23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Season Three, Good Times had fully hit its amazingly entertaining stride, delivering nonstop laughs week in and week out while beginning to introduce some more serious issues into the lives of the Evans family. People always say that J.J. got the most attention, and he certainly did draw in a lion's share of the audience (especially kids like me, who placed him behind only Fonzie on our list of characters to be imitated) with his obligatory Kid Dy-No-Mite pronouncements and hilariously goofy behavior, but the heart and soul of Good Times was still James Evans. Watching all these episodes again has been a real revelation to me. When I was a kid, I didn't like James - he sort of scared me because he was yelling all the time. As an adult, though, I have a much better appreciation of the remarkable job John Amos did playing such a strong and truly heroic husband and father who worked like a dog to support his family. Amos gives his best performance ever in Season Three's episode The Family Tree, in which he meets and comes to terms with his own father, a man who walked out on his family when James was still a kid. As for all that yelling - well, it's usually hilarious and, more importantly, understandable given the family's situation.
The Evans family experienced a number of fairly momentous events in Season Three. Thelma got engaged and almost moved to California; J.J. eloped, only finding out in the nick of time that his beloved was a junkie; Florida had to have gall bladder surgery, an event which put the family in bad economic straits for awhile (J.J.'s twelve cavities didn't help much, either); Michael got the family on the FBI watch list by requesting information from the government of Cuba; Florida got herself thrown in the slammer after picketing the local meat market (bad meat market, to be exact); Florida's bank-robbing nephew showed up and threw the family in turmoil; and J.J. learned he might have VD. Jay Leno and Debbie Allen put in guest appearances, J.J. sported his chicken- and ribs-delivery hats for the first time, Bookman turned up again and actually put on quite a show at the season-ending rent party episode (which also features the memorable "Supremes" performance), and - best of all - you had the first appearance of the man, the legend, the icon - Sweet Daddy Williams.
J.J.'s catch phrases can get a little old if you watch these episodes one after another, as do the constant arguments between J.J., Thelma, and Michael, but this was probably the show's funniest season. There is even comedy to be found in the worst of the family's struggles. Perhaps my favorite line from the whole show belongs to James - lamenting the money problems he faces after Florida's operation, he complains that his tombstone will say "Here lies James Evans, back in the hole again." Good Times was still a great show in its later seasons, but it was really never the same after Season Three and John Amos' exit.
I can't imagine not having grown up watching Good Times - during its original run and then, for many years, in syndication. I came home from school to shows like Good Times, What's Happening!!, Sanford and Son, and Happy Days; all kids have nowadays are, ugh, talk shows. Good Times was family entertainment at its best. If you're a parent, do your kids a favor and let them see just how funny TV used to be.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2004
The third season of Good Times was the peak of the series as it was the last with John Amos.
The laughs kept on coming, although JJ(Jimmie Walker) was at the time the focus of the show despite the talented Amos and Esther Rolle (who also left the show when she became fed up with the buffoonery behind Walker's character).Not an episode was broadcast without one "Dy-No-Mite".
The classic episodes of the season includes The Family Gun, Florida's Protest, Cleatus, J.J.'s Fiancee ,Sweet Daddy Williams,The Investigation, and J.J. in Trouble.
Unfortunately Amos was asked to leave the show and his character was killed off in an auto accident.The show would last three more seasons (including the fifth where Rolle left the show, only to return in the final season),but it was obvious that season three was it's peak.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2004
The third season of Good Times is bittersweet to fans of the show because this is the last season that the patriarc of the family James will be on the show. The show was never the same after the third season and this season includes some of the funniest episodes. The show continues to push the envelope with different issues relavent to ghetto (and overall family) life in the 70's. In one episode, Florida gets a job and James finds himself jealous of the attention Florida gets at work. There are a few episodes during season three that truly stand out in the Good Times series. The episode "The Family Gun,"
"Operation Florida (where Florida needs a gall bladder operation and finds herself in a nice hospital that James is afraid he can't pay for)," the two part episodes where JJ's girlfriend (Debbie Allen) is strung out on drugs, the episode when Florida and Willona are thrown in jail for a protest outside of a grovery store that sells bad meat (and they eventually give the store manager a taste of his own meat) and there are more great episodes on this set. As the previous seasons are, there are no extras included, but if your a building your classic TV on DVD collection you won't want to miss the third season of Good Times!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2005
Nominated for three Golden Globes, Good Times premiered in mid-season 1974 to widespread critical acclaim and audience popularity. A spin-off of the Bea Arthur (of Golden Girls fame) sitcom Maude (1972), Good Times became the fourth of five highly successful sitcoms brought into being during the 1970's decade by Norman Lear. In addition to Maude, those sitcoms were All In The Family (1971), Sanford & Son (1972), and The Jeffersons (1975). The second of three to focus exclusively on African-American family life, Good Times became a source for groundbreaking social commentary in compliment to its penchant for hilarious family comedy...
