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What's Happening

By Anonymous

Some people thought What's Happening tended to showcase buffoonery with regards to African-Americans, since it had an all black cast. I disagree. I thought that, although the show at times went over-the-top with the physical comedy, it was a positive show overall. It was about an intelligent, adolescent black male named Rog, who was growing up with his younger sister, and their stern, but loving widowed mom.

The show focused on the misadventures of Rog and his two teen buddies every week. It was a good family show, and covered topics universal to any teenager growing up in the 70s, not just African-Americans. When it premiered during the latter part of the 70s, public sentiment had begun to turn against the use of drugs, alcohol, and practicing promiscuity, all of which had been so recently championed for teens in the media.

The show reflected the emerging conservative public sentiment by urging teens to eschew drugs and alcohol, and think about the consequences of casual sex. The show also stressed the importance of completing your education, respecting your elders, obeying the law, and remaining loyal to your friends and family. It did so without being too preachy, and delivered its moral lessons with plenty of laughs-on-the-side.

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What's Happening is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One, Season Two, Season Three

 

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: August 5, 1976 - April 28, 1979; September 1985 - September 1988

Cast: Mabel King, Ernest Thomas, Fred Berry, Haywood Nelson, Danielle Spencer

Network: ABC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Image courtesy of ABC


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