, , ,

Good Times is heralded as the most realistic portrayal of black life that all can relate to.  Centered around the family of Florida and James Evans, the program tackles life in the most harsh and challenging of living situations. James is the main provider in the household and is always hoping for the better job to provide for his family. Unlike its descendant, the Cosby show, there was not a scripted happy outcome for his of his attempts. He continued to press on even when it  became extremely difficult. He even stressed education as the true way to elevate your mind and leave your circumstances.  These ideals were even more reinforced by Florida, because she stood by every decision her husband made and he the same.  Her strength came from her deep belief in Jesus and her husband’s ability to provide.  These were not the perfect families as the black communities want us see. James got angry. Florida broke down. The kids fought. Even with these so-called flaws they still loved one another.  They were able to persevere through what ever financial troubles they had and focus on their family and friends.

Good Times had the ability to make most people understand how hard its it to struggle.  People had a chance to sit down and truly have a peek into not only a black household but a household of the working class.  The program had the ability to give people hope that were in similar straits and uplift those that believed their situation had no hope. This show brought together many people from wildly divergent backgrounds and showed them that are not different and hard work and faith will pay off, if you are undeterred in your course.

The show did begin to take a slight down turn with the event of  the death of James.  This is where we see the family at their greatest weakness and beginning of their greatest strength.  The writers decided to take more creative license wit the stories and dialed up the silliness of the eldest son’s character, J.J.  This along with adding unnecessary characters, drug down the quality of the program.  Even the mother, Florida Evans left the show for a time because of the tomfoolery that had taken place in order to attract new viewers.  Even through that, the last episode finally had the family moving out of the ghetto and in to a new place where their environment would no longer be factor in the endeavours they began in the future. This type of strength is not seen in the black community as much as in times past.  The people now just want to be rich already, but the do not understand that to become great, there will be trials and tribulations in order to reach that type of success.