Welcome back friends to another episode review of Good Times. This time around, James is offered a high paying construction job. Only catch is it’s in Alaska and only he can go out there. Hope you enjoy the review.
The family is preparing a party for James, who just finished a trade school course. He just received a license as a heavy equipment operator and was promised a job as a construction worker . J.J. painted a sign that said Happy Graduation Dad, but put on the back better luck next time in case he didn’t make it. He also stated he felt funny asking James for the keys to the bulldozer to date his girlfriend Delilah. Thelma said with her figure he would need a bulldozer to lift her. Michael added when she and J.J. stand together they looked like the number 10. Florida was surprised that Michael got involved, he answered he got tired of staying in the neutral corner. Florida lamented she now had three shouters and only two ears.
Willona came in and excitingly asked Florida if she saw a 6’2″ man who looked like Harry Belafonte, Florida answered no and Willona said she didn’t either (lol). She brought the present the kids got him, a yellow construction hat. Then she stated that she was pretty old to be graduating trade school and Florida remarked he was the same age she was. Michael then marveled that she was four–. Willona shut his mouth and said fortunate, that she was as young enough as he was. James came home with his certification and the party started. James took a bottle of champagne he just bought and J.J. took a cup to be filled. James refused but J.J. protested he was 18 and old enough. (In 1975 18 was the legal drinking age so why couldn’t he). When J.J. argued he was old enough to die for his country, James said if he didn’t put the glass away he’d die in his own kitchen. The next day, Florida was making a jacket for Michael for his new club to raise black pride and awareness. A salesman came to the house to sell them cemetery plots. James came home in an angry mood because he couldn’t find any construction jobs in the city. When the salesman tried to sell to him, James stated how the economy wanted to kill him and this guy wanted to bury him. after James angrily asked him to leave, the phone rang and it was a call from the union, offering him a construction job paying $500 a week for a one year contract. The only problem was the job was in Alaska, working on the pipeline in the middle of nowhere and only he can go.
Florida was adamantly opposed to James leaving the family for one year. she also reminded him of his job at the loading dock as the assistant foreman. He replied they fired the only person who worked under him. He also stated with that sort of income they can save up for the kids education and move to a better neighborhood and live good. Florida answered she didn’t want to live good if it meant not living with him. When he stated the kids were practically grown up, she said a kid Michael’s age needed a father, especially in a neighborhood like that. He argued back that the way they live, they were poor, and that poor is at the bottom of everyone’s wish list, right above sick and dead.
The next day, Michael left to go to a club meeting while Willona came to visit Florida. Willona mentioned that a guy she dated worked on a pipeline in Texas and every weekend they would fly in dancing girls for “entertainment”. James came home arguing with J.J. and Thelma, who offered to get part-time jobs to add extra income but James refused. Florida went into her room crying over the fact that James refused to change his mind about leaving. James went in to talk to her, she had a 10 page letter he wrote her a long time ago when we was out of town. James told her that all he would be doing in the Frontier State was working and getting homesick. Florida added he would be entertained as well. James tried to assure her that he would never get involved in stuff like that. Michael came home roughed up. He said a local gang jumped him and his friends until he hit one of them with a stack of papers and ran off. When he said they were getting them back the next day, James forbidded him to do so and took his jacket. He stated that if his club was talking about revenge then they turned into a gang and he just quit. Then he threatened Michael with a beating if he protested. That was when James decided he should look for a construction job in the city, regardless of salary.
Originally aired September 9, 1975
Written by Bob Peete
Directed by Herbert Kenwith
Guest Star David Moses
Another good episode with a reality theme. Many people in the 1970s were sent to work on pipelines in Alaska and other far out locations. One thing about the show that I could never get was the fact that James could never catch a break. I also couldn’t understand why they couldn’t find him a job like that in Chicago, that is a pretty expensive city. The funniest scenes were when James told J.J. he’d double his allowance when J.J. was receiving nothing, then let him have a sip of champagne, but the bottle was empty. James commented he got double on nothing again. Or when J.J. stated that instead of kissing lips he’d be rubbing noses. Join me for my review on the next episode, entitled “Operation Florida”.