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Tuesday, September 09 2014 09:00

Review: THE GOLDBERGS - The Complete First Season DVD

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"This is how I remember the 80s - there were no parenting blogs or peanut allergies, just a whole lotta crazy."

That's the opening narration from THE GOLDBERGS, Patton Oswalt providing the off-camera voice of the adult Adam Goldberg, the youngest of the three kids at the center of ABC's breakout hit from last year. While kids of the 60s eventually had THE WONDER YEARS, and those a decade later getting THAT 70's SHOW, it's only fitting that kids like myself - the ones who grew up in "1980-something" - finally get a series that properly captures our decade. While there have been a few who've tried and failed, THE GOLDBERGS (out this week in a Complete First Season DVD set) is undoubtedly the best we've ever seen.

THE GOLDBERGSAside from shows like DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD and DOC McSTUFFINS, I don't watch a ton of television these days, and when it comes to episodic fare, I've been finding it harder and harder to get invested in a series and follow it through. I'm a little more prone to throw on a DVD or fire up Netflix to check out something a little older - something comforting... like KNIGHT RIDER. I'm pretty sure that little Adam Goldberg would appreciate that - after all, he's the television embellishment of series creator Adam F. Goldberg, a guy who's the same age as I ("Bicentennial Babies," circa 1976), and a bespectacled kid with a major love of G.I. JOE, STAR WARS. VOLTRON, and pretty much everything else I've been into for the past 30+ years. The fact that he runs around toting a camera is even more familiar, though we didn't make the jump to VHS until the 90s, and I was still rockin' a Super 8mm well past the BATMAN year of 1989.

While The Goldbergs may not have the exact dynamic of my family (or yours), father Murray, mom Bev, brother Barry, sister Erica, Grandpa "Pops" and little Adam are completely familiar. We've all known people like The Goldbergs, and the other residents of their world are spot-on as well. The production design (tackled here in the bonus features, along with the terribly-80s/totally awesome costuming) is also top-notch, placing the 'Bergs in a house I could've easily visited once upon a time. I'd imagine that there's a set of wicker paper plate holders in there somewhere.

Rock Father Approved!The 23-episode first season is a sitcom done right - devoid of laugh-track crap, and with each self-contained episode wrapped-up within a 22-minute package of pure retro goodness. With full episodes centered around THE GOONIES, GHOSTBUSTERS, STAR WARS (RETURN OF THE JEDI) and even those classic toys (U.S.S. FLAGG!), THE GOLDBERGS is 100% Rock Father-Approved.

THE GOLDBERGS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is now available on DVD. Season 2 premieres Wednesday, September 24 at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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