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'The Goldbergs' Pulls Out the Laziest of Sitcom Stunts

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 29, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 29, 2022 |


The Goldbergs, now in its 10th season, returned last week, although Jeff Garlin, another of its cast members, was notably absent (although, not that notably, because Murray Goldberg was written out of the series without very little fanfare after Garlin exited the series amid ongoing HR disputes).

The cast has been somewhat reconfigured. Jeff Garlin is gone; George Segal had to be written out after passing away (and replaced by another grandfather played by Judd Hirsch), and even Bryan Callen — who played the Coach — had to be written out amid sexual assault allegations. Moreover, this season, a major fixture on the show — Adam Goldberg’s high school — is also missing (presumably along with the various recurring characters, including Stephen Tobolowsky, Ana Gastayer, and Anthony Michael Hall, who played teachers).

That’s because, after 10 years, Adam Goldberg finally graduated high school, following in the footsteps of both his brother and sister. For long-running sitcoms, kids graduating from high school has long posed a problem; it’s not even a new one for The Goldbergs. Several years ago, after her graduation, Erica dropped out of college to pursue a career as a musician, only to return and attend college at nearby Pennsylvania College of the East, where her brother Barry Goldberg would later attend. The college is close enough that both Barry and Erica could return home frequently (or Beverly, their mother, could visit them in college).

One might have expected The Goldbergs to take a similar route with Adam Goldberg upon his graduation, only the series spent several episodes last season stressing how much Adam wanted to go to NYU. He was rejected, his mother did some meddling, and he finally gained his acceptance, which also meant writing out Brea Bee, who attended a different college. It was Adam’s dream to go to NYU so a switch to nearby Pennsylvania College of the East would have been out-of-character.

Alas, NYU is not close enough to Adam’s Pennsylvania home to realistically allow him to commute, and so The Goldbergs had to go to the old standby to keep Sean Giambrone’s presence on the show: The gap year. It’s tried and true, recently pulled off on Black-ish when Andre Jr. decided to take a “gap year” that was extended into several years before he joined the cast of Grown-ish after Black-ish ended its run. It’s basically what Erica did, too, after she dropped out of the first year of college.


And now, it’s what Adam Goldberg is going to do, because he’s “not ready” to leave his mother to go to NYU, which is realistic 0 percent of the time. In last night’s episode, he tried to justify a gap year by making up a job as a personal assistant to David Hasselhoff, which meant seeing a lot more of David Hasselhoff trying to pretend as though he was 40 years younger than would have been preferable. Adam did, however, eventually get a job as a PA on the set of Knight Rider presumably, which was filmed in California and even farther away from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Sitcom logic strikes again!

And that concludes another week of The Goldbergs hate watch!