The opening episode to Britain's first black sitcom 'The Fosters' based on the American sitcom 'Good Times'
In the opening episode, Sonny and Shirley both have dates. Shirley's date is giving parents Samuel and Pearl the most concern as she is sixteen dating a twenty-one year old named Matthew. Shirley assures her parents though, Matthew is an intellectual. Pearl finds a book on the sofa titled 'Sex in the Black Community' This leads her to instantly think it is Sonny's and she is furious he has brought such literature into their flat. Samuel on the other hand thinks it is great his Son is reading this kind of stuff. But then it is revealed it is in fact Shirley's. Will Samuel be as happy now his sixteen year old daughter is reading such material...
I've watched so many sitcoms now to realise don't expect too much in the opening episode of a sitcom. Opening episodes are about introducing characters, not trying to be funny. It is difficult to do both in a twenty-five minute time slot. This opener is not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination. There seems to be a bit too much over-acting taking place and the audience laughter track is also annoying. The former is easily sorted out as you start to get used to the characters as the series goes on. However, the latter can be very annoying at times. Simple jokes being greeted by a round of applause is very annoying. At times I thought I was watching the opening episode of 'The Nineteenth Hole' Yet there are some good lines to be enjoyed, you get to know the characters and there is a decent plot, so it is fairly decent for an opening episode.
There is little surprise to see this episode being broadcast first. As a new sitcom, you don't know how it is going to go, so if you bear in mind this is from the seventies, if you title your opening episode 'Sex in the Black Community' to a 1970's British public, you're going to get viewers. This is a landmark sitcom, the first sitcom to star an exclusive black cast. Norman Beaton is particularly impressive as the put upon father Samuel. I'm viewing this for the first time properly and one episode in, though a lot of improvement is needed, I think it will improve as it has great potential.
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