Goldberg Girls Assemble in Humorless but Heartfelt Episode

ABC/Byron Cohen

The Goldbergs is technically speaking a sitcom, or situational comedy. Now The Goldbergs has always been a show that has worn its heart on its sleeve but has typically done that while still balancing it out with comedy. “The Goldberg Girls” struggles, however, because of weak plots and a general lack of comedy.

The episode establishes its focus on The Golden Girls quickly as Beverly enjoys watching the show and all three kids sing along with her. With Erica home on winter break, Geoff keeps performing romantic gestures for her to enjoy their time together. Geoff is annoyed at how she doesn’t appreciate his gestures and instead gets annoyed by them.

Meanwhile, Beverly is thinking of her life in Golden Girl terms and thinks Adam will live with her when they’re old. Adam instead says she needs a group of friends to replicate the Golden Girl dynamics. Barry offers his assistance with Beverly assembling a posse.

Upstairs, Adam is setting compliments for Jackie to sci-fi music. Erica finds it dumb, but Jackie finds it adorable. Erica is confused as to how Adam can be romantic and she not since they’re both Murray’s children. Adam responds by saying that he’s inspired by director John Hughes.

Later, Beverly goes to the PTA meeting in an effort to assemble her group. She uses the senior ski trip to assemble a committee of her, Virginia Kremp, Linda Schwartz, and Essie Karp.

Attempting to do a romantic gesture for Geoff, Erica takes inspiration from “Can’t Buy Me Love” and rides around on a lawnmower. Erica gets angry at Geoff when the lawnmower crashes into Mr. Schwartz’s car. Geoff says he’s going on the senior ski trip instead and they need to be separate.

Back at home, Barry trains Beverly in the rules of a posse. Beverly chooses The Goldberg Girls for their name. The Goldberg Girls comes\ over and they are quite confused by the tactics Barry taught. Upstairs, Erica inadvertently reveals that Barry used the boombox trick for both Dana and Jackie. Jackie storms off, implied to go hangout with her ex-boyfriend Ruben Amaro, Jr. Oddly, this subplot never gets a resolution which is odd because Jackie leaving Adam would seem significant.

In the basement, Beverly walks down after her committee meeting and the JTP (JTP!) figures out that the Goldberg Girls deserted Bev. She goes to confront them at the school and Mrs. Schwartz says that the women don’t have time for friends. Beverly leaves disappointed.

The next morning, Barry is ready to go to the ski trip and takes Bev’s dismissal by the women personally. The women arrive to say that the trip is cancelled due to snow and Barry flips out at them. However, Bev leads the Goldberg Girls to fix the problem and instead have the seniors sled at the school.

Erica comes home angry at Murray and reveals a romantic gesture he made to Beverly many years ago. He says that there is a hint of romanticism in both of them and she goes off to talk to Geoff. She finds him at the school and they rekindle.

The episode deserves praise for the more unique pairing of Barry and Beverly, especially an instance when he is not repulsed by her presence. The Geoff-Erica subplot is interesting and well-done, but seems like a bit of an escalation when every other interaction shows them with no problems. The biggest problem, however, in “The Goldberg Girls” is the unresolved subplot with Adam and Jackie. After I finished the episode, I thought I might’ve missed the resolution, possibly in the montage. I rewound the episode and rewatched the last part to make sure I missed it. Alas, I had not. I did not forget their subplot but apparently the writers did.


Barry compares each member of the JTP (JTP!) to the Golden Girls.

The JTP’s “special day” was going to the Eagles without Matt.

Barry defending his mother and insulting the Goldberg Girls when they come to the house after dismissing Beverly.

Tyler Author

Tyler is the chief TV critic for Tmansworld.

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