Five Questions: The Goldbergs “The Circle Of Driving”

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ABC’s highly-anticipated new comedy, The Goldbergs, premiered last night and shows promise for a lengthy stay on televisions sets…or iPads…iPhones? However you access your favorite TV shows, let me tell you that this is one to keep an eye on. The Goldbergs has a Wonder Years vibe as the character of Adam Goldberg narrates from the present day and takes us back to the 80s with his home recordings. The opening excites with the Mr. Miyagi “Wax On, Wax Off” line from The Karate Kid and I was hooked with the ensuing montage of 80s awesomeness. The parents are hilarious, the two oldest kids are just ok (so far) and the highlight of the Pilot has to be the relationship between young Adam Goldberg and his grandpa Pops. Back in the day (2006-2012), I used to work in LA and helped promote ABC’s programs, and now I am writing about them…I guess you could say I’m still promoting?

Who is Jeff Garlin?

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If you only know Jeff Garlin as “Donut Jerk” from 1993’s Robocop 3 then you are not a great Jeff Garlin mind. The Second City alum, and former roommate of Conan O’Brien, is best known as a cast member and executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm. In The Goldbergs, Garlin plays Murray Goldberg who has a way of issuing compliments to his kids with a nasty touch. He enjoys the occasional unhealthy meal despite having a heart attack, and is possibly a master of REO Speedwagon trivia. This comedic all-star will bring the funny to the series, but can the supporting cast stay in his league?

Who is Hayley Orrantia?

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Fans of reality television may remember the 19-year-old from The X-Factor and a member of the group Lakoda Rayne. The Texas native appeared in a short film called Cooper And The Castle Hills Gang, which received critical acclaim, however The Goldbergs is her television debut. Not a bad start! Orrantia plays the 18-year-old Erica Goldberg who is sassy and upset about having a license but no car. The character didn’t have much room to impress with laughs in the Pilot, but expect big things from Hayley Orrantia as she has the look and talent. The fact that ABC chose to cast her with almost zero experience says a lot.

Who’s The Mommy?

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Tommy likey! It was hard to recognize Wendy McLendon-Covey at first but Quickly realized that I knew her from Bridesmaids. The California native used to belong to the comedy troupe The Groundlings in Los Angeles with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, years before they starred together in their 2001 box office hit. McLendon-Covey is most well known as Deputy Clementine Johnson on Reno 911. In her latest role, she plays Jeff Garlin’s wife, Beverly Goldberg. Could she be the mad genius that will make this show a hit? I think so. There is an unforgettable intro with Bev exercising on the floor, and is hilarious throughout the first episode as a cooky, overly-protective mother. Oh yeah, she looks great too!

Can Troy Gentile bring it as Barry Goldberg?

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Gentile has a rich history as a child actor including a role as the young Jack Black in Nacho Libre from 2006. Fun fact (?): Nacho Libre was the first of many films I saw in Hollywood during my relentless run from 2006-2012. I’m not quite sure what I think of Barry Goldberg so far, and am concerned that he won’t be able to keep up a comedic swag in the long run. BG had a funny scenes (“I like rap! The poetry of the streets!), but he will need to step it up with his co-star Orrantia to make the middle comedy duo fresh and funny.

How awesome are George Segal and Sean Giambrone together?

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This dynamic duo is hilarious. Giambrone plays young Adam Goldberg and the crafty veteran Segal is the grandpa Pops who is still looking for a good time especially with his grandson. Giambrone surprised me with his delivery of dialogue and physical comedy. I thought Pops might be the dirty one in this double-act, but young Adam will clearly be the one bringing the majority of the laughs. This makes sense given that he is based on the writer, huh?

The Goldbergs has a likeable cast and the combination of Jeff Garlin/Wendy McLendin-Covey will help take this 80s-themed comedy to the next level.

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