Good Times centers around the lives of James (John Amos) and Florida Evans (Esther Rolle), an African-American couple raising their three children in a Chicago housing development. Eldest son J.J. (Jimmie Walker) is a skinny, wisecracking ladies man with an affinity for painting. Middle child Thelma (BernNadette Stanis) plays the role of moderating influence on the passions of her two brothers, while youngest son Michael (Ralph Carter) is always involved in a cause to help others or end an injustice. The family is often visited by Florida's best friend from high school, Willona (Ja'net DuBois), who also lives in the project. In later seasons, she's accompanied by adopted daughter Penny (Janet Jackson). With additional comic relief provided by overweight super Nathan Bookman (Johnny Brown), Good Times is a family-oriented TV series laden with great one-liners and plenty of laugh-tracks...
The Good Times (Season 3) DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere "A Real Cool Job" in which James, having taken a number of courses at a trade school, is finally offered the high-paying job of his dreams. But there's a catch, the job requires a transfer to the frozen tundra of Alaska... Other notable episodes from Season 3 include "Love in the Ghetto" in which Thelma announces she's engaged, much to the chagrin of James and Florida, and "The Mural" in which J.J. paints a mural for a bank in order to earn the money necessary for Thelma to attend college...
Below is a list of episodes included on the Good Times (Season 3) DVD:
Episode 38 (A Real Cool Job)
Episode 39 (The Family Gun)
Episode 40 (Operation Florida)
Episode 41 (Love in the Ghetto)
Episode 42 (Florida's Rich Cousin)
Episode 43 (The Weekend)
Episode 44 (The Baby)
Episode 45 (Michael's Big Fall)
Episode 46 (The Politicians)
Episode 47 (Willona's Dilemma)
Episode 48 (Florida's Protest)
Episode 49 (The Mural)
Episode 50 (A Loss of Confidence)
Episode 51 (Cleatus)
Episode 52 (The Family Tree)
Episode 53 (A Place to Die)
Episode 54 (J.J.'s Fiancee: Part 1)
Episode 55 (J.J.'s Fiancee: Part 2)
Episode 56 (Sweet Daddy Williams)
Episode 57 (The Investigation)
Episode 58 (J.J. in Trouble)
Episode 59 (Florida the Woman)
Episode 60 (The Break Up)
Episode 61 (The Rent Party)
The DVD Report
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2004
I enjoyed watching Good Times growing up in the seventies and was really excited about getting home from school everyday in time to watch the reruns on televison. Good Times tackled issues on race, class, social status, the entire spectrum and the overall treatment of blacks in America as a whole especially the ones who were less educated and less fortunate than others. In response to the gentleman from Australia who wrote the review about Good Times being a racist show toward white people, I will have to disagree. African Americans have more opportunites now than they did 30, 40, 50 years ago. The show was not racist toward whites, blacks, or any other ethnic group. It basically dealt with a poor, black family who had to make do with what they had simply because they were denied opoortunities to better their situations that people like Martin Luther King Jr., Mary Bethune, Fredrick Douglas, etc..worked tirelessly and hard for, so that we could have the same opportunities as everyone else in this beautiful country of ours. To answer the gentleman's question about Good Times portraying whites in a positive light, actually there is an episode that did just that. When Wilona (Janet Du bois) was trying to adopt Penny (Janet Jackson) the social worker who was played by a white woman, almost stop the adoption process simply because Wilona was not married. But the social worker saw that Wilona had a good heart and was really sincere about providing a good, loving environment for the child, the social worker went ahead anyway with the adoption. But of course to know that you will have to buy the DVD. The producers of the show were white, in order for them to tell the story, they had to know the struggle. There you have it!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2004
This is one of the few shows where I can honestly say that I laughed out loud. Part of the fun of watching this show, is knowing how a certain character will react in advance. You know its coming.....you're just waiting for it to happen....and it does--and you're not disappointed.
