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The Goldbergs - Flashy Little Flashdancer - Review

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In the comments last week there was a general agreement that The Goldbergs has been going through a rut of sorts recently, and many agreed with me the show tends to be better when Erica has a decent enough presence in the episode. I was extremely glad to know I wasn’t alone with these thoughts, and it wasn’t just me being critical, the show has just been a bit off.

‘Flashy Little Flashdancer’ is not the greatest ever episode the show has produced, but it had some moments that genuinely made me laugh. Beverly took the lead on this weeks episode. Whilst I’m used to being bowled over by Wendi McLendon-Covey’s comedic timing, this week it was the heart that she brought to Beverly that was so brilliant. In the same moments that I laughed, I also felt extremely bad for Beverly.

Flashdance fever has taken hold of Beverly and her friends. I’ve never seen the movie but I know enough about it to know that it was absolutely huge in the 80’s, and still spoken about to this day. Inspired by the movie, Beverly and her friends join a dance class where they think they’re rocking it but they’re actually not. When Beverly tells her family that she’s going to be in a recital, they’re not exactly supportive.

This brings us one of the funniest scenes of the episode, and something I’m still chuckling at. Murray isn’t really interested in the recital, Barry claims that he has a work thing (and Beverly points out he doesn’t work) and just as he’s bringing Adam in for reinforcements, a devastated Erica storms through the door. She’s been sent pictures of Geoff cheating on her, and Beverly joyfully reveals that she lied in order to trick Erica into coming back home for her recital. Erica is extremely annoyed, but Beverly just cheerfully brushes past it.

I can’t tell you why exactly this scene is so amusing. Maybe it’s because this is the type of thing I’ve come to expect from Beverly after 5 years of watching this show (and let’s be honest she’s told worse lies to trick people) or because the rest of the family isn’t even phased by what Beverly’s done and Erica is left to silently seethe.

With the family extremely sceptical, Beverly decides to showcase her dance moves by putting on a performance for them. She’s extremely proud of herself for dance her butt off, and full of confidence to show her moves off to everyone else, and her family send her crashing back down to earth by laughing.

Beverly is beyond devastated and this scene was both heart-breaking and hilarious. Heart-breaking for Beverly, because she’s really tried this season to take a step back from her kids & family, and find something for herself and every time she seems to be on the right track, someone wades in to snatch it away from her (her clothing enterprise was a massive flop, Barry almost caused her to fall out with her friends). It begs the question of how you can expect a person to change and evolve, if you’re the one who is actually holding them back? In a great role reversal here, her family are completely oblivious to the devastation they’ve caused. Barry, Erica and Adam all thank their mother for the laugh (Erica’s even happy now she’s been dragged home to see this) and Murray laughs so hard he ends up in the Hospital. Her whole family see Beverly as being one giant laughing stock, and it’s just devastating to watch all of the positivity being drained from Beverly.

In a really twisted way it’s also hilarious to watch. Beverly’s dance is beyond awful, and as soon as The Goldbergs start laughing, you really can’t help joining in. Like them we’re not meaning to be mean, nervous laughter and contagious laughter are both an actual thing and especially Murray laughing so hard he ends up in hospital. This is a guy who rarely laughs or reacts to anything at all and he’s laughing so much here he injures himself? How can we not find this funny?!

Beverly puts on the caring smother coat and takes Murray to the hospital. He’s treated, they re-join the kids and soon they’re laughing all over again at Beverly’s expense that Murray injures himself again, and at this point I’m struggling not to choke on my drink.

Beverly re-joins the Frentas at dancing class and is a broken woman. She points out whilst they may have supportive families who encourage, her family mocks and laughs. She then breaks the Frentas spirit by pointing out their flaws, and they’re soon joining her as being broken. The Goldbergs though are still oblivious to Beverly’s upset, until she cooks a sad casserole and Geoff arrives to reveal the other mum’s have backed out of the recital.

It’s then Murray orders Barry & Erica to apologize to Beverly, and wrongly assumes he doesn’t have to because he’s her husband and it’s expected that he screws up. He’s very much got that wrong as Beverly tells Erica, Barry & the JTP that their apology isn’t necessary, but comes down hard on Murray because he won’t. Unleashing some much needed home truths, Beverly explains she expects the kids to look down on her as only being a mum, but Murray is supposed to think she’s capable of doing whatever she dreams she can be.

This is again an extremely heartbreaking, yet completely truthful confrontation and more great acting from Wendi & Jeff Garlin who plays Murray. He is completely flummoxed by Beverly’s outburst. He really shouldn’t be, but Murray like his daughter isn’t great with expressing his feelings so of course he’d assume that Beverly was only angry with the kids for their lack of support. He then decides to make it up to Beverly by dancing for her and again winds up in hospital. Beverly cascades him for attempting to move his body when he knows that he can’t, and Murray was expecting Beverly to step in and accept his apology before he had to break out the dance moves.

All’s well that ends well though. After some words of encouragement Beverly and the frentas do take to the stage. Sure they’re terrible at first, but Beverly fires them up and they pull off an amazing performance that has everyone on their feet, and Murray makes it up to Beverly.

The other storyline this week centred on Adam and Emmy. She’s caught the eye of a cute, popular guy at school called Brian and Adam feels threatened by it. He feels as though he’s being left behind by Emmy and instead of being understanding to the fact she, just like he has already, is gonna date someone he tries to spilt them up. Pops buys him a Michael Jackson jacket and Adam shows up at a party to confront Emmy for lying to her mum over her whereabouts and ditching him. Emmy points out Adam is dating Jackie and previously Dana, and she’s felt like the odd one out but she’s had to deal with it. Unfortunately, Brian doesn’t and bails on Emmy, which she gets annoyed at Adam for.

The show bringing back clips from previous seasons to highlight Emmy & Adam’s friendship was extremely jarring, because the clips show us how much the actors have literally grown since the show began. I haven’t been this taken aback since I googled images of ‘Speechless’ for the best siblings article! I do love though when shows do go through the archives and use clips to demonstrate a point, instead of just relying on the characters detailing history. Show don’t tell is a thing for a reason and it works perfectly in this case.

When you have been best friends with someone for near enough your whole life, growing apart when you start dating or making new friends at school is the scariest thing in the world, so Adam’s reaction was totally understandable. The fact Pops actually bought the jacket was a little bit shocking, and perhaps it would’ve been best to give Adam a talk from the get-go, instead of waiting until he came to him crying over screwing everything up.

The talk takes Adam to Brian’s house, and he helps Brian to win Emmy back and in turn save his own friendship with Emmy.

End credits cameo this week is the real Emmy talking with Sean Giambrone about her friendship with Adam, and that no matter how long they may go without seeing each other, they do always pick up right where they left off.

‘Flashy Little Flashdancer’ had a ton of heart and some humorous moments, and it’s nice that for 2 weeks in a row, The Goldbergs has been on form.

What did you think of ‘Flashy Little Flashdancer’? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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