S2 E17 The Family Business

Hello again my friends. Here is another review of GT. This one is called “The Family Business”. James decides to go into business for himself as an appliance repairman, to utilize his talent for fixing things. This is also the very first episode to feature Bookman, the building superintendent. Hope you enjoy the review.

J.J. tried to decide what to paint that day. He chose to paint a family picture. Michael was studying, James was fixing a radio, Florida baking biscuits, Thelma asked what about her. J.J. answered he didn’t want to paint a horror picture. She replied everything he painted was a horror picture. Florida and James commented on how they improved their vocabulary, since their later comebacks were ‘oh yeah’. Someone knocked on the door and Michael answered . It turned out to be Bookman, the building superintendent. He came in to warn them about the noise they were making, claiming it was a violation. He also smelled Florida’s biscuits and took a dozen. Willona came in and called him her very famous nickname for him “Booger”. She told them he warned her about no pets when she had a couple of flies in her apartment. He then charged her a 6 pack of beer and two beef turkeys. James was getting finished fixing her radio and then they mentioned their toaster wouldn’t work but J.J. claimed after James fixed it they had to jump up to the ceiling to fix it.

Florida decided that James should start his own business by opening a fix-it shop. They also decided it was the right time, considering inflation and unemployment that people couldn’t afford anything new so they needed what they had fixed. James and Florida went down to the bank for a loan to rent a shop, and, as James had predicted, didn’t get the loan. The truth was they never borrowed before and didn’t owe anything. Therefore, the bank couldn’t be assured they were a safe risk. They decided that James would fix his friends’ belongings in the apartment until he had enough money to open his own shop. To keep it secret from Bookman, they invented a secret knock.

Before long, James had many things from his fellow tenants to fix. J.J. and Thelma came back with more stuff from other tenants. The regular knock came and the family tried hiding everything but it was Michael, who had to use the bathroom. However, Bookman knocked after and discovered what was happening and threatened to evict them if James didn’t fix some of his items for free. The next morning,  Florida found James asleep over many of Bookman’s items and they realized he was being taken. Bookman came in with a new pile of stuff and James finally worked up the nerve to stand up to him. Florida warned him if he reported them, they would report him for blackmailing James and overworking him. Bookman laughed it off and said nobody would believe it. Michael told James he had Bookman sign a receipt on a baseball card.  Bookman thought Michael was joking so he went along, giving him the proof he needed. Bookman decided to compromise by telling James he’ll forget the whole thing if James closes his business.

Originally aired January 21, 1975

Written by Alex Barris, Allan Mannings, Norman Paul and Jack Elinson

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest Stars Johnny Brown, Morris Buchanan

Another good episode. the first one with Bookman totally depicted his character. Gluttonous, sneaky, nosy, heartless. I guess they made him a regular character as a foil to the Evans family. The episode also dealt with the hardships of poverty, and of course, the difficulties of borrowing money from a bank. I personally thought it would’ve been great if James started his own business and that was a great way to get it started. Poor guy never caught a break!



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