The Goldbergs—Season 4

goldbergs season 4 poster review episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

The nostalgia

Being able to put aside memories to enjoy the '80s-somethings

goldbergs season 4 episode 15 so swazy its crazy adam elliot et sean giambrone

Turn on Your Heart Light for The Goldbergs

The Goldbergs are back, but things are about to change.  Adam (Sean Giambrone) is entering high school and as a freshman, he realizes he can rewrite his image…or can he?  Barry (Troy Gentile) and his girlfriend Lainey (AJ Michalka) deal with the fact that she’s going to be going away to college soon.  Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is torn over finally liking Geoff Schwartz (Sam Lerner) now that he has a girlfriend and the excitement of the upcoming graduation and freedom from her “smother” Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey).  While Beverly does what she can to get close to her children, Murray (Jeff Garlin) sees his freedom coming with the first graduation.  It’s 1980-something, and things are changing!

The Goldbergs—Season 4 is a family sitcom.  The season aired from September 21, 2016 to May 17, 2017 on ABC on Wednesdays.

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Barry predicts more storylines!

I watch The Goldbergs, but I’m also first to admit that The Goldbergs isn’t the best sitcom.  I watch it and enjoy it, but it connects to the basest level of entertainment by being a vampire of nostalgia…but I can’t help loving that.  As a kid growing up very similar to Adam Goldberg (minus the camera), I see a lot of memories based in the series.

The weird thing about The Goldbergs is Adam’s character.  While even I had nostalgia and never “put away childish things”, high school and elementary school were two very different experiences.  While I grew up with He-Man, Transformers, Star Wars, and Star Trek, they continued to evolve into things like horror movies, A Clockwork Orange, Evil Dead, and other fandom that seem to resonate with older teens.  While a kid can still watch and enjoy Star Wars or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in high school, there is the joy of being able to have no age limits…and a whole new world is opened up to teens.  I kind of feel that aspect of the story is missing from The Goldbergs.

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Let the beat…..DROP!

The cast has come together by this point and works well off each other.  The timing and delivery is strong, but some of the acting weaknesses in the early seasons are still there.  As a long-time viewer however, it can be ignored or at least isn’t as rough to watch.  It is simply how the character react in the world they are presented with…it is a heightened reality, but the acting also isn’t the strongest on all levels.

The key to The Goldbergs is the nostalgia.  Adam F. Goldberg (don’t forget the F) obviously has strong memories of childhood that go beyond the massive influx of movies he recorded.  How the Adam of the series interacts with the nostalgia is stop on and the styles, looks, and events (though the year is fluid) are all familiar to people who grew up then.  He has a good memory, and as someone who also has a good memory, the show brings a lot of fun.

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Don’t you forget about me!

I think the hardest thing about The Goldbergs is being able to “forget” good memory.  As each episode states, it is “1980-something” and the mixing of events, character, and pop culture is something that does grate on someone with a good memory.  I instantly think, I saw Police Academy 5:  Assignment Miami Beach in the theater and the release of The Day After was nowhere near it…this happens repeatedly while watching The Goldbergs, and it has happened for years as the series trucks on.  If you can put this behind you, you can enjoy it, but I know that not everyone can…but if you can, grab your Trapper Keeper and a Tab and enjoy The Goldbergs.

The Goldbergs—Season 4 Complete Episode Guide:

goldbergs season 4 episode 1 breakfast club detention

“Breakfast Club”

4.1       Breakfast Club Airdate:  09/21/16

It’s the first day of high school for Adam (Sean Giambrone), and he realizes he can reinvent himself…as Bender from The Breakfast Club.  Erica (Hayley Orrantia) deals with having lost Geoff Schwartz (Sam Lerner) to Evelyn Silver (Allie Grant), and Barry (Troy Gentile) discovers being a jock isn’t as fun as he hoped.  When Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) makes herself a new employee of the school as a substitute teacher, the Goldbergs and Lainey (AJ Michalka) find The Breakfast Club playing out with Saturday detention.

