Series Review: The Goldbergs Season 10 (ABC/Sony Pictures Studios)

By: Jesse Striewski

It feels like just yesterday when The Goldbergs first premiered on ABC in 2013. The discovery of this simple nostalgia-based show that takes place in the ’80s was an innocent enough concept, and one I was easily able to relate and dive into with my own family from the start.

I really wanted to get into this season since its start last September, and did my best to give it a chance. For the most part, there were some moments reminiscent of those earlier seasons that reminded me of why the show was so good in the first place. Yet far too many times it still felt as though something was still missing.

But the series had no doubt gone down consistently in quality after the death of late actor George Segal (who played the grandfather, “Pops”) after season eight, and the unceremonious departure of Jeff Garlin (the father, “Murray”), the latter of which was finally shown some mercy this season and at least killed off instead of the weird CGI angle they tried to pull off the last half of said ninth season (which was more laughable itself than most of the jokes at the time).

There were some moments in season ten that did stick out; “DKNY” finds Adam (Sean Giambrone) visiting his once best friend Dave Kim (Kenny Ridwan) in the Big Apple and learning how much they’ve actually outgrown each other (all with a Halloween party as a back drop, where Tim Meadows guests and does a surprisingly funny impression of Prince); “A Flyer’s Path to Victory” is a spot-on ode to the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team (second only to the New Jersey Devils in my own world), and “Love Shack” is somehow now relatable as Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Geoff (Sam Lerner) struggle to find some grown-up time alone together for romance.

But by the final episode “Bev to the Future,” it feels like they are trying to just wrap up ten years worth of a show in just thirty minutes. And even including flashbacks with former cast members (even ostracized ones), it still feels like a case of too little too late. Whatever Garlin might have said or done behind the scenes to warrant his exit (which, judging by the vague reasoning given for his dismissal, it likely wasn’t much more than a case of weak woke Hollywood needing to control everything yet again), it surely was a mistake that unfortunately proved too costly in the end. Let it be a lesson learned to all those involved.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

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