Well, The Goldbergs is giving fans what they want! Or, well, at least it’s giving them the lesser of two evils?
The long-running semi-autobiographical sitcom is coming up on its 10th season, and it marks a HUGE sea change in the family.
As fans are all too aware, star Jeff Garlin faced some apparently serious complaints about his on-set behavior. Whatever these alleged transgressions were, the TV dad didn’t wait around for Sony Pictures Television‘s internal investigation to conclude — he quit the show midway through the season, apparently mid-scene!
After their patriarch walked, the show’s creators had to get even more creative, using body doubles and facial replacement to finish the episode he was already filming and moments he absolutely had to be in. Fans complained, including one who flat-out wrote:
“They should either cancel The Goldbergs or kill off Jeff Garlin’s character because the workarounds they’ve been using this season ain’t working”
Garlin’s TV wife Wendi McLendon-Covey later gave some insight into just how difficult the actor had left things for them, replying:
“Thanks for the great suggestion Noel! This season threw us for a loop because a.) it’s hard to incorporate someone who doesn’t want to be there and wants to leave mid-scene, and b.) we weren’t about to re-write the 2nd half of the season. We’re doing our best.”
Thanks for the great suggestion Noel! This season threw us for a loop because a.) it's hard to incorporate someone who doesn't want to be there and wants to leave mid-scene, and b.) we werent about to re-write the 2nd half of the season. We're doing our best.
— Wendi McLendon-Covey (@wendimclendonco) March 15, 2022
But with the benefit of a hiatus, the showrunners have indeed decided to employ the time-honored TV trope of throwing that man under a bus. They’re giving Garlin the old Valerie Harper. That is to say, they’re killing off Murray Goldberg offscreen in between seasons. Hey, what else could they do? The man quit! Co-showrunner Alex Barnow told Entertainment Weekly of the decision on Tuesday:
“Well, [Garlin is] not going to be on the season, obviously. [Murray] will have passed, and we are sort of starting from a place of multiple months removed from his death. The family has already grieved, unlike Pops [George Segal] and the premiere of season 9 where they’re dealing with it sort of very freshly.”
Luckily this will be rich territory for storytelling when the series returns on September 21 as the family mourns, evolves, and moves on. Barnow added:
“This is going to be a family that has not reconciled the fact that their father’s gone but has sort of moved on and has dealt with a lot of that. So we’re starting with optimism about a baby coming and looking forward to the future. It’s an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving.”
Other co-showrunner Chris Bishop added:
“It honestly feels like a huge reboot for us. So we have tons of momentum rolling into this new season.”
Asked whether Garlin knows about his character’s fate, Bishop answered:
“I’ve had a conversation with Jeff and he’s aware that he’s not being replaced. The truth is, I don’t know if he knows what his fate is, but I’m assuming he knows, would be the answer to that question. We haven’t had a subsequent conversation since the beginning of writing that he would have any specific clarity on that.”
Neither explained how Murray would die. The “Bus Crash” is just the name of the trope, it’s unclear what his fate will be, suffice it to say it will be quite final as Garlin will never return to the series.
What do YOU think of the turn? Will The Goldbergs survive without Murray??
[Image via ABC/YouTube]