When I was in the 4th grade, my family decided to spend our summer vacation up at Camp-of-the-Woods in New York. Being from the Chicago area, the drive was abysmally long, and my parents knew it was only a matter of time before the back seat erupted with shouts of, “Will you stop touching me!”. In order to defuse the tension, my Dad decided to play a recording of Bill Cosby’s Greatest Hits. I don’t know about my sisters, but I’m pretty sure I laughed all the way to New York. From that moment forward, I was hooked on Bill Cosby.
Though it’s been almost two decades since The Cosby Show aired its final episode, many people still have fond memories of the iconic series. It was smart, funny, honest, and most of all, safe for the whole family. These things have become much harder to find in today’s entertainment, where gratuitous violence and sexual image have become the norm, but that may not be the case for much longer. According to a recent post on CharismaNews, Bill Cosby plans to return to television with a new show for the family audience. In the article, Cosby states:
“’I want to be able to deliver a wonderful show to network,’ Cosby told the Hollywood Reporter, ‘because there is a viewership out there that wants to see comedy, and warmth and love, and surprise, and cleverness, without going into the party attitude. They would like to see a married couple that acts like they love each other, warts and all, children who respect the parenting, and the comedy of people who make mistakes. Warmth and forgiveness. So, I hope to get that opportunity, and I will deliver the best of Cosby, and that will be a series, I assume, that we could get enough people week after week after week to tune in to, to come along with us.’”
For Christian parents, this news couldn’t come at a better time. Pop culture can put incredible pressure on young minds, and many artists who began as Christian role models have ended up dismissing their faith. In this environment, it is important that there be TV shows a family can bond over. A few networks have already made efforts to provide for such an audience. The new Fox show Enlisted follows three dysfunctional, but loving, brothers who are serving in the United States Army. NBC took a similar approach in The Michael J. Fox Show, which featured a chaotic family that nonetheless still cared and respected each other. Reviewer Ed Cardinal even had this to say about the series,
“There are plenty of brightly written moments that don’t rely on dark, slightly twisted humor. When Mike accidentally hits the T-Pain feature on a microphone or gets lost in the ball pit at a carnival, it is comedy gold no matter the diagnosis.”
It may be that old fans like myself are just getting their hopes up. It’s a hard thing to make a successful family show for today’s modern audience, but as a Christian, I’m certainly willing to take the risk.
What about you? Are you excited for Bill Cosby’s new show?
*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com