The Goldbergs

Common Sense Media says

Loud look at '80s family life has positive takeaways.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Episodes typically end with a strong takeaway: for example, our parents love us, even if we don't always feel like they understand us.

Positive role models

The Goldbergs are far from perfect, but they're a close-knit family that spends time together -- even though their communication skills could use some work (the father, for example, frequently calls the kids "stupid" and "morons"). The fact that the kids' grandfather is a regular fixture in their lives adds a nice, intergenerational touch.


Any type of violence -- whether it's a fall or a car crash -- is played for comedy.


Light to moderate innuendo with some story lines that touch on relationships and dating. Characters might use language such as "cop a feel" or "boobs."


Language includes gateway terms such as "hell," "crap," and "damn," with more creative slurs such as "assbag," and, on occasion, some bleeped swearing ("motherf--ker"). There's sexual language such as "boobs," plus some insults from parent to child: "moron," "idiot."


Some brand names are featured -- from Hooters to MTV -- but it's mostly for the sake of nostalgia.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Dialogue hints at teen drinking, but it isn't shown on-screen.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Goldbergs centers on a quirky family with three kids, ranging in age from 11 to 17, coming of age in the 1980s. They like to yell. A lot. You'll mostly hear gateway terms like "hell" and "damn," although there's some occasional bleeped swearing for stronger words such as "motherf--ker." There's also some mild sexual innuendo related to teen dating and raging hormones, and some dialogue suggests teen characters drink alcohol. Any violence is played for comedy, and most brand names are mentioned for the sake of nostalgia.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

As seen through the lens of 11-year-old son Adam (Sean Giambrone), who carries a video camera with him virtually everywhere he goes, THE GOLDBERGS depicts a loud-but-loving family with a tendency toward yelling their feelings. However, their excessive volume is the perfect match for the excesses of 1980s popular culture, from mom Beverly's (Wendi McLendon-Covey) love of jazzercise to older brother Barry's (Troy Gentile) burgeoning romance with rap music. Rounding out the clan are bellowing patriarch Murray (Jeff Garlin), surly older sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia), and ornery octogenarian Pops (George Segal).

Is it any good?


If you've ever seen The Wonder Years, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in the late 1980s, The Goldbergs will look and sound awfully familiar -- except that The Goldbergs replaces The Wonder Years' 1960s style with the flashy fashion of the 1980s and Daniel Stern's nostalgic narration with slightly snarkier commentary from Patton Oswalt. And lots of yelling. Still, although it doesn't play like an Emmy contender, The Goldbergs ultimately charms in its own way with memorable characters, solid takeaways, and goofy nods to '80s excesses.

A notable twist is that the fictional Goldbergs are modeled after the real-life family of writer and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg, who really did carry around a video camera as an awkward 11-year-old in the '80s and capture his mother, father, brother, sister, and grandfather in all their glory. (This point is made clear in the pilot's closing credits, wherein the young Goldberg's actual footage plays alongside clips from the show.) That's part of the reason these Goldbergs have heart, in spite of their loud way of showing it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that The Goldbergs is based on the dynamics of a real-life family (that of writer and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg). What are the pros of using your own life as a springboard for creative inspiration? Are there any cons to turning your parents, siblings, and grandparents into two-dimensional characters? If your family life played out on TV, would audiences be laughing, crying -- or just plain bored?

  • Does the show's nostalgia for the 1980s appeal to today's kids or only to their parents? Was being a kid in the '80s a lot different than it is today? Has anything stayed the same?

  • How do the Goldbergs measure up as role models? Does a family have to be perfect to impart a positive message?

This review of The Goldbergs was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byChloeBlue October 4, 2013

Immorality on Overdrive.

Within, TWO minutes of this show's premiere, a male narrator casually refers to his Mother as a *ballbreaker*. The Mom says to her young son as she's zipping up his pants, "One day I won't be here to help dress you." (Implying that she'll be dead someday.) Her Son replies, "You keep saying that, but when?" Next scene, the Mom storms into the bathroom to pull open the shower curtain while her teenage son is showering. He tells her he wants privacy. She marches out saying, "Don't forget to wash your bottom." The teenage sons refers to his entire family as "monsters", when he is exclaiming joy at the prospect of a new car which will allow him to escape his family. The teenage daughter comes home late, and the father exclaims, "It's 2 am, I thought you were dead, I could kill you." The father refers to his sons as morons, idiots, dummies, and bastards. Another scene - The grandfather tells the teenage girl, "You don't need a car, with your looks, you can get a *ride* from any boy in town." Now, only SEVEN minutes into this disgusting show, one of the worst scenes begins: The grandfather lies to the family about where he is taking the young boy, who is ONLY 11 years old: They are sitting at the counter of a diner, and the grandfather directs the young boy: "You can't just go in and HONK's all about the *cuppage*, be gentle...those puppies are sensitive." The boy responds,"I just want to bury face in them." Grandfather says, "We all do, but ya gotta earn it." The grandfather then turns to a teenage girl, maybe 14, behind the counter, and says: "Where are we on OPERATION waffle-girl?" As he says this, seductive guitar music begins playing, and the camera pans slowly up the young girl's body while she works, unaware that both the grandfather and young boy have now ogled her. One word: PEDOPHILIA Wake Up People - You are being desensitized to the objectification of CHILDREN by the perverted scumbags who produce and write this filth!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educator Written byBigchris September 18, 2013

Swearing is a problem but this show is hilarious dont let a bad first impression fool ya

Ok I will admit I found this show hilarious I really did but the problem with this show is that it is marketed as a family show yet there is a ton of swearing I couldent really beleve the amount but if you. Are able to look past all that and some mild to extreme sexual jokes its a good show for family's I say 10 or older I would still admit I hate mother Goldberg but the rest of the family make up for her ps it's also a good way to show your kids how it was back then and Awsome family values. My entire family me 24 my sibs 10 thru 14 and my parents all watch this every week and love the laughs and time we take away from this Awsome family show as good as the middle " our 1 family. Favorite " if not better I can't suggest sting enough to try this show atleast once
Teen, 15 years old Written bymvp.explorer March 14, 2015

My review

I honestly think that this show shouldn't be PG because kids shouldn't be exposed to foul language and sexual suggestions. Although they bleep out some, they don't bleep out all inappropriate language. In the first episode I believe the grandfather was telling the young 11 year old, Adam to touch girl's boobs. There are also a lot other inappropriate talk throughout the series. So, saying all this, I highly recommend this show to be determined carefully when deciding whether your child, 13 or below should watch this. I love this show a lot because it reminds me of my grandmother's obsession with cooking for everyone:) The mother loves to cook for her children as well.
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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