The True Colors of Bill (and) Murray
Spoiler Alert: Content from this blog post is from the May 6, 2015 episode of The Goldbergs
“I want my MTV!”
The ’80s were a glorious time, when music was forever transformed into a visual addiction for hours and hours of VHS-quality entertainment. Fortunately, Adam Goldberg figured out what made this groundbreaking art form such a success.
“A music video is one part thumping bass, one part big hair and one part animated dancing cat.”
Adam’s expertise as a pop culture savant and budding filmmaker came into play because Erica was bound and determined to make the perfect audition video for Juilliard. Since Juilliard was (and is) the best performing arts school in the country, her singing would have to be the best of the best…like Madonna good. And double fortunate for Erica was the fact that her smother mother Beverly would be right by her side throughout the entire process.
Beverly literally held up a fake Garfield puppet on Erica’s right side during her MTV music video-inspired audition tape. Clearly, nothing could go wrong here.
Murray, on the other hand, surprisingly discovered the one person who brings a smile to every man’s face: Bill Murray. Even more impressive (and comical) was that his enemy was named Bill and they were in the principal’s office when this “coincidence” about their names was revealed. Surely (“Don’t call me Shirley”), the writers were waiting for the right moment when they could premiere this episode with that title and storyline. Hopefully, the writers gave themselves well-deserved high-fives.
Bill and Murray soon became the best of friends, which led to watching TV together, eating Philly cheese steaks together, drinking beer together and napping on opposite sides of the couch together. Nothing could come between this electrically-charged adult bromance, except the one thing no men dare talk about under any circumstance:
Well, Bill/Murray was nice while it lasted.
As Erica and Beverly watched Adam’s raw editing magic, they immediately realized the Jenkintown Funk Academy may be more her speed. Despite glorious, but ultimately disastrous attempts by Adam to recreate iconic ’80s music videos (from A-ha to ZZ Top), Erica’s hopes at Juilliard were dashed. Devastated, she chose to think about her path to becoming a pop singing sensation, which led to a beautiful rendition of, “True Colors” by Cindi Lauper to end the episode. As this show does so perfectly, Erica’s singing provided the inspiring mood for Murray to hear Pops when he explained the true meaning of friendship in a heartfelt moment for the kings of the Goldberg castle.
This revelation further proved that Bill/Murray in any form will live forever, regardless of the quality of character impressions (looking at you Murray!).
The A-ha video (“Take on Me”) that Adam tried to recreate for Erica’s video is widely regarded as one of the best music videos and one-hit wonders of all-time. I can’t remember when I first saw it, but it was around Adam’s age in the early to mid-’90s and it remains one of my permanent impressions of the ’80s. I wanted to be in a world that was part real life-part pencil drawing. Spielberg movies, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman and Speed the movie (among many other influences), the music video below was a prime example of the excitement related to escapism into a new, fun place for a little while. This all helps frame our imaginations for the future, which is an eternally powerful force.
The Goldbergs is a weekly reminder of the awesomeness of the ’80s and all its funny life lessons involving family that helped shape its very enthusiastic fan base. The show’s viewers thoroughly enjoy the nostalgic trip down memory lane to a world that borders between real life and a wonderfully exaggerated picture of the past.
A-ha, got it.