“Go On” was an oddball sitcom starring Matthew Perry. The show actually did fairly well in the ratings, and many outlets, including TV By the Numbers, originally predicted — by a slim margin — that it would be renewed. The problem was that the show did much better whenever it came after “The Voice” — which has a history of giving various shows a ratings boost — that when it was moved to a new day and time, after “The Office.” Even so, the show did well enough on its own — after having a day and time shift that many fans may not have known about — that there was a good case for giving it a chance to grow its audience. Here’s that case for why it should have been renewed.
It was unique
“Go On” was unlike any other sitcom on TV. It had a very serious undertone, about a man dealing with the loss of his wife. That serious topic was then placed into a comedic setting, in a therapy group consisting of strange people with problems of various degrees of seriousness.
The dark and serious side of the series would make an appearance every now and then, giving a break from constant silliness. It ranged from slapstick to high-brow humor, to tear-inducing moments of sadness. The wide range of emotion pulled from viewers on a regular basis was different from almost every other sitcom currently airing.
It was based on truth
So many sitcoms use the same exact models for creating jokes: there is a misunderstanding, and someone keeps the misunderstanding going through a series of lies; or someone lies to avoid telling an uncomfortable truth, then keeps the lie going until the climax of ridiculousness is realized.
“Go On” took a different path. There were some misunderstandings, but the show wasn’t entirely based on a series of lies. In fact, most of the hilarity resulted from uncomfortable truths.
It had Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry was perfectly cast as a widower who was basically a dumb jerk. No, that’s not to say that Perry is necessarily a dumb jerk, but that he pulls it off really well. His character, Ryan King, was genuinely dumb and ignorant of anything outside of sports. He was also somewhat of a jerk who only cared about himself. The genius of Perry’s portrayal was in making this dumb jerk a likable character who simply had a lot to learn.
It had Mr. K
One of the saddest things about the cancellation of “Go On” is the fact that viewers will no longer be treated to the outrageous antics of Mr. K (Brett Gelman). Mr. K was the most outrageously hilarious of all the characters. Almost all the humor of the character was as a result of his incredibly odd personality.
This character was funny enough to have his own spin-off, although that may not be wise. One of the smartest things the writers did was to keep Mr. K’s role in the series to a minimum. That minimal role kept the character fresh and special. It was always a treat to see him, and a bit agonizing to wait until his next appearance. When he finally appeared again, it was always a side-splitting surprise.
More from this contributor:
‘Go On’ Episode ‘Urn-ed Run’ Recap: Bigger Isn’t Better
‘Go On’ Episode ‘Fast Breakup’ Recap: Being a Fake Ball is Better
‘Go On’ Episode ‘Matchup Problems’ Recap: Dating for Crazy People