Last week I had a conversation about current sitcoms with a coworker. Typically I don’t enjoy these until they are in syndication. As is the case with most things, I’m usually late to the party. The television show “The Goldbergs” and “The Millers” came up in this conversation.
The only thing I know about “The Goldbergs” is it is about a family and is set in the 1980s — the same decade I grew up in. As for “The Millers”, the commercials I’ve seen indicate that it is about a family with adult children whose parents decided to divorce. So, it was decided. Watching “The Goldbergs” and “The Millers” would be today’s new thing.
As I watched “The Goldbergs” I was tempted press the stop button on my on demand remote. Not that the show was terrible, it just seemed to be not funny enough. Maybe I’ll lose a few brain cells in the process, but I enjoy thoughtless humor without too many life lessons in my sitcoms. Laugh tracks that are obvious are a plus. This show was obviously a comedy as the parents were over the top, but it seemed as though it was trying to hover the line of dramedy in some ways.
The episode I watched had parents being overly involved and preoccupied with their children. But there was such an obvious message about embracing your children as they are that it felt hard to laugh. It reminded me of the show from decades ago, “The Wonder Years.” I never really liked that show, either.
Thankfully, “The Millers” was able to provide what I was missing with “The Goldbergs.” There was a ridiculous family that obviously loved one another, but managed to convey that love through straight entertainment rather than trying to be preachy. “The Millers” also offered a number of great one liners such as this classic from the mother of the show, “The problem with teenagers today is there needs to be more workin’ and less twerkin’.” Doesn’t get much better than that one.
I don’t think “The Millers” is the funniest show I’ve ever seen, either, but it suited my sense of humor more than “The Goldbergs”.