The Goldbergs—Season 3

goldbergs season 3 poster review episode guide list
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun simple comedy

Has most of the comedy cliches

goldbergs season 3 episode 1 a kick ass risky business party rap video sean giambrone troy gentile

The Goldbergs welcome you back with love…

It’s been a big year for Adam Goldberg (Seaon Giambrone).  He’s got a girlfriend named Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind), his voice is changing, and he’s finishing up middle school at the William Penn Academy.  Barry (Troy Gentile) finds himself with a girlfriend in Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka) but also discovers that his dreams for his future might only be dreams.  Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is trying to decide where she’s going to apply for college while Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and Murray (Jeff Garlin) are realizing their children are all growing up as Pops (George Segal) watches it all.

The Goldbergs—Season 3 aired on ABC from September 23, 2015 to May 18, 2016.  The series continued to post solid rating and a following.

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It’s an ’80s mash-up

I can be honest about The Goldbergs…it is goofy, but I enjoy it.  Its humor is steeped in nostalgia for a period targeting me and my generation and like Beverly Goldberg, it uses and abuses this…but I can still watch the show and enjoy it.

The series has most of the basic sitcom traditions.  There is sister-brother fights, mother-children fights, and father-children fights.  There are teen romances and teen break-ups.  Like most series, the challenges begin to grow when the cast starts getting older.  With The Goldbergs, this can be even more challenging since the focal point of the cast is getting to the awkward stage.  The season embraces it, but it will be interesting to see where it ends up.

goldbergs season 3 episode 6 couples costumes mork and indy sean giambrone wendi mclendon covey

Sean and Wendi play Mork and Indy

The series still smartly clings to the ’80s, but mixes and mashes wherever it feels like.  The show always starts out with the disclaimer “1980s something”, but sometimes it is a challenge if you lived through that period.  An episode has Erica and her friends in love with Troop Beverly Hills when they were young but the film was released in 1989.  Adam’s playing a Game Boy which was released in July of 1989 (ok, he is playing Tetris), but something like that would never have been bought by Murray.  The mesh brings up good memories, but it also insanity driving by featuring locked events like Hands Across America which occurred on May 25, 1986.  Sometimes the pandering is too much.

The cast has grown on me, but they all are sitcom stock characters.  I love Wendi McLendon-Covey when she was on Reno 911, and she rules the show with her love-hate Smother Mother role.  Sean Giambrone (as mentioned) is in the tough spot of growing up on camera and his character’s geek role might be hard in a few more seasons.  Troy Gentile’s Barry character seems to be breaking away and getting more time as the series progresses while Hayley Orrantia’s plots need a bit of direction.  George Segal plays a living version of Grandpa Simpson, and Jeff Garlin is a grumpy version of Homer in many ways.  AJ Michalka is added to the main cast this season as Barry’s girlfriend and actually works.  The series also has some fun with the reality of the story with the real “Handsome Ben” and “Regular Amy” showing up in the Double Dare episode as producers.  Plus, Weird Al Yankovic shows his lack of aging by appearing as himself (and looking like he did in the ’80s.

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Have a drink and relax!

Most of the fun of The Goldbergs is part of the love-irritation of the show.  This is what they are watching on TV, what’s in the kids’ rooms, and what music they are listening to.  Be it the Garbage Pail Kids sticker on Adam’s wall, Fireball Island on the game shelf, or Magnum PI on TV, if you lived in the ’80s, the show is like people watching at the mall…when the mall was a thing.

The Goldbergs is a fun but light show.  It is kind of refreshing to have a sitcom with little weight or heavy episodes (they should do a very special episode of The Goldbergs if they really want to be an ’80s show…maybe Adam can get caught in an old refrigerator or the nice bicycle man might have ulterior motives).  Even though there is swearing (beeped), it is a family show that teens and adults can watch.

The Goldbergs—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:

goldbergs season 3 episode 1 a kick ass risky business party sunglasses wendi mclendon covey

“A Kick-Ass Risky Business Party”

3.1       A Kick-Ass Risky Business Party Airdate:  09/23/15

Barry (Troy Gentile), Erica (Hayley Orrantia), and Lainey (AJ Michalka) have a plan for a Risky Business party while Lainey’s father is out of town, but the plans could be sabotaged when Lainey falls under the “smother” of Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey).  Adam (Sean Giambrone) is dealing with Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind) living in Seattle but the cost of the calls and a shutdown by Murray (Jeff Garlin) could make Adam take desperate measures at school.

