S3 E21 J.J. In Trouble

Welcome back friends and fans to another review of GT. This is another special episode. J.J.’s ex-girlfriend was stricken with VD and claims he was responsible. Hope you enjoy the review.

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James and Florida wee out of town to attend a relative’s wedding. Thelma had Michael clean the bathroom, wash the windows and clean the bathroom floor. Michael protested he would be the only kid his age with housemaid knees. J.J. came out claiming they disturbed his beauty sleep. Thelma responded it wasn’t working for him. Thelma stated he missed breakfast and he joked if he played his cards right he would also miss lunch. J.J. then announced he was changing the menu by taking their meals out with the $20 they left them for emergency. Thelma answered she had the money and they wouldn’t blow it on food. This led to another one of their hassles and Michael intervened. He questioned why they were always calling each other ugly when looks weren’t everything. He then added he hoped at least not in their cases. J.J. then announced he was taking the television into the bedroom. Michael argued that was his night to take the room. J.J. told him that it would be a good lesson to him that life is full of disappointments. Then he threatened to put a dirty magazine in Michael’s book bag and rat him out to their parents if he didn’t relinquish the room to him. Michael said that was blackmail and J.J. said he preferred to think of it as ‘brownmail’.

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Willona came in and tried to stop the hassle. The kids also turned on each other when Thelma told her J.J. came at 2 a.m. that morning. They asked her how she knew that, Michael stated she came in at 1:30 herself and was pretty frisky with her boyfriend Larry. It turned out Michael was still awake at that time. Willona threatened to report them to the parents if there were any more trouble. J.J.’s old girlfriend Mary Ann called and said she needed to speak to him. He tried to hurry Thelma and Michael out so they can have privacy. Michael said he’d leave for a price. He wanted to get the bedroom and television that evening and J.J. washes the dinner dishes. J.J. said that was blackmail but Michael said he referred to it as ‘brownmail’.

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Mary Ann arrived and told J.J. she had VD and claimed he was guilty of giving it to her. This left J.J. in a panic and had him prancing and getting all worried that it only happens to other people, then realized that he was other people. J.J. got the family medical encyclopedia to look it up. Thelma and Michael came home and J.J. found it hard to tell them about it. Michael found the book and saw VD on the page, since the only other thing on the page was vasectomy. Thelma quickly suspected it was Mary Ann who was infected with the disease. Michael looked up in his sex education book and that it can be curable if victims see a doctor at a clinic in every major city in the country (including Chicago). If not cured, it can lead to serious illness and also be fatal. J.J. answered if his parents find out, it would be fatal. Michael further read that any person over the age of 11 can receive treatment without parental permission. Thelma and Michael got him to go down to the clinic to be checked over.

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Just as they were leaving the phone rang and it was Florida, checking to see how everything was. Michael let it slip they were on their way to see the doctor. J.J. explained that Michael had a scraped knee. when Thelma spoke to her, she said Florida caught the bouquet at the wedding. Michael stated it was nothing compared to what J.J. caught (thankfully Florida didn’t hear that). When they got down to the clinic, J.J. whispered to the nurse what he was there for, she stated it was nothing to be ashamed of. When he sat down to wait for the doctor, a fellow patient (Jay Leno) told him everyone else was there for the same thing. The doctor called him into the office to give him a test. Mary Ann came down while they waited for the results and J.J. came out with the news that he was negative. Mary Ann insisted that he had to have it, for she and her new boyfriend, who was captain of the football team, were engaged. She apologized to J.J. for putting him through all that and Thelma advised her to confront her fiancée, for the worst thing to do was not tell him. When they left the office, J.J. decided to swear off women. However, a young woman walked in and J.J. tried to pick her up but Michael and Thelma grabbed him and they went home.

Original airdate February 3, 1976

Written by Roger Shulman and John Baskin

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest stars Ta-Tanisha, Jay Leno, Dulcie Jordan, Ron Recasner

Florida and James did not appear in this episode

An excellent episode and very informative. This was before the age of AIDS but VD was a big matter in the 1970s. It also reflected on J.J.’s image as a ladies man. Thankfully it ended well and would possibly give J.J. food for thought about future relationships. It was also noteworthy that Jay Leno, who played the young man J.J. made friends with in the doctor’s clinic, was a writer for the series and future host of The Tonight Show.



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