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Monday, March 18, 2013

5 Reasons Why We Don’t Need A “Good Times” Movie

Another day, another poor excuse for a Black movie in the works. This time, Hollywood has set its sights on demolishing the good name of the iconic ‘70s TV show, “Good Times.”  Scott Rudin will produce the film set in the ’60s (instead of the ’70s) and Phil Johnston (“Wreck-It Ralph”) will write the script.

So now James and Florida Evans will be battling to make ends meet during the height of the Civil Rights movement while J.J. shouts “DY-NO-MITE!” at probably the most inappropriate moments.
While we still adore the sitcom (and even watch it to this day), the idea of it being remade in 2013 for the big screen just makes us shudder. And here are five reasons why:

5. Hollywood has no idea what to do with black characters: Face it: These days, we can’t have clever characters without them being corny and sexless; and we can’t have assured characters without them coming across sassy and unbearable. “Good Times” managed to brilliantly teeter along many of these aspects, while at the same time it offered a poignant story that rarely offended you. You may not have always exactly related to each saga, but you understood and appreciated it. How often does that happen for more modern films?

4.There are far too many other great narratives to adapt: “Good Times” was good for its time, but we have so many untold stories that could benefit from screen time. If you base it on Hollywood’s more recent choices, you’d think we were starving for decent Black stories to put in theaters. You’d think we didn’t have anything else to say that didn’t involve people in servitude and loud-mouthed grandmas. But that couldn’t be further from the case. If Hollywood would just venture to the library every once in a while, they’d notice that there’s a plethora of stories screaming for big screen treatments. Those are the stories worth funding.
3.Phil Johnston: Johnston wrote the charming Oscar-nominated (yet largely white) Wreck-It-Ralph, which everyone should see if they haven’t already. But since when does writing a fun animated film (with no other acclaimed credits) make you qualified to take on the multi-faceted, politically-charged story of a black family in the ‘70s tackling stereotypes, poverty and racism? It doesn’t. Hollywood didn’t want to ask anyone else? Insert red flag here.

2. Hollywood can’t even get modern Black sitcoms right: It’s no secret that the small screen today is seriously lacking the intelligence and audacity that embodied such classic shows as “The Jeffersons” and “The Cosby Show.” Gone is the hardened advice of Judge Phillip Banks and the glamour of Helen Willis. Throughout the years, Hollywood has too often debased and ridiculed the black family with low-form entertainment. And now they’re trying to go back and ruin one of the great ones.

1.It’s a lose-lose situation: If the movie does well at the box office, no matter how bad it is, more will pop up just like it, which means fewer films of substance like Middle of Nowhere and Pariah. If the movie makes no money, then Hollywood would chalk it up to their deluded notion that there is no audience for black movies.

Just makes you go, “damn, damn, damn..”

This post was originally published by The Urban Daily.


Daniel said...

I read about the remake being in the works last week and for a variety of reasons it just reeked of a horrible idea. I tend to agree with a lot of your points on why as well.

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