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The Goldbergs - Hail Barry - Review

The Goldbergs was another show returning this week and what a fantastic episode ‘Hail Barry’ was. This is easily among the best episodes the show has ever done.

As the title suggests, Barry is very much at the centre of the action this week. He’s inspired to join the school’s football team after seeing the Superbowl Shuffle.

Like with everything Barry does, he’s under the misguided belief that he’s an excellent football player, and will quickly be the star of the team.

That every much does not happen. Whilst Barry may be good playing with his friends, when he actually gets onto the football field he’s an absolute disaster, shouting that he’s unconscious after being tackled to the ground. Coach Mello doesn’t want him anywhere near the field, and instead offers him a place on the bench. Though Coach Mellor tries to give being benched a positive spin, Barry sees right through it and rejects it, instead pleading for Mellor to give him another chance. That wish is granted and he’s soon on the ground again claiming he’s unconscious.

Adam attempts to offer his brother some advice based off all the sports movies he’s ever watched, and leads Barry to believe that Mellor wanting to bench him is just a test. Barry simply has to prove himself and he will get his place on the field. Unfortunately, Barry’s attempts at proving himself do not involve getting in some extra football practise. Instead he gets the team together to make a rap song.

Coach Mellor isn’t impressed to find his football team rapping when they should be on the field and neither is his assistant. Giving Barry some tough love, Mellor explains that being on the bench is nothing to do with testing him, he really just is that much of a bad player. Barry is deflated and storms out, expecting the rest of the team to follow him. They don’t, pointing out that they barely know him, and the whole rap thing was very weird.

Its scenes like this that really make me appreciate The Goldbergs. I’ve mentioned it before, but for us viewers, the Goldbergs antics are supposed to come across as outrageously amusing. They’ve long come to accept & embrace their outlandishness and come to expect the people around them to do the same. Whilst they do most of the time, on the odd occasion they will point out how weird some of the things the Goldbergs do are and I really appreciate it.

Troy Gentile also does really well in this scene, as Barry can’t believe that not one person is willing to walk with him and storms out in a massive huff.
Barry is later comforted by Adam at home, who again attempts some words of wisdom but Barry isn’t having it. So, going with a different approach Adam points out he knows he’s not good at a lot of stuff, but that doesn’t stop him cheering on from the bench because that’s just as important as being on the field. Barry questions if Adam does that despite knowing people are talking about how bad he is behind his back, which Adam is obviously taken aback by but the talk does the trick.
Barry returns to school where the team are badly losing, and brings his horrid rap song back to pump the team up. It does the trick as they return to the field make a stirring comeback, with Barry cheering them on from the sidelines and basically putting his pumped up anger to good use. The team win the game and Barry gets to be part of the celebration, even if it’s in a slightly different way to what he originally envisaged.

Usually The Goldbergs has 2/3 storylines running through the episode. This week though 90% of the screen time was focussed on Barry, with Beverly attempting to start her own clothing range as the only subplot. Comedies aren’t exactly known for spreading plots out over more than one episode (usually they’re just a one and done), so it was nice to see them bring back Beverly trying to find something for herself outside of the kids.

Unfortunately, her own clothing range was not the best idea to start with. The jackets were absolute hideous to the point where they were rejected by a thrift store. Murray was surprisingly full of support for Beverly, to such an extent that she and Pops kept arguing back against what he was saying and Murray had to spell out he had no angles whatsoever and was genuinely being supportive. It was an extremely amusing scene as Murray was left questioning whether him being supportive and optimistic for once was really that big of a shock, and the answer was of course yes.

Beverley obviously discovered that the jackets hadn’t managed to sell, and had indeed been returned to them and was deflated. Murray however was still insistent that she could still make a business work, she just had to find a better idea to lead with. Erica only made a brief cameo this week during a phone call from Murray. He’d shipped Beverly’s jackets off to her hoping that the college kids would want them, and Erica revealed that she’d only managed to give one away to the other Erica and even that’d been because she was drunk.

The highlight of the episode without a doubt though was the ending. The real JTP, including the real Barry Goldberg, made a cameo as they took on our JTP in a game of football. I absolutely love whenever the show has the characters interact with their real life counterparts. It’s part of what makes The Goldbergs such a uniquely fun show. For the credit scene, the real Beverly Goldberg sat down with Wendi to talk about how her home-made jacket came to be, and confirmed that she never sold even one.

What did you think of ‘Hail Barry’? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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