Tuesday | 9:00 pm | NBC
Go On features Matthew Perry in another bid for a successful sitcom. Like most of the Friends, Perry’s had trouble finding something that sticks in the last couple years, and I don’t think this is the one either. It’s not that’s it terrible, it’s just not that enjoyable either. Perry stars as Ryan King, a radio DJ that’s in mandated therapy to get over the death of his wife before he returns to the airwaves. The therapy group is a bunch of oddballs, led by the inept, but feeling, Lauren (Laura Benati).
NBC already premiered a sneak preview of the pilot while they had captive eyeballs during the Olympics, as well as a repeat Monday night before it settled into its timeslot with a second episode last night. It appears that the heavy marketing push was moderately successful, but the numbers took a pretty much expected dip from the Olympic high already.
I do love Perry, obviously from Friends, but I also endured Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and he was a favorite guest star on both The West Wing and The Good Wife. However, I’m not really sold on the rest of the cast yet. I’d love to see them bond into an endearing family, a la Community, but it’s not there right now. A part of the problem might be the size of the therapy group…it’s hard to get the handle on the neuroeses of 10+ people in 22 minutes. John Cho as Ryan’s boss is a definite highlight though and I wish him better luck with pilot selection (RIP, my beloved Kitchen Confidential and, yes, Flash Forward.)
The only part of the pilot that really amused me was the part repeated to death in promos: “March Sadness.” But even that hits on the big problem I have with the concept of the show. Comedy about grief may have the potential to be poignant and/or hilarious, I guess, but it’s a difficult balance to hit week after week. The second episode was case in point. I chuckled a couple of times, but each of the three storylines was basically to depressing for me to want to even label it a comedy. George (Bill Cobbs) is blind, in a home, and has his priceless Wilt Chamberlain basketball stolen, because he’s blind. Creepy Sonia (Sarah Baker) acquires like eighty cats because she fears human interaction, or something. And Ryan follows his assistant around everywhere, because he’s lonely, because his wife is dead. Sad. TOO SAD.
Long Term Prediction:
If the show can move away from the original premise and cohere into something more, I’ll keep watching. I give it the minimum five weeks to show some progress.