S2 E14 Florida’s Big Gig

Welcome back friends and fans. Here we are with another episode of GT. This one is called ‘Florida’s Big Gig’. It tells about how James interviewed for a job at a department store and Florida came along. Big mistake, they hired Florida for the job instead. Enjoy the review.

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J.J. was sitting at the table after breakfast was finished. He claimed he was waiting for desert. Michael reminded him that there is no dessert after breakfast, he also mentioned there was a food price crunch. J.J. then remarked that he wasn’t easy to fill up, like Michael and Thelma were. Florida stated that he was that hungry, he needed to get a part time job. J.J. answered there were nothing out there that was part time, spare time or any time at all. Michael read in the newspaper that unemployment for black people was up to 11%, Florida mentioned sarcastically they were moving up in the world, since two years prior they were only 10% of the country’s population. Then she announced James was up for a job at a department store and she may have a job at Willona’s clothing boutique mending clothes.  Michael received a call from Charlotte McDaniel (remember her from the previous episode), she asked if Michael would walk to school with her, play with her at recess and walk home with her. He answered no to each question and decided to leave for school early to avoid her. Willona came in to share the bad news that her boutique wasn’t hiring. She mentioned how employment was put in with the obituaries, meaning EMPLOYMENT IS DEAD. She then put on a display eulogy to emphasize.

James came out in his suit and tie asking Florida for a Band-Aid. He felt so sharp he was afraid of cutting himself (lol). When she let on about Willona’s boutique not hiring, he suggested she go down to the department store with him to find a job. Therefore, they would both be working together. This led to a battle between the sexes because James said he charmed the woman in personnel and claimed he can do the same for her, help her find a job he believed was more befitting to a woman. While down at the store, he brought Florida in with him to be interviewed as well. The store manager came around and insisted the personnel director hire Florida, on the basis that she was a woman. Just as James is assured he has the job, the manager gives them the news that he was receiving pressure on hiring women and that was why Florida had the job instead of James.

James is extremely angry over the news about Florida being hired instead of him. The manager threatened to give the job to another woman if she didn’t accept. James talked her into taking the job. Michael mentioned to Thelma and J.J. how he was so used to Florida being home when they got home form school. J.J. decided that they should cheer a dejected James up, since he was unhappy to return to his job at the car wash. Florida came home with a cake and with the news that she was laid off, the cake was used as an effort to cheer the family up. Florida then questioned that with only James’s part time job at the car wash how would they make ends meet. James answered the same way they always had, somehow.

The epilogue had J.J. and Thelma arguing about Thelma stating J.J. couldn’t hold down a decent job to save his life. That led to one insult after another and when Florida and James emerged from their bedroom, Florida stated they’ll definitely make it. They had all the ingredients of family love and togetherness.

Original airdate December 31, 1974

Written by Bob Peete

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest Stars Charlotte Rae, Dick O’Neill

Another good episode that deals with real life topics. Many companies of the era were pressured to hire black people and women. Fortunately for Florida, she qualified for both. Unfortunately for James, it was his job that she had gotten. If he went down himself, he definitely would’ve had it right in his pocket. It goes to show you never know how things will turn out. The funniest scene was Willona in her display of unemployment and the manager saying he was happy, the store was happy and Florida was happy. When the personnel director inquired about James and he replied that we all can’t be happy. Thank you for reading and my next review will be “Florida Goes To School”.




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