NBC's New Comedy Go On Has Matthew Perry Approaching Grief With Humor
Finding humor in the darker moments of life is something I can get behind. In fact, it's less a personal philosophy as it is a frequent, natural reaction for me. Perhaps that's why I see the potential in a show like Go On, NBC's single-camera comedy starring Matthew Perry, which suggests the idea that, though grief has to be dealt with, it's ok to laugh. Go On will make its official debut next month, but NBC is offering viewers an early sample of the series by airing the entire pilot episode tonight, following their scheduled primetime Olympic coverage.
Created by Scott Silveri (Friends, Perfect Couples), Go On stars Perry as Ryan, a sports talk radio host who isn't really dealing with the death of his wife. His boss Steven (John Cho) forces him to take time off to do some grief counseling, which leads Ryan to a support group full of people looking to make life-changes. And so begins Ryan's reluctant attempt to face his issues, which he does mainly through a veil of sarcasm well suited for Perry (a man who has proven to be fluent in that language). It's evident from the start that his presence in the support group is rocking the boat, and maybe not entirely in a bad way. But Ryan really does have issues to deal with, and that's where I think Go On shows the most potential.
From what's revealed in the pilot, Go On appears to be taking a dark humor approach to the subject of dealing with life, grief, loss and general disappointment. That in itself is a risk, and I expect some people might be turned off by its approach. But as someone who sees the value of laughter in times of sadness, not only do I hope to see this series live up to the idea it presents in the pilot, I also think it could prove to be Matthew Perry's best role yet, as we see his character attempt to address the loss he's suffered and move on with his life. Time will tell on that. In the meantime, I'm intrigued by what the pilot offers enough to look forward to seeing more when the series resumes this fall.
If you can't watch the pilot when it airs tonight, NBC has it set to be sampled online starting tomorrow.
Go On makes its official debut on NBC Tuesday September 11 at 9 p.m.. Catch the preview of the pilot tonight (Wednesday, August 8) at 11:08 p.m. ET on NBC.
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