Created by Adam F. Goldberg, The Goldbergs is an ABC comedy series. Set in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania in the 1980s, the series is based on the family and childhood experiences of its creator. In typical 1980s sitcom fashion, each episode of The Goldbergs ends on a high note after the characters have been through a lot. Although a younger version of Adam is the main character and an older version of Adam serves as the narrator, Beverly Goldberg, the family’s matriarch, is central to the narrative. If you’ve seen The Goldbergs and enjoyed it, here’s a list of recommendations that might suit your tastes. You can watch most of these shows similar to The Goldbergs on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. Growing Up Fisher (2014)
The Goldbergs and Growing Up Fisher premiered about a year apart. One went on to become one of the top-grossing sitcoms of the 21st century, while the other was canceled after one season. Century, while the other was canceled after one season. Both series are comedies, with Growing up Fisher being more of a comedy-drama than a proper comedy series like The Goldbergs, it tells the stories of the series creator’s youth and family. In the case of Growing Up Fisher, that’s DJ Nash. The series has a great cast led by JK Simmons who plays the protagonist’s blind father. Like The Goldbergs, Growing Up Fisher is a love letter to filmmaking and a tribute to wide-eyed young people who strive for big dreams.
7. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Like The Goldbergs and every other show on this list, Gilmore Girls is about family. Also, the humor of this CW series is pretty much the same as that of The Goldbergs. The story revolves around two main characters, single mother Lorelai and her daughter Rory. Because Lorelai became pregnant when she was only 16, the relationship between her and Rory is more like that of a best friend than that of a mother-daughter. While Lorelai is proud of the fact that she was able to raise her daughter alone, the task becomes increasingly difficult because Rory is a very bright and gifted teenager and an ordinary education would do her an injustice. Desperate to provide opportunities for her daughter, Lorelai turns to her estranged parents.
6. Full House (1987-1995)
‘Full House’ is a typical 1980’s family sitcom that ‘The Goldbergs’ tries to emulate. The plot follows Danny Tanner who, after the death of his wife Pam, persuades his brother-in-law Jesse and his best friend Joey to help him raise his three daughters. As the series progresses, the makeshift family grows, but the bond between its members remains as strong as ever. Full House has all the endearing, heartwarming qualities of an ’80s comedy series. Like The Goldbergs, she’s steeped in optimism and contemporary pop culture.
5. The Simpsons (1989-)
No list of family comedy shows is complete without The Simpsons. This series is as timeless as is seldom found on modern television. Maybe that’s because it premiered in the 1980s and has lost none of its relevance to this day. The plot revolves around an American suburban family, with each member being a perfect example of an archetype, just like the Goldberg family. Homer and Murray share some traits, as do Bart and Barry. Marge may not be as overbearing as Beverly, but like the other woman, she is the glue that holds the family together.
4. The Fresh Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
Although the main protagonist of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is said to be the fictionalized version of Will Smith, that’s not the whole truth. The development of the character Will Smith was inspired by the youth of Warner Bros. executive Benny Medina and the life of the real Smith. The plot follows Will, a smart young man living with his aunt’s family in the Los Angeles neighborhood of the same name after getting into trouble with gang members in his hometown of West Philadelphia. Like The Goldbergs, Fresh Prince is about family, growing up and pursuing your passion.
3. Fresh Off the Boat (2015-2020)
Inspired by the life of chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang and his 2013 autobiography of the same name, Fresh Off the Boat tells the story of the Huangs, a Taiwanese-American family who move to Orlando, Florida and attempt to open a cowboy-style family restaurant to open. Many of the tropes found in The Goldbergs can also be found in Fresh off the Boats. Although Eddie is the main character and an older Eddie serves as the narrator (voicing the real Eddie Huang), Jessica, Eddie’s mother, is central to the narrative, just like Beverly in The Goldbergs.
2. Everyone Hates Chris (2005-2009)
Like The Goldbergs, Everybody Hates Chris is set in the ’80s and told from the main character’s first-person perspective. The series is based on the teenage years of series co-creator Chris Rock. The action takes place in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York, and revolves around a troubled African American family. Rock serves as the series’ narrator, taking viewers through events inspired by his life. Chris’ family consists of his father Julius, his mother Rochelle and his siblings Drew and Tonya. They fight about ridiculous yet so real things, but they are also very protective of each other. Everybody Hates Chris’ humor is loud and boisterous, yet somehow it works perfectly within the narrative.
1. The Wonder Years (1988-1993)
Arguably no other television series inspires as much bittersweet nostalgia as The Wonder Years, which shares several plot elements with The Goldbergs. It features the older version of the main character as the narrator and celebrates family, growing up and young love. The plot follows Kevin Arnold, his friends, his immediate family and their life in the American suburbs. As the series progresses, Kevin grows up and experiences the trials and tribulations of his teenage years. An integral part of the narrative is the relationship between Kevin and Winnie, his childhood sweetheart and later girlfriend, whose story parallels Kevin’s own path to adulthood.