Wednesday, October 29, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Goldbergs' - Murray and Pops Nudge Beverly While Big Tasty Performs for Lainey in 'Family Takes Care of Beverly'

ABC's The Goldbergs - Episode 2.05 "Family Takes Care of Beverly"

When Pops accidentally starts a fire in his apartment during a Halloween party, he's evicted and Beverly invites him to move into the Goldbergs' home. Meanwhile, Barry stops Erica from eating Pop Rocks candy with soda, since according to urban legend the combination would kill her, and he wants something in return from her.

Across two seasons, it has been strongly established that Beverly lives for taking care of her family. Everything she does, she does out of love for them. And hilariously it is always so much more than any of them really wants. And yet, when was the last time that Beverly did something all for herself? She is always trying to win back the love of her children. Ending up all alone in life is her greatest fear - and that perfectly fits every single thing we know about Beverly. She is overbearing at times but she does that in order to have a connection with everyone in her family. She needs to know that when the time comes the family will take care of her.

This whole mentality from Beverly comes after Pops sets a fire in his apartment and is kicked out. She opens up her house for him to stay in. To her and Adam, it's wonderful because now they can spend even more time with him. He is her father and she needs to give him the care that he deserves as he gets older. But by moving into the attic - which Beverly has completely renovated for him - he throws the balance out of whack in the Goldberg household. Pops is frequently seen at the Goldberg house but it's also important to remember that he doesn't actually live there. Whenever one of the kids needs advice, he'll walk through the door and give it to them. The show doesn't need to take a trip down to his apartment in order for him to be a vital part of this family. But by moving in, he only confirms Murray's concerns that this is a bad idea.

Through Beverly's attempts to keep her family close, she's actually pushing Pops, Murray and Adam away. I love how blunt she is that it will likely be Adam who'll have to care for her when she gets old. Their conversation about where she would live and Adam's pretend wife was definitely the comedic highpoint of the episode. Right now, Beverly needs confirmation that her family will be there for her. When in all actuality, they still really need her to be the parent right now. Adam may leave to spend time with Pops - in his new apartment. But he still needs his mother to tuck him in at bedtime.

Elsewhere, The Goldbergs gets to be explicitly 80s nostalgic in the Barry and Erica subplot in which it digs into how easily people could believe urban legends. That fortunately isn't the bulk of the storyline. It wouldn't be that entertaining to watch the two of them go back and forth on whether the Pop Rocks and Cola thing could actually happen or not. More importantly, it's about Erica being indebted to Barry but not really taking it all that seriously. She doesn't care about what he thinks or his desperate crush on Lainey. And yet, Barry finds himself in the hospital and Erica is there for him. Even after a wonderfully hilarious and awkward performance by Big Tasty, Lainey is there for him too. It's noteworthy, however, that Beverly doesn't get to his hospital room until the very end to ruin his date. She wants to be with her family and yet she doesn't even know that one of her kids is in the hospital. And yet, the show is slowly inching forward with something between Barry and Lainey. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Family Takes Care of Beverly" was written by Lew Schneider and directed by Claire Scanlon.
  • This really isn't a Halloween episode. It has a few jokes in the beginning but the holiday doesn't compose most of the episode.
  • But Pops' love for Burt Reynolds continues.
  • What did happen to Mikey then if he couldn't have died from the Pop Rocks urban legend?
  • Beverly does not like to be nudged.