Jake Peffer reviews the pilot episode of Matthew Perry’s new sitcom Go On…
Since Friends ended in 2004, Matthew Perry hasn’t had the best of careers. The few movies he’s been in have been forgettable, his ABC show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was cancelled after one season and his FOX show Mr. Sunshine was cancelled before it got a full season. Now he’s returning to NBC for Go On. Could this be the show that finally wins over critics and audiences or will it go the same way as his last two efforts?
In Go On Matthew Perry stars as Ryan King, a sportscaster whose wife has recently died. After taking a brief period off from his job, he abruptly comes back to the surprise of everyone he works with. His boss (John Cho) tells him that he needs to take more time off and makes him go to a support group for ten sessions. Ryan is not too thrilled with this and just wants to get back to work. When he first arrives at the group he couldn’t care less about anything going on there, but once he starts to interact with the people in the group and listen to their stories he begins to open up and sees that this group may be exactly what he needs at this point in his life.
When I first saw the preview for this show I thought it looked promising. I really like Matthew Perry; he was great on Friends and he can be a really funny guy. Most of his movies are below average and aside from Friends he hasn’t done much that was noteworthy, but none the less I would still like to see him involved with something that is successful. After watching the first episode of Go On I can safely say that this show just might be it.
Go On is able to mix comedy and drama very well, something a lot of shows and movies aren’t able to do. Mostly all of the jokes hit for me and the majority of them had me laughing out loud. There were a few moments that got to me emotionally, like when Ryan explains what happened to his wife. Hopefully the show will be able to maintain this good mixture and not end up getting too melodramatic or too over-the-top with its comedy bits.
Everyone in the cast is likable and enjoyable to watch. You can tell Perry is really trying here and he does a great job. Some other notable people in the cast include Laura Benanti (The Playboy Club) as the group leader, Brett Gelman (The Other Guys) as a member of the group who clearly has a lot of issues and Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) as a younger member whose brother is in a coma. They all work really well together and have great chemistry throughout the scenes involving the group. There is a cameo appearance from NFL star Terrell Owens that is hilarious, especially when Perry throws fruit at his car to get him to stop texting while driving, in which Owens replies, “That’s a shameful waste of fruit.”
To me, and probably most others, this is Matthew Perry’s last shot to have his own show. I suggest everyone tune in when Go On officially starts on September 11th and give it a shot because I was happily surprised by how good it ended up being.