The Goldbergs have always been a dysfunctional family, especially during the holidays. It all becomes relevant this season as Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey) tries to set things right in “A Christmas Story.” Mama Goldberg decides to dress up Hanukkah like Christmas (but calls it Super Hanukkah!) because she sees how Christmas brings family together together. At its core it sees Mama Goldberg at her most desperate because she just wants everyone in the same house sitting by the same tree. Or Hanukkah bush, if you will.
Meanwhile, Barry (Troy Gentile) and Adam (Sean Giambrone) share some brotherly bonding during time off from school. Their time together includes Ball ball (YES!) and watching their favorite movie which happens to be A Christmas Story, but Adam starts to get jealous since Barry is spending all his time with Lainey (AJ Michalka). This all ends with the two brothers getting stuck together on a pole, which is a reference (among many references here) to A Christmas Story.
I don’t mind the nods to pop culture elements in The Goldbergs to other things if they work for the story. In fact, I love that about the show. However, there’s just way too much Christmas Story in “A Christmas Story” and I think the episode suffers a bit not knowing where to blur the line. The real good stuff here is all Beverly; Covey definitely demonstrates that she just wants her family to be together despite everyone having other desires or just being plain not interested. The other story line between Barry and Adam, while sweet, just kind of fizzles out because it relies to much on a gag we’ve already seen.
“A Christmas Story” is, in the end, too reliable on the film it references, which is kind of disappointing. It doesn’t use the callback to its advantage, much like in “Goldbergs Never Say Die,” aka The Goonies episode. Not the best holiday-centric episode the show has come up with, and sadly not memorable enough when compared to The Goldbergs’ past efforts. Despite all the great Beverly moments, I guess this one is going on the naughty list.
The Goldbergs returns with new episodes on January 6th on ABC
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video on Pop-Break.com. He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and ABC’s The Goldbergs.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, among other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-