It is a typical work day for Clair and she is spending it sitting in the living room, wearing a long blazer with enormously official looking shoulder pads over a contrasting colored blouse, reading her one law book and scribbling on a legal pad. Meanwhile, Cliff comes upstairs to visit Clair, typically neglecting the gynecological needs of his basement patients to slow dance in his doctor coat with Clair to some old blues song about people always wanting to do it except their kids always walk in and ruin it. This leads to a wager between Cliff and Clair regarding the correct recording date of said song with the loser having to do a bunch of ridiculous stuff involving food and car washing. Denise enters the room during the wager and declares Clair the winner blah blah Cliff is angry and Denise gets an acceptance letter from Berkeley, which is odd, because she’s home during a school day like a high school drop-out. She declares she is choosing between NYU, Hillman, Univ. of North Dakota and Univ. of Hawaii and will be letting the family know her decision at dinner. The rest of the kids get home from school to talk about Denise’s decision and even Sondra is there since she doesn’t want to miss the moment at dinner when Cliff tells Denise he is kicking her off the show for lewd public behavior like starring in that movie Angel Heart with Mickey Rourke and having sex for the world to see. Rudy is the only one who seems genuinely sad about Denise going to college, while Vanessa won’t shut up about wanting Denise’s room. Cliff’s parents come over for dinner and everyone sits down in the dining room to await Denise’s announcement that she is going to Hillman. Everyone toasts her and Cliff and Clair read some emotional b.s. that says: The difference between you now and you then is that you then were priceless and helpless. You now are still beyond price but we are letting you go slowly but certainly. And we feel you slipping from our hands as we remember you then and pray for you now. We are forever your mother and your father. Which losely translates to: You’re fired for being combative and naked on the big screen. Good luck with all that.
Okay, this one is courtesy of Videogum:
Somehow, it almost makes the weird orchestral-Caribbean credits opener from Season 5 seem appropriate (which, by the way, features Vanessa’s hair at its most angular).
Wikipedia has further proven that the Huxtables are completely transparent to at least one other person besides myself. Everyone hates Elvin. Cliff hates kids. Rudy wants to stab Olivia. Vanessa is the worst and the sooner she is out of the house the better.
I submit as evidence the following episode descriptions not submitted by me to Wikipedia:
Play It Again, Vanessa- Vanessa plays clarinet in the school’s orchestra. She plays an embarrassing solo at the school concert, but her parents support her anyway (because she is blackmailing them).
How Ugly Is He?- Denise has a new boyfriend, David, but is reluctant to bring him home. She fears that Cliff will, like always, make fun of the boy and ruin her chances with him.
Father’s Day- Cliff complains about the poor quality of his annual Father’s Day gifts. He challenges the children to find some better presents for a December Father’s Day (or he will send them to the salt mines).
Adventures in Babysitting- Rudy begs Martin to let her babysit Olivia (so she can strangle her with a jumprope).
First Day of School- Cliff and Clair are overjoyed with the arrival of the new school year, as their children are finally out of the house (and they can do it all day long).
Cliff in Love- Sondra breaks up with her boyfriend Elvin and is depressed, taking it out on the family. Cliff and Clair aren’t exactly unhappy; they find Elvin rather annoying (what else is new).
Cliff gets Jilted- Vanessa and Dabnis announce that they have broken their engagement . . . and would-be father-in-law Cliff is devastated (because Vanessa is going to live at home forever).
Man Talk- Although he has a steady girlfriend, Theo wants to start dating someone else (Cockroach).
I am distracted in writing the synopsis for this particular episode because I am currently viewing another episode where Cliff has apparently tucked his sweater into his slacks and has bloused it out and now I can’t concentrate.
In any case, back to the episode titled “Theogate: The family sets up a mock court to try Theo for tardiness” which is really about lying or track meets or making fun of Circus Burger employees or whatever PICK A TOPIC, WILLIAM H. COSBY, ED. D.
OMG, now Theo is dressed like Dracula with a soul glow wig. This has to be the most distracting episode of all time and its description is merely “Cliff searches for a drill he borrowed.”
SO, back to another quality episode featuring family role playing in order to humiliate a child into correcting negative behaviors by engaging those he/she trusts and loves most in life into shaming him/her.
The episode begins with learning Vanessa is in the school production of South Pacific which is so terrible that it only has a one-night run; therefore, it is imperative that the entire family get there immediately and on time to get the best seats for throwing tomatoes during Vanessa’s key scene. Inexplicably, Bud and Peter are also being dragged to this nightmare production. The family is trying to dash out the door and are delayed because they are waiting on Theo who finally comes running in with Cockroach in tow, something something about still needing to grab food from the kitchen because they didn’t get enough Circus Burger to eat after the track meet something something Clair is super pissed about Theo being late something something Theo just ran out of the kitchen with two rotisserie chickens.
WHAT IS GOING ON NOW. Peter has come into the kitchen wearing a red button down shirt over an orange button down shirt over a plaid flannel shirt with all the sleeves rolled up. Strangely enough, he looks like Clair.
Anyway, the family gets home post-performance and Vanessa is bitching because everyone got there late and missed her one scene and Cliff and Clair are all pissed that they skipped Theo’s track meet to see Vanessa and didn’t even get to throw tomatoes at her so that was an evening totally wasted. Clair keeps thinking that something is up with Theo’s tardiness and that he’s telling her half truths and Cliff is all, seriously, why don’t you go sit at your tiny writing desk by the front door and pretend to do lawyer stuff with that pencil and the only legal book you own.
The next day progresses and the principal calls the house for Theo and Clair is now angry about Theo’s supposed lying or maybe she’s still pissed about his tardiness, who knows, Bill has introduced too many story lines to keep track. What I do know is that never have I seen an episode featuring any of Clair’s clients so I guess she has plenty of time to investigate her own children and design a mock court to shame them into learning life lessons. We come to understand that Theo is clearly lying about Circus Burger and why he didn’t, in fact, get to eat after the track meet, and then there is some other business about
HOLY SHIT THIS OTHER EPISODE FEATURES BOTH SINBAD AND GILBERT GOTTFRIED IN THE SAME SCENE?
him making up some story about his track coach’s marriage being on the rocks and, whatever, he’s totally going to keep lying to Clair to mask the truth that he was masturbating in the Circus Burger bathroom to the vision of Cockroach in a running singlet and that was the real reason he didn’t get to eat.
Cut to the mock court with Cliff as bailiff, Vanessa as judge, and Rudy, Peter and Bud in the jury, Clair as prosecution and Cockroach as defense. So, the charges run from tardiness to lying about being tardy to lying about the track coach to Cliff not previously revealing to Clair that he told Theo he’d buy him a car if he ran track to Theo admitting he and Cockroach made fun of a Circus Burger employee until she cried, END CASE, Cliff hates being a bailiff, Clair spent 8 hours prepping for this family trial with her pencil and legal book, Theo is promising to apologize to the Circus Burger girl and everyone forgot this episode was supposed to be about tardiness or more importantly the rumor Theo started about his track coach’s failing marriage.