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 13, 2013

Season 5: Opening Credits

Of all the opening sequences, this one is probably most remembered by fans. Performing a Broadway-style dance routine (choreographed by Geoffrey Holder) to a stirring orchestral rendition of the theme song, the cast presents a weird and wonderful take on the introductory credits. On the other hand, the stagey pieces in which they have been dressed have limited relevance to modern fashion, as that was not the intent.


I mean, they look great, but they're clearly delivering a fantasy rather than a reality. Not that I will absolve myself of my responsibilities because of these costumes, but this'll be a short entry.


Rudy's appearance in the credits is briefer than the others: as you can see, she's not in the opening pose. My guess is that, as a child actor, she was present for fewer rehearsals, requiring portions of the number that could be worked without her. Honestly, the choreography makes wonderful use of the cast, which I assume is largely made up of non-dancers. But back to this dress: the ruffles are ruffly, and the palette suggests the inside and outside of a grapefruit as rendered in pastels. It's right for what it is.


This look announces to us that Vanessa is entering her goddess phase. Look at her face: she's ready to begin her journey into adulthood. It's tough to read for sure, but if you go back to that first image of the whole family, you can see that this skirt might also be pants; there's a ring of ruffle that appears to extend only around one leg. Not sure what that's about, but I like that someone is taking chances. I think there's a touch too much happening with the multiple bands of color at her neckline and hem. It's busier than anything else onstage. Otherwise, this meshes well with the other pieces.


Theo looks like he's going to the beach.


You might notice that we jumped to Sondra without hitting Denise, who is next in line age-wise. (Did you know that I intentionally go through each family member in age order? Maybe I never explained that.) It's true: Denise is still at Hillman and will only appear in a few episodes this season. They're all right at the beginning, which gives us something immediate to look forward to, but it will make her subsequent absence all the tougher. Anyway, Sondra looks fine here.


That's right, Elvin, show off that chest hair. Maybe untuck your shirt, though.


As a veteran of the Broadway stage, Phylicia knows exactly what she's doing up there. Look at her. She is positively breathtaking in that shot, and the grace with which she moves is delicious. And oh how I love her in pink! Two shades of pink! She's wonderful.

"Daaaaaad! You're embarrassing us!"

And of course Cliff. Bill Cosby is not a good dancer, but he serves face. The color combo here is a little louder than some of the others, which highlights his bananas personality while making him the center of attention (as does the fact that he stays in one place for the whole number). The frayed edges of his shorts add to the tropical, casual vibe.

And there you have it. On we go. I hope you're ready for what this season has in store. (I hope I'm ready for what this season has in store.)


  1. Season 5 must have been in 1988-1989. I would have been 9 when this first aired. I actually remember when we saw this theme on TV for the first time, and my mom saying "wow" and laughing a little after it was done. It's one of those strange memories that surfaces now and then from my childhood without rhyme or reason. To me, this theme always reminded me of Miami Vice.

  2. Hey darlin'! I'm only halfway through Season 3 on the blog, but wanted to jump ahead to let you know that I am in LOVE with Huxtable Hotness. My boyfriend and I are a little obsessed with the show (ex. a discussion this afternoon about the positive feminist themes in the show), and I'm a little obsessed with fashion. Thus, you are a hero!

  3. All the main players should bet revealed early enough. opening, opening scene