Good Times - Season 2
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 06/28/2005 Run time:
600 minutes Rating: Nr
Centered on the strong-willed but loving parents Florida and James
Evans (Esther Rolle and John Amos), Good Times spun out stories of
poverty and resilience that skillfully balanced comedy and politics.
An episode in which James returns a found bag of money stolen from a
bank doesn't trot out bland homilies about honesty, but becomes a
surprisingly multilayered debate about civic virtue. In one of the
second season's comic centerpieces, the Evans family avoids eating a
neighbor's meatloaf because they think it's made with dog food. The
scene is played as hilarious farce, but the acknowledgment of a poor
old woman living on dog food gives the sequence an underlying bite.
The commentary rarely feels forced; at its best, the show drew
significance out of the characters' daily lives. An episode about a
pregnant teen ends on an unexpectedly moving note, without any
strings on the soundtrack to cue the audience's heartstrings--that's
solid writing and acting. With buffoonish Jimmy "Dy-no-mite!"
Walker, foxy Ja'Net Du Bois, sweet BernNadette Stanis, and militant
Ralph Carter rounding out the cast, Good Times is a time capsule
both for fashion (even though they lived in the projects, the Evans'
fashion-plate neighbor Willona, played by Du Bois, was rarely
without a glamorous get-up) and for a time in which mainstream
sitcoms had the freedom to reflect the tougher side of reality.