Did ABC's The Goldbergs Make You Kvell?

The GoldbergsAh, the ’80s — REO Speedwagon, denim jumpsuits and the ability to call your kids morons without anyone alerting Child Protective Services. The Goldbergs (which premiered Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC) revels in all these luxuries, but did the period sitcom make you nostalgic or nauseated?

The titular family is headed up by Murray (Jeff Garlin, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rules of Engagement), parents who love their kids but often show it in the most therapy-inducing ways. Murray can’t stop yelling long enough to teach his middle son Barry (the ironically named Troy Gentile) to drive, while Beverly smothers her youngest son Adam (newcomer Sean Giambrone) — and her father (George Segal, Just Shoot Me), who is in denial of his senility. Oldest child Erica (former X Factor contest Hayley Orrantia) just wants to crimp her hair in peace. The show’s driving concept is that Adam films everything with his camcorder, and the show is narrated by his older self (Patton Oswalt, Justified).

The show tries to be a Jewish, ’80s-set Wonder Years, and it certainly succeeds in reminding us of a decade some would rather forget. Garlin has certainly not curbed his enthusiasm for yelling his lines, but he shines when Murray tries his best to show Barry he loves him. It’s always nice to have a sitcom that’s not too cynical to conclude on a feel-good note, and our heartstrings were definitely pulled by the episode-ending comparisons between creator Adam F. Goldberg’s real-life family, upon whom the series is based, and the actors on his show.

The series is often charming and brings some laughs — mostly at the expense of awkward rap-loving Barry — but its biggest hurdle will be convincing us that Beverly is actually Jewish (McLendon-Covey just has a certain shiksa quality we couldn’t get over).

But enough about what we thought: What was your take on The Goldbergs? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

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49 Comments
  1. Erika says:

    I enjoyed it. I’ll keep watching it.

  2. Jamie says:

    I loved this show. It was laugh out loud funny and reminded me of my own family which is why I love the middle as well. Why is this show not on Wednesdays after the middle? They would be perfect together!!!

    • Kim R says:

      I LOVED it! I’m not sure how the younger viewers will relate to it but for people of a certain age….come on….cassettes….TV aerobics….Simon….it was all just great. I actually teared up at one point near the end. Touching. Wonder Year-ish. Will definitely be watching again. :)

  3. Brandy says:

    Best new comedy so far in my opinion. I didn’t to expect it to be that funny, but found myself laughing out loud a lot. Can’t wait until next week.

  4. I give The Goldbergs a grade of C. Don’t know if this Wonder Years-esque sitcom can live up the totally rad style of the ’80s. Guess it’s time to me to play some REO Speedwagon if this series “can’t fight this feeling anymore”.

  5. Eric says:

    Eh, it was pretty forgetable in my book. It had some funny moments, but it was nothing special. I don’t think I’ll be watching again. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t awful. Just not my type of show, I guess.

    • Aly says:

      Same here, not awful but not my thing.

    • Morgan says:

      I wanted to like it. I love the 80s and felt like it was time for an 80s show. But it didn’t work for me. I tried to stick with it hoping it would grab me but I had to turn it when the driving lesson just seemed to go on and on. After two seconds I got the gist of the driving lesson. But it wouldn’t seem to end. I might give it one more try next week.

  6. Katy says:

    I actually found myself really enjoying this show maybe its just me but it actually felt a bit TGIF “ish”

    • Zach says:

      Did people actually like TGIF? I’m not asking this to be rude, I honestly want to know. From what I’ve seen, those shows really don’t stand the test of time. Were they funny back then?

  7. ninamags says:

    I’ll watch, until Supernatural comes back, of course :p.

  8. Dani says:

    As a Goldberg, i can safely say i see my own family in this quite a bit… which is not necessarily a good thing. but i did find myself laughing at how much the mom reminds me of my grandma at times, although i did feel that “shiksa quality” as you put it lol. i don’t know if i’ll be watching regularly yet, but i’ll probably give it another shot.

  9. Sokratis says:

    My pick for the first cancellation this season. It’s not bad, it’s just not good

  10. Susan says:

    We will not be watching it, again.

  11. Matt says:

    All in all, it was decent. Hilarious at times, flat at times. But In the end, it is a funny, family friendly, period sitcom that is simply enjoyable and is good for a few laughs. Gave it a B grade. Not great, like trophy wife was, but decent and above average. Will definitely be returning next week.

  12. Heathers says:

    Why does even the mere mention of “The 80’s” spur such hatred?! I grew up in the 80’s and I loved it! Best music ever. I did not wear over the top clothes with giant shoulder pads and crazy day glo prints, like every 80’s parody! I did not watch this show because anytime a show or movie is set in the 80’s, it is so over-the-top and just unreal! This show looked so stupid on so many levels. It just didn’t appeal to me, or seem remotely funny after seeing the teaser. I wish all of you pretentious hipsters would get over yourselves and quit ragging on the 80’s.

    • That’s my problem with such things. Any time the focus goes onto a time period, they have to slam in every single thing they can think of that was iconic, as though everybody – meaning everybody – wore the iconic fashions, everybody listened to the same music and watched the same TV, and did the same things. All the time. And mentioned them in every single conversation. Nobody listened to classical music, played chess, ate pot roast with mashed potatoes, wore clothes that you’d recognize outside of the decade, did without some article of the latest pop culture stuff (think Walkmans – I never had one). In other words, make it look like all the stupidest stuff that went on was all there was.

      I watched this for a while and found nothing to care about, and the constant 80s avalanche got old really quick.

