S2 E15 Florida Goes To School

Welcome y’all. here is another GT review. This episode is entitled ‘Florida Goes To School’. Florida went to night school for her GED and James, in a matter of pride, objected. Hope you enjoy the review.

The phone rang and Michael, Thelma and J.J. ran for it, resulting in J.J. answering. His girlfriend Henrietta called and J.J. questioned her about the guy he spotted her with the previous evening. He asked what he had that J.J. didn’t and after each pause he asked ‘What else?’, Thelma stated she only had a dime so she couldn’t talk forever. He still had a date with her that night to see Isaac Hayes in concert. Only thing, he didn’t have the $5 he needed for the tickets (wow man, I remember in the 1980s tickets to a concert was like $15 each). James came home with the great news that he just got a new job as a dock assistant foreman. J.J. asked him for the cash but James turned him down. stating he didn’t get paid yet. He asked Thelma who also refused and then Michael who did the same. Florida came home with even greater news that she just enrolled in night school. She went to tell James her good news while he tried telling her his. She was extremely happy for James but he was less than thrilled about her getting her GED. He claimed she should have checked with him first but the truth was he just didn’t want her to go. He was afraid of having a wife with a higher education than him. She asked him for one good reason why she shouldn’t, he answered because he said no. Michael said that reason always stopped him.

Willona came in during the middle of Florida and James’s argument and it became known that she mentioned to Florida about the night school. James asked her why she wasn’t there to get her diploma as well, Willona stated she already got her diploma, how else would she get the job at the boutique, James answered he assumed she was there to work off her clothing bill. After she left, Florida then asked James if he felt threatened or intimidated and he claimed he didn’t but refused to give a logical answer why he was against it. Florida said if he was that upset about her trying to improve himself to just come right out and say she could not go to night school to get her diploma. James then bellowed ‘Fine, go to night school, go to college, get a PhD, I don’t care, just leave me alone’.

Florida was reading one of her books and Thelma stated how she hasn’t seen her look up from the book since she got home and Florida stated she hasn’t looked up in about two weeks. She then said with some pride that she was starting to get into the hang of it. J.J. decided to show her a new technique of study. Take the book and zip through every page. Although he knew nothing in the book, he can still argue that he read every page. James came out and asked J.J. to take the garbage out. J.J. said he had it covered then James yelled out ‘Now!’. Florida told him he shouldn’t yell and it would be better to reason with children than to yell. James resented being told how to raise the kids. Florida stated it said so in her child psychology book. James then said to J.J. very nicely and quietly that he wanted him to take the garbage out because if he didn’t he would yell his head off. Thelma and Michael came out and asked what the fuss was. Florida discussed it as nothing and sent them back inside to study. James stated that he wouldn’t let some book run his life, using several ‘ain’t’s’ in a row . Florida mentioned to him there was no such word as ain’t. When James argued it was in the dictionary, Florida said it wasn’t and to look it up. James said he couldn’t because they had no dictionary. Then he started getting agitated with Florida telling him he wasn’t raising the kids right and wasn’t talking right. Next thing he knew she’d be telling him he was doing nothing right. He said they were going in two different directions and his direction was out the door.

James went down to the local bar and met his friend, Willie Washington (who was referred to in several episode but seen only in this one). He told him that down at the car wash a woman was hired to take his place. He stated she was trouble since she used to have a job as a maid and didn’t like washing windows. They went over to the pinball machine to play a few games. James was using his hips to get the machine moving and told Willie he was using ‘hip talk’ with a lot of ‘soul’. Willie told him that his wife went to see a shrink because he wasn’t satisfied with her life. The shrink let her believe that nothing was wrong with her, it was him who had the problems and they separated shortly thereafter. This was enough to give James a long, hard look at himself and realize he was wrong. He went back home and informed Florida that he also signed up for the night school and bought her and himself a couple of new school bags. They both left to go to school together.

The epilogue had James and Florida returning form night school. When Thelma asked thenm to tell what it was like, Florida stated the teachers got younger, the students got older and the desks were smaller. James said that they met the principal there and he stated that J.J. spent more time in the office than in class. J.J. then made a joke that Florida and James wouldn’t have to worry about getting a date for the prom.

Originally aired January 7, 1975

Written by Michael E. Coleman, Roger Shulman and John Baskin

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest Star Hal Williams

Another good episode which, like the previous one, ‘Florida’s Big Gig’. explains the rise and prominence of women’s lib in the 1970s. On the negative side, James was letting out his male chauvinistic side and fear of Florida getting more ahead of him. The funniest scenes were when Willona informed Florida the cops found a mugger in the laundry room. When Florida asked what he was doing and she answered ‘his underwear’. Another when James was at the bar and when he beat the high score on the pinball machine and the ‘right on’ balloon popped out. Next, we will have an episode entitled ‘The Nude’. Have a great day friends.

 

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