I have high hopes for this show, mainly for one reason and one reason only- Don Cheadle.
The original "Wonder Years" was an incredible show for a handful of reasons, which I will list out. I was too young to understand what was going on the first few seasons of the show, but my parents loved watching it so I had to watch it. I developed a make believe friendship with Kevin, based on empathy for the poor guy, a major crush on Winnie, a distaste for Paul, and a intense fear of Jack.
Why was "The Wonder Years" so great?
1- Daniel Stern's narration.
The above is a pretty great clip of Daniel Stern watching the show without his soft, soothing voice telling us, the viewer, what was going through young Kevin Arnold's head. You could argue Stern made the show what it was. And I wouldn't disagree. All-time casting call here by producers.
2- Kevin Arnold
Might have been a little bit of a pussy but I don't think there was a single person alive in the 80s and 90s that didn't love Kevin Arnold and wouldn't go to war for him. He was the quintessential "do gooder". Even when he was caught up being in the wrong place in the wrong time, he always tried to do the right thing. Even if when it meant catching hell from his tyrant of a father. (More on this later)
3- Winnie Cooper
If you were a young boy growing up in the 90s and you didn't have a crush on Winnie Cooper chances are you were a gayball (not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Did she fuck with Kevin's head and break his heart too many times to keep track? Of course she did but you can't hold that against her, that's what all great women do. Billy Joel wrote a whole song about it
4- Jack Arnold
This guy scared the living shit out of me when I was young and still does to this day. When Jack's Dodge Polara station wagon pulled into the drive way you knew shit was about to go down. Like storm clouds moving in on what was a beautiful summers day prior, it was always time for the Arnold family to batton down the hatches. There was no telling what kind of bullshit Jack had to put up with work that day. All you knew is he was about to take it out on his family.
Who could really blame him though?
Guy busted his ass to support his jerkoff son Wayne, and his hippie whore of a daughter Karen. Sure his wife was great but she was always undercooking dinner and could never keep the fridge stocked with enough Pepsi. His hard-earned tax dollars were going towards fighting Viet Kong in a war nobody understood, and on top of ALL THAT, he was a god damned Jets fan and doomed his sons into the same curse.
Jack Arnold's wrath was not one you wanted to feel. That was for damn sure.
Kevin was intimidated by the guy, viewers were intimidated by the guy, and I'm not sure if we ever heard him actually tell either of his sons "I love you" ever on the show. Were 1960s dads all like this?
So yah, ABC has their work cut out for them in casting this show to live up to the where the original set the bar.
Rolling with Don Cheadle as the narrator is a FANTASTIC start. I'll give them that.
The new show will take place in Montgomery, Ala., and will be told through the POV of Dean, a 12-year-old boy. The show will feature Don Cheadle as the narrator (he'll pay the adult Dean), as well as Elisha "EJ" Williams as young Dean Williams; Dulé Hill as his father, Bill Williams; Saycon Sengbloh as his mother, Lillian Williams; and Laura Kariuki as his sister, Kim Williams. Julian Lerner will play Brad Hitman, Amari O'Neil will play Cory Long, and Milan Ray will play Keisa Clemmons.
Dulé Hill was in a few gems like "West Wing", "Psych", and everybody's favorite "She's All That". His father character plays a music professor by day and funk musician by night on the show. Which should be awesome.
There is no date set yet for when the show will premiere, but fingers crossed they don't ruin it like they do with almost all reboots.