The Goldbergs Season Premiere Review: Perfectly Honoring “The Breakfast Club”

The Goldbergs, "Breakfast Club"

Oh boy, have I missed this show.

After a long summer hiatus, one of the best comedies on television has finally returned for its fourth season. And, in typical The Goldbergs fashion, the series has chosen to pay homage to one of the most well-known (and well-loved) films from the decade in which it’s set. Let’s take a look at what happened in the season premiere, “Breakfast Club.”

The episode opens with a reminder that The Breakfast Club is the ultimate teen movie from the 80’s, and Adam is inspired by the movie to reinvent himself now that he’s a freshman in high school. Barry and Erica are not at all into their little brother being in their school, and they, too, begin a quest to reinvent themselves in the spirit of the movie (as the jock and the popular girl, respectively). The three kids prepare to head to school, but their mother surprises them with the news that she’s now officially certified to be a substitute teacher. As you can expect, they are outraged (especially by her “Ph.D. in nose-boops”). They go to Murray for help, but he’s surprisingly supportive of his wife’s decision and won’t do anything for them.

At school, it seems like all of Adam’s friends had the same idea of reinventing themselves for high school, and he ends up in a crisis as Barry and Erica also encounter problems with their altering identities (thank goodness Erica’s involves her newfound crush on Jeff, because I CAN’T WAIT to see that one progress). Someone else finding problems with identity? Beverly. Because of the terrible way she’s treated her kids’ teachers over the years, she isn’t at all accepted by her new peers. Unfortunately, she’s also turned away by her children (and Lainey) at lunch. Everyone is at odds with each other, and the result is Saturday detention for the kids and Beverly getting fired. One day in, and things at school aren’t going the way any of the Goldbergs wanted.

Saturday morning, the gang is now, essentially, the cast of The Breakfast Club. Adam’s identity crisis evolves further as he’s typecast as the nerd instead of the rebel (classic Anthony Michael Hall move, Adam), but he still manages to bring everyone together with the help of scenes from The Breakfast Club in a wonderfully accurate sequence. Through all this, Beverly is heartbroken by what happened to her at school, and Murray decides to get involved to smooth things over. It’s so nice seeing Murray taking such an active role in his wife’s happiness (even if it doesn’t work exactly as he’d like), and it’s a great reminder that these two really do love each other so very much. Family is now and always has been the heart of this series, and even homage episodes manage to keep this at the forefront. Things obviously work out for the best for everyone (as it should), but that only comes after another emotional moment that reunites Beverly with her children (and, sure, Lainey).

“Breakfast Club” is simply (though nothing’s simple about it) a great homage to an 80’s classic on the surface, but it delivers plenty of emotional moments once you dive in that will quickly remind you of all the reasons you love this show. In a television landscape full of darkness and drama, it’s so nice to get a half-hour of optimism each week. Welcome back, The Goldbergs.

What did you think about the return of The Goldbergs? Was the homage to The Breakfast Club as good as you wanted it to be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

[Photo Credit: ABC]

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