A poor Afro-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.
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6   5   4   3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   1976   1975   1974  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Michael Evans (133 episodes, 1974-1979)
...
 Thelma Evans / ... (133 episodes, 1974-1979)
...
 James 'J.J.' Evans, Jr. (133 episodes, 1974-1979)
...
 Willona Woods (128 episodes, 1974-1979)
...
 Florida Evans (109 episodes, 1974-1979)
...
 James Evans, Sr. (61 episodes, 1974-1976)
...
 Nathan Bookman (57 episodes, 1975-1979)
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Storyline

Life in the Chicago projects is never easy, However, the Evans family never gives up trying to make the best of things. While Florida and James struggle to provide for their family, their sons J.J., an aspiring painter, Micheal, the undying political crusader, causing trouble while their sister, Thelma, stands between them as the voice of reason. Living in the same building were Willona Woods, Florida's best friend from High School who provided support, love and gossip and Nathan Bookman, the overweight janitor who gave them grief and was the butt of alot of fat jokes, especially Willona who often referred to him as Buffalo Butt or Booger. Life, at least, is never boring while they fight to keep their heads above water and one day leave the projects, which they did in the series finale. Sadly, it was without James who was killed off in the 4th season. Written by Kate Tripper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Добрые времена  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(133 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Norman Lear hired artist Ernie Barnes to paint the pictures which J.J. used in the show. Barnes' work displays elongated African-American subjects in everyday scenes. Eddie Murphy owns the original "The Sugar Shack" painting by Barnes. See more »

Quotes

Florida: [after discovering J.J's illegal gambling] J.J, there are two roads out of the ghetto. So far, we've managed to stay on the right road.
J.J.: That's what's taking us so long to get out of here! Look, Ma, tell me one dude in the projects who's got a future that ain't in the rackets.
Florida: You, because you just resigned.
J.J.: Oh, no, Ma. It's MY way out and I'm going to take it.
Florida: Then you can start by getting out of here.
J.J.: Oh, come one, Ma...
[moves forward to hug Florida]
Florida: [...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful!!
23 September 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is one of my all time favorite shows. This show, to me reflected on the good side of poverty. Although the Evans family was poor and lived in the projects, they had each other. No matter how much the family suffered financially, they never turned to crime or other illegal actions to make ends meet. Throughout those times, many African American families consisted of a single mom with numerous kids. The Evans family had both parents providing stabilty and shelter for them. This show was excellent. However, there was one little pesky problem that always seemed to bother me. It seemed as if every other season, fiesty neighbor and friend Willona, always received the same promotion on her job. Everytime Willona came in with"great news", she would informed them that she was just made the "head buyer" for the boutique. Interesting...


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