The Goldbergs is one of the loudest, broadest, clunkiest pieces of unfunny tripe on TV (the only worse so far is Dads). It falls into the trap Mary bemoaned in her Moms review, where the trailer spoonfeeds the audience the entire pilot. Not the behind-the-scenes sneak peek, but the trailer. Oy.
And unlike Brooklyn Nine-Nine, there is no build to the jokes revealed in the pilot. The "funny" just sits there, floating out of actors mouths and landing with a thud on the dull cement of the plot. All the added bits that pad out the show from four minutes to twenty-four minutes are painful clunkers, like a subplot featuring the robotically adorable younger brother Adam's obsession with boobs. For some reason, writers assume that a young character has to be a wide-eyed innocent with an undercurrent of pubescent raunchiness. Dear show writers: it doesn't work that way. You're obviously shooting for Sam Weir, but you forget that John Daley's awkward sincerity was genuine, not some manufactured overly-directed response.
In fact, the writing and direction was completely terrible. The show's beats are as clunky and off-tone as a middle school drummer, with the shifts in action ramming the viewer like a train to the face (a fate that seem preferable to this pilot). One second we are supposed to be amused at a terrible birthday present, and the next we are goaded into "aw"-ing at parents cuddling a baby blanket. It's manipulative, insulting, and needs to stop. It doesn't help that the episode decides to focus on the two most shrill and unpleasant characters: Barry the misunderstood middle child who expresses his feelings by yelling at everyone, and Murray the patriarch who expresses love through curses and, oh how unexpected, yelling. Only the mother Beverly comes off even slightly believable, as she seems to care about her kids and realistically be a little lost when they grow up and need her less.
Also, I'm confused about George Segal's presence here. Isn't he better than this rubbish? Wasn't he a successful actor once? Does he need a paycheck this badly? I'm worried about him. Maybe it's time to set up a George Segal fund, just so he doesn't have to be a part of this excremental show.