If this is your first time here, I recommend starting from the first episode and working your way forward. Of course, that's entirely your call.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Season 5, Episode 1: Together Again and Again

Remember how there was a whole episode devoted to Denise choosing a college? Theo never got that. In fact, there was no mention of his graduation last season whatsoever. So it's a little jarring to learn that he's supposed to start classes at NYU this week. Of course, we can't keep losing children to the dorms, so a convenient plot contrivance leaves him without a place to stay on campus, forcing him to live at home. Meanwhile, Denise announces to her parents that she won't be returning to Hillman because her interests lie outside academia.

What are we doing here? Like, what is all of this?

Rudy is 9 this season, and it seems from the premier as though they're starting her transition her into tween attire. This short sweatshirt, gaudy belt, and bodacious pair of harem pants are more fashion-y items than she's previously been given. Most of her wardrobe, outside of formal pieces, has been overtly childish. While this isn't a grown-up outfit by any stretch, it has a bit of perspective to it. I don't know that I actually like it, but I look forward to learning about Rudy's developing personal style.

Asserting individuality.

Vanessa is also maturing her look a little. By wearing a loose top and skirt, she was perhaps hoping to obscure her figure, but the high belt dividing the outfit ends up creating an exaggerated hourglass shape that accentuates her shape. Her playful use of color really draws me in: none of the pieces match, but they all coordinate surprisingly well. The flowery top wouldn't work if it were longer, but I can accept it because it ends before her rib cage, making it quirky and chic. While my initial reaction to this look was confusion, it's proved to be quite compelling. I can't stop looking away, which means she's done something exceptionally right.

 A tail of the rat that bit you.

Sadly, not everyone in the family has lived up to their potential. Theo delivers another bland, boring presentation. His attempts at subtle fascinations like the dark bands at his cuffs and collar or the barest hint of mock turtleneck only illustrate how dull a slumpy white top can be. And I know you'd be happier not noticing this, but I'm obligated to point out the short rat tail he's grown out, with a single bead braided into it. A new low!

Maybe she packed all the good clothes?

Speaking of new lows, Denise hasn't looked this bad since the first season. I haven't the faintest idea why she's wearing a knee-length shirt in shades that don't suit her, or why she's paired that upsetting top with pajama pants. Her whole formless getup makes her look roughly the same shape is that bag she's carrying, only in prints normally reserved for the carpets in Carribbean airports. I'm going to assume that her sudden lack of taste is a symptom of the emotional distress caused by her decision to drop out of college.

Baby on board!

So wait, how much time has passed between seasons? There was no mention of a baby last year, and suddenly Sondra is seven months pregnant? I don't know that there will be a ton of value in reviewing her maternity clothes, since it's just going to be a bunch of baggy shirts and elastic-waist pants, but I'll try to offer little observations here and there. For instance, this look includes a khaki vest to remind you that the wilderness store is the closest she comes to having a personality trait.

He's going to start selling a line of tents for infants.

The career change has taken a toll on this couple's attire. Elvin seems to have forgotten what colors are, or maybe he washed all of his things together on hot and they all came out the same slate gray? There's a hint of forest green coming through that I enjoy, but he's doing his best to hide it. On any other outfit, the tiny buttons would be terrible, but here they're the only thing preventing that shirt from functioning as an invisibility cloak.

Legally boring.

Clair loves a tunic over leggings. I guess this isn't truly a tunic in that there's some structural detailing. I'm not in love with anything about this; the braided effect on the cuff lacks grace, and a zipper usually looks chintzy. It could be worse, I guess.

It's late and I'm running out of captions. Sorry.

Am I the only one who thinks this sweater looks familiar? I can't find evidence of it in the archives, so I'll assume that my memory is faulty (a pretty safe assumption, really). But it's probably not a good sign that my initial reaction to this piece was, "Oh, this again."

If we all think happy thoughts, next week will get better, right? Join me in changing television history by using the Secret to retroactively create awesome outfits for the Huxtables.


  1. Some day I hope there is a Bill Cosby sweater museum.

  2. Lisa Bonet was pregnant, which is the reason for Denise's outfit.