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Image Credit: Tony Rivetti/ABC

‘The Goldbergs’ recap: Planning the perfect make-out party

Season 1 | Ep. 20 | “You’re Not Invited” | Aired Apr 8, 2014

Happy birthday to the littlest Goldberg! Discarding stellar ’80s birthday options such as Chuck E. Cheese, roller-skating and “seeing a wildly inappropriate movie” (example A: Lisa’s emergence from the bathroom in Weird Science), Adam revels in the thought of the laser tagging that will happen later that evening. Murray puts a damper on the reveling by forgetting Adam’s birthday, yet remembering that Geraldo Rivera will open Al Capone’s vault on TV that night.

Adam and his kinda-sorta girlfriend Dana watch Bob Ross paint trees — “still on an epic quest to get my first kiss,” says narrator Adam. Barry steps in and convinces Adam to forgo his planned laser-tag birthday party and throw a basement make-out party instead. The first rule of basement make-out party: No crunchy foods. Onion dip is OK, but no crunchy foods? “Crunchy isn’t sexy,” says sage Barry. A session of Seven Minutes in Heaven is the ultimate goal.

Pops gives Murray a hard time for not appreciating the importance of his child’s birthday. The look of pure joy Adam gives Pops for gifting him a Pac-Man watch — “It’s a video game on my wrist? I love it!” — makes all that pesky remembering of birthdays worth it. All Murray needs to say now is, “Bah, humbug!”

Adam breaks it to his mom that he doesn’t want laser tag, a cake, a song or her at his party, using his never-fail touch: “Mama.”

Goldbergs s1, ep 20: Troy Gentile (Tony Rivetti/ABC) The make-out party is in full swing, complete with velour shirt, oysters, soft cheeses and Barry as the MC … which, naturally, fails epically.

Bev obsesses over the birthday party transition. Erica runs interference, but when she realizes it’s a make-out party, she calls “foul” herself. Adam makes an end run by sending his mom on a quest for baking supplies to make him a last-minute Bert and Ernie cake. (Why this requires a football metaphor, I do not know!) Erica threatens to tell their mom exactly what’s going on. Adam blackmails her with knowledge of her past misdeeds.

Meanwhile, Barry’s in the basement trying to empty a large glass jug of milk so that the kids can play Spin the Bottle (after they finish watching Ghostbusters, of course). Murray marches downstairs in his underpants to give Adam his gift of laser-tag gear. Adam thoughtlessly shoos him out (though not wearing pants is grounds for being shooed).Goldbergs s1, ep 20: Jeff Garlin (Tony Rivetti/ABC)

Bev returns from the store to Erica’s pleading for her to go downstairs. Murray and Pops are riveted by Geraldo’s vault coverage, except when Murray is bleating about his gifting fail. Erica is becoming her mom.

Ninja mom breaks into the basement. Adam finally suggests a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, and when he and Dana finally get down to it in the closet, they discover Beverly, and Dana darts. Adam catches up with her at the door, and she asks why they didn’t just play laser tag like they’d originally planned. Of course!

Adam employs his dad’s gift to salvage the party, and the kids all zap each other with glee.

Murray basks in the warm glow of his son’s appreciation, Pops laments Geraldo’s failure to find any booty in Capone’s vault, Mom’s cake is a big hit and, in the heat of battle, Adam saves Dana and earns that first kiss — and a second.

’80s music watch (in which I note the show’s aural indulgences): The Cure, “Just Like Heaven”

The Goldbergs airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9/8 C.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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