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Good Times x Netflix

Source: Netflix / Netflix

The Netflix reboot of the iconic series Good Times has gained heavy backlash, recently addressed by its showrunner.

It has been a couple of weeks since the animated reboot of Good Times hit Netflix, and the audience reaction overall hasn’t been pretty. The responses haven’t been lost on those behind the scenes, according to its showrunner, Ranada Shepard. In a recent and extensive interview with the Hollywood Reporter, she stated that she understood the backlash due to certain factors. 

“I was always rooted in [the fact that] I understand if this is jolting,” Shepard began. “Because what you needed was someone to tell everyone, ‘I know you’re used to the sweet sitcom, but this is not only a reimagination, it’s in a different genre that requires it to be loud and offensive with hard jokes and inappropriate.’ Without that type of framing, you can never blame the audience, and I never would.”

Shepard also said that the lack of a proper rollout may also be a factor. “You haven’t seen J.B. [Smoove] and Yvette [Nicole Brown] and Marsai [Martin] and Jay Pharoah and Slink Johnson on couches all across America, which typically happens when you’re rolling out a show,” she said. “There was no framing that the audience had, it was just: ‘Watch this and form an opinion.’ And, they watched and they formed an opinion.”

The trailer was released in March for the reboot of the late Norman Lear-penned series (Lear remains on as an executive producer), which premiered all 10 of its episodes on April 12. John Amos, who played the patriarch James Evans, had previously spoken about the reboot and the challenges it would present. As for BernNadette Stanis, who played Thelma Evans, she said that the show differed from her expectations of what it would be. 

Look, there’s some people who it’s not going to be for,” Shepard said to the Hollywood Reporter. “But I ask those people, ‘Do you watch adult animation?’ Because I know a lot of people don’t watch adult animation, so if that’s not your genre, this genre is going to be difficult for you. But are they well-written stories that stand in social commentary, and each one has a message? Absolutely.” She also urged people to give the show a chance. “Just give it a second and look at the stories and you’ll understand.”