Mar 22, 2014
The Goldbergs: 1980s Beefcake for a New Generation
Gay people know better. Their adolescence was, at best, an age of turmoil and confusion, as they negotiated "what girl do you like?" or "what boy do you like?" interrogations and dealt with nameless, "impossible" desires. More often it was a nightmare of homophobic harassment and internalized guilt.
So I don't have much sympathy for nostalgia tv like The Waltons (1930s), Happy Days (the 1950s), The Wonder Years (the 1960s), or That 70s Show. Aside from the grating "Wasn't life great then, and isn't it awful now?" rhetoric, the Good Old Days being depicted is always gay-free.
The most recent nostalgia comedy is The Goldbergs (2014-), which revisits the childhood of creator Adam F. Goldberg in a working-class Jewish family in small-town Pennsylvania during the mid-1980s.
1. Dimwitted older brother Barry (Troy Gentile).
2 Adam, age 11 (Sean Giambrone), the focus character, with voice-over commentary from his adult self.
3. Self-absorbed sister Erica (Hayley Orratia)
4. Smothering Mom Beverly (Wendi McClendon-Ovey)
5. Loud, obnoxious Dad Murray (Boomer Garlin)
6. Raunchy, unpredictable grandpa, Pops (George Segal).
Their acting style is very big, with broad, theatrical gestures and loud voices. They yell constantly over the minor conflicts that fuel the plots: a driving test; a new pair of shoes; sneaking into a R-rated movie; a talent show; a Halloween party.
Jackson Odell), and between Adam and Chad (Jacob Hopkins), but with such a large family vying for attention, neither couple spends much time together.
But there is significant beefcake. Murray has a solid bear physique and often hangs around in his underwear. Barry is an aspiring wrestler and martial artist, and appears shirtless regularly.
Or heavily-muscled male model Tyler Stokes (far left) as Drew Kemp, son of the "perfect" family next door.
See also: The Beastie Boys