Tonight, The Goldbergs Want Their MTV

The Goldbergs
John Fleenor/ABC
The Goldbergs

If you want your MTV, then look no further than tonight’s episode of The Goldbergs. When teen drama queen Erica (Hayley Orrantia) sets her sights on getting accepted into Juilliard, overzealous mom Beverly (­Wendi McLendon-Covey) and budding ­auteur Adam (Sean Giambrone) swoop in to “help” with the audition tape–by making her the star of a music video. “We realized that we hadn’t really touched on MTV yet,” says creator Adam F. Goldberg, “which is crazy, since it was such a big part of life for anyone who grew up in the ’80s.”

Alas, the family will soon discover that mastering the genre–think wind and smoke machines, animation, and Robert Palmer-style backup dancers–isn’t so easy on a ­shoestring budget. “The video is a complete disaster,” Goldberg says. “Even Adam has to admit that he’s gotten in over his head.”

Also in too deep: grumpy patriarch Murray (Jeff Garlin), who strikes up a friendship with Lainey’s dad, Bill (David Koechner)–his first pal ever!–only to unwittingly sabotage things. “Bill tries to open up about his feelings, and it gets too real for Murray. He alienates Bill and then has to win him back. It’s a classic bromance story,” says Goldberg, who based the relationship on his father’s bond with his own real-life BFF. “It’s such a nice homage to their friendship.”

Matters of the heart will play an even bigger role in next week’s finale, as both Adam and big brother Barry (Troy Gentile) grapple with dropping the L-bomb on their respective girlfriends, while Murray is unable to utter those three little words to his own daughter, Erica, as she heads to summer camp. It’s a fitting send-off for the season, says Goldberg: “I think we’ve realized that love is what makes our show work. Ending with a feel-good episode was the way to go.”

The Goldbergs, 8:30/7:30c, ABC