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Plugged In Pick, TV: The Wonder Years

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While the entertainment world was buzzing over Netflix’s Squid Game, a bevy of other rookie shows landed on the small screen as well. Sure, some of these “new” shows felt pretty familiar: Reboots and sequels are all the rage. But one such show stood out from the pack.

In some ways, The Wonder Years feels a lot like its much-loved, 1988-93 original. It’s set in the same general time frame, deals with some of the same issues (family, friendship and first crushes) and sports much (though not all) of the same innocence.

But it’s also starkly different. This time, the central character (12-year-old Dean Williams) is Black, living in Montgomery, Alabama. And given the story’s set during the tumultuous Civil Rights era, Dean is dealing with issues that barely touched the original show’s Arnold family. And that makes this version of The Wonder Years feel, oddly, like Grandma’s pot roast seasoned with salsa: both comforting and new.

The show’s not pristine. But generally it sticks to its TV-PG rating and is squarely aimed at families. And that’s nice to see. Read our review to find out more.

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.