Good Times

Season 1 Episode 11

The TV Commercial

Aired Unknown Apr 26, 1974 on CBS

Episode Recap

Part One: James is going through the family bills, deciding which ones to pay, stall, argue about, or hide. Michael says all the poor people should get together and write protest letters to Washington; James says they prevented that by raising the price of stamps. Both Michael and Thelma offer to get part time jobs to help out but James insists they keep with their education. He thinks they have some great kids. JJ then asks him for $18 and James says, 'Well, two out of three ain't bad.' JJ says he needs the money to buy some barbells; Thelma says he looks like one. JJ says if he gets them, he may get a job as a lifeguard, and even learn how to swim. James sees the a toll call to Oak Park on the phone bill; JJ says he called a 'classy chick' and said he was the boss of 'No Town.' James says if he does that again, he will take JJ to 'knuckle junction.' In the hall, Florida tells Willona that she was approached by someone from an ad agency looking for an honest face for a TV commercial. Willona is excited, but Florida says that it isn't definite yet, that the man had to look at other people. Willona says that they won't find anyone more honest than her. She goes into the apartment and tells the family. When she says that the ad agency man 'liked what he saw,' James thinks it's for a brassiere commercial. Thelma says she may get $100. JJ does a commercial of his own, but Thelma gets on him for speaking bad English. Florida says that she won't use anything but good English. JJ asks for money for his barbells, but James says that if she gets paid, it's hers and she can use it for whatever she wants. Thelma asks when the man is supposed to call and Florida says by4 o'clock. It happens to be ten after five, so Florida thinks it won't happen. James says that if she started that, then it would lead to movies and while she put her footprints in cement, he'd be in the back of the crowd, watching their French poodles. Florida says no, he'd stay home and babysit their Siamese cats. They laugh and JJ says that it would be cool having a movie star mom, that he would have a Cadillac to drive to get his food stamps. He gets into an arugment with Thelma as the phone rings. Florida is too nervous to answer, so James does. Then he gets Florida and after she hangs up, she gets nervous and James tells JJ to get her a glass of water. Florida says she got the job: selling a new product called Vita Brite and with replays she could make as much as $5000. JJ takes a gulp of the water and when James tells him to give it to his mother, JJ says that she will be drinking the best from now on: Kool-Aid.

Part Two: Florida tries to practice for the commercial but she is too nervous. Thelma shows her some diction exercises to help her speak better. JJ shows her how to do a commercial with James' help. Thelma tells her to get into character. Florida says that the money will be for the kids' education and their old age. A man in a Vita Brite t shirt arrives with the script and a six-pack of the product. However, he seems rather scrawny and not healthy. Florida asks if he takes Vita Brite and the man says 'Day and night.' She becomes nervousat this and starts to read the script. However, she sees that it says that she's used it for three months, when she hasn't used it at all. She then objects to what she thinks is telling lies. The family tries to convince her that it's just part of selling, Thelma calling it a little white lie. Florida says that she's color blind when it comes to lying, that the family is just excited about the money. James says he won't let her do anything she doesn't feel comfortable doing, but there's a lot of money at stake. He says that it still may be good for people, and Florida references the scrawny delivery man. James says they should at least try it, so Thelma grabs a bottle and gets some glasses and pours some for everyone except Michael, who is drinking out of another bottle. They all say it tastes good, but then they read the label, seeing it has 18% alcohol and should be kept away from children. Florida then says, 'Vita Brite is Vita Booze!' Michael then starts spinning around and singing 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon.' He's drunk from drinking straight from the bottle. James says he should just sleep it off. Florida then says she won't do the commercial and James agree. JJ tries to convince her to do it but she says she won't sell anything that markets booze as a health tonic. Michael then says he would do it, saying 'Take Vita Brite and sleep tight.' He then falls asleep and James carries him into the main bedroom.

Epilogue: The family is watching TV and a commercial for a cereal is on. The woman says that it tastes good with sugar, strawberries and cream. Florida turns off the TV and says that a bale of hay would taste good with that. Thelma says it could have been her doing that commercial. Florida says no, and that the ad man told her said the government would not let them do a TV commercial for Vita Brite, and if they did, that there was someone else who would be better than her: Dean Martin. She then starts singing 'Fly Me To The Moon.'