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“A Chorus Lie”

3.2       A Chorus Line Airdate:  09/30/15

Adam gets his dream of being one of the leads in A Chorus Line by Ms. Cinamon (Ana Gasteyer), but has to turn to his mother for help to “Milli-Vanilli” the musical when he realizes puberty has not been kind.  Murray realizes that he’s turned Erica into himself when she refuses to go to the school dance.

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“Jimmy 5 Is Alive”

3.3       Jimmy 5 Is Alive Airdate:  10/07/15

Barry commits a Beverly-sin when he accidentally tapes over his fifth birthday party.  While trying to get a model of Johnny 5, Adam finds himself stuck in a “learning based project” with Murray who would rather be watching the Weather Channel.

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“I Caddyshacked the Pool”

3.4       I Caddyshacked the Pool Airdate:  10/14/15

Adam’s desire to get out of swim class with Mr. Mellor (Bryan Callen) has him failing and a deciding to emulate his favorite part of Caddyshack.  Erica is inspired by “We Are the World” and creates a student-awareness club…but Barry wants in!

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“Boy Barry”

3.5       Boy Barry Airdate:  10/21/15

Murray has bonded with Bill Lewis (David Koechner) over Magnum, PI and their mustaches, and Beverly isn’t having it.  Erica convinces Barry that Lainey is too good for him, but Lainey finds she can’t get Barry back.

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“Couples Costume”

3.6       Couples Costume Airdate:  10/28/15

Adam’s girlfriend Dana is coming to town and ruining Adam’s traditional trick-or-treating couples costume with Beverly.  When Erica and Barry convince Adam to take Dana to a haunted house instead of trick-or-treating, things go wrong.

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3.7       Lucky Airdate:  11/11/15

Barry discovers his dog allergy was made up by his father to keep the family from getting a dog.  When the new dog Lucky bonds with Murray, Barry tries to prove he’s the alpha male.  Beverly is caught spying on Erica’s Troop Beverly Hills party, and Erica vows she no longer needs her.

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“In Conclusion, Thanksgiving”

3.8       In Conclusion, Thanksgiving Airdate:  11/18/15

The holidays are here and everyone is plotting.  Adam discovers he can manipulate his father with “The Cat’s in the Cradle” and Beverly uses it to get Murray’s father Pop-Pop (Judd Hirsch) to come to the celebration to test her food…much to the chagrin of Murray’s brother Marvin (Dan Fogler).  Pops (George Segal) has decided to hand down his annual toast leading Barry and Erica in a competition for “Best Toast”.

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3.9       Wingmom Airdate:  12/02/15

Barry’s joined ROTC with Murray’s permission but without Beverly’s knowledge, but when Barry wants out, Beverly could be his key.  Pops gets a timeshare in Florida, and Adam decides that de-friending him could stop him from going.

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“A Christmas Story”

3.10     A Christmas Story Airdate:  12/09/15

Christmas time means Hanukkah for the Goldbergs, but Beverly decides to add Christmas to the holiday to be more like the family bonding of their neighbors the Kremps.  Adam discovers his normal holiday time with Barry has been cut into by Lainey and sets to get his Barry-time back.

goldbergs season 3 episode 11 the tasty boys convocation troy gentile hayley orrantia sean giambrone

“The Tasty Boys”

3.11     The Tasty Boys Airdate:  01/06/16

With love for the Beastie Boys, Adam and Barry recruit Geoff Schwartz (Sam Lerner) to join them in the Tasty Boys, but Erica discovers the Tasty Boys have no plans for their big pep session premiere.  Beverly wants a new kitchen like the Kremps but must convince Murray who fears change to do it.

goldbergs season 3 episode 12 baio and switch hands across america troy gentile hayley orrantia wendi mclendon covey

“Baio and Switch”

3.12     Baio and Switch Airdate:  01/13/16

Hands Across America is coming to town, and Beverly inserts herself in the planning when she learns it could lead to being in the paper…and guarantees Scott Baio for the ceremony.  Adam prepares for the dance by asking his friend Emmy (Stephanie Katherine Grant) but discovers he’s booked the classic two-girls-one-dance evening when Dana is in town.

goldbergs season 3 episode 13 double dare emmy stephanie katherine grant sean giambrone

“Double Dare”

3.13     Double Dare Airdate:  01/20/16

Double Dare is recruiting at William Penn Academy, and Adam has to be sure to beat his rival Handsome Ben (Froy Gutierrez) so he recruits Pops instead of his friend Emmy to try to woo the judges.  Murray uses football Sunday as his alone time from Beverly, but when Beverly learns the rules of the game, Murray might have to tell her the truth.

