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Lisa Steinberg

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Time Warp

Posted: 12/13/2013 12:06 pm

You probably know a neighbor that you've had just like them. Maybe your family WAS that neighbor. The crazy family that is always making a scene over something, yelling at one another, fighting, swearing or just being over the top. You couldn't escape the embarrassing feeling that swept over you looking at them or having people stare at you. The Goldbergs is a show all about that family and you just can't turn away from them. That is part of what makes this show so enjoyable, this family is the car wreck you just can't turn away from because you totally relate to them. While the show is set in the '80s, the themes and lessons learned are relatable and transcend time periods.

Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is your mother. Not your actual mother, but she might as well be. She has the greatest intentions with her actions and only wants the best for kids, but doesn't always accomplish what she aims to do in the right way. Sure she does it in a mostly smothering way, but it is all done out of love. She is not "mommy dearest," but she will do what it takes to make sure her children are happy. Her furniture salesman husband Murray (Jeff Garlin) is a sourpuss and hard-ass on the outside, but deep down has a few soft spots when it comes to his family. He doesn't put up with BS and keeps his kids knowing where their place is. His favorite spot is his chair as he watches sports while wearing his undershirt and some tighty-whities. Quick to call out his kids out on their stupidity, Murray doesn't tread lightly when it comes to discipline. They might say that "father knows best," but it seems like Beverly is literally the one who wears the pants in this relationship.

The Goldberg children are made up of your average angst-ridden kids. The oldest, Erica (Hayley Orrantia), is your typical popular girl who loves to party, but can still look out for her two younger brothers Barry (Troy Gentile) and Adam (Sean Giambrone). She is manipulative and definitely not someone to tangle with but keeps one eye peeled when it comes to her brothers. Barry has classic middle child syndrome and is constantly fueled by his emotions. He has a love/hate relationship with his eleven-year-old younger brother Adam, which at times seems more hate than love. That is what sibling rivalry is all about, though. The youngest child, Adam is geeky, aspires to be a future movie director and his hormones are in full effect. The entire family lives under a microscope, as Adam day in and out is video taping their family shenanigans. Adding to the mix is Adam's partner in crime, his grandfather Albert, also known as Pops, (George Segal) who is a playboy always looking for his next conquest while trying to give Adam a few tips about how he sees women.

What makes this family so special is the fact that they very well may be a mirror image of every average one. You will relate to the underlying themes, emotions and family dysfunction when you tune in to the show's whirlwind episodes. You can watch the episodes multiple times and still miss so many small, quirky moments because the show is so chock full of hilarious banter and character mannerisms. Wendi McClendon-Covey is sublime as Beverly. She can make magic with dialogue and delivery, her give and take is completely unmatched. The show may be about an entire family, but to me Wendi is one of (if not the top) highlight of the program. You can't calculate what her character will do or say next, and the constant guessing game will keep you truly tickled and on pins and needles. She is a perfect complement to Jeff Garlin who is a fantastic counterpart. Garlin as Murray is loud, assertive and just like your real dad, you don't want to be on his bad side. Haley Orrantia, Troy Gentile, and Sean Giambrone make sibling rivalry look like an art form. A squabble between these three is a delightful symphony of chaos, and being a fly on the wall to their mayhem will leave you in a fit of giggles.

Watching The Goldberg family is like looking into a mirror image of your own. They are rowdy and at times crazy, but underneath it all they have one another's best interest at heart. Sure, it all happens in a crazy, overly dramatic fashion, but that is life as an adolescent. Everything is a major ordeal, even the little things; after all arguing is just the family's way of showing each other that they love one another. They always say that we pick on the ones we love the most, if that's true, than The Goldberg family is overflowing with adoration. Turn back the hands of time with The Goldbergs and enjoy this hysterical blast from the past!

 

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