With ‘Friends’ like this, Perry tries again
- Last Updated: 10:32 AM, August 8, 2012
- Posted: 1:07 AM, August 8, 2012
Tonight after the Olympics on NBC
When was the last time a new NBC comedy made me laugh way out loud? Hmmm. Maybe “30 Rock”?
Guess what? I’m laughing. Out loud. Right now.
I just saw the preview of Matthew Perry’s new show, “Go On,” which previews tonight after the Olympics.
Perry stars as that always-hilarious character, a man whose wife has recently died. Are you laughing yet? No? You will — I promise.
Perry’s character, Ryan King, is a fast-talking sports radio host who wants to get back to work after the death of his wife. However, his boss, Steven (John Cho), who likes being top dog, decides instead that in order to be on top of his game, the insulting, stats-spouting radio host needs to shed his grief.
Therefore, Steven orders Ryan to attend at least ten sessions of grief counseling before he’ll let him back on the air. Laughing yet? You will — I promise.
Ryan looks for the group with the shortest sessions and finds one with 60-minute group sessions.
The group, “Transitions,” is run by an uptight, buzzword-spouting “therapist” named Lauren (Laura Benanti) who runs her group around the theory that when people share their grief, they can change their lives.
The banality and time-wasting nonsense of the whole thing sends Ryan the radio sports show host into a rage.
The grief-stricken people are already angry, so he kind of fits in. Happily, they are not your average sitcom weirdo crazy group-therapy people. These folks are oddballs, yes, but they are oddballs trying to overcome great tragedy. Didn’t I tell you you’d start laughing about now. No?
You will — I promise! Really!
In the life-changing group there is, for example (my favorite) George (Bill Cobbs), a guy who is not only blind, but has lost a foot to diabetes, has had a stroke, a heart attack and has never laid eyes on Megan Fox, who he says he’s told “is very attractive.” Of course, he’s ticked off and angry.
Then there’s Mr. K (Brett Gelman), a real sicko, who in addition to other things, has no understanding of personal space. Upon meeting Ryan at the grief group, Mr. K sits too close and then leans on him causing Ryan to snap, “Why do I think your life change involves wearing other people’s skins?”
See? I told you you’d be laughing.
Others include angry Anne (Julie White), who is furious that her life partner (I think) died because she wouldn’t take her medicine. Then, there’s Tyler James Williams from “Everybody Hates Chris,” as a silent guy, and Suzy Nakamura, as Lauren’s incredibly fawning assistant.
Ryan hates Lauren and thwarts her efforts at counseling through wallowing. “Grief must be witnessed to be healed,” she declares quoting Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Ryan has a better idea and in the first session, he hi-jacks the class and turns it into a contest with grief stats like sports stats but this one is called, “whose thing is the worst.”
I’m still laughing.