‘The Wonder Years’ reboot won’t shy away from difficult topics, says star

WONDER YEARS – DULÉ HILL, SAYCON SENGBLOH, LAURA KARIUKI, ELISHA WILLIAMS
Photo credit (ABC/Erika Doss)
By , 98.7 KLUV

It's been 28 years since we last saw Kevin Arnold navigate his way through life in 1968 in "The Wonder Years," and now, the show is making its comeback.

Tonight sees the premiere of a reboot of the hit show, though instead of Kevin Arnold, the series follows 12-year old Dean Williams. Played by Elisha Williams, the shows tells the story of a boy who also navigates through life in the late 1960s while living in racially-charged Montgomery, Alabama.

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In a trailer for the show, an adult narrator (voiced by Golden Globe winner Don Cheadle) brings the audience along to see how Dean handles "the little things that you remember all your life: your first hit, your first kiss, the first time your dad lets you know that he sees you."

The trials and tribulations of becoming a teenager will be central to the plot, but the show is not planning on staying away from more difficult topics. Big historical events, like the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be addressed, reports Newsweek.

In August, Williams said that "being able to look back at that time and learn about it and then reenact it—I'm not gonna lie I cried."

The young actor continued, telling the Television Critics Association during a panel that "Dean's perspective and me learning were two different situations. For me, it was hard to process even though I've already learned about the era but when you're deep into a situation you think of things you'd never have thought of before like the death of Dr. King."

Saycon Sengbloh and Dulé Hill play the protagonist's parents in the reboot of "The Wonder Years"
Saycon Sengbloh and Dulé Hill play the protagonist's parents in the reboot of "The Wonder Years" Photo credit (ABC/Erika Doss)

Dulé Hill (The West Wing, Psych) plays the effortlessly cool patriarch of the family, while Saycon Sengbloh (Respect) and Laura Kariuki (Black Lightning) appear as Dean's smart and encouraging mom and popular older sister. Amari O'Neil and Julian Lerner, who play Dean's best friends, Milan Ray, who plays Dean's crush, and Allen Maldonado (Sneakerheads, The Last O.G.), who appears as his coach, round out the cast.

JULIAN LERNER, ELISHA WILLIAMS, AMARI O’NEIL
Dean decides to pursue his calling as “The Great Uniter” and attempts to organize the first integrated baseball game between his team and his friend Brad’s team on “The Wonder Years.” Photo credit (ABC/Erika Doss)

Fred Savage, who starred in the original version of "The Wonder Years," has returned for the reboot, this time as director and executive producer.

The show premieres Wednesday on ABC, and will also be available for streaming on Hulu.

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