“The Cosby Show” is one of the most beloved TV shows of the past 30 years, but you’d never know it from this features-barren boxed set of the show’s first season. Devoid of original content save for liner notes, the collection is something of an insult to the memory of a series that saved a network, put indie studio Carsey-Werner on the map and proved that Americans could be color-blind when it came to great comedy.
While no excuse, the saving grace of this set is the fact that, to a degree, the comedy of “The Cosby Show” speaks for itself. Twenty years on, the clothes may seem loud and hideous, but Cosby’s performance remains timeless. Two words — Cosby telling son Theo (Malcolm Jamal-Warner) to “Come heeere” in the pilot — are still enough to produce major laughs.
At first glance, it would also seem producer UrbanWorks Entertainment had gone all out in the extras department. That’s because one of the four discs in the set is devoted to a lengthy documentary retrospective/cast reunion.
It’s a great special — but there’s only one problem: It aired on NBC three years ago. Millions have already seen it, including many of the die-hard “Cosby” fans who’d been looking forward to the show’s overdue DVD release.
It’s stunning that in an era when even noble failures like “Profit” get the full-extras treatment, that UrbanWorks and Carsey-Werner would offer up “Cosby” with not a single original bonus. No commentaries, no deleted scenes, no outtakes — nothing.
The Cos deserves better.