I Like Matthew Perry. Let’s Keep Him Employed.   2 comments

With my cable now fully up and running I have been plunged into the mad mad mad mad world of On Demand TV.  On Demand turned me from a generally productive member of society (as much as any blogger can be) into more or less a mass of silly putty, an amorphous beige blob absorbing any thing that came my way.  I shotgunned three episodes of NBC’s new series Go On starring my very favorite Friend, Matthew Perry.

You know what I’m talking about. Am I right, ladies?

Perry has yet to find a stable home on TV after the end of Friends, this being his third leading role on a series since it ended in 2004.  Damn it, I like Matthew Perry!  I’m on the fence about Go On, but I’m going to keep watching it in the hope that Matthew Perry will finally have steady work!

Go On is most easily comparable to NBC’s Community, but without all the nerdy pop culture references and the strange/quirky supporting cast replaced with stock character archetypes.  The math would be: CommunityBig Bang Theory = Go On

Both shows center around a “cool-guy” main character (Matthew Perry as Ryan King on Go On/ Joel McHale as Jeff Winger on Community) who is knocked out of their career by circumstance (King’s wife has died and he is forced to enter group therapy so he can return to work/ Winger needs to earn a college degree before returning to work as a lawyer) becoming a pseudo-big brother to a group of supporting cast members and gearing up sexual tension with his psudo-big sister counter part (Laura Benanti as group therapist Lauren on Go On/ Gillian Jacobs as psych major/ want to be therapist/ causehead Britta on the ladder).

My point is that the show’s premise isn’t original, but I am not saying that I think it needs to be so long as it is well written.   Perry has built his career playing slight variations on the same snarky character, and as long as he has good dialog he will stay watchable.  For me anyway, clearly that didn’t keep Mr.Sunshine on the air.  Or Studio 60.  Or LAX:2194.

The place where the show’s writing is likely to trip up is precisely where Community shines, with the supporting cast.  While Community has a group of very unique characters filling out its cast, the co-stars of Go On are cookie cutter.  A new audience member could come in at anytime and recognize them immediately.  You have Cat Lady, High Strung Asian Woman, Quite Black Kid Who Won’t Open Up Until he Finds Common Ground With Central White Character, Hispanic MomAdvice Giving Blind Black Man, and Guy Who is Exactly Like Zach Galifianakis in The Hang Over .  They exist mainly as set decoration for Perry to interact with, providing some easy jokes and jumping off points for plot lines.

This leaves Perry as the only character on the show who can carry an episode , which could prove limiting as there are only so many times a main character can learn life lessons before their story gets stale (I’m looking at you, Scrubs).  The only exception to this is Julie White as Angry Widowed Lesbian.  She should get her own show.  She is seriously great.

I enjoy Perry’s brand of humor, so I’m going to keep watching.  Not because I’m expecting anything amazing out of the show, but because I know I’m going to laugh a few times.  Which is just fine.

Anyone else give a crap about the long term career prospects of Matthew Perry? Let me know!


PS… Also, John Cho is on this show.   So it has that.


Posted September 27, 2012 by atomicsam in TV

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2 responses to “I Like Matthew Perry. Let’s Keep Him Employed.

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  1. Speaking of former friends cast members, I have recently watched and really enjoyed the Showtime show, Episodes. The premise being a British couple comes to the US to remake their UK show, and of course the US messes it up, one wrench it throws into the mix is forcing Matt Leblanc to be their star, it is quite funny and I highly recommend it!

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