Last week’s “12 Tapes for a Penny” had Adam (Sean Giambrone) using fake names to enroll in the glorious sounding Columbia House plan where he can get music on the cheap. When mama Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey) discovers the secret, she places blame on Erica (Hayley Orrantia), and Erica tries to do something that really pisses her mom off, but she ends up protecting a friend instead. Beverly uses the perfect “Hard to say I am sorry” by Chicago to set things right, even putting in her own terminology. It would be interesting to see The Goldbergs not patch everything up in one episode and have Erica be affected long term, but not here.
Meanwhile, Barry (Troy Gentile) wishes to make nice with Lainey’s (A.J. Michalka) dad (David Koechner), despite him not really liking Barry. Murray (Jeff Garlin) does his best to help, and ultimately Barry wins over the disapproving father. Barry is of course wonderfully hilarious trying to appease to Lainey’s pop, but I feel that story line should’ve happened with the two started dating in the series. Oh well.
“12 Tapes for a Penny” was mostly enjoyable episode, especially with Adam’s creative name creation and Barry’s antics, but I really wish the show took some risks now, especially since they are green lit for a fourth season. We’ve had Erica and Beverly fight before just like this, and as always they end up fixing matters rather quickly. I would like to see something happen in this series that’s not formulaic.
“Magic is Real”, the more recent episode, finds Adam trying to find luck in the romance department after his break up with Dana. He watches a David Copperfield special and suddenly finds how to woo the ladies-by doing magic. When he asked to perform at a party by a female classmate, he thinks his plan is working, calling her “The New Dana”. He gets magic materials he needs by appealing to Beverly with “mom time.” Mama Goldberg becomes the assistant to Adam’s magic show and his friends state its super weird. Adam tells his mother why he went into magic in the first place and the two have an issue which sends the youngest Goldberg storming off.
Meanwhile, Barry refuses to take the PSAT because he fully believes in his future as a sports superstar. However, fellow members of the JTP crush his ideas because they know better. Lainey follows suit, telling her boyfriend that the test helps with one’s educational career. Barry still isn’t buying it and shows his father, sister, friends, and girlfriend his entrepreneur creations via flip chart. Despite the reactions of the crowd before him, Barry doesn’t budge, questioning, “Did Sir Isaac Newton give up when he invited the apple?” I lost it at that line. Still, Barry realizes that his dreams may be a little insane and decides to study with the JTP for the PSAT.
Once Adam begins his party tricks, he fails miserably, but is rescued by his assistant, aka Beverly. The two pull off a solid performance, and when Adam asks his classmate on a date, she rejects him, calling him the wrong name. Beverly overhears, feeling horrible for his son. Adam’s emotional descent due to Dana is really sad to watch, but it’s nice when Beverly comes to comfort him.
Barry’s PSAT story is somewhat forgettable, only redeemable by Barry’s ridiculous delusions of grandeur. Adam’s chance for new love and his magic practice fares much better. I will admit Giambrone’s performance as the newly single Adam draws empathy and proves that he’s still not over his former flame. That’s the kind of “long term” effect that I was looking for in this show, and I’m glad they didn’t decide to have Dana leave and not it have it effect Adam at all anymore. It’s heartbreaking to see him upset, but a testament to the writers that they aren’t dropping that arc so easily.
The Goldbergs air every Wednesday night at 8:30pm 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-