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The Cosby Show: 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition [DVD Review]

 The Cosby Show: 25th Anniversay Commemorative Edition

All 8 Seasons

Back Cover

The Huxtables are back! One of the most popular shows in the history of television is now available in one amazing box set. Relive all your favorite moments from the show that TV Guide says, almost single-handedly revived the sitcom. The Cosby Show regularly appears in lists of the greatest shows of all time, yet it remains as vibrant today as one of Cliff Huxtable s sweaters!

From their brownstone in Brooklyn, Cliff and Clair Huxtable watched over their family with style, wit and wisdom, not to mention a whole lot of laughs. The values they represented clearly struck a nerve with the public as the show was an instant success never out of the top 20 in ratings, and one of only two shows to hold TV s #1 spot for five years in a row.

This new collection brings together every original network episode for its legendary eight-year run. Take a look back at the stellar cast along with the many all-star guest appearances Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis, Jr., Betty Carter, B.B. King, Adam Sandler and many more.

Also, recorded just for this collection is an exclusive brand-new, never-aired Bill Cosby interview, covering everything from his favorite memories and the lasting legacy of The Cosby Show.

Movie Review

Whew! Over 76 hours of material is contained in this release. That is a lot of Cosby! The Cosby Show is the series that is credited with saving the NBC Television Network during the 80’s. The series was a ratings champ and monster hit for the network. So how does this 25th Anniversary Edition hold up?

Pretty well. The strength of the series was Bill Cosby himself. The accomplished stand up comedian developed a project which allowed him to call on his vast library of stand up material and integrate into the storylines of his TV family. The allure of the series is timeless as witnessed by my nine year’s old willingness to sit down and watch multiple episodes with me.

Taken individually there is never really a stand out storyline but the cumulative effect adds up to enjoyment due to becoming increasingly familar and comfortable with the characters. This is a show that dwells on the everyday and foregoes tackling any social issues of the day. To the show’s credit the relationships between the family members are honest. Adults act like adults and the kids act like kids.

Crave Factor – 8


The full-screen video image is about as expected for a 20-plus year old sitcom, if not a little better. The colors are a little soft, but there’s not much in the way of grain, and the vivid colors (particularly on Cosby’s famous sweaters) pop nicely. The picture also improves and sharpens, sometimes noticeably, from season to season.

The title segments in the first season are of noticeably poorer quality.

Crave Factor – 8


The 2.0 stereo mix is nothing fancy (predictably emphasizing the dialogue), but it certainly does the job fine for a sitcom. Source materials appear to have been well-preserved, and there’s never any trouble deciphering the punch-lines.

Crave Factor – 7


The included extras are adequate. There is a fair bit of repetition of material which is unfortunate.

Season 1: Disc 4

Bill Cosby Interview, Part I (30:48mins)

Bill Cosby Interview, Part II (19:09 mins)

The Cosby Show: A Look Back (1:26:30 mins)

Digital Photo Gallery


Season 1: Disc 8

Bloopers (22:46 mins)

Cliff’s Parenting Tips (8:50 mins)

Interview with Director Jay Sandrich (13:41 mins)

Interview with Dr. Cosby is presented in two parts and mixes a sit down interview with Cosby with plenty of clips and outtakes. It is just as well because Cosby has become a major rambler and by the end of these two segments his opinion of how great this series was became very wearing.

The Cosby Show: A Look Back is from the 2002 prime-time special features plenty of great clips and interviews with the cast and crew. Notably absent is Lisa Bonet, who reportedly had some friction with Cosby during the run. Cosby hosts the introductory segments in front of a live audience; he and Rashad appear on-stage together near the program’s end. As per normal in these extra features there is some duplication of clip material here with the Interview with Dr. Cosby segments.

As enjoyable a family show Cosby is, claims by the people involved that the show belongs in the same class as such classics as All In The Family and MASH are laughable.

Digital Photo Gallery – a limited selection of stills.

Bloopers – these are restricted to the second season. Again duplication of material here from the first two features exist. There are some new ones here, easily spotted because the materials are in much rougher shape.

Cliff’s Parenting Tips contains no new material and as such is not worth viewing.

New Interview with Director Jay Sandrich Sandrich talks about how he approached the show and the actual directing of it but a lot of his insights were already covered in the longer features.

Crave Factor – 7

Menu & Packaging

Each disc opens with a main menu with several windows playing rolling clips for the episodes on the disc. The are two menu options here:

Play All – plays all the episodes on the disc

Episodes number1 – number2: allows access to a submenu for episode selection.

Episode Selection Menu

The Episode Selection Menu allows access to two episodes each. Each episode shows a rolling clip.

Each episode has scene selections broken down into 3 chapters and the credit sequence.

At the bottom there are options to select the Main Menu or the episodes. Episodes are grouped in pairs of two.

If there are bonus features on a disc they are accessible from the Main Menu and listed below the episode selections.

The 25th Anniversary Collection is packaged like a book. The top cover folds away to reveal the storage space on the right hand side which holds all eight seasons plus a commerative booklet. There are four cardboard holders that hold two seasons each. The holders fold open twice. The first flip open lists the episodes and bonus features contained for each season. The second flip open reveals the discs themselves. There are four discs per season each in a pocket holder. All in all, it adds up to a pretty compact package for the entire series.

The booklet is a hardcover affair that contains the shooting script for the first episode of the series interspersed with colour photos of the cast members. The last two pages list notable guest stars, cast members, and all the awards the show won during its eight year run.

Crave Factor – 9

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

For pure family viewing The Cosby Show fits the bill perfectly. The positive portrayals of family life make for quality television time for those with children. This series does not try to stimulate but rather entertain and for that it does a fine job. If you are looking for a comedy series with more meat to it try All In The Family or MASH.

This 25th Anniversary Edition is a good way to obtain the whole series in one neat package.

Overall Factor – 8

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