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The Goldbergs - A Wall Street Thanksgiving - Review



The Goldbergs are without a doubt my favourite TV family. They’re chaotic, full of heart, fight like cat and dog, make me cry tears of laughter, and come accompanied by a superb soundtrack. A Wall Street Thanksgiving feels like the perfect episode to start off my reviews of the show, because it encompasses everything that I love, and in some very minor parts, hate about the show overall.

Let’s start off with a recap of the episode: Marvin is back, and this time with a get rich quick scheme that Barry and the JTP decide to invest in. Erica is home for the holidays and hiding the fact she’s in a massive amount of debt, which she tries to unsuccessfully solve through credit card fraud & Marvin’s scheme. Murray takes Barry’s money back from Marvin, as he wants Barry to focus on becoming a Doctor, and Barry doesn’t react well to this discovery. Adam is excited over an E.T game which turns out to be a complete and utter dud, and Beverly decides to invite basically the whole neighbourhood and its friends over for dinner, so she doesn’t have to stress out over thanksgiving for once. This does not end well.

Starting off with things that worked: It is really great having Erica home. I don’t care if it’s only for one episode, I still love it. Having Erica away from the Goldberg family? It’s not working for me. I get she had to graduate High School given it’s a storyline the show has focussed on for over a season, with both her and Lainey. But Erica to an extent is the calm head amongst all the madness. When she’s not mixed in with the family storylines, or even worse has 5 minutes or less screen time in an episode? It just doesn’t flow as well.

Having Erica back meant we had Erica/Geoff back on our screens and I loved every minute of it. Geoff was adorable, first when he was preparing for Erica to break up with him, agreeing with everything she said to save himself from getting broken up with, and then his mini freakout when Erica suggested they fake break-up, so she could get money out of Beverly. Given he’s been madly in love with Erica since forever, Geoff already having their future mapped out was really sweet. Even sweeter? Offering money to help clear Erica’s debts because he really would do anything for her, which led to Erica deciding to stand on her own two feet and clear the debts herself. We also got some really nice scenes between Erica & Beverly. Popping up out of nowhere to hug her eldest after such a long time away was a really nice moment. It also totally reminded me of the welcome I received from my own mother on my first weekend back from University. Beverly refusing to pay off Erica’s debts actually showed rare progression of characters for a comedy show. As the kids are growing up, they’re learning new things about the world including boundaries and their places, which is something Beverly’s having to learn as well. The Erica of season 1 would’ve been crying to her parents the second she got through the door over the debts she procured, and Beverly/Murray of season 1 would’ve been handing over the chequebook. But Erica is more mature now and her parents know they can’t solve all their kids problems anymore, because if they do, they’ll never learn.

However, I do have one major issue with the debt storyline. I know this is a comedy and a suspension of reality is required to a certain extent watching television. That being said being expected to believe Erica would be able to commit credit card & identity theft, by placing her thumb over Beverly’s passport? Sorry, but that would never in a billion years happen and I actually felt insulted.

The next great thing about this episode was Marvin. In small doses he is an extremely funny character. His latest get rich quick scheme was totally him, and I did get quite a chuckle out of him training the JTP on how to be a stockbroker. However with this storyline also came Barry. I very much have a love/hate relationship with him. Like Marvin, he is funny in small doses. But when Barry gets his own storyline in an episode, instead of playing the supporting role in one? I have a massive issue. At the best of times, Barry is a massively unlikeable douchebag. He can do things to people, but they can’t do things to him, and don’t even get me started on his whole relationship with Lainey. Of course Barry would sign up to Marvin’s get rich quick scheme, because they’re both very much made from the same cloth in wanting to make money but not put in the hard work. You may call me harsh for that, but Barry over the shows 5 year run has wanted to be everything from a rapper to a basketball star. All because they make money and he also wants the fame. Barry deciding to become a Doctor is a plotline I very much enjoy, along with the sibling storylines, because he tends to be toned down. He’s not quite as outlandish & in turn annoying.

This episode he was completely full of annoying. Taking Barry’s money out of the get rich quick scheme was an extremely smart move by Murray. Many of Marvin’s plans tend to fail, and Murray wants Barry to focus on being a Doctor, because it’s something he has the potential to be great at. Murray’s scheming actually working for once and making a lot of money was a pleasant surprise. Barry’s reaction to finding out Murray withdrew his money just made me want to scream at the computer monitor (which I actually did). I can completely understand his feeling of anger towards Murray. It was his money, he is free to do what he wants to do with it. But belittling Murray the way that he did? Claiming that he doesn’t want to turn out like him because he basically has no life (I am paraphrasing a bit here I’ll admit but it’s not a scene I want to watch again). It was completely out of order. The fact Murray just took it and Barry never apologized for his outburst really didn’t sit well with me either.

There isn’t much to say about Adam and the E.T game given it didn’t get much screen time, and if it hadn’t eventually been tied into Barry/Marvin/Eventually Erica’s get rich quick scheme, I would’ve been wondering what the actual point of that storyline was. Which brings me to another point; Adam not being the main storyline of the episode is always weird. Thankfully it doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, it’s just a bit ill-fitting. The best Goldberg episodes for me are when Adam has the main storyline with Pops/Beverly/Murray featuring, and Erica has the second story with Barry and their group of friends mixing. Beverly being relegated to the background/supporting role is also always strange, because I’m so used to her being the great smother she was destined to be.

The Goldbergs using the thanksgiving toast to make digs at each other is one of the most Goldbergs scenes you will ever witness. Pops mishearing, Coach’s brother stealing the food and Geof struggling to get into the house was also extremely amusing. But I just love the way no matter what the Goldbergs do to each other, which is mostly driving each other crazy, they always overcome their issues & come back together.

The Goldbergs is back next week with Murray teaching Adam how to drive, and Barry dropping in on Erica at College. Sounds like a bundle of fun!







 
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