Actors (from left) Jermaine Crawford, Maestro Harrell, Tristan Wilds and Julito McCullum portray students in the Baltimore public school system in The Wire.
Originally published on August 5, 2014 10:47 am Like it or not, television has the power to shape our perceptions of the world. The Good Times sound system return once again by popular demand to host their timeless New Years Eve party, celebrating the start of a historical year for everyone in London and the UK. Following on from a summer which saw Norman Jay and his iconic red Route-master bus not attend the Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in over 30 years, Good Times returns with it’s enviable NYE track record to bring the sunshine back into everyone’s lives and rekindle that special something that was sorely missed this summer.
Norman’s NYE parties have without doubt become one of the capital’s favourite and most lauded events over the last 8 years. His itinerant switching of exciting venues and mouthwatering dj and live line-ups ensures an unrivalled party atmosphere that attracts the capital’s best party people, with this year no exception, landing at the critically acclaimed, Battersea Arts Centre in south London.
Their history leaves them & their beloved followers armed with albums, singles, mash-up edits, bootlegs, specials, mixes, remixes, podcasts, DJ sets and live shows. This Victorian venue is simply stunning and well in keeping with the kind of amazing venues we’ve used in the past. Many people were struggling, and for a time it was one of the highest-rated shows on TV — but Good Times also drew criticism for giving the impression that being poor isn't so bad, as long as there's love.
I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with my mom and dad and five children, so there were seven of us, but we also were rich in education and in love," says Stanis. Good Times also tackled some of the bad times facing poor communities, like drug addiction and gangs.
Norman Lear, who co-produced the show, says that above all, they wanted to make people laugh — but they also wanted story lines that resonated. That was the total message, wall to wall, floor to ceiling." There's a lot of debate about TV's depiction of poverty. Take one of the most recognized — and reviled — of today's reality TV shows: TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Simon says his shows try to explore the human condition and create characters who live in poverty but still have distinct personalities, relationships and dreams.
For example, in The Wire, set in Baltimore, a member of a drug crew looks after several children in the projects where they live.


Simon believes most Americans aren't interested in watching TV shows where the main characters are poor.
And to the extent that poor people can suit those currencies, great." Sex and laughs are the currencies on the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls.
The main characters are two beauties: Max, who's been poor her whole life, and Caroline, who's newly poor now that her Bernie Madoff-type dad is in jail. As unlikely as that might seem, Nona Willis Aronowitz says it rings true in this post-recession world. The show focuses on six unruly white siblings on the South Side of Chicago who are pretty much raising themselves. Like many TV shows about poor people that have come before it, the fictional Gallaghers of Shameless often use humor as a coping mechanism.
Norman Lear says that's fine, so long as the poor characters are the ones making the jokes. Listen to a few country songs and you'll quickly come across lyrics about characters who feel scorned. And over those 50 years, television has played a big role in shaping what Americans perceive about those without much money to their names. BLAIR: For a child in the Baltimore ghetto on "The Wire," breakfast was a juice box and a bag of chips. BERN NADETTE STANIS: (As Thelma Evans) If you poor, it goes a long way and it's pretty cheap.
BLAIR: Even though it was a comedy, "Good Times" did tackle some of the bad times facing poor communities, like drug addiction and gangs. BLAIR: "Good Times" was one of the highest rated shows on TV in the mid-1970s, but it was also criticized for giving the impression that being poor isn't so bad as long as there's love. BLAIR: "Good Times" went on the air in the midst of a recession - many people were struggling. NORMAN LEAR: The biggest subjects in television comedy were the the roast is ruined and the boss is coming to dinner, or mom dented the car and how do the kids and mom keep dad from finding out? BLAIR: There's a lot of debate about the subject of entertainment TV's depiction of poverty.


Take one of the most recognized and reviled of today's reality TV shows - "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" on TLC. BLAIR: Overweight, crude, obsessed with child beauty pageants - one critic in the Washington Times called Honey Boo-Boo's family stupid, lazy and hopeless. Another in Salon said it's an example of reality TV's endless carnival of the impoverished on display.
But journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz, who covers education for NBC, disagrees with the charges that the family is exploited. NONA WILLIS ARONOWITZ: I see them being very playful with each other and being very unapologetic about their circumstances. BLAIR: David Simon says he wanted to show these characters living in poverty as individuals with distinct personalities, relationships and dreams. A member of a drug crew, for example, looks after several children in the abandoned row house where they live. We were saying something legitimate about that portion of the country that doesn't have a lot of television shows made about them.
David Simon believes most Americans aren't interested in watching TV shows where the main characters are poor.
SIMON: You know, they want to watch shiny, pretty people, you know, there's currencies in television and the two main currencies are sex and violence and then the third on is laughs.
ARONOWITZ: In previous decades, we might've said one is rich, one is poor and never the twain shall meet. BLAIR: The most talked about TV show depicting poverty right now is the gritty comedy drama "Shameless" on Showtime. And like many TV shows about poor people that have come before it, there's humor in the way they cope.




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