*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Jeffersons. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.
There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations. When one hires household help, they expect this person to be respectful and do the job they are paid to do. On The Jeffersons, Florence Johnston (Marla Gibbs) is not this kind of household staff.
Florence is a smart ass, lacks some of the skills needed to complete her work, and has no problem talking back to her employers. She frequently gets into rows with George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) and complains that her paycheck is on the small side. She is saved from being fired several times by Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford), who sees Florence as part of the family instead of hired help.
Though Florence and George don’t exactly get along, both reveal their softer sides and provide assistance when needed. George stepped in before Florence could commit suicide and Florence saved George when he got involved with a couple of con artists.
To sum it up: Household help characters have been around for generations. For the most part, they have been meek, mild, and have only been in the spotlight when they are needed. Florence is a unique not only because she is a major character, but because she is not afraid to speak her mind. Even if that means mocking those who sign her paychecks.
It is amazing to me how a single day can forever change the course of our lives.
A year ago today-March 11, 2020– will be remembered and talked about for generations to come. It was the day that Covid-19 officially came into the United States. It was the day that the country shut down. Schools closed, businesses shuttered, and hospitals had only begun to become overrun.
The last year has been many things. Depressing, life-affirming, difficult, etc. I don’t know about anyone else, but the person I was last March 11th is not the person I am today. The virus striped us bare of the bullshit and the pretense, revealing both our humanity and our flaws.
When you have reached the bottom, the only place you can go is up. We can rebuilt our nation and our world. But to do so, we must honor and learn from the hard lessons that we have been faced with. If we don’t, everything we have been through will have been in vain.
Criticism is relative. Depending on whose mouth it comes from and the tone of what is being said, it can either be helpful or hurtful.
As an example, good criticism (otherwise known as constructive criticism) can help us grow. I’ve been a member of a writing group since 2015. The purpose of attendance is not be cruel, but to improve our writing skills. An example of bad criticism is the shit that television personality Piers Morgan has heaped on Megan Markle. After the interview with Markle and Prince Harry aired on Sunday, Morgan continued to dump on her. When he was called out for his comments on air, he took an adult temper tantrum, stormed off stage, and promptly quit his job.
“I think people forget, he’s in a position because they pay him for his opinion. He’s a royalist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The generation he was born into, we were all taught to be royalists. We were all taught at school…You fight for your Queen and your country.”
Loyalty to one’s home country is one thing. However, when someone like Morgan ( i.e. a while male in a position of power) uses his platform to openly and constantly denounce a woman (especially a woman of color), that is a bridge too far.
I’m going to end this post with a tweet from Bette Midler, but she is awesome.