The Evans family scratches and survives in their tough South Side Chicago ghetto. Esther Rolle and John Amos star as parents Florida and James, with "dyn-o-mite" breakout comedy star Jimmie Walker as J.J., the oldest of the three Evans children.
Cousin Naomi is visiting the Evans' for the Christmas season. However, her visit is not a happy one for Thelma, who discovers that Naomi is hiding a serious drinking problem.
Thelma's mysterious boyfriend is too old for her parents' liking.
A wedding has Florida realizing that Willona is the only friend of hers left that isn't married. So this leads Florida to try her hand at matchmaking, and matches her with a friend of James'.
J.J. is named winner of an art contest, but with his student's painting.
J.J. is recovering after being shot by Mad Dog, which only turned out to be a flesh wound. Meanwhile, a vengeful James presses charges against Mad Dog but a worried Florida is afraid James's anger will take over before the law does.
After telling the kids he plans to marry their mother, Carl suddenly dumps Florida because he has been told he has cancer.
Needing financial help, Florida asks her formerly affluent cousin for a loan.
Keith's sudden mood swings are the result of his dependence on alcohol.
The family members choose sides in the election for district alderman.Watch Now:iTunes
Michael must write an essay on the person whom he most admires and selects his father as the subject.
Thelma's engagement plans aren't well received by James and Florida.
Stuck in a blizzard, Florida and her school bus passengers take refuge in an abandoned building.
When Penny's 13-year-old friend becomes pregnant, Willona tells Penny that the friend has "stomach mumps".
Thelma's play is selected as the community theater's latest production, but not without a flurry of changes demanded by the theater's director.
James and Florida celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in a cabin, but Florida can't stop worrying about the kids.
Already suspected of infidelity by his wife, Bookman is caught with Willona in a compromising situation.
The Evanses fear that their new boarder may become the target of a hitman.
Florida tries to discover the owner of a dirty article that belongs to Thelma's boyfriend.
With James out of town, Florida takes action when Michael starts misbehaving.
Willona's new job in department-store security requires that she spy on changing rooms through a one-way mirror.
Trouble ensues when Michael invites Carl to a father-son dinner rather than J.J.
Fed up with Bookman's incompetence, Willona, Penny and the Evans kids start a petition that gets him fired.
J.J.'s art student has a violent father who refuses to allow his son to take the lessons.
J.J. gets romantic with Bookman's female assistant.
Florida's anxiety over an upcoming physical is worsened when Michael is mistakenly arrested.
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