“The Goldbergs” is Television Heaven

“So it does involve treasure.”

Spoiler Alert: This is a recap of The Goldbergs from January 14, 2014. 

We all remember being in high school and taking part in college fairs and enjoying the wild circus known as class elections. The latter consisted of our fellow classmates who would state their positions on various issues and makes sensible, reasoned promises like building a two-story winding water slide that splashes into the cafeteria where there would be a free towel and soda waiting for us to quench our thirst before biology.

Then, the kids finally told their parents to stop helping them with their campaigns.

Beverly and Betsy, this means you.

And there may be no better example of maternal love and support of all things motherly on television than the incomparable Beverly Goldberg. Whether this involves scaring her son away from his interest in the University of Hawaii by saying the school is surrounded by sharks or by hanging blown-up, embarrassing pictures of her son in every hallway of his school for everyone (including his blonde crush) to see with an image that’s downright unforgettable.

Beverly Goldberg is “a shoulder-padded, crunchy-haired mother warrior.”

While Barry was enduring the high-stakes game of high school politics (with and without berry bombs), Erica and Adam each had their own crisis to confront.

Erica, a former model student in the classroom (just not in Senegal), was confiding in her unwilling Pops with a pastrami sandwich about how she had been successfully scamming her Mom about all the extracurricular activities she was boasting on her college application. This reveal caused an uncomfortable, but therapeutic, flashback of her days in the Model U.N.

She was studious. She did lots of work. She was a mini-Beverly driven by an unrelenting Type A personality. This ultimately led to a battle between Libya and Senegal that could not be resolved peacefully.

This inner conflict led to Erica resigning from the U.N. (but not on her application, of course) for a much cooler, laid back approach to academics and life in general.

She had checked out, which brings us to Adam and his Dad at the Video Heaven movie store.

Yes, there was a glorious time in the history of Mankind when men, women and children would dare to leave the comfort of their own homes and venture off to a video store where they would walk through a maze of movies (new and old) in search of “the one.” But, the catch was there needed to be a VHS or DVD behind the empty cover box on the shelf. If not, Friday night was a bust. Game over.

All was lost, including one’s very soul…at least until the next day when the shelves were hopefully restocked.

There was always the return bin, but that was the last resort. Most importantly, or at least on the same level as “Be Kind, Rewind,” was the existence of the late fees. Murray Goldberg realized the horrible ramifications for not returning a movie on-time: a bullet through his wallet!

A dejected Adam, who had discovered an Indiana Jones in the return bin, was denied by the clerk because of an outrageous fine to his Dad’s forgetfulness to return the Paul Newman-led movie masterpiece Slap Shot, unleashed a fury on Murray that seemed impossible to resolve.

Incredibly, with the odds against each of the Goldbergs (except for the preoccupied, sandwich eating Pops), each found his and her inspiration and strength in doing the uncomfortable.

Barry decided to start caring about his campaign for Treasurer by publicly denouncing his Mother’s insanity and all mothers’ insanity to great applause, fanfare and an impossible victory, Erica chose peace and reconciliation with the Model U.N. and with her personal struggle with Senegal and what that country represented to her, Beverly took her foot off the pedal of a high school class treasurer’s race along with her battle for parental supremacy with arch rival Betsy, Murray paid his outrageous fine (though the math did add up) and Adam forgave his Dad for a lost night of action, adventure and all-around Harrison Ford greatness.

For Murray, swallowing his pride, admitting he was wrong to someone outside his immediate family and doing something unforgettably nice for his son Adam (for two months anyways) was one heck of a long shot. Some may even argue it symbolized a last second, seemingly impossible slap shot to win the game…

Adam had in his hands an official card to Video Heaven with 50 prepaid rentals. For those of us who remember such cards, it was a moment of pure bliss and awesomeness.

Maybe listening to Toto will bring us to the yellow brick road where it will, in a surreal sense, lead us back to our own Video Heaven.

As a former patron and employee at Blockbuster, this episode rang especially true. The movie store scenes rewound cherished memories of restocking new releases and classics and of manning the computer/register in the front to eager movie watchers of all ages, day and night (plus an Olympian).

It was a great job making people’s cinematic dreams come true!

There’s no place like Blockbuster, there’s no place like Hollywood Video, there’s no place like a video rental store!


Posted on January 15, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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