A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Go On is a sitcom about people coping with grief, so it makes light of emotional experiences like losing a loved one, marital infidelity, and becoming disabled. What's more, the charaters' many personality types are designed to make you laugh at their idiosyncrasies. There's occasional language ("f--k" is bleeped and blurred), as well as a very timely tie-in to the danger of texting behind the wheel -- which might hit home with your own young drivers. The show's willingness to raise and explore real-world emotional issues may also encourage discussions about similar experiences in your family members' lives.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
In GO ON, Matthew Perry plays Ryan King, a macho, sharp-tongued radio show host whose reluctance to grieve his wife's recent death leads his boss, Stephen (John Cho), to require that he attend a "life change" therapy group. Ryan arrives on the scene to find a hodgepodge of quirky personality types coping with everything from the loss of a pet to an unfaithful spouse, all under the capable direction of the straight-laced group leader, Lauren (Laura Benanti). Ryan's presence shakes up the quiet circle, much to Lauren's chagrin, but his natural charisma eventually endears him to the others and results in some surprising emotional breakthroughs for everyone involved.
Is it any good?
Go On is an offbeat sitcom that takes a fairly realistic look at the ups and downs of life and the human response to tragedy, all through the jaded eyes of its cocky star. Perry is superb as the emotionally impenetrable Ryan, whose natural tendency to withhold his feelings is in hilarious contradiction with many of his more touchy-feely group mates. What's really fun to watch is how this unlikely 12-stepper's nonconformity breaks through to his peers and in turn inspires his own emotional growth.
Of course, this is a comedy, so you can expect that te material invites viewers to find humor in what would be devastating real-life experiences. Happily, there's enough heart and character development along the way to leave a lasting impression. The content is mild enough for most older tweens and teens, and if you watch as a family, you can easily draw on the characters' troubles to talk about issues like coping with change and overcoming tragedy, as well as the evolution of relationships.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. How do our different backgrounds pose challenges in relating to other people? What common ground contributed to some of your more unlikely friendships? How do strong relationships help us in tough times?
Teens: What are some difficult emotional experiences you've had? How can laughter aid in the healing process? What other aspects of your life do you draw on for strength?
How successful is Matthew Perry in this role? Are you familiar with his other comedic work? Does knowing an actor in other roles, like Perry's in Friends, make it hard to adjust to their new ones?
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