Thelma Evans from Good Times
I want to keep this wholesome and respectful, so relax guys! I was flipping channels the other night, and I caught an episode of the fairly gritty Norman Lear sitcom Good Times. It's always a pleasure to revisit the Evans family! Early JJ was a seriously funny character. Father James Evans, Sr., played by the awesome John Amos, was as manly and tough a loving father figure as anyone could desire. Who could forget that great theme song and the final shot of JJ's memorable painting? Neighbor Willona hit just the right mark. Mother Florida and righteous younger brother Michael always delivered. And Thelma...sweet, hip Thelma. The sister who kept it together. The sister who had it all together.
The next to last thing I want to do is open the floodgates to drooling teenage memories, and the last thing I want to do is fire up some cheap jungle fever, but growing up white in a white neighborhood, Thelma was something else. This brief bio of actress BernNadette Stamis, who portrayed Thelma, cheesy as it may be, captures part of her appeal. She was The Girl Next Door in neighborhoods I rarely ventured; specifically, she was the Girld Next Door in the Low-Rent, High-Rise Housing Project. Who can judge the actual worth of a novel character on a better-than-average tv show that, at least, aimed for a degree of realism? I can say that Thelma's appeal posed neither barriers nor qualifiers. It was something fresh in its time, and it's a concept that still needs refreshing today. Hopefully, this makes enough sense.