S3 E17 J.J.’s Fiancée Part 1

Welcome back friends and fans. This episode is called “J.J.’s Fiancée”. J.J. announces his engagement to his girlfriend, Diana. This caused a great deal of protest from both their parents. Hope you enjoy the review.

Florida asked Michael to get ready for bed. He protested he wanted to stay up all night and watch horror movies. Florida then reminded him how those movies gave him nightmares (what, by the time I was that age I got over those stupid nightmares). Thelma stated that after sleeping in the bed with J.J. for 13 years didn’t give him nightmares, nothing else would. Michael argued he wanted to see the wolf man. James told him to get ready for bed or he’d be watching the belt man. Michael went to get ready at once. Willona told Florida and James the news that someone was moving out on the 7th floor. the wife in apt. 703 was messing around with the husband in apt. 705 and they were arguing all week. When Florida asked who was moving out, she answered the occupant in apt. 704, who couldn’t handle the noise.

J.J. came home singing “Love Will Keep Us Together” and announced his love for Diana, his latest girlfriend. He was taking her to her senior prom while Thelma was also going with her boyfriend Larry. Thelma stated she was the weirdo of the neighborhood. Florida mentioned she thought Diana was very nice but Thelma stated she was also moody. Willona stated that if J.J. was really serious about Diana, he would have gotten her a bracelet. He then stated he got her a ring. Then he announced he asked Diana to marry him and she accepted the proposal. Florida blurted out a ‘Lord, have mercy’. James stated that in the state of Illinois those under 21 needed parental consent in which he didn’t have. (I thought that by the mid 1970s, 18 was the legal age, even to drink). J.J. lamented that he got his driver’s license at 16 but why wait till 21 for his marriage license, James answered the state would rather him drive a lemon than marry one. J.J. resented him saying that about Diana, Thelma said he meant the law was to protect her. J.J. told them he invited Diana and her parents over the following night and asked if they can discuss the matter before making a final decision. James and Florida said no matter what their answer was still no. Michael was even against it because the three of them could not fit on the sofa.

Diana came over with her parents, Fred and Lucille Buchanan, two friends of Florida and James. James was still bitter toward the fact that Fred had long owed him $20. It turned out they were more opposed to the engagement than the Evanses. They claimed that J.J. was too young and irresponsible. James angrily told him not to say that about J.J., for he had a bright future and was a great catch for any woman. When J.J. asked if that meant they can get married, James replied ‘No, you’re too young and irresponsible’. Fred reminded him he just said the same thing, but Florida stated it wasn’t for him to say (of course, would the Buchanans like it if Florida and James made a similar remark about Diana?). The visit ended in a stalemate and Diana went in the room to get their coats and stole money from her parents’s wallet.

J.J. and Diana went shopping for an engagement ring. Diana questioned that their parents will never give them consent but J.J. came up with a plan. He stated that after the prom they will elope to Indiana, where the legal age to marry is 18. J.J. said there was no other way and Diana said there had to be another way. The salesman asked them if they were buying a ring or rehearsing a soap opera. J.J. stated that even though he joked around a lot, he was serious about how much he loved Diana. When the salesman asked how much he was willing to spend, J.J. answered the sky was the limit. When he heard the prices, he asked to drop some latitude, down to death valley. J.J. only had $25 and the sales clerk stated the only ones that cheap were in the gumball machine. He showed them the most inexpensive ring they had for $185. He also said it was $10 down for $10 a month. When he said diamonds are forever, J.J. replied so were the payments. While J.J. went over the contract with the sales clerk, Diana stole a ring from the collection.

Michael protested how much he hated washing dishes, he stated Thelma and J.J. get allowances, he should get something too. James said he gets dinner. Michael then stated ‘hey dishes baby, what’s up’. (J.J. had a job so why would he get allowance, a kid Michael’s age should get allowance, besides, in ‘A Real Cool Job’, J.J. didn’t get one). J.J. and Thelma came out in their prom outfits while waiting for the Buchanans to arrive. James took a picture of the two. When Diana and her parents came over, J.J. announced that they were officially engaged and threatened to elope, since they had the ring. James, Florida and the Buchanans again expressed their disapproval while J.J. told James right out that he wasn’t kidding and that was what they were doing, whether anybody liked it or not. A frustrated Diana went into the room and, well, it seemed like she was a compulsive thief, but, in the next part of the episode, we will see what the situation is.

Originally aired January 6, 1976

Written by Roger Shulman and John Baskin

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest stars Debbie Allen, Sonny Jim Gaines, Marie Moore, Mel Bryant

Another good episode. This one also is high on the reality scale. It was a well-known fact in the 1970s (just as it is today) that many young people suffered from drug addiction. Personally, I think J.J. should have gotten a full-time job and saved some money before he can be ready for marriage. Of course, when we find in “J.J.’s Fiancée Part 2”, we will find out why Diana was definitely the wrong choice for him.




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