First there was no James. This year no Florida. Yes, the Sunshine State is alive and well even after a year full of hurricanes, but the lovable mother Evans is not a part of Good Times 5th season. I found these episodes to be the show’s least funny. There’s no doubt that the scripts are trying way too hard to cover the awkward situations. The addition of young Penny is really no compensation. It doesn’t help that after 5 years JJ’s shtick is beginning to show its wear. Still, there are some good moments here for the show’s legion of fans. The Bookman character steals several shows. The series had always been known for its willingness to touch on some real ghetto issues, and that hasn’t changed. The opening series of episodes are quite serious. Michael has matured and finds himself in several serious ethical dilemmas this year.
Good Times has a pretty minimal Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track that, like most sitcoms from this era, is really 2 channel mono. You can hear everything being said with little or no distortion. The audio does suffer in the applause and laughter track. You’ll find plenty of high-end splatter. Pulling down your highs will help to minimize the effect.
Good Times is presented in its original broadcast 1.33:1 full frame format. This was a sitcom from the 70’s and the years show on these prints. The transfer is admirable in that new life is brought to the color saturation found in cable reruns of the show. These prints have more stable and brighter color and contrast. There are still tint fades in and out throughout the set. This is likely as good as it can get.
Nothing to report here.
Both the character of Florida and the actress were missed in year 5. There was no question that she was truly the heart of the show. Yes, JJ was the funniest. Michael was always a great spoil. Still, Florida gave the show a warmth that made all of the funny moments even better. Florida does indeed return for the 6th and final season which allows for not Good, but Better Times, indeed. There’s no one just like “Mama.”