Monday, July 25, 2005

Well, you know...what can I say?

Earlier this year I said there would be no jive in 2005 and I didn't lie. Good Times is back on the air in primetime at TV Land. I've been saying "Dyno-mite!!!" all weekend as I watched quite a few episodes during the TV Land marathon. Good Times was a staple for me growing up. I may not have been black, but I could certainly identify with the poverty of the Evans family. The period between 1974 and 1979 was lean all over. There's usually a meat dish served at supper in our house today, but when I was a kid you only got cooked meat twice a week at best. My family just couldn't afford it. Milk was also something of a luxury. So when J.J. would lament that there was no ham to eat I could empathize. I was enthralled by the fact that they were living in Chicago - the opening and closing credit sequences were otherworldly to a kid living in Murfreesboro, TN. I knew I didn't want to live in the Cabrini Green projects pictured, but Chicago was just so huge on my tiny televsion screen. When I was a kid, J.J. was the natural favorite - the ebony prince was the king of cool. But as an adult, James Evans Sr. is the man. It's a shame his character was killed off due to a behind the scenes dispute over the show's direction. The show didn't jump the shark though - there are incredible episodes to be found throughout the series' run. I especially get a kick from Dap Sugar Wille playing the hustler Lenny. Look for him during the season Esther Rolle was not on the show. Look for a larger post on this great show from me sometime soon. Now we need to get What's Happening! back on the air.


Ryan said...

Man, I loved "Good Times." For years I have wanted some original artwork by Ernie Barnes (the artist who did J.J.'s work on the show). The guys sells for thousands of dollars. I hope to one day hang one in my house.

elliott said...

It's been good to see those shows again this week. In 3rd grade I wore my JJ hat emblazoned with "Dy-no-mite!" on the upturned front brim everywhere.

Wally Bangs said...

Ryan: Thanks for mentioning Ernie Barnes. I was going to do it in my post and it slipped my mind.

Elliott: We need a picture of you in that hat.