The Cosby Show Analysis

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Australia had its first taste of television in 1956. It didn’t take long to become the most popular source of entertainment, it also stopped people from going to the cinema or other venues. American culture became a popular form of entertainment on Australian television. It wasn’t until 1975 when Australia was introduced to colour television.

October 1980 saw the country’s second national public broadcaster ‘Special Broadcasting Service’. Australia was in demand of a growing multicultural population, hence expanding to Canberra and Goulbourn in 1983, followed by Adelaide, Wollongong, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Brisbane in 1985.

Commercials were in high demand and by 1980 33% of all advertising on television were commercials.
The 1970s and 1980s saw an increase in racial diversity. Successful shows such as the ground-breaking mini-series Roots (1977) and the situation comedy The Cosby Show (1984–1992) created an atmosphere in which African-American programs could emerge. The Cosby Show is often credited with reviving the domestic situation comedy. With the explosion of programs on cable, the 1990s featured many African-American family programs. The positive and upscale images in Cosby contrasted with earlier negative images of African Americans.
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The documentary Australia Daze (Fiske 1988) reflects this ambivalence. The footage of the documentary was filmed on the day of the Bicentennial in various locations around Australia. It includes a section on the Aboriginal Protest (watch clip from Australia Daze). An Indigenous speaker describes the day as both the mourning of a genocide and the 'celebration of a survival' and criticises the lie of 'terra nullius' and its devastating