Season 2, Episode 16
Air Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 8:30/7:30c on ABC
“Wow, I am being rejected by two people who were tethered to my body for nine months by a food cord.” – Beverly
Murray’s (Jeff Garlin) plans of spending the afternoon alone at the ballpark are quickly dashed after Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) guilts Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Barry (Troy Gentile) into spending the day with her. With Adam (Sean Giambrone) left home alone and Murray not wanting to miss the game, he decides to take Adam with him.
Murray: “Ok, we’re going to the ball game. Go get your glove.”
Adam: “My Michael Jackson glove or my Nintendo® Power Glove™?”
Growing up, baseball was my sport of choice since I went to many Twins games throughout the years at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Despite attending dozens of games as a kid, my two lingering memories of the Dome are attending Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, and having to go to the bathroom in a trough—yes, it was that traumatic. Series creator Adam Goldberg seems to have similar memories given the theme of “The Lost Boy.” I laughed as young Adam struggles with the idea of urinating in a long metal trough alongside dozens of strangers. Part of me wishes I could say the episode over exaggerated this scene but unfortunately, it’s all too real, which is what makes it so entertaining.
I enjoy how the writers use Pops (George Segal) as the voice of reason between the parents and kids. Segal’s performance in “The Lost Boy” is hilarious as he teaches Barry and Erica how to deal with Beverly’s epic guilt trips by sharing his motto. “It’s not real, don’t feel.” McLendon-Covey does a great job finding the right amount of smothering love without going over the top. I applaud her and the writers for knowing when to dial things back because it would be easy for things to get too silly.
Some might criticize Murray’s simplistic approach to parenting. When he and Adam reunite after becoming separated in the huge stadium, there is a sincerity conveyed in this scene that The Goldbergs doesn’t get enough credit for. At times, it seems as though the series accidentally falls into the heartfelt moments rather than being the kind of show that forces endearing scenes upon the audience. It’s as if the writers don’t intend for there to be a valuable family lesson in the story but instead, a natural evolution of the story making those moments even more special.
One of the interesting things about “The Lost Boy” is that it almost never aired. On November 17, 2014 while working on the episode, series creator Goldberg took to social media to express his frustration when Major League Baseball® (MLB) decided not to give their blessing for the storyline. That tweet got the attention of the Philadelphia Phillies™ director of marketing who reached out to Goldberg though social media, leading to a phone call. It wasn’t long before Goldberg received approval from the MLB to have an episode set at the old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia and even got the real Phillies Phanatic to appear in the episode. MLB worked closely with Goldberg on “The Lost Boy” and a scene in “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” to ensure their image was protected, even nixing a scene involving Barry being pelted with batteries after catching a ball.
I might not be a Phillies fan, and while I don’t remember ever going to a baseball game with my father, “The Lost Boy” brings back fun memories of going to games with my friends. With MLB’s opening day just 12 days away, this is a perfect way to get The Goldbergs and baseball fans excited for the upcoming season. Go Twins!
Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “The Lost Boy.”
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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