Season 2, Episode 14
Air Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 8:30/7:30c on ABC
“I’m Ferris Bueller. God, read a book.” – Barry
When Barry (Troy Gentile) realizes he needs a break from school to get his mojo back, he decides to make an epic day out of it. As “Oh Yeah” by Yello starts playing in the background, you realize it can only mean one thing; “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” is a tribute episode to the 1986 John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
I love how Pops (George Segal) not only supports Barry’s plan to ditch school but tags along for the ride. It’s fun watching Pops being an atypical grandfather as he bonds with his grandkids, Barry, Adam (Sean Giambrone), and Erica (Hayley Orrantia). Gentile and Segal don’t get enough scenes together so it’s great seeing the writers incorporate Pops into Barry’s rebellious scenes.
One of the downsides of living in this digital age is there are rarely any secrets when it comes to television. With episodes filmed weeks, if not months, in advance, guest stars are no longer a surprise. So, even though fans knew the scene was coming, it’s hilarious seeing Charlie Sheen reprise his role as “Boy/Man in Police Station.” The scene is brief but it provides a validation for the episode that goes beyond a simple tribute. Props not only to the people behind The Goldbergs but to Charlie Sheen as well for agreeing to be in the episode.
Meanwhile, after years of complaining that instead of being a mother, she “could have been a lawyer,” Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) decides it’s time she goes back to work.
Beverly: “As of tomorrow, I will officially start my second job.”
Erica: “What’s your first job?”
Beverly: “Being a mom!”
Despite Beverly’s side job being more of an excuse to get her out of the house, leaving a sick Barry home alone — unless you consider Murray (Jeff Garlin) parenting a good substitute — the subplot has a lot of comedic potential that should have been extended. My hope is “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” is just the beginning of Beverly’s return to the workforce.
If you have read my reviews of the USA network show Psych, you know I’m usually not a fan of homage episodes because they seem too gimmicky. Looking back, I realize my dislike had more to do with the genre the Psych writers chose rather than the overall idea. Too often, shows get so lost paying respect, they wind up briefly losing their identity trying to be something else.
Those on social media who follow show creator Adam Goldberg know “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” has been a labor of love for him all season, which is reflected in the episode. Goldberg and the writers find the right balance of incorporating iconic parts from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off into the episode while maintaining the feel of a classic episode of The Goldbergs. Sure, there’s plenty of fun references throughout but they don’t feel forced or wrong for the character.
“Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” is a very entertaining episode even if you haven’t seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Now that the episode has aired, I wouldn’t be surprised if many fans of the show decide to watch the original movie again. Many kids who grew up in the 80s wished they could have had a Ferris Bueller type adventure but I think Pops sums it up best. “You can’t force the perfect day. You gotta just go out and live it.”
Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off.”
Tune in to The Goldbergs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c, only on ABC.
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All photos © 2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.
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