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“I Heart Video Dating”

4.2       I Heart Video Dating Airdate:  09/28/16

Erica and her mother are at odds when Erica decides to find a girlfriend for Lainey’s dad Bill (David Koechner)…leading to a trip to the video dating store of John Calabasas (Rob Huebel).  Barry thinks he’s found his career future by becoming a protégé to Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen)…much to the chagrin of Murray (Jeff Garlin).

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“George! George Glass!”

4.3       George!  George Glass! Airdate:  10/05/16

In an attempt to pretend that she has a boyfriend, Erica creates a boyfriend name Jordan Walberg in the theme of Jan Brady’s George Glass…but Evelyn is suspicious.  Adam finds he could finally have a real shot at Waffle Girl (Brec Bassinger).  Barry tries to go to Live-Aid but is rejected by Murray, but Murray’s stubbornness causes Beverly to miss her chance to see the Beach Boys.

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“Crazy Calls”

4.4       Crazy Calls Airdate:  10/12/16

Tired of missing his messages, Murray gets an answering machine which leads to a war of messages with his father (Judd Hirsch).  Adam finally finds his circle of friends at lunch with the computer crowd, but Beverly’s not happy about it when she learns that they are looked down upon.

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“Stefan King”

4.5       Stefan King Airdate:  10/26/16

Adam dreams of writing the horror novel of the ages but his book Momster is a little to spot on for Beverly who demands a Misery-esque rewrite.  The Halloween dance has left Erica dateless but Lainey and Barry’s attempt to help her could backfire.

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“Recipe for Death II: Kiss the Cook”

4.6       Recipe for Death II:  Kiss the Cook Airdate:  11/09/16

With his love of action movies, Adam manages to get Murray to fund his first “real” film:  Recipe for Death…unfortunately, Murray has some ideas on how the film should roll out.  Erica wants a sweater dress from Benetton, but it means mother-daughter time with Beverly.

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“Ho-ly K.I.T.T.”

4.7       Ho-ly K.I.T.T. Airdate:  11/16/16

It is Thanksgiving, and Adam discovers K.I.T.T. is going to be in the Gimbel’s Thanksgiving Parade.  When his father and his uncle Marvin (Dan Fogler) forget to take him to the parade, Adam sets out for revenge by pitting them against each other.  Barry’s attempt to have dinner with Lainey and her father ends up in a cook-off between Beverly and Bill over who makes the best turkey.

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“The Greatest Musical Ever”

4.8       The Greatest Musical Ever Written Airdate:  11/30/16

Miss Cinoman (Ana Gasteyer) has decided to put on The Phantom of the Opera (even if it isn’t “official”), and Barry learns Adam and Lainey play lovers…and that just can’t happen.  Beverly’s attempt to prove that Home-Economics is an important class instead of a blow-off has her in battle with Erica over lasagna.

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4.9       Globetrotters Airdate:  12/07/16

Adam’s discovery of the Globetrotters puts him in competition with Barry who claims them as his own.  Murray’s turning 50, but Beverly is mad that Barry has no love of nostalgia.

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“Han Ukkah Solo”

4.10     Han Ukkah Solo Airdate:  12/14/16

Adam questions his entire life is a lie when he sees the Star Wars Holiday Special.  Erica has decided not to seen the Hanukkah song for the school’s Holiday Pageant, and Beverly is determined to make it happen.

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“O Captain! My Captain!”

4.11     O Captain!  My Captain! Airdate:  01/04/17

Beverly is inspired by The Dead Poet Society and decides to motivate Barry’s chemistry class…leading Murray to use his special motivation for Barry.  Adam accidentally embarrasses Emmy (Stephanie Katherine Grant) but can’t understand why she is upset.

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“Snow Day”

4.12     Snow Day Airdate:  01/11/17

The school has called a snow day for one of the first times, and the Goldbergs are celebrating!  Barry and Adam discover Murray’s weakness and use it to rebel.  Beverly finds Erica’s college application essay and uses it against her.