  13. MK says:

    Have it on DVR and haven’t watched it yet. Am I missing something? You have 2 sons named Adam yet you speak of someone named Barry, whom you don’t name, as being played by someone. Color me confused. Or did I misread, which is always possible. I originally thought this was created by the actor, Adam Goldberg…who played Eddie on Friends, among the numerous other roles, but I see via IMDB that it is a different Adam Goldberg (this is Adam F.).

    • Mary says:

      The children are Erica, Barry, and Adam. Adult Adam narrates the show, think Ted in HIMYM. Adam F. Goldberg is the creator of the show and has based it off of his family.

  14. Jorge says:

    Ive watched all the new ABC comedies and while this wasn’t my favorite, or even second favorite (back in the game and then trophy wife), this one did make me laugh the hardest in one single moment than the rest did. I was almost in tears at the end with the Hooters scene.

  15. Blue Sunflower says:

    This show needs to be canceled, like yesterday. Pervert son, grandpa allowed to drive after hitting people, teen son who does nothing but yell (just like his dad)…this was atrocious.

    • Speech Isn't Free says:

      “The Goldbergs” is a comedy on ABC, not a documentary on public television focusing on parenting. You do realize that right?

      Maybe a visit to your favorite online dictionary to review the word “irony” may be in order.

  16. Rodg says:

    Pretty funny,loved it when they sang REO.It was funnier than Brooklyn Nine Nine

    • Kim R says:

      Yes…I had PVR’d both and this week B99 did not make me laugh out loud once. I was kind of disappointed. Loved The Goldbergs! :)

  17. JP says:

    Felt pretty forced. I’ll give it another shot to see if it gets any better. I’m a Reno 911 fan, so I’ll support Wendy when I can but this may just be a bit much for me. 80s references are great, but unclear on why everyone is screaming their lines.

  18. Ram510 says:

    I thought it was really good! It could be the bract The Middle for ABC. And like The Middle pilot it was really good, but it’s a pilot so it’s not quite in its groove. Goldbergs could be excellent after a few episodes

  19. Babygate says:

    It wasn’t spectacular. But it was enjoyable. Like a less funny version of The Middle. I will continue to tune in but I still think it’s in the wrong night.

  20. andy j says:

    Its not so much that I think Wendi McClendon-Covey is miscast as a Jewish mother but to me she is and always will be Officer Clementine.

  21. murley says:

    I was actually surprised at how funny I found it. The Goldbergs was not on my list of shows to check out this season but it is now!

    • dan says:

      My wife asked me to put this on our DVR so I did; she went to bed early and I watched it. Better than expected. The beginning of the show was good and I laughed a few times, the middle of the show wasn’t as good and I cringed a few times, then the end was decent. I actually laughed at the show close (with everybody in the car) even though the sight-gag was very predictable. I’ll try it again next week.

  22. starship says:

    Not funny at all, had one chuckle at the end when the kid crashed the car, I guess I’m too young for the type of humour or something. Don’t think I’ll watch it again and doubt it will last long anyway…

  23. GS says:

    I really like it. I loved the 80’s and was cracking up. Then again, I hate Modern Family which so many seem to think is great so I guess it’s just different strokes for different folks.

  24. J says:

    As someone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s I LOVED IT! It was sweet and sappy and funny and nostalgic. I will watch for as long as it’s broadcast.

  25. H says:

    I lasted about 15 minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore and had to turn it off.

  26. Ann says:

    I was disappointed with this show but I’ll stick around and hope it improves. What I hated most about this show is that half of the dialogue in this show was the actors shouting at each other, which was very annoying. I’m not sure if they were trying for the stereotypical view of loud Jewish families or whatever…but they could do with less shouting dialogues.

  27. Babybop says:

    Turned it off after 10 minutes… Couldn’t take all the yelling!

  28. tp says:

    This was funnier than I thought it was going to be. I will be tuning in again.

  29. Michael G. says:

    the most ridiculous show i have seen in a long time. only saving grace….the little boy. he’s funny….but they can find him a better project. STUPID!

  30. Bob says:

    Meh. More like khaloshesdik.

  31. HAP says:

    I thought the show was a disappointment overall. And what’s with Wendy’s hair?

  32. bellabella says:

    Most stupid show I have seen this year. Please, all they do is yell at each other and use hand gestures. The dialogue is pathetic. Jewish caricatures. And the wife and daughter do not look jewish. Its all so staged, not well done at all. Where is the jewelry and expensive clothes?

  33. Herbert Franklin says:

    Good show because of George Segal-Let him play banjo & sing once in a while.
    Suggest 2 more people in cast. Grandparents with Jewish accents in the manner of the late
    Lou Jacobi and grandmother in the manner of the woman who played Mrs. Neusbaum on the Fred Allan Radio show.

  34. Herbert Franklin says:

    Follow-up to suggestion of needing two Jewish accented grandparents as above. The ideal grandfather would be Dr. Moe Prigoff of Storage Wars Texas. He has a comic face, he is likeable & comfortable on camera. He would only need to exagerate his Jewish accent slightly. With him & a Jewish-accented woman, this show will have ‘HIT’ all over it!

  35. Linda Cullor says:

    I love this show! I loved the wonder years. If its on I’d watch wonder years over anything on TV now. Thank you for updating wonder Years to this age. I love it!!! Can’t explain it but I’ve missed that under voice it just works and its nice to hear again. I can’t thank you enough for this show.

  36. Jay says:

    Poltergeist opened in 81. Ghostbusters in 84. When Adam goes to see poltergeist he has a ghostbusters poster above his bed. Also. Reebok pumps came out in the 90’s. Too bad the writers don’t have access to google.

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