Thursday, September 26, 2013


An excerpt from my review of "The Goldbergs," which premiered this week on ABC:

Instead, if I want to show my children a sitcom about Jewish family life, I’ll show them the other Goldbergs. The black-and-white television show that ran from 1949 to 1956 (after 17 successful years on the radio). The one that featured an unabashedly Jewish family, complete with an uncle who spoke with a Yiddish accent and a mother who had plenty of outside friends and interests, didn’t yell (unless she had to), who was respected by her husband and children, and whose accentless English nevertheless carried the syntax, phrasing–and wisdom–of the old country.

We tend to think of the 1950s in America as repressive and white bread, populated by traditional, “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” families; conservative and unaccepting of any deviation from the norm. We pride ourselves on being much more open-minded now, on acknowledging that there are many different kinds of families and cultures and lifestyles.

And yet, over 50 years after the original “Goldbergs” went off the air, I can’t imagine any network–not even the self-proclaimed “edgy” ones like HBO or Showtime–airing a sitcom where the whole family can be openly, unapologetically Jewish, without it becoming their singular, defining trait and/or the subject of “A Very Special Episode.”
Read the entire piece explaining why I feel this way at:

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