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4.13     Agassi Airdate:  02/08/17

Adam finds himself drifting away from his friend Chad Kremp (Jacob Hopkins) and joins tennis to spend time with him.  Erica’s fall from grace has led to an intervention…but the old Erica plans a comeback with a vengeance.

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“The Spencer’s Gift

4.14     The Spencer’s Gift Airdate:  02/15/17

Erica and Barry compete at work when they both get jobs at Spencer’s Gifts…and Erica finds Barry has a special talent.  Adam gets a job at the arcade but quickly

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“So Swazy It’s Crazy”

4.15     So Swayze It’s Crazy Airdate:  02/22/17

Beverly dashes Adam’s chances of getting a movie career by deciding he’s a Swazy instead of Rick Moranis.  Murray’s attempt to get involved in Erica’s life leads to a crossroads for her relationship with Geoff.

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“The Kara-te Kid”

4.16     The Kara-te Kid Airdate:  03/01/17

Erica and Geoff’s secret new relationship means they could be the bad guys.  Adam’s review of The Karate Kid gets published as Adam Goldberg instead of Adam F. Goldberg…leading to a showdown with the other Adam Goldberg (Oliver Cooper) in a karate fight to the death!

goldbergs season 4 episode 17 grateful dead concert jtp


4.17     Deadheads Airdate:  03/08/17

The JTP has a potential new member, and Barry isn’t taking everyone’s love of Matt Bradley (Shayne Topp) well…especially when he suggests skipping the Fat Boys for the Grateful Dead.  When Beverly hears Adam swear, a swear jar in started at the Goldbergs, but Erica and Adam realize it could be their key to a fortune with Beverly’s foul mouth.

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4.18     Baré Airdate:  03/15/17

Barry learns Lainey is leaving for the Savannah College of Art and Design and decides to dash his plans for being a doctor to follow her.  Erica and Adam realize that Lucky is their dad’s favorite child.

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“A Night to Remember”

4.19     A Night to Remember Airdate:  03/29/17

The prom is coming, and Barry wants to make it an epic last bash with Lainey, but Lainey has other ideas.  Adam finds he could have met his nerd match in a junior named Jackie Geary (Rowan Blanchard), but discovers her love of Tolkien (and his mother) could create a wedge between them.  Eric and Geoff continue to find their timing is completely off.

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“The Dynamic Duo”

4.20     The Dynamic Duo Airdate:  04/26/17

Erica’s desire to get into Carnegie Mellon University leads her to intentionally tank the Penn State interview which leads to a shocking discovery about Murray.  When the new Batman movie comes out, Adam and Pops (George Segal) relationship could create friction with Barry.

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“Fonzie Scheme”

4.21     Fonzie Scheme Airdate:  04/26/17

Beverly questions what happened to all of Murray’s old interests.  Erica tells Barry and Adam that they are going to have to be in charge of themselves when she goes to college, but a stolen golf cart might be too much for Barry and Adam to handle.

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“The Day After the Day After”

4.22     The Day After the Day After Airdate:  05/03/17\

The Day After Tomorrow has everyone rattled, and Barry wants to have a nuclear war plan in place.  Mother’s Day is coming, and Erica wants to go to Emory while Adam wants to go to the beach with Jackie…and only one can win!

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“Jedi Master Adam”

4.23     Jedi Master Adam Skywalker Airdate:  05/10/17

Adam’s position in the yearbook has both Erica and Barry wanting to know what awards they are winning for the year, and it could cost Adam his girlfriend.  Murray finds his brother Marvin is in a bad way…leading to a big change.

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“Graduation Day”

4.24     Graduation Day Airdate:  05/17/17

Erica is having second thoughts about graduation while Barry learns Lainey has been keeping a secret from him.  Adam is faced with the return of his first girlfriend Dana Caldwell (Natalie Alyn Lind) as things begin to heat up with Jackie.

Related Links:

The Goldbergs—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Goldbergs—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Goldbergs—Season 3 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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