Season 2, Episode 24
Air Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 9:30/8:30c on ABC
“Surprise, it’s Barry.” – Barry
When it comes to love, heartache can easily turn into heartbreak as the audience quickly discovers in “Goldbergs Feel Hard.” Beverly’s (Wendi McLendon-Covey) montage of love is an entertaining way to kick off the season finale of The Goldbergs, but things get serious quickly.
Anytime a comedy takes a turn at being serious, it runs a bigger risk of failing than succeeding. A lot hinges on the writing to ensure that while the tone may change, the characters stay true to themselves. While “Goldbergs Feel Hard” is an entertaining episode, it’s probably the closest to a drama fans have seen on the show.
As a child, I vaguely remember my mother following the school bus in her car for the first few days of the school year. Was it out of an abundance of love or concern for my safety because a total stranger was driving her precious child? Either way, it pales in comparison to the amount of love Beverly pours on her kids, especially now that Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is leaving to attend a prestigious summer music program.
Murray (Jeff Garlin), on the other hand, has a very different way of showing his love, often substituting terms of affection with the word “moron.” While Murray is horrible at expressing his feelings, there’s no doubt he loves his kids even though he can’t bring himself to say those three little words. The writers have done a wonderful job this season of peeling back some of the layers to Murray’s character, successfully showing his different sides.
Murray isn’t the only Goldberg having difficulty expressing love, though. Both Adam (Sean Giambrone) and Barry (Troy Gentile) try to find ways to show their feelings to both Lainey (AJ Michalka) and Dana (Alyn Lind), respectively. Watching the two brothers as they try to figure out how love works reminds me how wrong men often are when it comes to understanding the mysteries of the heart. Yes, me too.
I have really enjoyed the growth of Bryan Callen’s character, Coach Mellor, over the course of this season. What initially started as a much smaller role has evolved into him becoming an integral part of the Goldbergs’ lives. Callen’s performance in “Goldbergs Feel Hard” is undoubtedly one of his best to date in The Goldbergs. I couldn’t stop laughing every time Mellor appears on screen. Everything from the office scene with the “fart that fooled you” comment to the locker search is hilarious.
I admit, the whole love debate between Murray and Erica, as well as Barry and Lainey’s love issues, didn’t do much for me on an emotional level. Even Adam’s struggle over his feelings for Dana has an obvious feel of inevitability building up to the moment he finally confesses his love.
Just as you think “Goldbergs Feel Hard” is about to wrap everything up with a nice little bow, it delivers a punch to the gut. Giambrone’s performance is heartbreaking as Adam tries to grasp Dana’s news. The Green Lantern ring last seen in “Cowboy Country” provides an additional knife to the heart for fans of the show who remember its importance. I instantly went from zero to 100 on the emotional scale, wishing I could give poor little Adam a much needed hug.
Watching the final home movie mashup of the real and fictional Goldberg family, I couldn’t help wondering if the montage had been created prior to a series renewal decision. The clip has a farewell feel to it that could easily have been used as a series finale sendoff. Thankfully, The Goldbergs was recently picked up for a third season and while the seasons may change, “it will always be 1980 something.”
Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “Goldbergs Feel Hard.”
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All photos © 2015 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.
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