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?