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“Lainey Loves Lionel”

3.14     Lainey Loves Lionel Airdate:  02/10/16

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Barry turns to Lionel Richie for help in telling Lainey he loves her.  Erica deals with Geoff Schwartz’s attempts to win her.  Murray encourages Adam to become a rule breaker when Beverly shuts down his attempt to see Porky’s.

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“Weird Al”

3.15     Weird Al Airdate:  02/17/16

Erica and Barry become peer facilitators but realize the person who might really need their help with depression could be their father.  Dana’s trip to town shows a weakness in her relationship with Adam, but Adam hopes a Weird Al concert will bring them back together.

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“Edward ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards”

3.16     Edward “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards Airdate:  02/24/16

When Barry learns he is no go at sports, he takes comfort from Eddie the Eagle and goes for the Olympics.  Murray’s furniture store is struggling, but Beverly’s introduction of the futon could cause a rift between them.

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“The Dirty Dancing Dance”

3.17     The Dirty Dancing Dance Airdate:  03/02/16

Erica and Beverly bond over Dirty Dancing despite Barry’s love for Footloose.  When Beverly helps Erica set up a Dirty Dancing dance at school, she quickly sees the error of her ways when she realizes how dirty Dirty Dancing can be.  Murray discovers Beverly’s desire for him to dance could mean he must do the impossible.

goldbergs season 3 episode 18 12 tapes for a penny columbia house dave kim adam kenny ridwan sean giambrone

“12 Tapes for a Penny”

3.18     12 Tapes for a Penny Airdate:  03/16/16

Adam gets sucked into the world of Columbia House when he learns about it through Dave Kim (Kenny Ridwan), but Erica discovers his crime could fall on her.  Barry tries to get Lainey’s father to like him which means going on a golf outing with him and Murray.

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“Magic Is Real”

3.19     Magic Is Real Airdate:  03/23/16

Adam is trying to find a new girlfriend after Dana and decides becoming a magician like David Copperfield is the key.  When he asks his mother to be part of the act so she will get him the magic tricks he needs, he learns he might be in too deep.  Barry learns that Lainey and his friends are all preparing for the PSAT but refuses to do it too.

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“Dungeons and Dragons, Anyone?”

3.20     Dungeons and Dragons, Anyone? Airdate: 04/06/16

Erica fights to go to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, but her parents have some thoughts on the matter.  Tired of losing in gym class, Adam goes to Coach Mellor for help…leading to the ultimate game of Dungeons & Dragons.

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3.21     Rush Airdate:  04/13/16

As Adam gets ready for his birthday, he gets his birthday wish when Barry accuses his mother of loving Adam more…leading to misery for both of them.  Erica is introduced to Rush by Johnny Atkins (Sean Marquette), and Murray is not happy about her choice of men.

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“Smother’s Day”

3.22     Smother’s Day Airdate:  05/04/16

It’s Mother’s Day, and Erica and Barry have forgotten again.  When Beverly tries to cash in her IOUs, war breaks out.  Adam wants to go to Space Camp, and it means finding something that his father was passionate about as a child.

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“Big Orange”

3.23     Big Orange Airdate:  05/11/16

Lainey and Beverly are tired of Barry’s shirt “Big Orange”.  When they team-up to get rid of Big Orange, Adam finds a reason to try to save his clubhouse by reviving “The Goldberg Gang” with Erica to solve the mystery.

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“Have a Summer”

3.24     Have a Summer Airdate:  05/18/16

It is the week before summer vacation, and Adam is preparing for high school.  Barry’s attempt to haze his brother in Freshman Fear Week goes horribly wrong.  Erica and Beverly are forced to try to dig up the school time capsule when Erica uses Adam’s baby blanket, but the event could point Erica to the person she really likes.

Related Links:

The Goldbergs—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Goldbergs—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Goldbergs—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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