THE GOLDBERGS has established itself as one of the best shows on television, and tonight’s episode sounds like another good one: Adam tries to navigate whether guys and girls can be just friends, we get another glimpse at Big Tasty from Barry, and Erica tries to throw off Beverly’s smothering instincts.I spoke with THE GOLDBERGS star Wendi McLendon-Covey (Beverly) about what’s to come on the comedy, getting to meet the real Beverly Goldberg, and more…
What can you tease about tonight’s episode?
Wendi McLendon-Covey: First off, Adam — sweet, little, delicious, Adam — has a girl friend, a nice tomboy girl, and Barry, his older brother, is kind of antagonizing him. And he’s just not into it, and he keeps trying to be into it, and she shuts it down pretty quick. So there’s that little heartbreak there.
And then we find that Bev has been dipping into Erica’s diary. And Bev is so savvy that she knows where the decoy diary is hidden, and she knows where the real diary is hidden. And Erica has been making up stories to put in the diary, and Bev is absolutely distraught by what she reads.
Does the latest conflict change anything between Bev and Erica?
WMC: She keeps trucking’ on. The thing about Bev is she apologizes quickly, but then keeps doing what she does. So it sort of keeps the status quo. I think the kids are resigned to the fact that mom is annoying, and she’s always going to one-up herself with the annoying behavior. [Laughs] But they know in the end they are loved. So they take it.
The writers have had you do so many crazy things so far, but has there been anything that’s been particularly hard to pull off?
WMC: The dancing [in the last episode] was crazy, but I’ve seen moms do that. I remember the chaperones at our junior high dance, where [our thought was], “Hey, this is for us, not for you.” [Laughs] Someone’s mom always shows up having too many margaritas. Bev just makes a fool of herself because she does.
The one thing I thought I was not going to be able to pull off very well was the episode where Bev has to steal back all of Adam’s toys from the lawn. I don’t know why I had such a mental block against that. There were just so many toys, and it just seemed so bizarre that I would be ripping off toys from this sweet little boy on the grass. [Laughs] And I ended up with so many bruises from falling on that battleship. But I know what I’ve seen from the videotapes of this family, and I know that Bev would have done that. The real Beverly would have done that.
Completely fair. And you’ve also had the chance to meet the real Bev — what was that like?
WMC: I was quaking when I saw her. Because we were in the middle of filming a scene, and then I turned to my right and there she was. And I was like, [makes a startled noise]. I started stuttering my lines, and I was so intimidated to meet her, because she’s an intense lady.
But she was very sweet to me, actually. And very complimentary. And she loves the show, and she has no problem with how I’m portraying her. She actually wrote Adam [F. Goldberg], her son, the creator of the show, an email at the beginning saying, “You can portray me however you want. You can make me look like a monster, if that’s what you need to do, as long as you also show that you guys were little idiots. Because you were. And that’s what’s fair.” [Laughs]
I mean, there’s video proof to back up both sides.
WMC: There’s video proof of all of this! But she’s an intense woman.
Did you ask her for information about her life — or have you spoken with Adam — to get some hints about where Bev could be going?
WMC: I didn’t ask her, because I didn’t think she would exactly know. Because although we are using a lot of stories from the Goldberg family, we’re also drawing a lot of stories on a lot of embarrassing teenage stories from our writers. Everybody that had a smother, the stories are all kind of the same.
My mom was overprotective, and my mom did listen to me through the vents in the wall, which Beverly does in this next episode. My mom did read my diary. My mom did spy on me. These are kind of universal embarrassing stories that are worth telling and people can relate to, I think.
Fair! Is there a particular episode coming up that you’re really excited about?
WMC: I’m excited for people to see [tonight’s] episode, because it ends with a super fly video from Barry, AKA Big Tasty. [Laughs] It’s going to be awesome.
If you’re a fan of THE GOONIES, THE GOLDBERGS’ “Never Say Die” episode is going to be quite delicious as well.
But the episode where Beverly tries to help Erica study for the SATs is going to be quite juicy. She fires Erica’s tutor, and is like, “No, no, no, I’m going to help you.”
How is Bev as a tutor?
WMC: Well, she’s going to actually sabotage Erica so she doesn’t get to the school of her choice and doesn’t move away.
That sounds about right.
You’ve also really had the chance to interact with fans via live-tweeting. How has that experience been for you?
WMC: It’s been interesting. I always thought, ABC is asking us to live-tweet during the episode, what’s the wisdom in doing that? Shouldn’t they be watching the episodes? But, it’s kind of fun for me to get that immediate feedback on what people like and don’t like, because otherwise you have to wait until you read a review or until someone emails you. But I like hearing right away what people like and what people are digging about the show. And now that we’re airing in other countries, I get such a kick out of hearing from Brazilian fans, British fans, and stuff. I just love it so much.
Want more THE GOLDBERGS? Make sure to check out the show’s official site.
THE GOLDBERGS airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on ABC.