Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick Thoughts on Go On

Tonight was the special premiere of Matthew Perry's return to sitcomland on NBC.  Special means "aired on a time it won't regularly be aired, because uh, it is fun to confuse viewers."  Actually, this pilot was aired at an even more special time back during the Olympics, so this episode actually didn't really premiere tonight.

But I had not seen it in the summer, so it was new enough for me.  I originally was going to pass on this series, but in the end, my nostalgic feelings for Friends and Chandler Bing pulled me in.  I really like Matthew Perry, and so I desperately want Go On to actually be successful.  Of course, it is going to be a bit of a battle since NBC isn't a network most pay attention to if it isn't airing major sporting events (including Sunday night football) or musicians on swirling chairs.

What do I think about Go On, and its chance for survival?

Well, it was the pilot, and it never is really fair to judge a show entirely on its pilot.  The pilot is usually taped months before it even knows if it will be picked up.  Often the pilot ends up being very different than the rest of the first season, even to the point the cast usually is slightly changed.

Despite that, you still usually get a decent gauge of the series.  I think, Go On has potential to be an entertaining series.  It may even be a pretty funny sitcom despite the fact the premise is about a sportscaster joining a therapy class to cope with the passing of his wife.  The show has some colourful and quirky characters, and is able to provide a few laughs while also delicately handling issues like loss.

If you were a fan of Chandler from Friends, then you'll at least find the show tolerable.  I like Perry's typical form of humour, and enjoyed his witty one liners.  He is pretty close to the Chandler character here except uses far more sports metaphors (to hammer home the point he is a sportscaster).  He connected with the rest of the cast, and there is potential for some future funny moments.

The episode wasn't really funny.  It has interesting characters, and I smiled at points, but I didn't ever laugh out loud.  A few of the jokes weren't as funny as I think the writers may have thought they would be.

The episode was also really rushed.  The scene where Perry realizes he does need therapy was contrived, and he seemed to rush too quickly to open up.  It wasn't a believable conclusion, but I also realize that they needed to get to the premise of the entire series.  The rushed storytelling hurt the plot, but I also think it set up the chance for some more interesting episodes.  The actual "series premiere" tomorrow will be a better judge of the chances of this series and the potential for real laughs.

There were some good moments in this episode.  I got a kick out of the "March Sadness" and the tournament to the see the person with the roughest life.  The reveal that the counselor's experience was as a Weight Watcher was goofy but helped fit the quirky nature of the show.  I also like the creepy character who has taken a liking to Perry's character, and apparently, liked to make road angels.  The actor who played a young Chris Rock from the Everyone Hates Chris is a great addition, and I look forward to the development of his Owen character.  It does look like they're trying to get a Community like vibe, but not allow the plots to go as over the top - no video game episode here.

It was definitely a show with potential rather than anything spectacular.  I'll give it a few more episodes to prove it deserves to stick around.  I admit I may be a bit more loyal, because I really want this to be success for Perry's sake.

It was a decent kick off to the fall TV season, and I'm sure it was hundred times better than The Neighbors will be.

2 comments:

  1. I was happy with the premiere of Go On, although it wasn’t a smash hit. I tried to get a coworker at Dish to watch it as well, but she didn’t like it at all. The good thing is that I can record it with my Hopper’s PrimeTime Anytime feature, so I don’t have to choose it over any of my other shows this fall. That way, I don’t have to worry about missing something else that might be better this year, which always seems to happen. Hopefully this show can be as good as I think it can be!

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  2. It has a lot of potential to be a great show, but it just needs to stay away from the usual sitcom tropes. I really hope they don't start a romance between Perry and the counselor.

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