Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rant #964: The "Goldberg" Age of Television?

ABC has released its fall lineup, and this lineup of shows seems pretty ho-hum.

I mean, how many times can you reinvent the wheel?

However, one show, at least to me, stands out, and for a very good reason.

ABC has scheduled "The Goldbergs" for Tuesday nights, and this sitcom certainly turned my head when I read about it.

The show is sort of a "Wonder Years" for the 1980s, following a seemingly slightly dysfunctional All-American family in their daily lives.

However, based on the title, I would say this is very, very different from standard fare, because the use of that title implies that the family being looked at is Jewish.

When was the last time a Jewish family was the star of a network TV show?

You might have to look back at "Brooklyn Bridge," the ambitious but ultimately under-appreciated sitcom looking at a Jewish family living in Brooklyn in the mid-1950s.

It was on Saturday nights, and I don't think a lot of people knew it was on.

Getting back to "The Goldbergs," the show seemingly has nothing to do with the early TV sitcom of the same name. This is something new, and maybe it is about time, too.

There are Jewish characters on television--whether implied or obvious--but the Jewishness of these characters is often used as a plot device.

One recent example of this is "The Big Bang Theory," where Wolowitz's Jewishness comes up pretty frequently ... so much so that he married a non-Jewish character on the show.

Why couldn't he marry a Jewish character?

There have been many, many other instances.

How about "The Nanny," where Fran was obviously Jewish, but married her non-Jewish employer?

And on "The Wonder Years," the character of Paul Pfeiffer was Jewish, and there was even an episode aimed squarely at his bar mitzvah. But after that episode, his Jewishness was never spoken about again.

No one is asking "The Goldbergs" to be entirely about the family and their world as Jews. But the different nuances of being Jewish would be welcome on this show. 

I mean, there should not be a "Christmas Show," and if they are going to do a holiday show, then it should be a "Hanukkah Show."

One of the show's stars is George Segal, so at least there is some Jewish "authenticity" to it.

But what I found funny is that one of the other stars of the show has a last name of "Gentile," which I know he probably pronounces "Gen-teel," but, well, a "gentile" is someone who is not Jewish.

Ha Ha.

ABC obviously allowed the named "The Goldbergs" to be used for the initial shock value of doing so. Let's see what they do with it.

I think that it is about time a supposedly "real" Jewish family finds its way into a modern, network TV show, but the proof is in the pudding.

If it's a good show, it will float; if it stinks, well, it will sink faster than a store-bought potato latke.

You can see the trailer for the show at

No comments:

Post a Comment


yasmin lawsuit