New ‘Wonder Years’ Depicts ’60s Turbulence, as Told by Don Cheadle: TV Review

  • Variety
New ‘Wonder Years’ Depicts ’60s Turbulence, as Told by Don Cheadle: TV Review
The first iteration of ABC’s “The Wonder Years,” which kicked off in 1988, featured a young Fred Savage as a kid growing up about twenty years in the past.

If the revival of the format, now executive-produced by Savage along with Lee Daniels, Saladin Patterson, and Marc Velez, kept that gap, we’d be following a story that took place at the turn of the century, roughly the same territory occupied by Hulu’s “Pen15.” Instead, though, the show keeps its gaze fixed on 1968, meaning that the adult protagonist telling us the story of his childhood is doing so at a distance of more than fifty years.

The remove of distance dulls some sentimentality: This “Wonder Years” seems less interested in nostalgia than in exploring what growing up against history does to one kid. Credit the pilot of “The Wonder Years” 2.0 with this: With brainpower that’s rare for a contemporary network sitcom,
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