You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season, with today’s subject being NBC’s GO ON.
The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one can expect come Fall.
The Plot: Following the unexpected death of his wife, Sports radio host Ryan King (Matthew Perry) is ordered by his boss (John Cho) to join a support group (led by Laura Benanti) prior to returning to the airwaves. Hilarity ensues.
The Cast: GO ON stars Matthew Perry (FRIENDS) as Ryan, Laura Benanti (THE PLAYBOY CLUB) as Lauren, John Cho (STAR TREK) as Steven, Julie White (SIX FEET UNDER) as Annie, Brett Gelman as Mr. K, Suzy Nakamura as Yolanda and Tyler James Williams (EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS) as Owen.
The Snap Judgment: It would appear that Matthew Perry learned a valuable lesson from the unmitigated disaster that was his short-lived ABC laugher MR. SUNSHINE. Or at least that was our takeaway from the surprisingly stellar pilot that didn’t just offer up yet another variation of Perry’s trademark quippy character made famous on FRIENDS, but injected him with an emotional backstory in which audiences can easily relate. Add to that an equally sympathetic supporting cast of colorful — almost COMMUNITY-esque like characters in search of support (Brett Gelman FTW!) and an ideal mix of hilarious and heartwarming moments and what you’re left with is a surprisingly poignant story about the unexpected connections one makes in the wake of tragedy.
The Conclusion: Has us inclined to agree with Perry’s opening line of dialogue from the pilot in which his character proudly proclaims, “I’m back, and better than ever.”
GO ON premieres Tuesday September 11th at 9PM on NBC (Global TV in Canada). But not before getting a special post-Olympics sneak peek on August 8th.