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Old 04-07-2005, 08:38 PM   #226
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Old 04-08-2005, 12:33 AM   #227
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Old 04-08-2005, 12:54 AM   #228
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:02 AM   #229
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Old 04-08-2005, 03:33 PM   #230
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Old 04-08-2005, 07:55 PM   #231
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:05 PM   #232
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:15 PM   #233
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^^^ haha

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Old 04-08-2005, 11:41 PM   #234
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Old 04-09-2005, 12:26 AM   #235
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Old 04-09-2005, 07:04 PM   #236
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Old 04-09-2005, 07:23 PM   #237
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Old 04-09-2005, 07:48 PM   #238
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227

U.S. Domestic Comedy

The show, 227, initially aired in September 1985, played five seasons on NBC before its final episode in July 1990. Based on a play of the same name, this situation-comedy was set primarily around an apartment building (number 227) located in a racially-mixed neighborhood of Washington D. C. Featuring an ensemble cast that included such noted African-American television personalities as Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Alaina Reed, and Jackee (Harry), 227 succeeded in becoming a top-rated television program. Surviving criticisms and early comparisons to other television programs with predominantly African-American principals, 227 proved a successful comedy, humorously portraying the everyday lives of apartment building 227.

The original play, 227, had been written by Christine Houston of Chicago, and performed by Marla Gibbs' own Cross Roads Academy, a local community theater troupe in Los Angeles. After its successful theatrical debut, 227 was soon adapted and produced for television by Lorimar. In its earliest episodes, 227 was criticized as being too much like The Cosby Show, another highly successful, predominantly African-American situation-comedy broadcast on NBC at the same time. However, even in its first year 227 proved successful in its own right, earning top ratings that opening season. While Cosby portrayed an image of upper-middle class success, 227 supporters argued, 227 depicted a more working-class image of the same strong community and family values.

Most episodes taking place within and around the apartment building, from the front steps, to the laundry room, to the individual apartments, 227 invited the viewer within the most mundane and personal aspects of its characters' lives. The Jenkins, Mary and Lester, were one of the families struggling day by day to survive their various duties and commitments. Mary, played by Marla Gibbs whose eleven seasons as the feisty, verbally aggressive maid Florence on The Jeffersons no doubt prepared her for this similarly outspoken character, was a mother of one, juggling the numerous responsibilities of household, family and personal life with invariably humorous results. Lester, played by Hal Williams, was a father and small-time contractor struggling to stay on top of his own family and job responsibilities. Together, Mary and Lester had their hands full with daughter Brenda, a studious, talented, and mostly well behaved young woman just beginning adolescence.

Other important characters included Rose Hollaway, Mary's confidante and cohort in gossip, portrayed by Alaina Reed. Rose, the landlady of building 227, often sat with Mary on the front steps, the two laughing and gossiping about various other residents. In particular, Rose and Mary enjoyed discussing and berating sexually outspoken tenant Sandra Clark, the building's resident vamp. Played by Jackee, the one-named wonder who made Sandra, and herself, famous, Sandra's whining voice and wiggling, tight-dressed body became staple features of 227. Her many men friends and sexually oriented antics a source of constant humor, Sandra sauntered through episode after episode, occasionally eliciting help from Mary for some dilemma she was experiencing. Another frequent front porch gossip was Pearl Shay, an older woman who often leaned out her front window to comment on Rose and Mary's discussions. The grandmother of young Calvin Dobbs, the burgeoning love interest of Brenda Jenkins, Pearl's time was frequently spent scolding and disciplining this gangly adolescent grandson.

Successful in depicting the everyday aspects of its many characters' lives, 227 offered an interesting working class version of African-American values and images. The program brought the viewer within its characters' lives, providing a personal look within this entertaining apartment complex.
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Old 04-11-2005, 04:45 AM   #239
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:38 AM   #240
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