkening of Hollywood because they think that's what people want. I guess it's the trend that sells right now. Like any trend, people get tired of the formula, or when there are wars or life is tough for everyone, people want to move on and see hope - not despair. If you go back and look at my comment in its context of a reply to Spot's Meow's post, and also consider Chris Pine's recent comment covered in the Trek Today article posted by T'Bonz on January 22, you'll find more understanding.

Chris Pine is quoted, "Well, for anybody who’s seen the second one, given the fact that Kirk’s been revived by Khan’s blood, I think there’s definitely room for Kirk to go dark, which we’ve obviously seen in the original series, and that would be fun, I think.”

http://www.trektoday.com/content/201...star-trek-iii/

Kirk goes Batman. It was really disheartening to see Pine fall into cliché like Gollum to Sauron's Ring. Might as well make the movie all teal and orange too.

Last edited by JWPlatt; January 30 2014 at 12:25 AM.
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