Rollerskating, knee knocks and big hair. The Goldbergs does right by the 80s.
Rollerskating, knee knocks and big hair. The Goldbergs does right by the 80s.

TelevisionMarch 21, 2018

Your field guide to the sitcom that lets you relive your 80s kid dreams

Rollerskating, knee knocks and big hair. The Goldbergs does right by the 80s.
Rollerskating, knee knocks and big hair. The Goldbergs does right by the 80s.

It’s got big hair, rollerskating, and Reebok hi-tops, but what exactly is The Goldbergs? Tara Ward is here to give you the low-down on this 80s-set sitcom, which drops all four of its seasons on Lightbox today.

What’s the story?

The Goldbergs is a family comedy that will speak to anyone who lived through the ‘80s, knows someone who lived through the ‘80s, or heard someone once mention the ‘80s. It’s a charming coming-of-age sitcom set in “1980-something” that centres on the dysfunctional but loveable Goldberg family, as seen through the eyes of youngest child Adam.

The Goldbergs are no ordinary family, and yet, they’re everyone’s family. Grumpy dad Murray wanders around the house in his underwear, over-protective ‘smother’ Beverly doesn’t believe in personal boundaries, and chilled grandfather Albert is always on hand to lead the kids astray.

There’s shouting and sibling rivalry and arguments that are resolved by lip-synching to soft-rock love songs, and through it all, wannabe film-maker Adam capture every one of his family’s crazy antics with his enormous video camera.

The family at the heart of The Goldbergs, and you can bet your soul that’s a wig.

What’s the vibe?

The Goldbergs is pure, unadulterated ‘80s nostalgia. Set in an era when microwave popcorn was a revolutionary invention and telephones still had cords, watching The Goldbergs is like taking a hilarious trip back in time. I’ll bet my Fraggle Rock pillowcase that the 80s was the best decade in the history of the world, and The Goldbergs — bless its little Reebok hi-tops — proves it.

Every scene is filled with glorious reminders of those halcyon days when day-glo fashion ruled the world and Charles and Di were marriage goals.  From Erica’s hair crimper to the Dirty Dancing vs Footloose dance-off to Beverly’s glorious acidwash denim jumpsuit, The Goldbergs oozes 80s pop culture nostalgia like a full set of Garbage Pail Kids Collector Cards, and it’s spectacular to see.

What do you need to know?

The Goldbergs is inspired by creator Adam F. Goldberg’s childhood memories of growing up in suburban Pennsylvania. Clips from the real Goldberg family’s home movies feature in the closing credits of each episode, and the show’s most embarrassing moments are based on true events. The characters share the same names as the real Goldbergs, TV Beverly wears Real Beverly’s fabulous 1980s sequinned sweaters, and the set features furniture that belonged to the real Goldberg family.

What else should you look out for?

Any scene involving Goldberg matriarch Beverly, who loves jazzercise and Patrick Swayze’s mullet nearly as much as she loves her three delicious children. She’s the most incredible mother with the most incredible dance moves on television, and if watching The Goldbergs doesn’t inspire you to start a parenting Bevolution, then nothing will.

Also, don’t miss the special episodes dedicated to iconic ‘80s movies like Risky Business, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, or season two’s Halloween episode where Adam dresses up as a giant Rubik’s Cube.

Wendi McLendon-Covey plays Bev, and is the scene-stealing star of The Goldbergs.

How to watch it?

Chuck on your biggest set of shoulder pads, heat up some microwave popcorn and check out The Goldbergs on Lightbox right now! Like the time Beverly put on her lycra leggings and went roller-skating, you won’t regret it.

You can watch The Goldbergs and much more on Lightbox right here, right now:

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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