I was a big, big big fan of TV Shows when I was growing up.
What's Happening!! follows the lives of three working-class African-American teens living in theWatts section of Los Angeles. The show stars Ernest Thomas as Roger "Raj" Thomas, Haywood Nelson as Dwayne Nelson, and Fred Berry as Freddy "Rerun" Stubbs. Co-starring are Danielle Spencer as Roger's little sister, Dee; Mabel King as Roger and Dee's mother, Mabel; and Shirley Hemphill as Shirley Wilson, a waitress at "Rob's Place", the boys' favorite restaurant. Recurring characters include Rob (Earl Billings), owner of Rob's Place; and Miss Collins (Fritzi Burr), a sarcastic history teacher and the sponsor of the school newspaper.
Unlike Good Times, a contemporary show that also had African-American cast, What's Happening!! only rarely and mildly ventured into social commentary. TV Guide once famously referred to What's Happening!! as "a look at urban black life that manages to capture the offensiveness of Amos and Andy while avoiding that program's fun." Most episodes focused on the goals of teenage males — meeting girls, finding after school jobs, and planning for the future. Episodes sometimes featured subplots involving Mrs. Thomas, Raj's bratty sister Dee, or waitress Shirley.