We have officially arrived at the season finales for both The Goldbergs and its ’90s spin-off, Schooled, the sixth for The Goldbergs and first for Schooled. I weirdly adore both of these completely harmless, joy-filled but formulaic family sitcoms inspired by actual people, in part because The Goldbergs is a rarity for being a family sitcom about a Jewish family, and in part because both shows display so much reverence and love for the real-life counterparts to the characters (in fact, both shows now regularly feature interviews with Goldberg family members and the teachers of William Penn Academy (based on the actual teachers from William Penn Charter School)). Also, hand-to-God, the only time my 11-year-old son has ever been impressed by my job was the time that Adam Goldberg DM’d me.
What’s fun about watching the shows is also low-key stalking the real-life Goldbergs on the Internet to find out what happened to them, or who the characters are based on. The Goldbergs obviously are all based on real people (except Erika, who is not real, although Adam does have a brother named Eric). Also, asking how a guy who owned a furniture store could send two kids to the University of Penn, but 1) Furniture stores can be very lucrative; 2) UPenn didn’t cost as much in the ’80s, and 3) Adam Goldberg’s father was actually a doctor who worked at his father’s furniture store in college, so there.
At midseason, when Lainey and Barry’s engagement fell apart and AJ Michalka — the sister of iZombie’s Aly, with whom she formed AJ and Aly, which recently released a damn good video — everybody ran to the Internet and asked, “Did Barry and Lainey really break up?” And the thing is, Lainey is not real, although she might have been inspired by Barry’s future wife, whom Barry did marry in the 1990s. To quote Adam Goldberg: “My brother didn’t get married in the 80s… but, he did get married in the 90s, so we can reintroduce Barry in the spinoff.”
And that’s exactly what they did in last night’s season finale of Schooled: Barry returns to reconcile with Lainey after his college years, and he’s now interning as a radiologist (and yes, Barry is actually a radiologist in real life). That reconciliation, unfortunately, came at the expense of fellow teacher C.B. (Brett Dier), with whom Lainey is far more compatible, although Lainey and Barry have the better love story. The end of the episode, however, left things kind of open in the event of a second season (which seems like a no brainer): Barry and Lainey are “back together,” but Lainey is not going to leave Jenkintown (JTP!) to move to Detroit, which is where Barry is interning.
Also, JTP (the Jenkintown Posse) is absolutely real:
My brother Barry literally arranged his wedding around an @Eagles game. Yesterday he reunited with his childhood friends known as the JTP to take on the TV JTP. His 80s hero Mike Quick was the QB. This shall count as every single birthday gift for the rest of time. #JTPbowl https://t.co/I5mjXDx893— Adam F. Goldberg (@adamfgoldberg) December 9, 2017
Meanwhile, over on The Goldbergs, Barry graduated high school while Erica decided to take her fiance Geoff on tour with the Grateful Dead because he desperately needed a summer to relax ahead of college (thanks to what we know from Schooled, Erica and Geoff, do end up happily married, although neither are real).
Fun aside: Last night’s The Goldbergs was actually co-written by Susan Cinoman, the drama teacher played by Ana Gastayer in Schooled.
Also, I just want to add this: The real-life Beverly is just as hilarious/embarrassing as the one on TV:
Hey Adam. Mama is desperate. I’ve taken to Twitter to get a real honest to goodness phone call from you.— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
Haven’t nagged him like this since season 1. And while I’m at it this doesn’t let ERIC and Barry off the hook either.— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
I’m timing this to see how long it takes to get a response. Three kids - one of them should call— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
The only time they call is to complain about something I said. Or if they are sick and their wives aren’t around. Just enough to worry me. Such a great job being a mom of adult kids— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
I’ll try some solitaire for awhile and see what happens. Remember kids: mothers are the holders of all your darkest secrets. You never hid a thing from us. We are a relentless bunch— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
I just won solitaire in 1 minute 50 seconds. I’m really pissed— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
Adam called.— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
Still waiting for the other two— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
Barry just called. He told me my earlier Twitter rage was weird. Im not angry at my kiddos. Just having fun with them. Saturday fun— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 2, 2019
Child number 3 just called. Eric tells me he ate peanuts on Friday in honor of his dad Murray. Life is now complete. Heard from all three schmoopies/ loving kids— beverly goldberg (@goldilocks405) February 3, 2019
Finally, John Ziegler can go screw himself. He knows why.