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The Goldbergs - Vacation - Review

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The Goldbergs are back for a family vacation! This season picks up about where we left off in season 6 with the end of summer 1980-something. As they've done previously, and as the title suggests, this episode pays homage to the 1983 classic, National Lampoon's Vacation. Like the film, Beverly wants to spend more time with her kids, especially because both Barry and Erica will both be at college in the fall. To do so, she announces she has planned a cross-country family road trip to Disney World, much to the excitement of Adam, who wants to go on the new Star Tours ride, and to the chagrin of Erica, who hates the idea of a car trip.

Before the family takes off, Erica meets up with her boyfriend, Geoff who is just returning home after a summer on the road following the band, The Grateful Dead. He says he has to tell her something but decides to wait until she returns, saying the news may upset her. At first she brushes off the comment before it quickly starts spinning around in her head with thoughts of the worst case scenario of a possible break up.

The family stops at a Wild West village on their way to California. While there, Barry flexes his usual unearned confidence by giving the lasso a try. Suffice it to say, he's not good at it. He ends up breaking a window which gets the family kicked out of the village and hotel. As a result, they are forced to sleep in their car for the night but, before they do, Pops decides to split off from the family with the iconic pretty woman in the sports car (played by none other than Christie Brinkley, the same actor from the film).

The family stays the night in their car and Erica and Barry both agree that, because they are growing up and going to college, this will be their last family vacation. Beverly overhears the remarks and decides to make the trip even longer with pit stops all along the way to California, much to the disappointment of the family. Meanwhile, Erica makes a series of phone calls by payphone to Geoff, with the contents of the calls growing more ridiculous the more calls she makes. She still can't get over what Geoff meant before she left.

Back on the road, the Goldbergs stop at a variety of tourist sites all across the country, with all the kids showing their disdain for the experience. One stop takes them to a crummy hotel with a vibrating bed. After Barry breaks the machine that operates the bed, Beverly suggests they all sleep in the same bed together (something she would've loved whether the bed broke or not). This results in very poor sleep by all, including Murray, who falls asleep behind the wheel and crashes the car after a Dukes of Hazzard style jump.

With the car damaged, the family is stranded in the middle of nowhere with the kids saying they all just want to go home. Beverly then proclaims she just wanted to plan a nice vacation for the family but that every picture they took along the way reveals that they were all unhappy and ungrateful anyway. As is typical with her character, she just doesn't want to let go of her children as they are growing up. It is then that Geoff pulls up in his Grateful Dead traveling van, who went looking for the Goldbergs after receiving all of Erica's messages. He reveals that he just wanted to tell her that he plans on staying on the road and won't be going to college in the fall, much to Erica's relief.

The family apologizes to Beverly and they decide to continue their trek to California in Geoff's van. When they arrive at Disney World, Pops meets up with them again before they head to the gates. They are greeted by a security guard (played by none other than Anthony Michael Hall, also from the film) who tells them that the park is not open. Beverly goes on to tell an elaborate (and made up story) about their journey to gain sympathy before the guard cuts her off and says the park is not open but will be in 15 minutes. The kids all realize the vacations aren't just about themselves but also about Beverly and decide that they'll continue to happily go on trips as a family.

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