Go On, Matthew Perry’s new NBC comedy, is one of the best new shows of the season. If you only caught the pilot, check it out when it airs next, it keeps getting better and better.
In the show, Perry stars as Ryan King, a recent widower and sports talk radio host who is ready to get back to work after the death of his wife. But Ryan’s boss, Stephen (John Cho), has a different plan in store, making him attend grief counseling before returning to the air. Ryan finds himself in a support group for “life change,” where he meets an oddball cast of characters (Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Tyler James Williams and Brett Gelman), all with their own backstories filled with varying degrees of loss.
I talked to Perry in recent conference call where he talked about what drew him to Go On, working with the cast, the ups and down of his career and the biggest lesson he’s learned.
Go On airs on Tuesday nights on NBC. Read more
The New Normal: Tune In
While the premise for this show might have been scandalous a few decades ago, it says a lot for how far the entertainment world has come that a series centered around a gay couple adopting is somewhat mundane.
Ryan Murphy’s new NBC comedy makes up for lack of shock factor with its impeccable cast. Andrew Rannells (hilarious as Elliot on Girls) is spot-on as the flashy, more fashionable half of the couple. Justin Bartha (The Hangover) provides a reliable straight man (no pun intended), who is the necessary, more level-headed partner. The show would be lost without the perfect chemistry between the two central characters.
The show picks up speed as the couple decide to make a baby using a surrogate mother—enter Goldie (Georgia King), a woman who’s at the end of her rope after finding out her husband is cheating on her. But what comedy would be complete without a supporting cast of crazies? Ellen Barkin is a shining example of how to pull off a bitchy, bigot—she provides some of the show’s most outrageously funny lines as Goldie’s grandmother. (You should tune in merely to see how many analogies she can come up with for being a homosexual.)
Casting also got it right with the little girl who plays Goldie’s daughter. Bebe Wood is adorable without being cloying. Add NeNe Leakes, from The Real Housewives of Atlanta fame, to the mix, and you have an ideal comedy maelstrom. Read more
Matthew Perry on the Legacy of ‘Friends’ and the “Valuable Lesson” He Learned on His Cancelled Series ‘Mr. Sunshine’
It isn’t easy to follow up starring in one of the most successful and beloved television sitcoms of all time. We’ve all heard about the “Seinfeld Curse” (though Julia Louis-Dreyfus seems to be handling herself well these days), but most of the cast of Friends have had trouble finding a project that had a fraction of the success of the “Must See TV” hit NBC sitcom.
In particular, Matthew Perry has had several ups and downs, both personally and professionally, since Friends ended in 2004. With his new comedy, Go On, set to debut on a familiar network (NBC), Perry talks to the Los Angeles Times about his new series and problems with his previous one.
Perry admits that the legacy of Friends is both a wonderful blessing and a source of frustration creatively. He points out, “I don’t need to be reminded that I was on Friends,” Perry says, then jokes about his publicized issues with substance abuse by adding, “I remember — some of it, anyway. No, it’s fine that it follows me. I get it.” He also references a quirk that his character, Chandler, on the hit series had: loudly emphasizing the word “be.” He says, “But I can do other things, and I like the challenge of proving to people that my talent extends beyond putting emphasis on ‘be’.” Read more