Apr 02 2015

The Goldbergs – “The Adam Bomb” Retrospective. April Fools


Season 2, Episode 17

Air Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 8:30/7:30c on ABC


“By the power of Grayskull, this will not stand.” – Adam

Brother vs Brother.

Brother vs Brother.

Fresh off the news that ABC has canceled The Goldbergs, “The Adam Bomb” gives the fans everything they want as we say goodbye to our favorite 1980s family.

Ever since reading the synopsis for the “The Adam Bomb,” I’ve been looking forward to watching an epic April Fools’ Day battle between Adam (Sean Giambrone) and Barry (Troy Gentile). At times, Barry’s “hulking out” gets on my nerves but I laughed as the two brothers try to out prank each other. That is, until things go too far, causing Barry to tell Adam, “You should know I’m unstable and would react poorly. This is on you.” As someone with a younger brother and sister, I’m all too familiar with situations starting out small and quickly escalating to a point of almost no return. While difficult to go through when it’s your own family, it’s entertaining when it happens to someone else. Giambrone and Gentile give great performances, displaying a level of sibling rivalry that seems much too real.

The next Tiffany?

The next Tiffany?

One thing The Goldbergs does well is its use of 1980s music. All week, the Goldnerds and others have been tweeting about the Tiffany-themed storyline in “The Adam Bomb.” However, I had no clue who Tiffany was until “I Think We’re Alone Now” began playing. Any episode where Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Lainey (AJ Michalka) are given an opportunity to sing is enjoyable. I appreciated the lengths they and dozens of other teenage girls go to trying to get noticed by Tiffany. Hopefully, the writers continue to find ways to incorporate the girls’ talents into the show.

I doubt I was the only one shocked by Beverly’s (Wendi McLendon-Covey) reaction to Erica’s plan to forgo college for a music career. I couldn’t help empathizing with Murray (Jeff Garlin) as Beverly yells at him for not holding her back for her excessive support of Erica, explaining, “I’m the dream pusher and you’re the dream smusher.”

Tough being a parent sometimes.

Tough being a parent sometimes.

Despite the comedic setting, the writers do a wonderful job addressing the struggles many parents face when dealing with their kids’ aspirations. Sometimes, the positive message that comes from the show gets buried beneath a layer of comedy but in “The Adam Bomb,” it’s more upfront and direct, which is a good thing. Garlin gives a heartfelt performance as Murray tries to support Erica’s dreams while still being a tough parent. This is especially apparent in the final scene between Garlin and Orrantia, which is very touching.

The Goldbergs does an excellent job creating an 80s realism without appearing gimmicky. It’s clear a good deal of care goes into the show’s usage of iconic items but what I really enjoy are things like Castle Grayskull. It doesn’t just sit on a shelf for the audience to casually notice; instead, it’s played with. I’d love to see a behind-the-scenes video on what goes into finding these nostalgic items. As a child of the 80s, I cringed when Barry destroys one of Adam’s prized possessions. I wish “The Adam Bomb” had come with a disclaimer assuring no Castle Grayskulls were injured during the filming of the episode—you know, like the ones utilized when working with animals in TV and film.


The dream pusher.

As I’ve said in previous reviews of The Goldbergs, I get a real kick out of the end credits and “The Adam Bomb” is no exception. Show creator Adam Goldberg confirms he has little shame by posting the actual photo from his childhood that is recreated in the episode. Not only is the photo hilarious, it adds realism to the show and reminds you the Goldbergs are a real family.

“The Adam Bomb” is an entertaining episode timed perfectly for April Fools’ Day. While sibling rivalry is nothing new to the show, it’s fun seeing the writers take it to the extreme. For those worried about what will fill The Goldbergs time slot next week, all I can say is ‘Gotcha! April Fools!’


Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “The Adam Bomb.”

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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