This Is Not a Review: NBC's Pilot Go On

Alert! This is not a review. I repeat, this is not a review. Throw a "p" on that, please, 'cause this is a preview of the early version of a pilot, a pilot that will almost certainly undergo some form of change before it airs in its final form. Consider this a first impression of a work-in-progress.


Go On (Tuesdays at 9pm on NBC)

STARRING: Matthew Perry (Mr. Sunshine, Friends), Laura Benanti (The Playboy Club, Eli Stone), John Cho (FlashForward, Harold of the Harold & Kumar franchise) Brett Gelman (Eagleheart, The Life & Times of Tim), Suzy Nakamura (10 Things I Hate About You), Julie White (Law & Order: SVU, Grace Under Fire), Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris).


THE GIST: Ryan (Perry) is a mouthy sports radio host whose life crashes into a wall after his wife suddenly dies. The mourning process isn't easy for him, and all he wants to do is get back on the job. But before that can happen, Ryan's producer (Cho) insists he go to therapy to work things out. Through his therapy sessions, Ryan meets a group of other eccentric grievers and a therapist (Benanti) who may need some help herself.

SNAP JUDGMENT: There's a lot of Community's early tone here, with Ryan serving as Jeff Winger: a man who thinks he's above everyone else and can't wait to get these mandated therapy sessions/college credits out of the way. However, there's an additional aspect to Go On, as Ryan has a second world (his workplace) and group of characters to explore. The early word was that the series, whose characters are dealing with various forms of grief, was going to be heavier than your average sitcom, and that's definitely the case with this pilot. Even though that weightiness is probably going to be the element that keeps people away (who wants to watch a sitcom that requires having Kleenex on hand?), the show's duality is its strong point and the sad moments instantly give the characters depth. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but you'll feel, and that's a tough and rare thing to pull off in a pilot, especially a comedy.

PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: Go On gets to the series' point pretty quickly without a lot of unnecessary exposition, and thankfully takes things slow with the show's characters for a more organic approach to character building. There's some hit-you-over-the-head stuff, but nothing egregious. It's a good, clean, solid pilot script.

FACE(S) TO LOOK OUT FOR: Brett Gelman as the resident weirdo in Ryan's theraphy group. The Eagleheart star is a taller, balder Zach Galifianakis and it's about time the world gets to know him because he's damn funny. Also: sports cameos!

RANDOM THOUGHT(S): NBC scheduling executive: "Hey we've got this show about people dealing with the sudden deaths of loved ones. When should we debut it? How about September 11!?"

EXCITEMENT LEVEL: High! Like, 8 on a scale of 1 of 10. Go On could be seriously good!


Go On will debut early with a special post-Olympics sneak preview on August 8 before settling into its normal Tuesday-night time slot at 9pm on September 11.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Is that 8 pm central time?

or 9 all around
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Watched this tonight after Olympics coverage...this show looks really promising. I laughed out loud more than a few times and yeah it did get heavy out of nowhere for a bit but I kinda like shows that aren't all just one thing.
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God bless all the Community lovers.Mr. Sunshine was another good show that was never given a chance.This new show sounds right up my alley.
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I never thought that much about Matthew Perry - IMO, his character was the lamest of Friends, because Schwimmer got to be with Jennifer/Rachal. The short-lived stadium show had his character upstaged by some of the other characters too.



It wasn't until I saw Matthew Perry on The Good Wife that I realized he's actually a pretty decent actor - too bad he's always cast as a lame straight-guy in comedies. Hopefully this new series won't portray him in the same way as the other comedies I saw him in.
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I miss Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip!
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You are not alone.
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It's the perfect time for Mathew Perry to start something new, this has proven to work for Matt Le Blanc. People love Mathew Perry and while Mr Sunshine wasn't a bad show people wanted to see Chandler and not an entirely different character, they show would have worked with ANY other actor. You can't tear down in a day what you built in 10 years. Now is the time and the preview sounds promising and Perry got the advantage that people aren't critical towards him, they want him to be successful and I am sure he has picked the role wisely.
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Matthew Perry tweeted a link to this (p)review.
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Watch Bunheads if you want to feel a heavy weight when someone suddenly dies.
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Matthew Perry is in it, I'll tune in!!
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Zach, Zach, Zach .... :-D

Seems interesting, but i need to see the pilot to make an opinion.
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When I originally saw the preview for this show, I was very intrigued. Most of the comedy shows put me off with their trailer, but this one looked surprisingly good. So I'll definitely have to check it out. And, as others have said, being compared to Community is definitely a good thing.
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Ugh, why did you have to relate this to early Community? I was planning on watching Go On anyway, but now you've raised my level of expectation for it SO much higher, that it probably wont be able to live up to it =(
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Well even if there's just a hint of "Community" in it, it's probably going to be better and funnier then most of the shows on tv.
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Againtst, New Girl and Happy Endings, this may have a chance on DVR.
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This sounds kinda good. What with Matthew Perry back on TV. I loved the show Studio 60 with him and Bradley Whitford even as they cancelled it after one season. I read the (p)review of Go On here and i'm hoping for a similar tone. fingers crossed! :-)
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I can't wait for Matthew Perry to come back to TV...

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You sold me at "Community ..." :-)
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*You must be a Fringe fan.



*See below comments to understand joke.
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I really hope this is a good show. I'm a fan of Matthew Perry and I want him to succeed! And being compared to Community is a positive :)
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when the pilot previews were passed around, this was the one I was most excited for, not just because I'm a sucker for anything involving Matthew Perry. Definitely going to tune in for this one!!
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I'm really excited to see this show. The story looks very interesting. I'm a big fan of Matthew Perry's. I'll definitely be watching Go On.
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Community tones?! I'm sold! But really, this actually looks really good! I was excited when the trailer came out but this early (p)review is making me really want to watch it!
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Interesting. This sounds great. The only potential issues I see are well NBC. But that is a given. They couldn't punch their way out of a wet paper bag with a good show. The other, is Matthew Perry himself. Who can go from bearable to unbearable within the length of a scene. While this sounds great. They are going to have to walk a fine line. It does make me wonder though if NBC was looking to ax Community to give Joel McHale a larger role in something like this. Because I can see Joel in this more than I can see Perry.
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911...wow. I dunno what Matthew Perry did to piss NBC off, but he should do it again and get pics this time.
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There's a lot of good involved here. I am looking forward to this.
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"There's a lot of Community's early tone here"



SOLD!
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<3
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I just realized I said basically the same thing as you about Community tones hahaha
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Haha! Fringe fans (and great minds ... the two are basically one in the same) think alike.
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NBC? Unsold. Who wants to spend another several seasons with a show being constantly on the bubble no matter how good it is?
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My favorite show (whose identity shall remain a mystery) and Community (another of my favorites) have been on the bubble for their entire existence. But they are so unbelievably good, I am willing to suffer through the torment of knowing their fate is always hanging in the balance. If Go On is of similar quality, I will just have to suffer some more.
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Community and Fringe... <3
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I wonder though, which show are you referring to?..
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Just our favorite :)
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