Go On Season 1 Review “Ring and a Miss”

New television shows operate in this weird, almost purgatorial state. Even shows with supposedly bankable stars like Go On have to make bold moves in an attempt to gain viewers, keep those viewers, and lock down a second season in a world where the vast majority of new shows fail. What comes about as a result is these shows tend to burn through plot points like they’re nearly expired airline miles. The result can be outrageously funny or dramatic moments. Unfortunately, network comedies often bumble their way through their first seasons as they struggle to find combinations that work, and jokes that land with their audience. While a thirty minute comedy doesn’t have to focus on plot development constantly, but major plot points on Go On continue to come out of left field.

It was clear from the beginning of Ryan and Simone’s relationship that the memory of Janie would eventually put an end to the relationship. Given that this relationship has been booked as a major development in Ryan’s rehabilitation, some buildup to the breakup was probably in order. Instead, we jump in midstream with the couple breaking up in the middle of the episode before finally closing the door on the relationship at the end of the episode. While Janie figured prominently at the beginning of the relationship, she was definitely marginalized as Ryan’s relationship with Simone progressed. Using Janie as part of the endgame seems logical, but the lack of forewarning makes the storyline feel rushed. Oh well, at least the storyline necessitated a Bradley Whitford appearance as party animal (and hot tub salesman!), Hughie.

The B story in tonight’s episode was well crafted. It carried with it everything a show like Go On could be. The loss of Anne’s partner has been well utilized throughout the series thus far, but bringing the void home really made for some touching moments. The troubles experienced by Anne felt as real as anything we’ve seen from this show in a few weeks. I was actually smiling watching the end of the story when Anne fully embraces her inner child. Julie White was marvelous again tonight. It’s clear that the writers trust her to handle meatier storylines. She’s become more to the show than a joke delivery system. If a likely second season does happen, the show can go forward confident in their top two leads.

It’s fairly interesting to watch a new comedy flail around in an attempt to find the show it really wants to be. After believing otherwise earlier in the season, I now think it’s possible we haven’t seen everything from Go On yet. It doesn’t appear that anyone is watching (or reading these reviews for that matter), but the show may still be worth keeping an eye on. If nothing else, all of the comedic flailing will make for interesting viewing.