S1 E10 Springtime In The Ghetto

Hello friends and welcome back to another rendition of my Good Times episodes. This episode deals with Florida entering a best kept apartment contest while Michael, at the worst opportune time, brought Ned the Wino home to try to help him rehabilitate. Hope you enjoy my review.

Florida was stitching a cover for the sofa while James tended her new plants. Florida claimed she read in a book that plants are sensitive and need the most care and attention they can possibly give them. Thelma came out of her room stating it was spotless and that she even got lipstick stains off her autographed picture of Stevie Wonder. She then helped Florida put the slip cover over the sofa then Florida asked her to clean the inside of the stove, prompting a ‘Oh ma’ groan from Thelma but she agreed. Florida remarked that a loving, helpful daughter is the next best thing to a self-cleaning stove. James cautioned Florida about how stiff the competition would be but Florida felt too confident to let that get her down. James also warned that it’s not what you do but who you know, Florida responded that Mrs. Vincent, the lady in charge of the contest, was honest as the day was long. James said the same thing was said about the politicians, but their days were getting shorter and shorter.

J.J. returns with plant food and makes a wisecrack about plants eating better than them and they should sprinkle grits with them. Florida requested he apologize for hurting their feelings, much to his disbelief. J.J. requested he be introduced before his formal apology, Florida introduced the first one as philodendron, the others as Boston fern, freckle plant and African violet. J.J. said hello to each of them and addressed African violet as ‘right on, bro’, then excused himself to use the bathroom. Willona enters with a couple of goldfish named Ozzie and Harriet but couldn’t tell them both apart (but maintained that they could).  J.J. returned from the bathroom and noticed the fishbowl. He greeted the fish with ‘hello there little gold brothers, may the water in your bowl always be wet’. Willona told Florida the judges will be there that afternoon. Michael came home announcing he helped a homeless person. It turned out to be none other as Ned the Wino (played by Raymond G. Allen, who later played Aunt Esther’s husband Woody in “Sanford And Son”). Michael brought him home to help him rehabilitate, much to the chagrin of Florida, who believed she wouldn’t have a chance with him there. James told Michael that in order to help somebody he must want to help himself. Michael maintained that after a talk with Ned, he promised to dry out. James went over to Ned and offered him a bottle of muscatel they had. After a moment’s pause, he said he promised Michael he wouldn’t and decided to keep it. After telling Michael his timing couldn’t be any more off to become a Good Samaritan, she finally decided to let Ned stay.

The family tried to get Ned to eat some oatmeal. When he inquired what that was, Florida answered something he hasn’t had in a long time called food. Thelma handed him a glass of milk and Florida told to pretend it was white muscatel. James said he probably wasn’t used to anything that didn’t come out of a brown paper bag. Willona came back and announced the judges were only one floor below them. When she noticed Ned there she suddenly became shocked and lamented they wouldn’t have a chance. James, J.J. and Michael took him into the bathroom to clean him up while James got some of his old clothes for Ned to wear. James kissed Florida for being a whole lot of woman and he wasn’t talking about weight. When they finally got the new and improved Ned out of the bathroom, wearing decent clothes and his beard shaved. It must have shocked him since all he did was stare and smile. The judging committee finally showed up and Mrs. Vincent. the head of the committee, noticed Ned sitting on the couch and recognized him immediately. James claimed he was his cousin from Mississippi who resembled Ned. She stated he had the same profile, mustache and breath of Ned the Wino (why didn’t they give him some mouthwash?). The other members stated the bedrooms and bathroom were immaculate. (when did they find time to clean the bathroom after cleaning up Ned). Mrs. Vincent then announced that the Evans’s were the winners.

Mrs. Vincent came back and confessed that the reason they won was because they cleaned Ned up as well as they did. She then revealed that she knew it was him because he was her husband (so Ned’s last name was Vincent, interesting) She then said she was finally happy to take him home with her, much to the chagrin of Ned.  Florida then joked she now had connections in the gutter.

In the epilogue, James, Florida, Michael and Thelma are all admiring the plaque Florida won which they hanged on the wall. J.J. came in and noticed that Harriet, the goldfish, gave birth to seven guppies. He went to say hello to them, giving them names, Thelma said ‘Hello fool’.

Original airdate April 19, 1974

Written by Norman Paul and Jack Elinson

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest stars Raymond G. Allen, Robin Braxton, Simeon Holloway and Betty Cole

This was the first appearance of Ned the Wino

The best things about this epoisode is how one takes pride in their apartment and how important it is to help those in need. Unfortunately, James’s statement was correct when she said it’s not how well you do but who you know.  Also, you never know how things may turn out. Next, we will get into “The TV Commercial”.

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