ABC’s new family comedy, ‘The Goldbergs,’ falls flat
Now, I don’t want to sound too harsh, but “The Goldbergs” was one of the worst pilots I have ever seen. The three words that best describe this show are loud, obnoxious and, overall, terrible.
“The Goldbergs” is a brand-new comedy premiering on ABC this fall; the first episode is now available on Hulu. The show is shot from the perspective of a young boy, Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone), who spends most of his time videotaping his high-energy, crazy family living their lives in the 80s.
It stars Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Bridesmaids”), Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and George Segal (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”). These are pretty talented actors. McLendon-Covey shone in her role as Rita in “Bridesmaids,” Garlin has been nominated for an Emmy and Segal has been nominated for an Oscar.
It sounds like a recipe for success, so what went wrong here?
To be honest, this show was a shocking disappointment. I had done my research before sitting down to watch it and found that the series’ producer, Adam Goldberg, had actually written the show based on his childhood.
In fact, the pilot’s opener contained clips of the cast reenacting Goldberg’s home videos that were played later in the credits. It’s a really cute idea. Goldberg must have had a really fun family and exciting childhood since it was able to be picked up by ABC and turned into a sitcom. The problem lies in the execution.
First off, the actors need to tone it down — a lot. All the yelling is too much to handle and it’s not the good kind of yelling — it’s not anything like Seinfeld. In my eyes, overacting is one of the main reasons this show flopped. The actors use big motions and obnoxious facial expressions, to the point where I could have turned off the sound and still would have understood every single scene.
And before you ask if that’s what made it funny, it didn’t. In fact, the show wasn’t funny. The writing was witless and the story lacked originality: a teenager wants a car for his birthday and spends the rest of the episode fighting with his parents when they don’t give him one.
It’s been done before but I understand where ABC is coming from — “Modern Family” is such a popular show right now. It’s the wide variety of family dynamics that make it so great and it’s a good market to tap into. “Modern Family” has superb acting and fantastic writing, which are two things “The Goldbergs” lacks.
Besides the cute home videos at the end, there is nothing new or groundbreaking that would make this show attractive or worth watching. But then again, this is just the pilot — there is always room for improvement as the season progresses.
Admittedly, I don’t see it changing, because there is too much to fix with this show; I can’t see it surviving the first season. If you would like to see this show with your own eyes, it is available on Hulu and will premiere later this month on ABC.