My favorite show of the 2013 television season isn’t a science fiction genre show, it isn’t based on a comic book universe, and it isn’t a crime drama. Surprising even to myself, it’s a sitcom on ABC Tuesday nights after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Goldbergs is a half-hour sitcom set in the 80s, and as someone who was born in the latter half of the 70s and grew up in the 80s this show is my Wonder Years. ABC has ordered a full season for it, so it’ll definitely be sticking around, but if you haven’t started watching it here are five reasons why you should and why it has a permanent season pass on my DVR:
The Goldbergs is set in some kind of pocket universe called “1980…something”, which is a great idea in that it allows the show to deal with all sorts of 80s “stuff” without having to worry about adhering to historical crap people will nitpick about. That’s why the show can exist in a time/space continuum where 1982′s Poltergeist is in theaters at the same time as 1986′s The Great Mouse Detective. It’s like they jammed the entire decade of the 80s into bubble where it can all happen at once, which means we don’t have to wait years to see some of the best references pop up.
It Respects the Era
This is a real important thing for me. It’s easy to mock the decade, but The Goldbergs doesn’t. Sure it’s funny to look back at how things were more than thirty years ago, but there is a lot of love behind this show and you can see it on screen with how pop culture of the era is represented. It’s really easy for a show like this to pander to people. With The Goldbergs you can tell that there are fond memories of the era, and the show is trying to communicate that to those who grew up in the decades since.
I Understood that Reference
From watching scrambled cable channels, 976 numbers, and the Reebok pump the show is filled with references that most people who grew up in the 80s will remember fondly or embarrassingly. You mean someone else figured out how to watch scrambled cable channels? Mind blown. The way the references are used in the show make it like re-watching your childhood, and I can’t wait for each new episode to see what else is going to pop up.
They Don’t Skimp on the Details
This is another very impressive thing about the show. Most other shows wouldn’t pay attention to details, such as period-correct toys. In the most recent episode, Adam’s playing with the old Kenner lightsabers. A cheaper show would just use the crappy telescoping toy lightsabers that are made now, but they actually hunted down the awesome Kenner sabers from the 80s. And I couldn’t believe they actually did that. And those home-made Proton Packs? AWESOME.
It’ll Help You Understand Your “Elders”
Most of the people who would get a wash of nostalgia from the show are now in the mid-30s to 40s. For those who didn’t grow up in the 80s, the show is a love letter to the era, and it’ll help you understand why those of use who grew up with the Original Trilogy would watch Empire and recite it from memory. Like I said earlier, this is The Wonder Years for the 1980s…