Thursday, April 10, 2014

ROUND-UP: The Goldbergs: Ups and Downs

It's been a while, partly because the latest episodes have seemed a little off-the-mark. "Lame Gretzky" has a weak Adam/Barry/Murray storyline, but the Beverly/Erica/Pops plot plays well, even if all it really does is continue to drive home the point that Bev will do anything for her children. "For Your Own Good" is a mom-and-dad arguing episode, and it works because it's completely believable, but it's just not memorable. It does feature hyper-color t-shirts, though, which was a fun bonus. Then, it's back to Bev doing whatever it takes for Adam in "The President's Fitness Test" while Barry tries to hit on Erica's foreign friend. I warmed up to this episode the more I thought about it, because pen pals, foreign exchange students, and the President's Fitness Test were all things that were part of my youth that don't seem to be popular anymore. "You're Not Invited," though, really brings this series back to my good side, though. While I never went to a birthday party at the movies, basements, indoor play places like Chuck E. Cheese, and the roller skating rink made up a large part of popular party locales for me, too. So, back in my good graces The Goldbergs go! Do you think the end of the season will stay that way?
ABC/Tony Rivetti
The Goldbergs "Lame Gretzky" (S01E17): It's February 25th, 1980something, so the heart of hockey season! Adam's not the biggest fan, but Barry and Murray love it, so Adam plays along. When he finally scores his first goal, it goes in the wrong net, upsetting Murray. [awww. just like Michelle playing soccer on Full House.] Pops suggests that Murray get into Adam's hobbies, like making sci-fi movies, but when he tries, Adam ruins one of Murray's shirts and upsets him. [hahaha!] Barry then teaches Adam how to fight in hockey, but that doesn't help anyone, and Murray agrees to let Adam stop playing hockey... and even helps with the alien movie again. [awww.]

Erica is studying for the SAT, and when the tutor is too patient, Beverly fires her and takes over. [her helicopter parenting is intense!] Erica's score goes up, but now she wants to apply to Stanford, upsetting Beverly because of how far away the university is. [haha, double-edged sword!] So, The Smother makes up some fake vocabulary words and tries to sabotage Erica... but the teen is savvy and throws it back in Beverly's face by using those words in an admissions essay! [LOVED it!] They have it out, but Beverly eventually agrees to work on supporting her daughter, who winds up scoring a 1300. [Pops' small but random part fit well.]

The Goldbergs "For Your Own Good" (S01E18): March 7th, 1980something. Bev buys Murray a new living room chair, but he doesn't like change, so he retaliates by buying her a microwave. [her anti-microwave attitude was amusing. we had one by 1987, as did my grandmother and everyone I can think of.] Bev then gets him boxers instead of briefs, so he takes her hairspray, and she replaces the TV with an aquarium. [changing her hairstyle was such a big deal! I wonder how the average prep time for a woman to get ready has changed!] Murray winds up making his wife admit that she dumped the old chair for aesthetics, not for health and safety. [this is the kind of trick my husband could get me to fall into!] She asks Goodwil where the chair ended up, tracks it down to a fraternity house, and cleans the place up in exchange for the recliner.

Adam is being bullied, so he pretends that Barry is clinically insane. [ha! I once tried to claim my brother was my bodyguard, but he was two years younger than me so it didn't work very well.] Adam then gets Barry to ride the bus with him to bully the bully, but Barry just starts bullying everyone. [unexpected side effect!] Adam leads a coup, and everything is back to the status quo once again. [nice pop-up of hypercolor shirts!]

The Goldbergs "The President's Fitness Test" (S01E19): April 8th, 1980something. Adam has a rough time in gym class, and it only gets worse when he'll need to do pull-ups as part of the fitness challenge. [I remember those!] Bev offers to write him a note, which Murray fights. It gets worse, however, when the coach is willing to put off the test until Adam "feels better." [hahaha!] The Goldberg parents have to come down to the school and agree that the only thing that can get Adam out of that test is a note from President Reagan. [seriously? I bet it would be easier to get kids out of that now if the test was still around.] Beverly sets off to make it happen, and though the letter isn't written by someone who directly works with the President, it does have the Presidential seal! [I'll take it!] Still, Murray tries to encourage Adam to try anyway, and the lad manages a single pull-up. [I liked how the difference was noted that girls have to do the flexed arm hang.]

Erica's French pen pal, fanny, comes to visit, and when Barry asks Erica to help him translate flirtatious lines, she messes with him. [duh. why didn't he find a friend who was taking French and ask him to translate??] Pops puts a stop to it, and Erica even makes up a note from Fanny to make her brother feel better. [pretty generous for Erica.] Of course, he takes it as a love note and promptly takes off for the airport to tell her that it won't work between them, but they'll always have poptarts. [so ridiculous that I couldn't wait for the end of the episode. ::eye roll::]

The Goldbergs "You're Not Invited" (S01E20): Adam is angling for his first kiss on his birthday, so Barry tells him to throw a make-out party rather than a laser tag bash. He goes for it, upsetting Beverly in the process. Murray forgets it's his son's birthday, and Pops encourages him to get Adam a good gift... so he buys him a laser tag set. [that must've been hella expensive at that time!!] But, when Spin the Bottle doesn't work out, they try Seven Minutes in Heaven, only for Bev to ruin Adam's turn with Dana. [Spin the Bottle has got to be the most 80s teen game EVER.] They all wind up playing laser tag, and Adam does get his kiss, after jumping in front of Dana (see above image). [Adam sending Beverly on an errand to make a Bert & Ernie cake was awesome.]  
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