When I sat down to watch THE GOLDBERGS, “Recipe for Death II: Kiss The Cook,” I was anything but enthused about having to put my emotions from the previous night aside and actually do some work. Not that writing reviews is actually all that much work, but there is a certain level of coherency in writing that requires a clear head to think with. But the world must go on at some point, right?
It’s hard to think about the world we’ve come to live in and compare it to the world of everything-80’s that The Goldbergs encompasses. That era, depicted onscreen in such soft colors and perfect packaging, is as clean-cut and cushy as the sweater dress Erica wants to buy. The sweet distraction of coupons and action movies from anything that feels problematic, or much more urgent. But maybe that’s what we all need right now more than anything: a fun distraction.
One thing that rang universal in this episode was the themes of familial love and bonding across generational lines. Both Erica and Adam turn to their parents as a source of money they want to spend on things they like. For Erica, it’s a sweater dress – the “classiest” of fashions. For Adam, it’s the equipment and resources to make his first homemade action film. And both parents agree to help their kids out – Beverly will take Erica shopping so that they can spend time together, and Murray will support Adam’s movie if he can also be a producer on the film.
But Adam’s and Erica’s attempt at using their parents for money backfires. When Beverly discovers that her favorite store, Gimbels, is closing, Erica tries to take her shopping at the cool, trendy store in the mall. But Beverly is so upset she gets them banned from shopping there. Adam, on the other hand, is struggling to bridge his creative differences with his father. It seems that Murray has gotten so excited about this project, that he’s taken over most of the creative control. Adam, fearing that the film won’t turn out anything like it’s supposed to, drops Murray as his producer in favor of Pops.
When Murray and Beverly realize they’ve been used for their money, Erica and Adam realize that they’ve really hurt their parents. It finally dawns on them that Murray and Beverly just wanted to be a part of their kids’ lives. So Erica and Adam find ways to fix it. Adam shows Murray the finished product of his film, which winds up being the version that Murray produced. Erica takes Beverly to the Gimbels across town which is having a one-day-only closing sale. She also surprises Beverly with the “trifecta” of 50% coupons.
The episode had some pretty funny zingers, most in the form of cheesy puns. There was also a great scene of visual humor, when Erica and Lainey attempt to make Erica her own sweater dress from her mother’s collection of sweaters. And a lot of humorous insights about the nuances of making a great action film. But mostly, it was just nice to be able to laugh after the week America’s been having.
At the end of the day, this episode might have been just what the doctor ordered to kickstart getting back into some semblance of a normal routine, and the laughs did me some good. I find the scene from Adam’s movie illustrates it best: as light comes in from behind a hallway door that our action hero kicks open, letting the light spill into a dark hallway. All we can do now is remember to laugh at the good parts, and hope that this creation we’ve made goes over well.
So until next week, I’ll sign off here. See you ladle.
Season 4, Episode 6 (S04E06)
The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays at 8PM on ABC
Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.
Tasha Cerny | Contributor