Wednesday, August 3, 2011

RIP Black Sitcoms

There are no good black sitcoms on television anymore. Gone are the days of quality programs, such as “The Cosby Show.” The only sitcoms on right now reflecting black culture are unfunny, trashy or just downright bad. I’m talking to you “House of Payne.” And you need cable to even watch these shows. What happened to simply switching on NBC, ABC or Fox?
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good sitcom, be it black, white or otherwise. “Community,” “Modern Family” and “Parks and Recreation” are among the best shows on TV right now. I just miss the days where if the show stars happened to look like me, it was actually good.

The black sitcoms I watched could fall into several categories:

Universal Appeal: These shows appealed to any and everyone, whether black or white.
The Cosby Show, Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

The Classics: The Encyclopedia of Black Culture lists these as required viewing.
A Different World, Living Single, Martin, Moesha, Good Times, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons

Honorable Mentions: Perhaps not classics, but just as good.
227, What’s Happening, One on One, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Sister, Sister, The Parkers, Smart Guy

Underrated: Too many people slept on these shows.
Amen, Sparks, Roc, The Parent ‘Hood, Malcolm and Eddie, Everybody Hates Chris, Eve

Kid Friendly: Children and adults loved them.
Keenan and Kel, That’s So Raven, Cousin Skeeter, My Brother and Me

Big Time: Someone made it big and got his own show.
The Bernie Mac Show, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Steve Harvey Show, The Sinbad Show, The Gregory Hines Show, The Wayans Bros.

Guilty pleasures: So bad until it was entertaining.
Homeboys in Outer Space

Just OK: These shows weren’t bad, but weren’t really good either.
In The House, My Wife and Kids, Goode Behavior, Good News, The Hughleys, For Your Love

Gone too soon: They lasted only a season but had the promise of being entertaining.
On Our Own, Out All Night, Thea
Who doesn't miss these shows?

They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore. Are all the good black sitcoms dead? Me thinketh yes. At least there’s TV One where I can watch reruns of some of my favorites.


  1. Great post, happened across it because some friends and I were on this subject at work during lunch. Erase from TV unless show acting reckless on some reality show. I'm just wondering if Cosby can spend his time worrying about the state of black people. Why didn't he build more of a foundation to ensure his works would continue. Hopefully more people stumble on your post. It is dead on !!

  2. Thank you! It was actually sparked by a convo with my homegirl. We need someone other than TP to make TV shows.