The Wonder Years - Season Four

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday January 14, 2016

The Wonder Years - Season Four

Ah, "The Wonder Years," a show that squarely fits into that category of old-timey television that we cannot believe we used to watch -- the kitchy voiceover narration, the hokey point-of-view camera, the cartoonlike sound effects. Whatever happened to the folks that did that show? They probably moved onto something more respectable, like "Dancing with the Stars."

It may be goofy and sentimental but this show, about the iconic American family remembered through the eyes of a suburban teenager, is also smart. And that comes through in The Complete Fourth Season.

Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) is in 9th Grade, and the issues of beginning his last year of Junior High weigh on him. It's 1970 in Anywhere, U.S.A., the country is changing and so are the constants in this boy's life. His steady girlfriend Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) has moved to another school, and an ultra-hot new girl Madeline Adams (Julie Condra) is distracting him from his long distance commitment.

He faces other coming of age issues as well. Kevin gets his first job while his mom (Alley Mills) starts a new job in his school. His dad (Dan Lauria) gets a hard won promotion, his pain in the ass brother Wayne (Jason Hervey) buys a new car and his rebellious sister Karen (Olivia d'Abo) starts college.

Still the real joy of this show comes in its moments of subtlety. For instance, Kevin's hormonal-hound-dog buddy Walter McCafferty marches into the locker room and tells all the guys to smell his fingers. They carry the smell of a girl with whom he has become intimate -- he touched the back of her neck to brush away a bug.

And the way the camera probes Madeline, the long takes lingering on her mysterious yearning eyes, is really something to behold.

You'll also remember, this season features a special guest appearance from David Schwimmer, "Friends" own Ross Geller for four episodes as Karen's live-in boyfriend.

This four disk collection contains all 23 episodes of Season 4, in-depth interviews and a behind-the-scenes featurette, not to mention an episode-by-episode, photo-filled booklet with fun facts and pop quizzes.

"The Wonder Years: Season Four"