TV Equals was excited to speak with Laura Benanti and creator/executive producer Scott Silveri about Go On. During the conference call, Benanti and Silveri talked about Benanti’s grief counselor character Lauren, the possibility of a song-and-dance episode, whether Lauren will need her own grief counseling and more.
Go On‘s character dynamics
Having different pairings of characters play off each other has created some of the best moments in the show so far. Silveri said the different character pairings was always part of his idea for the characters’ chemistry.
“That was always the intent. We just got lucky that they have such good natural chemistry. The pilot was very much focused on one man, this journey. It was through his eyes that we met the group, but we knew we had a special bunch of people in the group and we want to give each of them an introduction, get a little of their origin story,” he said. “We first started reaching out [by] having Ryan deal with people individually and now they’re at the point where they’re cross pollinating and playing together. All you can do is hope that that works, and now some of our favorite scenes are between these guys.”
Musical theater on Go On
Due to Benanti’s background in Broadway, some might be wondering whether we’ll see Lauren ever break out into song. Silveri said it could be a possibility.
“I can say we’re talking about it. We should talk to Laura about it,” said Silveri. We’re going to talk about it…and gage Laura’s interest, but it’s certainly something I’m game for.”
“I’m in,” said Benanti, laughing.
Writing about grief
Silveri said finding the humor in grief is one of the things that has been a part of his life since childhood. “What makes me laugh is people going through hard things and finding the…sunny, funny bit. Finding the laugh in it. As a kid, I always found comedy in the most ridiculous and saddest situations sometimes. I’m a very fun person to go to a funeral with,” he said.
“…I thought one exciting thing about doing a show with a heavy subject was…we can make all the jokes we want. We have a bunch of people who are each experiencing something real, something difficult, they can even be making jokes themselves and making jokes about the people around them,” he said. “There’s a dark comedy strain in the show sometimes, and it’s offset by talking about what vanity license plate the widower might have to announce that his wife is dead. On the other hand, we balance it out with very sweet stuff, so I think hopefully, altogether, there’s a nice balance between the two.”
Benanti also said the show has inspired many people to tell her how the show resonates with them.
“So many people come up to me and say how much they love the show and every single one of them has said, ‘When my dad died,’ or ‘When my husband died’ or ‘When my dog died’…they all talk about these tragic losses they’ve had and they say ‘This is my favorite show because I relate. I get to laugh and cry…in a 23 minute period.’ So that’s cool,” she said.
Will Lauren see grief this season?
“That’s a great idea,” said Benanti in response to the question about the possibility of Lauren needing her own help with grief. “That’s a great idea, let me get my pen out,” said Silveri, jokingly.
“Grief at this point–everything’s on the table. Right now, what we’re enjoying doing with her is shaking up her life a little bit. I can’t say whether we’ll get to grief specifically, but we have people dealing with all kinds of things in this group,” said Silveri. “[W]e did an episode about a month back where Laura’s character was dealing with some turbulence in her own relationship and we put, for the first time for that character, back on her heels in her personal life, and it really worked so [we said] ‘Let’s do more of that.’ We’re shaking up her life as much as we can because A) she’s hilarious and great when it happens, and B) it’s a great place to go for the character. The person who’s got all the answers but has yet to find them for herself is a lot of fun to write and [Laura] plays the hell out of it. That’s a long way of saying ‘Yes.’”
Go On airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.