6 February 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Imagine becoming an archaeologist in, say, 2065. Your first big assignment? Dig up the now-collapsed Museum of the 1980s and catalog all its holdings: the Clash, “The Empire Strikes Back,” He-Man, Donkey Kong and a recording by Kim Carnes.

This is the feeling I often get when I watch ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” which plays on the same turf as “The Wonder Years,” “Happy Days” and “That ’70s Show,” but does it in the era in which I grew up. The sitcom hurls an awful lot of 1980s references at its viewers each week, but never in a way that appears to adhere to the rules of time, a practice I find frustrating and fascinating in equal measure.

Why does Adam Goldberg, the clever pre-teen in the show played by Sean Giambrone (and the stand-in for the series’ creator, Adam F. Goldberg), have the option in one episode of going to »

- Brian Steinberg

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