‘Good Times’ original cast members respond to trailer for Netflix animated reboot

Image Credit: Netflix

By /Originally published by thegrio

Two original cast members of “Good Times” are weighing in on the animated reboot, with one saying he is reserving judgment until watching the soon-to-be-released show on Netflix and another saying she didn’t know it would be as it turned out.

Shortly after Netflix released the first official “Good Times” trailer at the end of March, ahead of the series premiere on April 12, fans of the 1970s original sitcom took to social media to express their frustrations with the reboot. Online users took offense at the family’s portrayal in the new show, calling the sitcom revival “disrespectful and distasteful.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the series premiere of “Good Times.” The Norman Lear-produced sitcom is regarded as one of the most important shows showcasing a realistic portrayal of a working-class Black family living in Chicago. The animated Netflix reboot is a reimagined version that explores a new generation of the show’s Evans family.

However, fans of the original show were shocked that the animation strayed from the sitcom’s positive aspects and emphasized negative stereotypes of Black people instead.

John Amos, who played patriarch James Evans in the 1970s sitcom, and BernNadette Stanis, who was daughter Thelma Evans, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, and Amos explained that it’s challenging for newer projects to reach the same quality as the original.

“Norman — and the entire cast and company — set the bar pretty high,” Amos said. “They’ll have a hard time reaching that level of entertainment [and] education. I wish them the best. I see people aspiring to that, but I don’t see anybody reaching that goal, especially in an animated version.”

Amos said, though, that “I really can’t form an opinion” on the animated reboot “as I’ve not seen any of the episodes yet.”

Stanis, meanwhile, acknowledged how “Good Times” fans may have assumed the original cast would be leading the reboot.

“A lot of times, you use a certain name to open up the door for a new show,” Stanis said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “That could be what it is. But I’m sure a lot of people will be a little confused at first because they have to think that it’s us. They think, ‘Oh, my God! That’s got to be Thelma, J.J. [Jimmie Walker] and Michael [Ralph Carter].’ And then you come in there, and you don’t see anything like that.”

Although not front and center, Stanis does lend her voice to a minor character in the show. “I did a little voice for them, but I did not know it was going to be the way it is. I thought it was going to be different,” Stanis said.

Viewers can also expect to hear the voices of J.B. Smoove, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jay Pharoah, Marsai Martin and Gerald “Slink” Johnson, who are the main cast of the animation.