When The Goldbergs debuted in the fall of 2013, ABC knew they had something special, but they didn’t realize the show would quickly become one of the best sitcoms in their lineup. Created and co-written by Adam F. Goldberg, The Goldbergs is loosely based on his actual family. Most of their interactions, wardrobe and stories are inspired by his real-life friends, family members and experiences growing up in the 1980s – many of which he documented with a VHS camcorder.
While Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is a sister representation of his actual middle brother Eric, most of the other characters in the show are based on real people who influenced Adam’s life in one way or the other. Besides the Kremps – Chad Kremp (Jacob Hopkins) remains Goldberg’s best friend – almost every character from his old school, William Penn Charter School, has a real-life counterpart. From Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen), to theater teacher Miss Cinoman (Ana Gasteyer), to guidance counselor Mr. Glascott (Tim Meadows) to Principal Ball (Stephen Tobolowsky), each of these characters existed outside of the show.
The former faculty of Penn Charter will be the inspiration for a yet-untitled spin-off series Adam F. Goldberg (not be confused with the other Adam Goldberg) is currently developing with fellow Goldbergs writer/producer Marc Firek. For now, Coach Mellor and Adam’s mom, Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey), are the only characters from The Goldbergs written into spin-off show – though more cameos from the parent show would most likely occur. Goldberg had this to say about the potential new series during the Television Critics Association’s winter meetings last week:
[It’s] about all the teachers I had. Right now, Beverly is scripted to be in the show, so there is a lot of crossover with The Goldbergs. Every teacher on the show is a real teacher – the theater teacher, Mellor, the character Tim Meadows plays…[The voice-over] – it’s a teacher’s voice, looking back. For me, having crazy parents, my teachers were like the sane people who raised me. And they like being there. And, yeah, they don’t make a ton of money. They’re heroes.
Everyone who grew up during the eighties (and part of the nineties) had a gym coach who thought dodge ball and rope climbing were the two most important activities for every kid in junior high. Or, they had a liberal arts teacher who was so intense every project became an off-Broadway event. With his life experiences and those who influenced it as his main source of inspiration, Goldberg has created an ensemble of characters who are as entertaining as they are relatable – a difficult, but excellent, combination.
Even though viewers don’t know any of these characters personally, they can still relate to them on a personal level. If Goldberg can duplicate that same feeling of nostalgia that he did with The Goldbergs, but with teachers, then the Penn Charter spinoff should be something to look forward to in the near television sitcom future.
The Goldbergs airs on ABC, Wednesdays at 8/7c.
Source: Adam G. Goldberg [via The Inquirer Daily News]