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The Goldbergs - I Coulda Been a Lawyer - Review

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Last week’s episode of The Goldbergs had a strong focus on family, as Murray’s attempts to help Barry with an extremely delayed college application didn’t go well, and Beverly’s quest to get the street another stop sign caused both her and Erica to take a hard look at themselves.

Both of the storylines in the episodes were compelling and filled with heart. Murray doesn’t ever want a lot from his family, but his one requirement in life is that his kids don’t end up as dead beat slackers and go to college, continue their education and get a good job. That’s something Erica tried and it didn’t exactly work out for her, but there was still some hope left for Barry.

Unfortunately one of the downsides of being in love is that everything outside of your love fades away from you, as Barry found out last week. He’d been so focused on his failed engagement to Lainey and planning a wedding that never happened, that he completely forgot all about applying to college. Where the rest of the JTP had their college resumes all done with the extra curriculum activities ready to impress, Barry had absolutely nothing.

That is where Murray came in, determined to help Barry in the next step to academic greatness but they both had different ways of going about things. Murray wanted Barry to take his time to select the right school, whereas Barry went with the first one that sounded cool. Shockingly enough his grades weren’t a complete disaster, as it turns out Barry is smart. With his extra curriculum activities lacking though, Murray decided to be economical with the truth to give Barry the best chance.

This of course meant lying, and the JTP weren’t impressed. It is well known that people lie on resumes all the time to make something sound more impressive than it actually is, but a good point was made that by someone like Barry lying about his achievements compared to those who have actually done those things? He could’ve actually gotten into college in place of someone far more deserving. In an even more ironic twist, Barry was prepared to tell the truth after realizing the error of his ways, but Murray was still going full steam ahead with impressing the guy from Turfs. Though Barry at first went along with it, he quickly realized he was out of his depth, and admitted the truth, along with handing Murray his college essay on how hard his year has been.

It was an extremely mature move, and one that Barry from a few seasons ago wouldn’t have made. It is taking time, but slowly and surely he is growing up, realizing right from wrong and as it transpired? Being honest mattered more to Murray than getting into a good school.
The other storyline for the week focussed on Beverly. Since the show began we have occasionally seen a rather bizarre stop sign on the street which only stops traffic in one direction. That type of traffic system is an accident waiting to happen as Beverly found out when she drove through the stop sign and ended up in a small car crash.

Whilst she was completely fine it did spur her into action, and getting the city to do something about the traffic. Roping Adam into the presentation probably wasn’t the best idea as his movie was extremely confusing, but from her sheer determination at annoying people into submitting, Beverly was able to get a second set of stop signs introduced.

It was the type of action that led her to feel really proud of herself and she was joined in that by Adam and Erica, who wanted to continue to encourage Beverly on her journey to be a lawyer. That was something Beverly was extremely keen on, until she realized that being a lawyer? Not actually that easy.

There’s years of training and law school involved that Beverly didn’t really want to do, but Erica was determined to encourage her mother to take up a hobby and do something with her life outside of being a mum. The reasoning behind that transpired to be that Erica? She’s not actually happy with how her life’s turned out. She’s more than aware she’s a college drop out with no money, no job, no real plans for the future and now down one band member thanks to Lainey leaving. Whilst Beverly might’ve been happy to give up her dreams to be a home maker, Erica was left to question that if her mum couldn’t even make it happen, then what chance did she have?

That left them both with a bit of food for thought and was an interesting direction to take the storyline. As I’ve long said, The Goldbergs remains my favourite comedy because of the continuation that it has with character development and storylines, which a lot of comedies simply don’t do. The writers also turn storylines on their head, and deliver heart warming moments and life lessons that stay with you long after the episode’s ended.

In the case of last week’s episode, whilst telling the truth can damage your prospects at getting into a good college, it can also leave you feeling proud of yourself for owning up to the fact life isn’t fully of daisy’s, occasionally things get tough but you will find a way out of it. Whilst Beverly didn’t take up the training to become a lawyer, she did decide to turn her recipe’s into cookbooks, and thanks to her mum’s support, Erica was able to play a song on her keyboard for the first time since Lainey left and then enjoy a ride in the car with the new stop signs now in place.

You can look forward to my review of this week’s episode over the weekend, and catch the next episode of The Goldbergs on the 13th February.

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