Matthew Perry’s new sitcom, Go On, was given a sneak preview during the Olympics. That gave the sitcom a lot of exposure on that one night but certainly doesn’t ensure that viewers will tune in this fall. Is the new sitcom worth watching?
Go On revolves around Ryan (Perry), a sportscaster who returns to work after the death of his wife. His boss (John Cho) doesn’t want him back on the air until he undergoes counseling. Ryan reluctantly joins a support group with one goal in mind: to get in and get out. He discovers that he might be able to help the other members of the group and they might be able to help him as well. The sitcom also features the talents of Allison Miller, Julie White, Laura Benanti, Suzy Nakamura, and Tyler James Williams.
Here’s what the critics have to say about Go On:
Entertainment Weekly: “I have hope that this very well-cast show will get better; it could go either way — improve by moving beyond the initial premise and become a sitcom about eccentric people who help each other help themselves, or turn its potentially appealing characters into mere freaks, with Perry and Benanti caught in the middle. I’ll keep watching Go On for a while.”
USA Today: “Which is not to say the show is hopeless. Perry is one of TV’s greatest comic stylists, an extremely talented actor capable of taking even the most mundane line — like tonight’s ‘That’s exactly what we’re going to call it’ — and adding a spin that makes it seem like the height of humor. It’s just that tonight, at least, the show is so dour, the humor gets lost.”
Hollywood Reporter: “The premise might be thin in that Perry’s character will always need to stay in therapy, but it’s not like they can’t milk the quirk (and, sigh, the saccharine) for a lengthy period. And it’s pretty obvious Ryan and Lauren might be heading for a romance, though they’d be better off keeping that for later. What might define the show is whether it can adequately use Perry’s snark in the role of radio host to cut the therapy-shtick warmth by at least a third.”
Time: “As a result, the pilot builds to a final scene that’s obviously meant to be uplifting and cathartic, but doesn’t quite feel that way. That said, I’ll stick with Go On for a while, because it at least has the pieces to eventually become a successful comedy you can invest in — a smart, idiosyncratic sitcom with a real emotional core. Then again, that pretty much describes Community. Does ‘more grieving, less paintball’ equal ‘broad’?”
NY Magazine: “The new Matthew Perry sitcom Go On, about a sports-radio host coping with the recent death of his wife, plays like a forgettable, innocuous-seeming network comedy. It certainly isn’t trying to provoke or offend. And yet it holds the distinction of being the first TV show I’ve ever wished that I could punch in the crotch.”
Washington Post: “Through a sequence of events involving football player Terrell Owens and a projectile fruit basket, Ryan quickly discovers that he might need some counseling after all. He returns, humbled, to the circle of chairs. It’s Go On and so on…”
Boston: “Perry is still playing a version of Chandler Bing, but with more of the darker edge he brought out on Studio 60. He doesn’t reflexively fall into Chandler intonations anymore, which is a plus. If there is industry pressure on him to be the character America loved for so many years, he isn’t succumbing.”
LA Times: “If, however, Silveri and Perry use their easy-fit, patter-friendly main character to create a true collective, slowly deepening each character until a fuller portrait of survival emerges, well, that might be worth watching. The supporting cast is up to the task, so the question becomes: Is Perry the engine for a new ensemble comedy or is Go On just his latest post-Friends vehicle?”
So, what do you think? Have you watched NBC’s Go On TV series? Will you watch again? Do you agree with any of these critics?