Series Review: The Goldbergs Season 9 (ABC/Sony Pictures Television)

By: Jesse Striewski

When The Goldbergs first premiered on TV in 2013, it was a quaint throwback that perfectly captured the essence of when the ’80s sitcom reigned supreme, and was still an event for the whole family. That initial magic has since dissipated somewhat, yet the show keeps trudging along regardless.

The show started its decline in quality by season six or seven, and season nine (which originally aired in September of 2021) asked us to accept a lot to say the least. The first noticeable change came with the unfortunate loss of “Pops,” played by the late George Segal, who passed away in March of 2021. His death was addressed in the first episode, then mentioned a few more times throughout the season.

Then of course there was the sudden controversy that supposedly came along with actor Jeff Garlin, who has played the father Murrary on the show since day one. Some vague behind the scenes “misconduct” allegations caused the producers to replace Garlin midway through the season, deciding to use a stand-in and weird CGI to replace him instead. It was about this time that I realized the show had hit a new low.

Aside from all these issues, the plots were really nothing all that spectacular, either, many just revolving around Adam (Sean Giambrone) navigating his future with both college and his girlfriend Brea (Sadie Stanely) and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Geoff’s (Sam Lerner) eventual wedding. And of course there’s the usual meddling from Bev (Wendi McLendon-Covey) throughout all of these situations.

Only a couple of episodes from this season really standout; the Halloween episode that sees Adam finding solace in still celebrating the holiday via his “other” grandfather (Judd Hirsch) despite the loss of Pops. The episode also sticks out for featuring the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira.

And then of course there’s that wedding episode. We not only get an appearance from yet another ’80s pop star (Richard Marx), but one of the most awkward moments in the show’s tenure featuring the “stand-in” Murrary that the flimmakers actually tried to pull off as authentic. The result is one of the most cringe-worthy scenes ever to be displayed in small screen history.

The final episode (which aired in May of this year) Adam not only graduates, but we also find out that Erica is pregnant, leaving us with a somewhat predictable cliffhanger to end the season on. With season ten about to drop this evening, there’s no telling what to expect from this once-great, dwindling show. The only thing we know for sure is they’ve obviously learned from their mistakes by keeping the Murrary character going in the fashion they had, and finally decided to kill him off all together; perhaps at this point it’d be best to just put the show down as well before it gets any worse than this.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Book Review: Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark (Hachette Book Group) By Cassandra Peterson

By: Jesse Striewski

The moment I first saw those big, beautiful, uh…eyes, staring back at me from the cover of Elvira’s new memoir, I knew I had to get my hands on them…I mean it! And while we’ve all known her as simply the sexy mistress of the dark for so many decades now, the woman behind the character herself, Cassandra Peterson, paints a vivid picture of just how she transformed from a normal small town girl, to the voluptuous vixen she would eventually become.

From becoming a go-go dancer (and eventually a Vegas showgirl), to her days as a “junior groupie” hanging out with the likes of Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix (among others), to her inevitable path to Hollywood stardom, and all the way up to present day (including of course her recent coming out of the closet), Peterson puts it all out there on the table. There’s of course plenty of sides to her that most of us have likely never considered before that are covered, including even some dark moments of abuse and/or sexual assault.

I’ve always found it interesting gaining real insight into the lives of the celebrities I’ve grown up admiring. Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira persona is one of the very first women I can really remember desiring at a young age, and in hindsight, helped play a huge part in my actual taste in women in general. But upon reading her memoir, I realized I knew so little about her up until now; I’m glad that has finally changed.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars