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This better not be another Mr. Sunshine. That’s what I thought when I found out that Matthew Perry was going to be in a new sitcom. After his 2010 show tanked, I was incredibly skeptical about Go On.
In the show, Matthew Perry plays Ryan King, which rhymes with Chandler Bing. Coincidence? I think not. Perry plays a typical Chandler-esque roll, a deeply troubled man who masks his pain with a barrage of humor and sarcasm. Ryan King’s wife was killed in a car accident, and while he says he’s fine, he’s obviously not. No person who’s fine throws things at Terrell Owen’s car.
Ryan is forced to go to therapy where everyone, including the therapist, ranges from just a little odd to bat-crap crazy. Obviously, King is the focus, but while some of the therapy participants fade to the background, a few stand out. Ryan bonds with a teenager named Owen (Tyler James Williams), whose brother is in a coma. Owen is the complete opposite of Ryan and chooses to deal with his pain by not speaking, while Ryan rattles on with joke after joke. Also, it seems as if they’re setting up the therapist, Lauren (Laura Benanti), to be a potential love interest for Ryan, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.
The problem is that there’s really nothing original about the show. There are already shows out there about people being forced to go to therapy even though they think they don’t need it (Common Law, for instance). Matthew Perry is merely Chandler Bing with a new name, and for the most part, the rest of the characters aren’t developed enough to endear themselves to the viewer. Also, I’m not sure how the writers will tackle the heavy topic of losing a loved one in a comedic way. It could come off as irreverent (like the March Sadness part of the episode).
But (and this is a big but), there’s only been one episode. I’m still going to give it a chance because for all of its unoriginality, it’s still a pretty funny show. The next episode comes on Sept. 11, and I’ll be watching.
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