"I have all the good times DVD's, but the best thing I like about the show is not the comedy or the nostalgia; it is the controversial and political subjects that the show has portrayed over all the seasons. From the subjects of drug use, gang violence, and especially the way the fourth season carried on without the patriarch of the family, and how the family struggled more but grew stronger. Season five has the best of all these seasons combined, that is, when they brought the subject of child abuse, single parenthood and adoption of children to poor people in a five part continuing story of the new girl in the neighborhood(PLayed By Janet Jackson)and her abusive mother and how Wilona (Ja'net Dubois) save her from this horrible situation. I think of all the topics of Mr. Norman Lears Television shows during the seventies, this particular story stayed with me the most. I watched it when I was a child, and it still has the same profound impact on me today as it did when I first seen it on TV. My friend who has never seen the show being from another country who watches it with me frequently, agrees that this is one of the most underrated TV shows in TV history. THese issues are as important today as they were thirty years ago."
IJustDiedAlive | Northern CA, USA | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In season five we are introduced to a little girl in a bad situation. Janet Jackson joins the cast as Esther Rolle leaves the show for a while. The Evans kids really show remarkable growth into adult hood in season five. They still tease each other and make us laugh but that's just a sibling thing.
Wilona Woods really gets her chance to shine as the new lead actress of the series. She takes Janet Jackson's character Penny under her wing as we discover Penny's home is nowhere for a child to be living.
The writers really did a good job at recapturing the mood of Good Times as it was in the first season even without the lead actors it began with."
SEASON SIX IS A BETTER WAIT
John T. Johnson | LOS ANGELES , CA | 11/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"SEASON 5 IS THE WORST SEASON OF THE SERIES I AM THE WORLD'S BIGGEST "GOOD TIMES" FAN.... SO I FEEL COMFORTABLE SAYING THAT. IT IS SAD TO SAY BUT SONY SHOULD HAVE JUST RELEASED EPISODES 1-4 OUT OF THIS SEASON, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BEST OUT OF THE 24 EPISODES JANET DU'BOIS AND CHIP FIELDS BOTH GIVE TOUR-DE-FORCE PERFORMANCES IN THE EPISODES TITLED "THE EVANSES GET INVOLVED" I LOVE AND ADMIRE THE LATE GREAT ESTHER ROLLE AND RESPECT HER FOR HER STANCE ON THE DIRECTION THE SHOW WAS HEADING AND THE BAFOONERY OF JJ'S CHARACTER HE WAS WAY TOO OLD TO BE STILL SAYING "DYNOMITE" EVERY 5 MINUTES. I BELIEVE THE PRODUCERS PLAYED THE OLE "DIVIDE AND CONQUER" ROUTINE AMONGST JIMMIE WALKER AND ESTHER ROLLE. IT IS SAD THAT IT HAD TO BE THAT WAY. HOWEVER- JOHN AMOS BOWED OUT GRACEFULLY AT THE END OF SEASON THREE...WAY BEFORE THEY COULD PLACE HIM IN THIS DEBACLE. IF YOU ARE A "GOOD TIMES" FAN YOU WILL BUY THIS SET LIKE I DID. BUT IF THIS YOUR FIRST TIME BUYING A "GOOD TIMES" SET DONT START WITH THIS SEASON START WITH SEASON ONE AND WORK YOUR WAY UP SO BY THE TIME YOU GET TO SEASON FIVE YOU WILL HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE SHOW STARTED OFF LIKE. I CANT WAIT FOR SEASON SIX IT WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SEASONS....IT IS A MUST HAVE FOR THREE REASONS 1. THELMA AND KEITH'S WEDDING 2. THE RETURN OF PENNY'S MOTHER (EXPLOSIVE EPISODE) 3. THE EVANSES FINALLY MAKE IT OUT OF THE PROJECT'S"
Compromise to a certain point is surrender...And I'm not cha
M. Gordon | New York | 09/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a die-hard Good Times fan, but it's hard to completely endorse this season of the show. It's like the writers just gave up completely. The jokes are so stale they are almost evil - pure garbage. You really can't imagine people sitting at a typewriter believing anyone would think the jokes are funny - the writers should be ashamed of themselves. When sit-com writing gets this stupid, it sucks at your brain. There are many disappointments - J.J. trades his dream to become a artist and works at an advertising agency, never to pick up a paint brush again, Michael, our black genius gets a "D" on his report card, and as an African American, I'll never understand why a show that makes so many comments on discrimination has so many crude fat jokes. (also see What's Happening.) Bookman was never strong enough to be a main character, but there was really no one else, I guess, to consider.
That said, this may still be a "must buy" for a few reasons. One is the early Penny eposides("The Evans Get Involved")when Penny is introduced as an abused child. These episodes do what Good Times does best - poignant dramatic comedy with an edge. Watching Kit Fields and Janet Dubois' confrontation over her abuse allegations is amazing, and Janet Jackson is heartbreaking when she says to her mother who she is protecting, "I didn't tell them anything Mama." I never forgot these episodes when they aired in the seventies and now understand why.
Part of the advantage of watching the shows in order by season is that you can see the progress (or decline.) I happen to like Wilona as a lead character and Janet Dubois as a actress definitely has her moments. Some of the situations she's put in are ridiculous, but her acting is strong and it is always touching the way she becomes a mother to Penny.
And finally, there is "Write On, Thelma." Thelma is asked by Mr. Nichols to change her play and finally delivers words to live by. For my family, this was a classic and the DVD was worth it for this episode alone. When Thelma recites her main character's monologue "My Daddy Always Told Me......." it is amazing how John Amos, gone from the show for two seasons, still makes an impact on the viewer's mind as "James."
Good Times was a complicated show and has been criticized rightly for many reasons. But I still love it, and James Evans was unprecedented in terms of the presentation of black fathers on television.
"This season began with the introduction of Janet Jackson's character of Penny who became Willona's daughter. The first few episodes with Penny's mother (Chip Field's) are some of the best episodes of the entire run.
The remainder of the season however leaves alot to be desired. The plots seem contrived and the writers appear to be struggling to include each character in every episode.
However, as a die hard fan, I contined to tune in then and I enjoyed the DVD now."