Go On

Levels of Hilarity

When I saw that Matthew Perry (Friends, 17 Again wait, that was Zac Efron) was in a new comedy, I thought: “Sign me up.”

When I watched a preview for said show (Go On) and discovered it was about a high-strung radio host sentenced to group grief counselling, I thought, “I’ll give it a chance.”

And then I tuned in and realized it was not, in fact, Frasier.

First off, Ryan King is a sports show host—incidental, except it gives us his secretary Carrie (Allison Miller, who was incredible in Kings) and Steven (John Cho—I mean, come on).

Trying to be comforting.

Second, Ryan has been sentenced to grief counselling because his wife died two months ago and he is taking it too well. He should be debilitated, right? But he wants to go back to work.

He goes to Group, where everyone is conveniently on a rung of the ladder of guilt. Happy-go-lucky Danny (denial) missed the birth of his son. And the conception. Owen (guilt) never talks about his brother, who is in a coma. Physically violent (anger) Anne’s partner’s heart exploded. Sonia (loneliness) had her cat die. Fausta (also loneliness) seems to have lost every member of her family (it’s difficult to tell, because she speaks Spanish). George (almost at acceptance) has lost his sight, the use of his left hand…

And then there are some people on some ladder that nobody’s ever heard of. Like him:

Mr. K

Mr. K

“Why do I feel like your life change is wearing a suit of other people’s skin?”

The group leader, Lauren, is actually a Weight Watcher’s mentor. She (“Let’s talk about our feelings”) is the opposite of Ryan (“Let’s pretend feelings don’t exist”)—but the two of them combined make an almost decent grief counsellor.

The problem is… since when is grief funny?

Watching these people deal with grief has its moments, but the thing is you can only go so far. Go On kind of goes on, and on, and on, and… I am left waiting for the punchline.