The cast has really settled into their roles. Jimmie Walker is so goofy--just the way he answers the telephone, or struts around the house in his long johns--its hard to keep a straight face. John Amos' reactions are priceless either when being tempted by a foxy lady, or reacting to J.J.'s latest outlandish behavior. Esther Rolle continues to shine as the forever optimistic Florida Evans, and turns in a thoughtful, sensitive performance. Janet du Bois is sassy as Willona. Even some of the more memorable guest stars this season will later become recurring characters: Sweet pimp Daddy Williams, the crooked Mayor, and Wanda the neighbor.
"The Rent Party" is my favorite episode of this season. While trying to raise money for a neighbor, the Evans family puts on a show. Florida, Willona, and Thelma dress up like the Supremes and sing "Stop! In the Name of Love."
Also, it's really funny to hear the studio audience react to the jokes and situations. They certainly are a lively bunch and you can almost hear them shout to the characters, "Right on, Willona!"
It's weird to hear them occasionally say the "N" word to each other. For that reason, some of the language may be viewed today as politically incorrect, but I still think we can learn something from the Evans family because there usually is a moral at the end of the story--no matter how bad and depressing life gets sometimes, you can still have Good Times. Like the theme song says, "Ain't we lucky we got 'em!"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2004
this is to the person who said this show was racist to whites(NOT)t.v. then was so entertaining, I grew up in the 70's and could not wait to get home to watch good times, I have a 9 year old daughter WHO WOULD RATHER WATCH THESE EPISODES OVER ANYTHING ELSE what does that say about t.v. today? to me good times will always be a classic show because it was about real issues being poor, struggling to make ends meet, going without, something that most people then & today deal with. I WOULD SAY TO ANYONE BUY THESE CLASSICS AND CHERRISH THEM because the way t.v. is now all that is left is the classics.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I have the first three seasons of the series and enjoy them thoroughly. To the person who thinks the program is racist, I have one question ... How? I am white and I find absolutely nothing offensive or racist about the program. It deals with poor people carving out an honorable life for themselves. OK the Evans family is black, but the themes could apply to everyone in their economic situation. Race is not the driving point of the program.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2005
Like others sitcoms, Good Times was better in its earlier seasons, especially when John Amos was still on the show as James Evans, Jr. In fact, Amos did some of the best acting on the show. Good Times was a look at a family in the ghetto who managed to navigate through poverty, the sexual revolution, racial changes and so much more during a volatile time in our nation's history. The interplay between Esther Rolle (Florida) and the children is hilarious, bombastic, but always loving. It showed a family pull together with love, honor, and dignity. I wish amidst all the new reality shows, trash talk shows, and MTV, that there could be just ONE show like Good Times. But since those days look pretty much gone, get this set of DVD's and enjoy what was a much funnier and more sane time in American television history. (P.S. One of my favorite characters on the show, but one who was not on very often was "Sweet Daddy Williams", a neighborhood loan shark and hustler. His run-ins with Florida were priceless!)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
1. The Family Gun *****
2. A Real Cool Job
3. Operation Florida
4. Florida's Rich Cousin
5. The Politicians
6. Love In The Ghetto
7. The Weekend ****
8. The Baby
9. Michael's Big Fall
10. Willona's Dilemma
11. Florida's Protest
12. The Mural
13. A Loss of Confidence
14. Cousin Cleatus
15. The Family Tree *****
16. A Place To Die *****
17. J.J.'s Fiancee - Part 1 *****
18. J.J.'s Fiancee - Part 2 *****
19. Sweet Daddy Williams
20. The Investigation
21. J.J. In Trouble
22. Florida The Woman ****
23. The Break-up
24. The Rent Party *****