So What Happened to the Golden Age of Black Sitcoms?

#54
The Seinfield stat shocked me, it shouldn't have but it did.
Mentioning that I don't see how people can watch Seinfeld or Friends. In that division talk I start to think about within that genre I can't watch the vast majority of those white shows. Roseanne, Married with Children, and that 70s Show were the only ones I watched, but those were on rare occasions. I tried to go back to That 70s Show, but I got bored.
 
#55
It is amazing how The Game lasted so long and through 2 channels
I remember following some of the Game after it went to BET and shit was legit funny. It had its up and downs (you gotta basically ignore Derwin and Melanie's melodrama). The show got good after they put some characters on a bus and introduced some new ones, like Chardonnay/Brandy
 
#56
A lot of the shows I did get to watch in the UK were on a channel called Trouble, and when that folded it was all over. This thread gives me the perspective that it disappeared with black sitcoms. The few episodes of Martin I've seen were on Trouble. They mixed old and new there. But most importantly, they aired My Wife And Kids. So good. Wish it was on disc release.

Seinfield has it moments, but I have never been able to laugh at Friends. Makes me cringe way too much.
I enjoy Friends, but there are some really bad parts that people seem to love. The first one that comes to mind is David Schwimmer shouting "Pivot" on a staircase.
 
#57
Mentioning that I don't see how people can watch Seinfeld or Friends. In that division talk I start to think about within that genre I can't watch the vast majority of those white shows. Roseanne, Married with Children, and that 70s Show were the only ones I watched, but those were on rare occasions. I tried to go back to That 70s Show, but I got bored.
Seinfield has it moments, but I have never been able to laugh at Friends. Makes me cringe way too much.
I remember following some of the Game after it went to BET and shit was legit funny. It had its up and downs (you gotta basically ignore Derwin and Melanie's melodrama). The show got good after they put some characters on a bus and introduced some new ones, like Chardonnay/Brandy
When Brandy came in is when i fell. off. But I like Coby Bell, even if he is Coby Bell in everything.

A lot of the shows I did get to watch in the UK were on a channel called Trouble, and when that folded it was all over. This thread gives me the perspective that it disappeared with black sitcoms. The few episodes of Martin I've seen were on Trouble. They mixed old and new there. But most importantly, they aired My Wife And Kids. So good. Wish it was on disc release.
My wife and kids was my jam. Junior was a star.
 
#60
I would also posit that while it's fine to lament our golden age of black sitcoms, we need not ache for another. I, for one, enjoy the current age of black creatives getting to do shit other than have a formulaic comedy show that's the same shit with a different coat of paint.

I want to see more black dramas + other genres, and it pissed me off some black people were hating on shows like Empire, Dear White People, etc. because they weren't A Different World or the Fresh Prince. At least give me nonsituational comedies like Atlanta or Black Jesus.
 
#61
I don't see how y'all like My Wife and Kids. My lil brother likes it too, but I think it's just straight up corny.


In the video they mentioned Between Brothers peaked at #1 during a time which I find weird because I don't even remember that show.
 
#62
I don't see how y'all like My Wife and Kids. My lil brother likes it too, but I think it's just straight up corny.


In the video they mentioned Between Brothers peaked at #1 during a time which I find weird because I don't even remember that show.
I like My Wife and Kids, but I legit hate how they treat Jr. on that show that I honestly feel bad for laughing at it.
 
#63
I don't see how y'all like My Wife and Kids. My lil brother likes it too, but I think it's just straight up corny.


In the video they mentioned Between Brothers peaked at #1 during a time which I find weird because I don't even remember that show.
I watched a lot of tv, and I don't even remember that show even after googling.

I like My Wife and Kids, but I legit hate how they treat Jr. on that show that I honestly feel bad for laughing at it.
The dude that plays Junior plays that part so well. Especially when they got a little back and forth going
 
#65
Was talking to a friend about how there use to be a lot more black sitcoms back in the day. You had Moesha, Girlfriends, "Sister, Sister," The Parker's, Malcom and Eddie, The Hughleys, The Steve Harvey Show. Shit, even Cedric had a show for a while. Those were just on the basic channels too.
 
#67
ninja edit: I don't even know if I have it in me to watch a regular "lets reuse the same set w/ the same camera angle" show anymore. It's boring. It's tried. Part of the reason I couldn't get into the Carmichael show
That's a shame that you didn't stick with it, because the budget apparently opened up after the first season and there were several more sets/locations after that.
 
#68
I must've watched hundreds of hours of Family Matters and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a kid. Those shows feel alien relative to what I watch now.

I know there are people who watch shows like The Big Bang Theory, or Blackish, but I don't know any of them.
 
#70
For me it was a combination of family themed wholesomeness and the fact that as a kid, skin color just didnt factor. If the show was funny and relateable, I tuned in. Luckily at that time period, I got to watch Cosby, Fresh Prince, and Family Matters.

The later black sitcoms never had quite the same ability to draw me in. I think the only one I watched somewhat regularly was Martin.
 
#74
yeah man, when I was a little kid MOST of the sitcoms i watched were all/mostly black casts. and this is in the 90's, in scotland. i was wondering what happened when i took a look at the kind of stuff on now - it's all rich white kids in unrealistic scenarios. seems awful in comparison. i'm not saying the shows i watched were good, they weren't, but the stuff on now is terrible and also just gross.
 
