NBC Got it Go(ing) On

I stayed up later than I should checking out NBC’s new comedy, Go On. I meant to just watch the first episode to see what it was like, but I enjoyed it so much I had to stay up and watch all five episodes available on OnDemand.

Actually, there were six episodes available, but the sixth was still in the 30-minute “all the commercials” mode. And since NBC has joined with others that disable the fast forward in OnDemand [spit, a pox on your house], I’ll hold off until they put up the shorter version with only the NBC promos and PSAs. Those versions are 22-minutes (or 23 or 24 tops), which means eight minutes of commercials I don’t have to ignore.

So NBC can kiss my big hairy ass when it comes to commercials, but I think they have a real gem in Go On!

The first episode had me in stitches while at the same time showing some real heart and genuine characters (at least as genuine as most TV comedy characters get). I like that it has a dash of Community‘s odd-ball behavior, but only a dash. For my money Community tries a little too hard, and while it is very creative, it’s too surreal for me to really connect with.

Laura Benanti

Go On stars Friends alumnus Matthew Perry as Ryan King, a sports radio jock who lost his wife and is forced to partake in a group therapy “transitions” class.

The class is led by Laura Benanti (as the similarly named Lauren Bennett), who doesn’t actually have much training, but is pretty good nevertheless. I’m guessing there will be a bit of romantic tension as the series goes on.

It also features Julie White, who some may remember as Grace’s next door neighbor in Grace Under Fire, and John Cho from the Harold & Kumar films.

It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s touching and even has bits of pathos. An very tasty stew that so far I’m liking a lot!

The idea that his wife died because she was texting and ran a stop sign is a brave and interesting choice. They haven’t really gone anywhere with that, yet, but I hope they will.  I would think Ryan would have some anger about it.

[People using cell phones while they drive ranks up there with one of my most hated behaviors. About the only worse normal behavior I can think of is those goat dick-sucking spam turds. (I say “normal behavior” to distinguish from terrorists, rapists (same thing, really), child molesters (again, same thing) and other genuine human horror shows.)]

Matthew Perry is as good as I’ve ever seen him. His style can rub me a little the wrong way at times, but he seems perfectly cast here and entirely comfortable in the role. There isn’t a lot of Chandler Bing to be seen.

I really liked him in The Whole Nine Yards, one of my more favored comedies.

(How can you not love a dark comedy with Bruce Willis, the incredibly beautiful Natasha Henstridge, not to mention Rosanna Arquette and Kevin Pollak (in a completely over-the-top performance), plus Amanda Peet and Michael Clarke Duncan.)

If you’ve never seen it (and you enjoy dark comedies), I recommend you add it to your list. (You can skip the sequel, The Whole Ten Yards. I wish I had.)

But, bottom line, I’m really liking NBC’s Go On!

The other episodes I watched weren’t as side-splitting guffawing out loud (GOL!) as the first one, but I suspect a lot of that was a “first time” effect (and maybe the beers). I completely enjoyed the later episodes, and there were plenty of laughs (and even some moist eyes at the poignant bits, so it covers a wonderful range).

I have no complaints and am looking forward to following this new show! Good job NBC and Matthew Perry!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

21 responses to “NBC Got it Go(ing) On

  • Andrea Kelly

    I am really hoping this one sticks! I loved Studio 60 and was really sad it didn’t last. There’s just something about Matthew Perry that I like, not quite sure what it is.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I’m a big Aaron Sorkin fan, so I loved Studio 60! I know what you mean about Perry… he seems like a nice Friendly guy! 🙂

      • Andrea Kelly

        Haha, he really does!

        And yes, me too, Aaron Sorkin is just fantastic!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Have you been able to see The Newsroom? (I know not everyone gets HBO.)

      • Andrea Kelly

        No, I’m afraid I’m waiting for a roommate before I spend any more money on my cable bill…it’s so tempting though! 🙂 I’ll have to see if I can scrounge it up online somewhere.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I think Netflix sometimes has cable show DVDs for rent. (Why I haven’t gotten around to getting on board with Netflix, I cannot explain… it seems like a no-brainer for cinephiles and TV lovers.)

      • Andrea Kelly

        Ah yes! Unfortunately now that they’ve split the service into two, I no longer get DVDS by mail. I’m a very mood oriented viewer – if I want to watch something, I don’t like ordering it and getting it two days later…by then I want to watch something totally different! Lol so I stuck with the instant streaming.
        A lot of people don’t like the instant streaming as much (it doesn’t have as many of the new Hollywood Blockbusters), however, my queue is 400 items and growing! I think it’s safe to say us cinema/tv folks, there’s always something to watch 🙂

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I can relate to the mood viewing thing. I’ve always bought DVDs, ’cause it gives me those options, plus when talking to friends, I can just play a given scene rather than describing it. I’m trying to cut down… no shelf space. That’s why I really ought to go the NetFlix route. There are a lot of TV shows I’d like to see, but wouldn’t buy even if I had room. (The book library was bad enough; then there was a CD library; now there’s a DVD library, too. I need a LOT of boxes when I move!)

      • Andrea Kelly

        Netflix definitely has helped me cut back on buying things – especially TV shows. Now the only one I have a complete set of is Gilmore Girls, because it’s my favorite of all time 🙂 I still have to buy my favorite movies though, there’s just something about being able to pull them out whenever I want that’s comforting, especially on sick days! Same with music, for the most part I’m okay with going the iTunes route (or even spotify if it’s a song I like, but not enough to own) – though I did recently buy both The Lumineers’ CD and Mumford & Sons latest release because I think it’s fun to have the actual jewel case and liner notes for favorite albums.

        Books are a whole ‘nother ball game, however, and I have absolutely no self control. I shouldn’t allowed in book stores, honestly. It’s a frenzy. MUST BUY ALL BOOKS!!! 🙂

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Heh, it’s (almost) embarrassing how many TV seasons I have on DVD. The entire Star Trek catalog (except for Voyager and the last movie), for one. That’s two shelves… there are seven more shelves of just TV DVDs! I did get into iTunes a while back. Bought an 8 gig (“Nano” I think?) and filled it up immediately with just a third of my CDs. Went and got the 120 gig “Classic”… which is a bit more than half-full now. It amazes me how much music (almost 600 albums) I can carry around in my pocket!

        I’m the same way with bookstores! Cannot walk out without ratcheting up a credit card. (Also very dangerous logging into Amazon!) Both music and video libraries have evolved from older formats to newer electronic ones. I’m ready to do that with books. I’m ready to buy a Kindle or something. They’ve finally got “white paper” ones that look interesting. I’ll be able to carry 1000s of books around in something about the size of a paperback!

  • dianasschwenk

    I haven’t seen this show yet, but I will keep an eye out for it…(what a gross expression LOL)

  • rorypond2020

    Been trying to find the time to catch this!

  • reocochran

    I like quirky comedies and did think I needed to watch this show another time while not tired. I did not think that it was as good as you did but did get amused with various things, like letting the members of his counseling group drive his new car around. Their expressions were hilarious.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Ha, yes! The car scene was great! And I loved the “chasing the Google map car” bit, too. They set that up so nicely earlier in the show, and then got the pay off for the end. (Plus they set up the costumed people, too. Nice bit of writing, I thought.)

  • Jennifer S

    So I went to read today’s new post… saw it was about advanced mathematical theory… and clicked on this previous essay about a sit-com.

    Is that terrible?

    This is a great post, by the way. Totally enjoyed it!

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