Go On Season 1 Review “GOOOOAAAALLLL DOLL!”

Go On (NBC) Episode 13 GOOOOAAAALLLLDOLL (1)

Within most thirty minute comedies, there are two types of characters: There are characters that appear to us fully formed, and there are the characters that are forced to undergo growth and change for whatever reason. Some shows have mostly fully formed characters, while others have main characters that require change. Shows like Modern Family don’t require much character development because we were introduced to the characters as complete human beings. With the exception of the children, you are going to see very little “changing” from the characters on that show. As a result, an episode of Modern Family doesn’t require you to invest a lot into the characters. You can just sit back and watch them be funny. You may be completely enraptured by Gloria’s baby storyline, but it’s not a prerequisite for appreciating the humor in her “singing” to her unborn baby.

The flip side of that idea is a show like Go On. On Go On, nearly everyone is in the process of undergoing some type of growth. Granted, some seem stuck at certain levels, but all of the characters have made strides in one sense or the other. Obviously, the centerpiece of that growth is Ryan King. A man making an attempt to overcome the loss of his wife is not always ripe for humor, so sometimes the funnies have to be pushed aside long enough for us to see some development from the show’s star.

There are plenty of comedies that push aside the laughter on occasion to do something more substantial. Parks and Recreation, for one, excels at letting down its guard and leaving itself vulnerable to us. It’s definitely not a horrible thing when Go On chooses to take a step back in the name of character development. A large hurdle for a man who lost his wife in such a sudden manner would be rejoining the dating pool. It’s something that we need to see. He’s not (I hope) going to fall in love anytime soon, but the idea of him dating is an important checkpoint for the show. It allows for more one-off funny episodes involving bad dates, crazy dates, and all other manner of dating screwballery for Ryan King. This week’s episode may not have made you (or me) laugh, but it was an episode that showed the show is playing the long game. In our microwave world of television, a show with a vision beyond the horizon is worth appreciating.