Why Murray Goldberg Is One Of The Funniest Characters On TV
Television sitcoms have evolved a great deal in the last few decades. My personal ‘golden age’ came when shows like Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Friends ruled prime time airwaves. Since then, several shows have come along that kept my interest throughout. The Office, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory to name a few. But nothing beats the age of Must See TV. Sitcoms simply dominated my nightly TV time.
Recently, my television choices have skewed more and more towards high concept dramas like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Netflix shows like House of Cards.
What about the sitcoms!? Sadly, there haven’t been many new shows that I really loved. I’ll give an honorable mention to New Girl but that show is still struggling to find its identity in it’s fourth season. However, there is one show that speaks directly to my younger self: The Goldbergs.
I grew up in the 80s making home movies and playing Nintendo until it was time to go to bed. I look back fondly on those memories. Those memories made it easy for me to give The Goldberg’s a shot when it debuted in 2013. If you haven’t seen the show it’s about a young boy named Adam growing up in the 80s with his wacky family. The twist is, the majority of the episodes are based (in part) on actual events from the life of the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg. He even includes real footage he filmed as a young boy.
In the beginning, the show itself focused heavily on Adam’s relationship with his overprotective mother Beverly. Her antics eventually spread out to include his older siblings Erica and Barry. Lost in the shuffle was Adam’s loud and sarcastic dad, Murray.
I’ve always wanted more Murray but each episode does feature references to television shows, video games and toys I adored as a child. It also made me feel extremely old thinking about how much time has passed since Transformers meant EVERYTHING to me.
Overall, the show was entertaining for the first two seasons but lacked a ton of traction. It was a show that lived on my PVR until a quiet 30 minutes presented itself here and there. That all changed in the third season. I’m not sure when they made the change but more and more episodes feature Murray as an A story line rather than a supporting player. Jeff Garlin is truly owning the character this season with his endearing brand of negativity. As a result, Murray Goldberg has become one of the funniest characters on television and The Goldberg’s is now appointment television.
My feelings on this matter were solidified after the episode “Double Dare” aired.
It’s one of the best episodes of The Goldberg’s thus far and really gives Murray a chance to shine. Murray Goldberg is stubborn, he yells and everyone is a moron in his eyes. ‘Double Dare’ is full of amazing lines like “Hey honey… Would you put that down and get out?” and “Yup she did everything I asked her to so it’d be wrong of me to complain.”
As the show’s main character, Adam has to carry the weight of the show. Until now, his mom and Barry were typically next on the leader board in terms of screen time. Murray is their ace in the hole. The show’s secret weapon.
It’s really a shame ‘Double Dare’ happened so late in the show’s third season. Episodes were a toss up early on but it seems like they are just hitting their stride.
I’m becoming a huge fan of The Goldbergs but who knows how long it will be on the air with sitcoms coming and going as they do. I would love to see a fourth season to give The Goldberg’s a chance to really solidify themselves as a classic TV family. I believe they’ve achieved something spectacular with Murray. With enough love and attention from fans, Murray Goldberg could someday take his place among the great TV dads. Homer. Frank Costanza. Red Forman. Al Bundy.
He’s not there yet but the potential is certainly there. More Murray episodes!
Side note: It’s a little sad there aren’t more clips of Murray Goldberg on YouTube… I’ll keep checking.