Fall TV preview: Is ‘The Goldbergs’ nostalgia you can get behind?

The GoldbergsWhen looking at “The Goldbergs,” the new ABC comedy pilot that will air this fall following “Agents of SHIELD” on Tuesdays, we’re quickly reminded of one question: Is this supposed to be the new “Happy Days,” or the TV version of “A Christmas Story”? You don’t seen many networks take chances like this anymore, and what could come out of this is either a huge success or a failure leading to a quick cancellation.

What creator Adam F. Goldberg has done in this pilot is pretty simple and smart. He is trying to bring in an audience with the spirit of an era, rather than trying to sell a show based on a big-name star or a laugh track. The show is set in the mid-1980s, which was a big time for family oriented TV programming. It’s a way for families to connect, and hopefully have a funny story that transcends era.

While the setting alone is a risky but smart move, the success of this show will depend largely on the cast. The group, including the kids, for now at least feels easy to relate to, and the casting of Wendi McLendon-Covey is very smart given her robust experience on a variety of different comedies. She’s also someone sorely deserving of a starring vehicle after so many years of playing backup to other people.

When it comes to drawing laughs, the best thing we can say about the trailer is that it’s moderately funny. This show is really going to have to sell itself on heart, and it’s hard to do that in just a few minutes. We imagine that we will watch at least the full pilot based on this, and base our full opinion on that.

This article is just one slice of our massive Fall TV Preview series. If you want to see some more quick-takes on other shows, the best thing that you can do is check out the story over here.

Photo: ABC

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