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The Goldbergs - Dinner With The Goldbergs - Review

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This might just be the funniest, yet weirdest, episode of any comedy show that I have ever watched. It’s also what I believe maybe be the first contained episode that The Goldbergs has ever done, and it really was a joy to watch.

The episode completely revolved around Geoff surprising Erica with a birthday dinner at a restaurant, which she is happy about. Until of course she discovers that her family will also be joining them, and carnage quickly ensues.

This episode is also a rare episode that didn’t include The Goldbergs theme song. Instead simple title cards with horror themed music popped up throughout the episode. Sometimes horror is about the jump scares and gore. Other times horror is trying to have a nice meal out of the house.
Beverly begins by complaining about the wait for the table, especially since other people have come in and been seated. When a table is finally available and the waiter takes them to it, they all have problems ranging from being the garbage table, to being under the air conditioning, an echo, unable to use a booth due to Murray’s bad back, way too close to the bathroom, having a wobble and having a bad vibe. The table having the bad vibe is the one that I found the most hilarious, because only Beverly Goldberg could have this issue.

They are eventually seated at the perfect table, with menus at hand and that is when the fun really begins. Beverly tells Murray off for snacking on bread rolls, and warns the rest of them that she won’t have them filling up on bread. Erica then explains to Geoff that this is her mums worst fear, but that she also won’t waste food, so has a food purse which she stuffs leftover food into. Beverly instructs the waiter to bring them more rolls, the waiter explains that he isn’t actually their waiter. This doesn’t stop Murray from noting that the restaurant gives free refills and ordering a Sprite. Murray is delighted that the family can have endless drinks, and proclaims that they’re beating the system. I actually can’t judge too much on this because restaurants giving free refills was my favourite thing about eating out when I was a kid.

Barry then starts to get really annoyed over the fact that he’s left handed, and Geoff keeps bumping into him. The one thing that I actually whenever I have to sit next to anyone is the accidental nudging, and when it’s over dinner? It is even worse so Barry’s pain is completely understandable. Erica though isn’t having any of it which only spurs Barry on and he insists that Geoff switch seats with him. Willing to keep the peace Geoff is completely fine with this but Murray orders him to sit back down.

It is then of course time for Murray’s menu rules. Geoff dares to ask if the ‘no appetisers’ rule includes soup and Murray is completely disgusted. Erica attempts to defend her boyfriend by saying he can have what he wants, but Geoff is quite happy going without the soup. Murray then orders everyone to hand over their menus and spoons which Beverly interjects over, and insists that the kids be allowed to order what they want. This leads Adam down a very bad path, as he decides that he wants to try the adult menu for once. Beverly points out his stomach can’t handle the big food, but Adam is defiant and ends up massively regretting this. Not as much as Barry though who insists on ordering a trout and when it comes, no longer wants it, but Beverly refuses to allow him to send it back.

During the ordering, Murray can’t remember what it is that he wants to order and keeps telling the waiter to come back to him. Beverly sees the menu as mere suggestions for meals, and keeps trying to substitute things which the waiter explains she can’t do. Pops turns to other tables for advice on what he should eat, and that quickly turns into him joining different tables for dinner. As the waiter is basically questioning all of his life’s choices, Murray decides to take up the option of free cake and informs the waiter that it is both Erica and Geoff’s birthday and that they’re twins. Erica apologizes again to Geoff who assures her that it’s fine, before Murray berates him with a reminder that they’re supposed to be twins.

A couple of weeks ago Speechless did a similar type of plot, and I have to say that their execution was much better. There is enough on in this episode with all the dinner mishaps, without needing to add in a subplot for a few extra laughs that doesn’t really go anywhere.

Without a doubt the funniest moment of the episode is the dinner mishap. The Goldbergs grow increasingly agitated over every table being served except them, and when waiters come out with food for another table, they think the waiters have made a mistake. So what do they do? Calmly call over a waiter to inform them of the mistake? Of course not! Beverly, Barry and a reluctant Geoff go over to the table and take the food. It’s a completely outlandish moment that in normal cases we would probably struggle to believe had actually happened. With the Goldbergs though I completely believe it. In fact I would’ve been more shocked if they hadn’t marched over and taken the food. They of course end up with egg on their faces when the waiters come out of the kitchen, with what is actually their food, and with the other family refusing to take their food back, the Goldbergs decide to add it to the leftover food pile.

After the Goldbergs send their food back and the waiters are forced to bring more food out for them, it is finally time to eat. Everyone is happy! Except for Barry of course who still hates his fish. Murray is so happy he is choking on his food. Something that Barry, Adam and Erica explain to a seriously concerned Geoff is just something that Murray does, and is nothing to worry about. Geoff though can’t let it go, and attempts to save Murray from choking. Murray is extremely bemused by Geoff touching him and tells him to sit back down.

Beverly attempts to call over another waiter, and Geoff absolutely loses it in one of the finest scenes a comedy show will ever produce. He gets up and tells them that the waiter has never been their waiter. With no hint of irony whatsoever, Erica orders Geoff to sit down as he’s making a scene and Geoff gives it to the Goldbergs full pelt.

“This family should be barred from any and all dining establishments. I'm talking Beefsteak Charlie's, China Garden, Applebee's, even Tony Roma's.” “I hear they make a top-notch shrimp scampi.” “Oh, my God. At a steak place, you get steak. And at a place for ribs, you eat ribs with your dominant hand without complaining that the world is prejudiced against you.” “Burn! He got you good.” “And you, you know, despite your age, you still look like and sound like a tiny boy, - so just order accordingly.” “He's right. You barely touched that steak.” “And you. You turned your purse into a mini-fridge. You took an hour to order, then stole food from that table, and then sent it back” “Hey, we're trying to enjoy - Devon's graduation dinner in peace!” “And you! That's just a nice family trying to have a special meal together. Leave them alone!” “What's Captain Soup going on about?” “And you, with your menu rules and your communal soda and you're forcing me to just eat soup? You think I didn't want steak?! I chose this place! I love their meats and their sides, and why do you keep eating through everything I'm saying right now? You know, you really are ruining our good people's name, and you know what I'm talking about”

It’s such a brilliant scene, with brilliant dialogue, that absolutely sums up the Goldbergs. During the shows run, their outlandish is something we’ve come to adore, and it’s what makes the show so unique from all of the other comedies on screen. I love how it’s not afraid to poke fun at itself, and call the Goldbergs out on their behaviour when necessary. The fact it came from Geoff, one of the sweetest and mild mannered characters on the show is what makes it that much better.

The episode with Erica and Murray for praising Geoff for standing up to them. Which is again something I appreciate, because it would’ve been extremely predictable for Geoff to be painted as the bad guy for rightly calling them out, and the family accepting his apology and carrying on as usual. Instead Murray says that next time Geoff can have soup and an entrĂ©e, and Beverly thanks Geoff for giving Erica such a special night. The family then head home in their car, whilst Geoff and Erica head off separately. The episode ends with home movies of some of their restaurant escapades, and of course the morning after the night before where Barry is stuck with fishy scrambled eggs. He really doesn’t want to eat it and we get part 2 of Beverly ordering him to eat it.

What are your thoughts on the episode? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below. And don't forget to tune in next Wednesday for ‘The Hooters’ which excuse the pun, sounds like a hoot!

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