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The Goldbergs - MTV Spring Break - Review: "Bags of Fun"

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MTV Spring Break is here on The Goldbergs this week, and with it comes an episode that has slid straight into my all-time top 10 favourite episodes list.

Given I knew in advance this episode would have a ton of Erica, and an all round good vibe to it, I went into this episode with some very high hopes. As with any show that manages to be on air long enough to reach a 5th season, The Goldberg has been a bit of a mixed bag at times this season but this episode made me smile for the first time in 3 weeks.

Erica and Barry are feeling bad they’re missing out on the Spring Break fun, so after remembering a post card from Pop’s retirement home in Florida, Barry puts on the waterworks and off they go. It’s not quite as fun filled as they conceived though. Pops is 30 minutes away from the beach, his retirement home has a bunch of rules and Pops is in bed by 5:50pm. Being in Florida has clearly changed him which Pops is in denial about at first.

Erica and Barry decide to rebel and throw an ‘epic’ pool party in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, Pops calls the police because he thinks a gang of teens have broken in. Erica and Barry are soon arrested and end up in jail, where they have to admit that they got arrested for stealing a knish. What makes this whole thing even funnier as it’s explained in the end credits, is this did actually happen.

Pops eventually gets Barry & Erica out of jail, and apologizes for being such a let down. They feel bad for basically interrupting Pops retirement with their antics, but the Goldbergs all come back together for an epic party. I’m honestly not sure what was funniest about this whole storyline; Erica being forced to put on a hideous cap, Barry being able to cry on cue and complaining at the prospect of waking at 5am to secure seats, or them really being arrested for stealing knish.

As funny as this storyline was, dare I say Adam’s storyline with Murray & Beverly was funnier? Beverly wants an expensive fur coat. All her friends have one, so she starts out with subliminal messages to Murray, and proceeds onwards to just plain demanding one. It’s a way for Murray to show his appreciation and love for her, and of course he does eventually give in. Beverly takes the coat everywhere, never taking it off and cooking Murray his favourite meals as a thank-you. The trouble of course then starts when Adam asks to borrow the coat. He wants to get onto a TV show with a video of whether bigfoot is real or not. Dave Kim is dressed in the coat and unfortunately does such a good job of scaring Geoff that he spills his drink all over the coat.

Adam knows his parents are gonna kill them, especially since Beverly entrusted him with the coat as an adult. Forget turning of age and being able to buy stuff like alcohol, the real sign that you’re stepping up in the world is when you’re entrusted as an ADULT. They try to fix the coat by washing and then drying it with a hairdryer. Unfortunately the coat sets on fire as a result and they’re even more screwed. So Adam surprises them all by decided instead of coming up with an elaborate lie, he’s just simply going to tell his parents the truth.

You don’t need me to tell you that doesn’t go well.

What we get is what every kid hates; the parentals continuously shouting in the ear of how badly Adam has screwed up and laying out his punishments. Day and night. There’s no end to it. Adam is sure there will be but nope!

Reaching his breaking point, he points out he actually told his parents what he’d done instead of trying to lie about it, so really they’re punishing him for being truthful which doesn’t make sense. Beverly and Murray continue to yell at Adam but he ignores them and walks out of the house. It then dawns on them they’ve lost their power over him. They’ve gotten so used to Barry & Erica screwing up, Adam being a good kid just doesn’t compute to them, and in order to reset the balance they decide to look for dirt on Adam in his room. Somehow, somewhere, he must have a secret that they can use against him.

Unfortunately for them, and hilariously for us that doesn’t work out too well. All they discover in his room is a list of father’s day ideas. They trash the place, and unfortunately bring all of his shelves down off the wall. So now it’s their turn to be honest about the situation and of course they don’t. Beverly comes up with an outlandish lie that burglars have broken into the house and only targeted Adam’s room. He’s dubious and Beverly just keeps digging a deeper and deeper hole for them, as does Murray with their claims of messages in blood and threats to kill Adam if they go to the police.

When Beverly mentions his father’s day ideas, Adam knows they’re responsible. Murray lays the blame squarely at Beverly’s door, and Adam orders his parents to go to their room and think about what they’ve done.

The next day Beverly has Adam’s toy all fixed and Adam understands why his parents are angry and did what they did, which just makes it worse. When Beverly hands over Adam’s toy, a load of money comes out of it and it’s Adam’s turn to be squeamish. He tries to come up with an excuse but they all know no-one’s buying it, and Adam admits he’s been stealing money from Murray to buy a new toy. His parents are furious, Adam goes off to his room and the balance of power has been restored. Never have Beverly & Murray been so happy that one of their kids is a screw-up, and a thief at that!

The episode ends with the real Eric telling the story of the stolen knish, with show Erica sitting beside him. I really don’t think it’s any coincidence that The Goldbergs comes out of its mini rut & delivers a hilarious episode with Erica very much prominent on screen. She just delivers so many great one liners, has such a funny attitude to her and Hayley Orrantia is an actress with excellent comedic timing. Barry was far more tolerable this week as he was back to being his normal goofish self, Beverly and Murray were on fine form as the tables were turned on them, Dave Kim questioning the state of Geoff & Erica’s relationship was a timely reminded of his inappropriate crush on her, and it was great to have Pops back on screen.

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