TV Academy… please don’t let Beverly Goldberg leave this world without an Emmy nomination.
If one asked Wendi McLendon-Covey how she created the lovable and zany mom from “The Goldbergs,” I’d imagine she’d use one of the overbearing matriarch’s famous lines delivered to a random stranger regarding the origins of her three children: “I made these people. Me. I made them with my body.”
More from Variety
With an undeniable “schmoop” factor and countless “huggies,” McLendon-Covey made the unapologetic “smotherer” with her body, heart and soul. Her phenomenal work in the ABC comedy series will surely be one of the finest in sitcom history, and we’re all the better for it.
On Wednesday night, ABC aired the sitcom’s final episode after 10 seasons, where viewers bid farewell to the 1980s Philadelphia family that centers on its youngest child Adam F. Goldberg (played by Sean Giambrone and narrated as the older version by Patton Oswalt). Along for the ride is his hilarious family, made up of short-tempered brother Barry (Troy Gentile), rebellious sister Erica (Haley Orrantia) and fiercely loving matriarch Beverly (McLendon-Covey). Previous seasons they have included the laid-back grandfather Albert (better known as “Pops” and played by the late George Segal, who passed during Season 8) and the sour father Murray (Jeff Garlin, who was fired from the show following an HR investigation by the network in 2022).
Nonetheless, Beverly Goldberg endured the pitfalls, showing the complexities of trying to hold onto your children’s youth for as long as humanely possible. With the fearless, no-bullshit attitude of Cookie Lyon from “Empire” blended with the wholesome wisdom of June Cleaver from “Leave It to Beaver,” Beverly guided her children through school, relationships, breakups and life’s most painful curveballs like the death of a parent and grandparent.
“Bevy” may be an unashamed “smotherer” — but nowadays, with an ongoing sense of dread due to a toxic political climate, growing income equality and mass shootings daily, who couldn’t use a warm hug from television’s most underappreciated mom of the modern era? Unfortunately, “The Goldberg’s” gem-filled comedic moments have been shut out entirely by the TV Academy, notably McLendon-Covey, who has always been worthy of recognition for lead comedy actress. She picked up her first career nom in 2022 as a producer for the television movie “Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon.”
The list of underrated TV moms is vast and long — America Ferrera’s Amy Sosa from “Superstore” and Mutsuko Erskine from “Pen15” are among those that aren’t mentioned enough. What’s more, McLendon-Covey’s choices would often hearken back to the familiar matriarchs from classic TV sitcoms — when Bev would have an excellent reason to reprimand one of her kids, I would think back to Phylicia Rashad’s Clair Huxtable yelling at Vanessa in “The Cosby Show” when she sneaks off to a Maryland concert.
And then there were the countless tender moments, with McLendon-Covey channeling the spirit of Florence Henderson’s Carol Brady, who would take on the role of the keeper of the house, but not without respect and appreciation.
Now that it’s over, was “The Goldbergs” groundbreaking TV? No.
But did Wendi McLendon-Covey shepherd one of the finest wives and mothers to grace the TV screen since Estelle Getty’s Sophia Petrillo in “The Golden Girls?” I mean, how can you not love a mom who famously said, “I’ll put cheese on anything.”
Best of Variety