The Goldbergs: The Best Five Episodes (so far)

Nostalgia sells - just look at how Stranger Things grabbed us with it's Spielbergian feels, it's therefore a shame that the eighties-set The Goldbergs hasn't made more of a splash on these shores. The new series hits E4 on 10th January so we thought it was time we introduced you to the joys on offer.

The partially autobiographical comedy follows the childhood of the show's creator, Adam Goldberg (played here by Sean Giambrone), along with his parents Murray (Jeff Garlin) and Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), his brother, Barry (Troy Gentile) and his sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia). The real Adam had two brothers but it was felt there'd be more scope for storylines with a sister in the mix so Eric became Erica.

Adam is a huge geek - a massive Star Wars fan who carries his video camera with him wherever he goes. He dreams of playing Dungeons and Dragons and going to space camp - something that children of the eighties will find very familiar. His older brother Barry aka Big Tasty aspires to be a rap singer but he's pretty terrible. Erica pretty much clashes with Beverly on almost anything and Murray is the type of father with his own chair and who is happy to drop his trousers and sit around in his underwear as soon as he gets home from work.

It's Beverly, however, who probably gets the most laughs though as the overbearing mother who puts her kid above anything else in her life. She brings so many brilliantly cringeworthy moments to the show.

image

The Goldbergs is warm, very funny, entertaining TV so we've picked out our five favourite episodes to give you the perfect taster ahead of the new series...

The Circle of Driving - Season 1, Episode 1
We meet the Goldbergs for the first time - after a quick round of intros we get into the story proper - it's Barry's birthday and Pops (George Segal) turns up in his new wheels much to Beverly's displeasure.

Why do we love it?
The very first episode is the perfect starting point - not only because it introduces us to the Goldbergs but also because it's the perfect example of what's to come. It's rare for the first episode of a new series to feel so well formed but The Goldbergs starts as it means to go on.

image

Goldbergs Never Say Die! - Season 1, Episode 14
It's The Goldbergs does The Goonies as Erica and Barry join Adam and his friends as they search for some lost family jewels. Little does Adam know, but his siblings are leading him on a wild good chase.

Why do we love it?
The Goonies is about as eighties as you can get and fits with the whole nostalgia thing perfectly. The episode is a hotbed of pop culture references and moments of pure retro joy.

image

The Facts of Bleeping Life - Season 2, Episode 3
The wedding of Charles and Diana was one of the biggest events of the eighties and here we get to see just how it was seen from the American perspective. The pending nuptials give Beverly the idea to renew her wedding vows with Murray. In the meantime Barry and Adam put together a band but the only song they know is by Twisted Sister.

Why do we love it?
Seeing Barry (and in this case Adam's) failed musical ventures is always a joy but not only that, The Facts of Bleeping Life also gives Beverly and Murray some fantastic sparring opportunities. The Goldbergs is never better than when it really exploits the familial element.

image

A Kick-Ass Risky Business Party - Season 3, Episode 1
Lainey's (AJ Michalka) parents are out of town so she, along with best friend Erica and boyfriend Barry set about organising a Risky Business style party.

Why do we love it?
In the gap between seasons Sean Giambrone's voice has started to break so the show goes all in on cashing in on his vocal struggles. It's also a great homage to Risky Business and kicks off the third season perfectly.

image

Smothers Day - Season 3, Episode 22
Barry and Erica completely forget its mothers day so do what they've done every other year and give her a "mum coupon" instead that she can cash in at any time; rather than just accept it this time around she decides its time to cash in all the coupons at once. In an attempt to make it up the the kids try to treat their mum to a day she'll never forget which leads to a kitchen catastrophe.

Why do we love it?
Who doesn't love Wendi McLendon-Covey's Beverly? Smothers Day gives some great character moments and really develops the relationship between her and her eldest kids in our eyes. The pay-off moment in the kitchen is one of the show's best scenes.