Much like switching Facebook photos to help with some sort of common goal, “Hands Across America” was a massive charity event in 1986 that meant well but served little purpose overall. Last night’s episode of The Goldbergs payed tribute to this concept in comedic fashion while involving one of TV’s most dysfunctional families.
Coach Miller (Bryan Callen) (one of my favorite side characters on the sitcom) is the main guy behind the scenes of this more compact version of “Hands Across America,” telling his students that Scott Baio, a popular 80’s icon, is taking part. This excites both Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Barry (Troy Gentile) and they tell their mom all about their involvement with it, which sends Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) into a frenzy. How dare her kids want to do something productive (and with media coverage) without her! This sends Mama Goldberg right into Miller’s office, and before we know it, the coach hands the reins of the whole thing to matriarch of the titular family. He also lets her know that Baio is not really involved. Despite this, Beverly announces to her children that she will be taking over and that Baio is still part of the whole thing. Her two kids ultimately fight to hold one of his hands in the campaign, which is a verbal game of one upping the other for a mother’s choice. This portion alone killed me. Naturally, the kids find out the truth about Baio and it’s all out battle between mom and her oldest kids. Near the end of the episode, amends are made that feel very fitting for a Goldberg family.
On the other side of things, Adam (Sean Giambrone) finds himself in a bit of a pickle. The youngest Goldberg has a dance at school later in the week and decides to take best friend Emmy (Stephanie Katherine Grant) since her number one choice found someone else to go with. Even though Emmy states that Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind) is his girlfriend and that it might be weird, Adam doesn’t bank on Dana coming because she’s in Seattle. WELL GUESS WHAT? Dana miraculously shows up and Adam runs to Pops (George Segal) for help. His grandpa says he should take them both, and. this all leads up to Adam planning just that, staging a mock run through using action figures. Next to Barry’s and Erica’s battle over Beverly, this was another highlight that cemented the episode as a winner.
“Baio and Switch” felt like a throwback to older Goldberg episodes; not too heavy on the pop culture references, a more youthful version of Adam, the involvement of Pops as dealer with lady problems, and ultimately, closure that felt a little bit more natural. Plus, Dave Kim (Kenny Ridwan)! All in all, a great episode.
The Goldbergs air every Wednesday Night at 8:30 on ABC
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on Pop-Break.com. He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and ABC’s The Goldbergs.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Super Mario Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, among other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-