Modern Family may be stuck on autopilot, but the likes of Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Speechless and the sadly soon-to-be departed The Middle have proved that the US family sitcom is still in rude health.
Based on show creator Adam F. Goldberg’s experiences of growing up in the 1980s, The Goldbergs is undoubtedly the most colourful, sweet-natured and unashamedly nostalgic of the lot.
Ahead of its premiere on E4, here’s a look at why you’d be a ‘putz’ to miss its fifth season.
When can I watch it?
The first episode of season five will premiere on E4 on January 3 at 8pm.
Thankfully all the main Goldberg family members will be returning including overbearing scrapbook-obsessed mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), grouchy trouser-phobic dad Murray (Jeff Garlin) and loveable womanising grandad Pops (George Segal).
Sean Giambrone, of course, is also back as wannabe filmmaker Adam, as is Troy Gentile as his dim-witted man child brother Barry and Hayley Orrantia as his popular musically-gifted sister Erica.
Sam Lerner has also been promoted to season regular as Erica’s boyfriend Geoff.
Who’s not returning?
Sadly, Barry’s girlfriend Lainey, aka AJ Michalka, will be absent for much of season five.
We last saw the character breaking up with the goofiest member of the Goldbergs as she left for college at the end of season four. And although she may return for the odd guest appearance, she’s no longer listed as a regular cast member.
What can I expect?
As with previous seasons, there are several episodes dedicated to the popculture of the ‘80s, with the premiere riffing on John Hughes classic Weird Science – the original’s star, Ilan Mitchell-Smith guests here for his first acting appearance in nearly 30 years.
Revenge Of The Nerds, Star Wars and E.T. are just some of the movies which inspire future episodes, while there’s also a shout-out to 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes in an episode about Pops’ experiences in the war.
Why should I watch it?
The Goldbergs may lack the authenticity of The Middle, the social commentary of Black-ish and the subtle nostalgia of Fresh Off The Boat.
But when it comes to broad feel-good comedy, few other sitcoms do it better.
With her array of smothering snuggies, nose boops and hideous sweaters, Beverly Goldberg remains one of the most inherently funny comic creations of recent years, and if the second season of Stranger Things has left you wanting to time travel back to the 1980s, then this heartfelt ode to the decade that taste forgot is possibly the next best thing.
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