There is nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia. It can bring you back to a time when you were younger and things were better, or it can trigger a memory of a great time in your life. The Goldbergs takes that nostalgia, slaps you across the face with it, and shoves it down your throat. The result is one of the funniest sitcoms currently on television.
The setup of the show has never changed over the course of its four seasons. Dad Murray is a grouch who only wants one things – to take off his pants and sit in front of the television. Mom Beverly is overprotective and overbearing to her three kids, but does everything out of love. Oldest child Erica is constantly at odds with her mom and only wants to go away to college. Older son Barry is about as dumb as they come, and always causing trouble. Finally, younger son Adam – who isn’t ready to grow up – is the center of the show and Beverly’s favorite.
While most episodes of the show focus on a silly issue or misunderstanding that is neatly wrapped up within 30 minutes, the best ones center around a big moment from pop culture history. This year saw individual episodes about The Breakfast Club and The Day After, both of which were among the best of the season. Even the episodes dealing with the traditional sitcom cliches such as teenage girlfriends, wacky friends and shopping sprees are done well. No matter what the show is about each week, it is always handled with some heart.
Another thing I love about The Goldbergs is that even though the kids are clearly getting older, there is no set timeline on the show. The entire series is set in 1980-something, so things like Return of the Jedi can happen at the same time as Ferris Bueller. It also is a nice workaround to the fact that Erica has been getting ready for college for three seasons now.
I do believe that if something isn’t broke, there is no need to fix it. Will this show eventually follow the path of many current sitcoms and become worse the longer they’ve been on the air? Quite possibly. For now, though, as long as it keeps its cast intact and doesn’t change its formula, there’s no reason The Goldbergs can’t keep going for years to come.
FINAL RATING: B