The Wonder Years : Season 4

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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 31, 1988
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
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  1. First Review
  2. Second Review
  3. Third Review
  4. Fourth Review

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: "The Wonder Years" was a hit comedy series starring Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold the main character, a boy facing rites of passage on his way to adulthood. Kevin lives with his brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), his sister Karen (Olivia d'Abo), his father Jack (Dan Lauria), and his mother Norma"The Wonder Years" was a hit comedy series starring Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold the main character, a boy facing rites of passage on his way to adulthood. Kevin lives with his brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), his sister Karen (Olivia d'Abo), his father Jack (Dan Lauria), and his mother Norma (Alley Mills). Kevin grows up with his on-and-off girlfriend, Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar), and his best friend, Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano).The show had a successful 6 year run.Theme Song:
    "With a Little Help From My Friends" by John Lennon & Paul McCartney -- performed by Joe CockerABC Broadcasty History:
    January 1988 - April 1988 --- Tuesdays 8:30 October 1988 - February 1989 --- Wednesdays 9:00 February 1989 - August 1990 --- Tuesdays 8:30 August 1990 - August 1991 --- Wednesdays 8:00 August 1991 - February 1992 --- Wednesdays 8:30 March 1992 - September 1993 --- Wednesdays 8:00
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  • Genre(s): Comedy, Drama

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  1. Mar 4, 2017
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Critics of "The Wonder Years" routinely point out that the show goes downhill in the later seasons (starting in 5 and especially in six). I can agree with this statement. Other critics point out that the early seasons of the show are completely over-dramatic for a show about a kid in seventh grade. Though I still think the early seasons of the show are worth watching, I see their point as well. This fourth season, however, is where everything comes together to produce the single strongest season in the show.

    Unlike the previous season, which was still good but littered with stinkers here and there, season four only has two episodes that I didn't like ("Whose Aunt Rose?" & "Buster"). Other than that, every single episode strikes an emotional or humorous chord somewhere. Some of the highlights of the season include:

    -The episodes involving Madeline (Julie Condra) and her complex effect on Kevin (Fred Savage) as his relationship with Winnie (Danica McKellar) might be in jeopardy.
    -The episode where Kevin takes a job as a caddie and not only learns about the value of money, but also about the responsibilities (even the unpleasant ones) of his father Jack (Dan Lauria).
    -A plot angle in which Jack is promoted and must go on the road, breaking down the family bonds and especially those with wife Norma (Alley Mills).
    -Any appearance from Coach Cutlip (Robert Picardo), from his hilarious Christmas special episode to his final dramatic speech ("free at last...free at last").
    -"Courage", about Kevin's experiences at the dentist, may be the single funniest episode in the entire show, complete with Wayne (Jason Hervey) describing the "dental experience" to Kevin.
    -"The Accident": If you don't have tears in your eyes at the end of this one, you probably are not a human being.

    A special paragraph, however, needs to be devoted to the final two episodes of this season: "The House That Jack Built", where the Arnold's find out that Karen (Olivia D'Abo) is living with a boyfriend (played by David Schwimmer!), and "Graduation", which marks the end of Kevin's junior high career and a big life change for best friend Paul Pffiefer (Josh Saviano). Those two episodes are maybe the best two single episodes of the entire show (and back-to-back at that!). The themes running through "House" pretty much define the generation gap not only in the 1960s but also today, while I wonder if "Graduation" wasn't originally conceived as a series finale but then the show kept going due to its popularity.

    Overall, even though I'm sure that the next season will produce its share of quality episodes, I know from previous viewings that it won't exceed the spectacular slate here in Season Four. Simply put, if I had to recommend one season of "The Wonder Years" to a friend, it would be this one, as it truly captures the school, family, values, morals, and just everyday life of its time (and also is surprisingly relate-able to today as well!). When I look back on this show, this is the season I remember the most fondly.
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