S6 E7 J.J. The Teacher

Welcome back friends and fans. Here we are with another review of GT. This episode has J.J. teaching art at home and one of his students has a father who is violently opposed to him taking art lessons. Hope you enjoy the review.

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Keith was looking at a job application for a bank manager trainee. Michael asked if the application asked if he was black. He said it didn’t, but he would tell them as soon as he got there (that was a line James used in season1). Thelma said it was also illegal to ask a person’s sex on an app. Keith said that was something he didn’t need to tell them, then grabbed her so they can fool around some more. J.J. came out and commented Romeo jumped up on Juliet’s balcony again. Thelma asked him to give notice when he walked in a room (he was only coming from the bedroom). He said they should put up a sign saying man kissed the creature from the black lagoon. Keith said he’d like to break J.J. in half, but didn’t want to see two of him running around there (that was another line from James, couldn’t they be a little more original?).

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J.J. asked Michael if he’d let him get away with that, he said only if he did it first. J.J. asked Thelma to dust around the area he taught in. She argued J.J. needed to do his share of housework as well. This led to another hassle until Florida came in and blew her whistle and said “at ease”. She stated she was sick and tired of screaming kids on her bus all day long and then coming home to an apartment of bigger screaming kids. When asked how her day went, she stated one of her students brought his dog on the bus to protect him from a bully. When Florida came to stop the fight, the bully ended up biting the dog. J.J.’s student, Donna, came over. Everybody was marveled by her lack of talent and intelligence. Thelma and Keith excused themselves to go see a Peter Falk movie. Before they left, Keith gave her his Falk impression. She stated he was nice but talked funny. Earl, J.J.’s other student, came in. He worked on a portrait of Penny, who had an itchy nose. When Michael came home, he enjoyed the smell of dinner Florida was making and asked when it was ready. She answered when someone set the table. Earl volunteered to but tripped on the way to the kitchen. Florida asked him how his parents felt about him spending so much time there and eating with them. He said he lived with his father, who had a construction job and came home to the three B’s. Beer, belch and bed. Ironically, his father came to the door and grabbed Earl by the ear and forced him out of there. Michael told him he was J.J.’s best art student and he said at that point he was J.J.’s ex-art student.

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J.J. was on the phone with Donna, who said she was quitting taking lessons from him. This meant he had no more income coming in. Bookman came to the door threatening to evict him for using the apartment as an art studio. When he told him he was washed up, Bookman joked he was a teacher with no class (lol). Earl came by, stating his father changed his mind, much to J.J.’s disbelief. He stated if he couldn’t paint, he was lost. There was nothing else he could really do. Florida and Michael came in from the store and they discussed how unfair it was for Earl’s father to prevent him from doing the one thong he enjoyed and was good at. Florida argued that he was not her son and she could not tell him to disobey his father. Earl heard his father’s angry knock at the door and hid inside the bathroom. When he looked around for him (where was his search warrant?), he asked Earl if he was in there and he yelled “No”. J.J. asked him if he believed his own son (lol).

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Florida asked him to calm down and he yelled at her to mind her own business (that was her house, so whatever happens in it is her business). She said a little louder “I told you to calm down”. She asked him what he had against Earl taking art lessons. He answered it was a waste of time, money and hope. Florida answered that hope was never a waste. J.J. even stated he would give him free lessons since his father was such a hothead. Mr. Mitchell added that they were in a ghetto and he wanted to see Earl get them out of there, and he didn’t think he could do it with a paintbrush. Florida asked him if they looked like they got room service. They were all stuck there. Mr. Mitchell added as much as he cared for his son’s future, he wanted him to become an athlete or a musician. He said Earl had two left feet and 10 thumbs. The first thing he did every morning when he woke up was fall down. J.J. stated he can paint with his feet. Michael said he thought Earl can be one of the best painters coming out of the ghetto. Florida told Mr. Mitchell that he should consider what he can do and not so much what he can’t do. Mr. Mitchell threatened to give Earl a whipping that evening and if he came back the next day he’d get a worse whipping. Earl said he was coming back and no matter how much he whipped him, he would continue until one of them gave in. Mr. Mitchell decided if he wanted to waste his life with that, go ahead, but he would not pay for his lessons. Then he asked him how did he pay for lessons and asked if he was stealing, Earl answered he used his lunch money. Florida realized why he was always so hungry. Mr. Mitchell took a look at one of his paintings and thought it was great and decided he would pay for his art lessons. Earl said he didn’t have to if he really didn’t want to but Mr. Mitchell told him don’t be a stubborn fool like him. J.J. asked him if he thought the painting was pretty good, he answered the Mitchells don’t do anything pretty good, they do it the best.

Original airdate October 21, 1978

Written by Mark Fink

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Ernest Harden Jr., Hal Williams (3rd appearance), Rose Parrish

Hal Williams played three different character son this series. In the first episode he played one of the rent collectors. He later friend James’s friend, Willie Washington. Now as Frank Mitchell, father of Earl.

Overall a good episode which demonstrated J.J.’s artistic talents. I just could not understand how someone can be so opposed to their son’s career path. Parents should not try to make their kids do what they think they should and let their kids do what they want. If it’s something that makes them happy and they can succeed at it as well. Earl was a talented artist and I found it sad how his father couldn’t acknowledge that and support him with that.

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