When we watch a sitcom, we want to laugh at people in situations we should probably be in but don’t put ourselves through, right? Well, that’s what “Go On” tries to do at its core, and I think it does a darn good job.
Ryan King (Matthew Perry) is a renowned sports radio announcer in the greater LA area who has recently suffered a personal tragedy. Of course, we don’t quite know what happened until later into the pilot, but we’ll get there. Well, as a result, he is not functioning up to par at his job, even after a month of coping. Naturally, his boss, Stephen (John Cho), sends him to group therapy. Of course, 10 sessions is all he will need to get over his ailment, so he is only required to get signatures for 10 sessions.
In true comedy form, the therapist was running late the day Ryan decided to report. Ryan is naturally skeptical as the members of the group begin to start the session on their own. Yolanda (Suzy Nakamura), who is obviously there to play up the “Asian female” role, refers to her session notes and kicks off by citing the rules and objectives for the day before Ann (Julie White) begins to recount her frustrations. As we meet Mr. K (Brett Gelman), Owen (Tyler James Williams), and the rest of the gang, we find that they inadvertently compare notes on whose situation is worse. In true sports talk radio form, Ryan makes a tourney out of it – March Sadness.
Cue therapist Lauren, played by Laura Benanti, who finally arrives and reminds the group that they are not to compare life events and that it is OK to laugh and to cry. After Ryan lies to Lauren about why he was sent to attend therapy, he returns back to work with a signed piece of paper and jump starts with interviewing Terrell Owens. As he witnesses Terrell texting and driving out of the parking lot, Ryan is confronted with the fact that he hasn’t really processed his grief and realizes Lauren and the other members of the group might be key in helping him move on. And that’s when we realize what Ryan is mourning – the death of his wife after a text/drive accident.
“Go On” might have a predictable set up but the interaction between the show’s characters isn’t really found anywhere on network television today. This might prove to be a much better fit for Perry after Mr. Sunshine’s short-lived life. While we’re expecting some sexual tension to arise between Ryan and Lauren, that predictability is easily set aside when we have no idea what the Spanish speaking woman, the cat lady, or Mr. K will do next. And is anyone else really curious to delve deeper into Owen’s story with his brother? Next time you see a Google car in your neighborhood, grab your medieval gear and chase it, but until then, give “Go On” a try. It’s a heartwarming comedy that’ll give you the therapy you might be needing without having to leave your living room.
Go On previewed after the Olympics in August, but officially premieres TONIGHT on NBC at 9/8c following “The Voice.” If you missed the pilot, you can check it out below! We here at the Yak give it …