Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 24/06/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Ain't we lucky we got 'em?

Amongst the kilometres of dross that pollute our TV networks, it's refreshing to occasionally run into the dross which you actually want to see. After what seemed a televisual drought in the first half of the year, high-calibre low-quality programming is returning to our screens. Beverly Hills 90210 has returned, tackling the key issues that affect people with more money and good looks than sense. Optus Vision has put Muppet Babies back on air, and all I need now is a subscription. Even Cheers is back into the very first series, when Ted Danson still had his own hair.

But best of all, Good Times is once again gracing the airwaves at Channel Nine, even if it is at the ungodly hour of 4:30am. Admittedly it's getting pulled every time the bloody tennis makes an appearance, but even limited doses of JJ and Willona are better than nothing at all, and seeing Janet Jackson at that age is a crackup.

In many respects, Good Times is a bloody awful show, but that, of course, is part of its charm. Never was a single room set used less effectively. Never were so many orange clothes seen in a single frame. And no other TV series theme tune that I can think of features the word 'asphalt'. I can't wait to get home this evening and check out last night's episode.

For a cult TV program, Web resources on Good Times are surprisingly lacking. In fact, they're almost non-existent in terms of the essentials like FAQs and program guides, although there are a lot of spot mentions (do a search on "good times" "norman lear" in Alta Vista to dodge the virus references and other generic nonentities). Be sure to check out the Jimmy Walker biography too. Somewhere at home, I have an analysis of the use of Black English in the series; in the name of good content, I may be forced to precis it. Watch this space.

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