Video Review: Kool & The Gang “Joanna”

J.T. drives into the parking lot of Joanna’s restaurant at night. Standing behind the counter, Joanna smiles as J.T. blows her a kiss. As the band performs the instruments in their seats, Joanna turns over two eggs on the grill. A fortysomething man grins as he looks at a promotional poster of the Cotton Club, which features a twentysomething Joanna as a performer.

A twentysomething Joanna dances on stage. J.T. kisses Joanna’s hand while she delivers food to another table. She pours the band members coffee as they sit at the counter. He hugs Joanna as she walks past the tables. He sits in a booth. As he talks to her, she thinks of being a twentysomething.

The twentysomething Joanna rests her arm on her boyfriend’s (also J.T.) shoulder as he drives at night. He parks the car in the street and they dance. He kisses her. Back in the diner, Joanna dances on the counter.

Rating: 5/5

Joanna steps out from behind the counter and walks to J.T. He gives her a hug and grabs the pot of coffee. She calls him a godsend. He talks to a fortysomething man at the table and says he’ll check on his meal. Joanna hands him the meal and asks him to take table 6’s order.

She clears off a table. One of the servers walks through the door and says she drove in as soon as she got the message. The server takes off her jacket and comments it’s a madhouse. She takes a person’s plate. Joanna tells her to get herself settled first and then come back onto the floor.

J.T. hits the bell and says he needs a coleslaw. The server carries two plates, calling out “excuse me” as she walks by J.T. Joanna reaches for one of the plates and asks her which table. The server says table two. Joanna walks over to table two and apologizes for the wait. J.T. tells Joanna to take a break. She’s been there since the morning. Joanna says she’s okay and she’s been pulling doubles for years. Around 9 p.m., J.T. turns off the open sign and helps Joanna to the booth. He says they’ll close up and all she has to do is rest. She says “all right” and bites into the sandwich. She smiles as she watches J.T. clean the counter.

He reminded her so much of her son, who died in World War II. She did think him as like as a son, though. He lived next door to her in the neighborhood. On her days off, she used to babysit him. As he got older, he wanted to hear her stories about the Cotton Club. It seemed like a lifetime ago. However, she liked the restaurant. J.T. kept telling her to retire. However, she wanted to make sure he had a nice nest egg for himself.

Director: N/A Year: 1983

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit & 45 Magazine.