The Goldbergs Picks Up Some Romance and Risky Business

Ingela Ratledge
The Goldbergs
Ron Tom/ABC

Fall TV Preview 2015The course of true love never did run smooth—especially in the ’80s. When we last bid farewell to The Goldbergs, Adam (Sean Giambrone) was devastated at the prospect of Dana (Natalie Alyn Lind), his middle school main squeeze, moving away. As the action picks back up, we’ll see exactly how that romance is faring across the divide. “It’s all about how hard it was before FaceTime and Skyping, when long-distance phone bills could be thousands of dollars,” says creator Adam Goldberg. “They think they’ve discovered this thing called a fax machine to talk in real time, and it’s a complete disaster.”

The premiere also features a storyline with big brother Barry (Troy Gentile) and his girlfriend, Lainey (AJ Michalka), trying to throw a blowout party à la Risky Business—one of many movie references to come in Season 3. On deck: homages to Caddyshack and Short Circuit, as well as a social-awareness anthem courtesy of sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia). “She writes a political song that has every issue ever in it,” Goldberg says.

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As always, the real underlying theme will be growing pains and strains—which even overzealous mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and grumptastic dad Murray (Jeff Garlin) are not immune to, particularly as they witness Adam landing in the trenches of puberty. “Beverly is determined to make him not suffer and keeps telling him that he has a beautiful body,” Goldberg explains, “while Murray says, ‘Uh, no, you don’t.’”

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The Goldbergs, returns Wednesday, Sept. 23, 8:30/7:30c, ABC