Hollywood has a habit of embellishing when it comes to locations, with characters often living well beyond their means onscreen. Take “Friends’” Monica Gellar (Courteney Cox) and Rachel Greene (Jennifer Aniston), two twenty-somethings who somehow manage to afford a massive Greenwich Village apartment. And Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), who calls a charming Upper East Side walk-up with a massive closet home on “Sex and the City,” despite seemingly eeking out only one column a week. But the opposite is true when it comes to “The Goldbergs.”
The hit ABC series, which debuted in 2013, is based upon the childhood of creator Adam F. Goldberg, who grew up amongst a spirited family in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania in the 1980s. Most storylines are taken directly from Adam’s youth, culled from countless hours of home video footage he taped of his parents and two siblings on his ever-present RCA camcorder over the years. Though Adam did change the gender of the oldest Goldberg child for the show – Eric became Erica (played by Hayley Orrantia), as he thought adding a girl to the mix would enhance the family dynamic – otherwise, “The Goldbergs” sticks very close to real life.
Yes, Adam’s mother, Beverly (portrayed by Wendi McLendon-Covey), is indeed a “smother” – she readily admits to sleeping in Adam’s dorm room during his first semester of college. (“Hand to God true,” she tweeted in 2016.) The car belonging to Goldberg patriarch Murray (played by Jeff Garlin) was actually flipped off a cliff while Eric was on a secret trip to the Poconos. And Adam’s first love was a girl named Dana Caldwell (played by Natalie Alyn Lind). (They’re still friends today!)
But when it comes to the Goldbergs’ residence, the show greatly deviates from reality.