#75
Even as a white dude, I remember watching the shit out of Living Single (legit better than Friends) and Martin. Never watched Moesha, though.

Plus, if they count, all of the shows more age appropriate for me back then: Sister Sister, Family Matters, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, The Jamie Foxx Show, and -- of course -- Fresh Prince.

And I remember my dad introducing me to Sanford & Son and The Jeffersons.

Jesus. Just listing that out, all of those memorable shows, they really have dried up.
Damn. I haven't thought about Sister, Sister in forever. I used to watch it almost every day.
 
#76
Family sitcoms just went out of style with the rising popularity of reality TV. A large part of the 90s sitcom scene was based on subversions of the family sitcoms of the decades before it. This was a good set-up to connect with the zeitgeist of the time, but it is a set-up with an expiration date. You can only play off the "TV establishment" for so long, as if you survive long enough, you become the new "TV establishment". This is the same phenomenon that turned The Simpsons into the husk it is today. Mockumentaries, cringe comedies, and whatever the next iteration of shock humour was took up the torch of the family sitcom, but I'm not sure if they were as successful in the ratings as their predecessors.

Specifically speaking about black sitcoms, I think My Wife and Kids was the last one I watched. It's a little bit old-school and Milquetoast, but it had its moments. People bringing up dramas is interesting though. Now that TV dramas are more popular, the lack of black dramas does stand out.
 
#77
Multi-camera sitcoms are basically dead at this point in general. The only big one left is TBBT.

Also, the quality of TV programming has never been better than it is now. It's just not exclusively on broadcast channels. There are still a few high quality broadcast shows(such as This is Us), but look at basic cable, streaming and premiums, there are a ridiculous amount of high quality TV. From comedies(such as Silicon Valley on HBO) to a huge amount of dramas(Better Call Saul may be the greatest TV show ever created) hell even adult cartoons such as Rick and Morty on Adult Swim or Bojack Horseman on Netflix.

And with modern ways of viewing TV(DVR, on demand and streaming), it's never been more consumer friendly. The TV landscape has simply evolved.
Family sitcoms just went out of style with the rising popularity of reality TV. A large part of the 90s sitcom scene was based on subversions of the family sitcoms of the decades before it. This was a good set-up to connect with the zeitgeist of the time, but it is a set-up with an expiration date. You can only play off the "TV establishment" for so long, as if you survive long enough, you become the new "TV establishment". This is the same phenomenon that turned The Simpsons into the husk it is today. Mockumentaries, cringe comedies, and whatever the next iteration of shock humour was took up the torch of the family sitcom, but I'm not sure if they were as successful in the ratings as their predecessors.

Specifically speaking about black sitcoms, I think My Wife and Kids was the last one I watched. It's a little bit old-school and Milquetoast, but it had its moments. People bringing up dramas is interesting though. Now that TV dramas are more popular, the lack of black dramas does stand out.
There are a few black dramas such as Empire or Atlanta, but TV today isn't separated nearly as much as it was in the 90's in regards to race. It's more about targeting age demos. Dramas as a whole tend to be fairly diverse.
 
#85
I don't understand why Girlfriends was canceled. CW destroyed UPN's lineup.
Girlfriends fell off when Toni left the show. Her relationship with Joan was the best part of the show and it lost all the conflict when she left. I tried but I just couldn't finish it.

I remember following some of the Game after it went to BET and shit was legit funny. It had its up and downs (you gotta basically ignore Derwin and Melanie's melodrama). The show got good after they put some characters on a bus and introduced some new ones, like Chardonnay/Brandy
I hated the Game on BET. They got rid of TT!
 
#93
I don't see how y'all like My Wife and Kids. My lil brother likes it too, but I think it's just straight up corny.


In the video they mentioned Between Brothers peaked at #1 during a time which I find weird because I don't even remember that show.
Thank you! I thought i was the only one that thought my wife and kids is kinda wack. I just didn't enjoy it all that much. I'm a big Martin and The Parkers fan. Jokes were always on point, especially with The Parkers. A damn shame they never got released on DVD. I totally would've bought them.
 
#97
I watched a ton of Fresh Prince, Martin, and Family Matters growing up. All of them were excellent and well worth watching.

As for today I don't have much time for tv, but I've been meaning to get around to watching Atlanta.
 
#98
I just finished rewatching The Bernie Mac Show in its entirety on Netflix a couple months back. That one don't get enough love IMO. RIP, Bernie.

Thanks for the video, OP, I'll check it out later.
 
#99
Thank you! I thought i was the only one that thought my wife and kids is kinda wack. I just didn't enjoy it all that much. I'm a big Martin and The Parkers fan. Jokes were always on point, especially with The Parkers. A damn shame they never got released on DVD. I totally would've bought them.
I can't agree with you on The Parkers. I watched it, but that's low tier to me. Can't compare to Martin.

I remember like every prominent black actor from the 90s had made an appearance on The Cosby Show back in the day. I don't really get why Cosby got so popular. I could never get into it and it feels like a black sitcom made for white audiences.