Black Community: A Critical Reflection on the Reimagined ‘Good Times’ – Legacy, Stereotypes, and Media Responsibility.

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( I have been informed by others, that as a man possessing some intellect, at all cost, I must maintain an aspect of decency and respect. I agree, but only when I am respected and respect is deserved: there is only one Jesus Christ and that is not me. However, it would be a lie if I did not admit that now and then, I regress to tactics learned in South Memphis from Castalia to South Parkway and fall back on calling people out of their names, disrespecting them, and maybe even worse. So to my regular readers, I ask for a Mulligan after I write this and to ignore the crass language I have chosen to use in jotting this brief. So with this in mind, I respectfully would like to refer to Steph Currie as a stack of evil. And with evil like him, I ask who needs the devil? Curry is like that charismatic Beelzebub John Milton wrote of in his epic poem Paradise Lost.

This past week, a friend sent me a zip file of a new TV show (in theory). He sent me an animated version of a reboot of the classic television sitcom Good Times. To be honest, did not know such a show was in the works or required for that matter. It was released on Netflix and was produced in concert with Sony Pictures Television Studios. Norman Lear, Stephen Curry, and Seth McFarlane were listed as the Executive producers.

Black Community: A Critical Reflection on the Reimagined 'Good Times' - Legacy, Stereotypes, and Media Responsibility.

Thinking nothing of it I watched and was horrified. I did not even finish the episode. I could only think to myself that Esther Rolle is turning in her grave saying “damn, damn, daaammnn”.

I was born in the 60’s and grew up watching Good Times. This version is absolutely insulting and disrespectful. The original show was about a family’s struggles in the inner city and their ability to have and maintain pride and dignity regardless of what they experienced.

This cartoon was not Good Times. Good Times was our story, the touchable story of poor Black Americans living in a world where some believed you did not deserve the right to live next to them or better themselves in any way to achieve the American dream because of one’s skin color. Good Times has stood the test of time, because it is an example that, in the worst, most tragic moments, you can survive with family and faith. A big-time movie executive cannot just cut, paste, and copy that onto a new project, especially in cartoon form, and disrespect the original.

I would have hoped a man who advocates the essential nature of having strong family values would have not promoted this type of rubbish. I want to believe Mr. Curry is a fine man and a man of character but a decision to put one’s money behind this suggest otherwise. Yes, he can do what he pleases with his money, but whatever he stamps with his name, he has to stand on it whenever he is in the kitchen. If this was not a bich move, nothing is. If he put his money behind a show promoting child prostitution am I supposed to just say nothing because it is his loot? Mane, miss me with that shit.

I don’t think anyone involved in this has ever seen the original. And as I said prior, as someone who grew up watching Good Times, I am horribly offended. I mean, who was the somebody at that meeting who said “What if like, the baby is a drug dealer?” As soon as I saw that Seth MacFarlane was an executive producer on this show, my heart sank. As well as my respect for him and even more so for Mr. Curry.

Good Times took important political issues of the day and integrated them into a family-friendly comedy. It was funny, yes, but also deep and thought-provoking. I don’t know what this hodgepodge is but this is not “Good Times”. Doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath. What’s next? The Facts of Life is a comedy about Mexican cartels trafficking school girls.

This is not Good Times, this is a sequel to Dave Chappelle’s Baby Selling Weed at 3 am joke. This is a slap in the face to the original series. They not even hiding the mockery anymore. The original Good Times put forward the message that no matter what, the family stuck it out together and did right. I know Cosby messed up in his personal life but the lessons we learned from Cliff, Claire, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy are ones I share with my seeds to this very day. This is not funny, educational, or entertaining. This hurts.

Steph Curry bricked with this one. The liberal progressive elites already think we’re dumb. I don’t see what’s so funny about a teen repeating grades and a baby outside serving product. Who approved this madness? This kind of portrayal of Black folk continues to perpetuate the stereotypes. They say we are too dumb to get an ID to vote and not smart enough to do math already. Black people are not a monolith. However, in the world of liberal white America, we are all the same. The fact that they dared to call this trash “Good Times” is a travesty.

Now I will not completely wax poetic about the original Good Times. The original Good Times was bad enough, I didn’t grow up like that, although I was raised and lived in government housing up until age 4. No matter where folks lived, everybody was prideful. The new Good Times is a slap in the face. When are folk going to get tired of being portrayed like this? If we don’t respect ourselves why would any other race?

