Set in 1968, both versions of The Wonder Years offer commentaries of the times from vastly different experiences, which is exactly the point.
In an increasingly growing arena of reboots, ABC’s new iteration of The Wonder Years stands out among the crowd; here’s how it compares to the original show. From executive producers Lee Daniels (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) and original series star Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) comes the re-envisioning of the popular family dramedy for a new, informed generation. The series centers around Dean Williams (Elisha Williams), the youngest of three children in a Black family, who navigates adolescence, race, and politics in a Montgomery, Alabama neighborhood of the late 1960s.
Whereas the original series had a main and supporting cast that was overwhelmingly white, the Wonder Years reboot offers a diverse cast and doesn’t shy away from the racial conflicts of the era. In fact, both versions of the series start out in the exact same year, 1968, and it’s an interesting comparison to make that the pilot of the original acknowledges the murder of Robert Kennedy while the latest take makes a statement about the significant impact of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. While the nuclear family structure presented in each is similar – father, mother, two sons, and a sister – the similarities pretty much end there.