Apr 09 2015

The Goldbergs – “I Drank the Mold” Retrospective. Birthday Boy Sighting.


Season 2, Episode 18

Air Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 8:30/7:30c on ABC


“It’s my little love muffin’s birthday. And how do I know? Because I grew your body in my body.” – Beverly


Music discovery.

While at the mall, Barry (Troy Gentile) and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) discover the latest evolution in music technology, the Compact Disk or CD. But when the price of a CD player proves to be too expensive, the two set out to convince their father, Murray (Jeff Garlin), to buy them one. Hoping to teach his kids a lesson, Murray agrees to buy them a CD player on one condition —Barry and Erica write the greatest song in the world. Seems easy enough…

I was late to the cassette-to-CD transition hell through the mid-90s as my parents had not one, but two, 8-track players. Growing up in the 80s, I rarely bought music cassettes; instead, I would spend hours with my finger on the record button waiting to hear the first beats of my favorite song on the radio so I could tape it. Back then, iTunes and YouTube didn’t exist so you had to call the radio station and request songs in the hope they might play them.


Parent meeting.

I couldn’t help laughing at the evolution of Barry and Erica’s song. Given Orrantia’s musical talents, it came as no surprise that “Love Ninja” is enjoyable to listen to. While I’m not sure of the legal hurdles, it would be fun to have a song like “Love Ninja” available for download on iTunes with the proceeds going to charity. Unlike me, though, Murray isn’t impressed, stating, “I hereby declare this a cassette house.” 

Although Pops (George Segal) does a great job educating Barry and Erica about their father and his musical tastes, I wish the writers had dug deeper into Murray’s past to shed more light on what made Murray who he is today. For instance, a debate over the generational differences in music would have made for some entertaining scenes while providing a backstory. One of my favorite scenes in “I Drank the Mold” is when Murray confesses, “Sometimes it’s hard because the two of you, your lives are so different than the way mine was.” I think that is a powerful statement and I would have enjoyed seeing that discussion play out more. Maybe The Goldbergs should have a flashback episode where Garlin does a voiceover, “It was 1940s something…”

Downside to becoming a man.

Downside to becoming a man.

Meanwhile, Adam’s (Sean Giambrone) birthday party takes a turn for the worse when his friends, Chad Kremp (Jacob Hopkins), Dave Kim (Kenny Ridwan), and Garry Ball (Nathan Gamble), get sick from the homemade beer Garry sneaks into the sleepover. Since it was Adam’s party, Chad’s mom Virginia (Jennifer Irwin), Dave’s mom, Mrs. Kim (Suzy Nakamura), and Gary’s dad, Principal Ball (Stephen Tobolowsky), start to wonder whether Adam is a poor influence on their kids. Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) isn’t convinced her “perfect angel” is to blame and is quick to point her finger at the other boys. This sets up some interesting tension between the parents and the kids. I particularly enjoyed the scene in the school cafeteria where the boys pretend not to be speaking to each other.

There has been a real growth and maturity from Adam over the past few episodes as he continues to stand up for himself. As much as I enjoy Beverly’s smothering antics, it’s good to see Adam defend his friendship with the guys to his mother. I appreciate how the writers create situations where the kids have a healthy debate with their parents instead of dumbing down their roles simply because they are kids.

Having grown up in the 80s, one of the reasons I love The Goldbergs is because I find myself associating with each episode on a personal level. Unfortunately, “I Drank the Mold” is the first episode I had a hard time connecting to. That doesn’t make it bad; I simply was surprised by how little I related to it. While not the strongest episode of The Goldbergs, “I Drank the Mold” still has its moments. Maybe my struggle to connect stems from the fact that unlike Adam, I was an angel as a child. Ok, maybe not.

Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “I Drank the Mold.”

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.

Greg Staffa

I provide testosterone to the site. You won’t be reading about how nice a actress looks in a dress or how much of a hunk Matt Bomer is in my reviews. I describe colors using words like brown, not taupe. My twitter name is @staffaroadtrip because I love road trips and have done two different 48-state road trips since 2008. My favorite show is White Collar.

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