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Good Times (1974) : JJ's "Dyn-o-mite!" Painting

by Nicholas Sammond

This scene comes from "The I.Q. Test," in the second season of the popular sitcom "Good Times," which depicts the realities and resilience of an African-American family living in the Chicago projects during the 1970s.

Here, J.J. Evans delivers his famous and defining line, "Dyn-o-mite!" when talking about his new girlfriend. He also shows his parents a painting he did for his younger brother Michael's graduation, showing Michael as a Supreme Court justice. When asked why Michael's robes are purple, J.J. answers that it is because he ran out of black paint.

While J.J.'s character has been interpreted as stereotypical, epitomized by the recurring use of "Dyn-o-mite!", this scene points to the ways that the show continually shows its struggle and goal of representing black authenticity. While all of J.J.'s paintings reveal an attempt to authentically reveal his life while reaching beyond it towards artistic success, the use of purple over black paint additionally shows the constant dynamicity and differentiation at the heart of the show to represent yet reframe African American life.

Good Times : JJ's "Dyn-o-mite!" Painting

This scene 1970s TV show "Good Times" sees J.J. Evans performing his classic line "Dyn-o-mite!" and showing his parents a painting of his brother Michael as a Supreme Court justice, speaking to multiple aspects of black authenticity and difference.

from Good Times (1974-1979) (1974)
Creator: Eric Monte and Michael Evans
Posted by Nicholas Sammond