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'The Goldbergs' fan recap: Let's get political

Season 2 | Episode 20 | “Just Say No” | Aired Apr 15, 2015

In the latest episode of The Goldbergs, things get political and physical. For as long as Adam Goldberg can remember, his brother Barry’s idea of brotherly bonding has been beating up Adam. Whether it was the butt hat, waffle belly, or the jock-gen mask, Barry Goldberg always found a way to torture his little brother. Barry finally found a show that gets him: American Gladiator. While watching the show, Barry learns new and creative ways to hurt people.


Barry and the JTP live and breath American Gladiator, but when their gang is faced with the Meadowbrook Mafia moving in on their territory, the JTP and Barry freeze and end up getting “booped” in the face with soft-serve ice cream. Barry is completely embarrassed, and thinks that the only way to redeem himself is to make an audition tape for American Gladiator. Adam agrees to assist his brother so that he can get back at him for inflicting harm on him for so many years.

Meanwhile, it’s election time, and the Goldberg house is divided. Murray Goldberg is planning on voting Ronald Reagan, but Erica Goldberg favors Walter Mondale. When Erica asks Beverly who she will be voting for, Erica learns that Beverly uses a cheat-sheet titled “Murray’s Picks” when it comes to voting. Erica is appalled by this and makes it her mission to educate Beverly on the upcoming election. Erica’s plan backfires when Beverly becomes obsessed with Nancy Reagan, her red skirt-suit, and “Just Say No” to drugs campaign. This is what happens when you get Beverly involved: She becomes fanatical.

Adam is having a grand time making Barry’s American Gladiator audition tape. It soon becomes apparent to Adam that American Gladiator may not be the ideal showcase for Barry’s type of talent. Without telling Barry, Adam takes it upon himself to send the tape to America’s Funniest Home Videos. Adam lies to Barry and allows him to believe that Adam sent the tape to American Gladiator. But Adam begins to feel very guilty after Barry gives Adam a gift: a picture of little Barry holding baby Adam. Adam breaks Barry’s heart when he tells Barry where he actually sent the video. Adam does admit that he doesn’t feel too badly because Barry is always beating him up. Barry—in a completely Barry way—lets Adam know that hurting Adam is the way Barry shows his love.

Beverly has taken her war on drugs and love for Nancy Reagan to Erica’s school. Beverly’s new obsession has crushed Erica’s passion for the election race. Both Goldberg women end up disappointed with the way they have been acting. The truth is that Erica has gotten so smart that Beverly finds herself looking up to Erica instead of the other way around. We may never find out whom Beverly Goldberg voted for that year, but it’s safe to say she never uses a cheat-sheet again. Turns out that Ronald Reagan wins by a landslide, but Erica may have gotten one person to vote for Walter Mondale—Murray.

To make it up to Barry, Adam cuts together a kick-ass American Gladiator audition tape featuring all of Barry’s best moves. Adam informs his big brother that if Barry can take a beating in his video, then he can take on the Meadowbrook Mafia. Barry heads down to the Wawa to win back his territory. After “booping” himself and then beating himself up, Barry Goldberg is able to scare off the Meadowbrook Mafia and get the JTP their hangout back.

The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30C on ABC.

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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