'The Goldbergs' Takes on Milli Vanilli

ABC's The Goldbergs is taking a page out of Milli Vanilli's playbook.

During Wednesday's episode, the 1980-something comedy based on the life of showrunner Adam F. Goldberg will see young Adam (Sean Giambrone) struggling with puberty when he lands a key role in the school musical.

Enter TV's best smother mother, Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) — who, inspired by Milli Vanilli's ouster, encourages her son to do the same for his big solo.  

"Originally, when I read the script, I thought Milli Vanilli was something made up like [Barry's rapper alter ego] Big Tasty," Giambrone tells THR. "That's really crazy how they became famous lip syncing everything."

For his part, Giambrone also had to take on A Chorus Line during his high school drama class' musical unit last year and prepared for the episode by repeatedly listening to the tracks before he had to lip sync for the ABC series.

The story is the latest mix of pop culture and sentimental stories from Goldberg's childhood that helps The Goldbergs create warm — and relatable — family moments.  

"The puberty thing is similar, but there are [other] specific instances, too. Like at Halloween, Adam wasn't ready to be over trick or treating, but all of his friends were. I felt the same way," Giambrone says. "Also, I really struggle with getting rid of my toys and not playing with them so much anymore, and there were several episodes that touched on this."

As for playing out puberty on screen, that doesn't phase the 16-year-old actor. "I think it's a great message to kids that we all feel awkward and have to go through it. Everybody's apprehensive about it, and it just says it's OK," he says. 

Check out an exclusive clip — with a fun cameo from makeup department head Kim Greene — from The Goldbergs above. The Goldbergs airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.