Friendly Rating: Older elementary and up
Safety Rating: Language issues and several jokes about sex
Quality Rating: Acerbic, funny, but ultimately touching
Sneak peak of new fall show airs tonight on NBC, following coverage of the Olympics.
With the bazillions of people watching the Olympic Games on NBC, you think the beleaguered network isn’t just dying to cash in on that? So while you’ve been seeing endless ads for the new shows, NBC decided to up the ante a little and give us a sneak peak of its comedy Go On tonight.
Matthew Perry stars as Ryan King, a sports radio talk show host who has recently lost his wife and is not, shall we say, processing it well. Forced by his boss to attend grief counseling, King shows up at a “life transitions” group (hey, it was only 60 minutes compared to 90-minute sessions for his other options) and pretty much disrupts everything with a competition to see whose loss is the worst.
The problem, of course, is that it comes out that Ryan isn’t doing as well as he thought, so he goes back to the group, realizing that they might just have something for him.
Safety-wise, there are language issues all over the place, including one well-placed but bleeped f-word, and an unbleeped ass. There’s some sex joking, as well, but pretty minor stuff overall. Otherwise, the only reason the show is not more family friendly is that younger kids probably haven’t experienced that kind of loss and might not get it.
What makes the show so touching is that the characters are allowed their grief. Ryan may be one messed up puppy, but he’s not the only hurting human being in the group. And while the reality of loss is very sad, Ryan’s insistence on acting out may ultimately bring this group around, with the result that this is one of the most life-giving shows I’ve seen in a long time.
Well, let’s make that one of the most life-giving pilots I’ve seen. I’ll probably keep watching this one, but I am a little concerned that it will sink into the usual morass of banal jokes about oddballs. I hope not, partly because Tyler James Williams (of Everybody Hates Chris) plays Owen, a young man dealing with his brother being in a coma, possibly permanently, and I love watching Williams work.