Season 2 Episode 6

Deacon on the Line

Aired Saturday 9:30 PM Nov 14, 1987 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • After church members complain that the deacon does not completely grasp the problems of the community's youth, he volunteers to help at a teen hotline. Soon, he learns the importance of reaching out to a troubled adolescent.

    This episode follows a standard sitcom formula of having an A plot and a B plot progress simultaneously. Here, the teen hotline story is the A plot, and the reverend's court case is the B plot. What's interesting is that Sherman Hemsley's character figures prominently in both storylines. So we could say that this is definitely a deacon-dominated episode. The writers give Sherman Hemsley the chance to do both comedy and drama, and he's certainly up to the task. We also get the chance to see Rev. Johnny again who logically helps with the teen hotline. I found it interesting that the suicidal kid turns out to be white. One thing we don't really see in this series is if the neighborhood where the Fryes live is predominately black (which I suspect it is), or if it is more racially integrated. We also don't know how integrated the church congregation is, either (even though a white boxer joins First Community in a later episode as does the Fryes' Swedish housekeeper, Inga).