Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Season 7 premiere of The Goldbergs.
The Goldbergs are headed to Disneyland! That was the highlight when info about the ABC show’s seventh season premiere hit the press. In fact, the Resort even showed a preview of the program at the famed Main Street Opera House earlier this week. So did the show manage the take viewers on a tour of the Happiest Place on Earth in 1980-something?
Well, not so much. As you may have seen, this particular episode was also meant to pay homage to the classic comedy National Lampoon’s Vacation. Not only did the show recreate scenes from the film but brought on Anthony Michael Hall for a cameo and got Christie Brinkley to reprise her role as “The Girl in The Ferrari.” Of course, as with past Goldberg tributes, this was only partially about parody and more about telling a family story.
The idea to head to Disneyland comes from Beverly, who wants the whole gang to take road trip before Erica and Barry head off for college. On that note, Barry begins to feel self-conscious about joining the collegiate world and resolves to become more of an adult. Meanwhile, an ominous chat between Erica and Geoff leads her to spend the trip fretting that she’s about to get dumped. And as for Adam, he’s looking forward to getting to experience the brand new Star Tours once they arrive at Disneyland. Of course, he also mentions that he wishes Disney would build an entire Star Wars Land, but that such a thought is just a boy’s dream (get it? Ugh).
If you’ve ever seen Vacation, you can probably guess that things don’t quite go right. This series of unfortunate events culminates in their arrival at Disneyland’s entry gate, only to have Anthony Michael Hall fill in for John Candy and deliver the iconic “Sorry folks, park’s closed” line. Thankfully, the show isn’t that mean and the Goldbergs do make it inside. However, aside from the shot out front and a brief ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (not Star Tours), the episode is over. Well, we are treated to some vintage Disney footage as the episode is dedicated to “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
Overall, those expecting a new episode to enter the sitcoms at the Disney Parks pantheon will likely be disappointed with The Goldbergs’ all-too-quick visit. That said, one could argue that adopting the Vacation motif was more in line with what the show is and does — not to mention that this route was surely easier than eighties-ifying the park. While the result may not have been one of the show’s strongest, it was still an enjoyable ride.
Season 7 of The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays on ABC.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV