On The Goldbergs Season 6 Episode 1, “Sixteen Candles,” Adam plays the part of Molly Ringwald’s character in the John Hughes 80s classic of the same name.
His older siblings’ major life decisions cause a distraction for his parents, making them forget about his birthday, and providing us viewers with a jam-packed yet balanced season premiere.
There is a lot of story held over from last season’s finale, The Goldbergs Season 5 Episode 23, “Let’s Val Kilmer This Car.” It makes this premiere episode feel somewhat overloaded when adding a major tribute to the classic film on top of it.
But, The Goldbergs makes it work.
Nearly every great moment from the movie version of Sixteen Candles shows up here. From the pizza spinning on the record player to chopping off the hair caught in the door to the final table/cake scene, honor is righteously paid.
Even parts of the original film that can be offensive by today’s standards are addressed on the show in a mindful and comedic way.
Adam: But what about–
Dave Kim: Long Duck Dong? No! There will be no discussion of the Dong.
Adam: I’m trying to–
Dave Kim: Say he’s hilarious? Well, he’s not!
Adam: Get off your totally warranted soapbox, Dave Kim. I’m trying to say that I’m in.
And then later, poor Dave Kim is the “dweeb imprisoned in the glass coffee table,” leading him to say one of the best lines of the episode: “Even Long Duck Dong had more dignity than this!”
Honestly, Dave Kim (Kenny Ridwan) gets my VIP award for this episode, and I hope that his bigger role in this premiere leads to more of him throughout the season.
One of the many things the show does well is it makes Adam’s love of movies an infectious side effect. Even if you’re not a movie buff, you can appreciate the jokes and connections as well as the enthusiasm of the show’s central character, Adam, and the show’s creator, also Adam.
I like that their film tribute episode kicks off the season, rather than it being a mid-season episode. But, I also hope there are more of this kind of episode later on because they are so much fun.
Reading the synopsis of this episode had me a little wary that they were packing too much in. There is the Barry/Lainey storyline and Erica dropping out of college—both big, meaty plots. Would they still do John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles justice amongst all that?
The answer is an emphatic yes. The episode as a whole is quite balanced while being generally entertaining and staying true to the show’s main themes and running gags.
My only complaint is Beverly’s grandbaby fever is written a bit over-the-top (even for the Smother), but Wendi McClendon-Covey is such a comedic queen it’s easy to get past it. And all the Bubby talk more than makes up for it.
Murray: What happened to the Bevolution? You know, finding your way without our kids?
Beverly: I hereby suspend the Bevolution. Viva la Bubby-lution!
Murray: You can’t just put “-lution” at the end of a word and make it be a thing.
Beverly: Oh, it’s a thing.
What did you think of this episode of The Goldbergs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC.
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