Here is part 2! Thank you for continuing to read!
They were there through thick and thin! There until the end! This is probably the first neo-soul-esque theme song I have heard but it was perfect for the show! They really put each other through alot but they stuck together! Don’t act like you didn’t try to sing this joint every time it came on!
I feel like the impact was huge with Girlfriends. It’s the first time I saw this many Black Women on a tv show let alone be the leads with a male co-star! They all gained success whether it was as a lawyer, real estate agent, author-ess, or indi artist. I felt like this added the necessary wrinkles to Black women being more than sex symbols but as people that live life, enjoy success, and suffer defeat. They also were hilarious and I always love a woman that can make me laugh, hey Ashley! They were unapologetically themselves. They definitely gave Black Women a new look that works!
William was huge too! He showed that men don’t have to lead on a show nor in life and lose their “place” in manhood. He was still very much himself and had his own seat of success and failures. He let the women cook but just added a nice garnish at the end to tie the show together.
This was a newer style of plot for tv in the 2000s as these women weren’t family, ghetto, or struggling as it was actually opposite. They were best friends, educated, and prosperous. They had their struggles but they got through them for the most part and they celebrated wins as if it were their own at times. You had your arguments but you had your apologies as well. Each woman had their lives that beautifully crossed into each other’s.
I will say it was drug out and you could see the writing and acting getting shaky at the end especially after Tony left. The other thing I didn’t like was that they made it seem that Joan needed a man to be fulfilled. They never grew her out of that and when they did you still had the sense they didn’t then were proven right later in a season. WE STILL NEED A PROPER ENDING! Anyway, this was a very solid show and if it stopped at the right time then I think I could rank it higher so that’s why it fits at #7 on my list!
#6 A Different World
This theme was interesting as it was a cross of the late 80s and early 90s hip-hop/r&b sounding song with real instruments and soulful singing over the track that described the show’s overarching theme which was that they all come from a different world. It was an East Coast sound we are very familiar with when it’s bumping your car. I slick need it on vinyl!
A Different World had a huge impact on Black television! It gave the much needed shot in the arm for HBCU attendance. You can’t tell me you didn’t want to attend one whether it was Hillman College or Morehouse College, you had to be around other Black Scholars! You saw how Black people could interact with each other in a positive way. You saw how minds were all different but the same. You wanted to develop in that environment. It re-ignited and or continued to ignite the love Black people had for HBCUs. Also everyone wanted that Dwayne and Whitley kind of love near the end! Don’t lie.
This show was one of the firsts you saw where the characters developed season to season and took lives of their own. You didn’t see growth like that on shows like this and that made it Black people more human and relatable. They went through what everyone goes through in a coming of age type show.
The overall plot was very different for that time. You had Black college age students having difficult conversations that made my palms sweat just thinking about it. They talked about socio-economics, race, and respectability politics. Those are heavy topics for college kids to talk about let alone navigate through successfully. It was a pretty simple plot but the writing and acting really created the layers it needed to reach the classic levels it did.
It sits #6 on the list because of what people remembered most and watched for which was Dwayne figuring it out with Denise or Whitley in later seasons. They had great sub plots throughout the show but you knew what you wanted to see. If either relationship worked then I do not believe you have the show that was created and beloved today. It might not even be considered a classic.
#5 Jaime Foxx Show
Just as #6’s A Different World theme song had a heavy east coast vibe to it, The Jaime Foxx show had a very West Coast sound to it. You could jump in a classic and turn the hydraulics on. Also the star of the show sings the theme song. There is a level of badassery there when your star actor can sing the theme and then deliver hilarious scenes.
I feel like the impact was not that big compared to some of the top shows on this list but it is always refreshing to see a show have a black owned business you don’t see much of, a hotel. I think that was an underrated fact in that show. It wasn’t just a motel but it was a nice luxury hotel. Also, Jaime’s Aunt and Uncle helped support him while he pursued his dream of becoming a star in the entertainment industry. They provided him a safety a lot of families don’t have and can't provide. Even though I don’t think the impact was that strong, the comedy made up for it.
The overall plot was traditional for the most part with influences from other shows like Fresh Prince with a nephew that moved from home to get a change of scenery. The biggest difference was Fresh Prince escaped for a better life and Jaime moved to achieve stardom. Also Jaime had a love interest, Fancy, and he went through great lengths to pursue her. That was a big part of the show but I don’t think that would've changed the course or the success the show had. That’s why I have it as #5 over A Different World. It didn’t have to rely on a love interest to get the energy it needed to be a success.
#4 The Cosby Show
Whenever I hear a saxophone I immediately see Cliff Huxtable craning his neck to the song along with Phylicia Rashad and others. You can recognize this theme song probably within 5 notes. It's a classic theme song that tells the story of a show without uttering a single word. It is a show full of comedy, lessons, and family.
The impact of this show was undeniable. You saw for the first time a truly successful and complete family where both the parents worked super successful jobs of a doctor and lawyer.The children were all the same but different in their own ways. Cliff and Claire Huxtable let the children find their own ways but nudged and corrected them when needed! You never really saw that during this show’s heyday. It offered something new that was very necessary and long overdue. A lot of black children looked at Cliff as a father in some ways. He was even tempered, he was fair, and did what he felt like was right at all times and was present in the children’s lives. This gave a blueprint for black families to try to emulate. It also generated a spin off that became a Black culture classic as well, A Different World.
The overall plot was traditional for the most part, a successful family dealing with daily life in New York. It did tackle some serious topics like drugs and pregnancy in teens. It was a well executed show and having a person that great comedic timing and skill took things to the correct comedic level while Claire handled the deep emotional scenes. My main issue with the plot is that it dealt with some elitism when it came to the parenting of the kids. They had to date certain Black men of a certain prowess and class instead finding the compatible person they would be genuinely happy with. That is why I can’t put it in my top 3.