S2 E1 Florida Flips

Hello friends. Welcome to season 2 of ‘Good Times’. We open with a story line about Florida appearing to have a nervous breakdown. Not one of her more likable moments but still interesting to watch. Hope you enjoy my review.

We begin our episode with Thelma waking J.J. up for school , while he’s dreaming about chasing a girl, while being chased by her father, who has the muggers on his tail, with the police in pursuit. Thelma and Michael warned him that Florida was in a bad mood. Thelma stated she yelled at her for hanging her panties up on the curtain rod, which she did all the time. J.J. tried to charm her but struck out. Florida berated Thelma for not stirring the oatmeal and gets on Michael’s case for not making his bed, then said disgustedly she’ll have to do it when she got back from doing laundry. Her door slamming woke up James, who conceded that the night before she woke him up saying she wanted to talk, then said she had nothing to say.

Florida met Willona in the hallway waiting for the elevator. Willona made a joke but wasn’t enough to lighten Florida up. She also blurted out a ‘damn’ about the elevator taking its time. When it finally came, Willona claimed to forget something and backed away. She went to the Evans’s apartment to discuss Florida with the family. The kids believe she was having a case of menopause while Willona stated she was frustrated with just being a mother and a wife. The family just seemed to take it for granted that Florida was satisfied with that but she actually wanted to do more with her life. When she came back from the laundry room she and James had an argument while Michael tried to call a truce. Florida told Michael to mind his own business while she continued the argument with James. Michael tried again to break it up but it resulted in Florida slapping him. She then got so upset she ran inside crying.

Willona brought Florida to a woman’s awareness meeting with other woman complaining to each other about the abuse they endure from their husbands. Wanda made her first of many appearances as a neighbor/friend. In this episode she played an abused wife while in later episodes she was a lonely widow. Florida maintained that it was not the same thing with her and James, since he considered her a person and the family depended on her. Meanwhile, James and the kids were at home worrying where she went. Michael believed she was mad for hitting him. Thelma assured him she didn’t mean to hit him but to hit out at the world. James said she may have tried to hit out at him. Florida returned in a much happier mood and apologized for her actions and worrying everybody. She then apologized to Michael for hitting him and how much she loved him and the whole family. James, however, started to insist she tell where she was. When she told him she was at that woman’s meeting, he started getting disgusted and said the ever famous quote ‘a woman does her best work in the kitchen and in the bedroom’. An angry Florida blurted out how she knew those ladies were right but didn’t want to admit it. She also admitted that she was sick and tired of only being a housewife and wanted to be something more. Then she said she didn’t want to ahead of James, nor did she want to walk behind him. She wanted to walk with him. With this she and James kissed and made up and the kids commented on how nice it was. J.J. said it was also confusing since he didn’t know who to ask to make dinner or to lend him money for a date. Thelma and Michael came out with the famous line ‘oh, shut up J.J.’, prompting a laugh from Florida and James.

In the epilogue, Florida and Thelma were looking over a brochure from a local night school. James jokingly pointed out one class that would come in very handy for Florida, the home economics class that taught sewing and cooking.

Originally aired September 10, 1974

Written by Jack Elinson, Norman Paul, John Donley and Kurt Taylor

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest Stars Helen Martin, Rosanna Carter, Sylvia Soares

Another good episode that deals with real life topics. Although it’s not menopause (like Edith Bunker or Maude experienced), it deals with the boredom of being just a housewife with the desire to do more in life. Florida should’ve considered herself lucky, that unlike some of the ladies in that group, who suffer from domestic and verbal abuse, she has a loving husband.  J.J.’s efforts to lighten the situation with his jokes seems only to add tension to the matter. It appears to be the only funny moments in the episode.

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