Go On

Go On: Community's More Relatable Cousin

Photobucket You may remember my snap judgment post on Matthew Perry's new show, Go On. If not, essentially I said that it was promising and I (surprisingly) liked it so far. [Saved you approximately six whole minutes of your life, right there.].

I'd like to revisit the show to tell you that it is, in fact, great.

I'm super impressed by both NBC and Matthew Perry's ability to collaborate and produce something not only not-terrible, but quite good.

I laugh out loud, I connect to the characters, and I'm especially loving the Community-esque group dynamic.

I think it's the show's particular brand of group dynamic that makes it uniquely enjoyable.

It's neither Community nor Friends, but somehow blends the characteristics of the two in the best way.

Community is quirk-tastic, which makes for great off-the-wall humor, but it lacks the emotional, down-to-earth side Friends brought to the table. Phoebe was the quirkiest member of the Friends cast, but she was essentially "The Quirky One" in a cast of relatively-normals. With Go On, it's actually the inverse--Matthew Perry plays the every-man and the rest of the people in the group are the quirky ones.

The characters in Go On are without a doubt quirky, similar to Community, but they are rounded out with the emotional, down-to-earth side that Community lacks.

The group itself, I think, becomes the main character, more so even than Matthew Perry's character. They're family already and we're only a few weeks in. Whereas in Community the group is a family in the sense that they argue all the time and act like they don't like each other but secretly do, the Go On cast openly admits they like their weird group and help each other out--but still calling each other out when they do something particularly outrageous.

I like the balance.

They're more like a functional family (a real life functional family, not a perfect family) and Community is all kinds of dysfunctional. I think with Go On, the age gaps and shared real life tragedy grounds them all enough to care about one another instead of their own selfish motives, which I think most of the Community cast has yet to learn.

Of course, Go On is a completely different style of show than Community. It's probably not going to have a cult following and won't do an entire episode like Law & Order or within the Dreamatorium.

But I think the ensembles have a similar setup--all brought together by something outside of themselves--for Community, Spanish. For Go On, life tragedy. They didn't choose each other, and they see themselves as a family, whether functional or not.

Have you given Go On a shot yet? If so, what do you think? Another ex-Friend flop or worth investing in?

Snap Judgment: Go On

Photobucket On one hand, I think Matthew Perry should just quit while he's still somewhat-ahead (Friends does catapult you a pretty long way, after all). It's a little bit sad to watch someone who was so successful at this one thing to flounder around aimlessly after they leave it. (I hope this doesn't happen to Emma Watson, because I love her.)

On the other hand, I just really like Chandler and want him to do well.

We gave Mr. Sunshine a chance, but it didn't hold up for me. It was kind of a depressing comedy, if that's even a thing, and I want more of a funny comedy. Decide what you're going to be and be it, y'know? So I gave up on it.

A year or two later we start seeing previews again for a new Matthew Perry show called Go On. Le sigh. Guess we have to give this thing a chance out of respect and love for the genius that was Chandler Bing.

And you know what?

It wasn't terrible. In fact, it was actually quite good. I mean, I laughed out loud several times. Several.

I felt like they did a great job of introducing characters and the premise quickly but completely, threw some emotion in and rounded it out well. I think the characters have a lot of potential.

It's got sort of a Community-type feel (at least I assume that's where it's going)--people from all different walks of life brought together by a commonality. In this case, group therapy, in Community's case, Spanish with Senor Chang.

Even though I feel like Matthew Perry will never be able to fully shake some of his Chandler-isms (perhaps that's because some of his Matthew Perry-isms became Chandler-isms), I was less aware he was Chandler-trying-not-to-be-Chandler than I was with Mr. Sunshine.

My favorite character so far is George, the older black man who has gone blind. During his first group therapy session, Matthew Perry (Ryan, I wanna say?) decides to take over when the teacher is late and have everyone compete in "March Sadness" to decide whose story is the worst. This guy gets to the championship face-off, and his arguments as to why he should advance just get better and better.

The one-liners surprised me with how witty and well-timed they were. I didn't expect to laugh, but I did. Pilots are hard to make, and I feel like Go On succeeded.

I'm excited to get to know all the characters in the therapy group. I think this might turn out to be that thing where you come for Zooey Deschanel but you stay for Max Greenfield. There might be some real gems here.

You can watch the full pilot on Hulu here.

Have you watched the pilot? Will you give it a shot?