The Wonder Years - Season Six

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday September 28, 2016

The Wonder Years - Season Six

It's a time for change and summing up in "The Wonder Years: Season Six," the final season of this innovative television series.

For our narrator Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and his childhood sweetheart Winnie (Danica McKellar), the "wonder years" have really passed. They are finishing high school and growing up. The idealism of the late 1960s has become the realities of the 1970s in this iconic show about growing up in the suburbs during Vietnam War era. TV has changed ("The Monkees" has given way to "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"); politics has changed (JFK has become Nixon); and the age of The Beatles is transforming into the age of The Bee Gees.

There are notable changes in this season. The credits are more edgy, with a montage of iconic images from the time period rather than the familiar 8mm home movie footage we saw in previous seasons. And Kevin's best friend Paul (Josh Saviano) fades into the background as our protagonist starts to hang around a different crowd. Kevin's new friend Jeff Billings (Giovanni Ribisi) always seems to be nearby with a quick, sarcastic jibe, but he never has the bonding moments that marked Kevin's relationship with Paul.

In this season Kevin and Winnie have solidified their relationship, and the boy is less prone to a wandering eye. He knows what he wants, and he spends a lot of time at Make-Out Point trying to get Winnie to give it to him. But she is resolved to keep some things in check. The question is, will she keep her resolve until the end of the season?

Even though they are practically adults, Kevin and his friends still have a lot of growing up to do, coping with familial responsibilities, friendship fidelities, new jobs and sexual politics.

Jack (Dan Lauria) starts his own business, while his wife Norma (Alley Mills) enters the workforce herself, advancing women's rights within the Arnold family and earning a pretty good salary for the time. Wayne (Jason Hervey), on the other hand, retains his characteristic lack of sophistication, but he does end up dating an older woman, a divorcee with a baby.

Season Six weaves its way to the final two episodes of the series (originally aired in one hour on ABC) on four DVDs with over two hours a bonus features. There's a 15-minute featurette about the series finale, including current-day comments from the reassembled cast, an extensive interview with writer and executive producer Bob Brush about the series, and the "Wonder Years" mom Alley Mills reads a letter she wrote about her emotional reaction to the end of this show.

"The Wonder Years: Season Six"