I’ve said it before; the success of a comedy lies almost entirely on the shoulders of the cast. Even the weakest of premises can be overcome if the cast has chemistry and excellent comedic chops. By this logic The Goldbergs would be the best new comedy this fall. The 80’s set family comedy is anchored by Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Wendi McLendon-Coey (Bridesmaids), and George Segal (everything).
Unfortunately their talents are wasted on a lot of yelling and a dependence on the time period to make the joke for them. Since it is based on the actual family of the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg, one could argue that the over the top nature of the Goldbergs isn’t just for comedy sake but too real to be made up. That’s great and all, but it doesn’t stop it from being annoying. I’m Italian, I understand the concept of loud families and people expressing love by calling you a moron, but the charm is somehow lost when it’s not your actual family.
Similarly, placing the show in the 80s (again, I know that’s when the actual home movies were filmed, but choices were still made) feels like a cheap ploy. The entire decade comes across as a joke and by playing up the ridiculous fashion and questionable music selections it feels like they couldn’t think of another way to make it funny.
There were some amusing moments in the pilot, but nothing that wasn’t already shown in previews. Perhaps that’s the real problem. There pilot gave off the distinct air of trying way too hard, but all the jokes had already been said and there was nothing left. I’m sure I laughed at the joke the first time I heard them… three months ago, but after the endless ads they lacked punch.
I’ll be interested to see where The Goldbergs go from here. They have the basic foundation for a solid comedy and once they get past their initial push for viewers and tone down the previews there may be enough there to establish a loyal audience. Maybe.
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