The Goldbergs

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Watched two episodes of “The Goldbergs” – a new TV series that is set in the 80s. Um…it is not funny. It is completely standard-issue sitcom fare that is trying to capture the attention of people who have fond memories of the 80s – like me, I suppose.

But it is strictly cookie-cutter comedy…with a distracting voice-over of the show’s younger child as an older, wiser man (as was done to slightly better effect in “The Wonder Years”) and trying to be “That 70s Show” of the 80s. But as for humor? Nope. Not a laugh to be had.

A shame – there is some talent in the show – the dad was great in “Arrested Development,” the mom was awesome in “Reno 911!” and the usually great George Segal as the grandfather is left hanging.

As far as placement in the 80s – I had been looking for clues to narrow down the time frame of the show – was it the early 80s, when A Flock of Seagulls and Soft Cell and the Go-Go’s ruled the airwaves, and Ronald Reagan was president? Reagan was the “80s president,” after all.

But no – the episode that I watched last night revealed that it won’t be set in the 80s for too much longer, apparently – one of the young characters does a “Say Anything” moment, standing outside a girl’s window, boombox raised high…and “Say Anything” was released in April 1989. That’s firmly in George H.W. Bush territory, and New Kids On The Block and Tone Loc were topping the charts.

UPDATE: As pointed out by Catherine (*waves*) in the comments: “The grandparents of Hayley Orrantia who plays Erica live in Great Falls!” Yep – sorry I forgot to mention that! Based on her success on the X Factor and now a network sitcom, she’s probably got a very bright future!

SEAN GIAMBRONE

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