Okay, here’s another post NOT directly related to writing, but rather one of my other loves: television. Except that this experience was so bad, I felt compelled to blog about it.
“Go On” is Matthew Perry’s new sitcom. It airs September 11, but Hulu has a preview of the first episode. In a word, BAD. Actually, that isn’t descriptive enough. It is REALLY bad. HORRENDOUSLY bad. Literally cringe-worthy. I’m not sure there is really anything to spoiler in this show, but if that matters to you, here’s your warning.
I wanted to like this show, because I like Matthew Perry. I thought Mr. Sunshine was not bad, actually. It had some good moments. There is nothing redeemable about Go On. Well, okay, there’s Tyler James Williams. It’s kinda fun to see him all growed up. And he had the best line of the episode: “March Sadness.” John Cho is in it too, but the pilot episode has very little of him.
Here is my major problem with this show. There are no real moments in the entire show. It is filled entirely with cliches from other shows, but has no unique moments whatsoever. And it is entirely unbelievable. Matthew Perry comes back to work after a whole month off because his wife died in a car accident. Now, I get that it takes longer than a month to grieve in that situation, but what job do you know of that says, “Go home, you’re back too early.” The office where he works (which is much too bright and shiny for a talk radio station, by the way) cares far more about his mental health than anything in the office, which is just not realistic. But I get it, it’s a sitcom.
They tell him he needs group therapy because he’s not over his wife’s death. So they send him to the community center where some chick (who looks EXACTLY like Courtney Cox did about 10 years ago), who has no license and no qualifications leads a “life changes” group. People’s problems range from “my cat died” to “my wife cheated on me” to “I’m old” to “my entire family is dead.” It is not grief counseling, which is should be considering his wife died. But that’s not even the worst of it. The worst thing is they treat all of those group people (with the possible exception of Tyler James Williams’ character) like they’re whack jobs. My husband said it felt like they were trying to play up the wacky nuthouse thing, but they’re not crazy, they’re just grieving (or supposed to be). And none of it comes off even remotely funny.
Don’t even get me started on the SCA group? Larpers? Nerds? I’m not even sure what that was supposed to be.
Ah, Matthew Perry…Fifteen years ago this bitter, cynical thing worked for you. But it worked because you were young. Young and bitter is funny. Old and bitter is just sad. People don’t want old and bitter, unless it is OLD and bitter. Middle aged and bitter hits too close to home.
But really, I don’t blame Matthew Perry. It is just a sad, sad show. I could be wrong, but I’m willing to bet that at best only half the eye rolls came from his character. The other half seemed to come from an “Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m doing this” feeling on Matthew Perry’s part.
The whole show feels like the writers were like, “Can we squeeze his Friends’ schtick for any more?”
Seriously though. Mr. Sunshine got canceled. That wasn’t really a great show or anything, but it was worlds better that this Go On crap. Do they really think this can succeed? Again, my husband thinks it will; that there will be some people out there that say, “I don’t know. It isn’t that bad. It kind of reminds me of Friends, except they’re older…and it isn’t as funny.”
We’ll see I guess. Shows I like get cancelled all the time. Sometimes it is because I am not very critical about my television consumption (which is saying something here), but usually it is because the show is too smart,…or the network sabotages it (Firefly, anyone?). But, in this case, I’m predicting that Go On will be the WORST new show of the fall. It is that bad….but then Whitney, which I dubbed the worst show of last Fall (followed by New Girl because of their interchangeable black characters), got renewed. And hell, New Girl became one of the most popular shows of the fall. Nothing against Zoe Deschanel. She’s cute and I love her singing voice, but it really bothered me that Damon Wayans’ kid (yes, I am THAT old) was the “black best friend” in the first episode, was gone for the second episode (I’m glad he’s on Happy Endings, though – hmm…talk about a modern-day Friends…), and they just slid in a replacement “black best friend.” So, regardless of how funny it may be, I refuse to watch it on principle.
But I digress. Go On is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad show. Don’t waste your time. You will never be able to get those 24 minutes back.