This show has really turned a corner for me. I started out a bit skeptical, and came close to giving up, but it's been improving, and now I'm back to looking forward to the comedy week after week. "Shopping" was a bit better than "Kara-te," but both were good episodes, and the latter was trying to do something a little different from the typical holiday special, anyway. The fact that the talent show was taking place in December was largely lost, except for Beverly's outfit, the stage decorations, and Pops' gift to Erica. I think that Pops should have left well enough alone, though, as Erica is perfectly capable of making her own decisions regarding her extracurricular activities, even if she is basing her choices on what's "cool." However, I was really expecting Erica's retail job to re-surface during a holiday episode, what with that highly coveted employee discount and all!
The Goldbergs "Shopping" (S01E08): Beverly is a major bargain shopper, but Erica wants a fancy dress for an upcoming formal dance. The teen decides to get a job, and because Beverly wants the discount, she lets her. [ha!] But, when Beverly starts to abuse the system, Erica plants perfume in her mother's bag so she's stopped by security. [omg!]
The same week, Pops takes Adam and Barry to the horse racing track, where he helps Barry believe that he's not cursed. [Karate Kid shirt and play Legend of Zelda - I love it!] When Barry beats Adam's Zelda game, Adam tells Barry that Pops lied to him to make him feel lucky. [totally something that would have happened in my household!] So, Barry decides to go back to the track with Pops to force the truth out of him, bluffing his way into betting in the process.
The Goldbergs "Kara-te" (S01E09): it's December 9th, and Barry wants to do a karate demonstration in the school talent show, even though he has only taken a few lessons and is mostly self-taught. Beverly constantly compliments his efforts, and he thinks that he'll get some attention from his female classmates, so when Barry is rejected from the competition (his act is deemed inappropriate), he's heartbroken. [I hope I never have this "mom goggles" problem!] Beverly goes to the school to talk to the teacher in charge, who says that he's trying to protect Barry from ridicule, but Bev demands Barry be allowed to participate. However, Murray gets involved, knowing that his son is not as great as Beverly believes. First, he tries to talk Barry out of the show by telling a discouraging story from his own past, but when that doesn't work, he talks to the teacher and forces him to kick out Barry. [I found the "international trumps tri-state" thing HILARIOUS!]
Meanwhile, Pops tries to convince Erica to sing and play the guitar in the show, but she has no interest. [I entered the third grade talent show - the only one I ever had access to - and felt dorky enough then!] She even sold the guitar to buy a leather jacket, so Pops wants to teach her the banjo or accordion. No dice, but he doesn't give up, and an electric guitar and amp convince the teen to do "Hit Me with your Best Shot." [nice choice!] This is great, as Barry started to chicken out at the last minute, only to regain his courage during Erica's song, and he destroys the stage during his route. [haha that Adam switched the wood for balsam to make sure it broke when Barry hit it!]