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Review: The Goldbergs (ABC) – No more voice-over please!

By on September 25, 2013

The Goldbergs

The Goldbergs

It’s the 80’s and Adam Goldberg’s (Sean Giambrone) family is the first in the neighborhood to get a video camera. Adam, the youngest of three children, decides to record his family’s life. His mother, Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey, Reno 911!) is an overprotective woman who has trouble letting go of her kids. Murray (Jeff Garlin, Curb Your Enthusiasm), Adam’s father, yells a lot, but deep down he has a big heart. Barry (Troy Gentile, Drillbit Taylor) is Adam’s older brother and he has some serious middle child issues. Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is the oldest of the kids and is both smart and hot. The oldest of the family is Pops (George Segal, Just Shoot Me!), Adam’s grandpa. He’s a real ladies man and gives Adam advice on how to get women to love him (back).

It’s Barry’s 16th birthday and he really wants to get his driver’s license and a car. However, his mom doesn’t allow him to drive since he’s way too irresponsible. So when Pops give Barry the keys to his old car, Beverly takes the keys from him. Barry of course gets really upset and Pops tells him he will find a way for Barry to get his license.

When Pops crashes his own car Beverly forces him to give his keys to her. Murray then says Barry can drive because “that’s the circle of driving”. Beverly thinks this is a really bad idea, but Murray teaches Barry to drive anyway. However, Barry truly sucks at driving. Even someone on a moped passes him. Beverly takes the keys from him again. However, later that night after a good talk with Murray they decide it’s time to let their kids go. Erica, who already has a license, and Barry get to drive in Pops’ old car.

The Goldbergs is based on the life of Adam F. Goldberg, the creator of the show. When Goldberg himself was young he captured a lot of his family’s life. At the end of the episode during the credits a few clips were shown of the episode together with actual footage Goldberg shot during his childhood. This was a nice touch and a good way to show the characters are actually based on real people.

I thought the episode was quite funny. It wasn’t the best comedy I’ve ever seen but I think it has potential. The show was a lot funnier than I had expected. Although I didn’t laugh out loud, it was quite entertaining to watch. However, I don’t think I will watch any more episodes. The episode might have been entertaining, there were also some parts I didn’t like. I thought the story progressed a little too slow, and what I especially disliked was the voice-over.

There is something about voice-overs that really ticks me off. They main reason is that, especially in this case, it doesn’t add anything to the story. I don’t need to be told it’s Barry’s 16th birthday, just let his mother say she’s proud her son is 16 or whatever. Added to that, who is adult Adam talking to? Is he telling the story to a fictional character, like Ted tells his stories to his kids in  How I Met Your Mother? If this is the case, why not show who he’s talking to? That’s the main reason Ted’s voice-over doesn’t annoy me as much as this one. The other reason is that Ted doesn’t say as much as adult Adam. I could live with a few comments during the episode, if they would add something to the story, but Adam talks way too much. If Adam is not talking to a character, does that mean he’s talking to the viewers? I don’t know, I don’t care, just stop it with the voice-over already!

The Goldbergs airs on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c.