Saturday, October 12, 2013


I don't watch prime-time episodic network television. I haven't done so for almost thirty years. I can count on one hand the network television shows that I've actually watched on a regular basis over the last few decades on one hand: THE WONDER YEARS, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, THE X-FILES and SEINFELD. That's pretty much it as far as shows that I really wanted to see every week and made an effort to do so.

A few years back, Judy and I watched the first few episodes of COMMUNITY and MODERN FAMILY. We enjoyed them but not enough to make us want to see those shows every week.

But I am watching AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D on ABC this fall (I'll post about that show in the future) and when setting the DVR to get AGENTS, I noticed the show, THE GOLDBERGS,  that follows it at 8:00 p.m. CST.  Judy and I had seen a few commercials for this show (the spots aired during prime-time college football games, which I do watch) and it looked like it might be worth taking a chance on. I made a point to record the show. We've seen the first three episodes and so far, so good.

THE GOLDBERGS is a Jewish version of THE WONDER YEARS set in the 1980s. There's an off camera adult narrator recounting the trials and tribulations of his family during that decade. There's the gruff dad who takes his pants off immediately after entering the house when he gets home from work. The over-protective mother who refuses to cut the apron strings. The semi-moronic older brother who seems doomed to fail at every endeavor. There's an older, high school age sister who is the least developed character on the show. And there's grandfather Pops, who is played by the great George Segal (a favorite actor of mine). Segal is the only actor on this show that I recognize.

The episodes we've seen thus far are fairly heavily saturated with '80s nostalgia and humorous situations. The top loader JVS VCR with the big color buttons on the front that's seen at the beginning of each episode? I had one of those. There are references to films such as POLTERGEIST, TOP GUN, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, STAR WARS, etc, as well as shout-outs to '80s toys such as Rubik's Cube, Transformers and G.I.Joe. Each episode thus far consists of two separate story lines, an "A" plot and a "B" plot an approach that gives maximum exposure to the entire cast.

THE GOLDBERGS isn't nearly as well written and acted as THE WONDER YEARS was but it's a funny little show that we're enjoying while it lasts. Will it last? Probably not. I suspect a large part of whatever audience it's attracting owes a lot to having AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. as a lead in but only time (and ratings) will tell if it makes it past mid-season. One thing ABC can do to help ensure its' survival is to keep it where it is on the prime-time schedule and don't move it to another night and time which seems to almost always result in cancellation.

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