On this day in 1949. The Goldbergs first appeared on television. It was the first situation comedy to be on television. It was the brainchild of Gertrude Berg. It started as a radio show in 1928. Berg wrote, directed, and starred in it from the start. It is a show about a Jewish family where Berg plays Molly Goldberg, a stereotypical Jewish mother.
I’d never heard of it before yesterday, so I found a couple of episodes to watch. It’s a bit hard to call it a comedy since it doesn’t have much in the way of laughs. It is pleasant enough. But weird. You can definitely see how I Love Lucy would have impressed people. Just the same, The Goldbergs actually had a longer run.
I don’t know quite what to say about The Goldbergs. I’m curious what other people think of it. But I can’t quite recommend watching this episode, “The New Landlord,” from the first season. I can see how it is supposed to be funny. And it wouldn’t be hard to rewrite it to make it work. It is, after all, a standard kind of comedic set up where Molly finds herself in a bad situation and just makes things worse and worse. It’s like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but before the mechanics of the process had been worked out.
Still, The Goldbergs is very sweet. No one is evil. I suspect it is very much what most people wanted to watch coming out of the World War II.