S2 E5 The Man I Most Admire

Welcome back friends and fellow Good Times fan. Here we are with ‘The Man I Most Admire”. Michael has to write an essay on that topic and chooses none other than James. Hope you like my review.

Florida made a dress for Thelma’s date that night using a headless mannequin (dummy). J.J. noticed it while painting and pretended it to be Thelma and tried to dance with it. Thelma came out saying first time she saw two dummies dancing together. Michael, who was at the table writing and drinking milk, looked up and said Jesse Jackson. He explained he would make him his choice for the man he most admired. Thelma complimented the job Florida did on her dress and suggested she become a great fashion designer. Michael then claimed he didn’t have an easy choice choosing between Jackson, Hank Aaron and Thurgood Marshall.

James came out wearing his jacket and tie and Florida announced he was interviewing for a job as assistant foreman, with the utmost support and encouragement from Florida. The kids did a song and dance of gimme a m, gimme an o, gimme a m, what does that spell? Michael asked him if they knew he was black, he replied they don’t ask that on the application but he’d tell them once he got there, lol. Michael claimed the reason he was choosing Jesse Jackson because he knew him personally. He was passing by the Sheraton Hotel where Jackson was staying. Jackson looked him straight in the eye and said ‘hello, little brother’. Thelma suggested that Michael write about a woman. Michael replied there were not many women who did great things and Thelma responded he was a male chauvinist. J.J. mistook the insult as a communist. When Thelma corrected him, he said a person with a chauvinist attitude was right on. This led to a battle about the sexes between Thelma and J.J., causing Michael to regret starting the conversation.

Willona came in to check on the casserole that Florida made for her and her date. When Michael asked her who she thought he could write about, she suggested John Wayne. He spent so much time killing off the Indians he didn’t bother the black people. Michael then decided the best person to write about was Florida. She made clothes for the kids, encouraged James to go out for jobs, and cooked meals for her friends. As flattered as she was, Florida conceded that she wasn’t famous. Michael stated a person didn’t have to be famous to be admired. She then suggested that James is the one he should write about, since he was the one who supported the family and kept them together. Just as this was said, James came home discouraged that he thought it would only be one more rejection so he never even bothered to show up for the interview.

The family stared at him in disbelief while James went on a diatribe about the routine about getting rejected, especially considering his lack of education. Michael went into Thelma’s room to finish his essay, unsure if he was still writing about James. Florida went inside the bedroom to comfort James, telling him when she married him, she married the best. She claimed the headache he had turned into conceit. Meanwhile, J.J. and Thelma came up with an idea to make him feel better by asking him for advice on what to do when they got out of school. He suggested Thelma become a doctor while J.J. should become a commercial artist. After Thelma said they should leave him alone, J.J. said ‘I think he’s all right now’ (oops). James started getting angry and mistook their encouragement for pity. Then he yelled at Michael about the essay, believing it was another snow job. Then he said he may not have been much but he was the best man he could be and didn’t need him or anyone else trying to make him into what he wasn’t. When Florida read Michael’s essay, it said James got knocked down a lot but always came up swinging. He just wanted the family to have everything they needed, which wasn’t an easy thing. In spite of not having a great education, he was the best father in the world and Michael wished he can be only half as good a father to his children (Amen). James apologized to Michael but then suggested he should write about men like Jesse Jackson or Thurgood Marshall. Michael whispered to Florida he would still write about James, prompting him to say ‘and you couldn’t make a better choice.’.

The epilogue had James return from the interview and said they would have liked to hire him but at that time they were getting all their possessions repossessed. The personnel director then said ‘oh no we’re going broke’, while James answered ‘welcome to the club’. lol.

Original airdate October 8. 1974

Written by Michael Morris

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

No guest stars were in this episode

Another good episode. This one deals with the difficulties of obtaining a high-paying job, especially without any education. It also explains how discouraging and frustrating a person in that situation could feel. On the plus side, it also tells how great a father James was to his children and husband to Florida and the positive role model he portrayed. Despite their lack of money and his inability to get a well-paying job to provide a better life, he still kept the family together. There were few funny moments, like Willona’s comment on John Wayne, or James’s mimicking of the personnel director and J.J. letting it slip about James’s feeling better after they talked to him. The epilogue seemed to top off the funny scenes. Next, we’ll be getting into “The Encyclopedia Hustle”.

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