Category: Celebrity

Hey Mama: How Clair Huxtable Changed Motherhood on TV

The TV mothers of my childhood are ever-present. They too are part of the language I speak. Their stories are part of my memory: Lucy Ricardo (I Love Lucy, 1951), Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch, 1969), Olivia Walton (The Waltons, 1971), Edith Bunker (All in the Family, 1971), Florida Evans (Good Times, 1974), Louise Jefferson (The Jeffersons, 1975), and Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show, 1984). I liked these mothers, but I was critical of them. They were not real. Their perfectly imagined lives were fun escapism. They were an extension of my schooling, my American indoctrination. The mothers in children’s stories and by extension TV, film, music and literature are idealized. They are nurtures, teachers, protectors. These TV mothers showed me what Wendy Darling told the Lost Boys in Peter Pan.   (more…)