This important series shows us how Bill Cosby went from an icon to a hated man.
I’ve never grown up on “The Cosby Show,” “I Spy,” “The Electric Company,” or “Fat Albert,” but if I did, I would have been more repulsed than I am now at how Bill Cosby was a sexual predator. The made-for-Showtime documentary series “We Need to Talk About Cosby” premieres with an hour episode for the next four weeks, and I caught the whole thing on the Sundance Film Festival’s virtual screening.
I was only given a 5-hour viewing, which is why I had to skip some clips and the credits, but I still found it to be a provocative and important miniseries about how he went to the top and how he went to the bottom for the evils he’s done to women. “We Need to Talk About Cosby” respects the women in the most honest ways, and you’re moved by them.
The first episode focuses his early career when be brought themes in the form of comedy, and when he got involved with the movement. It also shows us his collaboration with Robert Culp on the 60s series “I Spy,” when he wasn’t being the stereotypical black man, but a “cool, suave character” and a “road scholar.” In fact, he redefined black characters on television. Back then, along with the minstrel show faces, they had white stuntmen playing black men. And that’s when Calvin Brown came in as the first black stuntman.
It also talks about the Spanish Fly, which was used to get women attracted to you. The stuff that stimulates women actually from from a real bug, and Cosby may have something to do with it. That’s when the interviews with the victims begin to come in with stories about how they were drugged and rated. A lot of them were actresses wanting to make it big.
The second episode begins with Cosby trying to teach people about the racism that is still going on, and the lessons that have yet to be taught. He was both a funny man and teacher to those who had access to TV. And speaking of which, “Fat Albert” was a cartoon made by and for African-American characters, who enjoyed the laughs and heart that it contained. And it was also made for white kids, too. Another drug topic is the quaalude, which can be used with alcohol, and can be known as a “date rape” drug.
The third episode brings up “The Bill Cosby Show,” which brought families together with its most iconic moments. And then came “The Cosby Show,” which was a big hit on NBC. Some of the stars of the show talk about what Cosby did to them on the set. It also explains how his son Ennis was murdered, and how he started acting like a white conservative, who was blaming African-Americans for their troubles.
And the last episode talks about how Crosby retaliated on the criticisms aimed against him, like when the allegations went out and Hannibal Buress called him a rapist. Barbara Bowman was the one who inspired the raped women to come forward against him, and all the accusations came in at an accelerated rate. The problem is that the men who grew up on him wouldn’t take the sides of his victims, because they didn’t know them. When you idolize someone, you start to go in denial of the bad things he’s done. But some of them, like Lise-Lotte Lublin, have men who stick by their side 100%.
“We Need to Talk About Cosby” knows how to slowly examine the comedian from his rising to his falling, about his influences and demons, and how women now have the balls to stand up against the pigs in this world. Let’s not forget how #MeToo gave almost everyone a fighting chance. Almost, because there are those who can’t fight back, and that’s understandable.
The show has the nerve to talk about the shows he’s made, the people he’s inspired, and the crimes that destroyed everyone’s lives. Again, I never grew up on his shows, but it’s still sickening to acknowledge how a celebrity everyone admired went to on become a hated man. You can call him a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you have the stomach, then see “We Need to Talk About Cosby” for yourselves.
First Episode Premieres on Showtime This Sunday