More so than ever before, The Goldbergs hit me with a lot of emotions last night. Weird Al appearing as a guest star (and rocking his ’80s hair and mustache to boot) was definitely an element I was looking forward to, but the episode rose above even that appearance and cemented it as a wonderful, yet heartbreaking thirty minutes.
Before we get to the tearful moments, let’s begin with the not sad story; Barry (Troy Gentile) and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) are both fighting for the right to be supreme peer counselor in their school. They both decide to pick a “contestant” to edge out of their depression to see who is better. Turns out, the perfect choice is their dad (Jeff Garlin), who showcases all the signs of person suffering from such a thing. This leads to Erica and Barry trying to help their father cope, only having it backfire because well, that’s how Murray is. They leave him well enough alone. The back and forth between all three is pretty hilarious, even having Murray creepily smile to disturb both his kids.
Meanwhile, Adam (Sean Giambrone) is pumped because Weird Al is in town and so is Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind). So he begs mama Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey) to let him go to the concert alone with Dana, even giving into some motherly wishes (“I’ll let you sniff my head for two seconds”). Beverly agrees and Adam plans out a day with Dana doing all the stuff they love. Or, at least, what they used to love. Seems Adam is stuck in the past while Dana is only getting older and growing out of such geeky stuff. This leads to a battle at the Weird Al concert (which Dana doesn’t want to go to) and it seems that the long distance between the two really has caused problems. Even Beverly tries to fix things, despite her showing no appreciation of her baby’s girlfriend, but she’s worried that Adam’s heart is going to be broken, and she can’t bear to see it.
Sadly, Adam throws in the towel, as he realizes the two have grown apart. This leads to Dana standing outside his window, blasting Weird Al (“King of Suede”) to end things on a positive. She hands Adam back his Green Lantern ring (I was in tears at this point, but I’ll get to that later) and as for the current moment, the two go their separate ways. Barry and Erica come to the rescue, asking their brother if he’s okay, nicely tying both story lines together in a way that felt natural.
You can unfortunately predict this plot from the start, and it was no help that previews showcased Adam and Dana looking pretty unhappy in footage. However, as someone who appreciates Adam as a character based on similar natures both as kid and adult, him and Dana “taking a break” was not an easy concept to take in without some sort of emotion. Yes, I got misty eyed, yes, I was upset, yes, I was unhappy. These two characters were adorable together, and to see them go on their own path without each other (with a hinted “maybe things will fix themselves in time”) was not fun.
Thankfully, comedy was interspersed with the great Weird Al being wacky and firing off song parody titles that don’t exist in his library, and bonus points for Pops (George Segal) calling Super Mario Bros. “Super Immigrant Plumbers.” Plus, Adam’s parody song of “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.”
All in all, this was one of my favorite episodes of the show, even in the face of Adam and Dana doing what they got to do. Goldbergs, you hit me where I live. I’m mad about it, but at the same time, wonderful job doing it.
The Goldbergs dare to be stupid every Wednesday night at 8:30pm on ABC
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor 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, Super Mario 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-