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May 04, 2023

'The Goldbergs' series finale pays homage to the past decade, sends characters into the future

After 10 seasons of jokes and Philly references, the ABC sitcom, based on creator Adam F. Goldberg's childhood in Jenkintown, comes to an end

TV The Goldbergs
goldbergs series finale Scott Everett White/ABC

"The Goldbergs" series finale celebrated the sitcom's decade-long run on ABC while hinting at new beginnings for the characters.

Viewers said goodbye to the quirky onscreen Goldberg family last night during an emotional series finale that celebrated the past while looking toward the future.

"The Goldbergs," the long-running sitcom based on creator Adam F. Goldberg's childhood in 1980s Jenkintown, Montgomery County, came to an end last night after 10 seasons on ABC.

Spoilers are ahead for the series finale of "The Goldbergs."

The series finale, titled "Bev to the Future," followed Adam (Sean Giambrone) on a "Back to the Future" style quest, complete with a DeLorean. He attempts to bar his mother Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) from reconnecting with an old flame at her high school reunion, which forces him to face his feelings about his father's death.

In other plot lines, Barry (Troy Gentile) and his girlfriend go to great lengths to prove they're in a serious relationship, and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and her husband prepare to celebrate the first birthday of her daughter. 

In the end, Bev faces a new beginning in her love life, Barry secretly marries his girlfriend, Erica's daughter says her first word and Adam ends the series the way he started it: with a camera in hand. While each member of the Goldberg family seems poised to enter their futures, the episode also pays tribute to the past decade of the show, and the '80s in general, with a few heartwarming video montages.

"The Goldbergs" was the longest-running live-action network comedy series on the air this season, with 229 episodes across its 10 seasons. 

Along with paying homage to the culture of the '80s, the half-hour comedy included countless Philly-area references, including appearances by local celebs like former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., legendary Sixer Charles Barkley and beloved Eagles announcer Merrill ReeseOldest Goldberg brother Barry could quintessentially be seen wearing Flyers gear, and Goldberg said this led to the Flyers organization embracing the sitcom from day one.

"It's free promotion for the Flyers," Goldberg told PhillyVoice in 2019. "The funny thing is that people who don't know hockey see the Flyers shirt as a Barry shirt."

Last year, ABC signed new deals with original cast members McLendon-Covey, Giambrone, Gentile and Orrantia, allowing the network to bring the comedy back for Season 10 and give it a proper ending. The comedy suffered in 2021, when it lost two main cast members. George Segal, who played the kids' grandfather, affectionately dubbed "Pops," died at 87 of complications from bypass surgery. Jeff Garlin, who starred as Murray Goldberg, the father of the Goldberg siblings and Bev's husband, left the show following multiple misconduct allegations and HR investigations.

Cast members did not know at the time of filming the latest episode that it would be the series finale.

"These are things that happen,"  McLendon-Covey told Entertainment Tonight. "We [had] 10 years. You cannot say, 'Oh, it's too soon, you know?' We have 229 shows that you can keep rewatching and you're going to be find new things in them all the time. We thought this was just our season finale, but it wasn't. It went a different way. But everything happens the way it's supposed to."

The cast confirmed to ET that they'd all be open to returning to "The Goldbergs" universe in the future. A previous spinoff, "Schooled," ran for two seasons from 2019 to 2020 and focused on the staff of William Penn Academy, based on the real-life William Penn Charter School, in the '90s.

"The Goldbergs" can be streamed on Hulu.

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