This show contains every stereotypical (negative) depiction of life being Black that they could find. I’m looking at the Black actors associated with this and thinking “Did Hollywood Shuffle teach you nothing?” Someone must have some good dirt on the Netflix exec to get the green light for what could easily be mistaken for a stodgy Saturday Night Live spoof. This is more like Bebe’s Kids than Good Times. That is it, this should’ve been called “Bebe’s Kids: The Next Generation” because that’s literally what it represents. I always wondered what a minstrel show would look like in 2024, now I think I know.

This generation tends to ruin classics and fail to create new classics on their own. J.R.R. Tolkien was so correct when he said”:

“Evil is not able to create anything new, it can only distort and destroy what has been invented or made by the forces of good.”

The original show was right after the civil rights movement. Due to segregation, there were a whole lot of white people who didn’t have much interaction or exposure to black families. All they had was the stereotypes to go by. The beauty of the original show was this revealed to white America that as far as family values, morality, value on education, we all had far more in common than we were different. It helped break down walls built by a lack of understanding and generational ignorance. It brought people closer to mutual understanding. Especially poor white folks seeing the only true difference was skin color.

This new feces looks like it is made to promote exactly the opposite. Too many people fought and died too long to bring us all together, but it seems this younger generation wants to spit on that. The original Good Times taught that it was cool to have a strong loving family dynamic, to prioritize education and work to reach your dreams into our children, and mostly, it did not glamorize gangs, drugs, or promiscuity. It in fact, did the opposite.

This only feeds more division, disrespect of self, and breaking the community down, not bringing it up, or worse still keeping it down. I see so much now that would not be tolerated back when I was a child. Most black families around me had both parents in the home and worked their butts off. They demanded that your homework be done before they got home and were told to do what you could and that they would help you with the hard issues after dinner. And they always checked your work.

You dressed and knew how to wear a belt. Just try going to school or church looking unacceptable and your azz were sent back inside to dress like you had some respect for yourself. People nowadays are so caught up in chasing imaginary racism that they cannot see how many steps backward we have taken, and it’s because this is the stuff kids are exposed to.

This isn’t about entertainment it’s about degrading a group of people. Hollywood loves to reinforce stereotypes. All they had to do was name it something else because the original Good Times is synonymous with greatness, this new show is synonymous with buffoonery. In my opinion, there was no need to remake Good Times in the first place. Steph Curry appears to be just using the name to make a terrible minstrel show: Netflix presents “How to make fun of black people and pretend it is a Show for black people – The Animation”. I dug the Boondocks because it was satire. This is a straight-up minstrel show.

I read a while back that Jimmy ‘JJ’ Walker pitched an updated version of the show but that it was passed on, passed on to come up with that mess. Not surprising that the black people who work on the show are defending it because it is their meal ticket.

We cannot forget that the original Good Times depicted serious topics that were experienced by a Black two-parent household living in the inner city including poverty, unemployment, crime, the education system, integrity, age discrimination, gang violence, alcoholism, age difference in relationships, drug use, tokenism, sexually transmitted diseases, drug dealing, healthcare, child abuse, and the cost of living. Those topics are still relevant now in 2024. To create this show and call it a reboot of a true classic television show is extremely beyond asinine. Good Times was and remains a beloved sitcom that taught life lessons, the realities of being poor and Black in America, and showed a loving Godly family making it despite their struggles. Likewise, we cannot overlook the fact that this “reboot” portrays the worst stereotypes of Black people for laughs. This is legitimately insulting. Shame on the participants.

Now I do not want it censored and I am not calling for a boycott, if a person wants to watch it or enjoy it, I am cool with that, I just will not support it. I will not even shame the participants. Plus I cannot cancel my Netflix account because I never had one.

However, I also recognize that decent society has every right to call out nonsense like this. Don’t try to play the “we don’t support Black people enough” shit. When it’s nonsense like this it deserves to be condemned. The problem is we have let ish like this slide for way too long. This is why everybody is so comfortable dissing us now. Pops (RIP) always said:

All money ain’t good money.

I have no problem with calling a spade a spade and Steph Curry drew the card. I expected such from Norman Lear and Seth MacFarlane but expected more from Mr. Curry. Why? I do not know. So these are my reflections, and yes after viewing a single episode – nothing more nothing less.

Staff Writer; Torrance T. Stephens

Can also purchase any of his books over at; Amazon – TTS Books.