TV Recap: The Goldbergs, ‘Lainey Loves Lionel’

The Goldbergs

There comes a time in every man’s life where he has to stand up for what he believes in. On last night’s episode of The Goldbergs, Adam (Sean Giambrone) tries to sneak his way into a viewing of Porky’s, but ends up chickening out and seeing Annie. His father (Jeff Garlin) tells him he needs to break the rules every once in a while, so he gets Adam into Porky’s but his mom (Wendi McLendon-Covey) obviously intercepts him. He’s punished by both his parents (despite his dad being the mastermind behind it all) and Adam revolts, jumping on a plane to Seattle to see his girlfriend Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind) for Valentine’s Day. Of course, this is way out of Adam’s comfort zone, so he ends up putting his tail between his legs and fessing up to his mom and dad. Even though Adam was way out line here, both parents agree he needs to take risks and decide to let him make a long distance call to Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind), regardless of the charge.

I was completely 100% with this story line until Adam got on a plane. I mean, yes, the time has come for the character to live a little, and there’s some great moments here (Adam’s commentary on Annie is hilarious), but getting on a plane?! Whoa, slow down. The worst part of this whole thing is, his parents cutting him a break after all the plane incident is too Full House for my taste. That’s not real life, and while The Goldbergs has always tied up the ending in a loving way despite horrible choices made by characters, this was way too unrealistic.

Barry’s (Troy Gentile) and Erica’s (Hayley Orranita) tales fair better, as they both are involved in silly romantic adventures. Barry is deciding what to do for girlfriend Lainey (AJ Michalka) and Erica is being wooed by Geoff (Sam Lerner) much to her chagrin. Barry continually asks his sister for help in the matter, even when he comes up with the idea to make a sculpt of Lainey’s head, much like in the Lionel Richie music video for the song “Hello.” This only because Lainey loves Lionel, as the title of the episode tells us.

Sculpt after sculpt, Barry keeps attempting with horrible result after another. Down to the wire, Big Tasty declares his love for Lainey in a way that no present could ever match. It’s a wonderful moment and Gentile’s deliverance is perfect.

Not exactly flawless, “Lainey Loves Lionel” comes down to being more hit than miss. If that plane sequence wasn’t included I would’ve probably enjoyed it lot more. Is it a “jump the shark” moment? Not entirely sure, but the writers better be unlike Adam and take less risks in the future.

Rating: 7/10

The Goldbergs say hello every Wednesday night at 8:30pm on ABC

Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on 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-


  1. This show still is one of the best on TV..the cast is amazing together.and just the whole concept…I did look some things up in continuity this week…but I’ve always wondered on the 80s cohesiveness Not that it in anyway lessens my enjoyment of this show..porkys 1981….Annie 1982..and Hello 1983…. :)!

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