Viewers of ABC’s The Goldbergs were curious to see how the sitcom would handle Jeff Garlin’s exit. The actor, who starred on the show as family patriarch Murray Goldberg, left during season nine following complaints about his on-set behavior. The season 10 premiere, titled If You Build It, aired this Wednesday, quickly addressing what viewers were concerned about. As a camera pans over Murray’s now empty favorite recliner, narrator Patton Oswalt can be heard:
“That year, there was a change that stopped everything. Just a few months ago, out of nowhere, we lost my father. We will always love you, dad. Still. And we will find a way to carry on together. Because after all, we are the Goldbergs.
As can be inferred from the episode title, there’s a Field of Dreams storyline where Adam (Sean Giambrone) convinces Barry (Troy Gentile) that a mysterious voice is telling him to build a Wiffle ballpark in their backyard. . Before that, Adam comically tells his Pop-Pop grandfather (Judd Hirsch) that he hasn’t finished the movie and it’s about baseball and corn, so the themes of the movie of loss, hope and reconnection with a deceased father are lost on him. That is, until Barry’s friends inform Adam.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners Alex Barnow and Chris Bishop discussed the sentimental season premiere.
“Field of Dreams is kind of like the ultimate second chance to reconnect with someone who’s gone, and whether that relationship is strained or not, you take the people in your life for granted when they’re around. Then when they’re gone, you wish you had a second chance to approach those relationships. We really tried to thread the needle on this one emotionally,” Barnow said. “Last year we lost George Segal for real and it touched us all personally and we wanted last year’s premiere to be a tribute to him, first, and also to the character. It was rawer and it was real. Losing not the person but losing the character in a season premiere just needed a touch more delicate, in a way. In the sense that we wanted to honor that character, but the actor wasn’t dead. So we wanted to build on something that I think was an important movie for a lot of people growing up in the 80s. It was an opportunity to not make it so sad. Building the land in the backyard gave this opportunity to be funny and silly but all to have this kind of sweet memory at the end. »
Following his character’s death on the show, Garlin took to Instagram to reveal he was battling bipolar disorder. He never mentioned the show, but the timing of the post left many wondering if it was in response to his on-set issues.
The Goldbergs move on
While the series has struggled in recent years with Segal’s death and Garlin’s exit, the showrunners shared some positive news about The Goldbergs’ future:
“Everyone is incredibly excited about doing this thing. We’ve gotten to the point where everyone feels lucky. No show lasts 10 years. I think everyone appreciates what we have and I think his legacy at this point is to do 200 episodes in total. It’s such a big part of our lives. I really like what we do. I think actors love what they do. I know the team is incredibly enthusiastic about it. Like any family, any business that has been around for 10 years, there are ups and downs. It’s a very long season. But I have to say my conversations with Wendi and the rest of the cast have been overwhelmingly positive and grateful for everything we have,” Barnow said.
The Goldbergs feature Giambrone, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, Sam Lerner, Oswalt and Hirsch. It airs Wednesdays on ABC.