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Another highly watchable, single-camera comedy, ‘The Goldbergs’ is set in 1980’s American suburbia and based on creator Adam F. Goldberg’s own childhood.
In a similar vein to shows like ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Middle’, the show centres on the dysfunctionality of the main family members: controlling but caring Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey); indolent and irritable Murray (Jeff Garlin), artistic and unruly Erica (Hayley Orrantia); musical moron Barry (Troy Gentile); the nice yet nerdy Adam (Sean Giambrone); and playboy octogenarian, Albert (George Segal).
With a reasonable balance between jokes, family issues and relatable moments, the pre-watershed comedy is engaging without the need for crass humour or bad language, though the appropriately timed bleeps for the foul-mouthed Beverly are often brilliant. The school is also a key focal point for the show: the timid Principal Ball (Steven Tobolowsky); take-no-prisoners Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen); and guidance counsellor and recovering depressive Mr Glascott (Tim Meadows), all providing recognisable faces as well as some fantastic comedy.
With a ‘Scrubs’ style voice over delivered by Patton Oswalt (Bojack Horseman) that may seem unnecessary at times, and guilty of the occasional predictable plot, ‘The Goldbergs’ received some mixed reviews, particularly for the first season, but has sustained four so far and looks set to continue. It may not be the most original concept, but the comedy flows naturally, the characters develop organically and the 1980’s setting allows for great reference humour, homages and unique comedy that other shows would be unable to achieve.
As well as some very unforgettable songs.