Is it just me, or does the sneak preview of Go On feel like NBC’s answer to sending Community to the island of misfit toys, aka the Friday Night timeslot? In both series, we have an emotionally flawed male lead and the band of lovable misfits that become his best friends. Let’s take a closer look.
The obvious ‘Annie’ of the group is Yolanda, Lauren’s shameless type-A suck up. However, I don’t see her as a love interest for Ryan at all. I do see Lauren and Ryan hooking up eventually. Though I love making predictions and I love being proved right even more, I think their relationship is highly reminiscent of a romantic comedy flick. They’re polar opposites who absolutely hate each other at first, but will eventually deepen their connection. It sounds a lot like every Katherine Heigl flick ever, which is one of the many reasons why I don’t waste as much time and money on going to the movies anymore. Lauren’s tough cookie exterior and underlying ridiculousness (40 pounds is all it takes to be a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers?) makes her the ‘Britta’ of Go On.
I see Troy very strongly in Owen. I know what you’re thinking, ‘It’s just because he’s black,’ but I’m not that racist (though I didn’t realize that white people weren’t the only ones that like to ski). Owen is the ‘Troy’ because he’s young, athletic, and has an obvious chip on his shoulder until Ryan gets him to open up. Though I’m really excited to see Tyler James Williams after his adorable run on Everybody Hates Chris, I don’t predict his character having any sort of bromance with the Creeper (that’s what I’m going to call him until they say/I remember his name), who is clearly our ‘Abed.’ I think do think he and Sonia would make a really interesting couple.
I kind of had to stretch to find other characters, but I’ve narrowed it down to Danny or George for ‘Pearce’ and Fausta as ‘Shirley,’ by sheer merit that she seems soft spoken because of the language barrier, but might have a sassy side when you peel back some of the layers. Though George is the oldest of the group and suffers from the typical ails of old age, Danny’s marriage woes (his wife had a baby with another man when he was at war) are similar to Pearce’s. I can see him entering another mistake of a marriage during the series.
This entire comparison was inspired by how much Ryan King reminds me of Jeff Winger. Though his wife’s death makes him less likely to be a player, like Jeff, he starts the series claiming to have no feelings but we see him turn out to be a really great friend and show a lot of pain in the pilot. I think it was a little soon for him to share how his wife died and tell the group that she was his only love because that usually gives me the indication that the show is going to run out of steam quickly. I’d like to believe that if I co-wrote the episode I would have had Ryan merely return to the group after lashing out at T.O. over texting and driving (I totally predicted that that’s how his wife died too) and not share anything, but I thought Ryan’s final monologue to the group was very emotional for a comedy and probably what will keep me hooked on the show. Not every episode can be a tearjerker, but if you’ve read my other reviews, you know I love a good cry.
I probably won’t sit down and watch the show live every week because I’m already a fan of New Girl and am looking forward to The Mindy Project, both of which will also air on Tuesday nights and compete with Go On and NBC’s other new comedy The New Normal. It’s not as hilarious as other NBC comedies, which is why I think it failed to earn one of the much coveted Thursday timeslots, but I think Ryan throwing away a birthday cake and commenting on Gosling’s hotness were funnier than anything that’s happened on Up All Night, and the show could easily hold its own next season when 30 Rock goes off the air. It does sound pretty good so far, though it was a little odd to see John Cho on a TV show. I love him, but is he supposed to play Ryan’s superior? If so, it’s a little hard to believe. On IMDb, Terrell Owens is listed as a guest star in unknown episodes, so it’s possible that he could appear again, perhaps to sue Ryan. The same goes for Michelle Bernard who is named as ‘Ryan’s wife’ so it also looks like we’ll see some heartfelt flashbacks of Janie and Ryan together.
I’m excited that this was my first Fall 2012 pilot to review, and it feels kind of like Groundhog Day because that means Fall is right around the corner! What other new and returning shows are you anxiously awaiting?